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
What a light Winter Solstice this has been for me so far. On the shortest day of the year and the darkest night of the year I feel light of spirit, present and full of gratitude. For this dark and broody Scorpio with an often security obsessed Taurus moon, feeling light, present and full of gratitude is not just a platitude to glibly throw around during this festive season. For me, these experiences are a complete transmutation from the state that I have come to identify as self into this new experience of self.
While my ancestors feared the length of the dark and the chill of the cold that this season brought, I feel supported and safe within the walls of our cozy home and surrounded by the vast whiteness that covers our ground. My husband is home for the season and rather than worry about finances like I did all of the previous Winter season, I am soaking up this family time, extra support and slowing down of the year.
This solstice, I’ve been reflecting on how our ancestors faced the fear of the dark, for them this was not a purely metaphoric or symbolic day, it was a very real threat to their livelihood the lack of light and warmth, and when faced with the threat of physical extinction or harm from the elements of this season they created ceremonies, rituals, festivals and reasons to celebrate and gather. They came together, they celebrated the light before it had actually returned, they prayed and danced and lived as if they had all that they desired.
How different our society is today, we are blessed with comforts in the first world countries and yet we are often so isolated, separate and alone in our pain. What would it be like if my instinctual reaction to fear was to gather closer to my community, if I could dance and celebrate the arrival of what I needed before it’s manifested appearance showed forth? What would it be like to be so in the moment that I celebrated life in the lack of the certainty of light, within the dark of the mystery and just revelled in the blessings of what was in that very moment.
It’s so easy to isolate but also to disassociate, there’s Netflix, white sugar, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, downy beds, iPhones, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat for the more social media hip than me, dating sites, online games and on and on the list goes, a virtual overload of ways to get lost in cyber land, chemically induced states of joy or relaxation, flat screened images of people’s best face on a menu ready to be ordered up, there’s more than enough resources to numb our pain at any given moment. We don’t need to feel and we don’t need one another, or so the great illusion tells us, it is so much ‘easier’ in the moment to just get lost in the matrix of distraction.
I don’t know how or why I feel so much more present lately than I have before, whenever a new state dawns on me I assume it’s a tipping point, some bit of work I’ve been walking towards internally for days, weeks, months or years has finally accumulated enough of a vibrational punch to shift me into a new reality. I am experiencing the blessings of presence that I have read so much about and I don’t desire to escape my life, my ups and my downs, I want to be with it all. I don’t feel the need to do any great and sweeping social media cleanse, I just feel more of a pull towards others, towards life that I can touch and feel rather than witness from behind a screen. The temptation to be lost in a realm of distraction has lessened and I suspect it is because life is feeling better than fantasy. While I still process a lot in a solitary way, this doesn’t feel synonymous with isolation to me, Capricorn has come to guide us into the Winter season and Capricorn is the prefect example of a solitary creature that is forever linked to their tribe.
Capricorn, which happens to rule my Feminine self, processes much internally in a solo way, and yet is the matriarch of their community, impelled to gather, share and to guide, she is a perfect example of grounded, thoughtful, connected ancestral presence. Capricorn reminds us to listen and follow the examples of our ancestors and focuses us on how we can give to the next seven generations.
For tonight my focus is on how I can give to the next seven generations in my lineage by being a fully present and participatory member of joy and peace within my family unit. When we moved back to this tiny town a year and a half ago I was hoping for community, slowly that has been building for me here. I have found our first spiritual centre in the area and have been teaching and offering readings, this is the other community that I am committed to offering my presence and joy to, my spiritual tribe, the people of my land, each act of service creates a ripple that extends into the far reaches of our cosmos and I get to be a part of that, what a blessing. Of course I will continue to be mindful of how I affect society as a whole, my two places of intention and focus for this next season will be within my family unit and my spiritual community and I trust that as I flourish in these area’s my presence will be a part of blessing the world around me.
I am closing out this year, and entering into the stillness of the Winter season with the intention to honour the impact of my presence on Earth, in what I say, what I do and how I be in this world, I am committed to not minimizing the importance of my presence here at this time and to also not inflating my ego’s need to create large and splashing expressions in order to feel validated about my importance in the world. I don’t need to fly in as super woman and save any one or lead any cause, I do however need to live from the integrity of my open heart, to offer my joy and my attention and to be mindful of how my vibration has the ability to uplift or to contribute to the density of the third dimensional reality, and that is enough for me. Knowing that I can influence the cosmos by uplifting is enough for this Priestess to feel content settling in for a long hibernation, a still season of self-growth, rejuvenation, enjoyment, peace and surrender.
I hope that each one of you too, find a blessing within the darkness of the Great Mother on tonight’s long journey into the mystery and I hope that this blessing is enough to carry you through the quiet of the Winter months with a sense of peace, groundedness and confidence in your purpose and place here on Mother Gaia. May we all be uplifters and may we all fall into the joy of the present moment, whether it be one that appears dark and cold or full of warmth and light, for as we learn on this transitional day, all appearances shift and change, while what is real and true remains steady and true despite the seasons of our life.
