Internal Family Systems Therapy Workshop

There are two announcements after the main part of this post.

I attended a 12-hour Workshop on Internal Family Systems Therapy. It was on ZOOM, and I am pretty comfortable using ZOOM now. I wasn’t triggered by being on video, and there were so many people attending that I just faded into the background. 

I noticed that I have the world’s messiest bookcase as background. I have no desire to tear it apart, find new places for all the papers and vases and other miscellaneous items, nor do I wish to subject myself to the frustration of not being able to find stuff when the bookshelf beautification project is complete. I have some lovely ZOOM virtual backgrounds, which I use on occasion. I do get spooked by seeing parts of me disappearing and reappearing as the software tries to catch up with itself. I shall therefore offer my bookcase, as a kindness, to make many people proud that their offices are tidier than mine. 

I wasn’t triggered by being in a large group, either. I didn’t have to interact with anybody. I also was under no pressure to remember anybody’s name or what we talked about. Actually, there was no pressure to remember anything, come to think about it. That was a treat because when I attend an in-person workshop, I’m expected to spend breaks and lunchtimes with others, to join email groups, and to remember all sorts of things, whether I am presenting or not.

I didn’t know anything about Internal Family Systems Therapy when I signed up for the workshop. Years ago, I had looked at their website and decided that it was pretty complicated and I didn’t have the time to study it. That was the sum total of my knowledge of the subject.

The workshop was well-organized, the slides were clear, and the presenter was knowledgeable. The content was interesting, and I learned a lot. I’d like to share a very brief summary with you all.

IFS theory postulates that everybody has a Self, everybody has experienced trauma to some degree, and everybody has developed parts to deal with the trauma. These parts came into being to protect the Self from being overwhelmed. Now the person has everything inside themselves that they need to heal. The therapist doesn’t have to give suggestions or advice or teach the client anything. All he/she has to do is guide the internal process of the client. Here’s an example:

T: “Is there a part of you that has thoughts or feelings about X?”
C. “There’s a part that’s mad.”
T. “What’s that like?”
C. Describes how the mad part makes things more complicated, how it would be better if that part went away.
T. “What’s the worst thing that could happen if that part of you stopped making things more complicated?”
C. “I would get overwhelmed and couldn’t cope.”
T. (to client’s Self, sense of “me”) “That mad part of you is doing a very good job of trying to protect you by distracting you.
T. “I wonder what would happen if, just for a second, that part stopped protecting you. If it stepped back, just for a moment, what would that be like?”
C. “I would okay for a short time. I know I would.”
T. Asks both the Self and the part if they are willing to try it. After getting permission, coaches them on how to step back and leave a quiet space between them. Then asks what it was like for each.

See how everything happens internally? Each time the client works with a part, the Self gets stronger, and the part does less and less protecting. Since the protective behavior (cutting, eating or not, worrying, criticizing, etc.) is a distraction to help the Self not deal with the trauma, symptoms diminish. The therapist doesn’t address the symptoms, just guides the client through the process of experimenting and negotiating with the parts.

Once the protectors are all on board and have faith that the Self really is strong enough to deal with the trauma, the healing phase of therapy begins.

There are parts, called “exiles” in IFS therapy, which hold the memories and feelings from the trauma. The therapist guides the client through the process of meeting an exile and learning about the age and the trauma in general terms. The next steps are finding out what the part would have liked to have happened, determining that the adult Self can give what is needed, and then providing it through guided imagery. At that point, the exile part is able to release the trauma and stops being stuck in the past. The trauma becomes a memory and does not have the overwhelmingly intense images and feelings of a flashback.  

I like that the client is not pathologized and that, from the start, the therapist conveys that the client has all that is needed to heal inside themself. I like that all parts of the person are treated with respect and always given freedom of choice. I like that the purpose of a symptom, not the symptom itself, is the focus of attention. It is a gentle, compassionate approach to trauma treatment.

I don’t like that IFST would take a long time for many therapists to learn because of the difference in approach and language and the number of protocols for different processes. (It’s sort of like EMDR in this respect.) Although from reading their website I gathered that it could be blended with other modalities of therapy, it would take much thought and time to do so.

