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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
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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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Maiden's Breath

If you breathe deeply
You can smell the
Damp soil holding
The seeds of new life.

If you breathe deeply
The subtle fragrance
And the promise of
Flowering fields
Fills the senses.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs

Last week, my wife and I were blessed by a visitation of the Goddess in physical form. 

Ravyn had been ill for a long time. In addition to intractable body pain which may or may not be caused by auto immune illnesses or spinal compressions, she had undergone questionable dental work which left her mouth throbbing from an incompletely-removed root fragment. This had persisted for over a year, until she changed her insurance and was referred to a compassionate and competent female dentist in a different practice. 

...
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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Thank you, all.
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    This is an utterly beautiful piece. And it is totally from the heart. Bless you.
  • Bruno
    Bruno says #
    Awesome! Indeed God/ess must be present, if we allow them to manifest. Also recalled me of healing power of Apollo.
  • Debra
    Debra says #
    Really enjoyed this. Excellent suggestions to the medical field.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
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
 
 
image taken from: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/ea/75/94/ea75941e1f563820c683cb08a5c7bd3d.jpg
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Traveling with the Maid of Orleans


    Sometimes, I wonder if my mother regrets raising me to believe that all things would be possible for me, because when I was a sophomore in college, I bought a plane ticket and went to Paris by myself on my way to a summer study abroad program in Italy.  It was an amazing experience: I spent three days desperately trying to blend in and not appear to be an obnoxious traveler, while at the same time I kept sneaking glances at my guide book as I soaked up the City of Lights. 
    I fell in love with the cathedral of Notre Dame, and I made a point to visit there each day before I began my wanderings. In three full days, I crammed in visits to classical and modern museums, cafes and bookstores, snapping photos and wandering beneath the changing clouds that hang over Paris.  To this day, I have never seen a sky that is quite like the one over this French city.

b2ap3_thumbnail_100_0735.JPG
    Traveling alone is an interesting experience.  There is no one to cooperate with, no concessions to be made.  Any kind of travel is transformative, but without the voices of others to cloud your mind, I believe that a person will undergo deep psychic and mental changes if she takes the risk to venture out into the world alone. 
    And a risk it is, although at the time I don’t think I was consciously aware of that fact.  I stayed in a hostel, sleeping in a co-ed dormitory with five other travelers.  My first night in the city, I realized that two of my roommates were male, and I felt a bit unsettled.  I slept in my clothes behind a barricade that I constructed using my backpack, waking up at every sound and breath.  It was a miserable night, but thankfully, my fears came to nothing.
    Even so, I haven’t traveled alone since that trip. My husband has as bad a case of wanderlust as I have, and we’ve been lucky enough to travel together, even returning to Paris a few years ago; the city still enamors me, even after all this time.

...
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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Sable Aradia
    Sable Aradia says #
    Joan of Arc is a personal heroine of mine too. I can't wait to hear your tale.
  • Jen McConnel
    Jen McConnel says #
    Thank you, Sable! She's such an inspiring heroine!

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Receiving my Wings

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.

 
In my study of the butterfly there were a few things that I resonated with from the beginning, one was the constant transformation that those who have or work with the butterfly totem experience in their lives. Being a Scorpio who is constantly digging, unearthing, discarding and rebuilding, my life has felt like a continuous construction site undergoing transformation after transformation. Another aspect that I resonated with was the blessings that the butterfly totem leaves behind her as she moves, with each flutter of her wings the butterfly sheds iridescent scales, leaving a path of light wherever she goes. This concept inspired me and was in alignment with the path of Grace that I follow, the idea that I need not do anything but rather that I can be the presence of spirit and bless the world that I encounter provided I remain in alignment with the Goddess within was one that I endeavoured to live up to already, the visual of leaving scales of light behind drew the butterfly spirit deep into my very own heart. When I learnt that a beautiful butterfly is poisonous to the predators that catch and eat it I knew that I had indeed received the correct totem. A tiny, cute, transformative being that sheds light but is deadly if attacked, I could get on board with that.
 
The transformations that have occurred throughout my life have been of varying degrees with varying affects on my life, intensive eye surgeries as a child created massive transformation in my resilience and maturation process. Loosing jobs and having newer and better opportunities show up at just the moment I needed it have strengthened my faith in Grace. From getting sober to breaking up with my boyfriend, varying degrees, varying results, constant shifts and transformative growth have been a mainstay of my life.
 
The butterfly totem had been showing up in my life as transformative experiences and opportunities to grow and to evolve, however the butterfly herself is a completely transformed being, she doesn't just go through an ordeal as a caterpillar and become a stronger or wiser caterpillar, she actually becomes a completely different being. I hadn't had that experience, I had had some close experiences where it seemed as though who I was was morphed and about to become a new being, yet in actuality I was becoming a more whole and integrated aspect of myself. I didn't desire to become a new being because on this journey I had learnt to love myself exactly as I was. I expected that I would continue on through my life having different transformative experiences and expanding and growing because of them and was content to except that as the way of life.
 
