My favorite season is underway! I love harvest season and the closer we get to Samhain the more excited I get. Lammas brought many wonderful little harvests. The biggest one being friendship. I struggle with female friendships and to be honest I can’t remember a time when this wasn’t the case. I decided on Imbolc to work on cultivating quality female friends. I planted that seed and went about finding friends by being more vulnerable and open. My natural state is to be pretty guarded so this is hard work. Plus I want quality relationships and not just tons of new people.
I also harvested opportunities. Opportunity was my word of the year a couple of years ago and it has been a long process to bring it about. Finally, at Lammas, I was able to bring in a bountiful harvest of opportunities. I’ve been able to have many new experiences and meet tons of new people. So many doors have been flung open. One of the best parts of this has been traveling. I’m not traveling far out of town but enough to feel like I’m gaining a fresh perspective.
All in all I’m very happy with my first harvest and I can’t wait to see what Mabon has to offer. For Lammas, my husband and I did a small ritual and cooked tons of yummy food. Corn cake is a Lammas staple in my house and my family loves it.
I have purchased my autumn Book of Shadows and I have been writing in it often. I use it to journal about the season and the rituals/spell work I do. I start thinking about and preparing for what I want to let go of at Samhain. I also start to think about and write down words that might be my word of the year next year. Right now I’m leaning towards Ambition, but that could change a million times between now and then. Usually about 3 days before Samhain I become really still and quiet and at that point, it all comes together. What I need to let go of and what word I want to bring into the new year.
I am also reading Dark Goddess Craft by Stephanie Woodfield. It is all about shadow work. I have been chomping at the bit to do some more shadow work but I’ve been putting it off until harvest time. Now that harvest is in full swing I’m ready to start facing down all that lurks in my shadow.
I have been engaging in some deep shadow work. That is why I have not been posting here very often. This work is inner child work combined with present day work. I’m actually glad to be doing this work and I recognize that it is part of the restoration work left over from last year. I feel like I’m nearing the completion of a very long cycle. This cycle has taken me from child victim to survivor to warrior to teacher. I’m finding that at times I feel overwhelmed with gratitude and other times the burden feels so heavy and hopeless. I’m also having one of those moments when I can feel something big coming, but I’m not sure what it is. I’m trying to not let the fear of what it could be overtake me, I’m trying to believe in the possibility that it could be a good thing.
Thankfully I have Morrigan to help me deal with all of this. It is comforting to know that as my bones break and my heart cracks open she is there to help me put myself back together. I’m looking forward to Imbolc and the light it brings but for now, my focus is on dark shadow magick. While doing this work will be rewarding, in the end, it really takes everything I have within me to do it. This means I have to make sure I’m taking time for self-care so that I can be ready for the next battle.
Wish I had something uplifting to post today. This is real life witching. It isn’t always light and love, sometimes it is nitty gritty and down and dirty. For now, you will find me down in the mud, in the mess of my shadow.
I’m going to do some blogging about Samhain and letting go. The first thing on my list is fathers. In the simplest form, my father and all of the things he did to hurt me during my childhood and young adulthood. My father loved me, of that I have no doubt, but it was a very selfish kind of love. I feel like I have dealt with most of my issues with him but there is still a bit of work left to do. There are still ways in which I see his influence in how I see myself and my value. He was the first man to abandon me and because of that time and again I sought to find men who would do the same thing. Within my shadow lurks my father telling me time and again that my value is my beauty and that my intelligence (perhaps the trait I value most in myself) only exists because of him. I’m smart because I’m his daughter, I’m physically strong because he taught me to be, and I’m pretty because he was so handsome. Nothing came to me because of my hard work or because of my thoughts, that belong only to me. With this Samhain, I hope to root out the last of that pain and finally be able to no longer hear his voice in the back of my head. This is deep shadow work. My dad influenced both the things I like best and the things I like least about myself.
