I am Her
And She is me
The guardian in woad
A story screams
Across the void
Marked in battle lines
I hear her scream
The pitch black chord of night
I am her
and She is me
There is no true divide
I cross the ocean bruised
To speak at fire side
The lightning calls
As once it did
The drums of war unfold
I am Her
And She is me
The warrior in woad
“Wild. Ancient. Carefree.
Who were we as witches before we learnt
What the world told us to be?” – Joey Morris
In passing, it can seem as though the reclamation of ones inner wild self is as simple as a moment of glorious realization, following which the shackles which once chained us to personal limitation, degradation, and loss of self, release, and we are free from those controlling elements that have so tortured our spiritual journey.
Perhaps there is even fireworks and a fanfare of trumpets sounding to announce to the world that we have reached the pinnacle of inner freedom.
The reality of personal reclamation was far more brutal.
Having already touched on the uncomfortable nature of birthing pains, with the figurative snapping of bones and the psychological necessity to drown away the parts of self that refused to shapeshift and grow; the stage was set for the experience of rebirthing.
It still hurts.
It required sacrifice; the ending of an entire kind of life, and more than that, it had to be the intentional tearing of that life from the self.
Bloodied, bruised, and broken, crawling up the stone steps to the dais, crying, screaming and burning inwardly, in order to throw myself on the altar.
Ready to die, death screaming out into the night; a willing participant in the murder of self; entailing the tearing away the encasing exoskeleton which had grown like a hardened shell of fear around my soul.
art – Natalia Deprina
My heart carried the heaviness of the void as I turned inward, and confronted that emotion, forcing myself deep into the inner self, examining the wound within, talking peaceably to my shadow self.
I knew my rising fears were vulnerability about loving completely and freely, knowing that the risk involved in rewilding myself was immense…
That risk manifests as the inkling of fear that scratches at the back of the mind; the inhaling of hesitation that seeks to straddle the wild soul and subdue it.
This time though, the yearning of the soul was too ferocious to be intimidated by fear.
The call would not, could not, be denied.
My bones had cracked and splintered, revealing soul bones and the resulting emotional reaction struck deeper than ever could have been predicted.
This inward process was also violent, with shaking spells and tears, it required a part of me to break open and then heal. The connection to healing this particular wound required something precious, a part of myself that had remained hidden and reluctant since surviving abuse.
Trusting completely in this heart process.
A broken heart that has never truly healed, fears the unification process that leads back to the wild rebirthing. To trust is a risky exercise to the fearful, knowing the result of a hundred failed attempts before this.
Yet I had seen the universe move in a thousand synchronicities that accumulated to the most tangible form of magick I have yet borne witness to. Confirmation from the realm of spirit was almost constantly physically manifesting, affirmation after affirmation until there could be no doubt; the universe was hammering the door down, speaking in every voice it had in its crescendo; calling, screaming, whispering, screeching, that this; this was the time.
“The cost of a life worth everything is the death of anything that went before.
The universe said ‘fucking leap, woman.’
My heart and soul said ‘fucking leap, woman.’
So I leapt.” – Joey Morris
Resistance comes from all that you used to be; the past you and from all the bonds that tied you there, that kept you from being your wildest, truest self.
Parts of you (and others) resist.
It is akin to clinging on so tightly we injure ourselves; we grasp the bars of our own decrepit cages even though the rotten bars tear our skin, wounding us with learned precision, striking fear into our hearts, beating our spirit down, trying to keep us small.
These rusty nails must be pulled from our backs, the infected wounds burnt through, cleansed, until the poison of our past drains.
There is relief momentarily as breath fills our spirit lungs for the first time in an age.
Then there is pain.
Our spirit lungs are battered and bruised from the constriction they have endured, and the inhalation of freedom tears at the tenderness that awaits there.
Then hesitation slips in.
The self-doubt within accuses us of being an imposter. We shake to our core, wondering if we have sunk our teeth into something that is too expansive, too real, too raw…
Perhaps we have, but the wild witch is all fangs and claws, and remembering the taste of blood in the mouth releases that primal howling from deep within.
