You are viewing the "transformation" Archives

Pagan Dreamer: Breathe. Love. Listen. Change the World.

Posted on:  Jan 9, 2022 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Pagan Dreamer

The Dream

I’m at a pagan spiritual retreat, helping to lead ritual. I guide our group in a breath exercise that’s a mirror of the process of deep change. We breathe and move in the space together, turning our awareness inward on the inhale, and outward on the exhale, shifting from self focus to other focus.

Breath. Love. Listen. Offer up your best presence and support to yourself and others. This is how we can heal and transform ourselves and world together.

On the inhale, I ask the question: how do you want/need to change; and on the exhale: how do others need you to change? We continue this breath and attention process, over and over again: inward to outward, self to other, personal change versus change in others, seeking our individual place and purpose in this time of collective transformation.

The dream ends leaving me with an insight into my relationship with my aging mother. What she needs from me and my siblings isn’t only our well-intended support, but also more asking and listening on our part: what do you want? need? how can we best support you in this time of transition and endings?

Dream Teaching

Although this dream ends on a personal note, it’s really a big picture dream that addresses the pressing question: how do we find our place and purpose in these edgy, transformative times we live in?  Do we focus on personal change that arises from our life story and circumstances? Or do we dedicate ourselves to outer change?  What drives deep transformation: our individual narrative and journey, or societal, outward-focused action?

In this era of the Me Too and Black Lives Matter movements, people are showing up to their personal pain and translating it into a collective force for deep-rooted, desperately needed social change.  A raw, authentic, irrepressible power is released in this fusion of inner and outer, and self and other that is challenging the very foundations of our status quo reality with its battle cry: enough is enough, and the time of change is now.

These courageous, inspiring movements teach us that there’s no separation between our inner, personal lives and the outer, greater world. Our individual wounding arises from the ills of our shared society, and the ills of society arise out of our individual wounding. Both are in need of our loving focus, and our commitment to healing and transformation.

You don’t need to be marching in the streets to participate in this epic, global movement. Instead you can keep things simple and close to home, beginning with wherever you are right now in your life. Just follow the practice offered by my dream.

Breathe, deep and slow, turning your awareness inward and then outward, from self to other, over and over again: how do you want/need to change? how do others need you to change?

Listen deeply to yourself. Listen deeply to those around you. Listen deeply to the sorrows of the world that call to you. How can you best support yourself and others in this time of transition and endings?  What is your place and purpose in the making of a saner, kinder and more loving world? Whatever you discover can guide your journey of healing and transformation, both personally and in your greater environment, at whatever depth and pace are right for you at this time.

Lesson in Pagan Dreaming

Dreams are not just about powerful ideas and insights. They’re also emotional experiences.  Often dreamwork focuses primarily on the images and content of the dream. Just as important is how the dream makes you feel, and this too is part of the dream teaching.

My dream begins with a group, collective experience, and shares a breath and awareness practice for deep inner and outer change. This is the primary content of the dream. Yet the dream isn’t done with its offerings; it finishes with an intensely tender, emotional part of my life: my love and support of my aging mother.

This is raw and real for me.  In the dream, I connect with the visceral, vital power of my love and compassion for my mother, and my desire to do my very best to listen and support her in this last part of her life.

And I get, from this emotive, heart-wrenching part of the dream, that this same quality of love, compassion, presence and commitment is what is being asked of me, you, and every one of us as we take this bumpy, terrifying, glorious ride of healing and transforming our lives and world together.

This dream tells us to breathe, to love, and to listen from our deepest, most tender heart and best self, not just to those close and dear to us, but also to ourselves, and the many others in our lives, even those that we may see as our enemy. Death is a messy, emotional business, as is the birthing of new life, and that’s where we’re collectively at: a death-rebirth moment that’s being driven not just by our pain and wounding, but more importantly by our love and best presence.

So breathe. Love. Listen. Offer up your best presence and support to yourself and others.  Start simple, small and close to home. Trust that you’ll find your place, purpose, and kin that walk your same path. The time of change is now.  And this is how we can heal and transform ourselves and world together.

Check out Path of She book offerings in the Path Store.

Artist Unknown

A Winter Solstice Tale: Ereshkigal & Our Beauty and Wounding

Posted on:  Dec 17, 2021 @ 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

Your Rebirth Magic: Four Transformational Lessons for the Winter Season

Posted on:  Dec 5, 2021 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Sabbats

Winter can be an edgy time.  Nature strips itself bare in the face of harsh conditions of darkness, cold, death and scarcity.  These natural occurrences can trigger our primal fears of darkness, death, and the loss and suffering that come with our mortality. Our winter-season spiritual work can also be edgy as we turn inward to the dark, hidden places in our inner landscape, and come up against the painful, vulnerable parts of our life story.

