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.

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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!)

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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.

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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.

5 Witchy Weapons of Patriarchal Destruction

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Woman. Demon. Witch.

The patriarchy IS going down, but not without a fight.

Women are still being demonized the world over.  In fact, it seems to be getting worse.  From the Free the Nipple movement to the Burkini controversy, women are constantly being told exactly how to be.  Frat boys are still receiving slaps on the wrist for violating a woman’s body and politicians are still vying for control over our sexual freedom.

The safe passage of women through life is conditioned upon their behaving and appearing a certain way.  We are all TOO something; too thin, too fat, too pretty, too ugly, too fashionable, too disinterested in fashion, too smart, too dumb.  Who among us can strike that perfect balance of meeting that razor’s edge of societal acceptance?

None of us!  It’s a fabrication.  It’s fake! And women are evolving into their own personal realness.  This is why it seems that the patriarchy’s oppression of women is waxing rather than waning, as it should be.

It is because we are growing stronger, and they are becoming more and more frightened. When any entity (a human, a butterfly, a society) goes through a transformation, there comes a time of war, a time when two opposite notions the entity has of “self” are clashing and causing extremely uncomfortable dissonance.  This happens just before the Truth wins out and the entity changes.  So take heart.  I believe this is happening and we as Witches can help to bust open the chrysalis.

The number of self-proclaimed Witches in the world is increasing exponentially.  Think about that.  As Witches, we can’t agree on much, but I’m pretty sure we can agree that everything is connected.  Every thought and action sends out a ripple of energy into the world.  That’s why magic works!  The connection; the web of reality.

To claim the title of “Witch” is to openly fly in the face of convention.  We tell the world, “I am embracing the fact that I don’t fit in.  I AM different.  I AM Powerful.  And your thoughts on the matter are of no concern to me.”

A self-proclaimed Witch is an uncontrollable entity, an unknown.  A Witch, by her very existence, is an affront to the patriarchal powers that be.  But I believe we have a greater responsibility to our sisters and to the world.

As Witches we’ve honed our magickal prowess.  We’ve worked to form our hearts and minds into powerful forces for change.  The thoughts and actions that WE send out to the web of existence are more potent because of that.  So we need to use that power for good.

So what else can a Witch do to finally turn this proverbial Prince (of patriarchy) into the toad that it truly is?

Toad

 

Ok… before I go any further – I’m reminded of a little story I must share with you my witchy friends!

A princess frolics through the forest, you know, as princesses are wont to do, and she happens upon a toad which has a tiny crown on its head.  She is fascinated. 

Even more amazing, this toad can speak!  It croaks to her, saying that it is, in reality, a handsome but enchanted prince.  The toad brags on and on about his beautiful and expensive castle and how many beautiful princesses like her he has “conquered”.  He regales the princess with wonderful stories about how much land he owns and how that land has been passed down, from father to son, for generations.  He expounds on how he must produce a male heir for all of his riches. And then, he offers her the great honor of becoming his bride if she will only give him a kiss and break the enchantment. 

After hearing all of this, the princess levels her gaze at him, which the toad, of course, takes as a sign of interest.  She asks, “And what might such a bride do as mistress of this elegant and wonderful House of Toad?”   The toad answers, “Why, you would serve me, of course!  You would be at my side whenever I wish!  You may also prepare glorious meals for me, attend to my washing and you would be in charge of keeping the castle just so!”  He said this as if this would be a dream come true for any princess! 

The Princess blinked, and then moved closer to the toad and leaned in, only a hair’s breadth away and….  Could later be heard to say (as she enjoyed a lovely meal of sautéed frog’s legs and a glass of fine wine), “I don’t fucking think so!”

[Insert evil grin here!]

And now back to our Witchy Weapons of Patriarchal Destruction!

  1. Cultivate an awareness of subtle sexism.

We can all easily notice sexism such as the toad in our story telling the princess that she can cook and clean for him.  But do we notice when we are “innocuously” given the task of calling the caterer for the office party?

We may be perfectly aware when some misogynist questions our moods by referring to a certain time of month.  But do we sense ourselves censoring our own emotions when speaking to a group?  Is there a thought, deep down, that if your emotions show, you won’t be taken seriously?

It’s true.  Studies have shown that women are more likely to be interrupted during conversation and more likely to be perceived as untrustworthy for expressing emotions.  And those interruptions and perceptions of lower value are perpetrated by men AND women.

If you’ve ever used the euphemisms that equate parts of women’s bodies (Pussy) with weakness and parts of men’s bodies (balls) with strength, that’s something to become aware of.  I’ve taken to using the words “Uterus”, “Vagina”, and “Yoni” in place of balls.  It wakes people up because they’re not expecting it.

