Priestess of Light

Finduilas by Elena Kukanova

I love autumn. I love standing by my window and observe the sunlight on trees, feel their glittering colors inside of me.

The sun is slipping behind the mountains earlier with each passing day. Frost is in the air and I look to the mountains for signs of snow. I feel more in touch with the unseen world with the fall of darkness. Watching for signs of spirits walking among us.

***

It’s been hard to update this blog. I suppose I’ve been feeling somewhat uprooted since I moved from Norway to Slovenia, and even when I have something to say I stop myself from sharing.

I’ve been working on my novel nearly every day though, that I’ve titled Priestess of Light, though it might change later on. We write what we want to read, and I’ve always wanted a story about someone trying to follow the will of the gods, even as she struggles with her faith after having lost everything.

I wanted to write a book where the Goddess felt alive. A loving and powerful deity, very much present in the world. Walking alongside people, touching their hearts. I didn’t want her to seem distant and cold, as she sometimes seems to me in stories I’ve read. I wanted her to be a bright, burning candle in someone’s life.

I’ve longed to know the Goddess since the first time I read about her in a book, and yet not knowing how to pray. But before that, I didn’t even know she existed. I’d been praying to God…just because it felt good to do so. I longed for a connection with something greater than myself. A force that felt present in nature, in the sky and stars. A force I could speak to at night, or just before sunset, watching the colors shift on the horizon.

Having both the God and Goddess in my life, I feel more balanced. Like I’m a child of the Earth and Sky.

I dreamed of a world where there were people in white robes, living and learning magic at a temple of white stone. Singing by a lake, arranging flowers and bringing them to the feet of the Goddess. Looking to the mountains for strength. So I’ve been creating that world in my writing. Of course, there’s darkness too. A dragon rising up to blot out the sun, and how can our heroine defeat such a force?

It feels good to write out the ideas and images that have been floating in my heart and mind for years now. There’s healing in letting go.

***

The sky is darkening, and rain is in the air. There are many days of rain on the horizon and I’m looking forward to the sinking inwards that come with such grey days, the sense of cleansing that water brings. I’m looking to fall into the darkness of November and light many candles, participate in Nanowrimo.

New horizons

Frank Leonard Stick – A Viking Mother (1929)

I woke up early yesterday before the stars had fully dimmed, and the moon was still in the sky. I watched it slowly fade as the sun rose, become a ghost moon, waning slowly.

Spring has arrived in full force. There are wildflowers everywhere, blue and white anemones, primroses, crocuses, – the world is a carpet of beauty. I went for a walk by the lake with friends, and the wonders around me made me almost afraid. Afraid to miss out, that spring would fade before I could take it all in. This is such a lovely time, before the rush of tourist, before the heat. The air is still quite cool when the sun isn’t out. And I will miss out on some of it, – I’m going to the US for a few weeks, and I fear the snow will be gone from the mountains by the time I return. I could gaze at those mountains forever. 

It’s been a long, somewhat difficult winter. Spring feels like a relief, though also a bit painful. Things tend to be stirred up. It hurts to break open.

My writing and thoughts have changed since I moved to Slovenia. I feel I have to find a new way of being, and not look for the old. I’m no longer quite so immersed in nature, but instead I have the love of friends around me. And I get to walk by the river. But I feel quieter somehow. This place is gentler than the old North. I’m no longer shaken to my soul by wind and storms and cold rain, and dark mountains. Dark forests. Air and lakes and rushing waterfalls that feel like crystal. Clear and sharp. 

Instead, there’s a gentler, in some ways even lovelier beauty here. But I feel less stirred into writing about everything I see around. The forest is no longer at my doorstep.
And I wonder if I should share more about the project I’m working on. That I’ve been working on for a long time now. In a sense, I feel I’m learning how to write. How to write a novel. It’s a wonderful though at times difficult journey. And it furthers my healing from all the loss I’ve been through. I feel I’m still guarding some great, old wound. It feels like holding onto poison, not quite knowing how to release it. There are things I went through that I’ve never spoken of. That I was unable to actually voice because it was too horrible and involved people I love. And moments that I’ve just glazed over because it hurts too much to dwell on them. I’ve never fully looked into what those events did to me. It’s easier to explore them through fiction. 

But I’m also exploring beauty. Things I wish for. Like an ancient white temple by a cold lake, and of course white mountains beyond. And what would it be like to live the life of a priestess? To follow the will of the gods….the courage and joy and pain that would involve. 

Wishing you a beautiful spring or autumn!

