October 13, 2016

I want to get out of the habit of putting off writing here because my thoughts don’t seem coherent enough, or too negative, or I don’t feel like I have enough time to write something meaningful or good enough—or first respond to the many comments (thank you!) that have been neglected over the last months (sorry!). When I made the change from Heart Story to Áine Órga, that was one of my goals. So far I haven’t lived up to it; but here’s a step in the right direction.

I am still desperately in need of reforming a good spiritual habit—or any good lifestyle habit, for that matter. When I returned to Edinburgh for the start of the academic year, I fell ill, and remained so for over a month. I’m still recovering (hence no videos). And while this might be the perfect time to really devote my energy to self-care and light spiritual practices that might help me rest and recuperate, my complete lack of routine bit me in the ass.

What I have been managing to do is to enjoy getting outside into green spaces, and pay more attention to the passing of the year. I am reminded of why I stepped onto this spiritual path in the first place—the feeling of being completely unmoored, and wanting desperately to tune back in to the very basic cycles in which we live our lives.

It’s slow work, and I’m realising how much the change in light and weather here in Edinburgh has impeded my ability to really tune in to the passing months. I’ve realised, to my slight despair, that we really do get less sunshine here—certainly less than in relatively sheltered Dublin. The autumn months are different: the trees turn more slowly; there are fewer bright, crisp days; there is much more cloud and rain. But I am adjusting a little this time around, and learning to watch for and appreciate the particularly beautiful and soul-wrenching moments.

Most of all right now I feel like I need to make space for silence. I need to make space to sit with myself and tune back in. This is something I’ve had precious little of ever since moving to Edinburgh, and getting into a new relationship has made the opportunities fewer still. This is also the first relationship I’ve been in that actually feels like a partnership, where being together—rather than separate—is the norm. This all takes readjustment.

I made a decision some months ago that I would start thinking more about my pantheism, and thinking more about my faith in the divinity of Cosmos, of existence. I want to start drawing that faith more into my everyday life again. Since I wrote about faith a little while ago, things have improved somewhat. I have started reading blog posts and books again that reaffirm those things that are so important to me; I have remembered to be in the moment while walking in the park, to try tuning into that sense of reverence and connectedness, that feeling of being a drop in a great, creative, divine ocean.

I’m still a long way off where I want to be. I catch glimpses of that feeling, rather than capturing it completely. But if I’ve learned anything over the past five years, it’s been never to stop chipping away at how I want to be and feel and move in this world.

September 22, 2016

This time four years ago, I wrote my first blog post about my spiritual journey. The night before, I had done ritual to mark the autumn equinox, and with that ritual I began an unbroken trend of celebrating the wheel of the year. The closest I have yet come to not performing some ritual for a Sabbat in those four years was this last Lughnasadh, when I was days from submitting my Master’s dissertation—but I did light candles, I did have a special supper and watch the sun set with my girlfriend. I’m not sure if I really knew, four years ago, that I would still be maintaining the habit to this day. But I am proud, in a way, that I have. It has been the one consistent rock in a life of avalanching pebbles.

This time five years ago marked the beginning proper of my spiritual quest. I did ritual then, too—though the rest of the year slipped by unmarked, as I was only in the very beginning stages of figuring out what I wanted and needed ritual to be. I was still using a very Wiccan framework; I still had not figured out what I believed, what really rang true for me cosmologically and theologically. I had real moments of revelation in the twelve months between September 2011 and September 2012.

August 31, 2016

This year has been hard.

In many ways, it has also been the best year of my life. I’ve felt myself coming closer to the happiness and purpose I’ve been striving after for years. But all this change has also unseated me from myself a little.

I thought that I could throw myself into a new sort of life—the life of academia and studying religion sociologically—without losing all of the purpose and meaning I had previously found. But because this Masters so completely took over my life, the more the year increased, the more I found that all of the powerful, nurturing, creative habits and feelings I had cultivated over the past few years slipped further and further out of my grasp.

The academic work, in and of itself, would have been challenging enough—but it would have been a challenge to relish without regret if it weren’t for this problem of a lack of balance in my life.

June 29, 2016

…and hello to something new.


Here’s the truth about this blog:

I feel like, somewhere along the way, while working at sounding passionate and authentic, while striving to do about ten different things in each leap of a paragraph, I lost my authentic writing voice. It got suffocated, maybe, under the weight of my muddied yet shrill aspirations. And it is this, more than anything, that has slowly ground the writing on this thing to a complete halt.

It is time for me to let Heart Story go. It will likely surface again either as an aspect of my website, or a project, or an e-book; but for now, I am rebranding again, turning to the simplicity of Áine Órga, and attempting to lay a more permanent cyber anchor for myself—something I can come back to again and again like a port in a storm, without feeling like it’s something I have to measure up to in some way. Áine Órga I can be, even on a bad day. Áine Órga makes no particular demands of me: she is just another name I call myself.

October 4, 2015

And so I have been living in this new city, in this new life, for just over three weeks. Already I feel totally immersed in this place, in what I’m doing. Already I have been through some major ups and downs. But I am settling in, I am happy and content with the new trajectory of my life. Here are some thoughts and some clips of my life and surroundings in the past three weeks.