The Divine Masculine vs. Toxic Masculinity

I know part of the current increase in the metaphysical activity around me is focused on restoring and healing the Divine Feminine and Masculine. And because of that, I am being forced to face the masculine. 

But I’m being pulled kicking and screaming into this part of my healing. 

It’s forcing me to lean in to the shit from my father and watching his hypocrisy and whiny childish narcissistic behaviors. Watching him and being so abused by him has made me see every other male in my life, and yes that really frustratingly and sadly includes my own spouse, as irresponsible, un-respectable, and a toxic being with whom I want nothing to do with at times. This is a really uncomfortable place to be in and is it causing significant chaos in my own soul. Especially with how I view my own marriage relationship.

I love my spouse, and I am deeply grateful for his constant presence in my life for past almost 10 years we’ve been together. But I even struggle with not trusting the masculine within him. It makes me feel like a disgusting human being for feeling this way even towards him. He doesn’t deserve that. But I’m struggling with trying to find a starting place for dismantling this toxic mindset. He is holding space for me, and yet again, I am deeply grateful for his presence in my life. 

I adore the Feminine and the Goddesses I am honored to be working with, but instinctively I know they are not the end all. I love the strength they exude and the power and respect they garner. Then on the flip side, there are Gods counterparts I need to acknowledge, and show respect to and honor. There is the Divine Feminine AND Masculine, and I know it is unbalanced to acknowledge and lean only into the Divine Feminine. 

I feel so broken and sad that this belief and view of masculinity has kept me in its grips for so long. And that masculinity was such a broken and destruction force used against me. I frankly despise the masculine. I abhor the masculine that has been used so destructively against me and how much that masculine was used as an excuse for what was done to me. Even my father in law, who in all respects is an upstanding man, I can’t stand. I have barely any respect for him especially since he was one of the people who tried to get me to “forgive” my father and “belittled” what my father had done to me. 

I think I just had a breakthrough – 

Growing up, as a young young girl, I desperately longed for a male to protect me and love me and take care of me. I longed for that protective presence. I somehow instinctively knew my father was not, nor could he ever be, that male. Especially now as I know it was him who abused me. I then looked at any other male who came into my life, even in a little way, as someone who could maybe give me that protection or care that I deeply needed. But every single male let me down, turned their backs on me, and left me in the hands of the toxic abuser I called my father. Any man or male I turned to for help, stabbed me in the back and refused to see any reason to get involved in a “private family matter.” Even my own spouse was cowed and abused by my destructive father. I wanted a warrior to come in and rescue me, I wanted a male to cry “shame shame!” and decry the abuse that had been done to me. But. No male came. No masculine creature came to my aid. Every male was easily manipulated by my toxic father. That gave me such a poor view of the masculine. I knew my father was wrong, I subconsciously knew he was toxic and a bad representation of the masculine, but where were the healthy men? Where were the warriors designed to protect? No one came, no one protected me, no one stopped the horrific things that were done to me. 

I think this is part of why I had such an issue with the Christian god** as I was leaving that faith. That god is defined by being the holy masculine and the protector of the fatherless, the defender of the weak. And yet, that god never came to my aid. That god never protected me, or healed me, or gave me any reason to believe that he cared even an ounce for me. This is why I struggle to give any amount of reverence or acknowledgment to the Gods who are the other halves of the Goddesses I am being introduced to. I see the masculine as weak, unreliable, not to be trusted to hold up their end. And I know that’s not accurate, I know that’s not what the Divine Masculine is. 

How do I enter the fray and unravel what has been done to me that has defined how I view the masculine? 

I don’t know. I am not sure of where I should start with unraveling all of this. Maybe I’ve stumbled upon the beginnings of digging through the shit in writing this post. Maybe I haven’t. I just don’t feel confident managing this on my own. I also know a massive shift needs to happen before I get so stuck in this view of the masculine that it starts causing destruction and chaos around me and to those I love. I need to release the cynical and distrusting view I have of the Masculine. 

** I apologize to any practicing Christians reading this post, but I am unable to capitalize the name of the Christian god right now. 

I Am Of The Shadows

One of my siblings and I were discussing a few months ago about how we both still struggle with hearing others’ stories about their happy childhoods. Individually it has been something we have both fought for a long time and this was the first time we had talked about it together. I used to feel so alone and small when those I was with started sharing stories from their childhood and I had nothing to add but to bring a massive shadow on an otherwise happy time.