Winter light

I’ve been watching the moon grow a bit each day. A new moon shining behind dark clouds. 

Last Sunday I sat among winter shadows and winter light. Snow was falling, like ice, making music on the frozen ground. When I continued walking, a white field stretched out before me, and I could feel the cold light going through me, pale as snow. Sometimes I think I love winter light most of all….but that might change come spring. And oh how I long for spring! 

Colours

I was in love with pink for a while, and still am. But it came into my life very gently, like the moment before dawn. A blush of rose on the horizon. One lonely star looking back at me. It was all I could manage. The softest hint of color. The lightest brush of love against my guarded, and very bruised heart. I like to think it was the healing touch of the Goddess. She still seems to me like the most beautiful, pink and crystal light.

I was so lost. I wasn’t living. I was buried inside of myself. I remember sitting on the train home one night and knowing very well that I wasn’t living my life. I didn’t know how. I was frozen solid. And I was waiting, wondering when….when will I be able to live again?

Now I want joy. That’s a beginning. Before the longing for joy wasn’t even there. Now I want it very much. I want freedom. More color in my life. I remember how light I felt as a child. How easily laughter bubbled up from my stomach. Now my body is aching and hurting from some strange tension I can’t seem to release. But as I look deeper I see a murkiness, like a dark lake that I haven’t looked into before. Another layer of my past.

And writing is my lifeline out of those murky waters. Out of myself.

New beginnings

 

I need small moments of beauty, of wonder. An overcast sky with the sun coming through, seagulls floating in the distance, white feathers catching the light. To wake up in the morning to their call, knowing that the ocean is close by. 

Christmas has passed. It was a beautiful time for me, especially Advent and the Winter Solstice. Christmas itself is always rather painful since I miss my family, and I feel a pressure to be happy. That I should be happy when instead I’m hurting. It still surprises me that I feel this way after so many years. Maybe you can relate?

My husband and I are spending a few days on the coast of northern Italy. Really, we’re not doing much….just being away from things. Reflecting on the year to come. I walk by the ocean, even though the city is yelling in my ears. I need to be near water – it calms me. And I love watching the ocean. The endless blue, or stormy grey. Its voice that pulls and tugs on me without words, just a deep longing I can’t quite name.

I also wanted to start writing again, because I fell out of my routine during Christmas. And I don’t feel quite right without words and stories in my head.

When I write, something rushes in. A white, beautiful magical wind. I remember to breathe. I remember to listen. The Goddess feels closer – a soft, pink feather in my heart. A gentle smile.

Not sure what else to add. Italy is nice, though I’m not very good at sightseeing. I usually just end up at a cafe, or I aimlessly walk around watching the ocean, or the decorations in the shop windows.

Just wanted to update this blog because I often start on a post and then never finish it. I suppose I put pressure on myself to write something interesting, and then all my words fall away.

A lovely blog of comics that resonate so much with me 

What I truly want

My voice froze in me, as it easily does if I let it. My writing journey has been a long, spiritual thaw for me. But when I don’t share because I fear it’s not good enough, or even stupid, it’s like my voice became very small. Stuck in my throat.

But I’m also not sure what I want to share. My life has changed in strange, wonderful ways since I moved from Norway to Slovenia. And there is a different kind of magic here that I’m learning to listen to and interpret. A glittering, gentle presence. The wild stormy sky and dark forest at my doorstep is no more. But in their stead is a warmth that I’m drawing into my bones. Friends and beauty, and a brighter sun that rises early, even in winter.

I’ve been working on getting up early, in the moments before dawn. I’ve been drawn to spirituality and the divine since I was a little girl. I would speak to God as a child because it made me feel safe. The stars were gods gazing back at me. The sky spread out before me was a great, friendly voice that spoke of love. And in the darkness before dawn, I want to listen to the quiet voice in my heart, and light a candle at the feet of the Goddess. I want to be a guided by a clear, steady knowing. I want to be free of the clouds of doubt and worry. There’s a voice ringing through my soul and I want to follow its song.

I want to be a priestess of the Goddess.

That’s why I’m writing a novel about a priestess, and writing my way through old grief. I’m dissecting the path I’m so drawn to step onto, and that also leaves me confused. I need a way to express the thoughts and feelings that move through me. Images of beauty that I wish were real. It would be wonderful to spend time in a white temple by a dark lake. White mountains at my back. To sing worship to the Goddess in everything that I do. To have magic at my fingertips. 

