On Being Afraid to Take in the Harvest

Over many years I have noticed a pattern. I am very good at planting seeds as ideas and plans, not so good at waiting for

Amulet hand seeds

them to grow. And sometimes really bad about knowing when it is time to harvest and actually bring those grown ideas and plans into use.

Fear plays a big part here. And also uncertainty. Am I ready to bring that idea into being? Do I want to take it out for the world to see? Is is safer (though not ultimately better) to let the idea sit unharvested on the vine. Another plan left to rot.

I sit here today with ideas and plans about my spiritual practice, and my healing work. Some of those plans are still growing, but others seem to be ripening and becoming ready to be harvested.

The seeds I have planted and have been nurturing for some time are the seeds of finding my voice, and claiming my own power. And over time, these seeds have been fed from a number of sources which have helped them to grow. But at the same time, I have become aware of the poisons which I had used to feed these seeds in the past.

And each of these poisons has been created from fear.

Fear of standing out. Fear of being laughed at. Fear of being “found out” as not being good enough. Fear of the unknown. Some fears so small, but numerous, they can’t even be identified.

Some months ago, I underwent a shamanic journey to meet with and talk the fear which was keeping me from claiming my own power. In this journey I was taken into an old haunted mansion and led into a dark, damp room. Suddenly, from every corner, wall, window, doorway came hundreds or thousands of tiny spiders. They came together in the center of the room to form a humanoid creature standing in front of me. Thousands of tiny fears, tiny and insignificant when alone but when they came together they created a monster.

And by facing this monster, I have been given the gift of seeing it for what it is. A construct. I don’t have to tackle the monster all at once, I can tackle the individual fears.

I’m not doing this work on my own. I have had the help of many loving people and have been using shamanic journeying, personal meditation and reflection. In addition I have received Reiki Drum and have been doing a lot of talking with a trusted therapist. This work I am doing, I have come to undertand, cannot be looked at from a single angle but must be approached from many different sides.

I’ve started by looking at my attitudes towards power. What does claiming power mean to me? Through Reiki Drum, Goddess Warrior Training work and reflections I made a startling discovery – In my mind, claiming power means using anger to control others. Powerful people are angry people.

Yikes! No wonder I kept rejecting the idea of claiming my own power.

Then I looked at the messages which are passed around the healing community, messages which I have internalised emotionally even as I try to reject them mentally. Messages like: You cannot claim a title of healer for yourself, it must be given to you by your community. It is wrong to charge money for your services.

By bringing these messages into the open, I am decreasing their hold over me and claiming back my own power for myself.

So here I sit with my many seedlings of personal power growing about me, but how do I know when they are ripe? How do I know when it is time to harvest them? Too soon, and I won’t have the full benefit of this internal power. But too late and they may wither on the vine.

This is where trust comes in. And paying attention to the messages that are sent my way. I actually received 2 messages the other day. Two people contacting me hours apart with 2 different requests.

The first was requesting my service as a healer. The second my services as an oracle reader. But the bigger difference was in their expectations as the latter person approached me with the expectation that I would give the reading for free. As I do with  most situations these days, I sat on the requests and thought about them over night.

I see these two messages as two different plants that have grown in my garden.

The first plant – I say I want to grow my work as a healer. Am I willing to accept the chance to see a new client? Yes. On my

Amulet - sprouting seed - new beginnings

terms. I am taking a few weeks off from healing work while my children are out of school.so after confirmation from the person that our appointment can wait a few weeks, I have arranged to contact this person after school resumes in September.

The second plant – Does my service as an oracle reader and a healer have worth? Do I value the work I do? Yes, it does and I do. This person received a response pointing towards my oracle page with a list of what type readings I can do, and the charge for each.

Two plants growing, one that I want to keep and one that I don’t. By removing the latter, the former has more room to grow and thrive.

My issues around claiming power are still around, but they are getting smaller. I am finding it easier to claim my worth, and am more willing to do so. I’m more willing to stand up for what I believe in. But also more willing to walk away from fights I don’t really want to get in the middle of. I don’t have to prove my power or my truth in order to stand in it. These are the ideas worth harvesting.

My services:

I am an Energy Healer combining Reiki and Shamanic healing methods.

I do oracle readings using Amulets of the Goddess

This was written for The Pagan Experience

What’s in a Name?

Names have power. From the first name our parents bestowed upon us at our birth, to the nicknames (good and bad) we

veiled goddess modron

acquired in school, to the names we have given or taken for ourselves. Each had its own power, if we allowed it, to shape and define who we were at the time.

I remember when I was in junior high school, way back at the tender age of 12, I decided that I didn’t want to be called Nancy any more. Nancy wasn’t a nice name in my mind. I wanted to be called Lynn. That was my middle name. Lynn to me spoke of sophistication and a grownup-ness that I wanted desperately to have.

Of course, my efforts to get people to call my Lynn fell on deaf ears and I went back to being Nancy within a couple of weeks.

Nancy I was and Nancy I remained until I packed up and moved from Kansas to London. Here, my name was shortened to Nan by friends and my new family. Well, my parents-in-law still called me Nancy but that’s okay.

Nan is a name that fits me now. Nan is what some children here call their grandmother and as I am now at an age where I am old enough to have grandchildren, or at least my eldest son is at an age where he is old enough to make me a grandmother though he is not quite ready otherwise. But my hair is turning (turned?) grey, my face holds a few more lines, and I am entering the crone stage of life. Nan is a good name to hold.

I have other names, and titles. Some given to me by others, some earned through study and effort. Some positive, some negative. Some I have chosen to take on as my own, some I have rejected. Some hold no power any longer. A relative addressing me as Nancy Lynn as a child would have caused trembles of fear. “What have I done wrong?” Yet when a relative addressed me in this way a few years ago, it merely caused me to laugh at her assumption that Nan the adult would respond in the same way that Nancy the child had done.

An integral part of some Pagan practices is that of taking on a “craft name” when one is initiated into a tradition, or initiated themselves as a solitary practitioner. For some, this name is secret and is only shared within ritual circle. For others, this name becomes their identity both within ritual and without. Some have gone so far, when they take on a ritual name or undergo a major transformation which includes taking a new name, to have their birth name legally changed.

In my early solitary practices I discovered and gave myself a craft name. Then when I was part of a coven in the Blue Star tradition, I was given craft names at my dedication and initiation ceremonies. The last craft name I received was given tome when I received my third degree initiation and hived away.

That name was Maedrona and it heralded the arrival of  Modron as my Patron goddess. I’ve had and used this name in ritual since 1998.

In recent years, Modron has taken a step back and is no longer my Patron Goddess. Fitting when you consider that she is a Mother Goddess and while I still have children my fertile years are past. I am moving into my croning time.

It may be that as I move more fully into this new power and new time of life a new craft name will reveal itself to me. For now though, you can call me Nan.