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Your Next Cycle on the Path of She

Posted on:  Feb 27, 2021 @ 19:04 Posted in:  Sabbats

Take a moment to step outside your door. Open your senses wide; drink in the light, colors, textures, sounds and smells of the natural elements that surround you; let these sensual encounters seep into your skin, down through your flesh and bones, into the very core of your being. You’re home, here amidst the physical wonders and swirling energies of the natural realm, here on this green and blue jewel of Earth as it spins and cycles its way through the infinite Cosmos.

Your journey of soul begins anew with every breath, every step, every season and every cycle, in the big and small miracles that mark your healing and growth.

Close your eyes and place your hands on your belly; track your inhalation, letting it draw your awareness into the depth of your inner landscape. Empty your mind; relax your body; be with yourself, still, silent, at ease. You’re home, here amidst the physical wonders and swirling energies that are you, here rooted in the beauty and gifts of your Deep Self and authentic humanity, a unique-in-all-the-Universe being, spinning and cycling your way through your one, precious life.

With a soft, unfocused gaze, once again take in the surrounding landscape. On your exhalation, share a bit of your Deep Self essence with the outer world; on your inhalation, draw in the energies of sun, earth, wind and wild, green-growing things, and sense them infuse and inform your inner world. Breath in, breath out, slow, sweet, steady. You’re home, here amidst the love and rightness of this communion, within and without, between your Deep Self and Nature, spinning and cycling together through the seasons of light and dark, life and death, and joy and sorrow.

In all of these things — your body and the body of the Earth — your Deep Self and the essence of every living being — the powers and mysteries that govern the cycles and seasons of Nature and your life — the shining love that infuses and connects life to life in the infinite dance of Creation — you’re home in the infinite-love embrace of the Goddess.

These primal, essential connections are always present; you’re already home. Your journey of soul, at its core, is about remembering, reclaiming and living, ever more deeply and profoundly, this simple, powerful truth. And this process is an unfolding journey that begins anew with every breath, every step, every season and every cycle, in the big and small miracles that mark your healing and personal growth, and bring positive, live-affirming change to the greater world.

Breathe deep and feel your feet upon the ancient pathway of the Goddess. Look behind you and bear witness to your travels through one cycle of the Wheel of the Year, across its seasons of darkness, death, light, life, joy and sorrow — engaging the soul lessons ripe for you at this time, renewing your primal relationship with Nature, and the Gods and Goddesses, and acquiring the knowledge and skills that facilitate your spiritual pathwork. You’ve walked this ancient path in your own way, following where your Deep Self and life have led you.

You’re not the same person you were at the beginning of this journey; you’ve become someone new, and this new isn’t some ideal, perfected state, but a deeper, more present and beautiful you. No matter how profoundly you’ve changed or how messy your life still feels, love and embrace yourself as you are right now, honor the hard, hard work you’ve done, both the struggles and positive changes, and savor this sweet moment and the goodness that is your life.

Take another deep breath and look ahead to the new cycle and journey across the seasons opening before you. Once more Nature and the Gods and Goddesses will offer up their seasonal wisdom and gifts that are both eternal and fresh to the moment.

And once more, you’ll return to the core themes of your soul work and life story, and their reflections in your pathwork of beauty and wounding. Though it may sometimes seem like you’re treading over old, familiar ground and issues, know you follow a spiral path that will lead you deeper into the layers and complexities of your soul work, for as long as is needed for you to reap its gifts of healing and transformation.

Excerpt from the Path of She Book of Sabbats.  Available in paperback and e-book at the Path Store.

The Path of She Book of Sabbats takes you on a soulful journey through the seasons, with Nature and the Gods and Goddesses as your guides. Connect your spiritual path with the energy of the Earth through teachings, guided meditations and pathwork exercises, and explore your soul’s journey through its seasons of light, dark, life, death, joy and sorrow. Embrace the powerful, essential work of transforming your life.

Artwork by SergeyDemidov.deviantart.com

An Imbolc Meditation: Light and Shadow of Soul Work

Posted on:  Jan 30, 2021 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Featured, Sabbats

Imbolc Guided Meditation Excerpt from The Path of She Book of Sabbats.

