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The Birth of The Astral Priory

“What is in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet;"

--Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare, Act II, Scene ii

The Astral Priory celebrated its third birthday two months ago, on March 5th. I planned to have this post ready and published that day to commemorate that milestone, but I was in Edinburgh, Scotland, at the time, and as picturesque and magical as Edinburgh is, I didn’t find many places where I could park and finish this in time. I’m actually glad it didn’t work out that way. If you follow on Instagram you probably would have seen that my month in the U.K. was chaotic as all hell, and I don’t think I was in the right headspace to have pushed anything out then. Instead, I write this a bit late, while sitting at my favorite coffee shop at home. 

First, let’s start with how to pronounce it. I’ve heard people pronounce the “Priory” part several different ways. Most everyone finds the “Astral” part really easy, so no need for a breakdown there. But just for clarification, it’s pronounced “PRY-UR-EE.” Now just say that fast and you’re good. The Astral PRY-UR-EE.

The Astral Priory logo on a galaxy background
The first Instagram post, I obviously was still very new to Canva ;)

In 2021, I was encouraged by a mentor of mine, Jasmin (aka Esoteric Esa) to start offering Akashic Records reading. I had never even considered that I could facilitate spiritual work for others. I was always on the receiving end. The student. How could I bring myself to a space where I would hold space for what I consider sacred work? Was I worthy or capable? So many questions fueled by self-doubt and imposter syndrome boiled to the surface. I was fortunate to have Jasmin’s encouragement. If she felt so confident in my ability to do this, then who was I to question that, especially since I had been working with her for several months? 

After I held Akashic readings for free to build up the practice of working with others, I started planning what this “spiritual business” would be. One thing to know about me is that I am really horrible at naming things. In college, when I had to do projects that would require me to come up with names for collections and clothing lines, that’s where I struggled the most. I had no problem with the visuals or the design, but god forbid I had to name something. I knew coming up with a name for my business would be no easier. And the thing was, this wasn’t a project that would just get discarded after the grade. This is concrete. Sure, you can do a rebrand if need be, but who wants to do all that work down the line? I knew that the name would set the tone going forward, so if I was going to do this, I wanted to do my best to get it right the first time.

My best friend and I had purchased these business plan worksheets from Etsy, and it recommended this exercise to help with naming. I can’t remember the exact instructions, but we had to do a brain dump of just a bunch of words about things you like, do, or are good at. Something like that. So, after a few minutes of jotting down a bunch of words, there was one that caught my eye, “dreams.” (Remember this part later…) It wasn’t directly related to anything to do with the Akashic work I’d be offering, but I felt pulled to it. I thought of what other terms or phrases could describe dreams, and that’s when I thought of astral projection. I’m not really of the camp that conflates dreaming with astral projection. I don’t believe they can be used interchangeably or that they have the same experience. But I did know that I had heard of people who refer to it as astral projection, and my eye focused on the astral part. 

Another thing I had to figure out was if I wanted to create a name for myself or the business. There are so many accounts on social media that I follow with some variation of “The _____ Witch,” or “The _____Goddess,” or any other mystical, feminine being. And I love all these names. But I felt weird about giving myself this type of name. It felt like I would then have to embody whatever I came up with, and that was just too much pressure. It’s the exact reason I don’t have tattoos; the thought of committing to a piece of artwork for a lifetime is just too much for me. It probably has something to do with being a Sagittarius…? Naming the business it was! And I relished the idea of creating a space, even if it was virtual, to come to for whatever I was offering. It gave it the ability to grow and transform. 

It felt important to incorporate an aspect of my past desire to become a nun (for more nun context, read the "Let's Start at the Very Beginning" section). Even though I’m no longer a practicing Catholic, there was the need to honor that journey in whatever way I could. I wouldn’t be into this work if it hadn’t been for the curiosity I had for living a “religious” and by extension, “spiritual” life, as a kid. I researched types of religious, particularly Catholic, societies or places of gathering for monastics. When I came to “priory,” it was another hard yes. It went well with Astral, and the best part, it made me think of The DaVinci Code, which was one of my favorite books when it came out. What better than a story that turned the whole foundation of Christianity on its head?

I had my name! It made it real, and therefore, terrifying. But I was set on this, it felt right. I was committing. All that was left was to celebrate by watching The DaVinci Code with my friend and wine.

When I created The Astral Priory, I set the intention for it to serve as a space that would grow and transform into whatever it needed to be. I had no idea what that could be, but the intention for transformation was and is at the core of it. I didn’t feel the need to create a five-year plan with specific goals set in stone. I was leaving it open. As I mentioned previously, when it all started, working with the Akashic Records was the main thing I had under my belt. I also had been attuned in level I Reiki, but as much as I like to have reiki done on me, it wasn’t a modality I felt connected with in a way that I wanted to do that work for others. I’m a visual person, when I work with the Records, I experience it in a visual way. Lots of symbols and images that I allow to have the meaning unraveled. As much as I love energy work, I didn’t feel the call to hold that space for others.

In 2022, I had a really powerful Ancestor Reading with Tayannah Lee McQuillar. Probably one of the best readings of anything I’ve ever had. She ended the session posing the question to my ancestors, “What gift is she underutilizing?” From my paternal side came the answer: “Working with dreams.” This instantly intrigued me as I’ve experienced dreams very vividly since I was a kid. I asked how to go about that. What would I have to do or learn in order to even start down that path? I was told to just do it; it was already a gift inherently in me. I just needed to work with it and hone it. It was shortly after this reading that I was introduced to Dream Tending. (To read more about this journey, check out the “Entering the Dream Realms” section of my The Long Road Here blog.)

As I started learning and working with dreams, I felt this whole new avenue open up before me. And the best part about it was that this wasn’t some brand-new, unfamiliar road I was heading down. It was a world I knew very intimately. One that always left me with questions I could never find the answers to, images that lingered, but I never understood what to do with them. Now, I can dance with these worlds in more depth than before. 

Looking back at The Astral Priory’s inception, did the birth of the name serve as a premonition for the dream work I wouldn’t become privy to for over a year later? Was I so drawn to the word “dream” in my exercise because something was guiding me to the next phase? I like to think the name manifested itself. It created the container that would welcome an opportunity to work with Dream. I believe there was magic in it from the very beginning.

Three business cards being held up
Our business cards in front of the St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland!

Three years later, I hold tightly to the same intention I had back in 2021. To give The Astral Priory the room to transform into whatever it wants to. I see myself is a kind of groundskeeper to it. And in turn I’m here along for the ride. I’ve already seen the things it’s brought into my life. How I’ve been presented with opportunities to share and teach through this vessel and welcomed into spaces I didn’t consider in the beginning. The uncertainty for what the future holds is definitely scary at times, as the last 3 years have been no cakewalk. But more than any apprehension I might have, I find myself more excited and hopeful for all the beautiful things that I have a feeling are just waiting to come through. 

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