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.

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.

The Journey I’ve Been On – on becoming a Druidess

Truth be told, this is merely one of many blogs I’ve written on over the past decade. I see blogs as a way to merge my ever shifting thoughts and beliefs with the world I live in and my interests, however fleeting they may be. 

I discovered writing as a way to release the chaos in my head and soul when I was a young girl. But I have never been able to traditionally journal. Having so many health issues, specifically issues with my hands and wrists, holding a pen or pencil for any length of time makes the constant low-grade inflammation in my hands and wrists blaze alight. I never felt like I could keep up with the thoughts in my head with a pen on paper anyway. Blogging was a way for me to not only keep up, but also edit and easily rewrite something when I didn’t feel like it accurately expressed the thoughts in my head. 

Writing was one of the few things my abusive and toxic ex-parents couldn’t take away from me. Despite having inherited the gift of words from my father, I have worked hard to claim this gift as my OWN. When I chose to open this blog, I had a feeling it would have to become public as some point. I have never been able to live for long in the shadows. I was forced to live my childhood isolated and alone and I have promised myself *never again.* When I left Christianity roughly 6 years ago, I felt equally relieved and lonely as I felt a tiny hole reveal itself in my spirit; I was made for spirituality, but not the spirituality religion tried to promise. When I moved to the soul-freeing state of Colorado 4 years ago, I felt an even deeper pull towards the mythical, the mystic, the spiritual energies of witch-hood. But even then, I had a lot more junk to remove from my soul and heart. It was not time. 

I came across this article NUMBER OF WITCHES RISES DRAMATICALLY ACROSS U.S. AS MILLENNIALS REJECT CHRISTIANITY a few days ago and it really got me thinking. I don’t particularly care for the title, as I would say that a lot of my peers are not “rejecting” per se, it’s more of a shrugging off the toxic confines of a religion that has damaged and broken them. As the state of the country and world falls into more and more disrepair, I believe there are many of us who are feeling the waning of positive energies and are fighting to restore balances that desperately need to be healed. 

It’s taken me 6 years to finally be to a place where my heart and soul are ready to allow spirituality to be reborn. Honestly, almost every christian who spouts their beliefs still make me want to puke and make me all ragey, but I am moving past that. The vitriol I feel towards [most] christians is merely a glimpse of how badly and severely that religion broke and tried to destroy me. It seems the farther I get from that religion the less tolerance I have for [almost all of] those inside of it. 

*note: I have several friends who are still Christians, and these feelings are not directed towards them. I have more tolerance for them as I know them personally and even have respect for them for not pushing their beliefs on me or scorning me for my beliefs. 

The path I’ve chosen and have been slowly working towards has been revealing itself tenfold over the past 6 months. When I went through my deconstruction period, erasing the toxicity of christianity, I went that path alone. Only my therapist knew the truth depth of what I was processing and fighting with. The reason for that was because I wanted to make sure every single fucking decision I made was MY and MINE alone. It worked, when I rose out of the deep darkness it took for me to peel off all of the brokenness I felt freed and able to see clearly for the first time. Every time, since then, that my beliefs have shifted or fallen away or solidified, I have done it alone. Which, by the way, is an extremely lonely and alone place to be in. But it is what has been needed to restore any confidence I have in my own mind and ability to make decisions. 

Shortly upon moving to Colorado, I had reached out to several Wiccan covens, but I never followed up on any of the responses I got. Over the years I have learned to listen closely to my intuition and it has never directed me wrong. When my gut said it wasn’t time to approach Wicca, I walked away. And my gut was correct; shortly after that, I entered a massive struggle with my health that only now, after 3 1/2 years, is coming to a place of hopefully balance and healing. When I went to the Mermaid Divine Feminine retreat back in August, it was the first my intuition dove forward and spent the entire weekend whispering in my ear “you’ve come home, my darling, it is time.” I spent most of that weekend in tears reveling in the incredible homecoming feeling surrounding me. 

I had realized a year or two ago that Wicca was not for me. I spent 15 years in an organized religion and I am still saying never again 6 years later. Although Wicca is very closely related to where my spirituality has landed, it is too organized, too close in structure to the organized religion I grew up in. And as I have delved more into my Irish heritage, I have found my peace with joining with my ancestors and the beliefs that are ancient. I have found my deities to worship and honor. I am overwhelmed with the equal level on which I can approach these Goddesses. There is no shame, there is no guilt that I didn’t pray or read my religion texts today. There is a deep sense of power and worth that I have been given and have found through the communion I’ve with my Goddesses. There is a harmony between my beliefs and my daily life. I don’t feel any need to have a balance of when I do my “religious” practices and when I do my day to day life tasks. 

