Lost and Found

I’m spinning, twirling around, faster and faster. I’m looking for that focal point, the one that will stop me from getting dizzy, from falling over, from being hurt.

I can’t see clearly anymore, it’s all a blur. It’s all so fast, but still too slow. Am I playing too safe, or courting danger? Is the end in sight, or is it just the beginning? Creation or destruction? Left brain? Right brain? So many questions and not an answer in sight.

Thinking takes over, instincts can no longer be trusted, head is winning over heart, the rhythm is lost. Everything is suddenly overwhelming, I feel dizzy, I fall to the ground – battered, bruised, exhausted.

Everything is changing but nothing has actually changed, or at least that’s the way it feels. I was labouring under the illusion that by the time I reached this age everything would be okay, that somehow it would have all come together, but instead I feel like I’m having a mid-life crisis.

I’m terrified, excited, awake, falling in love with life again – I’m feeling everything with such intensity and it hurts in so many ways, but I’m grateful for that pain, I welcome it as it means I’m alive once more. The ashes have been rekindled and the fire is burning bright.

So bring on the spinning, I want to feel dizzy, out of control, off balance … because that’s where I will find myself, my strengths, and my weaknesses, in the midst of chaos.


A Goddess, a King, and the Cemetery

Last Friday night began with me witnessing the truly awesome ‘Artemis’, as performed by Alana Bloom in an old warehouse near Temple Meads. The stark contrast of the beauty of her performance and the decaying nature of the space making it all the more powerful.

Once the ritual had come to an end, we were invited to approach the shrine if we so wished; the power emanating from it was unmistakable and overwhelming. I watched for a short while whilst others spent time communing with Her before I knew my turn had come.

I knelt before the shrine and let Her power wash over me, before giving as an offering a gold deer antler ring, which had been freely given to me about a year before.

When the time felt right, I selected a tarot card from the spread before me – the King of Wands – I knew in an instant the person and situation this card represents in my life; it could not have been more apt.

In explanation, I will say that I have found that my true self occasionally gets sidelined by an inauthentic version of me and becomes ‘good employee’ and ‘good girlfriend’ amongst other titles I feel I must embody, and this is unfortunately almost always to the detriment of me.

I’m so good at playing these roles that I seldom notice I’m actually doing it, but thankfully, there is someone in my life who sees through my act, through these personas I adopt to please others and more importantly, calls me out on it – my King of Wands.

I’d gotten lost again recently, but he helped me to find my way back to the path. It wasn’t pain free, tears were shed, and I had to admit to things that I’d been so desperately trying to ignore, but I know in my heart of hearts that it’s for the best and this is all part of a long journey that is nowhere near finished.

As part of this journey, I got my first tattoo this week, four runes symbolising protection, strength, and inner clarity. I was fortunate enough to be able to have this done, not only in the company of good friends, but in one of their homes, which for me made it all the more special.

The week came to an end for me on Friday night, close to midnight, when I lay down in the middle of a cemetery, closed my eyes and felt more present and at peace than I had for a long time. I know that it’s important to hold on to that feeling, to be able to conjure it up again and give myself over to it, especially at the moment when there is so much going on in my life that it would be all too easy to get lost again.

As a wise man once wrote “Not everyone can survive the violence of Creation” but I intend to make sure I do. The unmaking is no easy process and many people and things will try to get in the way, so find the person who sees you, as they are a rare gift to be cherished.


The Ritual

I started writing about something quite different initially, but it took on a life of its own and ran away with me, contorting into something else, and venturing into a place that I’m not quite ready to open to the public as yet. As a consequence, it has now been safely stowed away for a possible future appearance, or at least until it learns to behave itself.

So instead I’ve decided to talk to you about how I came to be here, in my present position, in this place of infinite possibilities and life changing decisions – or at least that’s how I’m choosing to view it as opposed to the chaos that others might see.

