From Maiden to Mother – summer soul work

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I am feeling inspired today having gone through a challenging time in the last few weeks. Energies have been slowly building up to the peak point that is Summer Solstice and this year it was the hottest day. I am not good with heat.

What transpired in everything that surrounded me lately is the replay of my struggles on a journey of motherhood, a reminder of that difficult time of birthing and coming into the role of mother. What got activated this year not for the first time and became so profoundly present was my passage from Maiden to mother and I believe this year is that time not just to begin this process, but possibly to complete it. I felt during spring I have come into a space of acceptance. It was a physical experience of knowing that I had passed that threshold from maidenhood into mother consciously for the first time in ten years. My physical mother’s energy assisted me well in those times and deepened our connection.

HERE is a post I wrote back in March about that experience.

On my altar this morning I placed Maiden and Mother with favourite flowers of my physical mother. As always this was spontaneous and inspired by energies running through my body. I woke up early today feeling alive again as the heat dropped and the sun is not shining. I can breathe again and think and be in the space I am comfortable in. Comfort comes up a lot in a way that I am with others, myself, my son, and my husband. This feels crucial to cultivate that space for exploring this transition into comfort place of the Mother for me.

Ten years on and only now this year I feel the soil is finally fertile for me to birth my inner mother fully into being, accept her within and express her externally. This doesn’t just relate to the physicality of being a mother to my son although my relationship to that has been transforming steadily over the last few years and there is less and less battling with the external against what I feel within. It is activated now and again still and I do believe that echoes of struggles will always remain on some level. Experience for me had been traumatic and violently raw in many ways and traces of that trauma is bound to come in, but I have awareness of that and actively seeking to move into a healing space where my painful memories can be held in acceptance and contained in self-love.

This journey is also about the changes in me internally, my body, my face, my hair, skin and voice. What I look like now is nothing what I did before I became a mother and when in my maidenhood. There is however this freeing lack of yearning, desire and need to conform and hold on to that youth conditioning, which carries such a desperate self-abandoning and punishing signature. Looking back at my young self, that maiden was sick mentally, emotionally and physically. Her soul was stunted into non-being, non-acceptance and zero self-expression due to fear, anxiety, extreme criticism of herself and multiple traumas buried deep within. She existed in the name of validation and approval based on physical beauty. Many of us, former maidens had been there.

Now I am feeling liberated in the state of what it means to be a woman and a mother from inside out. Shining the light of soul, acknowledging all and every single qualities within and using that in the world regardless with complete acceptance. I feel summer will help me do this, summer is here to strip me off all remaining clothing that no longer fits me and doesn’t represent me as I am in my Mother/Woman way of being. Summer is the Full moon of the year, the fully pregnant time when all is ripe and beautiful ready to birth the new and transformed.

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Summer Solstice 2017

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Summer Solstice sizzled away like a hot fire pit and this morning we have fresh air and breeze. It is as if the earth is about to take a deep breath out and join in a dance with the brewing storm. I am up early this morning as I feel the storm coming and I become alive again after a very hot week and the hottest day of the year – Summer Solstice 2017.

I was faced with so many challenges during the week, confronted with the burning Sun, which seemly held no mercy for my discomfort and I moaned and moaned till I could bear it no longer. When Summer Solstice came and the heat reached its highest peak here in the UK my voice was gone and my spirit dimmed to a faint whisper of acknowledgment of my troubles. In that ‘melting’ I began to recognise my powerlessness against what appeared full of people to be a big lesson in love, patience and gratitude. I ended up taking a journey to the city, on a hot train and to my surprise I remained calm and collected with no grinding within my mind or heart. I stepped into a space of surrendering. I recognised it and that inner silence felt soothing. I remained in observation of things around me and within me and communicating gently with nature in its hottest burning state. I felt it smiling inviting all growth into dancing and fires burning all over the globe in honouring the Sun smelt delicious. The song of the Bard enchanted me into trance-like state of love, peace and gratitude.

