Dear Lee: See and be SEEN

Today a shaman wrote me, their own struggles painfully reflected in mine.  The difference was that my tribe had stepped up to feed me, and theirs had not.

My fingers spoke back.

I hear your feeling of isolation, disconnect and uncertainty around support.  For a long time, I felt very similar… though the feeling of separation will likely exist for all of life because as spirit workers we walk between.  We sit at the edge of the tribe, out in the wilderness, and walk the way in and out of the worlds.

However, what I have found is that there is a difference between the abandoned madwoman of the woods, and the wise woman who when she comes to town is given food, supplies, and a warm meal.  It has taken me almost a decade to make that transition.  It had to begin with realizing that I could be the second.  I did not feel worthy before.

The current outpouring is because I have spent most of the past 10 years pouring out, and refilling just as much as needed.  By passing on wisdom, love, support, joy- and keeping myself functional and ocassionally joyous- but not asking beyond it.  By being humble (even if sometimes to a detrement), by helping others- when I did ask, I was given in abundance.

Mind you, that email asking for help- it took me 3 weeks to work towards posting it.  I had to re-convince myself of having any worth to receive.

When I ask, the Gods fill my plate.  But if I say I am content to starve, the spirits and Gods will hear me and listen as well.

As for serving the wrong tribe… who do you serve?  Who is your tribe?  Can you name their names, speak their history, hold their wisdom in your palms?  To me this is the line between being a spirit worker and being a shaman.  Spirit work is hard and important, but a Shaman also serves as a keeper of their people.  I hold tales of the swaths of leather men and radical faeries we lost to the plague known as HIV.  I hold the hearts of young dykes beaten to death on the street.  I recall the honored dead amongst heterosexual mistresses and masters, slaves and submissives.

And not just the dead.  What is the heartbeat of your tribe in it’s breath today?  Who is hungry?  What segments are broken and of needing mending, and what is ready to pass on?  How can you connect those who need resources with those things they need?

It’s not always easy (good for a laugh, and a thought):

I ramble… but it is what my fingers feel called to write.

Open up to loving yourself.  Open up to SEEING your tribe and having your tribe SEE you.  It is the will, as I know it.

Yours with love and respect,


Lee Harrington

Lee Harrington is an internationally known sexuality, relationships, and personal authenticity educator. Having taught in all 50 states and in 6 countries, he brings a combination of playful engagement and thoughtful academic dialogue to a broad audience. An award-winning author and editor on gender, sexual, and sacred experience, his books include “Traversing Gender: Understanding Transgender Journeys,” and "Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond," among many other titles. He has been blogging online since 1998, and been teaching worldwide since 2001. Welcome to his world, and your chance to expand your mind and heart alike.

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