I’ve had many transitions this month in my personal and spiritual life. I wouldn’t have planned to have them all stacked on top of one another, but that’s the way it has worked out. Some of these are things that I don’t necessarily want to go into much detail about here: We moved my father into a care facility as his dementia has progressed to a point where living with family has become a problem. I’ve also been working to make some financial changes that will require sacrifice, but will hopefully lead to a more stable situation for my future.
I have mentioned in the past that I have been on the Alumni Board for my college. The expected term for that is coming to a close, and I had my last meeting earlier this month. It has been a great experience, but I am also relieved to step away from the obligations involved, particularly the travel. At the same time, it’s a loss of something that has been a part of my life for the past six years, so the change certainly has an impact.
Most importantly for the subject of this blog, I have taken on a new role in the Brotherhood of the Phoenix. The Council of Guardians for the local temple was elected in February and installed a little over a week ago. I am the only member of the last Council who will be on the new one. I am moving from the role of Warder (head of membership) to Magister (president), so it is a real step up in terms of responsibility.
The Council represents the temporal/organizational leadership, rather than the spiritual leadership. At the same time, the role of Magister comes with a defined role in ritual (so new scripts to learn) as well as channeling certain spiritual energies into the organization. I need to embody a sense of expansion and growth related to Jupiter, rather than the role of protection and vigilance embodied by Mars for my last position.
I hope that we are moving into an exciting time for our group. I am not saying this because I have such a high opinion of myself as leader. Last year in particular, we experienced a sort of slump. Several of the most dedicated Brothers either moved away from the area or stepped away to deal with personal/family matters. We had cancelled events, our Novitiate went on hiatus, and, although we kept to our usual schedule of public rituals, some of the internal activity fell into a kind of decline.
The new Council, a group of seven of us, are tasked with refocusing and re-energizing the group. I feel that we are ready for that task. Our installation left us feeling reinvigorated, and our first public ritual on Saturday, March 18th had a powerful energy.
Our March ritual is called Quintessence and it celebrates the Explorer. It’s a perfect energy for this kind of new beginning. The gift of the Explorer is Courage, and this is something that we can all use at this time, both within our group and within the larger community. As the mood of fear is causing a closing down of borders, stoking of distrust, we all need the Courage to reach out, welcome diverse voices, and embrace the challenge of the unfamiliar.
The thing about these transitions is that it will take a while to sink into the new reality, to build the transformed world. These steps have all been important, but the work is just beginning.