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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in motherhood

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Remaining Wild and Untamed

I’ve been sober for 16 years today and tomorrow is the sixth birthday of my firstborn child, the magical synchronicity of the timing of that birth never leave me, as each year for the past six now the focus has shifted from self to her.. I feel ridiculously blessed to have a family who have only known me as a sober wife and mother. The woman I have grown into is one that I am proud to be, my priestessing path is serious and real and a precious practice has grown around all that I offer the world as priestess. Being a wife is a challenging and fulfilling spiritual path and one that I longed for for many moons before meeting my Beloved. Motherhood has knocked my socks off, finally I found a space to put the depth of passion, devotion, loyalty and I'll-die-for-you offering that this scorpio soul always searched for. Life is sweet, it is content, it is peaceful for the most part, it is a warm little dream. And so, at 16 years sober, spiritually fit with a loving and full home I took notice when I felt a stirring within the pit of my stomach, a hungry, growling, dangerous, enlivening stir.

I sat with that growl and reflected upon my sobriety and upon the stories that I have heard other sober sisters and brothers share about a beast that some alcoholics claim still lives within them, a beast that always want to drink a beast that will always be there to tear their life down if they feed it. As I reflected upon this beast and felt into my own inner stirrings of wildness I began to hypothesize that perhaps there's no alcoholic beast thirsting for a drink within us sober recovering souls at all, perhaps this sensation, this wildness in my gut was really a thirst for wildness and perhaps this hunger and thirst isn't specific to alcoholics only. 
The world tries to tame the wildness out of us, I see it every day as people wrinkle their noses at my wild maiden's unconstrained expression of emotions, it tries to box us in, to conform us, to quiet us and to dull us. When I think about my years before sobriety I remember the wildness that reigned untamed, complete destruction was the guiding force of my life and there was a thrilling sense of liberation in the lack of utter caring about how I appeared, how I hurt myself, what I did and who knew that I was doing it, all that mattered in those years was my quest for complete and utter annihilation and in those destructive years nothing and no-one could box me in. That was the only taste of freedom that I knew. To this day I make no bones about the fact that destruction is wildness, yet my soul will not be tamed it seems and so with destruction being wildness I have often wondered, on days like today when I feel that hunger stir, if destruction is wild why am I longing for it? Are there other forms of wildness beyond destruction? Can destruction be channeled in a manner that serves through what it destroys rather than ruins all that it touches? Is freedom and wildness synonymous?
These questions are quests in and of themselves, at the core of this quest I believe is a universal need, we all need to be wild and free, we need to be in order to fully merge into our Source selves. The role of the priestess after all is to merge this human experience with the experience of divinity, perhaps reconnecting to my wild self is the bridge that meets human with divine and this is why my soul will not slumber and my thirst remains unquenched.
On my priestess path I have come to the conclusion that yes, destruction can serve, in fact, the Destroyer is an archetypal expression of the Goddess, one that I know intimately as a continuously transmuting scorpio soul. When called upon in sovereignty the Destroyer sweeps in and destroys all that does not serve, rather than being out of my mind unconscious, under the spell of chemicals that my human vessel cannot safely ingest and haphazardly wielding around destructive spells that harm me and all those that I come into contact with, now I can channel the Destroyer within me and direct that energy towards all that stands between my Source self and I. There is freedom in this kind of destruction as it ensures that this world does not wear to closely on me and this destructive force challenges me to evaluate all that I have attachments to. There are other forms of wildness I have found in these past 16 years as well, the wildness of love, the wildness of birth, the wildness of untouched nature, the wildness of authenticity, yes there are many forms of wildness that I have discovered in consciousness and now it is my duty to keep my wildness alive and thriving and to do so in a way that serves humanity rather than adds to it's destruction.
16 years of sobriety and 6 years of motherhood is challenging me to stay wild, to stay authentic and to remain free. There are no social constructs of domesticity, age or gender that will hold my spirit back, when I feel that growl from within the pit of my stomach I welcome it and feed it with a healthy dose of freedom as I call upon the Destroyer archetype that is a part of my Goddess self to burn my attachments away and return to the nature of who I am in the regions of consciousness that remain pure, untouched and uninfluenced by the 3D matrix I have chosen to dive into for the time being. 
I will not allow the constructs that the patriarchy attempts to weave box me in.
I will not allow my wild nature to be tamed.
I will not slumber into unconsciousness..
I will not allow words such as 'sobriety', 'marriage' or 'motherhood' to dull my spark, rather will they be initiatory frequencies that I expand from.
I will remain wild.
I will remain free.
I will remain untamed.
I will remain sovereign.
I will remain priestess.
While we are on this embodied journey together, I hope to run into you, sister, brother, running, soaring, diving deeply around the spiral wheel, free, unfettered and utterly wild.
Cheers to 16 years!
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly 
Image taken from
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The Magic of Pregnancy (or: If You Need Me, I'll Be Throwing Up and Peeing at the Same Time)

