I heed her call from atop my hill by Mikayla McCarthy

My sword arm is ready and my heart open and true,
My bow is steadfast and strong, my skin painted blue,
My armour of leather keeps my body prepared,
My hands ready to heal, my soul honestly bared,
My eyes are seen to point to the stars,
My words are calming to those who bare scars,
My eyes fill my mind with the drops of the night,
My words turn commanding on those without light,
My voice is steady and sweet when the gentle speak,
But roar with fury when the dangerous leap.

For twenty four years my soul walked this earth,
And in the past year finally found peace and mirth,
The Morrigan calls now for the very first time,
For me to ring true to my spirit’s design,
There’s a strong Celt Silure that sits in this mind,
And she’s ready to see, no longer blind,
She’s a soul of passion and warrior’s build,
Celtic and strong walking in to the guild,
The Morrigan calls me, I will heed her word,
And continue to speak so Her voice is still heard

Written by Mikayla McCarthy – recently discovering and answering the call of the Morrigan. You can find Mikayla on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/welshwitchmccarthy

Honouring the Blood: Call of the Morrigan by Awen Clement

As dusk fell we closed the gates to the ordinary world, allowed the land to envelop and cradle us. Quietly we came, healers and priests, craftsmen and warriors, gathering in Her name. Raven Queen, Battle Crow, Morrigan.

We cast a circle of light and dark, of flame and blood and weaving.  We asked the land to hold us, we asked the ancestors to stand with us, to guide us and guard us. We called our Queen in rich voices of fire and honour.


We cleansed away the old versions of ourselves, prepared to step into new skins, new shapes of our souls.  One by one, turn by turn we submitted to the needle. Gave our blood and received her mark. Gave shape to our prayers, made promises in ink. Witnessed by our brothers and sisters, nurtured by the hearth fire.

We wove together a pattern of story and song, of prayer and devotion as the land and the ancestors looked on. Brave voice of the young spoke in honour and faith. Men cried tears of truth. Women wove prayer and flame in devotion. Some sang in voices not their own and the drum echoed the heartbeat of the world.


And the Great Queen heard us call. She came to us. Accepted our offerings of blood and flesh and honouring. Some trembled, some wept, but all held steadfast in the truth of her sight. Her voice like the gentle roar of the river, we were held out of time. She gave voice of both warning and blessing.We gave thanks, we feasted and then one by one and two by two we slipped away, across land and sea. Returning home, forever changed, ready to face what is to come.And so it was done. The ashes went cold and the land fell quiet.

 ****

This writing is a reflection of my experience at Honouring the Blood: Call of the Morrigan Retreat 2016.Awen Clement – 2016 (c) This piece was originally posted at www.wildmagpiewoman.blogspot.co.uk

Awen is the Wild Magpie Priestess who serves The Morrigan and Brigid. She leads circles and workshops in the West Midlands (UK).
www.wildmagpie.co.uk

This is my pain by Izzy Swanson

This is my pain

I long to grow. I feel the pull to something larger, something more than me. Something in me knows I will heal from this. My heart’s desire waits for me on the other side.

Deep down in the darkness inside of me I feel the shadow around my soul. It pulls at me from deep within my womb. I find in the darkness a frightened little girl. She holds me tight. She begs me not to leave the shadows.” What are you afraid of? Who made you feel this way?” I can hear the years of words spoken to me of my soul’s damnation and she says to me, “If I leave this darkness people might see me. They will see my pain. I will be unclean. It will hurt them. It will scare them. I will be weak. I can’t let people see me. I can’t be weak.” “What are you really afraid of?” “That I will fail, that I don’t belong here. I am a fraud. If they see me I will lose all that I love.” She falls into my arms weeping.

