I have seen a noticeable increase in personal relational misunderstandings since the war in Gaza broke out. Some will say this is due to astrological influences, retrogrades, solar flares, etc. But I think it also speaks to the reality of the relational web that weaves between all life on this planet. I remember feeling a similar sense of dis-ease when the war in Ukraine broke out. It was an awareness that when large-scale harm emerges, it impacts the relational field in ways that are not entirely or traditionally logical.
Yes, we can reduce what is happening to logic… of course when massive amounts of intergenerational trauma, extreme public divisiveness, and abhorrent losses of life are happening, there are psychological impacts that affect the way we show up for our immediate community in tangible ways. And yet, I also feel below the layers of logic to a more subtle realm, the energetic threads of the forces of creation that connect all things as being stretched or torn or distorted in ways that are challenging what I sense as the larger relational field across the entire planet. This includes the non-human realms that have no understanding of geo-politics or historical trauma. I remember feeling something similar the summer that seemed like a tipping point environmentally when the first local wildfires began a yearly trend of devastating fire. Now that I look back on the pandemic, there were not so subtle ways in which this played out in the collective - it was so extreme that I wasn’t even aware of the subtle layers of what was happening, because I was so distracted by the gross issues we were facing.
And there is something to be said about dropping below the surface of things and feeling into and tending the subtle. In my own movement practice I am often feeling like I am weaving or tending to threads of connection, which have always been reminiscent of the Wyrd that the Norse saw as the threads that wove past present and future. This image became so strong for me since the war broke out in Gaza that I started re-watching “A Discovery of Witches”, which has some amazing imagery that reminds me of the Norns weaving the Wyrd.
What gives me hope in the face of these massive disturbances to the relational field is that if things as atrocious as this war, the impact of a global pandemic, and the dire environmental circumstances we are facing can affect the field, so can the patient tending of the field with love and compassion. In fact, I deeply feel this is what keeps the relationship field as strong as it is, those strong human hearts who seek to find understanding, reconciliation, restorative justice, compassion, protect sovereignty with dignity, etc.
And this is why tending the ancestral field is so critical... they are critical allies in the relational field and in fact most of what needs tending in the ancestral realm is what we are facing today - gross violations of the relational field. Their wisdom in this tending and healing helps us heal and tend our current circumstances.
As I feel the relational crunchiness with my immediate community, I realize that this is the part of the web that I can tend to, which the support of my ancestral allies, and, yes, it may not be ending a war, but it does support the integrity of the larger web.
What do your spidey senses feel when they extend out into the larger web of connection?
Many people are uncomfortable with the idea that there might be trouble in the spirit realm or that harm can be done through thought or ritual. In most cultures who recognize a spirit realm and the other than material powers, there is also a recognition that things can go wrong in these realms and with these powers. To me it is the spiritual equivalent of recognizing that sometimes we all get a little lost (even in spirit form) and that we all do harm (sometimes intentional and sometimes unintentional).
My experience with the spirits is that most of the time who ever is there does not want to be there, especially when given a better alternative. And often we can find a much better place for them to be. I see compassionate depossession as much a service to the spirits as to the living person. Who wouldn't want to see their great Aunt or that nature spirit who used to live next door to your ancestors safely to the next realm?
Unfortunately some spirits are entangled in what is commonly called curses. They are often called in to reinforce some intention created a lot of the time by a human. Sometimes these intentions are even supposedly good, like to protect one's family or a linage of wisdom. Getting to understand why something is put into place and working towards renegotiating the terms that are having a negative impact on the living can not only be life-giving to the living, but also to the spirits who are reinforcing these entanglements.
I've completed advanced training with Betsy Bergstrom in Compassionate Depossession and Curse Unraveling and every time I do this work I touch on the deeper understanding that we are all the body of the goddess, even in spirit form. And to tend the unseen as diligently and compassionately as we do the living is a gift we can offer the web of creation.
It can sometimes feel daunting to bring awareness to these areas of difficulties, especially in a society that does not recognize them as real or makes them frightening. But consider it as you would tending a common cold. These things are quite normal, because everything is woven with spirit. Sometimes there are kinks in the weft or things caught in the weave, but we can tend the tapestry together.