Check it out--I'm pregnant with my second daughter! Incidentally, I've been too sick to blog for the past six months. It's worth it in the long run, right?

My first pregnancy was pretty textbook, but this one's been rough. The nausea and fatigue of the first trimester lasted until week 20 or so, at which point my uterus sprouted a new fibroid that sent me to the ER with pain and preterm labor symptoms. Since then, I've been working from home a couple days a week and taking it easy, but my body seems to have skipped over the high-energy period of the second trimester and gone straight to the constant exhaustion of the third trimester.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • The Cunning Wīfe
    The Cunning Wīfe says #
    First off, congratulations! You and I are due to deliver at around the same time -- late August -- and I'm having a girl, too! Thi
  • Tacy West
    Tacy West says #
    I laughed at the first comment "peeing and sick at the same time" which was so true of all three of my pregnancies. Mothering is

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
I have written quite often about the roles of Priestess and Earth Mother and how I balance being a Mother to my own flesh and blood child with the call on my soul to live out my calling as a Priestess.

Many moons ago I would have had to choose a life of devotion as a Priestess or a life as a wife and mother, today the Priestesses in our midst serve their community while fulfilling and experiencing many other roles in their life as well. There are Earth Mother Priestesses, 9-5 career Priestesses, religious Priestesses, spiritual Priestesses, healing, psychic, playful, travelling, hermitted, botanical, activist, artistic, loving, raging, loud, proud, quiet, rainbow hued Priestesses, ad infinitum. The Priestesses role in society has shifted as the tides of humanity have shifted and we are both gifted and challenged with the freedom to practice our calling and magic with the world as Priestess while also fulfilling varied roles in our lives and in the life of our community.

How my identification with my Priestess self shows up in each individual circumstance or challenge is unique and often a mystery to myself, this was most definitely the case over the past month as my pregnancy finished with complications and the first week of my new Maiden's life was fraught with disaster and devastation.

I have personally never questioned my strength, it is one personal quality of mine that, despite vastly dark lows and ridiculously dangerous situations that I have faced in life has never left my side. I have wondered how I would make it through certain challenges in life, and I have wondered if I would ever be happy again, but I never wondered if I would be strong enough to face whatever demon or chaotic moment of life I was in at the moment.

All of that changed on March 8, 2017, International Women's Day.

I had an inkling that things were not going to go as planned, the Goddess has been working a deep lesson through me this past year, that whatever I expect to be the outcome of a situation is never so and that there is no amount of preparing that I can truly do to be able to pre-navigate a situation. So, while I had made the best decisions that I could for my pregnancy, and due to complications, had agreed to a scheduled c-section two weeks prior to my due date, each plan that I laid down to ensure that my daughter have the proper entrance to this world was tinged with a sense of foreboding.

I connected with my guru, Shivani Howe*, and she did a personal reading for me around the entrance of my daughter, much of what she picked up about her spirit, soul and essence was exactly what I had been picking up, I took diligent notes and felt uplifted and excited to meet her, what I didn't add into my notes was the part that she channeled about there being a 'hiccup' after the birth that would begin to resolve itself after the Full Moon which was squaring Saturn that following Sunday; she told me to rebirth her into a bath of flowers a week after her birth. I didn't forget those words for one second during the next week of her and my life, but I didn't write them down, I didn't want them to be true, for I know that what looks like a hiccup on the other side can feel like a downright disaster on this side of the veil, and that is exactly what was so for me.

