This is my takeaway from the #metoo movement. Women are making a stand, no longer content to put up and shut up, to be quiet while we overlook violations made against us. This goes for all feminine upon the earth -- the innocence, the children, the receptive, beauty...
The fruits of summer have all been eaten and the leaves of the trees begin to fall...
In Autumn we feel the winds of change taking away the light of the long days, bringing a slight chill and reminding us of the impermanence of all things. Here is a simple autumn ceremony to do with yourself or our community to let go so that we can begin to dream in the new.
Make a nice space for yourself. Tidy up your sacred space, make some tea. Get some paper and a pen or pencil. Light a candle and some incense. Take a few deep breaths and let go. Sit up nice and tall, let any stress fall away.
Call in your guides, guardian angels, Great Spirit/Creator/God/Goddess/Infinite Intelligence.
Think back upon the summer months: What has your experience been? Who are the characters in your Divine play? What have you learned? What pains and sorrows have come and what lessons dis they bring? Re-capitulate the gifts, the harvest of summer. Write them down.
Anchor in the lessons learned and cut from the plants that you are ready to let go. You may say aloud that you bless and release such and such or so and so. You may want to burn or bury that which you are letting go of. You may want to keep a list of that which you are keeping for the Winter. A list, a collage, a drawing can represent the harvest, the bounty that will nourish you throughout the winter. Keep only that which adds to your strength. Let go that which weakens, be it thoughts or otherwise.
Thank you & Release
Thank the powers that you have called in. You may ask for their continued guidance and protection.
Autumn blessings to you!
ElizaBeth, Temple Holder and Initiator on The Priestess Path
At this time, astrologically, we are sandwiched in between two eclipses, and the shadow is up!
The shadow must first be enlightened in order to be loved into the totality of our being.
There are two major aspects of shadow - a light side of shadow and a dark side. On the light side of shadow, it is a tender part of yourself that needs and longs to be seen and embraced.
When we bear witness and become fully present to this aspect of shadow, it often dissipates. When we ask to hear her voice and listen to her wounds, offering the balm of our own compassion, the need of the shadow to get our attention can dissipate.
Shadows love the light. In fact, they need the light to exist.
There is another aspect of shadow requires us to have enough self love to say, "no!" It happens sometimes that other people project their shadows onto us to one degree or another. When we feel this happening, we may ask yourself: What feels appropriate for me to do now? Sometimes, you will get the answer that you need to do or say something.
One of my grand masters, Swiftdeer Nagual elder of the Deer Tribe, always said that "confrontation is an act of self love." This is because it takes self love to say no to someone or to confront someone when we feel a shadow has been projected onto us. There is a mindful art to shadow-boxing with others that to this day, I am still "perfecting" which involves a method of questioning one's own understanding. This way is part of a larger body of teachings from our Taoist martial art lineage that has to do with honorable interactions between teacher and student in the dojo.
Asking questions about your understanding of what a person has said or done first, before you make accusations, is the best way to disarm a shadow situation and gives the best chances for resolution IF the other decides to participate in a respectful way.
The martial art, Akido, teaches that the softest way you can interact with shadows is to absorb their power, and set them down softly to the ground. Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Akido, was unbeatable and could defeat multiple opponents attacking him at once. He nearly remained in one place, allowing the attack to come to him, then he met it with just enough energy to redirect the force of the opponent. The opponents feel to the ground like butter. He called this fighting style, "The Way of Peace" and he stands out as one of the most famous and successful grand masters of history.
The teaching that I received in my martial lineage about dealing with shadow is called "Meet the Teacher" and it is only given to those who are deeply committed to training and being a protective and upstanding member of the dojo. Being a master instructor and lineage holder of our Shaolin and Taoist martial art tradition, I now am in the role of handing these teachings down and I had the honor of recently sharing it with the Priestess Path initiates. It is a truly life changing teaching for those who's dharma bring it about and I am honored to be carrying it on.
