Fall is my favorite season and most favorite time of the year.
I love to completely immerse myself in the season by decorating my home for Halloween early, eating and drinking all things pumpkin and watching every scary movie I can get my hands on. Even though I live in Florida where an actual Fall season is basically non-existent, nothing stops me from getting in the Autumn spirit! I know I’m not the only one with this obsessive love for the Fall season. So I decided to paint a Fall priestess to honor all the other Fall-addicts out there.
Since I already painted a Fall Goddess (check her out here) last year, I figured a Fall priestess would be perfect for this year.
In this painting, a priestess is carrying a jack-o-lantern to light her way through a Fall forest. Leaves of warm colors like reds, oranges, yellows and browns cover the ground and fall from the trees. The priestess finds herself in a pumpkin patch while her feline familiars play with the leaves falling around them. Candles adorn the tree and light up the crescent moon.
This painting is literally just in time for Fall as the Autumn Equinox is on Saturday.
For those of you who love Fall as much as I do, prints and mini prints of this piece can be found in my shop. This will most likely be the last painting I do until after Halloween. This will give me a much needed break so that I can fully enjoy this time of year.
Spiritual Awakening seems to be the new “in” thing.
People are working with their chakras, doing kundalini yoga, meditating on the regular and giving themselves spiritual experiences that will blow open their third eye so that they can “see” everything better. And I think it’s amazing to be alive at a time where the collective paradigm is shifting. People are tired of being asleep and they crave to be more awake and aware of the world around them. They also crave spiritual connection and experience. Especially in the western world where our government and the collective culture has basically shunned spirituality in any form other than Christianity for the last several hundred years.
Many of us are tired of living in that paradigm of outdated and constrictive thinking and we are no longer willing to believe the lie that this is all there is.
We intuitively know there is more and that we are more than just these bodies moving around on a planet going to our jobs and watching our TV shows. So many of us have been seekers of spiritual experience and as such, we go through a spiritual awakening. Now some will say that only spirit can decide whether or not you go through an awakening. Which I think is true to an extent. I also believe that if you are a naturally, open-minded person and you are the type to allow what happens and not control the outcomes, you will inadvertently give yourself an awakening.
At first, awakening is amazing.
You may start having spiritual experiences, connection with your guides and angels or deities, recognizing synchronicities, becoming more psychically aware and learning things about yourself and the world that you never thought possible. But then, just when you think you’re about ready to achieve “Buddha-like status” with your enlightenment, your third eye opens a little too much and your whole world comes crashing down. And everyone is different so this might not be true for everyone who goes through an awakening. Although this thing that happens when you become “too open” and “too aware” is a very real thing and it can be called a spiritual emergency or even dark night of the soul.
This is the part of awakening that they don’t tell you about in meditation class or yoga retreats.
But I thought spiritual awakening was all love and light and connection with my higher self? You might say. And yes, sometimes, especially in the beginning, it can be. But while spiritual awakening can be a beautifully freeing experience, it can also be the complete and total destruction of everything you thought you knew about yourself and the world around you. Suddenly, the things you used to do no longer interest you. And the people you used to hang out with no longer seem “cool” or “connected” to you anymore. So you find yourself isolated, confused and questioning the meaning of life on a regular basis. You become so disillusioned with life here on earth because you know that no matter what you do, one day you’ll go through your last transformation on this planet, your death, and return home anyway. So what’s the point? You might ask yourself.
This is the point where some people might go a little mad and start to loose touch with reality.
You might even start questioning reality itself not sure what’s real and what’s not real. Pretty soon you’re spiraling down a dark hole of too-many realizations and wondering why you ever started messing with this stuff in the first place. This, my friend, is the dark side of spiritual awakening. The part that no one tells you about until it’s too late. And so you might start saying to yourself; “Well if I just stop meditating and doing yoga, maybe it’ll stop”. Although that’s not how it works. There really is no stopping the spiritual awakening train once you’ve gotten on. You just have to ride it out and understand that it will get better.
When these things start falling apart, and you start questioning your existence on this planet, it can be very scary.
Understand that this too is part of becoming aware and awake. Not all awakening is pretty. Especially if you’ve got some darkness stuffed down deep inside you. When I say darkness, I’m referring to parts of your shadow side. The parts of yourself that you don’t like so you lock them away in a box, throw away the key and hide it inside yourself thinking that you’ll never have to see these parts of you again. The “if I ignore it, it’ll go away” mindset. Well guess what, awakening loves to bring those things back out to play again. And they usually start to creep up when you least expect it and when you’re the least prepared to deal with it.
