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.

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Candise

Candise

Candise is an ordained Priestess of Grace who works with the Butterfly Spirit as her totem, and as a professional Psychic Channel.Candise practices a faith that she has named 'Feminine Mysticism'. In mysticism we acknowledge the One Source and recognize all else as human hypnotism. In Feminine spirituality we embrace duality and marry it, forming non-duality. It is through the practice of Feminine Mysticism that Candise utilizes ritual as a tool to see beyond the hypnotic suggestion of this realm.Priestess' have practiced the art of marrying the energies from this Earth realm and the Higher realms together for many moons now. Mystics endeavour to find Source behind the suggestions of illusion. Thus the Feminine Mystic approach to life is to marry the Truth of perfection with the human experience. This is the path that Candise Priestess', the Spiral Path of Grace, the path of the Feminine Mystic.
My services are offered both in person and via distance, one on one or in group settings, depending on what it is that you are in need of. You can find my services at : https://priestessofgrace.wordpress.com/2015/02/28/services/ To receive any of these services, or to ask any questions you can reach me at PofGrace@outlook.com
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Awakening to the Divine Feminine
A few months back I wrote a post about redefining gender adjectives in regards to our feminine and masculine essence. I suggested that what has traditionally been described as 'feminine' traits be renamed 'lunar' traits and that what has traditionally been called 'masculine' traits be renamed 'solar' traits, I then went on to state that a woman is feminine regardless of whether she is running more lunar or solar energy, simply by virtue of being a woman and that a man is masculine, whether he is running more lunar or solar energy, simply by virtue of being a man. I would amend that statement to read "a person who identifies herself as a woman is feminine by virtue of being a woman and that a person who identifies themselves as a man is masculine simply by virtue of being a man." You can find that post here: http://www.witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/priestess-grove/the-solar-and-lunar-goddess-and-god.html

Since changing my views about what constitutes femininity and masculinity I was posed a question that deepened my awareness and understanding about what my feminine essence is. A fellow mother who has felt a call to her Divine Feminine self asked me, "how do you connect to your feminine self, where do you start?" In the past I would have shared with her a list of lunar activities that would activate her 'feminine' self, however, I know now that women are both lunar and solar, and so suggesting activities that are exclusively lunar would be suggesting she participate in activities that would activate only 50% of her feminine essence. Since I cannot  define the feminine essence solely with lunar examples anymore, what suggestions could I give to help her to connect to her feminine essence and what steps could she take to embark on a path of feminine spirituality?
 
I reached out to the women in my Goddess Gathering Facebook group. This is a private group of women who have gathered together on the New Moon for years now, a lot of us have since had geographic relocations, however we have stayed in touch via the far reaching world wide web. I asked how they connected to their feminine essence, responses ranged from simply spending time in the nude to taking salsa dancing lessons. Overall the consensus seemed to be that the balance between connecting to oneself on a personal level and connecting to the Goddess on a Universal level was the path that have led us into a place of understanding and relating to our feminine essence.
 
When I reflect on my own journey, it was the Universal Goddess that first began to awaken my connection to my feminine self. At the age of 25 I had been an avid student of Christian Mysticism and knew nothing about the Goddess, I am also an artist and was at that period of time challenged with writers block. I began the Artist's Way, a workbook created to help artists to unblock their creative selves, the book promised to not only unblock me, but to also reveal to me hidden aspects of my creative self that I had yet to actualize. On one of my artist's dates, an activity that I was  committed to once a week throughout my process, I visited a book store and purchased a copy of the Mists of Avalon. When I read the Mists of Avalon, and experienced Vivienne pulling down the mists for the first time, when I was introduced to the Priestess isle of Avalon, something inside of me was awoken and I could never feel settled again until I found a way to have that magic, that power, that feminine essence in my everyday life. That was it. From that moment on the course of my life was altered forever. I like to think that the Grace of the Mother was guiding me, She was calling me home to Her. At the culmination of my Artist's Way journey, my writers block had shifted, however instead of finding a new artistic talent, I had a new thirst that was born, it was a passion and a determination to know the Feminine Face of God and to understand what my femininity looked like and felt like. 
 
I began the journey of reconnecting to my feminine essence by seeking out wisdom from the teachers around me, I remember fondly a yoga teacher asking for us to share our intention for a workshop that I was participating in, my intention was that I wanted to become more feminine, my teacher laughed and asked the class, "who here thinks Candise isn't already feminine?" I was flattered and hopeful that maybe I was feminine, though at the time I couldn't see it. I run a lot of solar energy, I am most at ease in my lunar, but on a day to day basis I am generally quite solar in that in the world I am active, determined and initiative. I assumed that in order to be feminine I had to become more subdued, gentle, flowy, attributes that I have always admired and sought in my female friends, attributes that are very lunar and that I confused with being feminine. What my teacher saw at that time and what I have come to know is that every person who identifies themselves as a woman is feminine when they are connected to their authentic self. I run my feminine energy in a very solar way out in the world and a very lunar way when I am at home or amongst a close group of friends. My Myers Briggs type is INFJ, a very rare combination that gives me the appearance of an extrovert, as I am quite talkative and comfortable on stage in front of a large group of people, however internally I am introverted and need  time to regenerate and refuel after being out in the world. Extroverted = solar, Introverted = lunar. My astrological chart is equal parts lunar and solar. My personal path of feminine discovery has led me to find the balanced expression of femininity in the lunar and solar expressions of self, this is of no surprise to me, as I am called to work in the Libra tribe in this lifetime, the tribe of balancing both sides of the scale. As my personal path continued to weave and to wind I began to attend Goddess Gatherings, I took a small four week workshop that reawakened ancient knowledge within me about the phases of the moon and how they correspond to the phases of my body and the phases of my life, and I joined a Priestess circle and was ordained with my Priestess sisters. With each circle that I joined, each woman that I connected with, each process that I went through with the intention of connecting to my feminine self, the more awakened to my true feminine essence I became.
 
My reacquaintance with the Divine Feminine was a whole other journey that happened simultaneously and side by side with my personal connection to my feminine self. The first place that I sought Her out was in books, I was inspired by fictional works that incorporated the mystical resonance of true Goddess worship that I had found in the Mists of Avalon. I found that those fictional novels kept me inspired and motivated to continue my search. The Passion of the Mary Magdalene Chronicles, the Red Tent, more Marion Zimmer Bradley novels, the Fifth Sacred Thing, the Witch of Portobello and Medicine Women are just a few of the books that have sent my feminine soul soaring into actualization. Today I revel in herstorical books, anthropological accounts and archetypal information about the Goddess and how She was revered, however when I was first seeking Her, it was the myths, the stories and the lore that kept me opening up and looking for Her presence. Beyond books there wasn't any other place that I knew of to seek Her except for in circle with my sisters, in nature, and then, most importantly for me, within.
 
