My thanks to Jenn for inviting me to become part of PaganPages.
I am most comfortable when talking one to one with another person, preferably over a cup of tea (or another drink of your choosing) and my writing reflects this. My hope is that these columns will feel that way for you too. So, grab your favourite beverage, curl up in a chair and we’ll have a natter.
Once I had agreed to become part of the PaganPages family, I had a good long think about what I personally wanted to achieve from this venture. And, what I could offer to others at the same time. When I have questions like these, I can often find answers by consulting a well-used set of amulets.
The Amulets of the Goddess are an oracle method which I have been using for 20 years now. As I have developed my spiritual practice, the ways in which I use the amulets has also changed. These days, I am able to gain a more in-depth reading by shamanically journeying “into” the amulet to ask my questions and speak with them. I consider them to be my own council of Elders, advising me, guiding me, and sometimes giving a well-deserved though not always fully appreciated wrap on the knuckles!
This time the amulets showed me how spirals and edges are significant in my life. As a Pagan but perhaps more importantly, as a human, I am walking a Spiral Path. It is when I try to move forwards in a straight line that I stumble and fall. The path of a spiral moves in circles, but situations and circumstances are never repeated in exactly the same way. They may be similar, but they are approached from a new level of knowledge and understanding.
A simple childhood toy very aptly illustrates this idea. How many of you had a slinky? Over time, the loops may have become tangled and sections stretched out beyond repair as you tried to untangle crossed loops. It may have become so hopelessly twisted in on itself you despaired of ever getting it back. But, with persistence, the loops coiled once more.
But the loops never fit together quite right and you could tell by looking where damage had been done, and repairs attempted.
When we look back upon our lives, it is like looking at the tangled and repaired and stretched out coils of a slinky. We may find that some coils touch each other, the points where events in our lives seemingly repeated, but at each coil we approached that event with new wisdom and new life experience.
These were the amulets I drew:
* Ewe: Feelings of self-worth
* Triple Spiral: Boundaries, Barriers, and Possibilities
* Nightstar: Fulfilment
* Whirlwinds: Trusting the Unknown
* Eyes: Inner visions
Together they told me to explore the barriers I was putting into place as I considered writing for PaganPages: my own fears and self-doubts and the negative self-talk that can go along with fear. They reminded me that I have been writing for several years and had been seeking some validation of that writing. The also cautioned me in how to approach this new task. What are my boundaries: What am I willing to do, and not do? And what are the possibilities: What could I gain from this experience? Finally, I was told to seek my answers within my own heart.
Ewe told me that I am worthy of this task entrusted to me. I have earned it and am good enough. Looking inwards revealed a lot of internal doubts and fears about my own worthiness in taking on this work. By identifying these fears, I was better able to address them, and in most cases present a counter-argument.
What does Ewe mean in your life? Look at those areas in your life where you are holding yourself back or deeming yourself to be undeserving because of doubts about your own self-worth. For many this manifests in the falsely held idea that one’s worth is a direct result of what one produces. Take the time today to explore the possibility that you can have worth simply because you exist.
Triple spiral: Barriers, boundaries, and possibilities
Triple Spiral invited me to walk the arms of each spiral and to share with others the wisdom to be gained from exploring my own Barriers, Boundaries, and Possibilities related to this task.
What barriers are preventing me from believing I can produce a column for PaganPages? I discovered that all of those barriers existed only in my mind, fueled by self-doubts and feelings of unworthiness.
What are the barriers that are keeping you from achieving what you need to achieve? Is it money, institutionalised isms (race, gender, and sexual orientation amongst many), an abusive relationship, family obligations, illness, or something else?
What boundaries did I need to put into place? I had only one. I wanted to make sure that whomever I wrote for, it would enhance and not damage my reputation online. So, I read many of the articles, looked at the writers currently featured, and asked questions. Once I was satisfied with what I had found, I made the decision to accept the offer of writing here.
