About Me

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Welcome to my humble abode. Feel free to sit down a while and warm yourself by my fire. I write here mainly to inspire, encourage, perhaps confront, to empower, and to change. If you leave with a lighter step, an answer to a question, really questioning long held ideas that may not be taking you where you need to go, or with a lot of new things to consider, I will have done my job. Please enjoy your stay. With love, ~Mother Star

Friday, March 20, 2020

How to Survive Prolonged Social Isolation

In what would normally be my sophomore and junior years of high school, I spent 18-24 hours a day alone and almost never went outside. I was supposed to be home-schooled, but really wasn’t getting schooled at all. This set a pattern that has recurred over and over in my life of severe, chronic social isolation. I know it isn’t good for me. I was about to start regularly going to something just to start getting out and combating it again, but the new virus has everything closed.

I know about social isolation. I know what it does to mental health. Humans are basically pack animals, we are not meant to be too solitary for too long. Even us introverts need a certain amount of socialization or it adversely affects us and sometimes we do not realize the harm it is doing to us. In my experience, one builds up a tolerance after going through intense, prolonged isolation over and over. Yet, even I have my limits. Since many people are experiencing it for the first time, and on top of that many people may be very extroverted by nature and not cope with this as well as us loners, I will here offer some tips on surviving social isolation.

Number one, count your blessings, it will keep you from feeling sorry for yourself. Most of my isolated life, I did not have a computer at home, or just not have internet access at home, because I did not have the money for it. Until fairly recently, I did not have a smart phone. That was isolation! If you are reading this, you do have at least this way to reach other people, so that is something, even if it definitely is not enough. Start making a gratitude list every day, and try to avoid using the same things more than once in 2 weeks. Go longer without repeating yourself if you can. Gratitude helps keep the situation from swallowing you up inside.

Having a purpose helps. You must create some sort of goal, I cannot stress that enough. Initially, you want to read books, play video games, watch TV... It is OK to enjoy those things, but actually they do not work that well long-term. Work works better. Study helps. Spirituality helps, meditating on Creator and the universe, reading and intensely studying sacred text. You need to have a goal, a plan. All the entertainment stuff only works for so long, then it becomes surprisingly depressing. You need to feel meaningful or productive. I still have a job and do not work from home, but it has not always been that way; financial strain makes isolation much harder. It makes one feel worthless on top of lonely. I think we have an instinct, as a species, to connect disconnectedness with threats to our survival, and being alone usually meant you screwed up unforgivably. Purpose is a strong medicine for that feeling.

If there is no paid work for you to do, do you need any? If so, you need to be looking for ways to make money online or from home. If you have a landline, a desktop (or maybe a laptop will work), and a reliable internet connection, there are work from home call center jobs you can look into. People running call centers may still need help, just not at their call center building. People are having to shop online and order things instead of go and buy them in person. Delivery jobs are likely rising in some areas. Above all, there are sites like upwork and freelancer.com, which I have personally used when out of work, and perhaps even others. If you had a business and you can’t have your employees come to work, look online and determine if there is anything you can do with the skill-sets available on those sites, see if you can reinvent and survive. Even if you do not own a business, maybe someone who does needs what you can do. If you do not end up finding work this way, you are working on finding work, and it will keep you focused and more sane. Some of those sites offer low cost or free education in some of the fields they connect employers with workers for. It helps their business if the prospective employees with profiles on their site are well-trained and better skilled, so it is in their own best interests to offer training. Even if you do not land a job, you are trying and the effort will do you good, it gives you a goal to accomplish and meaningful activity to focus your mind on. Without the latter you will go crazy, no ifs ands or buts about it.

Panic will start after a while, if you are alone too much. When it starts to get overwhelming, you have to take a deep breath, focus hard on that breath, encourage yourself to persevere, and find something worthwhile to focus on. Look up “mindfulness meditation” and try it if this starts happening often. Writing is often an isolated person’s best survival skill. Write your emotions out. Journaling is therapeutic and give the overpowering feelings an understandable, manageable form. All these things are coping skills that work well, and are non-habit-forming, unlike use of drugs or porn.

What can you learn online for free? What have you always wanted to to learn, or need to learn in order to make progress on something you really want? Mango language app and duo lingo app are good for learning to speak new languages. It could give you new things to discuss with online connections very far away. Youtube and e-how offer so many ways to learn new things for free, and mass open online courses are often free unless you choose to get a certificate for your work. Try to find something new to learn every day, even just some little thing, it will still mentally help you.

I have had years – not days or weeks, but years – of not knowing when the isolation would end, when I would be able to connect again. The barrier isn’t always external, but is effectively no less real. When I would become literally panicked – because we do that as humans when we are alone too much, even if we are accustomed to it or generally prefer it – I would find a plan or a goal that would ultimately change something in my life that I wanted changed, or something that would make a difference for somebody somehow. For a few years, I focused on my bottom line and what I needed to do to achieve free and clear home ownership. Obviously, trouble connecting with people can be career limiting, and I have been homeless a few times. I wanted to put that behind me, so that was my goal. I did it. I worked until I achieved that goal. I own my house free and clear. Now I have new goals. One of them is breaking the power of this social anxiety/aversion/phobia or whatever it is. Oddly enough, everyone else being cooped up has made others easier to talk to, and not just online. I have not had any face time online, I usually cannot handle that. The way things are going, before this crisis is over, I may have even tried it.

