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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Maiden

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Receiving my Wings

When a Native Canadian man once told me that my animal totem was the butterfly I was initially disappointed. Being short in stature already and having a tiny frame I thought that he was mistaken. He must not have fully connected to spirit and his medicine and was subconsciously  associating teeny me with the teeny butterfly. I knew that inside was ferocity, passion, fearlessness, I was certain I was a cat, a tiger, a spider, something feminine, dark, mysterious and sexy. When I was given my Native name : Little Soaring Butterfly, I decided it was time to get to know my totem and to open up to the idea that perhaps this medicine man had seen something that I had missed.

 
In my study of the butterfly there were a few things that I resonated with from the beginning, one was the constant transformation that those who have or work with the butterfly totem experience in their lives. Being a Scorpio who is constantly digging, unearthing, discarding and rebuilding, my life has felt like a continuous construction site undergoing transformation after transformation. Another aspect that I resonated with was the blessings that the butterfly totem leaves behind her as she moves, with each flutter of her wings the butterfly sheds iridescent scales, leaving a path of light wherever she goes. This concept inspired me and was in alignment with the path of Grace that I follow, the idea that I need not do anything but rather that I can be the presence of spirit and bless the world that I encounter provided I remain in alignment with the Goddess within was one that I endeavoured to live up to already, the visual of leaving scales of light behind drew the butterfly spirit deep into my very own heart. When I learnt that a beautiful butterfly is poisonous to the predators that catch and eat it I knew that I had indeed received the correct totem. A tiny, cute, transformative being that sheds light but is deadly if attacked, I could get on board with that.
 
The transformations that have occurred throughout my life have been of varying degrees with varying affects on my life, intensive eye surgeries as a child created massive transformation in my resilience and maturation process. Loosing jobs and having newer and better opportunities show up at just the moment I needed it have strengthened my faith in Grace. From getting sober to breaking up with my boyfriend, varying degrees, varying results, constant shifts and transformative growth have been a mainstay of my life.
 
The butterfly totem had been showing up in my life as transformative experiences and opportunities to grow and to evolve, however the butterfly herself is a completely transformed being, she doesn't just go through an ordeal as a caterpillar and become a stronger or wiser caterpillar, she actually becomes a completely different being. I hadn't had that experience, I had had some close experiences where it seemed as though who I was was morphed and about to become a new being, yet in actuality I was becoming a more whole and integrated aspect of myself. I didn't desire to become a new being because on this journey I had learnt to love myself exactly as I was. I expected that I would continue on through my life having different transformative experiences and expanding and growing because of them and was content to except that as the way of life.
 
The butterfly totem it seems had a different plan in mind for me and I was destined to not only receive her medicine through life experiences, I was called to leave behind my life as a caterpillar and to emerge as a new being. Much to my surprise it was in becoming a Mother that my total transformation occurred, I went from being a Maiden caterpillar and emerged as a Mother butterfly. When I was pregnant I didn't know that I was in my cocoon and I had no idea that becoming a Mother would be the event that morphed me into a new being. Before this transformation occurred  if I had contemplated an event that could bring me into this all encompassing rebirth I would have guessed at many more deep or seemingly spiritual events that would have done it. I would have thought that it would be one of my many meditations, a moment in a 12 step meeting, during a Goddess circle that I was leading or on a solstice or a miraculous event that spontaneously dawned upon me while out in nature, I probably would have guessed anything besides becoming a Mom. Doing what millions of women do every day and giving birth to a baby would not have been the spectacular event that this Priestess would envision as her moment of becoming and yet here I sit in a new state and as a new being 15 months later.
 
I hadn't recognized the total transmutation into another being that I had become at first, I was mired down in diapers, breast milk and indescribable awe and intense hormones. In fact it wasn't until I returned to my hometown and my parents house that I knew, not only had my daughter been born anew, I too was a new being. 
 
My hometown is a tiny, sleepy city that was wrought with bad memories, dense energy and family systems that seemed so toxic I was certain I would stay away forever, never did I imagine that I would ever be present for very long with my precious Maiden. 
 
