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Gael Song

March 1st, 2018

Unearth Your Own Ancient Goddess

As I walked my solitary path, the Goddess led me carefully, slowly, tenderly. First, I made a long journey around Scotland, my motherland. And as my family and I went sunwise round the coast, visiting stone circles and souterrains, and barrows all along the route, I could feel buried memories and slumbering parts of myself awakening. Sitting in a dolmen in the Celtic ruins on the western coast, the wind hushed in the cave-like interior, I saw a circle of women in the ethers threshing grains onto a hide beneath, chanting in an ancient tongue. And I knew I’d been one of them, long, long ago in that very place. I could feel a stream of light in my left leg opening during that journey, brightening and strengthening, only later realizing it was the Goddess flow up my left leg into my inner feminine. And over all the intervening years, I’ve noticed that stream is always brighter whenever I stand on Scottish soil, dimming as soon as I get on the plane to return to the US. My heart always dims a bit, too. But that first trip was only the beginning.

Next, the Goddess led me to a Celtic shaman, who taught me to speak with rocks, rivers, turtles, and shells. Well, no, he taught me to listen to them. His drumming brought clear visions into my mind in moments, images of stone circles in the Orkneys, myself a druid, a male lifetime of ancient days. It was my heart that unfolded into brightness that time, as I felt an inner devotion to the earth from those long-forgotten days that drew me Home to silence with a quiet intensity, surprising in its strength. So, I began to take time away from my therapy practice and the mountainous needs of my clients, as well as moments of quiet under the trees of our yard, away from the busy-ness and noise of my daughters, though they were much beloved. I didn’t realize it was the Goddess in the stillness, either, not then. But I felt how starving I was for rest, small sheltered moments when I wasn’t taking care of anyone else. And I knew some Otherworldly Presence was holding me during those quiet times, too, filling me with gentle comfort and silent pregnant power, as I slowly learned to recognize the Goddess, the White Tara, by Her energy signature. She especially touched my feminine within and my inner child, parts of myself my family and clients rarely noticed, for they were too busy needing me, instead.

But it was energy school that brought Her fireworks to life, an angel coming into the ethers four days into the very first session, who hovered before me, his outline so bright, I could barely discern his features, his light wafting down over me like illumined mist. When I asked who he was, he said his name was Metatron. And I told him I’d never heard that name, for he wasn’t in the Bible, the only place I’d read any angel names before. He only replied that, no, he wasn’t in books, for he preferred to be experienced, not read about. And I saw nine symbols in the ethers on my chest being rapidly changed, symbols I’d never seen before, either, ones that looked like those squiggly astrology figures, with the sound of tapping in the background, as if an old typewriter was being used. And from that moment on, every time someone came up to me, I’d have a rolodex of photos go through my mind, spinning rapidly forward, all the past lives I’d shared with that individual. I found myself hugging total strangers at energy school, saying things like, “Oh, you were my scribe in Egypt! I’m so happy to see you again after all these years!,” as if 3,000 years ago was last year! It took a while to get my head wrapped around that past life influx, about six weeks. But by then, I’d settled into healing work with more past life memories arising in those visions. The Goddess pulls white-winged surprises out of Her bag sometimes!

It wasn’t always easy, though. There was pain, ongoing not-so-fun surprises, too, when She opened some old fear for healing in my life, again. But I got used to that as well. And it empowered me greatly, my feminine especially, as She knew it would, as I gradually understood that those fears weren’t even real, that I could transmute them during my next meditation, simply and easily, and they would then disappear from my life, poof! This was profound, this realization that my own inner beliefs were creating my one little world on the outside, and that I could change it all, just by melting ancient fears away. It was like gathering a bouquet of wildflowers, this process, too, for behind every fear was some truth, some strength or skill I’d left behind, beside the threshed ancient grains or those terribly patriarchal pyramids, perhaps. How astonished I was, for instance, when I picked up my little harp for the first time, to feel I had played it long before in Greece. And over months and years, I could feel the inner grip of fear begin to loosen, too, deep within, places that had weighed me down all my life, as the gifts of many lives were woven into the fibers of my being.

Then Tara drew me into ceremony. Ah, this opened wide joyful portals to angels, the fae, Tibetan masters, ancestors from my star tuath, so many who came to help. Whole sheaths of fear were washed off in seconds as a workshop participant knelt before the Celtic high cross in the middle of my flower essence garden or stepped into the river below my home! What a magical experience that was! If you are ever drawn to attend or create ceremonies, DO it! Just be very careful who you call in from above to assist you, for it’s an extremely powerful process. And then, too, I saw how some of the deepest exchanges between participants at workshops, the biggest heart openings of all, occurred as folks chatted over lunch when they were the most relaxed. I just watched from behind the kitchen counter sometimes as inner heart roses or lotuses opened and brightened, breathing gently, while people munched on carrot sticks and never noticed. Shifts come in simple, unnoticed ways as well.


