A Terra Incognita member died recently of cancer. He was in his early 50's and well known in the extended Pagan community. I met Cy at Light of the Moon, a monthly Chicago Pagan gathering where David and I helped our local crone Cailleach co-host for many years. We found this event a great way to satisfy social obligations and invite people to meet us for the first time. Characteristically Cy wore a black Paladin-like cowboy hat and was accompanied by his red-headed magickal partner, Heather. Though my influence impacted more directly on her husband Woody, I believe my story is more about how this Qadishtu experience primarily affected Heather and both her loves.
Heather was her Magickal name. Apparently she chose that name because it reflected the person her psyche pictured as the little girl who stood on a knoll of her childhood farm. She and Woody had been married for years when her uncle left her a quarter of the ancestral farmland. The family decided to sell the property to developers so the farm as she remembers it no longer exists. The name Heather, she explains, gives that farm permanence in her life and thus gave her the stamina to let it go when she answered an advertisement and joined an active Pagan group in nearby
Heather and Cy became dedicated to the coven and began going everywhere together, whether it was weekend retreats in other states or attending local Pagan events. Their mutual affection grew while they remained married to other partners. Heather and Woody had no children, but Cy and his wife adopted two girls. Unfortunately, as her spiritualism took on the face of her land, the coven became the euphoric spiritual path she shared with Cy that balanced the weighty every-day familial responsibilities she had with Woody. Needless to say, Woody was not happy.
I entered Heather's poly family through sexual energy work with her and Cy. I soon discovered that her husband Woody basically felt abandoned and lost without the loving partner that he thought he had married. My sexual relationship with Heather and Cy faded, though, as I became more invested in a Qadishtu healing dynamic with Woody. He was not spiritually or magickally inclined at the time, but even that changed as I introduced him to the Chicago Tantric community when Terra Incognita hosted a workshop led by Janet and Sasha Lessin from
Woody's primary complaint was that he didn’t have access to a world that could understand nor accept people having relationships outside of their marriage. Through this workshop Woody became more aware of how he could enjoy polyamorous experiences as meaningful physical exchanges with like minded folks that didn’t include wife swapping or cheating. There were families, like his, that were “poly” and incorporated spiritual, meaningful exchanges in their familial multi-partnered relationships.
Woody took my sexual exchanges with him very seriously and it was through this heart connection that he began walking into unfamiliar situations, unbelieving at first and then progressively with more confidence. He is now open to date and develop relationships without being hampered by traditional ideas of monogamy and fidelity. Woody loves his wife very much and although Heather's relationship with Cy was difficult for him in the beginning, it was through this love for her and his desire to maintain their marriage that he found room to include Cy in his family.
As Qadishtu, I gave my body to all three ... twice to Heather and Cy, twice to Heather and Woody ... loving exchanges which facilitated bringing them all closer. Poly is hard to implement in a non-poly situation so it took me a few couseling sessions to work out the pain and animosity Woody initially felt toward Cy and Heather.
On the morning Cy died, he sat up in bed and clearly called for Woody twice. Heather got her husband on the phone while he was at work and Cy's faint voice brought him to tears. Cy didn’t ask for anyone else. A successful Qadishtu experience is not just about sex, though the connection sex offers is important. It's about the relating, bonding and support our efforts give and how it supports the love everyone feels in the end.