My first concepts of the Great Mother Goddess came through a new relationship to Mother Nature. As I began my Priestess apprenticeship I took one week to dedicate my intention to each of the four elements. I delved into my relationship to them, I discovered the  life within the four directions and found that their influence on me was both soothing and grounding. I found the Mother in the external realm, in abounding nature I was lifted up, I walked into a realm where the vibration of a flower, the essence of a tree, the passion of a flame, the messages of water, were all reflections of Her presence in my life. This was a great blessing and the foundation for my walk with the Goddess.
 
I still had one area that I thirsted in, and that was the area of inner awareness, I longed to feel Her Divine presence within me as a benevolent being that I could seek guidance, direction and love from. That relationship has been a process, without realizing it, the Father God concept had been so engrained in me from society that I felt as though I was praying to a made up mythical entity when I began to reach out to Her. Bit by bit, I began to have moments of an awareness of a Mother presence with me, it was a slow beginning, however, when I became pregnant and then after the birth of my daughter I felt my relationship with Her reach new heights and depths. She is all around me, and within me. I ask Her daily to Mother through me, and as I gaze with love and admiration at my daughter I get glimpses of the love of my Mother. It is through the unfoldment of my life as a woman, a woman connected to her feminine self that I found the Goddess within me. 
 
This relationship has solidified in me an understanding of the Divine Feminine. When She came to me as nature I learnt that She is as soft as a feather, as fluid as the oceans, as hard as the rocks and minerals and as dangerous as the hottest flame. I learnt that my femininity was defined by my expression of self as a female in whatever form, in whatever way I allowed my authenticity to flow. As I became acquainted with the Goddess archetypes I became acquainted with facets of my feminine self. Some days I am as wild and untamed as Pele, as kind and compassionate as Kuan Yin, as benevolent and generous as Lakshmi or as fierce and destructive as Kali. Every day, in every way I am in my feminine self. Societies definition of femininity does not define me nor does it define the Goddess, the Goddess is not a soft, soothing place for the God expression of Divinity to rest His weary head, though She can offer respite to the masculine expression of Source when that is needed. I am not a doll faced, gentle lamb, licking the battle wounds of my ferocious lion of a husband , though some days I feel so good being soft and gentle and feeling his strong presence lie into me....and other days I prefer to be the hungry and exhausted lioness, sweaty and bloody from a day in the wild, lying down to be served by my gentle loving lamb of a husband. I wear all of the faces of life, I wear all of my emotions and all of my dreams and I call it all Divine and all feminine.
 
As I remember the beginning of my journey into Goddess spirituality and review my relationship with my feminine self, with the Divine Feminine and with the dissolution of the social construct that labels femininity, I have some particular suggestions I would offer to anybody who identifies themselves as feminine and is looking to awaken their relationship with their own Divine Feminine self and with the Great Goddess Herself.
 
  • Contemplate and open yourself up to the four major elements. Spend a week noticing and communing with water, and then earth, and then fire and then air. Find these elements both externally and internally and notice how they change your day to day life experience.
  • Research the Goddess, learn about her herstory, learn about Goddess worship, research the different Goddesses, buy the Goddess deck by Doreen Virtue and begin to pull a card a day and find that Goddess in your 24 hours.
  • Spend time in nature, a lot of time. Observe mother nature, observe her in her quiet times, in her wild times, in her bareness and in her lushness. Begin to notice her wherever you go and commune with her, say hi to the trees that you walk under, stroke the bushes that you pass, wink at the flowers that preen. Interact with the vibrational life that is animating the nature that surrounds you.
  • Have a baby! An actual baby, or a fur baby, or a creative baby, or a surrogate baby. Birth something, it can be an actual birth (though you will probably find more reasons to choose to bring a life into the world beyond learning about the Divine Feminine) or it can be the birth of a project, a creation, a plant, a pet, anything that you bring forth and are then in a position to nurture and care for as it grows and develops. This time of your life will put you in the position of acting as the Great Goddess acts in your life, as you guide and love your 'baby' you will have brief moments to understand the Divine Love that is constantly pouring forth to you from Her.
  • Pray to Her, ask for Her to reveal Herself to you.
  • Meditate, on an image of Her, a concept, a feeling, or simply become open and wait for Her to reveal Her presence to you.
  • Lastly, remember that you are feminine just by virtue of being you.
 
In the final analysis this journey that has led me to connect to my feminine self has brought me to a place that has made the word feminine redundant. What I was seeking for was an authentic connection to myself, that connection to my authenticity automatically brought me into alignment with my feminine self and with the Divine Feminine that animates me. I have shown up in this world and identify myself as a woman and am therefore feminine, in all of my authentic expressions and ways of being. The parts of me that I thought were masculine, were really my capable, strong, direct feminine traits. The parts of me that I thought were feminine, were my introverted places, my soft spots that I love and cherish. In the grand scheme of Universal Truth, both feminine and masculine merge together to create the One Source, yet while I am on this spinning rock in an embodied form I live in a realm of duality. In this realm of duality I can choose to connect to a feminine expression of Source that I call Goddess or a masculine expression of Source which I call God, and at times, at witchy, enlightened, high vibrational moments I can connect to the asexual, transcended Source energy, I am made aware of the Absolute that lives beyond duality in the realm of Oneness. This One Spirit is my Home and lives within me, I brought this One Spirit down with me when I incarnated onto this planet as a woman.  I am honoured to have this lifetime as a woman, this is an exciting era where the feminine is rising up and claiming her validity on this earth, eventually these dual expressions will merge, until then I carry my role and my mission as an expression of the Divine Feminine with the utmost honour and reverence and my hope is that each and every woman finds her authentic self as a true expression of the Divine Feminine and continues our journey towards enlightenment. One woman at a time we are rising Her up. Each woman that finds her connection to her authenticity is finding her connection to her feminine essence and in turn is beginning a relationship with the Divine Feminine, a relationship that will forever alter the spiral path of destiny that lies ahead of us.
 
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly
 
 
 
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Keeping the Flame of Twin Flame Love Alive

I really wanted to believe in Twin Flames, when I first read about them, something inside of me settled, the part of me that remembers Home before incarnating resonated with the idea of a Twin Flame.

 
A Twin Flame is your other half, literally you are one half of a soul and your Twin Flame is your other half, together you complete each other. The story goes that once upon a time we were androgynous creatures, as life continued to unfold we split into two beings and from that moment on we seek out, or in the least, sense that we have an 'other' out there.
 
The difference between a soul mate and a Twin Flame is that there is only one Twin Flame and there are many soul mates, soul mates are from your spiritual family, the tribe that you incarnate with over and over again. I knew that this was true because I have three soul mates, my sisterfriends that I have had since childhood, one of them is a soul mate that is so deep we would have married if the other had been born the opposite sex, it's fortunate that we weren't as I would have missed out on meeting my Twin Flame.
 