But what I want to say most of all, the whole point of this article, is how those ancient memories of goddess times, before the shift to patriarchy 3,000 years ago, unearthed my inner matriarch, my inner wise woman, my inner goddess, mine and everyone I worked with. For those ancient pagan times especially were when women were relied on, respected for their generative powers, looked up to, in fact. It was a matriarchal consciousness then. I was speaking with a friend about this recently, and she commented how she had no idea what the ancient life of her motherland was like. And I felt a momentary sadness, thinking, oh, sweetie, but then your inner feminine powers must still be buried, all your talents from those days! And the knowing washed through me then how carefully the Goddess has been growing all of me into blossoming, all of everyone who dips into the long ago. How very blessed I felt in that small moment, how full inside! So, if you feel moved to dip your toes into light healing or past lives or even reading ancient history, especially of your own motherland, any of the places you may have left pieces of your souls behind, oh, DO it, love! Gather your own lilies and roses and Queen Anne’s lace of ancient times into the shining bouquet of love you truly are.

***

About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She is hoping to found an intentional community in southern Scotland in the near future. For information, please see www.thehomestarcommunity.org

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba RebornVolume One Revised, and Volumes Two and Three.

For Amazon Information Click on Images

Goddess Leading

     Raised in a Christian household, as an adult I was actively involved in my church, following in my mother’s footsteps. But then, six months after she died, I did a simple ceremony to release her and felt a powerful feminine Presence materialize in the ethers beside me. “I will be your Mother now,” that Presence said. Only much later did I realize it was the Goddess, She Who was never ever mentioned in my world. And suddenly, all I wanted to do in my leisure time was search out esoteric books on Celtic lore and times, a hunger within propelling me that I didn’t understand. During the summer before my oldest daughter left for college, we took a trip around the coast of Scotland (sunwise, not that I thought about that then.) And we stopped at every stone circle, souterrain, and barrow along the way, tramping through farmers fields and up unnamed hillocks (until my girls simply refused to get out of the car to look at any more!). My heart was literally starved for connection with my motherland and the divine feminine that poured into my feet and legs as I walked that soil. But after twelve years of voracious reading and searching, I remained restlessly unsatisfied. The Celts hadn’t written anything down, and many of the texts that tried to fill those spaces were confusing or filled with gaping holes or obvious distortions. I kept sensing ancient truths and mysteries, just beyond my reach.

     Then I attended a week-long retreat with a Celtic shaman, which left me astounded to realize I could talk telepathically with trees, stones, and turtles, that I could slip between small spaces and enter other worlds, where druid teachers stood ready to teach me in the hushed silence of moss covered trees. How many more stone circles I visited that way! Saying very little, the waiting druid guides led me on mental journeys to sacred sites and other realms where I’d lived before or quietly opened portals in my heart and mind. At first, I kept trying to talk with them, asking question after question about Celtic life, which brought only gentle smiles and amused silence in response. Not one of those druids ever said, “You must do this or that,” thank Goddess! The choice was always mine in the end. Such silent respect and service to my wondering soul drew me to the path as nothing else could, for in my life I’d known a fair amount of control, servitude, and neglect. And mysterious surprises kept appearing in my outer world, too, beckoning, beguiling me down this Goddess misted path.

     A few years later, I was led to attend a school of energetic healing, using light to heal inner fear in a simple meditative process. And I watched in utter wonder, after one of my classmates or teachers did a healing with me, as the spirit world meticulously cleaned up every reflection of that recently transmuted fear in my outer world. It quickly became very, very clear that my inner fears, many from past lives and my long ago descent from heaven to earth, were holding the patterns of my life in place. None of my druid guides explained this, either, their teachings fiercely experiential. They simply surrounded and held me in silent wisdom and ancient love as I observed and learned for myself. My life was a bit of a shambles back then, a difficult divorce and concomitant financial nosedive with three daughters to raise. And in my misery, these small sips of freedom the Goddess held out put wings on my heart and feet.

     So I began to do healings on myself every morning and evening, hoping for release into happiness within a year, at most. But every time a fear was healed, a new fear took its place. And negative circumstances kept occurring in my life to activate these new fears and open the ancient memories for healing. Life was full of these surprises, though I learned not to take them seriously, for they disappeared as soon as I transmuted them in my next few meditations. Plus, these challenges were interspersed with Goddess enchantment that often left me breathless with joy—like the day I was wrung out from a cross-country drive and a nasty encounter with a lady at a B&B. And suddenly, as I flopped on the sofa after finally arriving home, a hundred fireflies lit up at once, all fluttering just outside my windows in the deepening dusk. I felt their hearts surrounding mine like a crowd of happy children, lifting me instantly out of my fatigue and despair. The most lightning bugs I’d ever seen before were five or six spread out over the river and meadows below. So sweetly magical, that was! And things like this began happening more and more, too, Goddess blessings, every one.