On the eve of Imbolc, light a candle in a private corner of your home. Bring your face close and let its flame dance its teasing warmth across your skin. Track your breath, slow, slow in and slow, slow out, relaxing ever deeper into the physical movements of your body with breath.

Between the worlds at Imbolc, the Goddess Brigid waits for us, stoking Her sacred flame and tending Her holy forge, where the old is re-cast into the new.

Imagine your inner light and heat becoming stronger with every breath, just as the sun is becoming stronger with every day. Let this inner heat thaw the frozen-over places inside of you that hold your stagnation and resistance to change and new growth.

When you feel present and centered in your body, focus on the candle’s golden light; use its shimmering energies to shift your awareness to the place between the worlds where Brigid’s sacred flame burns brilliant and strong. Put your hands on your belly and sense the heat of Her fire infusing the seeds of your beauty and wounding that are stirring at this turning time, calling you to new growth and possibilities. Let these potent forces draw you to Her doorstep.

Now close your eyes and imagine yourself at the threshold of Brigid’s realm. There is a thick door in front of you, with a smooth-worn handle and a key poised within its lock. Place one hand on the handle and the other on the key. Take a few breaths to anchor once more in your center and to bring your complete attention to this moment.

Feel your hunger to shift your life in new, positive directions. Feel any pain or resistance that this hunger may trigger. Know that when you open this door and cross its threshold to stand before Brigid, you are choosing to heal and grow, bringing these light and shadow energies with you.

Make your next movements deliberate and conscious, a shifting from the winter-like stagnation of what you know into the spring-filled possibilities of what can be. Then turn the key, step through the door and find yourself fully present in Brigid’s sacred realm.

Imagine Brigid welcoming you with open arms. Take in the details of Her radiant beauty and the powerful energies of Her holy well and sacred flame. Orient yourself within Her realm and its potent magic that can make your life anew.

Ask Brigid to share with you Her gifts of inspiration and wisdom, and to help you better understand the seeds of your beauty and wounding that are driving your pathwork at this time.

Brigid leads you to Her scrying bowl, filled with the waters of Her holy well and lit by Her sacred flame. Merge with the flickering dance of flames across the flat, still surface of the water. Open your inner landscape to these heady powers, knowing that they can reveal the hidden knowledge within you and share healing visions of where your journey of soul will lead you next.

As Brigid’s holy waters divulge these secrets and visions, enter deeply into the stories woven into the seeds of your beauty and wounding. Information and insights can come to you in many ways: through visual imagery, a voice that speaks to you, or body sensations and energies. Fully engage whatever shows up, in whatever form. Take your time, ask questions, dive deep.

Decipher how these seeds manifest in your everyday life and the wide world around you, and how they inform your journey of soul. Seek out the parts of your Deep Self and life story that are calling for healing and reclaiming. Gather what insights you can on how to best tend these seeds and follow their lead in your emerging pathwork of new beginnings.

Notice on the wall behind you that your shadow shimmies and shifts in sync with the flames of Brigid’s forge. Light and shadow are partners in your soul work. What you have lost, your shadow remembers; what is most precious within you, your shadow protects; what you need to tend and heal, your shadow will bring to your attention. You cannot reclaim your beauty without your wounding, nor your joy without your pain.

Widen your heart to your shadow-side, accepting that everything you are and everything you have experienced, the good and the bad, the joyful and the painful, have brought you to this moment and serve as the raw materials of your greater becoming. Then turn your awareness back to Brigid’s scrying bowl. Ask it to reveal anything else you need to know at this time, including your imperfections, limitations and resistance that are the shadow reflections of your hunger for new beginnings.

These too are essential pieces of your journey of soul. When your scrying magic feels complete, step back from its potent energies and turn to face Brigid. You have a choice to make before you leave Her presence; you must decide, given all that you have been shown this Imbolc eve, whether you are ready to tend these stirring seeds within you, with your shadow-side as partner and ally.

Know that your yes is a vow that goes both ways; your pledge is to do the hard work of reclaiming a life of soul, and Brigid’s promise is to love and support you at every step on your way.

