Sunday, 2 February 2014

Brighid Blessings One And All

Yesterday I used the broom of leaves, brought in to my home by a friend at Yule, to sweep winter out of the door. I set the altar ready for this morning. Upon it I laid the fresh spring flowers, the metalwork, the invocation, the sunwheel made of straw, the apple, the dish of healing spring water collected from a sacred wall font dedicated to Bree (Brighid) in Bodmin, and of course the Flame.

This morning the storm they called Brigid, with her "three days of torrential downpours" and "savage 150mph gales" seems long gone here in the New Forest ... she swept through leaving a trail of spring light at her feet. Today the trees look skeletal still, but vibrant, poignantly waiting to reveal their buds. The sky is blue and the sun is brilliant.

The maiden has arrived bang on time, for today is Imbolc and today I begin a twenty day honouring and contemplation of the Goddess Brighid. It begins with a ritual bath. Next comes the lighting of the Flame, my prayers and the invocation.

May the flame of Brighid burn bright in our bellies, hearts and minds. May the alchemy of the soul and the tempering of our inner metal be done well in the cauldron and the forge. May the grail overflow with healing waters and love down through our arms and hands, out into the world. May the lantern burn bright in our skull, shining upon our path and inspiring our thoughts and words. May the energy of spring put a lightness in your step and quicken the seeds of ideas.

A Brighid, scar os mo chionn ... Do bhrat fionn dom anacal (O Brighid spread, above my head, your mantle bright, to guard me)

Later today I will join with others in ritual and prayer, crafting and puja, honouring both Brighid and Saraswati, the fusing of traditions as we honour both these Goddesses at this time of year, their energies and symbolisms being very similar. Both of these grand dames are fond of milk, white swans, sacred springs and pools, poetry and books of knowledge. Both have the ability to infuse us with burning passion and inspiration, and basically kick us lovingly, but firmly up the tush and into action ... just as all of nature is roused from wintry slumber and motivated to burst forth by the coming of these white clad maidens.

Brighid Blessings One and All

The Dreadess xx

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Woohoo ... A Whole New Year

I woke up this morning overflowing with thankfulness. Yippeee a whole blank canvas of a year and gratitude was gonna be my first brush stroke. So I spent a few moments listing everything I was grateful for and really feeling the joy of it fill me up. I kept on listing and listing and in the end was grateful for everything .... even the pile of washing up, thank you I have plates. The laundry, thank you I have so many clothes. My car that needs an MOT and probably a whole load of work, thank you I get to chat to my kind mechanic man again. My back up, broken, half working mobile phone, whilst the other one gets sent back again ... what you mean I have two mobiles and I have this on top of running water and food in my cupboards, oh yes I'm that lucky.

Gratitude brings contentment, and I want to feel like that cat that has has permanently got the cream in 2014 ... so I intend to be grateful and there is so, so much to be thankful for. From that place of knowing there is always enough and more, it will be easy and joyful to reach further and further in helping others. And I figure that's a pretty good place to be for a whole new year. So no New Year's resolutions of going to the gym at 5am every morning after drinking a litre of sacred spring water and alfafa smoothie or doing daily yoga on a raw chocolate eco mat ... just a state of being grateful ... simple and wonderful and blessed.

And just think if you have jar like this you will look back on this year with so much gratitude and joy ... thank you to who ever came up with this and took the photie

The Dreadess xx

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Time Out

So ... I've been quiet ...

As is often the way, it never rains but it pours. It's Autumn, a time for clearing and releasing ... add to that a Kali puja to really stoke the fires of big change, facing your stuff and inner alchemy. So yes it rained, it poured and it flooded ...

This last month I have found myself processing old emotions brought to the surface by my grandfather's funeral and the last dregs (at least I hope it's the last, but heh) of old family stuff, letting go of all that was attached to my old surname and embracing all that comes with my new chosen one, dealing with a minor condition that I have had with me since childhood and for the first time really owning it and accepting the affect it has on my life, and dealing with grief over the loss of long treasured friendships and working relationships, and the acceptance of letting go of some huge hopes and dreams. On top of that I hit a financial shit storm, then had landline, mobile phone, computer and internet problems. Then ... cosmic joke icing on the cake ... someone bumped my car.

Now none of that's a biggie in the great scheme of things and my life is pretty awesome, I gratefully know that, but somewhere in the middle of all this I stopped. I wasn't really getting the cosmic joke by that point. My spirits and energy levels plummeted. I had nothing to give. And for a few days didn't even know how to give to myself, let alone anyone else. I wasn't moping, but having few deep down realisations and became the lowest emotionally and mentally that I've been in oh so long. I know when to batten down the hatches and let the processing take place and in truth that's what I've been doing. I didn't answer texts or emails, cancelled appointments, hardly went out, slept, pondered and cried a lot.

One of my biggest realisations was that my practical foundations and infrastructure do not support me. I kind of finally understood that I had started this process of evolving me so many, many years ago when needs must and had built this wonderful life on the messy heap of a broken old one. That did fine for a while, that lovely bit of renovation and restoration, but is nowhere near the strong foundation needed for the extension I've been adding on these last few years. So faced with cracks and a little crumbling, I stripped away the wallpaper and faced my truth. Sort the foundations once and for all, woman.

Finally from this dark space rose solutions, understandings, acceptances and determination. I'm so lucky to have friends that supported me in my retreat from a distance, dropping kind words, love and virtual hugs my way. I'm grateful they understood my need to withdraw.

So I've been out with my internal sledgehammer breaking down walls, digging deep and pouring concrete, laying out the ground work and looking over the architect plans for my vision. I've been meditating and working a lot with my root chakra, muladhara, anchoring me firmly to all the physical. When I first came to this energy work fifteen years ago, it was for me my root chakra that was so in need of repair, all the others too, but root, what root. I was like some insecure, unconfidant little butterfly with severely damaged wings and limited survival skills. This energy centre is what gives us a healthy settled feeling in life, it helps us stay grounded and secure, less likely to blow off course. Those with work to do here will be unable to bring their dreams into reality, ideas floating around them all the time and in worse case scenario be unable to live practically, head in the clouds, difficulties around housing, finances and even looking after the physical body.

The muladhara yantra, a symbol to resonate with our root chakra at the base of the spine and perineum, notice the square, indicating a firm foundation on which to build and the four petals of the four directions and elements. Everything resonates with the physical plane.

So many say to me now that my spirituality seems so down to earth and I'm so grounded, and it's true I am, but as my branches grow higher and higher and my, now repaired, butterfly flies further and further afield, there is always more grounding and root growing to do ... and I think I just realised I missed a bit.

I think for any woman, or anyone, juggling a family, work, day to day stresses, and a rich internal spiritual life it can be difficult with out those ever growing roots drawing up practical wisdom and know how from Mother Earth. So if you too, a bit like me, suddenly find the vision too big and the overwhelm too great, the anxiety around finances choking you at the throat and the day to day organisational skills gone out the window and it all getting a bit cluttered in there, then go and attend to those roots. Go and put in bigger, stronger foundations and spend some time re-jigging the infrastructure of your life so that it supports you and your dreams. The renovation and regeneration of self is a lifetime project and you cannot build a castle out of a hut without doing the groundwork every once in a while.

The Dreadess xx