Mothers Who Can’t Love

Content Warning: sexual abuse, rape, incest, emotional abuse

Three and a half years ago, I published a book about my childhood, deconstruction from Christianity, and how I had begun transitioning into the mystic. Barely a year later, I was hit with a massive wrecking ball – memories of having been raped as a child by my own father returned.

I know I’ve had another book sitting in me and waiting to be written. I am two years from those memories returning, and I know it is now time. For the past week I have been starting to slowly re-piece together my story in book form. By doing so, I have realized just how much I wrote about having been sexually abused but not consciously being aware of the truth. I used to hold the believe that my mother was just as much of a victim as I was against my father’s abuse. When my memories returned, an entire story line burst open. A story of how my mother never loved me. How she bent over backwards to make sure I hated my life; hated myself. A story of how she used every opportunity to take her jealousy and disgust of me out on me.

I had all the pieces of what she did to me, but I couldn’t see the whole picture. I was missing the thing that tied it all together; my childhood rape. I thought she was just lashing out at me because of how my dad treated her. The trickle down effect, ya know?

Through my mother’s treatment of me and the things she’s said to me, I thought I was just a despicable child. I knew there was something wrong with me. I knew I was disgusting and I was terrified if she actually could see into my mind. Besides, she constantly reinforced the idea that I was a disgrace to her.

As the missing memories began to fill in the gaps in the story of my mother’s treatment of me, I felt like I had been sucker punched. But also deeply validated. I firmly believe that she knew that my dad had raped me. But instead of standing by me and fiercely defending and protecting me, she took her disgust and anger at what he had done out on me.

I have no memories of my mother being affectionate to me. I have no memories of receiving hugs from her or feeling safe and warm or feeling protected. It was me against the world and my own house wasn’t safe.

And yet, I somehow am managing to not repeat the same cycles with my children. They are teaching me about giving and receiving affection just like I am teaching them that it’s okay to say no and to protect their boundaries.

Acknowledging and holding space for the damage my mother’s abuse caused is difficult. I’m doing it anyway, but I am holding space for my younger self’s heartbreak. It’s taken over 2 decades for me to get to a place where I’m okay with my body. I don’t feel like it’s the disgusting thing my mother always said it was. I love the shape of my curves and the fact that my body has created two new lives. I cry though for the pain my younger self experienced daily, and the self-doubt and belief that she was the cause of all of the family’s problems. My heart wrenches as the echoes of that pain still touch me to this day.

I wrote several thousands pages in the new book yesterday. I woke up yesterday morning at 4:40am with the last words of a dream ringing through my head. My mother was in the dream, but I was separated from her the entire dream. There was this weird kidnapping scene, I was with a sister, but not one of my sisters in this life time. We managed to escape and made it to where my mother was supposed to be. We were met by a personal assistant kind of person who kept going on and on about a bunch of weird details. I finally stopped her and asked her where my mother was. She just looked at me and said “oh, she’s dead.” To which I then woke up.

This is the not the first dream I’ve had of my mother dying or being at death’s door. The feelings that ripped through my body as I lay there in bed trying to process was of tearful relief. I believe the dream was pushing me forward to finish these last layers that exist in my mother wound. I felt like I was walking around with a bleeding and gaping wound on my back yesterday. I did a Lion’s Gate tarot spread yesterday, got some amazing cards and direction, but felt prompted to pull a 9th card.

I pulled the 9 of wands – the card of the final challenge, battle. The card of picking yourself back up, wounded and broken, and still continuing to fight to victory. It’s a fire card too and I certainly felt that burning fire ripping through me, burning away the pain and leaving the ashes behind for something to start anew.

So I’m standing tall, pulling myself up and facing these wounds and the deep dark pain. I’m going to do my younger self proud and give her the respect and space she always deserved but never got.

The Celtic Ogham – 3rd & 4th Aicme

For the first two aicme sets, check out my previous post! 