The memories of hidden pain resurface. I hold her. I love her. I make her promises. I cannot go until we are whole until she trusts me enough to protect her, until she is safe. This, this is darkness. This is trauma. This is pain. We hide inside of it. We run to it. It saves us. How could we ever believe that it isn’t all our fault? How can we ever believe that the world outside will accept us when we watch our world pretend that people like us don’t exist? When we watch our world remind us that we deserved it? How will we ever feel safe enough to climb out if we can’t believe that we will be loved, that someone will see our pain and say I will not run?

Izzy Swanson – 2016 (c)

www.transformationreiki.com
www.facebook.com/feileacanministry
www.instagram.com/transformationreiki/

The Promise of Death by Izzy Swanson

I want you to tell people about how they will die, how their soul will die, how they will break and how it will be the most beautiful thing that has ever happened. From the broken pieces they will put together a being that knows who they are, that no longer owes anyone an apology, and no longer has to explain themselves to anyone in order to receive worthiness.

You no longer have to try so hard to get people to love you because you will love yourself so much it will no longer matter. You will be ok with the words you speak. You will know that the words you share bring authenticity and wisdom and that they have value even when you think no one is listening. Someone is listening. The world is listening. It is watching. We are dying. We are falling down into so much pain and fear and anger that we are desperate for change. We, the world, is watching you. We need to see you bare your soul. We need to see you be a metal head or a quilter or a dog walker. We need to see the joy you derive from living. We need to see you break and we need to watch you put yourself back together because we need to know it won’t kill us. We need to see the beauty of your change. We need to know that we won’t be alone when our time comes and we need to see that no matter what we are all the powerful beings that we keep wishing we were inside. You know the one, that little girl or boy who always wanted to be a super hero. That’s you. And no one can tell you anymore that it’s not because you fought your way through all the fear and self-doubt brought on you by all the things society taught you to believe about how someone else deserved more than you or the pain you endured at the hands of your loved ones. You survived and not only did you survive you thrived and you learned all the little things about you that make you uniquely you.

This this is why I am here. I am not here to write your pretty stories about how to meditate. I am here to find the broken pieces of your soul and bring them back to you. I am here to watch you tell yourself “I am worthy.” I am here to watch you embrace the lost child and integrate her innocence back into your soul. I am here to guide you when the time comes for you to fall apart. I am here to take through the little death, the dying of your soul, and bring you back out into the light. So when I come to you with wisdom, I can’t come in little bits and pieces. I need to tell you to rip your heart out and put a new one in. I need to tell you it’s ok to die and I need you to know that when you are reborn you will be a beautiful butterfly. I promise you. I promise you, you are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

Izzy Swanson – 2016 (c)

www.transformationreiki.com
www.facebook.com/feileacanministry
www.instagram.com/transformationreiki/

In the Driver’s Seat: Owning My Own S&!T (How The Morrigan Claimed Me Part III)

Once The Morrigan claimed me, She began teaching me. The first and most important lesson She taught was that I needed to own my own shit. It was not an easy lesson. While I had always desired self-empowerment, owning up to my own mistakes and facing the less desirable Shadow Self was something I had always avoided. And since I refused to do so, I could not seem to achieve any sense of self-empowerment or inner peace. It was always easier to lay the blame for my wreck of a life at someone else’s feet.

Since I was resistant (at first) to this primary lesson, The Morrigan took away my ability to play the blame game. How? She removed everyone from my life. Friends, the majority of my family, professional contacts, everyone. I was the only one left around me. I could not run from me. So I had no choice at that point but to face myself.

Once I started taking an honest look at myself, I realized it was my own choices, my own actions that had gotten me into mess after disaster after tragedy. I determined the only way I could improve my life circumstances was to make better choices. I had to change.  I struggled for a number of years with forgiving myself. Some days, I still struggle with it.

But in my experience, The Morrigan takes with one hand and gives with the other. She gave me a new sense of power over my own life. A new sense of independence. A feeling of finally loving myself for who I am, the good, the bad and the ugly. While some people never reentered my life, I view that now as a blessing. She was clearing out the trash, so to speak. This allowed room for other, more positive people to enter my life. It allowed a NEW ME to enter my own life.

