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Loneliness vs Being Alone – Why We Should Never Fear Ourselves

In this time of cultural nihilism, we are often told that loneliness is a scourge on our community. It is. The lack of interaction – true, meaningful interaction – with other sentient beings, human or Grimalkin, like ourselves can leave us feeling very detached from the world, bereft and isolated. I want to address some things as this is a subject close to my heart. I have felt loneliness at times but I have also known those who are lonely. And so, this blog is for them.

We all seek out others of our kind. Our family. Our community. Our clan. Our tribe. It is a natural response to want to be with those who understand us, who can care for us and who we can care for in return. We seek sanctuary in these relationships. We yearn for that deep connection that touches our minds, hearts and souls. We want that silent knowing that we are accepted without question by those who are like us. It is where we find security, peace, love and friendship.

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But there are times when we can be surrounded by people and feel the loneliest being in the world. Why is this? I believe that we feel this way because we have lost, or never had, that essential connection with ourselves. Some can live their entire lives on their own and be happy and at peace with that because they have a strong sense of self. They know who they are and where they are going. But for many, seeking out others to deal with their loneliness becomes a mission, and sometimes a toxic and all-consuming one at that.

Loneliness is a natural reaction to the lack of meaningful connections with others. I say meaningful because we, as complex creatures, we want to engage with and expand our consciousness with others in our journey of life, share our hopes and dreams with them, share our loves and our pet peeves, our gripes and our simple pleasures and hope they understand them. We want validation that we matter, and that everything about us and our world has meaning and significance. We seek out others of our kind because we long to extend our universal love to those around us, to feel included and safe and secure. We are social beings. Our energies will naturally gravitate towards those who vibrate on a similar wavelength. The saying “you are on my wavelength” means exactly that.

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Being connected to those like us brings us joy and peace. It brings out the best in us and we bring out the best in others in turn. But what if you do not have those connections? What if, at some point in your life, you find yourself feeling alone despite being in the midst of a crowd?

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There are times when you can feel so disconnected from everything and everyone it becomes difficult to function in everyday life. Loneliness can draw you into a dangerous world of isolation, depression and self-sabotage. You can often feel like it is your fault you feel this way, like you have failed somehow, failed at being a human being because, here you are – you may be popular, have lots of friends or be successful – and yet you are wanting. You may feel guilty for feeling this way, somehow ungrateful, feeling the confusion of wanting to get away and yet yearning for the company of others, and this can lead to a downward spiral of depression. self-blame and even self-loathing. You feel like a fraud for putting on a smile and showing the world that you are okay but inside you are screaming. Keeping up appearances is a Sisyphean task – you get through the day with a laugh and a smile, keeping everyone’s probing questions of “u ok hun?” at bay, only to crawl to bed in the early hours, aching and despairing, having no room in your mind or your heart to think or feel anything but the darkness that is slowly pressing in upon you.

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You can’t talk about it. How could you? You have to be the person everyone wants you to be. One person needs you to be one way, another person needs you to be another. You have to juggle flaming torches and spin plates all at the same time, pleasing everyone, or at least trying to. You try your hardest but inside you feel like you are failing, falling apart. You are keeping it together but barely. You don’t know what people want from you.  You can’t be yourself. You begin to understand that you can’t keep everyone happy, you can’t please everyone. You can’t be everything to every person. You can’t do all the things you promised. You are being crushed under the sheer weight of the pressure around you – people, things, work, more people, more work, family….. It goes on and on. Your health is beginning to fail. You can’t do as much as you did before. That adds to the guilt. It weights even heavier upon you. The world becomes a carousel of noise and sound you can’t seem to escape from but you long to, long to get away for just a little while. You ache to get away from it all, to be alone, even away from the people you love most, but this also adds to the guilt. You feel like a monster for wanting a few precious moments away from them – to walk in the woods, to sit with a book and just gather your thoughts. Just for a few moments…

But in those moments, you still feel that void inside of you. The inescapable void that longs to be filled with something you don’t know what. You have been seeking it all your life but it has always eluded you. Sex. Work. Friends. Things. But it was never enough.  Anger. Rage. Frustration, Depression. Despair, Sadness. Emptiness. It is all there. All working against you and yet there is no-one there to tell it to. You keep it in. You feel like your heart is going to explode with the sheer volume of it all. The loss. The pain. The inability to voice the discordant cacophony of feelings, emotions and thoughts playing a disharmonious dirge inside of you. It is a frightening and isolating place to be, my Dear Human. You cannot voice it because you don’t know how.  You never learned that your thoughts and feelings were important. You were never taught that you mattered in a way that you should have done. But it matters. It always mattered. Because, my Dear Human, you are and essential part of the Whole, the All, just like the rest of us.

Your silence is killing you.

But oh, my Dearest Human, there is a way. From one who has walked through darkness and come out of the other side, there is a way to end this cycle of destruction. You can  and are worth saving.

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People often confuse being alone with loneliness. The two are not the same. Loneliness is the feeling of lack. Being alone is the feeling of contentment in one’s own company. It can take some time to adjust to being on one’s own but it is an important part of personal growth.

Now, I am not suggesting you end all of your relationships, cut all of your ties and live like a hermit or an anchorite until the end of your earthly days. You can be with others AND feel comfortable BEING ALONE at the same time.

