At Beltane this year I stared into a flame, asking what I needed to commit to in body, mind and spirit. What was needing to come to the surface.
The first answer came quickly. Body? Movement, Dance. This made sense. No big surprise.
Mind? Stillness, staring. Also not surprising. Expected even.
Devotion to what? As someone who doesn’t do a lot of work with deities in my own practice, I was surprised by this answer. Who or what was I supposed to be devoted to?
I rolled this word around and around in my mind. I let it take up space in my mouth as I felt the texture of it. Speaking it aloud often in the coming weeks.
The answer was not as far away as it first felt.
The devotion I was (and am) being called to is creativity and specifically to my writing.
I felt it when I picked up my pen to journal later that week. The spark and calling was pervasive as I scrawled page after page.
My practice in devotion to creativity, to muse, to the godds of writing has been long flirted with. From one night stands to months long affairs, creativity and I have had some times.
In moments it consumed me in story, late nights at the keyboard, hours with pen to paper in coffeehouses, on trains, between classes. For years I carried a notebook and wrote in every free moment I could find. Other times, (most times these last 15 years), creativity in the form of my writing has been pushed to the background as my responsibilities (and sometimes my fear) took over.
Is it different this time?
I don’t know. It feels different. But I’m pretty sure it’s felt different before. I’m also pretty sure that it's a day by day choice.
Devotion can be sweet and like love can sweep us off our feet, yet also like love, when the initial rush of oxytocin wears off, devotion can require work, focus, and even discipline.
How does devotion show up in your life? Where are you choosing to devote your time, your energy, your passion to?
If it is not already, what would it look like, feel like, be like to make this devotion intentional?
And are you willing to take the plunge?
There is so much I want to share with you!
But since I must narrow it down to this one simple and hopefully digestible letter, I will begin with the most present thing.
The little girl was dancing and dancing. Her cat eared, sound canceling headphones made her look almost as if she were an animal. So connected to her body. So present in the experience. Aware of her herself and completely embodied.
Her little 7 year old self letting the music carry her deeper within, then without, taking in her surroundings before turning back in again, eyes closed. In and out, riding wave after wave of song.
Music invites us back to ourselves. To all of ourselves.
Maybe it’s a rhythm and that seeps into your skin and invokes movement you can’t help but surrender too.
Maybe it’s a familiar lyric or tune that calls your past self (or selves) back from the depths of history, memory, another time and place.
What was the last song that demanded an offering of presence from you?
Last night I went to a Matchbox Twenty and Matt Nathanson concert at a nearby outdoor pavilion. It was amazing!
Aside from the great company (shout out to my fellow Witch in the World Irisanya Moon), the fabulous music that awoke so many of my past selves and the gorgeous Spring evening, there was that sense of connection, of being a part of something. There was a sacred timeless space created there in that theater. Each of those 8000 plus people having their own experience, creating their own memories and simultaneously hearing the same music, a common and shining thread woven through the tapestry of moment.
I have written before about music as magic, as time travel, and yet it is so much more.
It is also a time stopper, a connector, a container, a Spell.
I invite you to use this tool for your magic.
What is the energy you want to invoke? What song(s) call this forth for you?
Choose one and play it, headphones in, world shut out and let it infiltrate your being.
What happens? Take note. Or better yet, make a note. Tell the story of this transformation.
Make a playlist-
Choose a mood, a time, a self you want to connect with and make a playlist of songs to support this part of you. Let it be fuel, balm, whatever you need it to be. Listen as needed.
Share the magic-
Text a friend or loved one a link to a song that is speaking to you.
Make playlists (remember mix tapes that you made for lovers and friends?), share them
Co-create-pick a theme and invite a friend, loved one (or multiple friends and loved ones) to add songs to the playlist with this theme. (this is making magic together and creating connection, weaving your own thread through each others experiences across time and space).
Most of all, have fun. Dance. Laugh. Cry. Let the music hold you and guide you.
Last night I offered my Priestessing in the Modern World Class.
It did not go as planned.
My sleeping puppy was wide awake and ready to play.
My husband and I had a miscommunication about timing and he wasn’t home or responding to my pre-class texts about how I needed him to take over puppy duties.
But I said I was offering this class, spo I was showing up for it.
When I commit I go all in.
If I say I am going to do something, I do it.
So I taught the class.
I had an allergy coughing attack right out of the gate.
My puppy wanted off the bed where I had tried to lull him into rest and alerted me with squeals.
Once off the bed he popped on the floor and proceeded to squeal his desire to get back up.
I kept talking. Working hard to modulate my voice and cover all my main points.
When there was a pause in the meditation I scooped him back onto the bed where that little guy relentlessly chewed my clothing, my hand and intermittently the toys I kept offering him.
My attention was totally split. By the time we wrapped the class, several people had left midway through. I was exhausted and frustrated and a little undone.
We went outside where the dogs ran and I breathed and grounded and worked to recenter.
Sometimes Priestessing looks like this. Sometimes it means showing up just as you are and staying the course.
Other times it is pivoting last minute or rescheduling a commitment.
Priestessing is the act of connecting to the energies of the earth and sky and Source, and letting those energies amplify your gifts.
But what about the times you can’t connect?
What about those moments when your attention is splintered?
After all, we are human.
The answer is “it depends”.
There are moments in Priestessing/leading/teaching, where the show must go on even when distractions emerge. It is in these moments that I lean into my own strengths as a way to carry me through.