So, when is it appropriate for us to say no to someone else's shadowy projections and to confront them with a self-loving boundary? Here is a list that comes to mind:
It is appropriate to have a boundary and to say "no!" when:
- violence is sent your way
- another would like to violate you
- someone is trying to steal your light
- someone is attempting to sexually harass or harm you
- someone is betraying you
- someone is extorting you
- someone is yelling at you
- someone is attacking you
And the list goes on..
During these times, when another is acting upon us in a less than loving way, we are faced with a choice:
To do or not to do, that is the question!
Do we say something? Do we do something? What if what I say makes it worse? This is usually why we do not say anything, because we are afraid of making "things" worse... and so the shadow builds and builds....
This is where prayer and meditation comes in. When you are in shadow and you do not know what to do or say, I have found the best thing to do is to get quiet and go inward. We must do this in order to hear our intuition -- that faint voice inside of us that is always right, but that is so quiet that we often override it with our mind.
Depending on your spirituality, you may ask God/Great Spirit/your angels for guidance on what to say or do. If you have a spiritual practice like shamanism, you can journey to your spirit guide or power animal and ask them what is the best course of action.
I recently brought a difficult situation to my spirit guide only for him to tell me not to do anything! He had to wrestle the situation out of my hands telling me to "let go!". I let it go with a lingering desire to continue to obsess and pick at it and then, to my pleasant surprise, just as he said the situation was resolved within the week!
Our spirit guides are very wise and 30 years of journeying has taught me to listen them even when my lower self would like to hold on to pain and sufferings.
In summary, from decades of doing shadow work I have found two aspects of shadow that are important to identify. One aspect being a part of our self or another that is seeking understanding and embrace into the totality of our light being. Another aspect of shadow is when another (which can also include our self) is inflicting harm upon us. While all aspects of shadow have, by nature, suffering encapsulated in thier complex, all shadows are not the same in degree or intent. There are times when it is appropriate to say no and have a boundary to shadows. Again, the art of saying no and having boundaries is always something we can work on to add nobility and dignity to our character.
When we say no, it does not have to be said to the persons face or even out loud. It can be an internal stance that you take to, for example, not answer the phone when they call or text for the 100th time phone-stalking you. It could be to not say anything as a response on Facebook or Twitter and just let their shadow project onto you and pass you by...
The important thing to keep in mind is that each shadow is it's own being. Each one has a personality, needs and desires and it is important that you listen to your inner guidance on how to dance with the shadow.
Sometimes the best dance is the one not taken.
Be kind to yourself during these eclipses and if you want to do some loving shadow work, you can check out the 40 min video clarification and meditation I made to bring the shadows into the loving light.
ElizaBeth, Temple Holder and Initiator on The Priestess Path
Today is the the first anniversary of my father's passing. In honor of him, I dedicate this post.
Few of us look forward to the death of a loved one. In fact, most of us try not to think about death at all and are surprised when it comes. Death is a fact of life - the golden ticket we get the moment we are conceived. Death is inevitable and a transition that ancient cultures had rites and rituals for.
It is time to bring back the sacred rituals of death and to educate people to personally take part in these rituals with loved ones. I call this, Priestessing Death.
I was fortunate to priestess my father's death last year. Today, April 5th, marks the one year date of his passing. In honor of my father, I am sharing 3 Keys to Priestessing Death so that you can show up for death and share this profound birth into the spirit world with your loved one as an act of power.
Three Keys to Priestessing Death
Key #1: Embody the Eternal
I believe we are eternal souls on an eternal timeline. When we shift our focus onto the eternal timeline, we see birth, life and death as chapters in a book that goes on forever. When we embody this eternal viewpoint, we hold a frequency for the dying that helps them to tune into seeing themselves as continuing on.
For instance, the three days before a soul dies are the unravelling times. The soul begins its unweaving process from the body and the person is much more spiritually aware. At this time my father started talking about his body being worn out and wanting a new one. He said he'd like to be a 'bouncing baby' again on a new mother's lap. It pleased me to hear this.