It’s this very edginess that makes Winter one of the most powerful times of the year for transformational pathwork. Winter is the season of the Dark Goddess and Her rebirth magic. From darkness and death, new light and life are reborn. From the dark night of our personal wounding, we reclaim and rebirth our true, beautiful Self.

Here are four transformational lessons for your personal rebirth magic in the winter season.

1. Your personal rebirth magic arises from the depths of your inner darkness.   

Rebirth is a potent magic. It offers profound transformational change that can make your life anew. This magic doesn’t come from an outside source, nor from the things you already know and understand about yourself and your life. Rebirth is a special kind of transformative magic that emerges from the lost, forgotten and denied parts of your life story, secreted away in the dark folds of your inner landscape.

In Winter, Nature reveals the powerful workings of the Dark Goddess’s rebirth magic.  Beneath the outer dormancy and death of the natural realm, the seeds of Spring’s new growth gestate in the dark belly of the Earth. On the Winter Solstice, the darkest night births forth the light of the new solar year. Life and light are reborn from death and darkness.

So too the seeds of your personal rebirth magic gestate in the depths of your inner darkness.  Here you can discover the lost parts of your life story that hold the seeds of your beauty and wounding that are stirring at this time, waiting for the awakening touch of your conscious awareness and love.

Together these seeds can illuminate and guide your healing and personal growth in the months to come. When you find and reclaim your wounding, you awaken and reclaim your beauty. Just as life and light are reborn from death and darkness, so too your true beauty is reborn from your deep wounding — this is the personal rebirth magic that can make your life anew.

2. Your wounded self is your ally, not your enemy, on your journey of soul.

When you turn to your inner darkness in search of the deep roots of your healing and personal growth, you’re going to encounter your wounded self.  This is the part of you that carries your experiences and stories of loss, pain and sorrow, as well as your personal dysfunctions and tangled emotions related to your wounding experiences.

Our culture teaches us to fear and repress our wounding, and to run as fast as we can in the other direction. Yet none of this works, and will only block and delay your healing and personal growth.

Your wounded self isn’t your enemy. It’s the part of you that is the guardian and protector of your beauty, and the tender, vulnerable places inside of you. It learned how to cope, and sometimes even thrive, in the face of adversity. It remembers the truth of what happened to you, and the lost stories that can heal and set you free.

To embrace your rebirth magic is to make an ally of your wounded self. This part of you has suffered on your behalf, and deserves your love and tender attention. As your cherished partner on your journey of soul, your wounded self can guide your way through a painful, limiting past and into a new, more positive and empowering future.

3. To transform your life, you need to cultivate inner emptiness: a silent, fertile space of what else is true and possible.

If you truly want to transform your life, you need to learn to cultivate inner silence and emptiness. Profound change, the kind the can make your life anew, happens when you step past the stuff-filled space of what you know, and your busy, noisy mind, into the open, empty space of greater truth and possibilities.

The rebirth magic of the Dark Goddess requires you to show up to the raw, naked truth of your life story, beyond illusion, mind, ego and judgments. Nature in Winter is a living example of this inward-focused state of deep silence and stillness, with its outer manifestations stripped bare and dormant.

When you achieve this inner emptiness, you also become your own sacred witness — a silent, loving presence that watches whatever shows up in your inner emptiness, with curiosity, compassion, respect and gratitude. The silent witness doesn’t judge, take action or seek resolution.

Though these skills aren’t easy to master, they’re invaluable to your spiritual pathwork, and the ongoing challenges of your everyday life. What happens in this convergence of inner emptiness and sacred witness is transformational magic: whatever you need to focus on in your life, right now, shows up to guide your healing and personal evolution.

4. Whatever shows up is your work of soul at this time.

You are master of your own journey of soul, working at the level of depth and pace that are right for you. Self-care and self-responsibility are essential to your spiritual pathwork. And you always have a choice whether or not to do the soul work that shows up in your inner emptiness and explorations of your inner darkness. But you don’t control what shows up.

Spiritual pathwork isn’t always pretty or easy. Death, endings, loss, wounding, shadow — these are part of our human experiences, and the reality that governs all things of the living Earth. Try as we might, we can’t escape them. Instead, we need to embrace these aspects of our soul work as our teachers and guides in the hard, wondrous pathwork of healing and transformation.

Life is meant to be a tricky, bumpy business. Great beauty, wisdom, complexity and resilience can emerge from the depths of our struggles. And sometimes things have to end, to die, for something new to be born. This is just how things are, inevitable, inescapable and essential for our healing and personal growth.

In your rebirth pathwork, honor that whatever shows up is your soul work at this time. Let your wounding and your beauty inform and guide your spiritual journey in the months to come. Expect things to be messy, challenging and confusing, as well as inspiring, breathtaking and life changing. Your life story, everything you’ve experienced, the beautiful and the wounding, matter; it’s the very stuff of your rebirth magic that can mend your soul and make your life anew.

