“Priestess of Neskaya”

It feels very scary to call a part of myself “Priestess of Neskaya.” But I think if I were living out of my True Self, that’s who would be manifesting. This blog piece attempts to document a process toward integration of two very different parts of myself.

On Monday, September 13, I went to Neskaya to connect with Sandy Cooper and Mary Brubaker who have been working on putting together a video of how I created Neskaya and relevant stories from my life. Since I started having the parts wake up, I have had experiences that I think are a kind of dissociation. I’m not sure I know what dissociation feels like because I don’t experience leaving my body. One of my first experiences of knowing I had dissociated was when my mother said something really cruel and I wrote it down in my journal.  When I read what I had written the next day, I wasn’t sure it had happened and had to ask my sister who was there.

My experience at Neskaya on Monday was very odd and disconcerting. I know that I have had trouble internalizing the knowledge that I am a very good dance teacher and create ceremonies that are very powerful. There are times when I feel that I am “on” while I’m teaching. I think what I mean by that is that magic, spiritual power is flowing through me. I’ve never tried to give it words before. The part of me that was so hurt by mother telling me “Don’t think you’re so great” and so terrified by the threat to send me “back to Sears & Roebucks” keeps me dissociating while I’m teaching so I won’t feel the pain and terror. Which allows me to enjoy it in the moment, but it never gets built in as part of my identity. So I suspect that this recent experience is opening a possibility of actually beginning to have a felt sense of embodying the “Priestess of Neskaya.” This is similar to something that happened when I went to Dance Camp at Neskaya after moving to Kendal.

from my journal for Friday, September 17

Wanted to try to connect with the two parts of me that were trying to mesh gears on Monday.  One of them is the Priestess of Neskaya, and the other is Adult Jenny who used dissociation as a protection.  The Priestess of Neskaya makes me think of the one who appeared in body work at Kripalu in 1989.  Debra recognized her, or I might have been able to disappear her.  Too small for God, too big for my soul.  Taking the abuse of the Earth into my body to help heal it there.  9 years later I painted the Red Woman.  After teaching Dancing the Sacred Calendar.  I remember that the Red Woman started with a series of concentric circles, representing the cut down stumps that I saw at Genesis when I was there for contemplative dance.  I saw them as images of my life, cut off from its fullness by childhood abuse.  Then the information that my energy was not getting to my hands — stuck in the elbows.  Shift from what “looks good” to what “feels good.”  I “destroy” the first painting with torn fragments of paper.  Parts of me?  Building up a rich surface.  A “placenta red” oval at the center, pointed at top & bottom.  I think it might be a vagina, but when I go away and come back I see the Balinese Dancer.  She woke up at Samhain, and 9 years later (period of lunar standstills) she manifested her image at Beltane.

Then there’s Adult Jenny who dissociates from anything that her mother might have called “thinking you’re so great.” Her enthusiasm, her knowledge of esoteric things, her intuition.  How do I bring them together? Maybe they are negotiating their relationship right now. The process is in motion, and I can offer myself to it. Turn to a puzzle to occupy my neo-cortex because the process is going on in subconscious?

By a week later, I was beginning to feel pretty good. I had finished Jeremy Lent’s book The Web of Meaning, which I see as beautifully describing the paradigm we have to shift to if we are going to save the earth from global warming, pandemics, etc

from my journal for Friday, September 24

I have moments of sadness, moments of bummed out, but mostly I feel pretty good.  I think what happened is that Jeremy Lent is describing the wider, more inclusive, participatory, sacred cosmos that Francis Weller talked about.  I am continuing to read Complexity, partly to get a handle on that piece of the puzzle.  The idea of emergent phenomena, when a population organizes and becomes something greater that couldn’t have been predicted, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  Perhaps, if enough of us work hard enough in all the areas that need changing, some kind of positive climate shift will emerge.

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