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Sexism rears its ugly head in our society in many ways and we need to be aware of these subtler expressions of it, so that we can…

  1. Call people out on their sexism. Male AND female.

Whenever you notice sexism in action, with your high-powered awareness, say something. Whether it’s some internet troll objectifying a woman or a woman who is begrudgingly accepting a role put upon her by the patriarchy.

Speak. Up. Every. Time.

Know this. You will be attacked for it.  Because How dare you point out a man’s foibles, you uppity *%$# (fill in the derogatory term of choice; bitch, feminazi, perhaps even Witch!)  In which case, you can slow-grin at them and give them a proper education.

I read an article recently called “Girls’ Guide to Calling Out Sexism Without Being Attacked”.  I prayed it was meant to be an ironic title, but I really couldn’t tell even after reading the article, which suggested we adjust our tone when calling out sexism, and advised us that we might be seen as “shrill” or “preachy” in doing so.   The article gave no advice as to how to call out the sexism of the attack itself.  And <heavy sigh> it was written by a woman.  Obviously not a Witch.

Don’t be like her.  Don’t tone it down for the sake of peace.  That’s how we got here in the first place. Fear.  Don’t let that be you.

And while we’re on the subject of fear…

  1. Empower others.

Do your best, as the witchy, wise, persuasive powerhouse that you are to bring those affected by sexism out of their fear.  Be an example but also be a shoulder.

One of the things that Witches are great at is bringing the love.  If there are women around you who are giving away their power, show them how to do things differently.

If they show interest in growing and becoming more empowered, help them discover ways to do that.

I volunteer at a non-profit for women teaching them workshops in self-discovery, finding their power and transforming their lives.  It other words, I’m teaching them to be Witches without calling it that.

Do the same for those you care about because, as I mentioned before, the more Witches, the better!

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And so, Witch… what’s next?

  1. Do Magick!

So you know how to cast a love spell and you can conjure up some cash when you need it.  You can witch some weather for your special event and call on Jupiter to expand your business.  And all of that is awesome.

But every once in awhile, consider doing some altruistic magick.  Goddess knows the world needs it in may ways.

Be creative!  Come up with a spell that helps to open the eyes of those who appear to be blind to casual sexism.

Practice a daily devotion to Diana requesting that she increase women’s power in the world.

Hell, masturbate with a sense of adoration and respect for your yoni and expand that feeling to the universe.

You’re a Witch, you can think of a spell that suits your purpose.

And if you are part of a group of Witches and you work together for the end of sexism in our society in some way, all the better.

Use your powers for good.  The world will thank you for it.

  1. And finally, continue to be your witchy, wise, bad-ass self unapologetically!

Beyonce

** NOTE:  Image Sources are embedded in each image.

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.

In the Company of Yin

cover yin yang

There was a time in my life (in that maiden to mother phase) when I naturally fell into a routine of caring for my mate and child, spending more of my time on them than on anything else.  It’s easy to do and I think many American women can identify.

Your girlfriends are in the same stage and it’s easy to let those friendships fall by the wayside.  It’s easy to allow yourself the joys of family and immerse yourself in your relationship with a significant other.  With the exception of lesbian couples, this is almost always a male dominated time in one’s life.

Family

And there’s nothing wrong with that.  I know, for me, it was a time to explore the Animus side of my own psyche.  I spent a tremendous amount of time trying to put myself in my husband’s shoes, in order to better understand him.  It was part of my endeavor to be a good wife/partner in our relationship.  And much of this time in my life was worthwhile and valuable and enjoyable.

But something was still missing.  I realized, one day, that so much of my life revolved around Husband and Family that I no longer had strong bonds with women.  In fact, I wasn’t sure I ever had.  I seemed to hold a belief in the back of my mind that I’d always identified more with men anyway.  In hindsight, this might have been a “sour grapes” sort of attitude.  I felt obligated to that life… even though, when I got honest with myself, I had to admit that I chose it.  But there was, at that time, a bit of a feeling of being trapped in that.

In my marriage, our friends were HIS friends.  My women friends were the wives of his friends.  So I thought I’d try to cultivate some real bonds in that pool of choices.  I decided to have a party just for the women in our social group.

High Tea

I devised a beautiful, pampering “High Tea” sort of soiree.  I called it my Sereni-Tea Party, during which each woman would receive massages, manicures, a soak in the Hot-Tub and all sorts of pampering.  I also devised a small ritual, where each woman was crowned as a Goddess.

The idea was to remind each of us that we are sovereign in our lives, that we may choose, daily, how (and for whom) to live.  It was a big hit.  Everyone loved it.  No one loved it more than I did.  It sparked some changes in my life that are still in the works, I think.

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I’m not sure if anyone else at that party “got” what I was trying to convey… but I did.  I claimed myself that day, and again and again on many days that followed it, I claimed my own sovereignty.