Look out for your physical health. Eat healthy as you can, do a few sit-ups or squats or push-ups daily, or alternate them every day. Drink plenty of water. It is amazing how much those things help. I think your body thinks you are in danger of dying because your village is not there to help sustain you, and it makes it much harder to stay sane if you truly aren’t receiving what your body needs. I wish I had known this when I was younger, and I wish I had known how much impact it has on mental well-being, but I know now and must develop the habit. Those unaccustomed to isolation should be even more focused on this because you need every resource you can get right now in order to cope.

The best thing I can say about serious isolation time is, do not waste it. Make something out of this nightmare. Learn something. Grow somehow. Use the internet to find a way to lift someone up, even if maybe you feel like you can’t lift yourself; it comes back around to you when you do that. Do not worry about when it will stop or whose fault it is, just keep your mind on something good or a problem you can pursue a solution to. Vent your feelings honestly, the answer yourself, in writing with encouragement. Practice mindfulness. Use this opportunity for growth to achieve something you could not if you did not lose your job (if you did), or without having to be stuck inside for however long. The same is true for social isolation with internal causes as opposed to external causes – do not waste it, find a way to make something out of it.

Take care,

~Mother Star

Saturday, June 29, 2019

"The world is watching us make a colossal difference between homosexual and heterosexual sin and claim that we do so because there is no difference!"

If I wrote an ethnography on my country and its attitudes toward homosexuality, I would not say there are people who have a construct of homosexuality being inborn and part of a person, and also people who disagree. I would say we have people who have said construct and deeply value it, and people who have the same construct but maintain a very ambivalent relationship with it, denying that they have it at all.

You can't behave like homosexual attraction or behavior makes one "other" and still say that you don't perceive it that way. It seems most church people do that though. There are numerous people I have met at work in my life who are church going people and cohabited out of wedlock or were having blatant affairs people at work all knew about. Wearing Christian shirts and leading church projects and talking to everyone about Jesus and their church and trying to witness to people while living in open sin. If they were homosexual they might have been kicked out of church, or just not been allowed to lead anything. More likely the former at the time. If homosexuality is grounds for dismissal from work, exclusion from certain occupations and military service because it is a sin, then why are adulterers and promiscuous people allowed to do these things? "It is a sin" does not justify exclusion from certain things unless it excludes everyone, except if this particular sin makes the individual a whole different kind of creature and different kind of case. If I said, "this is a different case than these other sins because it is a sin," I would sound crazy right?

Besides that, where does a Christian's responsibility begin and end? If a cashier gets fired for refusing to sell condoms to a gay couple on grounds she is "standing up for her faith" (I remember hearing about this happening sometime, I think...), did she ring up the product for other couples that may not be married or that clearly are not? If she is responsible before her maker for what the customer does with what they intend to buy, it would definitely be better not to be a cashier anywhere... You have to decide where the boundaries of your responsibility before your Maker lie and be consistent with them. If you "stand against" something on grounds of your responsibility before your maker and you do not have responsibility for it anyway, the person you are "standing up" to does, this is not "living out your faith" it is attempting to control someone else. It is a boundary violation. Jesus gave us all free will and with it comes individual responsibility. Now, if you attempt to force people to comply with the will of the Lord when no violence is occurring if you do not, this is not living your faith, it is violating the boundaries set down by the Master between you and that other person. You can't use responsibility before Jesus to get bullheaded about things you are not even responsible Him for, but people often do that.

I agree that a minister cannot stand and pronounce the blessing of Jesus Christ on a same-sex marriage, but I also see that if a person is leaving a spouse for a new one, the minister cannot pronounce blessing on that either for the same reason; it is not part of the biblical plan for marriage. Why are so many minister's performing blasphemous weddings? Kim Davis was on her 4th husband. There is this guy that plays bass in a local band around here who is on his 5th wife; he left every previous wife for whichever one was next. Most weddings are performed by allegedly Christian ministers, right? Who is doing all these blasphemous weddings WITHOUT ANY
CONTROVERSY? And why is that without controversy while we have churches splitting over homosexual marriage? It's all fornication right? These unions are wrong for the same reason homosexual marriage is wrong, it is against Jesus' plan for marriage, as He clearly stated in Matthew 19. Why do the heterosexual sinner's emotions matter so much that we have to ignore the word's of Jesus Himself to accommodate them and watch family after family be destroyed, and do not defrock the minister's who participate? Families torn apart and who knows what the fallout will be like for all those broken homes, but allegedly doesn't pose as much threat as a same sex marriage? People come up with all sorts of reasons, some of them absurd, why same sex marriage will destroy society, and watch their society destroyed by fornication in another form with comparative docility. If the word "fornication," or the term "sexual immorality" depending on your biblical translation, means sexual sin period, then we need to start acting like it. In the meantime we truly do manifest hate and discrimination, and cannot use the bible to justify our rage, because we are not really following it in any case.

"3 Then the Pharisees came to him, testing him and saying to him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for any reason at all? 4 He answered and said to them, Have you not read how it was that he who made man at the beginning made them man and woman, 5 and said, For this thing shall a man leave father and mother and cleave unto his wife, and the two shall be one flesh? 6 So then, now they are not two, but one flesh. Let not man therefore put apart that which God has joined together.
7 Then they said to him, Why did Moses direct to give a testimonial of divorce and to put her away? 8 He said to them, Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, suffered you to put away your wives. But from the beginning it was not so. 9 I say therefore to you, whoever puts away his wife (unless it be for fornication) and marries another, breaks wedlock. And whoever marries her who is divorced, commits adultery.
10 Then Jesus’ disciples said to him, If this is the case between man and wife, then it is not good to marry. 11 He said to them, Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 12 Some are chaste who were so born from their mother’s womb. And others are chaste who were made so by men. And others are chaste who have made themselves chaste for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who can receive it, let him receive it."

I think it is obvious that "whoever can receive this..." in Matthew 19 doesn't mean "Whoever wants to." Sometimes people leave you and you do not have a choice in the matter. They sinned, you didn't. Most marriages in the world are arranged (according to my anthropolgy professor, sometimes marriages are arranged by parents for impure reasons like greed or selfish ambition. I don't know that it happens all the time, but it happens. My church will not even recognize a forced marriage as valid, actually, and priests are required to make sure people are not joined in a previous union before they agree to do the wedding. If people are forced into a marriage against their will and can prove it or can prove some other legitimate thing nullifies the vows they took, the priest can still do the wedding. The priests are accountable for what they stand representing Christ to bless and bind, and take it very seriously. Therefore I think they have credibility in saying they cannot do same-sex weddings because it isn't in accordance with the divine plan. They are consistent in upholding said plan. But people who have blessed numerous adulterous unions without a thought, or blessed a union they did not expect to last for some reason, "What God has joined together let no man separate," violating the divine plan have no credibility in fighting gay marriage because they care so much about the divine plan. That just looks stupid. To say, "Well, I just don't receive it," for any cause whatsoever does not work, and you can't say anything about upholding biblical standards for marriage if you do not honor them yourself.

If you do not believe people are naturally and physically wired to be bouncing from one bed or one union to another, and sit talking about brain chemicals like oxytocin to state that we are wired to mate for life, but treat sins of promiscuity and adultery different from homosexuality, you have no credibility when you say you oppose "lgbt agenda" on grounds of it being a sin. The language "lgbt agenda" indicates an attitude of otherness too... We can't watch that show because it has homosexuality in it, but we watch unmarried sex every day and in every film, and we won't listen to songs about homosexuality that do not tempt us, but listen to songs about promiscuity and adultery, some of which very possibly might tempt us. We do this stating that we are walking out our convictions that homosexuality is "a sin just like other sexual sins and not anything different". We say fornication refers to sexual immorality period (it does), then we get entertained by what we call "fornication" and do not mind, but will not watch or listen to homosexuality "because it's a sin". We say we believe something but behave another way. Fornication is fornication, so either start acting like it is or stop talking.

Repentance is needed here. Jesus is the SAME yesterday today and forever, is no respecter of persons and doesn't make a difference for what kind of sins you are doing, as if some are actually ok (how would sin be ok?) and some not. If the church intends to be a living witness to the unconditional love, justice and mercy of our creator, then a lot more needs to be addressed than same-sex anything. Consistency is key. We are NOT being the same all the time and do not treat every sexual sin the same, especially if it is homosexuality. Ask yourself what you think is wrong to listen to or watch if it doesn't stir temptation in you, and be consistent about it. Where does your responsibility and your preacher's responsibility begin and end, exactly? Be consistent. Is it ok to watch shows and listen to songs about heterosexual unmarried sex? If so, you do not have a valid argument for the immorality of watching gay shows or listening to gay songs either, let alone to demand to have it taken off the air. You might not enjoy watching it (you might want to ask yourself why you do enjoy watching the other in that case...) but there would not be moral grounds. I'm NOT saying what you should watch or not, I'm saying, sexual sin is sexual sin, period. Do you really treat it that way? If not, think about what you need to change to make your behavior and your professed beliefs line up.

The world is watching us make a colossal difference between homosexual and heterosexual sin and claim that we do so because there is no difference!
It needs to stop.


~Mother Star

Sunday, March 10, 2019

How Gender Variants Reinforce and Preserve Man-Woman Gender Norms

There is a great deal of noise lately about people who self identify as transgendered.
there is even noise about how this will help justify an unjust gender system.
I strongly believe this is not so. To choose to be classified as the opposite gender or a third gender on grounds that you do not dress or behave according to social norms assigned to your physical sex in a gender binary does not get rid of the oppressive norms of the gender binary, it preserves them.

Put it this way. G = Gender. S = Sex. And . . .

 S+G = Your worldview of who you are and how you fit/the role you play in the world around you

If there is a conflict between who you are inside, or your needs, or etc., and the gender norms for your physical sex, and you respond by doing this:

- S       What you will end up with is still G.

Some real life examples:
Native American tribes with more than 2 genders have classified people who performed occupations, or did other behaviors, socially assigned to the opposite sex separate, additional genders; this is often called a "gender variant" by anthropologists. Notice, please, that in order to have gender variants, they all have to have this . . . "baseline" I'll call it, of lifestyle norms associated with male and female bodies. Gender variants who were/are socially sanctioned and recognized as such adopt to one extent or another the lifestyle associated with their opposite sex. This did not lead to big changes in the baseline gender roles for men and women at all; the roles and expectations for most of the men and women of these tribes remained unchallenged and unchanged by the acceptance of gender variant lifestyles. Having people in their community running around breaking the rules of the gender system most certainly would have altered the basic set of rules for men and women sooner or later, but this was addressed by creating gender variants. These groups did not apparently have gender systems that were causing problems for most of their population though. Westerners do have serious problems with our gender ideology and are in need of real change. Another gender variant example, the Hajiras in India, are religious ascetics associated with a deity in the Hindu pantheon that is associated with the Hindu gender system --  a gender system where women are very severely oppressed. One of the Hajiras' roles is to officially call a baby a man-child or woman-child and bless their future fertility and their entry into this world, which seems nice, but other ways they appear to serve the deity of their gender system is by validating very powerfully the gender norms by how they express their third-gender identity. Hajiras, always physically male, have been demonstrating that they are not men by not working (along with some other more benign lifestyle choices, like wearing traditionally feminine clothes) for ages. They do not have jobs or homes of their own, which is seen as taking female attributes. This powerfully reinforces very oppressive gender ideology, and the effect is probably intensified further by the fact that these are clergyman of the gender-deity. Often, Hajiras themselves end up as prostitutes or beggars because of this. On the other hand, they use coarse language, which apparently Indian women cannot do, and are clergy. Clergy is a male-only role in Hindu belief, this along with the coarse language is seen as manly behavior. This gender variant obviously reinforces the gender norms that make it so hard to be a woman in Indian society. They have been doing this for ages, and it has not helped Hindu women a bit. I am skeptical and actually applaed when men take hormones to grow breasts and wear pancake make-up and fancy clothes, and get their picture taken and retouched and carry on about how beautiful they are and how great they are and are like, "See how womanly I am!" This does NOT help with the Western over-emphasis on women's physical beauty. constructing one's sex out of the equation when a conflict arises between who you are or what you need and the norms laid out for you doesn't fix a broken gender system. It can't.

If you say instead:

- G       You have taken the G out of the picture. you have defied and subverted the gender norms.

Some real life examples.

When the American suffragists fought for the female vote, they were called "unsexed" just to be mean, i.e. they were being told that they were not acting as women and thus should not be counted as such. People also said that voting would "unsex" American women. The suffragists did not accept any of this, but insisted that they were indeed women and would still do what they were doing and fight for the woman's right to vote. I have been voting since I was 18 years old as a result -- mainly in elections that they got the strongest resistance to having women vote in. At times, these ladies also cut their hair short and changed their clothing, which immediately identified them to any who saw them as "ultras", extremely radical feminists who wanted women to vote in all elections, including Presidential elections. If they had been reclassified as gender variants of some sort because of that behavior, maybe they would have been given the ballot buty most women would still not have it. At the time there were women who opposed women's suffrage because they believed all the lies in the gender ideology of the day, and said they didn't want to vote! If suffragists or women who wanted to vote were reclassified as gender variants and granted the ballot because they were not seen as women, most of us still wouldn't be voting and would still believe all the awful lies about ourselves that were so normal to believe back then. Gender variants do not subvert male-female gender ideology, they protect it from being subverted. Instead, American suffragists (and probably all the other country's suffragists too) violated their culture's gender norms, which led to changing those gender norms.

 Susan B. Anthony, the most famous and accomplished American suffragist, with her hair cut short in protest.

In the 1960s and before that, young men in America were often forced against their will to go to war. They were rounded up at their high schools to be tested and, according to an elderly friend of mine who was subjected to this multiple times, they were stripped naked and forced to stand before the cold, examining eyes of the recruitment officers as if they were cattle being scrutinized at a meat market.

Forced recruitment scene in "Hair" the movie, which my elderly friend said was quite accurate. I covered up his backside...
My friend and many others publicly burned the "draft cards" that were sent to them, ordering them to report to military bases for training. They grew their hair out, and rejected being classified as homosexual or effeminate because they did so. Today, it is illegal for our government to force anyone into the military. In that generation, people were spared the degree of media bombardment and brainwashing that we have today. If they had allowed the system to reclassify them, or maybe if the system had thought of reclassifying people who defied gender norms into non-binary gender types or gender variants, we would still have forced military service in our nation now. 

Another scene from "Hair" the movie, which my friend said was correct. People accused them of being homosexual or androgynous, but they rejected that classification just as much as they rejected the draft cards. If they hadn't, we would still have a draft, even if they did not have to participate.
In order to conquer an oppressive gender system, you must defy its rules. Defying its rules does not mean rejecting the body you are in, it means rejecting the system that makes your body feel like a prison.

In order to operate as a gender variant and claim to be one, you must first take the norms of the gender system as being in some way real and valid. To defy and destroy them, you must ignore or defy them and count them as invalid. Since gender is constructed by people, people's belief in it is the only thing that makes it valid or real. Sex, however, is concrete and real. You wouldn't need medical intervention into a healthy body if hormones were gender norms instead of sex traits, you could handle it all by yourself. You must believe in a gender ideology very strongly to arrive at the conclusion you are "transgendered" rather than saying you are a  man or woman and will still do things current gender ideology forbids because you want, or need, to. To call yourself in language according to the gender norms associated with the opposite sex (yes, gender is constructed but it is people's constructed ideas about sex), you further validate the gender system.

