Samhain Blessings One and All!!
Due to some personal issues in the last couple of months (September/October) that needed attending to, I chose to suspend our monthly “Sister Circle” gatherings until after Samhain. Aside with a host of other emotions and feelings I was dealing with, I also felt very drained. I knew that I could not, in good faith, give the total attention to the women of the circle, or to lend my energy to be supportive. Part of being a Goddess woman is recognizing when one needs to step back and honor the Self and give self-care when needed. I recognized that I was in no place physically, emotionally, mentally or even spiritually to even attempt to hold sacred space for others let alone be a support for them. I had my own journey, my own labyrinth I needed to walk and get to the center too, and I needed to be able to scream, cry, kick, spit, cuss, laugh, and rage until I got to that center where I would find insight, light, peace and healing. I realize however, that this is my souls Samhain lessons this turn of the wheel.
Why do I share this with you?
Because I am a real woman. Yes, I am a Spiritual Midwife-Goddess-Teacher-Priestess-In-Residence and Founder of Sister Spirit Sanctuary, however I make mistakes, I struggle, I bleed, I hurt, I cry and I anger just like the rest of us. I am as real as they come. I do not dance a sacred Priestess dance looking for the ‘right proper Priestess words that are really only meant to impress anyway, although I know there are plenty who do. I abide by the old “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” Not that what I might say would be rude, but truthful and often, people, even some priestesses, do not like truthful, therefore it might be considered, “not nice.” So I say nothing at all.
I’m not a fence sitter either. Like the other saying, “What’s popular isn’t always right and what’s right isn’t always popular”, I am not afraid to speak up against that which I think is unjust and unfair wrongs done to others, despite the consequences of my actions. I am fully aware of the many Plastic Priestesses who will judge you by your social status, how much money you have, your life experiences, how you present yourself in public if you claim the title Priestess. In one regard, I believe that yes, we are held to a higher standard of behavior and we expect better than your average Jane of behavior, and certainly not anything less than that. At the same time, I don’t really see how it serves a woman who is a Priestess, especially one in a service capacity to act like she does not cry or ever struggles with her surroundings, sometimes her family and friends, or even finances. I have often wondered if it were some fantasy that some were trying to either sell to others and/or make themselves believe that if one is a Priestess, one is always connected to Source and therefore one is always prosperous, happy, healthy and living such a wonderful and amazing life, over flowing with goodness and love.
Sounds good to me. Maybe I’d bite. But that’s not the reality. Part of the beauty of life is, and I can’t believe I’m going to say this, is the challenge that it often presents. It’s because it is these challenges that we as women, as people, find out about ourselves. Not tripping the life fantastic all the time.
I share parts of my life with the women I serve because it’s what’s real. It is where I gain much of the wisdom I have to share–through the personal struggles of my life and family. So my star doesn’t shine as bright as some out there in the greater community, but it doesn’t burn as fast either. I’m not looking to be a polished, shiny, and plastic Priestess, nor am I looking for prestige or even notoriety for that matter (I can do bad on my own, thank you very much!) swinging off the back of someone else’s cloak tail either. I am a real woman of the real living earth. Not one that pretends to have stepped off the pages of the book, “The Mists of Avalon” by Marion Zimmer-Bradley. Although, on second thought, I would say Morgaine and her mother did experience great suffering and much sacrifice didn’t they? So perhaps it is that I could say that I would be like them in that regard. Ok, scratch that. How about not being a phenomenal and glamorous High Priestess, or Lady of the Lake like Vivienne, portrayed by the amazing Angelica Houston in the made for TNT movie based on the same book? Yes. I am not her.
Again I say, I am a real woman with real struggles and it is through my personal struggles that my own Wisdom Teachings come through.
So having rambled off the above, I can tell you a bit about my Samhain journey, and how it was I came to dance with my Sister Shadow.
As we began our descent into the darkness, nearing the autumnal equinox, I had to face a major betrayal of family and friend; one of my own daughters,(my second born, nineteen year old daughter who is angry at the world, especially her mother) and my so-called dear friend to whom I often confided in with issues surrounding this daughter. As it turns out, my friend was talking to my daughter behind my back, relating things I said in confidence, betraying my trust (and ultimately compounding an already difficult and strained situation) and then when confronted with that, lied claiming she never talked to my daughter, nor would she ever do or say the things she was accused of saying by that same nineteen year old to my oldest, twenty-two year old daughter. Only to have my nineteen year old daughter move in with her literally, the next day. The killer part is, she lives right next door to me! The bright side is, I didn’t have to worry about where my daughter was at night (as she didn’t have anywhere to go, burning her bridges with everyone she stayed with) but the impact and damage this friend did to our family as a whole was pretty bad. Some boundaries should never be crossed and if they ever are, I have learned you find out what “Hell’s Fury” really is.
Anyway, this betrayal sent me on a tailspin of emotions of all kinds. I was hurt beyond belief and I experienced a type of rage that I hadn’t even known existed within me. Oh I knew I could be a little crazy at times if push came to shove, but I had no idea the extent of the ferocity and dangerously violent emotions could be conjured up inside of me, a Goddess Loving woman. A woman who has dedicated herself to a path of spiritual growth and personal and spiritual empowerment. Ironically, I realized in the midst of my blinding rage, in the deepest, darkest place I have yet visited within my own soul, that one single moment where I felt such wrath and rage that I could have destroyed anything in my path, that only now could I see myself for the ‘wholeness’ that I truly am. I also realized this wasn’t about what my frienemy did, or my daughter but about me and what I needed to focus on to embrace my wholeness. The incident pushed me into the darkness to find the light within. Only then did I pass through a veil of enlightenment into the next level of my higher consciousness.
Like Innana, my descent into the underworld, my own darkness and death of sort, was difficult. The deeper I went, the more I had to remove and release. Until, eventually, I was caused to stand there, naked, face to face with my own Sister/Shadow, my Ereshkigal. She had a fierceness like I have never known before and I was very afraid of what I saw and of what I felt. But when I let go of the fear, and I accepted her for all that she was, I was able to see the spiritual flame within the darkness. It was in these moments that my ego, the falsehood of everything I thought I was, began to transform. In fact, my journey is not over and I am still in the transforming process. I am still letting go and pushing past the boundaries of my own self set limitations and learning to fully embrace who I am as a real woman and a New Earth Priestess.
My Shadow Sister is teaching me to dance with her. She is teaching me how to see her in a different light, one that empowers me and lifts me up vs. one that I am afraid of and deny and she has to ‘get ugly’ to be recognized, flaring up and coming out at the most inappropriate times, demanding I see her. I see her though, I recognize her and I embrace her. I am the light sister, and she is the dark and together we are whole of who I am. I am learning this shadow dance, I am learning and I am dancing. For in this dance of the shadow am I able to dance into the light and it is through this dance, of light and dark do I find the freedom to be who I really am.