I used to think that the abuse and significant trauma I experienced from very early childhood meant I was just a morbid and dark person, incapable of being happy and light. But now I know different; I am of the shadows, but my entire being is dedicated to rejoining the light and the dark and bringing balance back to those halves of myself. That light half of myself has been so silenced and buried for a very long time. It’s only been in the past year and a half that I have started letting myself get to know her. That light half consists mainly of my younger self before I was sexually abused as a child, and she yells at me a lot to have fun and be light.

Being light and having fun does not negate the horrific things I have been through. Nor is it an escape or a way to ignore the pain and scars. I am learning it is possible to be light and still bear my shadows.

Part of balancing out my light and dark has meant actually acknowledging and honoring my shadows. I have spent so long hiding in those shadows that I never really learned that they were a strength, NOT a weakness, not an ugly stain I carried around. Leaning into Dark Goddesses has been so incredibly healing because I am learning how beautifully balanced they are when it comes to the light and the dark.

It is one of the things that attracts me so much to the Morrigan – She is the goddess of death and darkness and yet the goddess of motherhood and light and fertility and harvest. It’s this balance of the light and the dark that is helping me bring my own light and dark back to a balanced place.

There is so much beauty in the shadows. There is dancing and honoring and respecting the scars one bears. Yes there is darkness in the shadows, but without the shadows what would the light really mean? I feel like my purpose is constantly being refined and brought into the light of day. The purpose to be a shadow bearer for my fellow soul siblings who also carry deep shadows. The purpose to help restore balance and help honor those deep dark shadows.

Being a childhood sexual abuse survivor has given me more shadows than I sometimes know how to acknowledge. It can be a confusing place to be in to realize how much of those shadows were forced upon me and never should have been caused in the first place. But it is also a validating place to be in when I am joined by my fellow shadow bearers and I understand that is not my fault. That those shadows may be part of myself, but those are not to be used to shame me or cause me constant pain. They are to be acknowledged but never given any power.

Holding the shadows of any abuse is hard. Those shadows make you feel like you’re broken and ugly and stained. Those shadows bring a lot of pain especially when not honored or acknowledged and allowed to be a part of oneself. I am coming to believe that every person has some shadow, but not everyone has the intense depth of shadows I carry and those like me bear.

How do you honor the shadows?

The best answer I’ve come up with so far is to enter the shadows and allow yourself to sit with them. If you are the follower of a Dark Goddess, then allow her to come in and sit with you. Mourn for what was taken or lost, grieve the things you wish were different, but then allow yourself to let go, release the pain. The shadows will not leave you, do not fear not knowing who you are if you let that pain go. Once mourned those shadows will fall into their place and you are that much closer to restoring balance in your spirit. But you have to be willing to let the shadows be where they are supposed to be. Clinging to your shadows as your identity will only cause you to become even more dangerously unbalanced and it will be that much more difficult to release them.

Here’s an example of what I have done to mourn, reconcile, and re-balance my shadows. One of the things I have had to fight to regain especially over the past year is my sense of childhood and girlish behavior. I was sexually abused at the age of 4. I was right on the edge of being verbal and then that was done to me before I even knew the word “sex” or “vagina.” Because I experienced that, I never got the chance to be a little girl. To dream girlish dreams, to be a child. My soul was so damaged and so significantly broken that any chance of letting myself have fun and enjoy life was viciously ripped out of my hands.

This is the extremely sorrowful part of childhood abuse; you never get a say in what is done to you. Things are done before you even have the ability to even vocalize your dreams, desires, like or dislikes. Those things done to you viciously change your entire life and take the childhood you deserved away.

How I have worked to re-balance this and restore the things ripped away from me has been allowing my light, my childlike side out and allowing her to speak to me. It was a slightly bizarre experience feeling things I wouldn’t have thought a 26 year old would experience. That childlike joy of doing something bold and brave. That childlike wonder of feeling like I’m seeing the world for the first time. That childlike excitement of feeling like I can dream, TRULY dream for the first time. Part of this process looked like dyeing my hair a stunning emerald green a year ago. Part of it looked like allowing myself to purchase and wear an outfit that was something I was told as a young teenager would never look good on me and feeling damn good in it. This process of restoring balance looked like entering my own skin and finding wonder in the very essence of the shape of my body and respecting and honoring the skin I live in.

I will always carry shadows and I honestly love that. I will always be more one with my shadows than I am with my light. This is because of how much was done to me as a child. I will always bear those deep scars, but that doesn’t get to determine how I live my life from this point forward. My shadows are 100% part of me, but they do not rule me. I am more comfortable sitting in my shadows than I am in the light, but that’s okay.