My own personal spiritual journey has involved extensive work with past lives. Some of this work has been done through resonance repatterning, which I offer to the public, but some has been through my connection to what I call my "culminating self". I like this term better than higher self, because it doesn't send connotations of hierarchy. My culminating self is the part of me that exists outside of space, time, dimensional reality and understands both my soul's past and future (as well as the parts of me that exist on different timelines, dimensions... taking a multiversal perspective of who I am).
More recently I have been working with my culminating self to initiate past life healing. The goal of this is to open a path for the stream of wisdom from my culminating self to come through more clearly into my current incarnation. This doesn't mean I get full access to that wisdom (did somebody say "short circuit?"), but it helps tend the karmic entanglements that might be distorting that wisdom.
This work has been more intense for me than the ancestral lineage healing work. For me my "soul stream" is quite strong and present and so work that affects the soul stream is felt in a larger way. For some people their ancestral streams are providing stronger influence. I find different people need different approaches, but the ideal is for the soul stream and ancestral streams to be clarified and harmonized. For me working on the ancestral stream helped me have a strong base for the soul work. For others they may need to clarify their core of energy (soul stream) before venturing into the ancestral fields.
And for others they may need to do other integration work first. This is why I also offer my "animist integration" work where the focus is coming into coherence within your own being and with the world around you.
Still others may need some good old fashioned curse unraveling or depossession work before any further personal evolution can take place.
Whatever your path, I would love to partner with your journey of unfolding.
Spiritual companionship is really about walking in the woods of life with someone by your side, someone who might see the world around you in a different way, but your differences illuminate the world in new and exciting ways. I might be drawn to the little mushrooms and you may be able to identify the birds by their calls. Together we see the world a bit more clearly.
Often we seek spiritual companionship when our spiritual experiences are different than the community we grew up with or we are drawn to a new path to express our inner most being. Or sometimes we are experiencing a spiritual crisis, facing an unknown or greater powers than ourselves. At those times having someone who may have had similar experiences or who may be exploring similar things might be helpful to know that you aren't alone on your path. And sometimes it is just plain fun to share your journey with someone who gets you.
My approach to spiritual companionship is one of deep listening, of recognizing the wisdom in you. It is also deeply relational. I believe we are meant to be in active co-creative relationship with the seen and the unseen world and that when we meet soul to soul we are bringing in the wisdom of all that touches and shapes our souls, creating a relational field that is much larger than just two.
If you are curious about what kind of support you might receive on your journey, please do connect for a free 30-minute introductory session!
I have long been fascinated with the mythos around the fertile darkness, the dark feminine. For many many years, I have felt that our culture has been too light focused (we are developmentally stuck in an endless "summer" in how we approach the world as consumers and in the way we work). The cycles of going within, letting fallow have been harmfully ignored and this is where the truly fertile soul work and wisdom-making takes place. We can gain spiritual insight from the light, but the dark turns that insight into body-and-soul-level wisdom. And I think that part of reclaiming our relationship to the darkness is dismantling the pejorative we have assigned to the dark and dense as "bad/evil/wounded" which frankly is also a root of racism and spiritual bypassing.
I especially love the myths that share our ancestor's understanding of these cycles. There is a good book "the descent to the goddess" that talks about the Inanna myth as a guide for "initiation" (as into greater soul mastery) for women especially, which has similarities to persephone's descent to the underworld. And recently I learned that there are even myths where RA, the Egyptian sun god, descends to the underworld and merges with Osiris, the ruler of the underworld. In my own experience with the masculine principle of the fae there is a chthonic (dark/underworld) aspect and a solar aspect that dance with each other throughout the cycle of the solar year.