When I met him, I knew, I knew at once that love at first sight was real, that Twin Flames were real and that regardless of how our life unfolded I would be okay for having met him. As a writer I love the power of the spoken and written word, this personal encounter, what meeting my Twin Flame was like is one of the few areas that I feel as though I fall short. Prior to meeting him I had had a lot of 'this is the one's' and I could have easily heard a story like mine and thought 'yes! that's this one' only to find a few months later, once the newness had dissipated that it wasn't 'this one', this would have left me wondering, "are there really Twin Flames?" So while it is hard to encapsulate what the experience of finally meeting my Twin Flame was I can offer a few memories that have always stuck with me.
 
The first is that I wasn't excited, I was in joy and at peace all at the same time. A self-confessed relationship junky, it was quite common for me to become all a jitter when I met a new potential mate and to wonder when I would see them next, if they would call, what our future would be like, in one sitting I could have us married with babies, with my Twin I felt as though every second was quenching a thirst deep within me that I didn't believe would ever be quenched until after leaving the body behind. I longed with all of my being to be with him and also believed that there was a very good chance that wouldn't happen in this lifetime. I knew that I had found my Twin Flame and I had read that most Twin Flame encounters were intense and brief, that usually both Flames weren't at the same place in soul development to sustain a relationship and some people even believe that you don't meet your Twin Flame until your final incarnation. There are times that I hope that this will be my final incarnation, however if finishing the reincarnation process is determined by levels of enlightenment I highly doubt I am close to finishing up this cycle of death and rebirth. I knew as I sat and talked with him that I was most likely going to repeat incarnation and I saw that the circumstances of our lives were quite stacked against us, we lived in different countries on different coasts and he was wrestling with some very deep and dark demons, demons that I had met and overcome years before. 
 
And so, where I would normally have felt a manic need to control and plan I basked in the blessing at having met my Twin, I was overjoyed and surrendered. At the same time I began preparing for my human self to come in, I knew that she would, and she did, big time.
 
The two of us began a long distance relationship and the bliss of knowing that my Twin Flame was alive and well was overshadowed by the devastation of being separated by time and distance and the unknown. I was so shattered that I all but sabotaged any chance that we had to be, a few months in I had five days off of work, I booked a flight (an insanely impulsive move for me, I am quite frugal and planned) and went to see him, my plan was that I was going to be my most radiant, perfect expression of self, and on the last day, after meeting his friends and families and wowing them all I was going to break up with him, I figured that I could in the least be a lasting memory of what could have been, up until that point I had been behaving as nothing less than a basket case. This was my egotistical plan.
 
What happened was, that when I pretended to be free and happy the two of us were able to enjoy our visit, I became truly free and happy and we reconnected and it became clear to me, within my heart and soul that I was in, %100 until the very end, whether that be in a week or a month, I was going to see us through. From that point on we had a devastatingly sweet courtship, I flew him to see me every other month, our visits were all encompassing and full of passion and playfulness. I had always been so guarded about life and he reminded me to play and have fun. I would cry, openly weep and weep in his arms, rocked to the core that he was going to leave again and he would hold me, inside moved that anyone on earth could love him that much. I am not a crier, I wish I was, I love seeing the softer side of women and men who cry, I just seem to freeze up, but during this time I was an open well of tears.
 
Grace guided us, every night, with his permission I would light a candle and pray to the Goddess, I would connect to both of our spirit tribes and ask that they guide our steps, I would ask for the willingness to go to any lengths to be with him and for the willingness to let go if that be in our highest good. I asked for the doors to him living in my country to be opened or for me to be in his, if that was in alignment with the highest good.
 
The day that he immigrated to our country and crossed the country line in the airport I ran and jumped into his arms, just like in the movies and whispered to him "is it over?", "it's over," he assured me. What followed was nothing short of bliss, we had this sickeningly sweet habit in the daytime of calling out to one another "Honey," the other would answer "yes?" and the first would say "I'm at my zenith", life truly was like one long unending happily ever after. The Twin Flame challenge was over, grace had prevailed and living together and being together didn't get old.
 
I wish that was where our story ended, but it isn't. What came to follow was life, human realm life. I had ptsd, frozen, undiagnosed ptsd that I wasn't aware of, a year into our life after immigration and it unfroze and I froze. I couldn't feel my Twin Flame, I would see him beside me, see his tortured hazel eyes as he couldn't reach me and I felt nothing. He did everything for me, he cooked, cleaned, did the groceries, drove me around and snuggled me as I lie on the couch, deep in a well of darkness that I couldn't get myself out of. I spent the year in deep trauma therapy, shamanic work and support group connection, slowly I came out the other side, but something had changed. There was something about having been beside my Twin Flame but unable to access our love that had jaded me. Reconnecting to one another took dedication and faith, for a long time it was only the memory and the knowledge that he was my Twin that kept me walking forward.
 
After this time we got married and three days before our wedding I got pregnant, we were newlyweds preparing for our first child, he went to school and then 19 months after our daughter was born we moved across the country. Now we are floundering to find our roots in this new area, he is seeking out gainful employment and we are hunkered down at my parents house. Life is busy, stressful and very much concerned with the third dimension. Days go by where he works, we play with our daughter after work, I put her down and he falls asleep beside me as we watch a show. We yell at each other when the pressure gets high, we despair at times about what direction to take next. Sometimes he feels so much like an extension of me that I forget to observe him as my other.
 
After one particularly challenging weekend this past month I finally stopped, paused and went within, here beside me was the man that I had longed so fervently to have in my life for more than 14 consecutive days, he is my husband, the father of my child, the love of my life and I just couldn't access any of that. I began to wonder, what happens to the Twin Flames that stick it out, what happens to Happily Ever After, after?
 
I understand why writers create so many break ups in hit shows, besides the flare for the dramatic, it is hard to write about lasting passionate love without writing about what keeps the love going and that is an individual recipe and a mystery. Just because it is hard doesn't mean it is not possible. Here is what I have found, in order to keep the Twin Flame flame of our love activated, burning and as powerful as it was when we met I must make  the memory of our first meeting a working part of my day. There are three tools that I have found simplify and focus the intention of keeping our flame alive that have been working for me, they are:
 
  •  Prioritize: I need to prioritize the truth of our love, not only spending time together, but connecting to the depths of our love before addressing our daily life duties and responsibilities. Abraham Hicks teaches me to get into the vortex before beginning any work, I need to jump into the vortex of our Twin Flame connection before we begin working on our life as a team.
 
