A story about…
Healing the sacred feminine, the challenging experiences that I experienced within Divine Feminine Circles, Healing Spaces and Space Holders.
I would like to preface this sharing with a trigger warning, speaking to abusive mother relationships. Tune into your heart and feel if you have the capacity for this right now.
In sharing my story and experiences this is written with the intention of shifting the wounded divine feminine, not blaming or pointing fingers, this is a reflection and introspection as a whole of how we can invite ourselves into sacred feminine alchemy.
The words swirling within the body for years and heard in multiple spaces…
‘Can’t you simply ignore what she is saying to you?’
‘You must heal your mother wounds to have healthy relation with your mother.’
These statements are something I’ve experienced many times, as I was sharing the wounds around the relationship with my abusive mother. How challenging it has been to navigate setting boundaries with her while continuing to maintain a healthy relationship with the rest of the family.
Within my experiences and many who have come forward in 1:1 sessions within my practice, there is a lot of shame, bypassing and blame to the survivors of abusive mother relationships in sacred spaces of the divine feminine & spiritual communities. Phrases like the ones shared above, enables the abuser, and continues to gaslight the survivor.
I myself have experienced this time and time again and I am hearing more and more heartbreaking stories from other women who are coming into my healing spaces.
I have seen this in plant medicine circles, women circles, divine feminine circles and spiritual communities.
These experiences made me especially afraid to step into women’s circles held by other women. Made me afraid to trust anyone who said that they were working with the Divine feminine. It was hard to even listen to a podcast or to follow someone on social media, who claim to embody and work with the feminine. I began to not trust and question my understanding the divine feminine.
And reflecting on this, I am still deeply unpacking these experiences.
I am still learning how to share my voice around this.
I am still learning how to express myself when I encounter these situations.
And there are still people that I would like to invite for sacred conversation, when they are ready, who have offered the statements above as a response to disclosing the abusive nature of my mother.
The idea that the mother child relationship and bond must stay intact no matter what, even when there is abuse kept me in a very harmful and toxic situation for way too long. Let’s also recognize that abuse can come in many forms, verbal, emotional, spiritual…etc.
Sharing my story, I know there will be some who will reflect and say that this is not me I don’t perpetuate this, but I deeply deeply, invite you to take inventory and reflection. Because when it comes to emotional and mental abuse, it is often ignored and not taken seriously. And quite often myself included, we don’t recognize our conditioning that perpetuates this harm.
The combination of societal pressure and worldview of the mother relationship, lack of understanding when it comes to abuse. It’s only been the last few decades we are now accepting and empowering women and individuals to walk away from partners that are abusive. But why does it stop there? Why do I hide my abuse in the shadows in order to continue to protect myself from the continued gaslighting I receive from society and especially divine feminine based circles. We need to bring this into the light. So that we don’t perpetuate the toxic abusive behaviour within our sacred circles that we are creating.
And even in healing sessions, with practitioners who work with the divine feminine, I’ve experienced some extremely troubling moments, where I was invited to see how I could mend the relationship through my healing. I felt shame around not being able to fix this, I must be doing something wrong. This shame and experiencing was so familiar in my body because it was how I was raised, it was how the abuse conditioned me, and it was the narrative that I have been told from my own mother, my entire life where the blame has always been placed on me.
That I am too sensitive, making things up, exaggerating or argumentative.
And so the abuse cycle continued, not only through the relationship with my mother, but the lack of understanding within our sacred circles. (I know it may feel as if i am generalizing here, and recognize its not everyone) I am not saying this in the light to blame or shame them, because they are working with the very conditioning that they to have been indoctrinated into within this society. What I am saying is, we need folks who work with the feminine and hold space in circles to have more education to have a stronger framework and foundation, especially those who are interested in the trauma informed lens. Especially those who are inviting folks to be vulnerable and cultivate a community of healing and connection.
None of us are perfect and there’s always going to be a little messiness when entering these spaces. But from my experience, and what I’m hearing from others, enough is enough. This is way too messy.
