So something seriously weird has happened of late, and it appears that I’ve accepted the role the project I work for has to play. This is a really big thing, given that I was ready to walk out after last week.
A bit more detail: my Muggle and I have decided that my boss lives in a bubble. He is a true CPA who rarely leaves his desk, and believes I should be the same. He jumps to conclusions without asking me what’s going on, and certainly without knowing all the facts at hand. I’ve gone from crying hysterically in the toilets after my “meeting” with him on Tuesday, to now losing all high opinion of him. Oh well, such is life.
Last night we went out with my Muggle’s best mate, to which the night ended with us watching a snippet of our handfasting video, and watching him perform ‘Billie Jean’ at our reception. Then I saw myself on the video, and whoa was I in serious denial about how big I really was! I know I’ve lost weight, and am so much healthier than a year ago, but seeing myself on video from a really horrible angle, helped cement it in. Then I began to reflect on what’s been happening.
I’m so much stronger than I was a year ago. Physically, mentally, emotionally. I know I’ve said this before on here, but I am now the woman I’ve always dreamt of becoming. After dedicating myself to Herne, growing at the Australian Wiccan Conference, and undertaking “The Internal Shadow” process by Raven Digitalis, I now have a confidence that I had only previously read about.
And with this has come an, I guess the word to use here is ‘acceptance’. Through the assistance of my Muggle, my friends, and fellow bloggers (particually Dragonwyst), my view on where I work has done a 180. With or without Tuesday morning, I now “get it”.
Originally, I disliked the idea of my job because it involves the destruction of the earth. I know it may sound silly, given how many other places are being destroyed in this world, but this is one thing that may lead to another. This is something that I am involved in, and it’s something that made my stomach churn. The 3.2km tunnel is being developed under Sydney’s inner suburbs and city to assist with electric cables to be laid so the city has less black outs. Well that’s a fair call, I hear many people say. But it was the site of seeing all that excavated rock and clay being loaded into the trucks on a daily basis that made me really want to chain myself to the gate and not let anyone pass. But as it happens, all that rock and clay is completely recycled.
After being introduced to Sovereignty, I believed that it might be best for me to leave completely. It wouldn’t stop the job, although if I took up my boss’s offer on Tuesday and quit there an then, it would certainly leave them pretty fucked. I try not to swear here, but that really is the best word for it. Without me, the wages staff and the vendors we get our equipment from don’t get paid. And if they don’t get paid, they will stop allowing us to use them, and the tunnel wouldn’t get dug. Win for me, doomed for them. This was a small step that I could take, but at the end of the day, the project would still go on. Me leaving would not stop it completely, and I can quite easily be replaced.
Friday morning as I was making my daily cup of lemongrass and rosehip tea (oh my gods, sooooo good!), the Project Manager (the job’s head boss) asked if I had heard of St Barbara. I informed him that obviously my thirteen years of Catholic education had been fantastic for me, as I had never heard of her before. St Barbara is the patron Saint of tunnelers miners, and others in this industry. As the job begins, they have a small ritual to honour her, asking for her blessing on the job to keep the workers safe. Knowing that I’m “into that kinda thing”, the Project Manager thought I might be interested. Here’s a small correspondence we had.
Me to Project Manager
Subject: St Barbara
I’ve stolen this from Wikipedia. Very interesting reading, though!
As one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, Barbara continues to be a popular saint in modern times, perhaps best known as the patron saint of artillerymen, military engineers, miners and others who work with explosives because of her old legend’s association with lightning, and also of mathematicians. Many of the thirteen miracles in a 15th-century French version of her story turn on the security she offered that her devotees would not die without making confession and receiving extreme unction.
So within her association with lightning, to some she could represent storms and change, destruction of oneself to become better and enlightened. Through reading her story, to me, she represents the struggle from oppression, fighting for what you believe in. This then can translate into mining and tunneling as blasting through the earth is symbolic of blasting through the boundaries put on us (physical, mental, emotional), just as it then translates back to her as she found her way out of the tower her father put her in.
