Descending into darkness with joy

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The excitement within me rising this Mabon in anticipation of the descent journey that is starting. This part of the year is not going to change for me, I feel, as I adore the darker part of the year and get truly excited about the journey within. I love shorter days and the fact that days do end and we can go to sleep (in more ways than literally) and wake up with new perspectives, tapping into our treasures offered by dreaming and journeying in the dark.

As moaning for the summer is apparent I am happy to put that to rest to move on. There is a clear flowing movement within me that taps into places deeply intuitive, magical, wise and feminine within me. Observation of the decline in nature is beautiful to me, as I am aware of just how much lies within the idea of dying and living, dying and being born again, of the potential that is held safely within nature and all of us. The journey of going within and descending into all the corners, even the darkest ones of our psyche is incredibly exciting and I am fully aligned with the wonder of the gifts that it holds. Only through going down we are able to come up. There is again no light within darkness and that is the nature of things. It is how life is, nature is, weather is, cycles are and embracing the beauty of constant regeneration and transformation will offer a lot of wisdom and insight into how we are in the world, our ways of relating, giving and receiving.

Energy begins to bubble within me at this point in autumn that is nicely contained and deeply nourishing to the soul. My dreams begin to take me places I am yet to visit or had already visited before, reminding me of possibilities of paths one can take spiritually or in the physical reality. Dream world presents richer and fuller with imagery, colours, motifs and themes that tend to repeat themselves. Faces are clear, sensations are felt fully, voices are clear and directional and my steps are steadier and more in line with my purpose than ever. I look forward to going to bed, I notice that more clearly. I like darkness.

I wish you all a blessed descend this quarter and if you never thought about it or felt like attempting it, do it consciously and with no fear. You will not regret what you can potentially discover on the other side and as spring comes again a renewed psyche will propel you into new dimensions and ways of being you never thought possible. It all begins with the darkness and that is why the dark part of the year is so needed and important so when light returns it shines brighter and more conscious than ever in areas that will lead it to the meaningful and purposeful ways of relating, being, thinking and feeling.

Many blessings!

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Learning from the Wheel of the Year

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Mabon Blessings to everyone on this beautiful early autumnal morning!

The air today is ever so slightly chilly and I wholeheartedly welcome it. It speaks to me of the time we start  our slow descent into the misty, chilly and dark. Land, weather and personal transformations are beginning. I love the darker part of the year and my functioning is the most optimum between October and April, however, this year things have been different in a way of transforming the last remaining sticking points as far as summer is concerned. I feel I did well and managed to extract a multitude of useful lessons about myself, the world at large, the idea of life-purpose and where and how things fit in.

The Wheel has turned once again and today is Mabon, the time for harvesting, re-evaluating and giving thanks for all the blessings we have experienced this summer. The summer has been hot, prolonged, dry and often trying. It taught me about withstanding hardships and remaining centred on the heart and present in my life more. I was faced with a quality of tolerance within, which had been invaluable. Just as we wait patiently for the seed to germinate, push through and grow towards its most potential, the summer reflected that to me and I was rewarded with early harvest. Planting happened later this year due to snow and frost in early and late spring, yet things caught up and the heat accelerated growth and made me face things sooner rather than later. I didn’t plant much either consciously, as this year for me is about simplifying and focusing on a few things only, clearing the space for emotional, cognitive and spiritual processing. Bounty came in the summer in small quantities and it felt so good. The message of ‘just enough’ re-enforced the work I start doing back in winter. Another aspect of having enough and sharing with those around you in pleasure and gratitude has always been a blessing. The heat burnt my potatoes, however, earlier in the summer and very quickly dry plants disappeared amidst the blanket of thick weeds, so I had to go on a hunt for produce. That taught me about challenges and things often changing very quickly and being ok with what is presented right in front of us. It is ok to just observe and continue with what we have without necessarily spiralling into judgement, regret and giving up. That clear representation of the quality of observation with tolerance and potential hardship taught me ‘to be with’ yet again and be completely grateful for what we do have rather than focusing on what we think we don’t have. Sensation of that I found very pleasant, releasing and freeing.

I suffered with pain in my legs and back from early spring and found it challenging, however, I also knew that in order for new transformations to occur this year I had to have something to work with and this was one of those things where I had to look at living with physical pain. I wrote about it earlier this year. Through the summer pain continued and so did my life and that was the lesson of things continuing, moving on, changing, the Wheel turning no matter what and we can either fight and resist it or accept and move with it. The release of my associations with pain transformed hugely this summer and just as looking at dead and not ‘very healthy’ crops amidst the summer heat and as I begin to dig them out with love and attention I began giving myself the same. I aimed to understand, accept things as they are without judgement and wanting anything to be different.

At the end my harvest was complete pretty much at beginning of August in terms of produce or so I thought… On my return to the plot in September I discovered a few more gems waiting for me and my heart delighted in it. Seeds were hanging ripe on dry stalks representing bounty and potential in the future and underneath dry and covered with weeds stalks there were plump bulbs of goodness. Again, the idea of ‘just enough’ was clearly present and again it felt profoundly satisfying.

I am yet to dig all my small, but perfectly clean and tasty potatoes out of a patch of land covered with all sorts (treasure hunt-like) and I am taking my time with it applying patience and joy when working on the land. I appreciate everything about it and tend to continue nourishing and nurturing it for years to come. It holds immense lessons for me as seasons change and the Wheel turns every time. Things come and go, start and end and start again and so does our life with all its highs and lows and everything in between. I very much look forward to what the season brings.

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My paradise

I am back in paradise and there is no despair, turmoil or overwhelm this time…

This year I only feel joy, pleasure and gratitude for being here. I am being very vocal in expressing my appreciation of the land. I admire a very full in red heavy berries rowan by the side of a lake and revel in beauty of purple flowers. Simple yet so exquisite in its perfection against the very green that is everywhere. Everything seems so much riper, bigger and more beautiful in comparison to other places. It reminds me of my birth place in many respects where nature had also been very rich in its presentation and a way of being. I look at the mountains and I feel still and content rather than torn and in deep yearning, which I could never explain. The smell of the land, that particular scent I can always summon wherever I am, is still here, it hasn’t changed and I am glad of that. I take pleasure in observing every little house, weed, animal, tree and wonder how people live here with curiosity. I do feel jealousy quite sharply this time for the life that I imagine goes on here in this place of beauty and such peace and quiet. Stillness of the land is intoxicating and, I believe, it is exactly this energy that I align with the most, this is what I crave. Peace, quiet, beauty and isolation.

Walking through a Celtic rainforest earlier today I can feel myself melting into its freshness and moulding into its trees’ bark, inhaling the air of the forest, breathing with it as one. Rain gently washing my face and hair brushed back I feel free. Assured, grounded and humbled, very grateful for being able to feel the way that I do when I am here in this land and in touch with all the elements. It is a true blessing in my life here on Earth.

As another day comes to an end here in paradise I am content, calm, pleasantly tired and completely in love with everything this land is and everything that is in and around me today.

The winter of love

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The next couple of posts are significant in recording my journey towards ‘home’, myself and wholeness this year. It was crystal clear towards the end of 2017 that 2018 was to be the year of doing things completely differently, stepping out of life as we know it, as we created it, looking outside the box and leaving your comfort zone. It makes me realise now how important it is to align with the yearly signatures, as when in the same flow and not resisting, avoiding or going against, it aids our progression. Often all that is needed is readiness to listen, to change and embrace all the qualities within us as facilitators on our journey. As Alfred Adler said that it is not about surrendering to your safety zone supported by safe guiding behaviours, i.e. not believing that you can change and keeping yourself blocked indefinitely using the same ways of being over and over, “withdrawing from the challenge of life”. It is about facing life head on, adopting a more courageous approach. We are capable of courageous behaviour provided we are willing to engage in it. This resonates with the process of psychotherapy, which is a journey one undertakes towards adopting and cultivating a more courageous, engaging approach to life, working towards changes that are needed for a more fulfilling life. Over and over I have witnessed clients stepping courageously into areas of great difficulty and facing life head on. It makes my job a very rewarding and humbling experience to bear witness to human resilience and strength of spirit.

So, 2018 is such year when the space is open for us to step into with an open heart and an attitude of something different. I have found this process extremely revealing about the potential within and one that puts you in touch with the whole of your personality. All that is needed is openness and willingness to engage.

My 2018 winter has been profoundly peaceful, calm and gentle time. For the first time in years it was very different. Usually it is a Fire element space for me when I am dynamic, energetic and very productive, a time I engage with various projects and manifest a lot. Not this year. I counsciously decided to stay ‘still’. It almost effortlessly unfolded into a process of me connecting to my heart centre and sides of myself I had not experienced for as long as I remember. I have not felt my own niceness or softness, e.g. for such a long time I forgot, therefore this feeling was new, different yet also imbedded in the knowledge that it was there all along within me. The book that I spent reading throughout winter sang to my heart gently and with each page I felt my being becoming lighter, more open, and softer and engaged with LOVE.

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After seven years of painstakingly difficult process of opening my heart I felt I was finally there and I still am today. Throughout my life I went through experiencing transcendent love towards another, which stood the test of time. I also visited places completely devoid of love. I spent frequent days of terror not knowing if I was ever to come back from that place where love didn’t exist. Again and again I felt love abandoning me and literary forgetting what that was and feeling nothing for anyone for periods of time. I can truly say that was always one of the scariest experiences in my life, you see, I never knew if love would come back and that felt terrifying. My heart disappeared. Images that I went through in my journey was heart in a cage, bleeding, having a huge piece of glass wedged into it, shrunk heart, a stone and many more. You can read other posts on my blog about my work with connecting with the heart.

This winter I fell in love with my husband and my son all over again in a way I hadn’t felt before. There was deep sense of acceptance and compassion. It was a place where conditions didn’t exist and all I had was a beautiful flow of being present with love minute after minute, day after day. The world around me appeared the same yet my heart was lighter witnessing things much slower, which previously would have thrown me into places uninviting. Most of all I started to ‘fall in love’ with myself, more precisely becoming aware of my essential qualities, my ability to love, give and participate in life in a way that flows not blocks or rejects. It is difficult to put into words and I can only say that this was profound, new, transformative and beautiful. It was as if I was transforming, but actually I was merging back into the self I always was and meant to be.

I noticed how my mind calmed and as it did my heart began to grow open and it no longer felt scary or unsafe. It felt like I was home. In terms of the elements I would connect it to Water element most of all and this winter it was all about water element in its purest form. My opening of the heart was steady, slow, gentle like a bubbling brook in a forest or a small river gently flowing through land. It was not a forceful roar of the ocean or crashing waves of the sea. This makes sense to me. Water has been my shadow element for as long as I remember. It is also my birth element. Aligning and merging with my own Water element made the process of coming home even sweeter.

Body knows…

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What is it with spring and physical health problems for me?

They say body knows, holds and experiences. It knows it all. Well, I agree that most of what’s going on is a trigger of one or another emotional issue in me and even though this year I am consciously redefining and healing my spring-related emotional wounds my body still remembers and it aches in the physical.

Spring has always been an intense and challenging season for me, particularly towards the end of spring, around Beltaine. I do wish it was summer, but then, of course, I remind myself how summer triggers me into other emotional areas. It is profound and insightful and never fails to leave me in wonder and curiosity how seasons connect me to my life, emotions, thoughts and my past.

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Spring, Gold, Transformation

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It has been all about the Gold lately, which signifies a special phase of another transformational cycle we are entering into. It can manifest as a new job, a relocation, a completion of a project or a union of some kind. These are fairly general and it can be looked at deeper depending on your personal experience.

Gold is associated with treasure, potential, the energy of the Sun, a harvest of some sort and most importantly the final stage of transformation and coming into your own and shining to its full potential. Perhaps, some or all of these might relate to where you are currently on your journey.

For me gold came in a dream first when I was offered a chalice filled with golden liquid. I drank it and experienced feelings of ecstasy, freedom and serenity like no other. It was a very warming and pleasant sensation in the body and my mind was enveloped in thoughts of contentment, containment and comfort in the present moment.

I feel the season of spring, for me this year, is presentation differently and transforming into something entirely new. This was my intention for this work to occur, as through the years I had noticed a certain pattern, which would play out year after year, so when I paid conscious attention to it and unpicked it apart with the intention to heal I made a decision to work on transforming it with the next year. That time is now. I am already experiencing this season differently. Firstly I have welcomed spring with an open heart this year and I anticipated its arrival more eagerly than ever before. Previous spring had been a sad time for me, a paradox and a split, which presented as a wonderful season on the outside, yet my internal world would be in turmoil. A dissonance was always present.

Only last night standing outside I was acutely aware of just how pleased I am to see the spring this year and this time it wasn’t just words, thoughts. It was a strong felt sense in my body. I feel in love with the world and everything in it. My work is potent with love and care and joy to be in the presence of the human spirit resilient and vulnerable. I am so engaged with it all at the moment and drinking up its rewards and pleasures.

So, for me ‘gold’ is manifesting in that sense of having arrived somewhere new and truly transformed after challenging and dark times. Moving through the alchemical process of transformation, which begins in the dark place and engaging with functions of clarifying things through passion, fire, water and tears till we reach a place of purity and whiteness and feeling we have joined some dots, things began to make sense slowly till we landed with knowledge and insight to embrace where we came from and where we are now. There is a sense of balance also between the forces of the mind and compassion of the heart. At Spring equinox, in particular, it felt solid and in place when I sat with my past on my left and my future to my right, but solidly present in the moment facing what is here and now. A sense of achievement in the present moment and all the potential still waiting ahead. It is the perfect place of here and now. I am holding that golden chalice in my lap and I am overflowing with happiness and there is nothing that can’t be achieved.

Winter Sun

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This year for me is intended to be all about the Sun. My relationship with it, its energetic associations, masculine energy and the quality of Fire. The Sun and I have not been friends I must say due to my intolerance to heat, however, there is more to the Sun than the ability to warm and dry the earth. It shows us different sides, I feel depending on the season. Through running my workshop on the four seasons ‘Four Seasons of the Psyche’ I intend to redefine my relationship with summer and the Sun’s heat and the meaning of ‘burning’. I seek to grow into embracing and opening up to what I had often shrunk from. I would like to start observing the Sun in all its seasonal presentations, colours, energies, meanings and its effects on me starting with winter.

In spiritual terms I am drawn to an old ritual and story from Russia surrounding the Sun God, day and night Zorya Goddess

In Druidry there is a tradition to welcome the Sun in the morning and say goodbye to it at night RITUAL, which I do most days and it gives me a strong sense of belonging to the natural world and it also offers a purpose to the day, I find. In the morning I am ready to open myself up to whatever a day would bring, I go about my tasks and musings with intention and focus and when it is evening time I feel grateful to have lived another day and feel blessings inside my heart for all the joys I had experienced and challenges I had overcome. It can be a sort of meditation morning and evening, a daily practice, which roots us in where we are and what we are doing. I adore going out every morning into my garden whatever the weather, the first thing after waking. At night I often bow to the setting Sun and the rising Moon sometimes. It feel sacred, peaceful and meaningful.

For inspiration and devotionals, as part of your rituals and practice I recommend this book containing beautiful musings Celtic Devotional, Daily Prayers and Blessings by Caitlin Matthews 

It is January and the Sun today is bright and glorious. Winter Sun, I find, is not necessarily warming, but illuminating of senses, invigorating of energy within. It takes the film off my sight, so to speak, and clears my senses and I am able to gaze into it with clarity. Instead of Fire energy it has Air qualities to it – penetrating, alert, imaginative, light, and free-spirited. It has a spiritual feel to it too in terms of a visionary and intuitive, it is clear, pure, bright and inspiring. I am finding that I love winter Sun, which also brings crispy, frosty mornings and clear blue sky with it. The whole combination is so rejuvenating that I can never help myself but go out into the clear space of a winter morning. I like feeling a tingle on my face and warmth on the inside as I walk through woods and country fields. I can breathe fully and oh how life-giving it feels.

Image by Katie Still Jackson (Facebook)