Priestess processing: why Freya makes people cry, and how to handle it.
A good friend (who belongs to the Morrígan) and I had a conversation a few months ago, back when we were first sharing our experiences with our deities. As one who is a daughter of the Morrígan the way that I am the daughter of Freya, she shared with me a lot about how the Morrígan works in the lives of those She chooses. The bulk of our conversation that day centered around how scary it could be to work for the Morrígan and some of the intense work that She puts many of her people through. My friend argued that Her priestesses can also scare those they come in contact with. (I’m glad I was chosen by Freya instead of the Morrigan; I do a much better job as Her vessel than I would have of the Morrigan, or a similar deity. But I digress.) I state that my Goddess can be just as scary. She was skeptical, so I explained.
People who don’t love themselves, or feel they aren’t worthy of love, are pretty unprepared for a meeting with Her. If given the chance, She will let them see themselves the way that She sees them. She makes them realize that they are beautiful and loved. This challenges some of the most deeply-held beliefs that people have about themselves: That they are not beautiful, and never will be. That no one loves them and never will. That love is conditional and only perfect people get it. That, for whatever reason, they are just not worthy of being loved. (Even seemingly confident and well-adjusted people hold these beliefs, apparently, though often to a lesser extent.)
Surprisingly enough, being shown otherwise often fucks up peoples’ shit in a pretty major way. Logical or not, it’s true. My friend looked confused with my explanation, but as much as I love her, given the chance, I’m pretty sure an up-close-and-personal interaction with Freya would freak her out as well. It is, In my opinion, the scariest thing that Freya does.
Freya also makes people feel. People who avoid strong feelings–who approach life as a logical puzzle, something to be analyzed and to detach yourself from–are unprepared for this whole “feeling” thing. They are often blindsided when actual feelings manifest start to themselves. And, often, they cry.
It’s taken me a bit longer to figure out why people people have this reaction. Shouldn’t they be happy to receive the gift of complete love and understanding, even if only for a few minutes? Shouldn’t that help boost their self-esteem and self-love? I think it does. But getting past that self-hate–whether it’s near the surface or deeply embedded in the person’s subconscious–is a pretty intense process.
Even before I officially became Her priestess, I had the ability to channel the pure love and acceptance that She gives. I usually shared this love on a one-to-one basis, and the result was often the same each time: man or woman, young or old, close friend or stranger, they cried–sometimes quietly, sometimes bawling their hearts out. It really worried me at first, and it’s taken me a while to realize this is just a normal reaction to a meeting with Her. Now, when I am trancing Her or even just channeling some of Her energy, I pretty much accept that I’ll be dealing with tears from at least one person there at some point in the evening. It’s just part and parcel of the what we, as Freya priest/esses, do. If people allow themselves to feel Her energy and are open to what She has to convey, they cry. (I’m pretty sure Aphrodite priest/esses get a similar reaction; and maybe those who work with Hathor, Isis, or the Virgin Mary–or any other goddess that has this fact–get it as well, likely for similar reasons.)
If you’ve never experienced anything like this, let me explain.
Imagine, if you can, that you are standing in a room with the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen. She is magnetic, charming, and charismatic, brimming over with a lust for life and all of the pleasures to be found in it. Then, She notices you. All of Her considerable attention gets focused on you, and She has decided that you are the most beautiful person to ever walk the face of this earth. You have not done anything to earn this adoration; it is unconditional. It just is. In Her eyes, you are beautiful–inside and out. She does not just tell you this; you feel this to be true. It hits your soul and you can’t deny it. You try to fight this–who could possible be worthy of her love and attention?–but you cannot escape this intense, visceral, unequivocal understanding. It bypasses your rational mind and goes directly to your gut.
At least, if you are open to receiving it, even in the slightest.
And I think that’s the crux of it. Freya doesn’t bother with explanations, or to try to convince you on some kind of an intellectual level that this is true. She doesn’t gather proof and write an analytical, footnoted thesis proving her case. She bypasses that justification crapa nd goes straight to the heart of the matter, and gifts you with a smackdown of all-encompassing love.
Many people do fight it, in my experience. It’s just too overwhelming. Experiencing that level of emotion and what is often cognitive dissonance can be a challenge in even the best of circumstances. But if even a smidgeon of that understanding seeps in, people can’t help but to be affected by it. And then we, as the priest/esses, to the extent that we can, get to help them pick up the pieces of their walls and make sure they are ready to go back into the real world–protected, again, but remembering that they are beautiful and loved.
On the real world level, mainly, I listen and give reassurance. (And lots of hugs. Having a box of tissues nearby is also useful.)
It’s a blessing, really, that I get to be one of the people who help others experience this. I try to remember that when I’m exhausted or irritated or sad or am myself feeling unloved. And it’s a high to be ridden by Freya and experience the bubble of love and deep intimacy that She creates. But coming down afterwards is a bitch. Even if I’m just being ridden in order to practice or hone my skills (rather than directly being of service to others), I often come down from that high crying my eyes out, too. Whatever level of this that the others feel, having Her actually inside me and feeling that love saturate me–quite literally–has to be ten times stronger. And when it goes away, it’s like being kicked to the remote Arctic in winter. (This level of reaction doesn’t happen all of the time, granted, but it happens enough to make me wary of taking the ride again. Again with the Wolverine metaphor: each time he pops out his claws, no matter how good the cause, it hurts. It’s worth it to be able to give that gift, though: to help people understand that they are loved.)
So, to a certain extent, I can sympathize with the people she talks to. Yes, She makes us cry. but maybe that’s just what we needed to do.