When a Native Canadian man once told me that my animal totem was the butterfly I was initially disappointed. Being short in stature already and having a tiny frame I thought that he was mistaken. He must not have fully connected to spirit and his medicine and was subconsciously associating teeny me with the teeny butterfly. I knew that inside was ferocity, passion, fearlessness, I was certain I was a cat, a tiger, a spider, something feminine, dark, mysterious and sexy. When I was given my Native name : Little Soaring Butterfly, I decided it was time to get to know my totem and to open up to the idea that perhaps this medicine man had seen something that I had missed.
Priestess Grove: Blossoming on the Spiral Path
A Priestess is a woman who acts as a conduit between the Heavenly and the Earthly realms, as our world shifts and turns and re-awakens it's ties to the Divine Feminine the role of the Priestess is once again coming out into the light of day. The Priestess Grove is a sanctuary of Priestess tools, ideas and inspiration to encourage the growth and re-emergence of Goddess consciousness back into the third dimensional world.
- An empowered relationship to my Moon flow. Every time that I lovingly collect my Moon flow and choose not to toss it into the garbage can, I am treating myself and my womanly flow with reverence and gratitude. The patriarchal shaming of my woman's blood is erased as I care for it in a sacred and holy way.
- Time to reflect upon what it is that I am releasing each month, what I became conscious of over the past Moon cycle and what I am flowing rid of, this conscious awareness strengthens my ability to release and cleanse myself.
- An example for my daughter, a living example. As she observes me over the years to come, her first impressions of a woman and her Moon time will be a magical, mysterious and joyful one.
- An example for my Beloved husband, his relationship to the Moon and to the power that a woman holds within herself and within her Moon flow has increased exponentially as he has witnessed my flowing with the cycles of the Moon and observed the ritualized way that I have cared for my Moon blood.
- A connection to my ancestors, to the Priestesses that have Priestessed before me, to the women that gathered in Red Tents to bleed into the Earth, to the Moon flow that has flowed through all women throughout time, I feel them close as I deepen my relationship to my Moon time.
- This month send a prayer to the Goddess, ask for her to inspire you towards a beautiful, antique or powerful feeling container that will become your Moon blood womb.
- When you have found your Moon container perform a ritual to sanctify it, set intention, say prayers over it, bless it with lavender or sweet grass and ask that the ancestors guide you in your journey with your Moon blood.
- If you haven't already, look into purchasing some cloth Moon pads, making some, buying a Diva cup or a sponge tampon and cease to buy plastic, chemically laden disposable products. Whether a pad, cup or tampon you can easily collect your Moon blood during your next flow with one of these products.
- Begin a Moon journal, the week before your Moon time begin to journal about everything that is irritating you, all that is frustrating, overwhelming and taxing to you. When your blood begins to flow, review what it is that you have written and release the energetic cause of your upsets with your monthly flow.
- When you change your pad, cup or tampon rinse the blood into the womb container that you have chosen.
- Once you have collected your blood, choose a ceremonial piece of clothing, a shawl, amulet or tunic and adorn yourself with it as you consciously and silently walk outdoors with your womb container and Moon blood (preferably barefoot).
- When you step out onto the Earth pick a sacred spot that will be the place of receiving, say a prayer of thanks at this spot. Thank the Divine Mother for the blood that courses through you, for your ability to receive the Life Force, thank Her for receiving all that you no longer need and for purifying you through Her cycles.
- Pour out your blood. Stand in silence. Be still. Be emptied.
- Once you have released your blood return in the same fashion that you journeyed, place your womb container in it's sacred space and prepare to repeat this ritual each time that you change your pad, cup or tampon.
- When your Moon time has ceased pour a little water into your womb container and keep it in the place that you have selected ready to receive all of you during your next Moon cycle.
As I feel the decent of the Sun's Scorpio energy falling down upon me I feel deeply grounded, calmed and for the first time during this past cycle of the wheel completely at ease. The Scorpio Sun is true to it's nature in that it is hidden behind dark clouds, felt but rarely seen at the end of this October month, becoming even darker as the Scorpion energy grows in strength throughout the November month. This upcoming month that leads me deeper into darker days and nights is my birth month.
