March 21st, 2023
I can see winter leaving all around me
I feel the shift in the air
I see the change in the earth
New life begins to break through the soil
Reaching for the light
Birth and Re-Birth
It is happening before my eyes
And I welcome it
Am grateful for it
And with in me
Something else is happening
Winter still remains
Transmutation is still in progress
I sense there is a thaw
A winter break up, that is taking place
And I slowly begin to stir, from my place by the fires of my ancestors
I still see the frost
I still smell the snow
And I feel the thaw
I feel the stirrings and that causes a part of me to want to jump up and get going, as I have done so many time before
I want to change the image of me in the snow…Winter Woman and yet I am unable to do so.
I am not who I was before
I am not the woman I once was, nor should I be
I have been many women on this journey of life
Many girls, many humans, many versions of mySelf
Elderhood has taken me to new realms, new understandings (which is not understanding) and other worlds that words of our language cannot be threaded to.
This pilgrimage has been like no other
If I did not know what it is I know,
I might think I was breaking down...
Instead I find mySelf breaking open
So, the fire remains close as I breathe in the breath of spring
She is there with me
Along side the winter of my soul she is there
I plant seeds and she holds them and those that are ready she brings to life
I see them
Pushing up through the snow
I feel them rooting deeply into the warming soil
I continue to surrender and trust
I continue to stay present and believe
I continue to listen, learn and heal
Here I remain
(this picture was so hard to post, and I wanted to honour the part of my experience that is
celebrating, and honouring the season, she deserves to be scene.)
March 03rd, 2023
Dearest Mother Earth....
for all it is you do
for all it is you are
for all it is you give.
You inspire me to be a better mother
a better woman
to go beyond the surface
and dig deep
You offer me a place to grow
a place to put my roots
and to anchor my heart
You hold my grief
when it is just too big to bear
and you dance with me
when my joy over flows
You offer me wisdom freely
seeking nothing in return
You are the one
that holds the Great Magic
Written on your crust
are the stories of old
Creator spoke you
from the Heart of Love
and All Things Beautiful
Your flow, my flow
Your fire, is my fire
Your rain, my rain
Your soil, is my soil
You teach me
You humble me
You are a reflection
of my heart
my true center
You are my friend
You never turn me away
whether I come with a song
in my step
or fall to my knees
and soak your soil with my tears
You are there
Forgive us when we don't tend to you
In the Good ways
when we take more than we need
when we do not trust there is enough
Forgive us when we are careless
of the resources you provide
Forgive us when we don't remember
to honour our ebb and flow
within natures rhythm
our sometimes reckless ways
Forgive us when we foolishly forget
that YOU are HOME
and WE the tenders of what you have given
A deep Sacred bow
Arms stretched up and open
All in gratitude for you...
Love Light and Shadow
image collected by me 2022
I was on an early morning walk and was fortunate and blessed to see a mother and her 3 otter pups on the waters edge, feeding and playing.
February 02nd, 2023
Imbolc has come, and the light is slowly and intentionally returning.
The stirring of nature’s new life is beginning. Ideas are taking form, as the seeds of intention are being considered. What will I grow this year? Is what I ask myself…
And as I slowly move into this new calendar year, and I find myself standing at the door of Imbolc, I acknowledge the reflection, release and calling in I have been walking.
Recently, I found myself being asked to acknowledge a part of mySelf that I put away, for safe keeping. I’ve been asked to acknowledge the pain, the horrors and the confusions,
when I was powerless, voiceless, unseen, unheard.
The act of ack-now-ledg-ment is a form of alchemy.
It takes us out of those dark and hidden places we have put parts of ourSelves for safe keeping, hiding them away from the monsters and unsafe aspects of our lives.
This is where I find myself.
Invited into a space to sit with my Self in acknowledgment.
Invited and asked to be the alchemist of my own healing.
To bring out of hiding, the final piece of myself, the one I told to wait.
There is no mining to do this time, no digging, no dark night of the soul
All that I need has already been gathered, unearthed, conjured, prayed for, revealed.
This time, it is merely the acknowledgement, a nod to the events and experiences that molded and made me. A welcoming home. To sit at the kitchen table and say
‘I see you. I know what you have gone through. You are safe with me.’
One of my sister-friend told me about how her indigenous peoples, The Oneida People, measure age. They do it by how many winters you have seen. I have seen 55 winters.
In that time, I have seen, felt, heard, and experienced much.
Enough to know that there is much more to come. Enough to know what freedom feels like.