As I walked through my hometown the spots that held memories of deep pain and shame and a reality that today is like a distant nightmare were simple plots of land, free from any energetic ties that once held me. I walked a free woman any place in the city. At home when family members behaved in ways that hooked me in the past I found myself responding as any outsider would, with interest a bit of mirth and walking away when the dynamics began to feel tense. I wasn't tied to how they acted anymore, I didn't internalize it as a part of me or as being caused by me.
 
I am free. I see my family as beautifully human and real people, they are no longer demons that have cut me and damaged a part of me irrevocably, they are raw and real and forgiven. I watch my daughter fall in love with them, she senses their blood and is at home in her tribe when she is around them. I watch as they carefully apply principles that they know we uphold in our home, so nervous that one wrong move will take me and baby packing, across the country, far from home, where I've been for the past 10 years now. I love them and I honour them and I stay with them when they are human, I no longer punish them for their past as I have been freed from mine and pray that I never hold another person in bondage to theirs.
 
I in no way believe that having a baby just busted open the doors to freedom, gave me butterfly wings and erased all of the pain from my past. I know that the intensive work that the path that I have walked has laid the foundation for the opportunity to fly, I just had no idea that Motherhood would be the catalyst to receiving my butterfly wings.
 
As a Priestess the cycles that we dance through as a woman moves me deeply, I am a firm believer that a woman needs not ever birth a child in order to move into the Mother stage of her life. I chose with the magic of the Goddess and the commitment of my Beloved to become a Mother, for me childbirth was the door to the Mother phase of my life. However I've always been connected to my Mother self, even as a young Maiden I was called to care for and to nurture, my artist births babies through my creations, I have been Mothering my entire life. The switch into Mother as the primary role came with the birth of my daughter. If it is not childbirth that is your doorway to entering the Mother stage of life it will be something that moves you deeply, opens your heart wide open and lights your life up in ways that you have never seen before. When you enter your Mother stage of life you will be compelled to nurture, extend, care for and Mother all. This may not be your transformative moment though, it was mine but each of us have a unique blueprint to our soul's walk along this spiral path of the Earth~bound experience.
 
As the majority of the Western world celebrates the coming in of a new year and releases the old I encourage us all to walk towards transforming who we are into new beings, free beings, beings that are released from the bondage of who it is that we were taught to be. 
 
I encourage those of us walking a conscious path to explore the animal totems and to find the one that resonates with who you are, to take stock of your life up until this point, honouring the dark nights of the soul, revelling in the bright lightness of the highs that you have sailed upon and being open to the revelation of what your next step is to be. As we all transform and are released we raise the vibration that is being held on Mother Gaia, we make the way lighter and easier for all of those in this reality. Many, many souls are being called to leave this realm and many souls are re~entering again, let us raise the potential for global transformation to occur through our own personal work and surrendered walking into 2015.
 
I don't know what your transforming moment will be. In hindsight I am not surprised that becoming a Mother was mine, it was the moment that I began to be an expanded self, I was no longer an extension of my ancestry, I became a link in a chain that extended beyond myself and this has caused me to be more giving and altruistic than I ever could have been based upon morals and values alone. As I tend the life that came through me, that will continue on after me, that carries the blood line of my Grandmothers and myself I begin to serve in a microcosmic way the way that I am called to be to the entire macrocosm. For me it truly does begin at home and my personal goal is to go out into the macrocosm treating each being as if they are the child that I have birthed, for beneath it all we are all innocent children walking the most integral path that we can in this given moment. I endeavour to be the Mother Goddess to her children upon this Earth and give eternal thanks to my daughters soul, she chose me to birth her and has given me my wings. 
 
I will soar into the next year and hope to have many sisters and brothers by my side.
 
Many blessings from a fairly new Butterfly to you and yours.
 
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly.
 
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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Humility of Surrender
Eleven months in, I am one month away from a year, a full year. One year since the freedom to go and to do whatever moves me left. One year since I could choose what I ate, when I slept, when I woke, what I listened to, what I watched, what I wore and when. One year is just around the corner and I couldn't be happier.
 
It's been almost a year since I walked through the veil of transition between Maidenhood and Motherhood.
 
