Rising & Released – Shamanic Initiation

PC: https://www.thaizer.com/festivals/the-mass-sky-lantern-release-at-mae-jo-chiang-mai-is-not-the-yi-peng-festival/

A week ago, I woke up from a procedure that corrected a severe vein issue I was born with and that had been compounded after two pregnancies and multiple health issues. I woke up to my spinal headache being gone, and it hasn’t returned, and I felt like a massive weight had been lifted and intense pressure had been released.

I have been dealing with chronic health issues for more than 2/3 of my life thus far. Through the past 4 years in particular, though, I have felt a drawing to a close, an ending building and approaching. As I began to repeat a health cycle this past January, for the first time, I could feel that the ending was truly here. This would be a year of resolution and I was going to finally have answers with my health.

I had the opportunity to sit down with a dear sister-goddess and she stopped me in what I was saying and asked if she could tell me something. She looked me in the eyes and said “this is your shamanic initiation.” I felt immediately validated while being equally stunned for a few seconds. What she told me has permeated every particle of my being – it completed the shifting my mindset has been doing with my health.

I have felt the shift in my mindset happened over the past year. The shift began to seriously happen when I finally chose the spiritual path I was going to move forward on. Viewing my health struggles as part of my shamanic initiation brought several questions to mind.

  • What if chronic pain is the signal that we are all missing to dig deeper into our spirituality and listen to what the Spirits are calling us to?
  • What if chronic pain/health issues are the outward signs of needing to heal our minds then our bodies?

Now, please, hear me out – I have dealt with chronic pain since I was 10 (or younger…my memory is fuzzy during those ages), I am not making light of chronic pain. I am only speaking from my own experience, and voicing the questions and observations that has given me.

I have been in intensive counseling/therapy for the past 6 years. I have had 3 different therapists, and each one has helped me break through some significant things. But with each year that has passed as I’ve written about what has surfaced, as I’ve processed and worked through the shit that I have experienced, the more drastic my health issues became and then they have been slowly been resolved. Every time a major puzzle piece mentally/emotionally has fallen in to place, I’ve dealt with some of the worst flare ups I’ve faced, but they’ve also resolved and faded, and I have never felt that pain again.

I am beginning to believe that my chronic pain has truly been leading me on a deeper and darker path that I only suspected at the beginning of my chronic health journey. I have always felt like my life has a very specific purpose, but I could never put my finger on what that purpose was/is. I believe I am only just now starting to enter that part of my path where the knowledge of where I belong is coming to me.

When that venous pressure was released a week ago, it felt like that final release on a place on tension that had been building all of my life. I just entered my Saturn Return, and I can feel major parts of my life are lining up and falling in to place. I truly believe I could not have gone through surgery a week ago if I hadn’t done the work I have in the past year. I had to release and process and change my hold on a lot of things. Physically releasing the physical pressure in my body was last thing that needed to happen before I could take the next step forward.

I’m excited about what’s ahead of me. I have started a few things in the past three weeks that I’m looking forward to writing about on here. But for now, I am reveling in the incredible release my body is still experiencing despite aches and pains from having had a procedure.

Revisiting The Wheel Of The Year – Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Lammas/Lughnasah

When the last millimeter of my foot left the ground in Maryland, just over 4 years ago, and when the first millimeter of my foot touched ground in Colorado, I experienced a DRASTIC shift. Being a military child growing up, I’ve lived many different places. But when I came to Colorado, it was and still is the only place that I have ever felt 100% truly at home.

One of the things that shifted was the leaving behind of traditional holidays. I discovered The Wheel of the Year Sabbats and started trying to figure out how to work those into my life. Things didn’t flow very smoothly the first two years I tried to follow the Sabbats. Mainly, timing was just not right.

For the past almost year, I have been able to celebrate and fully dive into the beauty that is worshiping and celebrate the shifting seasons, the Equinoxes, and also honoring age old traditions that hold so much richness and beauty. I’m going to cover the first 4 Sabbats in this post, and then do another post with the last 4.

