Letting go of the need to know by Awen Clement

‘It izz wriiten!’ bellowed Beelzebub.
‘But it might be written differently somewhere else,’ said Crowley. ‘Where you can’t read it.’
‘In bigger letters,’ said Aziraphale.
‘Underlined,’ Crowley added.
‘Twice,’ suggested Aziraphale.

From Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

It’s pretty standard when we want to know about something new that we go looking for written information about it. Whether that be books or in these modern times on the internet. We want answers, we want good quality information, we want to do things right, especially when it comes to spiritual practice and the Gods.

However written information is only as good as its author and editor and unfortunately there is an awful lot of bad writing out there or worse stuff thats been made up, basically to sell more books. And of course you will find a lot of argument over what is good and what is bad amongst the people who have read them.

So then, maybe we look for the older stuff, the original writings, the lore that relates to our beliefs. Well, unfortunately the same problem still applies. Much of the lore about our pagan Gods was written in a very different time, often in a different language and usually by Christian monks, because they were the only people who knew how to write. And then they have been translated by yet another person, and that is not a fully accurate science either. Also we are modern people, living modern lives, so these older writings should be read with a degree of reservation and understanding of context.

So what do you do? Well, reading stuff isn’t a bad idea. Reading the lore isn’t a bad idea. But then after that, trust your instincts. Trust your connection to your Gods. And I think most importantly, be willing to NOT have to know. Be willing to not have all the answers on a plate. Part of the beauty and the magic of paganism is in its mystery and its lack of dogma. As soon as we rigidly hold on to the lore or anything written about our faith as being the whole story that must not be deviated from, we are creating dogma.

No matter how much reading you may have done, no matter how long you may have been a pagan, no matter your community status, none of us have all the answers. We are all on a journey, a living, breathing, connected journey that is our lives with our Gods. For isn’t that part of the point of having a spiritual belief and practice, that it is a part of us and a part of our lives.

And who knows what might be written down somewhere else, where we can’t read it.

(c) Awen Clement – October 2017

Awen is a priestess of the Morrigan, writer and ceremonialist who lives in the Midlands of the UK.  The rest of the time she is doing her best to help her four children grow up into interesting people and hanging out in her tiny temple shed at the bottom of her garden. www.awenclement.com

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Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel (How The Morrigan Claimed Me Part IV)

I found myself scraping the bottom of the barrel this Spring. Soul-wise, energy-wise, inspiration-wise. While Spring is generally associated with new beginnings and growth, I felt the exact opposite. Everything around me seemed to being going wrong, everything felt off. I felt wrong. Despite the outward appearance of all being well, nothing was well, not at all.

The Morrigan is known to be a hard teacher at times. Her lessons, while powerful, can be painful. This Spring, The Morrigan was on me “like a duck on a june bug”. I had to pay attention. I felt as though Macha Herself had ridden me down and trampled me. Badb was screaming at me. Anu, I felt, was just frustrated with me. I had to get quiet. I needed to shut up, sit down and listen to Her.

I took time off from writing and teaching. I stopped attending public events. I spent more time alone. I talked to The Morrigan. I listened to The Morrigan. I read a lot. I gardened. I binged-watched some shows.

With The Morrigan’s help, I came to realize I had made several errors in my life and I was not going to get any relief until I acknowledged and corrected those errors. If you have ever attended one of my workshops, I always say, “You are in control! You are in the driver’s seat! You are master of your destiny!” Blah…blah…blah..was about how I felt about that crap this Spring. It was time to walk the talk. I had to get honest with myself.

A recurring issue in my life has been personal boundaries. Actually, the lack of proper personal boundaries is the real issue. And it had come back to haunt me once again. Why?! Again and again, this issue was wrecking havoc in my life. Again my reluctance to establish healthy personal boundaries was causing intense suffering in my life.

I needed to take a step outside myself and examine what was really going on with me. I talked to a therapist to get an outside opinion. I asked myself the hard question: “Why was I reluctant to establish proper personal boundaries in my life?”

The answer was in two parts.

First, I was reluctant to establish healthy personal boundaries because I feared rejection. I feared appearing unfriendly, unavailable, of not appearing present. By living in this fear, I was not making good decisions about who I allowed into my personal life. I ignored the little instinctual warning bells tinkling in my ears. I ignored the warning because Fear and Ego took over. And by Spring, I was paying the price. Fear can be a tricky thing, not obvious, Ego-driven, tough to spot sometimes. But here it was right here in my face, grinning. Fear.

The second reason why I lacked in the boundary department was my “savior complex.” I had maintained an unhealthy relationship with a certain individual for years because I felt I could eventually make that person “see the light” and change their fundamental beliefs. I was wrong, wrong, wrong. It was some of my own beliefs that were almost sacrificed as a result. Another blow to Ego. Another circumstance of it blowing up in my face again.

Spring turned to Summer and Summer is now turning to Fall. I am continuing my inner work. I am continuing to tackle difficult issues in my life. But by doing so, I have gained relief from the suffering I was experiencing. The Morrigan is pleased I am back on track. I have acknowledged I am a work in progress. I always will be. I wouldn’t want to be anything less. It is a part of why I write. By owning my stories, my imperfections, I free myself from them.