In my typical Scorpio fashion I have jumped in full force, straight into the deep end. She is yet to be 'babysat' by anyone besides my husband, she sleeps with me at night, on me to nap, my breasts are forever at her disposal, we are pretty merged, my Maiden and I at this point. It seemed the most natural way in the world for her and I to be together at most times, it feels as if a part of my insides was birthed outside of me while remaining a part of me. Like I gave birth to my heart and now I hold her as close and as dear as possible.
 
Despite this energetic vortex that envelopes the two of us, somewhere throughout this year it became apparent to me that I was going to need some downtime, this need developed into a routine known in the evening as 'Daddy/Daughter' time, this is my time to unwind. When we decided, my husband and I that downtime was very much a necessity for me, the vision that I held was of me knitting, reading, writing, meditating, napping and drinking tea. I'm happy to say that at 11 months this is pretty much how my sacred space looks 80% of the time.
 
Daddy/daughter time didn't begin quite so crisp and clean in the beginning months for me, it began quite secularly, those nights definitely weren't my pride and joy at the time. In hindsight I now see how much I gained from them, the humility and the permission to be human, to be a mother that was not a cookie cutter of the 'Domestic Spiritual Goddess' that I was holding up for myself to attain.
 
Daddy/daughter time began with me addictively watching TV series and eating potatoe chips (often they were organicish) and drinking pop (cane sugar instead of white....) getting as many "ep's" in as I could and fervently escaping into other worlds. I posted on my personal Facebook page asking for more show recommendations when I had devoured Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey, The Tudors, Boardwalk Empire and finally Orange is the New Black. My Priestess sisters, energy community and homesteading friends suggested some nice healthy mindful practices rather than T.V. They had the same vision for a healthy, full time to self that I had had. I just wasn't there yet. I felt myself slink away from announcing my dirty little TV and snacks habit and just sank even further into the couch cushions. I sank and I feared that I may have lost all of who I thought I was. I wondered if I was going to loose my Priestess self, if I was going to be a Stay-At-Home-Mom that didn't write, hold circle, offer services to others and ate junk food and watched T.V.  I'm so appreciative that I allowed myself to sit and eat. I'm grateful that I didn't push and that I was were I was and allowed that to be okay. These months humbled me, they revealed my humanness, not only in my need to take time for self, but in my ability to experience a little sloth without loosing my soul or my calling in the process.
 
I learned throughout my development as a Priestess, that nothing, absolutely nothing is as powerful a principle in the life of a Priestess as humility.
My mentress, the Priestess Aquarius, would teach me this during every learning session we spent together. "Above all Candise, a Priestess must be humble," she would tell me during my training. It was these words that followed me when I fell into a depression during a 'dark night of the soul' three years back. Similar to, yet nowhere close to as dire, this dark night of the soul mirrored my surrender into the couch potatoe phase that I have just been through. Both of these situations called for me to fall into what was and to allow myself to be in those moments, to let go of what I thought life should look like and to flow with the River of life. My dark night of the soul began when a man who has lived this lifetime shrouded in darkness, one who had wreaked havoc on my life when I was a young Maiden re-appeared in my life temporarily three years ago. I fell to pieces as years of frozen and unacknowledged trauma rose to the surface. My first response was to 'spiritual leapfrog' through the pain. To skip over the pain, to deny it, to spiritualize it away, simultaneously I felt myself teetering along the thin line of self-destruction as my old wounds promised to take me over the edge and back into the black abyss of self-destruction that I had lived in once long ago. In that moment of choice a silent clarity descended upon me and I made a deal with Goddess, I said to Her, "okay, I'm going to fall apart now. I'm going to feel everything I didn't feel when I was abused so many years ago. I'm going to fall to pieces and I'm not going to rush to come back together, I'm just going to let it happen and I need You to carry me through this." And I did. I just fell completely to pieces. For one full year I did little more than make it to work, the rest of the time I cocooned on the couch, I barely ate or showered, I went to trauma therapy and fought the voices in my head that argued that therapy wasn't as evolved as breathworks, meditations, Shamanic journeying and communal circles (all of which I also attended). My world turned black and I wasn't sure I would ever see colour again, my pride was stripped away from me and I flowed along the river of despair until one day I was delivered to the shore. I stepped away from the river integrated, more whole than I had been before I fell apart and I was gifted with experiences that I could offer others on the shamanic path. Suddenly I had less 'answers' for others and more experience to share in. This was the heavy pill of humility that I swallowed and this experience has taught me that being real, being human is worth more than any shiny ideal of a spiritual woman that I could try to fit into could ever be.
 