A complication about learning the Ogham has again surfaced. Due to there not being a lot of information about Druidic practices, there is even less information about their alphabet; The Ogham. No one (currently alive) know who or how the first Ogham were created. There are, like many other aspects of Druidic practices, myths and stories, but nothing known for sure.

It is said that the Celtic God Ogma was the one who created the symbols. But even that is not a straight forward story. Something I was able to find just today through my research was that the 5th Aicme is actually not considered an actual part of the Ogham. It was a much later addition and I’ve noticed that the few Ogham sets I’ve been able to find do not have that 5th Aicme. I’m in the process of getting the 5th Aicme made by the person I bought my original set from.

That said, here’s the 3rd and 4th Aicme.

The Ogham

3rd Aicme

Vine – Muin – M

This stands for Vine or Muin and the letter M.

Divination Meaning – Harvest. Successful completion of a project. Celebrations.

Reverse Meaning – Indulging in excess. Intoxication.

Magickal Meaning – Prosperity magick. Bringing goal to fruition.

Ivy – Gert – G

This stands for the plant Ivy or Gert and the letter G.

Divination Meaning – Breaking down barriers, perseverance and persistence.

Reverse Meaning – Feeling constricted, restrictions, ruthlessness.

Magickal Meaning – Luck, overcoming obstacles.

Broom – Ngetal – NG

This stands for the tree Broom or Ngetal and the letters NG

Divination Meaning – Healing. Sweeping away negative energies.

Reverse Meaning – Illness or disease. The need for healing.

Magickal Meaning – Emotional balance. Cleansing rituals. Banishing negativity.

Blackthorn – Straif – ST, SS, Z

This stands for the tree Blackthorn or Straif and the letters ST, SS, and Z.

Divination Meaning – Division, conflict. The need to establish healthy boundaries between yourself and others.

Reverse Meaning – Allowing yourself to be open for an attack; emotionally or physically.

Magickal Meaning – Establishing boundaries.

Elder – Ruis – R

This stands for the tree Elder or Ruis and the letter R.

Divination Meaning – knowledge from experience. Moving forward, sheding old habit. Transformation, the end of one cycle, beginning of a new one.

Reverse Meaning – Regrets. Holding on to the past.

Magickal Meaning – Faery magick. Transformation.


4th Aicme

Pine – Ailm – A

This stands for the tree Pine or Ailm and the letter A.

Divination Meaning – Initiations. Birth and death, beginning of a new phase in life. Foresight and farsightedness. Clear view of a situation.

Reverse Meaning – Not seeing situation clearly, blindness, inability to see truth.

Magickal Meaning – purification magick. Clear sight. Divination.

Gorse – Ohn – O

This stands for the tree Gorgse or Ohn and the letter O.

Divination Meaning – Sexuality, passion, love, relationships.

Reverse Meaning – Lack of passion in relationships, career, or projects.

Magickal Meaning – Love magick. Invoking Sun Gods/Goddesses. Gathering information, uncovering the truth.

Heather – Ur – U, W

This stands for the plant Heather or Ur and the letters U and W.

Divination Meaning – Healing. Creating sacred balance. Love and fertility.

Reverse Meaning – Being out of balance. Imbalance; physical or emotional or spiritual.

Magickal Meaning – Healing and love spells, fertility.

Aspen – Eadha – E

This stands for the tree Aspen or Eadha and the letter E.

Divination Meaning – Overcoming doubt and fear. Overcoming obstacles. Inner guidance.

Reverse Meaning – Being paralyzed by doubts and fears.

Magickal Meaning – Banishing negative emotions. Honoring the dead.

Yew – Ioho – I, J, Y

This stands for the tree Yew or Ioho and the letters I, J, and Y.

Divination Meaning – Death and rebirth. A time of transitions and change.

Reverse Meaning – Grief. Inability to accept change.