The butterfly totem it seems had a different plan in mind for me and I was destined to not only receive her medicine through life experiences, I was called to leave behind my life as a caterpillar and to emerge as a new being. Much to my surprise it was in becoming a Mother that my total transformation occurred, I went from being a Maiden caterpillar and emerged as a Mother butterfly. When I was pregnant I didn't know that I was in my cocoon and I had no idea that becoming a Mother would be the event that morphed me into a new being. Before this transformation occurred  if I had contemplated an event that could bring me into this all encompassing rebirth I would have guessed at many more deep or seemingly spiritual events that would have done it. I would have thought that it would be one of my many meditations, a moment in a 12 step meeting, during a Goddess circle that I was leading or on a solstice or a miraculous event that spontaneously dawned upon me while out in nature, I probably would have guessed anything besides becoming a Mom. Doing what millions of women do every day and giving birth to a baby would not have been the spectacular event that this Priestess would envision as her moment of becoming and yet here I sit in a new state and as a new being 15 months later.
 
I hadn't recognized the total transmutation into another being that I had become at first, I was mired down in diapers, breast milk and indescribable awe and intense hormones. In fact it wasn't until I returned to my hometown and my parents house that I knew, not only had my daughter been born anew, I too was a new being. 
 
My hometown is a tiny, sleepy city that was wrought with bad memories, dense energy and family systems that seemed so toxic I was certain I would stay away forever, never did I imagine that I would ever be present for very long with my precious Maiden. 
 
As I walked through my hometown the spots that held memories of deep pain and shame and a reality that today is like a distant nightmare were simple plots of land, free from any energetic ties that once held me. I walked a free woman any place in the city. At home when family members behaved in ways that hooked me in the past I found myself responding as any outsider would, with interest a bit of mirth and walking away when the dynamics began to feel tense. I wasn't tied to how they acted anymore, I didn't internalize it as a part of me or as being caused by me.
 
I am free. I see my family as beautifully human and real people, they are no longer demons that have cut me and damaged a part of me irrevocably, they are raw and real and forgiven. I watch my daughter fall in love with them, she senses their blood and is at home in her tribe when she is around them. I watch as they carefully apply principles that they know we uphold in our home, so nervous that one wrong move will take me and baby packing, across the country, far from home, where I've been for the past 10 years now. I love them and I honour them and I stay with them when they are human, I no longer punish them for their past as I have been freed from mine and pray that I never hold another person in bondage to theirs.
 
I in no way believe that having a baby just busted open the doors to freedom, gave me butterfly wings and erased all of the pain from my past. I know that the intensive work that the path that I have walked has laid the foundation for the opportunity to fly, I just had no idea that Motherhood would be the catalyst to receiving my butterfly wings.
 
As a Priestess the cycles that we dance through as a woman moves me deeply, I am a firm believer that a woman needs not ever birth a child in order to move into the Mother stage of her life. I chose with the magic of the Goddess and the commitment of my Beloved to become a Mother, for me childbirth was the door to the Mother phase of my life. However I've always been connected to my Mother self, even as a young Maiden I was called to care for and to nurture, my artist births babies through my creations, I have been Mothering my entire life. The switch into Mother as the primary role came with the birth of my daughter. If it is not childbirth that is your doorway to entering the Mother stage of life it will be something that moves you deeply, opens your heart wide open and lights your life up in ways that you have never seen before. When you enter your Mother stage of life you will be compelled to nurture, extend, care for and Mother all. This may not be your transformative moment though, it was mine but each of us have a unique blueprint to our soul's walk along this spiral path of the Earth~bound experience.
 
As the majority of the Western world celebrates the coming in of a new year and releases the old I encourage us all to walk towards transforming who we are into new beings, free beings, beings that are released from the bondage of who it is that we were taught to be. 
 
I encourage those of us walking a conscious path to explore the animal totems and to find the one that resonates with who you are, to take stock of your life up until this point, honouring the dark nights of the soul, revelling in the bright lightness of the highs that you have sailed upon and being open to the revelation of what your next step is to be. As we all transform and are released we raise the vibration that is being held on Mother Gaia, we make the way lighter and easier for all of those in this reality. Many, many souls are being called to leave this realm and many souls are re~entering again, let us raise the potential for global transformation to occur through our own personal work and surrendered walking into 2015.
 
I don't know what your transforming moment will be. In hindsight I am not surprised that becoming a Mother was mine, it was the moment that I began to be an expanded self, I was no longer an extension of my ancestry, I became a link in a chain that extended beyond myself and this has caused me to be more giving and altruistic than I ever could have been based upon morals and values alone. As I tend the life that came through me, that will continue on after me, that carries the blood line of my Grandmothers and myself I begin to serve in a microcosmic way the way that I am called to be to the entire macrocosm. For me it truly does begin at home and my personal goal is to go out into the macrocosm treating each being as if they are the child that I have birthed, for beneath it all we are all innocent children walking the most integral path that we can in this given moment. I endeavour to be the Mother Goddess to her children upon this Earth and give eternal thanks to my daughters soul, she chose me to birth her and has given me my wings. 
 