Although I had done a lot of research (always planning) and had found peace with a scheduled cesarean section, and am actually an advocate for any woman that chooses one now, the process itself was much more clinical and out of my hands than I had anticipated. One of the highlights that became apparent to me the morning of the 8th, and which was to become a theme for the next week of my life, was women. My dear daughter was coming on International Women's Day and I was surrounded by women the morning of my birth. My OB, my family doctor, the nurses, the anesthesiologist were all women of all ages and cultural backgrounds, as my husband waited to be called in to join us for the birth I looked around at a sea of blue clad women laughing, and preparing for the birth of my daughter and thought how beautiful and surreal it was to be in such a clinical setting with such rich women preparing to help me to welcome my Maiden into the world.

Without getting into the gory detail and length of a scheduled cesarean I will fast forward past the glorious first cry of my daughter, the blissful kisses I delivered to her cheek over and over as I whispered "I'm your Mommy," and go right into the recovery room where I had made it crystal clear that I would be doing immediate skin-to-skin and nursing it is that was hospital policy and nothing I had to fight for, but I was prepared to fight for my daughter in my arms, on my skin and on my breast, little did I know what the future had in store for us.

My first daughter had been born one day shy of 41 weeks via emergency c section after a three day labour and attempted home birth, despite everything I had read about the bonding after a cesarean being impeded my first daughter taught me how to breastfeed, the midwife had left her in my arms promising to be right back to show me how to put her to breast, and Gracious wiggled herself onto my breast and didn't really come up for air for the next three years. She was 8'11 a voracious eater and attached to me or her father day and night.

Our new girl, Estrella, was born two weeks early at 7'7 the complete opposite sign and opposite appearance of Gracious. As I held her tiny body against my chest and introduced the breast to her, she confusingly refused the nipple. The nurse gave a little chuckle and suggested she might be tired, I picked her up and held her to me allowing her to rest. I tried again, again, no latch. I asked the nurse if there was any suggestions she had and as she looked up I noticed her furrow her eyebrow, "hmmmm," she wondered if she was struggling to breathe. I looked down at my perfect, sleepy girl and didn't see for a single second what she was seeing. Before I knew it she was calling another nurse into the room who was scooping her off of my chest and onto a gurney to measure the oxygen being saturated by Estrella, "this isn't something we can wait on," the nurse informed us. And like that all of my most hard laid plans were tossed to the side, I had made damn sure that everyone knew that my daughter and I were not to be separated for an instant, something in the back of my soul had nagged at me, reminding me of this odd cycle I've been in where my certainty and hard-lined plans are turned upside down, but I had to advocate for her and I being together. As she was whisked away from me and into the NICU I insisted that the nurse bring me to her, they pushed my big gurney into the NICU so that I could see her momentarily and then brought me to my room where I was supposed to rest for eight hours.

Within the hour I was moving my legs and insisting that I could walk, I was put into a wheel chair and wheeled beside her cot. She had a machine breathing for her and tubes down her throat, it was a nightmare that I didn't realize wouldn't end for an entire week. The story of what happened that week could take up the entire article, however, my focus here is on how I walked through the most challenging time of my life and how this role of Priestess served me in my identification of Mother. To sum up the week that I had I will share that my daughter's breathing only got worse, her oxygen saturation worsened and by the second day the doctor was suggesting she be transferred an hour and a half away to a specialty hospital. She was transferred via ambulance and because I had had surgery the day before I was transferred in a hospital van a few hours later, my husband rushed behind the ambulance to be with my daughter when she arrived. I got a phone call from my husband and a team of doctors (all women again) describing what they wanted to do for my daughter, they wanted to insert a tube into her lungs and administer a substance called surfactant to help her lungs develop and to breathe on their own without sticking together. After asking the questions that I had, I consented to the procedure.

As I had been in our hometown hospital, I continued to beg for her to be put on my skin the moment I arrived at the specialty NICU, because it was a lung issue, nobody could consent to that, my heart was broken wide open, my daughter needed to be on my skin.

Estrella was in this speciality NICU for four days, on the third day she was finally placed on my skin, by the fourth day of life she was ready to come off of the breathing machine, by the fifth day of life she was ready to come to my breast and have her feeding tube removed. She also was transferred back to our original hospital on that day. On the sixth day of life her iv was removed and one week to her birth we went home. The details of what happened and how everything unfolded during that week and the darkness that descended upon me cannot be touched upon in such a simple summary, what I can offer are the lessons that came my way and the miracles that carried us home as a family.