I don’t think it’s uncommon to feel embarrassment at exploring your light, or childlike side (as I like to call it) for the first time. Especially if you’ve clung to your shadows for so long. If you’ve been anything like me, the shadows have often looked like being super reserved, very introverted, and quite serious. Releasing and restoring the light and childlike means breaking down those walls and letting yourself be goofy and enjoy life and be like a child discovering the sun for the first time. This is a beautiful thing and it is worth getting to.

Keep fighting my shadow soul siblings. Fight to restore the balance of light and dark. Fight to allow yourself to have the childhood you never got. Fight to live your dreams and dream your dreams you never got to dream. Fight to regain the child within you and fight to give them the space to talk to you and give you pictures and feelings you’ve never gotten to feel.

The Morrigan – Badb

Within an hour of writing my post about Macha and Medb, I started reading a bunch of articles are the Morrigan, of whom Macha is a part of. Unknowingly I had come to the same conclusions about Macha as these articles had. I had sensed the same things and felt her presence. As I started reading into the Morrigan and getting a sense of who she is, I began to feel particularly drawn to Badb [pronounced Bah-v). Badb is one of the three sisters who make up the Morrigan. She can present herself as a crone, a maid, a crow/raven. She is a goddess of prophecy and keenly forces you to face the things you need to shed and cleanse and release. I read that one raven sister’s experience with Badb was meeting her by a river as a crone with claw like hands. Badb pushed her under the water in the river and she was ripped apart, but it was like shedding damaged skin rather than being torn to shreds. As the raven sister came up out of the water, she saw Badb as a kindly young women who was smiling, mourning and grieving and rejoicing of the things she had released. I firmly believe Badb brings thing to you that are in need of attention; whether they need to confronted and/or released, she brings them to you then sits with you through the mourning, cleansing, and releasing process. It makes me cry just how much I’ve felt her sitting with me and mourning the things I’ve lost and also the things that were never given. This past week was really rough for me. I ate something or used something on my face that caused a really bad cystic acne breakout around my chin. It was the first time I’ve felt so ashamed of my face/appearance in a long time. It was also the worst breakout I’ve had in a long long time too. That shame was very deep though. It went all the way back to my childhood and was rooted in the times my mother made fun of my acne and shamed me and called it/me gross. Badb, being the caring and vicious goddess she is, sat with me and continued to bring up those memories. It was intensely cleansing and releasing and I won’t hesitate to admit I didn’t really want to do it. I also won’t hesitate that I have often been harsh with myself and struggled with giving myself space to mourning and grieve what was taken from me. Badb has been sitting with me and giving me space to mourn in a way I have never experienced before. Okay, so maybe it’s weird for me to talking so “intimately” about a goddess. But honestly, I am so honored that the Morrigan have chosen to come to me. I am so so deeply honored that Badb is choosing to work with me. One thing that is a little anxiously exciting is that I can sense the shadows with the Morrigan. These aren’t happy-go-lucky goddesses. They are goddesses with whims and emotions and ups and downs and I am aware of how finicky they can be to work with. But truth be told, I am finicky, I have ups and downs, and that alone doesn’t make me nervous to work with them. I know that if they are respected and honored then that’s all they ask. I am learning that a relationship with Goddesses requires a give and take, it requires absolute commitment and quiet – quiet to hear their messages and commitment to be willing work with them and bring them into my daily practice. I feel like I have come home. I am finally – FINALLY – stepping in to my heritage and am in a place mentally/emotionally/spiritually where I am willing to wholeheartedly accept the Goddesses who have been sitting there waiting for me.

DruidCraft Tarot – Goddess Medb and a Grounding Card

As I went through my DruidCraft tarot deck, I had two more cards come to me, these specifically for the Goddess Medb.

Medb was known for her power in war and ability to commune with animals, specifically horses. She was of incredible strength of mind and body. She was fierce and protective and held vindictive justice.

Medb was fiercely protective of her moon cycles and was immensely respected because of that. This quite a meaningful thing to me about the Goddess Medb. Considering how long I have felt traumatized by my moon cycles, interacting and being named after a Goddess who was renowned for how her moon cycle was to be respected and honored, is healing in its own way. I feel like both of these cards are absolutely imbued with Medb’s energy.