  1. Being alone does not mean shutting yourself off from others. Being alone means setting time aside for YOURSELF and doing the things you enjoy, being present in the moment, reflecting on the things you want out of life.
  2. Being alone sets healthy boundaries with others. If you find you do not have a moment to yourself, be assertive and express your intention to have You-Time.
  3. Being alone is essential to personal growth and development. Many people fear being on their own. If you feel this way, then ask yourself why? Are you afraid of yourself? Do you need to work on some inner issues? Do you need help with anything? If you need help ASK. NEVER BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP. IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF HELP, PLEASE DO NOT SUFFER IN SILENCE. CONTACT SOMEONE YOU TRUST, A PROFESSIONAL OR A GP. NEVER SUFFER ALONE. 
  4. Being alone gives you much-needed time to evaluate your situations. If your life or situation requires change or improvement, being alone will give you the time and emotional/mental space you need to make rational and informed decisions.

It is easier said than done. The fear of being alone can be too much for some and they spend their entire lives seeking out company because they cannot, or will not, address the reasons why they feel that way. My belief is that is you have a strong, or at least, a stable, inner core, then being alone and doing things on your own, becomes something you enjoy and not something to be feared.

People fear being alone with themselves. You should never fear yourself. If you have difficulty finding yourself, then take time to discover that. But you can only do that by spending time alone. Make friends with yourself. Be your own best friend, your own brother or sister. Being alone helps you to discover things about yourself you never knew existed. You may surprise yourself – once you give yourself time to grow and expand in the new space you have given yourself, you will feel less lonely. You will have forged that essential connection with yourself, which is the most important connection of all, the most healthy relationship you can have. Of course, you will still have your relationships and people around you, but you will now have a choice – you will choose to seek out company because you will not need it as you once did. The need to fill the void will no longer be there because you have done the work inside. You can only fix and heal yourself, but always seek out professional help if you need it. No-one can solve your problems for you, nor can people, addictions or things be substitutes for the relationship you need to create with yourself.

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There is one last thing I want to address. You are not a failure. You are not a bad person. You are not unwanted, or unloved, or incapable of doing things. You are not a misfit or a freak or a square peg in a round hole. Your experiences do not make you. Your character and your integrity does. If you have not fit into a particular niche in life, if you have always felt like an outsider, there is a reason why and it has nothing to do with you. It is not because there is something wrong with you, it is because there is something wrong with society. You will always find your clan, your tribe. If you are not resonating with those around you and it is making you sad, miserable, uncomfortable or depressed, never feel guilty about moving on. It is YOUR life and we only have a short time here so we need to make the most of it. Seek out those who chime with you. Never apologise and never explain. Part of the reason why we feel lonely is because we stay in situations out of obligation. We do not need to do this. We always have the choice to free ourselves and seek pastures new and feel less alone in the world.

Please visit my other blogs on Inner Child work and Healing for further reading.

Yours Under the Boughs

Imeldra Moonpaw

Finding Strength and Healing in Truth – The Inner Child and Healing Old Wounds

  It takes a great deal of courage to look in the mirror, to face oneself and say “I can’t go on like this. Something needs to change.” We all go through the Dark Night of the Soul at some time in our lives, often many times. We may think that our lives are collapsing around our ears. That is as it may be, but this is an important time. The time we go through this period is perhaps THE most important time in our lives for it destroys everything we know – old programs, beliefs, ways of thinking, doing and behaving that have caused us harm and unhappiness, that have held us back and seemingly denied us the things we so desperately desire in life, and leaves room to just BREATHE.

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  But first we must be truthful and vulnerable with ourselves. We must tell ourselves the truth, talk with ourselves and go to those places inside that we have ignored and denied for so long. We are often unhappy because of some deep-seated childhood trauma that has lain long-forgotten but plays out nonetheless in our present lives – the absent father, the emotionally unavailable mother, the bullying siblings or peers. The Dark Night of the Soul brings all these traumas to the surface in order for them to be healed. The Higher Self WANTS you to be healed. It WANTS you to be the best version of yourself. That is why the issues long supressed will continue to find a way of resurfacing until they are brought into the light to be examined, felt fully and with compassion and understanding, then let go.

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  This is where we must connect with our inner child. The child within is pure, it is innocent. The child within you did not ask to be brought into the world, did not ask to be abandoned, did not ask to be scorned and neglected by its mother, not abused, beaten or broken. No, my friends, the child within you did not ask to be here but you are here nonetheless. You are here for a reason. You may not know what that reason is as we are not meant to know all the answers, but you being here means that it is MEANT. So, whenever you feel you do not deserve to be here, or feel worthless remember, God/Goddess/Source/the Universe orchestrated your being here. But sometimes you are not meant to know why.

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  The inner child is often wounded and, as a result, we fear rejection, abandonment, love, affection, success. A domineering and unaffectionate parent may produce a person who fears giving and accepting love. To revisit that time is a traumatic yet powerful experience. But you must remember – you are not that child anymore. You must tell your child-self that it was not their fault, that they were not to blame for the actions of the ones who could not even cope with their own lives, let alone the life of an innocent child. Say to your child-self they deserve love and protection. Say that it is different now. Love is safe and those who truly love you will never hurt or leave you. Say to that child that it will never happen again and that all the monsters have gone. It is a different world now – the Dragon is no longer to be feared, but is your ally. Whenever you feel the fear of rejection or abandonment, remember where it comes from and that you are not the scared vulnerable child you once were. Step into your power. Stop giving it away to others.

