This morning I woke up with a noisy brain. A project I'm co-creating required tending and instead of sleeping a little longer the excitement of getting my fingers on the keyboard lured me from warmth into the predawn.
As I finished my part in the magical collaboration, I felt accomplished. Content. Satisfied.
A couple hours later I was in a shame spiral. A well meaning friend made a simple comment. One that sent my ego into self comparison. Self judgement. One that made me want to crawl back in bed and perhaps never get out.
Imposter syndrome was in full effect.
And that's it.
It happens that fast.
One minute, content and accomplished, and the next feeling sick, and certain that it is only a matter of time before I am discovered to be a fraud.
Or maybe it has already happened.
I tried to talk it out.
I tried to use music to shift that contraction in my belly
I even took a shower and visualized washing it away
But none of it worked.
I was convinced I was the least magical, capable, wise human on the planet.
Do you know that feeling Wise One?
The one that whispers "You're not good enough" or "You're doing it wrong"?
These simple and untrue statements have so much power. Sometimes.
So when my strategies for crawling out of my shame spiraling imposter syndrome failed, I tried something else.
I stepped away from my computer. I crossed the threshold from inside to out, and let the earth soothe me.
Escaping to a sacred space here in Sonoma County, where the fossils of now extinct redwoods lie in repose, the story that nursed my imposter syndrome into being was silenced.
Where new growth sprouts from the remains of trees covered in ash 3.4 million years ago, my magic began to stir.
The song of the wind through leaves and needles and the voices of birds, the smell of drying but still damp earth, the feel of soil and sand, roots and rocks and volcanic ash now stone, echoing up through the soles of my shoes landed me back in the moment. Back in my Self.
Reminding me of the energy that is magic, coursing through the natural world. Coursing through me.
In my childhood home, Desiderata hung on my bathroom wall. Today I was reminded of several of the poignant and powerful lines in that piece of writing.
Today, I want to share these with you.
" If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself." and "Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should"
(If you are not familiar with Desiderata, you can read the full text HERE)
Wise Ones, today I invite you to find something that reminds you of the magic that resides within and the connection that you have to Source.
And when you do, be with it for awhile.
Eclipse season is here. This Friday November 19th the full moon in Taurus will be bringing with it the longest eclipse we’ve seen in quite some time. This eclipse will last 6 hours and will be a partial eclipse. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area we are expecting this to begin just about 10 pm PT and reach its peak at 1 am. Although not quite a full lunar eclipse, we can expect that here we will see it looking quite blanketed in shadow.
Be sure to check to see what time you might be able to catch this event in your area.
Full Moons are such a powerful time. The energy of the moon is at its peak as it shines its abundant light. It is unshadowed and unbound.
This time is one that we can align our magical workings with to amplify our intentions and spells. It is also a time we can cleanse and charge our magical tools, release and even use the energy for forgiveness. When the moon is at its pinnacle it offers us higher vibrations and just a little (or a lot) “more”.
Taurus is a fixed sign and one that likes comfort and stability. An eclipse is motion and change. So if you find yourself feeling a little unsettled or uncomfortable with this week's full moon, do not be surprised.
I like to think about eclipses in the way that they bring shadow to the forefront. They invite what has been hidden to become seen. If we equate the moon to our emotional bodies, we can ask the question, “What emotions have I been pushing down or avoiding?” or “What shadow aspects of myself have I not seen or been keeping hidden?” AND “Am I ready to unveil these things now?”
Connecting with the lunar eclipse and its cyclical process might be just the thing you need to help you bring some of these aspects to the surface and shine that unveiled full moon energy into those dark corners.
Lunar Samhain was this last Thursday and I have been dreaming loudly because of it. Deep and visionary dreams with visitations and prophecies I have yet to untangle the meanings of.
How have you been dreaming? What have you been remembering in those sweet in between moments, before rising from bed?
I notice when I take time for my dreams, when I give them space to be remembered, they become clearer and more frequently follow me back to the waking realm. I then begin to discover the gems of information and inspiration that live in the images and emotion that made the crossing from sleep into waking.
Are you connecting with your dreams?
Do you remember them?
Write them down?
Our dream selves have much more access to our deeper realms, to other realms and to all the places our waking ego gets in the way of us accessing.
Have you ever tried dream divination?
Get clear and concise on the question you want to ask.
Write it down on a piece of paper.
Before you go to sleep read the paper aloud to yourself just before you shut off your light.
Tuck it beneath your pillow and see what unfolds.
Be sure to write your dream down as soon as you wake as this is when they are usually clearest.
Happy Dreaming Everyone!
As we traverse this time when access to otherworlds is so much easier to make and the shadows grow deeper inviting us into our inner realms, I have been thinking a lot about the role of the psychopomp.