I picked up the book that goes with my tarot deck and the book kept opening to a page about “choosing the card that represents you.” After the third time that happened, I kept the book open to that page and read through that section. It explained that one of the ways of making this deck your own was by placing all of the court cards (Kings, Queens, Princesses, and Princes from the Wands, Pentacles, Swords, and Cups suits) in a circle. Then without giving it thought, choosing the card that speaks to you the most. That is then your card – the card you use for grounding during spreads that ask for a grounding or representative card of yourself.

As I laid out the court cards, I think I already knew which card I was going to chose. In fact, as soon as I laid that card out, it was already mine.

I am the Queen of Swords. I have been the Queen of Swords in this deck pretty much from the first time I did a spread with the cards. This card represents Intellect, Gracefulness, and an Analytical mind. She also is a reminder to me to make sure that I am not holding on to too much anger or bitterness about past that I can’t learn the lessons I need to. I see the Queen of Swords justly ruling her domain, but ruling with kindness and grace and love and being firm and just when need be.

All in all, I am thoroughly loving the energy that is being poured and given from my DruidCraft tarot deck. It is an amazing feeling to have two decks that are loudly speaking to me and calling to me. And yet neither are competing with the other, both of my decks have a purpose and specific meaning.

DruidCraft Tarot and The Morrigan

Four years ago I received the DruidCraft tarot deck. I had discovered the deck when looking for a deck to branch out with from my original tarot deck. My spouse got it for me and gave it to me in the midst of opening presents at my super religious in-laws’ house. That’s how much he loves me and supports my journey.

DruidCraft Tarot Deck – Amazon, $14

I loved this deck. I began to get familiar with it, but there was still something missing or lacking as I went through the deck and used it in day to day spreads. Two years passed and I prepared to carry my second child. As soon as his spirit joined with mine, I was no longer able to clearly read or see the cards. So I put them away for when I would be able to pull them back out and have a clarity of spirit again. But, everything I had sensed that would come with my second pregnancy came true and plus some. My second child was medically complicated and required so much giving of my spirit just to make it through to his birth that I was unable to even think about anything else besides just holding space for him and myself. His first year of life should have been enough to utterly break and destroy me. Especially as halfway through that first year, my memories of having been sexually abused as a child came back.

It was hard place to be in with such an incredibly heavy weight on my spirit and yet wanting to gain the wisdom from the spirit realm through my cards. But I knew it still wasn’t time. When I gathered with fellow sister women a month and a half ago, I was given a new tarot deck – this one an Ostara deck, the Goddess of new beginnings. It was so appropriate and honoring of the new changes I’ve been working on in my life. Not only that, it has released the heaviness that has been clinging to my spirit for the past two years. That new deck has been so healing and today, for the first time in two and a half years, I pulled out my DruidCraft deck and felt the old familiar energy radiate through my fingers as I went through the cards.

Ostara Tarot Deck, Amazon $20

Another major shift that has been happening the past week and a half has been an intense initiation into the Morrigan. It’s been an incredible experience digging into my Irish ancestry and also renewing the deep call I’ve felt for most of my life to the Celtic Goddesses. Badb in particular has been very present in the past week and as I went through my tarot deck, I immediately found three cards that I felt were the three sister in the Morrigan.

I have known all this week that I would find Anu, Macha, and Badb in this tarot deck. I just hadn’t gotten a chance to sit down and really focus my attention on the cards. So it was no surprise when these three cards grabbed me.

Anu – [pronounced AN-new]

Anu is the mother goddess of the three sisters. She is associated with motherhood, fertility, and with close connections to the land. Thus when I saw this card of the fertile mother to be, and her arms full of the harvest, I knew it was Anu. I do not know much about Anu yet, she hasn’t come to be fully. Even though I am a mother myself, there is a huge part of me still shut down to the idea of fertility. I don’t want to be fertile, I do not want any more children. I am mother to my two children, and I have had to mother myself so much, I do not want anymore of that responsibility. But who knows, the Goddesses have a way of breaking through those walls despite what I want or don’t want.

Macha – [pronounced MACH-uh)

Macha has been close to me for a while. She is a goddess of the Sun, fire, success, motherhood, war, death, also fertility. There is an unique connection between death and motherhood in the Celtic Gods and Goddesses. And it is one that I deeply connect with and have tapped in to. I feel Macha’s power lifting me up and protecting me. She is a just goddess and will push you to be the better version of yourself. She is a fierce mama bear, and she will not hesitate to destroy anyone who harms one of hers.

