Suicidal Teen to Warrior Witch: How Does THAT Happen?

When I was 14 years old, I was suicidal. I was an outcast who didn’t fit anywhere. I was the poor girl of divorced parents in a private Catholic School. I kind of hated everyone.

suicide-girl

At school, I was ridiculed by students and teachers alike because I was so awkward, depressed and different.  Teachers looked at me like I was some kind of a bug under a microscope, as if maybe they could figure out what kind of disease I was.  The other kids barely looked at me at all, but when they did, they just flung insults at me.

I had this fantasy, at the time, where I was sitting on a cloud, hovering above it all.  Each hurtful word or look that sailed my way, I saw as a stone that I would catch and use to build a rock wall surrounding me.  I had no desire to fit in.  What I really wanted was to disappear.

At home my family had begun treating me like a bomb that might suddenly explode. The year prior to this I had been raped by the man who was keeping company with my mother. He disappeared from our lives right after that but he left his mark on the whole family.

I was told that it was very important, for my reputation and for the whole family that we keep that “situation” very hush-hush. Don’t talk about it.

No, of course it wasn’t your fault, but don’t you dare tell anyone. They’ll think horrible things about you, and us! Just… get over it.

My way of “getting over it” was to just stop being. I made a few cowardly and not quite-strenuous-enough attempts at suicide. And then, one night, there was a school dance. Someone I barely knew gave me a fifth of Southern Comfort. I drank it, blacked out, passed out and was dumped by the kids who gave me the alcohol at my doorstep.

dead-inside

 

When I came-to in the morning in my own room the first thought in my head was, “I don’t have to kill myself!  I can just drink!”  It brought me to that place of nothingness that I desired. I decided to continue technically living. But I was mostly dead inside.  And I did drink, whenever possible after that.

Fast forward about 14 years and my husband of 2 years, whom I loved deeply, was looking at me in disgust and giving me an ultimatum. I had to get help and quit drinking, or we were done. I remember feeling, suddenly, like I was underwater and couldn’t draw a breath. I didn’t want to lose him, so the next day, I did get help and I stopped drinking.

Three months after quitting drinking, I discovered that I was pregnant. So, it was quite a whirlwind first year of sobriety. New home, new life, and I was doing all the “right” things. Under my “keep-it-together” exterior, I was terrified of the changes, of becoming a mom, of everything.

I felt as though I’d better have something to hold onto after my child arrived because I felt like I was rattling apart. I felt like my whole body, mind and soul were being shaken with the fore-shocks of an earthquake that were increasing in intensity. And childbirth would make me just crumble into a million tiny, broken pieces.

But when my daughter was born, everything changed. I fell so hard in love with her that, if the shaking continued, it just couldn’t touch me. My early days with my baby were idyllic and peaceful and just so full of a love I’d never even imagined was even possible before. The quiet and calm were positively blissful.

But when she became a toddler, with high intelligence and a gigantic (Leo) attitude, the world began quaking again. I was almost 3 years sober and the reasons I started drinking in the first place started rearing their ugly heads.

I began having horrible night terrors and full blown panic attacks during the day. Memories jumped at me like the slasher in a horror film and stopped my heart in the middle of a sentence sometimes.

I began to have dreams that uncovered older memories; memories of molestation when I was very young. And all of this was going on while I was trying to navigate early sobriety and early motherhood.

One day, while grocery shopping, I was beset by a panic attack. My daughter sat in the child seat in the shopping cart as we started to check out and she watched as my hands shook and my face turned red and my breath quickened to sprinter pace, while sweat poured out of my body. She gaped up at me with wide eyes saying, “Momma? Momma?”

I had to grab her out of the seat and just leave. I left my basket and the groceries half in the cart, half on the check-out conveyer, and I just ran. I ran, with my baby girl in my arms, like we were being chased by a murderer. But we weren’t. It was just my past chasing us.

I managed to get her buckled into her car seat and myself into the front seat and I just sobbed.

crying-woman

I cried with frustration and fear over the panic attack, I cried over all those things that happened to me as a child that I never acknowledged or dealt with, but mostly I cried because I NEEDED to be a better mother.