I've written before about my Priestess path being dedicated to Grace rather than to a deity, and how for me that means allowing Grace to unfold my reality for me rather than my authoring the destiny of my story. As a Priestess I am the conduit between the higher realms where Grace originates from and this Earthly realm where it shows forth It's face as exactly what is needed in the moment. For years there have been instances in life that pop up that have challenged my commitment to Grace, instances where I wanted to jump in with manifestation tools, where I wanted to ensure I was the sole captain of my ship, and some of those times I would veer off of the path of Grace, inevitably finding myself in a pit of self will that didn't really fulfill me or feel like my highest calling. Grace called me it seems, rather than me calling Grace. In other instances I was able to stay true to my path and watch as Grace swept in, sometimes immediately and sometimes at what felt like the nick of time to "make the crooked spaces straight" and to reveal to me once again that the Goddess is an energy whose nature is utter fulfillment and joy. This week in the NICU I felt enslaved to Grace, there was not a single part of me that felt I had the power to change the destiny of my daughter and every part of me that felt at the whim of Grace. I was hyper aware that I stay tapped in, in whatever way that I could because what I feared the most was tapping into the medical field of consciousness and being influenced by them rather than by Her.

I had always felt so strong, so powerful, I had felt as though Grace was a choice, but I believed somewhere deep within that if I really wanted to I could will life in a way that would blow everyone away. I was utterly powerless that week, and it broke me. I don't cry easily, usually my tears stem from anger, that week they poured out of a well within me so deep and so untapped that I feared I would float away on them, a broken woman drowning in a salty river of despair.

When I first dedicated my life to a spiritual path it was a purely mystical path, one that gave zero credence to this realm, everything here was an illusion, the great goal was non-attachment and oneness with the All. After a few years of feeling cold and removed from my fellow sisters and brothers, the Goddess found me, in Priestessing I found a way to merge mysticism with Earthy spirituality, For the Priestess everything is both/and rather than either/or. Life is an illusion and it is a reality of the Goddess showing Herself forth as all. In Feminine Mysticism we don't aim to detach from the emotional field, rather do we attempt to fully embrace the energy of each emotion that rises to the surface, ready to embrace the lessons of each hue of energy. The very human aspect of me had resisted sadness for a very, very long time, in my traumatic Maiden years I hardened my sadness into anger and that is how I processed most uncomfortable situations in my life, with a fiery anger. In the Spirit reading I had received prior to Estrella's birth it was channelled that my challenging pregnancy was there to burn away the anger and to reveal what was beneath it, and that during my postpartum period I was to watch for anger, it would be a signal that I was doing too much. The week in the NICU tapped me into my sadness and years worth of unprocessed grief came flooding though, all of the times in my life where I was too scared to feel the vulnerability of feeling as though I had no control came to the surface as I stared at my still baby hooked up to machines and begged every doctor and nurse that I could find to just please pick her up and put her on my skin.

I was certain that if they would put my daughter on my chest, my little Star babe, that I would hold her and her breathing would regulate, I knew a miracle would occur, that is what the higher part of me knew. Yet, the Earth bound part of me heard what the medical team was telling me, they agreed with skin to skin, they wanted her on me too, but she couldn't breathe, any movement would be taxing to her, her lungs had been injected with surfactant she needed to stay still to let it take effect. I don't know if I had insisted and put her to my chest if my miracle would have taken place, that's one of the challenges of the Priestess path for me, navigating the gateway between human reality and Divine reality. I know that if I had ever been told that she was hopeless I would have grabbed her up and onto my chest and not let her go, I know that my husband, for better or worse, has much more trust in the medical field than I do and was very much in favour of following their guidance. And so I navigated the realms to the best of my ability, I bided my time, surprised and disheartened to find that an emotional Mom is still seen as being hysterical at times, my insistence of holding my daughter paired with my silent tears that streamed down my face and my insistence that I stay by her side had put the nurses on high alert and a social worker was called in to talk to me. It was at this time that I realized that women, even by other women, were still being labelled as 'hysterical' for allowing the full range of their emotional expressions to come through. One other area of contention that came up was my insistence on using shared breastmilk from a friend for my daughter, some nurses said it was against hospital policy, some doctor's said I could just write my name on it, the LC said there was no policy about milk shared milk, I spent a whole day going through red tape and trying to have logical conversations about my decision to give my daughter my friend's breast milk as I waited for my milk to come in, my daughter still hadn't been put to breast and so I had none in.

