Making Space for Your Authentic Self with Bryn Maycot

Episode 36 – Making Space for Your Authentic Self with Bryn Maycot The Waxing Soul


Episode Transcript:

I’m Bridget Owens and you're listening to the Waxing Soul podcast. Join me on an exploration of mindful modern magic, a journey towards deeper understanding of self and transformative individual spirituality.
It's July 8, 2021, and on today's episode I'll be interviewing author and astronumerotarologist Bryn Maycot about the importance of making space in your life for your authentic self and your evolution.
Are you ready to grow your soul?

Bridget Owens:
Thank you very, very much for joining me on a very special first time experimental thing on the podcast, I’ve been kind of tossing around the idea for a while of bringing guests onto the podcast to lend other voices to this purpose that I have for the podcast, which is to talk about authentic spirituality and finding your own spiritual path and creating your own spiritual life and digging into your personal magic and all of that. So, I have lined up a few guests to bring on when I’m not doing the like six and seven episode series, I’m going to be doing a mix of my own just sort of one off topics and bringing on guests. So today, the first guest that I want to interview is Bryn Maycott, they are the co-organizer of the local pagan group. And I wanted to start with very dear friends of mine. So they call themselves a… and correct me, Bryn, if I get this wrong, astronumeratarologist?

Bryn Maycott:
That is correct.

Bridget:
Okay. So and I wanted to really dig into sort of the importance of carving out a space for our own spiritual authenticity and our own authentic self. So let’s just start out, you know, describe what it looked like, in your past to have an inauthentic life, especially an inauthentic spiritual life.

Bryn:
For me, an authentic spiritual path needs to be something that well as an air sign, I need to be touched through the mind. The way to my heart, the way to my soul, the way to spark my spirit is through my mind, with ideas and discussions and learning, and basically being a participant. So if I can’t do that, if I’m told what I need to believe, or whatever, then that it just really feels like I’m just sitting in a pew, or just sitting there just nodding my head, and going along, or whatever, but I’m not adding anything, I’m not contributing anything. So that’s what it feels like to me. And also, even once I left organized religion and started out on my own, not knowing that there were other like minded people in the area, so you feel like you have to do this on your own. And it felt like a lot of trial and error, which at the time, when you when you see books on pagan related topics, it feels like you’re not doing it right, or you’re a failure, or you’re making a lot of mistakes. And so, yeah, well, I guess inauthentic is actually correct. You know, you start down certain paths, you are like, maybe this thing will be the spark for me, and you go down a certain way, and you realize this is not sustainable for me so, and not realizing what a spiritual path really look like. So if you grew up with, you know, in a Judeo Christian or anyway, for me growing up in a Judeo Christian family, they have the Bible, so everything is kind of all spelled out. And there’s really no question on how you do things. So not realizing that astrology, numerology, tarot, I’d always been interested in those, and I remained interested in those. But to say, This is my spiritual path. I didn’t know that was even a thing. I thought it had to be so much more. Like, there had to be an overarching name. And then astrology was just something I did, you know, on the side. So, you know, playing the piano in church or something. It’s like I doing this, but I’m actually you know, I’m going to church. This is just my side gig.

Bridget:
So what made you realize that besides, I’m sure that because I know you well enough that sitting in a pew sort of being preached at is not something that’s going to be particularly enjoyable, or engaging you, but be honest. Yeah. What made you realize that you weren’t, that you weren’t being spiritually authentic?

Bryn:
So it started with one book, I think, even when I was small, all through my life, things need to make sense in my head. And there were a lot of things about the teachings of our church. That didn’t make sense to me, and nobody had really good clear answers as to why most of the time, I was too afraid to even broach that subject. So I had started, I don’t know having questions, and I happen to be in a bookshop, and I happen to be in the spiritual section of the bookshop. And there was one book. It was written by a, an Episcopal I think they call themselves priests, but anyway, and it was about the truth about the Gospels, and it was mind blowing, it was the very first little crack in the, in the window of my escape from Judeo Christian. And that’s how big it was. And it brought up things that I, I didn’t even know that there were people that were researching this topic, or that knew this much about this topic, or that there were people that knew that the Bible was not the inspired Word. So, so it was just mind blowing. And then that just led, as all books do, a lot of books have the other list of resources in the back. And so it was just a big rabbit hole. And I’m not ashamed to say also, that another big step after that was The Da Vinci Code, and all of the resources in the book that that led to once I was on that searching, then I pretty much closed the door to my participation in organized religion.

