This weekend Cat and Dmitri looked at me and went, Hera, really? You have something dedicated to Hera on your flesh? They couldn’t think of anyone else with something dedicated to her, but the piece is only nominally for her to be honest… but there is a link. A heavy one.

When I was young I nearly fainted when I read the myth of Io and the Tsetse Fly. Its a simple enough story- Zeus is on his standard prowl, falls for Io, priestess of Hera. To hide the affair, Zeus turns Io into a white cow, but being no fool, Hera asks Zeus for the beautiful white cow as a gift. Hera asks Argus, the 100 eyed guardian, to guard the cow, and he does so with ease until Zeus sends Hermes to lull Argus to sleep. Once asleep, Hermes decapitates Argus, and sets Io (pregnant with Epaphus) free. Hera shows up, and deeply upset, takes all of Argus’ eyes and places them on the feathers of the peacock. She sents the Tsetse Fly after Io, who runs off to Egypt, gives birth, etc.

My brandings that Elwood did for me are 2 very separate concepts woven into one. The first is a set of waves coming at me, waves rolling in, with my hands above the waves no matter how high they come.

The second symbol is eyes, 7 on each side. For watchfulness in all things. For my eyes not being closed for the work I do for the divine. And yes, these were the eyes of Argus I called to.

During my core shamanism weekend thingy, one of the things we had to do was upper world work. I have a LOT of history doing lower world work, and open space work, but to be honest I haven’t done a lot of upper world work. My arms grew powerful and long as a Gorilla, and I scaled the forest’s tallest trees until I reached the heavens, broke through, and found myself on Rodeo Drive. This would be the WTF moment. Or some similar shopping place with high end cars passing. The exercise had been to look for a teacher we were needing to work with… I had theories of who it would be. I was wrong. The WTF moment…

as I recognized her.
Ok, she was dressed in Chanel sunglasses, strong greek nose, wavy hair, very houswives of Orange County… but it was Hera. I was me but in higher end designer jeans, same haircut with a single blue highlight in the front, expensive tee shirt and button down over the top. She wore something with a wrap-cross clevage area, romantic cut shirt over a knee-length skirt and 2″ heels. She handed off her bags and hat boxes to me, and without missing a beat said “If you want to work with me you have to keep up with me.” as she continued on to the next shop.

She asked if I had any questions, and I gave her the two I’d “brought with me.” She paused for a single second, dropped the sunglasses down, and with a thick greek princess accent said “don’t waste my time on things you know already.” Pushing her glasses back up she walked on and I chased after her in silence. A few minutes later she turned back, four shopping and conversation stops later, and said “You really do have an issue with pantheon work don’t you. Ha!” laughed, and walked on. We stopped at her car, and I loaded everything into her blood red convertible. She fingered the brands on my arms, pinched me on the cheek, and went on to tell me another paragraph or two of info. Then I asked one more question, shook her head, then said that yes, if I could get over my pantheon issue, she’d be here to hear my call and questions. She got into her car, reminded me she had bigger business than me to take care of, and drove off blowing me a kiss. I stood there like an idiot on the sidewalk watching her car drive away (I never got the license plate name, but it was a snob plate), with random rich folks trying to push me out of the way, my brain vaguely registering that some of them only had one eye, or were carrying toy-sized snakes instead of poodles.

The drums called me back.

I really have been very aloof about the fact that I don’t do pantheon work. Attending pagan events I have a habit of trying to separate myself (not conciously, but I am concious now) from other shamans and spirit workers by saying stuff like “I swear I’m the only non norther-tradition worker here” or “at least you have the ability to turn to lore for answers.” In following a paleolithic deity with her paws in every culture that has bears in its folklore and mythology, I keep insisting that I walk between. Like I keep saying I am a person between social circles, that I have no leather family of my own and instead am every leather family’s cousin. Like I have insisted since childhood that I would be the person that I would be the social tie between social groups but be at home in none of them.

Its really not being healthy for me not to have a home of he heart.
To draw these artificial lines in the sand between me and others.
To make myself alone on purpose.

Some of it is a blessing. Embrace the blessings.
But the false lines that separate me from the world- its not healthy for me, and I have to deal with my prejudices around being part of, well, anything.

So, here I will now cope. So that I can eventually embrace.

Cope Lee- you do work with the Greek pantheon (via Argus, Hera and Artemis, and that bastard Pan).
Cope Lee- you do work with the Mesopotamian pantheon (with crossovers into Babylonian, Sumerian and Akkadian in the face of Enki and Ea as well as Nergal/Neti who I have horsed for, as well as having done working with Enkidu).
Cope Lee- you do work with the Egyptian pantheon (via Nephtys and Set).
Cope Lee- you do work with the Christian pantheon (via Mary and Mary, and Saint Christopher and Saint Bridget via Catholicism).
Cope Lee- you do work with the Celtic pantheon (via Brigid).
Cope Lee- you do work with the Hopi pantheon (via Spider Woman).
Cope Lee- you do work with the Hindu pantheon (via Shiva, Lakshmi, Ganesha, Saraswati and Shakti).
Cope Lee- you do work with the Polynesian pantheon (via the Hiiaka).
Cope Lee- you do work with the Shinto pantheon (via Ameratsu).
Cope Lee- you do work with other pantheons as well (Feri, Daem’, Yoruba…).


And ya know what- I do have a leather family.
And I do have MY friends.
And I do have MY congregation, MY acolytes.

So yeah, Cat & Dmitri, I work with Hera. And why should I have been surprised that I saw her on Rodeo Drive- she always did love broad streets strewn with riches. How could I not have awe for Eris’ mighty mother? She who was seen not only as matron/mother, but also had a following as a virgin and also as a divorced woman?

However, now I’m chewing on the business around Tiresias. Hm.