We begin to shed our skin peels back, our fangs elongate, our eyes widen as we see the world anew.
Such a path is dangerous.
But so are we.
This is the birth of a wild witch who sees with their ‘other eyes’ and treads the path of edges, sharp and unusual, but filled with adventure, magick of the void and the
It is bloody.
It breaks us apart.
It forces us to elevate.
But it is the purest, rawest, most unconditional truth of self that can ever be found.
So leap, and rise to every challenge; meet it headlong in your wildness.
No one can stop you.
Tear apart who you have been forced to be.
Live free. Live Wild. Live.
It is often said that on the other side of Fear is everything you could ever want.
As a Witch, I struggled with the shadow of my fear, afraid to move away from the comfortable box which I had sheltered myself within.
For so long, I had survived.
It was all I knew how to do, and though I felt a piece of myself was always missing, always longing to truly live rather than struggle through, I could not seem to fathom how to get to that place.
I hid away in the material, telling myself it was enough, and took pains to begin shaping a half life within a spiritual vortex, yearning for one that had deeper meaning, and though much of what I discovered in my spiritual travels did touch my soul and deliver lessons, the foundations were still chaining me instead of allowing me to stretch my Fox limbs and shift around the night time forest floor.
Change always seemed to have a cost; it was painful, it came whether I wanted it to or not, and in fairness it was usually very unwelcome.
The path of the Morrigan can be one of trial, where change feels like the slashing of a sharp blade in bloody combat.
Each time I raised my shield, my arms shuddered from the contact of the blade burying itself into my metal as I girded myself, dug my heels in, and refused to move.
The lesson was not there.
The lesson was in the surrender, in the dropping of the shield in order to trust; to allow the blade to pierce your skin, in doing so it pierces the void, and life force comes flowing from the wound. Change is cut into my skin, and for the first time in my life I understand what the Morrigan meant when she told me in meditation that;
“If you would not give your very last drop of blood for this course, then you do not desire or deserve it.”
For the first time in a long time, one Taurus New Moon, I truly emotionally broke down. It was too much, I was beginning to wonder if I would ever connect. Would I ever feel truth and love flowing through my veins? Or was this half life all I could achieve?
A part of me screamed out into the void that night, I know that now, screeching the War Cry of Badb that signified readiness, and a part of me died and was gone, as the synchronicities began in droves.
I awoke from the dreams that birthed this change in body wracked sobs; whatever this feeling was, where ever it led, I wanted to follow it, even if I was terrified.
In the moments that followed I simply accepted it was real, and channeled my fire as I had been instructed; “be the torch that guides destiny home”… was the message that I had received. So I surrendered again, and change, change was so close, and so fast, so ready to respond to this summoning from my heart and soul that I was mesmerized by the universal ballet that seemed to simply align.
The universe moved.
I had never seen anything like it, and initially struggled with the usual suspects of fear; self doubt and wondering, did I deserve this?
I can’t tell you I deserve it, but I can be deserving of it. I can honour the process, and feel the fear, but sit with it, reach out and hold its hand, and walk together into the future.
I did not realise
That my soul too has bones
And that ache goes deeper
Than any tide before it
How can anything else ever compare
Once you realise you have soul bones
And the electric current that feeds them
– Joey Morris 2017
Many Blessings and Fluxy beginnings, Starlet
2017 All my own work and design all rights reserved
Copyright in place theft will not be tolerated
So far, 2017 has been a year of fluctuation that has highlighted how damaging polarisation can become in the social and cultural landscapes.
In the Musing about the energies of Spring essay the emphasis was on resilience, on refusing to be buried, only planted.
This concept evolved into my Spiritual advice for people in general:
“Stop planting yourself in concrete.
You have roots that need to spread out and grow, they need to be in fertile soil, enriched by the enviroment around them.
Stop planting yourself in concrete, just because you think you should.
Stop planting yourself in concrete because someone told you to.