I got in the driver’s seat of my own life. I became self-empowered. I became Divinely Empowered, truly, because I learned to trust Deity. If something goes awry in my life now, I know I made an error and seek it out and correct it. Nothing or no one outside of me can have power over me unless I allow it. I took the bull by the horns (the bull being my life). And if true tragedy does strike (things do happen to us all in life we are not able to control) the first thing I do is go to Deity. I ask Deity for help. For there is no greater help in The Universe. Deity always has my back. Always.

I encourage everyone to get in their driver’s seat.

Pedal to the metal…..

Morrigan Odin – 2016 (c)

Originally published at The Morrigans Nest

Daughter of the Morrigan by Robin Corak

To look at me, you might think I am an unlikely choice to be a daughter of the Morrigan. Somewhat petite in nature, I have been told I seem very approachable and friendly. You will often find me with a smile on my face, and if I had a dollar for every time I had been described as “sweet” or “nice” in my life I would be writing this from my mansion overlooking the ocean while being fed grapes and having my feet massaged.  Aside from when I am really, REALLY pissed off, most folks would say that I don’t come across as the least bit intimidating. And when I am having to confront an adversary in my work life, I am not the storm you see coming; rather, I am the ocean wave wearing away at the rock which can be easily overlooked if you are not paying attention.  If you had told me years ago that I was, in fact, connected to the Morrigan you would have been met with an outburst of laughter.

 

In my family, the most obvious candidate for the Morrigan’s attention would, without a doubt, be my sister. I am in awe of her strength. She is a warrior in the physical sense – school dean by day but kickboxer by night. Although still considered an amateur, she has competed in tournaments and has defeated women half her age. In some cases, her opponents have left the ring bleeding while she had barely a mark on her. All of this, despite suffering from arthritis. A tomboy when we were kids, she grew up to be a gifted athlete with a brilliant mind who is not afraid to say what she is thinking or stand up for what she believes in, public opinion be damned. In fact, I do believe that the Morrigan has called on her and stood by her side more than once in her life. She just doesn’t know it.

 

In many ways as a child I was the exact opposite of my sister. Due to having a rare medical condition, I was often sick and my bone age was consistently 2-3 years behind my chronological age, giving me a fragile appearance. I was in and out of hospitals and doctor’s offices throughout my childhood. I was a shy, quiet child with very low self-esteem. I got used to people doing things for me, to the point that I believed I was not capable of doing much for myself, let alone for others. I had a skewed perception of my value (or lack thereof), and thus being nice and acquiescent became my currency. I felt much more comfortable spending time in my vivid imagination which may explain why denial and self created illusion became my allies when confronted with something I didn’t know how to or want to deal with.

 

At some point those around me realized that they were enabling me and that doing so would do more harm than good. Once I fully understood that I had to be able to rely on  myself, I fought fiercely for my independence. I think even then Morrigan was nudging me, but I had no idea of that at the time. All I knew was that some phantom part of me was urging me to develop my resilience and to keep moving forward no matter how difficult things got. It wasn’t until I was in college -miles away from my parents and therefore my safety net- that I started to believe that perhaps I had evolved into someone stronger than the shy, fragile, scared child that I had once been.

 

This recognition was sparked, in part, by someone I loved deeply who sometimes saw me more clearly than I saw myself. He stunned me one day by telling me that I was brave. Given that this was someone who had been through more horrific things than anyone I knew and had somehow survived with a generous and loving heart intact, I considered his calling me brave to be a compliment of the highest order. At first, however, I was sure he was mistaken.  How could I possibly be considered brave? But as he shared a perspective that only someone outside of myself could see, I became emboldened by this possibility and began seeking out tales of strong, powerful women from both history and fiction. It was from these women-women such as Cleopatra and Boudicca whose ability and drive to surpass the limits others imposed on them and whose fiery spirits led them to fight against all odds- that I felt I could learn how to further develop and unleash my own sovereignty.