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  There is a misconception that baring your soul leaves you vulnerable. In some cases, it can leave you open to manipulation and abuse, it is true. But there is also great strength and healing in truth-telling. Long have we been told to keep it in, not say how we feel, keep things to ourselves. But what purpose does that serve? The things and feelings we hold inside of us, if not expressed, can become toxic and destructive, resulting in unhappiness and resentment. In extreme cases, a sense of failure, desperation, anger and depression. While in some cases it may be wise to hold our tongues for diplomacy’s sake, when it comes to matters of the heart and healing, there is no greater strength than letting all that has been ailing you for so long go, to talk with a trusted friend or counsellor, to examine why you feel the way you do and to say it. Purge the past and the negative feelings that go with it. I have kept a journal for decades. It has been my friend and counsellor as my Higher Self often comes through during moments of clarity. Harbouring the darkness inside you serves no purpose. You deserve happiness. You deserve success. You deserve love. You are a spiritual being having a human (or Grimalkin) experience. Always remember that.

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Finding Strength in Truth

  Living the best version of yourself takes no effort. Once you start not caring about what others think of you, once you stop trying to please others (which is a Sisyphean task), once we stop apologising and capitulating, we find we have more energy and time to do the things we want to. Living a lie and trying to hide your light from the world is tiring, depressing, soul-destroying and ultimately detrimental to your health. There is no reason for you to hide your light. You ARE a BEING of LIGHT. Your skills, your creativity, your personality, your individuality sets you apart from everyone else. There is no-one in the Universe like you. That makes you special. Never forget that. The more you live your truth, the stronger you will become. Inevitably, you will have times when you are ill, or you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. We all feel like that sometimes. It is part of being mortal. But to live a little more in truth every day will make you that little more happier, fulfilled, healthier, and able to feel emotions freely and without guilt or shame. There is no shame in being YOU. To open your heart to the world is not a weakness – it is a strength. To feel the fear, the fear of rejection, the fear of ridicule, abandonment and even abuse and to do it anyway, is strength. Let no-one tell you otherwise. If you can do that – love without fear – then you are a much better and healthier person than you were yesterday. I don’t doubt that it is hard. It takes time. Old wounds run deep. Very deep. But all wounds heal and healing starts with the self – self-acceptance, truth, healthy boundaries, learning to say no, giving yourself time to stop, breathe and relax without the cacophony of noise and drama and chaos around you.

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 You deserve happiness so start with yourself. That is where it always starts and where it always ends.

Yours, Always,

Imeldra Moonpaw.

 

 

 

Beauty, Love and the Small Things That Can Bring Us Peace

  It is often said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some believe beauty is on the surface – a beautiful face, a beautiful body, a beautiful painting, or beautiful flower. While in some cases that may be the case, true beauty is more than what we see with our eyes. True beauty is what we see and feel with our heart.

  What you value or deem beautiful is often a reflection of yourself; if you can see the beauty in yourself – your values, honesty, integrity, the love you have for others and other beings, it makes you beautiful on the outside. If you can bring out the best in others, that is beautiful. If you have compassion for those less fortunate, that is beautiful.

  Forgiveness is beautiful. While some find it hard to forgive (and that is okay), when we choose to forgive others it is beautiful. We may feel hurt and resentful one day, then the deep, transformative power of sleep, dreams and love we hold deep within allows us to forgive others their transgressions, whether they have truly hurt us, or it is a perceived hurt. It brings forth the ability to move beyond to a place where our hearts can see clearly again. The dawn rises on a new day and yesterday’s woes and sorrows slowly fade into memory. The love we kept locked away because of those hurts comes forward once again through forgiveness, and that too, is beautiful. It brings peace and balance. But remember, forgiveness is always a choice.

  Human beings suffer terribly because of the perceived nature of beauty. Grimalkins have no such affliction. Human beings, for the most part, judge themselves based on how they look to others, how attractive they are, how much approval they receive from others. They place their worth in the hands of others who too, do not know their own worth either. Let me tell you how Grimalkins value beauty.

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  Grimalkins are self aware, yes, but we are introspective. We understand that each one of us is different – big, small, black, grey, calico etc. We are mindful of our existence every day. We place value on ourselves, not by the colour of our fur or how long our whiskers are. No, we measure our worth by the values and principles we hold. Take my family – the Moonpaws. Our motto is Wisdom Before Knowledge. I find self worth and beauty in teaching youngsters to read and write, by sharing history and encouraging curiosity and a sense of yearning for knowledge in the individuals I meet. It makes me feel good and worthy because I have something to share that inspires others. So you see, your worth comes from inside, not from outside, not from approval from others. I may not get a thank you, but to see someone set off on an academic journey with excitement is more than enough to fill my heart with joy. That is where true self worth lies.

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  Grimalkins live in the moment. We change and improve the things we can change and accept the things we cannot. We express gratitude for the things we have for it is the small things in our lives that can bring us great joy and comfort. We do (or try not to) worry about the morrow. We do not live in fear as humans do – fear of what others may think, feel or do. We say how we feel because our words may make a difference, but they may not. But we never know. It doesn’t matter. Living without fear is beautiful. It opens up a wealth of possibilities that lead on to more beautiful things. Pride and ego are not things Grimalkins are too afflicted by. We strive for peace and balance and a quiet life. But even we can fall by the wayside at times.