Besides that, sex hormones are not a gender norm, they are a sex trait. To believe you need to take hormones to be who you really are based on the gender system demonstrates excessive belief in the constructs one claims to realize are merely human constructs. To say, "Gender is socially constructed, sex is fixed biological reality. Therefore, who I really, truly and irrevocably am inside is a male despite my female body, and I need to take sex hormones to make my biology fit the that gender I am" is insane. "A is fixed, and B is infinitely changeable, therefore my true irrevocable and predestined self must be B and so I need to do something about my A," or "A is fixed and B is infinitely variable and changeable. Therefore, since B is infinitely changeable that means I can change my A however I want! :)" is a reasoning atrocity. If you tell me something like that, I know you are saying the words "gender is a social construct and sex is a biological phenomenon" without knowing at all what it means. Westerners are notorious for not being able to distinguish between the two. Yes, gender is socially constructed, but it is social constructs about biological sex. If you experience a conflict between how your gifts and interests are classified in your gender system and the body you have, then the gender system is what needs to change, not your body.

I used to feel like my body was a prison, a cage I couldn't get out of except by death. Not only was I female, but very small framed, very petite, and somewhat voluptuous. I didn't feel like I could do anything I wanted to do or be anything I wanted to be at all. I seriously considered suicide. I thought about hormones or surgery. I thought men were spoiled with their Y chromosome and their physical strength. I was raised a Christian and wondered how a loving creator could play such a seemingly cruel joke on me, giving me the desire to be and to do so many things and a body that made it either impossible or maybe even a sin to do them. The stupid beliefs I had about the meaning of my body in this life and world changed a little at a time. At work now, where I am the only female in this facility maintenance subcontractor crew, women who work for the company we subcontract to have said to me that they are so happy to see a woman doing what I do. The fact that I am small, and female, and somewhat voluptuous in figure and I operate the overhead cranes that I use and the other equipment that I operate makes them feel better. The women who have said this to me all run equipment that is much more complicated and their jobs are at least as dangerous and so on, yet some have actually told me "I could never, but I'm so glad to see a woman do this." They still believe they can't! They haven't woken up yet, but seeing me do  it makes some women feel a little bit better and to believe in themselves just a little bit more. Now I know why Creator put me in this body and gave me the desires and the talents that I have - to breakdown the lies this gender system has put in people's heads, little by little every day of my life. If I accepted a gender variant identity, that effect would be destroyed, and probably reversed. My life would not send a message to them, "Oh yes, you can!" It would say perhaps even more strongly, "No, you can't. Women don't run this kind of equipment here." Eventually, I realized that the difference between sex and gender is, sex is Creators blessing, it's the vehicle I drive through life, and it's beautiful, it's part of me, its how I have life in this world in the first place. It gives me real power in this world, it does not take it away. It can only limit me or cause me problems if I somehow fail to see the value in it. I really shouldn't hate it, ever. I've come to realize that, basically, gender norms are other people's will, my sex is the Creator's will, and the two ought not to be called the same.

This current gender system is still basically rooted in the same stuff that caused women not to be able to vote and young men to be forced to fight in wars that had nothing to do with them or their country. It still makes people think that motherhood is by nature an impediment to economic independence or a career, and thus leads to massive bloodshed in the name of emancipating women without actually bothering to emancipate anybody. It causes people to keep kids away from impoverished fathers because men are still seen as meal tickets not really as human beings. It has to go.

In conclusion, here are some pictures of people who identify as male, but do not accept the rules for how a man should look. They are not androgynous or gender variant in any way, they are not rejecting their maleness or even a binary gender system in their behaviour. they are rejecting rules other people made up. They are not rejecting the Will of their creator. Enjoy.


~Mother Star

 Hippies of the 1960s
 Gothic Male model in a "manskirt"
 Christian rock band Petra receiving a Dove award, the Christian music version of a Grammy
 80s rock band Ratt
80s Christian metal band White Cross

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Archangel Michael

It took me months to sit down and process it, but I had an interesting spiritual experience a few months ago. It only lasted a couple of minutes, but it was as real as I am sitting here now.
I was experimenting with asking the intercession of St. Michael, I've been Catholic for 2.5 years and have still hardly ever done stuff like that. I had just read how Pope Francis and Benedict XVI recently consecrated the Vatican to St. Michael due to the corruption and other things they were dealing with, and there was a thing at the end telling how to do that.

There's a huge terminology problem here, because consecrating stuff to St. Micheal or any other saint is not giving it to them like you consecrate and give something to God, i.e. an act of worship. It's more like when these missionaries came to another church I went to years ago and asked people to commit to being their "prayer cover" (protestant terminology) because they were going from the Northern edge of Mexico to the Southern end of South America by land and that is very dangerous. They came close to dying a bunch of times but never did and many times it was a miracle they did not. I was part of their prayer cover. It was more extreme than "Yea, I'll pray for you guys." It was a commitment. We understood that our vigilant intercession could and would make a difference between life and death for these people we knew, and between salvation and damnation health or sickness and maybe life and death for those they ministered to along the way. That's what patron saints do, its like prayer cover." We were sort of taking it as our job to take care of that. Also, if we were going to "pray in agreement" about something and place it in the hands of Creator to take care of, which is something we sometimes used to do, that's another part of what consecrating to saints does. When we did that, it wasn't like, "God, please do this, that, and that, or fix this," it was "God, this is nothing but a mess, I have no idea what to do or to specifically ask You to do, take this God, it's all Yours."An individual could give a situation totally over to Creator by themselves and people do so, but when people prayed in agreement with them about it, it was thought to be more powerful and did seem to be. When you "turn the whole thing over to God" (consecrate it, but in some Protestant terminology) "praying in agreement" (more Protestant terminology,) with a minister or someone else, then you are giving it to The Creator "through the intercession of" (Catholic terminology) those people, as well as through your own prayer. Saints entire job in the church is intercession now, they can't get distracted or fall asleep and forget, and its hard to have more faith and less doubt than someone in Heaven. Their prayers are extremely powerful. Some folks on earth have very strong faith and everybody wants them to pray because when they do, "mountains move". Saints are even are more so. I have discovered that lately myself. Catholics say "Consecrating it to a Saint is consecrating it to God through their intercession" and Protestants think you are making them idols when they probably do the same kinds of things with living people and just don't call it that. We get thrown off by terminology. I've been working on researching this for weeks now, because I was confused by the terminology and by the terminology used to explain it! I finally got it straightened out. Finally. Ok, got that explanation out of the way...

