During a healing treatment yesterday Sigyn came to me. She gave me a revelation of a part of modern life she embodies: that of holding space.
Sigyn teaches us the sacred basics of holding space for another, whether they are in pain, are suffering or need a shoulder to cry on.
First she catches you in her bowl so you cannot fall further. Her strong, loving arms hold you in the bowl, supporting you while giving you space.
She collects the poison, your hurts, pain and tears, and then tips it away. She listens but she does not take these emotions into herself.
Like everyone she also needs a little time away to regroup and collect herself; to pour away her own poison, or to rest a while.
Then she returns, strong and ready, prepared to hold the bowl once more.
Sigyn is a healer, and in this role her magics are love, humility, strength and compassion.
Side note: how lovely that her teaching in this should be my 100th post.
If you would like to learn more about holding space I can recommend Holding Space: a Guide to Supporting Others While Remembering to Take Care of Yourself First by Amanda Dobra Hope. It’s available in paperback and kindle format.
I also found this article helpful:
Continuing the subject of Deity statues: I have ended up keeping one I thought I would be selling. The statue of Athena arrived one morning last week, and I was really pleasantly surprised that she’s taller than I was expecting. The faux antique tea effect makes her look a bit dirty so I thought painting her virginal white would suit that aspect of her. I placed her on my desk.
When I woke up the following morning I looked over and saw her there, thinking she’d look lovely in the same verdigris effect I have used for some of my personal collection. But other people might not like that, I thought, other people might prefer her painted white. Then I realised I didn’t want to let her go. I remembered that the year before the Egyptian Deities made such a lasting impression on me I had learned about the Ancient Greeks. Out of all the Olympian pantheon it was Athena who I remember attaching myself to. I even bought a little bronze reproduction of the owl of Minerva two years ago in York because it reminded me of Athena’s.
So she’s been there in the background, waiting patiently for over 20 years for me to find her again. Strangely it feels like a little piece of me has returned too; that childlike wonder upon first learning about her at age 7/8. I love Loki and Sigyn and Their family, and my wonderful Egyptian Beloveds, and now Athena is that childhood Inspirer returned. I don’t know if she’s here to stay, but how strange and fascinating that the Goddess of wisdom, battle and healing should come back into my life as I feel like I’m starting over; as I adjust to a relapse in health yet I’m finding my feet as an author, creator and business woman. She is strong but wise, knows her own mind, and is great at planning ahead in minute detail. Who better to guide me through this phase of finding this in myself?
For some of us 2016 has been a pretty rubbish year for a variety of reasons. Change happens, whether we want it to or not. The best we can do in the aftermath is to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, take a deep breath and start again.
The poppy is supposed to represent the fallen of war. It was inspired by the World War 1 poem ‘Flanders Fields’, and has been the emblem of those who died in the service of the Armed Forces since 1921. Of late many people see it as a political statement, ignoring what it was originally set up to commemorate. The poppy is not meant as an idolisation of war, it is a remembrance of the sacrifice of those who gave their lives to keep our countries safe. The poppy appeal itself uses the money it raises to help veterans of war and their families.
I do not celebrate war, in fact I hope continually for the end of conflict the world over. The reason I wear the poppy is to remember people like my Grandad George, who was in the RAF and an air traffic controller in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, my Great Aunty Margaret, who was part of the Women’s Army in the UK, and her first husband Norman, who was killed only a few days after they married. I’m the First World War my Great Grandmothers worked in the munitions factories.
Being a small island nation with Europe only across the channel, it was a terrifying and very real prospect for people in Great Britain that their countries would be taken over by a hostile force. A number of the larger cities were bombed in WW2. My Grandad Tony has memories of the bombers flying over Coventry when he was a boy.
I wear the poppy because I am grateful to the generations who gave their lives and services to keep the UK safe from the threat of invasion. If it weren’t for the efforts of those men and women the UK, and parts of Europe, would be a very different place now. We value our freedom, and that is what those people were fighting for.
I honour the fact that the people in our Armed Forces are fighting for a concept I can believe in – freedom – even if I find it very hard to agree with the means.
I wear the poppy to honour those who fought for freedom, especially those who fought in WW1 and WW2. I also see it as a way of honouring my ancestors who were in the Wars.
If you would like to find out more about the symbolism of the Poppy, and also the controversies surrounding it, these two pages have some very good information:
Last night I had the pleasure of setting up two extra altar/shrine areas, alongside the shrine for my Beloveds.
The first was for family members, including my much-loved and much-missed cat Orlando. I enjoyed setting up this one the most, as it made me look through all my photos and bits and bobs I have as keepsakes. The camera belonged to either my grandad or my Norwegian great-grandad, the dreamcatcher centre was brought back from Canada by my Uncle Tony. The door stop was from my Nanny’s house, and the Little Mermaid statue is a nod to her being born in Denmark. The Aragonite was my Aunty Tina’s. The little clay piece in front of Orlando’s photo is a paw print I took from him about a year before he passed away, and there’s also a lock of his fur. Presiding over the shrine on either side are Hella and Anubis. There are scarabs and a fabric lotus there too, as symbols of the cycles of life, death and rebirth. The lists you can see are names of my family members, and of family friends and pets. Continue reading
It is a very human trait to fear death and the darkness, but many ancient and indigenous cultures understand that there is a greater cycle to life. In doing so they respect these forces and understand their place in the world, and in the universe(s) we live in.
Many Deities and Spirits have an element of darkness within them, like the Tao symbol, with Yin and Yang each having a seed of the other within. Some are darker than others, some are more of the light, but each have elements of both that can teach us.
For what is life if not day and night, light and shade? Even those destructive moments strip away the old to leave the potential for a new way of life. As the moon shines in the night it lights our way through the darkness of the nocturnal hours, just as those who are darker in nature can teach us to find and follow our own pathway – ‘to thine own self be true’. Many of these so-called darker Deities have protective aspects, and can teach triumph through adversity. often they embody our own worst fears, ones we must ultimately face, or else how can we truly enjoy life in all its aspects?
Give the dark the respect it is due, and you may just find the seed of light – the moon – to guide you through it. Continue reading
Sometimes I feed my worries, negativity and confidence issues to Ammit. She seems to deem them a suitable enough offering and consumes them for me. She is usually friendly; there is a familiarity between us. She told me not so long ago that a lot of people don’t approach her through fear, or they don’t deem her approachable or worthy of worship.
Ammit deserves to be honoured, and has a place in the modern world. She is the ‘sin-eater’ for the modern generation. She will devour the fear, negativity and loathing we keep in our hearts, just as she devoured the hearts deemed unworthy in Ancient Egypt. All our issues of self-esteem can build up, all those knock-backs and self-doubts chip away at who we are. She will take them into her.
In giving our negativity and the fear we harbour to Ammit our own hearts can be somewhat lightened, and we incorporate her into our lives in a positive, proactive way. Then we have no reason to fear her, but to embrace, honour and love her. Ammit is our ally.