Just recently I was spending time with the myth about Gwyn Ap Nudd, the welsh faerie king, god of the wild, and keeper of the underworld who battles with Gwythyr, who is a solar deity, over the hand of the maiden Creiddylad who is the embodiment of sovereignty. Gwyn wins, interestingly - it is not the solar that wins. What has come in my meditations on this myth is that sovereignty is the equivalent to the sacred void and that both the dark aspects and light aspects vie for her attention, but she has a special affinity for the dark. This makes me think of the taoist principles of the emptiness that can flow through nature if unimpeded. When the dark and light forces are in right relationship with the void, the state of nature's sovereignty, then order is restored. It also makes sense that the dark and the void are associated with each other (thus Gwyn winning), because they both are void of light. Also with scientific principles of entropy... energy eventually dissipates (unless there is a new injection of energy). I think that some have interpreted this as "renewal always comes from above, the solar" but in the Innanna myth there is a map for how renewal can come from below, in the darkness. Chinese medicine also recognizes this and the work of Lorie Eve Dechar is especially powerful in showing that the lighter energies (Shen) are not the only sources for renewal, but it can come from the denser energies (the Po and Zhi)... and in some ways the work that is initiated from the dark/ground/dense up causes more foundational shifts than the more solar inputs. In the celtic wheel of the year the cycle of creation really is initiated at Imbolc (Feb 1st) and from a tantric astrology perspective this is the root of the root where the energy is at its deepest descent and then rises again through the chakras (peaking at Lammas in August).
I find it interesting that the new cycle of creation doesn’t start at the solstice, that there are 6 weeks of laying fallow - of deep rest - after the longest night of the year before the new cycle is initiated. That speaks to us about the nature of our own creativity in that when we enter what feels like darkness, we are actually just beginning a longer period of stillness before regeneration can take place.
Overall in my mind we need to better honor the dark, the chthonic, the underworld, as it is just as important part of the creative life force on this planet as the light, but we also need to come into deeper relationship with the void, which gets even less attention than sacred darkness (or gets mixed up and confused with darkness). I will also share that my own experience with bipolar - if I get too light or high vibe focused there is an equally dark polarity that forms in the world of my psyche that must be integrated. If I stay oriented more towards the void, a place of neutrality that favors neither light nor dark, I can interact with anything from the full ray of the spectrum from a place of equanimity. It just feels better to my mind, body and soul.
This is really why I felt called to offer "Wyrd" at the first new moon in January - as a way to tune into the deeper nature of reality and forces of sovereignty, the sacred void, in a way that is not tied to any particular tradition, but rather explores it as a mystic would, through first-hand experience. Learn more.
We are in Sagittarius season. Sagittarius is a fire sign and it marks the start of the alchemical cycle of the zodiac where the elements are taking an “elder” aspect of the element and “becoming” that element - as in Sagittarius has “become” fire, spirit, that thing that creatively moves through all life in an eagerness to explore and become… heart becoming more heart in a deep and creatively explosive way. It is fitting that we have eruptions on Mauna Loa and in Indonesia at this time. Aries, another fire sign, is the youthful, playful experimentation of the embodiment of fire and Leo’ fire is about developing a more masterful way of operating skillfully with the element, but Sagittarius is the wise embodiment of the element that an elder would show. I see sagittarius as the spiritual fire that enlivens us even when we are surrounded by darkness, even when everything else is stripped away. This would have been the time of the year where people huddled around their fires and told stories or the shaman would take mushrooms and journey to inner landscapes and outer realms. Sagittarius has this journeying quality to it. It gives me a sense of spiritual fire as something that is curious and seeks new insight that has meaning and depth - insight that in and of itself contributes something to the world. I recently attended a herbal workshop by Seán Pádraig O'Donoghue where he talked about the “fire in the head” as a way of expressing times where we get profound spiritual insight and sometimes find ourselves experiencing different layers of reality. I mentioned mushrooms, but according to Seán other herbs like yarrow and mugwort (a moon herb) can also bring on these states. I’ve also been shown that this is a time when the solar aspect of reality has descended into the underworld or Otherworld and that with this descent is an enormous fertility/vitality that will re-emerge in the spring. This is the last push of inner activity before a period of lying fallow from the solstice to imbolc, when the next creative cycle activates on a quantum level. It may seem like the natural world sleeps at this time, but there is a lot working behind the scenes.
