finding Mary

In January I submitted the review of my studies of the Druidic Bardic grade. It was deemed that I had not done enough work to proceed to the Ovate grade.

This was OK. I was telling myself that I was ready but deep down I knew I was not. There was something else bubbling underneath. I’ve always been attracted to nature-based spirituality but have never been able to feel fully connected or immersed. I put it down to not being grounded enough. I love my garden but it is not my life. I love the bush but it is not my life either.

Through studying the Bardic grade, I have accepted me. I have realised that there are things that I wish I were talented at (music, languages, writing) but it will probably never be in this lifetime. I learnt that I had to stem the flow of regret and focus on my attributes. I have always wondered what my spiritual purpose is. Apart from the love for my family, my true passion is my work. It drives me every day to do better and to be better, it teaches me something about me every single day, it is the evolution of me.

In February last year, I had spent four days travelling between my home and North Sydney. A two-hour trip one way. I was travelling to attend a training course for work. The course was held at Mary MacKillop Place. Mary MacKillop was an Australian nun who was canonised in October 2010. Mary had spent the last 25 years of her life living in Alma Cottage on the site now named after her.

I spent my time during the breaks sitting in peaceful contemplation in the light-filled garden. I placed my eyes upon the religious statues and sat with the discomfort. I was making peace with all of my family of origin bias against Christianity and Catholicism. Stripping back the layers, years of negative programming. It wasn’t something I consciously needed or wanted to do, it was unfolding and it was as if  I was observing it happening to me. It has bothered me on occasions that I could behold any religious iconography other than Christian or Catholic.

Then, in April of last year, I received a reading from Tina van Leuven which told me that I need to learn to connect with the Divine…

Your message is: “I let go of the past and love myself the way I am.”
You are a mystic, inspired by inspiration from the Divine and bringing about transformation in the service of others. The invitation is to review your definition of service… and to allow yourself to tap into the Divine love within yourself, to let yourself be infused by this love from deep within you, let it nurture and sustain you, and then, only then, to serve others…
It is as if you have come into this life to heal and transform the disappointments from many incarnations of being of service to God ( or rather the God program, the stories about God, rather than what you know the Truth of the Divine to be) and having cut yourself off from receiving Divine love. As if you have to give, give, give… and have somehow never been able to fully receive… which has the effect of building up (un)conscious resentment… towards God/Spirit/Source and anyone you have projected this onto.
And yet… as you allow yourself to receive the love from the Divine and let yourself be nurtured, as you have nurtured others for aeons, you will be a living example to many to take care of their own connection to Source first and then take practical action in the world. Bringing awareness to the smallest details and finding the beauty within even the darkest places. What a gift…
The underlying energy is expressed in ‘The Final Test of Faith’.
Its message is : “I have no limits. I let go of those I have set for myself.”
When you take time (not wait for time… but claim your time) to go inside and connect with your heart, you will find all the knowledge you may have been seeking outside. This calls on you to trust, to let go of the limitations your mind may have conjured up for yourself, others or life and let yourself experience the joy of the space in your sacred heart.
This is all about feminine leadership. This is power combined with love, rather than force. There may be some old, old resentments related to what power is or fear of fully embodying your power, thereby holding you back from fully shining… yet, when you release the fears or doubts related to this, and the desire to control, you discover hope where there may seem to have been none… bringing that inspiration to others as well.

Divine? What the heck is the Divine? I could not conceptualise it. I did a lot of reading and searching but came no closer to understanding it.

Slowly over time, I realised that I don’t have to search for anything because everything I need is right here. I am here to be of service, something that I have been doing all of my life. I was already fulfilling my life’s purpose. But I was being of service under my own steam. My new challenge was to open my heart to the Divine, to the energy of the universe, receive its love and light and work from this centred place. I wasn’t sure of how to proceed.

This month of March, a year since I first attended Mary MacKillop Place, I was there for another training course, ten days this time. Every day doing the four hour commute. During this time at Mary MacKillop Place, I explored the museum, gift shop, gardens, the chapel, the schoolhouse. Initially I felt shy and awkward. I felt I stuck out like a sore thumb, a heathen in this place of Catholic serenity. By the end I felt the warmth and love of Saint Mary. I loved Alma Cottage. Alma was my paternal grandmother’s name. There was a room in the cottage that was a replica of Mary’s bedroom. She lived a frugal life.



I went home and started purging. Where once I could not see anything I wanted to discard, now I couldn’t see anything I wanted to keep. I cleared surfaces of crystals, feathers, stones, dried flowers, cards, statues. I got rid of books. Stuff that was a reminder of all of my searching and the paths I had trodden, the journeying, the detours, and dead-ends.

If I had been accepted into the Ovate grade, I would be studying that now, and still refusing to step down this other path. But what is this other path? A non-Catholic being guided by the life of a Catholic nun, and praying and talking to her. This path does not have a label, and I don’t really need one. I don’t want to do any more searching. I just want to spend time deepening my practice in this simple and heartfelt way of guidance and reflection.





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3 Comments on “finding Mary”

  1. Michelle Says:

    It’s great to read about where you are at right now spiritually and that your contemplations are bearing insights for you. It is clear that you have a great desire to express your personal integrity and you are already doing that in so many ways. I wish you well. Much love.


    • tree girl Says:

      Thanks Michelle. This post took a lot of time and thought to write. When I finished it Rachelle Mee Chapman’s term “relig-ish” came into my mind.



  1. Two Worlds: Look Out & “The Sight to See” | Australis Incognita - June 15, 2014

    […] awareness helped me further connect with that concept. And I would direct readers to her post finding Mary, which speaks to her coming to terms with her own personal family history and contextualising same […]

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