Making The Sacrifice

     Late into my third trimester with Kali Ra, my partner MacNore (herein referred to as "Hooty") and I were walking through a nearby park. As I passed a stately willow tree I slowed and began downloading from spirit-- These kinds of transmissions were the norm throughout my pregnancy with Kali Ra. I rested on a bench where I opened to the messages and perceived the distinct sense that Kali was calling me and drawing my attention to my destiny in "transition work."  Hooty and I talked about how perfectly ceremony work of this nature aligned with inborn interests I had always held. Together we envisioned how I might go about facilitating ceremony for those in transition, while raising little Kali Ra. In that moment, resting on the park bench, my heart was infused with inspiration and great purpose.

 This photo of Kali and me was taken by "Poppa Hoot" moments after I began early labor.  This is one of the last photos of Kali and me together.

This photo of Kali and me was taken by "Poppa Hoot" moments after I began early labor.  This is one of the last photos of Kali and me together.

     A few weeks later I began laboring. I felt my first contractions as I sat at the water's edge enjoying a picnic lunch with my beloved hooty.  Later in the day, in between early stage contractions, I sat in the sun of my backyard oasis and pulled a card from one of my favorite oracle decks. The card I drew was stark and made an everlasting impression. It read, "Make the Sacrifice" and depicted a phoenix holding a skull, perched high in a tree and surrounded by the black of night. The card at my fingertips was another of Kali's divine transmissions. As I stared down at it I saw myself reflected as the Morrigan, a celtic goddess well know for her association with death and prophecy. 

 "Make the Sacrifice" card from Ravynne Phelan's Messenger Oracle deck.

"Make the Sacrifice" card from Ravynne Phelan's Messenger Oracle deck.

     My beloved 9lb 13oz Sun was torn and born of my flesh approximately 40 hours later, as I lay strapped to an operating room table, without a drop of pain relief.  Due to physician negligence, Kali was born without a heartbeat after suffering severe fetal hypoxia and meconium aspirate in utero.  The resuscitation team worked hard to return life to his floppy blue body.  After ten minutes of chest compression and three shots of epinephrine, a heartbeat was finally returned.  However, Kali was absent any perceptible brain function and experiencing multiple organ failure.  A team of neurologists and neonatal intensive care staff explained that our Sun's prognosis was grim, and without the expectation of consciousness or any quality of life moving forward. 

 Photo of the altar I assembled in my hospital recovery room on the day of Kali's transition ceremony.

Photo of the altar I assembled in my hospital recovery room on the day of Kali's transition ceremony.

     In the days that followed Kali's birth I concentrated my energies to call in our angels, guides and ancestors (aka the "soul posse") to help me assemble an altar to honor my beloved child. Instead of learning to swaddle my Sun, I charged a flower bath and smudged sacred items in the hospital parking lot in preparation for his transition ceremony.  On the fourth day after his delivery, we withdrew life support, and I facilitated my very first transition ceremony-- Another profound and invaluable gift of initiation from my beloved Kali.

     We sang together and prayed as we held his fading body until his breath was no more.  Hooty then swaddled him for the first and last time.  I anointed his tiny lips with raw honey.  We then placed charged crystals and Black-eyed Susans all around his perfect little vessel. With pure love and intention, Kali's spirit was guided gently back into the arms of the ancestors. 

     How was I to know that the sacrifice referred to on that oracle card would be of my own womb?  Prophecy provides only so much detail.  No amount of foresight could have convinced me that, as I took my first conscious steps on the priestess path, I would be cradling the lifeless body of my infant Sun.  Yet, in the very same moment my flesh was sunken by sorrow, I felt my spirit soar with the joy of knowing Kali's message had been delivered and that, in remembrance of my soul's intention, prophecy had been fulfilled.

    
Letting my darkness light the way, I endeavor to continue on this priestess path with pure intention.  I strive to open more and more to the gifts of nature and every emotion that erupts as a result. No matter how "unacceptable" or "insufferable," it is my intention to unlatch my toolbox to allow every experience that appears for reintegration.  I do this because I trust in the intuition that guides me and convinces me of our capacity for this work.  I understand that beyond my very human vulnerability, our quintessential nature is endurance for the sake of creation.

     Calibrated by the authenticity of fierce love, the soul makes use of the full spectrum of human sensation as it aspires to remind us of our impenetrable essence.
 

In a million, trillion pieces, we are whole.

 Kali Ra swaddled and surrounded with love, moments after transition.

Kali Ra swaddled and surrounded with love, moments after transition.