Thank Goddess Mabon is here and the space to pause, evaluate and begin to harvest is upon me.
This Mabon the theme of work is calling to me and while I feel work’s call I am taking the time to reflect upon all that I want to harvest as the wheel of the year turns.
The summer was so much more of a blessing and joy than I had ever imagined it could be. In fact, as the spring drew to a close I was panicked about the impending summer. One hormone addled night I begged my husband not to go back to work,
“I can’t do it, I can’t do it, I’ll go to work, you stay home!” I pleaded. I knew that I wouldn’t actually go back to work, because I had a then two month old and three year old at home, however I was in the midst of a three week intense postpartum depression/anxiety that I had no way of knowing would be lifted as quickly as it was. I had just walked through a traumatic birth and NICU stay and it looked as though this new baby that I had had a terribly rough and complicated pregnancy and traumatic birth with was becoming colicky. Of course it made sense that she would have colic, there so much stress surrounding her coming into the world, and while it made sense it didn’t make trying to cope with her intense unhappiness while I was in the pit of depression any easier . There was no way that I could conceive of getting up each day, not knowing when my husband would return (his hours are sporadic and long in the summer months) with a potentially sleepless night behind me to try to keep my poor three year old who had once been the centre of my world, happy, while I tended a miserable baby and coped with a soul crushing sense of dread and panic on the daily. When I would awaken with a panic at the prospect of the summer months ahead of me, the words “I just have to make it to September,” would go through my head, September marked Estrella’s six month birthday and I knew that from six months onwards babies became more and more fun, and September was the month of my beloved autumn season.
As I prepared the best I could for the inevitability of the months ahead I did what I do, I dove in to find support for my soul and my spirit while simultaneously making sure I wasn’t trying to force a change, years ago when I entered trauma healing therapy I found that surrendering to what is while walking towards truth and love worked much better than my iron hard will trying to force my inner state to shift.
I talked with my mentor and she prepared me Liam Neeson ‘Taken’ style, “Candise, this is not going to be fun, this will not be easy.” Okay, I breathed in and tried to suck it up. I remember calling people crying and saying “I just don’t have anything to look forward to.” I went to a homeopath and I made sure that I let my doctor know that I was pretty sure I had developed postpartum depression/anxiety. I am someone that works with both western and alternative medicine and I was not going to let something potentially dangerous go unwatched. Finally there were three things that I felt really shifted for me, they sound way too simple and I don’t think they are a recipe for change really, I believe it was just how Source was able to guide me where I needed to go. The first was an exercise that I did from the book Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender, David Hawkins exercise was to help me get clear about what I wanted to intend and then I was to surrender it fully. He says to write it down and then let it go completely, to let go of even wanting it to happen, it reminded me of when I used to use a God Box. Here is what I intended and then let go of, letting go was very easy as my list seemed an impossible dream when I wrote it:
Estrella, Gracious and I sleep deep and peaceful and long.
Estrella gas is cleared (it lasted a year for Gracious so I felt doomed it would for Estrella too).
Estrella is calm, happy and easy.
I am full of energy and joy.
I can’t stress enough how impossible that list seemed, Estrella was never, ever happy, and I was drained, depressed and felt lower than I ever had. It was what I most wanted for the summer but I was sure it would never be. The second occurrence that sticks out to me, happened one day when I was in my prayer room, I gave my postpartum depression to the Holy Spirit, ****** I am going to qualify this before continuing on, reminding anyone who might read this that I had talked to my doctor at this point, I had a follow-up appointment made and I was willingly going to be monitored in the entirety of my postpartum, I in no way for myself or for anyone else advocate trying to take on something as serious as postpartum depression/anxiety with spiritual tools alone, there are many support areas, this is just what happened for me while I was already being supported.***** I didn’t feel happy or lighter after that meditation, but it has always stuck with me, I did feel something and I believe that the Holy Spirit entered as soon as I invited Her, the third occurrence, as cliched as it may sound is that I took a rock when I was on the shore of the Great Lakes, gave my postpartum depression to it, remembering what Carl Jung had said about the Ocean being deep enough to receive all our deepest wounds and unconscious and threw that rock into the Great Lake. Soon after we saw the homeopath again, I had the address to a postpartum support group ready to go, and then you wouldn’t believe what happened, Estrella went through a two week growth spurt where she did nothing but sleep all day and night. Alejandro had a lot of rain days and was called off of work so I caught up on my sleep and by the time the summer rolled around my colicky baby was the happiest baby I have ever seen and easy doesn’t come close to describing how peaceful caring for her is. We now refer to her as our little puppy dog, she is like a completely different baby as far as temperament is concerned.