Winter Journey – Your Rebirth Magic: Braving Your Inner Darkness

Turn Inwards ~ Discover Your Rebirth Magic ~ Make Your Life Anew

Let the Dark Goddess and Nature guide you in this season of darkness, death and rebirth magic.

Your Winter Journey includes: two pdf ebooks the Winter Journey Guidebook and Winter Journey Journal, and the Winter Journey Guided Meditation (mp3 audio).

 

 

[/winter]

The Lost Daughter: A Story For Our Times

Posted on:  Nov 28, 2021 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Goddess

Long, long ago, in our personal story, family history and the unfolding of humanity, She was lost to us — Goddess, Great Mother — priestess, healer, wise one — the sacred feminine within.

One half of the Universe, one half of our humanity, one half of our true Self — She who is wild and untamable — She who is liquid sensuality and earthly pleasure — She who wields the powers of magic and mystery — She whose laws are love and the nurturance of all life — were despoiled and repressed, until we learned to fear and forget Her very existence, and essential place in our inner landscape and shared society.

The lost daughter transcends our personal life stories, connecting us to an older, primal wound of disconnect from the Goddess and our sacred feminine nature.

We became the lost daughters and lost sons, cutoff from the true power and presence of She as Goddess, woman and the feminine side of human nature. And we have been profoundly wounded, individually and collectively, ever since.

Yet things are shifting. Deep hungers are stirring within, arising from a sense that something essential, precious is missing from our life and world.  We are waking and finding our way home to the Goddess, our true womanhood and sacred feminine nature.

Dreaming of the Lost Daughter

When I began to write Tale of the Lost Daughter, I started from a place of emptiness, of opening to the Goddess to direct my writing and focus. I would sink into an altered state of awareness, place my fingertips on the keyboard and let the words flow onto the blank page of their own accord.

Early in this process, a dream story came to me. I was given a specific day — a very snowy, Saturday, December 21st. With this information I could pinpoint the year. At this time, I was still fast asleep in my corporate career and completely unaware of the depth of my discontent and unhappiness.

On this fateful night, surrounded by the magic of the Winter Solstice, I dreamed of finding a silvery, shining path between the worlds that led me to Hecate’s realm, the Dark Goddess who is the Mistress of the crossroads, and guardian of our human destiny. She bid me to look into Her magic cauldron where She revealed my life story, the beauty and the horror, and everything that I had forgotten and denied. From this place of greater awareness, She asked me to choose how I would live the rest of my life. And I made a vow to remember Her in my waking life and find my way home to Her sacred ways

Although I have no memory of this dream, shortly afterwards, in early February of the following year, I had a serious ski accident that changed my life forever. My skull was fractured, my face temporarily disfigured from a facial palsy, and my world so shook up that, once I recovered, I began to make dramatic changes. From that moment onward, my life was set on a new course of self-discovery and spirituality that I later came to know as the Path of She.

I was the lost daughter seeking my way home to the Goddess, my true womanhood and my own sacred feminine nature.

A Story For These Times

In the natural course of writing Tale of the Lost Daughter, this very dream found its way into the text and became the inspiration for the book’s title.  This wasn’t planning or artifice on my part, but more that this was the story that was mine to write and share, from one lost daughter to others.

Sarah, the main character, is a lost daughter who has the appearance of a perfect life, with a fantastic career and affluent lifestyle, yet, in the secret recesses of her inner world, she’s not happy or well. One evening, she has an emotional breakdown that wakes her up and sets her on a journey of discovering her feminine spirituality, magic, ritual and the Goddess.

Just as Sarah realizes in the book that she is a lost daughter of the Goddess, so too did my readers. Women from diverse backgrounds wrote to tell me that they were Sarah, that her journey spoke to their own restless hungers and need to seek out the Goddess and their inner feminine nature. The lost daughter transcends our individual stories and life circumstances, connecting women to an older, primal wound of disconnect from the Goddess and the sacred feminine roots of our womanhood.

Though it was my hands and mind that crafted Tale of the Lost Daughter, it was the Goddess Hecate who spoke through me, telling a story for these times. Her message is simple: listen to your soul’s longings that tell you that something essential is missing from your life; commit to follow where these longings lead you and you will find the precious things you have lost.

Like Sarah, if you have the courage to make these choices, change will come. The Goddess and your own soul and life story will guide your way home to the things you’ve lost and hunger for:  your wild, untamed nature; sensuality and connection to the living Earth; the powers of magic and mystery; the love and nurturance that are the essence of the Goddess and your own sacred feminine nature; and your own beauty and sacred purpose.

The Goddess is calling you home. Open your heart and your senses to Her presence. Hear Her whispers on the wind: come, I am waiting for you. It is time. You are ready. You are ripe.

