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’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.
Lughnasadh has come and gone. Energetically it felt like it blew into town with some pretty powerful fire behind it. I did some strong magick, in fact I kind of surprised myself because I have been feeling pretty low energy lately. It felt good to let my witchy hair down and to let go a little bit. My first harvest of this season has started with mint, lots and lots of mint. I am grateful! Mint has long been one of my favorite herbs.
I bought this small memo book to use as an Autumnal Book of Shadows. My intention is to use it to focus my devotion during the harvest season. One thing Lughnasadh brought in for me was a harvest of people and projects. Now I’ve got to sift through it all and decide what should stay and what should go. I am feeling pretty overwhelmed with all of the people clamoring for my time and energy. I have a surplus of projects to work on within the sphere of political activism. This is mostly good, I just have to figure out how to manage it all.
On the Pagan front, I have been meeting with folks and contemplating community. I feel the push of the goddess to get back to work. I will not lie, this scares the crap out of me! I have no idea what I am going to do but I do feel the tick tock of the clock. My goal is to get out to some community events or host one of my own before Samhain.
I have been working with water for a season. I would love to be able to report back that all of my work has been successful. The truth is this is very hard work for me. Too much water makes me feel so heavy and (remember I am a Gemini) not enough makes me feel empty.
Strangely enough, I feel best when I’m working with water solo. I can commune with it in the tub, or at my local park. Alone with water, it is healing for me, but when I start to involve others it gets kind of out of control. Being an empath I’m always trying to figure out which energy is mine and what belongs to others. People with lots of water in their charts can be hard for me to be around for long periods of time. Boundaries, always working on boundaries.
I think the biggest lesson I have learned is that I am simply not built for tons of water. Where water comes into play in my life the wells run deep, but it isn’t where I feel at home. I most want to be up in the sky with the birds or nestled down on the grass with the mother.
For now, I am going to give my water work a rest. I need to bring myself back into balance and what I need most is fire and some air.
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!
The moon is waning and my heart is pouring out into the universe all the things it wishes to let go of. In order to do this great restoration project I’m working on I need to make room. Every month I find things to let go of but this month feels different. I feel so much pouring out of me. Now that my heart is open and not barricaded behind walls I’m finding there is so much there I was unaware of. Sadness, fear, outdated relationships, old ideas, and just build up crap. I’m not afraid to let it all go, in fact, I’m excited!
In my little bowl, I placed all the things I wanted to burn away. I spoke them into the flame and watched them burn away. Softly I sang to myself that it was ok to let go.
Contained within my letting go was rage, sadness, and relief. It feels good to be a witch and to know that I have the power to shape my world and myself.