Magickal Meaning – Transformation magick. Honoring ancestors. Summoning spirits.


I have yet to firmly plant the 3rd and 4th Aicmes into my brain, but I am starting to realize just how much tree magick influences my thoughts and my life. I am noticing the kinds of trees as I’m driving around and remembering what the trees stand for and their magickal properties. Honestly, learning the Ogham has impacted me more than any tarot deck I’ve picked up and I kind of love it.

Recover – Restore – Reclaim

Potential Trigger warnings - childhood sexual abuse, trauma. 

I just passed the anniversary of my childhood sexual abuse memories coming back. As it was last year, this year brought another layer of memories and trauma remnants I had to sift through. There’s been an awareness that’s awoken within me as I’ve peeled the layers back. As that awareness has grown, the more I’ve felt the uneasiness and shifting that happens as I confront the toxic pain within me.

I am becoming more and more convinced that the longer you hold on to, or continue perpetuating the generational cycles of trauma every person holds, the more sick and more “messed up” you’ll become. This is not an option for me. I am doing everything I can in the present moment to shed and release and end the cycles of abuse and trauma. It is nothing anyone else can do for me. It has to be my decision and my choice to step into the tangled up mess.

I’ve known for a while that a massive shifting was coming and I knew this week would bring it. I’ve been gearing up for the shift and I knew it would be a difficult battle – but a battle I would win as long as I willingly entered the fray. I felt things starting to move over this past weekend and two nights ago it reached its peak. I still have one more significant thing to move, but what I did two nights ago was absolutely incredibly healing.

I chose the bath, as I don’t have any other body of water to use as a medium, and settled in to face what was coming. I chose to use a vehicle of Dragon Shakti Breathwork to allow for me to enter that transcended realm so I could do the work I needed to do. It didn’t take long to drop in, but I remember having a moment of “do you really want to do this? You are passing the threshold and there will be no turning back.” My immediate response was a resounding YES. I have learned that to hesitate, to allow things to stew, is how things are not processed or released.

The journey I was embarking on was a soul retrieval ritual. I was stepping outside of time and traveling to the aftermath of having been sexual abused as a 4 year old. I knew a piece, a rather large piece, of my soul has been ripped from me and left there. I have felt her missing and have felt lost and disconnected and split within myself. The more aware I become of my own spirit and the way it is intertwined with the magick around us, the more I’ve felt that massive missing piece.

Spirit and my ancestors and their magick was with me, pushing me forward, and guiding me to where I needed to go. I was going in to battle and it was a fight I was willing to face. It took but a moment to find her and enter that moment. She was sunk in the corner of the room I remembered, curled in on herself, lost and broken. We have spoken before when the memories first broke through two years ago. But this meeting was for the purpose of bringing her home and restoring our soul. I held her in my arms and sobbed over our pain and the destruction that happened in that moment. I cannot go into details of everything we talked about or what she told me, but when I asked if she would come back with me and help me restore our soul, she said yes with two conditions. She released her hold on that place and returned with me to this current place in time. She has brought such a sense of joyous wonderment and has restored joy within me that has been lost for a very very long time.

One of the conditions she gave me was that I forgive the man who had done this to us. I have struggled with the entire concept of forgiveness for the past decade. That word and action was used to manipulate and guilt me as a child. My ex-father, yes the man who sexually abused me, would yell at us with those demon possessed eyes on the way to church, demanding forgiveness. Forgiveness was a hall pass. If someone said “I forgive you” then there was no responsibility taken for what was done. It was the clean slate without having to change behavior.

But my heart has been shifting towards that word lately. One of the things I need to be able to do as I go through this Shamanic initiation is to forgive and bless those who seek to harm me. It’s seeing and acknowledging the human and the pain others hold. Forgiving my father for what he did to me is one thing, forgiving my mother is another and one I will have to approach at another time when I am ready to finish facing that massive wound.