(photo from smithsonianman.com)

     Every couple of weeks, the color that filled my aura moved down into the ground, and another came in from above, as if I was ascending a rainbow ladder of light somehow. I began to tune into these colors, feeling them intimately. And every couple of years or so, there was an intense passage with severe anxiety or time pressure or financial strain that lasted several weeks. And at the end of each of these times, I broke through into a whole new realm in my mind, a place entirely different from what I’d seen in my meditations before. And each time this happened, the outer circumstances of my life instantly changed as well: a home sold, a change of partner, a move, or new financial resources that broadened my life and work. There were seven of these passages, and I could feel that they were initiations: the first earth, next water, then air and fire, then cherub, bone, and diamond. I could see concentric sheaths of light in my aura burning off in light as I emerged through these passages, too, moving from outer to inner. The last challenge is still ahead of me, the diamond initiation, connected with my core wound, my guides say. Currently, I am working in the final sheath within, too, an intensely bright light in the heart’s core that matches the seventh world of the inner planes, the heaven they call the Diamond Core.

     It’s been twenty-one years now since I began this healing process, thirty-six since my Mom passed over, years of solitary druid practice, for no one in my world has been very interested in my path, very few even respectful of the Goddess Who holds me so tenderly, especially in my pain. But during all these years, my inner world was filled to overflowing with fae friends leading me to sparkling fabrics or recycled clothing in nooks and crannies of discount stores, then telepathying unusual designs for ceremonial wear to sew, suggesting delightfully unique recipes for dinner at the last minute, or leading me on spontaneous outings in the forest. My druid star brother was ever nearby, too, teaching me laws of love of the Celtic realms of heaven, the sacred geometry of nemetons, and holding up a standard of respect for all life that was literally out of this world, along with my star sister, always ready to help me understand those ray colors and inner planes of light, 350 in all, that neatly sorted themselves into those seven heavens. The Celtic pantheon appeared, too, one by one, over the past seven years, as regents of the fifteen structures of light in the Diamond Core that regulate cycles too numerous to mention, as I slowly moved up the inner spiral staircase of light.

     Over these years, my home was gradually transformed with Celtic art, a priestess wardrobe, oak leaves and interlaced designs, crystals, faeries, and roses everywhere. The Goddess called Herself the White Tara, and I began to call the God, Oghama, not Christ. And They became my best Friends, eternal partners in love and union without any of the friction between the divine masculine and feminine so common on earth. I began to feel a growing fusion of that Celtic heaven with earth, a rising of the Goddess and resurgence of the Celtic world here, but healed of the old black magic and sacrifice beliefs. Even my smallest questions were finally answered, the warp and weft of the Celtic tapestry finally mended, not by words, but by years of facing fear and embodying truths that empowered my spirit, understandings born of living experience over many years that remade my own little world into a place of shimmering beauty that thoroughly nourished my soul. The Goddess teaches wisdom first and foremost. If you are tempted to give up on your path, I suggest holding on till the next magic lifts you out of distress, for Her gifts have been amazing and ongoing.

     But then, my inner longing has shifted once again, for more than any other thing now, I wish to see that Celtic heaven manifested on earth. My druid guides tell me that humanity was once born into light in a single instant in this seventh heaven, each person with an eternal love partner in the image of God/Goddess. And each person has the structures of one of the twelve sacred cultures of the Creator Sun fused into her or his very bones, the specific culture depending on the location each person was created out of there. No wonder I can’t help buying yet another Celtic tapestry at the Renaissance Faire! I am guided to start an intentional community based on those laws of love of the Celtic heaven, Celtic to the core: Celtic art, music, sacred spaces, and architecture, pagan ceremony (blended with open-minded Christian, uniting the two sacred traditions of Scotland in mutual respect), and deeply honoring love for the Goddess, finally! I can’t wait for that! May Her bright blessings enfold us all and lead us Home soon.

***

About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She is hoping to found an intentional community in southern Scotland in the near future. For information, please see www.thehomestarcommunity.org

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba Reborn, Volume One Revised, and Volumes Two and Three.

For Amazon Information Click on Images

 

 

 

 

Does our world need a Global Apology Project?!

