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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
image taken from: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/ea/75/94/ea75941e1f563820c683cb08a5c7bd3d.jpg
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.
- 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.