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.

The Celtic Ogham – 1st & 2nd Aicme

I felt it would be neglectful to ignore the Celtic Ogham as I am leaning into my Celtic heritage and origins. I ordered a lovely Ogham set from an Etsy Shop in Wales, it did take a month to arrive, but it was worth the wait!

I was first exposed to the Ogham (pronounced Oh-mm) in one of my favorite Dark Goddess books, Celtic Lore & Spellcraft of the Dark Goddess – Invoking the Morrigan, by Stephanie Woodfield.

There is a whole section on divination which of course included Tarot cards, but the Ogham are the primary source of divination mentioned. The Ogham is believed to have been the Druids’ alphabet which is intriguing in and of itself as the Druids were known as teaching and practicing their art only verbally. It is difficult to know where or how exactly the Ogham originated as the Christian/Catholic priests erased or considered the verbally spoken myths and beliefs irrelevant.

Traditional Ogham sets have 25 symbols, but mine only has 20. I have noticed that they are separated into sets of 5 called aicme (pronounced ack-meh), namely for how the symbols are drawn. The first 5 are drawn with lines going towards the right, the second 5 with lines going towards the left. The third set of 5 has the lines at an angle going from left to right, and then the fourth set of 5 has lines crossing in the middle. The last set of 5 are unique individually and don’t seem to follow the same pattern at the first four sets. Something very important to understand about the Ogham is that is it drawn or written from the bottom up. So when drawing the symbols, you start on the lowest part and work your way up. Same when writing with the Ogham, a word is put together with the first letter at the bottom and the last letter at the top. See in the example below.

https://www.claddaghdesign.com/custom-jewelry/a-guide-to-the-ogham-alphabet

I have honestly only really learned the first 10 Ogham. This is because I am taking my time learning them and trying to commit them to memory. There is a lot of energy that each Ogham holds, and frankly, I don’t want to miss any of what I need to learn. A sort of frustrating thing about ancient divination practices is that there isn’t always a lot of continuity. I am finding that to be true with the 5 different aicme, some of the names of the trees they represent aren’t consistent, but it appears the letters each symbol stand for are.

So without further adieu, here are the first 2 aicme of the Ogham

The Ogham

1st Aicme –

Birch – Beith – B

This stands for the tree Birch or Beith and the letter B.

Divination Meaning – New beginnings, a fresh start. Renewal and birth.

Reversed Meaning – Let go of the past or you will remain stagnant.

Magickal Meaning – new endeavors. Invoking the God Lugh.

Rowan – Luis – L

This stands for the tree Rowan or Luis and the letter L.

Divination Meaning – Protection, being shielded from harm.

Reverse Meaning – Vulnerability to danger or negative influences. Strengthen your defenses.

Magickal Meaning – Protection Magick

Alder – Fearn – F

This stands for the tree Alder or Fearn and the letter F.

Divination Meaning – Good counsel. Intuition. Wisdom from the Otherworlds. Inspiration.

Reverse Meaning – Ignoring good advice. Not listening to your intuition.

Magickal Meaning – Seeking wisdom from the Otherworlds.

Willow – Saille – S

This stands for the tree Willow or Saille and the letter S.

Divination Meaning – Psychic flashes. Influence of the moon. Secrets revealed. Intuition.

Reverse Meaning – Being overwhelmed. Need to control your emotions. Emotional upheaval.

Magickal Meaning – Psychic work, enhancing psychic senses. Moon rituals.

Ash – Nuin – N

This stands for the tree Ash or Nuin and the letter N.

Divination Meaning – Transformation and change is possible. Magick and shape shifting.

Reverse Meaning – Not taking control of your circumstances, feeling powerless.

Magickal Meaning – Transformation magick, creating change in one’s life.


2nd Aicme –

Hawthorn – Huath – H

This stands for Hawthorn or Huath and the letter H.

Divination Meaning – Overcoming obstacles, challenges. Love and complications.

Reverse Meaning – Obstacles have to be dealt with, not ignored, or trying to take the easy way out.

Magickal Meaning – Calling on the Faery folk. Overcoming obstacles.