 

Whether I was riding the high of an accomplishment brought about by my strength or immersed in sadness and despair, I held tightly to this self concept of courage and continued to seek out mentors among the pages of history and myth so that I could continue to evolve. Not surprisingly, at some point I stumbled across the Morrigan and knew that it was she that had been whispering in my ear and encouraging me to fight for myself. It was she who taught me that there are many ways to embody strength and many ways to honor her, but the most important thing was to be true to who I was in doing so. When I shied away from her wisdom, she held the mirror up; sometimes in the guise of others with whom I was having conflict and sometimes as herself.

 

Increasingly over the years, I have heeded her wisdom. I began to learn the value and importance of commitment to complete and utter honesty with one’s self, to the point where I need and rely on this just as much as I need and rely on the air that I breathe. It hasn’t been easy by any means. The journey from the child ruled by her fears who shielded herself with the comfort of illusion (albeit fleeting) to the woman who would unfailingly choose an uncomfortable truth over a lovely lie has been an arduous journey.  There have been many times that the Morrigan has held the mirror up and I have had to confront what I have considered to be some of the darkest, ugliest, most frightful parts of myself and my life. Sometimes the best that I could do was to cover my face with my hands and only peek at the haziest outlines of my reflection – and often then, only for seconds at a time.

 

Sometimes the mirror reflected not me, but the people and situations in my life who I had refused to see clearly. This too, caused its own form of pain at times. Loving yourself enough to establish healthy boundaries and standards can force the mask to slip from those you care about. This can be a joyous epiphany as you realize just how much you are loved but it can also be a jarring loss as you realize that with some, you have misplaced your trust or overestimated their sincerity and perhaps even their love.

 

The Morrigan has taught me to to look in the mirror without flinching and to fully experience the pain and  joy that can accompany this glimpse and to move forward. In my vocation, there are unfortunately a lot of politics to deal with and it is necessary that I be a strong advocate for the issues and people that I believe in. There have been many times that this advocacy has placed me at odds with someone who has underestimated my strength due to my gender, age, appearance and/or demeanor. Many have mistaken my kindness for weakness. This used to bother me, until the day she whispered, “Let them. Use it to your advantage in the battle ahead. Let them underestimate you at their own peril.”

 

She has shared wisdom in many ways and on many topics, and when I have listened, it has served me well. No matter how excruciating, each painful moment or  “death” experienced on the battlefield of my life has, in retrospect, been the death of either my ego, my fear/demons, or a behavior or aspect of my life which no longer served me. While it may seem contradictory, love, too, has its place in the battlefield. In fact, love is a necessary part of the work of the warrior.

 

She speaks to me as I immerse myself in the shadows.

 

“Listen to me,” she says.

“I am not a gentle goddess. I will not coddle you. I will lead you into the depths of your own darkness, so that you may arise illuminated.

I will hold you steady while you face your fears. Illusion has no place in my realm and I will not grant you permission to lie to yourself or look away.

But I will love you.

I will love you enough to not lie to you.

I will love you enough to denounce and reject the bullshit excuses you make and the attempts to give your power away when the demons start taunting you, wearing down your defenses, and telling you that you are not enough and that you are not capable. I will scream at you when they tempt you to simply give in so that your fears can begin to take the wheel

I will love you enough to refuse to allow you to deny your sovereignty. I will prod you to keep going.

And I will love you enough to be here for you whenever you call, no matter how strained or how quiet your voice.

Above all, I will love you enough to remind you in the end that every battle scar and every perceived blemish is an invaluable part of the uniquely beautiful mosaic that is you.”