Her gas cleared up and her and I started sleeping until 8 or 9 every morning, Gracious would come and join us in bed around our wake up time and we all had long, restful nights. As I began to get sleep and my baby became happy my postpartum lifted, I began to feel tapped in again and when my gut (no pun intended) began to nudge me in the direction of probiotics I contacted a friend and got into a gut healing regime that literally catapulted my energy and my happiness. By the end of June, the entire list of what I had hoped for had come to fruition.
The summer, the season that I like the least, was like a dream. The girls and I fell into this sweet rhythm, nature walk in the morning while the baby napped in the stroller and Gracious got exercise, long, long afternoon nap in the afternoon for Estrella while Gracious and I rested, tidied and played, followed by an evening nap that Alejandro often took the girls out for while I had some downtime, Women started asking me to do the Goddess Gatherings again, my writing abilities increased and more than anything, my spiritual life deepened and my joy quotient expanded further than it’s ever been.
I have always identified with the dark, the mystery, quiet, reflection, being able to integrate joy, peace and energy into the dark, quiet mystery that is my home has been such an amazingly surprising experience. What I am harvesting this Mabon is an awareness that the other half of me, the light, energized, active part of me feels good! I have avoided this side of myself for years because I had a proclivity for burn out, anxiety, over doing it and any extra light or energy easily tipped me over into a field of mania. I didn’t know how to channel the energy of being energized and I couldn’t reach joy because I buzzed past it into anxiety.
This past season though, I touched the peace in joy, the bliss in being energized and I was able to enter a new phase of life. That is what I am taking with me into the dark cycle of the year, peaceful joy, happy energy, and a playful zest for life that will support me as I willingly step into the mystery, into the quiet and stillness. Work is abounding for my husband right now, which is great for our pocket books as winter’s have been slow here the past few years, but tough on my Priestessing time, tonight is the first night in a week that I’ve had any continuous time to myself. I’m looking forward to more space to write, time to get out into our small community to attend singing bowls and yoga classes. There is a health show I will be entering to showcase my energy healing, there are Priestessy things on the horizon and I am happily awaiting them, until the time comes, when work is busy and I am at home for extra long hours with the girls, trying to decide on whether a shower or changing the sheets is of more importance because the hours of the day are almost done, I will continue to give thanks for the fact that I am in joy even during these long, domestic days.
At the centre, the balancing point of myself, that is where grace, love, joy and peace reside. When I am busy and life is frantic and when there is space and time, still in the middle lives my core essence, and the more I feed that essence, the more joy I can sustain throughout both the light and the dark phases of the wheel and of light the freer I am, because it is only when I am living from my core that I am living from the inside out, governed by Source rather than circumstance.
Mabon is an outer expression of this inner balancing point within each of us, what is Mabon holding steady at the core of your year for you? How were your summer months? What is on the autumnal horizon for you? How is your Mabon harvest going thus far? I’d love to hear from yo and until then, intend, surrender and allow and let’s watch together and see just how magical this Earth-walk can get.
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly
Beltane is Samhain’s opposite festival, where Samhain opens up the veils to allow the dead to rise and the darkness to descend, Beltane opens up the veils and allows the fey to rise and the light to ascend.
Beltane seems to be the one festival out of the eight on the wheel of the year that I easily miss or discount, at the beginning of May I am either processing the spring anxiety that can come and grab me, or I am just out and enjoying the changing weather and not truly aware of the shifting of the wheel.
The depth involved in Beltane has often alluded me just as the Taurean mysteries often do. Being a Scorpio Sun with a Taurus Moon, understanding both sides of these opposing energies is an important life lesson of mine. Since the dawning of my awareness of astrology and my personal astrological make-up, Scorpio has been the sign that I identified the easiest with, being my soul energy sign and such an intense one it is easy to understand why this would be, Taurus has easily been left as a secondary energy, one that I placed after Scorpio.
I get the depths in mystery, darkness, the underworld, my shadow, my unconscious, dreams and swirling oceans that never end which Scorpio and Samhian encompass. The depths of joy, merriment, romance, love, blossoming, celebration and light magic that Taurus and Beltane encompass have seemed a little too ‘nice’, too ‘sweet’ for such a heavy and intense person as I.
However, as my Goddess path unfolded before me I began to weary of having struggles and challenges be my catalyst for growth and transformation, I began to wonder if joy couldn’t be a touchstone for spiritual growth, I wanted joy to be my new touchstone for growth, I wanted to be so joyful that I was compelled to open even wider, to raise up in vibration even higher, if challenges could be a touchstone for spiritual growth, surely blessings actualized could be as well, couldn’t they?