Allow yourself to spread your roots in that fertile ground and your potential for growth is limitless.” – Joey Morris 2017
As Midsummer approaches, I cannot help but feel we are becoming deeply submerged by the ever flowing current of Spirit, Universe, Deity, Cosmic soup or how so ever you define it; the essence of who we are is being held up to us like a mirror, and that is not necessarily a comfortable experience.
Pivotal questions are thrown at us without mercy, demanding that we choose… we stand, bleary eyed at a fork in the road… do what has always been done, and nothing changes, or dive head deep into the Avalonic lagoon, into initiation…
I choose to leap. I choose to submerge and surrender myself completely.
Image as accredited on picture
At first, to both our own eyes and to those around us, the leap can seem like madness.
We cannot explain why it is right, merely that somewhere inside of us our soul has spoken, and so leap we shall.
There might be bruises from diving in, there are always Birthing pains, but ultimately these lightning scars are reminders of our pure strength through action, the courageousness required to be truly on a Witches path, and though at first our lungs might fill as we splutter and drown… we know, deep within that letting the past die that death is exactly the point.
We are releasing.
It is perhaps a little odd on the surface of it that Midsummer, in all its fiery splendor, seems tied deeply to the Water this year – to the submergence and cleansing away of all that was stagnant and unmoving… but this year to me has felt energetically unusual anyway, closer to the Underworld than at any given point in my living memory, and many of us (especially those of us that have undergone Cris’s Underworld Meditation or Ancestry course ) know that we dive deep into the Underworld waters and then emerge in the Cave of our Mothers, to stare headlong into the bonfire there, to learn about all that was and all that could be.
The powers that be would seek to force us to be stagnant and polarising, they tell us to choose a box and pit ourselves against the “others.”
I choose instead to drown the parts of myself that refuse to shapeshift and change. I will conquer my fear, and conquer myself.
Many blessings Starlets,
2017 All my own work and design all rights reserved
How beautiful is the Darkness, where our shadows are simply part of us without separation, and we breathe in the essence of the Universe in void; in potential, in endless possibility…
As Alban Hefin (Midsummer) approaches I become more acutely aware of the Darkness; as the brightness takes over, the blinding light scorching through the curtains disturbing sleep, and as a result my heart yearns to be cocooned once again in the safe embrace of Darkness.
“Darkness is a voice in the dark. Listen. Can you hear the beat of your heart, or is it the long, slow heartbeat of the Earth? You have no body; you have no limbs. Reach out, and there is nothing there. There is only you, whatever you might be, and the long, heavy dark.” – Sharon Blackie ‘If Women rose rooted’
Within my personal gnosis, the spiritual journey with the Goddess Morrigan is very much in my bones, as well as in the Dark spaces within myself and without… they are the punctuation marks between Fox and Coyote and Wolf howling at the Moon, the panting breaths between moments of ecstacy, the gentle pauses of silences measured in kindness when someone requires a silent presence and not words.
I have said that the Spirit energy of the Fox is within my very bones, and this too echoes within my Morriganic pathwalking;
Gudomain, .i. fennóga no bansigaidhe. ut est glaidhomuin góa, .i. na demuin goacha, na morrigna; no go conach demain iat na bansigaide go connach demain iffrunn iat acht demain aeoir na fendoga. no eamnait anglaedha na sinnaigh, ocus eamnait a ngotha na fendoga (Stokes 1859: 169).
Gudomain, i.e. hooded crows, or women from the síd; lying wolves, that is, the false demons, the morrígna. Or “falsehood,” so that they (the bansigaidhe and the hooded crows) are not demons; “falsehood,” so that they are not demons of hell but demons of the air. They double the cries of the foxes, and they double the voices of the hooded crows.
War Goddess: the Morrígan and her Germano-Celtic Counterparts thesis by Angelique Gulermovich Epstein
I have always felt a deep love towards the nocturnal creatures, especially those that howl, but this blog post is not about them.
