Resilience – Restoring

Content Warning: childhood sexual abuse, rape, incest, drugging. 

I am the survivor of childhood sexual abuse, starting roughly around the age of 1.5 and going to sometime before my 5th birthday. I discovered physical proof backing up my memories a few days ago. That shook me in ways I didn’t anticipate. I have learned to honor and respect the things my younger selves have finally felt safe to give me. But to have physical proof makes things a lot more concrete than just trusting your own mind memories and body memories.

It’s sometimes odd how fate decides to bring things about. I have multiple fellow survivors as close friends now. We are all in varying places in our journeys, we are all on different planes of the kind of healing required of these wounds. But do you know what brings us together even more than anything else? The fact that we hold space for each other’s stories and can validate that none of us are crazy for what we feel or remember.

I have shifted back and forth between an utterly overwhelming deep sadness at feeling my littlest self’s smallness and her massive disassociation at such a young age and anger that knows no bounds at the fucking bastard who did this to me. I can also trace back the spirit beings who continued to surround me every single step of the way. I see how they protected me from my soul being so shattered and splintered that I no long could hold on to myself. Just barely though.

I suppose there’s a question of why I am not cynical against those beings for not keeping my dad from sexually abusing me. I am not even sure how to react to that. While I firmly believe everything that has happened in my life has had a purpose, I don’t believe any deity should have come in and put a stop to the abuse. I had to go through that to become who I am today. But not because of what was done to me, but because of how my soul has fought continually to remove the filth put on me and restore it’s wholeness.

I am who I am today because I kept pushing on, I kept saying I’m not done yet. I am pushing to keep healing and fighting against the waves that constantly threaten to drown me. I’m fighting to heal and end this cycle because of those around me who do not have their voice. I am fighting to reclaim my power and my voice so I can speak up for them.

I have been sitting with the memories that have come back this week. I won’t be publicly sharing them as they are too graphic and too dark. They are the things I will share with fellow survivors to let them know they are not alone in their own darkness. I will be using my powers as a witch to make sure that I am removing and returning all of the negative energy and soul sucking yuck threefold.

I am not angry at my father for what he did to me. I am angry that my youngest self was treated so horrifically by my mother. My father? He is already reaping the consequences of what he did to me and my other siblings. So is my mother. I am more sad at the amount of disassociating I had to do to merely survive.

I’m working hard to rebuild and reclaim. Even though I know it is not possible to regain the childhood I never got to have, it is possible for me to make sure my own children get the fullest childhood to the best of my ability.

She’d say “You are so much stronger than you even think you are
Let your heart, let your heart lead the way”
That’s what she’d say

She’d Say – Andy Grammar feat. Lady Black Mambazo

We Are Safe.

Little one, we are here

Little one, I am holding you

Little one, our dragon is protecting you.

I see his sides glinting with shimmering opals

I see his eyes burning like rubies as their fierce glare burns those who are hurting you.

I see his wings spread to gather you close.

His fire bursts out as it’s destroys the space that has broken and beaten you.

I hear your wild cries and shrieks of terror in the night.

I see your hands wildly looking for safety.

I feel your pain when that safety is ripped from you.

I see your baby curls, the golden blonde ones,

The Shirley Temple look alike that drew so many smiles.

I see those curls being your curse.

I feel your fear of being noticed, your terror of being seen.

Being seen was unsafe, being noticed meant danger.

Baby Maeve, I feel your tears.

The ones you cried at night when no one saw you.

I see the shadow man waiting for you

I see his hands and fingers outstretched just waiting for darkness to fall.

I see you.

I hear you.

I feel your heart beat racing.

I feel that knot in the pit of your stomach.

I hears the whispers of “please no.”

We’re here to bring you home now.

Me and our Dragon.

He’s bringing you to me.

I will be your mama.

I will give you the love and kindness you were never given.

I will hold you, Baby Maeve, I will love you,

Forever and Always.

We’re bringing you home.

We’re bringing you to safety.

I can’t erase what the shadow man did.

I can’t take away the pain and confusion.

I can’t restore the childhood we never got.

I can’t be the mama who wasn’t there for you.

But I can love you now,

I can mother you now.

I can help soothe the rawness these wounds are causing us.

I can be safety for you.

I am safety.

We can hold you close,

We can wipe away the tears,

We can say over and over “I’m so sorry.”

This doesn’t and will not take away the pain.

But it will help, trust me, Baby Maeve,

It will give you the safety and love you have always needed.

I love you.

I believe you.

Baby Maeve

Acknowledge Us

Content Warning: Incest, Childhood Sexual Abuse, Child Rape, Being Drugged

I am strong.

I am powerful.

I was drugged so I could be controlled.

I was wounded.

I was broken.

I was shattered beyond any repair.

Or so I thought.