Ostara/Spring Equinox, March 20th

Let’s start with the beginning of the astrological year – Ostara, the Spring Equinox, which usually falls around March 19th through the 21st. Ostara is the return of the Light and marks a new beginning and a time when things are fresh and new.

I recently wrote about how I celebrated this year’s Ostara here. It was the most gorgeous day this year and I really felt everything magnified by the Full Moon that night. It was certainly a special day and I believe I saw something that the last time there was a full moon on an equinox was about 19 years ago. I think. Don’t quote me on that!

As I’m on a restrictive diet for my health, it is always difficult to come up with substitutes for the traditional dishes served for the Sabbats! But this year, I found a recipe for grain free, dairy free, and sugar free hot cross buns. And oh my, I have made them 3 times now and found that the buns make great sandwich holders. This kind of sweet and savory mix.

Here’s the recipe I used!

Another way to see Ostara is as a replacement for Easter. A lot of traditional Easter celebrations contain traditions and rituals first used for Ostara. Like the emphasis on Spring, the pastel colors, eggs, even the hot cross buns. I did two other rituals during the day on Ostara this year – one being filling a wooden egg with intentions and letting it soak up the Full Moon’s rays that night before setting the egg on my altar to rest for a full month until the next Full Moon.

The second ritual was creating a protection sigil and drawing it under my front door mat. Read my post about Ostara for all the details!

Beltane – April 30th/May 1st

There is a particularly rich magick that surrounds Beltane and it is hands down the Sabat that I am most excited about. There’s a passion and a fire that comes with Beltane, and it’s significant turning point as we head towards summer. I honestly feel like deep magick happens the night of April 30th, and then as the sun rises on May 1st, in comes the celebratory May Day events and rejoicing that Winter has officially and completely ended.

It’s difficult for me to name everything I feel with this Sabbat, but maybe this year I’ll be able to process and really be able to describe why I love Beltane. I haven’t decided what I’m doing to celebrate Beltane this year, but when I do figure that out, I will definitely be sharing!

Litha/Summer Solstice – June 20-23

Litha is the opposite of Yule, which is the Winter Solstice. Litha is celebrating the longest day of the year, the day when we get the most amount of sunshine. This is a Sabbat of celebrating the life and light of summer. I actually haven’t done a whole lot of celebrate Litha in the past, so again, I don’t have a whole lot of examples on what do for this Sabbat!

Lammas/Lughnasah – August 1st

Lughnasah (pronounced Loo-Nah-Sa) is the beginning of the harvest, the time to start preparing and looking towards the return of the darkness as winter approaches. There is a cautiousness with this Sabbat as it is a time split between the beauty and light and vivaciousness of the summer and the coming full harvest of everything that’s been growing. I like to celebrate this Sabbat by creating a fall/harvest wreath for my front door and spending some time in reflection of what my goals are for the rest of the year. Lammas/Lughnasah always feels like we’re turning a corner to me. August is usually the month kiddos go back to school, we start heading into fall activities, and it’s the last ditch effort to enjoy summer.

I used to, before I had to completely cut grains out, make a braided loaf of bread that day as well. This year for Lammas I’ll probably figure out a way to make some sort of braided or special bread.


Something I will be incorporating into the celebrations of the Sabbats this year is creating my own incense blends for each Sabbat and also doing unique tarot spreads. The beauty of celebrating the Wheel of the Year is that there is no requirement for actually doing anything for any of the Sabbats. It is solely up to you for how much you celebrate or don’t; how much you put together, or if when the day rolls around, things just aren’t working, that’s okay too.

There is something deliciously rebellious about breaking away from traditional holidays and returning to the deep roots of this earth.

For anyone wanting to explore more, please feel free to browse through my Pinterest Wheel of the Year board!