The focus here is on the mask of the Moth, and the lesson that can be learnt from placing the soft silken wings over our eyes and speaking out into the night in the thrumming tones of Moth wisdom.
Moth is the unassuming night time dancer who understands the eternal embrace that takes part between Light and Darkness for they too are not separate but a part of one anothers bones and in between spaces.
Moth dances within the Darkness but always seeks illumination, however she has also invoked in us a sense of caution within modern folklore… do not to be consumed merely by light – as “a moth to the flame,” is synonymous with losing sight of the bigger picture and being burnt in the process.
To say that I did not expect the energy of Moth to coincide with Goddess Morrigan, and perhaps even less the aspect to which I most connect, Goddess Badb, the screaming death Crow, the phantom, the wailing banshee, is an understatement.
There is argument within the Morrigan community as to whether creatures outside of the surviving mythos deserve a place at her table, and for the purpose of this essay I will leave all of that argument outside the walls, and simply state that the synchronicity placed at my feet (quite literally in some cases with both live and deceased moths) cannot, to my mind, be denied. Furthermore it has enhanced and elevated my personal spiritual practice, so I do not argue with elements of my reality as I experience them.
For the longest time I have danced in offering to the Goddess Morrigan, frequently blade dancing, which came utterly from a place of soul memory and was not taught;
“Dance is the poetic baring of the soul through motion.” – Scott Nilsson
There is something about the Moth which crosses the borders of dancer, phantom, and night time shapeshifter.
Watching moths in their natural habitat is haunting, poetic even, and it is only in the confusion of alien synthetic light that grace ebbs.
This to me is akin to a lesson of Death and Dark spaces over which Badb precides; we have sought hard as human beings to sanitize and eradicate the truth of both.
Death is hidden, dressed up, washed out and put out of sight, the natural decaying process removed from thought and memory, and electricity rings out polluting the night sky until we forget the beauty and simplicity of it.
When dancing with a blade there is a simplicity, a beauty in the movement, but also a call to caution, missteps and blindness can lead to injury, much like a moth to a flame. There is no separation between blade and body, they move as one, and very much like Badb, there is beauty with a hint of Death.
Moths also speak to the Mask of the Goddess Badb; the Shroud, for the silk shroud the moth leaves behind in its rebirthing process feel reminiscent of the mask of the Phantom Queen; for the Shrouds covering the faces of the grieving, as well as the Death Shroud of those who have passed from this earthly incarnation.
In our discussion on Ancestors and Underworld spaces, Cris and I had touched on the idea that there is a bond between mourner and the person who moved on; that a piece of Death was carried within the mourner in their grief, and a piece of life was carried within the person who died so that they could be reborn, epitomized most evidently within the Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone.
Similarly this can be seen in the reflection of the Shrouds (masks) for the Death shroud covers the dead but cocoons the body as it decays and releases the soul for Rebirth, and the mourners shroud is worn by the living, covering them in their sorrow, a physical reminder that they carry this death with them.
Badb told me once in meditation that:
“We are all the moments of Death we carry with us.”
We all carry moments of Death and Darkness within us, moth like memories that dance within our minds.
Some of those moments flicker within us that bring smiles in the retelling, and some make our hearts ache.
Such is the path of spirituality, where all memory, survivors of Death, are valid and true, even as the lines blur and the technicalities fade, the depth of feeling remains.
I have never been one of those spiritual women.
The kind that present themselves at best as light, approachable, and over whelmingly positive, and at worst, kind of overly saturated sweetly cloying.
I have been annoyed by these women, jealous of these women, interested to see how they analyze the world, and I have pitied them in moments too.
I have wished to be sweeter, lighter, better liked. More appealing to people en masse but so completely unable to force myself to pretend to be something I am not. I know the value of wearing masks in spirituality and to pretend, to lie, with masks, is something I cannot accept.
I have seen alot of heartbreak in my little life.
It sounds a little depressing on the surface of it, but it is my truth, and as such, I have a very difficult time internalising the rationale of thought which expresses that if you just exude a little more sunshine then you will attract more positivity and everything will work out.