I couldn’t have this MESS of a woman that I had become be an example for this precious, innocent child. She was looking to ME for guidance, for information about how to go through the world. I couldn’t have that.

So, once again, I sought help. I’ll spare you the stories of the months of seeking for the right kind of help, and let you know that I finally did find it. And I was introduced to meditation and I became what I would describe as a spiritual seeker. It was kind of like I just found a new addiction. But this one was healthy.

Little by little, my “episodes” slowed down and finally stopped all together. My meditation practice grew, my spiritual practices evolved. Through all of this, I came to understand, and eventually appreciate, ALL of the experiences of my life. And I became the role model that my daughter deserved.

(And what I mean by evolved is, Catholicism to other “lighter” forms of Christianity to agnosticism, to spiritual-not-religious to Buddhism to an eclectic combination of practices with a healthy dose of Hindu philosophy I saw as “Renee-ism” to atheism, to Wicca to a more general paganism to the weirdo-crone  warrior witch that defies description that I have become today!)

renee-sun-orb-copy

I sought out personal power in every arena. I learned how to govern my own life and I won my freedom. After years of this practice, every aspect of my life changed for the better, and I began to encounter other women who were in need of healing in ways that were similar to mine and in ways that were different as well.

What I understood was that, having come through these difficulties, and finding solutions, I now had a responsibility to share what I know. I was finally armed with enough information, personal power and experience to help others strategize their battles.

This is just one of the reasons I became a Diviner, spiritual adviser and coach. And today, I absolutely LOVE seeing the women I work with improve everything about their lives.

 

7 Signs You’re Ready for a High-Powered Magickal Heart

What do I mean by a “High-Powered Magickal Heart”?

magical-heart
The heart is the power center of the body. This is where your magickal energy comes from. It is the seat of your will and desire.

When you set your sights on a goal, mundane or magickal, this is the womb that births your idea into reality. The more power you give to it, the more powerful your manifesting abilities will be.

Whether you’re already a magickal practitioner or just someone who wants to get shit done in life, turning up the dial on your heart-center will make things happen for you.

So, are you ready to go Mega-Watt? Maybe. If you can identify with the following list, you’re ready. And the ride is glorious. Read on!

1. No Wimps!

You are not a fearful or overly emotional person. In fact, you probably get annoyed by people who are. You’ve no patience for whiners or drama queens.

Not that you haven’t had deeply emotional experiences, you just prefer to get over it and learn from it and move on, rather than wallowing in the muck of self-pity.

2. Check the Mirror.

Self examination is a regular practice for you. You find it rewarding, interesting and valuable to look deeply into your own psyche to find out what makes you tick. You pay attention to your ups and downs and you analyze the reasons for them.

You don’t shy away from criticism. You don’t automatically take it on either. You can discern the difference between constructive and destructive criticism and whether or not it actually applies to you, because you’re capable of self-honesty.

can-you-handle-the-truth

3. Give it to me Straight.

You can handle the Truth! You don’t want sugar-coating unless it’s on your dessert.

You are deeply interested in uncovering the truth of any situation, and the truth about the world at large.

Mysteries probably fascinate you, for, as soon as you’re given the idea that some information is hidden from you, you will stop at nothing to remove its veil.

You’ve looked at the High Priestess Tarot card and thought, “What IS behind that curtain?!”

 

truth

4. What’s True and What’s the Truth.

You also understand that truth, to our perception, can be relative. You are ready, willing and able to change your understanding of Truth if given new evidence.

You’re okay with not “Knowing” in the way that is rigid and never-changing, because that shuts down all other possibilities. And possibilities are important to you.

5. Into the Woods!

You’re not afraid of the dark… in fact, you’re kind of attracted to it. The occult fascinates you and you want to learn all the ancient, esoteric, down-and-dirty, magickal stuff. You’re not some new-age light worker and you’re not afraid of words like witchcraft, voodoo or hex. You don’t shun teachers like Aleister Crowley or Anton LeVey. You don’t shun ANY teachers. Because you want it all.