Badb – [pronounced BAH-v)

Aww, Badb, she has been closest to me over the past week. She often first presents as a crone and someone hellbent on ripping you to shreds. But if you can let her in and honor and respect the work she is asking you, or forcing you, to do, then she will become a beautiful stunning being who holds you tight and comforts you with great love and care. Badb is a goddess of death, but as death often symbolizes new beginnings, she is also a goddess of stripping away the old, the scar tissue, the things that need to be released, so that you can start again. She is becoming close to me and I am learning to love her deeply and trust the work she is doing in my spirit and mind.

I drew a few more cards that I will write about next time. But I am so grateful to the Morrigan for allowing me into their presence and giving me their wisdom and care and protection.

Yoni Eggs, Yoni Steams & Sexual Trauma

I just recently learned about yoni eggs, and was given one a month ago. I also learned about yoni steams at the same time. Being the survivor of childhood sexual abuse means that my entire lower abdomen (uterus, vagina, labia…) is still fairly locked down despite several years now of specific healing work on that part of my body. I can see now that it was difficult to really heal before my memories came back of the sexual abuse I experienced as a child. But since becoming aware of those memories, my healing with my yoni has become so much more intentional. 

Yoni is an ancient Sanskrit term for vagina. I believe it is typically associated with Shakti and Shiva.

What has been whispering and holding me for the past year and especially in the past month is a deep and burning desire to create space for fellow childhood sexual abuse survivors. Specifically ones on this journey of Paganism. I long to create and hold space for their [and my] trauma and use a growing knowledge of herbs and flowers to help initiated healing and awareness of that trauma. But I know that this desire needs to start with my own healing and my own acceptance of my shadow self.

During a retreat I recently attended I was introduced to a yoni steam. I have forgotten the specific herbs used for that yoni steam, but I remember sitting over the pot of steaming water and feeling so tense and afraid. I sure as hell didn’t want any extra awareness to my yoni. I didn’t want to be aware and then release the junk that I didn’t want to be aware of. Because of my childhood sexual abuse, I have been fighting against a traumatizing aversion to menstrual blood. As I sat there and took in the guidance of what I was suggested to do during the yoni steam, hearing that this yoni steam would help regulate cycles and help release old blood and a fuller clean out so to speak during the next moon cycle, I started panicking a bit. 

See, I had a procedure done in June that would hopefully completely stop me from bleeding during my moon cycle, or at the very least, greatly minimize bleeding. So the very thought of inducing an actually bleeding cycle was terrifying to me. During the 20 minutes I sat over the steaming pot, I slowly started to relax. I walked away from that weekend having gained a new outlook or appreciation for what my body can do and does. I walked into that weekend retreat not knowing what I was going to gain and I walked out feeling sorrow that I no longer bleed. 

I promise I’m getting to the part about yoni eggs, but just bear with me. 

I’ll be honest, my first birth was excruciatingly difficult because of my [then unknown] sexual abuse. What would have been a fairly quick first time birth, turned into 6 hours pushing because I couldn’t bring awareness to my yoni and allow for my child to pass through. My second birth [my trauma still unknown] what almost redemptive, but I had a medically necessary c-section due to my second child’s medical condition and I was so relieved. My [lack-of-a] relationship with my yoni has been complicated to say the least. So when I attended a retreat where 90% of the time was dedicated to respecting and honoring one’s yoni, I was forced to confront the rest of the trauma I am still holding in my yoni. 

When I picked out my first yoni egg, I had the choice of a Rose Quartz, Jade, or Black Obsidian. Even though I was told that obsidian is extremely powerful and not usually recommended especially for those who have sexual trauma, that was the egg I chose. More so, it chose me. She chose me and I have been working on building a relationship with the energies that egg holds. It is an intense crystal and yet, instead of throwing into an absolute mess, it has been grounding me, and giving me a chance to really appreciate the strength I do hold in my root chakra and my yoni. 

I have used it three times besides just sitting with my yoni egg and allowing myself to become connected to the energy it holds. The last time I use it, just a few mornings ago, I finally experienced the drawing and releasing I had read about. I felt her pull all of the anxiety and frustration and highly tensed emotions into her and as I released the egg, I felt all of those emotions withdraw from my spirit and body. It was relieving and grounding and I felt an intense release. 

Quick comment though: Gwyneth Paltrow did not come up with yoni eggs. I do not recommend using her site to get a yoni egg. Look for the sites that honor and respect the entirety of yoni eggs and what they stand for. Do not use one unless you understand what they are for and you have connected with the energy of the egg you choose or that chooses you. 