And then there is the Gemini full moon. Gemini has a similar explorative quality, but it is with the airy mind, not the fiery spirit. As an adolescent element, Gemini brings a playful quality to its explorations - trying out one idea and then disposing it for another or holding paradoxical ideas with ease. What if it is all true? What if none of it is true? Gemini holds these questions with a curious fascination and creativity. Sagittarius, on the other hand, is a little more serious, like life and death, about the Truth (with a capital “T”) it seeks, perhaps because this is a season where death is so close. There is a shared curiosity, but where Gemini is a bit more flippant, Sagittarius brings a gravitas to their explorations. What I have been surprised to learn is that the truest expression of an undistorted Gemini energy plays with these paradoxes from a deep sense of devotion, a heart and mind that is open to the world with a profound desire to touch the ineffable. At the heart of the matter is a dedication to the possibility that existence holds.
For this full moon, you may need to nourish yourself with some deeply embodying activities, because these fire and air energies can be ungrounding. Now is the time to soak in a hot bath or have some nourishing soup. But you can also move with the energies by journaling, dancing, making art that is explorative or meaningful. What piques your curiosity or calls to you for deeper exploration? What thoughts can be tended by the wisdom of your spiritual heart? Enjoy the openness to new mental and spiritual paradigms that this time can bring.
I love the lunar/solar oppositions… they remind us that wherever we are in our solar transit, that we have a bit of the energy of the year that has passed… and the year to come… with us.
At this moment of Scorpio sun where all around us is decaying, letting go, returning to the earth, we celebrate the Taurus full moon. Taurus, whose season peaks in May, brings her fecund, verdant glory. Taurus teaches us about being abundant with our creative energy, even when all around us life is turning to death and hibernating. Nature is not stingy in how it spends its resources. She is bold and oriented to an ostentatious beauty that tantalizes the senses (think of the red and golden leaves that are falling). Perhaps this is why we love richly spiced foods at this time of year… our abundance goes from the garden to the warmth of a kitchen on these long dark nights.
And Scorpio reminds us that blossoms wilt, not all mating calls are answered, and the energy put into each created thing eventually becomes compost for the next creative cycle.
To me, Scorpio, being a water sign, is like the deep deep waters where the detritus settles, full of silt, decaying mineral, plant and animal life. It is these places of death that provide the nutrients for new life. So many places in the world rely on the nutrients from annual floods to create the conditions for farming. Scorpio holds the fecund power of death and rebirth.
Scorpio is also connected to the deeper sexual animal instincts. This is the time when the Hawthorn berries are just edging past ripe, a plant whose flowers, according to Seán Pádraig O'Donoghue, hold the same organic compounds as is found in human sexual and menstrual fluid… literally the life force and death process of the human reproductive system. This tree is mythically known for connecting the human to the faerie realms. The faerie realm is also said to be opposite seasonally from the middle world we live in. So they are in Taurus season when we are in Scorpio. I also have been celebrating SO many birthdays in the last few weeks, so there is an abundance of new life that emerges even in this time of dying back to the roots. There is something hugely potent during this time around fertility, death and rebirth and nature spirits hold intimate knowledge of this wisdom.
This full moon is accompanied by a lunar eclipse at 2am on November 8th. This is of course the election day in the US and so we can expect some turbulence. Lunar eclipses reset us, emotionally, foundationally, at a deep level. This is a mirror eclipse as to the one that occurred in May (the only moon circle we had to cancel due to general chaos), so hold on tight for some dredging of the personal and collective Scorpio waters… in the name of the Taurus fertility goddess.
So on this full moon, think of things being stirred up and cleaned out. How do you need to tidy up your mental, emotional, spiritual houses? What deeper, maybe unconscious parts need to be incorporated in new ways in order for you to come into wholeness? And I feel we are invited to play with the creative cycles of death and rebirth. Where is my creative energy abundant and what is actively composting? What is hidden in the deep waters that wants to come to the surface in service to the larger creative force of my life?
