I have been suffering the death of an egregore for the past 48 hours. It's interesting to note that I deal with spiritual death much the same as I do human. I've been weepy, sleeping a lot and not eating. Thankfully my goddaughter made dinner last night or I'd have just gone hungry again. Great for the waistline, lousy for my head.
An egregore is the magical construct shared between two magicians. Or in this case, between initiator and initiate. As I heard my initiate make the choice, I felt as if I had been punched in the chest. And being 59, my first thought was "OMG, am I having a heart attack?" This thought was immediately followed by my head ringing, as the Lwa descended upon me and spoke loudly in my ears.
I had to lie down, so great was the pain and so loud the voices of Spirit. The Ancestors, needless to say, were not happy.
I poured rum and lit candles. I assured Them things would be fine. It seems that even vodouisants are not immune to the world's wheel of energies and emotions. Mercury is retrograde, a time of poor communication and travel hassles. We just passed Imbolg, the Crone's holiday when she takes all the unfit, the poor in health and the sick or dying with her. Another initiate's best friend's husband is dying. And of course, we are coming up on the Equinox, surely one of the most powerful and magical gateways in the world. Which is all to say that by Saturday night, I had a major migraine.
This is not a surprise to me. I am in the middle of my second Saturn Return. I have given this more thought than is healthy, but still, I have been working on my "stuff". I revisit my choices, I mull over decisions and I pray. A lot. They say that your second return is the time of Harvest. This is when you are supposed to let go of that which doesn't work and taking up what does. I am supposed to be smarter, wiser, a true Elder. So why is this hurting so badly?
Following this line of thinking, perhaps, I did make bad choices in relation to this initiate. I should have been sterner, more like a real hard ass teacher. (but that isn't who I am...). I should have said no more often ( instead of being soft and easy...) . But that's not a realistic approach to teaching. Each student is a unique individual, with singular needs and special gifts. My true path is to enhance, uplift and bring out those gifts. To make that person see their own beauty, their unique presence in the world. And to help them find that place that makes them feel this way.
If the initiate no longer feels "special", have I failed or have they or has anyone really? If given all the tools to comprehend the world, and the world is not enough, is that my fault? I am not looking to blame anyone here. But the words used to tell me of the exit included "poisonous spirits". That took me aback - I have never said anything in all my years of teaching Vodou that would give a person a reason to use that phrase. This was really out of left field for me. I had to really work hard not to call this person on that statement. And this person had been a servitor for many years before coming to me, so it was a double shock when the call came in. What had I said or not said in regards to addressing this issue?
These are the questions I ask myself, as I wait for the pain in my heart to subside. An Egregore is built when a Teacher and a Student unite in grace. When that unity is no more, the Egregore dies, leaving a painful place behind, until the rift seals itself. I have felt this before. I know it will pass and heal. The connection will remain between us, but it will no longer be alive with life. It will be as a cord, laid aside. The cord is tangible, yet without terminal ends, it remains neutral. My cord has been cut and I need to retreat to heal.
Perhaps in the future, I will be able to see this person again. But for now, I cannot. Rejection is hurtful - I need time to heal. And who is to say what I will become when this pain subsides? How can I predict my own future feelings on the matter, when at this moment, I am too raw to speak? Even Teachers need their space to find their footing again.
We will be serving Loko in a week. Right now, I have meals to plan, palms to purchase and a temple to clean. My spirits are calling me, and I respond in kind. It eases my heart and make the pain bearable.