As a testimony of the intense work I’ve been doing the past month, I experienced my first post-surgery bleeding last week, and even though there was a moment of panic and discouragement that maybe the procedure didn’t work, my mind immediately went to how can I honor this moon blood and how can I give back to Mama Earth? It was the first time I’ve ever experienced a cycle and didn’t feel re-traumatized or ashamed or dirty. My strongest thought was “how can I honor this?” and that in and of itself marks a significant shift in my mindset and in my healing. Even dealing with endometriosis and menorrhgia, I am not fearing my moon cycle anymore.  

References for Yoni steaming
– I want to be careful with this article. I am as white as white can be, but I do appreciate these traditions of using yoni steaming to help heal sexual trauma and I want to bring awareness to that.

References for Yoni eggs

What Led Me To Paganism

I was baptized into the Christian faith at 7 years old. I was dunked under the freezing cold waters of the Rappahannock river in Virginia on a freezing cold and rainy November day. I was excited and nervous because I just wanted to be included and involved with the other “kids” who were already part of the “faith.” I just wanted a place to fit in and call my own.

Within days of being baptized I felt a distinct shift in my spirit. I strongly believed I was touched by god and was held by him. As I grew older, I somehow kept a hold on that child like faith despite the abuse my parents put me through and even despite their hypocrisy, I still held tight to the beliefs I thought were mine. It wasn’t until those beliefs were used to belittle me and they were turned against me that I started breaking. But, as my deepest desire in life has been to do nothing without being absolutely sure and willing to accept the consequences of whatever I decide, I spent three years purposefully picking apart my religious beliefs. It as an incredibly overwhelming and frustrating and scary process. Even though my belief system was already utterly shattered and my feet were rapidly sinking in the quicksand, I knew I had to be methodical and be absolutely sure of the direction I wanted to go and it had to be entirely my own decision.

There was a lot of mourning and grieving as I left behind the only belief system I had ever known – in this life time that is. A lot of Christians will talk about how their god is the only one who can fill the “hole” in your heart. In other words, the only being who can satisfy all your desires and it was the only RIGHT god to follow. But I can confidently say that the moment I left Christianity, my entire being – my soul, my heart, my mind – felt relief and complete and whole. I felt like I had finally shaken off the shackles that had been binding my spirit/soul for almost all of my life. Not only that, it felt like I could take a deep breath for the first time and I wasn’t afraid of being happy or that I should be ashamed of feeling free.

But after a short while, I began realizing there was a missing piece from my heart and soul. I needed a spiritual practice to follow, I needed spiritual beings to worship and the spiritual realm to enter. With the help of my first therapist who is also a medium, I discovered tarot cards. But those weren’t enough. I was also carrying so many shadows from what had been done to me – known and unknown – that accessing the spirit world and allowing myself to kneel in their presence and receive the knowledge they wanted to give me was almost impossible. My heart was so heavy and wounded still and my spirit was so fractured.

Two years after I had left Christianity, I started looking into Wicca. The “do as you will but harm none” really appealed to me, especially having come from a religion that was so toxic and harmful. But having spent almost 18 years in an organized religion that nearly killed me, the very thought of being under “elders” made me extremely uncomfortable and triggered. Around this time, I moved to Colorado and I felt a freedom of spirit like none I had felt in any other place I have lived. I felt the freedom to go towards the Pagan path that was calling me. In the presence of the towering mountains, I felt the call of the spirits who had been with me for all of my life. Being the researcher and knowledge-holder that I am, my Pinterest boards began to fill up with Wiccan blessings, rituals, and I discovered the Wheel of the Year and fell in love with the idea of celebrating those holidays. But shortly after arriving in Colorado, my health, which had been barely held together at my previous place of living, utterly fell apart. Here I am, almost 4 years later, just now feeling like my health has reached an actually good place. Not only that, I have finally found my direction with this Pagan path. The biggest thing that’s changed and given me direction is that I have found my community among fellow witches/Pagans. Trying to go that path alone was difficult. I still struggled with believing that I could decide my own faith, and not only that, there is so much conflicting information out there that I had no idea what or who I could trust. I also believe it wasn’t time for me to move forward yet with committing to a Pagan path. The flames had started flickering, but they weren’t ready to be ignited yet. Despite that, I have been patiently collecting knowledge and things as I waited to dive in.