The experience sparked a new way of thinking for me.  I had one close female friend and I forged deeper into that bond.  She supported me and cared about my outcomes.  It was a really good start.

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I began to embody the Queen archetype.  And that sovereign queen of her own life was not the woman my husband married.  So in some ways, I could call that the beginning of the end of my marriage.  It’s okay.  It was a marriage that needed to end. And when it did, those women (the wives of his friends) shunned me like an Amish photographer. And that’s okay too. They were not “my tribe” anyway.

After the divorce I began to create more and more relationships with women.  I came honestly and openly into groups of females sharing my experiences and my ideas, and offering my empathy for the things that they may have experienced as well.  And that’s when the magick started to happen in my life.

I joined a witch’s grove of learning.  We met each week to discuss books, teach and learn and challenge each other toward excellence.  In the process we also loved, nurtured, supported and cheered each other on.  The grove developed into a coven.  I served as one of the leaders of that coven for quite a few years.

circle of women

I learned and grew more in those years than any other time in my life that I can recall.  I increased my personal power exponentially during that time, because of the company of other powerful women, all striving for their own excellence and the collective excellence of the group.  It created such momentum.  We were all swept along in it.

My leadership role in that group led me to more leadership.  I formed a non-profit spiritual center in my own home.  We offered worship services of an inclusive nature. We provided workshops, support groups, had festivals.  And I gained all of the experiences of facilitating that. And I could not have done it without the blessing of a number of breath-taking feminine souls who were regular members at the center.  They enriched me and the others in our group tremendously.

Life changed, as it does, and eventually I closed the center and moved clear across the country.  In my new home town, I volunteer and teach at a non-profit which supports women in ALL their endeavors to improve their own lives. It’s called Fresh Start Women’s Foundation.

And now, I also facilitate women’s spiritual retreats.  The latest installment of that happened in Sedona, AZ last month.

(There’s a new one coming up in November – Click here for more info!)

Six women from different backgrounds, understandings, beliefs and challenges came together.  We discussed and explored our hopes and fears. We worked towards our dreams.  We shared laughter and shed tears.  We moved forward in our lives, powerfully and magickally.

Above is photographic evidence of the goddess power we generated around us.  (Watch the orb at the foot of each goddess.  This showed up on 3 different cameras!)

owl yin yang

Yin in Taoism is the Feminine Principle.  The feminine aspect of this dualistic reality in which we live occupies the “dark side” of the yin yang symbol.

In Wiccan circles the Goddess is represented by the Moon, the night, while the God is represented by the Sun and the day.

This, in no way should be interpreted as meaning that the feminine principle is “bad” or “wrong”, although that is the way that much of our patriarchal society defines it.

But the divine feminine is a mystery.  The High Priestess card in Tarot holds a scroll, which is half hidden and sits before a curtain, beyond which are mysteries and wisdom untold.  There are even popular jokes about how women are complete mysteries to men.

High Priestess

There’s a reason for that.  And I think it’s our power.  This kind of power cannot simply be offered to everyone.  The power of the Feminine Divine is hidden for a reason.  The right to exist in its web must be earned.

And the women whose power is blatant and obvious to the world have been called everything under the sun, from demon, harlot, bitch to witch, activist, boss and Goddess.

The fact is that all women possess this power.  The degrees may vary or the power may be more or less suppressed by this patriarchal jailhouse, but, make no mistake, it is there.  It is present and can be awakened to greater strengths to greater missions and to the greatness of all things touched by such power.

I’ve found that when women come together in any kind of group, there is a magickal phenomenon that takes place.  There is a heightened power, an increase in intensity, like a spiritual battery being turned on.

A woman is powerful.

A couple of women, or a group, aligned in their Will, connected at their hearts and clear in their intentions, are UNSTOPPABLE, and deeply magickal.

Goddess Group

I’m not talking about excluding men from your life, by any means!  Today, I am in a committed and happy relationship with a loving, wonderful man. In fact, I believe that the time I’ve spent loving and nurturing other women (and myself) is a direct contributor to my finding him and to my being worthy of him.  Our relationship is very strong.  We believe in each other. We encourage each other. We acknowledge each other’s sovereignty.  And I adore spending time with him.

But these days, as the sovereign queen/goddess that I am, I choose to also spend a lot of quality time in the company of Yin.

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… 

Goddess Divine

Goddesses dancing

The first week of 2016 was rough for me.  I’d failed to reach some of my goals for 2015 and was, at the moment, failing miserably at my “Healthy Lifestyle” goals.   I was pretty down on myself, which, as a spiritual adviser, I know is self-defeating. But, as a human being, I say, “Hey!  Sometimes I get mad at myself!  That’s life!  Deal with it!”

