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. 

Celebrating Mabon

A week and a half ago, I put together a small-ish feast to celebrate the Autumn Equinox/Mabon. I have recently come to the decision that this is the year that celebrating traditional holidays needs to come to an end. So from this point, we will not be celebrating Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or Easter. Instead the Wheel of the Year will guide our celebrations! 

I am still learning the different Sabbats, but Mabon was our “thanksgiving.” I spent the entire day of September 22nd cooking and creating. It felt very satisfying to be using my hands and celebrating the turning of the seasons. 

I went looking through recipes and blog posts on Pinterest, and decided on making two recipes from this gal’s blog – Jessica Jewett.

I made the pot roast and butternut squash soup. Although, I did make some adjustments to the recipes due to my somewhat strict way of eating restrictions. Instead of potatoes, I did turnips and cauliflower. 

Once I got the pot roast on and all of the squash and other veggies in my second crockpot, I got down to cleaning and making a wreath for my front door! 

the beginnings of my wreath

I scoured the shelves of Joann Fabrics trying to find the makings of a wreath that really spoke to me. Two years ago, when I was started to get into celebrating the Wheel of the Year Sabbats, I made a wreath for Lammas, which is at the beginning of August. Since I missed Lammas this year, I really wanted to have some sort of autumn decoration that I had made for myself. 

the finished wreath

Once the wreath was finished, attention was turned to cleaning and cleansing my space. My spouse helped with corralling our kiddos and cleaning. The weather outside was so bright and sunny and cool! 

I grew up cooking for my rather large family, so when I first got married, it was really hard to adjust cooking for only two people instead of the big amount I cooked for before. It took me almost all of the first 5 years of our marriage to get back to a place where I actually enjoyed cooking. Ha, then I got really sick, and the physical symptoms of my chronic illnesses went into significant overdrive. So I had to completely revamp what I could or couldn’t eat. The past 5 months have been the first consecutive months that I have been able to consistently eat food without getting sick after every meal. 

This has meant that planning for a feast like the one I wanted to do for Mabon gets a little more complicated than just following a recipe. I am grateful for the cooking knowledge and instinct I have, but it is still frustrating at times to want to celebrate a Sabbat that consists of honoring the harvest, and what’s commonly associated with the harvest? Bread. And I can’t eat bread, of almost any kind.

Anyway, I figured my way around my food restrictions, and when the butternut squash soup was done, oh my, it was heavenly! I used an immersion blender to blend up the pieces of veggies. I was unsure if it would actually work, but with the combination of buttery soft vegetables from having been in the crockpot for several hours, and a powerful immersion blender, the soup turned out completely silky smooth at the end! 

our feast!

The pot roast was falling apart as I pulled it from the crockpot. The only downside to having been cooking all day long is that I had been smelling and test-tasting all of the food so when we sat down to finally eat, I was barely hungry! It was all so good though!

It definitely felt like a “Thanksgiving” and I am satisfied that we have replaced that traditional holiday. The next on my list is Samhain! 

Working With The Morrigan – meandering thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Divine Masculine vs. Toxic Masculinity

I know part of the current increase in the metaphysical activity around me is focused on restoring and healing the Divine Feminine and Masculine. And because of that, I am being forced to face the masculine. 

But I’m being pulled kicking and screaming into this part of my healing. 

It’s forcing me to lean in to the shit from my father and watching his hypocrisy and whiny childish narcissistic behaviors. Watching him and being so abused by him has made me see every other male in my life, and yes that really frustratingly and sadly includes my own spouse, as irresponsible, un-respectable, and a toxic being with whom I want nothing to do with at times. This is a really uncomfortable place to be in and is it causing significant chaos in my own soul. Especially with how I view my own marriage relationship.

I love my spouse, and I am deeply grateful for his constant presence in my life for past almost 10 years we’ve been together. But I even struggle with not trusting the masculine within him. It makes me feel like a disgusting human being for feeling this way even towards him. He doesn’t deserve that. But I’m struggling with trying to find a starting place for dismantling this toxic mindset. He is holding space for me, and yet again, I am deeply grateful for his presence in my life. 

I adore the Feminine and the Goddesses I am honored to be working with, but instinctively I know they are not the end all. I love the strength they exude and the power and respect they garner. Then on the flip side, there are Gods counterparts I need to acknowledge, and show respect to and honor. There is the Divine Feminine AND Masculine, and I know it is unbalanced to acknowledge and lean only into the Divine Feminine. 

I feel so broken and sad that this belief and view of masculinity has kept me in its grips for so long. And that masculinity was such a broken and destruction force used against me. I frankly despise the masculine. I abhor the masculine that has been used so destructively against me and how much that masculine was used as an excuse for what was done to me. Even my father in law, who in all respects is an upstanding man, I can’t stand. I have barely any respect for him especially since he was one of the people who tried to get me to “forgive” my father and “belittled” what my father had done to me. 