I exited the bathtub feeling deeply released and feeling a new sense of life within me. I felt for the first time that I could truly forgive the man who wrecked so much havoc on my life. My younger self had already given me the words so I gathered up my cauldron, a piece of clean paper and a pencil with the crystals I had used during the soul retrieval.

This forgiveness does not mean that I will be allowing this man back into my life. This forgiveness means that I see and acknowledge his own wounds and it was through those wounds that he harmed me. I created the sigil you see above as a further releasing and way to add more power to my forgiveness. I do forgive my father for the damage he caused to me. I forgive him for ripping me to shreds. I forgive him for acting out his own pain on me. I do sincerely hope that maybe one day he can forgive himself.

As I watched the paper burn and watched that sigil disappear in flames and smoke, I knew it was done. A weight has been lifted and it is done.

And So It Is.

Asking For The Return of Moon Blood

Potential Trigger warnings - Menstrual blood, childhood sexual abuse, trauma. 

Two years ago the memories of what had been done to me as a child of the age of 4 came back. It was a few of the most excruciating and clearing months I have ever had. I felt like I had finally gotten all of the pieces of the puzzle that is my life, all while being almost destroyed by layers of shame, guilt, and pain from what had been done to me.

When I received my first cycle at the age of 11, my very very first thought at seeing blood in my underwear was “not again.”

Sit with that.

An 11 year old girl, the oldest and first child in her family to get a moon cycle, and that’s what she first thought.

“Not again.”

From that moment on, the sight and pain of my cycle arriving always brought terror and horrific nausea and pain. There was nothing “good” about it. Nothing pure, nothing healthy, or releasing.

Seeing that moon blood when we were trying for our first, and seeing it for 20+ months in a row was heartbreaking and depressing.

I used to daydream about never bleeding every again and despite how extremely difficult pregnancy was on my body, both times I carried a child were the best since I didn’t bleed for a blissful 9ish months.

I chose an elective surgical procedure a year ago this month which included my OBGYN burning away the entire lining of my uterus. So I wouldn’t bleed. Because of that childhood trauma, and then being made fun of from the moment my ex-mother found out that I had gotten my first period, removing that physical blood was 100% the right decision.

But.

Things have changed.

Two months after having the endometrial ablation done, I attended an incredible gathering that brought about my {re}initiation into the Pagan. The entire gathering was surrounded by challenging and breaking down the taboos about bleeding and moon blood and creating a beautiful healing perspective on what that blood means. I spent almost the entire time there crying because it was the first time I had ever heard of moon blood being a GOOD thing, a beautiful thing, a releasing thing.

See, the womb holding body is cyclical. As we move through a cycle, we start with a shedding of everything that we drew within ourselves and releasing of any energies that need to leave. Through returning that blood to Gaia, we are completing a cycle of life and death and rebirth. Just as the moon goes through her cycles in the sky, our bodies mimic that rhythm. To honor and acknowledge the power of our moon blood is to return to the ways of old when wisdom flowed freely and our ancestors knew the secrets of releasing and shedding.

I’ve been holding uneasy space for memories of my childhood sexual abuse over the past 3 weeks, and this week in particular is when the memories started fully breaking through 2 years ago. And for the first time I’m asking for that return of my blood so I can fully and deeply release the last memories and pain from my past. I feel the need to really press in to this. My desire is to create a sigil to draw over my womb while I go through a ritual of asking the Dark Goddess for my moon blood’s return. I will post more when I’m deeper in to this asking.

I believe in the power of the Divine Feminine and restoring wholeness. I am remaining open to whatever this return will look like.

Introducing – Shadow Rose Herbs & Co.

Shadow Rose Herbs & Co.

Websitehttps://shadowroseherbsco.com/

Shophttps://shadowroseherbsco.patternbyetsy.com/

So for the past few weeks, I have been working on and building up a new “business” venture. I say “business” because while yes, I will be selling herbal remedies, it is also something I am creating to hold space for those of us with deeply rooted trauma and to facilitate that healing.