You don’t need to be skilled in these matters, or even understand what these things mean to answer the call of the Goddess. It’s enough to trust your soul’s longings and begin, and the skills, knowledge and experiences you need will come to you, in the right way and at the right time. My personal journey started with a vow to reclaim the Goddess and my true feminine nature. I made this vow in a dream I didn’t even remember at the time, and wouldn’t have understood anyways, and yet my life was set on a new course.

Now, many years later, I’m lost no more. The Goddess and Her sacred feminine ways are as natural to me as breathing.  I’ve become a woman — doing the work of my soul and living nestled in the forest with my beloved family —  I could never have imagined all those years ago. And the best is yet to come; after we’ve found what we’ve lost, the real adventure begins, taking us ever deeper into the mysteries and wonders of the Goddess, our wild, powerful feminine nature, and this amazing journey called life.

I reach out to you, waking person to waking person; come, it is time. We are ready. We are ripe.

Reclaim the Goddess with Tale of the Lost Daughter.

 BUY IT NOW: Amazon   iTunes

Artist: Heather McLean

Magic Your Winter Reading: Tale of the Lost Daughter

Posted on:  Nov 28, 2021 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Featured, From the Tale, Goddess

The Goddess is calling you home.

Long, long ago, in the unfolding of humanity, She was lost to us — Goddess, Great Mother — priestess, healer, wise one — the Divine Feminine within.

We became the lost daughters, cut off from one half of the Universe, our humanity, self esteem and our true Self: She who is wild, confident and untameable; She who is liquid sensuality and earthly pleasure; She who wields the powers of magic and mystery; She whose laws are love and the nurturance of all life.

And we have been wounded, hungry, incomplete, ever since.

In Tale of the Lost Daughter, step beyond the everyday and discover a pagan world of magic, ritual and the Goddess on a remote island on the Canadian West Coast.

Yet what has been lost can be refound.

Sarah Ashby, a rising, young financial executive, is a lost daughter.

Sarah appears to have it all: good looks, a fantastic career and affluent lifestyle. But, in the secret recesses of her inner world, she’s not happy or well, anxiety and depression lurk beneath her polished exterior. Then one fateful evening, Sarah has an emotional breakdown that jolts her awake to the longings of her soul, and propels her on a spiritual adventure to a remote, rugged island on the Canadian West Coast.

Here Sarah discovers a pagan world of magic, ritual and the Goddess, and the lost mysteries and beauty of her divine-feminine nature. What is lost can be refound. But Sarah must choose to step beyond the everyday, corporate world that she knows, and on to this new path of the Goddess, the Path of She. And by this choice, her life will be forever changed.

Let Sarah be your inspiration and guide.

Journey with Sarah as she dives deep into the healing powers of magic and the mysteries of Hecate, an ancient Goddess whose lost tales of She can return the life-giving ways of the Divine Feminine to the waking world.

Through Sarah’s tale, discover the lost parts of your own divine-feminine nature, and those awakening moments that can change your life forever. Like Sarah, the Goddess and your own soul will guide your way home to the things you hunger for: your wild, untamed, self-confident nature; sensuality, spiritual enlightentment and connection to the living Earth; the powers of magic and mystery; and the love and nurturance that are the essence of the Goddess.

The Tale of the Lost Daughter is calling to you. Come. It’s time. You are ready. You are ripe.

What Readers Are Saying:

I suggest everyone reads this book! First time read this book like the beautiful story it is. Then read it a second time slowly to start transforming your life. Kathleen

I’ve read Tale of the Lost Daughter two times, and will read it again. Sarah is me, or at least that’s how I felt as I followed her through her adventures. She is a businesswoman and a spiritual woman at the same time, and she learns to listen to her heart rather than just her head. I didn’t want to put the book down. Sherry

This is one of those books that makes the outside world disappear and you are completely immersed in the story, feeling every feeling as the story goes! Then suddenly you realize that sometime during the story, something so deep had been awoken in you, and you know, without a doubt, that you will never be the same! Jody

It is my belief that this book has come at a time when our planet is crying out for our love, and attention, and also the Divine Feminine is calling to us. It is time to heal our world, ourselves, and find a better way to move our world forward. The times of division, and hatred and greed are coming to an end. I highly recommend this to anyone who is feeling lost, disconnected, depressed, or who is searching for something elusive something you know you need but just cannot define. You may just find it here. Kelly

“Tale of the Lost Daughter” belongs alongside Starhawk’s “The Fifth Sacred Thing”, Marge Piercy’s “Woman on the Edge of Time”, and Alice Walker’s “Temple of My Familiar”. In a world aching for the sacred and a deeper connection to ourselves, community and our Earth, “Tale of the Lost Daughter” brings us an enchanted weaving of the universal story of the archetypal journey home. So too is it a beautifully crafted modern day myth of the return of the Sacred Feminine. Christina