Speak your vow to Brigid; name the pathwork and new beginnings that you are ready to commit to in the coming Spring season. Feel the power of your vow amplified by the magic of Brigid’s forge, where the old is made anew. And sense the greater powers and mysteries, beyond the walls of Brigid’s realm, that heed your vow and align themselves in service of your greater becoming.

For a few more minutes, gaze into Brigid’s eyes; drink in the details of Her exquisite features and fill yourself up with the love that permeates every ounce of Her being. Then bring your time with Brigid to a close. Listen to Her final words of guidance and wisdom. Share your gratitude and love, and bid Her farewell. Then use your breath to bring yourself back into your physical body and waking reality.

Open your eyes and take in the dance of shadow and candlelight in the room. Feel this mirror dance inside of you, and in the world around you. There is no light without shadow, good without bad, nor joy without pain. In the coming months, as you nurture and grow the new beginnings you have committed yourself to this Imbolc eve, remember this essential, inescapable truth: you are woven of all these things, and of mysteries unknown still sleeping in the shadow realm, waiting for their quickening moment to return to the light.

Celebrate Imbolc

with the Path of She Book of Sabbats

Buy now at the Path Store

Artist: Sulamith Wulfing

Imbolc: A Dance of Light and Shadow

Posted on:  Jan 29, 2021 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Sabbats

Imbolc Excerpt from The Path of She Book of Sabbats.

At Imbolc, profound change is stirring on your journey of soul. As the seasons turn from Winter into Spring, the returning powers of light and life activate your longing for new beginnings, and coax you to leave behind the stasis of what you know to seek out new possibilities.

Winter gives way to Spring at Imbolc. Light and shadow dance together as you tend the seeds of your beauty and wounding that can transform your life.

The Earth is waking at Imbolc, casting off Her winter cloak of cold and darkness, and prodding the natural realm to stir from its long rest at the first signs of Spring. Nothing seems certain at this time of year. Nature can be in the throes of snow and frigid temperatures, or it can offer up warm, sunny days that entice brave snowdrops to rise from the still-frozen soil. No matter how hard Winter tries to hang on, the days get steadily longer and warmer, and Nature opens itself once more to the life-giving powers of the strengthening sun.

Groundhog Day is the secular custom that coincides with Imbolc. The groundhog is a weather diviner; according to tradition, if the groundhog emerges from its hole and see its shadow then Winter will be digging in for another six weeks. If it doesn’t see its shadow, Spring is near at hand. Regardless of the groundhog’s predictions, Imbolc is a time when we turn our mind and intentions toward the seeds we would like to plant in the Spring, both in our gardens and in our life.

Like the natural realm, what has been dormant within you hungers for new growth. And like the groundhog, light and shadow are both part of your dance with the shifting, seasonal energies.

At Imbolc, you turn your mind to the seeds that hold the next pieces of your pathwork, sourced from the beauty and wounding of your Deep Self and life story. As you draw these seeds into the light of your conscious awareness and engagement, you will also encounter the shadow-side of the wounded, denied parts of your life and our world.

To journey on the Path of She is to accept and work with your whole/holy nature and life story, both the light and shadow, and beauty and wounding. You cannot truly change yourself or your outer world without showing up to the naked, raw truth of who you are and what you’ve experienced.

Self-awareness , self-acceptance and compassion are essential components of the hard work of healing and transforming your life.

You need not be alone in this momentous task. Brigid is a mighty Goddess, with powers of healing and inspiration, who comes to us through Celtic mythology. Some tales of Brigid tell how She came to the Earth when all was blackness and chaos, and placed Her mantle around the planet, transforming it into a place of beauty. Brigid has endured through the turning times of humanity, both as Goddess and as Saint, and Imbolc is Her festival day.

Brigid draws us to Her doorstep at Imbolc. She has so many gifts to offer us: the light of Her sacred flame to lead us out of the darkness; the healing, inspirational waters of Her holy well to mend our hurts and guide our journey; and the transformational powers of Her forge where the old can be recast into the new.