This is awakenings way of telling you “hey, remember this? Yea it’s time to deal with it honey”
So you sit in your pain and feel the parts of yourself you thought you had locked away for good. You cry and you moan through the growing pains. You isolate and hide under the covers until the monsters go away. Until you realize that the monsters are actually parts of you, and they’re not going away until you show them that they are lovable too. Until you learn to love all of yourself, monsters included, they will keep scratching at the surface trying to drag you back down into the depths of the darkness within your soul.
But let me tell you friend, if you learn to sit with your pain, if you learn to feel those very unwanted feelings and you learn to recognize and accept your “other half”, you will emerge a more “whole” person.
You will see things more clearly. The light will start to shine on your dark parts and you will start to care for them as you would care for your most cherished things in life. You will start to love your monsters and you will nourish them and hold them in your arms and say “I love you and I will never forget you again”. Going through this part of spiritual awakening is very much like the caterpillar in the cocoon preparing to become a butterfly. Sometimes you just have to sit in the dark, not knowing what’s coming or even what’s going for that matter. You have to become ok with the unknown. Your job now is not to know, it’s to just be. To simply exist and allow life, spirit, the universe or whatever you prefer to call it, guide your way.
My best advice for someone experiencing a spiritual emergency or dark night of the soul is to ground yourself.
Go outside and take a walk, remind yourself that you are still human and living on this planet. Journal about your experience. Sometimes it just helps to get it out. Please feel your emotions. Cry if you need to, dont hold it in. If you feel up to it, join a spiritual community either online or in person for support. But if you don’t feel like being around people during this time, please know that that’s ok too. Your awakening experience will be unique to you. I myself have been going through an “I don’t want to be around people” period. This may be because our focus is supposed to be solely on us. We can’t discover who we really are and we can’t engage with our shadow while we are around other people. Please learn to be ok with wherever you are on your path. Do not listen to anyone who judges you or tells you that “you should be doing this”. That is simply their ego trying to control you or projecting their needs onto you.
Embrace your path and your experience because you do have a special purpose here on this earth, just like everyone else.
Please also feel free to email me or reach out if you simply need someone who understands. Because trust me, I do! I hope I helped some of you with this post. I hope I was able to shine a light on some of these darker aspects of awakening so that we can all talk about them more. Our western society is not set up for these types of things like the eastern cultures are. But if we are going to be getting involved with things that will open our souls, we need to have people and places that can help us through the dark parts of these experiences so that we can retain our sanity throughout.
Please feel free to leave any comments below about your spiritual awakening experiences.
Archangel Sandalphon is associated with music, the arts and the earth.
He is one of two Archangels who was said to be human at one point. It is thought that the prophet Elijah incarnated on this earth and then was transformed into Archangel Sandalphon upon his departure from this world. Sandalphon is also said to be the tallest of the Archangels with the ability to reach heaven and earth. This is so he can easily deliver messages and prayers to the heavens.
Sandalphon visited me in a dream a little over a month ago.
At the time, I had never been particularly drawn to him nor had I ever worked with him. Of course after my dream, I immediately looked him up to see what he represented and to figure out what his message for me was. Sandalphon has a very calming, soothing energy which helps to ease anxiety and stress. I believe he was there to help me through a stressful time.
Since then, I’ve done several meditations with him and connected with him many times.
He’s become one of my favorite Archangels to work with! I love his calming and inviting energy. It’s like a soothing balm for the soul. If you’ve never worked with him before, and are interested in doing so, I highly recommend checking out Lisa Beachys YouTube channel. I’ve recommended her before because she has some of the most beautiful Archangel meditations I’ve ever done! And she has a few lovely Sandalphon meditations as well.
As with every spirit, deity or Archangel that comes through to me, I decided it was time to paint him.
Since he is so connected with the earth, I wanted to portray him in his element. He sits in a green meadow of rolling hills with mountains and a sun-kissed sky behind him. He plays a guitar to represent his connection with music. His sacred color is turquoise which is the color of his wings. He wears simple, earth-toned clothing and shoes.
For those of you who work with this Archangel, prints and prayer cards can be found in my shop.
Hekate is the Greek Goddess of crossroads, magic, witchcraft, necromancy and letting go of that which no longer serves you.
She is known as a psychopomp which is a guide of souls to the Underworld. Hekate is able to live in both realms, the realm of the living and the realm of the dead. She is of the three ways or the crossroads and is also known to be a triple Goddess representing maiden, mother and crone.
