Spiritual Menstruation – Introduction

Spiritual Menstruation

Personal Menstrual History
I got my period quite young, I was 11 at the time and still in primary school. I’d been raised in a household that had healthy sex education so I knew that it was coming and I knew what it was when it finally arrived. I didn’t have much of an opinion of it – it was just how it was and I just had to deal with it. A majority of the women in my family and those I spoke to had problems with their reproductive organs so I assumed pain was normal.
In high school I started getting really crippling cramps. One moment I would be at the shops with my friends having fun and the next I would be curled up on the floor waiting for the cramp to recede. My periods were quite heavy too. My hormones were all over the place – I had horrible mood swings, my anxiety was through the roof and I had really bad ACNE.
All of this seemed to level out when the doctor put me on The Pill. I was on it for 5-6 years before I actually knew what it was doing to me.
After the HSC had finished, I was adamant about going off the Pill and finding a more natural contraceptive solution. I hadn’t gotten my period for a month and a half after going off the Pill so I went to a Naturopath and Chinese Herbalist to help get my hormones leveled out and to avoid getting my ACNE back. She helped me with herbs and acupuncture.
Ever since then my periods have been fairly regular unless of course I’m under high amounts of stress. A lot of the reading I’ve done over the last few years has changed my attitude towards menstruation.

Spiritual Menstruation
“Your life is based around your menstrual cycle whether you realise it or not, whether you pay attention to it or not. And everyone who lives under the same roof is under the influence of the menstrual cycles of the women who live there. So, why not pay attention? So much more will make sense and you will make more sense to yourself!”Moonsong.com

At first I felt that menstruation was something that didn’t have much of a ‘purpose’ other than to allow us to conceive when the time came and other than that it was just a nuisance – I’ve discovered of late is that it’s so much more. There is a constant flow of energy; something akin to the energies we feel with the waxing and waning of the Moon, the turning of the wheel of the year and the different energies of night and day. I’ve noticed that it’s a more subtle and reasonably slow movement of energy, well for me it is – I assume different people would have different experiences.
Lately I’ve had the opportunity to listen to my cycle, to live within these energies and I must admit when I’m not fighting them my life seems to run a lot more smoothly. I’ve noticed 4 such energies each with it’s own merits and pitfalls and I use these energies in spell work or ritual and in my day to day life.

NOTE: As I’ve said in a previous post, I believe males, females and everyone in between and beyond can experience these energies. I believe that some people experience them physically but they can also be experienced mentally, emotionally and/or spiritually. But just so everyone is aware I will be referring to the physical aspect of the expression of these energies which, for me, include a menstrual period. That does not mean that if you do not experience a physical menstrual period that you are incapable of experiencing this – it’s just made it easier for me to categorize them. I hope to in no way exclude or offend anyone so please contact me if this is so.

22/1/13 – Change Happens at a Glacial Pace

I was raised by an anxious family which has made me an extremely anxious person. I can remember when I could finally put a name to it. I was so happy to realise what I was feeling was an actual thing and that I wasn’t alone. Sometimes I have bad days where doing the laundry or going outside is just too much for me to handle and those are the days that I get so angry at myself for letting it sneak up on me again. But you know what? Under all those bitter thoughts I can honestly say I’m proud of myself.

I know a lot of people look at me and my life and assume it’s easy. Why? Just because I don’t work full time or have a family, etc. This annoys me because I still struggle with day to day life – something that you would find easy or even mundane can have me worried for days beforehand. It sounds ridiculous, and believe me when I tell you that I know just how ridiculous. The life that I’m leading now has taken me a long time to get and I’ve worked hard to get it. It took me a long time to fight the feelings of guilt I had about not working full time like a majority of my friends did after high school but I’ve come to accept that I’m just not that way inclined. That’s something that I learn over and over again during this long journey – to accept yourself for who you are and to work with yourself. There may be parts that annoy you or that you may even hate, but they’re still a part of you and I’m sure there a plenty of parts that you love as well if you look deep enough. The facts are that you can’t have one without the other – human beings aren’t perfect.

+ The other day I walked down to this little grassy spot underneath a tree beside the lake. I was so happy I’d done that because I had literally been thinking about doing it for a few weeks but couldn’t get the guts to do it. What am I afraid of? I’m not entirely sure. Probably someone seeing me – I’m never all that good with human interaction.
+ I made an appointment to a. see a doctor and b. get a pap smear. The last time I saw a doctor was the last time I got a pap smear – which was 3 years ago. I’m scared of doctors because they talk in riddles and make assumptions. You see them for 10 minutes and they think they can ‘fix’ you. It doesn’t make sense to me!
+ I bought myself some chalk pastels, I’ve bought myself that journal I’ve been wanting for yonks, I’ve been doing art and enjoying it. I’ve been playing sport, gardening, letting Brian take me to socialise, among so many other things that I wouldn’t of done 6, 12, 24 or 48 months ago.

I’m saying this mostly for my own benefit because sometimes the thoughts come and they wash out all the work I’ve done – they tell me I’m hopeless and ask me why I’m still trying because I’ll never be as good as that person or this person. I need to remind myself where I’m at and where I’ve come from.

I need to remind myself that I’m never going to just wake up and be the person who I want to be – that takes time and a lot of effort. I need to remind myself that Change Happens at a Glacial Pace.

Divination

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Here is a sneak peak of what I’m working on at the moment.

As part of my healing through art project I’m trying to make art a more integral part of my practice.
And since I can’t do anything the easy way I’ve decided to create my own ‘rune’ set (I realise it may not be referred to as ‘runes’ if it is not the traditional Elder Futhark Rune set but I have no other word for it yet). While we were on our road trip I collected some stones from various beaches which I planned on using to create my very own rune set (based on the Elder Futhark system). However, when I researched them they just didn’t click with me – I’m not of the Heathen faith and I don’t believe in their Gods. Since then I’ve felt a little lost because I was so sure I was following the right path by collecting the stones and creating a divination tool from them. For a while I persevered and tried to fit what I felt the stones represented into this already established system of runes – as you can imagine I wasn’t getting anywhere.

I then saw someone using a set that was of completely modern make with different symbols and I thought “I can do that.” At the moment I’m just brainstorming but as I collected them I already had a meaning shaped in my mind for each stone, I just need to figure out a symbol for each meaning – that’s the easy part. The hard part will be establishing a system to allow me to use the runes for divination purposes. I’ll need to play with them and try and figure out their meanings and then write a booklet to keep track of my findings.

In other words – it’s going to be a long and difficult journey.

18/1/13 – Journal Writing

High School Memories

High School Memories

A couple of days ago my dad found a box in storage and it was full of all my old diaries, letters I wrote to my friends and photos from high school. When I opened that box I felt like I was transported back to then and became that person again.

I had been thinking about where all my old diaries had gone because I knew I would never have thrown them out and I was interested in looking at them since I’d started writing again – I wanted to see if I wrote about the same kind of thing.
HELL NO is the answer to that question.

I guess you never really realise how much you change and man, I know exactly how much I’ve changed. All my old diaries from high school as you can probably imagine, are about what boy I liked and the last thing he said to me and what I thought it meant. I wrote about how every one of my friends annoyed me and exactly why they annoyed me but then continued to speak to them (and even wrote about them 2 or 3 days later saying how grateful I am for having them as a friend).

When I look back on high school now, I sort of don’t really know what I’m looking at. I feel like it’s just a jumbled mess and that whole chunks of it are missing. I guess what I learnt about this is that well, it WAS a big mess and I’m not surprised I forgot chunks – I pretty much did the same thing day in and day out.

There was this one diary that I avoided until the end though because I knew what was in it and I guess I never truly moved on or forgave him for what happened (let’s call him Shadow). We’re both completely different people now and I don’t really see him as the same person anymore (we’re still friends) so I don’t blame present Shadow, I blame past Shadow. The thing is I know I can’t go back and talk to past Shadow and sometimes I wonder if he really is all that different or if my role in his life is different. Either way, this diary was hard for me to look at but in the end I read the whole thing – cover to cover. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be although after reading it I was bursting with questions. I know all the people involved back then had most definitely forgotten it all – I seem to be the only one who cares enough about conversations and body language to write a 3 page diary entry about it.

It took me a couple of days to think about what all this may mean and if I should talk to Shadow about it or if I talk to my fiance. I even considered making Shadow a playlist of all the songs that reminded me of that time to try and convey how I felt — wot? I finally decided to do an oracle reading which was mostly focused on developing myself as a person as opposed to what I should do about my nostalgia towards people who hardly even exist anymore. As always, they come out with the answer that’s been circling around in my life for a couple of weeks now which I refuse to see – I need to stop taking life so seriously and to be more grounded and practical.

I then realised I don’t know how to be practical or grounded – I’ve never been like that. I’m a dreamer and I like it like that. You know what they said? Confidence. Confidence in that everything I have right now is exactly what I need and to be grateful for it.

Sometimes I still get surprised. I still smile to myself and think “Why didn’t I ask you to begin with?” I guess I wouldn’t have seen the answer.

Could This be a Sign?

Could This be a Sign?

I’ve been wanting this book for ages – I’ve been pining over it since I first saw it on Moira’s Etsy shop (Ariom Designs) but I just couldn’t justify spending $122 on a book that I didn’t actually have a purpose for.

Recently my fiance and I have been getting a little bit of extra money so that we could both have some spending money each week and I chose to buy this as my first ‘thing’.
I know what I’m going to put in it now – it will be my new ‘Book of Shadows’ (that’s not what I want to call it but I don’t have another name – I guess I will have to think of one!).
The significance of all this is that when I contacted Moira about setting up a payment plan she told me that it was an important piece to her and she was glad it had finally found a good home. On inquiring to what she meant (I love good stories that go with artworks) she told me that it was something she created during a major turning point in her life. She said it was “where I realised almost wasn’t enough and I was deserving of setting my skills to something truly worthy” to do what made her happy and to just allow it to happen. I feel this describes exactly what I’m going through right now with my job and my art – I want my art to be an integral part of my life but I’ve never considered making money from it. Could I?
Either way I have a feeling this piece could be something that helps with my healing through art project I’ve just undertaken.

I’m really happy I’ve finally gone through with this – it took me a while but I got there in the end. Hopefully I will eventually say the same for a few of the decisions I need to make in my day to day life.

Dreams – 9/1/13

Last night I had a few dreams – the first one was about my old childhood home. I was there with all these strangers, they were mean and were making me feel really uncomfortable so I tried to gather up all my things to leave. I was driving down the street to escape when I saw Simba (my pet rat) running down a drain. I stopped to pick him up and then half way down the street realised it wasn’t him but another rat – then I couldn’t remember where Simba was.

I drove over to my friend’s place but he told me I was too early (at this stage my fiance was with me – he may have been with me the whole time but I didn’t see him). My friend was drinking on his front porch with another one of my friends.

It was night time and we were driving along a brightly lit road – something happened here but I can’t quite remember. There may have been a warehouse or something.

I then started dreaming about Cockatoo Paul, who’s this guy we met on our road trip – he has a pet cockatoo on his shoulder all the time. We turned up to his place (in a van with a bunch of other people) to do the bush tucker course we were planning on doing with him on our road trip but never ended up going to (we went out drinking instead haha). When I turned up there, Brian was already there and was going to the toilet. Cockatoo Paul greeted me and asked if I was ready and I said that I was – that I was relaxed because I was on holiday and didn’t have to think about anything until I go home (and I really was!).

Then I was at the shopping center where I grew up. I was in the supermarket and I was trying to avoid seeing Jessica (my used-to-be best friend from high school) but when I did run into her it was like I wasn’t there. She was asking the girls at the registers if any of them needed her to work but they all said no. I felt like I should talk to her and make amends but I really didn’t want to speak to her – we went out into the car park and I’m not sure what happened.

Note: The writing of my dreams from now on will be rough as I’ll be writing them as soon as I wake up so that they are accurate.

My Animal Totem

Yesterday I watched Lupa’s video on Animal Totemism (you can watch it here) and whilst I kind of already knew a lot of the ‘basics’ already through my own practice with animals I found there were still little bits and pieces that I found very useful – it’s now conscious.

When I say that ‘it’s now conscious’ I’m referring to Jung’s concept of the shadow and the ego. I’ve not read this guy’s books but I have read a thing or two about his theories (more through other authors who expand on his ideas). Basically, I work in two ways – my subconcious and my conscious. My animal totems were more of a subconscious or ‘shadow’ part of my practice meaning that I’ve never really used them for any particular purpose, I mostly just felt comforted when I saw them. Sure I have ‘rituals’ dedicated to them but they’re mostly on the I’ll-wear-a-kookaburra-feather-in-my-hair side as opposed to the let’s-meditate-and-talk side. I’m aware that this is probably a really poor way of explaining it because some people would argue that meditation is a subconscious thing – but hey, that’s where I’m at right now and that’s what I’m doing here so for now that’s what I’m going with.

Anyway, Lupa’s video has inspired me to get more in touch with my Totem which is the Kookaburra. I’ve been observing Kookaburra’s since I was quite young and have always felt comforted and safe whenever they were around. I’ve never actually done any meditations to find out that they were my totem – one day in high school they started appearing during times of great stress and anxiety. I hated high school and I felt like they were always there protecting me because they would always turn up when I was making a big decision or thinking about something important.

Today, I started sketching a Kookaburra from a photo I took of one not that long ago – during that time I went into a bit of a meditation. Kookaburra’s have been seen as a symbol for healing and I’ve never really understood that until I was drawing this picture. The thing is, art used to be my life – I remember saying to a friend in high school that “I don’t know what I would do without art” but since graduating I’ve hardly even done a thing. I’ve attempted a few works but never finished. I was lazy with my photography and always thought too much about what it was I was doing. During this sketch I realised that the thing I loved most about art was that I could disappear into it – I meditated and my whole world was consumed with whatever it was I was painting/creating. It’s probably the first time I’ve done that (sober) since I graduated high school and I definitely think I’m on the right track.

Basically: Kookaburra = Healing Through Art

I’ll continue to blog about this part of my life – I need to paint, draw and create more.

Practicing Moon Lodge

I have a lot of free time because I’ve taken a break from study to organise our wedding however at the end of last year it was just an excuse for me to be lazy. I’ve since picked up my act – and some Bach Flowers (Clematis and Wild Rose). But there is just so many things I want to accomplish during my spare time that I feel like I need to manage it a little better – kind of like working from home.

I’m usually pretty big on timetables as I create a new one what seems like every few months or so – the only problem being that I never stick to them. So, I had this idea that maybe instead of drawing up a timetable that goes over a weekly basis I could do one on a monthly basis and fit it in to my cycle. The week just before my period is always the deal breaker when I’m studying or being at all productive in any way so I thought that if I could budget my time wisely in the first 3 weeks that it wouldn’t be such a big deal if all I felt like doing during that fourth week was drink tea and watch movies – I mean we all should be honouring that part of ourselves and it’s just unfortunate that in this day and age it’s seen as weakness.

My reasoning behind it is that I’ve been fighting with this part of myself for well, since as long as I can remember (obviously since I began puberty). There always feels like a battle going on inside my head, inside my heart between more than one woman. And you know what? I’m tired of it. I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life – she is also a part of me and I’m a part of her. I’m essentially fighting against myself. So, I’m choosing to work with her – she needs some time during that week to cry and to do art and to stare at the sky for 2 hours and I will let her no matter how much time I think I’m wasting. I will not feel guilty and I will not feel weak and I will not feel stupid.

As it is, I usually have my most profound moments during this time – but I always shove them away because I should be doing this or that. NO MORE I SAY!

I encourage other people to do this – even people who don’t experience a menstrual cycle. Everyone has a flow of energy and there are always highs and lows, I think I’m just lucky to experience them physically so it’s easier to keep track. For example; my fiance Brian experiences the same energies as I just in a shorter amount of time – so mine is over one turning of the moon whilst his may be over 2 weeks.

I’ll keep track of my feelings during the first month and then base my timetable on that – I’m kind of excited because that means I can do whatever I want, whenever I want and not feel guilty about it!
I will also post my final timetable if you are interested.

Happy Blogging )O(

Family Ties

Family Ties

Ok, so I’m sorry about the really crap (and old) picture but I always seem to forgot to document my spells. I guess it’s not all that important but one day I will show you how I do them. This photo I posted 2 years ago on my tumblr and it’s of one of my first spells. Here’s my description of it (and please excuse the magic with a ‘k’)

“Yesterday dad left for Perth. He’s moved over there for 6 months for a job. Before he left I made me, dad, my sister and mum little braids which I called “Family Ties”. They’re made of 4 pieces of fabric which have different colours and patterns woven together into one. I charmed them a little, nothing major. It was mostly just mental, picturing my family and each persons trait as I wove their piece in and what I wished for each of them and the family as a whole. The words I wrote felt magickal so hopefully if I believe in it then it will be true. So mote it be, as they say haha.
I also believe that because the fabric was sourced from the same piece of material that they’re all linked so I can cast a spell on mine and that will cast the same spell on the others.”

The significance of this (a part from the fact you can clearly see how much I’ve grown in my craft since then) is that when Dad moved over to Perth my parents marriage pretty much went to shit. Maybe that’s why I made these Family Ties in the first place; because I could feel it coming. Either way I recently decided that they weren’t helping any of us anymore and possibly even hindering each of us as individuals.

So today I undid the spell. It was a pretty hard decision to make but I think I made the right one – basically I feel like I’ve ‘given up’ on my family. I know that’s not true though because I’ve done it for the right reasons and to help each person individually instead of the family unit as a whole.
What I did was:
– I gathered my Family Tie and my little piece of paper that explain the reasons behind each piece of fabric.
– I lit a candle, had a shower then burnt the end of my Family Tie. I kept burning it until the knot had completely burnt off which allowed me to untie each piece individually.
– I then burnt the piece of paper and thought about each person and how this change could possibly help them.
– Then I buried the fabric pieces in the ground (or my version of the ground which is a potted plant outside lol).

I did feel a bit of a weight off my shoulders but I don’t think it’ll sink in for a while yet.

Attune to Self Through Herbs and Nature – Week 4

Check In

This week was different from other weeks. I think the others might have gotten confused about whether or not it was on (it was a public holiday – also a full moon so it wouldn’t surprise me if everyone were a little busy). Either way it was only Me, Takashi* and MaYanya. I think I was quite excited of the prospect of it being a smaller class and how fast we could move through the herbs (less people = less chatting). As soon as I got there I strolled right over to the tea that they always have sitting on their counter. I took a sip before MaYanya could say anything – once she realised she told me that it was actually the first herb (she had run out of plunges). I had to laugh; the universe works in mysterious ways.
Our initial ‘drop in’ brought lethargy and exhaustion. This was not surprising seeing as I just spent the week helping my Aunty and her family and had only gotten back an hour before hand (it takes 5 hours driving to get back). I could immediately feel all of the tights spot in my body (right hip, diaphragm, both sides of right and lower back). Other than that all I felt were my need for sleep and to see Brian.

1. Mistletoe (heart herb – emotional and physical)
Ate a little of the plant material; spongey in texture. “Take scent back into glands behind ears”. We imagined a universe captured in our skull. Filling every corner of our being. We flew through the universe – black holes, blue planets and comets. We were told to imagine an eye; mine was made from a nebula (inspired by this image that I saw a few years back). Then we were told to imagine the pupil being like a door spinning on its axis which we then went through; to the dimension of the being in the herb.
I saw myself and then I saw a big desert, the sand/dirt was a dark orangey-red. There was a dark blue sky; as if the sun had just set. Before me I saw big rocks that reminded me of the stones in the Stonehenge. These represented the being’s hands (I guess that could mean how it received and took things). By the right ‘hand’ we were instructed to see a gift; from the base of the right one I saw a plant growing. It reminded me of a vine but stood upright on its own.
After that she danced with me; I couldn’t see any features, I could only feel her touch guiding me. When it was time to leave I drew a heart in the sand at the base of the spinning door, then knelt and kissed the Earth. I came back through the portal and flew home.

2. Chrysanthemum
Yellow flower, which smelt like sweat (lol). The smell was completely different to the taste. Taste wasn’t noteworthy. At this point I’ve written “Want to close our eyes” – I’m not sure who I was referring to when I said ‘our’ but I gathered it meant the group. We were told to imagine a pyramid in our head, consisting of a central pyramid as the base. It spun on it’s axis in time with the breath. I imagined myself upside down. We were told to image a colour for the pyramid. At first I saw white (not transparent) – then it changed to yellow then green. The pineal gland then started glowing and pulsating green. MaYanya then went on to explain that Green and Pink are the colours of the heart centre and it was the colour of healing.

3. Borage (powerful balancing herb)
As soon as MaYanya poured the tea I felt a shiver all through my body. I got another shiver on picking up and then on drinking the tea. We were told to think of the colour of the flower – then MaYanya made clear that it doesn’t matter if we got the colour wrong (I had to giggle at that because that’s precisely what I was worrying about haha). I saw an orange flower with deep green foliage. I could smell wattle which enveloped my entire being (the smell of wattle is my absolute favourite). We were told to imagine being a bee, we buzzed and gathered nectar and pollen – accepting the pure joy this plant was giving to us (described as an “orgasm”). We were then taught to put this pollen anywhere we needed it – I chose my brain which then overflowed to my eyes. MaYanya then explained that this will allow us to interpret signals from the organs and that this particular herb will be working for a couple of days (food/sound/action/etc). I massaged my head (temples, forehead, back of head) and a feeling of cold on my eyes.

NOTE: We don’t find out what herbs they are until the very end.
NOTE: Everything written in “quotation marks” is a direct quote from MaYanya, Nikki or one of the other people of the group.
* name changed for privacy.