  • Trust, trust is a must in any relationship as far as I am concerned, the trust that I need in order to stay tuned into the high vibration of our love is the trust in the power of love. When we first fell in love people would remark about the two of us often, they would talk about what a 'good couple' we seemed to be or how 'well matched', people enjoyed being around us because the vibration of true love is pleasing. When I remember the power of being in the vortex of love I remember the power that him and I possess when we are connected as one. Which brings me to my other tool,
 
  • Remember the power of oneness. Oneness is such a deep spiritual principle, I have only ever caught an intellectual experience of it up until meeting my husband. Once we met I 'got it' him and I literally were one, just in two different bodies. When I remember our Oneness stressful thoughts about who does what, how to work as a team and who is on the beam for the day fade away. As long as I take care of my side of the street we are good, we are one. I know that he does his spirit work and works hard for us, so this is easy for me to practice, but it is also necessary, each meditation I do is a meditation that lifts us both up, every laugh that I take, each moment I surrender we are both lightened and loosened.
 
When I stick to these three simple reminders, to prioritize our love above the demands of third dimensional living, to trust the power of love to raise our vibration into an experience that sustains and fulfills us and to remember the power that we possess when consciously experiencing our merged oneness I am able to live in our Twin Flame love as if it were the first day all over again.
 
Life is wobbly for me right now. We are finding our legs in this new land. We are seeking out ways to live our vision in new territory. I am relearning how to co-habitate with my parents while we find our way. I do not feel settled yet. What I do have is contrast, a deep, soul wrenching contrast and this contrast is compelling me to reach deep within, to find my own centre of grounded faith. My faith in the Creator falters very little, my faith in my marriage and in the blessing that the two of us are together is being strengthened in the midst of this uncertainty.
 
My intention of marrying my Twin Flame was to commit to love him as the perfect expression of God and he me as the perfect expression of Goddess every day for the rest of our lives. To see his perfection behind the illusion of his human falterings and in this learning to be able to better love the world. That mission statement is one that uplifts all.
 
Beyond what the world gains from Twin Flame love lasting is the very personal gain that I receive, a place of warmth, joy and passion that weathers the storms of life's ups and downs and an experience of the other realm in the flesh, for Twin Flame love is magical and not of this world.
 
Twin Flame love is one of many ways to tap into these higher vibrations, there are many others that do not require a merging of two people, the Twin Flame path is one that I am on and one that I am continuing to learn about as I walk side by side with my other. To all of the light workers, to all of those Preistessing a new reality on Earth I bow to you and give my thanks, your walk lifts me up. To all of the Twin Flames that have stayed past the initial passionate ignition I honour and give thanks for your love, as we find our other and merge ourselves we become a stronger force for love, light and joy unto the world. 
 
Whatever your experience, we are all one and we are all walking closer to a collective merging into one great Flame of love united.
 
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly
 
 
 
artist : Josephine Wall
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The Spiritual Path of Motherhood
I didn't ever guess that motherhood would be my spiritual path. When I was a really little girl I dreamed, as many little girls do, of having a baby. As I grew older my soul longed for something deep and mystical and all around me in my small hometown I saw people having babies and then working jobs that they didn't enjoy to pay for those babies. Motherhood seemed common and boring, I certainly didn't ever consider being a stay-at-home mom and put very little weight into what motherhood would entail for me.
 
I have felt a strong pull to walk a mystical life ever since I can remember. When I was three years old I was disturbed that a girl in my junior kindergarten class was continually missing due to illness, I approached my Mom with my concern and she suggested we say a prayer for her. From that moment on I asked to pray for Anna every night, I would report to my teachers the next morning that I had been praying for Anna to be well. At the end of that year I proudly carried home the 'prayer' badge that I had been awarded. 
 
As life continued and I grew older, I struggled with anxiety and depression throughout my formative years, the world felt heavy and my pull to the Divine was strong, I didn't know how to find Heaven on Earth and I spent many years thinking that death was my only doorway Home. At the age of 18 I opened up the first of many, many books that explained to me how to experience spirit on Earth. Hope was planted. By 21 I had fully committed myself to walking a spirit led path and left behind mind altering chemicals and began to practice a way of life that required mindfulness, taking stock of my life, amending past harms and a daily surrender to a Higher Power that I call Goddess to guide my thoughts and actions.
 
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The Solar and Lunar Goddess and God

I've discussed in past articles my colourful first years on this earth. Childhood was painful and led to painful decisions in my teen years which resulted in some dangerous and unloving relationships with boys who were so far cut off from their spirit essence that it felt demonic being around them at times. 

 
With an authoritarian father figure and these early romantic liaisons as my blueprint for what a 'man' was I found dating to be extremely difficult when I entered my conscious path. I strived for mindfulness, love, compassion, kindness and forgiveness in my life, I also deeply desired to be loved by an other, a male counterpart to my female self. The men that were interested in me who were living in mindful spirit filled lives were not attractive to me in the least and the men that were attractive to me weren't drawn to me anymore. I was no longer a vibrational match for abusive criminal men and wasn't yet a vibrational match for the type of man that Goddess would intend for me. Thus I spent a lot of time alone and aching for a romantic partner. Eventually I found that there are men who either think they are walking an evolved path and are delusional or are pretending to and are wolves in sheep's clothing, these men were perfect matches for me during this stage of my spiritual evolution. We thought, or at least I think we both thought, that we were being mindful while we acted out the abuse pattern, him as abuser, most of the time, and me as victim, most of the time. 
 
The challenge, besides the obvious, is that I truly was continuing to grow along my spiritual path and my growth eventually vibed me out of these pseudo spiritual/abusive relationships. I became a Priestess, I dedicated myself to empowering myself and other women to connect to the Goddess within, the feminine face of Source and I could no longer turn a blind eye to my attraction to destructive, sadistic males. While this steered me out of the abuse pattern with men, it left me once again lost in the dating world and brought me to the place where I had to look at my addiction to the abuse pattern as well as my misperceived notions around what it meant to be masculine.
 
I fell in love with the writings of David Deida, he explains that there are three levels of masculine and feminine essences. I was attracted to first level masculine (though not all first level masculine men are abusive) and was myself surrounded by a lot of men who were in their second stage masculine, I began to desire the third level masculine as a love experience. (This article is not about David Deida, so this paragraph is grossly simplifying his works, I highly suggest anyone to go out and purchase one of his books and cd's to get a full emersion into his work.) In short, the first level masculine is the old fashioned chauvinistic man of the 1950's who expects to be weighted on and cared for, the second level masculine is exploring his feminine essence and leads with his feminine, there were a lot of men who were very much primarily in what I at the time called their feminine essence in the circles I was frequenting. The third level masculine leads with his masculine self but is very much in touch with and able to access his feminine. The reverse of these three states is true for the feminine. Generally speaking men are primarily masculine and women are primarily feminine in the David Deida model. The third level masculine became my hope, a loving version of the strong, directive force that I sought out in abusive relationships. 
 
When I met my husband in New York he was a glorious example of somebody who led with his masculine self and was able to access his feminine through his song writing, acting and ability to empathize, cry and hold me. I was finally in love and I was finally attracted to a healthy strong man. I couldn't have been happier.
 
