Within The Cauldron

At the bottom of Cerridwen’s Cauldron it is dark. There is no light. Transformation happens within Her cauldron. It is never easy. It is never a walk in the park and it takes determination to peel the layers away so when you emerge from the darkness you are no longer the person who entered.

I have been within this Cauldron many times over the years but never like I have been in the last year and a half. It has been the darkest, most treacherous, heart wrenching, earth shattering trip within the Cauldron I have ever experienced and I am thankful.

Cerridwen is my patron Goddess. Many fear Her. I adore Her. She has guided me, taught me, loved me, knocked me on my ass, held my hand and always made sure that I knew that no matter what She is here. To many She is the Hag, to me She is the beauty that resides within this world. Not the beauty that we think of when we see a pretty picture, no, the beauty that lies deep within each of us. The beauty we are afraid to share because we carry so much pain and are afraid to love.

Fear is a nasty beast. We all have it. Most of us are afraid to open ourselves up to others for fear that we will once again be hurt. I have been dealing with this on a very personal level for a while now. It is hard to trust others with your heart. It is hard to trust yourself. The emotion of love is hard because so many times there is loss attached to it. Love itself is not painful. In fact, it is one of the purest, most amazing energies in the world but the emotion we attach to it can and does hurt. Usually because we attach expectations to it and when those expectations are not met we incur hurt.

In our society we tend to affiliate love with sex, passion, relationships. In reality love is an energy that flows throughout the Universe on a continuous basis. We feel it flowing every time we sit in nature. We walk away filled with a sense of wonder and peace, to me this is love. It is abundant and it is beautiful. We just misuse the word and we have redefined it’s meaning in a way that we now believe that love hurts.

As I have been working on emerging out of the Cauldron it has been a long, arduous trip. I have struggled with being without my husband, my best friend. I have struggled to find what makes me happy. It is funny how so many times you find happiness within another and when they are no longer here you no longer know what makes you happy. It is a journey of rediscovering yourself. Somehow you lost yourself in the love and the relationship with another. I have struggled with finding my footing, with my inner and outer beauty, to open my heart again, with trusting others, with letting go. I have struggled with life itself. I have searched for the blessings in life and I have found many. I continue to stay focused on the blessings all while struggling with my inner self.

I am not good with compliments. I can give them and mean them with all of my heart but receiving them is something I have struggled with for a long while. When someone tells me that I am awesome my first thought is that I am nothing special. When someone tells me I am beautiful it creates a reaction within that makes me cry. I don’t see it. I know that within I am a good person. I always strive to do the right thing. I always give all of myself but I have never considered myself to be anything but a normal person just trying to get through life. I can be a pretty sarcastic person (I know this is a defense mechanism) and when someone tells me I am beautiful my first reaction is “here let me loan you my glasses.”

I am learning. I am working on accepting the view that others have of me. In the process I am finding me again. I am finding that person that has been within for so long, the woman who knows what love is and is willing to give her all. I am finding me again. It isn’t easy. It is a daily struggle. Not because I don’t feel worthy but rather because I have to find my boundaries and not give up on myself.

Over the last four months I have started to dream again. There is great pain, at times, in dreaming. You see things you want and you strive to make them happen and when they fail you feel as though you are back in the bottom of the cauldron. It is dark, you fight to catch your breath, you scratch your way out and you emerge once again, changed. It has been a daily happening for me. At some point in every day I find myself thrown into the Cauldron again. I can hear Cerridwen cackling through the whole process and yet somehow when I emerge She is standing there telling me “Girl you got this and I am holding you up.” Transformation is painful.

Today, the Cauldron is deep and dark. Today, I struggle with letting go of another dream. Today, I let go. Today, I stand in the knowledge that I have done my best and my best was not good enough. Today, I realized that if you have to fight to make something happen that should happen easily then it just isn’t what it should be and you have to let go. Today, I am changed once again. Today, I let the love of the Goddess, the love of Spirit flow through me and show me the beauty of this world. It brings me strength. It gives me hope and ultimately it helps me emerge a new person. I am falling in love with this person I am becoming.

Shedding the old is not easy. It is our comfort zone. It is how we know to be. Yet, many times if we really look, those old ways bring pain, old comfortable pain. Letting it all go and stepping out of our comfort zone is not an easy way of being. You find yourself in awkward situations, you find yourself searching for how you feel about someone or something and the answers aren’t always clear at first. The world seems murky. With time though clarity comes and you see everything in a different light, your perspective has shifted and life is new and fresh again.

I know that each day I find something new within. I find that I can do all of the things I dream of doing. I can have the life I see in my visions. I can and I will. The Cauldron is dark and deep but Emergence is bright and beautiful. Soon Resolution will be here and the cycle will begin again, but for today, my trip to the bottom of the Cauldron has brought me into an emergence that is new, scary and exhilarating all at the same time. Letting go and becoming is a journey and my journey has really just begun. I see it, feel it and know it. I am embracing it and allowing the love to flow. Cerridwen is holding me up and showing me a beautiful new world, flawed and beautiful, just like me.

