When I look back at the turn my life took earlier this year, I feel like I now have enough space between it and me to make sense of it all so that I can draw a line under this experience. This is thanks to doing the work. And the work I have been doing is actively engaging in religious trauma recovery in various holistic ways.
This RTS work also coincides with rebirthing myself and embracing the Crone phase of my life. As it turns out, I needed a traumatic experience to break with the old so that I could step fully on my new path.
The need to break with the old spirits was real. They were never a good match. And they were only able to enter because of my cognitive dissonance.
Overcoming Cognitive Dissonance and Soul Fragmentation
While I could easily wallow in regret and self-pity that it took me this long to heal the cognitive dissonance I had around my unintegrated religious and spiritual experiences, I see the root cause now. So the need to wallow has been blown out of 5 of Cups. The root cause is CPTSD and the soul fragmentation caused by childhood trauma. And now I understand that working actively on overcoming RTS also means recovering from CPTSD. They are linked.
Also, my experiences with RTS and CPTSD and living with them for this long are valuable. They are what allow me to relate to clients suffering from the same. I know exactly how pernicious these conditions are and how insidious they can be when left untreated. I also clearly understand the kinds of triggers that can lead to a relapse. The two Cups still standing are clearly visible in that 5 of Cups of grief over time lost.
How long it took is now irrelevant. All that matters is what I choose to do with it next.
I became aware of my calling to serve as a Priestess of the Divine Feminine not long after I left the Church in my early 30s. But I didn’t realise to what extent I needed healing for the mother and father wounds before I could do this without cognitive dissonance. Nor was I aware that there even was such a thing as Religious Trauma Syndrome. The research around RTS is relatively new. Hence, it would be another 20+ years before I was ready.
Looking back, I am grateful that I was able to learn as much as I could about the mysteries despite these impediments. I’m also grateful for the rewarding work I have been able to do with clients thanks to those insights.
Late last year, there was a push from Spirit for the integration of soul fragments as well as stepping onto my path as a Priestess of the Divine Feminine. It all started with the course I did about Christian Mysticism with Tom Llewellyn.
This course was wonderful in terms of helping me feel close to the Christian mysteries again. Those mysteries are very much part of my Magdalene path. However, it also triggered what was unhealed within me because I couldn’t deal with ambiguity. Tom’s way of teaching the Christian Mysteries is very true to the mystical tradition and that tradition is not steeped in black-and-white thinking–a condition I was still suffering from.
Talking to Tom when he interviewed me for his podcast forced me to voice much of which I had kept hidden in the recesses of my mind. The verberations of speaking out started the shake-up that lead to the breaking apart of, well, everything. But sometimes things do have to fall apart so that we can put them back together better. I am very grateful for Tom acting as a catalyst for my rebirth in this way.
This morning, I was finally ready to do a reading to gain deeper insights into what happened between the end of last year and now. For this, I was drawn to work with the Mystical Shaman Oracle.
The first card, Beauty Way, answers why the traumatic events of the past few months had to take place.
Next, The Circle, answers what challenge I had to overcome.
Finally, Soul Retrieval shows the action to take now.
The Beauty Way
The Beauty Way is the path I always wanted to be on. It has tugged at my heartstrings since I first glimpsed it. I call it the rose-strewn path. It’s a path where I walk with my heart wide open, radiating the love and wisdom of the Goddess. And I just wasn’t ready to do that. My Priestess training was incomplete. It wasn’t that I wasn’t whole–It was that I saw myself as essentially broken.
A few days ago, I did a meditation where I went to Source for healing and a message. The message that came through is one I will never forget.
You are whole. You are not broken; you are whole. Now go forth, shine your light and teach others to do the same.
The Circle in the challenge position testifies that the obstacle I had to overcome was allowing myself to die to the old and be reborn to the new. My resistance made this challenge more difficult. Had I been able to flow more gracefully with it, I might not have needed yet another Tower moment.
This card shows me that the challenge has been completed. The butterfly is out of her chrysalis. In the guidebook it says:
“You are no longer fragmented; you are one with Creation. You have healed the cause of the pain you feel, so you do not need to dwell on it any longer. Really, it’s true!”
The Religious Trauma Syndrom Tarot Spread
ETA 20 September 2023: It has been nearly six months since I wrote this post. I finally felt ready to create a proper Tarot spread to help with RTS healing and recovery. Please note that this spread is in no way meant to replace conventional trauma therapy or counselling. It is best to use it once healing is well underway and together with other strategies for recovering.
There is also a follow-up to this post HERE, where I go into the deeper layers of healing.
Religious Trauma Recovery on a Love-Covered Life
Someone else who has been doing RTS recovery in a public way is Melissa Denyse. She has the YouTube channel Love Covered Life where she interviews people with OBEs and NDEs. She also shares her spiritual journey. I found her most recent videos on RTS recovery especially helpful. So I’m sharing this in case it might be of benefit to you. CLICK HERE to visit her channel.
Finally, I wish to thank and acknowledge those of you who have journeyed with me through all of this. If you are still here I can’t thank you enough for your support.
Click HERE to read about my name change.