I hadn't done all of my work on my personal attraction to the abuse pattern before meeting my husband and while it seemed as though I was going to be able to skip over it one day I came face to face with the original essence of all that had attracted me to the abuse pattern and began a one year decent into deep trauma work. During this year I was confused and hurt, I mistook abuse for masculine essence and would pressure my then boyfriend (soon to be finance and then husband) to be more masculine. He would express his feelings, or be patient with me, or cook for me and I would take these loving gestures and explode that he was 'too feminine'. One day he sat me down and asked for me to clearly explain to him what I wanted, to let him know what it was that seemed to be lacking in the 'masculine' essence I wanted in our relationship. I can't remember what it is that I said, I just remember blurting it all out and watching him as he took it in, finally as I was finishing I saw his brow furrow and he shook his head sadly and responded, "Candise, I can't do that, it sounds like you're asking me to abuse you." That struck a note with me, even though I felt justified in my insanely insensitive behaviour I knew that he was right.
 
Thanks to deep trauma therapy, I came out the other side of that nightmarish year, I was my 'old' self again, only cleared of a lot of unconscious programming. My husband and I mended our relationship, we grew closer and rebuilt trust. However there were residual harms and the term 'masculine' and 'feminine' became triggering within our relationship.
 
Outside of our relationship I began to notice other area's where using the terms masculine and feminine to describe traits or behaviours wasn't working anymore. I would share with my women friends about struggles that they were going through and when I would name parts of their behaviour or tendencies as masculine they would become quiet and withdrawn. This wasn't inspiring for either of us, the word itself is in fact an adjective for being manly and regardless of how strong or efficient my girlfriend was she didn't want to be told that her strength was a part of her manly self. When I would attempt to praise the strong feminine that my husband did possess past wounds of being called feminine as though it made him womanly were present. I don't know that many men will find being told that their sensitive selves are a part of them that is womanly. 
 
These discussions began to expand my awareness, we qualify objects as masculine and feminine, the sun is masculine, the moon is feminine, fire is masculine, water is feminine and we attribute these states as being more active, direct and extroverted or more passive, flowing or introverted, insinuating that energy that is associated with males is active, direct and extroverted and that energy associated with females is passive, flowing and introverted. From this perspective a man can't be masculine and flowing and a woman can't be feminine and extending, the man has a feminine side that is flowing and the woman has a masculine side that is extending. While the attempt to encompass a wholeness within each one of us by finding both sexes within us may have been the impetus for naming these qualities as either masculine or feminine, they have instead defined what masculine and feminine can be and have contributed to an unconscious form of sexism. I was left with the question, where do I go from here?
 
A few years later and people in my Priestess circle began to discuss the Solar Feminine, they made reference to the many Solar Goddesses that were revered prior to the patriarchy as well as the Lunar Gods that were well known. I liked the idea of a Solar Goddess but didn't know how to reconcile this with the sun being attributed as a masculine essence until it finally dawned on me, I was done with the terms masculine and feminine altogether and I was adopting the terms solar and lunar. 
 
I like to be in my lunar essence, I feel most at peace in my lunar essence, however I often gravitate towards my solar essence as I have very strong and efficient solar abilities that were instilled in me when living under a very solar father as a child. When I do call upon or unconsciously go into my solar self my husband's lunar self is called up in response to my solar essence as an energetic adjustment to create and maintain polarity between us. Polarity is where the spice is, the fire and the passion and most romantic relationships are seeking to remain in an energetic polarity to keep that attraction alive. 
 
When I began to frame our essence as lunar and solar rather than feminine and masculine  I began to own my  wild, passionate fiery Goddess self and to honour the cool, receptive, magical God beside me when I was having a solar day and he was having a lunar day. If I feel like I want my husband to bring the light and the direction of the solar then I call on my lunar essence, the one that I prefer to be in and watch as he burns bright in his solar. Some days we might both be solar and some days we might both be lunar, though I find more polarity and passion when we are two halves of the one whole and so one of us usually switches our essence when we arrive home after being out in the world if we discover that we are matching the others frequency. 
 
Now when I talk with my girlfriends and reference her solar energy rather than calling it her 'masculine' energy she feels empowered and as though she is calling upon a sacred force, rather than being manly in some shape or form because she is choosing to extend or exert herself.
 
Naming solar qualities as masculine disempowers our feminine, it tells us that we can have solar qualities  as a counterpart to our feminine selves but that those qualities are 'masculine' and therefore connected to man and not to ourselves.
 
I do like the terms feminine and masculine, I am grateful that the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine are on the rise. I also embrace the Solar Feminine and the Lunar Feminine as well as the Lunar Masculine and the Solar Masculine. I believe that solar and lunar are ways to empower the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine. Below are a list of Solar Goddesses and Lunar God's that were once a common part of every day life, let us remember what wholeness lay beyond qualifying one essence as feminine and one as masculine: 
 
Aditi: is an Indian Goddess of light. She is an expression of the Divine Feminine as illumination, a Creatrix that carries the spark of life and gives birth to all that is.
 
Arma: is a Hittite and Luwian Moon God, his connection to the Moon gave Him the powers of a magician. The moon is a mirror and lends great energy to the magician archetype.
 
Amaterasu: is a Japenese Shinto Goddess of the Sun and the Heavenly realms. In Japenese myth She is the Sun Goddess and Her brother Tsukiyomi is a Moon God, in some stories it is Amaterasu's anger at Her brother for assaulting another Goddess that made Her vow to never see Her brother again and explained why the Sun and the Moon were never seen together. This is a wariorress stance, one that banishes and claims loudly that violence against women is not acceptable, Her power drives Him away and She shines brightly, free of Her brother and proud in Her position as the head of Japan's pantheon. You can see her symbol on the Japanese flag.
 
Nanna: is a Mesopotamian Moon God whose symbol is a bull, the crescent shape of the bull horns symbolize the Moon. This God was associated with fertility, the bull is a fertile and strong masculine totem. He was sought out in aid of divination, His connection to the Moon gave him powers of illumination in the psychic realm.
 
Baast: is a powerful Egyptian Sun Goddess with the head of a Lioness, she represents playfulness, magic, fertility and magical radiance. She is a fierce protectress.
 
Toth: is an Egyptian Moon God who aided Isis, Osiris and Nut, he has powerful magic and is connected to the power of the written word. The inspiration that the Moon stirs up gave him the power of the word and of magic.
 
The above Goddesses and Gods are but a few that reverse the roles that have become associated with female and male roles, even when shrouded under the term feminine and masculine. I challenge myself to begin to utilize the terms feminine and masculine as representations of the fully expressed feminine energy of Goddess and the fully expressed masculine energy of God. These have become terms that encompass all traits, solar and lunar, for me. In embracing both my solar and my lunar self I release any judgement that I and society have unconsciously bestowed upon my solar self. I don't have a 'strong' masculine that I choose to quiet when I am with my husband in order that I might wear my feminine. I have a strong bright solar light that serves me well when I am in my work and navigating the external active world. I also have a mystically magical lunar self that I love to revel in when I have somebody shining their strong solar beam in relation to me.
 