Consecration to St. Micheal is something I was drawn to and have studied and wrestled with intellectually for a little while. Originally, I had a video here, where the concept of "consecration to saints" was introduced to me. The practice is a Catholic practice as described above, but the video was off base. A priest told me that, "'Keep the prayer running in the background, experience His abiding presence,' is not acceptable and smacks of superstition. We don't believe in spinning the prayer wheels of Bhuddist monks." Other things in the video were also unacceptable, and there were things that I was disturbed about too. I have removed and replaced it with this picture of a cool tattoo! 

While I was saying the ready-made part of the Consecration to St. Micheal, I really meant it fervently and then when it came time to state my intention (the thing I was "consecrating to St. Micheal," see above paragraph), my head was swimming with hard-line anti-Catholic rhetoric I'd had drilled into me in the past. My head was so full of doubts and questions about the validity, efficacy and even morality of what I was doing that it was hard to even do it. I think it was a spiritual attack, because not long after I finally finished it, I felt The Presence come very strongly into my room. Now, I don't know if you all know what the kabod is, or have heard the word. Its Hebrew, and it refers to the weighty glory of Creator. I have felt that before. I've been places where it was so strong it knocked the ministers to the ground and much of the congregation, which sounds terrible but it was actually fun, it didn't hurt at all, it was great, but you just couldn't stand up in it. 2 Chron 5:13-14 tells a story of something like that, except with kabod there is no cloud. The cloud is the shekinahKabod is the sense of heaviness or weight, the tangible or almost-tangible Presence. It's awesome, and that's what came in my room. It shocked me, I hadn't expected it.

There were two presences in my room, one much like an echo of the other, a much lesser version but still so much like the Presence of Creator. I was flabbergasted and I can't say how I knew, but I knew that it was St. Michael. I did not hear anything with my ears or see anything with my eyes, but I got just as clearly as if I had, I got the message "I'm here! I'm here! I heard you! What's wrong? What do you need?" They were like fire. The intensity and the passion I could sense from both were incredible. The other big difference was St. Michael did not know the answer to those questions, I was able to discern that very clearly. I think the Holy Spirit allows us to experience things like this and through the Holy Spirit we are spiritually able to "hear" each other in cases like this and pick up on what's happening.

Anyway, my head was full of warnings from a sometimes hard-line Protestant past that I must not worship angels, that I needed to make sure all my devotion was directed to Creator, and "keep my focus on God alone," etc.I kept saying "Thank You, God, for this," and "Thank You, God, for that." That was fine but I began to have a feeling something was off somewhere in my prayers, that something wasn't quite on target for what Creator desired from me at the moment. I was almost painfully aware of St. Micheal and avoided speaking to him or even looking in the direction I felt him standing. Or towering, whatever. It's like the Presence of the Almighty, except so much smaller and where Creator's Presence surrounds and envelops you and is limitless and even goes through you, St. Michael was there like the table is there. You know where it is but it's in just one spot, nearby you. That's how it was for me anyway. After a minute or less, I think, it started to feel awkward, feeling someone there so strong and not letting yourself acknowledge them. I started to feel convicted by the Creator, so I just tried even harder to ignore the angel in my bedroom. I started to sense that St. Micheal was getting put out, which is a hair-raising thing to pick up on even if you know he won't hurt you. I think its because Creator wasn't getting what Creator wanted. I just got quiet inside and out, and I waited to hear what I should be doing that I wasn't. Creator said, "I didn't bring him here, like this, for you to ignore him! He is going to stand right there until you say something to him!" I felt tongue-tied and didn't know what to say.

Obviously, I didn't see this standing in my room. I sensed a presence strong enough to equal seeing. This is the closest I could find to express what he felt like to me. Of course, that doesn't mean the other pictures are "wrong".

