Butterfly Medicine: beauty and endurance

A macro view of a butterfly wing


I used to think of animal scales as a form of protection and camouflage (as well as for heat control), and for many they are. But they can also be a thing of beauty, with their intricate and colourful patterns.

I am mesmerized by the beauty of a butterfly’s wing… minute colourful scales shimmering in the light. Lepidoptera — the scientific name of the order for the butterflies and moths — comes from the Greek words meaning “scale” and “wing”.

Butterfly medicine is varied depending on your culture and beliefs. For some, Butterfly represents transformation and the cycles of life, joy and lightness of being. For others, Butterfly represents the spirit(s) of those who have passed… transitioned to the next world.

When I think of Butterfly, I think of strength and endurance and how several generations work together to complete something important for the whole “tribe”. Monarch Butterflies migrate south each year, millions leaving their summer habitats in Canada and the US, flying en masse to central Mexico for the winter. And yet, not a single butterfly completes the entire trip. Per Wikipedia: “female monarchs lay eggs for the next generation during the northward migration and at least five generations are involved in the annual cycle.” WOW!

For me, sitting with Butterfly is always a moment of peace and the appreciation of beauty… and respect.


sidebar graphics 7If you love working with Mother Earth (known by so many names, such as Gaia, Pachamama, and Danú), following the energies of Grandmother Moon (Seanmháthair Gealach), of the Goddess(es), of Father Sky (Daghda), following the Celtic Wheel of The Year, creating or learning ancestral crafts and herbalism, or follow an earth-based spirituality…. or are interested in learning more about this path, you will find great resources – and the opportunity to ask questions, share rituals, and more – in our NEW private Facebook Group, the Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle.

For more information about the Circle, CLICK HERE

Or, CLICK HERE to join us today on Facebook

Explore the Women’s Wisdom Wheel Spread with us on November 29th

Join Jackie Ladouceur and Della Ratcliffe on the Tuesday, November 29th at 10 AM Pacific Time (yes, it’s the New Moon!) for an on-line exploration of the Women’s Wisdom Wheel, a new spread using your favourite oracle or tarot cards.

Each month, Grandmother Moon starts a new journey, giving us an opportunity for new beginnings and for reflecting on the previous month. And, as we move into Winter in the Northern Hemisphere, this is also a time for even deeper reflection and for planning our next year.

As Mother Earth starts her draw her energy downward, deep into the ground, we can do the same…. looking back at the past year and what we learned, what we have gratitude for… and what we want for the next year.

The Women’s Wisdom Wheel is a tool to help us do that, using our favourite oracle or tarot deck, and can be used at any time of the year, but can be most powerful at the New Moon and the New Year (in the Celtic Wheel of the Year that was earlier this month, at Samhain).

In this Introduction / Q&A, Jackie and Della will:
🌙 introduce you to the Women’s Wisdom Wheel spread
🌙 demonstrate a live reading (and ask for YOUR interpretations)
🌙 share some Soul Questions you can use for each direction on the Wheel
🌙 give you a special preview of Jackie’s beautifully designed Oracle of Horse Wisdom
🌙 answer YOUR questions about the Wheel and its concepts… and your cards!

PREPARATION
🌙 We will be doing a live demo of the Women’s Wisdom Wheel Spread during this event, so open up YOUR favourite Oracle or Tarot deck and join in…. See what wisdom shows up for you!
🌙 You may also want to have a journal or other device to take notes.

ABOUT YOUR HOSTS

Jackie Ladoucer, Fields of Wisdom
Jackie is a Certified Life Coach, Reiki Master and Equine Guided Coach and Practitioner and mostly a Spiritual Journeyer and Seeker who continually pursues her passion in helping others live from the deepest essence of who they are and in being an advocate for the majestic presence and wisdom of the horse. She is continually inspired to discover new ways of capturing and bringing this work out through her ongoing creative passions and joy in sharing inspirational wisdom and guidance through her work with the horses, photography and imaging.