You are insatiably curious about all of the hidden recesses of history, the world and your own psyche. You want to dig deep and search for answers and fill up your mind with every aspect of magick and personal power that there is.

6. A Mind of One’s Own.

And once you have all that information, then you’ll decide for yourself what is valuable to you and what can be forgotten or dismissed. You are no follower of gurus. You may appreciate a teacher for the wisdom that they possess, but you’re not prone to the illusion that any one teacher could have all of the answers.

You’re not a follower. You’re a leader. And you will use your own intuition, experimentation, practice and life to discern the information that serves you from the information that doesn’t. You don’t have to check with any guru, or society, or your mother, or your spouse or the internet when you decide what works and what doesn’t work for you.

7. One-ness.

And finally, you are hungry. You’re hungry for the connection to divinity that you’ve glimpsed from time to time. You’ve felt that sublime no-thingness, that impossible to describe, deep and blissful understanding that you are actually, in fact and truly NOT this flesh, this mundane matter-laden existence that some call “reality”, but something vast, infinite, singular and powerful beyond measure, whole beyond comprehension.

absolutebliss

You’ve glimpsed that feeling and you want more. Because the more of that you get, the fewer fucks you give about that “reality”, or the moors of society, or what your neighbors or facebook friends or family members might think. The more of that BLISS of Infinity that you get the more autonomy and personal power you gain.

And THAT my friends, is where your Mega-Watt heart wants to be. THAT is when manifestation, in this world and all the worlds, becomes child’s play.

If this is you, you are one of my tribe and I offer you a deep bow of respect and an excited fist-bump for the things to come!

 

 

NOTE:  Image source links are embedded in each picture.

Words of Wisdom by Witch in the World

Words of W 08-16-16

Hello Dear Readers!

I’m kind of big on this word “Responsibility”.  From early in my training as a witch, it was my understanding that we all have a tremendous amount of power; much more than most folks believe.

In learning spellcraft and witchcraft, I became aware that I was being given tools with which to wield my power in the mundane world.  As I’ve honed my skills with these tools and as I’ve crafted more efficient and powerful tools, I’ve come to understand that line from Spiderman.   With great power comes great responsibility.

As witches we believe that everything is connected (else magick wouldn’t work!).  And therefor, everything we do affects everything (and everyone) else.  So we take responsibility for that.  Hence the edict to “Harm None”.  And hence one of the reasons I love witchcraft as a lifestyle.  You are required to THINK before you act.  That goes for whether or not recycle and what kind of spellcraft you work with.

But there’s more to my little Words of Wisdom meme today.  As thinking, powerful beings with finely honed tools, we are responsible to become our best selves.

As Doreen Valiente said, “Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it.  Let naught stop you or turn you aside.”

What this means to me is that we must continually seek out our own enlightenment.  We must continually be looking for improvement, of ourselves and the world around us.  And in order to do that to the glory of all that there is… we have to realize that that glory begins inside of us.

So Realize your Awesomeness.  And then go out and show it to the world.  That’s how you save it.

Goddess Divine Empowerment!

How I went from Playing Way Too Small to Being an Empowered Goddess and So Can You!

oppressed-women  My last blog post ended with me in the depths of addiction and and suffering the pain and humiliation of a terrible marriage.  So, how did all of this turn around?  I’ll tell you!

A few years into that marriage I finally decided to get a handle on my addictive, self-destructive practices. That makes it sound like it was easy, like I made a decision one day and then got clean. That’s not what happened. There was a LOT of “Facing my Shadow”, and “embracing my darkness” at that time. I was introduced to the concepts put forth by the noted psychologist, Carl Jung and began to study the practice of uncovering and accepting our “Shadow” aspects, those parts of ourselves that we would rather deny. I had a lot of that. Also, during that journey, in my twenties, I was introduced to the concept of spirituality as opposed to religion. Cultivating a connection with some “unknowable force” helped me greatly in my recovery from alcohol and drug abuse, and I became a seeker. Learning about spiritual practice became my new drug of choice, I believe, because it touched on that true nature and those gifts I was denying. Some part of me recognized that something here might actually have an effect on the root cause of my destructive behavior. I wasn’t consciously aware of this, of course, but I believe it was there.