I first discovered Hekate in 2010 and I’ve been devoted to her ever since.
I’ve honored and worked with many Goddesses over the years but she has always had a pull on my soul. Hekate asks that her devotees stay strong and to walk her path is to walk the path of constant transformation. I can attest to this because since I’ve been honoring her, I’ve gone through many, many transformations. Some have been amazing and joyful, but if I’m being honest, most of them have been extremely hard and trying. It’s not an easy path to say the least. The path of a dark Goddess never is. But it will be a path of continual reminders to stay true to yourself and to always be letting go of things that no longer serve you. Even if you are not ready to let go of those things.
As part of my devotion to her, I have drawn and painted her image many times over the years.
It seems that each time I’m at a new phase in my life, Hekate gets a new devotional painting. This time my new painting of her is representative of the path I’m currently on which is a path of expanding consciousness. Hekate is also associated with plant magic and herbs which induce altered states of consciousness. Poisonous plants such as deadly nightshade or belladonna, datura and mandrake. All of these psychoactive herbs were ingredients found in flying ointments which were used in the ancient world to help the user “fly” to other realms and realities.
I wanted to portray her associations with these plants in my new painting of her.
In this painting, Hekate stands against an inky, dark, starry-night sky surrounded by vines of deadly nightshade. This poisonous plant has alluring, beautiful purple flowers which beckon you to her. I also wanted to use that purple color in this image because purple is a highly spiritual color with high vibrations. Hekate wears an olive leaf crown around her head and a key around her neck. Small coral snakes (venomous snakes) are wrapped around her arms and she holds a sacred fire in her hands. She uses this fire to help guide souls to the Underworld.
Hekate can also act as a spiritual guide to us in our own lives.
Although she is a no nonsense kind of deity. She also encourages us to learn our lessons so that we may grow and ascend into the spiritual beings of light that we are meant to be. Her being a “dark” Goddess does not mean she is evil, she is “dark” because she does not shy away from the darker aspects of life. She understands that you cannot have dark without the light and you cannot have light without the dark. She helps us to hold the balance of these things in our own lives.
Many times on my path with her, she will send me an animal guide who is usually associated with her, as an omen of change to come.
Interestingly enough, last night on the day I finished a new painting of her, she sent me a little tree frog which was sitting on the outside of my window on my third floor apartment. She has sent me tree frogs (also on windows) a few times in the past and frogs are one of the animals associated with her. So transformation must be on the horizon. I guess we will see…
Prints and prayer cards of this piece can be found in my shop.
Please feel free to share any comments below about your experiences with Hekate or any interest in her you may have.
The Volva was a female shaman, seeress and witch in Nordic culture.
She was a practitioner of Seidr which was a form of Nordic magic. Sometimes the Volva is referred to as a priestess but she was more closely connected to being a witch and prophetess. The priestesses would typically stay in the temples and organize communal rituals and ceremonies. The Volva was more like the village witch and healer who would sometimes travel around to different villages trading magic and healing for room and board or food.
The term Volva translates to mean “staff carrier” or “wand carrier” as these magical women were known to always carry their magical staffs with them wherever they went.
As such, they could travel alone unafraid of being robbed or worse because nobody would tempt fate by harming a powerful wand carrier. Essentially their staff was a symbol to every town they visited to let others know that they were the Volva. These sacred oracles were closely allied with the Norns which are a trio of Goddesses associated with fate. These Goddesses not only control the fate of humans, but also the fate of the Gods. So essentially if anyone ever tried to wrong a Volva, they were wronging fate itself and fate can be a very vengeful mistress.
These healers were revered and seen as sacred in the ancient world.
They tended to live outside of normal society although once in a town they were treated with high regard and honored as divine messengers from the Gods. The Goddess Freyja is also supposed to be known as a Volva but sometimes she is also referred to as a priestess. There could be some overlap in myths but one thing is for sure and that is that she is a witch and a practitioner of Seidr so more than likely, she is a Volva.
In this painting, the Volva is depicted in a trance-like state while she holds her sacred staff as she sits in front of her healing brew.
She wears an antler headdress which represents her connection with the shamanic realm. Sacred rune symbols are carved in the stone upon which her magical cauldron sits. The moon shines overhead illuminating the trees in the ancient forest. She holds two fingers up in a gesture of blessing.
For those of you interested in connecting with the energy of the Volva, prints of this piece can be found in my shop.