I was a ball of fire in a dragon’s throat, ready to spew forth. Pressure built along my arms, and I tried to send the rage into an obsidian ball cradled in my hands. I was supposed to be holding space for 30 people in a backyard full moon ritual; I was supposed to be a channel for the Elemental Source of Fire. I wasn’t supposed to be so mad that I wanted to throw the heavy crystal ball across the fire pit.
As usual, when 2019 began, I selected a “word of the year.” Unusually, I selected a term normally associated with negativity. I chose the word: Anger.
We are taught in this society that those who present as female are not to be angry. We blame ourselves instead of our perpetrators—if only we hadn’t done ___, then he wouldn’t have ___—instead of getting angry that he did ___.
I think anger can be healthy. Necessary. As needed as peace, balance and meditation.
But I didn’t expect it to come flying forth in a space I was supposed to protect.
The sound of a football game lulls me to peace. When I hear the noise of the crowd, the commentators making inane comments, and a gravelly voice shouting, “hut,” the muscles in my neck release their tension. Football season is my favorite season of the year.
I knew I felt a kinship with football; it was something my dad and I shared every Sunday in the fall, even after I moved out of the house. As he lay dying on a hospital bed two years ago, we had the Raiders game on for him. But that didn’t seem to be the only reason for my full-body relaxation.
I realized sometime later, that when football was on, my mother would curl up and nap, her rage a sleeping dragon: I was safe.
Medea is an ascended witch master, a goddess, a daughter of Hekate. She is known for her cauldron of rebirth, but moreso for her rage and violence, for poisoning people and killing her own children before flying off in a chariot led by dragons. She is, as my mentor puts it, the goddess of “zero fucks given” who is pushed beyond caring for anything other than violence.
I was supposed to evoke her in another ritual the night after the fiery full moon ritual. I opted out, exhausted. I thought I’ve done my work around anger. I don’t want to hang out with an energy current that’s all about the rage. Let’s put on some football.
And here we are a month later, at another full moon, and she’s here again. When ascended masters or goddesses or deities or energy currents or whatever-the-hell-you-wanna-call-them come calling, I’ve learned it’s in my best interest to listen.
“What the hell was that?” I gasped when I made my way inside after the rage-filled ritual.
My covenmates drenched me in water to cool me off as we discussed the myriad possibilities.
“Hekate and Gabriel,” my covenmates said, after discussion. We settled on some sort of interaction between Hekate—whom I had internally called forward as Hekate Lampadios, the torchbearer, but who had actually appeared as Hieros Pyr, the Holy Fire (probably as a result of the Hieros Pyr tea I had made and drunk the day previously)—and the Archangel Gabriel, who was present at the ritual as a part of another person’s work.
“Righteous rage,” my mentor said, after discussion. “Hekate is the Mother of Angels, as well as the Mother of Demons. And angels are all about the Upper Realm and higher consciousness. Righteous rage is okay!” And maybe, next time, don’t drink the Hieros Pyr tea a day before a full moon ritual in a fire sign.
“You’re a failure,” my shadow whispered, after I collapsed later that evening, unable to drive home due to exhaustion.
I pulled out my Tarot cards for answers, a typical response for me to a strange phenomenon. Why is Medea here? What’s going on? What’s her point?
The cards showed me VIII: Strength.
As I meditated on the card, my hand reached for a carnelian stone that I keep on my altar. She wanted carnelian. Her energy slammed into me, all anger and frustration at being wronged, tricked, betrayed. A voice echoed, “What cruel jest is this?” Lightning and thunder crashed in my body, and I was transported back to last month’s fiery full moon ritual. The righteous rage.
I put down the stone and opened my eyes. There was something here about being unafraid. About trusting people and situations, because even if it leads to betrayal, I have the power to deal with it.
(Not that I want to deal with things with poison. I’d rather not kill people, thankyouverymuch.)
I remembered my word of the year: Anger.
I remembered my mother’s dragon: Rage.
I cradled the grief of losing my father to death and my son to his teenage angst: Anger and rage, exponentially applied.
I recognized my animal allies in Medea’s: the ram and owl, both of which are tattoos on my body, and the snake, a tattoo to come.
Medea brings an important lesson, something I am just at the beginning of recognizing: Our shadow selves are important. We are all wounded witches; I suspect there’s something in the wounding that leads us to witchcraft. But we must recover from our wounds. We must understand with compassion, even as we stand in our own power. We are not failures.
In what ways can we work with our shadow selves, our “ego,” to be balanced? In what ways can anger or rage serve us, instead of frighten us?
When I discussed my experience at the ritual with the person who works with Gabriel, they apologized. They felt so bad, and I had to say over and over and over again: “Not your fault,” and “This was meant to be,” and “I needed this!” and “Not your story!” And so now, I’m saying it again, if they are reading: This is my story. It’s needed. It’s fucking powerful. Thank you.
Medea is here, and I need to listen to what she has to say, instead of cowering in fear, afraid of my mother’s dragon—or my own.
I stand firm in the courage of my convictions. I stand strong in my power. I own my trauma and my wounds—and I will not be controlled by them.
Fiery full moons and Hieros Pyr, I welcome thee!