Those three instances, insisting on having my daughter put to skin, talking with the social worker, and opening up a conversation about milk shared milk was an opportunity for me to merge my integral wishes for my daughter with a desire to work with the women caring for her. In the past, when I was fully in the flesh and not working with spiritual principles I would have been fighting everyone and everything, the Warrioress that is alive and well within me would have been barging into NICU's insisting on my way. Now I saw that the Priestess work of being both/and, a Warrioress and a Peacekeeper was being called for. The night after the great milk share debate rang through the NICU I sat in the dark, listening to the beeps of the heart monitor's and the hiss of the breathing apparatus, cursing the smell of sterile oxygen that permeated the room and the words "look for the helpers," something Mr. Roger's Mother had told him as a child rang through my mind. Yes, I decided, I must start looking at these women as my helpers. I prayed to Ma Durga that night, I prayed that if it be Her will I get my daughter to breast. I couldn't even look at the future of coming home, looking too far ahead broke my heart, in that moment what I needed and if it was in alignment with Highest Will was for my daughter to come to my breast.

Praying to Maa Durga was a revolutionary experience for me that week. Shaven was in close contact with me throughout that week. She is very much a devotee of Maa Durga and while I know little about her in comparison I was so desperate I took whatever suggestions she offered. Because my path is the path of Grace I had stopped praying for anything in particular years ago with the sound understanding that all I needed was Grace, yet I had found that my prayer life had been lacking in the past years and one of my intentions for a while now had been to strengthen my prayer life. I found that in calling out in my desperation and asking for help, asking for what I wanted IF it was truly in alignment with the highest will invited Maa into my heart and into my pain.

The next day baby was at breast and those helpers I was looking for became apparent. I sat in the early morning sun with my daughter finally skin to skin as one of the nurses who had seemed the most opposed to me the day before sat down at the beginning of her shift to talk to me. The sun streamed in and shone upon her face as she lit up and told me about her morning meditation, about how I had entered it and how she had reflected on me and my request about the milk sharing the day prior. She marvelled at how well I had articulated myself, told me they hadn't given me enough credit for being as flexible as I had been in conversation and informed me that I had opened up a conversation that was ongoing and could have perhaps been a part of changing policy down the road for other mother's to come. She opened up to me about her path of attraction and suggested that I get to write the birth story of my daughter for her, I could tell her about her traumatic entry to the world or I could tell her about all of the women that surrounded her and cared for her as she entered the world. In the midst of the darkness I had been walking through I began to see a turn around, as I shifted and continued to dig deep for the Mother to help me my outsides began to shift. My daughter had her breathing mask taken off, her feeding tube removed, she was on my skin regularly, starting to nurse, we were transferred back to my home town, things were progressing and at a much quicker rate than I could have imagined a mere few days before.

Despite the progress I was not at rest, in my bones I needed my daughter home, when we returned to the NICU in my hometown it seemed ridiculous to be there at all. I knew she was fine now that her breathing had been regulated, but they wanted to see her eating and gaining weight and so she was placed in an incubator with children months younger than her on either side of her and I was left sitting beside her, vibrating with anxiety, remembering to work with the nurses and not against them and determined to feed my daughter out of the hospital.

In the end my great lesson came full circle, although the Mother had been gracious with me and answered some asked for prayers, my true lesson was to deepen the prayers and to get out of the realm of form, no matter how tempting that outside appearance may be. I did not do it perfectly, I still tried to ensure I was on the good side of the nurses in an attempt to get discharged easily, I still prayed in moments of great sorrow for a quick discharge, if it be Her will, at least I never lost that part of the surrender, yet what my guru kept pointing out to me was that the prayer had to come back to me, my fears, my anxiety and my desire to trust and to surrender. As I walked and navigated advocating for my daughter in the Earth realm and surrendering her to the higher Mother in the realms above, remembering that we were both Her daughters I clumsily danced a Priestess dance until finally we were discharged and sent home.