Bridget:
I think you know, one of the things that as I talked about authenticity and and I talked about it in other areas of my life, I think I’ve mentioned that I’m kind of work as a business coach and in my quote unquote, real job. And there’s a lot of you know, talk about you being your authentic self in your marketing and what I think that I think what gets overlooked sometimes in authenticity is that includes your sort of your deeper values and the way that you see the world and it’s there is a level of inauthenticity in aligning yourself with like, when beliefs don’t make sense. It’s not just it’s not the problem of the beliefs, but it’s a it’s a disengagement, a dissonance between, you know, your point of view and what you know, and, and the things that you like, the way that you see the world. And whatever this doctrine is. So what was the biggest challenge for you in creating a more authentic spiritual life for yourself.

Bryn:
So probably Self confidence is a big one, I have always been more proud of. It wasn’t that I didn’t think I was smart, or whatever. But growing up in a family with really, really smart people, I decided to do my own thing, which was go the athletic route. And so and also being fairly new to any group of people or discussion, and people that seem to be able to expound for hours on topics. I knew I didn’t have that knowledge. So feeling like I had something to contribute or even to ask a an intelligent question was really daunting to me. So it felt like I really needed to do a lot of my own studying, which is probably another push to go down the astrology and numerology Tarot road. because not a lot of people seem to want to go really, really deep. And I thought, well, that can be the one thing I might not be able to talk about, you know, Egypt and how they contributed to pagan spirituality, but I definitely will be able to, you know, contribute when the discussion is on astrology. So I would say self confidence.

Bridget:
I think that self I’m glad that you brought that up. Because I think that the self confidence part is maybe the biggest challenge for most people in creating an authentic spiritual life because I think we look at spirituality is something that we’re supposed to kind of conform to and not conform it to us. And so taking that step and going now, I know that everybody else does this thing, but I’m gonna do this other thing. Because this is what I feel connected to takes a lot of kind of a lot of guts in a lot of ways, right, in some ways is a very more common in the pagan community. But overall, something that most people don’t consider as a possibility, this idea that you can kind of pick your own and make your spiritual practice. It’s it’s great that the community recognizes that but it’s still on an individual level.

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Each week we will dive into a different part of the world of spirituality, magic, and self-evolution. 
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Bridget:
So Bryn, what is the biggest change you’ve made in your life in general, so that you can be more authentic because I wanted to really dig in, I think what’s great about your, your story and your point of view is that it’s really speaks to the need to kind of carve out that space for yourself and to set not just boundaries, and not just declare that this is who you are authentically, but to kind of arrange the things around you and the people around you to support that.

Bryn:
Oh, that is awesome. I think a lot of it does have to do with the choice of people that I am close to, and choose to share intimately, inner workings of my brain, which for me, is about as intimate as anything for me. And I think it’s mostly decisions you make. So one of the great things about astrology for me is that, that is my tool for digging into what makes me and what makes other people tick, which has always been infinitely fascinating to me. And since I don’t believe there are any bad, and I’m using air quotes, bad signs, or bad planets and signs or bad alignments, there’s just challenges, being able to rely on other facets of yourself, to help you out when you might be willing to not be as authentic as you need to be or feel you need to be in those situations, being able to draw on some other part of you that has more courage or when you want to speak up, you can rely on a part of you to do that for you and kind of break the cycle that you always find yourself in where you just shut down or, or whatever, that’s what I usually do. So I would say that my biggest challenge is finding the parts of me that have the courage to speak up when I normally would not

Bridget:
Very interesting that you brought that up, because I’ve been working on and I believe I’ve mentioned this on the podcast, but I’m working on a book. And that’s going to come out later this year. And I was just in my writing kind of going through a part where I was kind of digging into this issue of well, the definition of authenticity. And the fact that like your authentic self isn’t the self that you want to be like, we may want to be more courageous, but our authentic self may not be courageous, and, it’s not bad. There can be lots of parts of your authentic self that you don’t particularly like that you want to change. But that’s part of your authenticity to go, I am not a very courageous person in this situation, I would like to find ways to be more. And like that is your authentic space. So kind of embracing that and going like this is who I am. And I know that I have these other strengths, also that I can lean on to kind of move forward but not going, I’m going to deny that this is a problem for me. And I’m just going to pretend to be this really courageous person anyway, tangent on my part. So and you talked about, you know, surrounding yourself with different people. does, specifically around your spiritual life? Maybe you wanted to sort of speak to, you know, the idea of building your own spiritual community.

