Tuesday, May 27, 2014

When Spirit takes over

I have always had a strong connection to the god Hermes, or Mercury if you prefer his Roman name.  I have identified with him on a number of levels.  I have often had the role of messenger, whether the news I had to give as good or bad, and I have always felt an affinity with him as the psychopomp or go between.  As a gay man, I have often felt that I was liminal in that I neither fit the traditional role of the straight male, nor have I ever been the effeminate stereotype of the gay male.  I have often existed between worlds.  

Hermes has a strong association with communication and intellect, two traits I value highly. He is often equated with the finder of lost things and the spirit of liminal spaces such as crossroads.  This is likely due to his role of guiding souls between worlds, and a duty shared with only a few other deities in the Greek and Roman pantheons.  Hecate with one torch ahead and one behind is the only other deity I can think of with this ability to transverse through the veil of life and death.  

Today, my partner and I made the heart wrenching decision to schedule a home euthanasia vet to come over tomorrow and assist our beloved dog, Gavin, in passing through the veil and into the Summerland.  Gavin was diagnosed with a type of sarcoma (cancer) about 5 weeks ago.  Until last night he seemed to be putting up a good fight, or perhaps a front (?), and seemed to be handling his decline without too much problem.  He was losing control of his bladder due to incursion by the tumor, but his demeanor was as it always was.  He was lively in the mornings, happy to greet us and receive attention or come when we called him.  This morning, however, that changed.  

I managed to get through the phone call scheduling the vet to arrive between 10 and 11am, and made a few communications letting friends know that the time had come.  A little later, I received a phone call from the vet saying that there had been a scheduling error, and that time frame for arrival would have to be pushed back to between noon and 1pm.  At first I was annoyed, thinking that delaying the inevitable was cruel to both us and to Gavin.  Then I began to think that in times when we are in the presence of great mysteries, like death, that we are often being communicated with through the veil which separates spirit and matter.  

Thinking about the nature of death as a transition, I noted that the day which happened to be the scheduled day was Wednesday, the day assigned to the planet Mercury in astrology and the day I associate with Hermes as the liminal deity (Wednesday is the middle day of the week in our western calendar - hump day). I then began to wonder about the planetary hour assigned to the new appointment time, and discovered that, when calculated from the hour of sunrise, the new appointment would fall on the hour of - you guessed it - Mercury.  

What I am getting at, dear friends, is that sometimes our Deities and Spirits with which we traffic will step in to help us in imperceptible ways which, unless we pay close attention, may escape our notice.  These little adjustments can remind us that we are not alone and that the offerings and attention we give to Them are repaid in kindnesses such as these.  I am reminded that, for all my pain in this, Gavin is being assisted to transition from here to there by the best possible carrier.  On His day, and at His hour, Gavin will find safe and peaceful passage.  

He will be missed.