It’s taking too long. Writing this book. It’s a spiral journey in ever tightening circles and there’s a lot to overcome within me to be able to put words to the page. It’s a wonderful, magical path when I stop putting pressure on myself. It’s so easy to want to be more than I am, right now, move quickly forward to be worthy to spend time doing the things I love. It makes me very anxious when something is taking so long. Doubt fills me. But I have to write. There’s a clear, almost stern voice telling me there’s no other way. A strong core of stone at my heart. My thoughts are fretful, anxious wings beating against stone, and I know, deep down, that I’m safe. 

The world is all white outside my window. White upon white. The snow continues to fall, and I find myself dreaming of a white Christmas. Wishing you a beautiful Advent time. May the light shine in the darkness. A candle forever lit in your heart. 

After the Equinox

Artist – Valeri Tsenov

The equinox has passed, and autumn is deepening. The mountains are full of color, and when I go for evening walks they seem cloaked in a misty blue. I go to the river more times than not. I sit and watch the water, and leaves falling from trees, dropping into the current below. I see silver fish gleaming against grey river stones. There’s so much beauty in the details of things, and in the simple shift of the seasons. When I stay quiet long enough and listen, I hear my heart speaking to me. And I’m still learning to trust that voice, to know what is guidance, and what’s merely fluttering, confusing thoughts.  

I celebrated the Equinox with friends. We did a ceremony together in a circle, around a fire. A man with a sword guarded the entrance to the circle, and words were spoken that I gathered up like pearls of light to carry with me into the darkness. We sang songs and watched the sun setting golden against the mountains, and though I was very tired, I tried to take in the feeling of that autumn sky, the fading colors of the last light. 

Autumn might be my favorite season. There is something uniquely beautiful about yellow and red trees, about the golden light and the sun so low on the horizon. I find it very poetic, – the crisp air and the slow falling into darkness, the approach of the Winter Solstice. 

My husband and I went to Vienna for a few days last week. It was nice to get away for a bit, to see new things and to reflect on my life. I wanted to explore the city more, but a tiredness had gone into me and I felt a little sick. There was also a lot of construction noise right outside our window, but I drowned it in rain. 

A beautiful black cat visited me almost every day. He scared me at first. I didn’t expect to find big, green eyes to be staring at me through the glass door, in the half-light. And we were on the third floor…and I had no idea how he had found his way to our patio. But there he was. Such a beautiful cat. 

Did you celebrate the equinox? Wishing you a beautiful autumn, or spring! 

 

 

 

Darkness

Artist – Sulamith Wulfing

I step into the sunlight. The cold air. Watching the steep mountains, the mist touching the dark forest. It’s been raining for days. Thunder darkened the sky yesterday and it never fails to give me a secret thrill, that sense of power in the air, the thunder gods, stories from my childhood, so very close,

I swear there is a presence in the thunder, in the lightning. Something is drawing very close, almost touching the earth. I would stand in the storm if I could, stand on a hill and watch it approaching, feel the wind in my hair, electricity in the air. If I knew it would be perfectly safe to do so.

I’m not sure what to say today. Sometimes I feel broken open, old things spilling out, things to let go of, but I’m not sure how. I feel my life has become a series of lessons that I need to learn, to understand. Maybe it’s like that for everyone? I’m trying to interpret the messages in my dreams, in my daily life. I’m squinting at words taking shape on a page, trying to understand, to bring them into my heart.

I got up so early this morning. Even before the first light. I stared at nothing for a while, wondering what to do. Wondering what has woken me. And then I got up, pulled on a warm robe and lit a candle in the other room. I prayed and listened and tried to be calm. There is a silence reaching to the edge of the world at that hour, before dawn, before breaking, a silence I can draw into my heart, like soft, dark tendrils. Like velvet smoke.

I sang a mantra, and as I did I opened my eyes and watched the flickering candle, the statue of the Goddess Freya behind it. Her shadow shone onto the white wall behind her, a greater Goddess rising up, showing herself through darkness and fire.

This is the time of darkness, of the warrior Goddess, of shadow and flame. The Equinox is approaching. Will you celebrate it?

Sharing this video because it reminds me of magic, of home. Of the cold north and mists on lakes, and strange things moving beyond our sight. Jonna Jinton also shared how she stood among thick mists one midsummer night, hearing many voices that soon faded into nothing…

First cold

Autumn is here, slowly, gently taking hold of the trees, the sky. The air that I breathe. I love it so much. It’s a time of warm sweaters, of fire and frost. I have a candle burning on my desk as I write this. More candles now. More light in the coming darkness.