This harmony has given me so much grounding and balance in my heart and soul. How I go about worshiping and honoring my deities is solely on my terms, it is wholly my spiritual practice and there is no to be accountable to anyone other than myself. 

What has drawn me to calling myself a Druidess is that I deeply desire to carry on the vocal traditions of passing down knowledge of the Irish deities. I am drawn to the Morrigan who is closely tied with the Goddess whose name I carry. I am drawn to the beauty and power and balance between death and life the Irish deities hold. The powerful circle of life and death is heavily worshiped and almost every God or Goddess of the Irish Ancients is both a God/Goddess of life AND death. It’s honoring the cycles of healing and destruction, it’s respecting that there is a time for death and lifting up the darkness while allowing the light to be reborn and life to start again. It is so beautiful it makes me teary as I enter into those cycles. Being a Druidess has given me the tools for honoring my own life and the things I have been through and am still going through. Being a Druidess has given me the words to understand the gifts I have been given, including the ability I have always had of being able to look at someone and see their soul. My intuition is powerful and it is only where it is because I have given myself space and permission to be the being I’m meant to be. 

For the first time in my life, I feel whole; complete; not lacking or missing anything. I have stepped into my birthright and through doing so I am claiming the power and healing that has been mine all along but I couldn’t see it. It is a heady feeling stepping into my own. It feels like lying down in a soft and fluffy bed after a hard day of being on your feet all day long. It’s that feeling of standing under a stream of hot water after you’ve been freezing all day. It’s that feeling of receiving a hug from your very favorite person. It’s that feeling of finding a word that perfectly describes exactly what you’re feeling. 

It’s that feeling of coming home. 

And So It Is. 

Working With The Morrigan – meandering thoughts

I recently discovered my library system does inter-library loans and through that program I was able to get a book called Celtic Lore & Spellcraft of the Dark Goddess – Invoking The Morrigan

This book is a book I definitely want to own. It is a detailed description of all three Morrigan sisters, and their myths and legends, and their associations. I am in awe of this book and the information it contains. I also found out some more information about the divine being I am named after. It is thought, that as Medb was said to be born in the Cave of Cruachan, which is the cave the Morrigan called home, that Medb very well may be the Morrigan’s daughter. This makes sense to me as I feel a tight connection between the Morrigan and Medb. The connection holds notes of a mother-daughter connection and that means a lot to me. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it is about Paganism that resonates so deeply with me. Part of it is this amazing give and take between the deities you worship and yourself. I love the space that’s given for the whims and wiles of the deities and that it’s expected for them to have emotional pulls and shifts. It’s allowed just as we are allowed, in our human forms, to have the up and downs of emotions. 

There is also, especially in the Celtic deities I am getting initiated with, an emphasis on the cycles of life – Life, Death, Rebirth. There is no guilt or shame associated with the Goddesses I am learning about and am holding sacred space for. For the past two weeks, my body has been in the throes of flare ups with my chronic illnesses. When that happens, my mind shuts down to just the bare minimum. The incredible thing was that during that time, I was not able to focus or doing any rituals or dig deeper into my connection to the Morrigan. Instead of feeling guilty or ashamed that I was letting my deity “down” I felt their compassion and willingness to give me space and time for my body to recover. They have been sitting there patiently waiting for me, no pressure given to me to commune with them. 

This is such a difference from my previous experiences with religion. I am now in a place where I am connecting with and communing with Goddesses who want to get to know me as much as I want to get to know them. I used to struggle with how I could practice paganism and keep up with my daily life as a mother and home-maker. Now I know it is about harmony; my deities are with me throughout my day, I see the beauty around me as I go about my daily life, and I commune with them as I have a moment of time here and there. 

It’s a beautiful thing, finding not only balance, but harmony when it comes to your beliefs. I am aware of a contentment within my soul and heart that has been missing for almost all of my life. I am aware of the fierceness with which the Morrigan is taking an interest in me and entering in to my life. My experiences so far with Badb has been evidence of how much she wants to bring up the deeply hidden trauma scars and help me scrap those out so I can fully heal. 

There is no hiding and there is no disguising the pain I still carry from my past. I went to see my former therapist yesterday for a session with her. I know that in combination with her help and the help of the Morrigan, I am about to make great strides forward. It’s going to be rough, and painful, and exhausting, but it will be worth it.