The women in my family absolutely wear the pants. My grandmother on my mom’s side (Mammy) was one of six sisters. My mother is an only child like me, but has many cousins who I call my aunties. They carry a lot of masculine sun energy -- they are boisterous, drink and swear like sailors, pack award-worthy love-to-roast ratios, and typically run the show with an iron fist in their households. They are resilient and they love hard. Traditions wax and wane but there’s one that’s stood the test of time.
Our family plant has been passed down and out to women in our family for generations -- at least 100 years. Traditionally, when a woman in the family gets her first apartment or home, she gets a piece of the plant. This thing is remarkably resilient. My mom’s side of the family is known for their green thumbs… but me, not so much. If it dies, you just give it a little water and sun and it comes back. If you forget to water it for a week, no problem. It’s a wood sorrel, technically, but just “the family plant” to us. It looks a bit like a clover, closes up at night, and sprouts pretty pink flowers if you take really good care of it.
Mammy, who had the greenest thumb of them all, passed in July 2020 to COVID-19 after being a long victim of Alzheimer’s disease. I had just moved thousands of miles from home to Miami, and was stuck grieving alone – and worse yet leaving my mother grieving alone -- in the middle of a pandemic. My aunt, Mammy’s sister and a diligent keeper and giver of family plants, owed me one for a few months and finally sent it over, along with dozens of photos of my grandma when she was alive. I spent the rest of that evening in tears, looking through photos with soil under my nails. I didn’t get to know my grandmother -- or our family history -- after my pre-teen years because of Alzheimer’s. This was how I got to know her as a fully cognizant adult.
For years, I’ve wanted to tattoo the family plant on my back. It’s not a rose or a colorful flower, but it is so deeply rooted and symbolic of my family. Losing Mammy renewed my vision with full force, though my idea of the tattoo had changed bit by bit over the years while I waited for the right artist and the right financial situation to come to me.
Regina Perez (@regperez on IG), an intuitive tattoo artist based in Miami, packed more meaning into this tattoo than I could have ever imagined. A little bit about her, from the bio on her website:
“What I want most with tattooing is connection. I want to offer something different in this industry, something more intimate and magical. I want the pieces that we design together to be only for you. For your journey. Your pain. Your healing. Your body. I want them to have a purpose… I want to encourage you to dig deep and see what comes up. How can I help you? Even if it’s only a little. I offer space. And comfort. I offer to sit and listen to your story, your motivation, your WHY; even if there are no words.”
Over email we spoke about the must-have elements of the tattoo and the story behind it. I told her the basics about the plant. I told her I may want something symbolic of my move to Miami -- my first time moving away from home -- or maybe something spiritual. Crystals, lavender, and other caricatures of my spiritual awakening are symbolic of my time in Miami, because had I not been here alone in the midst of a pandemic, I never would have found these things.
My appointment happened to fall on a full moon in Virgo -- a powerful time to cleanse the mind in body, and specifically, releasing trauma -- a synchronistic last-minute cancellation that Reg fit me into.
When I arrived, she had the plant drawn out for me AND MY ENTIRE ASTROLOGICAL CHART MAPPED OUT with notes and questions for me. No word of a lie, she must have spent hours doing this. She had the plant mapped out with anatomically accurate roots reaching downward and outward, but waited to add the final component before learning more about me.
We brainstormed a handful of spiritual symbols, whose meanings didn’t quite fit: a triangle, a circle, a snake. I mentioned, again, the full moon -- for which I brought a bunch of moonstones (graciously from @powerful_divine) to gift to Reg and to focus my intentions with. She looked at my chart and told me there’s a LOT of feminine moon energy in it. So we added in a crescent moon, but it still needed something. The moon is of feminine energy — which is intuitive, emotional, nurturing, reflective, and grounded.
With the moon, it still needed something. Reg proposed an intentional number of dots. We went through the numbers one through ten, trying to find the best fit. We settled on 10 -- a symbol of completion. In my chart, she told me, there were indicators that I would be the one to end cycles of ancestral trauma.
I’m trying… but what if it’s not me? My mom healed her mother wounds, and I am healing mine (and maybe, still, some of hers). We heal a little more with every generation... but what if I’m not the one to end it?
“Is that really the energy you want to put out there?” Reg asked me. “What if you ARE? You’re working on it. Listen to yourself.”
I’ve always been a healer, for better or for worse -- fixing men, solving others’ problems, taking up less space so that others who need it can take up more… and also, practicing deep empathy, listening and intentionally understanding, being honest, loving, and forgiving, and sharing burdens. Like yin and yang.