Shadow Rose Herbs & Co was born a few weeks ago when I wrote down a list of 8 different business names. I then showed that list of names to a handful of people and asked them to pick the one that stood out the most and/or fit me the most. Every single person picked Shadow Rose. It, ironically, was the very last name on the list. It was the name I had written down after about 10 minutes of just staring at the list waiting for the last name to come.

My relationship with the rose has been tumultuous. I used to love the look of roses when I was a child, and the very first flower my partner ever gave me was a singular white rose. When we finally got to go on our first official date, he brought me a dozen white roses. But, the moment he walked in the door, my mother grabbed the roses and said “oh are these for me??” I was made fun of for liking roses – “you just like them because everyone likes roses.” I decided I kind of really hated roses.

But, the rose has continued to show up for me. Dried rosebuds was the first dried herb I ever purchased. It was the first thing I knew I needed to add to start creating my dried herb pantry. Then two months ago, I attended the Red Tent and the entire ceremony was about roses. That’s when I finally started giving in to the incredible depth of beauty AND darkness roses hold.

Whenever I started into creating a new space – whether that be a new blog, business idea… – the name is always first for me. The name is the foundation on which I start building. A month ago, 4 different people asked me multiple times why I wasn’t making and selling the herbal remedies I was using on myself and for my family. This came after several other people had asked me the same thing last year. With my health finally being a place where it’s not at the forefront of my mind, and my job has cooled down as well, I felt like it was time to start really pushing forward with opening an herbal shop.

So why the name I chose?

I was struck by how much darkness and shadows roses hold. Sure, you have the beautiful bloom and almost everyone just sees that, but have you seen the thorns? Have you see how intensely protective the rose bush can get? The thorns make it impenetrable, impossible to enter to the center of the plant. It is said there is lore of the rose being a symbol of carrying secrets. The rose holds a lot of history in legends and lore from many cultures.

The Shadow part of the name has to do with the darkness of the thorns but also symbolizes the darkness and shadows I carry being the survivor of childhood sexual abuse and childhood trauma. That is a massive part of me and one of the things I hope to do with Shadow Rose is create a safe space and products for supporting healing that kind of trauma.

Rose is to present the beauty and light that the blossoms bring to anyone who sees the rose. The vibrancy of different shades and sizes of roses. The rose is a multi purpose herb – the petals and buds are incredible to work with, but when the rose blooms die and form rosehips, this is another part of the plant equally beneficiary.

Roses aren’t just about beauty. Roses represent love, faithfulness, warnings, darkness, shadows, perseverance; roses are good for soothing and support heart grief, and bring peace with their scent.

I am still working with a sister on creating the logo for Shadow Rose Herbs & Co, but I do have an Etsy Pattern shop up and running, and a few products already ready for purchase!

Revisiting The Wheel of The Year – Mabon, Samhain, Yule, Imbolc

In this post, I’ll cover the second 4 Sabbats of the Wheel of the Year – Mabon, Samhain, Yule, and Imbolc. Feel free to go back to my previous post! Quick note first though; Beltane came up really quickly for me, and I wasn’t able to pull anything together for the actual day. The following weekend however I did a Beltane ritual with an incredible group of women. We did a ritual fire jump, and included a shedding and reclamation ritual as well. It was so beautiful and amazing to be celebrating such a fiery and powerful Sabbat with such fiery and powerful sisters. I have come to the conclusion that Beltane is best celebrated when you’re in a group instead of by yourself. Because of the incredible shifting that happens on Beltane – the move from sleeping and slowly waking up to Spring to turning it up to full blast and wildly celebrating fertility and new life and igniting the fires of passion that will carrying us into Summer – you need that joined community passion and excitement to bring life to the rituals.

