Recently I spent an amazing weekend with deeply intuitive and powerful women. Women who honor the liminal points in Nature’s journey through the Seasons, each knowing that as they follow the Wheel of the Year, listening to the language of the trees and plants and animals, they are also listening to their own cycles and rhythms. Our teachings were rich in the folklore of Imbolc and Brighid and Stone Medicine for these times. Our rituals touched sparks of ancient memory glimmering with ideas for relevant practice in today’s world. Like generations of women standing behind us, we participated in the ancient ritual of creating Brideog dolls birthed by our own hands from the weaving of our hopes and intentions.
I came away with many things, but this one idea settled into a deep knowing. In this time of quickening and ripening to a yet unknown birth, we hold a deep and profound power within. However, it is up to each of us to find that one thing (or things) that inspires and sustains us, that one thing that replaces feelings of tenuousness and hesitancy with forward moving courage. To do that we must know ourselves. It is then I heard Her whisper… Woman Know Thyself.
For me, that thing(s) comes from the knowledge of a strong and powerful female lineage of Ancestors standing behind me – along with strong and powerful Sisters walking beside me in this life – both holding me with a wisdom that informs my steps. It is connecting to the ancient ways of being and knowing, including the myths and stories, knowing they have relevance and meaning in this time. It is grounding in that which sustains me via the language of ritual any time I have need or desire. It is tapping into the wisdom and guidance of the practices and honorings of those liminal points in nature where shift and transformation happens. It is listening to the voice of my Soul.
It is knowing that as a woman who walks the Wheel of the Year, I am informed and guided by a spiritual and psychological language which provides me with understanding and power within in tenuous and unknown times. This is the way of Nature, of the Cosmos and, after cycles upon cycles of this mindset, my Beingness is entrained to that of the Great Mother Goddess who birthed all.
It is having an intimate knowledge that – at my core – I am a woman who seeks to know herself in the fullness of the cosmic mystery. My path in this life is as a mystic with a hunger for the deep end of experience so I may begin to understand that which is the most hidden of all mysteries… the soul of a woman. Like the reindeer herds guided by the Ancient Deer Goddess and the more modern, Elen of the Ways, I follow the energetic paths that sustain me. As I move along these ancient paths, these ley lines or dragon lines, I am reminded I am a woman born into this time who carries ancient wisdom in her DNA. I am awake and I remember. Woman Know Thyself.
It is having both ancestral and modern myths and archetypes to guide me. In this Season of Imbolc, this time of quickening, like many I honor the Goddess Brighid and find great comfort in her stories and rituals. However, it is the Ancient Deer Goddess and Elen of the Ways, with whom I really resonate and to whom I turn for support. For me, Elen guides me on my path teaching me to move in those ways that sustain me. She is deeply connected to the land, teaching me both courage and discernment. Like Brighid, the Ancient Deer Goddess is also a Creatrix archetype propelling me forward into creation and birth at a time when I might otherwise be hesitant or resistant. As the Artist and Writer, Jude Lally*, writes… The Deer Goddess is a Creatrix, weaving the luminous strands out over the land.
This is the season of Quickening… the season of Woman Know Thyself.
Do you know yourself?
Who… What… inspires you to create? What makes you feel tenuous and hesitant?
What are the paths that sustain and ground you? Who supports you on you path?
What has even now settled into that deep place of knowing, already quickening and desiring to be birthed?
What will you allow to come forward into fruition?
In this Season, may we imprint on our total Beingness this idea of Woman Know Thyself. May we connect to the deepest part of our Core – that place which inspires us and move us forward – that place that grabs hold of us and says this…THIS… is your inspiration, your path… this is what sustains, supports and grounds you… THIS is what you already know. Deep inquiry is required, as is the art of opening and allowing, but with every brush stroke our knowing creates life on the canvas of our lives.
It is the Season of Imbolc, that time when all of creation awakens to begin a new journey around the great Wheel.
As we join this ancient ritual, may we all see ourselves in the fullness of the Cosmic Mystery that is She who stands in her fullest and deepest power, knowing and embracing her power within, allowing for the birth of her gifts, trusting that which sustains… She who paints the strokes of her life from a place of deep knowing and expansive love… She who knows herself.
May we all see ourselves as She Who Dances with the Mystery.
*Jude Lally, Artist and Writer, Celtic Soul Craft
I’d also like to offer gratitude to Jude Lally for her teachings on Imbolc and the ancient ritual of doll making, to Jesssica Sparks-Mussulin of Moontree Apothecaries for teachings on Stone Medicine and to Flora Aube of the Art of Allowing Academy for feeding the soul-desire of She Who Paints, opening this woman to even deeper inquiry and knowing.