Here is The Internal Family Sytems Institute’s website. https://ifs-institute.com

Browse through the News section for free Webinars and the Resources section for articles, videos, and podcasts. The bibliography in the Research section has a wealth of books, which you can sample at Google Books, Amazon, or Questia.


~~~~~~~~~~ 

Upcoming Holidays

April
4/1 April Fool’s Day
4/1 Maundy Thursday (commemoration of the Last Supper)
4/2 Good Friday
4/3 Holy Saturday
4/4 Easter Sunday
4/8 Day of the Masters
4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/26 Full Moon
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve


May
5/1 Beltane
5/9 Mothers’ Day
5/12 (?) Armed Forces Day
5/23 Pentecost
5/26 Total Lunar Eclipse 
5/26 Full Moon
5/31 Memorial Day

June
 6/10 Annular Solar Eclipse
 6/20 Fathers’ Day
 6/21 Summer solstice
 6/23 Midsummer’s Eve
 6/24 (?) St John’s Day
 6/24 Full Moon

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
4/4 Hitler’s alternate birthday (Note: Hitler was born on Easter, so Nazis celebrate his actual birthday, 4/20, and Easter of the current year. This year, Easter falls on 4/4.)
4/8 Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day)
4/15 Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)
4/20 Hitler’s birthday
4/15 Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)
5/8 V-E Day (Victory in Europe, WW2) 
5/17 Shavuot (Festival of Harvest, Festival of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments)
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices, and the equinoxes.)

* You can find more information on the following holidays at: 

Spring Equinox: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/the-spring-equinox/

Easter: personal (for background, see Spring Equinox) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/easter-blues/

Walpurgisnacht/May Eve: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/walpurgisnacht/

Beltane: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/beltane/

Mothers’ Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/mothers-day/

Fathers’ Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2020/06/20/ritual-abuse-and-fathers-day/

Summer Solstice: (corrected text) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/well-this-is-embarrassing/
Lammas: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/category/lamas/
and https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/august-ritual-dates/
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 1 https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/the-feast-of-the-beast/

Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 2 https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/feast-of-the-beast-part-ii/

Fall Equinox: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/the-fall-equinox/

Halloween: (personal) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/ 
Halloween: (background) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/samhainhalloween/
 
Thanksgiving: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/thanksgiving/ 
Yule/Winter Solstice: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/yulewinter-solstice/
Candlemas: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/candlemas/
 
Valentine’s Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/valentines-day/

 ~~~~~~~~~~

*Highlights of a New York Times article


The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are proving highly effective in preventing coronavirus infections under real-world conditions, the C.D.C. found.

Troubling variants were circulating during the time of the study – from December 14, 2020 to March 13, 2021 — yet the vaccines still provided powerful protection.

The C.D.C. enrolled 3,950 people at high risk of being exposed to the virus because they were health care workers, first responders, or others on the front lines….

Among those who were fully vaccinated, there were .04 infections per 1,000 person-days, meaning that among 1,000 persons there would be .04 infections in a day.

There were 0.19 infections per 1,000 person-days among those who had had one dose of the vaccine. In contrast, there were 1.38 infections per 1,000 person-days in unvaccinated people.

 https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/29/world/pfizer-moderna-covid-vaccines-infection.html?campaign_id=60&emc=edit_na_20210329&instance_id=0&nl=breaking-news&ref=headline&regi_id=112647142&segment_id=54428&user_id=c9efd3687ea12eec8e32e61a5b86de7d

 

* Survivorship Regular Conference – Saturday and Sunday May 22 – 23, 2021
Clinician’s Conference – Friday May 21, 2021
Information on the speakers, topics, and registration is at https://survivorship.org/the-survivorship-ritual-abuse-and-mind-control-2021-conference/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Integration of Self-Images

I have, for years, thought of Satanic ritual abuse as the principal form of trauma I suffered. The mind control experiments and the child pornography were add-ons, so to speak. They came later and ended sooner than the Satanic stuff.

There was a two-year period when the Satanic abuse was the only form of abuse I suffered. It burned into my mind and seared my spirit. The core beliefs I held about myself and the outside world were twisted to conform to the cult members’ beliefs. It also deeply damaged my ability to assess situations or other people because the double binds and ever-shifting demands confused me terribly. In trying to read a situation, my mind bounced from one set of assumptions to its opposite, never landing on anything solid.

When I was in a double bind, I adopted one side, then the other, never knowing which to believe or what to act on. If, in desperation, I flipped a mental coin, I was left in confusion. “I should have done X, but maybe Y (the choice I made) was the one I should have picked, but no, looking back, X is what I should have done.”