I have shared in the past of how The Morrigan claimed me. It’s the title of this little series I have been writing for this blog. In truth, The Morrigan did not just claim me one time. She has claimed me again and again. If I wander off the path She has set before me, She comes thundering back into my life, claiming me again. It is an ongoing process for me. And I am ever grateful to Her for it. The Morrigan likes to keep Her tools sharp. She sharpens me on a regular basis. I feel blessed She does so.

(c) Morrigan Odin – Originally published at The Morrigan’s Nest

Other writing by Morrigan Odin can be found at Patheos

Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash 

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Spiritual abuse is real

Spiritual abuse is real, it’s a real thing in pretty much every spiritual movement or religious community. Why? Because in these places there’s a real intersection of vulnerability and power. People are drawn to seeking when they need help, and those who are willing exploit that vulnerability for their own gain will, very sadly, do so.

One spiritual seeker to another, I’m putting this out there for anyone who needs to see this and hear this, the fruits and lessons of personal experience.

*Anyone can call themselves a priest, a healer, a shaman. Literally anyone. I know when you’re seeking, vulnerable, newly called the array of these folk can be dazzling. It’s so tempting to take up that offer healing, of sanctuary, of soul or power work when you’re feeling confused or vulnerable. I cannot stress enough how important it is to take your time and to be discerning. Kind of like a first date. Do your research. It may sound obvious, but if you can’t find a history for this person, or they have a history of lying, thieving, or exploitation, treat that as a big red flag. Glamour and power can over a lot, don’t fall for it. Hang round the edges for a while. Check in with your own gut and guidance. Trust yourself if you’re hearing a ‘no’.

*The capacity to move energy doesn’t make someone a healer. Unless this capacity is coupled with some serious integrity and grounded experience, what it makes that person is potentially seriously dangerous. Shamanism, tantra, any advanced energy practice can harm as deeply as they heal—the harm doesn’t even have to be intentional. Think toddler running through a crowd with a big knife. Got the picture?

*Be highly suspicious of people (men in particular) who want to access your power for their own gain. These people generally have few to no peers, but possibly some (or many) followers. They love people who support their visions of themselves and their power. They don’t take criticism or conflict well. The classic lines like “The Goddess told me we would work together” or “She told me I can heal you.” I know it sounds cheesy when I say it here, but too many fall for it! Maybe you do want to work with this person, but don’t let these kinds of lines be the only reason you do.

Finally, if you have fallen for it, don’t despair. Betrayal is a classic and common part of spiritual awakening. It can make you or break you. Don’t let it break you, friends.

Here a few places where you can find safe and reliable connection

Coru Cathubodua Priesthood

John Beckett

Morgan Daimler

Lora O’Brien

 

(c) Rebecca Wright – August 2017

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The Art of Caitlin Urksa

Caitlin Urksa is French, 51, and teaches English to 11- to 14-year-olds. She has always been an artistic type at heart, drawing, painting, sculpting, making things she jokingly says that her Muse is hyperactive.  She has been a pagan for 30 years (sort of Druid-ish Wicca first), and then the Great Queen came barging into her life some 10 years ago, which changed quite a lot of things.

The first painting here is a portrait of the Great Queen that she did in 2010, and the second photograph shows the story of the painting as it came into being. Caitlin says that painting the picture of the lady that she saw was a very powerful experience.  The following two images are some of her more recent work inspired by her connection to The Morrigan.

http://martyberlou.wixsite.com/palette-onirique

 

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A thousand blessings

I was sat in meditation in my temple space, contemplating the retreat we are hosting for The Morrigan in September and She came and gave me these words to share with you all.

***

Come one, come all
Come to my fire
Come seek vision in ember and flame

Travel with me on the winds of the night
Dance among the stars

Take my hand, let go of fear
Feel the strength of ancient warriors at your back

Remembering our beloved dead, never forgotten
Drink of the power of the land

A thousand blessings upon you
A thousand blessings upon you

I am the earth at your feet
I am the light in the sky
I am the name on every warrior’s lips at death

Be as one tribe, protect all the children
Be the wolf, many headed and clawed
Be the ever watchful crow

A thousand blessings in my name
I am the old one, my name carried on the wind
I am the fire in the hearth and in your belly

A thousand blessings upon you
And a thousand blessings more

Awen Clement (c) June 2017

***

If you feel called to join us for this years retreat – The Queen’s Vigil – follow the link for details and do be in touch with any questions.

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Answering the call

The first time She comes to me, I don’t recognise Her. I see a crow. I’ve never seen one here before. The crow in that place, at that moment, piques my curiosity, and I think, “I’ll come back later.”

I do come back later.

The crow is there waiting. It leads me deeper into a wood of late Autumn birch, leaves a gold and brown carpet on the forest floor. The crow lands on a naked branch above me. It looks down on me, and suddenly transforms.

The crow is not a crow.

She takes me to a cave. It’s empty there, but for us, cool, dark.