I am, in fact, ending a cycle of generational trauma — this doesn’t mean something awful happened to me. I can’t point to one traumatic event that “messed me up” because there wasn’t one. I grew up a lot safer than my mother and her mother. It’s the little mannerisms, thought patterns, negative energy, fears, and anxieties that we subconsciously pick up from our families as we grow up. If we don’t acknowledge and heal from that, we hold it. And if we hold it, we risk passing it on and on and on.
The moon and its 10 dots separate the roots, my ancestors and their trauma… and the flowers, which is maybe me? Or my immediately living family? Or all of us (all of the present family energy), from creation to current? This tattoo develops more meaning every day I think about it.
The roots ground me to the beautiful bloodline I’ve blossomed from. I will always be connected to my family and especially the women in my life that I love because of this plant and this tattoo. We are all healing together.
Despite this deep, feminine bond we have, I sometimes feel like a black sheep in my family. I talk like them, laugh like them, love like them, demand respect like them, and boss men around like them… but I’m different from my mom’s side. These Irish-Catholic ladies can drink me under the table, for better or for worse, but that’s not the point. My mom is one of the strongest and most loving people I know -- but she’s is definitely Scorpio. She buries her emotions (the traditional Irish-Catholic way) and removes negativity from her life as if it never existed. I, on the other hand, have always needed to talk about and “solve” my feelings. We feel differently and heal differently, like yin and yang, moon and sun, masculine and feminine. My conversations with this part of my family haven’t yet reached these depths, but I wish I could heal all their burdens. They don't know this about me.
There is a long history of generational and ancestral trauma on my mom’s side, and some really notable events on my dad’s side. We grew up in Massachusetts, just an hour’s drive from some hauntingly historical places -- Salem, Boston, Plymouth Rock… the list goes on. I am blood-related to one of the accused witches killed in Salem -- the famous Rebecca Nurse. We are descendants of a family who came over on the Mayflower, where a pregnant woman’s husband fell off the ship and was never found.
Of my direct descendants, I’m the first to go to college. I’m the first to go to therapy. I might be the first to truly acknowledge the ancestral trauma we carry.
I don’t have to solve all our problems and heal every member of my family to complete the cycle. It starts with awareness, and healing as we go. My daughter will heal because I healed because my mom healed because her mom healed… Through my education, shadow work, and a category I like to call “whatever else works” (crystals, meditating, tarot, intuition…) I am healing every day. Sometimes it’s beautiful and sometimes it’s really, really painful.
This tattoo started as a tribute to the women in my family. It still is, but it’s so much more, thanks to Reg. While she was tattooing me, I used the energies of several crystals for healing emotional wounds and ancestral wounds – rhodonite and rainbow obsidian… labradorite for anxiety… and several moonstones for new beginnings (all from @powerful_divine on IG). Over and over again, especially during the parts that brought the most pain, I affirmed out loud: “I release the trauma of my ancestors. I release the trauma of my ancestors. I release the trauma of my ancestors.”
I put ink into my body to release the trauma of my ancestors. I put ink into my body to honor the strong women who suffered, persevered, and loved. I put ink into my body as a reminder that I am a healer by nature and by the stars. As above, so below.
Energy healing is very new to me. It still takes some sort of concerted effort to focus -- or unfocus? -- in order to feel and understand the benefits of crystal healing, reiki, smoke cleansing, even meditating. It’s hard to clear the mind and open the body to these experiences. But, I’ve found myself consistently being drawn to these sorts of settings.
In a very on-brand Galentine’s Day, the girls and I took a spiritual outing to my trusted crystal healer’s home, where we were schedule to participate in tarot and oracle readings from Cyn (@powerful_divine on IG) and aura cleanses from her friend and colleague, Dawn (@iam_mysticalmermaid on IG). That night was one of the most powerful, meaningful, and invigorating spiritual experiences of my journey thus far.
We arrived to Cyn’s house with wine and a cookie pie, and were met with assorted treats to share. The space was decorated beautifully with peace in mind -- a tapestry on the ground that reminded me of a mandala, spiritually calming music playing in the background, the smell of incense or sage, and a massage-style table lined with crystals. These healers had also laid out their crystal and jewelry products for us to browse, as well. Can I do this every weekend??
Our night began with a glass (or three) of wine, a laid back conversation about our zodiac signs, how cool crystals are, and the importance of protecting your energy. The feminine energy was IMMACULATE, very powerful and empowering.
I volunteered to go first for the aura cleanse. After an emotionally exhausting week, I felt I needed a little healing before being able to fully receive any messages from the universe during my reading thereafter.
