I am writing to update you about our work together as we all cope with the threat of the coronavirus. I want to let you know that for the time being, I am continuing to see individual clients in my office. However, your physical and emotional well-being will always be a priority, therefore given the uncertainty of our current situation, I think it is important to discuss options. Self-care during this period is so important. Therefore, as you know, if you are feeling sick, or are showing signs of sickness, it’s important to stay home. However, if that is the case and you would like to keep your appointment, I want to offer you the opportunity to videoconference or have a phone session. In addition, if you are healthy but still feel uncomfortable coming into the office these formats are also available to you. Just let me know and I can send instructions to you by email. If you are unable to keep your appointment, please continue to follow my cancellation policy, which requires 24 hour advanced notice.
As many of you know, I videoconference often. But since there are some treatments that should not be or cannot be done over videoconference, I intend to continue coming into the office for individual sessions as long as it is safe, but may have to stop if required by local ordinances.
This is an unprecedented time where we need as much support as possible. Please know that I am here for you and will find a way to continue working with you until this runs its course. As overwhelming as this situation may be right now, it will eventually pass. It’s important to hold onto hope, and staying connected to others is important for our emotional well-being. If you have any questions or concerns please reach out by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (315-289-2030).
Thank you and stay well,
Please Note: Classes and group sessions are cancelled until further notice, or have moved to Zoom online. Please refer to the event calendar to check on a specific class or group meeting.
Black Horse Blog
I spoke with someone today who was on the fence about working with me. And you know, if you are on the fence, if you aren’t sure you’re ready to move forward, then you are probably still in pre-contemplation, which means you probably aren’t ready to take action. I am a direct person, and I will be candid with you and tell you that. To be perfectly honest, people who are not sure if they are ready to heal and get unstuck and open up their possibilities are not the people I want to work with. Because if you aren’t really ready to get into the trenches and work this, then we are both wasting our precious time. But if you ARE sure, if you ARE ready, if you’ve just had enough of being stuck where you are, then I will be your most staunch supporter, in your corner and advocating for you all the way with everything I’ve got — all of my considerable knowledge, wisdom, experience, and passion.
And it may not be easy. It’s not easy to figure out where you need to make changes in your life to get to where you want to be. And it could be intense; looking at past trauma and how it continues to play out in your life today is often intense. But I promise you, the work we do together will be effective. And it might even be fun sometimes. It will definitely be rewarding.
But you have to commit to it, to giving it a certain amount of time and effort. Don’t expect that one or two hours with a counselor like me is going to “cure” you. During the first few sessions, it may seem like there is not much movement at all. But that is the place we are gathering the fuel to take off. After all, it took you a lifetime to get where you are now; there is no reason to think that truly healing those wounds (thereby creating the change you are seeking) will only take a few sessions.
And opening old wounds can be painful. Because of this, you may initially feel worse and not better. Because of this, you may conclude that this kind of therapy isn’t working for you. But this is just the point where you need to stay with it, because (to continue with the wound analogy) a wound that is only superficially healed can fester and cause problems in the future. (You know this; that is how you got to where you are in the first place.) You have to allow time and therapy to help you re-open and properly clean that festering wound so it can heal from the inside out.
For this reason, I will usually ask you to commit to several sessions. It is not unreasonable to expect that it will take about 3 months of weekly sessions to be able to track progress and realize forward movement. You owe yourself that time, that commitment, at the very least. When you think about that, it’s only 90 days, and the actual sessions with me in those 90 days are only 12 hours out of your life. And I’ll be with you all the way — because once you commit to yourself and show me that you’re serious about healing, I will also be fully committed to you and do everything in my power to collaborate with you to help you reach your goals and get you to where you want to be.
February starts with Imbolc, the Celtic celebration of the returning light and the feast day of Brighid. She is, of course, the goddess of poetry, healing, and smithcraft. It is said her name is derived from “high or exalted one,” but it is sometimes put forth that the name Brighid is derived from brio-aigit, “fiery arrow,” which is certainly a fitting name for a goddess associated with three fires: the hearth, the forge, and the flame of poetic inspiration. In Irish tradition, poetry and seership are interwoven, so Brighid is often seen as the imbas (or divine inspiration) behind divination and prophecy as well.
However, the month of February also brings Valentine’s Day, the origins of which may reach back into the mists of a time before the goodly saint’s name was attached to it. Be that as it may, there must always be balance, and along with our beloved Brighid, some with Irish ancestry also honor a Celtic God in February (at Imbolc) who is less known in the popular lexicon: Aengus Og (Angus the Young). Aengus is the Celtic God of love, youth, and poetic inspiration (that last bit coinciding with the attributes of Brighid). As February is deep within the Dark Half of the Year (from Samhain to Beltaine), and is traditionally a time to go within, reflect, and incubate our futures, it makes sense that Brighid and Aengus both inspire that kind of insight.
Of course, like all the Tuatha de Danaan (Children of Danu), Aengus is complex. He is the son of the Dagda (the Good God, or allfather) and the river goddess Boann, who had an affair. To hide her pregnancy (because she was already married to Nechtan and he to the Morrigan!), the Dagda made the sun stand still for nine months so that Aengus was conceived, gestated and born in one day. (In classic Irish irony, a “love child” becomes a love god.) Later, when he came of age, he took the Dagda’s home at Brú na Bóinne (Newgrange) from his father by a trick of the language. He asked his father if he could stay there for “a night and a day.” The Irish language has no indefinite article, so the asking was for “night and day” – in other words, eternity.
Aengus was very popular with the ladies. From one story in particular, The Dream of Aengus, we learn that Aengus sees a particular woman in his dreams for a year, and he falls in love with her. His mother and father both search for this woman, and she is found after the third year at the Lake of the Dragon’s Mouth. Aengus goes there and finds 150 girls chained in pairs; the woman from his dreams, Caer, is one of them. Every other year at Samhain, the girls all turn into swans and remain so until Samhain of the next year. Aengus is told he can marry Caer if he can identify her in her swan form. Aengus turns himself into a swan and they fly away, singing beautiful music that put all listeners asleep for three days and nights. (This is one of the reasons swans are sacred to the Irish and protected in Ireland to this day, along with the Children of Lir — but that’s another story for another time.) How interesting that swans are known to mate for life! We often see a pair of swans depicted face-to-face with their necks creating a heart shape, symbolic of love.
In other legends, Aengus was able to repair broken bodies and return life to them — at least, temporarily. He loved his foster-son Diarmuid so much that when Diarmuid was killed, Aengus took the lifeless body home to Brú na Bóinne where he “breathed life into it” whenever he wished to speak with Diarmuid. Perhaps we might call on Aengus to help us converse in the deepest dark of the year with those loved ones who have crossed over.
If you enjoyed reading this bit about Aengus Og, Irish God of Love, Youth, and Poetic Inspiration, you may want to join us for the Celtic Wheel of the Year Series, where you will learn much more about the traditions, tales, god/desses, heroes, and animals associated with the Irish Feast Days throughout the year.