Connect with Jackie through the Fields of Wisdom website and Facebook page Fields of Wisdom

Della Ratcliffe, Inner Journey Events
Hopefully followers of this blog will recognize me….!  I am a shamanic coach, hedgewitch, and PSYCH-K® practitioner, and passionate about holding space for individuals finding their gifts… their medicine… their authentic Self. I am passionate about entraining with the energetic rhythms of Mother Earth and Grandmother Moon, living in alignment with Earth Medicine and the PSYCH-K® Principles of Nature.

Connect with Della through the Inner Journey Events Website,  Facebook Page  and Facebook Group Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle.


REGISTRATION is required for this event, and all registered participants will have access to the recording and to a download of the spread after the event. So, if you can’t join us live, you can join us virtually!

Click HERE to Register

DATE:  Tuesday, November 29th
TIME:  10 AM Pacific time, 1 PM Eastern time, 6 PM GMT 
LOCATION:
Anywhere you can access your desktop, laptop, table or smart phone

Click HERE to check your local Time Zone for this event


sidebar graphics 7If you love working with Mother Earth (known by so many names, such as Gaia, Pachamama, and Danú), following the energies of Grandmother Moon (Seanmháthair Gealach), of the Goddess(es), of Father Sky (Daghda), following the Celtic Wheel of The Year, creating or learning ancestral crafts and herbalism, or follow an earth-based spirituality…. or are interested in learning more about this path, you will find great resources – and the opportunity to ask questions, share rituals, and more – in our NEW private Facebook Group, the Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle.

For more information about the Circle, CLICK HERE

OR

CLICK HERE to join us today on Facebook

Thanksgiving Blessings

Blessings to all my American friends for a happy and safe Thanksgiving with loved ones today✨✨

As you take time today to reflect on your blessings from the last year, take time to thank Mama Earth for all she has given us.

I am sharing this lovely Thanksgiving prayer from Starhawk which was published in 2011 in The Washington Post. Enjoy❤️

Pagan Thanksgiving Prayer

We give thanks for this good green earth and all that lives upon it.

Thanks for the air, the Great Breath that that flows from leaf to lung and back again, sustaining life.

Thanks for fire, leaping flame and glowing hearth, warmth in the cold season.

Thanks for water, the life-renewing rain, the springs, streams, and rivers, the pools and lakes, the great oceans, womb of the first life.

Thanks for soil and for the web of life within it, tiny bacteria, threadlike fungi, slithering worm, that nourishes the grain, the wildflower and the redwood.

Thanks for the sun, for life-sustaining radiance showering down on us each day.

Thanks for the moon, for the waxing and waning light that drives the tides.

Thanks for our living bodies with their miraculous abilities to heal, to give and receive pleasure, to create new life.

Thanks for the food we eat: thanks to all the beings whose death sustains our lives.

Thanks to all who tend and grow our food, who plant and harvest, who bring it to us, who cook it for us with love.

Thanks for the great creative spirit that continues to invent, to play, to increase the diversity and beauty around us.

Thanks for the cycles of birth, growth, death and decay that come back around, always, to regeneration.

Thanks for the love and the community we share, for all the ways we express love, all the acts of kindness and compassion that weave us together.

Thanks to the courage of all who stand up for the earth and for justice, who against all evidence and all odds continue to believe in our power to make a better world.

Thanks to all who say yes–yes, we will do it!

We will renew the land and feed the hungry.

We will face down tyrants and set the prisoners free.

We will repair the damage and heal the wounds.

We will learn to live with open hands and open hearts, in balance and in peace.

We give thanks.


sidebar graphics 7If you love working with Mother Earth (known by so many names, such as Gaia, Pachamama, and Danú), following the energies of Grandmother Moon (Seanmháthair Gealach), of the Goddess(es), of Father Sky (Daghda), following the Celtic Wheel of The Year, creating or learning ancestral crafts and herbalism, or follow an earth-based spirituality…. or are interested in learning more about this path, you will find great resources – and the opportunity to ask questions, share rituals, and more – in our NEW private Facebook Group, the Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle.

