Reclaiming the Magick – breaking free of the garden

It’s been almost a decade since I started leaving behind the religion of my childhood. Well, it’s truthfully been a lot longer than that. I never truly belonged to those confining and abusive beliefs. My spirit even then knew there was more than this.

Like I shared in my previous post, I am working my way through a book called The Holy Wild: A Heathen Bible for the Untamed Woman, by Danielle Dulsky. The first section is about being a Priestess of the Wild Earth. One of the things that has struck me hard is the talk of realizing the garden – the too-small life, the place that confines and deceives – is no longer the paradise it’s been promised to be. The garden has been put in place by the patriarchy to contain and silence the Wild Feminine, and the strength of being we hold within ourselves. She, Danielle, describes what it’s like to have that first glimpse of something isn’t quite right, or that this isn’t home.

She brings in and introduces the archetypes of Lilith, Inanna, and Persephone-Kore. These are typically called Dark Goddesses, but as one who is full of shadows and lived in the darkness for so long, I see these goddesses as so beautiful and wise and powerful. During my first full initiation into the Pagan almost a year ago, Lilith came to me in a vision and reminded me that she has given me wings to fly with, I only need to open them.

When I was baptized into the Christian belief system at the age of 7, fear tactics were used to get me to say the right words. The man who sexually abused me told me what to say, fed me the right answers, and then was so proud when he dunked me under and brought me up out of the rushing waters of the Rappahannock river. I simply just wanted to belong. I wanted to feel safe. I wanted to feel that the stirrings in my spirit had a purpose. As an incredibly perceptive child, and now very intuitive adult, it was extremely confusing trying to follow the religious path laid out in front of me by people who were narcissistic hypocrites. This was my garden.

Like Lilith in the Garden allowing the wondrous snake to hand her the forbidden fruit and waking up to the dreadful illusions around her, I had my moment of awakening.

Like Inanna and Persephone, I too descended into the depths of hell to retrieve my broken and lost spirit.

I followed the rules. I was the perfect daughter. Both done out of fear of not measuring up, fear of being a disappointment, fear of being rejected. My soul and heart longed for more though. I discovered writing at a young age and by the time I was 17, had written hundreds of heartbroken poems. I am a musician/pianist, and I spent hours releasing all of the energy that had built up through my fingers dancing over the ivory keys. My fingers, my spirit, held immense amounts of magick, but it didn’t fit into the path given to me.

I felt the sorrow and grief constantly caused by instinctively knowing something wasn’t right, that this was not all there is to life. But I never had cause to break free until scales suddenly fell from my eyes, and I bit into that apple for the first time. I actually know the E X A C T moment those scales fell – it was the moment I first laid eyes on my now spouse. My guides told me in that moment, “keep an eye on this one. Your souls are intertwined and you both will need each other for what is to come.”

From that moment forward, we were pounded on by all sides by those who were determined to break our bond and destroy our joined spirits. I had suddenly taken control of the path *I* wanted to follow, and a lot of people did not like that. But it was too late, I had already taken a bite, my eyes had been opened, and the garden had turned into a dull and dirty place. I was ready to leave and start my journey away from the confines of what was determined to break and silence me.

That was almost 10 1/2 years ago, and my spouse and I are still closely tied to one another, our souls having survived absolute destruction and storms determined to tear our very beings apart. But that was the start of my awakening. My reclaiming the magick that beats so strongly inside me.

I am planning on going back through the first section of The Holy Wild and go through the various prompts suggested in the book. For now though, I know I have stopped wandering and I am honing in on my Wild Home.

picture credit – http://stregatree.com/product/working-with-lilith-goddess-of-transformation/?v=7516fd43adaa

Ending the Year of Reckoning – Entering the Year of Dancing+Triumphant

When I chose a word for the year at the end of 2017, the word Reckoning kept coming to mind. I was slowly slowly coming back up from having horrific memories of my sexual childhood abuse come back and I knew that those memories were the last pieces of the trauma I have been picking apart and healing for the past decade of my life. My healing had reached a massive head and I finally felt I had all the pieces of the puzzle that is my life. I had reached the place of being able to step back and see the massively beautiful chaotic picture.

Reckoning – an accounting, as for things received or done.

Reckoning felt like the right word; a daunting word, but the right word. I knew 2018 was going to be the year I would be facing head on some of the things I have never been able to process before. Right out of the gate, my health took an extreme nosedive and I experienced my first two ER trips ever within the first two months of the year. By March, I was in the middle of my fourth surgery of my life, and by June, my fifth. There’s that book called The Body Keeps The Score, and my body sure as hell was replaying and bringing back all of the scores its kept since my childhood. It is a draining thing, to say the least, to watch your own body seem to just deteriorate and nothing you do seem to stop it. I experienced friends drifting away, people telling me my health was too much for them to hear about. I myself withdrew into the darkness as I struggled to find doctors willing to listen to me as my inner body yelled at me. I was blessed to have an incredibly competent primary care doctor and I found a new gynecologist to help me with my major hormonal imbalance. I was officially diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, Hormonal Imbalances, Endometriosis – all this on top of my Fibromyalgia, and some kind of auto-immune issue. Oh, and I can’t forget the chronic Epstein Barr Virus I have, as well as always carrying the risk of having a bad CMV flare up every single time I get sick.

But then August arrived, and I went away for an incredibly intense and awakening magical weekend. I felt, for the first time, like I had truly come home. I mean, the moment I stepped foot in Denver almost 4 years ago felt like coming home. But this? This was a coming home of my full being and a deeply spiritual arrival. I was surrounded by women who were damaged and broken in the most beautiful way. We spent the weekend lifting each other up, holding space for each other, and allowing the magic and spirits to flow through us. It was during that weekend that I felt Goddesses calling to me and since then I have leaned into the magic I have felt in my spirit since childhood.

My journey away from the organize religion of my childhood has been completed. I have found my place, I am wholly content with where my beliefs sit, and I absolutely adore the constant shifting and growing and learning that comes with where I rest now. Every day I feel the stirrings of my magic within me, and I gaze with fondness on my little altar in the corner of my work area. I have landed on a stone that has chosen me as much as I chose it. I am prepping for beginning my own deck garden in the spring, and am gloriously hands deep in herbal infused oils. I long to get back to communing with my Goddesses, but for the time being it’s okay that I have not had space to dive in as deeply as I’d like.

I feel like I have a somewhat okay handle on my own health, and even though there are still days when my body feels like death warmed over, I’m on the right track.

One of the biggest things I’ve done this past year was drastically removing toxic and undeserving people from my life. Toxic people who have been using me and manipulating them all because I made the mistake of letting them into my vulnerable years ago. Undeserving people who have proven they are unworthy of having access to my safe spaces. It has been cleansing and releasing to cut ties with people who have tried to put me down or who have sided with my abusers. I deserve better and I am reaching for better. My life has been so full of backstabbers and people who seem to have no qualms about choosing to side with the people who have broken and abused me. I do not have time or space for anyone who tries to use me or who is unwilling to accept me for me. I refuse to water myself down or hide parts of my life because it’s too messy.

That leads me to the words that have been given to me for 2019 –

Dancing + Triumphant

One of my ex-parents recently tried to push through boundaries I clearly and firmly set up 2 1/2 years ago. Her blatant disregard for my boundaries was not triggering as it was once. If anything I was able to see clearly what she was trying to do, and I felt no self-doubts that I had made the wrong choice in cutting her off. I am stronger – oh so much stronger than I was 2 years ago. I am a fierce warrior goddess who is willing to stand her ground to the last enemy. 2019 will be my year of finally getting to dance through the storms life will throw my way. It is my year of triumphing over the trauma that tries to drown me. It is my year of moving and swaying with the flow of life. It is the year I get to move forward with confidence instead of desperately just trying not to drown. I have learned to release and grow and to allow space for the memories of the trauma I have endured to flow through me. They fucking hurt and threaten to pull me under, but they no longer have power over me.

I have learned to acknowledge and show respect to the equal parts of light and dark that I hold within me. I will always have darkness, and be one with the shadows. But I am also a being of light and a healed/healing soul. This was my year of reconciling with the shadows and welcoming them instead of hating them and feeling lost within them. I am a complete being – a broken, beautiful, whole, cyclical being.

I am excited to enter the chaos of 2019. I have no illusions it will be a pretty year, or an easy year, or a year I get to sit down and relax and throw my feet up. It will be a year of working, it will be a year of learning, but how I’m approaching the work that is coming is very different. I have a different perspective now. And that is a beautiful thing.