Yoga Wicca Buddha

Exploring a personal, eclectic path by looking at the intersection of three great traditions.

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Archer

Archer

 
Archer has been trying to make sense of religion since her parents first abandoned her at Sunday School in the 60s. She’s a mom, yoga teacher and repository of useless bits of information on ancient religion, spiritual practices and English grammar. Check out her column “Connections” in Witches and Pagans.
 

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Offer It Up

I stood on a subway platform as trains roared by, oblivious, paralyzed. I had been frozen by a brief, polite encounter with a former co-worker, a few weeks after I’d been laid off from my very first job, as a community college English teacher. My last set of students—young men in practical disciplines — had filled their evaluations with comments on my dress and appearance: “She should wear shorter skirts.” “She should wear more make-up.” It was decided my relationship with them had been “too personal", and my contract was not extended. Standing on the platform, remembering all this, a renewed sense of shame burned in my heart.

 

Over the years I would understand what happened better, with a more sophisticated eye. But at the time I was looking for emergency first aid. And I found it in the practice of “offering it up.”

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  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    loved that
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    Thank you. That's high praise from someone I so admire.

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Looking to the Stars

It was a silent, windless night far north, beyond the harsh lights of city and suburb. I was lying belly down on a dock, staring into utterly still water. The diamond splash of stars above was reflected perfectly beneath me.

 

I was rapt, drawn out of myself by the strangeness of finding stars above and below. With a slight shift in perception, suddenly all was space and points of light. I was falling, floating in this wondrous, mesmerizingly unfamiliar space. I was suspended, lost in an ocean of stars. 

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  • Kari
    Kari says #
    Loved it! Brilliant as usual.
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    You are too kind! Thank you!

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The Wisdom of Descent

I guess it’s seasonally appropriate—it’s the dark time of year, and once again my mood is dark. There’s a gathering undertow pulling me down, until I’m drowning in the fear of drowning. There’s the kind of anxiety that makes staying still an agony and every activity terrifying. Creativity is absent. These words are hard to write.

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  • Archer
    Archer says #
    Thank you Meredith. It's been a process, but I am in a much better place now, and working on understanding and continuing to have
  • Meredith Everwhite
    Meredith Everwhite says #
    This really resonated with me, I feel like I could've written it myself. I'm in a very similar place and I take comfort in knowing
  • Irisanya
    Irisanya says #
    Beautiful. Thank you.
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    Thanks so much Ted--I will definitely check out your blog entry--it's obviously been a right of passage for both of us.
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    What an amazing teacher you are, Archer! In the very act of expressing your angst, you give the best step-by-step advice in copin

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Let It Mean Something

Visiting my mom in the old folk’s home is a lot like going on retreat. On retreat, the days can be long, as I sit, eat, and walk in a silence punctuated with my own restless thoughts. On my visits to my mom, we too sit, eat, and walk in a silence punctuated by her restless, repetitive questions (“Why did you come? Are you my guest? Why am I here?”) and my repetitive answers. Just as on retreat, there are moments of peace, stretches of boredom and periods of head-nodding semi-sleep, both of us upright in our chairs. For the days I’m there, nothing new is happening. Nothing much is being accomplished. It’s the same thing, over and over.

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Thank you for this beautiful reminder, Archer. I used to wonder what was wrong with me, that I always seemed drawn to form relati
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    Wow, what an eloquent comment--I'm sorry I didn't see it sooner. Yes we are here to make life less difficult for each other. What
  • Tyger
    Tyger says #
    Thank you for bringing this to us.
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Archer, this story breaks my heart -- in the best possible way. Thank you for sharing it with us. Peace to you, your mother, and a
  • Archer
    Archer says #
    Thank you for these words Anne.

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Taking Refuge

“Gurudev is in town!”—my fellow yoga teacher’s eyes were glowing, nay, glistening with unshed tears. But I couldn’t share her excitement. While she was still under the sway of the charismatic yogi who had brought my brand of yoga to North America, I had been taught by one of his disenchanted disciples. The guru had been thrown out of his own ashram after sleeping with all the wrong people (including those underage) and icing the criminal cake with some financial malfeasance. I hadn’t experienced his powers first hand, but I gathered from my friend’s reactions, and her easy dismissal of his crimes, that they must have been significant. 

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Turning into Trees

The rain poured down without cease, a thorough, all-embracing sound. I was ensconced in the shelter of a tarp I’d slung between two trees, its sides open above the leafy softness of the forest floor. My comfy sleeping bag lay over a ground sheet. I had about six by three feet of space in which to stay dry for a long wet day, spent on the side of a mountain in Vermont. I slept, I mused, I wrote. It was heaven.

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  • Archer
    Archer says #
    Thank you, Tyger, for reading.
  • Tyger
    Tyger says #
    Lovely. Thank you.

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Lost Child

Folklore and myth are full of lost children—abandoned due to curses, hidden away by fearful parents, exiled by evil kings and cruel stepmothers. Cast on the waters, left on hilltops, hidden in caves, their fate seems murky— until they reappear to either tragedy or triumph. Oedipus learns his true identity only to discover that he has fulfilled the dark prophecy that he was trying to outrun. But Perseus and Dionysos emerge victorious, avenging their rejection. Likewise, the youngest sons or rejected daughters of folktales overcome their outcast status and achieve treasure and acclaim. 

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