About a week ago I ran the following post on my personal Facebook page:

While I was teaching in Philadelphia recently I received a piece of guidance (and it made me sit up in bed and pay attention): “our world will not heal until there has been acknowledgement and apology for every single act of injustice ever committed”. I teach all my students (in my Ancestral Healing work component) that shamanic healing work often means taking the place where an apology is owed and voicing that. I am teaching my students to get “beyond their own ego and their own ideas about right and wrong” in order to do that. Miracles occur as a result of this, tangible changes in everyday reality. So then I got mulling how to take this idea further collectively… Create a group dedicated to apology, offering an apology where one is needed (and not forthcoming from other quarters), a great “Akashic Archive of Apology” for our world?! I don’t think the Web of Life or larger Knowing Field (ultimately, in the very long run) minds where an (overdue) apology originates – as long as it is wholehearted and unconditional. If it unlocks sentient beings from being stuck in old trauma – the World Soul will welcome this and guide the process. – Just offering this as today’s idea… May well develop this into a blog over the weekend… And no, it would NOT be a substitute for personal and individual shadow work and forgiveness work and get people off the hook that way – not remotely. However, many grave injustices were committed by people long dead – but the trauma still vibrates…”

The responses I received were very encouraging!

Step 1,  I created a Closed Facebook Group called THE GLOBAL APOLOGY PROJECT  to bring people together. Feel free to find us and join!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1902301606465391/?pnref=story

Step 2 was creating a dedicated webpage on my website and here is the link: http://www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk/info2.cfm?info_id=225572

Step 3 is writing this article and also sharing the instructions for our first apology-and-healing journey/meditation (found in this same edition!)

I decided to explore the question: why did I receive this guidance in Philadelphia (where I teach courses) but not in London, UK or Sweden (where I spend far more of my time)?

Two things come to mind immediately: when my colleague Susan Rossi invited me to bring my 2 year sacred art practitioner program to the US and suggested we use Quaker Retreat Center Pendle Hill as our venue, we both did some shamanic journey work to understand what was calling us to do this.

The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia informs us that:

Relations between Pennsylvania’s Native American and European peoples underwent cataclysmic change during the second half of the eighteenth century. Despite the reputation for peaceful intercultural relations that Pennsylvania had enjoyed since its founding in 1681, a series of wars engulfed its frontiers after 1754, leading to the dispossession and exile of the colony’s native peoples. During the Seven Years’ War, which lasted in North America from 1754 to 1760, the colony that William Penn had envisioned as a “peaceable kingdom” became instead the scene of some of the most horrific interracial violence in early America. The disruption of Pennsylvania’s Indian relations caused a deep political rift to open between Philadelphia’s Quaker community and colonists living along the Susquehanna Valley frontier. By the 1790s, Native Americans and Pennsylvania’s European peoples were permanently estranged from each other, and no Indian nations retained secure possession of homelands within the state’s borders.

As a Dutch national it pains me to report that  Dutch people committed atrocities here. They may not have been my immediate family ancestors (there is no record of immigration to the US in family memory and family tree research) but on level of nation and homeland they are of course my ancestors. So I interpreted the invitation from Susan Rossi as a call to take spiritual responsibility for what the Dutch people  did here. I decided to actively engage with these memories, to apologize and make amends. We also made a conscious decision to move a step beyond that: in our program we are actively working to arrive at the higher octave manifestation of the warrior archetype (meaning the sacred warrior and protector who stands up for Life and all sentient beings). We are also working with the sacred marriage (or hieros gamos, Divine union) of the sacred masculine and sacred feminine in their higher octave manifestations. As above, so below!

The second strand of meaning I focused on is that Philadelphia is often called “The City of Brotherly Love” but actually, going back to classical Greek, the name means : “Those from the same womb” (Adelphi in classical Greek means from the womb and came to mean brothers but originally meant siblings, of any gender, in more ancient Greek. Philoi means loving). To realize that we are all members of One Human Family and children of Mother Earth is another key strand in our work. Let’s focus on a return to loving our brethren!! (The link takes you to the etymology of the name Philadelphia).

The third strand consisted of us looking into the history of Pendle Hill, the place hosting our training. Today this is a Quaker resort and retreat center. During World War II it was used as a respite place for soldier wounded in World War 2. That is another piece of the puzzle because our journey work kept showing an Out Of Control Warrior God or Archetype. It must be remembered that we did these preparations in the Summer of 2015 so well before Donald Trump became president of the US!! Tp be frank hose journeys were uncomfortable, even a bit frightening.

Today, as this guidance came back to mind so strongly, at least 235 people were killed and another 109 injured in an attack on a mosque in Egypt’s North Sinai region (I started writing this blog on Friday 24 November 2017). This appears to be the deadliest terror attack on Egyptian soil so far. After at least two explosions, gunmen waiting outside opened fire on fleeing worshipers. Sadly our world sees many terror attacks at this time and young people are actively being recruited (and brain washed into the ideology of terrorism as a solution to the world’s problems). Another way of saying/seeing/framing this is that the shadow expression of the archetype of the warrior (as opposed to the blueprint of the spiritual warrior) is very active in the world right now. And the rest of the world is at a loss dealing with his, dropping into fear and ‘waging a counter war’ instead. Waging War on War obviously, visibly, does not heal anything. History proves this but it may just be one of the core (and most painful, most traumatic) lessons humanity will ever face. Tragically that lesson will be “on repeat” (appearing again and again, desperately seeking our attention and healing) until we grasp this.