For more information about the Circle, CLICK HERE

Or, CLICK HERE to join us today on Facebook

Fire in the Belly: Celtic Inner Cauldrons

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“Fire in the Belly” by bonegoddess (DeviantArt)

Much of what we know of early Celtic culture, history and spirituality is reconstructed. In what was primarily an oral tradition, little was inked onto paper or etched into stone that has endured to our time. So, what we know about that culture comes primarily from songs and poetry handed down over centuries in the bardic tradition. Some of the speculation by earlier scholars — Robert Graves amongst them — has been disputed.

But in some cases, we do have texts, often created or copied by the monks in priories.

The Cauldron of Poesy is one such text. The first written version is purported to be from the 7th century, and it was later recorded/found in a 16th century legal text, now in Trinity College, Dublin. There are very many books and scripts yet to be explored, so perhaps scholars will find other references to the original tale.

The Cauldron of Poesy was allegedly written by Amergin Glúingel (aka “White-Knee’), a b4cba95f68a32731e86fd6341495d3e0Milesian bard and judge. Some are familiar with the beautiful Song of Amergin (“I am a stag: of seven tines, I am a flood: across a plain…”).

Many cultures describe energy systems within the body — chakras, meridians, pulses of various kinds. And the Cauldron of Poesy is seen by many as describing the Celtic energy system, akin to the chakras… and there are some remarkable similarities.

I am neither a Celtic nor a Druidic scholar, but I do love this concept and how we can relate to our own bodies — and the world around us — and our spiritual journey through the Three Cauldrons that Amergin describes. And we do know that the cauldron is a frequent image in Celtic mythology, and the triad is a core concept in Celtic spirituality, such as the Triple Goddess of Maiden-Mother-Crone, the three worlds (Lower, Middle, Upper), etc.

The Cauldron of Warming (Coire Goirath)

Key concepts: The Sea / Water, Lower World, The Past, Existence, Subconsciousimg_2128
Found deep within the belly, this first cauldron is also known as the Cauldron of Incubation. This is our life force, our womb, our inner fire providing the body’s energy, much like the Root Chakra and Second Chakra. Amergin tells us that when we are born, this cauldron is positioned upright, ready to be filled even more.

Amergin associates the Cauldron with the body, but also with the outside world. This Cauldron represents The Sea, from which we all came, the source of life itself. Water is emotion, the unconscious. Before birth, we live in the sea of amniotic fluid, so an apt analogy.

In the Celtic Shamanic tradition that I practice, this Cauldron is strongly associated with the Divine Feminine, the womb, the fire in the belly that gives life.

The Cauldron of Vocation (Coire Ernmae)

Facebook Post 2016-1-12Key concepts: The Land / Earth, Middle World, the Present, Experience, Ego
The second cauldron is found in the heart, and is very similar to the heart chakra. It is also known as the Cauldron of Motion. Unlike the Cauldron of Warming, when we are born, this cauldron is on its side. It can be turned upright by joy, and upside down by loss and sorrow…. and by our life experiences. As we find our true path — our vocation — this cauldron will turn upright and we can share our wisdom with others. Many relate this to both our Heart Chakra (knowing our Self and our path) and our Throat Chakra (sharing it with others).

Amergin relates this Cauldron to the land, the Middle World where we take action, where we connect with others, share our experiences, learn and grow… and eventually teach and mentor.

The Cauldron of Wisdom (Coire Sois)

BeltanefireKey concepts: The Sky / Fire, Upper World, The Future, Transpersonal Consciousness
Also known as the Cauldron of Inspiration, this cauldron relates very strongly to our Third Eye Chakra and Crown Chakra. When we are born, it is inverted, empty… but our spiritual journey eventually will turn this upright. And that comes with rewards of poetry, prophecy and wisdom. This is the realm of inspiration (awen in Celtic traditions), where we connect even more with Spirit and the flow of Life itself.

Amergin says that this Cauldron,

“…. bestows the merit of every art,
through which treasure increases,
which magnifies every common artisan,
which builds up a person through their gift.”

We can learn much about our Self and our path in life as we connect to these Cauldrons. This post is merely an introduction to this concept. But as we study the Cauldrons even more, we emerge with a much greater understanding of our Self, our Path (vocation) and our Spirituality…. hopefully turning our third cauldron upright even more.

