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.

Ogham Ngetal

Ogham-Ngetal, Broom, Reed.

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. 

Ogham-Muin

Harvesting the essence from my Muin Ogham ahead of the New Moon tonight I was overwhelmed by her complexity.

Muin can be Vine or Bramble/Blackberry. In Celtic Reiki she is Bramble, and that is how I met her as she rambled at great speed through me. Bramble weaves connections, aids learning.

She is also a great Protector. Muin offers her sweet berries to those you meet who are benign. To less benign people around you, she offers her thorns as protection. My harvesting today felt chaotic.  I sense she may take her time in coming through with clarity.

To all who need her protection yet also her sweetness, I send Ogham-Muin out to you now.

Be Blessed.

Quert and Brighid

Quert – Apple. The gentle, graceful loving energy harvested at the last New Moon. Living with her since then she has challenged me, not quite settled with me. She is too gentle.

 Brighid stepped in the other day. She too is love. Not always graceful – but she showed me love is strong. Love is not sentimental slosh. Love can be deeply fiery, as is her love. Not a love that pussy-foots around us, but a love which challenges, digs out new spaces for Her within.

Fire is also Light, blazing its way through our darkeness. As Brighid gives way to the Cailleach Her Light will still shine on through the winter.

Blessed Be.  

 

Ogham-Quert

Quert (Apple) is traditionally about love, healing, cleansing, the underworld. Some of these came through as I harvested the essence from my Quert Ogham stave tonight. She came to me with a beautiful lightness and grace, dancing through my body. I could smell her, sense her sweet juice washing me inside and out.

Rather than taking me to the underworld, she took me back in time to younger me – a me in shame, feeeling defiled by years of  sexual abuse. Her cleansing reached back in time – unprocessed trauma memories continue to live within us until they are processed, placed in the past where they belong. She is a gentle yet powerful ally.

I send her out now as a blessing to all who particularly need her cleansing from shame.

Be Blessed.

Ogham Coll

Ogham Coll (Hazel) had some surprises as I harvested her from my ogham stave today. She is Inspiration, collector of Wisdom. She bridges the unconscious and the conscious, making connections.

An earth-bound Capricorn, I found her delightful. She danced through my conscious and unconscious being, showing me that we do not always have to plummet to the absolute depths and darkness of our being in order to tap into her Inspiration, her Wisdom.

I can see her smiling at me, ‘Lighten up’. ‘Dance’.

To all who need to Dance, no matter the depths of their Despair and Darkness, I send her out to you now.

Be Blessed.

 

A Carmelite Soul

Tomorrow my stay in a Carmelite convent for this week comes to a close.  In some ways these few days have been an abbreviated version of my five years living as a Carmelite. First, something of Carmel.

Carmel is a desert landscape, yet a desert that blossoms.

Carmel is a mountain to be climbed, yet full of ravines, crevices, overhanging rock. The path is never straight, and rarely can you see the summit. For those who do reach it, the vista (I am told) surpasses all words.

Carmel is of Elijah, that fiery prophet, yet who prayed for G-d to end his life. Instead he woke up the next morning, and the ravens came to feed him, ready for his journey to Horeb. Being a fiery soul, he waited for G-d to come in the dramatic natural events. Instead He came in a whisper, that still, small voice. Carmelites of today trace their spiritual origin to him. I chose the reading of this event in his life for my first profession.

Teresa of Avila followed in the uncompromising footsteps of Elijah. In the times of the inquisition (1500s), she dared teach that women were perfectly capable of mental prayer, capable of a personal relationship with God. A heretic of her times. She reformed the Carmelite nuns. She also had the audacity to take Jesus to task, saying that she was not surprised he had so few friends when he treated them so badly. Somehow she escaped punishment in prison, escaped the inquisitors. She had no time for gloomy saints. Quite a character.

John of the Cross, who reformed the friars, was less lucky – except it was his own friars who beat him up for asking so much of them. He escaped, and his escape gave rise to some of his greatest spiritual poetry. He it is who wrote of the Dark Night of the Soul. An image which continues to speak deeply to me.

So Carmel is uncompromising. It asks everything, because God asks everything. Therein lies the paradox. We can only give ourselves (to anyone) if we first possess ourselves. We cannot give what we do not own. If we do not own all the mucky bits, the dissociated fragments, we can only give a part of ourselves.

Another paradox: Carmel is both utterly safe and utterly terrifying to be in, whether literally or figuratively. Tomorrow I must leave here, traverse 2.5 hours of holiday traffic to get home. I am screaming inside: because leaving Carmel 25 years ago was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life – along with living as a Carmelite for 5 years. Why? Because Carmel is a place which tears down every last fibre of false or incomplete self. It asks everything. There is truly nowhere to hide from that abiding Presence. Yet it is also utterly safe to be stripped spiritually naked here.

Prayer is complex for me. I am a spiritual wanderer, meandering down various spiritual paths. Yet yesterday and today I decided to take every one of the inner child parts of me which are slowly coming out of hiding and present them to Jesus – the image of him welcoming little children prompted that. They were two terrifying prayer times – yet it also felt completely safe to do that.

In Carmel all those years ago my sisters saw all the triggered parts of me in action, I suspect. Somehow I was still loved. I know I was very challenging to live with at times, especially for my fellow novices…

Tomorrow I must leave….Then I remember the note that the lay extern (outside the enclosure) passed in to me the night before I left, in which she said ‘you can take the girl out of Carmel, but you cant take Carmel out of the girl’. I guess that is still true, 25 years later, although generally expressed in more diverse ways. The language of the desert, the dark night, Presence in Silence, still speaks so deeply to me.

Life remains a desert. Life remains the challenge of climbing that mountain, falling down crevices, navigating overhangs. Somehow all this happens without crampons either. I guess I will just keep climbing (I hate heights and climbing…), with a Presence who is beyond all names, indeed is unnameable, but who reveals themselves in different, ever unexpected ways.