I have begun a nine month deepening practice on my priestess path under the guidance of the beautiful Elayne Kalila Doughty. This is the fourth of five gateways of initiation as a priestess and so I am undoubtedly on a path I cannot turn back from now. Not that I wish to no matter how challenging, (as you will soon learn it is), it may be. There are 13 archetypes of the divine feminine and learning to embody each of them is part of the initiatory pathway to living and being in service as a priestess. I am undertaking this journey with women from all over the world and am already deeply moved by their wisdom and incredible presence in my life.
Our first temple and archetype we have deepened into is the Great Mother who you may also know as Gaia or Mother Earth. We learn more about these archetypes to understand how we can bring their ancient and eternal wisdom into the modern world in our work, life and being. We also deepen into them to learn more about what we are being called to heal so the wounds we carry can be lessened with self-love and new practices, so as a priestess we can be less egoic and more powerful in our empty presence with all around us. It is beautiful but deeply challenging work that I know is making me stronger and more whole in a gentle and compassionate way.
I believed the lessons that Great Mother would have for me would be about the need to be in nature more, grounding myself in her grass or sand or soft earth, and all of the riches that come with communing with her. And I will openly admit that as a woman who runs an online business heavily reliant upon technology and being indoors, I was ready to be schooled by her in the need to get outdoors more for cleansing breaths and dips in the ocean. I was soon to learn that she is so much more than that.
Meditating into the temple of the Great Mother and her rich colour frequency of burgundy I was soon to learn that her role is to help us understand she unconditionally loves and honours who we are in this moment, and all our moments prior and to come. She does not need us to ‘be’ or ‘do’ anything, but rather surrender and then receive the love she has for us. Being birthed from our own mother and she from hers and she from hers and she from hers right back to the Great Mother means our lineage is one of eternal love. She is always with us in the whisper of her trees, the life of her waters, the flourish of her flowers and the richness of her soil. And her call to me as an emerging priestess is to live in such a way that I honour that love she has given to me by loving myself deeply – including in my darkest shadows – so that I may inspire others to do the same.
A life long proponent of the vital importance of self-love and how it plays out not just in our personal life but our businesses as well – I knew she was calling me to see that my work in this area required a deeper level of commitment. And it did and does. I have always said that self-love is a life long journey. And I am now learning that the more I learn about self-love the almost less I know, and that I need to have the courage to keep going deeper to not just love who I am on the surface where I believe myself to be a beautiful, soulful, caring and talented, but the woman beneath those things who can be controlling, frustrated, over committed, bombastic, jealous and insecure.
Each archetype has light and shadow qualities that we are called to heal and deepen into in how we walk through the world as a priestess. They come to us through meditation, reflection and of course – intuition.
The Great Mother light quality I am committed to strengthening is the one of empty presence. This is at the core of all that a priestess is – a woman who is deeply powerful in her presence with others – due to having ’emptied’ her mind of egoic chatter that prevents her from being fully in her body and graciously in the moment with others. And of course it should come as no surprise that as a woman who is running a large business (which I love) and holding space for a lot of people who are in a learning phase (which I also love) that my ability to be fully ’empty’ is often challenged. Present – yes. But present in a way where I am entirely ’empty?’ Not yet. I am very excited to think about how I can be better at these things as a teacher, trainer and coach as a result of being more still in my mind, deepening my meditation practices, creating more sacred rituals for myself and the constant learning that comes from loving myself to think richer, deeper and more positive thoughts.
The shadow quality Great Mother has called me to work on is that of self-nourishment. The more I learned about the Great Mother’s role in our lives the less I became surprised that amongst all her soil, water, sunshine and bountiful produce, she reached out to me to say I needed to take better care of myself, stop putting myself second and fourth and tenth and know that she was there with me to help me to do so. And so I have begun to make gentle changes in my life to honour her as she lives in me.
If you are feeling in any way unlovable or ungrounded then strengthening your relationship with the Great Mother may be very nurturing for you. Self-love practices, gentle meditations, loving further into or releasing your relationship with your Mother, spending time in nature and tracking your menstrual cycle or a lunar path may all assist.
Mostly I hope that you either now or sometime very soon in the future you realise that she – the Great Mother – is Mother to us all and is always there loving us unconditionally. We are never alone. She connects us all and loves us all.
And gently calls us to do the same.