I’ve long known of Sekhmet, that lion-headed, powerful Goddess of healing and rage, but I have never really known much about her. Olivia Church’s book has definitely changed that.
Heavy with the weight of history, Church’s slim book clearly arose from a deep academic understanding of the sources and research surrounding the vengeful Lady of Flame and Pestilence, but the depth of direct experience also shines through. This is not a dry, dusty, text. Although it is dense the language is graced with rich and poetic illumination, and a bright passion for both the Goddess and her culture.
I now know much more than I expected to find out about this ancient Egyptian power, and would certainly use this as a reference book, and for inspiration if I ever choose to work with this multifaceted deity.
Despite the concise nature of the Pagan Portals books, Church has succeeded in including a both breadth and depth of information, and has in no way diminished the Eye of Ra, Sekhmet herself.
The short version: beautifully written, research heavy, introduction to a multifaceted Goddess, crafted with obviously personal, passionate, devotion.
Pagan Portals – Sekhmet, by Olivia Church (Moon Books, 2022)
Spring arrived, and with it went my focus. It’s always an inspirational time of year for me, the rush of energy bringing so many new ideas, so much potential, that I find myself led astray by beautiful new possibilities… And some things get dropped in the whirlwind romance of life. Like consistency.
Once upon a time I’d have felt guilty for that.
Coming to honour my cycles is a really important step in not beating myself up, and I don’t think I’m alone there. Each of us has cycles and seasons, and for some of us the effects are more pronounced than for others… Have you noticed that? Have you noticed your energy and attention fluctuating with the moon, or the sun?
I definitely go with the seasons, the kiss of the sun on the land… Each season feeding into the other, a circle that repeats every year.
And each year I know a little more, recognise it a little sooner, so the circles become spirals, the same shape but a little further ahead, building a little higher than last time.
At least, that’s my goal.
And so far it seems to be working. I’ve noticed myself wanting to chase all the gorgeous idea-bunnies and remembered to pull myself back to centre. Those inspirations are wonderful, and if I follow them all I’ll forget the garden one been tending.
Do you find this? Do you find you cycle through patterns each day, month, year? Do you tend to overdo it in the summer, like me? Or do you let it go and take a holiday when the sun shines?
This Spring I’ve been nurturing a few writing seedlings which are strengthening day by day. The Enchanted Academy (TEA) with my courses on magic is one, the Crimson Coven is another, and if you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen today that I’ve just signed contracts for two new books!
I decided years ago that I wanted to write books and teach, and that’s the spiral staircase I’m climbing each year… Each revolution, a little further along the path of doing what I love, even when my energy waxes and wanes with the seasons.
Whatever the sun is doing, I keep my dream in mind. If you hold true to who you choose to be then, every season, every revolution, you’ll have spent a little longer doing what feeds your heart’s garden. Don’t let the down times make you forget that.
Oh and learning your cycles and patterns, recognising the flow of the world around you, and learning to work in tune with both, is part of the craft of the witch, too.
In an attempt to get better at this while “making a living writing” thing, may I just remind you that I have books for sale! You can find them in my new online bookshop, Quin’s Books, or at your local bookshop. Or, if you’d like, you can support me on Patreon and unlock bonus audio content and early access to magical writings…
This last year I’ve been dancing and storytelling and studying more than I have been writing.
I’ve been brewing thoughts, and allowing them to percolate. There have been many challenges, and a whirlwind of changes: Two house moves, marriage, turning 30, publishing my book, learning to dance.
My love and I now live in our own caravan! It is a static caravan rather than a mobile home like I dreamed of, but I think it’s better for us. Wales is our home and it is good to have a foundation here. Roots. I’ve been putting down roots, I suppose, choosing where I stand. Reflecting on who I am and where I am.
In my book (Pagan Portals; Your Faery Magic) I talk about some of the thinking behind my beliefs, I philosophise on Faeries and the Feyhearted Path. This is only scratching the surface though! And for a while I’ve been pondering questions, like;
Who and what is The Faery Queen – how does She relate to deities, archetypes, spirits? How does she tie in with the many goddesses that hold the title Faery Queen? She isn’t an archetype, though “Faery Queen” is also an archetype… so what is She? How does she manifest throughout the year? Does she change or it is constant… and what does that mean for her nature?
Who and what is the Faery King? Am I just falling back on my early neo-Wiccan reading when I want to bring Him in too? (Most of the books I got hold of when young and just finding my way were neo-Wiccan, and many of the books I see now are heavily influenced by that, whilst it can be a very useful structure, I don’t want to force energies and beings into a pattern that doesn’t serve them, or me, so what patterns belong to them?) Or is there a good reason for bringing Him in explicitly? (Aside from the fact that he turns up! But just because they come, does that mean we should work together?)
How do these powers/beings/deities(?) relate to deities that share the titles which seems to be their names?
How does this Enchantressing path relate to the Craft? To Priestessing? What are the differences? How do they overlap? Are they all words for the same thing or distinct practices?
How does this honour the land? How does this help my community?
How does my work fit within historical practices and traditions? What is my “lineage”? I’m clearly deeply rooted in neo-pagan structures, practices and attitudes, but that isn’t the only influence. And what does it all mean?
And so on… Alongside continuing practice I’ve been mulling theory, and I’m feeling the urge to start sharing again. I make no promises on how much or how often I’ll post, but I hope that some of these questions are interesting to you, and perhaps you can take them and apply them to your own practices and beliefs for an interesting think! (If you enjoy that kind of thing… not everyone does!)
It being Imbolc over the next few days it feels good to be seeing the seedlings sprout and these questions begin to find the light of day. My Queen wears white now, as do many goddesses at this time of year, and she beckons for us to awaken to ourselves and dance among the snowdrops and hailstones as the light grows and the land begins to stir.