I felt my relationship with the masculine challenged in the physical and spiritual sense and I knew it needed to be repairs, as ‘heat’, distorted fire within me raptured it. I began consciously cooling down in terms of being ok with what is and being accepting of releasing with the sweat what needed to go. I understood that my voice had a major place in how my discomfort is perceived and its effect of others. I pulled back, withdrawn to reflect on the sound of my voice and the meaning of the words spoken. It is within the balance of expressing your inner most uncomfortable cries within your soul and body and respecting the space where others co-exist. It is always about the balance and both are equally important if we are to be authentic. It is as much you as it is others, no more and no less. As we look within more the outside transforms and as the outsides engages with us we discover things within. Through the ‘voice’ work I offered a hand of reparation to the masculine and embraced its firy nourishment. There is still mistrust, yes, caution and suspicion and subsequent wish to withdraw. I am very aware of that, but what I choose is not only engage with that restraint within me in response to the masculine heat, I am also willing to expose my face to the brightest, hottest heat that seeks my attention.

I feel alive today post-Solstice and very inspired to continue this journey with deep gratitude and love in my heart and seeking engagement more and more with myself and others. Summer teaches connection, relationship to yourself and others. It is a time to be sociable, to acknowledge those links we have with others and recognise our contribution to that collective dance. It is the NOW time, summer, when we look at our achievements and life as a whole ‘warts and all’ and come out proud into a play field of our life with full engagement and appreciation.

 

Pregnant Earth

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I am not a summer soul. Year after year I experience a withdrawal as days get longer and the sun gets hotter. The build up to Summer solstice is particularly difficult with doubts, uncertainties and complexities I feel lost in. It is in parallel to my feelings about the Full Moon phase when things come to a culmination and then start to fade as a waning moon. I am not good with the Full moon and withdraw every time only to come out to shine with each New moon – my favourite time.

I notice how my outings in nature become infrequent and my engagement with the earth subsides. I find working in heat difficult and the sight of weeds overwhelming. Even my blooming plot brings on a sense of helplessness as everything doubles in size and spreads across the plot. This is it, it is a feeling of overwhelm, a time when I feel u contained and my vision obscured. I begin to miss crisp autumn/winter mornings when I could go into the woods and see right through it with walking anywhere off the path without having obstructions. This is something I can’t do in the summer as overgrown paths and greenery covers all from view. It can feel suffocating and adding a heat into the mix I am powerless. It is a time of rest, sleep and seclusion for me.

Many years ago I myself was in the last weeks of my pregnancy at this time of year, ready to release, and my experience was somewhat similar to how I usually feel in my uncertainty and resistance to summer. Perhaps, that association stayed strong within me, a difficult time, something I am only now connecting with. Perhaps, summer is also a reminder of that time when I felt overwhelmed.

With Litha coming next week, a time when the sun stands still in its fullest glory and the longest day of the year is upon us, I am in anticipation, as if waiting for a relief, a time when things once again start to wind down slowly. I feel the waning from that day forward and always feel relieved and let free.
In summer I go North to landscape of mountains, lakes and space around me. I feel free in that landscape and in need to see ahead of me unconstricted by the overgrowth of forests. This year I am taking a crossing to an an Isle of Mull over the sea to experience an open road with mountains and waters shaping the landscape.

Summer and exposure

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As summer energy begins to spread through the land in its blooming attire we have an opportunity to come out, lay bare, expose.

Summer is a time for outer expression, exploring potential and examining inner and outer in its full spectrum. As nature steps into its blooming coat, so do we seek opening up and exploring. This is a ‘Full Moon time’ in its energetic signature, if you like, where things have built up within and without and it is time to show ourselves to the world and to ourselves, warts and all.

My trip to the island of Skomer on the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales made me see parallels between how nature comes into its full potential and how it is an opportunity for us to expose all that had been hidden, open up to a more authentic way of being. The insight came through my own experience of fully exposing parts of myself that might not seem favourable, ugly even, yet while in nature I felt it almost necessary to go with whatever was manifesting within and it felt safe. This experience was new and I suspect there will now be more chances for me to ‘show myself’ fully. I have been in ‘hiding’ during summer months for as long as I remember, yet, perhaps, the time has come to make changes in ways of expression and authenticity.

