Magic, Mystery & Transformation

Embracing the darkness and the light

Personal Myth & the Journey to the High Priestess

By Zena Edwards

I was 9 years old when my personal myth-making began: as the journey to the hem of the High Priestesses gown.

At her feet, a crescent moon. Some days, that moon is a waxing moon. On others, it is obviously waning. It all depends where in a life lesson I am, spinning myself from her rays.

Aged 8 we moved house. I’d never had my own bedroom before and for a few weeks it didn’t have curtains. It was a cool north-facing room with a view to the back of warehouse car parks - nothing to obstruct the night sky.

A night when I could not sleep. One of many. I was first called out of bed by pearly light fingers that ran themselves over the boxes in the corners, casting shadows with faces. Bundles seemed to creak with the previous life of the old house. 

My small feet hit carpet. In my favourite nylon nightie with pretty green, pink rosebuds on the shoulder trimming, I walked tentatively to the stiff sash window. 

Mum’s light sleeping in the room next door. I quietly ease the window open, feel the chill instantly curl around my child body and the instant exhilaration.

This was not just the chill of the Autumn night’s sleepy embrace. Without the sliver of glass between me and the Moon’s clutch, I immediately sense what is unseen but deeply known. 

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Aged 9, I began to be bullied at school. It broke my heart and matured me, gave me insight into the frailty of humans: their need to be in control and the futility of it. Also aged 9, I got my first visit on the fullest moon. Realer than the nails on my fingers is all I can say. A presence that only my child-self can explain. No adult words to convey the feeling; big, electric, vibrating, kind. 

Wanting to be close. It stood by the side of my bed. Other nights, it sat on the end of the bed. 

Moonlight identified this presence as Ancestor and combined I felt a second home emerged inside me. My Self. My heartbeat. My breath.

I began to write poetry to somehow make visible in words the love I felt under their protection. Falling asleep at the windowsill, I was introduced to the beginnings of a personal relationship to the sacred. 

As we unconsciously create new myth from memory, from an imagination held to ransom by the traditional modes of education and socialising, we secretly envy children we give fairy tales to and dismiss the magic of the Fae World all around us. How often does adulting equate to nipping ‘childish things’ at the umbilici of our souls, to leave school, enter higher education, go to work and supplant imagination with logic, ideas of a controlled and constructed identity?

The 9-year-old in me, who could sense spirit, recite limericks to the moon feels the void, the missing part that Theia laments, our mythological consciousness dormant, dozing and forgetting itself.

As we create a new myth of human connectedness during Lockdown 2020, fractured into incalculable pathways along optic fibres, delivered in pixels on screens, Nature is adored and ignored in equal measure. 

2020 is a cloaked potent stranger returned. It leaves parcels at the door labelled with the address of burning Brazilian rain forests.

Tides of human emotions swirl in the turbulence of misinformation, the undercurrent of watery rage that rises as waves of protests onto streets paved with fear and hope.

Myth begins to stir the elements.

Storms thunder in the minds of governments and corporates conjuring a tornado of tyranny to level the voices of dissent and noncooperation. Warm winds of humanity meet them in deadlock to block this chilling attempt to poison our breathing space, our breath for life.

And seeds we plant in the hearts of the next generation, into soil so fertile with imagination and possibility, that an equitable world wholeheartedly and soulfully envisioned, replenishes the nutrients of morality, brutally stripped from the Earth.

I have spent lockdown alone, mentally expanding my energy field to receive nourishment from my neighbour’s cooking pots to the left of me, the hum of computer games playing above me, and the firm but gentle voice of placation of squabbling grandchildren below me.

Now the postman is a friend. Yet another package, another tarot deck. The High Priestess pulls herself from every pack to remind me of the truths I sought when I was 9, all sense and sensation receptive. 

The High Priestess, the interface between the watery unconscious and the vessel of truths only the feminine has capacity to hold, the gatekeeper to the portal of secrets bound in the book of all knowing.

