This past month I walked the path of fire.
I started off so full of energy, enthusiasm and creative fire, and I was having a lot of fun. But I let myself get out of balance and that path burned my toes!
Below you can read about my ahas and the lessons I learned from dancing with this creative fire, and how useful it can be to review your experience through the lens of tarot.
Understanding these archetypal energies have really helped me to digest and integrate everything that’s happened, from creative inspiration and passion to burn-out, and then to shoots of something new growing from the ashes.
This summer has brought me…
Lots of change.
Lots of new.
Lots of letting go.
Lots of doing at the expense of being – and paying for it!
Lots of thinking I’m getting it ‘wrong’.
Lots of stretching, expansion and growth.
Lots of sadness, grief and discomfort.
Lots of joy and reconnection.
Lots of magic and surprises.
Lots of ‘aha’ moments that have been nudging me forward in ways I wasn’t expecting.
I’m not sure where all my creative fire came from, but in a short space of time I launched and promoted ‘Bloom’, my new women’s circle in my home town in Cheshire, I launched my ‘Transformational Tarot’ 121 beta-programme, and I created three new workshops which I facilitated over the course of a week at the Sun and Moon Festival in Guildford.
Everything went really well and I feel really proud of what I achieved, but I certainly bit off more than I was used to chewing! Then, part way through the month I experienced the loss of a dear friend, which threw my balance, and at the end of it all I crashed and burned.
It’s fascinating to see how so much of what I’ve been going through can be explained through Tarot.
The suit whose element is fire are the Wands: primal, creative energy, action, passion, courage, adventure, ambition, creative projects, inspiration, willpower, drive and making plans.
They help us to do or change something; they are the power behind our actions. But they also have weaknesses; while fire produces warmth, light, gives us energy and makes transformation possible, they can also burn things down and burn you out if you’re not careful.
And the other card that summed up my summer has been The Tower: foundational, groundbreaking change.
It can mean loss and disaster, but usually it suggests that it’s time to let go of old beliefs that no longer stand true, release egoic ideas, energies, people and behaviours that no longer serve us, and instead make space for new, more genuine beliefs, values, connections, processes and projects to take their place.
Its revelations often come in a flash of truth or inspiration.
Creative passion, illumination and burn-out
It felt so good to feel all my creativity pouring through me again, but I put myself under a lot of pressure because every time I came up with a new idea to add to the list there was so much stuff to organise and do, not to mention other responsibilities I’d taken on to help out family and friends.
I thought my brain was going to explode because there was so much to think about, plan and execute! Fortunately, I held everything together.
My last workshop of the Sun and Moon Festival was in the final slot of the last day at the end of this crazy-busy month. However, within a few hours of completing it, I’d lost my voice, my throat was sore and scratchy and I came down with a cold.
A mini burn-out!
Clearly I’d over-stretched myself.
It wasn’t really that bad though. Having a cold gave me permission to properly stop, take space to connect with myself on my own, relax, re-energise, enjoy the sunshine, journal and review the past few weeks.
However, part of me hated being sick. It felt like a failure, and my inner critic had quite a lot to say!
“How did you let yourself get so out of balance? You should have known better! You must have done something wrong. You’re still stuck in an old pushy, masculine dynamic in your business of working your arse off, constantly ‘on’, giving and doing… and you didn’t factor in time to be and receive – you idiot! No wonder you’re so depleted! How can you possibly think about teaching people how to find their flow and raise their vibration when you end up like this?” …yada, yada, yada…
Did I miss a sign? Was I was disconnected from my feminine? Had I not been listening to my inner guidance…? Did I f**k up?
They were good questions.
Because I isolated myself while I had a cold, I had precious uninterrupted time to dive in and properly answer those questions and look at the benefits of being ill. As a result, I was able to connect to parts of myself and inner truths that I would have missed if I’d just gone back to my usual work routine.
It’s left me with clarity about my expanded identity after doing all those new things, a greater feeling of groundedness and embodiment, inspiration about what I would like to offer moving forward and a deeper commitment to working with the power of the Divine Feminine, which I am still very much connected to and has been an amazing teacher throughout.
I also saw that when I was at my busiest, things were actually very much in flow, even though I wasn’t comfortable.
While I was taking lots of action I was riding an energy wave, so there was a lot of ease. I was tuned in and following where the energy took me. As things intensified I kept having to hand things over to the universe to sort out because I couldn’t physically get it all done by myself.
As a result, magic and synchronicities showed up everywhere.
I could really feel how this stretch to get myself out there with my work in a bigger way was being supported by the universe. It was a big stretch, but it was exhilarating! It was like letting go of the river bank and letting myself be carried along in the faster-moving part of the river.
For the most part, things went really well. But the one thing that I could never have planned for was losing my friend. No one died, but it was a big loss to me that came out of the blue, it was emotionally very difficult and energetically draining.
While I was caught up in the momentum and focus of work I didn’t immediately have the bandwidth to process what had happened, but when I went to see my bodyworker for a session I was able to connect to my feelings and cry, and the grief just kept pouring out.
I had to keep everything going because I had commitments to uphold, but after I’d opened the door to the emotions, waves of grief would catch me in quieter moments, which impacted my flow. From that point on I relied on will power, mental focus and energy techniques to get everything done and keep my vibration as high as I could so I could deliver my programmes and workshops well.
It’s not really surprising that my energy got depleted. We can plan all we want, but life will bring curve balls now and then, and sometimes that means we just have to surrender and manage the best we can by giving ourselves what we most need.
So you can see how the Tower archetype was playing out so clearly here.
