As you know, I am new to Patheos in the writing sense, which means I am new to most of you. I have been writing and putting out clues as to what my beliefs are, the Deities I work with and for, and what my spiritual and magical practices look like. I felt it was time for a more direct introduction though.
This article is going to give you the cliff notes version, and then throughout this week I am going to go into more details about each section. What they look like for me, my experiences, and why they have shaped me into who I am right now.
I started my journey into Paganism and the Occult at an early age. I spent a little over 20 years learning and exploring about all different types of religions, traditions, and magical practices. I didn’t work with individual Deities during this time – but with the energy and divine as the nameless web that everything sat upon and connected everything together. My focus though was on energy and magical practices.
I come from a very science minded background and believe there is science in all magic. Not that science is the truth, but as a place to start in order to get the larger picture. For example, by understanding how energy/ electricity/ vibration works in science, how it works in the world and within the body, helps me to understand aspects of it within magical and spiritual terms. Science is not truth, but it holds clues. I say it isn’t truth because much of our science is still theory, accepted theory, but still theory. Our science shifts and changes as we learn more – just as we do.
I experimented a lot. Finding what worked for me, where I got real results. I did not commit to one tradition, practice, or spirituality, but worked through many. I love research and puzzling pieces together, and by looking at many, I could see all the places they overlapped and resonated with each other. Giving me a broader picture and deeper understanding for myself in order to find my own path.
All of this helped me to develop a critical mind and processes of discernment as I moved forward. It allowed me to develop “checks” for myself, that would heavily come into play as I moved into the world of spirit/ Deity communication.
Entering the World of Spirit
As I was going through the process above, in my mundane life I was a Critical Care RN (CCRN). Understanding the science of the body, the mind, and the soul. It wasn’t long before I became the person for the dying. I had a natural ability to walk both the families and the dying patient through the process of crossing (dying). Learning about all the various religions and traditions allowed me to walk in whatever space their faith held.
The work was heartbreaking. I cried with, and for, each one. I prayed with the families and held the hands of the dying as they passed from this world to the next. I walked them through the processes of grief and gave comfort. I also upheld certain traditions nurses hold for the dying, such as “crack a window.” Eventually I was the Death Dula. When a patient was dying, they would become mine.
I learned so much about humanity and the nature of the soul through this process. Watching and witnessing death as much as I have, I can say for certainty, the energy that resides in you now, is the soul that carries on. There are things that happen at that moment of death that are undeniable and measurable. They happen every time.
Welcome The Morrigan
Meeting The Morrigan was unexpected. I had no interest in Deity work and was not seeking it. Not that I was against it, I just never felt any urge to go that route. I did however get an urge for a tarot deck. I wasn’t sure why because I hadn’t ever felt the urge for a divination tool before, but I decided to just flow with it. I am an artist and deeply connected to nature, so the art was paramount for me. I hated the Rider Waite art and did not really feel drawn to that at all. It took a little while but I finally stumbled across The Dreams of Gaia deck. It was perfect! Very nature centered and done through elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water). The artwork was amazing and detailed. Yes, this would be my deck.
I didn’t learn the way most say to. I did not memorize them and did not use them to divine the future or mundane aspects – I used them to start a conversation. I looked through spreads – altering them and then developing my own to ask the things I was curious about. I used the book and kept a detailed journal of every reading. I asked all kinds of things about myself, experiences, and questions I had about the soul, spirituality, and magic. I put in “checks” to see if the answers stayed consistent and true.
My science minded brain could not wrap itself around the “how does this work” – but it did. The messages were spot on, and stayed true. What I was learning, the conversations I was having were amazing. I was diving deep into shadow work and self discovery. As soon as my first large deconstruction appeared – my flawed and messed up view of the Karma scale I had modeled my life on – The Morrigan made Herself known. This would be the start of a never ending Transformation.
I will go more into my relationship and partnership with The Morrigan in the next article, but She is who I built my foundations with. My true foundations for all the work that would come next. The Morrigan is my Primary Deity and is involved in all my work and practices because it all is built, deconstructed, and rebuilt, on my foundations.
Ancestors and Heredity
Let’s start with saying – Ancestry does not have to play a role in what practices you choose, or be part of your spiritual path. Everyone is different and has to follow their own path. Build your own foundations and find what you are drawn to and connected to. Now that the PSA over with – Time to move onto my story.