Within divine feminine spaces and practitioners, I’ve experienced a certain way of navigating my wound around the mother. Framing it in a way that there is something I can do to heal within that will change the complete trajectory of the relationship. (This way of navigating contributes to enabling the abuser.) It is also important to note that yes there is healing work for me to do in the sense of learning how to remother myself and forgiveness for myself, and also recognizing that when it comes to abusive relationships, there is often no repairing without extreme intervention and willingness on the other person to recognize that their behaviour is, in fact, inappropriate and abusive. If they are able to take accountability and make those appropriate changes in their behaviours, then mending the relationship may be possible. If that is not present, a conversation of how best to keep yourself safe and protect yourself is needed with the appropriate professionals. Especially a therapist who specializes in these types of situations and understands the abusive nature.
If you are experiencing an abusive relationship it is not your fault. There is nothing you can do to change their behaviour. All your healing work is amazing and can help your move through and reattune your nervous system, but does not change someone else’s behaviours.
Most of the advice I’ve received within these spaces was to do the internal work, and continue to try to engage with my mother. This kept the abuse cycle going for way too long. This kept me in shame of not healing or that I am doing something wrong.
When you’re someone who has experienced abuse in this way, there’s so much self-doubt, lack of self-esteem, and reaching outside of yourself for answers . So when you arrive in spaces or circles of healing, you tend to place others on a pedestal as if everyone else has the answers but you… You may be more inclined to believe that there is something you can do to amend the relationship between you and your mother. Because what you deeply want and need at your core is your mother. Sometimes the divine mother and you are the true mothers in your life.
We need to understand the difference between abuse and conflict. Within conflict there is resolution and it does take all individuals coming together. In abuse, there is an entirely different approach and if the abuser is unwilling to recognize the harm in their actions and take accountability, we must do our best to protect ourselves, and sometimes that means walking away.
I was so desperate for her love and acceptance, consumed by shame in self-blame. When I encountered these conversations in these healing spaces, I really believed that there was something that I could change about myself to make her stop.
It’s only been more recently in the past few years that I have awakened to this continued harm. Because the belief and hope that there was something I could do to invite us into a healthy relationship and stop this behaviour propelled so much more hurt and I reached the point where I couldn’t take it anymore.
I’ve reached the realization that if I continued to engage with this human who gave birth to me, it will eat me up and destroy everything that I have been healing.
I’m afraid that if I continue to try and mend the relationship that I will be giving up my soul and Lifeforce energy. Trust me within the 40 years of walking the earth I’ve tried everything and invested thousands of dollars in therapy and natural medicine, retreats, and healers.
I simply cannot for one more minute, stand in front of the human that gave birth to me while she treats me in this way, after multiple decades of trying to speak out to get her to understand, family interventions, therapy sessions with experts…and the more I do, the more pain that is caused. I am walking away from this relationship and so very tired of the shame that comes my way when I express this in community.
Reconnecting and Awakening Divine Feminine Energy
Recognizing the fear within me and the resistance of working with the divine feminine, this to will cause a disconnect from my healing. Reconnecting to the divine feminine in an embodied way is a deep intention set on my path.
I am ready to reclaim this work to engage with the Divine Feminine energy again. It feels as though the dark feminine awakening guided me into the light. As if my experiences was the medicine for me to embody the divine from within the dark fertile soil to the seed, moving towards the light to bloom.
The invitation that currently moves me is to work with the transmission and teachings that have been passed through my generations, and especially from my grandmother.
I come from a lineage of Mary Devotees. Mother, Mary, and Mary Magdalene. A devotion that has been kept hidden from the Catholic Church for many years yet it’s transmission so powerful no words were needed to understand the power of this devotion. Having many encounters, visions and conversations with the Mary’s, I know how loved we all are within their grace.
I am the descendant of what we call Acadian, a name to describe a culture/a group of people who came to Mi’kma’ki, the Maritime provinces(Canada) from France. Settling and co-creating community with the original peoples of this land. Sharing medicines, wisdom, knowledge, language. Until the traumatic history and Dispultion in 1755. Where our community was separated, many ancestors were deported to the southern US and many of us killed. When the Acadians came to this land, we were escaping war and colonization, many share of the intention of preserving the Mary devotion, alongside, the ancient fairy traditions.
Growing up, my mothers, mother was always holding a rosary. I remember she had rosaries all over the house. She also had a rose in every room. And we would do the rosary together saying our Hail Marys. The Marys came to me many times throughout my teen years into my adulthood. Supporting me in times of need and of great pain. And I am still learning all the ways and guidance from this essence. She continues to support me. I am now opening myself to working with the rosary again after pushing everything that I believed to be linked with Catholicism away. I’m learning that the practice of the rosary had nothing to do with the Catholic Church. It was a practice they took on and this practice, including the Hail Mary prayer pre-dated Christianity. I am ready to reclaim this practice again. To find a way to heal my wounds that was created, through Christianity and in the name of the divine mother.
I’ll never forget the last few years of my grandmother’s life visiting her in the seniors home in the early 2000s. Rosary in hand, and shelf with angels Marys and ROSES. “ I am ready and know exactly where I’m going.” She would say, squeezing my hand with love. I now see she was speaking about being held by the mother; going back into the womb. She had no fear of crossing over.. Every time she squeezed my hand and shared her statement my heart prayed that she would go there soon.
The divine feminine mother lives within us all, this is the medicine that is awakening within my being through my beautiful grandmother and our continued relationship.
How we uphold our intentions and values in sacred circles:
I know that in every sacred circle, there are beautiful, and good intentions. Intentions to uplift, to validate to witness the beauty, empower each other, and support each other on the path. Perhaps there’s even an intention of being trauma informed, as the spaces can be extremely vulnerable.
To become the embodiment of our intention within the sacred circles we must listen.
We must be curious when we encounter our wounds through interacting within these spaces.
This is the work.
When leading these spaces, an essential component is to lean into uncomfortable conversations, especially when someone is trying to inform you of the harm they feel is being caused.
Become curious as to why someone has perhaps left the space don’t be afraid to reach out let folks know that you welcome reflections. Making it very clear that there is no judgment.
I know it’s not always easy when someone calls you in or is triggered by something you said or how you showed up in circle especially when leading. I found myself in this place, having very uncomfortable conversations.
And the one thing I do is pause.
Hear their perspective.
And what I’ve discovered in the situations, is that I have often not offered enough clarity to what I was saying, or needed to go deeper into the nuances.
There are times when I have taken missteps.
I needed to shift my behaviour or patterning.
I am grateful for all of those incredible humans for being brave enough to call me in.
It all comes back to our values.
I know how I want to show up walking this earth in my whole being.
My values are even written on my website. They are not only something that I say; these values continue to guide my action when I feel lost; when I need to pause and reflect on the next steps. My values are the lighthouse on the stormy nights. And the more I engage with taking action from this place, my being will continue to embody the depths of my values in the fullest expression.
I encourage everyone I work deeply with to engage with their values to become what they wish to see in the world. What it means to be the living embodiment of their values.
A powerful experience and invitation when we come together in circle is to share our values out loud, perhaps together, and come up with a list of values that hold the sacred container. Something that can guide the group as a whole. This can also be a way to unite in moments of conflict, to explore how values are expressed within each individual, and find better ways to walk this path together.
It is not always easy to walk away from spaces that do not share the same values or are not open to your feelings. I am so proud of you for staying true to yourself. Keeping yourself safe from harm. Offering yourself what you need.
If you are a space holder, as I have been since 2002, for sacred circles and healing, keep going, listening, have the conversations and be the living embodiment of your values.
Also, a thank you to The Time of the Feminine Podcast for these wounds and the story shared above are finding alchemy through your guests, your transmission and your sacred mission. I honour you, sisters. Love you so very much. Highly recommend this podcast as an invitation to guide you deeper on the path.
Hi, I’m Natalie.
Spending as much time as possible with the forest and ocean that surrounds me, talking to the trees and animals.
The spaces I offer as an Embodiment Guide are trauma-informed, unlearning oppressive systems and decolonizing spiritual practices. The invitation of our time together is for you to deepen your connection, and wisdom, embodying your medicine. Working with folks who are here on a path of healing, space holders, guides, and changemakers.
If you are curious about the work I do and would like to connect, you can: