Integrating vs. releasing

good vs evil

In the last few weeks I am coming to an insight about working with different parts of ourselves and energies that actually do not belong to us, i.e. they are operating from outside, through us, but they are not necessarily a part of our psyche or personality.

Integration work within psychotherapeutic circles and depth psychology is a popular one and it makes sense, as we are all of many parts. We are multi-dimensional and play various roles depending on circumstances, within relationships and what is active within our psyche. We take on archetypal energy too and play that out in our life. Through therapeutic work we can become aware of different parts of ourselves, or sub-personalities, some would call it. We can give these parts names, voices, visual and physical presentation and establish a relationship with them all and observe how they relate to one another. This work can be profound in its insight and potentially transforming our relationship to ourselves and others around us. It can also get us closer to our soul purpose and true essence. With a skilful therapist walking alongside you it can be a very important piece of work.

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My sacred woodland

Across the road from my house there lies a woodland. It is a short pleasant walk into what is a sacred place to me. At first sight it might seem like nothing particularly special, big or of any significance, yet to me it means everything. It is a sacred crucible, which has been holding my pain and joy, ecstasy and turmoil and provided a solid presence and acceptance for many years now.

The way I would describe it in a way of imagery is a circle of greenery, it is a round shape, not too big, positioned slightly more to the left off the path although it stretches to the right too with a path running all the way round it and across it. It inhibits the lives of many oaks, holly trees, silver birches and smooth-skinned beeches. There are many hidden groves within the woodland where one cannot be seen from any of the paths and it feels like one is in a safe hold of the forest floor, trees above and plants all around. I often feel hugged by my guardian trees and most of them I can climb in between, as they stand in clusters. There is a brook running through the middle, small, narrow, but very alive with vibrancy of the crystal clear water.

In spring the woods change its flooring to vibrant purple of bluebells and the smell stretches all senses in a delicious dance of delirium. The joy is indescribable and it takes my breath away every time. In summer it is near to impossible to go off the path due to overgrowth of ferns and brambles and the air is so still I can hear my heart beat. I hold my breath in surrender to the cooling shelter that it provides amidst the heat of summer days.

In autumn it is very pleasant and paths yet again begin to open up for accessing all the hidden little groves, beginning to invite us slowly into the heart of the woods and our inner worlds. Here I cocoon myself for an hour or so doing magic or simply lying on the floor merging with the earth. There is a notable chill in the air, but so refreshing and, of course, the golden attire of trees never fails to get me to the floor kneeling before its majesty. In winter it is bare in all its glory and I can see the most intricate silhouettes of trees entwining their branches and huddling together against the wind. Stunning in their nakedness they stand strong in their vulnerability.

This woodland has been in my heart for many years and witnessed my process intimately holding all my secret heart desires and painful experiences. I never once left this place without a resolution, an answer or a transformation of some kind. It works every time. It is my trusted teacher, friend, guardian, counsellor, mother/father, the divine. It is something I can’t imagine my life without and its vibration has been aligning with my own for many moons whether it was performing my nature spells, meditating, talking to trees or spending time in close embrace with the earth smelling and feeling the glory of its body and soul. It might be a simple woodland, yet to me it is sacred and precious.

I now intend to take other people on soul quests through this wonderful place where I hope they, like myself, will find resolution, understanding, healing and transformation. I offer OUTDOOR therapy for clients in the UK, Uxbridge area.

Intuition and writing 

Intuition is invaluable when partaking in writing. Something I am becoming aware more and more as I write more. It often feels similar to magic when you simply know what tools to use, how and when and results just come together. It is the same with words, which come when one is tuned into emotions in the moment. It works when there is no overthinking and spontaneous leaps are taken in narratives. For sure you edit and edit and more edit as you progress but that initial expression is often the most powerful, in my experience. Some words seem to come from nowhere and that is so exciting to me when writing. The same applies to scenes and characters.

Just like I would intuitively know what oil to use with what candle and what Goddess/God/deity would support my work, I sometimes hear words coming out of me which happen to be just right for what I am writing about.

My tip is not to think, but to feel and listen and free write. I also recommend free associations as often as possible with images, nature scenes, trees, seasons, just allow for whatever is called for to come through. I think it stimulates and trains your imagination. It feels like magic and your intuition is your magic, your inner knowing that offers what is needed when it is needed.

Altar work and Water element ritual

I tapped into my intuition this morning, which produced a gift of awareness of what was needed for me today and over the last few weeks. I have become aware of the need to acknowledge Water element in me. I realised I have been trying to get going engaging my Fire, yet this year my alignment with the season is different and it feels more Water than Fire for the first time in years.

Intuitive ritual set-up:

  • I was drawn to two ‘vessels’, which I reached out for, filled them up with water and placed them both on my altar.
  • I switched my red candles for blue ones
  • I put a feminine/Water element essential oil of Ylang Ylang in my oil burner and also in both cups
  • I put my favourite blue crystal as well as sacred stone back on my altar.

I can say the feeling within me and in the room instantly changed. It felt more flowing, but also grounded. This is why I really love my altar, it is such an evolving, shifting space, which offers an opportunity to tap into what is needed and represent it visually and physically, which then directly affects everything around. It is creative and intuitive and incredibly supportive and holding. Altar work is an integral part of my spiritual practice and I find the work powerful. My altar is a living being travelling through seasons and actions and emotions they evoke in me. Through reflecting my feeling and mental states back to me it serves as a therapist or a mother, whose messages like a mirror reflected back get internalised by my being and shifts occur. I get to see myself through my altar. 

My intuition didn’t stop there and as soon as I acknowledged my struggle with this month (POST HERE), insights began to flow. I am now called to travel to my Nemeton towards a stream running through it and make an offering to the Goddess, to Water element. I am yet to find out what offering I am going to make, but being told to leave it till I am in the woods. It will come then.

Struggling to stay in ‘winter’

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I am struggling with staying in the moment. Is it a ‘curse’ of winter? Through running workshops and personal interactions I have been noticing how common it is for people to want to escape winter. More spring pictures pop up on social media in December and beginning of January. I am doing the same at this point, wanting to escape?

First, I feel I need to redefine when IS winter for me personally. Over the last few years I have embraced December/January as the most productive time of the year for me, a period of high Fire energy and creativity. During this season I write a lot, I feel in high spirits and I possess confidence like at no other point during a year. You know how we all like the familiar and we try to stay in that place of comfort and I thought I was experiencing the same energy this year, however, something is not aligning for me this January, things are changing. I noticed I am not able to stay present as much and yesterday I bought spring flowers for myself, which evoked a very obvious yearning for spring in me. Weather wise it is mild and raining outside, which, I feel takes away from my ‘winter’ feeling and I wish we had snow, frost and lower temperatures. I realised it is harder in that respect to stay in ‘winter’ for the reasons external as well as internal. Instead of feeling confident and raring to go, I do feel a bit flat and very doubtful. Fire element is being replaced by Water, a bit distorted water too, which is normally a spring signature for me. This is something new in me and for the first time in years I am unconsciously seeking ‘spring’, not in any way forceful or desperate, but I notice that shift. I begin to think about the future, jumping ahead, worrying ‘what if’ and things that I need to do. I also feel resentment left over from last year, something I am working on as well. Restfulness is also present, I can’t seem to settle. This is interesting to me and something that makes me wonder what my spring is going to be like (here, jumping ahead again) this year.

What are you feeling this winter? Notice your vibration and emotional and physical energy surrounding the season? What comes up for me is a need for a water ritual, contained water specifically and I am intent on writing a specific poem/spell for the Water element to perform later on.

The main and most important point is to bring ourselves back into the present, which somewhat, I realised, is very challenging to do during winter.

Here I offer beautiful words from BOOK describing exactly what is currently occurring within my awareness:

“In tune with most mystical spiritual traditions, one of the key teachings of Druidry is perfect presence. Instead of spending our lives in a mist of memories, doing all we can to hold onto and recreate past experiences, and ever reaching into the future, clinging to dreams, shying away from fears of what might or might not happen, we bring our focus into the here and now. We self-locate: we find ourselves in time and space. It’s an elusive place, the present, for immediately we catch a moment it disappears into the past. Immediately we grasp where we are it is difficult, the currents of nature ensuring perpetual change. But we aren’t taking photographs, snapshots for the collection; we are learning to live, and to do so means learning how to stay in that flow of evanescent instants.”

Releasing Fire spell with a drawing, New Year’s Eve ritual/spell

FireMagic
Fire magic. New Year’s Eve releasing spell

I have been attracted to doing some drawing in the last few weeks and I have decided to incorporate that inner pull into my magical workings. Using creativity and intuition are very important to me, as I often find it is the best way to express whatever needs to be expressed in the moment and what can be better than tuning into your inner voice and following your inner guidance to create whatever is calling to be released, expressed or manifested.

Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed and what I suggest is just go for it. Some people find that they prefer preparing themselves for a drawing through visualization first. I go with ‘unconscious’ creating, i.e. putting pencil to paper without preparation or engaging with any thinking process. It is a process, which draws unconscious material out of darkness and into the light. It allows you to see what needs seeing in that moment. More on Creative/Active imagination HERE.

I continue to feel as I go along, I listen to where and what is appearing in my body, but mostly I let it flow and whatever is meant to come up will come up. The only thing I say to myself before I start is – Release what no longer serves me. It lets the Universe know what your intention is and energy will align with what your need is, you just have to go with its flow and create.

You can also produce a list, i.e. words on a piece of paper of what you wish to be released with a drawing, which symbolically represents each of those things on your list.

The Moon is currently Waning and it is New Year’s Eve. It is the perfect time for releasing, letting go, cleansing and ridding yourself of anything or anyone that no longer serves you or wishes to walk alongside you with peace and love. This ritual is very simple, yet very powerful and all you will need for this is:

  • Drawing/list or both you prepared
  • Cauldron to light the fire in
  • White, black or violet candle
  • Lavender oil burning (optional)
  • Can be done outside or inside

Prepare yourself with a visualization of your goals, needs and desires and set your intention holding your drawing/list in your hand.  Light a candle and place it in your cauldron. Roll up your drawing/list and light it slowly. Let it burn chanting

Let what no longer serves me

Fly away Fly away

Release me, Heal me, Cleanse me

Happy New Year everyone! Let the Goddess bless you and your families with joy, love, pleasures and delights, good health and success, peace and kindness in the heart.

Much love

RawPagan

Image source: http://www.rootsofritual.net/