CAYA Memories: owl of love visits the Brotherhood of the Moon

It was only back in 2010 that i stumbled into CAYA...

i had tried to make both Imbolc & Ostara public rituals, but my lack of punctuality found me stranded outside of locked doors... When i first landed (early!) at the BotM at the Yoga studio on Bonar, what surprise should await that not only did i feel like i had found a spiritual home, but i already knew two people there!

i'm in Recovery, that is, i am clean & sober and attend regular meetings (typically AA due to availability and variety, even though marijuana had been my "drug of choice.") Working the 12 steps was difficult at first, having grown up Catholic & needing to find a "Higher Power" of my own understanding who would keep me sober. When my first sponsor suggested i could write my own list of attributes i desired in a Higher Power (with a corresponding list of unnecessary qualities NOT desired), i came to believe in Nature, that is, the Goddess, Gaia as more powerful than me (and on Whom i could rely & had NOTHING to do with how She functioned!)

A helpful soul in a meeting heard me mention "Mother Nature" in one of my shares and quietly offered their experiences attending public CAYA rituals and that i might feel at home there...

Fast forward back to walking into the BotM and meeting Adonai Dagaz Greywolf and Gatekeeper Jey...at first, we didn't recognize each other, for i had only fuzzy memories of meeting them through a co-worker in SF when i was still drinking & using...delightful welcomes & hearty laughs followed! And through Aspirant & Initiate years on the way to Ordination, the feelings of love, support, welcome, friendship, & of course mirth & reverence have only grown!

CAYA Memories: Twice Athena Snuck Up on Me and One Time I Did It to Her

I. September 2012

The Rite of Courageous Heroines concludes with a mass of shivering women and a collective decision to make use of the heated pool. In moments, we've all sunk, waded, or jumped in. There are general sounds of pleasure and laughter. Someone breaks out the booze. After a bit, I notice Athena's the only one missing. I ask if we should go get her and get a shrug in reply. I'm not used to the way she appears when she wants to yet. I watch for her but don't catch the exact moment she appears. It's the first time I see her pull her ninja trick but far from the last.

II. March 2014

When I finally give up and decide to raid the kitchen instead of sleeping, Ursa's there. She looks up when I come out of my room.

"Hey sweetie," she says. "How are you?"

"F-king insomnia," I grumble, collapsing against her for a hug.

She makes a sympathetic noise and follows me to the kitchen. I put together a snack and some tea to help me sleep.

When I turn back from the counter, Athena looms up out of the darkness. I startle and force myself to take a deep breath instead of shrieking. Right. She was sleeping on the couch. I forgot.

"Hi Athena."

Ursa whips around and we all laugh quietly.

III. October 2014

I am just coming down the hallway when I hear a knock on the door. I pause. Someone gets it and I hear Athena's familiar voice. She is the last one to arrive, so we should be ready to start now.

A smile teases at the corner of my mouth. I keep walking and take the stairs. Just as I hear Athena reach the bottom, I round the corner.

"Whoa!" Athena flails backward, a hand at her heart. "You scared me!"

My smile widens into a grin. "I knew that would happen."