it has been far too long

blog 7222018 (1).png

It has been far too long since I last wrote here – granted, seven days is not a long length of time to have between posts, however, after posting multiple times a week for a bit it created a gap. I wish I could share with you all that I have been doing, but for now, most of it will have to wait.

I have surpassed my original goal for the tale I am currently weaving, and I have changed quite a bit about it, the most significant being the culture that inspires it. Originally, it had been Nordic in nature but there were far too many questions I had about the mythology. I chose to make the transition to Celtic mythology and cultural inspiration, partially because of my current studies as well as the tale better fitting the Celtic culture. I will, of course, include a pronunciation guide for the names.

I have also made the choice to move my books to Kindle. Writing has never been a monetary occupation – it is rather difficult to sustain life while on a small time author’s pay. However, I find that the larger platforms offer a wider audience for my work. Someone may not enjoy it, but they may know someone else who would. I hope that this does not deter anyone from reading them in the future.

Finally, I wanted to share a significant change in our lives – my children will be attending a local school starting in August. The choice was not an easy one, but a necessary one for our current desires and place in life. It is causing me both anxiety and heartache to know that I won’t be offering them the education I want for them, but I know that it will all be for the better, in the long run. We all need our own spaces, and I remember that, as a child, school was my escape. They are not babies anymore, and I can only hope that I have taught them well enough to manage and navigate the halls of social interactions and academic learning. I will always be there, to listen and help where I can, but there comes a time when every child wants to experience things on their own.

Until next time <3

 

image credit

the queen of moths…

moth.png

“A moth may be a poor cousin to a butterfly, but it is still beautiful none the less.” 
― Anthony T. Hincks

It was safe to say that she feared moths – she understood that they would not harm her, but there was something about the speed at which their wings beat, their constant battering against the lights, and their tendency to favour her over anyone else. For as long as she could remember, she ran when a moth was present. She couldn’t stand how they got caught in her hair or behind her glasses or in her clothing.

It wasn’t until the night she met the Queen of the Moths that she learned why they had flocked to her all of those years. She appeared in a flurry of dusty wings, materialising out of the bodies of hundreds, if not thousands, of multicoloured moths.

They had been her calling card. She had been patiently waiting for her to answer and had a laugh each time she would scream and run. The Queen of the Moths rarely had the tolerance she exhibited with the young woman, but she had seen something in her all those years ago that had yet to disappear. The Queen had watched as the young woman sought after others that she had assumed were the ones calling her, and though it frustrated the Queen, she understood the nature of the process and chose not to back down.

Their exchange was silent, less a conversation and more an instant connection – the young woman understood, finally, and it had only taken nearly her entire life to find her way home.

The Queen of the Moths enfolded the young woman in her arms, covered her in the darkness that cloaked her, and warmed her at the fires of her heart. The young woman accepted her calling, accepted her place within the arms of the Queen.

 

image credit

dream blossoms and heart listening

wild-841415_1280.jpg

 

“Yet in the cycle of the year, spring always follows winter. In the same way, new openings appear when the heart’s needed rest is over. Accept your own inner seasons; they are as natural as those of the world around us.”

–Patricia Monaghan, The Goddess Companion

Dream Blossoms

I remember speaking briefly about a recurring dream – a nightmare, to be honest – that I have been having for a bit over two decades. There are lulls in its appearances, generally occurring more often when I find myself in distress.

In the dream, I find myself stuck in darkness, rooted to the floor of the cave. The fear in my chest is palpable, and I am trying my hardest to run for my life. There is something chasing me, trying to catch me, and it is so close behind me. I can barely open my eyes but for a sliver at a time, but I can see the entrance to the cave, which is covered in hanging vines – beyond that, I can see the blinding brightness of a field and a thick line of trees in the far distance. I continue to look behind me, trying to catch a glimpse of what is chasing me. 

To this day, I have not made it to the entrance of the cave. I have come close, but I have never crossed that threshold. 

I won’t dive too deeply into the interpretation, as it is still rather personal for me, but I came away from it with a better understanding of my Path and the work I need to do. I also realised just how often I close my eyes and refuse to acknowledge something, out of fear or out of unknowning. And lastly, my constant journey toward a deeper spiritual connection with all that surrounds me finally makes sense.