If I feel it, think it, express it or be it then it is feminine because I am feminine. If you feel it, think it, express it or be it and you are a woman it is feminine, even if your expression of feminine differs from mine or the social construct of feminine. If you as a man feel it, express it or be it then it is masculine because you are masculine exactly as you choose to show up. This is my freedom. This is my sovereignty. This is my truth.
 
When I think back to David Deida's work I believe the first level masculine and feminine are men and women that exude only solar or lunar traits. In the second level the men try on their lunar and forfeit the solar and the women try on their solar and forfeit their lunar, however in the third level both woman and man stand side by side as Priestess and Priest, conduits for both lunar and solar energy, able at will to call upon whichever energy will best suit the situation at hand.
 
 
As we continue to raise up the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine and allow them to  encompass both lunar and solar qualities we begin to reclaim our wholeness, our ability to be a reflection of the all, we connect to our Priestess or Priest self and become empowered shining, magical beings. I pray for bright Solar Goddesses and magical Lunar Gods as well as intuitive Lunar Goddesses and powerful Solar Gods to live through each and every one of us, I pray that my daughter will live in a world where the only 'feminine' aspect that she defines herself by is that which is her radiant Goddess self. And I vow to honour the lunar and solar in each and every being that I encounter regardless of their sex, this is how I invite and accept the allness of the Great Goddess within me.
 
Lastly I forgive myself and I forgive those that were conditioned to condition me to believe that my solar aspects were anything less than desirable or feminine qualities and I ask forgiveness of every strong and whole man that I mistook as being less than strong and capable in the face of their lunar self. May this forgiveness extend in a ripple and be a drop in the ocean of reconciliation and restoration of the Goddess and God expressions of Source on Earth.
 
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly
 
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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Candise
    Candise says #
    Thank you Michele. I am so glad that there are other women and men that are finding these terms as confining as I have found them
  • Michele Murphy
    Michele Murphy says #
    I love this so much. For me the terms masculine and feminine are fraught with society's belief that feminine is lesser and weak. I

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The Spring Equinox Resurrection

The Spring Equinox is one of the four major cross quarters of the year. There are two Equinoxes and two Solstices and for people that follow the wheel of the year these four major cross quarters are often celebrated in a group or solitary ceremony.

 
As a Priestess I have led many Equinox and Solstice ceremonies.I get lit up leading a group of women and men as we tap into the energies of the quarter we are celebrating, adding ritual tunes us into the cycle that we are entering and also gives us an opportunity to set intention for the upcoming cycle. We get to build on the cycle of the wheel, to flow with the rhythm of Mother Gaia and to be a part of the shifting cosmo's.
 
In short we are born anew on the Spring Equinox, we come together and merge, tapping into the ripe fullness of spring and the fertile times around us as we celebrate the earth and Her sensuous gifts on Beltaine, when the Summer Solstice comes around we give thanks for all that is manifest, we call upon the Light and shine it upon our life, illuminating and bringing into awareness what is, at Lammas we prepare for our harvest, we begin to take stock of what we have grown over the summer months, by the time the Autumn Equinox rolls around we begin to harvest, we gather what we wish to keep and to bring with us into the dark hibernating months ahead and we perish that which no longer serves, Samhain is a dark night of ritual where the dead is honoured, the veils are lifted and we go deep into the unknown, Winter Solstice we awaken from our deep slumber, take a break momentarily from hibernation and celebrate the coming light, Imbolc begins to quicken us awake as we go over the deep transformations that have taken place over the Winter months in our cave of hibernation and we prepare to be reborn into the Spring Equinox, and thus the wheel begins again.
 
These are the cycles that I celebrate and when the wheel rolls around to the Spring Equinox I gather those who are called and hold ceremony. Some years there are many of us that gather, some years it is my Beloved and I that gather together, just the two of us in a private ceremony and other years I honour in a solo way. 
 
Of all of the phases of the wheel, this one is the toughest for me personally. Unlike so many others that struggle with the darker phases of the year, it is the returning of the light that has been a challenge for me, long before I was a Priestess, long before I had heard about the wheel of the year I struggled with the coming of spring. Once I began my path I would contemplate the visceral reaction that I had to the changing weather, my stomach in knots of anxiety, a sense of dread hovering around me and a desire to escape the world and stay in bed. It didn't make sense to my rational mind, this is the season everybody celebrates, the cold is gone, the sun is out, it's time to celebrate! Well for me it isn't. 
 
Eventually I did come to a conclusion about my aversion to the Spring Equinox and the season it ushers in. The conclusion that I have come to is twofold. The first is that the springtime ushers in with her the inevitable summer, the long days and heady nights begin in the springtime, this change of weather triggered a response within me, a post traumatic response to a date rape that had happened when I was a teenager on a thick and balmy summer night. I didn't connect this occurrence with the spring, as it happened in the summer, however it is the shift into spring that first brings me back into the summer weather and that sense of the season would trigger me every year, and every year that I was triggered and didn't know the cause the trigger would just become deeper and more painful. Blessedly I entered trauma therapy and while I don't know that the wounds of rape ever vanish, the scar of that occurrence has sealed over and the wound has closed for the most part. This means that the warm air that begins to waft and the bright skies that begin to shine don't have the same affect on me as they once did. As I began to process and release the trauma that was trapped in my body I found that each passing spring was a new experience of more and more ease. I began to get excited some years at the beauty of spring, the warmth, the birds, and most exciting of all was that I began to remember a time when I didn't dread the springtime, a time long before date rapes and chaotic teenage angst when as a child I had really been as happy with the spring as everyone else around me. This healing and releasing of trauma has relieved so much of the wind of panic that would come up for me that I began to think that perhaps I wouldn't have a struggle with the Spring Equinox at all anymore.
 
Until the past few days, when the second part of my challenge with this time of year was revealed. The Spring Equinox is the time of the Maiden Goddess Archetype, it was no mystery to me or anyone else that worked with me as I developed in my Prietessing ministry that the Maiden aspect of the Goddess and myself held great wells of sorrow for me. It was when I was in my Maiden that I received all of my abuse, not only at the hands of my rapist but also from the men that were guiding me as I grew, the boys that I misguidedly chose to date as a teen and also from myself. These Maiden years were dark ones of despair for me, however I attributed the pain in my Maiden years to the first reason why the spring was so challenging and found that the pain and wounds of all abuse was released during my healing work thus nullifying the painful memories of being a Maiden as a reason for my springtime resistance. However, to my utter shock and disbelief, once the trauma had been felt and lifted out of the body that had stored it I began to have visceral memories about enjoying my Maiden self, I began to remember aspects of my childhood that I missed greatly. My teenage years, the ones that became so chaotically dangerous suddenly contained within them such precious memories, such deep moments of connection, sisterly bondedness, wistful dreaming and true idealism that I became profoundly appreciative of years that I for a very long time preferred to think about as little as possible and attempted to bury completely.
 
I am so grateful to the Goddess for clearing away the trauma and revealing to me the beauty and splendour of my Maiden years, the spaces within me that were untouchable by others and even by my own self destructive tendencies, and for recovering memories of a beautiful time in my life for me.
 
The second challenge to the Spring Equinox for me is not in facing the wounded part of the Maiden Archetype within me, it is the depth of grief that I have as I feel the Maiden aspect of myself drift further and further away from me as the years pass. I feel her like I would feel a ghost. I feel her longing for freedom and self expression and revolution. I feel her wistfulness, I feel her wonder at life and her belief despite all of the contrary evidence that at the core of everyone is the Divine. I feel her unbelievable, indescribable bond with her best friend, one dark haired, one light haired, both confused for one another because they are so fused, I remember finishing sentences, laying on each others laps, spending every spare moment together, watching t.v. shows on the phone together, I remember this love that is so intense and so passionate and so unromantic but as strong as any romance that I have had and I feel the hours and the hours that were hers to do with as she wished. I feel her and she is so much further away then she was last year, she is so much further away then she was before I gave birth, before I was married, before I fell in love, before I moved out west, before I dropped out of school, before I moved out of my house. Somehow the wheel keeps on turning and she continues to fall further and further away from me and what I once celebrated, the death of her memory I now grieve so deeply that each new springtime bud reminds me of a time when all I had was time, time to be unto myself and to wonder at what life would be. 
 
This Spring Equinox is a resurrection of all things Maiden for me. The Spring Equinox, is a time of rebirth and my work as a Priestess is to allow the energy of the wheel of the year and the medicine that it holds to mould me and to guide me, and so, this year as I prepare for ceremony I prepare to rebirth my Maiden self. Though I am walking in my Mother years I still have access to that Maiden self, each waxing moon honours the Maiden within me and each Spring that is sprung is a season to pull her up from the recesses of my unconscious, Persephone returning from Hades, my Maiden self is returning from the hellish memories that once lived with sweet, tender, life filled ones. It is my job to keep that energy, the energy of idealism, faith, hope, revolution, love, sisterly bonds and deep healing alive within myself. These are the parts of myself that ignite the flames of passion within, the springtime is the season for the fire element with the wheel that I honour and my inner Maiden lights those flames.
 
In humble reverence to the mysteries that are revealed within each cycle of the wheel as it spins by I step out into this cycle and walk through the fires of challenge that the Maiden Archetype has held for me for so many years and I resurrect her essence within. If each one of us could hold the essence of our Maiden and Lad selves within us, could honour them for one cycle of the year each year, then we would have a generation of wizened Mothers, Fathers, Enchantresses, Wizards, Grandmothers and Grandfathers radiating from within them all that is enviable about youth balanced with the nurturance, magic and wisdom of the other stages of life that we walk in. 
 
That is my vision for the whole tomorrow as I go into ceremony, I hold the Maiden Goddess Archetype up within myself and within each person that I find, remembering that we are all, at the core of us, Divine children of the One Mother Goddess. I honour the innocence in me that is alive and pulsating and I honour the innocence that is within my sisters and brothers, I commit to seeing past the stories, the wounds, the conditioning and to finding the spark that lives within each one of us that is ever ignited. I go within and I sit with my own inner spark and give thanks and praise to the Maiden that lives within me for shining her light throughout all of the dark and all of the joy. Blessed Be.
 
Happy Spring Equinox.
 
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly
 
 
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Men who honour the Goddess

 

During this month of Light returning (Imbolc) and love igniting (Valentine's celebrations) I collaborated with a man who worships and praises the Divine Feminine expression of the one Source. 
 
The re-emergence of the Goddess has challenged everybody to question the patriarchal realm that has been dominating us for too long. With the rise of the Goddess comes a new relationship with the Divine, as well as Father God that we connect to in the Heavenly realms we have begun to become reacquainted with the Mother Goddess of the Earthly world that we are in.
 
Although it has seemed as though it is women who predominantly worship and honour the Goddess, she is not a 'God' for women. Just as the patriarchy  harms both women and men, the Goddess is an expression of Source that feeds both women and men.
 
Once I began to know the Feminine aspects of the Creator, She became such a significant part of my life that I couldn't imagine having a long term relationship with a man that couldn't honour that side of Source. I also couldn't imagine raising children who didn't know Her face and presence. I didn't believe that I could be led to a strong, masculine man who would honour Goddess, nor one that would join me in raising Goddess conscious children. The man I was dating when I began my Priestess path would vehemently argue "why does it have to be so much about She and Her? God isn't a woman you know." I would counter, "I know, God also isn't a man, so why not use Her for a few hundred years since we've all gotten to know the Him side so well?" I could feel him bristle, he felt threatened and upset and there was nothing I could do. Shortly thereafter we parted ways.
 
My employer at the time was only too happy to set me up on a blind date with a wealthy, successful man who was ready to settle down and have children. I was happy to go on a date, my last relationship had gotten quite tedious, and I was looking to have children in the nearish future. When I met up with this man I didn't feel the spark, but I decided to explore it. He showed interest in my spirituality, the Goddess Gatherings I attended and the Priestess training I was doing.  A part of me felt vulnerable about revealing my sacred inner world to a person I had just met, but his enthusiasm made me ignore my reservations. After we parted ways I pondered how I would politely decline a future date, as I knew he wasn't for me. I also pondered how I would let my employer know that her blind date hadn't created a future marriage. I arrived at work and my boss pulled me aside.
 
"Candise, Peter (let's call him Peter) said that you seemed more into the Goddess than you were into having a family."
 
I'm going to pause here a moment to share that I wish I could have put a halt to this insulting conversation then and there, but I was shocked, humiliated and dumbfounded.
 
In a condescending voice my employer went on to suggest that I ease people into my lifestyle and not mention it on a first date. That night on the bus ride home I cried, devastated that I had shared about my sacred journey with this man. I felt humiliated to be discussed as though I were a piece of property and then shamed for who I am. I was desolate, certain that that I would never find a man who would honour my path, let alone join me on it.
 
Fast forward two months later and I was flying to New York, a whirlwind of a city where I met and instantly fell in love with my husband. As we sat at a busy diner the night we met he asked me similar questions to the blind date guy, except this time I felt at home and safe. I felt as though all of my life was being coated in pink gossamer. I just fell into a conversation about who and what I was, and he was enraptured. He compared me to his psychic mother and genuinely admired my work. Months later as we dated and then moved in together he would play guitar and lead "We all come from the Goddess..." in circles that I led. He would drop me off at Priestess circles and Goddess Gatherings and join me for events where men were welcomed. 

 

...
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Mercury Retrograding with a Toddler
Here we are, in the midst of another Mercury Retrograde. 
 