I think I just had a breakthrough – 

Growing up, as a young young girl, I desperately longed for a male to protect me and love me and take care of me. I longed for that protective presence. I somehow instinctively knew my father was not, nor could he ever be, that male. Especially now as I know it was him who abused me. I then looked at any other male who came into my life, even in a little way, as someone who could maybe give me that protection or care that I deeply needed. But every single male let me down, turned their backs on me, and left me in the hands of the toxic abuser I called my father. Any man or male I turned to for help, stabbed me in the back and refused to see any reason to get involved in a “private family matter.” Even my own spouse was cowed and abused by my destructive father. I wanted a warrior to come in and rescue me, I wanted a male to cry “shame shame!” and decry the abuse that had been done to me. But. No male came. No masculine creature came to my aid. Every male was easily manipulated by my toxic father. That gave me such a poor view of the masculine. I knew my father was wrong, I subconsciously knew he was toxic and a bad representation of the masculine, but where were the healthy men? Where were the warriors designed to protect? No one came, no one protected me, no one stopped the horrific things that were done to me. 

I think this is part of why I had such an issue with the Christian god** as I was leaving that faith. That god is defined by being the holy masculine and the protector of the fatherless, the defender of the weak. And yet, that god never came to my aid. That god never protected me, or healed me, or gave me any reason to believe that he cared even an ounce for me. This is why I struggle to give any amount of reverence or acknowledgment to the Gods who are the other halves of the Goddesses I am being introduced to. I see the masculine as weak, unreliable, not to be trusted to hold up their end. And I know that’s not accurate, I know that’s not what the Divine Masculine is. 

How do I enter the fray and unravel what has been done to me that has defined how I view the masculine? 

I don’t know. I am not sure of where I should start with unraveling all of this. Maybe I’ve stumbled upon the beginnings of digging through the shit in writing this post. Maybe I haven’t. I just don’t feel confident managing this on my own. I also know a massive shift needs to happen before I get so stuck in this view of the masculine that it starts causing destruction and chaos around me and to those I love. I need to release the cynical and distrusting view I have of the Masculine. 

** I apologize to any practicing Christians reading this post, but I am unable to capitalize the name of the Christian god right now. 

I Am Of The Shadows

One of my siblings and I were discussing a few months ago about how we both still struggle with hearing others’ stories about their happy childhoods. Individually it has been something we have both fought for a long time and this was the first time we had talked about it together. I used to feel so alone and small when those I was with started sharing stories from their childhood and I had nothing to add but to bring a massive shadow on an otherwise happy time.

I used to think that the abuse and significant trauma I experienced from very early childhood meant I was just a morbid and dark person, incapable of being happy and light. But now I know different; I am of the shadows, but my entire being is dedicated to rejoining the light and the dark and bringing balance back to those halves of myself. That light half of myself has been so silenced and buried for a very long time. It’s only been in the past year and a half that I have started letting myself get to know her. That light half consists mainly of my younger self before I was sexually abused as a child, and she yells at me a lot to have fun and be light.

Being light and having fun does not negate the horrific things I have been through. Nor is it an escape or a way to ignore the pain and scars. I am learning it is possible to be light and still bear my shadows.

Part of balancing out my light and dark has meant actually acknowledging and honoring my shadows. I have spent so long hiding in those shadows that I never really learned that they were a strength, NOT a weakness, not an ugly stain I carried around. Leaning into Dark Goddesses has been so incredibly healing because I am learning how beautifully balanced they are when it comes to the light and the dark.

It is one of the things that attracts me so much to the Morrigan – She is the goddess of death and darkness and yet the goddess of motherhood and light and fertility and harvest. It’s this balance of the light and the dark that is helping me bring my own light and dark back to a balanced place.

There is so much beauty in the shadows. There is dancing and honoring and respecting the scars one bears. Yes there is darkness in the shadows, but without the shadows what would the light really mean? I feel like my purpose is constantly being refined and brought into the light of day. The purpose to be a shadow bearer for my fellow soul siblings who also carry deep shadows. The purpose to help restore balance and help honor those deep dark shadows.

Being a childhood sexual abuse survivor has given me more shadows than I sometimes know how to acknowledge. It can be a confusing place to be in to realize how much of those shadows were forced upon me and never should have been caused in the first place. But it is also a validating place to be in when I am joined by my fellow shadow bearers and I understand that is not my fault. That those shadows may be part of myself, but those are not to be used to shame me or cause me constant pain. They are to be acknowledged but never given any power.