Immediately, Dawn had this kind, nurturing vibe to her. She moves slowly and carefully and radiates warmth. I laid down on the table, covered with lots of selenite and other crystals around a shape where a body would go. Surrounded by calming and protecting crystals, Dawn told me a little bit about what she would be doing.
Your aura is the energy field that surrounds your body, three to four inches above the skin, she explained. Your aura has energetic points throughout it, especially as it relates to the seven chakras. As you tumble through life, you pick up “spiritual debris” from others’ and your own thoughts and experiences. Like washing your hair, it’s important to clear it out here and there to allow your own spiritual energy to flow freely and allow you to live your best life. An aura cleanse uses tools including crystals, the practitioner’s hands, smoke, and other forms of energy to clear away that spiritual debris.
The table was lined with black tourmaline/obsidian and selenite. Selenite is one of my favorite rocks, a powerful energy cleanser and charger, so much so that it is one of few stones that hardly needs to be charged, and in fact can charge other crystals. Dawn calls it “a natural cleanser, like spiritual soap.” Black tourmaline is a protective stone, and is also great at clearing blockages.
She asked about my water intake, I told her my body is 90% wine at the moment. She handed me a polished black tourmaline wand and a raw selenite wand to hold in each hand. For balance, she said. I instantly felt relaxed. (Side note: I later bought myself one of each and love it to help me regulate my emotions). She then placed different crystals, lots of selenite, down my body. A tumbled one on my third eye, a small wand on my throat, one over my heart, a large plate over my sternum, at my navel, a small wand across my pelvic-ovary area, small pieces on my knees and ankles…
She guided me through my breathing at first as she worked, deep breath in, deep breath out. I smelled some sort of smoke blend, and heard her blowing over it. I closed my eyes and fell into a very relaxed meditative state. Almost asleep. I felt warmth around my body at certain points -- maybe the transmutation of energy, maybe from the smoke blend. Maybe both? I felt her hands moving over me, and I felt her grab and lightly squeeze my ankles -- I’m not sure why, but it just felt right to me, too.
It was incredibly relaxing like an energetic massage, despite the fact that she hardly touched my physical body. We later spoke about how it works, and what she could tell me about my aura and blockages -- let me answer the questions you probably have as we go.
“It’s like a spiritual oil change. I use the selenite wand to cut any karmic cords attached to energetic points in your aura. Then I cleanse and perform a ‘spiritual surgery’ with a black obsidian tool sewing up the energetic hole and sending Reiki to be guided to wherever the healing needs to go.”
She explained to me that I had some attachments near my ovaries and sacral chakra -- either a result or a cause of codependency I’ve experienced in past relationships. She’s not the first person to tell me that. It definitely got me thinking. She spent some extra time there, she said, working to cut those cords.
But how do you know where to “cut?”
“When I close my eyes what I see are lines coming out of a person’s aura, almost like a firework. So depending on the color and energy I can sense if it’s a cord that’s not supposed to be there… when I tap in it’s like one of those static electricity balls that when you touch it the lightning goes to your hand… I can see where each current goes to and depending on the energy of that current I can determine if it needs to be worked on or not.”
When she finally whispered to me to let me know she was done, I have no idea how much time passed. I felt like I just woke up from the world’s most perfect nap. Recharged, lighter. She advised me to sit up slowly, and I felt a little light headed as I sat up.
Both of my girl friends felt the same way when they sat up. I asked Dawn why that is.
“People tend to feel lighter because I’m taking spiritual dark matter away from their energetic bodies. It allows for one’s energy to be lighter because the weight has been transmuted.”
To me, it felt like getting used to my new energetic flow. Like when you stand up too fast and your blood has to start flowing differently to adjust for gravity. It feels the same.
I highly recommend trying an aura cleanse. Generally, they are not too expensive, maybe $20-50 for 20 minutes. It is relaxing and an important part of your own energetic maintenance, so an aura cleanse is not a one-stitch-fix. It clears the path for YOU to heal YOURSELF. Dawn says to think of it like spiritual surgery. You still need to listen to the doctor’s recovery orders -- you are in charge of your own bodily maintenance, as are you in charge of your own spiritual maintenance. My only tip is to relax and be open to the experience, and know who you can trust to give you the real deal -- ask around if you don’t know and search IG.
Welcome to Finding Divine Feminine! I’m so glad you are here. It means that you are curious, and perhaps even ready to start your spiritual journey to awaken your Divine Feminine.
We’ll get back to that. Allow me the space to share my journey so far.