 

I am still very much a work in progress and the Morrigan is not the only sovereignty whose call I heed. (It takes a village, after all). At times she takes a backseat to others depending on the lessons my life is presenting me and the direction in which I am headed. But even when she is not front and center in my life, she is always there, quietly standing beside me and reminding me of my strength when I start to forget. When the doubt and the battle fatigue begin to creep in, she helps me to build my reserves for the next battle. For it is only by taking up her sword of clarity and courage and her  shield of love that I may grow wings and experience the freedom that comes from soaring in her guise as the raven, strong and free.

Robin Corak – September 2016 (c)

Blog/Website: www.peacelovemischief.com

Personal Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/robin.corak

On Warriors & Healers

As the sounds of battle died away and the host moved on, came then the priests and healers to the battlefield. Walking amongst the fallen, saying prayers for those whose spirits had left their bodies. Tending to the wounded, trusting that the Great Queen would bring the mercy of death where needed. Later there would be grief, later there would be songs of honouring, later when the work was done.

The Great Queen calls us all differently. Many feel drawn to the warrior’s path in her name, but even that comes in many different forms.  There are those who feel that followers and devotees who are not learning to fight or bear arms are not true warriors of our Goddess. I challenge those people to consider the truth of a battlefield.   There are many, many types of warrior, many types of fighter and each has a different kind of role to play in any battle. But also, I put it to you, the battle field needs healers and priests too. Not all of us are called to fight, and not all of us are called to heal. We are all called to serve and to serve in the way that fits best with our soul.

Some of us are called to fight in a very literal way, to learn martial arts, to learn to bear arms and there is great value and importance in this. Just as important as learning how to fight, is learning when. To discern when physical force is necessary.  It may be that learning how to fight, is less about the fighting and more about becoming physically stronger and accepting a level of mental discipline and behaviour acceptable to our Great Queen. To be the very best version of yourself you can be.

Some of us are called to be warriors in other ways. To fight for the vulnerable. To stand for the abused and beaten. To stand for those who are killed, for those whose land and livelihood would be taken. To stand for the planet and all the living beings upon her, not just the humans. To stand for the right of each human being to have autonomy over their lives and actions.  Let us not create further divisions by criticising each other about how we stand for Her in this world.

And after the warriors, after the fighting, then the priests and healers are needed. The healers who can sew up the bleeding, the healers who can bring peace to damaged minds. The priests who can bring solace and comfort and leadership to their communities. For community, our tribe, our families are the point of it all. What are we fighting for if not for the future of our communities, of our tribes, of our world.

We are each called in Her service to bring our whole and true selves, not to force ourselves to be something we are not. She will push us, she will stretch us, but your path with Her is yours and should not be dictated by what another believes it should be. Each of us is valuable to Her and to each other, let us remember this and treat each other so.  Let us be united behind her banners for the future of us all.

Awen Clement – September 2016 (c)

AwenClement

Awen is the Wild Magpie Priestess, living and working in the West Midlands (UK). She walks a path with Brigid and The Morrigan, guarding the land and bringing teaching and guidance to women walking a Goddess path. More about her can be found at www.wildmagpie.co.uk

Awen is teaching a workshop at this years Call of the Morrigan Retreat – Honouring the Blood, being held in West Wales 26th-30th OCtober 2016.  It is still possible to join as a day guest on Sunday 20th.

Free Will

When we make a vow, a promise, some kind of commitment to deity, it matters.


Sometimes these moments of dedication – beautiful, profound, awe-inspiring, frightening as they may be – can feel so distant from our ordinary, everyday reality. Big or small, these dedications, these promises, these commitments count. Even (especially) when we return to ordinary reality.  So often, it’s here, in our every day lives, that this dedication, this commitment, will be tested. 


And you know what? We always have a choice. However urgent, or even inevitable, certain commitments feel, we always have a choice. We have the choice to make the commitment. We have the choice to bring that commitment to fulfillment. We have the choice to take action – or to refuse to take action. 