I have dreams that I keep in my heart, though I know the world is a fragile place and anything might happen, might change. But what would I do? Without dreams? 

I leave my window open as I write this, happy that I no longer have to close it against the heat, against the noise of construction work down below. The world is falling silent.

I brought with me a picture from Norway, that I bought at one of those cozy, soulful cafes I visited. It sits on my desk now, an image of an autumn lake, dark trees around it, stormy skies.

Lately, I’ve been looking forward to mornings because I feel the best then. My energy tends to run out later in the day. But mornings are fresh and gentle, and I walk more softly through the rooms of my apartment, drinking tea. I like to write and dream, and that too feels like stepping between rooms, between worlds. I try to listen to that quiet voice inside, which needs so much silence to be heard. And a lot of the time it’s telling me something unexpected, something that is wonderful and yet hard to believe. Peace it whispers, but I’m not sure I can let go and believe in it. There are so many things to worry about…

Reading 

I’ve been reading Deep in the Far Away, which I recommend to anyone who loves beauty, love, magic. This book is very special because as I leaf through it I find flowers between its pages, and messages of love, which I touch, hold onto, like beautiful wishes. I felt a bit teary eyed and stressed out one night, and curled up in bed with this beautiful book, and felt much better. Comforted. I think we can bring some light into the world through the things we create.

Rain and snow 

I’m listening to the rain, singing, singing outside my window, above the mountains. The forest is veiled in mist. I want it to keep raining for a while longer. Somehow it protects me from the world, from myself, wraps me in my own quiet space. It’s like coming back to myself. The sun can ask so much, too much sometimes. Though soon enough, I will long for that too. The other evening I was surprised to see snow on the most distant mountains. They shone white in the gathering darkness, and I was alone in the streets, watching them. I stood there for a time, leaning into that distant cold, feeling it coming closer, closer.  

I become more aware of the light, as the dark season falls slowly, like a curtain onto the world. I step outside and watch the sky, the sun shining through the mist. But I’m not so worried about it here. I don’t have to cling to the light, not knowing when I will see it again. When the sun will show itself again. Here in this place, the sun is warmer, stronger, a more constant presence. I’m not sure why I long for darkness, the cold northern wind. In my mind, it makes no sense. I tell myself it makes no sense. I suppose I will always be longing for something else, no matter where I am.

But the more time I spend in nature, the more walks I take, the more I soften, fall in love with this place all over again. Yesterday I walked in the last bit of sun before it hid behind the mountains. The air was cold, the trees golden at their tips. I sat by the river and saw light reflected in it, saw that black and white bird dive into the water, come back up, dive in again. It would jump onto a rock, dance a bit, then throw itself back into the river. 

I continued walking past sun flowers, moon colored flowers, blushing apples on low branches. I’m held in quiet beauty, here in this place. It eases my longing for the north, though when I found a side path my heart beat with longing, rising towards those dark trees, the darker mountains beyond, the forest. But it only took me to the river, and I could not reach deeper into the woods.

Last night a storm blew outside my apartment, howled in the trees, throwing rain against my windows. I loved it. I sat safely on my bed, reading, writing, listening. Thunder shook the sky. Lightning flashed. Slovenia has the best storms. 

Sharing a song that I’m sure you know, but that will forever make me think of Slovenia. Edelweiss is their national flower. 

And a song that I listen to in the mornings, when I need gentle hope.

And now I’m here

Artist – Kim-Yoon-Hee

I used to write here so much, and now I don’t. I guess things change, and maybe they will change again. And maybe I will find a way not to worry about what people might think, or if what I write is good enough, stupid, worth sharing. I’m always afraid to say the wrong thing, and I’m also afraid to look at my own writing, which is something I’m working on. It feels like a process in forgiving myself, my mistakes, who I am. In being open to the world and to learning. I guess I compare myself too much to others. And look too much to what others are thinking, doing, instead of finding a center to rest in, within myself. I would like to make a temple that I can walk into, light a candle, be safe, within my own heart. To make it strong enough so it won’t crumble at the smallest look, thought, word. I want to conserve my energy for the things that truly matter. 

I went for a walk today and asked the land what it had to teach me. Quiet it said. And I knew I needed to be here. There are so many times I have ideas about what I want, where I should be. When I returned from the US to Norway, I first wanted to live in a city that I have many happy memories from. But after looking at a few places, I turned to my husband saying; “I just want nature. Silence.” So we searched elsewhere instead. In the western part of Norway at first, where there are steep mountains that I find very beautiful. But something was steering me towards the south, to gentler landscapes, more open sky, more sunlight. And we ended up in a lovely place, where I found silence, people, healing. 