So I fell into my couch once again, though this time out of burn out rather than despair and I just watched as much TV as I could, I trusted the process despite my very alive pride that yelled at me that I was loosing all of my Priestess self in this year of Motherhood. I struggled with my 'Superwoman' archetype that had envisioned me baking, cooking from organic scratch, writing, knitting, sewing, visitng friends and humming a merry tune all the way through. I judged myself, harshly, after all I only had one little baby. I had so much help from my husband. I wasn't working. She slept great. So what was my problem? Simply put I was drained. In the Waldorf tradition of thought, which is rooted in anthroposophy a woman's child is under her 'Madonna Cloak' for the first three years of life. Energetically my Maiden sucks up as much of me as she can and I need to reboot. So I sat. And I watched, and I watched and I snacked.
 
Until...
 
One night when my Beloved and my daughter returned from their Daddy/daughter time I realized that I didn't feel rested and rejuvenated as I had before, I felt saturated in surface level noise. My deep need to fall into unconscious media/junk food bliss had passed, naturally. I had trusted the flow and eventually I did loose my desire. I took at trip to the library, I took out a magical novel. I pulled out my knitting. I picked up doll making instructions for my daughter's birthday and I began to be what I had envisioned, a Priestess filling herself up with art, crafts and inspiration. It was the perfect example of being a modern day Priestess for me, finding the balance between nurturing my soul and honouring where I was. When I surrender to what is and I follow the flow of the Mother I can trust that it is okay to be human and it is okay to be other than how my ego self wants me to be. Shortly after I received my first 'energy session' client since I had been pregnant. My Beloved packed my Maiden up for their evening time together and I saged the healing room/nursery. I lit candles, I grounded down and opened up to the inflow of the Goddess and worked with the woman on my table. I felt exhilarated. I felt deeply connected to me. I saw that when I trust, when I surrender. I can have moments of least resistance that look less than evolved to me without loosing my sense of the magical, my connection to Source.
 
A Priestess is a conduit for the worlds, Heaven, Earth and all of the realms in between. It's okay to enjoy some of this Earthy realm. I didn't know this. Not for a very long time. It has been a pleasure being able to just unwind and relax some of these high standards that I've held for myself.
 
That is perhaps one of the greatest gifts beyond my Maiden that has come of my transition into the Mother phase of life. Letting go of everything that I thought I knew. In the morning I get no more then 10 minutes of my much desired yoga practice in. For months I would go from pose to pose with this sense of wound up anticipation, at what moment would she start to climb on me, fuss for me? How long could I yoga for?! Until one day truth descended. It doesn't matter how long my practice lasts, it matters how present to the practice I am. I began to bring full awareness into my warm up, giving thanks for the opportunity to do just one cat/cow if that is what that day's practice offered me.
 
Amidst the changes, feeding, singing, playing and cleaning I have found that while my time for self has lessened my presence with self is increasing. A new joy and appreciation for the freedom to choose what I engage in matched with a reverent focused sense of receiving as much as I can out of the moment has offered me a more zen like approach to my life than I have ever had. The years worth of books that I studied and the hours of meditation have all brought me to this. An awakened, living presence of the everyday interspersed with moments of spiritual practice.
 
Eleven months in and I have begun to transform in ways that I had never imagined. I look down the spiral path in front of me and stand in awe and wonder some days. I look behind me and see what the years of the Maiden taught me, freedom, authenticity, love, romance, adventure, exploration, heartache, delusion, confusion, mistrust, enchantment, awakening, passion and blossoming. In front of me I see the winding road of Mother, I wonder who it is that I will discover myself to be as I continue to walk further into this phase of my life. I wonder about the humility that is almost enforced upon my ambitious soul as I surrender myself in service to my family. I wonder about the woman that will walk from the Mother phase into her Enchantress years down that spiral path, Goddess willing. I watch other women now, women who are well along their Mother phase and beyond, I listen to them, I want to know what it was like for them in their different phases of life. I am so curious and so nervous (not knowing is not an easy place for me) and so excited to see what this sacred path will revel to me.
 
Eleven months in and I'm finally at a loss for words.
 
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace
Candise Soaring Butterfly
 
 

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Candise
    Candise says #
    Michele, thank you so much for your relating, reading and honouring of this path. It is such a joy and a relief to know that there
  • Michele Murphy
    Michele Murphy says #
    I loved this! I really love the authenticity of it and the acceptance of times when we don't live up to our idealized selves. As
  • Candise
    Candise says #
    Thank you Leisa, it's been quite the blessed ride
  • Leisa Reynolds
    Leisa Reynolds says #
    great insights. i enjoyed reading your article.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Magic of Mackinac

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    I don't miss the winters, either! Back in the last century when I was at Northwestern U, my folks had a summer place in Lake Ann.
  • Jen McConnel
    Jen McConnel says #
    Ted, that sounds stunning. I've never experienced Northern Michigan in the winter; I grew up in mid-Michigan, and then taught in t
  • Michelle Simkins
    Michelle Simkins says #
    That IS something I miss--the hush of the woods in the winter! My parents owned five wooded acres, and I grew up traipsing through
  • Jen McConnel
    Jen McConnel says #
    Michelle, my family had wooded land, too. There's nothing like being alone in the forest as a child to encourage a belief in magic
  • Michelle Simkins
    Michelle Simkins says #
    I grew up in Harbor Springs, Michigan, and went to prom on Mackinac Island. I never learned the native lore about the island--clas

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Imbolc, though most often observed on the first of February, approximately half-way between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, is more than a a1sx2_Thumbnail1_Brighid.jpgcelebration of a day. Historically it marks the season of lambing and lactation in the ewes – the old Irish Imbolg meaning in the belly, and the medieval Oimelc, meaning ewes milk. In this respect, Imbolc is a season and the heralding celebration was often observed as much as two weeks before or after the beginning of February.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Grail Mysteries

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Hecate's Call: The Longing of the Maiden

I call to you at the
Newness of the Moon.

I wait at the crossroads
And, call out in longing
For you to ask of me what you will.

I stand clothed in the promise
Of guiding you as I light the way.

I wait and there is only the
Sound of my own longing to
Enliven and stir within you
The drive and will that sets
You upon your path.

I am cloaked in the darkness
But those who have the
Courage to call to me
See the truth of my hidden
Light that burns brightly

With the Divine spark of youth.

This post is the first of three about the Triple Goddess Hecate and her gifts expressed through the face of Maiden, Mother and Crone. Hecate is the Greek Goddess of the Underworld; Queen of Magick and daughter of the Titans Perses (God of Destruction) and Asteria (Oracular Goddess), from whom she was gifted with rulership of heaven and earth. She is most noted for her place of guide at the Crossroads carrying the flaming torches that light the way for gods and mortals. My intent is not to provide a full history of the Goddess (there is a plethora of information to be found), but rather to provide my personal experiences with her.

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Alone in the Dark?

The past few weeks have found me focused on a personal project of connecting to the lunar energies.  As a practicing witch I have worked with the lunar energies regularly for many years.  I have worked ritual, written poetry and offered up praise to Her in all of her phases.  So, it would seem that my connection is very deep already.  The beauty of this Path, however, is that there is always something more that can be learned.  Something new that can be experienced and a deeper level of knowing that can be brought into your work.  

I have been on a mission to fully experience the energies of the Moon in all of her cycles and through the lunation of travel through the Zodiacal Wheel.  Having a good working knowledge of astrology and planetary magick helps this journey, but the intent of connection to the phases of cycle is not dependent on it.  I am also an Air sun sign, so analysis comes more readily than the emotional and feeling nature.  This is precisely why I felt this work would be very productive. 

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