I will soar into the next year and hope to have many sisters and brothers by my side.
 
Many blessings from a fairly new Butterfly to you and yours.
 
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly.
 
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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Humility of Surrender
Eleven months in, I am one month away from a year, a full year. One year since the freedom to go and to do whatever moves me left. One year since I could choose what I ate, when I slept, when I woke, what I listened to, what I watched, what I wore and when. One year is just around the corner and I couldn't be happier.
 
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 didn't begin quite so crisp and clean in the beginning months for me, it began quite secularly, those nights definitely weren't my pride and joy at the time. In hindsight I now see how much I gained from them, the humility and the permission to be human, to be a mother that was not a cookie cutter of the 'Domestic Spiritual Goddess' that I was holding up for myself to attain.
 
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.
 
I learned throughout my development as a Priestess, that nothing, absolutely nothing is as powerful a principle in the life of a Priestess as humility.
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.
 
Until...
 
One night when my Beloved and my daughter returned from their Daddy/daughter time I realized that I didn't feel rested and rejuvenated as I had before, I felt saturated in surface level noise. My deep need to fall into unconscious media/junk food bliss had passed, naturally. I had trusted the flow and eventually I did loose my desire. I took at trip to the library, I took out a magical novel. I pulled out my knitting. I picked up doll making instructions for my daughter's birthday and I began to be what I had envisioned, a Priestess filling herself up with art, crafts and inspiration. It was the perfect example of being a modern day Priestess for me, finding the balance between nurturing my soul and honouring where I was. When I surrender to what is and I follow the flow of the Mother I can trust that it is okay to be human and it is okay to be other than how my ego self wants me to be. Shortly after I received my first 'energy session' client since I had been pregnant. My Beloved packed my Maiden up for their evening time together and I saged the healing room/nursery. I lit candles, I grounded down and opened up to the inflow of the Goddess and worked with the woman on my table. I felt exhilarated. I felt deeply connected to me. I saw that when I trust, when I surrender. I can have moments of least resistance that look less than evolved to me without loosing my sense of the magical, my connection to Source.
 
A Priestess is a conduit for the worlds, Heaven, Earth and all of the realms in between. It's okay to enjoy some of this Earthy realm. I didn't know this. Not for a very long time. It has been a pleasure being able to just unwind and relax some of these high standards that I've held for myself.
 
That is perhaps one of the greatest gifts beyond my Maiden that has come of my transition into the Mother phase of life. Letting go of everything that I thought I knew. In the morning I get no more then 10 minutes of my much desired yoga practice in. For months I would go from pose to pose with this sense of wound up anticipation, at what moment would she start to climb on me, fuss for me? How long could I yoga for?! Until one day truth descended. It doesn't matter how long my practice lasts, it matters how present to the practice I am. I began to bring full awareness into my warm up, giving thanks for the opportunity to do just one cat/cow if that is what that day's practice offered me.
 
Amidst the changes, feeding, singing, playing and cleaning I have found that while my time for self has lessened my presence with self is increasing. A new joy and appreciation for the freedom to choose what I engage in matched with a reverent focused sense of receiving as much as I can out of the moment has offered me a more zen like approach to my life than I have ever had. The years worth of books that I studied and the hours of meditation have all brought me to this. An awakened, living presence of the everyday interspersed with moments of spiritual practice.
 
Eleven months in and I have begun to transform in ways that I had never imagined. I look down the spiral path in front of me and stand in awe and wonder some days. I look behind me and see what the years of the Maiden taught me, freedom, authenticity, love, romance, adventure, exploration, heartache, delusion, confusion, mistrust, enchantment, awakening, passion and blossoming. In front of me I see the winding road of Mother, I wonder who it is that I will discover myself to be as I continue to walk further into this phase of my life. I wonder about the humility that is almost enforced upon my ambitious soul as I surrender myself in service to my family. I wonder about the woman that will walk from the Mother phase into her Enchantress years down that spiral path, Goddess willing. I watch other women now, women who are well along their Mother phase and beyond, I listen to them, I want to know what it was like for them in their different phases of life. I am so curious and so nervous (not knowing is not an easy place for me) and so excited to see what this sacred path will revel to me.
 
Eleven months in and I'm finally at a loss for words.
 
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace
Candise Soaring Butterfly
 
 

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Candise
    Candise says #
    Michele, thank you so much for your relating, reading and honouring of this path. It is such a joy and a relief to know that there
  • Michele Murphy
    Michele Murphy says #
    I loved this! I really love the authenticity of it and the acceptance of times when we don't live up to our idealized selves. As
  • Candise
    Candise says #
    Thank you Leisa, it's been quite the blessed ride
  • Leisa Reynolds
    Leisa Reynolds says #
    great insights. i enjoyed reading your article.

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