Ahhh! Welcome to the Thursday blog post. There won’t be a blog post this weekend, as I will be on the road. But I’ll pick back up again on Tuesday. Its a rainy day here in the northern tier of central Texas. Cold rain though. Winter is scratching at the door step again.
Lately, a lot of my thoughts have strayed into the past, looking back on things that I helped create or had a hand in making into a reality. Ambition is not a high item in my list of things to do in life. And yet, it is. In my mundane life, I have never had the ambition to climb the corporate ladder. I am content to live in the world of the technician, where my hands and mind are actively engaged in solving problems and finding insight. At one time, I managed to climb into the status of “Vice President of Technology” in a super-small company (less then fifty people). It took exactly eighty-eight days for me to not like the job. Too much paperwork, not enough time with my hands in the machines or working with the data. That eighty-eight day experience convinced me that upper levels of corporate leadership are definitely not for me.
To a point, this mindset bleeds over into my own Spiritual practice. I am a fiercely independent Pagan, having spent most of my thirty-plus years on my Pagan path, on my own. I have garnered the deepest Spiritual experiences working alone, though I would argue that even those that work in groups would also experience deep Spiritual experiences doing individual work. As of this moment, the highest ambition I have within my Spiritual life is to finish my Ovate grade work and continue on to finish the Druid grade work within the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids. I have no ambition to seek a status of clergy. Nor am I actively seeking to be a teacher of what I have learned. Titles hold no interest for me. Rather, experiences do.
Experience Might Be the Best Teacher…
I am sure you have likely heard that phrase before – that experience is the best teacher. And its completely true. You can read up on any concept, but until you experience the doing, you’re just dabbling in theory. Magick is real. It takes a lot of forms, shape and processes, but it is there. I am reluctant to use it, as I consider it to be a last resort item. Hard work, sweat equity, and finding ways to accomplish it using mundane, everyday methods and concepts are my first tools of choice. Many others lean to magick for nearly every first choice to a problem, which is fine. But that hard work is still going to have to figure into the solution, whether you believe that or not.
…Personal Intuition is a Better Guide
While experience is a wonderful teacher, its not always the best indicator for what way to approach a solution. I have found that personal intuition tends to be a better indicator, for me. Not always perfect, but there’s a tendency to know something is the “right” thing, even if your experience relates that you’ve been burned numerous times on this before. Experience tends to help with being a little more cautious in my approach when that distinction arises, just saying.
Doing For Others Brings The Greatest Joys For Me
When I was in the United States Air Force, I helped with the actions to get chapel space afforded to minority religious groups. This did not help just Pagans, but also other smaller religious groups that had been meeting (illegally) in base housing overseas, or at off-base locations within the United States. By having the base chaplaincy afford space (which could be an unused office building or even a warehouse), these smaller groups did not have to resort to breaking the rules of housing or risk finding places off-base where they might meet with trouble. This helped not only Pagan folks, but also smaller groups of the Christian faith to find places for worship and gathering.
I also added my voice to the many that wanted a change to military dog tags. Prior to getting a change, members of smaller religious beliefs (in terms of numbers of military members) had to list “Other” on the last line of their dog tags. It was that location where a member’s religious preferences were set. If the military member died in combat, one of the two tags was taken and affixed to the military member’s corpse, so that the Chaplaincy could afford the proper death rites (I won’t describe how the tag is affixed because it is fairly gruesome). The other tag was kept by the unit’s command structure, as a reporting tool for who had been killed in battle.
These are just two of the various things I stepped up and advocated for while I wore the uniform of the United States military. Falcon Circle at the United States Air Force Academy, and the Fort Hood Open Circle are just a pair of examples of what the efforts of myself and countless others have done. My desire was to open the door for others, not just those that were serving with me at the time at many other military installations, but also for the countless others that have come after me.
Ambition? Well, if you want to call it that. The technician in me says that there was a problem that existed, and a solution to resolve it needed to be found. If that’s what constitutes ambition, I guess I will cop to it, though I find it neither embarrassing or wrong.
I guess that the best way to view how I have managed through life is trying to be in Service to more than just myself. I travel my roads alone, but that never really means that I am alone. Others will travel where I am. Others have already been here. I write this blog as a marker, of sorts. An indicator of where I have been, so that others might be able to find better steps to make their own way. I am not, can not, and will not claim my thoughts or actions are the only way – those are merely where I have been. Others’ Paths will be different, as they should be.