One woman's journey and dawning realization of the slow destruction of her spirit while trapped in the jaws of disability.

Disability is at first an affliction of the body, then a state of mind and finally a shackle upon the spirit.

Lydia M N Crabtree, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

Spiritually Disabled

Part of the painful soul deep healing I have undertaking has been subterranean in the spirit where those of my spiritual path say the most painful mirror resides. It is the mirror that reflects our true nature. Not the one we hope to be and not one of the many masks we show to others. It is the mirror that reflects back to us the true nature of who and what we are.
I believe that many of us, I included have a pretty decent view of who we are. Those of us who have undertaken serious spiritual journeying have traversed and answered many spiritual questions that the general population simply doesn’t ask or even want to acknowledge are questions they should ask. We have done rituals and rituals, attended festivals and more rituals. We have done shamanistic journeying, meditation, sweat lodges and firewalks, all in the name of burning away the superficial and getting down to the ultimate truth of ourselves. Allegedly we do all this to bring forth that real person hidden under the restrictions of sociality expectations, past physical, mental and emotional harms done us and our own self-imposed limitations to shine as the real person we are.

In Christianity, they speak of the Great Work. This is the work of proselytizing the idea that Jesus Christ is the only avenue to salvation and all things healing, good and right. I have come to realize that the Great Work is actually this journey to rid ourselves of social expectations, past harms and self-imposed blockages that keep us from realizing who we really are. There are those who would say that this work allows us to shine as an example to others, which quite frankly I think is more crap we feed ourselves. I believe if those people knew who they really were, they would not be so quick to talk about shining anything for anyone. For although I sincerely believe that we are a spark of the Devine made manifest in this world, I equally believe that society, past harms and our own human fallacies bury the Devine beneath layers and layers of the ugliest, foulest of stench and most disgusting to handle rubble that many a Devine spark has thought to have been extinguished under the weight of it.
Worse still, I have heard many spiritual practitioners talk about these blockages as simple energy constructs. I have been part of countless meditations where energy blockages were sought out and released. I initially felt better only to turn around the next day and find those same energetic stumbling blocks right back where they were. This is tied into the ongoing discussion I have been having with myself about magic and its nature. Recently I read the book Hearts Blood by Carolyn McCray. In this paranormal book, McCray has an entire discussion that involves quantum theory and magic. Basically, McCray points out that magic can only be enacted by knowing and understanding the essence of a thing. For example to command metal to sharpen goes against the metal of metal, if you will. Where as to command a bone shard to sharpen activates the living cells of regeneration that all bones have and there for can more easily get it to sharpen.

With this thought in mind, the idea that blockages are simple energetic constructs is a bit naive. If you do not understand the essence of these blockages, then how can you deal with them? I started this blog talking about the shackling of my will by my physical disability. I specifically named fear and shame as the emotions that had literally come to bind my will as a shackle will bind wrists. That said, now when I feel my will floundering I can think about being too stubborn to succumb to fear, which I am and have lots of practice in my life doing. Admittedly I am still working on how to get around shame. I am certain that would be an entire blog by itself.
One of the tools I have been using to name the essence of the blockages in my life are old Book of Shadows, journals and past writings. I currently have a BoS that was created to take on trips to festivals and has prayers and rites for all the major life mild stones neo-pagans can celebrate, as ell as blessings for the sabbats, full moon and new moon. In the back, I found I had printed out several journey descriptions and information about spiritual advisers I had used in the past and what they had to say to me. I was struck by the obvious places along my personal spiritual path I went off course.

My first was that when the going in my life got tough, my devotion to the God, Goddess and spiritual advisors I had been working with quit. I have meet people who told me they had lost their faith and I understand now what they mean. They, as I, had lost their faith in a specific entity whom they had trusted to bring them prosperity and not darkness and illness. Looking back now, I abandoned a basic belief tenant I have always held. Life is a cycle of life, death and re-birth. Instead of looking as my illness as a journey through a living death that ultimately leads to re-birth, I quickly grabbed onto the idea that my life as I had known it was dead. The dead aren’t meant for the living. The longer I stayed immobile in a place of death the more my life took on the essence of that which I associated with. Making it harder and harder to remember that life is a cycle.
My second downfall was ignoring the warnings of spirit. It amazed me how many times I was given an opportunity to see into the future and see how I am currently. In an automatic writing exercise I did sometime before 2007, the Goddess I had dedicated to said:

I am all that you need. Do not forsake me. Seek my other aspects for continued guidance. Use my [symbol animal] as a spiritual tool. As you do this I will make you strong in body, heart, soul and mind. When you stray from this, illness will always obey, for I am the Goddess of death and war and now you know I am also the Goddess of Life.
Now it is 2012 and my body is wracked with illness because the Goddess of Life, the Goddess that had chosen me, the Goddess I had dedicated to was tossed aside because I didn’t rely on what I had been given. The going got tough and I got lazy. In a world where spirituality is so often done flying by the seat of a broom stick, the idea of discipline has almost become a dirty word. I have yet to meet a practitioner who could honestly tell me they had a constant daily practice. Evidently constancy is as in short supply as discipline. It was even foretold in that same automatic writing when I was told:

It is your skill to overcome and master your own rebellious spirit that will enable you to accomplish any other tasks this spiritual battle will require.
           In order to bring about the books, the weapons and to complete the task your goddess has set
            for you, you must FOCUS. Find your discipline and bend your will to your Goddess. This is your
           fate. You must face these things because you must. You were chosen.

I think we are all chosen for some task. Now with all this time upon me, I wonder how many of us have some wisdom squirreled away in a journey, dream recollection or automatic writing long forgotten already have the answers, advise and direction to overcome the blockages of our spirit? I may be disabled in body, but my research into my own spiritual journey’s past make me wonder how many are just as disabled in spirit as I?


In a completely different direction, I have received many uplifting writings and encouragements since this blog went live. Most say something to the effect that they wish to offer some help or assistance to me. I have to say the most assistance I have received comes from a friend of mine named Munishwarji Walking Tall. His notes to me are filled with uplifting positive messages of unconditional love and unwavering friendship. If you know someone struggling with a debilitating illness or a disability, whether they reach out to you or not, a note for love and uplifting message upon a FaceBook wall or texted to their phone or sent to their email is often the tide that turns a crappy day into a productive one. Being sick makes you feel as if you have no societal worth and that it is natural friends and others wouldn’t want to know you any longer. Just the constant press of, “I am here,” is often all the support people with disabilities need. As with all people, a press of unconditional love, unconditional acceptance and unwavering “hereness,” is the type of balm no money or cure could ever apply.

Some have asked for specifics of my illness and how I went from nearly publishing with Llewellyn Worldwide, Inc., to not. I imagine I will eventually get around to discussing this at length. My diagnosis is Dysautonomia which is a genetic defect that affects the autonomic and immune systems. It is rare. I have an appointment to be seen and a plan of action created for me at Vanderbilt University in August. This is something I have had all my life but because of several different factors, including a B12 deficiency, found the onset of the debilitating aspects of this illness begin to strike me after I was initially signed with Llewellyn Worldwide, Inc.

The status of my book Family Coven is that it is suspended.  I have not have any other publishing companies interested and as I am not fit for travel, promoting such a book is difficult at best. If you are interested in the path of family Coven, email me at and I will refer you to some who are still teaching and practicing the ideas of Family Coven. As I currently stand, I have good and bad days or weeks and obviously I am deeply entrenched in a rededication of myself to the Goddess I dedicated to. I do hope Family Coven will someday see the light of day, and it is not a driving priority of my life at this moment.

Keep pure your highest ideal, strive ever towards it. Let nothing stop you or turn you aside…

Doreen Valiente Charge of the Goddess, Modified by Lydia M N Crabtree, 2007


  1. It is words like this that remind me of how grateful I am that you were my mentor/teacher for a time. I think you know as well as I the changes that happened in my life when I set out on my path and for those I thank you.

    Hope that you can beat this illness and be well again.

    Blessed Be!

  2. I am so happy to see you writing again and sharing your voice. I think it is within this process that you will find that goddess within that sometimes feels so disconnected. It is about the path if learning to live in spit of your illness and not instead of it. Hugs dfrom your sister.