Enough to know that I am not finished. Enough to know that I have just begun. Enough to know that I have not been abandoned. Enough to know that there is more, more that my human eye cannot see so easily. Enough to know that I…I am Enough…even when I don’t feel it.
So I stand, sit, walk and be in The Acknowledgement.
I welcome the return of the light and I pray for it to move slowly, as I feel that I need time.
It smiles at me, a broad, never-ending grin that reminds me, there is neither beginning nor end. What there is, is a spiral of life, a continuum of what was, what is and what will be.
There is time, more than I need
Tonight, as I acknowledge this time of year, and the return of The Light
I say and offer this prayer:
Dance me on the Inside
Dance me on the Outside
Dance me through this life with Love
Dance me to me to my Sacred Home
And when it grows dark
And the night burns bright and clear
Dance me to my Heart & Soul
To the place where it all began
Where I, again, can be reborn
May all conflict reap fruit
May justice come to pass
May the way be made clear enough
May it be so
#holyholyholy #prayer #anewyearprayer
#inthepause #winter #imbolc
February 02nd, 2023
Imbolc ~Catherine Beerda-Basso
in this place
Love will be invited in
Love will be allowed to
with the light
Love shown in troubled times
is the most precious of all
It is easy to love when there is no
Bone Love happens when it is hard
Love built with sturdy ‘strong bones’
when it hurts
it takes great courage to stand in this kind of Love
May we all such courage
May the marrow of our bones hold us
May the blood in our veins keep us
May the earth beneath our feet and all that lives there guide us with Compassion
May the sky above and all that resides there watch over us in Grace
May we have courage
May we have courage
May we have courage
Courage with Wings
collected by me 2022
Beautiful and Worthy
I lay into the earth
With the Courage to feel
I scrub my body heart and mind
of the accumulated stresses and unaddressed anguish
I am the author of my personal story
feed the Soil of my Spirit
as investment in freedom
Restoration open me
Precious attention fills me
I Trust You
I Trust Me
I am Winter Grieving Woman
“She who has the Courage To Break Open”
I continue to feed in secret what needs to thrive
This is what transmutation looks like
And here I remain
image collected by me 2023
words inspired by Prayers of Honoring Grief ‘Transmutation’
Sing prayers Live like a prayer
You're finding your way
You are The Light
You are The Gatekeeper
You are Home
image collected by me 2021
gifted by Winter & CoyWolf
#pray #prayer #winter
note: *prayer is personal, there is no one way to pray/set intentions/plant seeds/give voices to needs and celebrations *prayer is personal, make it your own
Life Death Life Cycle
This season pulls me in
I want to feel my bare feet in the cold dark earth
I want to feel my hair stick to my cheeks as the fog dampens it
I want to smell the freshly chopped cedar waiting to be fed to my wood stove
I want to sit in the long night pondering the death of things within and around me
I want to feel the crisp of the early morning as it wakens my skin
and then the cool damp of the night air
while I watch the owl hunt and the candle flickers
I want to re-member where I came from
I want to re-member where I have been
These are some of what makes me feel alive in these days of deep, mysterious, and vulnerable change. And that is why we have gathered, to honour, to ignite,
(and as Gandhi said)
to be the change we want to see in amongst our people and in the world.
We are the great granddaughters of generations of women who had to hide their ability to heal, to hold wisdom, to know. Women who were told to be feared.
We are the granddaughters of generations of women who were told that they were savages, uncivilized, sinful, crazy, disposable.
We are the daughters of women cut off from their truth, their birthrights, their grounding, their voice. Women who were not to be believed.
We are the daughters who walk with those stories in our bones, in our blood
Our cells hold the stories of all those who walked before us
And we feel the suffering, and so we gather
For this is the time of reclaiming
We are the daughters who are
what was hidden due to oppression and fear.
We are reclaiming the Sacred Feminine and re-birthing it through our shame-less and wild, feminine bodies, into this modern world.
We are reclaiming the Lost Voices, as we sit in sacred space
and listen, with sacred pause, to what they have to tell us.
We are reclaiming our magic
We are reclaiming our ritual
We are reclaiming our ceremony
We are reclaiming connections, with ourselves, each other, the natural world and
to The Great Mystery of The Spiritual Realm
We are reclaiming the wholeness of ourselves, our light and our dark
We are reclaiming the traditions of our peoples
And we are honouring the traditions of the lands we now live on
Together we re-member and re-claim all that was forgotten, punished, ignored, shamed, and dismantled
We do this together, because in this place of togetherness, we are stronger
We all know death
We all know loss
We all know suffering
In these places we can stand together, equally.
Our skin, our genetics, our heritage does not stop this connection
Do the trees not stand together, even though they are different?