These wondrous things Brigid will grant us, but we must seek Her out in Her realm between the worlds, and consciously choose to embrace Her healing ways. And we must make a vow, a soul commitment, to tend the seeds of our beauty and wounding, and to follow where they lead us on our journey of soul. She can offer us healing, wisdom and support, but only we can do the hard work of transforming our life and mending our world.

Celebrate Imbolc

with the Path of She Book of Sabbats.

Buy now at the Path Store.

Photo Credit: Aleksandar Kyng on Unsplash

A Winter Solstice Tale: Ereshkigal & Our Beauty and Wounding

Posted on:  Dec 17, 2020 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Sabbats

Winter Solstice excerpt The Path of She Book of Sabbats.

On the longest night of the year, in the thick of the mysteries of the sacred dark, turn your mind to the Great Below and the fearsome voice of Ereshkigal:

“I am the still, held breath of the dark that precedes the dawn.
I am the hands of the Earth that cup the seeds of new life.
I am the dark powers that pulse within the fleshy matter of your body.
I am the death that promises rebirth, and the kiss that awakens you from your death slumber.
I am the keeper of the lost parts of your soul, and of secrets that can set you free.”

On the longest night of the year, in the thick of the mysteries of the sacred dark, turn your mind to the Great Below and the fearsome voice of Ereshkigal.

Inanna turned Her mind to the Great Below and Her Goddess sister Ereshkigal. She surrendered everything, even Her life, to the Underworld mysteries of death and rebirth. And through these mysteries, Inanna was transformed into Her full Goddess presence and power.

As terrifying as this journey may seem, know that its rewards are immeasurable. On this darkest of nights, the seeds of brilliant new beginnings, within and without, are stirring from their death sleep, ready to return from the darkness to the light.

Be brave, follow in Inanna’s footsteps. Make this conscious descent, stripping yourself bare of your worldly masks and illusions, and habits of belief, thought and action that stand between you and your truest, most beautiful potential. Do these things and Ereshkigal will grant you entry to Her realm and help you discover the seeds of your new beginning and the way forward to the soul-based life you long for.

Ereshkigal does not rise from Her throne as you enter Her inner sanctum. She is dressed in a red velvet sheath that molds itself to Her voluptuous, curvy form, with a silver circlet as a crown and silver snake bangles on Her ankles and wrists. A smoky heat and feral power rises from Her amber skin and strong, bare limbs, marking Her as a dangerous, commanding being that could easily reduce you to ashes. With an imperial scrutiny, She pierces through your outer veneer into the core of your being. There is no hiding in Ereshkigal’s realm.

Hold your own under Ereshkigal’s probing, black-eyed stare, and stay in your center and power. As formidable as She appears, Ereshkigal’s intention is to help you, not to harm you, though She will ask much of you in service of your greater becoming.

“I know why you are here,” Ereshkigal says, “You have dared to stand before my throne in the Great Below because you seek the miracle of my rebirth magic in your own life and journey of soul, where new beginnings emerge from death and darkness. But be warned, there is a price to be paid for so potent a magic. As the new dawn is born from the darkest night, so too the beautiful new beginnings you desire emerge from the depth of your wounding.

“Long has been the dark night of soul of your human species. Long have you done great harm to each other, and to the good green Earth. Long have you run from the pain and sorrow of this grievous wound. Whatever personal wounding you carry is a reflection of this greater harm.

“But all is not gloom. Nothing lasts forever. The dark night of soul for you and your human kin is ending. A new dawn beckons for those brave enough to dare the rebirth magic of my Underworld realm. As a reward for your bravery, I will show you what you seek.”

Ereshkigal leaves Her throne and circles around you. Her movements are sinuous and creature-like, and Her nostrils flare as She sniffs the air, seeming to take your measure from the scent-signature emanating from your form.

“However you have learned to deny and hide from your wounding will not serve you in your pathwork with me,” Ereshkigal whispers in your ear, “I strip you of these things so you can see the truth that is your life and your world, though you travel my ways by your own freewill, and I never ask more than what you are able to bear.”