After going through, breaking down the different symbols and learning what their meanings are, I do not fear this dream and I no longer consider it a nightmare. I had been so afraid of learning the deeper meaning of it that I waited over twenty years to find it all out.

Heart Listening

“You are a ritual.
Your breath is the air of knowing.
Your body
grounding earth.
Your spirit
the fire of intention.
Your blood the ebb and flow
of deep waters emotion.
You are a ritual.
Never forget you are magic
made flesh, blood and whole
And sacred spells are written in your soul.”

–C. Ara Campbell, The Goddess Circle

Our dreams are our subconscious speaking to us – they are the deepest parts of us, trying to understand our days and our thoughts and the silent soul-meanderings we find ourselves on. Our dreams have lessons to teach us, things to show us that we may not have recognised otherwise. I am finally listening to the words my heart has been whispering. Some of the things I am hearing are painful, some are soul-shattering – but this is the nature of my Path, change is required and sacrifices must be made to attain, and maintain, what I require in life.

I am learning, through recent experiences, that we do not always get what we want, nor what we believe is right. At least, not when we want it. Sometimes, we have to make due with what we are given, and in time we may be able to bring about what we want.

Some things take time, and healing is one of those things. I, and my two children, have much healing to do – and it is highly likely that their healing will best be done outside of the home, whilst much of my own healing will take place deep with my mind and my spirit, hidden within the words that I write and the art that I create and the meetings I have with my mentor. This is what we need, at this time, and though I am broken inside, I know that it needs to be done.

 

Until next time <3

 

image credit

unravelling and rewilding…

canva-photo-editor (2).png

Every morning, upon awakening, she made herself a cup of tea – with a healthy splash of creamer – and sat out on the porch to listen to the birds. As they sang, she unravelled the ball of yarn she carried within her soul. She pulled the dark and tangled thread, easing out the kinks and untying the little knots that would make creating with it rather difficult. Most days, she wasn’t able to unravel the yarn completely before being pulled away from the birds and their songs for other duties – more often than not, she would hastily wind her work up and stuff it down inside of her, causing more knots and more tangles to form.

Once the children were awake, she had little silence to sit and do her work which often meant that those kinks in her ball of yarn would have to wait for the next moment when there was enough silence to hear the crickets and the birdsong.

She had learned, long ago, that those around her preferred a tame and well-mannered and respectful young woman – there was no place for unravelling, for the wild soul that lived within her. She was taught to be silent unless spoken to, to lock all of the feelings within her spirit in a box and hide them away from the world.

No one wanted to experience the crashing waves of her daily grief, no one wanted to feel the raging flames of wild-fire that burned under her skin. She held a gale of pain and thoughts in her mind, and the earthquakes that trembled within her bones longed to topple mountains – but she hid them, and she hid them well until it all burned through her mask and buried those around her, drowned them and stole the very breath from their lungs.

They would never understand, those people that sought to tame her and to silence her – they would never understand the tremendous amount of effort it took for her to breathe deeply and move on through the battering elements that raged in her spirit as if they did not exist. They would never understand the grief and the guilt and the pain she felt after letting loose, after erupting in the face of their hurtful words and actions. They could never understand the work she did, daily, to keep herself from lashing out, from calling forth all of the power of her rage to inflict on them what they had done to her for so many years. They felt attacked, they felt belittled, they felt like victims under her screams of pain and fear – yet, what they did to her was perfectly within their rights as elders, as authorities, as people who demanded respect, but did nothing to earn it aside from age.

She longed for the trails of the wildwood, for the uninhabited forests where she could unravel all of the dark yarn within, and dance with the moon and in the rain and beneath the stars. She longed for the freedom to express herself, whether through screams or through song. She longed for the peace of the meadows and the hills and the rushing river waters where she could be as wild as her soul compelled her to be, unashamed and unfearing of the society that had chained her.

Moreover, she longed for the gentleness that hid, deep within her. The gentleness that, should she finally be able to unravel completely, she knew would finally drift to the surface. She missed it, the gentleness that whispered to her from within that tangled ball of yarn, hidden behind all of the things she pushed deep down into the pits of her soul.

She knew that one day, the time would come when she could finally finish the work she had set out to do. However, she also knew that that particular day was not for some time, and so she would continue to unravel what she could before being called away to some other place, for some other reason. She would continue to push it all down, to apologise to those around her when she could no longer hold them tightly away from the surface.

The wildness called to her, just as much as the gentleness did, but she hushed their pleas as she finished her tea and left her work to another day.

 

image credit

 

unfolding…

nature-841424_1280.jpg

Path work is a very personal thing – no person’s inner, or outer, work is the same as another’s. Some are outgoing in their work, others are silent; there are times when you can see the work, feel it, read it and other times when there is nothing to show for the work that you have done aside from a change in perspective. There are times when the person themselves does not realise that they are doing Path work, when in reality they are.

Recently, the question “where are you on your spiritual path” came up, and I began to wonder if the sort of healing I am doing with my mentor, the sort of work I am doing deep within my soul, is considered Path work. I believe that it is useful to include conventional healing as a sort of Path work, because you are working to live your best life. When speaking of mental health, the work that is done in therapy can be performed in conjunction with Shadow work and other things of a similar nature – from a shamanic point of view, soul retrievals should always accompany work with a mental health professional because of the memories and feelings that it can bring back to the surface. Learning different coping skills can also be beneficial to a spiritual path, because we are taught different ways to understand and communicate with our communities.

Path work is a winding trail through a dense forest – there are markers where you can gauge your progress, but just because you are here and someone else is there does not mean that you are less or more than they are. In a spiritual community where much of our progress is marked by degrees and certificates that, in the end and in my opinion, do not mean much, many of us may feel inadequate.

As it is with schooling, just because you received a low mark in Maths does not mean you are a failure or that you are less – what of the high mark you received in English or in Art or in Theatre? What of your accomplishments in Sports or in Music? Even if all of your marks are lower than your peers, you showed up and sometimes that takes just as much, if not more, effort than being the top of your class.

I have so much information stored in my head, and yet I have not used even half of it. I have read articles and textbooks on advanced scientific theories and methodologies. I have learned numerous different art styles and I have an extensive understanding of musical theory and genre studies. I have delved deep into the cultures of various time periods. And yet, I do very little (if anything) with this knowledge – partially because I did not obtain it through an accredited source, therefore do not have a degree or certificate, and partially because I just love to learn and have no desire to put the knowledge into action.

However, my love of learning has given me more than enough fodder for the tales that I weave, for the artwork that I create. It has also opened up a unique universe of intellectual people that I can converse with without feeling lower than they are. The amount of knowledge you possess is useless if you do not put that knowledge to good use. If you never become a rocket scientist, but you can converse about quantum physics with a rocket scientist, I believe that you are putting your knowledge to good use.

A person’s progress on their path, whether mundane or spiritual, should not be measured by degrees or diplomas or titles – granted, there are professions that require degrees and titles and whatnot. That is not what I am talking about here.

Life is not a piece of paper. It is not a certificate on your wall. It is not the ritual of moving up a grade or graduating. Life is breath, it is getting your hands dirty, it is experiential. If you spend your whole life learning and never practising, is that really living? Is the high school dropout who travels the world any less knowledgeable than the Ph. D student? We all have our strengths, we all have our own sets of skills, and we all have something to offer our communities, both local and global.

My spiritual path has brought me to a place of healing. I have stepped off of the trail and into a clearing where I am required to do difficult soul searching and growing. We all have these places along our paths, where we must stop for a moment and take in the lessons we have learned along the way, and put the knowledge to good use. Some may view these places as bumps in the road, as things that deter us from our quests, but that is not their purpose. Their purpose is to force us to take a step back and breathe, perhaps to heal ourselves or perhaps to find a new piece of information, a new skill.

Each person’s Path work is different but no less necessary for their continued growth and progress along their path. Reaching the end of our Paths is the only common denominator.

Kim Krans, the creator of The Wild Unknown, says it perfectly:

May you always be on the inner quest.

Until next time <3

 

image credit