  Too often human beings are too afraid to say things to each other, too afraid to say “I love that about you, it makes me feel….” or “…it is beautiful because…” If people recognised and acknowledged the beauty in others, then they may realise that their self worth and value comes from the inside, not from validation from the outside. A beautiful person can facilitate change and transformation in you, quite unexpectedly, making you into a better, more beautiful person. You, in turn, may go on to be the catalyst of change in someone else and so it goes on.

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  Beauty is not about how you look or how you physically present yourself to the world. True beauty is bringing out the best in yourself and in others. Be beautiful every day. Celebrate and be content with the small things – the smell of Earl Grey tea on a rainy day, the feeling of warm sand between your toes, the sound of the sea, seeing tiny shoots appear in your pots where there was only bare soil before. New books. Fresh strawberries, incense and wind chimes, the list of things you find beautiful is endless so take time to be mindful of them and express gratitude for the sense of contentment they bring you. 

  Appreciation for the little things is beautiful. Be mindful of them and you will find small oases of peace in the maelstrom of life.

Yours, Always

Imeldra Moonpaw

Taking the Road Less Travelled – As Dumbledore said; a Choice Between What is Right and What is Easy.

  You are wandering through a forest alone. Suddenly you are presented with two paths – the path to the right is sunlit, with neat grassy verges. Flowers grow. There are bees and butterflies. A blackbird trills in the undergrowth. It is pleasant. You have a vague sense of the destination to which this path will take you. You sense the approval of your friends, family and peers should you take this path. It is inviting. Secure. Familiar.

  To the left is another. It is somewhat darker, full of gnarled old pines, yews and hawthorns. Their branches seem to want to reach out and grab you and pull at your clothes. You can smell the damp and the decay. You can hear the hooting of an owl and the rustling of the leaves of an unknown creature passing by. Here are wolves and bears and battleswine. It is a dangerous path. Here, you sense your friends, family and peers telling you  not to go. You see the anger, disapproval and disappointment on their faces in your mind’s eye.

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  And yet, you know there is something just beyond the tangle of thorns and grasping branches. Here the nights are dark and moonless. Here are deep caves and steep ravines. Here be hags and spirits and ghosts of the past you thought had long gone.

  You notice two marker stones – the marker stone pointing to the right is in the shape of a unicorn. The one to the left is in the shape of a dragon. You look to the right and you can hear merry music and smell delicious food. It is enticing. But you know this is an illusion as, when you look to the right, to where the dragon is pointing, you know that is where the truth lies. You see, the unicorn represents magic;  to be precise – glamour, illusion. The dragon has always represented old magic and treasure and, in particular, the treasure of the soul. You cannot simply happen upon this treasure. No – you must earn it.

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  It would be all to easy to take the path to the right, follow the unicorn and satisfy everyone around you, to be safe and secure in all that you know and love. But to what cost? At some stage there will come a time when you will experience that yearning deep inside your soul as to why you are here, what your purpose is, what is the truth to your situation if any. Facing the dragon is always terrifying but taking up the sword and trying to slay it is not, and has never been, the answer. The dragon lies in the deepest parts of  your inner world, but to get there you must take the path to the left, and leave all of your previous assumptions, ideas, fears and follies aside. Yes, to take the path you must even go against those closest to you if they do not approve for they, in many cases, have kept you blinded by glamour and illusion for whatever reason. Sometimes, for their own selfish reasons. Blinded by the  false glamour-light of the right hand path, they have kept you blind to the truth of who you are.

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  You move forward and, as you pass the dragon marker, the trees close behind you for there is no going back once you have awoken. Once your eyes have opened to the truth of the false light, there is no going back. You must go ahead into the darkness and face all that has haunted you throughout your life. Only then will you see the truth, bring it to bear and then be free as a result of it, whether it brings you joy or sadness. For this path, too, has an end, but it is an end of your choosing.

  Ultimately you will face the dragon at the end of your journey but instead of taking  up arms against it, will you converse with it? Confront it? Befriend it? What will you do to convince it to relinquish the treasure it holds for you? Well, that all depends on your journey through the dark forest and what demons, ghosts or creatures you fight. Will it be the ghosts of childhood trauma, or the monster of your own ego or fear that you will face?

  It is important to remember that this journey is a soul journey, one that leads to enlightenment and a happier, more fulfilling life if that is what you choose. But old wounds that have long been neglected all lie along the left hand path and all need addressing. The first foes you will meet on the road are fear and ego. Overcome these and the rest is merely a journey of discovery. Embrace the darkness for it has much to teach us – The gnarled old yew holds the Ogham oracle, the wolf will act as your guide along the road, the hag will impart wisdom, the ghosts will give you messages from those who have passed on, the battleswine will forge a path through the brambles so you can find another route you wouldn’t necessarily have taken. With each fear comes a new opportunity to learn and grow as a person and as a Universal Being. These trials will help you connect with the Source.