Her feet are bare, the lightest of touch of her toe tip in the stillest lake indicates how quietude can awash us with insight for our next moves into a new consciousness and not a new normal rehashed from the master’s tools, but by calm receptivity and acceptance of our own ability to conjure.

222 days and 4 Super Moons later, we are close enough to each other to feel grief but also our magic. 

(Personal Myth & the Journey to the High Priestess was first published as Thread 27 in the Wild Woman Web)


Nature Energy — Greeting Spring

by Ruth Snowden

Spring is the season of new growth, corresponding to childhood and the element of water in the psyche. The sap begins to rise and the trees slowly stir from their long winter sleep. Seeds and bulbs wake under the earth and send up new shoots. Birds begin to sing, look for a mate and find suitable places to build their nests. Time for cleansing and new beginnings, letting our energy flow - out with the old and in with the new!

Traditionally people in the British Isles had spring ceremonial processions to sacred wells to cleanse and decorate them. This symbolised the cleansing of the spirit, new energy, fresh growth and fertility. The goddess Brigid was associated with spring, and her colour is white. Go for a walk, or have a potter around your garden to see what new growth you can find. You might like to gather some catkins, or pick a few snowdrops, and make an indoor table decoration or altar. Add other appropriate symbols such as a pure white stone or a white candle if you wish.  

Now choose a card from an oracle deck such as tarot, or an animal, fairy or goddess deck, to guide and empower you with new energy. Sit with your card and think about the images and symbols it shows. How does the card make you feel? Write about this in your journal. Does it resonate with something that is going on at the moment? Or with something that you would like to manifest in the near future? Or maybe it reminds you of something that happened in your past?

If the card shows a person or an animal, what sort of figure is it? Is it a person or animal you would like to resemble in some way? Or do you feel that you are being offered a lesson of some kind? Perhaps the figure represents a block that you need to overcome or a challenge that you need to meet? 

What new project would I like to begin?

What do I need to release from my life?

What is blocking me?

What would help me?

What first step towards this can I take right now?

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What’s in the cauldron…

Kitchen Herb Powers

All herbs have magical powers. Add them to your cooking, place in a pouch, or use in a burner.

Basil — Love and lust

Cinnamon — Money and healing

Rosemary — Positive outlook and youthfulness

Ginger — To inspire passion and accelerate a love spell

Sage — For long life and wisdom

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What deck we are using…

The Dark Goddess Tarot

Created by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince

Dark goddesses are disturbing, fearsome, and beautiful. They can be shunned or overlooked, as they represent aspects of life that people find uncomfortable--sometimes only when those powers are in female hands. Powers of age and death, sex and sovereignty, ferocity and judgment. Of magic, mystery, and transformation. Of suffering and shadow.

The Dark Goddess Tarot invokes these beings, that their stories and wisdom may guide us through the darkness they traverse. This tarot is inspired by and for troubled times. Not to deny pain nor celebrate it, but to look at it with honesty, address it with honour, then bloody well do something about it.

Dark Goddess Tarot is a 78 card tarot deck with a goddess or mythical female figure depicted on each card. Dark Goddess Tarot is created by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince.

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What we are reading…

Baba Yaga: The Wild Witch of the East in Russian Fairy Tales

Sibelan Forrester (Translator)

In new translations and with an introduction by Sibelan Forrester, Baba Yaga: The Wild Witch of the East in Russian Fairy Tales is a selection of tales that draws from the famous collection of Aleksandr Afanas'ev, but also includes some tales from the lesser-known nineteenth-century collection of Ivan Khudiakov. This new collection includes beloved classics such as "Vasilisa the Beautiful" and "The Frog Princess," as well as a version of the tale that is the basis for the ballet "The Firebird."

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What we are listening to…

Awakening To Love by The Troubadours of Divine Bliss

The title track from the album Awakening To Love.

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That’s all for this month! For more wild words, please visit Wild Women Press.

Wild Woman Life is edited by Victoria Bennett.