Energy before Litha

summer solstice 2018

There is a clear, thick, tangible build-up of energy that happens around end of June, as we approach the longest day of the year. The feeling is parallel to gathering our strength and resources ready for a release or a metaphorical battle of some sort. You might notice at this time that feelings of anger can start to manifest all around you and I begin to notice it within myself and others. There is a degree of dissatisfaction and frustration. However, there is a good texture and taste to it. It is not a sort of anger that festers quietly and then explodes, but more of a conscious brewing that is slowly waiting to be released.

When we look at the cycles of nature and the time around Summer Solstice the two kings, Holly and Oak, are about to go into a fight for their reign of power over the season. It is a thing of balance between light and dark and who is going to rule what at what time. This can’t happen without a certain degree of tension, as we can imagine, which is felt all around us during this time, but there is also a degree of understanding and agreement that things must progress the way they always do. I never feel unbalanced before Litha, as I would be in other times of year, e.g. as summer is very grounded in the wisdom and glory of all life and we instinctively know what is going to happen and why. Trust that feeling. It a similar sort of fight, as with Cailleach and Brigit when spring arrives and the old hag finds it difficult to hand over the land to light and warmth, but with spring things are still uncertain, the most wobbly time for me usually. Summer holds a different vibration.

Summer is a Fire element season and as well as the two kings fighting over the throne of the season, the Green man and the Maiden are now in union and she is carrying a seed of harvest within. It is a blessed time and a balance between masculine and feminine is needed. Following the Summer Solstice I normally feel that balance coming into play more prominently. There is always a release after the festival and a clear felt beginning of a new cycle. Things also begin to calm down and inner and outer feels more settled and less turbulent. For now if anger is around and within you, seek to work with it as a tool of transformation. Direct it into assertive, passionate conversations with your loved one or a friend/colleague. Bring things out into the open, something you have always wanted to address, but haven’t yet done so. Put that inner Fire to good use and use the time to start and complete a project. Fire is the element of enthusiasm, dynamic masculine energy and commitment to the cause. It is also a good time for us to commit to a good undertaking and make some promises to ourselves, which we can continue to honour for the rest of the year.

Blessed Solstice!

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Summer – the time for wilderness, the time for releasing your beast

Anger, physicality, sensate expression of instincts, body merging with the earth in its full expression – that’s what June is all about as we are building up to Litha. Swimming, walking barefoot, lying on mountain tops, communing with wildlife, beasts, bugs and plants alike are all the activities that feed the body and awake the soul.

There’s danger, however, when summer is fully alive in its wilderness. Night and day both carry life within and it can feel unsafe. This resonate with my overwhelm of the forest and feeling apprehensive about venturing out during the explosion of life in the land during summer. I tend to withdraw, hence I like the quietness and sleepiness of winter. It is safer. However, by withdrawing a part of me remains enclosed, hidden and that’s what needs to change this year.

Wild-self calls and roars pushing boundaries of a self-created seclusion. It needs expressing and breathing with the rhythms of the season.

A safe place for wild spirit for me is the Highlands of Scotland. There my wild-self is contented, it is allowed to be in its full majesty. It scares me always yet I thirst for it at the same time. There my whole aligns with the wild nature around me. I eagerly drink it into my cells, I merge with it like it is home and my spirit sours into endless skies daily and consumes my whole being with a sense of raw, complete, real and natural. It often manifests with anger, emotional cries and outward expression of raw things. It is unable to hide and sit still. It needs to run, fly, crawl and swim all at the same time. It can feel and look scary and crazy uncontainable and vicious, but it all makes sense and, perhaps, in embracing and allowing that for myself a bit more will also relax others in joining me and not being afraid of a strong bite and a loud screech that it often comes with.

Summer is truly a time for letting go and letting be. It is a time to fly higher and swimming further. Last summer I remember wanting to go on the water in a kayak and the fear that gripped me was so irrational yet it immobilized me. Someone said to me ‘go for it, we only live once, might as well’ and so I did. The freedom of releasing the urge to glide through vast waters released the excitement I had ever felt before. With each push across the lake I went further and further and with each minute I wanted to do more and more.

When I am faced with the mountains of the Highlands I can hear the scream within me telling me to run, scream, be in its fullest. The impulse in me to merge with the land is so strong that I know if I don’t I could easily just stagnate and die through my own fear and a loss of the potentially ecstatic experience. It is like choosing to drink poison and staying in a position of never knowing what it’s like to live fully. When I step on that mountain trail my heart and spirit sour, I want to run and cry and scream, the feeling I have of being as one with the land, a place I never want to leave for as long as I live.

I break my heart every time I have to leave the wilderness behind, because it means my wild-self has to go back into a safe enclosure of my other life, which is managed, contained and often unexciting.

From Maiden to Mother – summer soul work

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I am feeling inspired today having gone through a challenging time in the last few weeks. Energies have been slowly building up to the peak point that is Summer Solstice and this year it was the hottest day. I am not good with heat.

What transpired in everything that surrounded me lately is the replay of my struggles on a journey of motherhood, a reminder of that difficult time of birthing and coming into the role of mother. What got activated this year not for the first time and became so profoundly present was my passage from Maiden to mother and I believe this year is that time not just to begin this process, but possibly to complete it. I felt during spring I have come into a space of acceptance. It was a physical experience of knowing that I had passed that threshold from maidenhood into mother consciously for the first time in ten years. My physical mother’s energy assisted me well in those times and deepened our connection.

HERE is a post I wrote back in March about that experience.

On my altar this morning I placed Maiden and Mother with favourite flowers of my physical mother. As always this was spontaneous and inspired by energies running through my body. I woke up early today feeling alive again as the heat dropped and the sun is not shining. I can breathe again and think and be in the space I am comfortable in. Comfort comes up a lot in a way that I am with others, myself, my son, and my husband. This feels crucial to cultivate that space for exploring this transition into comfort place of the Mother for me.

Ten years on and only now this year I feel the soil is finally fertile for me to birth my inner mother fully into being, accept her within and express her externally. This doesn’t just relate to the physicality of being a mother to my son although my relationship to that has been transforming steadily over the last few years and there is less and less battling with the external against what I feel within. It is activated now and again still and I do believe that echoes of struggles will always remain on some level. Experience for me had been traumatic and violently raw in many ways and traces of that trauma is bound to come in, but I have awareness of that and actively seeking to move into a healing space where my painful memories can be held in acceptance and contained in self-love.

This journey is also about the changes in me internally, my body, my face, my hair, skin and voice. What I look like now is nothing what I did before I became a mother and when in my maidenhood. There is however this freeing lack of yearning, desire and need to conform and hold on to that youth conditioning, which carries such a desperate self-abandoning and punishing signature. Looking back at my young self, that maiden was sick mentally, emotionally and physically. Her soul was stunted into non-being, non-acceptance and zero self-expression due to fear, anxiety, extreme criticism of herself and multiple traumas buried deep within. She existed in the name of validation and approval based on physical beauty. Many of us, former maidens had been there.

Now I am feeling liberated in the state of what it means to be a woman and a mother from inside out. Shining the light of soul, acknowledging all and every single qualities within and using that in the world regardless with complete acceptance. I feel summer will help me do this, summer is here to strip me off all remaining clothing that no longer fits me and doesn’t represent me as I am in my Mother/Woman way of being. Summer is the Full moon of the year, the fully pregnant time when all is ripe and beautiful ready to birth the new and transformed.

Summer Solstice 2017

summer solstice

Summer Solstice sizzled away like a hot fire pit and this morning we have fresh air and breeze. It is as if the earth is about to take a deep breath out and join in a dance with the brewing storm. I am up early this morning as I feel the storm coming and I become alive again after a very hot week and the hottest day of the year – Summer Solstice 2017.

I was faced with so many challenges during the week, confronted with the burning Sun, which seemly held no mercy for my discomfort and I moaned and moaned till I could bear it no longer. When Summer Solstice came and the heat reached its highest peak here in the UK my voice was gone and my spirit dimmed to a faint whisper of acknowledgment of my troubles. In that ‘melting’ I began to recognise my powerlessness against what appeared full of people to be a big lesson in love, patience and gratitude. I ended up taking a journey to the city, on a hot train and to my surprise I remained calm and collected with no grinding within my mind or heart. I stepped into a space of surrendering. I recognised it and that inner silence felt soothing. I remained in observation of things around me and within me and communicating gently with nature in its hottest burning state. I felt it smiling inviting all growth into dancing and fires burning all over the globe in honouring the Sun smelt delicious. The song of the Bard enchanted me into trance-like state of love, peace and gratitude.

I felt my relationship with the masculine challenged in the physical and spiritual sense and I knew it needed to be repairs, as ‘heat’, distorted fire within me raptured it. I began consciously cooling down in terms of being ok with what is and being accepting of releasing with the sweat what needed to go. I understood that my voice had a major place in how my discomfort is perceived and its effect of others. I pulled back, withdrawn to reflect on the sound of my voice and the meaning of the words spoken. It is within the balance of expressing your inner most uncomfortable cries within your soul and body and respecting the space where others co-exist. It is always about the balance and both are equally important if we are to be authentic. It is as much you as it is others, no more and no less. As we look within more the outside transforms and as the outsides engages with us we discover things within. Through the ‘voice’ work I offered a hand of reparation to the masculine and embraced its firy nourishment. There is still mistrust, yes, caution and suspicion and subsequent wish to withdraw. I am very aware of that, but what I choose is not only engage with that restraint within me in response to the masculine heat, I am also willing to expose my face to the brightest, hottest heat that seeks my attention.

I feel alive today post-Solstice and very inspired to continue this journey with deep gratitude and love in my heart and seeking engagement more and more with myself and others. Summer teaches connection, relationship to yourself and others. It is a time to be sociable, to acknowledge those links we have with others and recognise our contribution to that collective dance. It is the NOW time, summer, when we look at our achievements and life as a whole ‘warts and all’ and come out proud into a play field of our life with full engagement and appreciation.

 

Pregnant Earth

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I am not a summer soul. Year after year I experience a withdrawal as days get longer and the sun gets hotter. The build up to Summer solstice is particularly difficult with doubts, uncertainties and complexities I feel lost in. It is in parallel to my feelings about the Full Moon phase when things come to a culmination and then start to fade as a waning moon. I am not good with the Full moon and withdraw every time only to come out to shine with each New moon – my favourite time.

I notice how my outings in nature become infrequent and my engagement with the earth subsides. I find working in heat difficult and the sight of weeds overwhelming. Even my blooming plot brings on a sense of helplessness as everything doubles in size and spreads across the plot. This is it, it is a feeling of overwhelm, a time when I feel u contained and my vision obscured. I begin to miss crisp autumn/winter mornings when I could go into the woods and see right through it with walking anywhere off the path without having obstructions. This is something I can’t do in the summer as overgrown paths and greenery covers all from view. It can feel suffocating and adding a heat into the mix I am powerless. It is a time of rest, sleep and seclusion for me.

Many years ago I myself was in the last weeks of my pregnancy at this time of year, ready to release, and my experience was somewhat similar to how I usually feel in my uncertainty and resistance to summer. Perhaps, that association stayed strong within me, a difficult time, something I am only now connecting with. Perhaps, summer is also a reminder of that time when I felt overwhelmed.

With Litha coming next week, a time when the sun stands still in its fullest glory and the longest day of the year is upon us, I am in anticipation, as if waiting for a relief, a time when things once again start to wind down slowly. I feel the waning from that day forward and always feel relieved and let free.
In summer I go North to landscape of mountains, lakes and space around me. I feel free in that landscape and in need to see ahead of me unconstricted by the overgrowth of forests. This year I am taking a crossing to an an Isle of Mull over the sea to experience an open road with mountains and waters shaping the landscape.

June – my yearly spiritual journey begins

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June – the month of spiritual opening

I have been consciously observing my relationship with each season and Sabbatt over the last two years, as part of me growing deeper into my spirituality. Following each month with awareness of energies, shifts, difficulties, preferences  I have come to many extremely useful insights and revelations, which subsequently had an impact on my life in all areas. One of the main insights was that there are certain patterns I go through as the Wheel turns through the year.

Some of you might already know, e.g. the month of May and the festival of Beltain is a difficult time for me due to some trauma that had occurred in my past. May is closely linked to the realm of ‘relationships’ for me. This year was no different; however, as I noticed recurring themes coming in each year I also set my intention to make a conscious shift in NOT repeating certain things going forward. I received upgrades and demands of necessary clearing out of my consciousness and invitation to grow into a new way of being in relation to repeated themes. Very much like a recurring dream until a dreamer gets the message, so to speak, patterns will continue to occur with messages becoming louder and louder. Will see what happens next year in relation to that, as I make what had been unconscious conscious and heal through my material. Very excited, needless to say, to be doing this work and being on this path. It is endlessly inspiring to me to be living the life in alignment with natural cycles and nature’s wisdom.

We are now in June, post-Summer Solstice, and what I have come to realise there is another pattern, which occurs for me during this month, specifically around and post Summer Solstice. This Sabbatt is another period of transition when the Kings are changed and we are beginning our descend towards shorter days and longer nights. This year, by the way, insights have been coming in so profoundly quick, like hitting me over the head with information and ways to move forward. Terribly exciting. This one was no different. The way I came to realise something was going on was the way I was asked to ‘go to sleep’, as if to say ‘there are messages in your dreams you need to know NOW’. A couple of times and, this happened during the day, I was ‘knocked down’ literally and the only way was to my bed to sleep immediately. I found it impossible to stay awake or do anything and, of course, those dreams are proving to be extremely potent with information. During the night dreaming has also become noticably intense. A lot of death occurs for me in dreams at this time, but this is another post all together. Looking back I began to reflect and make links with the month of June and how often at this time a dream journey for the year, the biggest one, would usually begin for me. This is a series of dreams, which hold a story for my growth and development, a story I must write down and follow and go through until it is complete. This year looks no different. I looked at when my spiritual awakening happened, during the month of June around the 20th June, three years ago, and I looked at what followed, which became clear to me June is the beginning of a yearly spiritual journey for me, which would manifest in dream work, travelling to my soul land (The Highlands, Scotland), confronting some difficulties towards the end of summer and coming out the other end a new person at the beginning of Autumn. So, here I am again feeling a particular way about this forthcoming journey I am about to go on. I am excited, nervous and looking forward to it. It usually begins at this time and continues till the end of summer. Watch the space. I will be posting updates on what comes in and happens in hope someone can relate to this process and get inspired by my journey through the seasons and months of the year.

 

Sacred space/altar – nature spirituality and ritual

Nemetona
Nemetona, the Celtic Goddess of the Sacred Grove

Looking back at the year I would like to share images of my altar arrangements through the seasons, as I grow and celebrate each pagan holiday and Sabbat.

My sacred place is normally in my bedroom, but some of them are outside, as you will see. You can intuitively pick a place, which suits you.

Nemetona is the Celtic Goddess associated with the sacred grove, so if you feel so inclined you can have a conversation with her to ask for help and guidance with finding and creating your sacred space. I find it very holding, super creative, joyous and wonderful experience.

Here is an extract from my e-guide INTUITIVE SPELL WORKING on creating your sacred space

FINDING YOUR SACRED SPACE:

Explore your house energetically looking for places you feel most relaxed, comfortable and joyous in. It might be the whole room or a particular corner in a room or a house/flat. Explore the energy of the space when you come across it, raise that vibration within yourself and attune to it. Sit still in the space absorbing vibrations. Once you find that special place you might then want to create an altar or simply visualise a circle where you see yourself working your magic. You can do as much or as little as you like, entirely up to you and what your vibration is tuning into in the space that you choose. You will have an answer about what you need to do once you find that space – trust me. If you receive a message to create an altar, you will also have a feeling for what sort of items you might want to display on it, e.g. candles, flowers, crystals, tree bark or leaves, jewellery, Tarot cards, anything you like.

Imbolc altar
Imbolc Altar 2015
Imbolc
Imbolc altar 2014
Ostara altar
Ostara altar 2015
Beltane altar
Beltane altar 2015

For Litha/Summer Solstice I often do a ritual outside as everything is so abundant and I find all of my surroundings are my Altar

Lammas altar
Lammas altar 2015
Autumn Equinox
Mabon altar 2015
Samhain altar
Samhain altar 2014
Yule altar
Yule altar 2015

Yule Logs through the years

Yule log one
Yule log 2013
Yule log
Yule log burning

Yule log 2

Yule log 3

I hope you enjoyed looking through these images of my altars and feel inspired to begin creating your own beautiful sacred spaces

Much love & many Blessings!