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  If you do not already do so, learn to meditate. Or, at least, set time aside each day and be still, even if it is only for five or ten minutes. There is much wisdom and guidance to be had in those moments of silence and inactivity. Take each day as it comes. Taking the left hand path is not easy, but it is right for there lies the truth at the end, whatever that truth means to you. But it means walking through darkness first for in doing so, can we really appreciate the true light, not the false light presented to us by the way of quick fixes, social media, meaningless cliches and self-styled lifestyle gurus who claim to have all the answers. YOU have all the answers you will ever need if you look within. But you can and will face opposition from those who want to keep you blind, keep you tethered, bridled. You cannot bridle a dragon. Follow it no matter what those around you say. Do what you feel is right, not what is easy and, more importantly, easiest for other people.

  Live this life in truth as much as you can. Fear not the dragon or the darkness. Do not take up arms against the dragon. Befriend it and earn the treasure of your soul.

Yours in Love and Light

Imeldra Moonpaw

 

Transformation and Awakening During the Dark Time -Healing and the Coming of Spring

  Greetings, my human friends. February is, as they say, the coldest month and, as Imbolc approaches, you may be forgiven for thinking it is a false dawn. While the snowdrops and crocuses may be peering out from the frosty ground, the dark days are not yet over for this is a kind of no-man’s land between winter and spring. The plants and the flowers may want to emerge but the winter is still clinging to all things living. It is a tough time for all beings.

  For some, the winter is a difficult time. For those living in the north, the lack of sunlight may be having an affect of their mental and physical well-being. The world is in a curious state of upheaval and no-one seems to know when or how it will all end. But we can only do the best we can with what we have and forge ahead with both optimism and realism for I sense that things have not yet settled into their new places yet.

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  The Shift has been something of a life-changing event for some. In some cases, life events have forced individuals into a realisation that their old ways of thinking, feeling and doing are no longer working for them. Old programmes and patterns of behaviours were limiting, restricting, suffocating. A sudden shift in awareness perhaps allowed them to break free of those patterns and enabled them to say and do things they would never have said or done before due to ego or fear. Moving beyond those things is a huge step into becoming the person (or Grimalkin) you are meant to be and this can have a snowball effect. But make no mistake – this sudden awakening is not always rainbows and starlight and Buddhist chants. It can, and does, alter your life to the point of no return. It will turn your life upside down.

  Waking up means you see things differently, see people differently, see situations differently. You may have followed one pattern of behaviour only to wake up the next day and think “hang on, this no longer makes sense.” But the difference is you know WHY it no longer makes sense. You begin to question everything and everyone. You analyse and pick apart everything, every relationship in your life and ask yourself “Does this make me happy? Is this working for me? Where am I going? Why am I stuck and how can I get myself unstuck?” The Higher Self WANTS you to wake up, to change and make your life better because it is what you are meant to be doing. But this process also brings with it loss, disappointment and sometimes heartbreak when we realise that those around us are not who we thought they were, or are with us because it is convenient, or the job you have is only a security blanket that you cling to because you are afraid of spreading your wings and showing your true light to the world, or the values you have no longer fit in with the values you see on television, or in the papers, or on line, or in the world in general. Everything seems so out of place. YOU seem out of place. It is disorientating and frustrating and can drive you crazy. But remember- you are in your rightful place and time. Right now.

Yes, waking up can be devastating. You will inevitably lose the things you love and, like the no-man’s land we are in before the spring, can be a frightening and uncertain time as we are letting go of the old life with no lifebuoy to hold on to. As such, we can feel as though we are drowning. Leaving a job because you know it is detrimental to your health and well-being is terrifying – how will you pay the bills? How will you manage? Will the ideas I have for my own business work? What if I fail? They are all questions that will do circuits around your head, keeping you trapped in fear.

 

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Leaving behind people you once loved is probably the hardest of all. Your shift in consciousness almost always brings truth and sometimes that truth is painful. It is hard because for the longest time you thought those people would always be around, always be part of your life, always share your greatest achievements and your deepest despair. But when you wake up, you will sometimes see that it was not always the case; that those you thought cared the most about, never cared or wanted to be part of your life after all, or that those who you thought you could rely on walked away when you needed them most. It leaves you feeling bereft. Empty. Left with a feeling of nowhere to go.

  The most painful part of all of the awakening process is the perception that you lied to yourself. This is not the case. You believed in the best of people; you acted on the knowledge you had at the time. Forgive yourself for not knowing. Forgive yourself for not being awake. Forgive yourself for caring too much – it is not a crime to love but remember that love is not always returned. It is okay not to feel okay about this. With awakening comes the ability to give love to those who you feel have earned it. You can be wise with your feelings now rather than love blindly and giving freely. Your cup needs to be full before it is offered to others. If you cannot love yourself, then at least accept yourself. It is a start. Meditate. The Great Mother/God/Universe/your Higher Self has love for everyone. More than enough. Ask and you shall receive with abundance.

  The Dark Time is also a time of healing so if anyone is feeling the effects of loss because of their awakening, please know it will not last. The colours will return to the world, the scents of the flowers will come back more fragrant than before. Remember, with awakening comes enlightenment so, like the spring, new things will grow and flourish. Allow the old things to die to make room for new life and new opportunities. Make room for those who want to stand by your side and let go of those who do not. Life is too short and time to precious. You have to make life happen for yourself despite the heartache this process may have caused. But this is a necessary process – it is almost like a waking death only for you to be transformed into something better on the other side. Allow yourself to be reborn wiser and more knowledgeable and spiritual than before.

