I stood before the Gods, naked and with no veil around my eyes. They held my chalice, a piece of pottery that I bought for $4 at a thrift store. It leans a little and is rough and still resembles mud on the outside, the inside is a beautiful blood red with flecks of other colors. I think the potter who made it considered it too imperfect to sell and so discarded it. It is the most perfect thing I own because of its imperfections. It is the tool with which I most strongly identify.
I am very fortunate in that my body has always felt like a true expression of my inner self. My true identity has never been in conflict with the body that it inhabits. Don’t get me wrong, there have been moments when I have wished my body were different. When I was a child I wanted curly blond hair and blue eyes. As an adolescent I wished that my breasts were larger. I have always wanted to be a graceful dancer and a strong and capable athlete.
It would be nice if I didn’t have scoliosis or one femur that is a half inch shorter than the other. Diabetes is a bitch sometimes especially because I have a sweet-tooth and my relationship to food is not what the Gods might want it to be. I have a few scars and stretch marks and at 47 there are times when the things I want to do will result in pain. And I am still not a graceful dancer or a strong and capable athlete.
But my womb has borne fruit, my breasts have produced milk (though I do regret that I did not nurse my babes at my breasts, those were choices that I made.) I have felt my children moving inside me. My womb does not define me and yet, it has allowed me to accomplish the greatest thing that I can imagine.
My body is imperfect like my chalice, and yet both are beautiful. It is who I am. It teaches me and allows me to engage with the world in which I live. It has tattoos that mark the most profound moments of my life. It is capable of giving and receiving great pleasure and of nurturing those I love and of healing others. And it allows me to truly exist in the moment and be fully present.
So when I stood before my Gods to convince them that I understood the energy my chalice represents, the principles of form, stillness, silence, the feminine, I told them that it was everything that I am, all that I have ever done and hoped for and it was the truth. They asked if I understood its depth, and my answer was that it is as deep as my very being, my blood, my heart, my womb, my body, and it is beautiful.
The Dark God, the Sage, demanded that I look into his eyes. He challenged weather or not I was willing to carry the light inside me and be seen, if I was ready to step onto the path, to form my life, if I deserved to. I told Him that I was willing, that I was ready and that Yes, I deserve to be seen, that I am beautiful, and it was the truth.
When I performed the inner Great Rite, filling my chalice with the feminine energy within me was easy and natural (even graceful). The energy was strong and full and flowed without any disruption. Projecting the Masculine Polarity into my blade however was less graceful. It felt awkward, unfamiliar, and less focused. There was a moment when I was not completely sure that I had indeed accomplished the task. But the energies did in fact unite and expand, though it was undeniably unbalanced in favor of the feminine, it did indeed become more than two separate things. Like blue and yellow blending to create a lovely peridot green, but definitely not equal in their parts, not emerald.
And that is ok. I learned something. I learned that as a human being, both exist within me. I learned that I need to practice strengthening and expressing the active principle within me. I learned that expressing something that is a part of me will improve with practice, will become more natural, more focused, more graceful, more familiar.
Why, you might ask, should I need to learn to express the Masculine when I am so very content to be female? Because it is a part of me and because it is a gift that can be used to serve others. Male or Female, (weather our bodies agree with our true selves or not, weather we love men or women or men and women, weather we are men or women) we are all Human. The Polarities exist within all of us. They have very little to do with gender, and everything to do with living. I may find the one easier to access but, I think that has more to do with my spirit than with my body and nothing at all to do with what the world thinks I am.
I am me. And I am learning and I am beautiful.