Going on five and half weeks and where do I begin?
There is an embedded culture in each of us. Whether you have been thriving within the social structures and standing outside pursuing your own path the predominant culture seeps in to your psyche and steers your ship.
I have known for decades that my home was in Ireland. I have known since early childhood the land I found myself was not my natural home. The trees, animals, soil and plants gave me comfort. It was these aspects that guided my inner knowing and growth. They were the buffer to the whirlwind of people I found I was to call family and friends. I didn’t hate them only found them confusing, hurtful, and lacking in guidance. Could I label these experiences as a child, young woman + mother as I climbed out of the pain, trauma, and set a course to reclaim myself? Not really because I had no human frame of reference for the world I found myself.
What I could fathom and clung to desperately was the solitude of the land, a few kindred souls, and dedication of non-physical guidance. It was these aspects that I drew upon for guidance, lead me to those who could help me to begin the healing and dedication to live fully within my body + emotions. As often as I was told I wasn’t grounded, I knew I was one of the few that resolved to understand how my mind, body and soul was not separate. I was willing to feel the pain, determined to observe, test my emotions, and face the darkness. I wasn’t always successful, heightened some traits to extreme, and definitely harmed others as I fought my way forward. I had on ace up my sleeve. Born a joyful being, I refused to allow that joy to be crushed and destroyed. It’s that joy I missed the most.
My first visit to Ireland, as I have spoken often, ripped off the blinders. I was home on a strange and beautiful land. Having held sacred my ability to observe the deeper workings of life, I began to notice my reactions, non-reactions, and nurturing that occurred just standing on the land. Not only did gentle voices fill my head, music filled my ears, and my body trembled with the unspoken understanding coming from silent people passing, rock fences, and determined winds. The rains over those 7 days washed the tears falling from my broken heart. I was welcomed.
Now I am living on this nurturing island. Little did I know the depth of healing, facing my darkness, and allowing love into a daily life I would have to face before I could settle into making Ireland my home. The cultural influence of the US would often impeded my path. Eventually I had to let go of how things had always been.
For 2 weeks I stumbled along surprising myself at my ineptitude, regression, and reluctance. I couldn’t remember appointments, was terrified of taking mass transit, cowered as I walked along the busy streets, determined to not let anyone know I was fumbling, yet holding strong to my soul’s guidance + whispered words from my lifetime Goddesses + Gods. My ancestors were quiet, my son was mute, and my soul flashed past event after event both day + night. Through all of it I found daily joy watching the Lollipop man + woman guiding the children to school, knowing I was held tight in another shaman’s home, laughing at my ability to get lost, and my determination to walk, even it I stumbled, towards to a life I thought at the early age of 4 was gone from me.
On the Solstice I was gifted the opportunity to visit Loughcrew, travel down into the Morrigan’s cave, and stand upon Medb’s land in Rathcroghan. I visited these sacred sites as the woman from the US who had returned to Ireland. It was a moving and deep communion. I was welcomed once again. Upon arriving at our last place, Uisneach, everything changed. The skies opened, the rain poured down, and the energies shifted + swirled around me.
I entered Uisneach as a student, welcoming the stories + sacred rituals being presented by a new Irish teacher. I was drenched and feeling restless when the possibility of turning back was presented. We gathered around a fire and discussed splitting up into separate groups. I chose to continue on to the Cat Stone. The sun returned. It was here I was rebirthed leaving behind the US woman and claiming a new culture and life. Little did I know what I had done. Was I willing to be taught? Was I willing to be changed? Was I willing to release the chains around my Joy and live unbridled? Was I willing to be?
Saddled with the worst sinus infection in years within days of leaving Uisneach, the flashbacks, pain, and decisions rampaged. I stubbornly brushed off assistance of healing medicine. I was determined I could take care of myself. I wandered in a daze believing I was moving forward. My old archetypes I had successfully used in the US deterred my healing. My right jaw screamed in pain. I was not making progress. I bawled each morning as I watched the Lollipop man nurture the young children while my own childhood memories flooded every waking hour pleading for his kindness. I made myself as tiny as possible within the space I was residing, ignoring the requests from my friend to ‘make myself at home’, hoping to not intrude into her life. Every rental place I visited in Westport denied me. I wasn’t losing hope. I was determined to face the pain, memories, allow my body a voice, and release the hard, competitive, non-supportive cultural upbringing of the US. Although I had always stood outside the US society I had swallowed hook, line and sinker the cultural malaise.
Through all of this I was being buffeted by a land that poured acceptance, unconditional love and the wisdom hidden in trauma. I was swimming in overwhelm. Unable to tread this sea I found myself drowning in love so thick I had only one choice. A beautiful aspect of being in community with those who have done their work is their willingness to offer an intervention. I received that gift one evening as I was called out on my stubbornness. Putting into words, my one choice, I heard my friend clearly. It wasn’t are you going to sink or swim. It was, ‘Do you want your joy?’
For days after I was bombarded with questions. Are you willing to overwhelm yourself with You? Are you willing to accept your divine right to life? Are you willing to embrace all the healing you have done and gifted to others as an integral aspect of your being? Can you walk as tall as your Avatar? Can you allow yourself to be happy even as you stumble, bumble, dither, and dather?
These questions aren’t new to me. I ask them often and answer them as truthfully as I can in the moment. There is difference in these now. To answer these question, I had to be willing to die to 66.5 years of my life. All aspects of the trauma, disconnection, beliefs, mannerisms, and cultural indoctrination of individuality. I had to be willing to accept community. A community that required my sensitivity, empathy, insights, courage, and dithering + dathering. A community that could care less if I wore flowers in my hair + danced in the moonlight. A community that honored integrity and forthrightness.
Ireland is full of people lacking in all these qualities. It isn’t a miracle place. It isn’t a romantic getaway from your healing. It’s filled with arrogant sob’s and angry + forgotten souls. It’s not a place for everyone. The land is a beacon in the dark for those who are called to it. The call may be for only a bit or for a lifetime. This land knows pain, wisdom, and has never forgotten what unconditional love means. It will swallow you up and spit you out naked upon its rocky shores. It will demand you are true to your soul. It will require you change, not change it. It remembers. It forgives and never forgets. It welcomes everyone yet isn’t for everyone. It leads the way and can follow when required. It is stubborn yet yielding, childish yet wise, and demands honor while giving honor in return. It is many things and nothing. It will nudge you along as far as you want to go. It is only one place in this world that will help you answer the call. Make no mistake it isn’t utopia. It may make you feel a nurturing you’ve never felt and still not be your home yet help you find where it is.
As I share its beauty with you and you begin to romantically envision a haven for you, remember a land is only as supportive as you are willing to be to yourself. Any land will not do your work for you. Your responsibility is to do your own work and face the pain hidden within your body. The joy + love I am expressing is palpable because I am releasing + embodying love + joy for myself regardless of my location. The land in the US welcomed me + allowed me to heal my 66 years because I honored it and myself. I honored the First Nations and their wisdom whose land is the place we call the US. Many of you are welcome to call the US home because you have a sacred contract. A contract that must be honored by honoring those generations who tended its soul for thousands of years. The lands of the US placed demands on me as I walked upon them. I fought for civil rights, raised my voice against atrocities and inequalities, and learned my craft so I could offer it to myself and others. These demands I answered and gave back to the best of my abilities.
The land of Ireland asks demands of me also if I am to live here. The requirements aren’t necessarily only of a civic duty except to live honorably and care for the disenfranchised. There are other ancestral soulful demands I am being asked. The exact requests will be revealed and require me to continue to heal, step further into my wisdom, and live a deep shamanic life. How and what it will look is yet to unfold. I will always be student + teacher upon this land. Culturally I must relinquish my US ways daily. My American edges will have to be dropped or smoothed. My ears must be tuned to the vibrations and my stubbornness must be tempered with a willingness to be nurtured. My introverted ways of protection must be balanced with my extroverted joy.
This is long I know. Where I once suppressed my gift of gab it is now bursting through sprinkled with my dancing feet + swaying hips. The little girl who would sit under the elm tree, playing in the soil making special portions as she sang her heart out, dancing to the melody blaring from the leaves, has been welcomed home. As hard as I try to silence the urgings of my ancient archetypical bard this past week I can no longer clench my teeth + sit on my hands. I have to write and follow my path.
Slán go fóill