I recently was given a book written by a fellow childhood sexual abuse survivor. It’s almost funny how magnetizing those stories are and how so many of us find each other. Almost funny. ‘Cuz it’s really not, but it goes to show how powerful our stories are and how they draw us together. Our stories pull and shift so that we can find each other and know that, despite our abusers’ efforts, we are not alone.

The past month has been deeply shifting and transforming for me. A lot of layers were ripped back so old toxic wounds could be cleaned and then healed whole. A lot of these wounds have had to do with my mother. But two weeks ago in particular, I turned to my partner and told him that I realized I was feeling exactly how I did when my memories returned two years ago. Then I forgot about it because well life.

However, as I started reading the book my sister had given me, that uneasiness began to return. I made it 4 chapters into the book and had to put it down and walk away. I couldn’t read it. She was talking about how much she remembered and how she’s able to trace the abuse all the way through her childhood up to adulthood.

I am realizing as I write this that this is how I felt just before my memories returned 2 years ago. It was this uneasy sense of my story not being enough. Combined with a sense of something seriously missing but not being able to pin down what. Since some point last week, I have been carrying this uneasiness that something was shifting. Along with a deep desire to find someone who has a similar story to mine. It is really difficult to find another story like mine – one where the father was the rapist and the mother was the abuser.

As things were really sitting heavy with me yesterday, I kept trying to pull back to gain perspective. But as I did that, something started to fall into place. As I drove home from dropping my oldest off at school, I started tearing up. I have long thought that there was a good chance I was sexually abused at least once before being raped by my dad. Something happened before I could actually speak – the very least, speak in full sentences. This would line up with some of the things that didn’t get explained through the memories I have already had come back.

I have done a lot of work with reintegrating my younger self back into my soul, I even did a soul retrieval and brought her home. So when I got home from dropping my oldest off at school yesterday, I knew something was about to come through. I had lunch with a friend and thoroughly enjoyed chatting with them, but I felt the walls started to shatter and knew it was only a matter a time before it all came flooding out.

Yesterday afternoon, pieces started coming together. It was like I was standing there and calling those missing pieces to return to me. And they were coming back. Pieces were lining up, pictures were forming, and I could see the timeline starting to come back together.

I was sexually abused multiple times between the ages of 1.5ish to 7ish.

I believe the abuse started sometime before or during me being potty trained.

I couldn’t have said no. I didn’t know how to say no. It was not my fault.

The memories and feelings and sensations I’ve had return explain all of the gaps in my memories that I still didn’t have answers for. I still have missing places in my memories, but I am convinced those are because my brain couldn’t handle it anymore.

It explains my mother’s actions towards me even more.

I have been sitting with my youngest self and holding her and comforting her. My younger self who was brought home after my soul retrieval has been sitting with us too. We are both whispering and loving our youngest self and giving her the safe space she needs to “tell” us what happened.

I am sitting here watching my 2.5 year old happily play and build big legos all by himself. He unquestioningly trusts me to protect him and can be vulnerable around me and my partner. I watch my 5 year old feel safe enough to have a melt down because school was hard and he needs to just feel safe and held. Watching them have so much trust in us is a punch to gut knowing I once had that for my parents. Not only did neither of my parents hold that with respect and gentleness, they used and abused me and took advantage of my unquestioning trust in them.

I am sitting here and being gentle with myself today. Holding space and believing everything my youngest self gives for me to see. I am more present and grounded than I even have been with having memories coming back. My body is feeling relief of having the rest of the pieces.

And So It Is.

The Mother Wound & Re-parenting

The entire month of August has existed in the depths of the Otherworld. One thing after another has been coming to the surface for me and I’ve been facing them one after another. It has only been in the past 4 days that I finally feel like I have been able to take a breath and rest.

I am talking about my mother wound a lot right now because it’s the last set of chains I need to break free from. I am the survivor of childhood sexual abuse via my dad, and my mother, knowing what he did to me, chose to take all her anger and jealousy out on me starting from when I was between the ages of 3 and 4. I grew up always questioning what I was doing wrong, why didn’t my mother love me, and why did my other siblings get affection but I never got any?

This wound bled the entirety of my known and remembered childhood. I knew by the time I was a young adult that she would never ever have my back. I also knew that if I ever wanted children of my own, I had better get to fucking work healing that gaping, bleeding wound. So while my peers enjoyed their close relationships with their mothers, I buckled down and focused on what it meant to mother myself. If I couldn’t mother myself, then how was I going to be a mother?

I think when my oldest came along, I had really only uncovered bits and pieces of what it meant to parent/mother myself. Nothing truly replaces the warmth of a mother’s arms, or the compassion and kindness a mother has for her child. However, I’m not really sure what those things feel like. The majority of my childhood was focused on merely surviving. If I could survive the day, then I could survive tomorrow. I’m really really damn good at being strong. But having my own children and watching their vulnerability and need for me has broken my heart more times than I can count.