  Be mindful that winter doesn’t last forever. Be kind to yourself in this dark time. Heal, spend time with trusted friends or your animal friends. Hand all your cares, worries and woes over to the Great Mother, God, the Universe or the creator of your understanding. It is all part of the soul’s journey to a better you.

Brightest Blessings in these Dark Days
Imeldra Moonpaw

The Deepening Darkness and the Time of Letting Go

  Greetings, my human friends. It has been a while since I posted a blog but one has been busy and a little frazzled. The old bones are not working as they should and I needed rest after what has been a tumultuous year. But, my dearest friends, the time is coming for us to gather together at Deepening Darkness to feast, to celebrate, and to reflect on all we have done this year. And to reflect on those we have loved and lost.

  Yes, my friends, it has been a year of loss as a dear friend passed peacefully over to the Otherworld in the Summer after a short illness. The Great Mother saw his suffering and took him gently into Her arms and took him home to join the rest of those waiting for us in the Summerlands. I see him in dreams sometimes, healthy and whole, the way he was before old age, sickness and death took him. While I do feel sad he cannot be with us for our Mordrach celebrations, I know he is celebrating with our loved ones beyond the Veil, happy and pain-free. So, Leo, me old friend, we shall raise a tankard or two for you this year. You are dearly missed.

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  And so, as we reflect on all we have done throughout the year, we also look back on the things we could, or maybe should have done. Mordrach is a time of reflection, but also a time of regret; we regret not spending enough time studying, or tending to our everyday tasks, or spending time with friends or family. We may regret harsh words spoken, or words not spoken at all. That ache in the heart not acted upon, or that phrase on the tip of the tongue left unspoken that could have made all the difference in the world to someone without even realising it. The fear of the unknown or how others may react to our declarations of support, love and affection binding us like vines that constrict and then strangle even the strongest of oaks, causing it to whither and die in sorrow and contrition. It is easier to seek forgiveness than permission, but to look back on the things you wish you had done but didn’t can cause one great pain. And it is at the time of Deepening Darkness we have such a long time to reflect on that. A long time indeed.

  The Time of Deepest Darkness is also a time of letting go. As the Black Horse of Winter vanquishes Shamash Sun-Cat, he lets go of his magnificent mane of gold. Light leaves the world and we are left in darkness to contemplate our fate and what is to come. For some, letting go is a much-needed relief – holding on to what does not serve you only causes great harm and suffering to your soul, and to unburden yourself is an act of healing and self-discovery. But for some, letting go is painful. The things we love sometimes need to be let go of if they no longer serve us, or do not wish to stay. It is not for us to hold on to  them for they are not ours to keep; you cannot keep a wild bird in a cage for it is against nature and an act of unkindness. No matter how much you love something, or someone, when they no longer wish to be part of your world, you have to let them go. The seasons turn and life continues, indifferent to the suffering of mortals. We can, but hope, to find a way to regain our strength as Shamash does in spring as his mane of gold grows back to its original magnificence and brings light back to the world.

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As the Old Grimalkin saying goes “it is easier to hold on the the one you hate than to let go of the one you love.”

 

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  But for all we have to let things go, we never stop loving them, be they things or memories or individuals. Sometimes the greatest act of love is to release someone from the binds we may have placed upon them, to free them from the obligation that they need to stay, to be around you out of a sense of guilt or duty. But always try and speak the truth of your heart before doing so because letting someone go before you have spoken your truth can be a burden your soul will have to bear for all your earthly days. Live not with sorrow and regret as I have done. Speak your truth and be not afraid. Follow not the path of one who was too afraid and too proud to do so. Yes, even I can falter and fall by the wayside.

  I hope all who read my blog find peace and happiness at this uncertain time. I am sorry it wasn’t full of Yuletide cheer but, like all things, happiness comes with a measure of sorrow and there are times when we have to experience that sad times to appreciate the good ones.

Healing Blessings to you all,

Your Friend

Imeldra.

Imeldra’s Tips for Writing

On this thing we call the internet we often see graphics and similar emblazoned with positive  get-up-and-go statements like “PLAN TO WRITE EVERY DAY”. Now, as somebeast who writes regularly, either in journals or for more academic works, this is not always achievable, or possible and often sets one up for inevitable failure which leads to personal disappointed and personal admonishment. While some positive statement can be helpful, many are not and can be counter-productive and, sometimes negative, even harmful. One must always strive to do one’s best, of course, but one must also recognise that one is only feline, sorry – HUMAN – after all. Life gets in the way, we can be sick, tired, not in the mood or or bodily rhythms may be out of sync, or we may simply just NEED A REST. So, my human friends, throw off those shackles of self-imposed positivity, make a cup of tea, sit down and have a good old dose of healthy REALISM with Aunty Imeldra.

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1) Do What You Feel Like Doing At The Time – I have seen a lot of things online encouraging writers to “write every day“. If you can do this and it feels natural and stress-free to do this then do so. If, like me, you tire easily, or have life events going on, then this instruction may seem more of an order than a suggestion. If you force yourself to write every day when you don’t want to then it will become a chore and you will no longer enjoy it. Your heart will go out of it. If you have an idea, then it is good practice to jot it down quickly in a notepad then leave it and move on to the things that need doing in the present. If the idea is good, it will come back to you. Don’t force yourself.