That idea was my first inkling of what kinds of depths this Beltane day could offer me. The closest I have come to experiencing what I believe the essence of this day holds for us all is when I fell in love with my husband. I always expected falling in love to be a passionate, all encompassing, drink each other’s blood kind of obsessive merging for me. While we never drank each other’s blood, there definitely was that passion and obsession that I had imagined I would experience when I fell in love, but there was also sweetness, lightness, innocence and playfulness, aspects of myself that I hadn’t known since I was too young to remember clearly. Not only could I barely remember those aspects of myself, they were aspects that I had shut down at an early age, aspects that had made me feel vulnerable and unsafe in what was a cruel reality that I first arrived in. When I sat down on my first date with my husband, he and I had a moment where our eyes locked and no words came, we just held each other’s gaze and I felt the air element as my heart chakra burst open wide, in that moment I realized that I had never felt someone open my heart before, all of my previous romantic encounters had been of the second chakra variety. With my heart opening came an instant return to innocence and my husband and I enjoyed a good three years of the ‘honeymoon’ phase, sweetness and light filled our lives and sweetness and light is what I believe Beltane calls up and brings back to Earth each time the Wheel of the Year returns to the first of May.
I have felt far from sweetness and light as of yet, in fact I have felt very dark and heavy, dark and heavy in the way that I did before entering my conscious path. It did not feel like my natural state anymore, yet I could not find my way above water. After a year long pregnancy (one miscarriage followed by another pregnancy) fraught with complications, a traumatic birth, a newborn in the NICU for a week and then what felt like a crushing case of Postpartum Anxiety and a potentially colicky newborn all of the lights seemed to be going out for me. Like the Swamp of Sorrows from the Neverending Story I began to really sink into dread, remorse and hopelessness. I got lost in the past, how joyful I once was, how in love I once was, how free I once was, how much fun my first born and I once had, and down I went.
Finally I got serious about getting out of the swamp. I took the practical steps needed, visited a homeopath, reached out to my women and shared where I was at, called on my spiritual guides, told the doctor, started taking my vitamins and probiotics, started eating very healthy. I also did everything I could to support my emotional, mental and spiritual health. I prayed, meditated, did breath transmutation work, and became diligent about being in the now. I began to feel some relief and then this past week I started to pray that the Holy Spirit would enter my hormones and started to notice a huge shift, these were all hopeful steps in the right direction for me.
Suddenly this morning I woke up, the first one awake in the house, my baby was asleep beside me, my husband and three year old were cuddling asleep in the other room and I scanned my body to find that not only was there no anxiety or dread, there was energy and joy. I breathed it in, afraid to even admit it to myself at first, energy and joy was the last of a tiny list of intentions that I had written for myself during a surrender exercise I had read in the book Letting Go, the Pathway to Surrender, and here I was on Beltane morning waking up with energy and joy.
As I enjoyed a rain day with my husband home from work, snuggled my sleeping newborn throughout the day, took a nature walk and marvelled at the lushness that is life at this time of year with my three year old and celebrated the birth of my ever warm and loving Beltane birthday Mother I knew in a way I have never known before that there is depth in joy, there is necessity in joy, there is wisdom in joy, as deep and profound as any darkness I have surrendered to in my life.
I spent years as a young woman negating the light aspects of life, viewing it as frivolous and lacking in true meaning or purpose, I was scared of the light, unbeknownst to me I wasn’t strong enough to be open and vulnerable in the sweetness and light of life.
Thanks to the Creator for leading me to this path, the many years I have followed the Wheel of the Year has opened me up to the vibrational changes that happen as the wheel turns and Beltane caught me right at the perfect moment, when I was open and raw and desperate for sweetness and light to re-enter my experience.
Today is a new beginning for me, I am celebrating all of the life that has bloomed in my life, my house overflows with young, budding, innocence, two beautiful Maidens at home. New love is flourishing as my husband and I reconnect to our dreams and share our mutual dreams of the future with each other.
Today, on Beltane, I am reminded that an intention of joy serves not only me, but the entire world, I see that on the smiles that are reflected back to me when my three year old sees me light up rather than tense up, I see it in the relaxed muscles of my husband’s face as my daughter and I shout “thank you Mother Nature” out the window, thanking her for sending rain so that we can spend the day with him, rather than nag at him about the money we aren’t making that day. I feel it in the ease with which my newborn curls up in my arms and sleeps for hours on end as she goes through her growth spurt.
Beltane may be the most personally profound of days for me on the Wheel of the Year now, sweetness and light, energy and joy, my newest life intentions, intentions that I plan to see reflected back to me in a sweet and light new world as we continue to evolve as a community of souls. Beltane may just be exactly what our world needs now, it’s definitely what my world needed today.
To each and every one of you,
Merriest of Beltane’s Ever!
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly
artist: Josephine Wall