Samhain Reclaimed

Samhain – a time when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest, a time for remembering our ancestors who have left this world.

Samhain – the time of the Cailleach, the dark mother, goddess of the dark side of the year.

Samhain – a time which holds truly dark, horrific memories for many who have survived Ritual/Organised abuse veiled under a pseudo-religious cloak.

Samhain – a time when those of us who have survived such horrors can perhaps begin to reclaim this again, turn this time into one of spiritual renewal, growth.

The dark time of the year is not to be feared.  Nor is the time of the Cailleach and of Hecate to be feared.

This Samhain I remember especially those who lost their lives in horrific ways at this time of year.

art blur bright candlelight
Photo by Hakan Erenler on Pexels.com

Finding Our Voices

Finding our voice after childhood abuse is a powerful – indeed empowering – step forwards in healing.

The past two weeks have seen the IICSA (Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse) investigate abuse within specialist music schools and some residential schools.  My former school, Chethams, being one of those investigated.

https://www.iicsa.org.uk/investigations/sexual-abuse-in-residential-schools?tab=hearing

 

The accounts at the inquiry, and further accounts related by former students are harrowing to read.

https://ianpace.wordpress.com/2019/10/10/chethams-alumni-memories-and-reflections-following-the-iicsa-hearings/

Both links carry major trigger warnings – you may find the content deeply upsetting.

 

It has been a triggering, upsetting time for many.

Memories locked away for decades. Memories perhaps holding shame.  Fear.

Yet Shame and Fear can both be broken – and they are broken by speaking out, by looking people in the face and seeing acceptance.

We are not what happened to us in any way. The guilt lies solely with predators, perpetrators – and with the multitude who turned a blind eye.

Mindfulness and Grief

Too powerful and beautiful not to share on.

Untangled

My mindfulness and meditation practice is extremely important to me. Some mindfulness masters teach that you cannot fully begin to meditate until you have wept deeply. I once read a story of a Zen teacher who flirted with meditation for years before he decided to commit. He recalled how he wept openly and often for two years and only after he had grieved for many things in his life was he able to sit in silence.

Recently, as I was sitting outside enjoying a beautiful day, I began to feel the pull of profound grief and sadness for the life I had uncovered: the loss, the pain, the torture, the years that I clung to survival as my only way of life. I was sad for the years of having no hope, no dreams, and no promises made, thinking that whoever came into my life would leave. I don’t dwell there…

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Sekhmet

I first met Sekhmet when on holiday in Egypt some 14 or more years ago. Or rather, she announced Herself to me. A magnificent blue-clad alabaster statue of her accompanied me back to England (the heaviest suitcase I have ever transported). Since then, She has lived in my bedroom. Acknowledged, but never really honoured or worked with.

A few days ago I was searching for an online course for another goddess, Hecate. However, it would seem Hecate and Sekhmet had other plans for me, because it was Sekhmet who kept appearing in my searches. Now I am embarked on a month-long journey to get to know Her better.

A brief introduction to Her can be found here   http://themotherhouseofthegoddess.com/2017/11/29/the-power-of-egyptian-goddess-sekhmet-by-brandi-auset/  

Why now?

Why Sekhmet?

She has never sat that comfortably with me.

A solar goddess.

A rather fierce goddess.

Yet a goddess who loves justice. Creative as well as destructive.

Maybe I need Her strong energy. Her justice. Her warrior qualities. maybe i also need to learn from her how to acknowledge and express righteous, justified anger; anger against injustice of all kinds. Her time for me is now.

A Human Jigsaw of Hope

Complex trauma in early childhood will often lead to dissociation, an absenting of the childs self from the body. Severe trauma may bring with it fragmentation, fragmentation into many parts.

Fragmentation is not just within the mind, scattered into many pieces, often unaware of the existence of other fragmented parts (as in DID and OSDD). Fragmentation is also held within the body.

In a deep CranioSacral session last week I became aware of those jigsaw pieces within my body. Making a picture. A picture-story of complex trauma and abuse.

Yet I also had another picture. A picture of hope.

What if those jigsaw pieces could make another picture?

There is no turning the clock back on a childhood which should have been so very, very different. But a new picture can be made with those inner jigsaw pieces. A picture which can begin to come together though the work of the one who houses those pieces, and with the help of gifted therapists.

Good Friday and Easter

It has been a while since I last wrote here. A religious part of me usually, at some point, takes over, becomes very Christian during Lent. There is an urgency to immerse myself into Holy Week leading up to Easter. To delve deep into the Pascal Mysteries of death and resurrection.

This year is different. Recovering memories, allowing memories from a deeply dissociated place to surface, I now know that Ritual Abuse had a place (time-limited, and I believe one perpetrator of this form of abuse only) in my early childhood. For many survivors this time is a deeply troubling one. One which brings with it flashback memories. Deep wounds.

Easter should be a time of joy. Not the deepest and darkest pain. I ask anyone who reads this to please hold in their thoughts those who have been ritually abused, sometimes throughout their childhoods in truly horrific ways; perhaps light a candle of hope in the dark.

Song For Brighid

I am currently engaged with a course dedicated to Brighid, ‘Stepping Into Brigit: A 30 Day Goddess Activation Course’.

The other day I wrote a poem, which I have set to a very simple chant. Here it is.  Enjoy.  

Brighid in my heart
Brighid in my hands
Brighid in my soul
Brighid

Fire in my heart
Fire in my hands
Fire in my soul
Brighid

Peace in my heart
Peace in my hands
Peace in my soul
Brighid

Song in my heart
Song in my hands
Song in my soul
Brighid

Brighid in my heart
Brighid in my hands
Brighid in soul
Brighid 

 

Copyright:   Brighids-Hope.com   January 2018

A Flame-Keeper

Tonight I begin my first shift as a flamekeeper with Ord Brighideach, an international Brigidene order dedicated to serving Brighid. For me, it is a deepening path of devotion. She continues to call me as goddess, yet in my Christian fringes she is still there as saint. She is Healing, Fire, and Awen. She is not a cosy goddess, but burns us into the authentic being we are created to be. I have walked with her since my baptism in St Ffraid’s Church, Treaddur Bay (Ffraid is the Welsh for Brighid), through my Carmelite profession at Imbolc many years ago, and she calls me in my inner journeying.

I dedicate myself anew to her this sundown, the beginning of the Celtic day.

May I carry Her Healing into the world. May I carry her Flame out into the  world. May I carry her Inspiration, her Awen, out into the world. May I serve Her in whatever ways she calls me to.

 

For those interested in the path of the flamekeeper, the Ord can be found here online http://www.ordbrighideach.org/raven/