My pregnancy and the entire birth and postpartum period has shifted my reality and the reality of Gracious, (as is the case after any birth), it has been in this period that I have witnessed myself grieving what I had with Gracious; the simple life with my easy to move and get around body and our long, lengthy cuddly sleeps together. Grieving the past, fearing the future (ptsd remnants of our hospital stay that triggered childhood trauma in hospitals) and remembering how great an initiation bringing a new life into the world is, one that calls us to come back to the present moment, the only moment there really is, and steers us towards peace. When we were in the NICU and I was at my lowest I couldn't fathom even hoping for the future, it was all about that moment, getting through the moment's pain and hoping for the moment, I didn't hope to be home at a certain time, I hoped to hold her that day, or to put her to breast that day, anything further ahead than that simply shattered my mind, I couldn't handle hoping further than a day's length away.

Being home and settling into a new routine I have to call upon that deep present moment awareness, it is in the present that the Priestesses of the past have contacted their greatest power. On one particularly wrenching evening in the hospital I reached out to Shivani and told her that I couldn't be in the moment, it simply hurt too deeply. She encouraged me by pointing out that the lesson I was learning was to love unconditionally, to allow my heart to break open. I felt too ashamed to admit it at the time, but in my darkest moment I just wanted to leave, to pack Gracious and my husband up and to drive the 1.5 hours home. To leave that poor, sad, helpless little baby in the care of the nurses and forgoe any further bonding, I just couldn't conceptualize how I could go down that NICU hallway one more time, smell that sterile air and see that tiny baby who belonged in my arms, in our home, in our lives, hooked up to machines and inaccessible to me. I was shocked at my desire to run and also defeated as I knew that wasn't who I was I couldn't actually leave, it isn't in my make up, but in the dark recesses of my shadow self was the desire to escape the pain. I was there for the long haul and I didn't know how long my heart was going to have to break for. That was one present moment that I loathe to remember, the other present moment's that I remember are the talks with the nurses that were uplifting, the texts from my circle of women that were praying for us, the messages on Facebook from my Priestess group, the presence of my parents who just naturally came along for the ride and stayed with us the entire time. I remember the last day that I was in the NICU and was moved with my baby into our own room, I still had a feeding schedule to 'pass' in order to be discharged, I remember the nurse that I had bonded with over astrology and Abraham Hicks literally milking my breasts into Estrella's mouth and celebrating at her weight gain after every breast feed. I remember her calling the doctor and asking him for the okay to stop with the pumping and top offs, (something I was gong to stop doing at home but wasn't going to push for at the hospital, I just wanted out), the doctor agreed and I spent the final day exclusively nursing, no pumping, my daughter before going home.

In walking through this ordeal I was reminded, through my life experience, that the space where Heaven and Earth meet for the Priestess is in the present moment, regardless of how heavy or light, how happy or sad, the power is in the moment and running too far ahead or too far behind does nothing but bleed us of the power we have to be that bridge between the worlds.

Upon my return home Shivani reminded me that my role here is to remind my children that they are the daughters of the Goddess, that I am here to exemplify faith, trust, surrender and the truth that they are in this world but not of this world. I had been focused on manufacturing a Heaven-on-Earth experience for them and any situation that threatened to take me from them or to tarnish the joy that they had in childhood would make me stand up and fight what was, they weren't learning resilience or faith from me in those moments, they were learning fear and control.

My focus has become the redirection of my focus during these postpartum days, my human self and my Priestess self are not always in alignment. On the colicky days, the whiny days, the never ending nursing on the couch in my pyjama days I forget that there is a Divine role for me during this 40 day lie in. When I can get quiet and still and come fully into the moment I remember, that there is no task too small, too mundane or too challenging for me to call upon my Priestess self. In the evenings I lie down with Gracious as she falls asleep and we pray to the Goddess and the angels, she tells me and her baby sister about the Power that lives within her heart and how the more she breathes into it the brighter it shines, she was reminded of that truth by me. I hold my sweet little Star baby upright as she processes whatever it is that she is screaming out and her watery Pisces eyes focus on mine and we chat, "hi Estrella, it's tough coming down into this body sometimes eh? I'm here with you." And I behold her, I pray, I go deeper into my faith to actualize the truth that she is purely Divine and the appearance of distress is a manifestation of this realm, one for me to help soothe her through, but also one for me to not buy into as the ultimate truth, beneath her teeny baby rolls of snuggly flesh is the living breathing Goddess and it is my great gift to help that inner Goddess to emerge into this realm. Those are the Priestess moments when I am seeking and strengthening my commitment to the truth.