Mabon – Fall Equinox, September 20-23

Mabon is my substitute for Thanksgiving. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving anymore, and damn it feels good to say that. Mabon, however, is a wonderful celebration of that last shift from Summer to Autumn heading towards Winter. It’s that time of year when the last harvests are starting to come in, the planning for the winter months has started, and it’s really a time to celebrate all that you have been given. As the days and nights are equal in length and hold a balance, look to restore that kind of balance in your life.

Some of the ways we have celebrated Mabon is creating a huge feast and inviting friends over to celebrate with us! This past September, I made a butternut squash soup, round roast, and a homemade pumpkin pie. It turned into a great evening celebrating and enjoying the company of friends. I can’t wait to plan this year’s Mabon celebration.

Here are some ideas for what you can do to celebrate Mabon!

  • Go apple picking
  • make a Mabon altar
  • cleanse your home for the fall
  • have a thanksgiving-ish feast with friends/family
  • take a few moments to yourself, or with your children, and write down the things you are grateful for

Samhain – sunset on October 31st to sunset of November 1st

Samhain – pronounced sow-en – the official beginning of winter season, the “darker half” of the year. Samhain is often associated as being a festival of the dead, and is considered one of the times of the year when veil or doorway to the Otherworld is opened and supernatural beings and the souls of the dead may come through and visit our world.

Samhain is actually the opposite Sabbat to Beltane. Beltane is the other “veil is open” Sabbat, but for some reason isn’t as associated with a festival of the dead as Samhain is.

In honor of the doorway being opened, Samhain is a really good time to honor your ancestors and spend some time looking over the past year and setting goals for the winter. Samhain is also the time to be aware of what you need to shed and what need’s be let go of that is no longer serving you. Allow the changing of the seasons to guide you.

Something that’s helpful to consider as we move into the darkness of Winter, especially when SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a factor, is how are you going to fill your home/space with light and warmth as darkness and death happens outside? Winter is a season for hibernating and allowing for rest and rebuilding strength for the return of the light at Imbolc.

Yule – Winter Solstice – December 20-25

The longest day of the year has arrived and with it means we are that much closer to the light and warmth returning! Yule, being in the middle of winter, is a time for gathering with friends in the warmth of your home, and celebrating being together. Ironically, the majority of Christmas traditions have their roots in Yule. Including, but not limited to, decorating trees, exchanging gifts, singing songs, drinking mulled wine, and reaffirming hope of Spring returning.

With having children, I am hoping to be able to plan ahead this year a bit more, and include them in some Yule celebrations. Here’s a good article about some things you can do with children.

This past Yule felt really transformative for me. Instead of feeling pressure from extended family to be there and attend their Christian church Christmas celebrations, we were able to do our own things and be at home and be together. My oldest and I picked out the decorations for our real pine tree and he helped me decorate it. It was so special to be able to do that simple ritual together and have him feel like he was included. He also picked out the other decorations I had around the house and for the first year, it actually felt really celebratory and like we had something to celebrate. My oldest even told me that we didn’t have enough decorations. It really helps having a child who is so eager to celebrate something!

Imbolc – Candlemas – February 2nd

Imbolc – pronounced im-bulk – is the Celtic Goddess Brigid’s Sabbat. Imbolc is the rekindling the Spring fires, the return of the light, and the beginning of life returning. It’s the time for seeds to be started, for the acknowledgment that we are reawakening after a long winter! Brigid is a Goddess of Fire and Light, a Sun Goddess, and is one who holds powerful healing and birthing of life in her hands.

It’s a traditional practice to create a Brigid cross on Imbolc!

I spent Imbolc this year planning out my container garden and trying to figure out which herbs and plants I wanted to plant.


Practicing and celebration the 8 Wheel of the Year Sabbats is a habit to work up to. It’s definitely not going to be an overnight switch. It’s taken me 4 years to celebrate the different Sabbats, and I’m still not where I want to be in terms of what I do for each one. So be patient with yourself if you’re just starting out. It takes time to build up this practice, and what is also helpful, is to find a coven or group of friends to celebrate with.