My Patron God, Herne, is sometimes seen as a fertility God because of his association with the Oak. The oak drops its chestnuts and from them, new oak trees grow. Personally, I don’t see that within him, because in the stories, Herne hangs himself on the Oak after being betrayed (he’s driven to madness after losing his hunting skills). So for me, it’s less about fertility, and more about cycles and regeneration, being dying and being reborn. The Oak he hung himself on died (after a few hundred years), it rotted and was removed (this is in Windsor Forest in England) and each time it’s removed, it’s been replaced with a new Oak. Again, about cycles and regeneration. It’s all about the wording, words are so powerful!
But I can definitely see how St Barbara can lend her hand to a project like this, and oversee it to ensure the goals of the project are met safely. And the idea of having a ritual to honour that is quite beautiful!
Project Manager to Me
Hi [my real name],
That is very interesting, and my mind wanders with the thought of Herne and the idea of cycles and regeneration.
Normally the rock we excavate is taken to land fill, however on this project the rock is being taken to be used as sand in the making of bricks, so rather than being buried as in dying the sandstone is being reborn.
Is it possible to have more than one patron saint/god? (I am not sure of the difference, excuse my ignorance).
Me to Project Manager
Patron generally means “only one” so St Barbara is the Matron saint (matron – mother; patron – father). The great thing about my spirituality is that we believe in many Gods, Goddesses etc. Herne is just the one I feel most connected with. I’ve worked with many over the years, for different things. And it also depends on your individual faith. As much as my schools tried to keep me as a good Catholic girl, the faith didn’t work for me because I didn’t agree with the idea of only one God as it didn’t feel balanced. If you want to believe in more, then go for it! But within the Matron/Patron title, it generally means ‘one’, and many of us have a Matron Goddess, Patron God that we work with.
There are so many Deities that are connected with regeneration. Even the Sun and the Moon are perfect examples. The phases of the moon is of life and death – in her first quarter stage it is in its youth; when its full it’s in its prime, as father/mother aspect; in third quarter it’s older, crone/sage like; and then in the dark moon it’s like death. And then the cycle begins again. The Sun does it as well, but over the course of the year. At the spring equinox where day and night are equal it is youth, at summer solstice of the longest day it is at its height is the mother/father aspect; at the autumn equinox, again of day and night being equal it’s older as the days then grow shorter; and winter it’s death as the land sleeps, and the sun spends less time in the sky. But then at the winter solstice death occurs, then days grow longer and the cycle begins again.
I think, rather than another Saint for this project, it’s enough that we give honour to the rock that the tunnel produces as it is completely recycled. Since it doesn’t go to waste and it does get reused, it’s a wonderful gift back to the earth and back to society.
In the days of old, Kings would have to give sacrifice and honour to Sovereignty (the spirit of the land) in order to guarantee a good and bountiful harvest. If the sacrifice wasn’t enough, and for years the crops failed, then the King would be stripped from the throne (often killed) and a new King would be raised. What this project is doing is a modern-day take on this old custom. By allowing the rock to be recycled, we are giving back and we are honouring it.
So we honour St Barbara to ensure our workers stay safe underground, and we honour the earth by allowing the rock to not go to waste. It’s good harmony!
So after hearing that the rock is completely recycled, my view has completely changed. I understand part of why Herne chose to introduce me to Sovereignty now, and how I can take that into where I work. By ensuring that the clay is recycled, we are giving it honour. Dragonwyst reminded me that there is so much more going on that what is infront of me, that “…the universal breaths are aeons long and slow. Take a step back, do what good you can, but remember there are bigger cycles and not one atom is lost.”
So in thanks to the Gods, my friends, my co-workers and a wonderful talk-to from Dragonwyst, I have finally come to terms with my reality. I have found a way of thinking that allows me to continue working where I work, now understanding that it doesn’t completely conflict with my beliefs.