I see my younger self reflected in their eyes and feel my younger self’s sobs of loneliness and pain. Reconnecting that shattered piece of my younger self with my current self has helped me give love to her and hold her as a mother would. I have learned how to give myself love and compassion as I do with my children. I am still learning to read myself when I start getting extremely anxious and want to lash out. When that happens I know my younger self is triggered and whatever happened has ripped open a barely healed wound.

The Lady from my Druid Craft Tarot Deck – I feel like this is Anu’s card.

I have chosen The Morrigan and Her three faces as my deity and She has chosen me. I personally feel like She doesn’t fully embody the whole Maiden-Mother-Crone persona, She is so much more than either of those. Badb, who I talked about before, has given me many tools for ripping away the ick and healing the wounds. She not only gives me the tools, but sits with me and comforts me and weeps and mourns with me as I hold what I’ve lost and reclaim love and kindness for my younger self and current self. Anu though, I haven’t talked much about Her. She most embodies the Mother archetype, and She has been closest this past month. Her immense kindness and eagerness to sit by me and be my mother is felt so deeply.

Mothering and re-parenting myself while parenting and mothering my two children is far from easy. I know that when I get frustrated with them, I am reacting to something unresolved with in myself. When my children just want to be near me, it’s difficult for me to sit with them. That echoes the feelings of abandonment and betrayal I felt from my own mother. Because when I sit down with my youngest and he crawls into my lap, I am not only comforting him, but comforting myself and holding my younger self close in my arms too. I have to remind myself that my children do not have to know the strength I had to have as a child. They have me. They have a mother pouring love and care and compassion and kindness over and into them without a second thought.

I reached the darkest and deepest part of this latest dive into the Otherworld on Wednesday this past week. I could feel the chains breaking, but I also felt that I wasn’t really sure I wanted to keep living. The fight within me to live was not there. I strangely wasn’t suicidal, but I felt so weary and ready to give up. Even though I could see the light, I knew this was the last push, I knew I had to only go through this one more battle before breaking through to the sunny heights. It is truly darkest before dawn.

I fell asleep on Tuesday night crying for a mother’s arms. Anu sat with me and held me and wiped away my tears as I was finally able to drift to sleep.

Through my own children’s unconditional love for me, I have been able to give unconditional love to myself. I have broken down those shameful things my mother said and gave to me. Through the presence of Anu and Badb, I’ve been able to refill my well of strength. I am not alone, even when I feel like it.

I am my own mother. I am my children’s present and in the moment mother. I am re-parenting myself and holding space for myself to be emotionally unstable and sit with myself to try to pinpoint the trigger. I am committed furthering the healing and closing of my mother wound. The woman who gave birth to me was never and has never been my mother. I have been my own mother since I was a child. I am strong because I’ve had to be. But I am also gentle and compassionate because my children have shown me the precious vulnerability of a child’s unquestioning of their mother being there. I am their safe space, but can I be my own safe space? I’m sure as hell going to try.

Mothers Who Can’t Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Celtic Ogham – 3rd & 4th Aicme

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

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

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

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

The Ogham

3rd Aicme

Vine – Muin – M

This stands for Vine or Muin and the letter M.

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

Reverse Meaning – Indulging in excess. Intoxication.

Magickal Meaning – Prosperity magick. Bringing goal to fruition.

Ivy – Gert – G

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

Divination Meaning – Breaking down barriers, perseverance and persistence.

Reverse Meaning – Feeling constricted, restrictions, ruthlessness.

Magickal Meaning – Luck, overcoming obstacles.

Broom – Ngetal – NG

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

Divination Meaning – Healing. Sweeping away negative energies.

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

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

Blackthorn – Straif – ST, SS, Z

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

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

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

Magickal Meaning – Establishing boundaries.

Elder – Ruis – R

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

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

Reverse Meaning – Regrets. Holding on to the past.

Magickal Meaning – Faery magick. Transformation.


4th Aicme

Pine – Ailm – A

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

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

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

Magickal Meaning – purification magick. Clear sight. Divination.

Gorse – Ohn – O

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

Divination Meaning – Sexuality, passion, love, relationships.

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

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

Heather – Ur – U, W

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

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

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

Magickal Meaning – Healing and love spells, fertility.

Aspen – Eadha – E

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

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

Reverse Meaning – Being paralyzed by doubts and fears.

Magickal Meaning – Banishing negative emotions. Honoring the dead.

Yew – Ioho – I, J, Y

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

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

Reverse Meaning – Grief. Inability to accept change.

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


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

Recover – Restore – Reclaim

Potential Trigger warnings - childhood sexual abuse, trauma. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And So It Is.

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.

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!