I spend a lot of time researching and collecting rituals and ways to celebrate each Sabbat on my pinterest board.

Feel free to look around, and maybe even start collecting ideas for your own celebrations!

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.

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

Rising in the Fire, Moving on, & Owning my Holy Wild

For almost a year, I have been digging deeper into the spiritual wild within me, and allowing that tiny spark that’s been trying to burst into flames to do so. I am learning so much more about myself, the power I carry, and the way my wounds, scars, and darkness are giving me life instead of sucking the life from me.

I am aware of how much I am shifting, especially this year. I had a break through a month or so ago and suddenly realized how many people have and are still gas lighting me. I realized how much I had been pulled under by their manipulations and this deeply rooted loyalty I have for my friends. I have, in the past, been willing to overlook a “friend” using and abusing me, because I’m there for them, and they must be going through a rough time. But no. Just N.O. That is not okay.

Over a year ago I went through a hellish health circumstance. I lost a lot of people of whom I thought were my friends. One of those being someone who decided that because my health issues were their worst nightmares, they selfishly told me that I couldn’t talk about anything I was going through because it was too triggering for them. Oh, they were so good. I would never go against what someone says is their trigger, and they knew that. But I was made to feel like I was so much less than because I was going through what they considered their worst nightmare, and heaven forbid I even dare to mention anything that I’m feeling or dealing with, it was just too much for them. Oh but, no it wasn’t personal. It sure as eff was!! Just for the record, any time anyone says “oh it’s not personal” you had better be aware it absolutely is. That is a cop out phrase and it is a classic gas lighting technique. It is meant to make the person being told that it isn’t personal feel that they are the only one at fault, they are the reason for the conversation/issue/problems. It removes ALL blame and responsibility from the other party…usually the person who should be blamed and should be taking responsibility for their own actions and what they have done to harm the other.

Yes, I am still quite angry, but I called this person out on their shit, and I was able to walk away despite their attempts to gas light me and shame me and name me at fault for all of the issues they were dealing with. I have learned to see the loyal people and the worthy people who are allowed into my life. I have learned to be brutal and cut those out who are sucking away my life force with their gas lighting and victim blaming of me. I am not the person I used to be, I am not someone who you can take advantage of anymore. I don’t usually put my foot down, but when I do, you had better be sure that’s it, I’m not coming back.

I have made many mistakes, many instances of trusting people I never should have even given the time of day to. But like many who have gone before me, I have learned from my mistakes and as I open myself up to the energies moving within and around me, I am receiving so much more power and ability to protect myself and those I love.

I have been reading, slowly, a book called The Holy Wild by Danielle Dusky.

I’m only a chapter in, and already have underlined multiple sections, but I wanted to quote one part I underlined that was extremely validating and rejuvenating to read.

“This is me, and I have survived my birth by fire. My hair is knotted, and my cheeks are stained with the tears of lost innocence and bitter disdain. I am untying the knots that kept me tethered to a life I did not want, to names I did not want to be called, and to the notation that a woman is an unchanging, steady touchstone for all who need her.”

The Holy Wild – Prayer of the Underworld Goddess Returned: My Muddy Wings Are Wide – Danielle Dusky

I am leaning into a deeply resonating rhythm that is asking me to let go and let my wings unfurl. I have talked before about being of the shadows and holding more darkness than light within me. I am not only fully accepting that part of myself, I am finding so much power and strength within those scars; the scars I once saw as shameful, but the scars I also confusingly knew were badges of courage and strength, but no one would acknowledge that.

I am a WITCH, I am a Goddess reborn, I am a Shadow Carrier, I am a Shaman in the midst of her Shamanic Initiation, I am a weapon against the shame that tries to keep us silent.