We are in Libra season and this time is a potent one for me, so I will start by honoring the sun that our full moon is reflecting. When I recently took some of the essence I am making for this zodiac, the sense of energy running down towards the roots was strong. This is the season where trees and plants are pulling their energy back from growth and returning it to their roots. This combined with Libra’s relational nature makes me think of the mycelial network that interweaves between so much of nature.
Like the energy in the roots descending, alchemically our energy is also descending at this time. In tantric astrology Libra continues the dropping of our life force in the chakras back towards our own roots from the crown (Leo) to brow (Virgo) to now the throat. Libra truly is the creative void of the throat chakra where possibilities abound and adapts find their truth and express it in the world. Libra is an air sign, which through her relational nature makes me think of ideas, desires, needs being communicated between people. She is a cardinal sign, which means even though she is air, she shapes and directs the currents of earthly life through her strong communications, communications which can often feel like they emerge from the intelligence of the void. Libra has come to me as a portal. She is officially opening us to the time where in the northern hemisphere the darkness is more abundant than light. At this time the veil between us and the otherworld (the ancestors, fey, and other spirits) is thinner and we are invited into deeper relationship with the unseen. And Libra brings a kind of beauty and harmony to these relationships with Venus as her ruling planet. She rules the seventh house, the house of relationships and brings the wisdom of the void, the emptiness that runs through all of life as a silent, quantum, force. Those who entrain and follow the force, like the Taoists so eloquently describe, find that the cycles of death and rebirth flow with ease.
And yet, we are not just relational beings, we have a sovereignty which the Aries full moon reminds us of. One of the lessons of my work with Aries has been that while it holds the energy of hope, courage, perseverance, and individuation, in its highest form it does so with a deep sense of interconnection, of connection to and partnership with the larger forces of creation. In some ways we are all portals for the forces of creation to act through us. The primal essence of sacred emptiness, of the void, which all emerges from and returns to, speaks through all of creation as the Tao or the Buddhist sense of the emptiness that is the true nature of all things. In this way the Aries sense of becoming “me” is rooted in a profound sense of my connection with the source that is all things. There is no final individuation, only a sense of becoming more of my part of the whole.
I’ve come to understand that when we start to entrain with the forces of nature, like the rotation of the earth around the sun and the seasonal patterns that are expressed through that rotation, then we start to come back into a more intimate relationship with the primal force that speaks through all things. It is a way to “remember” in a world of forgetting.
Aries can often play into the “forgetting” with its wild individualism and Libra brings us back into a sense of relationship.
So on this full moon it may be lovely to take some time to tune into the sacred void and appreciate how it inspires your unique being and life. Some find the void to be an uncomfortable place/being, so take some time to make friends with it, maybe make offerings to it. And do some digging into how the void is moving through your life. What is unfolding for you and how? Are there blocks that you need to engage your Aries will to address? Are there places where you are pushing too hard or not following the flow, which can equally impede your creative process? What is receding for you and how might this actually nourish your roots?
Wherever you are in your journey, may this coming time of sacred darkness be nourishing for you!
Allow your body to sink towards the earth, imagining your energy moving downward like the sap of the trees around us returning to the roots. We are in the time of returning to place of origins, the dark womb that life emerges from. As you breathe, notice the pause between breaths, this is a portal, the void, the place where the cycles inhale and exhale meet. And because it is the place where cycles meet, it is deeply relational, bringing a beautiful rhythm and harmony to all it touches. This is the essence of the Libra sun our full moon is reflecting.
Now notice the inner fire that enlivens your being. The warmth of your body. This is the fire of the Aries moon. Take a moment to feel the liveliness of your heartbeat. As it beats, inwardly whisper the phrase, “this is my heart”. Bring a sense of gratitude to the expression of heart that you uniquely bring to the world. What does your heart dream? What does your heart love? How does your heart love? And feel into those toughened places in your heart that life may have caused to constrict and bring some compassion to how even these places are a unique expression of the whole that is you.