Dad was already dreaming into his re-birth and I supported this. I said things like, "this body has been good to you" and "won't it be nice to have a brand new body." I followed his lead in speaking about being new and reborn. My father was not a religious man and had never shared with me any belief about reincarnation or the spirit world, yet at this time it gave him much comfort to dream into a new beginning.
Embody the eternal and support your transitioning loved one in their connection to loved ones that have passed, angels and the eternal nature of the soul.
Key #2: Create Safe, Sacred Space
One of the key elements to making the dying comfortable is creating safe, sacred space. If the space is chaotic and if there are many people struggling with the transition, the soul will be conflicted and stressed.
The circumstances of the final days will be varied. It may be at home, in hospice, in a hospital or a quick accident. We cannot fully know what it will be, yet, whomever is there for the death, you can do things to create a sacred space for the transition. Playing their favorite music, keeping the body comfortable, keeping family present all can give the person the comfort to work out their process.
My father was in the hospital for his final 5 days. I did not know these were his final days until THE final day. It was only me until the final hours when I called my brother and he arrived for the final decisions and the passing. During those 5 days, I was Dad's only advocate to communicate with nurses and hospital staff that were busy to the hilt and did not give my father the kind of personal care I felt he deserved. It really hurt me when dad said that it was scary in the hospital at night. I felt like he was a little boy and I wanted to protect him.
The hospital days were difficult for me as I had to ask for things for him and I also had to protect him from unnecessary intrusions and mistakes. I felt I should have been there the entire time and slept over, we really didn't know he was going to go.
Dad fought for a couple days before his body failed and this was hard for me to take. I could not make him comfortable and he pleaded with me to get him out of there. I had to remove myself from the room to stop his pleading.
The nurses had strapped Dad into the bed and his wrists were black and blue from his struggle to free himself. He was a prisoner and he hated it. He was no man to be strapped to a bed! He wanted me to get him out, but he was too sick to leave. The only way out was death. We came to this realization together. His body was simply shutting down, his breath becoming more and more difficult and it was leaving him no matter what we would do...
It was difficult for me to watch this once strong and capable man that is my father weak, struggling, pleading. I prayed, I surrounded him with light, but I knew he had to go.
There was nothing I could do but feel his struggle and pain within me. This was the most difficult time as I had to get big enough to house these feelings and see the bigger picture that he was probably dying right now and how to navigate this with him.
When we knew it was his time, I made sure we had no interruptions, I protected the space from intrusions, we made him comfortable with morphine, and I started the Angel Songs...
Key #3: Call in Angelic Support
The birth of a soul back into the spirit world is a very important event. It is important that the soul feel comfortable, protected and connected. Sometimes, loved ones from the other side have already come to make the connection and welcome the soul. Other times, it will not happen until the moments of death. I train my priestesses to call in the angels and the helping spirit guides to welcome, guide and protect the new arrival. For this, there are Angelic Invocations and singing the angel songs.
The Angel Songs started coming to me 25 years ago as simple frequency tones that I would vocalize. About 7 years ago, I consciously realized they were connected to the Angelic realms and about 4 years ago, they became specific songs that made the connection of the individual soul to the Angelic family. So, the Angels Songs are sung to bring the attention of the angels to the soul and the soul to the angels. I sing these songs to souls in ceremony, in healings, prepare the soul for death, and at wakes and funerals.
The sweetest time between my father and I was when I softly sang the Angel Songs into his ear. I got real close so I could sing softly. He leaned his head toward me and I could feel him reverently listening. I sang of "blue skies and sunny days... of running through green, grassy fields, feeling the joy of freedom, taking in deep breaths of fresh air" (my dad died from complications of emphysema and pneumonia). I felt peace overtake him as I called in the Archangels: Uriel, Raphael, Michael and Gabriel to be present and "lend their power and protection" to my father.
The tables turned and I felt like my father was the little babe and I was the protective and supportive parent. And as I my brother flanked my father's left and I my father's right, with Dad's brother, Jack, on speaker phone, my father took his last breath.
"Go dad, Go!" I said, cheering him on. "We love you!"