Also when I walked today I felt autumn in the air. An early darkness because the sun was already behind the mountains. There were storm clouds, rain. I walked and felt the flashes of lightning right above me, one after another. I swear I felt the heat of that lightning, and I turned around quickly, rushing home. 

I’ve learned that no matter where I go, I will miss something about the places I’ve been. I think it will always be like this. Wishing you a beautiful September. 

Home again

I’m home in Slovenia now, after a beautiful trip to Norway to visit family, to visit those high mountains and shining lakes. I ached to breathe that fresh, clear air, to be part of that wild sky I love so much. It rained heavily when we left to return to Slovenia, which made it easier to let go and cross the ocean to Denmark. I was weary too. It’s good to be back.  

The trip

We drove along many narrow, winding roads in Norway, and I sat with a hand to my heart because all that beauty hurt me in a wonderful way. It felt like my heart was opening, like a creaking door. 

There are mountains, forests, and lakes. Rushing waterfalls. There’s always a lake close to the road, shimmering in the sunlight, or the ocean itself, tucked between fjords. 

We slept in a tent in the high mountain, where there are no trees, only moss and heather, and dark lakes. I was cold there and woke up in the night to see a billion stars above me, the silence of the mountain pressing against me, the sound of falling water trickling into my ears. We had camped close to a large patch of cotton grass which shone like drops of snow in the morning. I walked into the sun to warm myself and gathered a bouquet of them. They have such a simple, gentle beauty to them, and remind me of my childhood at our cabin. 

I also gathered heather to bring with me home. I love its purple flowers, its honey scent, its fairy magic. It’s one of the loveliest plants I know. At times I felt I could hardly breathe going for walks, especially in the mountain, – there was just so much to take in. I became very silent, falling to my knees in worship…I curled up on the moss by a glittering lake, letting it fill my ears, my eyes, breathing in sweetness, the warm sun. I only wish there had been more time to walk further along those trails, to see where the next bend would lead. 

I’m weary and full of happy memories, and some difficult ones too, which tends to go into the mix; But I’m learning to see moments of difficulties like gifts dropped into my lap, for me to hold and turn over, look at more closely. I try to remember to listen and to learn, even though it can be painful. 

I felt the beginning of autumn in Norway. I saw how the birch leaves were turning yellow, how the mountain grass was a burnt bronze, and how dark the lakes seemed. I brought home teas and honey, so I will remember.  

Reflections

Even now I ache for the wilderness I knew, the darkness that seemed at the edge of everything. Maybe one day I will return to it and stay. But for now, I’m here, in a different kind of beauty. A gentler beauty, kinder with more flowers. And yet….and yet I feel I’ve left part of my heart behind, and I try to remember that winter is coming and that Slovenia is a better place to face it. Less dark, with sunny days closer together. It was in May this year that I felt such a deep longing to be in Norway, leaving me more restless the further along we went into summer, into the simmering heat. I needed the north then, to breathe colder air, to walk up into the mountains….I just haven’t found any place that makes me feel the same as those mountains, high up, close to the sky. The water there taste like starlight, and there are glaciers, shining blue in the distance. Kings and queens of ice and cold. But it is very lovely to be back in my own place, to rest. I feel refreshed and very tired. I want to listen. I sense I went through a story, a chapter in a book that makes up my own life, and I need to sort through all the lessons given to me and to know what to do next. 

I wonder as I write this if what I long for the most are places almost untouched by people. Places untamed. I love the mountains because there’s almost no one there, only a few cabins, sometimes a road. You can feel nature speaking to you in its great, powerful voice, not tired out by people. In a way this makes me sad, because it makes me notice how polluted some places are, how beaten down. This is what I mean by wilderness. That place that is still brimming with spirits, magic, life. And at the same time, I feel that maybe I shouldn’t write this. There are so many lovely places. Places that touch my heart and fill me with beauty. But the mountain is different, – it shakes my soul. 

Maybe the things we grew up with has a special place in our hearts. 

Good night

I will go to sleep now, listening to the sound of rain and hopefully thunder. I returned home to mist and darkening mountains, which felt like friends. There are so many thoughts and feelings running through me. So many things have happened. I’m ready to welcome Autumn, dark and silence. Good night 🙂 

Sharing this 

And this, because it gives voice to the northern mountains, their chill and cold, and power 

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