2) Expect to Fail – Yes, failing, rejection and making mistakes is a vital part of writing. If one did not make mistakes, then one would never know how to correct them and do better next time. Rejection is no bad thing; it means that you may not be ready this time and need to go back to the drawing board and develop some more, maybe produce new and better ideas, or grow as a person before opportunities are presented to you. More importantly, don’t obsess over your failures. All over the world, millions of human beings are failing at something or other. You are not alone. Have a cup of tea, take some time out and approach the subject again later with fresh eyes and a clear head.

3) Relax – Yes, relax. Enjoy what you are doing. Writing is supposed to be fun. Have you ever had an idea that makes you feel giddy with excitement and you just can’t wait to share it with everyone? That is how writing should feel. That is the divine inspiration, the literary Eureka! moment that makes us want to put quill to parchment. If writing does not feel fun or enjoyable, put down the quill and go and do something else until that warm, fuzzy feeling returns. Your writing will be better when you are relaxed and enjoying it. It will flow better and your stories will seem to write themselves.

4) Pay No Attention To What Others Are Doing – Step Outside the Box– Do your own thing. Break the mould. Think of things others haven’t thought of. Think outside the box. Take a new perspective. Be controversial. See things from the other side. Be the one who stands out, not the one who does things like everyone else. How will you ever get noticed if you do what everyone else is doing? You may be criticized, but at least others will be paying attention.

5) Don’t Compare Yourself to Others – a common problem new writers have. As much as I love the work of JK Rowling, George RR Martin and Stephen King, I would not want to write like them. Everyone is different. Everyone has a unique story to tell. It is ok to be inspired by other authors but you also have something important and magical to bring to the table. Remember that.

 

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6) Read, Read, Read! – This is one I pilfered from Stephen King’s list. You learn most by reading. Anything. But most of all reading about the things that interest you and what you want to write about. You will subconsciously absorb words, writing styles and all sorts of information that will come out in your writing later. There is nothing you can’t teach or learn about yourself that you can’t get from reading.

7) Do Your Homework – It pays to do your research because there is always one pedant who will fact-check everything you write. As No. 6) READ.

8) Keep Journals and Notebooks For Reference – It also pays to keep notebooks or journals about the things you are writing, or simply for ideas you may have. It helps to empty the mental in-tray now and again and to shelve ideas and notions to use again at a later date. They may not be of use to you now but you may find a use for them later in an unexpected way. Don’t let your ideas go to waste, no matter how silly, trivial or outlandish they may seem. From little acorns do mighty oaks grow.

9) Write For Yourself – Another Stephen King tip. Write because you love to write. Write things you want to read about. Write about subject you enjoy or find fascinating, or scary or weird. Your mind is your own private domain and you have final say in what goes on and what goes onto the parchment. If you love writing, your stories will be equally as magical as you will put your heart and soul into anything your produce. If your reader likes what you have written, then it is a bonus. But do not make people-pleasing the reason you write, That will only lead to frustration and unhappiness as you can never please all of the humans all of the time.

10) Learn To Take Constructive Criticism – If someone really likes you and your work, they may offer some criticisms, not because they are being unkind, but because they want to to succeed. They want you to do better, as a teacher would in school. We are always learning, even into our old age. You can accept the constructive criticism or not, but my advice is to take everything on board and see it from their point of view.It can’t hurt to make some changes if it will benefit you and your work in the long run.

11) Try To Imagine Yourself As The Reader As You Write – Try and write as though you are the reader and think “does this read well? Am I making sense? Will I understand this?” It will serve you well to think like a reader as well as a writer as you write.

12) Be As Creative As You Can And Don’t Let Time Be A Factor – Get out there and take inspiration from everything and everyone you meet. Store it away in your head and in your journals and let them germinate like little seeds. Don’t let time be a factor. Let the magic work on its own. Let it manifest in its own time. The inspiration will come. Don’t give yourself unrealistic deadlines as you will only get stressed and put unnecessary pressure on yourself. Remember, writing should be fun and enjoyable, an exercise in working magic. Let it happen.

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The Grimalkin Almanac in Four Parts – Winter is Now Available

Never mind the Beast from the East! Snuggle down with the latest instalment of the Grimalkin Almanac. While I am somewhat behind with the Spring edition due to ill health (it looks like it will be knocking on for summer by the time I get it finished but what is time anyway but a human construct?) it is in production as is the bestiary I am working on. It will be finished soon, I am just editing and adding last minute details and working on the front cover. See the website for more information on the bestiary here (https://www.grimalhamepress.co.uk/unusual-creatures). I will, in time, consolidate the four almanacs into one but I need to finish what I have started first. That will be sometime next year.

 

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Here is an excerpt from the Winter Almanac, two remedies by the eminent herbalist Alfridaria Henderai from her Herbal Compendium:

For Frostbite

“Ingredients: himylocine horn, Arcadian fir needles, Arcadian fir sap, honey, barley or yaits.

For affliction of the bite of the frost take the horn of the creature himylocine and the needle and sap of the Arcadian fir and pound them greatly until a fine powder. Take the barley or yaits and mix it with the honey and warm for a time. When aboiled, add to it the himylocine horn, pounded Arcadian fir needles and sap and heat four minutes hence. When it can be touched with the paw without injury, put it to the bandages and soak for a time, but keep warm all the same. Apply the poultice to the padders, ears, nose or other boddy extremities afflicteduntil a time when the bite abates. Begrime the poultice daily to the extremities until the blackness abates. For the discomfort, give the tincture of celandine or comfiture of thorn-apple and black hellebore thrice daily, once at morgenmete, once at noon, and once at aftenmete.”