She presses Her hands, firm and hot, into the front and the back of your mid-torso. Your mind and body become still, silent, empty. Whatever you think you know, think you are, think you want, vanish. There is only the pulsing, fleshy darkness of your inner landscape and the pulsing, potent darkness of Ereshkigal outside and inside of you.

“Where you find your wounding, you also find your beauty,” She says, “When you show up to your pain, you also remember your joy. In stepping into the fullness of your life story, you shed a smallness of being for a bigness of presence and power.”  

As Ereshkigal withdraws Her hands, something passes through your skin. She uncurls Her fingers and two shining seeds rest within Her open palms.

“These are the seeds of your beauty and wounding that are waking within you,” She says, “Within their compressed interior are the makings of a bright new beginning — a magic that can heal your soul, brewed from the illuminating meeting of your beauty and wounding. You cannot reclaim one without the other.”

Ereshkigal turns your hands palm upwards and places the warm, pulsing seeds within their cupped interior.

“These seeds come with challenge and choice,” She says, “You can take them inside of you and then change will come. Or you can cast them back into the dark. But to no avail, because change will still come. What is waking in you will not let you rest until you have taken the next step closer to the soul-based life you are meant to live, and the new dawn waiting to be born from your inner darkness into the sunlit world.”

The darkness around you begins to lighten as the longest night gives way to the new dawn. Ereshkigal and Her realm grow fainter and fainter until they disappear altogether. Yet the power of Her presence and words remain, beckoning to you from the shining seeds.

One more time, be brave. Raise your hands to your lips and swallow the magic of these seeds whole. Take them inside of you and feel the stirrings of a new dawn within your gestating interior. Though you cannot know where these seeds will lead you in the months to come, you have dared the Great Below and claimed its powerful rebirth magic as your own.  You have taken the next step into the soulful life that is yours to live and in the weaving of a new-made world.

Give yourself a gift of soul this Yule season.   The Path of She Book of Sabbats takes your deep into the Winter Solstice mysteries of death, rebirth and personal transformation.  Available in paperback and e-book at the Path Store.

Artwork by Julie Dillon

A Winter Solstice Meditation: Ereshkigal and the Great Below

Posted on:  Dec 16, 2020 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Sabbats

Guided Meditation excerpt from the Path of She  Book of Sabbats.

On the Winter Solstice eve, set up a cozy, private spot in your home where you can be warm and comfortable. Turn off the lights and have a candle close at hand, but do not light it. Close your eyes and begin to track the movements and sounds of your body with breath.

Descend to the Great Below. Brave the realm of the Dark Goddess Ereshkigal. With respect and humility, seek out Her rebirth magic to guide your journey of soul.

On every in-breath, infuse yourself with the still, quiet darkness that surrounds you. On every out-breath, release any stress you may be carrying from the holiday season. Soften your facial muscles, loosen the stiff, tight places in your body, and empty your mind of thoughts and concerns. Be with yourself in the all-encompassing dark.

Open yourself to the natural world energies of this longest night of the year and the awakening tendrils of new light and new beginnings that will soon be birthed from this deep darkness. Imagine taking these energies into your body and sense them calling forth your inner darkness and emerging light. Let your soul longings bubble up to the surface, stirring up the seeds of new beginnings waiting for you in the belly of the dark.

Stay in your center and observe any emotional reactions that you may have. No matter what arises, be it fear, anticipation, pain or joy, just keep your breath slow and steady, and your body and awareness open and receptive. Winter Solstice work can be edgy, awakening painful, fragile places in your psyche. You travel these pathways by your free will, so set the intention to be guided by your highest good and only go as deep as is right for you at this moment.

Continue to breathe and ground, slow and steady; let go of your emotions and settle into the empty silence within you.

Like Inanna, turn your mind to the Great Below, seeking out its rebirth magic to guide your journey of soul. See a portal before you with a passageway that leads down, down, down to the realm of Ereshkigal, Queen of the Underworld. As you make your descent toward Ereshkigal’s throne room, sense yourself traversing a series of gates where invisible hands strip you of your worldly masks and pretenses, and anything else that stands between you and the new beginning awaiting you this Winter Solstice eve.

