AC Rodriguez is an Appalachian Bard, Spiritual Healer and Survivor.

She believes that in sharing our stories, we can break generational cycles that hold us back from our true power.

Why Shadow and Stone?

I’m not selling a product or an idea. My brand is just me and my story. In order to truly understand who I am in this space and time you need to know why I chose Shadow and Stone to represent myself and my healing practices.

About the Shadow

I have moved in and out of Shadow throughout my entire life. It is a central part of my story and of my ancestral practices. For me, Darkness is just the way of things. As a child I was scared of it but as I move into my own cronehood I understand how needed it is. Especially in this time of collective transition and renewal. I no longer curse the darkness or wish the shadows away.

I’ve come to learn that Shadow Work creates a space to heal. It allows us to break free of the chains that bind us and leads us on a journey to the center of our being. I am beginning to learn to help others work with their own darkness; to find the meaning in the shadows around them. I want to use this practice to heal the individual and in doing so; the collective.

Here is a small writing on the subject:

The women in my ancestry grew up twisted. Arthritis and Osteoporosis drew them in and with age, they became shrinking humps and spiny limbs. It was the darkness and shadow pulling them in.

Oh, how I wish they could see the light they created or taste the fruits of their body’s sacrifice.

But they cannot and so I do it for them. I speak and teach and eat the shadows to honor them. Maybe then, their sacrifice will be worth it. Maybe then, they will matter.

On the Physical Effects of Working with Shadows and Death

About the Stone

I grew up in Southern West Virginia in a small town; atop of an ancient mountain. At first it made me feel safe; like I was tucked away in some magical place. I remember walking the Creek line and finding arrowheads, mineral stones and other shiny things. I developed a deep love for the thick green moss that grew on the rocks (large and small). I had a special hideaway in the forest behind my house. It was a simple stone overhang, but my childhood brain imagined it to be a cave (and so it was).

Over time, the stone of the mountains began to feel like isolation. I dreamed of city lights and found myself unable to breath in the space I lived. The Stone had taken on a new meaning. I found it to be cruel and unyielding. I started to resent the dark bitter winters; the constant survival; the lack of newness around me.

And so I ran. I ended up in a place that was just the opposite; a place that was as flat and soft as it gets.

Only then, did I realize the value of the stone. I began to yearn to drink from the mountain; to feel the stone’s minerals entering my body. I dreamed of the creek and the feeling of the warm stone on my back as I lay upon a protruding rock during the warm summer months. I realized, then, that the stone was as much a part of me as the Shadow.

But the stone took an entirely different meaning following the death of my father.

Just a few weeks after his death, I spent Father’s Day in the Ozark Mountains with a dear magickal friend of mine. Here is what I wrote about the experience:

I went to the mountains with the moon. We found a quiet cove; one just for the two of us.

We lay in the bosom if the great Mother; her healing water flowing through us like waves.

I knew the Mother had a message for us so I climbed upon the strongest part of her I could find.

Then, I wept. I wept for myself, for the moon, and for the rocks in the creek; the pieces of us that were broken and jagged. The pieces of us that were formed by storms and floods.

After the span of 3 wind blows, Father Sun spoke to me. He told me to touch the rocks in the creek and ask them their stories. To breathe in the wreckage that created them and listen to the silence returned.

Many were tales of heartbreak and horror, others just happy tragedies. But as they spoke, I saw a common thread.

Every single stone I spoke to was grateful for the break.

They told their stories as if they were great becomings. In the end they found peace. Because what could be better than a life spent basking in the sun, within the bosom of the mother; the water & wind blessing you always with cleansing and healing. #faefolk#bard#bards#barding#beawanderer#obod#druidshit#shadowwork

A story about AC Rodriguez and Madame Moon; June 2022
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