Holding the shadows of any abuse is hard. Those shadows make you feel like you’re broken and ugly and stained. Those shadows bring a lot of pain especially when not honored or acknowledged and allowed to be a part of oneself. I am coming to believe that every person has some shadow, but not everyone has the intense depth of shadows I carry and those like me bear.

How do you honor the shadows?

The best answer I’ve come up with so far is to enter the shadows and allow yourself to sit with them. If you are the follower of a Dark Goddess, then allow her to come in and sit with you. Mourn for what was taken or lost, grieve the things you wish were different, but then allow yourself to let go, release the pain. The shadows will not leave you, do not fear not knowing who you are if you let that pain go. Once mourned those shadows will fall into their place and you are that much closer to restoring balance in your spirit. But you have to be willing to let the shadows be where they are supposed to be. Clinging to your shadows as your identity will only cause you to become even more dangerously unbalanced and it will be that much more difficult to release them.

Here’s an example of what I have done to mourn, reconcile, and re-balance my shadows. One of the things I have had to fight to regain especially over the past year is my sense of childhood and girlish behavior. I was sexually abused at the age of 4. I was right on the edge of being verbal and then that was done to me before I even knew the word “sex” or “vagina.” Because I experienced that, I never got the chance to be a little girl. To dream girlish dreams, to be a child. My soul was so damaged and so significantly broken that any chance of letting myself have fun and enjoy life was viciously ripped out of my hands.

This is the extremely sorrowful part of childhood abuse; you never get a say in what is done to you. Things are done before you even have the ability to even vocalize your dreams, desires, like or dislikes. Those things done to you viciously change your entire life and take the childhood you deserved away.

How I have worked to re-balance this and restore the things ripped away from me has been allowing my light, my childlike side out and allowing her to speak to me. It was a slightly bizarre experience feeling things I wouldn’t have thought a 26 year old would experience. That childlike joy of doing something bold and brave. That childlike wonder of feeling like I’m seeing the world for the first time. That childlike excitement of feeling like I can dream, TRULY dream for the first time. Part of this process looked like dyeing my hair a stunning emerald green a year ago. Part of it looked like allowing myself to purchase and wear an outfit that was something I was told as a young teenager would never look good on me and feeling damn good in it. This process of restoring balance looked like entering my own skin and finding wonder in the very essence of the shape of my body and respecting and honoring the skin I live in.

I will always carry shadows and I honestly love that. I will always be more one with my shadows than I am with my light. This is because of how much was done to me as a child. I will always bear those deep scars, but that doesn’t get to determine how I live my life from this point forward. My shadows are 100% part of me, but they do not rule me. I am more comfortable sitting in my shadows than I am in the light, but that’s okay.

I don’t think it’s uncommon to feel embarrassment at exploring your light, or childlike side (as I like to call it) for the first time. Especially if you’ve clung to your shadows for so long. If you’ve been anything like me, the shadows have often looked like being super reserved, very introverted, and quite serious. Releasing and restoring the light and childlike means breaking down those walls and letting yourself be goofy and enjoy life and be like a child discovering the sun for the first time. This is a beautiful thing and it is worth getting to.

Keep fighting my shadow soul siblings. Fight to restore the balance of light and dark. Fight to allow yourself to have the childhood you never got. Fight to live your dreams and dream your dreams you never got to dream. Fight to regain the child within you and fight to give them the space to talk to you and give you pictures and feelings you’ve never gotten to feel.

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.

DruidCraft Tarot – Goddess Medb and a Grounding Card

As I went through my DruidCraft tarot deck, I had two more cards come to me, these specifically for the Goddess Medb.

Medb was known for her power in war and ability to commune with animals, specifically horses. She was of incredible strength of mind and body. She was fierce and protective and held vindictive justice.

Medb was fiercely protective of her moon cycles and was immensely respected because of that. This quite a meaningful thing to me about the Goddess Medb. Considering how long I have felt traumatized by my moon cycles, interacting and being named after a Goddess who was renowned for how her moon cycle was to be respected and honored, is healing in its own way. I feel like both of these cards are absolutely imbued with Medb’s energy.

I picked up the book that goes with my tarot deck and the book kept opening to a page about “choosing the card that represents you.” After the third time that happened, I kept the book open to that page and read through that section. It explained that one of the ways of making this deck your own was by placing all of the court cards (Kings, Queens, Princesses, and Princes from the Wands, Pentacles, Swords, and Cups suits) in a circle. Then without giving it thought, choosing the card that speaks to you the most. That is then your card – the card you use for grounding during spreads that ask for a grounding or representative card of yourself.

As I laid out the court cards, I think I already knew which card I was going to chose. In fact, as soon as I laid that card out, it was already mine.