At each of these gates, notice what is being taken from you, and how it feels to be free from its influence. Know that the ways you have learned to deny and hide from the truth that is your life, both the beautiful and painful, will only block your pathwork with Ereshkigal. But you engage this pathwork at your own pace, and need only strip yourself as bare as feels comfortable.

When you reach this point, you will find yourself on the threshold of Ereshkigal’s throne room. Look deep, deep inside: is there one more thing that you are still clinging to that must be surrendered to the dark? Name this thing and gently let it fall away.

Step past the threshold and stand before Ereshkigal, empty and humble. Take in your surroundings: the look and feel of the Great Below, the fearsome and beautiful presence of Ereshkigal on Her throne, and your physical, emotional and energetic responses to this sacred, powerful place.

Bear Ereshkigal’s scrutiny in silence, waiting for Her to speak and direct your engagement. This is Her sovereign realm, and you are here by Her grace and consent. Yet also stand proud and sure of yourself; you have made this descent and brave this encounter of your own volition.

There is no hiding in Ereshkigal’s presence. She knows why you are here and what you seek in the deepest dark of this Winter Solstice eve. Speak words of respect, and humbly request that She help you activate Her rebirth magic and discover the seeds of your beauty and wounding waking within you.

Ereshkigal descends from Her throne and directs your attention to a mirror of polished, black stone. This mirror has special powers; it can reveal the parts of your inner landscape and life story that are ready to return from the shadow places in your psyche to the light of your conscious awareness.

Focus your awareness on its reflective surface, and whisper to the mirror, “show me my beauty and wounding.”

Open yourself to the images and energies the mirror reveals: the hidden gifts, dormant potential and secret desires of your beauty, along with the repressed and forgotten pain, losses and suffering of your wounding. Do not deny or push anything away. But do practice self-care, and only delve as deep into your wounding as feels right for you.

Remember that your wounding is your ally, not your nemesis, and that the dark holds the lost jewels of your Deep Self and authentic humanity that have long waited to return to their rightful place and purpose in your waking life. You cannot move forward in reclaiming your beauty without also reclaiming your mirror wounding.

See the intertwining of your beauty and wounding, and the blessings and challenges offered by each. Spend as much time as you need to connect with these vital roots of your life story
and spiritual unfolding. Then reach for the parts of your beauty and wounding that are meant to guide your journey of soul at this time, and imagine them transforming into warm, fleshy seeds in your cupped palms. From these seeds, your pathwork of new beginnings will be born.

Hold the seeds outward for Ereshkigal’s perusal. Like Inanna, surrender yourself to Ereshkigal’s wisdom and ways. Heed Her words of guidance on the potent pathwork offered by these seeds, and let Her presence and rebirth magic settle into your flesh and bones. Though She can be a fierce and demanding taskmistress, Ereshkigal’s sacred intention is to help you transform into the fullness of your Deep Self.

If you are ready to do the pathwork revealed to you this Winter Solstice eve, bring these seeds of beauty and wounding to your lips and swallow them as a conscious act of receiving and ingesting their transformative energies. And in this powerful act, know that you have truly begun the work of mending and reclaiming your beauty and wounding, and of birthing a bright new beginning on your journey of soul.

Look one last time into Ereshkigal’s eyes as you bid Her farewell, seeing beyond Her ferocity to Her infinite love. Bow and offer Her your gratitude and reverence, for it is She who has guarded these lost parts of your life story and Deep Self, and the rebirth mysteries of the sacred dark, for the time when you would remember Her sacred presence and your own.

Use your breath to bring yourself back to waking consciousness and your physical body. Open your eyes and sit for a few minutes in the enveloping darkness. Then light a candle as a symbol of the new light and new beginning that will be born of this Winter Solstice magic with Ereshkigal. Take this light into your core, infusing the seeds in your belly with the hope and promise that from death comes new life, and from the darkest night of your wounding, the new dawn of your beauty is born.

Give yourself a gift of soul this Yule season.   The Path of She Book of Sabbats takes your deep into the Winter Solstice mysteries of death, rebirth and personal transformation.  Available in paperback and e-book at the Path Store.

Artwork by Christian Schloe