As a Cancer, I have regularly struggled with birthdays. This year, when the intimate multi-day birthday celebration my husband had planned couldn’t happen because his boss wouldn’t let him take the time off work, I felt defeated. Two days before my birthday, I felt a looming sense of heaviness as I realized I would have to spend my birthday alone. I thought about throwing a last minute birthday get together, but, if my husband couldn’t be there to celebrate with me, I wasn’t interested in a party.
So I immediately began to google celebrating birthdays alone and got some of the most miserable results, like “order a pizza and marathon a TV show” (ummm…that’s a typical weeknight for me) or “walk around town and do the first thing that pops into your head” (that’s how I live my life, yo). So I turned my computer off and sat with a piece of paper in front of me. What things did I want to do that I never get a chance to?
The list began with:
- Horseback Riding
- Solitary retreat in the woods
- Full spa day
…and ended with…
- A nature-based series of feminine spiritual rituals honoring my birth, my ancestors, the Earth Mother, the divine feminine, and the mystery of the womb, past, present and future
It was late at night by that point and my mind had thought through so many possibilities that I was now in “Lala land” envisioning this fantastical celebratory day of being adorned by flowers and oils and being dipped into a mystical lake on the side of a mountain while fairies dance around me and spirit guides gift me with a luminous parcel of wisdom to guide my path the next year. Something kinda like this:
A little out there? Maybe…
But guess what…
My dream came true!
As I sat there thinking about being surrounded by earth spirits and adorned with flowers, I started contemplating who I knew that would be willing to take me out into nature and do these sort of rituals with me.
Then I remembered a beautiful soul I met on retreat once, a farmer, an herbalist, a medicine woman with a big glowing heart and a natural affinity for spiritual energy and honoring the feminine. Her name is Kat Gibson.
I emailed Kat right then with a very rushed, vague almost nonsensical “Can-you-meet-up-with-me-in-two-days-and-do-a-spiritual-birthday-ritual-incorporating-time-and-womb-and-earth-and-mother-and….”
And Kat said yes!
So yesterday, I excitedly made my way to our meetup point and Kat drove me over to her plot of land. It was overcast, but the plants were flourishing and the air smelled fresh and fragrant.
First up was a tour of her farm and garden. Kat is a very intuitive farmer and her knowledge of her plants comes from a very deep and spiritual place. As she talked me through the various medicinal herbs she grows and their ability to uplift the heart or soothe the womb or clear the mind, I felt in awe of all this natural medicine I never knew existed for things I regularly experience inside of me. She snipped off bits of vegetables here and there for me to taste straight from the earth. Veggies have never tasted so good! My favorite was a snap pea that was so refreshing and bursting with flavor, I couldn’t stop thinking about it long after I left!
Then my official birthday rituals began. Kat smudged me and invited me to take a silent mindful walk through her plants, to tune into my body and the energy of these living beings around me and to find plant allies to join me for the rest of my rituals. As I walked around touching smelling, and feeling into this beautiful natural space, I picked a few plants I felt drawn to and that I somehow felt were drawn to me. I gave them to Kat.
She then invited me to lie down in a nurturing womb space in the earth that she had set up for me. She placed sacred objects all around the periphery and invited me to place an object that represented my birth, my mother and the earth in honor of my birthday. I lay down and Kat placed my new plant friends in my palms, on my chakras, and all around me. I felt her gently placing the leaves and flowers on me and had a sudden sense of being lifted up from the earth, feeling lighter, clearer, and much more easeful. As she led me through a deeply cleansing meditation, I felt myself loosen and relax as soft warm energy moved through and around me. With a new clarity of mind, I started receiving little intuitive bits of inner guidance and deep wisdom about how to release my resistance and open up to all the miracles and blessings in my life. I felt so deeply held by the earth, and so open to receive goodness from all the plants around me.
Kat tended to me energetically with her Reiki. Her grounding touch brought me to a state of pure peace. When I finally arose out of my blissful floating state, Kat led me through a rebirthing ritual to bring in the next year of my life. She then guided me and held space for me as I reflected upon my experiences in her beautiful garden.
Kat sent me home with fresh vegetables and herbs from her garden that day, as well as flowers and plant medicine to put into my tea and into my bath that evening to seal off this 26th celebration of the day of my birth.
By the time I left her farm, I was floating on a cloud. I felt so light and luminious, so held and adorned, so guided and blessed and celebrated and so full of life. Kat took
this photo of me on the right at the end of my birthday celebration in nature. I can see in the light in my face just how much was released and how much love and light I received spending the day with her.
My time with Kat was an unbelievable gift and truly the best thing I have ever done for my birthday. Rather than celebrating my birthday with food and money and attention, I got to truly celebrate my birth and the miracle of life. I got to connect to my mum and my ancestors, to the earth and to myself. I got to clear away old shackles and make way for all the possibilities that lay before me. And I made a whole bunch of new plant friends who will aid me when I feel down or wounded.
Kat is such a nurturing, wise, and deeply spiritual presence. Her gifts are remarkable, and I am still in awe of the way she effortlessly wove my world together with the world of her plants into this beautiful celebration of life.
So I got my fantasy birthday in nature with fairies adorning me with flowers and wisdom and cleansing and rebirth!
At the end of the night, just as my birthday was ending, the heavens opened up and it rained hard on me as I was walking home. It felt so serendipitous to be cleansed by nature’s purest water like that.
Although this was a very unorthodox birthday for me, it was so much more deep and meaningful. It is the most authentic celebration of my birth I have ever experienced. I hope others get to experience what I experienced with Kat, because everyone deserves to celebrate their birth like the sacred and magical thing that it is.
To Kat, you are an angel of light and wisdom. I am so so very happy I got to spend my birthday in your garden. Thank you for making my day so special and for setting me on the right path for the year ahead ❤
Follow Kat’s amazing work at www.ladygaia.ca ❤