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

It’s all about the chili spaghetti!

My life has been going through a vast amount of transitions over the last year and a half.  I have lost my spouse, moved, and now I am deconstructing my life to get into my car and leave.  Changes are both within and flowing through my life significantly.

The last couple of weeks everything has felt as though it is upside down, but in a good way.  I made a trip to Florida (a gift given to me from my son and his friends) to meet my grandchildren.  It was absolutely fabulous.  As any grandmother will tell you their grandchildren are the best in the world.  Mine are no exception!  They are kind, caring, funny, adorable and everything I could have ever dreamed for.  It was a new beginning and a beautiful way to start this journey that I am preparing to embark on.  My heart is full.

While going through all of these changes I noticed that I have been craving the same food, every day, for over a month.  I couldn’t figure out why.  It isn’t really like it is my favorite food.  I mean I love spaghetti just about anyway it can be made but the combination of chili and spaghetti hasn’t been something I have eaten a lot of over the last 40 years.  Until now.  I just can’t get enough of it.  It hasn’t gotten old in anyway.  It is really the only thing that I want (except chocolate of course).  It has literally driven my son, Jeremy, up a wall.  He has given me all kinds of headaches over it.  He isn’t into eating it every single day and doesn’t understand why that is all I really want. Honestly, I didn’t quite understand it either.  Until today.  I was having a conversation with my son’s best friend, Kity, while I was making this morning’s helping of chili spaghetti when he pointed out that when your life is going through so many changes you seek comfort (wisdom out of the mouth’s of babes).  In this case comfort foods or food at this point.

I knew as soon as the word’s came out of his mouth that truth had been spoken.  I have been so wrapped up in the thoughts and feelings about where my life is going and trying to live in the here and now, enjoying every moment.  I have been working diligently to let go of so many things, both materially and emotionally, that I didn’t think about the comfort level of life.  It has been a long while since I have been “alone” and not had someone to share my deepest thoughts and feelings with that everything just stays inside of me now, unless I am writing.  Normally, my comfort would have been voicing my thoughts, fears and dreams with Mike.  That doesn’t happen anymore and now there is nobody.  It is an adjustment and apparently one that I am working through, with chili spaghetti.  There is humor there, somewhere.

What this all means is that when we find ourselves going through life and so many things start to happen all at once we seek comfort.  Some seek it in alcohol. Some seek it in drugs.  Some seek it in food or sex.  Apparently I seek it in chili spaghetti.  Why is that?  Why do we turn to outer comforts to work through the things life throws at us?  Why don’t we see it when we do?  I didn’t see it.  Really I just thought it was an insatiable craving.  Instead it is a way to seek comfort.  Why are we blind to our own needs but can fulfill the needs of others and see them quite easily?

I have walked a path of self discovery and healing, one that has enabled me to get through a lot of things in my life for over 20 years now. Even now I still find that many times I am blind to my own needs. I continue to discover new and exciting things about myself daily.  I have found that I like different types of music, some of my son’s music is pretty cool (which is amazing to me). I like conversations with 20 something kids because their perspective is so enlightening. Somehow I think we as parents of these kids have created amazing creatures that see the world in a way that we never could because of our conditioning, they teach us so much if we are willing to listen. I find myself attracted to several types of men (this one is really surprising to me). I find that one of the things I find most attractive is intelligence and open mindedness, more so than how someone looks. I find myself surprised at some of the discoveries about myself but I also find that I am still blind to many things.

One of the things that I did after my first marriage, a time when I needed to find out who I was and what I wanted, was to try something new each day and write down what I liked and didn’t like.  Broccoli?  Do I like it or hate it?  Styx? Do I like their music or do I hate it?  I honestly didn’t know who I was nor what I liked.  I had been told for so long what I liked and didn’t like, what I could do and couldn’t do that I didn’t know who I was.

Looking back I see that this was the beginning of my journey of self discovery but at the time I was just trying to figure out what I liked.  I find myself going through this again only in a different way.  I am not walking away from an abusive marriage but rather learning to live after losing the one person I thought would always be by my side. I am learning to live again and in the process I am re-discovering who I am.  I am picking the pieces of my life up and putting myself back together, only in a new way.  It is scary as hell and exciting all at the same time.  I am finding that I have a very low tolerance for stupidity and loud noises.  Just things that before I would have just dealt with.  Now I remove myself from it.  Time is to damned short to tolerate things that annoy, bother or hurt you.

I suppose my point in writing all of this is that no matter what you are going through, no matter how bleak or bright things look at the moment, you will seek comfort.  Will you be aware that you are doing so?  Will you be blind to it? Will it really matter?  I think knowing that a particular food, act or need is providing you comfort shifts your perspective and when you shift your perspective even just a tiny bit the world changes.  Your world changes because you are now aware of the why’s and how’s.  In closing, I ask, where do you find your comfort? How does it fill your heart? How does knowing that tiny bit of information make your view of the world different?  Try figuring it out, you might be surprised at your own answers, I know I am.