Twelve Moons

I have spent nearly fifteen moons on this island. Fifteen moons away from my family, my old friends and from the land that I love. Let me tell you, I have grown more these past 15 months than I did in twenty two years before that. I am a radically different person than the one who came to this island. And I can guarantee you this, there is no going back. This is going to be a bit of a long post and probably not very interesting, just a warning in advance.
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Almost twelve moons ago, November 2012, I went out under the full moon and asked for healing. I was not in a happy place. I was depressed, I was feeling lonely, I was homesick, I felt that what I was doing in school didn’t matter. Spiritually, I felt lost without the land and places I know so well back in Ohio. I’ve fought with depression before, but I just couldn’t seem to kick that cloud. I hadn’t felt so miserable since freshman year of undergrad when I turned to some destructive behaviors. So, that full moon I asked for help. You can read details in the blog post from that experience.

Now, a year later, I find myself looking back at what I have accomplished and what got me to where I am. I am not bragging, but I find myself damn proud of the man I have become through this adventure. This update is mostly to chronicle how far I have become, so that this time next year and I look back and see how far I took it.

I have completed three semesters of veterinary school. My grades are not amazing, but I’ve passed and learned important information for when I am a veterinarian. I’m amazed how much material the human brain can retain. Every semester has had a minimum of nineteen credit hours usually closer to twenty two. Sometimes, the strength that my spirits have taught me is all that keeps my head held high when I want to throw in the towel. I have learned that I am not a creature who can settle for the path of least resistance. I spent a lot of my younger life taking the easy way out and it was not a happy path. So here I am now, chasing my biggest dream and excelling at it. That’s something worth celebrating if you ask me.

I have made a small group of friends as close as family. Who knows where I would be if I hadn’t find these people. They are my study buddies, my wingmen, and I love them like brothers and sisters. I have learned to be more open and welcome to friendships and just meeting more people. These friends are part of the reason I’m still sane during the torture of veterinary school. One friend, in particular has been a godsend. I asked for help and healing last November, and she came into my life and showed me how wrong I was about myself. There are not words for the gratitude I bear for that woman and what she had done for me. For the longest time I have not put myself out there emotionally for relationships and the like. I was convinced to try and, while that ended up being a fail, I am better for it. I ignored past scars to try again and I will continue trying (although, at this point in school, I do not think I have time for a proper girlfriend). I have learned that it is the easy way out to be “broken” and hide away. Keeping your heart open to people is a much harder road, but so much more fulfilling.

The gym has become a major outlet for me. I was never an athletic kid and did not really enjoy sports. I have lost over thirty pounds while living on the island.  I found some spiritual solace there, but that is another post that I have been working on and will hopefully post in the near future. Physically, mentally. and spiritually I feel so much better while on a regular workout schedule. I actually ran my first ever “race” several weeks ago up Brimstone Hill to the old, revolutionary fortress on the island. It was only a mile and a half run, but doing that with my friends felt like a huge accomplishment. I have also joined a beach volleyball team and our weekly games have become something that I look forward to all week. This is the first time I have ever played a sport on a team and loved every minute of it. I am not very good, but I have tried my hardest and made huge strides thanks to my friends. I also took up some yoga with my work out buddies, I am really enjoying that even though I’m not very flexible. I have been pushing myself very hard in the gym and I feel much better for it. It has given me further confidence and taught me stronger will power, which definitely bleeds over into my magical life.

It has not been entirely positive. My daily meditation practice has kind of fallen to the wayside. I am trying hard to get that back on track, but having a test every week sometimes gets to me and I get neurotic about studying. I have also missed the past two months’ smudging ceremonies. This is really bad because I feel that was something that really helped me. I will get that back on track this  month. These past couple weeks have been especially rough. I felt like I was slipping back into where I started due to a series of events and a whole lot of drama on this little island. But I took a little bit of me time for meditation and introspection and found myself right back on the path I was meant for. I am pulled to nature again and I am actively seeking a deeper connection with this land I live in. I have never had as deep a connection here as I had back in Ohio, but I refuse to let that stop me. Each time I have been kicked down, it just strengthened my resolve to bounce back and fight even harder.

Now that i am approaching the year mark for this healing work, I am looking ahead to what I can do to continue on the positive path I am on. I am wanting to continue improving myself. I always have to think about the fact that as I progress through school, I will have less and less time to myself. I have just over a year left on the island and then a whole year of clinical rounds back in the states before I earn my DVM. I plan to continue my smudging ceremonies (provided I can harvest more sage, She has not been doing very well). I will be more active about seeking out time in nature which is desperately needed in my life. I will continue to fight my introspective and shy nature and try to be a more social creature. Exercise will continue to be an important part of my life. I just enjoy that feeling far too much to quit. The gym truly is an addiction. I also would like to reconnect with Mother Ocean and The Horned God who I have not had much contact with recently. I’m learning to trust my intuition and I want to continue working on that. I am going home this Christmas for the first time since I got to this island. I am very excited for that.

So, that is where I am at. Also, hopefully, where I am going. It’s been quite an adventure thus far. I can’t wait to see what the coming year brings. I would like to thank my spirits, my friends, my family and my readers for being with me along this path. Hopefully I can get some more magic in my life and give you more to read moving forward.

Mitakuye Oyasin

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About Iolair

My name is Iolair. I am from Northern Ohio, but I'm currently in the Caribbean going to veterinary school. I have a fascination for nature and the Old Gods. My blog is an exploration into the winding path that I follow. Shamanism, herbalism, folk lore, and witchcraft of all kinds are just some of the topics that I love to explore. Always open to chat and learn all that I can. View all posts by Iolair

2 responses to “Twelve Moons

  • Steve Tanner

    This is good news. I can relate to how school can be overwhelming; it seems to occupy more than its fair share of time. I have been slack in my rites and rituals also, but I too am working to find balance. Nevertheless, it is good to read about someone in similar circumstances who is positive about what they are doing. Your post has provided encouragement when I really needed it.

    • Iolair

      I am glad that I provided encouragement, my friend. That was a goal of this blog when I started it. I’ve learned that having my path to fall back on when things get tough makes all the difference for me. It definitely helps to know that I’m not alone in these struggles. Thank you for being a constant reader. I have come to really appreciate and look forward to your input.

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