Last weekend I was honoured to be a part of MoonCon21 organised by the publisher Moon Books. Two days of talks and panels from a hugely talented pool of Pagan authors. I found that some of the talks were academically interesting and I learnt a lot. Others have left me pondering my own spiritual pathway, the direction it is going and how I should be working with it all. My head is full of information whizzing about like a small child on a sugar high. To be fair, my brain is usually in that mode, but this time it is also throwing a full on hissy fit, flat out on the floor with legs and arms flailing.
This past week has left me thinking particularly about my own more recent journey and in particular my interaction with deity.
It started last year, well to be clear it started many years ago when The Cailleach called me into service. But the blip in the journey began last October.
For many years The Cailleach makes herself known full on in October and is with me every moment until May. Although she is still with me for the summer months, as a winter goddess she sits in the shadows until the hotter weather disappears.
And then nothing…
October I expected her to arrive, but she didn’t.
Some of the Kitchen Witch girls and myself had begun writing a course over the summer and began testing it in October. It involves working with a different ancient British goddess each month. December I delved into Nemetona, and it was amazing. So, I wondered if The Cailleach was just sulking.
January saw a month of full on direct working, totally commitment, absolute attention paying to The Cailleach. I thought it would bring her back on board.
What actually happened was…nothing.
Except ‘the bracelet incident’. A few years ago I performed my usual yearly dedicated to The Cailleach ritual but on this occasion I treated myself to a silver and blue topaz bracelet to wear in her honour. I wore it every day. It was cheap costume jewellery, it was a beautifully made piece. One morning early this year, I reached across the bed to pick something up and ‘ping’ a shower of blue topaz beads cascaded into the air. The bracelet was no more. I hadn’t caught it on anything, it just imploded. Now, there must have been 50 to 60 beads on that bracelet, how many did I find? 5…yep, 5 beads. I have no idea where the rest went and I have never found them. The silver clasp and silver cord also mysteriously disappeared.
I should have felt upset, what I actually felt was relief. It seemed to me this was a message from The Cailleach telling me it was OK to let go. She had moved on.
She has been a huge part of my life and my pathway for something like 15 years. To now be without her has left me feeling a little bereft. I do feel a bit lost.
I have continued to work with the ancient British goddesses, some have resonated loudly, others not so much. But each has been interesting in their own way. None of them have felt like the connection I had with The Cailleach.
It has left me pondering, there are a great many Pagans that don’t have matron or patron deities. Perhaps this is my ‘gap year’?
My challenge now is to create a new way of working because not having her there affects a lot of the spiritual methods that I use.
My spiritual pathway has changed many times over the past 30 years, I guess I thought this far into it the changes, twists and turns would be less. It seems not so.
I am trying to look at this as a new challenge, an opportunity to delve into exciting avenues that open up to me. Finding the direction that I am supposed to be taking is the hard part. Or perhaps I should just be open and let it find me?
Over the years I have worked with many different deities, always being open to whomever comes my way. But my pathway these days is more honed and focuses mainly on ancient Britain. Although Ganesha still plays a part in my devotions as he has done for many years, but he just pops in and out when required.
Much time will be spent in the coming days, weeks and months investigating and exploring. Adapting and creating new devotional pathways and ways of working.
I am excited, nervous and a little apprehensive.
The Cailleach taught me a great deal and for that and her unwavering support I am truly grateful, even for the butt kicking she dealt out on occasion too. Perhaps she will reappear at some point, who knows? But for now I am trying not to feel abandoned by my god, but to embrace the opportunity to hire someone new…
To watch a replay of my talk, click the link below