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…
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/
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.
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.
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.
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/
My spirituality and religious allegiances have wavered and evolved through the decades. Often this has bothered me. I feel as though I should settle for one path, whether broadly Pagan, Christian, or any other path. Yet I cant.
Christ calls me. Brighid calls me. The path of the Sufi, the mystical paths of Islam, call me. The way of the Druid calls me. Other Gods and Goddesses call to me.
Now I have a different light on this. It is the light shed by a deeper understanding of the various parts within, parts previously completely dissociated by trauma who are now emerging from the shadows. They have their trauma stories to tell. They also have their own religious/spiritual paths.
To force myself into one path is to deny the myriad paths formed within at different times. To deny those parts of me their own unique voice, their own unique relationship with the Divine. In a sense, to follow one path, worship one deity, is to deny the other parts of me their existence. They have been ignored by me for decades. A way of survival maybe, but to the detriment of the whole.
Dissociation is a brilliant survival tool. A survival tool of the whole being, body, mind and soul. When those parts come together a beautiful – albeit highly complex – mosaic is formed. I will honour myself. I will honour the mosaic of deities that have made themselves known to me.
My harvesting of this essence tonight was blessed with two strong images.
Firstly the Cailleach came to me, broom in hand. Broom to cleanse, to sweep away all that no longer serves me. All that is no longer helpful in my life. You do not argue with Her. She is strong, dark, powerful – yet not to be feared if you are brave enough to embrace her. In the darkest depths of winter she will cleanse with her power, sweep away all that stagnates within. In the spring, when Brighid returns, broom will be there in all her lightness to carry us forward into spring.
The second sensing I had was that the broom she showed me was made up of all the individual reeds of my dissociated parts, fragmented through trauma, yet integrated by the power of the Cailleach. United they serve a purpose. Right now I do not know what she has planned, but there is true hope in this image.
As we are pulled forwards into the depths of winter, may the strength of the Cailleach and the cleansing of Ngetal bring you blessings of hope.