It doesn’t always turn out as expected. But then I learn. After all there is always more to learn. Especially when in a leadership role.
Allowing oneself to be humbled is a part of growth.
So last night, I grew a little more. Accepted the reminder that sometimes a last minute reschedule might be in everyone’s best interest or a delay in start time to set myself up for puppy success could have been a benefit.
And I leaned into my humanness with compassion and surrender.
If you missed the class last night you can watch the replay with puppy whines, coughing and all here.
If you want to learn more about the program or if you have been considering it and are now ready to join you can do so here.
This was the question hanging in the balance in the late Summer of 2019.
There was aBusiness Witchery Retreat being held in Florida in November of that year and I wanted to go, but it was an investment. (And it meant flying across country for the second time that year, which as you likely know by now is not my favorite thing to do)
I was waffling back and forth but couldn’t come to a clear conclusion.
I did the pros and cons list.
I processed it endlessly.
But my yes and no were absent and I was just left hanging in the unknown.
Finally while talking it over yet again, a very wise friend asked “So have you checked it out with your pendulum yet?”
You might be asking yourself why I would consult my pendulum instead of my pros and cons list.
The answer is quite simple.
The act of divination takes me right out of my overthinking busy brain and back into the knowing of my body.
A pendulum is just an extension of my energetic field. It is controlled not necessarily by spirit or source, but by that part of myself that is sometimes drowned out by the chatter of my mind.
The pendulum said YES! And I booked my flight.
The trip was amazing to say the least, plane ride and all.
So the next time you find yourself going back and forth, having a difficult time making a decision, ask your pendulum. (a dry tea bag can work as a pendulum as well), and discover what your inner voice has to say.
Both the Priestess Path Awakening Series and the Wise Woman Witchery Outdoor Retreat, close for registration May 14th.
The details for both can be found in the links.
Dreams are portals. They lead us deep within the unconscious mind. They offer visions and insights. They make stories out of our day to day (wild and sometimes very choppy stories but stories nonetheless) in order to help us process and integrate our experiences.
Some people believe that dreams offer openings for messages from guides and our beloved dead. Some believe they gift us prophecies.
Me? I believe it all.
In the last two weeks my sleep has become a patchwork waking and dream. With the addition of a new puppy to the house, I’ve been waking every two hours to take him outside.
These intermittent wakings have led to an encounter with a skunk at 2 am (we all walked away untarnished), standing in the pouring rain at midnight, a shooting star and a very vibrant encounter with the full moon.
But these waking moments have also brought me much closer to my dreams. Those dreams that are embedded deep in the sleep realm, the ones we so often can not recall upon waking, have been close to the surface in these liminal moments.
And the dead have been visiting. I have been surprised to find my Dad, an Uncle, my old boss and mentor, my dog Willow and several more people now gone, showing up vividly in these dreams. There hasn’t been a clear message or theme, only that for the two days before Beltane until this past Friday, I have dreamed of deceased loved ones every night.
It wasn’t until I was talking to a friend about the thinning veils of Beltane and the potent full moon and eclipse that I realized these between the world spaces are easier to pass through now, whether beings from other realms/dimensions, or spirits from the otherworld.
If you want to increase dream recall, regardless of time of year or lunar cycle, segmented sleep actually assists with this process. Waking up a couple of times in the night you may discover yourself remembering those places your psyche was traveling only moments before and you don’t need a puppy to make it happen.
Just set your alarm clock for three hours after you fall asleep and when you awaken, write down what you remember from your dream travels.
Not sure you want to disrupt your beauty sleep? Daily dream journaling penned upon waking and discussions of your dreams with friends or in a dream group can help increase recall and understanding of the information coming through.
Sweet dreams Wise Ones.
“Once we start to work with Feminine power we begin to see that it is not our minds that are in control of this power – it ebbs and flows with the movements of the planets, the procession of the seasons, the moons and tides, our own internal cycles of menstruality, anniversaries, the events around us. All these and more impact our experience and expressions of power. We learn to become aware of these various patterns and their impact on us and work more consciously with rather than against or in spite of them. We learn that they are all part of the same process. We open towards the energy, rather than shut down to it. We learn to trust the flow.”
― Lucy H. Pearce, Burning Woman
I found this quote to day and it gave me chills. THIS is exactly what the Priestess Path Awakening series is all about.
Tuning in to the energies around us. Learning and practicing skills to align with these energies, to find our place within their rhythm and flow and to let this guide us in both our mystical and mundane lives, until we discover more and more overlap between the two.
The next cohort of the Priestess Path begins May 20th. This is less than two weeks away!
Registration closes May 14th.
Are you ready to embrace your magic and step into your power?
You can find all the details and Register here.
I’ll see you on the Path!
I want to hold your hand. To sing with you.
To craft with you. To hear your story.
I want to listen to the wind in the trees with you.
Watch the stars with you.
Laugh with you.
Maybe cry a little too.
I want to circle around a crackling fire with you and make magic in the arms of the wild.
The Wise Woman Witchery Outdoor Summer Retreat is closing for registration on Sunday May 14th.
If you want to join us now is the time to sign up.
We gather Sunday June 25th to Tuesday June 27th, for three days of sweet medicine that can only be found in nature, mixed with ceremony and community, an alchemical potion of pure magic.
The details of this event can be found here.
Emily Morrison MA, MFT