Unladylike by Heather Lewis

Unladylike

You’re so cute, he says.
My lips retract, not a smile but
A feral baring of teeth.
I do not tell him the truth,
That would be unladylike.

I do not tell him the truth –
That I am dangerous.
That I am the eater of black hearts.
That I am the devourer of shallow minds.
That I am the seeker of truths.
That I am the giver of life and
The bringer of death.

He sees only
A round face,
Soft skin,
The temptation of ripe curves.
He is blind to the chaos
Barely contained by my
Tender flesh and frail bones.
He cannot understand
The wildness of me.
He cannot know the ravenous hunger
For things he could never dare to dream.

And so I smile and say thank you,
Just the way I was trained to do.

(c) Heather Lewis

***

Heather says of this poem

I wrote this piece several months ago, I had strayed from my spiritual path, caught up with life and only recently found my way back again. As I was reflecting on the Morrigan and what is she expects of me, it occurred to me how the way women are socialized to accept traditional gender roles often clashes with and suffocates those aspects of womanhood that the Morrigan seeks to nurture in us – basically how women can often finding themselves hiding their wildness and power – all the things that a patriarchal society doesn’t understand and therefore, fears. And so I just started writing about the way women are often perceived versus the truth of womanhood and by the time I was finished, I had this piece

***.

Heather is 34 years old, currently studying English lit and creative writing at Morehead State University in Kentucky. She has not previously been published, though she is currently working on a small collection of poetry and short fiction which she hopes to find an audience for in the not too distant future.

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What to offer when you feel you have nothing

I am sure many of us are familiar with times that are financially thin, times when we have to make difficult decisions about what to spend our money on. At such times we can feel the weight of needing to honour our Gods with offerings, feeling that we cannot afford to spend food or heating or medical bill money, but fearing Their displeasure if we don’t.

Perhaps first it is worth mentioning why we make offerings. We make offerings to our Gods as an honouring, as a sign of our love and respect for them. We may make offerings because of something we wish to receive in return. We make offerings to strengthen our connection to them and maintain their presence in our lives. I recently heard Morpheus Ravenna explain it really well. If we think of our relationship with our Gods as being like a friendship. If we forget to stay in touch with our friends, if we don’t manage to honour or maintain the friendship, the friend doesn’t disappear but the friendship will wither away.

Fortunately offerings don’t have to cost anything, there is much you can offer that is absolutely free and in some ways may be better received than bought objects.  The key thing with all of this is the intention with which it is done. That the offering is made with active focus and consecration in the name of the deity it is intended for.

Here are a few suggestions for you, and maybe they will spark some other ideas of your own.

Prayer

Prayer has become almost a dirty word for some pagans because of its association with Christian practice. But we spoke in quiet contemplation and focus on our Gods long before Christian priests had any say in it. Speak with your God(s), speak from your heart, honour them, show gratitude for Their presence in your life. Sometimes we pray because we need something, but it can also be a simple act of devotion.  If you’re not sure what to say there are prayers available online and in books that are perfectly acceptable to use with the right intention and attitude.  In time you may find your own words and voice to offer.

Story, Song and Music

Telling the tales and stories of our Gods is how we keep Them alive in the world, even if it’s only between us and Them. But if you can, tell others Their stories, tell them to friends and family, tell them to your children or if you can find the right opportunity tell them to your community.

Sing for your Gods, and never mind whether you think you have a singing voice. Song is prayer carried on voice and breath.  Simple chants are just as effective as songs of many verses and no it doesn’t matter whether you learn the words by rote, use a book and sing with intention and heart.

Make music, if you play an instrument play it for Them, compose for Them. Or if you have a drum, drum for Them, the beat of the drum carries to the otherworld.

Song and story connect us with our ancestors who would have done the same, sharing with their families, tribes and communities. In this way we strengthen the ancestral lines behind us and before us.

Acts of service

There are so many of these it could become a long list but I will mention two really strong ones that in my experience the Gods really appreciate. Volunteering in your community and the clearing of sacred or natural places.

Can you spare a little time in your week to those in need? Whether it is for an elderly neighbour in your community, a young mother struggling with her children or time given to a charity in an area that matters to you. This time, these acts are a way to show that your tribe, your community matter and as such that you honour the God(s) that watch over you and them. Think about what your particular Gods represent and align your act with that.

It is an ongoing and maddening thing for many pagans to find natural or sacred sites covered in rubbish, the saddest thing is that sometimes it is pagans who add to it! None of us should be leaving rubbish on the land, and if we come across it clearing it away is a strong act of honouring, a way of showing that our lands matter. I encourage you to carry a bag with you wherever you go so that you can do this. Also think before you leave an item at a sacred site. It is better to leave a non-physical offering at a sacred site than an item that can cause damage. Even items that can biodegrade are not necessarily ok, things won’t biodegrade in sites such as caves and items tied to trees and plants can choke them and stunt their ability to grow.

Study and Learning

Dedicate some learning or study to your Gods. It might literally be the study of Them and Their stories, getting to know as much you can of Them. Or it might be your college or university studies, or training for your job.  Dedicate the growth of your knowledge to Them, your efforts to be able to do more for yourself and your community.

Physical Training

This may not be right or appropriate for everyone but many Gods welcome fit and strong devotees. Make an offering of your physical training, your exercise regimes, take up a fighting art in Their name.  Make your body your offering to them.

