• Kayla-Jane Barrie

Removing The Armour Of Womanhood, Universal Connection, And Religion

Searching for what it means to nurture the self outside of the corporate world and re-defining faith in humanity.


I’ve connected with Nanci through virtual workshops and programs over the last couple of years. This month, we opened a new layer of our journey together by talking about religion, spiritual tools, and how integral it is that we care for each other and the Earth.


We may not be ready for a spiritual revolution, but the seeds are being planted.


Finding The Celestial Flow


Growing up, Nanci switched the bible for tarot cards and collecting rocks. In an act of curious rebellion against the Catholic church, she told her parents she was a Buddhist, and she couldn’t attend church anymore – she had the church of the world.


“I was a challenge to them because they just didn't understand why I couldn't conform. And I have never been able to conform,” she says. “I found my own path and sometimes that path includes some stumbling blocks.”


Nanci is a Scorpio Rising and Libra Moon – transformation is in her cosmic network. It’s only natural to pick various paths in life and with her career. Later this year, she celebrates retirement, and the invitation to support her in letting go of the stability of life’s structure and building a life of love.


Back in 2016, Nanci moved home to the beautiful island of PEI. She shares with me that her happy place is walking along the beach, collecting little pieces of driftwood, shells, and sea glass – pocket-sized specks that carry an instinctive meaning to her. That same year, her obsession with tarot returned thanks to a podcast featuring Kait Fowlie.


As the years unfurled, waves of new blossoms appeared throughout Nanci’s life to guide her in re-defining the role of spirit and prayer in her life and connection to the Earth.


“Goddesses want to be heard. Women around the world are joining together, there’s an increase of woman circles and gatherings,” Nanci shares. “A lot of women are finding the rose and living how we were meant to live. Honouring our cycles and putting our blood back into the Earth and working together to create peace. It's going to happen - maybe not in my lifetime or yours but that's where we're going now.”


Inquisitively Crusading the Catholic Faith


Nanci and I shared our stories of being raised Catholic but being the child who just could not embrace the teachings.


“I never got the church thing – never. I understand the ritual, but all those white men with red shoes with all the money and having the art and keeping it all to themselves; telling us we were all sinners was offensive to me. I had a hard time relating to that and wanted to relate to something,” she says.


The idea that God is outside of us separates us from the fact that we are all connected to each other, nature, and the cosmos. Exploring the problematic side of religion is easy, but when we can look at this topic and its connectedness to spirituality, it can open up new perspectives.


It’s not easy, given how Christianity has played a role in depleting Indigenous culture across the globe. Not only has it separated us from each other, but it has also separated us from universal love.


“For me now it's relating to spirit, the Earth and the magic of the universe rather than a God, because God is here within. I call it mother goddess. That's who that is.”


Eliminating the Corporate Armour


In March 2022, Nanci had a breakthrough. She explains, “Hecate came to me in a hypnosis session. During that time, I was getting very big. “I am” statements. Hecate was there to support me in seeing that the next step was out of this tin can and out into the world.”


Nanci has declared she is releasing the corporate world where she wears a suit of armour –it’s time to take it off and be who she faithfully is.


De-conditioning from being focused on work as a main priority in life and into spirit has guided Nanci into embracing the transcendent element of life – as each piece of armour falls away, she is creating a safe space to be her true self, and guide others along the way.


“I feel a sense of happiness and joy that I’ve been allowed this breakthrough, opening and connection with others. To allow me to explore these parts of myself I put into a can – the world told me they didn’t want to see those things, they wanted another person, so that’s what I did.”


It’s not easy. Look at the way capitalism and busy culture has created a false aura of success around women and men. The more we are told our success and happiness are defined by long work days and being present on social media, the less space we have to mend and feel.


This is an invitation for us all to all peel back a piece of steel that is shielding our hearts from each other and from spirit. Nanci has worked for years in HR and it’s helped her understand what she feels in her body but as comparable as being with spirit and flow with her practice.


“Spirituality makes me feel whole. It makes me feel like I count. And not because some church told me so, or because I'm following the rules because generally, I don't. My practice is a feeling of yes inside,” says Nanci.


Healing The Ancient, Current, And Future


Centuries ago, humanity used the cosmos to guide us on our travels. We allied to what was happening in the sky, with animals, and what flora and fauna were doing. We paid attention to how much rain came and how the ocean was stirring.


Humans used to be deeply attuned to the universe, Earth, and each other. Shamans and Witch Doctors lead us to heal and understand the interconnectedness to self and every other living thing around us.


As colonialism began to ignite across the world, injustice towards our ancient leaders and witches were hunted and killed (Salem Witch Trials, Early Modern Europe to name a couple). It’s said that Christianity, and other popular religions at the time, held a strong belief that the devil could give people the power to harm others in return for loyalty (it’s interesting how Christianity claims other beliefs can cause harm here). From the 1300s to the end of the 1600s. Tens of thousands of witches, mostly women, were executed.


This isn’t even touching the aspect of colonization and its painful impact on imposing its cultural values, laws and policies that did not favour Indigenous peoples. Colonizers sized land and access to resources for trade, forcing locals to become dependent on the gatekeepers of modern day civilization.


Ancient knowings have been taken away from humanity. Our society is shifting, and many are seeking ways to re-connect with ancient ways. It goes deeper than re-naming schools and streets. There is an element of the soul taking the stage during this transformation and reawakening.


“There’s an overturning of us taking on that universal spirit and healing without the church. It is healing that witch wound from many years ago – it’s allowing the resurgence,” Nanci illuminates. “You’ll notice people don’t like it (scammers on IG, Roe vs Wade) all these things trying to take the female psyche and push her down once again. I don’t think it’s possible anymore.”


So what are we going to do now?


We don’t want to go back there. We’re going to take it with us and move forward. This is how we begin to heal intergenerational traumas and re-connect with the Earth.


“I talk to my daughter about this a lot - we talk about healing ourselves so that we heal the wounds of our ancestors. Going forward, the struggles for people who come after us won't be as great. They'll be stronger in their hearts,” she says. “I think we're finally coming to the realization that in order to heal the next generation, we must do our part by healing today.”


Some of us are noticing the colonization of wellness and healing in the modern age – but there is a key component to healing that is missing.


We have become too focused on healing ourselves, that we have forgotten where this wisdom has come from – our ancient ancestors and Indigenous communities.


We’re healing the past, present, and future. But we must be clear on our intentions and education around tools and practices.


Healing does not need to be another aspect of colonization, but if we don’t engage in the reality in front of this ‘industry’ we may be doing more harm than good.


The Coexistence of the Latest Tech and Ancient Tools


I’m thankful to have technology so I can connect with people like Nanci and find research at the tip of my fingers. But I am not blind the to harm technology is imposing on us. I asked her what she thought of the role of technology and spirituality in our modern age.


“Well, I think it’s a bit of good and bad. It helps bring people together, find knowledge, and join things like us doing this today. If we didn't have this kind of technology then how would it happen? It accelerates some of the connection, but it certainly can detract from the doing and the being,” she explains.


Technology can play a role as a stepping stone to finding each other, but does it really create the deep connection many are seeking?


Nanci started joining woman’s circles online. Since things have opened back up, she has started attending in person circles.


“I feel the presence of holding space for someone who needs to be heard. It’s very tender when you're in person and providing that space. When someone provides it to me and I can provide it in return, there's healing in that. It's real and it's not that it can't happen for real with technology, but just feels more spacious in person,” explains Nanci.


Technology can help us start learning and finding local people, but it may be time that we shift our focus to gathering face-to-face so we can feel each other’s energy and hold space for the depths of our souls.


When we have corporations claiming marketing campaigns to promote their business and products under the veil of tarot or astrology, these divination tools are not being shared with love or truth. This is another chapter in the book of colonization and capitalism, two paragraphs of greed that want to claim the whole book of life as their own.


“Many of the tools have a female archetype, that softer, more spiritual energy. The corporate world is full of rules and guiding principles to make them money,” Nanci explains. “People need to make money, but those who work in tarot are going to make it in their own way, unencumbered by a white man in a suit, who says this is coming up in the world, here’s how we can make money.”


Remember, spirituality and divination come from the heart – not because it’s trendy or increases sales.


“They don’t even understand the tools or the community, they just want to make money, and they will on the backs of us,” Nanci says.


Are We Ready For A Spiritual Revolution?


“The world is not ready for a spiritual revolution, but it’s coming,” Nanci says.


“I think people are finding other ways to live and saying to themselves – I have enough. I don't need a gazillion-dollar home. People are reducing, making their lives simpler, which makes room for more spirituality. If the focus is on living simply, it allows for those energetic waves to be received. Tarot, poetry, divination, and praying is a higher, more ethereal energy compared to money.”


There is no how-to guide to shift away from capitalism and busy schedules, but everyone can explore ways to connect to the Earth and community.


Maybe it begins with a garden or engaging in social justice programs.


Maybe it goes beyond the attitude of our ego saying ‘I meditate, so I’m a good person’ and learning the history of meditation and the impact colonialism has had on ancient tools.


Maybe we just need to buy less and be more present, resisting the attention economy.


“People are looking at life in a different way because it’s so hard to get the things you were told you needed to have. People are re-examining what they want and how they get it. We’re learning how to be happy with less,” Nanci explains.


To Infinite Expansion, From Seed to Stardust


The emergence of spiritually and slower living is just beginning to crack the surface of what a new Earth can look like. Nanci mentions, “It’s built from within - not a corporate structure.”


“We are from the earth. The Trinity of earth spirit and self are all connected. We come from the Earth and belong to the Earth. Connecting to the higher power or spirit through uniting with the Earth build a sense of self that you can’t get anywhere else,” Nanci says.


One day, one minute, one second, is all you need to get grounded in the earth and connect to spirit.


Will you choose it for infinite scrolling, or seeking a pearl of higher wisdom?


“My heart is at ease knowing that what was meant for me will never miss me, and that what misses me was never meant for me.” ― Imam Al-Shafii an 18th Century Muslim Jurist