I was driving up to my company’s office on Monday and passed by what are called Hogbacks. They are literally MASSIVE shelves of rock formations that have been pushed up in a protective way in front of the foothills of the Rockies. As I watched them pass by, this vibrating thought came to me – those are Gaia’s protections. Those formations are protecting the beauty that exists behind them, She formed a literal wall of protection around magickal land. The next thought given to me was that I am also a protector. I have been given many tools of protection of myself and of those around me who are dear to me. And the only reason I am able to be a protector of others is because of the quote below.

“…this Goddess who risked it all to save no one except herself.”

The Holy Wild – Danielle Dusky

I risked every single thing to save myself and pull myself through the multiple levels of hell I’ve been through. And because of that, I have been given tools to deepen my connection and understanding of the Earth, my connection to the Moon, and the spirits and energies who exist around and in us and I am willing to help bear the burdens of others coming through those hells.

I feel like I am at a crossroads, yet again, and this time, it’s which magickal path is calling the loudest. I finally have time and mental space to give it serious thought and decide confidently on the path that is mine to walk.

Next Steps for Healing – The Red Tent

The past three years have included significant health issues reaching high peaks in January. This year, it has been on different. After a bad cancer scare last week, I sincerely hope things are moving forward with more clarity as I try to heal my body.

In the midst of getting scary test results and rushing for CT scans and MRIs, I managed to drag my exhausted body out to a Red Tent session, and it was worth it. I drove home, after that time with my fellow goddesses, feeling so much more at peace and I felt the tension just melt away.

My body was still sick, in fact, later that evening, I got even more sick and got violently ill due to a rupturing ovarian cyst. It’s been a weird paradox being so physically sick, but feeling like I’ve reached an “I’ve come home” level with my spirituality. I was able to reground at the Red Tent, but it left me pondering a few things.

It was only the second Red Tent I’ve attended, but I have started noticing a pattern with women I meet in these circles. There is an astoundingly large amount of women wrestling with healing from some sort of sexual trauma. 9 out of 10 women has experienced some sort of trauma that she is still reeling from or has recently decided to face and is working through the process of healing.

I have felt a calling for a long time to be a safe space and holding ground for my fellow beings who are facing trauma and trauma recovery. But I also know that my health and my point in life right now is not allowing me to be that space for more than 2 or 3 women right now. My mental space is not clear right now either. The Red Tent last Saturday was the first time and place where I finally felt a bit more grounded and able to take a deep breath in a long time.

Being a sexual abuse survivor, my body still carries those scars and the triggers of what happened to me. It’s been a rough journey uncovering those memories a year and a half ago, and then acknowledging and honoring the little one who sits inside of me and still asks the question “what did I do wrong?” I deeply appreciate the incredible space the Red Tent holds for women/beings who bleed who have experienced sexual trauma. That trauma in particular is so deeply intertwined with our womb space and the life force inside of us. Because of the culture we live in, and the disregard we give to beings who bleed and can sustain and make life with their bodies, our traumas are often overlooked, made fun of, or ignored. This tells us that WE are not worthy of being taken seriously, that our traumas and the scars our body holds are shameful.

The Red Tent is bringing back our power and the strength that we hold in that womb space. It is breaking down this myth that to have experienced trauma (any kind, but especially sexual trauma) makes us less than. I would argue though that that trauma experience gives us MORE power and MORE strength. More empathy and compassion. We are stronger and more able to enter the shadows and darkness. The creatures in the shadows and darkness fear us because we are not afraid of them. We do not cower because we know what exists in the darkness, and we have come forth triumphant despite it. Because of our scars, we are able to reenter the darkness and grab hold of the ones lost and broken within it. There is strength in numbers, yes, but there is also strength in the broken, the healing, the bruised, the bloodied. We are the beings who are restoring the Divine Feminine.

If you have a Red Tent circle near you, I highly recommend going at least once. The circle on Saturday evening was full of women exhausted, worn out, and yet we all held space for each other and was so much stronger because of it.