Pagan Paths

It’s a common thing to hear that there’s a difference between our magical lives and our mundane lives. In reality, we have the ability to step into ritual and devotion each and every day.

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In The Belly Of The Goddess

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I remember the moment, the exact instant when Her name was called and She was there. She stood behind me, wrapped Her enormous feathered cloak around my body and completely engulfed me. There's no describing what happened next, except to say that I lay inside of Her for an interminable length of time. I could clearly see the ritual circle and the flames of the bonfire and the other participants going through their own processes, and I was also somewhere completely "other".

For the next three days, I walked between the worlds. I was absolutely present in this world, interacting with people, eating breakfast, making perfect sense and able to carry on conversations about toilets or whatever mundane topics we were discussing. I was utterly not present too; or maybe it's better to say I was also present elsewhere. And She was there too, as real to me as anyone I'd ever met.

I'm not sure there's actually a word in English that actually captures it quite well enough, perhaps it is "intimate" or "harrowing' or "ecstatic" - but when one calls to the gods and they come it's like no other experience. In Welsh the word might be "Awen".

It's been a long time since that first call. Every once in a great while She comes again, usually when I least expect it. I'm learning that the calls of the gods are rarely convenient for we mere mortals. This past twelve months has been a year of challenges. It been a non-stop parade of deep sorrows and of great abundance, a year of needing to shape-shift constantly, a year of not always knowing if there was solid ground or quicksand below me. And frequently, the ground has truly been far from solid.

This is how She operates. In a flash, She is greyhound snapping at my heels or an otter reaching out with sharp claws or a hawk coming at me with sharp talons. Just when I think I've outrun her, She engulfs me and once again, I'm in the belly of the goddess. Helpless but safe. Terrified and relieved. Changing but I don't know into what. 

In re-reading this out loud out to myself, I sound melancholic.I'm not, but I am weary. Being chased by a goddess whose mantra is "Change or Die" is tiresome at best, downright sadistic at worst, but what lies ahead is always fascinating, always an adventure, always more than I could have imagined.

It's not uncommon for me to pull back at this time of year. In fact it is actually a practice I have cultivated. It's about self-care and restoration and putting myself first, which is something I tend to forget to do on a regular basis. So for the next couple of months, I imagine I'll continue to stay within myself, within her, with her. Until it's time for the next iteration of a Gwion to emerge.



Last modified on
Tagged in: 2015 Ceridwen Reclaiming
I've been a practicing witch and ritualist within the Reclaiming Tradition since 2003. I love being in service with this community of witches and world changers.   My own practice, my own way of changing the world is through devotional practice. It's my belief that we can re-enchant our lives by re-framing the so-called "mundane" as sacred and divine. By imbuing the familiar with a sense of wonder and infusing daily life with acts of magic, we choose to consciously make all of life devotion. Whether we engage in large, public rituals or sink sumptuously into the pure ecstasy of eating a delicious meal by ourselves or meditating at sunrise, our daily rituals can draw us back into harmony with the world and each other.  


  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham Friday, 20 November 2015

    Yes. Weary but not melancholy. I remember my own year like the one you've just had - sometimes it echoes back on us (it did for me this November). But as the pain is released and transformed/composted by The Divine (and a lot of hard work on our part) we are left with the wisdom and strength. Blessings on you my dear as you emerge wiser and stronger from the trials, and you are a blessing to others as we travel this spiraling vortex of life.

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