Winter Solstice, weddings and finding the grace in grief.

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me&richThis time last year I was prepping to marry the hot viking on the Winter Solstice. In fact, if I remember rightly, I was actually waiting for my muff to arrive in the post - I had visions of a winter wedding with red stole and muff combo. Sadly, it never arrived and the aforementioned hot viking fashioned me both from red velvet the night before our big day. If I wasn’t already bustin’ with love for the dude, THAT in itself would have been reason to marry him, right?

We’d left the mumma’s house one evening back in late August last year, and I was in tears. Call it daughter’s instinct or SHE-led witch insight - I call it a combination of the two - I knew that she wouldn’t be in her body for the hand fasting we were planning for the following May. So in that moment, the Viking and I brought the paper ceremony, the legal bit, forward to the Winter Solstice and organised a no drama, no fuss, just our close family day o’ magick and wonder, and it was beautiful. So freakin’ beautiful. We got married in a museum. The Viking loves the olden days. We celebrated in the local pub with yummy food and too much wine. We were surrounded by love. So. Much. Love.

As the seasons complete their cycle and 13 moons have past, it’s time to retreat into the darkness of yule. What a cycle it has been. It's been the best of times, it's been the worst of times. I wasn't going to go here, I was going to keep it light, I've pretty much done the subject o' death to...well, death. But I'm raw. I still hurt. I want to howl at the moon. So, I'm showing up, just as I am. Not to ruin your Yuletime/Christmas juju, but just to share. To share my story in as many ways as I can to help my heart heal. Selfish? Possibly. Necessary for me right now? Totally.

us with the mumma, last Winter Solstice

The mumma left her body at Beltane, four weeks before our handfasting ceremony. My pops left his body four weeks before that. And two weeks before that my auntie, my mumma’s sister, who I loved so big and so hard, left her body too. So much sadness, so much grief, so much pain. I've not even began to navigate it. I function. I show up. Sometimes, for a moment, I even forget.  But it can still take my breath away and bring me to my knees. In the supermarket. On the train. In bed. Watching X Factor. I listen to my mumma's voicemail a lot, hoping it'll change into a two way conversation. It never does. Well-meaning people have told me to keep busy as I approach Christmas, saying the first will be difficult, but it’ll get easier. I’m choosing to ignore that, and get still. Because I want to be with it all. I know that while I feel broken, what's actually happening is that I'm being broken open, goddess Akhilanda style. And when we’re broke open, there is ALWAYS an opportunity to grow.

Life is cyclic. Life is shit, life is epic. There are moments o' peace, there are moments o' chaos. It’s the pulse o’ life. And in that pulse, in that refinement that comes as we experience our life lessons, I'm finding grace and gratitude in the grief. Shit, I sound like Oprah.

I’m grateful for a whole lot of stuff that I have been pouring into journal pages since my family members have left their bodies. Lessons they have taught me. Lessons I have learned without them, things I am angry about. I'm grateful for those who have no idea what's going on inside this Lisa-body and meet me where I'm at right now, and feel the love in this raw and vulnerable place. I’m grateful for the friends and family who reach out, I'm grateful for those who wait patiently for a time when I’m not so hurt-y, I'm grateful for those that want the old me back, and because the old me is never coming back, nor are they. But right now, on our first anniversary, I am clasping my hands together and falling into a deep bow at the feet o' my hot Viking. He's so awesome I married him twice this year.

me & rich high fivin

A man who is my greatest teacher, who honours me as a Priestess, and supports me from his big heroic soul. A man who has the biggest heart, who is clever, funny, who totally makes out with my mind on a daily basis and is very hot to look at. I’m honoured to call him my husband and don’t think I’ll ever tire of telling people I’m his wife. I am blessed to be walking this new, uncharted muddy dirt track of a path with my best friend. Dude o’ awesome, I love you.

I also want to reach out with big, extended tattooed arms and thank YOU.

For reading my words, for buying my prods, for taking my courses, and for filling my inbox and facebook feed with words o’ love, insight and support over the last year, I am in deep gratitude for your willingness to share your stories and tell your own truth. It's needed. It's necessary. I’m wishing you so much love for wherever you find yourself at in the deep dark of this mid-winter season. I meet you in THAT place.

The Viking and I are going to hibernate for a few weeks to love, cry, grieve, heal, create, nurture ideas and celebrate, and when the light returns, as it always does, so will we. Kinda like Baby Jesus, except the Viking has way more facial hair.

Blessed Be.