Sometimes what’s presented to us will be testing a promise or commitment we’ve already made. Very likely, for any significant promise, this will be the case many times over. How far are you willing to go to bring your promise to fulfillment? Will you play at fulfilling your obligations, or will you take it seriously? What are you willing to sacrifice to make it real? Will you dare to keep saying ‘yes’? Or when will you hit that point where you say ‘no’?


Some requests come on powerfully strong. You still have a choice, and indeed, you have an obligation to honor your capacity for choice. 


One thing I know for sure is that when the Morrigan asks something, what She asks is very likely to bring deep and profound change.  She may ask of us things that stretch the boundaries of what we believe ourselves capable of. She may ask of us things that challenge us to act or to be other than what we have been before. She may ask us to do things we’d very much rather not do, in fact. But She never asks of us that we become less than what we are or are capable of becoming. 


And we always have a choice, not only in that moment of making the promise, but also in it’s enactment and fulfilment. This is the beauty and danger of free will: it is actually possible to get it wrong, to fuck it up in small or large ways that change the trajectory or the outcome of even the most binding commitment, causing harm to ourselves and others. 


We all have this gift of free will. It holds us under obligation to take full responsibility for our actions, even  when we are acting under guidance, in accordance with our vows or commitments. Free will demands that we take the risk and our full share of responsibility for our part in how things go forward, regardless of the outcome. 


It’s an uncomfortable place to be, when things go wrong, as they sometimes do. 


Sometimes they go wrong through no fault of our own, through no lack of commitment on our part, but simply because there are other people involved, each equally endowed with free will. We rarely stand alone in our choices. Rather we remain part of a complex web of interactions, and others equally have the capacity to choose – their choice may be other than what we would wish, perhaps other than what they have promised, and sometimes this tips the balance. (But the future is generally malleable and we have incredible capacity  for creation and recovery even when things do go wrong – and commitment, it always counts for something – new pathways can and will be forged from loss.)


It’s not ever just the promise that matters. The promise – the moment of commitment – is a kind of conscious binding, a strengthening of our ties to a chosen course of action or quality we want to cultivate within ourselves. It is a powerful articulation of intention and commitment that carries consequences. If we fail to honour the commitment there is likely a price that will be paid. 


Ultimately, what makes it real? The action. The manifestation. The living and breathing it into being. We can choose to do it, embrace it fully, or we can choose to live it superficially, or to abandon it. What we choose changes things.


Free will, commitment, responsibility, action. Our choices matter, our actions matter. 


by Rebecca Wright 2014

11220130_10205174634701604_7207325183716550703_n(1)Rebecca Wright is a mother, doula, healer and teacher, and one of the founders of the Call of the Morrigan FB Community and UK retreats. You can find her on FB in the Call of the Morrigan Community group or at http://www.rebalancingwoman.com.

The Truth

by Izzy Swanson

The truth of who I am is not pretty. I didn’t come to be who I am today with years of training as a Shaman. I didn’t travel to another place to have the wisdom of the ancestors handed down to me. The truth is, well there are many truths, and one of them is that I was born this way. The other truth is that I had to dig myself out of a pit of insanity, abuse, trauma, and 16 years of drug addiction. The truth is that my spirit and my body have been battered, demoralized, and broken in ways that hurt me to even speak of. Much of what I have seen, much of what has been done was carried out at the hands of my family or abusive boyfriends but if we are talking about truth so much of what has happened to me I did also to myself.

Why I am here? Why am I telling you this? Because the value of my trauma is that I am who I am today. I need to say this to myself as much as you need to hear it. I need you to know it because I have never believed that anything I said or did was right, or valid. I needed to be defined by the opinions of others and yet even when I started to feel like I was getting it right it was never enough. I still would look to someone else and judge the quality of my work by their definition of what is right and wrong. You need to know it because you need to know that the things you tell yourself and the emotions you feel are not that by which you should define yourself. You need to see that there is a way to feel whole, that there is a path to unbrokenness. You need to trust that the pain that I have broken my body with is the strength by which I will help you heal yourself. This is the truth, of who I am, of who you are, of why we do this work.