After all that it is time to turn my attention to my kid’s fathers. Looking back I see them as choices made from a place of desperation. Both of them brought destruction into my life and they both continue to lash out at me. They have been backseat drivers with regards to all of the work of parenting. Not around to do any of the heavy lifting (or spending) but always there to comment on my appearance and whatever life choices I might make. If the kids had success it was in spite of me and if they had troubles it was because of me. I have made a pretty big effort to remove them from my life, but still, they sit on the sidelines and heckle. My goal is to really let them go now that all of the kids have left the nest. I’m done receiving child support from them and so that cord is cut. Like my father, this is a rooting out of the last remnants of their influence. When they say things about me that are hurtful or untrue it still stings. It may be asking too much for that sting to go away but I’m gonna try.
All this matters so much because I’m stepping into a new phase in my life. No more kids at home and freedom to choose what I want to do and with whom I want to do it. Shadow work is afoot but I’m not worried, with the gods and my ancestors on my side I know I can do anything.
I have been working with the queen archetype for a long time. Something has felt off to me and so now I’m trying to identify where I am being challenged. When I really think about it I have always identified with the queen, sometimes more than others. Being alone so much during childhood caused me to develop this archetype. I was the queen of my life and domain because it was just me and my dog. My parents were mostly absent. I chose how my day-to-day played out in a way that most children never experience. From an early age, I managed my kingdom and took on responsibility.
Now that the duties of motherhood are passing through my fingers I know it is time to move more into the role of queen. For about 5 years now I have been feeling pulled in this direction. The issue is that it never feels quite right. When I look back to other points in my adulthood I can see myself playing the role of queen even if the mother archetype was center stage. So why am I struggling so much now?
So far this is what I have figured out, due to my bad experiences in the pagan community, being in relationships where I gave up my power and raising teens I have lost touch with the queen archetype. Realizing how this archetype is tied to my childhood and that it has been with me my whole life brings into focus why I have been feeling so off lately. When you are not able to fully be yourself, when you are shutting parts of yourself down, then you’re going to feel off.
When trying to figure this all out I had to look at the shadow side of the queen to see if I had taken on any of those characteristics. The shadow of the queen is:
Black and white thinking
Unable to receive
I always struggle with being arrogant, because I am so aware of that I do a good job of keeping it in check. I may be a tad more cold and distant but not to an extreme. I don’t think I have taken on much of the shadow side. I have simply shut down that part of myself. So now the question is how do I draw that energy back to me?
One thing that has been made clear to me as I have studied this archetype is that the queen must be able to receive. Receiving is a tough challenge for me to take on. I struggle to truly receive love and to trust enough to let people help me. A queen has to feel empowered. This is a daily challenge for me, in some ways I feel super empowered and in other ways, it is clear to me that I have given my power away. Lastly, the queen cultivates purpose. This is the meat of my struggles. This empty nest has left me seeking purpose and not being sure of myself in this area for the first time in my life.
Well, I guess I have my full moon work cut out for me! Lucky for me the moon is in the majestic sign of Leo. The moon in Leo is one of my favorite placements. The lunar eclipse is a great time for openings and closings, and it is an explosive time for creativity. Warm up your cauldrons this is a good time to get some work done!
One feature of Mercury Retrograde is the tendency for the past to punch into the now. This has most certainly been happening to me. I have had three or four really disturbing dreams over the last week. They all feature people from the past. Some of them from the waaaay past. These dreams all seem to linger long into the day. I can’t shake them off and that tells me there is something to learn there. I have also been experiencing some pretty big shifts in perspective. Some of these changes would be liberating in a sense, but they would require me to let go of some long-held beliefs. These dreams are nudging me towards holding people responsible and at the same time forgiving them. Maybe I am at a place when I can extend compassion to the person who laid waste to my childhood? This is big shadow work! Strangely, I am not afraid. I learned a long time ago not to run from my shadow. I think I have found the first thing I’m going to throw into my Samhain cauldron.
Have any of you experienced dreams of this nature recently?