Recently I led an on-line Journey to YOUR Inner Cauldron, focusing primarily on the Cauldron of Warming, the womb, and will journey with the Cauldron of Vocation and Cauldron of Wisdom in coming months.

More information about upcoming Journeys, consider joining our Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle on Facebook (see info below), or subscribing to the Inner Journey Events newsletter. This month, new subscribers receive our newest e-book, Ritual Release with Stones for the Waning Moon.


sidebar graphics 7If you love working with Mother Earth (known by so many names, such as Gaia, Pachamama, and Danú), following the energies of Grandmother Moon (Seanmháthair Gealach), of the Goddess(es), of Father Sky (Daghda), following the Celtic Wheel of The Year, creating or learning ancestral crafts and herbalism, or follow an earth-based spirituality…. or are interested in learning more about this path, you will find great resources – and the opportunity to ask questions, share rituals, and more – in our NEW private Facebook Group, the Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle.

For more information about the Circle, CLICK HERE

Or, CLICK HERE to join us today on Facebook

Only Connect!

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Many years ago, I heard a quote from E. M. Forster that so moved me.

“Only Connect!”

And I have lived by that, as I believe that one of the greatest wonders in our world is our ability to connect with others. The full quote from his novel Howard’s End is:

Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect, and the beast and the monk, robbed of the isolation that is life to either, will die.

And then today I read a quote from rabbi-philosopher Martin Buber. I had heard it before and thought “well said”, or something innocuous like that… but today it struck me just how deep and powerful the quote is.

He said,

“When two people relate to each other authentically and humanly, God is the electricity that surges between them.”

Buber refers to God, in this instance, as that was his belief system. I might use the term Spirit… or Universe… or Flow… or Goddess. Some may choose a different word… love, acceptance, beauty. For me, this is not necessarily about religion… but about our innate spirituality.

Students of philosophy will know Buber from his thesis of dialogical existence, the concept of Ich-Du (“I-Thou” or “I-You”) where what is important is the mutual and holistic existence of two beings, and how they can related without any qualification or objectification of one another (thank you Wikipedia for this simple description!).

Buber believed that there were many layers to an Ich-Du relationship…. and one of them was that “an Ich-Du relationship with anything or anyone connects some way with the eternal relationship to God”. (again, my thanks to Wikipedia).

WOW! So in Buber’s view of the world…. connection, friendship, love… all these are spiritual.

And this, I too believe.

This has been a troubling year for many…. terrorism on the rise…. controversial and confusing political outcomes in countries such as the UK and USA…. But, at the root of it all, we are people. We are individuals. We have so many common goals and wishs – a peaceful life, the right to love, to be heard, to be valued, to be in community …

We can choose to live ethically and morally from a place of love, rather than a place of fear… We can choose to connect with others in an open way, unconditionally. We can listen to others, connect with their experiences, rather than judge or condemn.  We can hold sacred space for others.

We can choose to exalt the human experience through love and connection.

So, in the words of E. M. Forster…. Only Connect!

And in the words of Martin Buber, do so authentically and humanly…. there is power in that.

There is spirituality and Spirit in connection, and within you.

The Thinning of the Veil at Samhain

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Although Samhain has now officially passed (although it does remain as the Irish Gaelic name for the month of November), I still receive questions about Samhain, when it should be celebrated, what it means from an energetic/intuitive perspective, and how to celebrate it.

I received a great query through my website last week that I wanted to share here, along with my thoughts. And I would love to hear your perspectdive on this, in the Comments area!

The Question
The article of ‘The Cailleach’, you state, ‘and the time of year when the veils between the worlds are said to be the thinnest.’

I was wondering exactly when this will be. On October 31 or November 7? Thank you.

🌿🎃🌿
My response
The expression “thinning of the veils” is often used at Samhain but few clarify what it means for them.

My thoughts? I believe there are many planes of existence in our Universe (physicists offer string theory to explain the various dimensions of the multiverse), separated by their unique vibration and frequency, yet co-existing in the same “place”.I believe that when those frequencies are similar, we connect with that world… if we wish to.

As mediums or intuitives, we sometimes describe our connection with other planes and worlds as tuning in, which is a very apt description. We tune in to frequencies, just as we would a radio. If we connect to a strong signal, we hear words and music. If we can’t find a frequency, we hear static and noise… and just the hint of organized sound.

Natural frequencies do shift and change, just as we can raise or lower our own frequencies. At certain times of the year — the move towards the stillness of Winter, for instance, as the Earth shifts on its magnetic axis — and in certain locations (magnetic vortices, ley lines, etc), those frequencies have shifted ever so slightly to allow us here in the physical plane to more easily access the other worlds. At these times and in these places, the vibrations of our world connect with the vastness of Flow and the Spirit world. The veil lifts… becomes more porous.

And there is another factor to connection:  intention.  Many cultures around the world celebrate the harvest and the coming of winter at this time of year, honouring their ancestors, giving gratitude, and lighting bonfires and candles to honour the importance of light (Father Sun) in our lives. There is a massive global focused intention and awareness. I believe the energy of that global intention also effects the vibrations, lifting the veil even more.

But to answer the question directly… !
I tend to celebrate Samhain on the “true” date, which this year was earlier this week, on  November 7th. And quite frequently I celebrte both, as I did this year.  On both days, I celebrated and honoured my ancestors, and communicated with them.

But I also don’t believe that the thinning of the veils is a digital, all-or-nothing event, restricted to just that specific Samhain date — whether we celebrate on the traditional date or the true date.

Nor do I believe we are bound to honour these special days on the calendar date(s). We have busy lives. We juggle work, family, school, commitments…. and our energy.

If the date/time doesn’t work for you, celebrate when you can.
Believe me, Spirit won’t mind at all! 

Just like we have, for instance, the Full Moon energy for roughly three days, we experience the thinning of the veils over a period of time.

As the energies of the Earth start to quieten and draw in after the Autumn Equinox, we start to approach and embrace the Dark (hidden, not bad!) energies of Winter, the energy and wisdom of An Cailleach, and the gradual thinning of the veil between the worlds, peaking around Samhain aka “Summers End”.

The yin, deep, receiving intuitive energies of An Cailleach are increasing in us too… just as they are with our world. So not only is the veil thinner, but our intuition is also stronger, increasing our ability to connect.

So, for me, the week(s) before and after Samhain are all very powerful times for connecting with Spirit.

What are your thoughts on this?  Comment below.

Le grá,
(“With love” in Irish Gaelic)

Della


sidebar graphics 7If you love working with Mother Earth (known by so many names, such as Gaia, Pachamama, and Danú), following the energies of Grandmother Moon (Seanmháthair Gealach), of the Goddess(es), of Father Sky (Daghda), following the Celtic Wheel of The Year, creating or learning ancestral crafts and herbalism, or follow an earth-based spirituality…. or are interested in learning more about this path, you will find great resources – and the opportunity to ask questions, share rituals, and more – in our NEW private Facebook Group, the Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle.

For more information about the Circle, CLICK HERE

Or, CLICK HERE to join us today on Facebook

Praying Peace… and speaking out


Today many countries observe Remembrance Day, in honour of those who we lost… those who have fallen… in service of others, in service of freedom.

In these troubled times, many of us have loved ones engaged in active conflicts… in warfare… fighting terrorism… and aiding in the humanitarian efforts to support the injured and the displaced.

I thank all of those who made such a great personal sacrifice, and pray for the safe return of those involved in current conflicts.

Today, in honour of Remembrance Day, I am taking a day of solitude… a day of reflection… a day to honour those we have lost… and a day to pray peace… a day to pray that we can find the understanding, common ground, tolerance and love to prevent further bloodshed and start building a world based on respect for humanity, acceptance and celebration of diversity, and love for our planet.

And I will continue to advocate, lobby, stand up and speak out for my beliefs.

Praying Peace…. and speaking out.

🕊🕊🕊🕊🕊