So I read everything I could. I spent many years investigating different spiritual practices. I studied, and continue to study, world religions, and philosophies like Catholicism and Christianity in general, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, and so on. And while I can’t say that I felt a deep connection to any one religious view, what I did find was the practice of meditation. Meditation was the single most important component in my recovery and my journey to here. And it remains the staple of my current practice. I cannot over-state its importance in my evolution from frightened little girl to empowered Goddess. It saved my life.

I’m going to repeat that here because it’s REALLY IMPORTANT!

Meditation was the single most important component in my recovery and my journey to here. And it remains the staple of my current practice. I cannot over-state its importance in my evolution from frightened little girl to empowered Goddess. It saved my life.

empowered goddess   My studies continued and began to include more philosophy, psychology and mythology. I read some classics by great scholars such as Marcus Aurelius, Socrates, Plato and added in some more modern works by the likes of Eckhart Tolle and Joseph Campbell. My views continued to expand as I continued to grow in every way that I could manage. During all of this, I became the mother to a beautiful old soul, a daughter. Witnessing the miracles of her birth and growth and my regular meditation practice were putting me in connection with the divine on a daily basis. Everything changes then. You see, when you meditate it puts you in touch with that ineffable ground of spirit that permeates all that there is. It verifies the unbreakable connection between these bodies we are currently inhabiting and that limitless “other” which we discover is not “other” at all. It’s like plugging in to a vast switchboard where everything is accessible. The miraculous is occurring all around us at every moment in time. I began to notice, is all.

All the while, I was still married to that overbearing, narcissistic man. And during most of our marriage, because there was still that part of me aiming to please and eager to be seen as “the good wife”, we got along fine. But then I began to grow a spine. I began to understand that I had to set an example for my daughter. And I began to disagree with some of the decisions he was making for us and for me. And that was when it got bumpy. I won’t go into the details here of the ultimate awakening that brought me out of that marriage, but know that I did break free and I did so in a meaningful and mindful way, understanding my part in all of it and understanding what I would no longer accept for myself or for my child.

In the following years I was inspired to study the many connections between science and spirituality and became very interested in (um, ok, obsessed with) quantum physics and the philosophies of mind over matter, what some call the Law of Attraction (what I call witchcraft). There was a wonderful feeling of being carried along on a wave of new information and discovery. One insight led to another. One book led to a dozen more. With a broader understanding of myself and the concepts of energy, I renewed my interest in divination and I studied the Tarot, with all of its wonderful Archetypes and insight into the human journey. I also began again to experiment with Skrying. All of this brought me to the study of Nature-based religions like Wicca and Heathenry and paganism in general. And a new wave of discovery launched me into practice with others and the structure and benefits of ritual, shared energy and sisterhood. I delved deeply into the study of mythology, especially the Goddesses which re-energized my desire to facilitate women’s empowerment. I was given the opportunity to expand my leadership skills as a founding member of a coven, often presiding over Ritual as Priestess. And, finally I put that into practice in my own spiritual Meetup Group and opened an inclusive spiritual center from my own home where I hosted many, many workshops, ceremonies, rituals and festivals before moving to Phoenix, AZ.

Aphrodite2   So here I am today, wanting to share some of this learning and insight with you, the seeker with the Goddess hidden inside. I can help you find your inner Goddess because I worked so hard to find my own. And I’ve distilled all of the seeking and struggles and mistakes and successes into some very essential lessons to set you on your personal journey to Goddesshood. Join me and a number of your sisters on this amazing, life-changing adventure. Simply email me at AffordableSedonaRetreat@gmail.com for all the details.  There is absolutely NO obligation, NO spam, NO sharing of your email address and a free gift!  This retreat will fill up, so don’t hesitate!  

With Love and Sisterhood,

Renée

Blessed Be

… How I went from Natural Psychic to Natural Disaster…

This series of blogs is dedicated to  Goddess Divine -A Spiritual Retreat for Women which will be taking place in Sedona, AZ in May.  Email me at AffordableSedonaRetreat@gmail.com for all the details! When last we connected, dear reader, I had given you a brief overview of my “qualifications” to help you bring forth your inner […]

Goddess Divine Women’s Retreat – Why You Need It!

Sedona

So there’s this amazing event coming up!  The Goddess Divine Retreat for Women in Sedona, AZ on May 20, 21 and 22, 2016 will bring you into deep connectedness with your Sacred Self.  In this way you will discover and form a truly rewarding relationship with your inner Goddess and be excited to share her outrageous beauty and light with the whole world!  If you’re even the tiniest bit curious, do yourself a favor and e-mail AffordableSedonaRetreat@gmail.com right NOW!   There is no obligation and you will receive a valuable FREE GIFT – and even MORE valuable information about how you can be a participant in this wonderful weekend of Sacred Sisterhood! 

In a previous post, I promised you more details about ME Renee Damoiselle of Divining Damoiselle, your retreat facilitator.  So, What qualifies me to prepare you for Goddesshood?

Well, to begin, I will tell you that, as a much younger woman, I was very focused on being perceived as “good” and on not being too noticeable (all the while fearful that my “freak-flag” would be uncovered at any moment!) In other words, I was very much NOT living like the Goddess that I am!  Today, however, I enjoy referring to myself as a Badass Witch Priestess of Warrior Deities, with a divine mission to save the world, one woman at a time.  In other words, I successfully grew a spine and stepped into my Goddesshood, after a time of hiding my light.  It was not easy.  It took work and desire and commitment, but because I’ve been there, I can show you the way.

Shine

That’s me now.   Along my journey, I’ve met many other women whose light has also been kept hidden.  The reasons may be varied (patriarchal society, misogyny, trauma) but the result is actually tragic, for the individual woman and for the world.  The divine feminine light that glows within every woman is meant to be anchored in this world and to shine brightly.  What a woman can achieve once she embraces her true divine nature is limitless.  The healing ripple effects of her efforts will be felt universally.  This is my mission because I know, intimately, what it feels like to break free in this way, and that joy must be shared.

Looking for a juicier story?  Stay tuned for the next blog, where we’ll get down and dirty with the details of that amazing journey!

… to be continued… 

Inspiration and Friendship!

dragonfly logo   gossamer butterfly

During my workout this morning (which included running and circuit training and even a few burpees!), I saw a dragonfly and then a butterfly in close proximity.  This always makes me smile.  Dragonfly is a spirit animal for me and butterfly holds great significance for someone who is very dear to me.  I killed my workout today.  I felt great and motivated and strong the whole time.  So I decided to dedicate this blog post to my very own Gossamer Winged Butterfly Maiden, Maria Bird.  From the first day I met Maria, I could see the beautiful glow of her soul.

Maria

That’s her.  You can see the glow too, right? (also, Maria gets photo credit for the blue butterfly above!)

Maria has been inspiring me for years now.  Her journey through this life has been very similar to mine.  We’ve had struggles and challenges that mirrored each other.  We know that we’ve shared many lives together.  When we first met she chose me as a teacher.  Even then, I laughed at that.  I do believe I inspired her to take the leap and step into her power.  But she has done just that so beautifully and completely that she has become an inspiration to countless others.

Just lately, Maria has embarked on a health and fitness journey that has given me encouragement and wisdom and motivation for my own.  I’ve received nutrition advice from her and simply been awed by her frequent posts about her progress and her growing strength.  So this post is simply to say “Thank you, Maria!  Thank you, to my dear friend who frequently shows me where the light is!”

And in case you’d like to learn more about this amazing lady.  Maria Bird is a talented hypnotist, who can help you with your very own health and fitness goals, smoking cessation, pain management, self empowerment and many, many other things.  If you have goals to reach, Maria can absolutely help you reach them.  She can even help with past life regression! Check her out here.

So thank you, my beautiful butterfly.  Thanks for stopping by to visit me this morning and bringing strength and motivation and joy in my journey.  Keep shining so bright and showing the rest of us what a great idea that is!