As I said, I love research. I had been tracing my ancestry for decades, not for spiritual purposes, but just to know the story of my people. To see how they moved and blended in the world over the centuries. Finding clues here and there for their personal stories. Learning about the cultures and times they lived in. A lot of anthropology and archaeology along with genealogy.
After walking with The Morrigan I started to see a larger picture with this. The art styles, the cultures, the history I was most drawn to, was connected to my own ancestry. They were part of them. About this time, I had the opportunity to do a DNA test. For me, this ended up just helping to confirm what I had already found and documented. It was like a confirmation of all my written work, and through other means such as MyTrueAncestry.com I was able to see the same reflection from an archaeological standpoint.
My history is heavily concentrated in Gaelic (Irish/ Scottish)/ Scandinavian on the European, and then The Appalachian and Ozark areas of the US. There is nothing really in my history or DNA outside of these areas.
I was lucky enough to have found many royal lines, because they kept long histories and genealogical records. Everyone has these lines I think, it is just a matter of luck and endurance to be able to find the link. Once you do though, it becomes much easier. I have several lines that I can trace back to the late BC era/ early AD, and others that get lost around the 1700’s. Ancestry tracing is hard, time consuming, and I feel a good amount of luck is involved – but in the end, for me, it was worth while.
The magical practices and spiritual perspectives that I was drawn to, aligned with my ancestors. Then a few started stepping forward to work with me. I will go deeper into this later in the week and introduce you to my Ozark Women, Poppa, Achtan, and Adeliza who has stepped up the most so far.
Kari, Hel, and other Deities
Not long after The Morrigan showed up, so did some other Deities. Most came in to just show me something or point me in a direction to discover another piece to the puzzle. A few though have been consistent in Their coming, going, and resurfacing. I have learned over the years, They each have Their own domains and specialties. Sometimes we need to grow in other ways, until They continue with the work They want/ need to do. So when your Deity goes silent, don’t be surprised if They resurface later.
The commonality I see in all the Deities I have worked with, They are Primals. Older than the Patheons They were later adopted into – Their history leading back to animistic views. I covered this perspective in my last article The Evolution of Religion and Gods. Although that article is written from my own perspectives and things I saw through my own research at the beginning, it also has parts These Deities have shown me.
Bringing me back to, and bringing forth, the animistic perspectives of my beginnings. Not religion, not traditions – the rules of humans, but that of nature and rules of humanity within it.
My Magical Practices
All of the above is reflective in my magical practices. I studied, explored, and have experimented with many styles, but the magic I work is more of a personal blending. Irish – Scottish – Scandinavian – and some Indigenous American tribes – the same of my ancestry, all contribute to the perspectives of my magic. I do not adhere to any of their traditions as modern constructs list them, but learning through my Deities and my Ancestors. Allowing them to teach and Guide me through the work.
The magic I craft have both science and spiritual understandings within them. The laws of energy and nature are their building blocks. How my spells are put together, their elements, are from my work and associations. Reflective in ways to others, but what I have discovered to actually work for me. My Ozark Women are heavily involved in my spell and ritual creations. Kari, and Hella (Hel) have been my primary teachers in Seidr, Rune magic, and other Norse-like magic.
I call it Crane Magic (Crane Practitioner) because I believe personal associations, understandings, experiences, and associations are key for our magic to work. How we are connected to each element of the spell, and the core energy of each component, matters. I think we can get understandings, ideas, and inspirations from others – but in the end we have to figure out what works for us personally. The Crane, for me, represents those aspects. Walking between worlds but belonging to none. Thus working between traditions and perspectives, having aspects of different ones, but holding our own – not belonging to another’s creation. The Crane itself does not mean anything to anyone in a specific way – it is what it means to us.
It is why I started The Temple of the Crane. A place where people of all backgrounds, beliefs, and magical practices can come together and share their own experiences and what has worked for them. Not telling people what to believe or how to do something, just sharing our own together. The front page is just sharing what I find interesting – the private group Crane Practitioners is where community is built.
As I said in the beginning, I will be going into more details over the course of this week on each of these. What it looks like, what my experiences have been, and how they have shaped where I am right now. If you want to follow along, learn more about me, hear about the experiences that have shaped me, and how all of this works for me, I encourage you to sign up for my newsletter here so you don’t miss any of them. You can always disconnect from it if I’m not your flavor when it is all said and done.
I’m really excited to share all of this with you and get to know each one of you. To listen to your stories, your perspectives, and your experiences. After all, sharing is the main reason why I am here. Not to tell you “how” to do something, but hopefully inspiring ideas and perspectives that you can explore and experiment with for your own path.