Oak – Duir – D

This stands for the tree Oak or Duir and the letter D.

Divination Meaning – Strength, endurance, strong foundation, resilience. New doors opening.

Reverse Meaning – Misusing strengths. Weakness.

Magickal Meaning – Money magick, prosperity. Seeking Wisdom.

Holly – Tinne – T

This stands for the tree Holly or Tinne and the letter T.

Divination Meaning – Challenges/trials. Being under attack. Take action, defend yourself.

Reverse Meaning – Running from life’s challenges. Going around the problem instead of facing it.

Magickal Meaning – Protection Magick

Hazel – Coll – C, K

This stands for the tree Hazel or Coll and the letters C, K.

Divination Meaning – Ancestral wisdom. Wisdom being passed on. Inspiration.

Reverse Meaning – Ignorance, disillusionment.

Magickal Meaning – Manifesting wishes and desires. Seeking wisdom.

Apple – Quert – Q

This stands for the tree Apple or Quert and the letter Q.

Divination Meaning – Regeneration and Healing

Reverse Meaning – Needing to take time to rest and regenerate your strength.

Magickal Meaning – Healing. Honoring the ancestors.


I am still working on learning Runes, but the Celtic Ogham has pulled my attention in deep. There is such a richest with this form of divination and truth be told, it pulls me in more than Tarot does. But instead of rushing into getting all the “right” tools and clothes or what have you, I am thoroughly enjoying taking my time. I am finding that the Ogham that I have learned so far are really sticking in my struggling memory.

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!

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

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

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

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

Ostara/Spring Equinox, March 20th

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

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

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

Here’s the recipe I used!

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

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

Beltane – April 30th/May 1st

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

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

Litha/Summer Solstice – June 20-23

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

Lammas/Lughnasah – August 1st

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

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


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

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

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

Blessed Ostara – Spring Equinox – Full Moon

Welcome to Spring!! And welcome into Aries season.

Yesterday was Ostara/Spring Equinox and I spent the day cleansing my space and preparing a feast for dinner last night. I did four things in particular for celebration of Ostara –

1. created/painted/filled a wooden intentions egg,
2. cleansed my front door and drew a protection sigil under my front mat,
3. made low carb, dairy free, grain free, and sugar free hot cross buns and Greek seasoned brisket for dinner, and last but not least,
4. sat with my Ostara Tarot cards last night to receive the messages I need to keep in mind for this next season.

Wishing or Intention Eggs

I followed Moody Moons’ directions for creating the wishing or intention eggs. I wasn’t able to find fillable wooden eggs in time, so I ended up going with a medium sized wooden Russian doll. Sure, it doesn’t really have the right “egg” shape, but I honestly wasn’t bothered by that.

Above in the picture are all of the items I gathered, besides the little piece of paper I wrote my intentions on, for the wishing eggs.

  • 1 wooden egg/cylindrical wooden container
  • biodegradable glitter
  • spring colored paint
  • burlap ribbon
  • medallion or old earrings

I worked on the egg throughout the day, finishing it as the moon was rising and stuck it in my window that receives full moonlight during full moons. Feel free to check out Moody Moons’ post about what she did with her eggs!

my egg this morning after the full moon last night.

Front Door Cleansing/Sigil Drawing

A few months ago I finally found a string of bells on a rope that is now wrapped around my front door handle. These bells are intended to help protect and make it more difficult for negative energy to enter the sacred and safe space that is my home. But in an effort to increase the protection around my front door, I made eggshell chalk from powdered eggshells and created a protection sigil.

I have struggled with sigils before and felt like I couldn’t draw well enough to create my own. I decided that this protection sigil and ritual was important enough to me that I would try again. So I sat down Tuesday afternoon and started working on the phrase I wanted to use.

I’ll do another post specifically about sigils another time, but for now, here are some pictures of what my process was.

The phrase I chose is “This Space Is Protected.” I then went through it, crossing out every vowel, then took the remaining letters, crossing out all duplicate letters. That left me with the letters “T H S P C R D.”