The US especially has demonstrated a tendency to  “wage war in far off lands” and then receive home veterans with PTSD who are not honored or supported properly –  meaning that the USA as a nation and landmass holds huge shadow material (not owned or addressed) around war, native peoples pushed off their land and decimated, human sacrifice not honored, the sick and vulnerable not tended.

We are all watching the decisions Donald Trump is making and here in the UK this week members of Parliament voted that animals do not feel pain as part of the EU Bill marking the beginning of Brexit.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/brexit-government-vote-animal-sentience-cant-feel-pain-eu-withdrawal-bill-anti-science-tory-mps-a8065161.html

While I am typing this, an email from the vice principal of the school my three sons attend pings in:  a personal note about all the attacks (involving young people) that have been happening in our area (meaning South East London, UK).

These are only some things currently playing out on the world stage. Unfortunately the things I describe here are only the tiniest tip of a mammoth iceberg. I have just highlighted some things that I feel a personal connection to. However, if all of us collectively decide that “waging war on war” or “the war to end all wars” is not the way to go (only a seed bed for never-ending and ever-escalating conflict) we need to look very seriously at creating a toolkit for restoring peace, changing the vibration of places and making amends to all beings (not just humans but all sentient beings) affected.

For me The Global Apology Project  is one such thing and only a small start, but still a start:  collectively setting a focus that heals, unites and raises consciousness. It is a start. A huge number of practical changes need to occur as well. The wounded need tending, the dead need burying and mourning, the living need to regain hope, the children need to be prioritized and embraced for the Future World Leaders they are.

If all of us take one significant step away from the old pattern, thus joining forces,  a spiritual army stars marching for peace and rebirth, one step at a time…

Expect further blogs and updates from me as this project unfolds!

Imelda Almqvist

***

About the Author:

Imelda Almqvist’s book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon Books in August 2016.  She is based in London,UK and teaches shamanism and sacred art internationally.  She is a presenter on Year of Ceremony for Sounds True and on the Shamanism Global Summit with The Shift Network.

For Amazon information, click image below.

 

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk

The Goddess we need more than anything else on Earth!

I write this during the ancient Celtic new year, Nov. 24th through 28th, the intercessory days the Celts called Samhain (pronounced sahven). These were days of celebration to thank the Goddess for the living of the year and to remember all who crossed over to the Otherworld during the passing skyturn. They called Her the White Tara then, and Her Beloved, the high God, Oghama. And the veil does thin greatly during this time, for She draws very near to remove projects or efforts no longer needed and break them down into that pregnant primordial sea of Hers, awaiting Oghama’s light seeds of Midwinter. Many things are moving through the veils at this time of year.

I do a simple ceremony of gratitude to the Goddess on Nov. 24th for the life She gives us all, the music She creates that always comforts and often gets me up doing jigs and reels (jig music gets me through my vacuuming in half the time!), the path of experience She rules that leads us all through our lives, the wisdom She helps us all embody through our hard lessons of life, and the water that cleanses in the bath and comforts in the sea outside my little cottage, all Tara’s regencies. When I do healings, it’s Tara Who comes in to draw off the shadows before Oghama arrives to put new light structures into the spaces the healing left within. And Tara’s sexual union with the long-term partners She creates for all of us is pure bliss. Her fingers on my temples, when I have trouble falling asleep, and the deep renewal She gives through restful sleep every night is pure heaven as well. Manifestation into the physical realm is Tara’s regency as well, for Oghama only puts the light seeds of possibility into everyone’s heart during the Oak moon for Her to choose from.

I never hear the Goddess spoken of in polite conversation. It’s as if She doesn’t exist. And more often than not, if I mention Her, I get one variety or another of negativity for quite a while, active insults or cold shouldering mostly. And there’s a pool of sadness in my heart over this utter refusal of the world to acknowledge Her. For without Her, we are lost. The White Tara rules the flow of emotion through all worlds, identical to the druid year, 15 24-day moons with 5 intercessory days (described in detail in my last article). So, lessons of restraint in anger and sexuality, endurance and patience in difficulty, determination to reach the end of one’s path and birth that inner divine child/highest destiny, working together in long term partnerships for the good of the world all stream from Her as well. And Tara rules the global/cosmic feminine, decidedly in difficulty here on earth! This means wise women within and their powers of intuition, prophecy, and especially calm and gentle wisdom in caring for their tribes and families. The Goddess is regent of intimacy, too, especially in partnership, and these are the major lessons She teaches in life, the preparation She puts into place for that final happy ending and true love relationship decreed for everyone on earth. If no one relates to Her here, no wonder there is rampant rage, oversexualized everything, ubiquitous fears of closeness, and marriages falling apart all over the place! If you have needs in any of these areas of life, call Her in! She is a veritable powerhouse of understanding and tenderness. But it’s Tara’s Love I value most.