So it can be, and is meant to be, with Us.
Together, we are stronger.
Together we are re-claiming our connection to each of our own Sacred Feminine Life Force and together we reclaim our communities as places
where values and traditions are honoured,
by bringing back what we have re-member
by bringing back what we have re-claimed.
We are in a time where the tower is crumbling,
a great unraveling is in motion
and it is in this time of great change, that we are called
Called to Re-claim our birth-right
Our birth-right of The Sacred Feminine. We have re-turned.
And it is here, I remain.
-Catherine Beerda Basso
Samhain Gathering 2022
We came here to do hard things
We came here to do hard things
This is not the same as coming here to suffer
Pain + Resistance = Suffering
We came here to do hard things
about that which can not be explained
WE cannot be explained
Can that BE ok?
Why do you think the dominant culture pushes
Are we meant to fear ourselves?
Would we teach the children to fear who they are? the magic they carry? the wisdom they already hold?
Would you teach the children to fear themselves?
My pray is that your answer be a resounding NO.
What purpose is there in fearing our own magic?
And if you cannot find purpose in that
What do you see as the Truth of who/ what you are?
We came here to do hard things,
and we were not meant to do them alone.
These are the thoughts I sit with tonight as I look forward to tomorrow, when I will head into the mountains with a small group of brave sisters willing to do hard things.
Willing to Listen
Willing to Learn
Willing to Heal
Not heal to fix but heal to expand.
I have been holding these retreats, in The Cascade Mountains for 10 years now, and this will be the last time I will do this.
It’s hard to let go.
Yet, it is what is being asked of me.
I don’t know what is waiting for me around the corner, and that is hard.
Yet I trust, even when it is hard to.
And, for now, I go to sleep knowing I will awake to take one more trip into the mountains, with brave and beautiful souls, who like me, are willing to do hard things, and are not afraid of what we might find our about ourSelves, in the process.
See you on the other side.
The Silent Summer
4 years ago I wrote the following while on a personal, inner quest…
Day 183 #innerquest
Going into The Cave of Healing can look like many different things,
and come in surprising forms…
Like watching a father eagle feed his young one as the mother looks on
Baby loons riding on their mama's back
King Fisher bringing a mouth full of food back to the nest
A small squirrel scolding a black lab
A small mama bird sitting upon her newly hatched chicks
The rushing water of a tremendous waterfall
The soft step of forest moss
Thunder and Lightning and Summer Showers
Jumping naked into the early morning lake
And watching your little family bond
It's sinking into the ease of grief with no apology
and swimming to the other side
Here I can see healing isn't complicated
What’s complicated is me, my fleshy thoughts, my unnecessary expectations
In The Cave I find my humanity and re-member to feel fully is what I am here to do. To receive, to give. to receive. To live, to die, to live again.
I'm not done yet, just wanted to say that I am still here, firmly on this earth. My roots going deep, and my branches reaching high; staff in hand, lantern held high.
…and so I remain
I wrote this as I was moving toward the transition of turning 50 and stepping into Elder, Crone, Hag. Now, almost 4 years later, and many miles covered, it is still the small things in which I find the magic and beauty of life. Even in the face of the monsters, the storms, the dark unknown, I see the sparkles, the love, the beauty of this unexpected human life. As an elder, my desire is to open to the possibilities, embrace the unknow and trust in the light flicker. As an elder, my intention is to stand still and listen, to move mindfully, and re-member that there are always more options than can be initially seen. I continue to learn to get out of my own way; to let go of what is not mine, what no longer serves me and to BE the peace that is within me. I continue to learn that I am more than my stories, that I am less complicated than I think. I moved through The Bone Cave, to The Refiners Fire, to The Waters and then to sit at The Ancestral Fire. Wind, Fire, Water and Earth continue to teach me, and I am their willing student, as the journey of transformation continues. Now I walk in the Forest of Healing, Discovery and Possibility as parts of myself grow back, healthier and more in line with mySelf and am meant to be today and in support of the women that I am becoming.
So, in that space of willingness, healing and longing, I’m taking my leave from social media…at least for a while.
I long for the stillness of The Earth. I long to be in present relations with myself and those around me. I long to continue, on the path of healing, in the deep forest of old wisdom and listen to their ancient stories. There is much to unfurl, much to tend to, much to unlearn and relearn again. My heart needs tending to, my spirit needs rest, my body asks for restoration and my mind calls to be renewed. So, I answer in the best way I know how, stepping out onto the trails, staff in hand, lantern raised…and here I remain.
Here you will find my process in writings.