I watched my father's spirit move up and out the top of his head. I felt so incredibly grateful that I was able to be with him in a powerful way and that he did not have to do this alone. I feel that every beloved deserves this kind of death. I told him out loud, "Thank you for being my father! I love you forever, Dad!"
Learning To Priestess Death
My role is to initiate priestesses that show up as women of power for life's important moments: Birth, life, sex, celebration, healing, illness and death.
I made it my life's mission to travel the country and the world apprenticing various masters and wisdom lineages in order to receive the rites and initiations to bring back the sacred.
May you walk in beauty!
ElizaBeth, Temple Holder and Initiator on The Priestess Path
I invoke my Higher Self
I invoke the Christ Light
I invoke the Archangels of the Four Directions:
And I ask that you be with me here now and lend your power and protection to this work!
Summer Solstice makes things bright, increasing power, love and light.
The peak of summer is a time to celebrate, contemplate and get clarity.
At the Summer Solstice, the light of the sun is greatest, making the days of summer the longest and warmest of the year. In fact, the Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year with the most amount of light during the day. In accordance with the as above, so below it is a time when we can see our lives most clearly.
The sun is now beaming down loving energy on all the plants whose seeds were planted in the Spring. Midsummer is the fruiting time of what we dreamed into during the long Winter months.
As you reflect on your life with greater clarity, your path is enlightening. You may ask yourself:
What has come to fruition this year?
What is the light of clarity showing me about my life?
Are there any changes to be made to my course?
With the increase of light, we can see what is working and what is not and take action to correct our course.
Solstices are traditionally times when people got together and celebrate together. The warm nights of Summer beckon us to gather to share meals and share love. Midsummer ceremonies focus on social activities, bonfires, dancing and celebration.
If you feel called, you can likely find a celebration in your neck of the woods to join, or you can do your own ceremony at home, or in nature.
A simple summer ceremony can be to make an offering and give thanks for all the good fruits in your life. An offering can be as simple as a flower mandala, a small plate of delicious foods, or a heart to heart talk with Great Spirit.
Here is a simple DIY ceremony for the Summer Solstice.
I have written out the directions here and included a short invocation of Great Spirit, Mother Earth and any guides that you work with. Invocations can get very detailed and they can be very simple. Feel free to add to this as you wish.
Summer Solstice Ceremony
1. Gather your ceremonial items such as:
Smudge or incense
A rattle or drum
Rose petals, flower petals
An offerings to the spirits: i.e. cake, milk, honey, butter
Arrange these items as you will in a nice altar or mandala. You could make a beautiful mandala of flower petals and leaves, adding your prayers as you do.
2. Open sacred space
In your home or out in nature, drum, rattle or quietly tune in and call to the Sacred Ones:
“Sacred Ones, I call to you!
I call to Great Spirit/ Great Mystery/ The Light/ God
Thank you for all the fruitful abundance in my life.
Thank you for ___ and ____ and _____!
Put your hand on Mother Earth, Pachamama, Madre Tierra
“Mother Earth, thank you for providing for my body.
I am grateful for all your nourishment and care. I ask that your
vitality flow into me and that my body is in harmony with you.”
Call to any spirit guides, ancestors, angels you may work with:
“Sacred Ones, angels, and guides, I thank you for taking care of me and guiding. My intention is to ________________ (continue on the good, red road) please give me clarity and light my way!
3. Get creative and follow your intuition.
Dance or sing your prayers. Listen to your intuition and do what you feel called to do. Offer giveaways of what is no longer serving you, ask for help where you need it, send prayers to those in need...
The key is that you are connecting with the conscious universe, the spirit world that is all around us. There are many allies and helpers who are just waiting for us to ask.
Because this is a free will universe, we must sincerely ask for help then, it can come.
4. When you feel complete, thank the powers and close ceremony.
Blessings to you and yours on this Summer Solstice!
May you be filled with the radiant light of the sun!
ElizaBeth, Temple Holder and Initiator on The Priestess Path