And it was clearing the way for something wonderful.
Healing the Witch-Wound: Reclaiming your power & magic
The biggest blessing I’ve taken away from this process is the discovery of something that wanted to come through me.
Following the amazing feedback from one of my workshops, ‘Heal the Witch Wound: Reclaim Your Power and Magic, the seeds of an exciting offering have been sending down roots and growing new shoots.
The workshop room at the festival was packed with women. We were all quite shocked at how many women kept pouring through the door.
These were all people who recognised at a deep level the intergenerational spiritual trauma held in their DNA.
The witch-wound is a psychic wound passed down through our ancestral lines from a 300-year period of persecution, murder, torture and terrorising of spiritually gifted, intuitive and empathic and outspoken individuals (mostly women), who had a deep connection and reverence for nature, who were the healers, wise women, midwives, seers, herbalists, oracles and mystics of their communities.
It was a well-executed plan by the Patriarchy to cleave women from their inherent power and outlaw the use of their gifts by fostering a culture of mistrust and fear that divided sister from sister and woman from woman. Even if you weren’t a so-called ‘witch’, no women were safe from being branded as one, so in order to save themselves they learned to keep their heads down and their voices silent.
The witch-hunt craze may have officially ended, although only about 12 generations ago, but the effect of those dark times still plays out today. Whether you’re male or female, we all share the DNA of our ancestors and the energy of the collective, but embodied females today tend to experience this wound more viscerally in our day-to-day lives than men.
It limits our lives and makes us afraid to use our own magic and power as women. It’s an unconscious, but very real fear that makes it feel unsafe for us to speak out, share our truth, stand out for being different, ask for what we really want or call attention to ourselves. It fosters mistrust and disconnection from other women and from our own bodies and being. It causes us to shrink, dim our lights and hide our feminine gifts.
You don’t have to identify as a witch to experience a witch wound. But if you’re spiritually gifted, empathic, intuitive – or simply a woman – and feel a calling to use your gifts in service to others, it’s very likely that you’ll have met the witch wound within you.
Because our ancestors’ consciousness is alive in our DNA, many of the issues we have worked on for years but cannot seem to clear belong to them.
This is something that comes up for me all the time. Every time I make steps to become more visible I can feel a deep fear that feels out of proportion to the situation and doesn’t seem connected to my early life experiences, and I find myself re-experiencing past memories or scenes from the witch-hunt times – sometimes the victim, sometimes the perpetrator.
I wrote a blog about our shared Her-story a few years ago, ‘Taking back your power: the horrible history that separated women from their divinity’. Now I’m feeling the call to explore more deeply with other women how the witch-wound shows up in our lives and how we can heal from it to reclaim our true power, our unique gifts and be free to confidently express who we came here to be.
More of that to come later! But if this is something you feel touched by and you want to heal in yourself, do reach out and let me know.
Ahas from walking the path of fire
So it’s been quite a month of playing with this creative fire! And as I’ve been reviewing, there have been quite a few flames of truth that I hope I’ll remember, so here are my notes to self.
Maybe they will be helpful reminders to you, too?
When you’re making major life changes or doing a big stretch outside your comfort zone, eg offering or delivering something new, stepping into a new role at work, showing up in new social situations where you don’t know anyone, putting yourself in front of lots more new people, taking on a personal challenge, moving to a new location, etc – you need to factor in much more time for recovery and self-care.
In those situations where everything is unfamiliar your sympathetic nervous system is switched into fight-flight mode, which isn’t sustainable long-term – especially for women. It can lead to stress-related issues like burn-out and make you more susceptible to catching any bugs that are going around because your immune system gets impacted.
When you’ve experienced yourself in many new and unfamiliar environments and situations in a short period of time it impacts your identity, because so many new parts of yourself are being reflected back to you.
Like a snow-globe that’s been shaken up, the rest period following lets all the particles settle within yourself and you get a clearer sense of who you are as this more expanded version of you. The integration phase is as important as the action phase.
You are always in the right place at the right time. So if you are out of action because you are sick, it’s okay. You are exactly where you need to be. There is no ‘wrong’ so allow everything to be as it is, rather than resist.
Our bodies are amazingly intelligent; my body took from the environment what it needed (a bug that happened to be going around) in order to give myself space to recover and reflect. If I hadn’t got sick I would have missed the opportunity to connect so deeply with myself, to heal past wounds and to nurture the new shoots of what wants to come through me.
The things that we find difficult in the moment galvanise us and strengthen our resilience to be able to handle bigger challenges further down the path.
Being uncomfortable, out of control or overwhelmed doesn’t have to mean anything. If you can allow and acknowledge fears and emotions without letting your mind create a story or dwell on it, and instead stay focused on what you want to achieve or create that’s important to you, the emotions will pass through quickly.
We are human. Some feelings and emotions are rooted in deeper wounds that need space and proper attention for healing. When you aren’t able to give time and space to address them, resisting feeling these feelings will affect your flow.
Like waves on the ocean, we go through peaks and troughs of energy. We can’t always be riding the crest of the wave, and it isn’t better than the dip, even if we might judge it that way. The dip does not mean that you’re not in flow. It’s simply the stage where we get to rest and integrate before life lifts us up again and guides us towards the next thing on our soul journey.
Embrace whatever stage you find yourself in and you’ll see that things will flow more joyfully.
Things of value do not always show up in comfortable ways that feel good – sometimes you have to dig deep, pull out all the stops and sacrifice comfort for growth and forward momentum.
We often need to re-experience the contrast of what we definitely don’t want in order to find clarity about what our heart and soul is longing for.
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Until next time,