In mythology, this is the guide that takes us from the land of the living into the otherworld at the time of death. There are many gods and goddesses who fill this role across different pantheons.
A couple of examples of these important guides are Anubis in the Ancient Egyption pantheon, the Banshee in Irish traditions, Thanantos in Greek mythology and even our friend the Grim Reaper.
A psychopomp can also be an animal and is often seen as a bird, or a flock of birds that lead the way to the underworld/otherworld.
In Jungian Psychology a psychopomp is the mediator between the conscious and the unconscious realms. Symbolically a psychopomp might make itself known in the dream state as a wise being in human form or an animal or even an otherworldly being.
As we honor our beloved dead and make our way deeper into Self, let us offer gratitude for these beings that pass between both internal and external worlds and guide us along our paths.
It is about a Witch whose family casts good spells on people, but when the daughter of the family, Maggie, does this no one notices. So she casts mischievous spells to see if this gets her family’s attention.
This culminates in Maggie using a spell to take all the children's candy on Halloween. But when she realizes she has made them sad, she becomes sad too. It is the sadness that her parents notice and with their promises to work on noticing her good deeds more, she returns the candy by creating a candy festival in the town square.
Why did I love this book?
Well it’s about a witch (and a kid witch at that). But I also understood the feeling of wanting to be noticed and seen for the good deeds, and often not being noticed, so I’d get louder or naughtier.
I also loved it for the energy it brings of casting good spells and gifting people with things that bring joy.
Wise Woman Witchery was founded with the intention of helping women step into their power and be SEEN in this!
If you haven’t already hop over to Facebook and join the Wise Woman Witchery group. It’s always ok to lurk, but trust me when I say I’d love to have you join in or even start a conversation.
Let’s make magic!
My mom has this great story about a time when I was three and she had pneumonia. The pneumonia part was not so great but my three year old self was pretty clever and creative if I do say so myself.
The story goes that my mom was really sick and in bed feeling miserable when she began to smell an odd scent. She couldn’t quite identify it but knew she needed to get up and see what was going on.
She found me in the kitchen with a big bowl with all the spices in the cupboard dumped into it. I was making a potion and I was very excited about it!
Of course this potion wasn’t really good for much outside of all the things it could do in my imagination and it took my mom literally years to replace the spices I had used. Clearly my mom was not the winner in this story.
Yet I love this story because it is a little moment in time where my small self stepped into the realm of connecting with plants as magic.
As an adult, plant magic is still something I connect with, in my yard, my medicine cabinet and most often in the kitchen.
The simplest way I do this is through the teas I drink every day. You can find these potions pre blended for you at the market. Traditional medicinals and Yogi tea both make great blends. You can also check out the blends at Tea and Tarot (they make fabulous tisanes and are out of Connecticut but ship in the US)
If you want to get a little more involved in the potion making process though, it can be really fun to make your own herbal tea blends. Be sure to use herbs that you know are safe to ingest. And example might be turmeric and ginger, or peppermint and lavender. You can keep it simple or get creative. The possibilities are endless!
My husband recently taught me something new...
The acorns are thick this year. They are littered everywhere, reaching even beyond the branches of the oaks, carried by birds and winds and squirrels, stuffed into the trunks of trees and poking out of the ground, stashed as winter supplies for the critters.
My husband recently shared with me that folklore around such an abundant harvest of these nuts, suggests a rough winter ahead. The idea being that these acorns are shed to support the wildlife through the coldest darkest time of the year.
Science suggests that it is actually the conditions of the growing season that is ending that decides on the bounty from the oak.
Instead of the future being told by this marker, it is the story of the past that is littered about under these trees.
This seems fitting for this time of year. As we move closer to the final harvest I find myself in a state of reflection. This time of year as the veil between worlds thins, it is to the past where my mind wanders, and I find myself remembering.
It was 20 years ago that I found myself at a public Samhain ritual for the first time and had a deeply profound trance that anchored me on my spiritual path.
As Samhain approaches, my ancestor altar gets more abundant with photos and flowers and acorns too. And my memories create a lovely landscape of those I have loved who have made their way to whatever lies after this life in the next. I remember too the loss and challenges of the last 19 months and take pause to acknowledge and all that we as a collective have shared.
Are the acorns dropping where you are?
What storiees do you find in their harvest?
What rituals of remembrance are unfolding for you?
The leaves rattle in the wind... Fierce and loud, then slower and quiet until they find stillness for a heartbeat or a breath, only to awaken again. The air blowing past my face is fresh and cool. My hair dancing among the breezes, curling and tangling. The scent of dry sweet grasses fills my body with knowing.
Emily Morrison MA, MFT