We are a month into our walk as a family of four now, the month began by bringing me face to face with my darkest fears, institutions, separation from my children, the lack of escape from pain and a sense of true powerlessness, from that darkness rose up in me an even more solid connection to who I am as a Priestess. As the month has progressed, the humility of being unknown to anyone but my tiny family as I cocoon into newborn life and give all that I have to caring for my children, marriage and self, has caused me to re-evaluate the true purpose that I have in my Priestess path. It's inspiring and exciting to practice my Priestessing when I can imagine myself on stage speaking to thousands of women, or on the cover of books inspiring millions, but when the same milk stained, crusty pyjama's and the day in and day out of reading preschool aged books promises that no-one might ever know my name as Priestess or as anything greater than Mom, I am faced with my spiritual path choices. Am I on this path only for the potential to be known in a big way? Or am I on this path to deepen my connection to the Great Mother and to the magic in this Earth~bound experience? Thankfully for me, despite the struggles my ego has at the thought of fading into small town obsoleteness, it is the latter.

Birth has, for a second time, revealed to me deeper aspects of myself and reminded me, that there is no situation on Earth that I will face where my Priestess self can't serve to deepen and elevate my connection to Source, to magic and to my Self. My Priestess consciousness is here to carry me through every life experience that blooms in my present moment awareness and for me, that is more than enough.

Until the next milk-addled month, be well and be happy.

Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly

to contact Shivani Howe about her services please visit:
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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Molly
    Molly says #
    I really appreciated reading your story, Candise! Thank you for sharing it with such power, depth, heart, and courage. Blessings t
  • Candise
    Candise says #
    Thank you dear sister, for your words of encouragement and for all that you offer.
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Candise, What a beautiful and inspiring flood of Grace, of story, of love. When you are well-grounded, please feel free to contact

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“…There, he found a piece of glass and began to tell a story. He was telling one of his tribe’s men’s stories. It was a story for boys to become men, and it was not shared with women. The women had their own stories, not for men to know. I read that and thought, no one took me out into the desert; no one told me stories. That’s what I needed, a passing of history and the ways of living, from one man to another.”

–Christopher Penczak, Sons of the Goddess, p. 51

Our oldest son is rapidly sliding into manhood. Creaky voice. Height stretching on a near-daily basis. Fuzz on upper lip. It is hard to hold space for August 2016 096this transition while still caring for a not-quite-two year old small boy as well, one who reminds me regularly of my first baby boy and what it was like to be a mother to only one, focused on each stage of development, each new word, each successful identification of a new color. Now that first baby boy swings that last baby boy onto one hip with practiced ease, washes dishes, helps to cook, pours milk for his sister.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you for this!!!

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My Priestess Journey to Simplicity

A year ago my family pilgrimaged and moved back to the small town that I grew up in. The vision that we had as we prepared for our move was a simplified life that included a lot of family, less work, and lot's of open country side.


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  • Candise
    Candise says #
    Thank you sister!
  • Molly
    Molly says #
    Very much enjoyed this. Thank you!
Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, May 13

The religious icons of motherhood are celebrated. The unique nature of American Buddhism is examined. And seven principles of interfaith communication and cooperation are described. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on news about faiths and religious communities around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

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What Does Mother's Day Mean in a Patriarchal and Matricidal Culture?

When we seek immortality or spiritual “rebirth,” are we not saying that there is something wrong with the “birth” that was given to us through the body of our mothers? In She Who Changes and in "Reading Plato's Allegory of the Cave as Matricide and Theacide," I asserted that our culture is "matricidal" because it is based on the assumption that life in the body in this world "just isn’t good enough."

What is so wrong with the life that our mothers gave us that we must reject it in the name of a “higher” spiritual life? The answer of course death.

Can we love life without accepting death?

Can we love our mothers if we do not accept a life that ends in death?

Jesus was said to have encouraged his disciples to leave their wives and families in order to follow him.  When he was told that his mother and brothers were outside and waiting to speak to him, he is said to have said:

“Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!  For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother. (Matt. 12:48-50)

Buddha left his wife and new-born son in order to pursue enlightenment.

Some feminists, including Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza and Rita Gross, view these incidents positively, stating that their meaning is that no person should be trapped in the conventional biological roles.

I have always experienced these stories as dismissive of women’s bodies, of women’s lives, of women’s work. When I went to college, I learned that all of the knowledge and insight about the meaning of life I had gained through the experience of raising a child with my mother was irrelevant to the university education I had embarked upon.

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