Here are some of the core beliefs I acquired during first the training (I think of it as Sunday School) and then the actual rituals:

I am evil
It was my fault, I am guilty
I am stupid
I am ugly
Nobody loves me
I deserve to be hurt
I am not good enough
People are dangerous
People are cruel
There is no escape
I have no control over anything that happens

Well, I could go on and on.

There was little to counter these images of myself and of others. My mother was separated from my father because of the war and exhausted from the responsibilities of being a single parent, albeit one with money enough to hire women to care for her two pre-schoolers. She had no living family to turn to, no close friends nearby. She also had a poor self-image; she believed she was not good enough or intelligent enough to manage all these challenges. Don’t know if she still had to trudge off to rituals every holiday. I hope not.

Anyway, at home, I got another set of “not good enough” “not lovable” messages and no tools to patch together my shattered self.

When I entered first grade, I was enrolled in an experimental mind control program designed to test if various programming systems were easy to install, easy to use, difficult to break into, and durable. I was a desirable subject because I was intelligent and compliant and came completely dissociated. Here I got my first exposure to messages that were different from my core beliefs. It was a glimpse into another world.

What do you call the researcher who experiments on you? Programmer? Handler? Scientist? I called him my teacher. I was treated by my teacher as if I were smart and likable. I think he truly did like me, not for myself, but because I was so easy to work with. I made his job easy.

I loved working with him because it was challenging and fun. I bonded with him, as well as with the work we did together. We were together during the school year for six years until, I believe, his project lost its funding. I don’t know if I got to say goodbye to him, but I think I did. I was shut down – the systems that had been installed were made inaccessible to me and I was made amnesic for my teacher and all the work we did together. This, to me, was an unconscious implicit promise that he would return, reverse the shut-down, and we would start working together again.

I bonded with him so tightly that he became the ideal man – “my type.” I can reconstruct his looks and his personality from studying the kind of guys I fell for over and over again. I wonder whether the belief that he would soon return gave me the strength to endure the remaining years of abuse and the hope that I could one day be happy again.

The third source of my self-image came from the child pornography section of my life. There I learned that I was an object to be sold over and over. My worth was tied to my ability to make good money for the group of pimps that ran the child pornography ring. The men handling me changed frequently, depending on my age and the setting I was being sold into. I didn’t have enough contact with any of them to form a sense of attachment, and I could not even remember the men I was sold to. I am sure that there were repeats, but they were infrequent. Besides, I was programmed not to remember anybody!

Some of the core beliefs implanted by the cult were strengthened, others not, or only minimally so. Of the items on the list above, only “I am evil,” “It was my fault, “I am guilty,” “I am stupid,” “I am ugly,” and “I am not good enough” were not reinforced.

The self-image I developed with my teacher did not erase the basic self-image implanted by the cult. It existed in a parallel universe, off in its own dissociated little world. I have been spending many long years trying to integrate it into my core self. That work is not yet complete, but I have come a long way.

I had to remember what happened in the cult and with my teacher and remember how I felt. The contrast was dazzling! They were polar opposites. For a long time, those beliefs sat side by side, like the poetry books and RA books on my bookshelves. Then, slowly, they started to merge. Things were no longer black and white; they were grey – or, rather, they were in color. I had zebra stripes; a mean streak, a kind streak, times when I was compassionate or judgmental, clueless, indifferent. All sorts of different things, all part of the same person.

When I only knew the cult, I was one-dimensional, evil to the core, worthless, and guilty. With the advent of my teacher, I became two-dimensional, but I could only be in one dimension at a time. And when the amnesia lifted and I could work on these issues, I became multi-dimensional, deep, multi-colored, sparkly, all at the same time.

The mind is a strange and wondrous thing. And the weirdest thing of all, this happened without any integration of the tiny little pieces of me.

~~~~~~~~~~

Upcoming Holidays

March
3/21 Spring Equinox
3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan
3/28 Full Moon
3/28 Palm Sunday

April
4/1 April Fool’s Day
4/1 Maundy Thursday (commemoration of the Last Supper)
4/2 Good Friday
4/3 Holy Saturday
4/4 Easter Sunday
4/8 Day of the Masters
4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/26 Full Moon

May
5/1 Beltane
5/9 Mothers’ Day
5/12 (?) Armed Forces Day
5/23 Pentecost
5/26 Total Lunar Eclipse
5/26 Full Moon
5/31 Memorial Day

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
3/28 – 4/4  Passover/Pesach (Deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt)
4/4 Hitler’s alternate birthday (Note: Hitler was born on Easter, so Nazis celebrate his actual birthday, 4/20, and Easter of the current year. This year Easter falls on 4/4.)
4/8 Yom HaShoah  (Holocaust Remembrance Day)
4/15 Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)
4/20 Hitler’s birthday
4/15 Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)
5/8 V-E Day (Victory in Europe, WW2)
5/17 Shavuot (Festival of Harvest, Festival of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments)
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices, and the equinoxes.)

* You can find more information on the following holidays at:

Spring Equinox: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/the-spring-equinox/

Easter: personal (for background, see Spring Equinox) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/easter-blues/

Walpurgisnacht/May Eve: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/walpurgisnacht/

Beltane: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/beltane/

Mothers’ Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/mothers-day/

Fathers’ Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2020/06/20/ritual-abuse-and-fathers-day/

Summer Solstice: (corrected text) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/well-this-is-embarrassing/
Lammas: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/category/lamas/
and https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/august-ritual-dates/
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 1 https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/the-feast-of-the-beast/

Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 2 https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/feast-of-the-beast-part-ii/

Fall Equinox: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/the-fall-equinox/

Halloween: (personal) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/ 
Halloween: (background) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/samhainhalloween/
 
Thanksgiving: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/thanksgiving/ 
Yule/Winter Solstice: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/yulewinter-solstice/
Candlemas: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/candlemas/
 
Valentine’s Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/valentines-day/

Phases of Healing from Ritual Abuse

I’m sorry this is late. WordPress and I are not getting along very well these days.

For ten years, it allowed me to space things the way I wanted. If it didn’t look right, I could switch to html, see what had gone wrong, and fix it. I guess they decided that was too complicated, so they simplified it. I have fewer choices, and I cannot do what I want to do. Technically, I can continue using the old system but it’s hidden deep down among all the things I don’t want to do. Figuring it out drives me bats.

Yesterday and the day before, I gave up after about three hours. I am hoping today is my lucky day. If not, I will waste only more three more hours and try again tomorrow.

~~~~~~~~~~



The phases I am about to describe aren’t from the literature; they are from my own experience. The literature generally starts with Phase 1: Stabilization. Well, it’s been thirty years, and I don’t feel reliably stable some days. So I am just going to let you know what I have observed about my own process.

Phase 1 was pre-memory. It lasted way too long for my taste because I was just spinning my wheels. I knew there was something wrong with me, and I knew I wanted to find out what it was and fix it. So I guessed and guessed and guessed as to what that might be. Never even came close! I read every book Freud wrote and then branched out to other psychiatry and psychology books. Nothing resonated. I went into therapy, but my therapists were not “trauma-informed.” Nobody was in those days, so I cannot fault them for not being able to properly diagnose me.

Back then, it was the general consensus that parent-child incest occurred in only one in a million families. In 1955, the year I graduated from high school, the population of America was 171, 685,337. (https://www.populationpyramid.net) That means that people believed that 171 American families were incestuous. (Of course, there would be considerably more if marriages between first or second cousins were counted.) Little wonder that it never crossed my mind. 

Phase 2 was the emergence of memories and frequent, long-lasting flashbacks. This was the hardest time for me because it was all so new and intense. I had no framework for my experiences, and nothing seemed to make sense. I was afraid that I would become psychotic and that my heart would stop from the terror I felt.

Technically, I was psychotic. I thought my cats could read my mind and were in contact with their relatives, who I had been tricked into killing when I was four. I also believed that if my clock radio was quiet, “they” could send thoughts into my mind, so I kept it on all night. However, I knew these things weren’t true. I never took antipsychotic medication and never was hospitalized. Looking back, I interpret these thoughts as memories of the lies they told me. 

When I say that the flashbacks were long-lasting, one body memory lasted for three whole months. It seemed just as intense the whole time. Dealing with all this while working full time was exhausting. Luckily I could sleep at night, and my sleep was relatively undisturbed.

I was also was lucky to have, for the first time, a therapist who knew not only what incest was, but what ritual abuse was. He was smart and loving and had support from a study group of therapists dealing with similar clients. He was a rock for me in those confusing times.