I get tongue-tied anyway, with people. I guess St. Micheal hadn't been so completely real to me before and I was half-way taking a shot in the dark when I had consecrated some people I really cared about, who the devil was wreaking all sorts of havoc on, to St. Micheal. When I could feel him standing there and knew he was paying attention I just couldn't do it. He was unfamiliar to me. I'm that way with people too, initially. I struggled for something to say, much like I do with other people sometimes - except I think this was worse... Finally, I just thanked the Creator for Their Presence, for the wonderful experience I was having, and for St. Micheal, i.e. I started in my comfort zone and worked my way into what Creator wanted me to do. I said, "and, St. Micheal, uh... um .... thank you for being here." I hadn't realized how much this gift from the Creator did for me emotionally until I thanked St. Micheal for coming. I picked up very, very strong waves of surprise, perplexity, and bafflement from St. Micheal. I was embarrassed, but I felt Creator surround me in Their Presence like a cloud, again I didn't see anything, it was almost tangible like a hug. I could feel the Holy Spirit say that what I said was OK; it was the best I could do, it was obedience, and it was totally sincere. St. Micheal, a created being, didn't understand that but the Creator did.
We as humans, made in the image of Creator, can empathize as They do, share sorrow and burdens as They do, love and feel connected and share in a feeling and be blessed by each other as They do. Our bodies and brains and psyches are made to work in unison with our spirits and with Creator's Spirit like that. St. Micheal is a created being and is holy, unfallen and of heaven, but apparently his love doesn't work quite like that. There was passion and concern in the "What do you need? I heard you, I'm here!" I got initially, but apparently the way we do love and empathize doesn't work for him. He's something else. He was expecting me to give him something to do. That's how he does love I guess.
While I was weeping in the heavy presence of my Creator, I could sense that the angel was at peace seeing that Creator was satisfied, but was perplexed in an interested and inquisitive sort of way. He was not able to share in something like that, but was interested in how we can connect like that with our God. I deliberately turned my mind away from Micheal and focused on Creator because that was as much entertaining of angels and communing with saints as this Protestant convert could take in a day. I sensed Creator letting him know he was dismissed and he was surprised, I think still expecting to receive orders, not merely to stand there with me for a minute. Then it was like a veil or door shut and I could not feel or sense him anymore, I just caught that his attention was on something else now and he was going to deal with it as the door "shut". Back in my comfort zone again, I guess, just me and my Creator.

I know this is Creator's way of explaining to me that this whole Saints thing is ok, despite whatever I had been taught all my life. Obviously, it's hard for me to adjust to, it was uncomfortable that night, but it was still glorious. I've been trying to learn about relationships with saints since then, and about different kinds of "devotions" to saints, what it is about and how it works. I absolutely hate that terminology, "devotions to saints" because it sounds like you worship them, or in Protestant terminology that is what it seems to refer to, even though I know now that it isn't that. It confuses me to talk about it like that, but I don't have a replacement word right now. We as the Church (the whole church, not just Catholics) are going to have to communicate better or we are never going to be able to become One. We as Catholics ought to find some alternative terms to convey these things to Protestants, or even to each other, to eliminate such confusion and accusations flying around. But right now at least I have my clarification I needed. Intercession of saints is another wonderful thing stuffy people I grew up with didn't think I should ever have or do, I guess, like the best music and the coolest clothes and nearly everything else associated with my vocation in this life...

I will post another blog on what I learned from that experience because there is way too much for one post, but for now, let this be enough.


~Mother Star

Sunday, January 7, 2018

An Example of Lay Person Using Christ's Power Over the Devil

When I hear Catholic exorcists describe their experiences, frankly they sound far less potent than what I am used to. I think that they have power and good things, and i know protestants have some areas they need to get their act together. but when exorcists talk about going through session after session to get rid of demons, and about possibly getting hurt, and at times the person they are seeking deliverance for has died from the strain, based on my experience, they still need to work on it. The devil has no power over a believer that they/we don't let em have. I mean, the devil has no power over us if we are in the state of grace. None. Other people, that is another story. If they are under the devil's power, fighting the power of the devil will help then too, but if they do what they do of themselves, well, that's different.

One night, I was pretty much homeless (I've had a hard road most of my life... been extremely poor until this past 18 months or so) I was walking in Wicker Park in Chicago at night. I got lost. I found myself in an area with few street lights. I was passing a spot with many parking lots and some dude on crack or some such "upper" saw me and started screaming at the top of his lungs, "I want some p***y! I want some p***y!" there was no one else around. I was exhausted but I started trying to run away. That guy moved like greased lightening, i think because of the chemicals. There was no where for me to go, no way I could fight, nobody there to help me.

I started saying, "Oh God, Oh God! Help me!" and the Spirit brought to mind the teaching I had, that all temptation comes form the devil, and that people under the influence of those chemicals can't fight it. that I need to "speak to the mountain" not sit there and ask god to move the mountain but to speak to it in his name. so with ragged breath and barely loud enough to her myself I commanded the demons influencing that man to stop, told them they had no power over me, that my body was the temple the holy spirit and any that would defile it would be destroyed (all things from the bible, of course, "sola scriptura", back then), and that they must get AWAY from me right now and stay away in the name of Jesus. I was afraid to look behind me. after a moment i did look anyway. I saw no one. NO one. He was fast but not fast enough to disappear, to reach a building or a tree amid those big lawns and parking lots at that intersection... Nevertheless,he was gone. He must have been moved by something supernatural. He had to have been. A verse came to mind as stared in disbelief at the empty parking lots and lawns and streets, Deuteronomy 28:7 "The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways." That is what I mean when I say "It does work."

I believe that the man was under enough demonic power that when they had to flee from me, they took him along. If you are on the streets you will see a lot of demonic activity. Probably more than you'd even believe. That's where I encountered most of it. These weapons of spiritual war are how did not ever get raped through all that time of either the street, or more often low income neighborhood living by myself with no car and having to be outside on foot to get places even at night, and its also why I am still alive at all despite never carrying a gun. I know who my real enemy is, and I don't need a fist or gun to defeat em. a fist or gun wouldn't work anyway. Only the cross.