I will tell you my story, at least as much of it as I can without breaking others who were part of it, and I will tell you how I came here and maybe if you can stay with me through the story you will find that I can show you a way to survive yourself. I will guide you through the darkness in the pit of your soul and show you how to embrace the balance of the dark and the light. I will guard you in the liminal spaces. I will mother your tears. I will show you the peace of the warrior and I will make you a priestess of your own life.

The time has come to shed the lies, to destroy everything that you know, to make your sorrow your biggest gift, to use your pain to achieve your goals1. We are being called to the front lines of a war that is about redefining who we are as individuals, as a species. Whoever convinced you that this needed to happen peacefully, quietly, and completely in the light has not told you the full truth or maybe you did not see the other half of the message. We will have to first stand at the doorway to change and face our fears. We may even have to break, shatter into a million pieces, before we will know the complete truth and power of who we are. For powerful is what you are. It’s what I am and it is what we are together.  Do not be afraid even when the walls fall down and you are overwhelmed. Do not fear. Do not run from the immensity of who you are, of who we are. Warrior Spirit, Queen, Priestess, Guardian, Teacher, Mother, do not run from your soul’s purpose. We are here now for a reason and even if I can’t clearly define it in this moment, I will be here to help you see it. I for one did not come here to run.

02/08/2016

Izzy Swanson of Feileacan MinistryIzzy Swanson owns Feileacan Ministry in Austin, Texas. She is a Shamanic Reiki Master, Teacher, and Priestess. She specializes in healing soul wounds and working with PTSD, trauma, and addiction.

You can find her online at: www.transformationreiki.com as well as on Facebook at www.facebook.com/feileacanministry and Instagram at www.instagram.com/transformationreiki/

 

Surrendering to the Great Queen

by Roberta V.

I first meet her on a dancefloor. The dance floor is a therapy space in which I mostly grunt, howl, roar, crawl. I sought it out, sought this therapist, to begin to create space for holding the legacy of murdered relatives, mass graves, for the great grandfather stolen so cruelly that no-one would speak his name aloud, for the ghosts of unspoken names.

I grunt my way through it, unpretty, feral. Some pain runs too deep for words. It’s in my belly bones blood soul. Fuck socialisation. I have to reach under it, just keep going, unravel it. As I writhe there is a visual in my mind’s eye. Birdwoman. Scabbed and bloody, thick black matts of hair, hawk eyes, beaked. Horror and strength intermingled.

Months later I see a named image. The Morrigan. And then I know I have been seeing her along. The strength that rises up and moves through me as I become a force of nature, fierce fearsome unstoppable. It gains a name. The deity I have been worshipping, unknowing, as she moves through my body.

 

*

 

She finds me proper, formalised, on a retreat. On a trance journey, she lands in my womb, illuminates it as she sees it. Right then, it has frozen over. And she whispers to me my path forward. The path is sex and the right kind of darkness, the darkness capable of holding me, the darkness into which I can sink, heal, not drown. She whispers strength and surrender. Sex is just one doorway. She lays out my pathway for that, tells me how it’ll go. All I need to do is follow, and from there I will, do, follow. Things happen just as she says they will.

Her paths twine, intermingle, separate. Sex. Death. She’s in my shadow and I hers. She finds the grief in my body, turns it to treasure. You know grief, she’s whispering inside me. Hold it for others. All those murdered relations, all that death you’ve been dragging with you. You understand grief and shadow and darkness, and that makes you a keeper: of souls, of stories. A woman who can meet the darkness, see the glitter in it. Climb in.

She lays out this pathway, too, for me. Become a death doula. Do my work that way. Walk with the dying. Guide their souls, meet them. Hold their grief. Sink into this great beauty and use your knowing this way. Do my work.  Voice. Use your voice. Do my work.