For Arthritis

“Ingredients: himylocine horn, Arcadian spruce needles and sap, Hidaroan coriander, honey, barley meal or yaits.

For the affliction of the fever of the joints, take the horn of the creature himylocine, the needle and the sap of the Arcadian spruce and pound them greatly until a fine powder. Take the plant Hidaroan coriander and chop finely and boil for five minutes hence. Take the honey, barley meal or yaits and mix with the Hidaroan coriander, himylocine horn and Arcadian spruce needles and sap and mix together. Heat for twenty minutes hence but do not boil. Leave to cool and, when the mixture can be touched with the paw without injury, put to the bandages and soak for a time no longer than ten minutes. Keep warm and do not allow to become cool. Apply to the afflicted boddy parts twice daily, at dai-rawe and eventide. Let the Grimalkin drink often of comfrey, evening primrose and violet tea, and be warmed by the hide of the Arcadian or Silurian elk or himylocine.”

If you want to know what a himylocine looks like you will have to buy the book! (or visit my Twitter page at @ImeldraMoonpaw)

 

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The Grimalkin Almanac in Four Parts – Winter is available here: https://www.lulu.com/shop/imeldra-moonpaw/the-grimalkin-almanac-in-four-parts-winter/paperback/product-23511771.html

Keep Warm Humans!

The Grimalkin Oracle – New Oracle Deck in Production (finally!)

  The Grimalkin Oracle has been in production since 2013 but due to other book commitments, it has been on hold until now.  Some of the cards have already been created and the guide book is now in the early stages of being written. Hopefully it should be completed in 2019 as there are many illustrations that need to be created from scratch. The oracle cards created so far feature illustrations from Dance of the Fire Cat and The Ocean Lord, as well as mixed media and digital images relating to the first three books in the fire cat series. All of the cards relate to the Clowder of Grimalhame and the world of the fire cat.

 

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  Even though the cards will be fantasy in nature, they will also have a Jungian feel; I have read some of Carl Jung’s work, a particular favourite of mine is Man and His Symbols which focuses on dreams. I have kept a dream journal all my adult life so know the importance of dreams and how it makes up our beings as a whole. Dreams can also be used as a tool for healing, something which I am trying to incorporate into the meanings of the cards and the guide book itself. If one is familiar with Jung, one may recognise some of the archetypes.

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  Creating the cards and applying the meanings to them is not as easy as it looks. I am trying to think of every eventuality while also attempting to keep it as simple as possible for both the sitter and the reader. The project is still in the early stages but I have created a few cards based on artwork already in the books to give the reader a reference point, and also an opportunity to refer to the books to find out more about the characters and their history.

  I am looking forward to starting on some new illustrations for the deck but in the mean time I am pulling together all the ideas I had for the guide book and putting it into some semblance of order. I will be posting updates on the website, on WordPress and on Twitter as I go along.

https://www.grimalhamepress.co.uk/the-grimalkin-oracle

Forgiveness – Only Give the Gift When it is Earned.

The Great Mother Goddess understands that Grimalkins have emotional complexities and, as such, limitations on what they can and can’t accept from others. The subject of forgiveness is one that is never forced upon a creature for there is the understanding that some wounds are too deep for healing.

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  While forgiveness is a merciful and noble act, it should never be used against a creature who has been wronged most grievously simply to make others feel better about a situation they feel uncomfortable about. Forgiveness is a highly personal issue and a choice only the Grimalkin concerned can make after some long and serious consideration. While some find it easy to forgive, others find it difficult. Those who find forgiveness testing should be treat with kindness and patience; their stories may be sad and they may wish not to discuss them with others. No-one can judge a Grimalkin who chooses not to forgive as one does not know of their circumstances.

Forgiveness must never just be granted without these three things:

  • Recognition – the wrongdoer must recognise they have done wrong.
  • Remorse – the wrongdoer must show genuine remorse for their actions.
  • Restoration – the wrongdoer must show willing to put right the wrong and be genuine about it.

 

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  Grimalkins are not bound by social pressure to forgive; it is entirely up to the individual. Much damage can be done when one is pressured into forgiveness by others who want things to be made easier for them because they believe the situation will be resolved that way, and all will be well – for them, and not for the Grimalkin who is being pressured to forgive. That is not how true forgiveness works. Forgiveness has to be earned.

  To force someone to forgive and then berate them for not doing so is a terrible thing, a cruel thing. When a creature has been through much toil, they need time to heal and set their thoughts and feelings on the right path again. Much hurt and damage can be caused by those around them who say “if you don’t forgive you can’t move on” and other such falsehoods. One will never move on if one lies to oneself and does something against the wishes of one’s own heart. If the other party has not earned forgiveness, then do not forgive. Do not feel guilty about it. Be sure in your convictions. Do not let others make you feel bad because they do not understand your heart. If they do not understand your toil and despair, then they are at fault. It is a problem they must realise and confront. Let go of the guilt you may feel and do what you know is right.

Forgiveness is a gift to be given to those who truly deserve it and who have earned it otherwise the wrongdoer will never know the value of forgiveness themselves and may never change their behaviour.

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