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly
image taken from: https://magoism.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/ldm-dark-mother.jpg
The rainbow broke through the clouds of her mind, it was an illuminating ray of effervescent light, all of the lights combined and the rainbow became a beam of white hot light. The light opened up her mind, her heart, her womb, her third eye, her entire world was titled on the axis of all that she had known in that one illuminating moment.
Years of prayers, meditations, savasana’s, asana’s, listening at the feet of gurus, workshops participated in, tears shed, dark nights of the soul, whole food eating, transformative breath work sessions, therapy, counselling, tantra, years of seeking and digging deeply past the cemented conditioning of the third dimensional reality that she had been grounded down into bursted and she was free.
Years and years of seeking and yearning.
A beam of white light.
And finally she was free.
image taken from: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/a2/ed/eb/a2edeb371e5f0657679ec5e5ebab39b0.jpg
By now if you’ve been reading any parts of my blog you will not be surprised to hear that the Winter Solstice is a very, very comfortable energy to me.
All things dark, wet, cozy, mysterious, magical and otherworldly call to me, a 24 hours that is cloaked with more darkness than any other day of the year serves me just fine.
The timing of this year’s solstice is throwing me off though, where I am it becomes the Winter Solstice at 11:59pm, one minute before the 22, for all intents and purposes we will be having our ceremony tomorrow. Yet this sense of the solstice being split into two days makes my Virgo Mars wonder, when is the best time for our ceremony and celebration.
Today is my wedding anniversary, we had our ceremony in Mexico on Dec 21, 2012, the Winter Solstice, and the day that the world was supposed to end. We believed that the end of the world was a symbolic energetic shift from the ways of the old into the ways of the new, higher consciousness rising up, and soaked up the energetic matrix that we were blessed to be incarnated into through committing to an eternity together.
Celebrating tomorrow means that today can be all about our love.
I have a lot of plans that I am inspired about for tomorrow. In the evening our second ever Goddess Gathering in the small town that we are now living in will be held in the temple in our new home. Last month’s gathering was moving beyond words and really gave me hope that the work that I offer might have a place to land here, sitting in circle with women shapes my soul.
Tonight’s ceremony will focus on our womb space, the space within us that makes us the Grand Receiver as women. Our great void, as the darkest night of the year envelops us we will travel into the dark mystery of our womb cauldrons, creating mandala’s and burning away what we want to release with the burning of our Yule log.
The dark of this year calls to my own mystery, it reminds me of my soul, the part of me that is ages old and has walked this earth for eons. I am my own ancestor when I dive deeply within my consciousness. In this lifetime I also have access to my ancestral lineage, and that is also what we will connect to tonight, the message that lies within our wombs, our ancestors wisdom and lessons to pass on down.
What I feel calling to me is the subject of epigenetic’s, the ability to raise my own dna up and to be free of ancestral conditioning within my blood, I am drawn to deep soul surrender to the Goddess and to a commitment to love unconditionally <<<< (I hate typing that, it sounds so cliched and so overdone to me when I read it.)
A great spiritual teacher once wrote that all truth is intellectual and fairly ineffectual beyond it’s ability to inspire us to go within until it is revealed from within. This past year has been revealing to me all of my unloving responses to life, suddenly responding with unconditional love doesn’t sound trite and cliched, it feels profound and magical beyond measure.
Epigenetic’s, unconditioning, my magic womb cauldron, unconditional love and deep surrender are the essences that I am bringing with me into ceremony tonight, they are my intentions and the blanket that I wish to wrap myself in as I sink into the dark cave of hibernation for this upcoming winter season.
Hibernation is a time for us to be renewed, for seeds to germinate deep within the pit of our wombs and our consciousness, it is the earthen womb of the Mother Goddess that welcomes us back into Her perfect presence to be reborn in the spring.
What will you bring with you into hibernation this winter? How will you welcome back the light and the heat of the sun? The light that returns gives us an illuminated view of the year that has passed. I began last year with a strong focus on trust, it is what I meditated on and prayed on, I wanted a revelation and a settled sense of trust within. I wanted to trust the Goddess and to trust the laws of grace. As I focused on trust the fruits that were revealed are the seeds that I am setting as my intention tonight, epigenetic’s, unconditioning, the magic and power of my womb, unconditional love and surrender are the keys to my sense of trust, they are what taps me into alignment with Source and reveals the truth of grace to me.
What is the sun revealing to you?
I welcome comments on my blog, please share your personal Winter Solstice revelations to me or any inspirational experiences that you have.
I wish you a magical and grounded Winter Solstice and a season of warmth, love and comfort.
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly