Filling the Cauldrons

All living beings need to replenish energy to sustain life. We eat, drink, sleep, but we ignore opportunities to recharge our energy stores during the day to refill our energy cauldrons.

We gain and drain energy from each other – we all have experienced being with someone and then feeling totally drained or another friend leaves you feeling energized.

We can also deliberately fill our energy cauldrons from nature. The energy we receive will be purer, cleaner and we give something in return benefiting nature.

Our first energy cauldron is in our lower abdomen, an empty cauldron here makes me feel ungrounded, unconnected and restless. I fill this cauldron by intentionally drawing in energy from the Earth, walking barefoot in the grass, from standing near and even touching trees. I scoop energy from the Earth or the tree and act as if I am refilling the cauldron in my lower belly cauldron until I feel grounded and centered. I may gently exhale on the tree to give it carbon dioxide it needs. We share energy.

Our second cauldron is near our heart, when my heart cauldron is low I feel sad, anxious, worried maybe fearful. Sometimes I don’t know why. To refill my heart cauldron I go to water, by a pond, lake or the ocean. I stand and feel the depth of the water or feel the power of the waves. I intentionally scoop that energy once I connect with it and fill my heart cauldron. It calms me and reminds me my emotions should flow, sometimes crash and sometimes be still and deep.

The third cauldron is in our throats and lungs. An empty throat cauldron will leave us breathless, speechless and stiffened with fear. I go into the air, deeply breathing in the breezes as they blow, conscious of the airflow blowing all around me. I fill my cauldron with fresh air and let the breeze blow away any insecurity I am carrying.

The fourth cauldron is the top of the head, it is filled by the sun. I stand in the sun and am conscious of the sun warming my head and filling my head cauldron. The fire energy from the sun gives me energy to move and be inspired, it is the spark of creation. I wait and fill up my fire cauldron and now I am recharged, I feel balanced and energized.

Photo by Juanjo Menta on Pexels.com

Nature Based Spirituality – a quest for truth

So many years, so much searching, so much researching! How can anyone really understand what they truly believe without time, energy and effort? My last 30 years have been spent locked in a devout Catholic mold trying to pretend what they were saying was real, the misogyny was some how justified. The fear of reprisal from God for “sinning” and possibility of going to hell engrained so deeply that to leave was even more fearful.

And I didn’t grow up Catholic! I grew up nothing. My family wasn’t religious or spiritual at all. As a teenager I found astrology, Linda Goodman’s “Sun Signs” was all of my friend groups go to book. In college I somehow migrated to Philosophy, where I sat for four years and did complete my BA. I also spent time with a fascinating woman who taught me meditation, psychic healing and clairvoyance.

Then I “grew up”, a husband, kids, a real job and I lost my way. I decided I needed to do the “right” thing for the kids, gift them a spiritual practice that could support and sustain them in times of trouble. Where to go? My husband was raised Catholic, we went, we learned, we joined the choir, we made friends. All of my kids friends were Catholic and in Religious Ed. Seemed right!

A year or two in, I started reading and things started falling apart, but we stayed! Read the Nag Hammadi documents, the early councils of the Church and things kept getting worse and worse. Read the mystics – still love the mystics – the miracles and that kept us engaged. 10 -12 years later the kids hate the Church, think it is stupid and not spiritual at all, mostly bad priests, sex abuse scandal and it all comes crashing down.

What’s real? Not Christianity. Non-Catholic Christian denominations are even worse, can’t even begin to do that, Hinduism and Buddhism are so very cultural that I spent some time exploring both, love both, but not it for me.

What’s left?

Go back to my roots? What roots? I had no spiritual roots.

Go back to your ancestral roots….hmmm…I’m 75% Irish. Go to Ireland, go again and again visiting sites where my ancestors walked. Visit sacred wells, standing stones, ancient sites of Tara and Uisneach, again and again. Start feeling the land, the water of the wells and the air. It is real. The spirituality exudes from the elements. I take time to breathe there and feel the land and the water and my soul starts stirring. This is real, this is true. The spirit of the land, the water, the air and fire are in me and around me and there is no denying this, there is no need to set aside things that don’t resonate as true because it is true. The spirit of the elements are living, they vibrate, they hum, they crackle and they flow. Then I see the moon and she tells me what to do, rest when she rests and is dark I think and contemplate, write some intentions during this dark time, but don’t act. Start to come awake as she wakes and grows brighter, start to put intentions into action, when she is bright and full I look around, see what I am doing and whether it is in alignment with my intentions set when the moon was dark. Reset, adjust and keep moving, then I slow as she starts to sleep again and move to rest once more. I feel aligned and in tune with myself and my place in the world.

I look to the stars, I took what started as my little foray into Sun Signs into a much deeper understanding of the mystery that astrology can reveal. It helps me understand relationships with my family and friends and what makes them react or live their lives the way they do, we understand each other better. We understand our differences in approach to life and living is who we are and we can accept and embrace these magnificent differences.

So much has changed, after initial starts and stops, trying to leave the Church, but having no where to go, I find a place, I find my home, I know my truth.

Now I walk my truth, I have been practicing with the moon for 4 years now, making pilgrimages back to Ireland to refresh my soul and now finding Unee. She, the energy of the Universe, travels with me wherever I go. I can trust all will be well because she is the balancing force of the Universe, not just for me, but for all. I know things happen that should happen and what doesn’t happen for me is not right right now.

I am home, in my spiritual truth.

The Stone of Destiny, where Kings of Ireland were crowned. Ireland my ancestral roots and my destiny.

Sacred Wells of Ireland

I became obsessed with the sacred wells of Ireland after my first visit there. The first well we visited was St Brigid’s well in Liscannor. I researched St. Brigid’s Well as a part of our planned journey to Ireland, but at the time I was unaware it was one of many wells dedicated to Brigid. I was overtaken by the aura of the site, the wildness of Clare combined with the simplicity leaves one stunned at the site of the Holy Well. You can feel the presence of all those who had come before, all those who left prayer cards, pictures, poems and candles in the hopes their prayers would be answered by Ireland’s great Goddess.

You become aware of the great devotion the Irish people have to the wells and the entire site takes on a sense of the sacred that is palpable. You want to believe what those who visited before you believed, you want to feel the intensity of faith they had. The beauty and the devotion are intoxicating.

The Sacred wells were first used by the Celts in the belief that certain wells could cure certain ills. The purity of the water becomes an object of the devotion and it is so present and captivating. Visitors would dip pieces of cloth called clooties in the well and place it on the ailing part of the body. The clootie would then be tied in a nearby tree and as it dried and deteriorated, the illness was supposed to fade away as well.

After St. Patrick brought Catholicism to Ireland the devotion to and belief in Brigid and the sacred wells never diminished. The Church incorporated the custom into the body of the devotion in Ireland and Brigid the great Goddess now became St. Brigid the humble converted servant. The Church couldn’t break the Irish peoples devotion to her so they diminished her, raised St. Patrick to a higher level and conquered Ireland. Her legend and that of the Tuatha de Danann continues on in Ireland to this day. The beauty and the mystery of the wells carries on because they are awe inspiring and the sense of the sacred they embody doesn’t fade.

There are 3,000 Holy Wells in Ireland, we have visited 14 of them to date. Each has a unique personality, each well mapped for our journey a sacred quest. The adventure has turned into a mission bringing more family and friends into the trek. We have climbed hills in the pouring rain, crossed muddy fields, traversed grave yards and talked to many cows along the way. Our adventure continues, I will post more photos of other wells as time goes on.