When I say my prayer of gratitude during these special days, the part that brings tears to my eyes and fullness into my heart is when I thank Her for Her amazing love, the times She comes in around me even when I’ve failed at what I wanted to do, failed utterly. For me, this usually means not holding my center well enough, sliding into anger or despair when another darkness shows up for healing in my life. And if I think I’ve hurt someone, I have great difficulty forgiving myself. But not Her! She always comes in to hold me at these times, Her love and comfort pouring into every cell to lift and cherish me. Once a few years ago, a friend was instantly forgiving after I’d been unhappy with her over some trivial thing. And I thought, this is the Goddess. For the Goddess loves me, no matter what I do, no matter how long it takes me to get something right, even with these 15 extra pounds I never seem to lose. I believe in my bones that Tara truly loves murderers, criminals, rapists, everyone, for Her love is rock solid and unwavering, Her understanding of my own and everyone’s inner darkness deep and complete. Oghama understands us all, too, but His love is sunny, light-filled, not so familiar with the dark places in my soul. How do we reach the outcasts of the world, those who are living in the dark side of life without Her? We don’t, plain and simple. Only Her breadth and depth of love can bring them Home. That’s what I believe. For Her love is like nothing else I’ve ever felt, even God’s wonderful Beloved romantic closeness. Her love is bedrock, utterly unmovable by any darkness in any realm!

I used to say a daily prayer for God to make me just like Jesus (in my former Christian days). And I hoped for some leadership role to bring light into the world. Now, to tell you the truth, my deepest prayer is simply to bring real loving comfort to whoever I come in contact with every day, to be as forgiving as She is, to cherish the divine in everyone everywhere and try to understand them, especially their imperfections. Honestly, now, I just want to be like Her.

***

About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She is hoping to found an intentional community in southern Scotland in the near future. For information, please see www.thehomestarcommunity.org

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba RebornVolume One Revised, and Volumes Two and Three.

 

For Amazon Information Click on Images

 

 

 

 

 

To Join (or Not to Join) A Magickal Group

This is an article I wrote many years ago and I’ve decided to share it in this month’s column. As the community and spiritual paths of pagan practice become increasingly more available, so too are the opportunities to become intimately a part of that expanding community. What that participation looks like and how in depth are multi-faceted. It is particularly timely for me since I have been in process of Hiving and forming a new coven within our Tradition, The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel. And, so in this spirit I pose the question that should be explored before committing to any one path of spiritual community.

The choice to remain a solitary practitioner or join a magickal group, coven or lodge is a very personal matter. Both offer benefits and detriments. Even if you consider yourself to be a solitary practitioner, there will be celebrations and stages in your development that will generate a desire to share, commune and connect. Similarly, those who choose to join a group will have specific times in their path of journey where they may wish to celebrate and/or practice in private; leaving group work behind.
Solitary Practice

Many pagans choose to walk a Solitary path. In former years this could be a very lonely, albeit a fulfilling one. We are fortunate to be on the Path at this particular time as there are many festivals and open events that both solitary and group affiliated members can attend. Meet-up Groups that have a pagan flavor are in abundance throughout the United States and the opportunity to interact without the deeper commitment of joining any organization has never been more accessible.
For some, group work and the structure needed to have things run smoothly is too restricting and limiting. For others, jobs, lifestyles or family obligations prevent the individual from attending group functions (there is usually a minimum requirement of events throughout the year that a group member would be expected to attend, unless there are emergencies), and this creates stress for both the group and the member. If a ritual at 2:00am is all you can easily fit into your schedule, most groups will not be accommodating to that and the pressures of having to fulfill attendance obligations can often sour the group experience.
Those who work as solitary practitioners often develop a very creative outlook that is largely self-directed. This is primarily because everything they do ritually or devotionally is generally self-generated and created and therefore they become quite adept at improvising. Working alone also guarantees that everything will be done at your own pace, in your own way and ultimately makes you solely responsible for your own experience, success and failures. Many prefer this freedom to connect to their spirituality by creating their own traditions and ways of offering up devotion to those deity and spiritual beings they commune with.
Group Work

