I miss this blog.
What happened was, I wanted to start writing about being a mom more, kind of like a mom-blog, but that didn’t feel like it fit here on Breakfast With the Gods – the point of which was to write about my burning question, “What are the Gods?”, and my journey to meet with them.
So I started SpiritMAMA, a platform for the rediscovery of earth based spirituality and raising kids close to the Mama. I want/ed SpiritMAMA to be about service – passing on things that I have learned. And, about building community and collaboration – this month I had my first submission from someone other than myself! and SM hosted my first fundraising project for the local yoga studio where I got certified as a teacher last year. It’s also about me coming out of the ‘pagan’ closet – an admission and acceptance of what I am and what I believe in and what I think is cool.
But, SpiritMAMA feels much more public than this blog does. Almost like a persona. So, going there to write about my personal problems, process, spiritual praxis, doesn’t feel right.
I really miss writing about that stuff. I miss how grounding it is for me. How illuminating. And also how much it actually keeps me on my spiritual path and in doing my practice. And that is so important! What an amazing tool this blog has been for me.
I spent some time here today reading old posts. I thought I was just writing shit – you know like stream of consciousness, unedited, go with the flow kind of shit but man, some of those posts are good! I was surprised at how much I have changed since 2012 and what a cool thing it is to have this blog to look back on.
I remember from back in the day, one of the main things that a therapist can do for you is to remind you of how far you have come. Well then, this blog is like good therapy.
And I miss you guys. It’s hard to tell, but I think I have a different kind of following over at SM.
So it is possible to have two blogs? We shall see. Who knows? Who has the time for such things? I will endeavour to try it out.
And so to that – an update for those of you who may have been following my crooked path to the gods:
Here’s a bit from me in my last round-up post for 2014:
“In this past year I’ve completed the medicine wheel and am now a full mesa carrier. I’m doing a masters in world shamanism at Ocean Seminary College, along-side rune study and an initiatory degree in Seidr, the old Norse shamanistic path. I’ve just apprenticed under a teacher in Wales as well – which I’ll talk more about in 2015. I also found out that the endless pitter-patter of my heart is actually a health issue, and this has taken up a lot of my time and energy while navigating through the medical system and searching for alternative ways back to good health.”
I still study in seminary college, though it is very slow going. One course at a time and when I have time. Life has gotten in the way many times, with me going back to work after being at home for 5 years with my baby (who is not a baby anymore). I have switched my major to Goddess Studies, with studies also in shamanism and neo-paganism.
I relinquished my studies in Seidr, mainly because of this shamanic journey I had where Freyja told me this was not my path. And, because I do honour the gods, I felt like I had to listen ultimately. They know what’s best, They know things I do not. Seidr is a really intense super powerful practice – also quite dark. Looking back at where I was then and how fragile my health was, I can see why She would have said this. Some things are not meant to be tampered with for some people at some times. I believe this can change as well, as we change.
I didn’t apprentice under the teacher in Wales for long. I loved her but found that studying online was not immersive enough for me. If I lived in the UK I could have gone to see her periodically instead – this is preferable. I’m not the best in self-study I have to admit.
This year I started a new Wheel with a local circle. I’d say it’s a cross cultural Wheel – the cosmology is Celtic (so excited about this!) and my teacher is of that decent though her immediate family is Australian. She pilgrimages to Ireland regularly.
I studied this teacher from afar for about 5 years before taking the plunge into her apprenticeship. And it was good because I don’t think she would have had what I was looking for until now. She has also grown on her path. I like her. She’s a tiny red-headed spitfire who also giggles constantly – and she’s older than me, so not my peer – which is preferable. Her own teachers are from Peru, Ireland and our local First Nations here in BC. My ancestors are Norse/Germanic and Celtic – all medicine teachings were destroyed by the Christians oh so many eons ago. The best we can do is try to solidify the shadows that remain and reconstruct where necessary. And there are many great modern Celtic/Norse/British practitioners to learn from. I was happy to hear that she’s trained with Peruvian teachings as well, because they are some of the only medicine teachings on the planet untouched by colonialism.
I still have Graves disease. Lol 🙂 I don’t think you ever don’t have it once you have it. It’s much better than it was back in 2013 when I first got diagnosed. I had all of last year without any symptoms at all. Last April – June as I mentioned above, I was able to complete a 200 hour yoga teacher training without any ill effects. In fact I felt so much batter after that training that yoga has become an irreplaceable tool in my toolbox.
This April I went back for more training in Yin yoga, which is a passive style of yoga meant to access deep tissues (and issues). It’s a trip to say the least! A trip into the parasympathetic nervous system (deep rest) – somewhere those with Grave’s may not go often.
I’m now also seeing a Naturopath and a TCM doc who’s giving me acupuncture every week for a while along with Chinese herbs. The acupuncture feels very similar to the Yin – more deep rest. My body soaks it up.
I’ve also found that using yoga shamanically has amazing results. On my Wheel weekends this year, we meet at a lovely community centre right on the ocean. I just bring a mattress and sleep there for the weekend. In the mornings I get up early and do yoga, meditate and also dowel (more on that in a min). That has been a fantastic way to ground before entering the circle and offer up the energy built in practice to the Mama or the Apus surrounding us (Ap-poos is a Q’ero word for Mountain spirits). But – also in my own journey work I have found that doing yoga before approaching the spirits actually helps me connect WAY more. It’s astonishing at times. I am able to feel the work, even hear them sometimes – and I can go so much deeper into myself without burning out.
So I ‘m looking at doing my 300 hour training in Shamanic yoga OR in Yoga Therapy. What I realized throughout my yoga journey is that although I love doing vinyasa, ashtanga and hatha classes, I have no desire to actually teach these yoga classes. I realized that yoga can be used as a therapeutic tool for healing physical, psychological and spiritual malaise. I want to work with small groups in workshops and one-on-one to this end.
Oh and dowelling! An amazing new friend in my life – using a wooden dowel instead of a foam roller or ball to roll out the fascia layer all over the body. I was taught this in Yin and now do it regularly. It’s an amazing way to access the tissues, expel the issues (my teacher calls the dowel the demon-stick) and connect with the body.
Ok wow this post is getting long. If anyone is still with me I thank you for listening as always.
I just want to say that aside from all this stuff I’m doing, my being is pretty ok as well. I’m still learning, still stretching. I realized that a lot of my anguish in this blog was from postpartum depression/anxiety, which began to clear up once my baby and I were finally sleeping through the night when has was around 3 years old. I don’t mean to minimize it – he is almost 7 now and I am still feeling the effects of that 3 years of sleep deprivation. I tumbled over into Graves disease because of it – which caused even more anguish. But it is better for sure. I am not 100% yet. I still have anxiety. People still freak me out. I still have a tendency to hermit and seek solitude and escape into my books. But, ‘the fortress’ that used to be my internal landscape has melted quite a bit. I credit 9 hours of sleep per night for this yes – but also my prayers, my altars, my teachers, my ancestors who are always with me, my guides and my gods.
I know so much more now – about myself, about blogging, about my spiritual path. I think the biggest difference between me now and in the past here in this blog is that I am not afraid anymore – or at least not as much 😉
And about my burning question? What are the gods? Well somewhere along the line I realized I know they are there, absolutely. But I no longer think it really matters what they are, just that they are.
Happy to be back here.
Much love and light. Ever more to come,
xo Sky on her Isle (aka SpiritMAMA)
featured image The Pathway by Stephen Tierney