As you can see in the paper to the far right of some of the pictures, I had started playing with the letters and trying to create a sigil with their shapes. The pieces of paper with the progression of the sigil are when I started realizing how the sigil wanted to flow and I allowed my hands to follow the instincts I was being given. The sigil surrounded by four crystals is the finished sigil. I knew I needed the “S” to be most prominent. The “S” stands for space, sacred, and safe. All things embodying the root of the sigil.

Yesterday morning as the bright sunlight warmed my front door, my 4 1/2 year old and I cleaned and wiped down the front door. I lit a bundle of sage and used the smoke to help clear out the space. As I prepared for drawing the sigil, I unwrapped my eggshell chalk.

Honestly, I will be creating a different recipe for future eggshell chalk. The recipe I had was pretty decent, but the chalk itself was completely stuck to the paper I had wrapped it in. But enough of that, moving back to the ritual!

Note about eggshells – eggshells are considered powerful and can be used for protection charms. By crushing up cleaned and dried eggshells, you can use the powder to sprinkle along your windowsills or doorways, or to dust your hands with before dealing with a negative person/situation/energy. It isn’t a bad idea to keep a small jar of powdered eggshells in your witchery cabinet or shelf.

I took my finished sigil and careful drew it under the space normally occupied by my door mat. My front porch is slated rougher wood so the chalk did not want to show up on the wood. However, it did leave a scratched in sigil and I believe that sigil will be there for as long as we live in this place.

I carefully replaced the mat and my 4 1/2 year old and I stood on the mat over the sigil and held our hands up to our chests as we sent our energy into the sigil to activate it. My kiddo really loved being able to help me out with the ritual and it was a sweet moment as we stood there in our bare feet, the sun warming up our toes, as we activated the sigil together.

LC/DF/GF/SF Hot Cross Buns

One of the traditional foods for Ostara is Hot Cross Buns. But, due to my now extensive food restrictions, I can’t eat a traditional hot cross bun. Off I went to my faithful Pinterest boards to see if I could find a paleo/dairy free/grain free recipe. I found this one, and actually had all the ingredients!


Low Carb Hot Cross Buns – Ditch the Carbs

Icing

Instructions

Low Carb Hot Cross Buns

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the eggs and mix.
  3. Add the boiling water and mix until evenly combined.
  4. Roll into 8 equal balls and place on a baking tray.
  5. Bake in a fan assisted oven at 180C/350F for 20-30 minutes until golden on the outside and cooked in the centre.

Icing

  1. Mark each hot cross bun with a cross using the powdered sweetener confectioners/icing mix and water paste.

I actually used a small digital food scale when measuring out the coconut flour and psyllium husks, but there is an option over at Ditch the Carb’s recipe to have US measurements.

I made a few changes – first being, I used powdered psyllium husks, and second, used a mixture of cinnamon, ground cloves, and cardamon for the mixed spice. I also added cacao tidbits into the dough instead of raisins or chocolate chips. I was a little hestitant using coconut flour but I honestly can’t taste the coconut at all! I used up the rest of my Swerve sweetener between the 2 tbsp the recipe calls for, and then grinding the rest in my mortar and pestle to created the powdered sweetener for the icing.

When the buns got out of the oven, they were surprisingly fluffy and while they have a fairly typical psyllium husk kind of chewiness, day old buns actually taste amazing! Just be aware that they aren’t going to taste like normal bread. But if you’re like me and haven’t eaten “real bread” in quite a few years, then these will taste quite heavenly!

Ostara Tarot

A sister-goddess tagged me in a post on Instagram for an Ostara tarot spread and I decided to go ahead an use the layout instead of just laying the cards out as I usually do.

These are the three cards I pulled from my Ostara Tarot deck

For the Egg, I pulled The World.

For The Seed, I pulled the 2 of Swords.

For The Sun, I pulled Justice.

All three of these cards spoke heavily to where I am right now, and even more so to where I’m moving to. There have been a lot of closing final doors, ending what I thought were friendships, and shedding unneeded situations and responses. I can feel the fires within starting to blaze brightly as we have crossed into Aries, are at the beginning of the Astrological year, and many new things are coming forth.

Blessed Spring my loves, thank you for reading.

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. 

The Morrigan – Badb

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

What Led Me To Paganism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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