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.

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

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. 

Yoni Eggs, Yoni Steams & Sexual Trauma

I just recently learned about yoni eggs, and was given one a month ago. I also learned about yoni steams at the same time. Being the survivor of childhood sexual abuse means that my entire lower abdomen (uterus, vagina, labia…) is still fairly locked down despite several years now of specific healing work on that part of my body. I can see now that it was difficult to really heal before my memories came back of the sexual abuse I experienced as a child. But since becoming aware of those memories, my healing with my yoni has become so much more intentional. 

Yoni is an ancient Sanskrit term for vagina. I believe it is typically associated with Shakti and Shiva. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoni

What has been whispering and holding me for the past year and especially in the past month is a deep and burning desire to create space for fellow childhood sexual abuse survivors. Specifically ones on this journey of Paganism. I long to create and hold space for their [and my] trauma and use a growing knowledge of herbs and flowers to help initiated healing and awareness of that trauma. But I know that this desire needs to start with my own healing and my own acceptance of my shadow self.

During a retreat I recently attended I was introduced to a yoni steam. I have forgotten the specific herbs used for that yoni steam, but I remember sitting over the pot of steaming water and feeling so tense and afraid. I sure as hell didn’t want any extra awareness to my yoni. I didn’t want to be aware and then release the junk that I didn’t want to be aware of. Because of my childhood sexual abuse, I have been fighting against a traumatizing aversion to menstrual blood. As I sat there and took in the guidance of what I was suggested to do during the yoni steam, hearing that this yoni steam would help regulate cycles and help release old blood and a fuller clean out so to speak during the next moon cycle, I started panicking a bit. 

See, I had a procedure done in June that would hopefully completely stop me from bleeding during my moon cycle, or at the very least, greatly minimize bleeding. So the very thought of inducing an actually bleeding cycle was terrifying to me. During the 20 minutes I sat over the steaming pot, I slowly started to relax. I walked away from that weekend having gained a new outlook or appreciation for what my body can do and does. I walked into that weekend retreat not knowing what I was going to gain and I walked out feeling sorrow that I no longer bleed. 

I promise I’m getting to the part about yoni eggs, but just bear with me. 

I’ll be honest, my first birth was excruciatingly difficult because of my [then unknown] sexual abuse. What would have been a fairly quick first time birth, turned into 6 hours pushing because I couldn’t bring awareness to my yoni and allow for my child to pass through. My second birth [my trauma still unknown] what almost redemptive, but I had a medically necessary c-section due to my second child’s medical condition and I was so relieved. My [lack-of-a] relationship with my yoni has been complicated to say the least. So when I attended a retreat where 90% of the time was dedicated to respecting and honoring one’s yoni, I was forced to confront the rest of the trauma I am still holding in my yoni. 

When I picked out my first yoni egg, I had the choice of a Rose Quartz, Jade, or Black Obsidian. Even though I was told that obsidian is extremely powerful and not usually recommended especially for those who have sexual trauma, that was the egg I chose. More so, it chose me. She chose me and I have been working on building a relationship with the energies that egg holds. It is an intense crystal and yet, instead of throwing into an absolute mess, it has been grounding me, and giving me a chance to really appreciate the strength I do hold in my root chakra and my yoni. 

I have used it three times besides just sitting with my yoni egg and allowing myself to become connected to the energy it holds. The last time I use it, just a few mornings ago, I finally experienced the drawing and releasing I had read about. I felt her pull all of the anxiety and frustration and highly tensed emotions into her and as I released the egg, I felt all of those emotions withdraw from my spirit and body. It was relieving and grounding and I felt an intense release. 

Quick comment though: Gwyneth Paltrow did not come up with yoni eggs. I do not recommend using her site to get a yoni egg. Look for the sites that honor and respect the entirety of yoni eggs and what they stand for. Do not use one unless you understand what they are for and you have connected with the energy of the egg you choose or that chooses you. 

As a testimony of the intense work I’ve been doing the past month, I experienced my first post-surgery bleeding last week, and even though there was a moment of panic and discouragement that maybe the procedure didn’t work, my mind immediately went to how can I honor this moon blood and how can I give back to Mama Earth? It was the first time I’ve ever experienced a cycle and didn’t feel re-traumatized or ashamed or dirty. My strongest thought was “how can I honor this?” and that in and of itself marks a significant shift in my mindset and in my healing. Even dealing with endometriosis and menorrhgia, I am not fearing my moon cycle anymore.  

References for Yoni steaming
– I want to be careful with this article. I am as white as white can be, but I do appreciate these traditions of using yoni steaming to help heal sexual trauma and I want to bring awareness to that. 
http://www.xonecole.com/brown-girls-guide-to-an-ill-na-na-why-i-vagina-steam-religiously/

https://nicolejardim.com/steam-vagina/

http://www.springmoonfertility.com/vaginal-steams/

References for Yoni eggs

https://yoniegg.com/what-are-yoni-eggs/

https://yoniegg.com/how-to-choose-your-first-yoni-egg/