I’m calling this stage in my spirituality “day one,” though it’s not exactly tied to one specific day. Honestly, I’ve been interested in spells and potions and gems for as long as I can remember -- brewing up potions in my parent’s wooded back yard, drenching myself in crystal jewelry and picking up tumbled gems as they caught my eye. But recently, I’ve begun using and learning about different metaphysical practices. And, as many magical things do, it started with a toxic ex-boyfriend, a bottle of bubbly, and a chance encounter.
In the latter half of 2020, I was going through a really toxic relationship that caused me to lose myself -- something I had never really felt in all my years of life in this body. I had just started therapy to heal myself through the lens of different toxic patterns I found myself falling into in my relationships. I started taking an interest in health and fitness. For the first time in my life, I felt like I wanted to take care of ME -- not my career, not my family or friends, not my significant other. ME. Fast forward a few months, we almost broke up. I didn’t let him break up with me. That’s a whole other story. I really said “THIS is not the way we are going to go down,” as if I already intuitively knew.
Shortly after that big falling out, I attended a small women’s-only event with tarot card readers and “crystal dealers” as I like to call them. Besides the bottomless mimosas, what I remember most about that reading was this: that ending my relationship would lead to my spiritual awakening, and that I will soon be able to end a toxic cycle in my life so that I can eventually meet my soulmate who she said is “a king in the making, he is still healing, too.”
Walking away from that, I felt a strange mix of scared and empowered. Being alone during a global pandemic in a new city really scared me. I was doing everything I could to make that awful relationship work -- and I felt like I was failing. So, I decided to seek out some tools to manifest that reality.
That’s where I met one of my favorite “crystal dealers,” Cyn (@powerful_divine on Instagram). She guided me through her selection of gems. I settled on a blue apatite bracelet and tumbled selenite. I bought a rose quartz necklace from another vendor (@washkagems on Instagram).
That night, I had a killer headache between my eyes. I assumed it was from all the sugary drinks and day drinking. I fell asleep holding the selenite to my third eye. I knew nothing about how to use it, but felt a tingly sense of relief with the pressure of the cold stone between my eyes. The next day, I was talking to my closest friend about my failing relationship. He was sorry for trying to break up with me (lol) and wanted to see me -- suspiciously nice.
I was holding the selenite, rolling it in my fingers and trying to make a decision. The rose quartz around my neck heated up to the point where it was HOT. Like, almost too hot to the touch. I was blown away by that alone. Then, something amazing happened. My selenite just exploded into three pieces. I felt an immediate wave of sadness wash over me. Right away, I felt like I needed to say thank you and sorry to the crystal. My friend and I did some Googling and learned that some crystals will break when they’ve absorbed so much energy and need an extreme cleanse. It’s done its job. But it’s not necessarily “broken” to where it can no longer be used. It may mean that someone in your life needs to receive a piece of that crystal. I brought one piece to my friend who was on the phone, and another piece to my ex who I was talking about when it exploded. I told them both the story and the significance of it, and they appreciated it.
So naturally, in true Sagittarius “go big or go home” fashion, I contacted Cyn and bought a bunch more crystals.
My favorite forms of spiritualistic healing right now are therapy, crystals (carrying an intentional few on me at any time, crystal grids, fiddling with them when I’m anxious, baths, smoke blends, and candles. Just this week, I began learning to read my own tarot cards, practicing on myself and friends.
The theme here is that I’m learning how to listen to my intuition, harness/direct/repel energy, and heal myself and others through metaphysical tools. Each tool is a means to an end, a vehicle for energy, a symbol for: what I’m trying to do, how I’m trying to direct my energy, the outcome I want to manifest, or some affirmation I want to remind myself of. Crystals are a tool. Tarot and oracle cards are tools. Candles and smoke blends are tools. There are different tools for every job, and every individual is drawn to different tools.
You won’t like this, but there is no one answer. There is no one path to finding the divine feminine. Everyone’s journey will be different. We will share, practice, find what works and what doesn’t, bring back old things, create new ways of doing things.
This whole spirituality thing is about finding YOUR vessel for YOUR spirituality. Your spirituality will connect you to OUR world, OUR collective conscious, OUR ancestors. As my respected reiki lady, Dawn (@iam_mysticalmermaid on Instagram) told me:
“Just do whatever feels good to you. Who says you’re supposed to follow the rules?”
Thank you for tuning in during my “Day One.” I hope you’ll follow me as I continue to grow as a spiritualist. I hope my experience inspires you to try new things, to learn your own way of practicing and connecting with your spirituality. I’m not your teacher -- I’m your friend, walking this path with you.
Stay curious. Spread nothing but love. Protect your energy.