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Letting Go Of Old Lies

In 2004 or 2005, I was going to a church that was becoming a cult. In a prayer line one day, this lady who I had gone to Sunday school with and who allegedly had a very strong "prophetic" ability told me something about my needing to be able to handle I don't remember what by myself, because there would be times when there will be no one there to help me. I had issues already with trying to do it all myself and carry the world on my head. I had been taught that the way you can tell if something like that is right is if it confirms something you already have inside you. That is not a good way to discern spirits! There were many other things she said, things she prayed for and asked for me that I had not asked her to pray for but that I really did want and need. She prayed for my family, she prayed for my dreams that I had written in a journal and never shared with a soul. There is indeed no way she could have known all that about me, we didn't hang out and I never told her or anyone who could have told her, I don't think. That doesn't mean it was God. I believe now that it was the devil. Absolutely, positively sure it was the devil.
Hit my head and had no one to take me to the doctor for hours and hours. Only had one friend locally, and 2 local acquaintances who were all either working or in bed. Isolating too much.

That was a self-fulfilling prophecy, unfortunately. As I have gotten healthier, my circle of friends is getting smaller and smaller. Unhealthy relationships have been ended, but new ones have not started. I've been increasingly self-sufficient and even more reluctant to reach out than before. Many times I know I have consciously chosen not to reach out and had that "prophecy" in my mind as the reason or justification or whatever. Not anymore.
After what I went through this morning in the depth of winter with my right foot out of commission and my head bleeding like a stuck pig and having to wear shorts in the freezing cold because I can't pull my pants over the boot, and finding the truck door froze shut and dropping the phone in the snow and all being in pain from the cold on my hands and the bump on my head and the recent surgery on my foot, crawling down the steps with bare knees on snow and ice, unable to clear the wind shield myself so I had to let it warm up until the ice thawed, man I tell you I am done. I am done feeling like I need to be stronger and learn to do it on my own in case I gotta, because sometimes it results in my having to do it alone when maybe I wouldn't otherwise. This kind of crap is not God's will for anyone's life and it doesn't make you stronger necessarily, it breaks you down over time. I have been asking myself lately when it is going to be enough, when I will have "done it myself" enough already. Today was it. Today, I got pushed over the edge and am so done with trying so often to do everything on my own. I had a feeling I would find that point, to be able to root out and change this pattern, while on medical leave with foot surgery. Apparently my gut feeling was right.
So in spite of the pain and misery of today, I am happy to have gotten a breakthrough out of it, if indeed that is what I have done. I think I have written stuff like  this before, but I did not confront that "prophecy" as a falsehood and tried to "balance" that message and just not take it so far. You can't work a lie into your balance in life, period. As long as you believe it, it will mess you up.
I told God I forgive that lady for that fake prophecy and asked God to forgive her too, and help her break loose of what is using her like that. I also ask God to forgive me, for believing it so long when I realize He has tried to tell me, many times, to let that belief go. Today, through many tears, I did.

What's holding you back? At what point will you be willing to let the lie(s) go?
Stuff to prayerfully think about.


~Mother Star

Saturday, December 23, 2017

On Relationships with Patron Saints

I used to be afraid to do the catholic thing of developing relationship of sorts with saints, it sounded creepy and I feared I'd just go nuts thinking I was doing that and really just be getting really weird in my head. Well, it hasn't done me any good to be cooped up and refusing to do that, because I just get a head full of stuff I don't always want there that is not productive. So, doing what verifiable sane people all over the world and through the ages have done, I am, since I'm stuck by myself so much anyway, learning about how people on earth relate to saints. It's very new to me, but what little I have dabbled, so far it's been very good.
A brief testimony of my experience this month already, havingjust started to actually try tand pursue this: I had, I admit, an awful struggle with lust in my head since I've been so cooped up by myself this past week and a half. I've been out of commission with foot surgery since the 13th, and have barely been out since. I have very few friends nearby, as I am pretty much a hermit otherwise anyway. My patron saint, the one I took my confirmation name for, is Teresa of Avila. So, I looked up some patron saint stuff, and I asked her to please pray for me since I know as a Carmelite nun she spent a tremendous amount of time alone. From reading her stuff I know she knew she would have been kind of a hoochie momma instead of a nun were it not for the grace of God, and she was a total flirt when she was "single". She struggled with that a lot for many years of her life even well into her time as a Carmelite, with temptations and thoughts that she didn't feel she should have, and with being a temptress or a flirt when she was around guys a lot. The details are different, but the situation is similar enough so I asked her to pray for me please.

St. Teresa of Avila, a.k.a. Teresa of Jesus
My patron Saint.

I must say, the answer to those prayers came pretty darn fast! It's been a lot better since even a few minutes later, and getting better still. I have gotten enough energy and a regular enough sleep schedule (though not the one I want) to get things done in my room. I looked up how to do laundry by hand and have gotten some done already. Plus dishes and putting away things that haven't got put away. I crawled of course, but knees somehow could take it.I made a to do list for the week, and the weekend and the day, and have really been knocking stuff out. she was a work horse too, like I usually am. So Thank you, Teresa of Jesus, for the prayers that avail so much. Godspeed.