I am the Queen of Swords. I have been the Queen of Swords in this deck pretty much from the first time I did a spread with the cards. This card represents Intellect, Gracefulness, and an Analytical mind. She also is a reminder to me to make sure that I am not holding on to too much anger or bitterness about past that I can’t learn the lessons I need to. I see the Queen of Swords justly ruling her domain, but ruling with kindness and grace and love and being firm and just when need be.

All in all, I am thoroughly loving the energy that is being poured and given from my DruidCraft tarot deck. It is an amazing feeling to have two decks that are loudly speaking to me and calling to me. And yet neither are competing with the other, both of my decks have a purpose and specific meaning.

DruidCraft Tarot and The Morrigan

Four years ago I received the DruidCraft tarot deck. I had discovered the deck when looking for a deck to branch out with from my original tarot deck. My spouse got it for me and gave it to me in the midst of opening presents at my super religious in-laws’ house. That’s how much he loves me and supports my journey.

DruidCraft Tarot Deck – Amazon, $14

I loved this deck. I began to get familiar with it, but there was still something missing or lacking as I went through the deck and used it in day to day spreads. Two years passed and I prepared to carry my second child. As soon as his spirit joined with mine, I was no longer able to clearly read or see the cards. So I put them away for when I would be able to pull them back out and have a clarity of spirit again. But, everything I had sensed that would come with my second pregnancy came true and plus some. My second child was medically complicated and required so much giving of my spirit just to make it through to his birth that I was unable to even think about anything else besides just holding space for him and myself. His first year of life should have been enough to utterly break and destroy me. Especially as halfway through that first year, my memories of having been sexually abused as a child came back.

It was hard place to be in with such an incredibly heavy weight on my spirit and yet wanting to gain the wisdom from the spirit realm through my cards. But I knew it still wasn’t time. When I gathered with fellow sister women a month and a half ago, I was given a new tarot deck – this one an Ostara deck, the Goddess of new beginnings. It was so appropriate and honoring of the new changes I’ve been working on in my life. Not only that, it has released the heaviness that has been clinging to my spirit for the past two years. That new deck has been so healing and today, for the first time in two and a half years, I pulled out my DruidCraft deck and felt the old familiar energy radiate through my fingers as I went through the cards.

Ostara Tarot Deck, Amazon $20

Another major shift that has been happening the past week and a half has been an intense initiation into the Morrigan. It’s been an incredible experience digging into my Irish ancestry and also renewing the deep call I’ve felt for most of my life to the Celtic Goddesses. Badb in particular has been very present in the past week and as I went through my tarot deck, I immediately found three cards that I felt were the three sister in the Morrigan.

I have known all this week that I would find Anu, Macha, and Badb in this tarot deck. I just hadn’t gotten a chance to sit down and really focus my attention on the cards. So it was no surprise when these three cards grabbed me.

Anu – [pronounced AN-new]

Anu is the mother goddess of the three sisters. She is associated with motherhood, fertility, and with close connections to the land. Thus when I saw this card of the fertile mother to be, and her arms full of the harvest, I knew it was Anu. I do not know much about Anu yet, she hasn’t come to be fully. Even though I am a mother myself, there is a huge part of me still shut down to the idea of fertility. I don’t want to be fertile, I do not want any more children. I am mother to my two children, and I have had to mother myself so much, I do not want anymore of that responsibility. But who knows, the Goddesses have a way of breaking through those walls despite what I want or don’t want.

Macha – [pronounced MACH-uh)

Macha has been close to me for a while. She is a goddess of the Sun, fire, success, motherhood, war, death, also fertility. There is an unique connection between death and motherhood in the Celtic Gods and Goddesses. And it is one that I deeply connect with and have tapped in to. I feel Macha’s power lifting me up and protecting me. She is a just goddess and will push you to be the better version of yourself. She is a fierce mama bear, and she will not hesitate to destroy anyone who harms one of hers.

Badb – [pronounced BAH-v)

Aww, Badb, she has been closest to me over the past week. She often first presents as a crone and someone hellbent on ripping you to shreds. But if you can let her in and honor and respect the work she is asking you, or forcing you, to do, then she will become a beautiful stunning being who holds you tight and comforts you with great love and care. Badb is a goddess of death, but as death often symbolizes new beginnings, she is also a goddess of stripping away the old, the scar tissue, the things that need to be released, so that you can start again. She is becoming close to me and I am learning to love her deeply and trust the work she is doing in my spirit and mind.

I drew a few more cards that I will write about next time. But I am so grateful to the Morrigan for allowing me into their presence and giving me their wisdom and care and protection.

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.

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.

References for Yoni eggs

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.