I do not know how I would have fared had I had a therapist who still believed that incest was rare and that ritual abuse did not exist. I think I would have believed them because, after all, they were the authority, and I would have been relieved that nothing like that happened in my family. However, what would I have done with the flashbacks? Perhaps I would have pushed my memories back down into my unconscious, stopping the flashbacks. Or perhaps I would have believed I was truly psychotic, been referred to a psychiatrist who did not believe ritual abuse existed, and been heavily medicated. 

Phase 3 was the consolidation phase. Flashbacks occurred much less often, and I had a chance to catch my breath and focus on learning how to live with my new-discovered past. I read voraciously and spent a great deal of time in the presence of other survivors. It was a true identity crisis, and I looked to the “coming out” process as a guide. I was not the person I had thought I was and I did not know how to behave like the person I now knew I was. 

My past explained so many of my present problems! I suddenly believed in cause and effect, whereas in the past, since I couldn’t see the connection, I had always been confused, at best. It was such a relief to have a reason for my troubles, even though it was a horrible reason. 

And now came the hard job of minimizing the effects of my past on my present life and opening up possibilities that had always been denied to me. I did not have to be a robot, following the teaching and commands of the cult. I could learn to be free, to consider my options, and to make a choice based on my own needs, ethics, and desires, not somebody else’s. This was all foreign territory to me. Luckily, you can teach an old dog new tricks!

Understand that my experience didn’t follow these steps exactly. There are days even now when I slip back into Phase 2 or when my denial would take me back into Phase 1 if it could. Unfortunately, even if I convinced myself that I made it all up, I couldn’t forget what I had “made up.” My old identity doesn’t fit anymore.

And each time I open a new area, I start from the very beginning. There was a time when I remembered the ritual abuse but not the mind control or the child pornography. It was not as terrifying as the first time I had flashbacks because I knew what they were and knew how to handle them. I had a road map of the process and faith that I was strong enough to live through whatever was in store for me. I also had support from knowledgeable therapists and other survivors. The confusion and fear were less, and the self-confidence was greater.

I’m sure a lot of people can relate to what I have written. These phases are simple – the before, the beginning, and the middle. I doubt there will be an end, a time when I say, “That’s it. I have done everything and there is no more work to do. Now I will take up guppy breeding.” 

~~~~~~~~~~

UPCOMING HOLIDAYS

March
 3/21 Spring Equinox
 3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan
 3/28 Full Moon
 3/28 Palm Sunday

April
4/1 April Fool’s Day
4/1 Maundy Thursday (commemoration of the Last Supper)
4/2 Good Friday
4/3 Holy Saturday
4/4 Easter Sunday
4/8 Day of the Masters
4/26 Grand Climax/De Meur
4/26 Full Moon
4/30 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve

May
5/1 Beltane
5/9 Mothers’ Day
5/12 (?) Armed Forces Day
5/23 Pentecost
5/26 Total Lunar Eclipse
5/26 Full Moon
5/31 Memorial Day

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
3/28 – 4/4  Passover/Pesach (Deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt)
4/4 Hitler’s alternate birthday (Note: Hitler was born on Easter, so Nazis celebrate his actual birthday, 4/20, and Easter of the current year. This year Easter falls on 4/4.)
4/8 Yom HaShoah  (Holocaust Remembrance Day)
4/15 Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)
4/20 Hitler’s birthday
4/15 Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)
5/8 V-E Day (Victory in Europe, WW2)
5/17 Shavuot (Festival of Harvest, Festival of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments)
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices, and the equinoxes.)

~~~~~~~~~~

* You can find more information on the following holidays at:

Spring Equinox: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/the-spring-equinox/

Easter: personal. (for background, see Spring Equinox) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/easter-blues/

Walpurgisnacht/May Eve: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/walpurgisnacht/

Beltane: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/beltane/

Mothers’ Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/mothers-day/

Fathers’ Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2020/06/20/ritual-abuse-and-fathers-day/

Summer Solstice: (corrected text) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/well-this-is-embarrassing/
Lammas: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/category/lamas/
and https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/august-ritual-dates/
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 1 https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/the-feast-of-the-beast/

Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 2 https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/feast-of-the-beast-part-ii/

Fall Equinox: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/the-fall-equinox/

Halloween: {personal) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/ 
Halloween: (background) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/samhainhalloween/
 
Thanksgiving: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/thanksgiving/ 
Yule/Winter Solstice: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/yulewinter-solstice/
Candlemas: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/candlemas/
 
Valentine’s Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/valentines-day/