With exposure comes acceptance and an integration follows, which is an important part to bringing us back to whole, back to ourselves. Was I scared I won’t be accepted or be judged? In the moment I didn’t think, I simply was in a state I was in. I did and didn’t enjoy it, as one would expect, but with exposure and real experience comes such clarity and awareness, which is so useful. On reflection when an opportunity comes for an exposure so does fear for not being accepted for who we are. As a society certain traits and behaviours might be looked down on, but there is also a chance that people that you surround yourself with will sit through that ‘exposure’ with you and become curious about sides of you they might not have seen before. If they manage to hold the experience and still feel the same those are the people that are meant to be around you, furthermore it gives others an opportunity to do the same, i.e. becoming more ‘exposing’ of themselves, accepting of others and freer as a result. We are all dark and light, beautiful and less so, hard and soft and the ability to be present with it all makes us stronger in knowing ourselves and connecting even deeper with others. We often fear alienating others and seek to conform, hide and comply, but we all know what that feels like. Sooner or later all of our inner pieces that are yearning to be exposed will spill into an ugly mess.

I felt inspired watching nature in its most open state, in its full blooming capacity. Nature doesn’t think or waits to be exposed it just does it regardless every year. Summer is the culmination of that energy manifesting everywhere. With exposure comes danger, as beauty can be just as threatening as ugliness. On some level we are threatened not just by others’ beauty, but by our own. We often do not see or realise our own beauty and potential, so we remain hidden and silent. ‘Be brave’, summer would say, bloom anyway even when someone might step on our blooming heart or cut us down mindlessly without a second thought. The song we sing might be our last, as we take flight into the summer air, but sing anyway, the more beautiful the better. Exposure of the body, mind and spirit is so necessary and summer is a powerful time to explore ourselves in our most vulnerable, naked state. There is a potential to be fully empowered.

I learnt the only way to be authentic is just that – expose. Summer allows that space and a perfect opportunity to seek acceptance from within. If we can stand our own shadow energies, watch it unfold, manage to contain it post-exposure and still be ok, we become more whole. This process is of freeing ourselves from the thinking that is harsh and judgemental, often coming from within. Take inspiration from blooming flowers and singing birds, vulnerable, but free in knowing they are blooming even if just for a short time. Nature is accepting of itself, it is not critical, shy or seeking approval. It just is. What greater example is there of authenticity of being.

 

Transforming with the cycles of nature

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Following the cycles of nature and changing seasons of the year have brought me much awareness of myself, the world around me and how everything can be observed, healed and transformed when one is prepared to ‘stop and stare’ and become one with what is happening at any given moment.

Celebrating festivals of the year has always been at the centre of my nature-based spiritual path. It provided such strong and firm foundation for placing me within the universe and making me feel as one with everyone and everything. It brought me peace. It is the most grounding thing I have ever done. It keeps me in constant observation and analysis of what is essential and what is non-essential, what needs healing and what needs to die. Its focus is always on the balance of things and with the changing temperatures, leaves on trees and colours of the sky one becomes aware of what is out of balance within. It is so clear and so touchingly beautiful when the feeling of yourself as one with nature transforms into an understanding of the deepest psychical workings within myself.

Yesterday, as I was reading a book on Druidry (something I am currently studying) I was struck with something that clicked within. There was a clear moment of something pure, clear and light coming through me. I often get this sensation when something grounds in my awareness and resonates with my soul. This year has been a challenge in every aspect and my seasonal patterns have been reaffirmed to me again, e.g. spring is not a good time for me, filled with emotional pain and rejection, whereas with the coming of autumn all is good again. It is just one example. The biggest pattern that I identified and solidified in my awareness this year is just how much the LIGHT has been missing. I wrote about ‘My light is in the shadow’ HERE.

Well, while reading about Druid philosophy and their strong ties with the Sun and light as opposed to the Moon and darkness, which had been mentioned in several sources I have come across, I realised why Druidry is now presenting itself to me as a chosen path to follow. I need to walk towards the Sun, from within outwards. I am now ready to be in the Light. I am also on a quest to find a Patron God, a masculine deity, which can guide me. I have so far only been working with the feminine deities, although recently I began experiencing for the first time the influence of the male God. On my witchcraft path I have worked and revelled in the darkness, which I strongly resonate with, perhaps, combining it with the lighter brighter Druid Sun workings might bring balance to my practice in an even more profound way. Therefore, my plan is, which I feel a lot of excitement about is to consciously implement and integrate what I have learnt over this year and walk into the next cycle, post Yule and starting with my favourite Imbolc in 2017 focusing on introducing my psyche to the Light and the Sun, learning to love and find joy in it instead of hiding away. One way will be focusing on all those festivals I felt less resonance with previously (it is understandable), like Beltain and Summer Solstice, e.g. and being the ‘summer’. This is truly conscious transformational experience that I now seek for myself and can’t wait to see what transpires. It will be an experiment to see if more balance is actually needed, as it might not be the case at all, which means something else will come forward and allow me to see what is needed. The first step is always becoming aware and the second decide to walk towards something that calls.

June – my yearly spiritual journey begins

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June – the month of spiritual opening

I have been consciously observing my relationship with each season and Sabbatt over the last two years, as part of me growing deeper into my spirituality. Following each month with awareness of energies, shifts, difficulties, preferences  I have come to many extremely useful insights and revelations, which subsequently had an impact on my life in all areas. One of the main insights was that there are certain patterns I go through as the Wheel turns through the year.

Some of you might already know, e.g. the month of May and the festival of Beltain is a difficult time for me due to some trauma that had occurred in my past. May is closely linked to the realm of ‘relationships’ for me. This year was no different; however, as I noticed recurring themes coming in each year I also set my intention to make a conscious shift in NOT repeating certain things going forward. I received upgrades and demands of necessary clearing out of my consciousness and invitation to grow into a new way of being in relation to repeated themes. Very much like a recurring dream until a dreamer gets the message, so to speak, patterns will continue to occur with messages becoming louder and louder. Will see what happens next year in relation to that, as I make what had been unconscious conscious and heal through my material. Very excited, needless to say, to be doing this work and being on this path. It is endlessly inspiring to me to be living the life in alignment with natural cycles and nature’s wisdom.

We are now in June, post-Summer Solstice, and what I have come to realise there is another pattern, which occurs for me during this month, specifically around and post Summer Solstice. This Sabbatt is another period of transition when the Kings are changed and we are beginning our descend towards shorter days and longer nights. This year, by the way, insights have been coming in so profoundly quick, like hitting me over the head with information and ways to move forward. Terribly exciting. This one was no different. The way I came to realise something was going on was the way I was asked to ‘go to sleep’, as if to say ‘there are messages in your dreams you need to know NOW’. A couple of times and, this happened during the day, I was ‘knocked down’ literally and the only way was to my bed to sleep immediately. I found it impossible to stay awake or do anything and, of course, those dreams are proving to be extremely potent with information. During the night dreaming has also become noticably intense. A lot of death occurs for me in dreams at this time, but this is another post all together. Looking back I began to reflect and make links with the month of June and how often at this time a dream journey for the year, the biggest one, would usually begin for me. This is a series of dreams, which hold a story for my growth and development, a story I must write down and follow and go through until it is complete. This year looks no different. I looked at when my spiritual awakening happened, during the month of June around the 20th June, three years ago, and I looked at what followed, which became clear to me June is the beginning of a yearly spiritual journey for me, which would manifest in dream work, travelling to my soul land (The Highlands, Scotland), confronting some difficulties towards the end of summer and coming out the other end a new person at the beginning of Autumn. So, here I am again feeling a particular way about this forthcoming journey I am about to go on. I am excited, nervous and looking forward to it. It usually begins at this time and continues till the end of summer. Watch the space. I will be posting updates on what comes in and happens in hope someone can relate to this process and get inspired by my journey through the seasons and months of the year.

 

2015 UK Travel Diary

October 2015 – The Peak District, UK

July 2015 – Isle of Skye, Scotland

June 2015 – Summer Solstice, Stonehenge, UK

April 2015 – North Wales, Snowdonia