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
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
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.
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.
Just before Spring, my husband opened up our chickadee bird house to clean it out from last summer We have learned that we need to do this if we want them to return to nest in the new year.
The same family might nest up to three times in one season and then leave for the winter.
This year when we opened up the house, this was what we found.
6 unhatched eggs.
I hesitate to use the word abandoned, because there is so much human attachment to that word that I do not witness in the wild world of nature.
6 unhatched eggs.
The chickadees left no note as to why these eggs were left
Just a tidy nest, with signs of the places they had foraged to create a comfy home for them and their little ones.
Perhaps the height of our hot summer was too much for them and they needed to go into the mountain forest for cooler weather.
Perhaps they ‘over shot’ as it was their third clutch.
Perhaps there was too much activity in the back yard.
We, of course, can speculate and yet, in all our speculation, we will never know what caused the family to leave when they did. What I do know is that what they left behind offered us a precious gift of discovery.
It is not everyday that one gets to see these precious tiny eggs so closely,
to hold them
study the markings
feel the strength within the fragility
experience the abundance
even in the death
I keep finding that the precious gifts of this life, are often found in death of some kind
It is not easy, but it somehow causes the precious to be even sweeter
These Dark Nights of The Soul offer me a place to cherish the precious little offerings that sprinkle the paths that I find myself walking
rays of light
sprinkles of rain
warmth of the sun
lingering morning frost
smiles on faces
I don’t know what’s ahead and that’s ok
I don’t need to know
I don’t want to know
I do know, that for now,
there is enough light for each step I take
as precious gifts sparkle in the sun
and illuminate under the moon
so here, I remain.
“When winter comes to a woman’s soul, she withdraws into her inner self, her deepest spaces.
She refuses all connection, refutes all arguments that she should engage in the world.
She may say she is resting, but she is more than resting: She is creating a new universe within herself, examining and breaking old patterns, destroying what should not be revived, feeding in secret what needs to thrive.
Winter women are those who bring into the next cycle what should be saved.
They are the deep conservators of knowledge and power.
Not for nothing did ancient peoples honour the grandmother.
In her calm deliberateness, she winters over our truth, she freezes out false-heartedness.
Look into her eyes, this winter woman.
In their gray spaciousness you can see the future.
Look out of your own winter eyes… You too can see the future.”
~ Patricia Monaghan
This is where I am.
'Feeding in secret what needs to thrive.'
Sitting around the fires of The Ancestors, listening intently to them speak
as I stir the cauldron of collateral beauty and kindness.
I am quiet and still.
As one must be if one wants to listen.
I want to listen.
I want to hear what has been already experienced.
I want to re-member that my challenge and our crisis is not the first
to have come to pass.
So, I listen.
And what I hear is words and stories that bring me to COMMUNITY
COMMUNITY as a place of being in listening, learning and healing.
COMMUNITY in which diversity is needed, wanted and welcomed.
COMMUNITY where reliability is law.
COMMUNITY where we are not required to agree but invited to honour.
COMMUNITY as the back bone of humanity.
So I listen.
And as I listen, I tend.
And as I tend, I expand.
And as I expand, I root in,
and I stand firmly in place.
The winds blow, the rains fall, the storms rage.
And I remain rooted in,
sitting around the fires of The Ancestors, listening intently to them speak
as I stir the cauldron,
as I examine and break down old patterns,
as I destroy what should not be revived.
as I feed in secret what needs to thrive.
Here I remain.
*Elk – protect the herd, honour eldership/elderhood, teach the young, watch over the compromised, lead with integrity
*The North/The time of Winter – finding wisdom in challenge, embracing the earth in our bones, sitting at the fires of the ancestors to listen, learn and heal
*Imbolc – The slow, yet promising return of The Light. A time of emergence, birth, intention, celebration.
*The Dark Moon – The time to set prayers, ignite intentions, dream
*Brigid The Saint/The Goddess – New Beginnings, awaking’s, birth
*Chinese New Year – The Year of The Tiger – prosperity, courage, strength
in this place
Love will be invite and will be allowed to Rise
Love shown in troubled times is the most precious of all
It is easy to love when there isn't
Bone Love happens when it is hard
Love built with the sturdy, rock solid commitment Flourishes
Love when it hurts creates Fortitude
Love forged in a time of Challenge lives Forever
It takes great courage to stand
in this kind of Love
May we all have such courage
May new life begin
May seeds be planted
May patience rise
May roots be strong
May flames burn bright
May compassion be our guide
May renewal and rebirth come forth
May grace be given
May we always know the ones who stand with and for us
May we know when to let things lie
May we know when to unearth the bones
May we have courage to live this human life
May vulnerability become our trusted companion
May it be so
May it be so
May it be so
may it be so
image: Teaching the Young * Elk Medicine
2015 collected by me
The magick is emerging
It births within the stillness
of our Be-ing
even when it's hard
It has always been there
and it now calls
to be given
it's rightful place
The paths have been cleared
The battles have been fought
The blood has been spilled
The tears have been shed
In the world of Magick... The World of Spirit
there is The Law of Nature...
a natural law that moves between life and death
Here there is always a price that is meant to be paid
This is not for punishment or shame
This is in order to hold balance
To honour the life *death *life cycle
It is our call to remember this
so that when the price has been paid
-we move on-
We must realize when it is time to stop paying...
so we can then
enter into ourselves
Holy and Wholly
encompassing all that we were meant to do here
all that we were meant to be
in this place of fog and mystery I remain
📷 Crow in The Fog
collected by me 2020