She tells me to sing. I sing and there is a merging of time, we are where we are in the dark, and we are in the cave with many women singing, and fire in the darkness.

When it is done, we ascend, and she asks me the first time, “Will you serve?”

I don’t want to answer. Quite honestly, I am afraid. I just want to get away.

I snap out of the journey space into the ordinary reality of my bedroom, thinking to escape.

She’s there, with me. “Will you serve?” This time louder, more insistent.

I don’t want to answer. What answer could I possibly give? I know who She is. I don’t know why She is there, or what She wants with me.

“Will you serve?”

With the force of the question, it’s clear there must be a response. I am silent, and shaking. I don’t want to answer.

And then She says, “You named your daughter for me.” These words echo in my mind. I know that this is true, though when I named my daughter, I did not know that this is what I was doing.

“You named your daughter for Me,”

The resonance of these words hits me like a code unlocking memory, falling back back back deep into time, calling to life pieces of me that She knows, that I have forgotten, an unraveling.

She asks once more, commanding, “Will you serve?”

And I, I find myself answering, speaking from a place beyond who I am in that moment, speaking words that come from me but from a place beyond thought, affirming ancient vows that I have surely made before and even more surely will make again, a gift of memory and awakening.

Anon (c) May 2017

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Cord Cutting, Web Weaving, and the Morrigan

One of my first experiences of the Morrigan was when She came to put right a pattern in my soul tapestry, one that I’d been working with for some time, but was stuck on – a strong pattern of mother-daughter violence that ran painfully through my personal life experience, and my ancestral lines. It was given to me to hold a point of healing for these – and, quite honestly, I was really struggling with it.

I am a healer. I work with the Morrigan frequently in my healing work for others as well as my healing for myself. She is a guide for me (or it might be more accurate to say She works through me), in many parts of this, including soul weaving and soul healing.

Here’s the thing: this stuff works. It works in a big way. It can heal things within us that we never imagined could be healed.

But also, for precisely this reason, this work needs to be treated with respect. It can harm as well as heal, through carelessness or inexperience even when there is no intention to cause harm.

I don’t want to put anyone off from working with cord cutting or any other technique. What I  would say is that if it is something you want to work with – especially if you want to work with it powerfully – take the time to learn about it, and treat it, and yourself, and the cords you are working with, with due respect.

If we have a pain in our bodies, we don’t typically grab a knife and hack away at it (or at least I don’t). Our soul stuff – and the energy lines that run between us and other people and situations – deserve equal care and awareness. Yes, you can grab that knife and hack, but why would you? And even if you did take a knife and cut away a pain in your body, you very well could be causing more trouble for yourself, right? It’s also possible for this to happen with soul and power work.12027276_10204876113278755_9120665887598788752_o

In terms of cord cutting and web-weaving, I’m always learning new pieces. I work with a number of guides, and the subtley and ruthlessness of the work fascinates me. It is an art. Like any art, we can grow into it and come to excel at it over time, with patience and practice.

You can certainly get help with this, (see your trusted local priest, healer, or shamanic practioner), or you can also do it yourself. For all of us, there are times when one or the other option will be most appropriate. If you are brand new to it, it is a good idea to begin with some help or teaching – whether this is from your guides or from another person who is experienced in these techniques (ideally over time you’d have both).

In all cases, here are some things it is worth knowing before you begin:

(1) It is possible to cut ‘negative’ cords or attachments to a person or situation without cutting away all attachment or connection to that person or thing. Often indeed this is exactly what is needed.

(2) Cord cutting works best when it is done under guidance – ideally with a guide who knows about weaving and working in soul tapestries and the web.

(3) If/when you cut cords, do it with the clear intention of working for the highest good of all concerned – send love, blessing, forgiveness, healing energy through that cord before you cut, and cut only in the moment when the balance is right. This is not new-age-y ‘all is love and light’, but clean practice and good sense if you are a healer working with intention (not a dabbler).

(4) You can ask your guides to cut or re-weave for you – sometimes they will. Thank them if they do, and follow up with any further instructions they offer.

(5) Cord cutting is not necessarily the first, the best, or the only way to work with a relationship or situation. (My early experience with the Morrigan was not a cutting, but a restoration of power into threads that sent a shockwave through the tapestry, transforming patterns and resonance). It can however be fabulously effective when used wisely and well.

For me, working with the Morrigan, and serving Her, is a living practice. The idea of personal sovereignty underlies and runs through everything in terms of my life and work with Her. Working consciously and consistently within my own soul tapestry and the web – sometimes under Her guidance, sometimes with others, for myself – are a part of this living practice, and a part of the blessing of working from a space of sovereignty.

This time of year is a great one for cord cutting, weaving and re-weaving, righting the balance of things as we move a step closer towards our winter dreaming. Blessings on your autumn cuttings, weavings, and re-weavings.

 

About the author: Rebecca Wright is a shamanic healer and teacher, and a daughter and priestess of the Morrigan. She is one of the founders of the Call of the Morrigan Facebook group, and this blog. Come and meet and work with her at the Call of the Morrigan UK retreat.

 

 

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