What boundaries do you need to put into place? What are you willing to accept and not accept? Where do you draw that line in the sand and say, this and no more? What boundaries are you placing on commitments to your time and attention? If you are feeling overwhelmed and used, can you put boundaries in place to say and give yourself permission to say “no”?
What possibilities did I see in taking on this role? This was easier for me to see. In writing for PaganPages I would be given the opportunity to be read by a wider audience. This in turn may bring more readers to my other pages. It may not, but the possibility is there. I expect in turn to have my own knowledge expanded by reading the articles by other contributing writers and indeed the comments sent in by readers and visitors to these pages.
What possibilities for your life can you see, some may be positive some may be negative. When you grow in your own self-worth, and begun to firm up your boundaries in what you will accept into your life, it can bring massive changes and those changes are not always pleasant initially. If you are able to say “no” more often, will it bring greater joy to those things where you do say yes?
Nightstar came to tell me my wish was being fulfilled. When we put our call out to the universe, the universe will respond. In the back of my mind for some time has been a desire to expand my writing in some way, but I had never explored that beyond the blogs and few on-line writing platforms which I have been using for years.
Even knowing this was something I wanted, the doubts started poking up through my thoughts. Can I? Should I? What if…? So Nightstar, combined with Ewe and the next Amulet, is a gentle reminder that this really is something that I do want. I had made my wish and the universe was responding at a time when I really was ready to receive. I just need to believe in myself and trust in the unknown.
What do you need in order to be fulfilled in your life? What wishes are you making? Are they things you want to draw into your life? Not all wishes are positive, when the pervasive thoughts in your mind focus on not having enough, sometimes the Universe gets the idea you want more of that.
Whirlwinds: trusting the unknown
Whirlwind invited me to explore a new lesson in trusting the unknown. This is an amulet of transformation and change happening below the surface. At the centre of the amulet you will see a butterfly. We cannot see the caterpillar becoming a butterfly within its cocoon, but we trust that it is happening. We cannot see the seed beginning to grow beneath the soil, but again we trust that it is happening. If we try to open that cocoon or dig up the seeds however, this fragile transformative process can be killed. We have to trust that these transformations are coming even as we cannot see them.
I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like unknowns. When I am going through life I like to have a plan A and a plan B, just in case. So when I am being told by Spirit that I need to learn to trust in the unknown. It throws up major wobblies in my gut. Can I do this? Will I screw it up? What if no one likes me?
What delicate transformations are taking place in the hidden corners of your life? How comfortable are you in sitting in a quiet stage of not knowing? Can you take a leap of faith over the edge into the unknown?
Eyes: reflecting inner visions
All-Seeing Eyes finally told me to look into my heart to find what I needed to do and trust my internal instincts, perhaps the hardest task of all. When we look inside we see all out faults, all our doubts, all our fears. Here I was invited to not only look inwards at all of these fears, but to bring them out into the light of day and share them with the rest of the world.
It is only by honestly looking into what is in our heart that we can recognise the negative comments we are directing towards ourselves. Only then can we take the steps needed to stop that chatter.
When you look into your heart, what messages are written there? Are they words of encouragement, or words to tear you down? What do you see when you look inside?
When doing a shamanic journey to discover my Soul Path, I was shown a brightly glowing cord spiralling into the unknown. The times in life when I had stumbled off that path were when I tried to make it stretch into a straight line. Sometimes I am learning, the best way of moving forwards is to move in a curved line.
My calling in life is that of a Healer. As an intuitive Reiki and shamanic healer I walk the boundaries between this world and the world of Spirit. Many times I have found myself in vision standing on the edge of a precipice, and being given a task. Trust enough to make the leap of faith into the unknown.
So I come to the Spiralled Edge, where I walk the path between the worlds. Thank you for joining me in this journey, even if for just a little while.
Amulets of the Goddess created by Nancy Blair