Depending on the Tradition you are interested in joining there will generally be a specific length of time and protocol specified to facilitate the orientation process. Within our coven and Tradition we require at minimum a six-month “getting to know you” period where the prospective dedicant (newly dedicated member) attends open events and interacts with the other members of the coven and Tradition. Other groups accept members immediately and are less structured in their process of fully integrating you into the group and/or specific Tradition and still others have a lengthy process of education and training and when and if you are felt to be an acceptable candidate you are then invited to join as a member of the group.
Working within a group provides opportunity for direct sharing, access to those who are more experienced than you and the feeling of an energetic community and bonds to those who are your spiritual family. You will also have greater opportunity to network and meet others if the group you select holds open or sister events in collaboration with others in the Tradition, Coven or Lodge. Ritual work becomes a group effort in which you are able to be simply the participant and are able to open yourself in a deeper way since you are not the sole person responsible for the workings at hand. It provides the ability to see how others structure their practice and exchange ideas and suggestions about different approaches and subtleties. Now, of course, these are all things a solitary practitioner can experience in an open ritual; but the depth and openness that is shared between those within a group often occurs at those times when you are setting up or preparing for ritual before guests arrive or sitting in a group- only social event.
Some considerations you should have as you decide on what group is the best fit:
The group you select to petition for membership should offer a stable and fair structure of spiritual progress with resources to further and enhance your personal growth. Working within the group should feel like a spiritual family and these should be people that you trust to see you at your best and your worst. The energetic connection that you weave with this group of people will strengthen and build as you continue to work together and it is a very intimate relationship that requires respect between all of membership.
You should never feel pressured to do anything that you do not consider to be safe or is coercive in nature. Unfortunately, not all groups are ethical in their actions and offer up empty promises of the gifting of great powers and knowledge of the mysteries in exchange for sexual, monetary or other favors. Some traditions do work skyclad (naked) and perform sex magick as part of their magickal rites, but do so with the consent of all concerned and are up front from the very beginning, ensuring that everyone is on board. Bottom line is- if it doesn’t feel right to you and is not in accord with your beliefs you will probably not make much spiritual headway.
The leadership of the group should be people who live by example those teachings that they have been entrusted to pass along. There should be a comfortable exchange between leadership and membership such that any discord, or misunderstandings can be discussed and resolved in an ethical, intelligent and mature manner. Respect is key here, on both sides.  Respect that leadership has the best interest of the group, Tradition and its members always in sight. And, respect that membership will be supportive and helpful in maintaining a positive working environment and good intent for those they work with.
There should be encouragement of all members within the group to excel and progress in their magickal studies at a pace that will provide challenge but also allow for life events to take priority as needed. And, although healthy and constructive criticism is a great motivator there should never be an ill-intended push or encouragement towards unhealthy competition for recognition, roles or initiations among members. There will be many times when you will feel challenged unjustly and perhaps even feel as though you are not progressing in the way or at the speed at which you feel you should. A good barometer is to step back from the situation for a moment and ask yourself if you are just annoyed at the inconvenience or is there something truly and viably wrong.
It has been my experience that frequently the people who are meant to become members of our group, find their way to us through a synchronistic moment. They happen to be in the right place at the right time, find our website and decide to come to an open event or become interested through a friend who is already a member. Don’t be afraid to be selective. Take the time that you need to make an informed decision and never allow yourself to be pressured into joining a group. If a group is that desperate for new members, there are most likely other areas in which they will exert or force their will on the existing members- the number one “no-no” in pagan philosophy and ethics.

The bottom line is that if the group is a viable and healthy one, they will want to take their time in getting to know more about the potential members who come knocking on their door, and if the fit is right there is no need to hurry matters.  Neither your nor their interest in having you join them will diminish or lessen. If it does, perhaps it was not the place for you after all. The commitment to a group should be entered with the thought that this will be a place of working and growing for several years. There is no short track to magickal mastery and those who frequently leave and join groups, as well as groups who have a fast moving revolving door usually do not stand the test of time and longevity.

A Timely Choice

Just as all of life’s experiences change and flow as you change and grow in years and time, the decision to remain solitary or join a group will follow its own meandering course as well. Many start as Solitary workers; come to a crossroads where the progress they require includes working with others in a committed way, and when the lessons are integrated go back to Solitary practice. This is the nature of all spiritual growth regardless of tradition.
The start of your journey is begun of your own accord and decisions about how and in which direction it moves are formulated by you and you alone. As you move along the path of your making there will come a point in the road where the need to offer the mysteries learned in a broader and more communal sense rises to the surface. The yearning to share and exchange this wisdom with like-minded people and the security of feeling that you are part of something larger than yourself is the gentle rise of the hill ahead that offers no glimpse of what lay on the other side. You reach the summit of this path and begin the process of gathering to yourself all of the outer influences, interactions, joys and sorrows you have experienced. You take in new sights from this higher vantage point. These spread out before you in panoramic view. And, as the choices blur and thin in detail in the vastness of what can be, you look around and see that you have returned to the space of standing alone and quiet in your inner sanctum; new choices ahead and new paths to walk. And, so the cycle begins anew.
It doesn’t really matter whether you choose to join a group or remain a solitary practitioner. The important thing is that you continue your practice. That you seek out the resources you are guided to when and where you are led. And, when the time is right, you gather with like- minded individuals as one in celebration of the Pagan Path.
Blessings on your journey!