- over~sharing 'senses' that I am picking up, inspirations that are descending upon me and any other seed of internal knowing that has not had time to take root whisks away chances for deep and meaningful work.
- over~scheduling myself with activities, social engagements and work keeps me buoyed to the surface of life during a time when the tides of the Ocean are ripe to pull me down, deep into Her depths.
- over~caffeinating myself keeps me jittery and unable to tap into the inner stillness that connects me to my inner Goddess self.
- over~eating processed and junk foods make me feel zoned out and lethargic during this dark month.
- holding sacred silence, secrecy, a sense of reverence for the mystery that slowly wells up within my womb space, my inner cauldron, my intuitive gut. This sacred silence gives me the space to digest the spiritual messages that I receive at this time and allows them to germinate and to take root within during Winter's hibernation.
- journalling, lucid dreaming, meditation, prayer, yoga. Internal, solitary activities that slow me down and open me up to receiving the potency of the mystery that enshrouds this month.
- this is the time of year when herbs, tinctures, teas, tonics and ciders awaken me to my Priestess self. Earthy potions that nourish my qi and warm me from the inside out keep my inner fires lit during the dark, damp days of November.
- hearty meals, stews, soups, potatoes all keep me grounded as the waters of Scorpio and the winds of the Autumn season call on me to dive deep into the intuitive waters and to rise high into the ethers of my third eye. Earthy foods, cooked at home help to sustain and strengthen my physical vessel as it is stretched wide open and laid at the altar of the Spirit realm.
The blood mysteries, they have called to me for years. The calling felt distant, an eery echo in an old worn in cave that lived deep within my wombspace, the house of my ancestors.
It's been almost a year since I walked through the veil of transition between Maidenhood and Motherhood.
In my typical Scorpio fashion I have jumped in full force, straight into the deep end. She is yet to be 'babysat' by anyone besides my husband, she sleeps with me at night, on me to nap, my breasts are forever at her disposal, we are pretty merged, my Maiden and I at this point. It seemed the most natural way in the world for her and I to be together at most times, it feels as if a part of my insides was birthed outside of me while remaining a part of me. Like I gave birth to my heart and now I hold her as close and as dear as possible.
Despite this energetic vortex that envelopes the two of us, somewhere throughout this year it became apparent to me that I was going to need some downtime, this need developed into a routine known in the evening as 'Daddy/Daughter' time, this is my time to unwind. When we decided, my husband and I that downtime was very much a necessity for me, the vision that I held was of me knitting, reading, writing, meditating, napping and drinking tea. I'm happy to say that at 11 months this is pretty much how my sacred space looks 80% of the time.
Daddy/daughter time began with me addictively watching TV series and eating potatoe chips (often they were organicish) and drinking pop (cane sugar instead of white....) getting as many "ep's" in as I could and fervently escaping into other worlds. I posted on my personal Facebook page asking for more show recommendations when I had devoured Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey, The Tudors, Boardwalk Empire and finally Orange is the New Black. My Priestess sisters, energy community and homesteading friends suggested some nice healthy mindful practices rather than T.V. They had the same vision for a healthy, full time to self that I had had. I just wasn't there yet. I felt myself slink away from announcing my dirty little TV and snacks habit and just sank even further into the couch cushions. I sank and I feared that I may have lost all of who I thought I was. I wondered if I was going to loose my Priestess self, if I was going to be a Stay-At-Home-Mom that didn't write, hold circle, offer services to others and ate junk food and watched T.V. I'm so appreciative that I allowed myself to sit and eat. I'm grateful that I didn't push and that I was were I was and allowed that to be okay. These months humbled me, they revealed my humanness, not only in my need to take time for self, but in my ability to experience a little sloth without loosing my soul or my calling in the process.
