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.

The ‘shadow’ Fire of summer

Fire element in distortion

I am exploring the wounded, sensitive point in my psyche that comes up in June, before Summer Equinox. It produced feelings of depression last year, which lasted all the way to Samhain – a long time. This year I am determined to un-tangled and look at what is going on with an aim to acknowledge, heal and integrate. It is the 3rd June and I have been feeling the now familiar energy rising within already. This feels very hard and resistance is overbearing. The defence is always distorted Fire, which is cruel, ugly, merciless, the kind that burns everything to ash without any hope of new growth or so it seems at the time. This Fire is very different to a healthy Fire, which I would normally tap into during winter, post Yule and that energizes me to a degree of high productivity, enthusiasm, high energy and success.

Fire element in its distorted state prevents life from flowing, yet a healthy manifestation offers a chance for a re-birth. Fire is a glorious element, as it is transformative. We often have to burn, be in pain in order for something else to manifest through it. Calcinatio operation in the alchemical process.

This Fire stops a part of me being seen, it blocks any possibility of reconciliation within the psyche and ‘burns’ everything in my physical reality. Yet, we do come back from it every year and every time I look back on it with bewilderment and gratitude for having survived the ‘war’. It often feels like it. Sometimes it goes on for a month or two, other times it lasts longer and it can be exhausting.

I am writing this in hope that it might resonate with many and to explore/explain what happens when we reject, suppress parts of ourselves we are not willing to bring back, integrate and look at. One might refer to it as the material, which resides deep within our psyche and now and again pops out to say hello and we are in no way thrilled to welcome them back. Then a battle commences to avoid, resist, push it back and not having to deal with whatever it is that is asking to come back.

In my case this is my inner child – an extremely sensitive, delicate, vulnerable self that to the rest of me is so overwhelming I get thrown off-balance every time I feel her approaching. In order to defend I tap into my anger self and take a position of a distorted Fire, which is the only way I know how to send my ‘vulnerable self’ back to where it came from. My desire to project becomes almost unbearable, which tells us how difficult it feels for me to contain feelings of that inner child that comes into full view. When previously attempting to heal this I always resorted to giving it away to someone else, who is better equipped to look after it. It had worked for some time, but this time it seems that it wants me to take her in. It wants to come back from exile.

In dreams this part of me comes as one particular person, which I have come to recognise. It always appears a gentle, good part of me that everyone loves, apart from myself. In dreams as it wants to get close to me (not others even though they are more than happy to take her in) I begin my process of avoiding and running away from it. Last night I had such a dream and reflecting back I do recognise having been doing the ‘rejecting’, but on another level wanting to get close to it also and that’s where the clue lies towards integration. Not all is lost. In the dream last night the soft part of me also decided to reject me and that really hurt. It jumped on a ‘runaway’ train seeking separation from me and expressing its disappointment. That hurt. It is not that I don’t want to, but more I can’t bring myself, don’t know how to deal with it. I reject before it rejects. This plays out in my physical reality in a way of projecting exactly that. What I am projecting is the anger with myself and seeming inability to deal with the vulnerable self. Anger is also laced in disappointment, shame, self-punishment, etc., which also manifests in real life and is projected outwards when the angry self becomes shaming of others, expressing disappointment openly and emotional eating, e.g.

These insights are the first steps towards the ultimate goal of integration. My dreams and being aware of my emotions as I awake every day have been invaluable to me in reaching a position of clarity of what is happening within my psyche and physical body, a key to my conscious and unconscious material. Post-insight comes an even clearer awareness and links are made with the day-to-day manifestation of wounds and conditions, i.e. what one does in their physical reality, relationships, work, etc. that manifests that behaviour. Once awareness is established then come choices, processes we put in place to attempt to heal, trial an error, if you like, but nevertheless there are choices. There are opportunities to put things in place in order to move forward. Healing comes from acceptance and a successful implementation of all of the above and integrating day by day, learning a new way of relating to yourself first and foremost before it becomes harmonious on outside with relationships with others.

Insight – Awareness – Choices – Acceptance – Healing – Integration

I am going on a journey with this part of my process actively this month. It is a challenging time, as we build up towards the ultimate Fire festival and Sun in its full power in nature. My aim is not to get hooked and blow it out to a point of losing control completely. This year it is going to be different and what is not present as much I feel, which is a blessing and new, is fear to engage with difficult stuff. This time I know deep down that if we fear ourselves we fear our potential at the same time and fearing potential is a limiting outlook, which simply doesn’t help us progress. The aim is to put things into a healthy flow, into an energy of progressing with purpose without resistance.

Have a good week.

 

Eternal love

I knew a love once that if my heart was to burst it would give birth to a million stars

I knew a love once that if a touch was to happen a merging of the two would explode into a scene of stunning beauty

I knew a love once that the warmth and tenderness of the offering would forever shelter all broken hearts and loneliness would not exist

The unconditional holding would melt into a moulding of a beauty unspeakable

I knew a love once that tears would flow with ecstasy through every cell of my body and shake one into a glorious being

I knew a love once that forever will visit my land of dreaming reminding me it lives on, it cries on and the embrace of it promises eternal comfort and joy

Throughout the years I have had dreams of profound love that can only be described as sacred and pure in its essence. The dreams would point towards the love living within me that can never be broken, taken away or forgotten. Those dreams wake me up in tears, calm and soothing, joyful and yearning, sad and glorious. As in my dreams I get close to the object representing that love, a side of myself, there is fear and deep knowing that should I touch it and inhale its smell the drowning in love would spread beyond everything I have ever known, beyond this world.

Often these dreams had come in times of emotional trouble as if a reassurance that there’s a force within beyond my comprehension. I struggle to describe the power of it. It is good to know that more frequently it comes when things are settled as if to offer me that sacred touch, the next level of getting closer to it and it confirms it is closer than I think. It is within an extension of my arm, a slight movement of my hand yet the potential of ecstasy is undeniably exciting, terrifying and utterly consuming that I lose my breath every time I make that move towards the inner divinity that shows itself to me in my dreams.

Last night I had the dream. As nature speaks of the union of masculine and feminine from May onwards so does my psyche joins in balance and works towards a culmination of potential flourishing and the re-birth. As the Sun rises to its peak in the next few weeks so do we remain in grateful watching of unfolding the forces within ourselves

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.

 

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)

Ignite your Fire 

The current emotional state I find myself in is anything but Firy. It is the Water element that has taken hold in its distorted state manifesting in moodiness, lack of motivation and inability to settle. This is how depressive state begins when focus is almost impossible and apathy sets in. There is no drive, energy or enthusiasm. Fire sparks up now and again, but again in its distorted state in ways of angry outbursts and frustration, dissatisfaction, which is often projected onto the world, weather, other people. Not great way to be and I don’t like it one bit.

Things in the house are literary losing their ‘spark’ and breaking down, particularly electrical things like iron, microwave, heating and boiler. One thing after another. It feels deflating and cold. What is there to do, I ask? The Goddess reassures me she’s around for guidance yet I move away from her unable to listen. My body is devoid of heat and energy and I wonder aimlessly about my days.

Outside it’s raining and mild when it should be winter. I never thought I would feel lethargic for the absence of real winter yet it is snow and cold that I crave so I can settle properly into the season. Instead it’s raining and I find myself yearning for the snowy mountains and freezing winds, sparkling cover on the ground and winter Sun. I try to fly away to lands where winter is present but again unable to project myself very far. Stifling…

Today I decided to drive to the woods away from home to seek some peace and answers. It is raining but I don’t mind as feel the need to be with whatever it is that slows me down. I get out of the car and walk into the forest. It feels pleasing straight away, the smell of wet ground and fresh air surrounds me. In silence I stand and turn to my right to a sight of deer very close by. My spirit is sparked for that moment where we stand and look at each other. I smile and feel gratitude. Things get better as I walk deeper into the forest. I discover Fire in the palm of my right hand, which I hold open and the rain stops. It’s amusing to play with it putting my hand away and taking it out again to show to the forest. I ask for the rain to stop and it does. My hand does the magic. I feel my spirits lifting slightly yet the fire in my hand also slips away eventually. It is calm, no rain and again I see the deer in the bush next to me. I smile. I feel better.

What also comes to me is the fact that I have been focusing on the Water element too much making an error in understanding what’s needed. At first a couple of weeks ago when I became aware of the absence of fire I welcomed water into my days and solidified and intensified my focus on it. I placed water items on my altar and what occurred was the opposite, I went too much into it. I understand it now. Now I know I need to shift things towards the fire intentionally. I need to work on it and make it spark again so changing my altar set up once again to see things shift.

Magic is a work of awareness, attention, focus and really listening. It is also not always about accuracy of messages but an ability to shift with changes in awareness. It is about adapting to what gets presented and reading the messages that one sees, hears or feels.

It is a strange period of time, however I remain open to observations and changes that might come in the next few days. I hope. Staying with myself no matter what and however hard it might be.

Many blessings!