I believe part of the delay was that my heart and soul still needed to heal more before I would be able to fully commit to the things I wanted to. Just over a year ago, I had memories return of having been sexually abused by my father at the age of 4. Those were the final pieces I needed to retrieve and then heal. Since then, my soul has felt more complete than ever before, I am more open and grounded than I ever have been, and my heart is fully committed to following Paganism. The weekend gathering I attended a month ago was my “formal” initiation into Paganism. I was introduced to some of the Divine and given tools to understand what I have experienced a lot of my life and the words to understand what my spirit was longing for.

I adore the feeling of being connected to Gaia, Mother Earth, and connecting with the Goddesses that are speaking to me. As I wrote yesterday, the Celtic Goddesses are ones that I can sense calling to me the most. I feel like I have been reborn as I gather as much information as I can and try not to get overwhelmed with the wealth of information I am learning. I am not ready to share the details of the path I am traversing, but I am grateful to the Goddesses for pulling to them and for guiding my feet.

Celtic Goddesses – Macha & Medb

Celtic Goddesses, who are they?

Ever since discovering my Irish heritage as a child, I have been captivated by Irish/Celtic Mythology. Even now, as I meander down this Pagan path, the Celtic Goddesses are by my side. But trying to find concrete information about the goddesses is nigh impossible. I am named after Medb, but I have also seen multiple pieces of information leading towards Medb (Maeve) only having been one incarnation of the Goddess Macha. Macha is one of the Triple death Goddess in Celtic Mythology. Along with Morrigan and Badb, she is the Mother Goddess, but also a War and Fertility Goddess.

It is frustrating and also a little bit fascinating about how many stories of the Celtic Goddesses have been minimized and twisted to fit a subservient women that the christian patriarchy wanted them to look like. Their tales grow more and more weakened and most of the stories now are those of just strong and powerful queens. I have been trying to find the roots of their myths be stripping away the patriarchal layers that have been so heavily applied.

As I peel back those layers, I am seeing the goddesses in different lights. Another thing affecting how I view the ones – that are choosing me as I am choosing them – is their energies sitting with me. Lately I have been sensing that Medb and Macha are the same being. Both are Goddesses of War and Fertility and both are just and protective. It’s difficult for me to find the words to explain what I sense and feel with these Goddesses, especially I don’t have strong research to back up what I feel is right. I don’t know a lot about my Irish heritage, I don’t know where I came from, I just know what I feel from past lives and the dreams I’ve been given.

Over a year ago, I chose the name Maeve because I needed to kill the name I was given at birth. It was a name my abuser proudly held on to and claimed great pride in that he had named me. As I have healed from the abuse he did to me, I felt the strong pull to reclaim my entire being, and through doing that, I needed to reclaim the name I am called. When I chose Maeve, I only knew that it was the name that had been calling to me for a very very long time. I still, to this day, have no recollection of where I came up with that. I firmly believe it was given to me; given to me during my childhood as the name I had to become. As I moved forward with an abrupt swiftness into changing my name, I briefly glanced at what Maeve meant, not caring what it meant as I knew it was my name regardless. And several different articles about the Goddess Maeve kept showing up. I wasn’t fully committed or aware enough of my Pagan path at that point, but that has always stuck to the back of my mind. I was told to look up the Goddess Maeve (Medb) after the gathering I went to almost a month ago, and I immediately remembered what I had seen when I had changed my name.

Macha and Medb sit with me, and I feel their gathering strength when I need help overcoming something. I feel their protectiveness and that I am under their care. Macha and Medb are both women who men tried to conquer, they are both powerful women who proved their prowess time and time again. They are Goddesses who the christian/catholic church tried to cover up and downplay. Medb is a Goddess of the Harvest and she holds fertile land in her hands. Macha is a Goddess of motherhood, fertility, and yet will not hesitate to dive into war when hers are threatened. Macha is also a Goddess of success and fire and was a red-haired incarnated woman. My sun, moon, and rising signs are all the fire signs, and that fiery spirit within me echos the ancient Celtic women. Macha and Medb feel like my mother spirits. I feel safe in their arms, I feel embraced and loved.

Granted these are just all things that I have felt and sensed when looking up these two Goddesses. They are close to me, but I could be wrong. I don’t think I am about what they mean to me, but I think both of these Goddesses will show themselves to each person individually and I may not know them in the same way as another person may.

I don’t know why I feel the need to give a caveat to my beliefs. It’s frustrating that I feel that need, truth be told.  I still struggle with being confident with what I believe it. But not only that, I struggle with fearing others telling me I’m wrong and shaming me for what I do believe in. I spent so many years under the shaming thumb of my abuser and even now, although I am 2000 miles away from his grasp, and have shaken off the majority of the chains he bound me with, I still feel his shaming whisper in my ear. As I lean in Macha and Medb, that whisper grows fainter and I am aware of their whispers of encouragement, strength, and love overcoming the shaming voice of my abuser.

Come, Macha, I pray you protect my home and my space.

Medb, strengthen the foundations of my mind and give me guidance in fighting back against those who seek to harm me and mine. 

Macha, I pray for your mothering spirit to guide my hands in mothering my own children, and mothering myself. 

Thank you Medb and Macha for being present in my life and holding me close and protecting me and mine. 

Herbal Oils, Facial Toners, Herbal Bath Salts

About three weeks ago, I started learning about herbal oils and the health benefits that come from oiling. There are many benefits that come with practicing herbal body oiling, but also, herbal infused oils can be used to make healing salves and even lotions.

So I decided to go on a “foraging” mission and found a store here in Denver that has the most fantastic selection of dried herbs and flowers! Walking out $20 lighter, my hands were full of bags of dried herbs and flowers.  Having this be my first time making any oils, I did a little bit a research, then followed my gut. I made two different oils, and they are still sitting and infusing. Both oils have about 4 more weeks before I can open them up and strain the herbs and flowers out of them.

The first one I made, I am calling Aphrodite’s Oil. The reason for this is because two of the herbs/flowers I have in that oil have aphrodisiac effects. Not only that, but all three herbs/flowers I put in are good for anxiety and stress relief.

Rituals & Researching

I discovered Pinterest 5 years ago, roughly 4 1/2 years ago I really seriously started pinning. I have long been known to scour Google for information when my interest has been peaked. In short, I live and breathe researching. That’s how I come to understand what it is that is holding my interest or what I would like to dig deeper into. When it comes to my pagan path, I have of course dug right in to researching the different aspects I want to know more about.

When I gathered with 17 other mermaid goddesses two and a half weeks ago, I felt like I had finally, finally found my community. Not only that, I finally had my people who I could see in person, who fully understand and welcomed me alongside of their pagan journey as well. It was breathtakingly beautiful and fulfilling. But one of the things I’ve come to realized is that I have been on this pagan path for a lot longer than I realized. I was cleaning up and reorganizing my 12,000 some pins on Pinterest and discovered pins that I had saved several years ago that were exactly what I had been looking for a week ago. There is something quite validating about realizing I’ve been reaching for this path for so long and to watch it start blossoming and flowing before my eyes.

I struggled with finding time and balance and a connection to the Wheel of the Year days I tried to celebrate three years ago. It didn’t flow, it didn’t feel natural. I had wanted to be purposeful with honoring the full moons and new moons, but again, it just didn’t flow nor did I feel connected. There was a part of me that was so shut down I needed that part badly before I could truly connect to the path I longed for.

After the weekend gathering, I felt multiples fire ignite strongly within me. I finally felt a completion of what I had been yearning for for several years. I felt the rightness, the deep connection, the flow as I turned to and started leaning into learning about rituals for moon cycles, full/new moons, and digging my fingers into learning about herbs and flowers. Not only do I feel these flames building inside of me, I have never felt so confident that this is what I’m supposed to be doing right now. You know, that sense of of Fate? That absolutely messy beautiful perfectness.

I sat down and performed a full moon ritual a week and a half ago and it felt comfortable and invigorating and exactly what I was supposed to do. It flowed, I was in my element, I felt a connection to the ritual, the full moon, and the energies around me. I will write about my ritual another time though. But one of the things I also did over last month’s full moon (August, Full Moon in Pisces) was make moon water. The energy from the full moon felt so strong to me that I wanted to capture the energy in water. I have been drinking some of the water when I needed a boost of energy, and I used some of the water to make moon water cleansing spray.

I mixed some moon water in to a blue glass spray bottle with a little bit of frankincense essential oil and some Himalayan pink salt. My plan is as we enter the new moon phase of September, is to cleanse my front door and windows and then take sweetgrass and smudge the space, calling protection and my ancestors and the Goddesses.

I am starting to plan out the seeds I want to plant for a container garden I hope to start in the spring here. This is another ritual I am looking forward to adding to my life. It is amazing to me about how natural all of this feels to me. I really am sure I have been down this path before in another lifetime. I am not struggling to figure out how to fit my pagan path into my everyday life. It is balancing and harmonizing with everything I do day to day. That is a huge sign that I am truly on the right path.