My mentress, the Priestess Aquarius, would teach me this during every learning session we spent together. "Above all Candise, a Priestess must be humble," she would tell me during my training. It was these words that followed me when I fell into a depression during a 'dark night of the soul' three years back. Similar to, yet nowhere close to as dire, this dark night of the soul mirrored my surrender into the couch potatoe phase that I have just been through. Both of these situations called for me to fall into what was and to allow myself to be in those moments, to let go of what I thought life should look like and to flow with the River of life. My dark night of the soul began when a man who has lived this lifetime shrouded in darkness, one who had wreaked havoc on my life when I was a young Maiden re-appeared in my life temporarily three years ago. I fell to pieces as years of frozen and unacknowledged trauma rose to the surface. My first response was to 'spiritual leapfrog' through the pain. To skip over the pain, to deny it, to spiritualize it away, simultaneously I felt myself teetering along the thin line of self-destruction as my old wounds promised to take me over the edge and back into the black abyss of self-destruction that I had lived in once long ago. In that moment of choice a silent clarity descended upon me and I made a deal with Goddess, I said to Her, "okay, I'm going to fall apart now. I'm going to feel everything I didn't feel when I was abused so many years ago. I'm going to fall to pieces and I'm not going to rush to come back together, I'm just going to let it happen and I need You to carry me through this." And I did. I just fell completely to pieces. For one full year I did little more than make it to work, the rest of the time I cocooned on the couch, I barely ate or showered, I went to trauma therapy and fought the voices in my head that argued that therapy wasn't as evolved as breathworks, meditations, Shamanic journeying and communal circles (all of which I also attended). My world turned black and I wasn't sure I would ever see colour again, my pride was stripped away from me and I flowed along the river of despair until one day I was delivered to the shore. I stepped away from the river integrated, more whole than I had been before I fell apart and I was gifted with experiences that I could offer others on the shamanic path. Suddenly I had less 'answers' for others and more experience to share in. This was the heavy pill of humility that I swallowed and this experience has taught me that being real, being human is worth more than any shiny ideal of a spiritual woman that I could try to fit into could ever be.
So I fell into my couch once again, though this time out of burn out rather than despair and I just watched as much TV as I could, I trusted the process despite my very alive pride that yelled at me that I was loosing all of my Priestess self in this year of Motherhood. I struggled with my 'Superwoman' archetype that had envisioned me baking, cooking from organic scratch, writing, knitting, sewing, visitng friends and humming a merry tune all the way through. I judged myself, harshly, after all I only had one little baby. I had so much help from my husband. I wasn't working. She slept great. So what was my problem? Simply put I was drained. In the Waldorf tradition of thought, which is rooted in anthroposophy a woman's child is under her 'Madonna Cloak' for the first three years of life. Energetically my Maiden sucks up as much of me as she can and I need to reboot. So I sat. And I watched, and I watched and I snacked.
I'm fine with this sense of not belonging in the religious houses for the most part now. Yet when my call to become a Priestess first beckoned me, it was the pain of being rejected by the religious folks, the so-called faith filled ones that came up to be healed. Because while I don't fit into any of the major religions, despite my great thirst for a devoted and surrendered life, I also didn't feel I truly fit into any pagan, wiccan, Goddess or any other ancient or alternative circle either. I was a bit of a spiritual misfit, an orphan of sorts with no home that I could find on Earth.
Where my lack of belief in a Devil, a male God living on a cloud and my refusal to conform to the idea that I as a women am to play a supporting, subordinate role in this drama of life counts me out of the religious world, I feared that my lack of a belief in many deities or the necessity rather then the desire to worship in a circle or a prescribed fashion, along with my personal choice not to try to manifest or use magic to make a situation unfold in my desired direction counted me out of all other potential spiritual circles. This made the first half of my spiritual journey a solo one, I just didn't care to explain my renegade brand of beliefs to anyone anymore after the run ins that I had found in the fellowship of the churches. I had been disillusioned to find that nobody was actually interested in hearing why I didn't believe in a Devil, rather they were waiting for me to finish speaking so that I could be corrected and saved. This rang true for the many names but same Source conversation, or the pointing out of Bible verses where Jesus urges His followers not to proselyte, or discussing the misogynistic writings and practices of Paul, deemed St. Paul, none of these were discussions to be had, they were misbeliefs to be corrected and if not corrected then I was a lost soul to be prayed for and turned away from. I wasn't about to face another rejection from a group of spiritually practicing women and men if I could avoid it.
I love my higher chakras. I've loved them for as long as I can remember.
Singing and chattering away from the moment I knew how to make sound, I revelled in my fifth chakra, the fifth chakra is the chakra of expression, it is the space that we speak our truth from, the centre for singing, speaking, writing and creating.