There are of course many ways of making offerings to our Gods and different things will be appropriate at different times in our lives and our spiritual practices. These are just a few ideas that may help you when you feel you have nothing to give.  Give only what you can manage, do not harm yourself to make an offering. Better to make a promise of an offering in the future and sing Them a song for now.

Awen Clement – May 2017

*Some of the thoughts in this article have arisen from taking the class ‘Polytheist Devotional Practice’ with Morpheus Ravenna of the Coru Cathubodua, with thanks to her for her teaching.*

Awen is a priestess of The Morrigan who lives and works in the West Midlands of the UK. She is leading the 2017 Call of the Morrigan Retreat – The Queen’s Vigil in West Wales in September.

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Pilgrimage to The Morrigan

A few months ago I posted on Facebook asking where I should go if I was to go to Ireland in honour of The Morrigan. The resounding response was Owenyagat, The Morrigans Cave. So I spent some weeks dithering about, and not actually arranging anything, like you do when you know you’ve got to do something life altering for The Great Queen.

Eventually I got myself together, booked some flights, booked a hire car and booked Lora O’Brien to guide me and a friend to the cave. Now, bear in mind I had never flown in my life, and my friend was going to meet me there, you can see where the first part of this trial lay.

Arriving

The trip happened this past weekend, just a few days after Beltane. I flew into Dublin on Friday evening, learning that flying really isn’t that bad at all once you’re up.  Found my way out of the airport, found my friend and collected the hire car. The blood red hire car. It made us feel we were expected.

The red chariot

We stayed over night in a great B&B just outside Dublin, found ourselves some dinner in a local pub and hung around to hear the advertised ‘live music’, that turned out to be one man and his keyboard doing bad cover versions….we opted to head off to bed instead.

On Saturday morning we drove across country to meet Lora in the village of Tulsk in Roscommon. We had an awesome visit to the Rathcroghan Visitor Centre, getting to deeper grips with the stories of the area and admiring some fantastic artwork.  The centre do awesome work and the café is fantastic too (tea in a proper 6 cup pot no less!).

Mebh’s Throne

We drove up the road and visited Ogulla, the holy well. A natural triple spring with a shrine.  It has a statue of St Patrick and a story to go with it, but the story tells that it was once a sacred site looked after by pagan priestesses. It’s a beautiful, tucked away spot, easily missed. Sacred waters flowing, surrounded by sacred trees.

St Patrick at Ogulla

Waters of Ogulla

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We drove on then to Rathcroghan mound. Now I’ve visited many sacred sites in my life, it was almost a hobby with my parents when I was growing up and I’ve done my share of visiting as an adult pagan too. Rathcroghan is something really quite special.  It looks quite unassuming, just a big grassy mound in the middle of field, surrounded by a fence and full of sheep who seem slightly disgruntled at the presence of two leggers. Lora told us what is known about the mound from the archaeology and led us to the top via the eastern face, where the ceremonial entrance would have been. I received strong visions here, memories, whether they were mine in a past life or just picking up on echoes I don’t yet know. But the place was familiar to me, and welcoming.

Rathcroghan Mound

We took a break for lunch before heading for Owenyagat, to take our turn to go into the ground and seek The Great Queen. When we arrived some other folk were there, so we took time to sit in the sun and Lora told us the story of how the cave got its name. For Owenyagat means ‘cave of cats’, and it refers not to a feline cat, but an otherworldly creature, a creature whom Mebh called from the cave, from the otherworld, to test young warriors including CuChulainn.

Lora O’Brien Storytelling at Owenyagat

Then it was time for us to go in, I had thought I would be anxious, but if anything I was eager, I had been waiting for this, I had broken my fear of flying to be here and do this. Lora went in first, pointing out various features as we went. It is deep, and yet it’s not, it’s cold and yet it’s not, it’s dark and. No, it’s really dark. After a brief time with torchlight, we took our seats and sat in the dark with our Queen. I can’t really tell you what passed at this point, it’s quite personal, but suffice to say we were graced with an audience.  It felt right and comfortable to be there and I know I’ll go back in the future.

Owenyagat

Inside the entrance

Inside the cave

Emerging into the sunlight afterwards was a little strange, time had gone all bendy, which I find it often does around Her. Lora commented that I had experienced all three worlds in a weekend, upper with my flight, middle in exploring the land and the lower with the descent into Her cave.

Cleaning up after the cave

After the cave

I had challenged myself in a number of ways for Her, because She asked it of me and without wanting to sound big-headed, I’m really proud that I lived up to it. I could have freaked and bailed from as early as arriving at Birmingham airport, right through to going into the cave. But I didn’t. Suddenly I know that anything is possible and that is a huge and wondrous feeling.

Heading home

Awen Clement © May 2017

If you are thinking of visiting Ireland, to see the sacred sites and honour The Great Queen, I sincerely recommend either contacting Lora O’Brien and seeing if she is available to guide you or alternatively join one of the magical tours run by Land Sea Sky Travel, who gave great support and advice in the planning of this trip.

***

Awen is a priestess of the Morrigan who lives and works in the West Midlands in the UK. She is a land guardian, storykeeper and priestess offering teaching and healing work for those who need it on their journey. She can be found at www.wildmagpie.co.uk

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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

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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).
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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)

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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)

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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

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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

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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.

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