And also bring attention to how your heart is formed from strands of DNA passed on from generations of lives, made of building blocks that are found in wild nature as well as the stars above. There is a way in which you are uniquely you, but you are also interwoven from all of creation. Take a moment of appreciation for your unique expression of life and its interconnection with the past, present and future of all things.
“Birthing” is the word that is coming through strongly for this full moon in Pisces. Pisces is a very watery gestational energy… the place where possibilities are abundant and the yet-to-be are not quite pinned down. It can hold paradox, its energy swimming seemingly in two directions at once. It is not good at decision-making, because it is in the place beyond decisions where the potential of everything exists. As the end of the zodiac cycle, it holds the culmination of everything that has come before. And yet it is the birthplace of the new cycle, of all that is yet to come.
This watery moon is reflecting the very practical, real, and down-to-earth Virgo sun. This is a sun that knows how to choose. It knows what to birth and when. It is both the adult who lives with practical groundedness and the child they bring into the world, coming fresh and new into incarnation, emerging from the watery womb into living, breathing, functional reality.
This is the season of the end of the harvest in the northern hemisphere. The last of the canning and preserving for the winter months would be taking place now. It is a practical time where one is not just basking in the abundance of the summer months, but there is a frugality, a planning for the times where this plenty will be needed for survival.
I feel like in some ways our culture is in this late-summer season… we have been overly abundant in our adolescent energy of consumption and are waking up to the reality that we must act to preserve the abundance that has been offered to us. Winter is coming.
I watch the drying effect of the long summer season on the plants around my home and I realize that the long summer season of our culture is having a similar effect on the earth. As the summers get hotter and drier do we adapt by planting more hardy native species or do we tap into the limited water resources available to us? These are the very practical considerations Virgo is prepared to help us make.
So what will we learn from this time of waking up to the cycles of earth’s fertility? Will we tap into our inner Virgo and make the wise discernments needed? Or are we still collectively in the watery womb of Pisces, still weaving in possibilities so that when we emerge it is with the wisdom of the depths? Or will we doom ourselves by not following the wisdom of the seasons, trapping ourselves in a blinded endless summer that can only mean our doom?
So as you tune into the wisdom this full moon has for you, think of the discernment you are making for your life and the life of this planet. What is still gestational in you and what is ready to be made real?
I have been working with plants as support for emotional and spiritual healing in different forms for almost a decade. I first ventured into this world through flower essences, working with Diana Pepper at Tree Frog Farm. I then started taking herbalism classes through Wildroot Botanicals and began exploring “micro-dosing” tinctures and working with plants as teas to support the system as it unwinds patterns. This led to an intensive on Plants and Planets by Sovereignty Herbs and Ritual Botanica where I started to bring my relationship with astrology to my relationship with plants. As above, so below. What I discovered in my explorations is that the wild intelligence of nature has profound abilities to support psycho-spiritual healing and the development of consciousness. They are our teachers, supporters, healers. And they do this through the relational field – the “this treats that” mindset about plants only goes so far… it is more about our opening ourselves to the relational intelligence of the plants and allowing that to change us.
Through all of this exploration I found the most profound way to relationally connect with plants is through essential oils. Through my training with Aromagnosis in aromatic shamanism I experienced how essential oils bypass the thinking brain and take us deep into the inner realms of our consciousness. The plants hold profound space for a depth of inner work that is possible when we have a wise intelligence that is holding us in our work. In my ancestral and spirit work we rely on supportive powers to hold ritual safety. Plant allies can play this part and essential oils are a very direct way to connect with their support.
The work I am trained in comes to the transformation of consciousness from a Jungian perspective meaning that we work with the alchemical forces of psychological transformation, shadow work and inner parts work (inner gender, inner child) to go through a process of evolution with the plant spirits as the allies and guides for this work. This work looks like dropping into a guided meditation with the essential oil as a support.
I usually work in-person for this work, because, well, smell-a-vision is not something that has been invented yet, but if you have access to essential oils or are open to purchasing some to partake in the work, I welcome working remotely as well. If you would like to learn more about working in this way, feel free to contact me or set up a free initial consultation.
My thoughts on the path of deep animist relationship