Being a Priestess of Grace my daily aim is to follow the path of Grace, not only do I follow where Grace leads I allow Her presence to infuse my life. When Grace is invited in karma is dissolved and 'worldly' powers have no effect on us, the caveat here is that we need to be aligned so deep in the Grace that it overcomes our conditioning or the strength of the pulls of this realm. I know at my truest core, that in the face of the One Divine One Mercury Retrograde has no power.
 
However.....
 
I'm pretty human and I feel Lady Mercury and her coyote spirit so strongly every time! I purposefully do not look up retrogrades in an attempt to further deepen my fall into Grace, the idea being that "thoughts held in mind produce in their own kind," and not knowing will keep me aligned with Grace and out of the effects of the retrograde, that little trick has not worked as of yet as I still find myself at a loss for words, riled up, impatient and frustrated that what I'm trying to say is not coming out clearly during each Mercury Retrograde that rolls around. Sure enough I check my Moon calendar and there we are in  the midst of another Mercury Retrograde.
 
The beauty of Feminine Mysticism, is that it acknowledges the One Power while also finding the Divine in the human realm and all of the tides, cycles and rhythms that occur to us while embodied. I have found that the gift within the Mercury Retrogrades that I experience is in the pause, the pausing to think a little bit harder before I speak, to contemplate a little more mindfully before I act and to breathe a little bit deeper when it takes me 30 minutes to register for a new Wordpresss site, still breathhhhiiiinnngg over that one.
 
This particular retrograde that we are in has been tempting me to get pretty prickly, besides my general Mercury Retrograde struggle to push at keeping life moving smoothly and at a pace that is comfortable for me while stumbling over words (something pretty foreign to this write-a-holic) I found myself at a loss for patience and perseverance in my gentle approach with my toddler Maiden who happens to be going through a developmental leap and teething at the same time that Mercury is retrograde...coincidence? I think not.
 
Being a Priestess is magical, it is inspiring, uplifting, magnificent. It is also earthy, human and common. A Priestess is the bridge between both the Otherworld and the here and now, and in my here and now Mothering a one and a half year old Maiden takes up a good chunk of my practice.
 
The first 48 hours of this retrograde her and I butted heads, I snapped, which is unusual towards her, I was edgy, impatient and temperamental, she just pushed harder, experimenting with hitting, screeching, demanding 'milk, milk, milk' which means breasts out, sitting down and taking a break to breast feed her while I seethed inside trying to rush the process so that I could get back to what I needed to be doing.
 
By the end of the 48 hours, after a snotty nosed melt down and a nap on Mom I was spent, I knew that I was veering way off my Mother Goddess mark and I took some time to re-evaluate. Not only was I going through another Mercury Retrograde, my sweet little, still-incarnating soul of a daughter was too. I began to empathise with her, still learning how to communicate in this realm, no longer able to desire and instantly manifest like in the one that she has just left behind, trying to learn our language, our societal norms, how to navigate the spectrum of emotions and moods that course through her and me and her father and the world at large and then boom, this cosmic halt on all things smooth insofar as communication goes comes waltzing into our lives. I looked down at her tear stained sleeping face and just felt the weight of this world on her little shoulders, and I just wanted to wrap her up and hold her close, forever, or at least until this retrograde is finished.
 
This is where my Motherhood began to feed my Priestess path this month. For years now, I have navigated how to flow through retrogrades with as much ease as possible, this month it became about navigating myself and another, as within so without was never so true until my daughter arrived.
 
What I began to do was to use less words, always a plus with toddlers, but an exaggerated amount less, I sang more, I hugged more, I counted slowly 1....2.....3.....ahhhh haaaa over and over again, I danced, I coloured, I came into myself and relied less on the spoken word and more on the language of the heart. My daughter and I have thrived since this shift, our bond is supernatural again, when we struggle to express ourselves we pause, we hug (she initiates sometimes even!) and we slow down. Our 20 minute walk to the store the other day took us an hour and we had never been so happy.
 
When I began my journey of the Priestesshood I was inspired by the magic I was beginning to conjure, the inspiration and the connection to the cosmos, I tried to brush off the number of sages, teachers, books and confidantes who had told me that in order to be in the state I was seeking I needed to become willing to be fully human. And then I became a Mother and found that life has never been so ripe with magic as coming fully down into it. I found in my Priestesshood the sacred centre of Gaia and Heaven and in that centre I have discovered that Heaven speaks to me through my life on Gaia. Since my transition into Motherhood my Maiden has reflected back to me the spaces that I have lagged in my spiritual practice, she is the Divine reflection of what was justified away coming up to be addressed. Being spicy isn't an excuse for impatience when there is a little Lamb looking up at me with watery sapphire eyes ready to emulate my response to life disappointing me in the moments that I am tempted to loose my temper. Flying off the handle and yelling at my Beloved because I'm a wild feminine Oceanic expression of the Goddess doesn't cut it when my daughter's whole concept of God is my sweet husband for now, may she never believe that the Goddess should destroy the God because of her femininity. And ignoring my need to be where I'm at, sensitive to Mercury Retrograde, and push ahead bullheaded and insistent that I be heard as I forcefully try to explain myself 'one more time', doesn't cut it when my little girl begins hitting and screeching because she isn't being heard and to because to be honest life is like one big Mercury Retrograde for her at this age.
 
I bow down to my life on Gaia and give reverent thanks for the lessons I am afforded. I shudder in embarrassment at the arrogant insistence I had that life be more magical, less earthy, and more deep than other people's in order for me to justify my existence on it. And I breathe as I reflect during this retrograde, finally stopping to follow the lead of this spiral path and learning from the moment that we are in.
 
I look forward to guiding my daughter as she ages, teaching her about astrology, the occult, retrogrades, moon phases, red tents, all of the juicy aspects of life that have lit me up. I'm also prepared to learn how to play basketball, study biology, listen to her fascination in mathematics, or any other number of interests she may decide are inspiring to her, despite how lost I feel in those subjects. Her emerging self will reveal to me how to best Mother her as she grows. But for now, until she tells me otherwise, she has a Priestess as a Mother and I will follow my path to support and love her in the best way that I can, and today that means slowing down, getting quiet, reflecting and listening deeper while closing my mouth.
 
I will listen to Mercury Retrograde, I will listen to the reflections that my loved ones shine upon me and I will listen to my gut, my inner wombspace of wisdom and I will allow myself to grow and to learn in the uncomfortable spaces. As I learn to do this for myself and to support my daughter in being held through her first experiences with frustration and impatience I become better equipped to take my Mother presence, the space within me that expresses the Mother Goddess, into the world to nurture, hold space and unconditionally love all of the children, both small and grown, as we flow to the best of our ability along the spiral path of the Goddess.
 
Blessed Be Mercury Retrograde and all my relations.
 
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly
 
 
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