I have upbeat moments. Moments of laughter, and silliness, all enjoyable enough, but I found myself tucked in the folds of the Goddess Morrigan for a reason; because more than once I found myself in undesirable circumstances that left puncture wounds all over my heart.
I am one of those spiritual women.
The ones that have endured, remained rooted to principle and belief as the onslaught began, and the waves filled my lungs and I thought I would drown.
I have resisted.
It lends itself to a sort of rawness, a presentation of self and spirituality which does not believe in easy answers to the grand questions.
Who knows what it is to truly face ruin and heartbreak alone, knowing, as I do, that if I disappeared from the social interactions the internet provides, I could disappear, and that would be the end of the story.
Isolation and silence make for uncomfortable bedfellows.
They are alot like medicine, capable of healing or causing harm.
“Poison is in everything and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy.” – Paracelsus
Aleksandra Milnkovic – Art
Certain pauses full of silence and isolation allow you to hear stirrings of the Universe itself; you feel connected to the tapestry of energy that weaves within and without, connecting us to every livung essence in this world.
Other moments allow you to hear your heart dropping and cracking against a bleak concrete floor; that very concrete floor you have resisted, pushed away from, and refused to be part of.
I sometimes find myself caught between the trap of the world that exists currently and the deeper spiritual world I know exists beneath it, and stirs like a fiery seed waiting to be birthed; wanting to do more, be more, to be better in a world which seemingly has venomous fangs and will strike down those seeking to push back against its broken shell.
There are times when I realise that finding the sterile environment this world presents as normal as personally horrifying… means that I struggle to operate within it… clawing for success in an arena that means something deeper… spiritually, emotionally, and from a heart level.
Then, even as I typed those words, the doorbell rings and an unexpected gift is handed to me, a portable art altar for the Goddess Morrigan that someone has sent by Her instruction:
The portable altar reads “Mother of this cold Earth, truth and courage, you are powerful in your essence, bring out our inner magic, our deepest truths, so that new life can grow.”
I burst into tears as the gift touches my soul, it is kind, thoughtful, and needed.
I have said before that “Often, in the face of pain, we reveal who we are,” (Goddess Morrigan and walking the painful path, link will be at the bottom,) and to that I hold and perhaps, for the purpose of this essay, amend; in the painful process of birth, we reveal who we are.
We talk about birth in the light half of the year as though it is simple, when it is not; it is bloody, painful, and alters everything… it is merely that we prefer to focus on the sweetness that can follow.
“The human superpower: forgetting. If you remembered how things felt, you’d have stopped having wars and stopped having babies.” – Doctor Who
So when I find myself in moments where uncertainty reigns and the path is uncertain, and I do not know where I will go, or who I am becoming, I remember.
It is birthing pains.
We stand on the precipice of a world which is clawing to silence, to tear out the throats of human evolution, and to keep the status quo of power in the hands of a few, the stories of those Other silent, to focus on the shallow broken shattered remnants of shell.
It is birthing pains.
When I feel as though the concrete is winning and ugliness is reigning and the world is out to sink its venom in my arms, I remember that I can take it and alchemize it into medicine, my medicine, my voice, transmuting this pain and heartbreak into a voice, a voice for all those who are told that they are not nice enough, not light enough, not likeable.
It is birthing pains.
I will be bloodied, and bruised, and even broken, and I will be born into who I am meant to be, who I am becoming. I will smile and laugh and consider myself fortunate, when I am, and when that is true.
And when the world is cruel and harsh and empty, I will scream and cry and flail.
“You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you.”
– Isodora Duncan
Stepping into the labyrinth of Spiritual adventure is to open ones self to a myriad of experiences, the commitment to the notion and practice of seeking. That search on a personal level came from a place of inner yearning; to know, to understand, to unravel the mysteries; to touch the primal livewire of something magickal and Other.