It all began when the founder of FoolishPeople, John Harrigan, posted a link to his upcoming Ritual Art Workshop. I’ve known John for quite a while and followed the work of FoolishPeople for even longer, so the prospect of a workshop with him was a whole new level of tempting for me, the only trouble was the overwhelming feeling of discomfort that welled up inside of me each time I read the description. I eventually reached a point after returning to the event page time and time again, when I was so angry with myself for the irrational fear I was experiencing that I just booked a place to prove a point.

I’m not going to give away the details of what the workshops entail as I would recommend that everyone goes through the process, and does so without knowing what to expect. At the time of writing this, I’ve attended two day workshops and a weekend workshop all of which have helped me in different ways and are still helping me progress towards a future I would have never even have imagined before them.

What I will share with you is that the first workshop prescribed a ritual to help remove creative blocks, but what it did for me was so much more. By the beginning of the final week it was clear that my issue wasn’t what I had believed it to be, and was in fact something that had been buried in my subconscious for many years, this was the loss of voice that I referred to in my previous post.

I had never told anyone the full story before, but it became very clear that it was the only way for me to progress, so I spoke with John and was finally able to complete the ritual and regain what had been taken from me all those years before.

I attended the second workshop just a few days after completing the first ritual. This time I was still nervous but in a good way, possibly because I had a sneaking suspicion I knew what was coming. You know that moment, when you sense it’s going to be you, your name that’s going to be called, everything stops, and then it becomes a reality, and (in my case at least) the next thing you know it’s about fifteen minutes later and you’re blindfolded in a room of virtual strangers. This was my ritual, they all gave up their time to help me, I cannot begin to tell what that still means to me all these months later.

The results of the ritual have been remarkable, it was as though I had been living in a tiny, dark room for most of my life but was unaware of the restrictions it placed upon me as it was all I’d known. The ritual opened the door, let the light in, and took away my fear. I’d been afraid of so much for so long without even realising it for the most part.

I had not appreciated how much having my voice taken from me had impacted every other aspect of my life, how timid it had made me, how afraid I was of actually voicing my own opinions and of being ‘me’ until all of those things stopped. Things are very different now, I’m very comfortable sharing aspects of my own life, voicing my opinions on, well pretty much anything to be honest. I’m much more interested in the world around me and the issues within it, whereas before it was if I couldn’t even see them let alone have feelings about them.

One of the most dramatic changes for me is that I now know what I want to do with my life, I actually have a plan, it’s not a comfortable plan but it is my truth and that’s most definitely what matters.

The ritual opened not only the door to that room, but my eyes, my heart and my mind. I am forever grateful to John and the people attending the workshop that day as they gave me the ultimate gift, my freedom.


The Tower

As no one other than me is ever likely to read this, I may as well have entitled the whole thing ‘Dear diary…’, but I write with hope, hope that someone may join me on this journey, that they too may be inspired to take a leap of faith, and also with the unwavering certainty that the best is yet to come.

Whilst 2016 has been far from the best of years for the vast majority of people, for me it has been wondrous, it is the year in which I released myself (with a little help from a friend) from the emotional dungeon I’d been in for over half my life, and it’s what lead me to this moment.

I feel this is the point where I should provide a little context in case a reader who doesn’t know me happens by. When I was 17 I lost my voice as the result of a traumatic event; this year it came to light that although I had dealt (at least for the most part) with the event itself, I had never recovered fully from the loss of my voice, the loss of my power.

The months of self-discovery lead me to the realisation that my life in its current format no longer works for me, I could of course choose to do nothing about this and make the best of an unsatisfying situation as many before me have done and will continue to do, but then I wouldn’t be living my truth and that would lead to nothing more than me dying inside once again and all of this would have been for nothing.

So I’ve made my decision, in terms of The Tower, the small charges are now going off at regular intervals, but the big blast, the life changing, no going back explosion is scheduled for next year.

Sometimes you have to reduce things to their ashes to see what will rise.