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.  

 

Cailleach Calling

The Cailleach has been calling me these past few days.

Her time is approaching. The Hag of the Hills, the Highlands.

She is a Dark Goddess, the one who rules the winter. We meet her at Samhain, not far away now.

She is the ruler of winter, and her sister Brighid the ruler of the lighter spring and summer days, yet they come to me as two faces of the One.

Brighis came to me first in a deeply personal way as the Scar-Faced One, showing me first Her ugly, scarred side before transforming into a light, beautiful faced Goddess. The Dark Scarred One, whether we call her Cailleach or Brighid, is not to be feared. She will lead us through the darkening days of autumn and on through winter, before showing us her Light in the spring.

May you know Her blessings through the dark days. 

 

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.

 

 

Ogham-Tinne (Holly)

Harvesting the essence from my Tinne ogham stave earlier was a powerful experience. Tinne is Unconditional Love, Balance.

Tinne  can be experienced as the love of a mother, or a very masculine love. For me today, it was a strong masculine love which came through, a warm and all-enveloping love.

The Holly King of the darker half of the year, but also the love of Jesus came through as well, totally unexpectedly. This love brooks no compromise. This love is pure. This love will strip away all that poses as pseudo love. Pretend love. Sugary love. This love is raw, is real.

As soon as I held my ogham stave for harvesting, I knew this was an essence I stand greatly in need of right now. Gaslighting from one direction as to the ‘happy times’ we had on holiday when I was growing up; another person betraying my trust in other ways, yet who would claim love for me; these are not love. Not the Love the Holly King and the Christ bring us.

Abuse can pose as love. The Holly King and the Christ offer true love, unconditional love – and ask that we grow in this in how we in turn love.

Tonight I send this essence out to all those who need this Love, and who are tired of behaviour posing as love.

Blessed Be. 

Ogham-Duir (Oak)

Today was the harvesting of Duir from my ogham stave, a couple of days late following the New Moon because of being away on a therapy course.

Duir, sacred to the druids, is a tree of immense strength. It is also a gateway tree, gateway to inner truth, inner knowledge. After attuning with the Celtic Reiki essence Schumann for rebalancing, I asked permission to harvest the essence of the Duir which gave my ogham being.

Immediately I sensed great heat from the ogham stave, and felt drawn to press it into my hara/dantien. It rested there for some time, a fire burning brightly but steadily.

Drawn into the fire, I passed through this oak fire and found myself at the sacred fire of Brighid – a warm welcome from Her, welcoming me home to Her. Resting a while, I sensed when it was time to leave. Her fire came back with me, a fire in my hara. Strength. Courage for the journey ahead.

Now I send this essence out to any who need. It is an essence of warm strength, of welcome from Brighid.

Blessed Be.

Ogham-Huathe (Hawthorn)

Huathe. As the May blossom cascades from the Hawthorn, there is protection and sanctuary to be found for those brave enough to draw close to her thorns.

Traditionally associated with healing of the physical heart, she reaches out too with a potent balm for healing of the inner heart, the emotional core of our being. She may pierce us with her thorns, but it is in order that she might draw us in for healing.  

A safe place when we are in need of refuge.

A place where we can learn her boundaries.

Are you brave enough to embrace her thorns for healing? She would like to offer you her balm, too.

Balm for your heart. Your soul.

Bear & Gratitude

This post is in gratitude to Bear, who has walked with me longer than I knew.

Bear came to me around 5 years ago in a shamanic journey/meditation. When I trained in Reiki Drum a couple of years ago 2 male black Bear came to me.  

Today in therapy I faced up to some truly sadistic behaviour from my parents as a child. Bear came and flanked me on either side as I worked through this, leading me gently away and above a body in extreme pain.

Bear communicated he had been with me then, had been with me throughout my life. My sense of gratitude to Bear is deeper than any words can express. Thank you Bear.

Beltane and The Green Man

I have found much to inspire me at The Path of She, having first come across Karen via her book  ‘Tale of the Lost Goddess’, the story of a womans search for meaning in her life, and the journey inwards and her meeting with Hecate.

Today Karen shared a powerful meditation for meeting and uniting with the Green Man, the lover god. The meditation can be found here

https://pathofshe.com/beltane-mystery-green-man-dance-life-making/        

Tonight I will delve deeply into this.

Karen has also written with great honesty and integrity about her first encounter with Him for Witches & Pagans, also worth a read for the Beltane Mysteries.

http://witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/path-of-she/an-encounter-with-the-green-man-three-lessons-to-inspire-your-beltane-magic.html

May your Beltane be blessed with the joy of Him.