In Her Service,

Sage

Emergence

As I stated in my “about me” section I follow two paths, they intersect and I am integrating them, quite beautifully, together.  On one path I follow the path to Avalon through the Sisterhood of Avalon.  On the other I follow a shamanic path that is based on Peruvian/Andean teachings.  I can see their wheels together and they are very similar in many ways. One is sunwise and one is moonwise.  Yet both have the similar healing’s and although different symbols are used they take you to the same yet different places in your own sovereignty.

Right now, in the Sisterhood, we are working on the cycle of Emergence. Descent, Confrontation and now Emergence have all been intense for me this year.  Some days I have wondered if I would survive this cycle, emotionally.  I didn’t consciously work the cycle this time.  In fact, I quite consciously, decided to “take a break” because of all of the turmoil in my life.  The funny thing is though that when you walk this path there is no such thing as “taking a break.”

The cycle works whether you engage in it or not.  It is funny when you realize this.  When you can see that your Descent was one of the deepest and darkest you have incurred in all of the years you have walked this path.  When you can see that your Confrontation was brutal beyond words.  When you want to breathe a sigh of relief because you are coming into Emergence yet you know that it is far from over, there is still healing that needs to be done.  When you realize that the cycle is working you instead of you working it.  It is amazing.  It is beautiful.  It is heart wrenching.  It is painful.  It is worth it.

Integrating two paths together is extremely intense.  I was having a conversation last night with a beautiful soul that is interested in learning about Shamanism. One of the things I have learned walking both of these paths is that once you are called you cannot just walk away.  They take hold of you, they rule who you are becoming and they rule every little thing in your life at all times.  There is no walking away.  There is no choice to not engage.  You are here, you are doing the work and you are living the work no matter what you are doing in life.

It becomes a part of your being and you can run but you can’t hide.  Spirit rules. These paths are not for the faint of heart.  They are demanding.  They are fulfilling. They are exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time.  They are why you wake up in the morning and know that somehow, some way, you are standing in your sovereignty, yet, your life is not your own.

What do I mean by “your life is not your own?” Here is the thing, when you start walking either of these paths you have been called.  There is no saying no.  I guess you could just walk away but you will always have that yearning and Spirit will always bring you right back to where you are being called to, no matter where else you look or what else you choose to study.

When you first start out in the Sisterhood you begin by learning the Holy Days, you integrate them.  Then you go on and learn the landscape in which your soul walks.  Lastly, you begin working with the Goddesses of the path.  In this particular path you get to know Rhiannon, Cerridwen, Bloudewedd, Arianrhod and Branwen.

During this work you will have connections.  One holy day will usually become your favorite.  One piece of the landscape will call your name no matter where you live.  One Goddess will resonate louder than the others.  For me the Goddess who chose me was Cerridwen.  She can be one of the most difficult Goddesses to please, yet, She is also one of the most giving and loving Goddesses I have ever worked with.  Of course this is just my view and experience. Other Sisters may see it differently. That is the beauty of this path, everything is based on your own perspective. Your personal experiences are validated by your work and most often others have experienced similar things at the same time.

When I started my Shamans training I was taught about the animal symbols and what they represented.  In my path it is Snake, Jaguar, Hummingbird, Condor/Eagle.  The Sun God Inti Tayta, The Earth Goddess Pachamama.  I can say that much of my training was working with these entities as well as learning the tools to heal.  Much like the Sisterhood your perspective begins to change when you develop a personal connection with all of these beings. Life becomes more beautiful yet it also becomes more challenging. Especially when you do not follow where you are led.

As I said earlier, right now in the Sisterhood we are working through Emergence. The equivalent to this in my Peruvian path is the Hummingbird.  The Hummingbird brings you the sweet nectar of life.

Emergence is when you begin to come out of the darkness and can look back at the healing that has occurred.  The issues you have faced and the changes within that have occurred.  It gives you a chance to see the shift in your perspective.  It allows you to look in the mirror and see the woman you now are while seeing the woman you were. You allow yourself to acknowledge that you may not have healed all of you but you healed some of the layers that needed it.

You know that there is more.  You know that the next cycle will bring forth more healing, but for now, in this moment, the pain is not so intense, the anger is not so engulfing, the hurt is not so overwhelming and you have changed.  It is a good thing.  Your life is yours and you have healed, even if it isn’t completely healed, it is complete. You can enjoy the sweet nectar of life with the you that you have become by allowing yourself to be alright with where you are at this moment in time.

Emergence allows you to step into your sovereignty and be the woman that you are suppose to be.  When you are aware that you have survived and you are stronger for it. Your perspective has changed because you have changed. You know that life is good.  You can stand in your truth.  Live unapologetically.

As Emergence takes hold in my life I know that I stand firm.  I know that whether I truly decide to engage or not Spirit is working within and without.  I know that life is changing and I am working on embracing those changes.  Never discount the beauty of the path you walk.  When you embrace it you emerge a new person, changed forever but changed for the better.  Life is beautiful, now go live it.

In Her Service,

Sage