While it may not be what some would consider the season of Hecate; in actuality, it is always the season of Hecate. You never know when you may need Her, and so……

(Photo Credit: exemplore.com)

HECATE Her name alone can conjure up a vision of what we imagine Her to be. She is the Goddess of the Witches, a Dark Goddess, the Keeper of Ancient Knowledge, Keeper of the Cauldron of Secrets.

She is the Guardian of the Crossroads, holding aloft Her torch, accompanied by Her hounds who are able to look at Past, Present and Future. We look to Her for guidance and protection as She encourages us through the obstacles in our lives and lights the way on our inner journey.

Go somewhere in your home where you will not be disturbed. Shut off any devices that may intrude upon your awareness. Light several candles, spaced around the room, also light an incense of musk (if you do not have musk, then burn an incense that you would use during your meditations).

Wrapping yourself in a meditation shawl, lie down on the floor, or on a bed if you are more comfortable. Place a pillow under your head and cover yourself with a light blanket (for some, meditation can bring a chill.) Place a bolster under your knees if you have lower back issues. Your arms will be by your sides, slightly away from your body, palms up.

Close your eyes and, very gently, allow them to focus up toward your third eye (located between your brows and up minutely) Begin long, deep breathing, through the nose only.

Bring your awareness to the breath, focusing on each inhale and exhale. Allow your breath to become slower, deeper, pushing yourself down into yourself with each breath, feeling your body get heavier with each breath, sinking down into Mother Earth beneath you. Allow the breath to bring you into your own inner consciousness, that place of your deepest wishes, desires, dreams and fears.

In your minds eye, you look up and find yourself on a road, lined with dark, knowing trees. You are confused as to how and why you are here. The trees whisper that you are to go forward. The path has been made ready for you.

You slowly begin to walk forward, mindful of the mists around you. One step follows another. You look to where this road will take you and see that up ahead, this road crosses another. Where the roads cross, the mists part and you see a beautiful woman, dressed in white, with Her arms open beckoning you to come closer.

Your steps come a little faster and as you get closer, the woman transforms into an older woman, dressed in red and pregnant with creativity. She continues to invite you forward.

As you get closer, She once again transforms; this time into an older woman, dressed in black. She reaches out and you take her hand. From where you stand, all is shrouded in fog. You look at Her and She smiles gently. She gestures downward and you see that She is accompanied by Her hound companions, each with three heads.

As you look at her closely, she is both kindly and serious. You are here for a reason.

Her arm indicates the road to your left. As you look, the mists part and you are able to see into the distant, and not-so-distant past. She tells you take time to linger amongst your memories, and you do so.

When you are done, you turn to look into Her wise, old eyes. She instructs you to now honor those memories, the good, the bad, the embarrassing and the painful. Now, release them into the past, where they belong. No longer will you allow them to influence your life.

She once again gestures and the path to the past is once again shrouded in mist and the one in front of you opens. She explains that the past is done, and the present is now. Take time to observe what is currently going on in your life what is going well, and what you would change.

Once again, you look into Her knowing eyes. She is aware of all that you are feeling.

One last time, She waves Her hand. The path to the present closes, and the last path opens. Without being told, you know that this is the path to your future, what may be and can be. With some trepidation, you observe this path that is now open before you. Let your intuition be guided by your wants, needs and desires.

You look at Her, realizing that this wise woman is the Goddess, Hecate, Guardian of the Crossroads, and you bow your head to honor Her. She reaches out, lightly taking your chin in Her hand and brings your head up to look deeply into Her eyes. Her message is clear.

Let go of the past, live as best you can in the present and focus on bringing your dreams to fruition in the future. Live your life the way you know is right and best for you. Claim your sovereignty.

You thank Her profusely, and with a blessing, She releases you; you find yourself returned to your body.

Bring your awareness to the here and now. Take several deep inhales, releasing them. Stretch your arms up, slightly stretching your body to fully awaken. Open your eyes and gently bring yourself to a sitting position. Inhale, bringing your hands to the surface in front of you, grounding your energy, and exhale.

May Hecate bless you.

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

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About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess, as well as Mago Publications She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Womens Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis, the Egyptian Goddess”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is [email protected]

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