Sunday, August 31, 2014

Retrieving pieces of the Soul

Playing with the North Wind by Susan Sedon Boulet

Yesterday I drove to Maryland to see a beautiful young woman who works as a Shaman.  She is also a trained psychologist but, it is her relationships with the Spirits and her skills as a healer that were the impetus for my making the two and a half hour drive after working for five hours at the end of a long week.  The resulting ritual was well worth the drive and more.

We had discussed my reasons for seeing her when we made the appointment, but when I arrived we talked about the things that I have done and learned since our last conversation.  When we went to her ritual room, I was immediately comfortable.  She explained her process and invited me to lie on the floor on a deer skin she had laid out for that purpose (deer are facilitators of transformation and it is an old practice).

 Then she began to call the Quarters and the Elements and the Earth Mother and the Ancestors and the Fae and the Spirits of place, and the Deities with whom she works.  Her voice singing clear and bright, they answered and came to the place to assist her in my healing.

She merged with Bear and began working at the place of my ancestors.  Her rattle moving in a rhythm that spoke to me on a level that I have rarely attained in the company of another person.  She asked me about the Large Black Cat at my feet and I told her that Pwca has been known to travel to me when there is something he wishes to participate in.

She described a Grandfather whom I have not met but, who was familiar and comfortable to me.  She used her drum to follow him deeper into Annwfn and He led her through tunnels (my ancestors were coal-miners) to find a piece of me that had been separated (compassion) and she returned it to me by blowing it into my heart and my head.  She then placed a large piece of black tourmaline at my feet. I find it interesting that the grief I feel over the loss of my children during their childhood is shared with my ancestors.

She then began to work on my root charkha discovering and removing the barbed wire that was wrapped around it and placing two pieces of red jasper on either side of my hips. 

She re-connected the three separate lights that are my sacral charkha and placed a large piece of polished carnelian over my womb. 

The message I received from her after working on my solar plexus is that it is strong when used to support me or to push me forward to do my work but, that I have kept it trapped rather than expressing it into the world.  There she placed a piece of bright yellow, sparkling sulfur.

When she began to work on my heart, my Patron came to sit beside me facing her with my heart between them.  She carefully examined the boxes she found there.  Some so old and untouched that they are locked and dusty and covered in spiders webs.  Gwynn would have had her break into each one (He can be a bit demanding at times) but, she knew that it needs to be done gently and not all at once.  This is work I need to do.  So she placed a smooth, oval, red and green stone over it after letting in as much sunlight as she could.

After the work on my heart I began to feel cold and my body began to convulse occasionally.  She made no comment to indicate that was concerning to her and so I did not feel a need to close down.  I wept occasionally as we discussed the damage and the work I need to do, and again, she seemed unconcerned and so I allowed it to happen as it would.  My ears began to hear a rushing sound and my body felt buzzing and I felt dizzy.  All of these are signs to me that energy is moving and healing is occurring in a profound way.

When she worked on my throat, she found “bobby-pins” at the back of my neck.  She thought she had used the wrong word but, I know she did not as those are things I associate with my mother and her desire that I be a “good girl” never “TOO LOUD or TOO BIG”.  She removed them and placed a piece of celestite beside my throat. 

After she worked on my third eye, we discussed some ways I might find useful in opening it when it is being stubborn, then she brushed me with her owl’s wing and removed the energy binding my entire spine. 

When we began to work on my crown she called to her Deities, some of whom I work with as well and invited me to use all of my names and call to my Gods and Allies.

Athena came to her and offered Her approval and Her assistance in finding wisdom when I am angry, to know how to use it and how not to misuse it, as that was one of the reasons I sought this healing.  She blew into my heart and my head again and filled me with “millions of golden skeleton keys”.  

One of the final lessons from this work is my need to establish strong boundaries and a stronger sense of self so that, when I shape-shift to meet the needs of those I serve, or to "get the work done" I can remember to return to who I am and not lose that to "what I can do, or what I can be".  I need not lose myself to my own talents.  

When the ritual was done, she offered her thanks and closed the gates that she had opened.

We visited for a while as I ate a little and drank before making the drive home.  It was a quiet and easy drive in the dark and when I arrived home Pwca cuddled beside me and I slept better than I have in months.

I give thanks for Pwca, for Gwynn ap Nudd, for Athena, for Bear and most especially for Monika Lonely Coyote.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


There is a moment during pregnancy when the child inside the womb quickens.  When it stirs within and the mother can feel that the being inside is not only alive but a separate being from herself, a new and different creature.  I remember the moments when each of my children moved within me.  I remember the moments when they became real to me and not just ideas and faces I saw in my dreams.  The remnants of my past lives feel a bit like that to me, like separate beings but, alive and part of me. 

The Queen of the Abyss has been healed and I have come face to face with Another that was hiding behind her.  I understand that the Sorrow was meant to teach me compassion, and I believe that it has.  I continue to nurture that compassion by working with a Goddess of Compassion, by establishing a new relationship with White Tara, a Goddess with seven eyes; Who sees, offers protection, and blessings. 

But the real work ahead is to reconcile the immense Rage I hold within me.  I do believe that some of that Rage is a remnant of past lives. But some of it belongs to this life, and all of it belongs to me, all of it is mine to claim and to reconcile.  And the time has come to do just that.

You might ask “Why?”  Why not simply nurture compassion?  Why ever let the Rage out at all?

It has taken a great deal of my power to keep it hidden and contained for most of my life, power that I was meant to use for living.  In those moments when my guard was down and it has escaped, it has been destructive and out of control, hurting me and those around me.  And suppressed rage, unexpressed anger, is one of the most insidious causes of clinical depression, which I have battled for most of my life.

My Gods, my Ancestors and my Allies have been pushing me to open this place, to find what is hidden beneath and I have.  They will not let me rest until I have learned how to express the anger and how to do so safely.  If I am to serve my Community and my Coven, my Gods and my Ancestors, I cannot have a nuclear bomb hiding inside me waiting to explode and destroy those for whom I am responsible.

I have always been afraid of my power for fear that using it would result in “everyone ending up dead and bloody”.  I realize now that is because I associate my power with my rage.  I can learn to heal it, express it and control it without simply locking it away inside my body like some rotting corpse in a tomb.

So the Rage has quickened and I must as well if I am to learn to do this work.  May I do so with compassion and power, honor and grace, courage and conviction.  So Mote it Be.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

the Queen of the Abyss and Past Life Work

In the past few months, two of my teachers have revealed to me impressions they had when they first met me (and ever since).  They are not wrong but, to be honest, it is a bit unsettling to be told that the secrets you thought you kept well hidden are not. 

After one of my teachers mentioned the Sorrow that I have carried through too many lives, (and the image she described was intimately familiar to me), I went searching with the intention to fully know it and release it.

Since then, I have journeyed to the Temple of Sorrows twice more.  When I first returned to the Queen I found her as I had left her, but weighed down with guilt and shame.  She showed me more of what her “sins” had been, and I spoke with her about the lifetimes we have spent in “penance” and that the time for forgiveness and peace had come.  That she had taught me compassion and that she could let go now.  The crack in the ceiling of the Temple widened and I embraced her and promised to return again and left her.

I returned once more with the intention of transforming her through the fire of sunlight into ashes that would rise as a Phoenix.  This was the image given to me by my teacher and it was my expectation and my hope.  I found the Queen in white, calm and almost smiling but when the ceiling opened fully and let in the light, it was moonlight and not sunshine.  Instead of a blaze of flame and ash, instead of the Phoenix rising, there was sparkling white light and a dove flew away into the starlit sky. 

I expected the Temple to be empty.  That the work was complete…but of course it is never that simple.  When I turned to leave, someone else stood before me, someone full of pain and rage and fear.  So the work continues, as it always will until I have finished with this life.

I have been chronicling my exploration into my sexual identity on another blog,

After reading one of my posts about a recent discovery, another of my teachers had commented that she had known that I harbored a vast amount of untapped anger.  The work  that I have ahead of me will not surprise her. 

Most people are blind.  Most people cannot see even a little past the glamours built over decades, let alone those built over lifetimes.  That is why it is so necessary to have teachers with vision and the courage to be honest about what they see, when you are ready to hear it.

I give thanks for wise teachers, for the Gods who have led me to them and for the Queen of the Abyss.  Blessed Be.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Propitiation and Petition

My strongest Magick is not operative but, rather relational, so that is how I work.

When something compels me to act, engages my will to actually use power, I go to my Gods and to my Ancestors and to my Allies.  I go to Those with Whom I have relationship. 

I make offerings to my Gods and to my Ancestors and to my Allies as a part of my daily practice, as a part of building and maintaining relationships.  Speaking to Them and listening to Them and spending time with Them is also part of that.  I rarely ask Them for specific gifts or blessings or “intervention”. 

They are not generally disposed to interfering in the world in that way, and it would be insulting to ask Them for what I should be doing through my own hard work.  But when I am moved (and there must always be a strong emotional compulsion for me to engage my will), I will commit Rites of Petition and Propitiation for Their intervention in my world and in the lives of those that are mine own, or in the life of one whose story has moved me so.  I do not ask Them to act in a situation but rather, for an individual.   

I believe that propitiation works, I believe that petition, made on the behalf of another, works.  And if my warrior’s heart is engaged (because that is what it takes for me to use power) if my will is compelled to act, I believe that They will hear me and will answer.

My offerings might be of my own food supply, spirits (alcohol) that I know They will enjoy, an act of service to my community, or perhaps my own blood.  Whatever is of value to them and to me (for if I do not value that which I give, They will never be moved to grant my petition) .  

My petitions will be for the highest purpose I can articulate.  I make an impassioned argument for the rightness of my request.  I argue for the need and for the benefit to the family or  to the community, and to Them and the work They wish to be done.  I get downright demanding, and when They make demands in return, I make the vows that They require, and then I live up to those vows.  

I have even been questioned during a Rite, about whether or not I would still want that which I was asking for, if it meant making a sacrifice (of something I desire, not something that would cause harm) .  I answered yes, and yet that vow was never required.  Sometimes they just want to test your commitment, your conviction., or to teach you.

Understand that Rites such as these are not to be undertaken lightly.  Intercession has a price.  If one is going to begin to make petition, one must be willing to pay the price requested.  I have never been denied, however propitiation is never only that which I have offered.  There is always a cost that is determined by Them.  

That being said, the price has always resulted in more understanding and growth for me and deepening of my relationship with Them.  They never stop teaching me.  And I give thanks.

Friday, August 1, 2014

on Power

We all have power.  We are born with it and it is inherent to us as living beings.  But we do not all use our power.  Some of us need to learn how to access it, and some of us need to learn how to use it.  Some of us need to learn how not to be afraid of it.  And once we have found it, and overcome our fear of it; what then?  Power without purpose is nothing, it is a waste.  Abused, it is a danger to ourselves and to others.

We expend our power every day.  Mostly, we waste it on minutia and the little dramas of our daily lives.  We might expend it in loving our family or our lovers, or in achieving a personal victory at work, or in the world.  We might use it for creating art, or bearing grudges.

Loving our families and lovers and partners is a wonderful way to expend our power.  There is nothing wrong with that.  Creating art and causing positive change in the world are also worthwhile ways to use our power.  But as witches, we try to use power with intent.

Building power, holding it until the time is right to release it, takes learning and practice.  It also takes will. It requires purpose and intent and the absolute conviction that these are aligned with our true will.

I have struggled with finding and acknowledging my power.  I have struggled with accessing it and overcoming my fear of it.  I have learned how to hold it and build it but, I am only now learning how to release it and when.  I have been doing a great deal of “soul-searching” to figure out what actually engages my will and what compels me to release power with intent and purpose.

That knowledge is necessary.  Without understanding what engages my will, I will never be able to focus the release of power with intent towards true purpose and, I will not be able to have the impact upon the world that I desire to have.