Funny, I’ve been contemplating hard on doing some more Shadow work lately.  The Universe says, “Your wish is my command!  You want shadows?  Here ya go!  Self-loathing!  How’s THAT for Dark?!”, she proclaims with pride.  (HeHe)

The fact is that this whole thing (yaknow- life, the universe and everything) is a process.  You think you’ve learned a lesson and then you discover another layer of the same lesson hidden underneath.  It’s cool!  I’m not ready to be “Done” yet.  I kinda like it here.

So, there I was, in my MOOD; cranky, frustrated, restless – STUCK!  And when I’m stuck, I think about my spiritual practice.  It has always been what has saved me.  I realized I wasn’t finding enough time for it;  Meditation, Ritual, Offerings.  I was “fitting it in” here and there, instead of making it central to my life and my days.  And, for me, that means I need a sort of shock treatment – a BIG DOSE of my medicine to bring me back from this profoundly human habit of pleasing others and attachment to outcomes.  (All those goals = outcomes, for me.)  I need some “freedom from the lust of result”.  (Thank  you Mister Crowley!)  The fact is that those “goals” I had set for myself, in truth, were largely rooted in that particular aspect of my Shadow that says “Prove yourself.  You’re no good unless others recognize your successes.”  And that, dear readers, is ego and nothing more.  The goals I’d set for myself were not meant to feed my soul but to prove myself.

In my ponderings on Shadow and my moments of self-loathing, I realized that I had entered the auto-pilot mindset of dealing with things like the day-job and the mundane “have-to’s”, “Need-to’s” and “Get-to’s” of life.  I was embracing the lazy routine of working, and doing what I thought I had to do, then coming home to much deserved “relax” mode (doing nothing!).  I had allowed myself to slip into the comfortable groove of the “normal”, “mainstream” life.

This witch, dear readers, is far from “normal”… even for a witch!  In this realization I felt that I needed to firmly establish my “witchy-ness”!  In an expression of my MOOD at the time, I thought I’d change my entire wardrobe to nothing but black, flowy dresses! As black as my soul!  Then I laughed at myself, realizing, of course that it’s not about appearance at all.  In fact, it’s about the opposite.

So I  asked my brooding, black, moody soul what it needed.  The answer was SILENCE!!!  I realize that’s a bit of a paradox – a shouted “SILENCE!!”  But that was what I got!

I thought, “I need a couple of days away – a sort of Spiritual Immersion retreat.  You see, in the time before I moved to Arizona, I LIVED at a Spiritual Retreat.  I was in need of total immersion in my practice, no distractions, no excuses.

I happen to live about a 90-minute drive away from “Spiritual Retreat Central” aka, Sedona, AZ!  So I began researching what was available.  None seemed totally suited to my needs and ALL were EXTREMELY PRICEY!  So, since I didn’t win the Powerball, I started thinking, “Well, I know of this lovely, small (affordable) Inn in the heart of Sedona and I have hosted numerous Spiritual events; retreats, workshops, festivals, you name it!  I’m a goddamn High Priestess of Warrior Deities!  I’m a Badass Diviner, Channeler, Intuitive!  I can come up with my own weekend, filled with that BIG DOSE of Spiritual Practice (with lots of silence) that I need.”

So I began planning.  And then what happened was pure Magick, the kind of Magick I’d become accustomed to when I WAS honoring my spiritual practice.  You see, when you decide to give to your soul, when you honestly ask it what IT wants and when you are willing to face that Shadow side of yourself, well, everything aligns.  The universe will marshal its every force to help you.

So, as I was planning my own retreat, I realized that many other women I know have felt this way.  I understood that, yes, I could get away in a month or so and give myself this gift, but why leave it at that?  I could create this gift of an affordable retreat for others as well.  Since coming to that understanding, I have been OBSESSED!  I’ve blown through goals like there’s no work involved.  Yesterday, I spent 16 hours learning new software, creating a new meditation recording, planning the event, getting ready to launch this creative baby to which I am giving birth.  Those 16 hours went by in a flash.  I’ve been so IMMERSED in this creation that I’ve lost track of time.  My previously moody, black soul has exploded in color and joy!  THIS is (part of) the food that my soul has been starved of!  I’ve been extremely present in the planning of this and nowhere else, because I’ve no desire to BE anywhere else or to DO anything else!  This is BLISS!  And I’m following it! (Thank you Mister Campbell!).  It’s happening!  Goddess Divine – A Spiritual Retreat for Women.  May 20th, 21st and 22nd in beautiful Sedona, AZ.

And so, dear reader, if you have identified with any of these feelings, and if you feel that you’d like to get away for a bit and maybe even examine a bit of your own shadow in order to emerge on the other side with a goddamn FORCEFUL PURPOSE, then email AffordableSedonaRetreat@gmail.com for more information and for your FREE GIFT of that Meditation MP3 that I spent so many hours creating.  More information can also be found at my Goddess Divine page here on wordpress.  I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Bright Blessings!