There was an innate knowing already, almost within my very bones, that I have come to feel is a spark passed down by my ancestors that fuels the fire of my inner fascination with the inferno of spirituality; that which burns from the inside as passionate desire to reshape ourselves, Phoenix-like from the ashes of who we used to be.
In a world that focuses unnecessarily and almost completely on the surface features, it can be an alienating feeling when one is fascinated by deeper thoughts, philosophical debates and the deconstructive mindset.
Whilst simple pleasure can be found in the mainstream, my soul ached endlessly for more. To dance around a bonfire howling at the stars instead of clubbing, to converse about the meaning of the universe rather than how much liquor had been drunk, to connect truly, utterly, and deeply.
To be understood, and loved, for the little weirdo that I was, and am.
Within the process of sharing spiritual dialogue the pitfalls of Toxic Spirituality and the resistance that comes with it is sadly predictable as a side effect of a human desire to control that which is other.
The practice of purposeful alienation exhibited by many in order to silence those who discuss and speak out around matters of spirituality is an invasive and ugly tumour within spiritual circles.
When a persons “right” to speak is met with ridicule and hostility, and the purpose of their thought (and feeling) process is derided in an attempt to undermine their worth.
Why share spiritual discussion?
Because I am not ashamed to; and in the sharing there is also seeking. A thought shared presents a little piece of who we are, perhaps recycling a little shadow in doing so – presenting it to the world as nothing more or less than the sum of personal experience and belief.
In doing so, perhaps we reach others in need of the message; because the disconnect from humanity is palpable in a world where what other people “deserve” is debated in all levels of social interaction, as though self appointed positions of power equate to the right to tyranny.
Sometimes, speaking from the heart and soul can bring other people home.
Home, is a concept of belonging that has plagued my personal growth at every turn, because every physical home has effectively been a cage; leverage of an economic kind by those who prey on my wound, and in truth, a part of my shadow that I am learning to heal and love.
A deeply empathic part of myself that yearns to connect with others, to love as deeply as I always have, which seemed to me to beyond what most people expressed. I chided myself for being overly sentimental and too attached to the idea of belonging; to be truly seen and loved and valued by someone who thought I was as magickal as stardust and just as cosmic.
I reminded myself that everyone wants a soul mate, and I wasn’t any different… nothing special.
That feeling gnawing in the back of my skull that I belonged by someones side as we strode out into the world, side by side, was nothing unique.
That the way certain stories and songs drew an energetic pain out of me that brought me truly and deeply to a well of emotion that seemed beyond myself was just a flair for the dramatic.
After all, my biological upbringing had instilled in me the ‘truth’ of how valuable I was… hadn’t it? And that was to say, I was utterly replaceable.
People always left.
And told me how difficult I was to love.
It has taken years to even begin unpicking this self-sabotage that was planted by others (and unwittingly nutured by my own self dislike.)
To give up on the quest to ‘plant myself into concrete’ where I did not belong, and gain approval from people who were never going to love me; to conquer that demon that echoed out from familiar patterns; hoping to heal the broken and show them that they weren’t alone, reaching out to the wounded and thinking they might understand…
Part of myself feels tired at the regurgitation of those seeking still to invalidate and make us feel inconsequential, who hop onto the bandwagon of damaging the esteem and self worth of those who already feel at odds with a social structure which feels fundamentally broken.
The other part will not let it lie. We seekers are putting ourselves on a line, to recover the knowledge that has been lost to the masses, to remember the dirt beneath our feet, the songs of our ancestors, and the magick in the inbetween. To look at the world in awe and wonder for all the majesty that is out there. To connect. To belong. To seek.
Then there are those moments of pure joy when you do manage to connect with people who are just your brand of weird. They celebrate who you are on every level without seeking to diminish your light. They are your fertile soil and not only encourage you to grow but are completely and utterly delighted in the process.
I dream still of reaching out headlong into a world side by side with people who completely connect and understand, to seek to be and embody the change that this world is crying out for desperately. To stand against those cutting down the human need to connect, be appreciated, to be heard, and to be loved, even celebrated.