Bryn:
I don’t know that I have actually purposely gone out in search of people. But I had been on this path kind of by myself. And then actually, I believe it was you and your dear wife, who mentioned that there’s this Meetup group. So I decided to give that a try. And it has been almost 10 years now. And then that has evolved, that whole group has evolved from what it was when I first started going. And then I’m not really sure how

Bridget:
For the listeners, I just wanted to kind of describe our group a little bit because it’s it’s a local group. And it’s been going on for probably close to 20 years. Now. It’s this very informal thing, but it’s this constant rotation, we have a core group of a handful of people who didn’t really show up. And otherwise it’s just this sort of constantly rotating assortment of people who show up and it’s I think a lot of organizers would go like what is this like that nobody wants to stick around. But it’s actually really cool because we’re sort of a place where people feel comfortable sort of dipping their toes in, they get like this really broad range of answers on things. This is not you know, promoting the group because it’s a local thing. But if you’re in Springfield, Missouri or the surrounding area, hit me up. It’s a unconventional way to think about a spiritual community because it’s not necessarily a consistent group of people all the time. And it’s not even one that has a consistent belief or point of view, add some pretty good arguments and debate, debates. And we all just sit around and talk about spirituality and these like sort of information swapping terms. So I think for you, Bryn, that’s probably like, I in kind of, for me to ideal, because it’s not about finding a community for us. We’re both authentically not in need of, hey, here’s what we believe. And here’s what you should do. And here’s how to do it. There’s nothing cooler and more spiritually enlightening than a roomful of people willing to talk about their points of view

Bryn:
So I hope I can say this. It’s sort of like mind porn for me.

Bridget:
So here’s an important question that I wanted to ask before. Before we break for the next section. Do you feel like you made changes to your life to make it easier to be authentic? Or do you think becoming more of an authentic self naturally resulted in those changes happening?

Bryn:
Wow, that’s a really good question. This is a lot like fresh air, because that’s what they always say to Terry Gross. So I think it had the spark had to be a decision to be more authentic first. And now it kind of feeds on itself in a way. So with that decision, and with you know, the very first action, where you sort of demonstrate that makes it easier for the next one, which means you can be even more authentic, which causes more change. So I think for me, it started I think, with a decision. And I say I’m a truthful person, I don’t feel like I really lied. But I have always been someone who, you sort of had to win my trust before I shared everything with you. And I think that’s totally okay.

Bridget:
So being authentic doesn’t mean that you take all your walls down, toss all the masks like, this is you all the time full. 100%. Right. But it does mean I think it’s I think authenticity is more about lying to yourself.

Bryn:
Yes, absolutely.

Bridget:
And telling, you know, playing the part not because you’re afraid not, not because you fully recognize on the inside that that’s not who you are, but it’s that you’re telling yourself that this is who you could be

Bryn:
Exactly.

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Bridget:
So does your… I’m sure that everybody’s a little bit fascinated by this whole astronumerotarology thing. And so I kind of want to maybe see if you could talk a little bit about what your authentic practice looks like, how that fits with your authentic self.

Bryn:
Yes. And while tarology is in there, I would say this is not your normal, typical, what you’re used to tarology. So, really, I, I will,

Bridget:
I will verify on that that the way that you use tarot is very different from the way most people use tarot, which is totally cool.

Bryn:
So there are certain ways that I know my brain works well, and some ways that I like I can spout numbers a lot with ease, but remembering 78 cards, I knew would take me forever to remember. So there are 12 of the Major Arcana cards. So let me back up first of all, so for me, astrology is a way to, and I know a lot of people use astrology for and I’m specifically talking about Western astrology, use it for prediction, and I am not so much into that. But for me, it is a way to understand what makes me tick, and how you know how other people tick. So astrology is it is how I do shadow work. And for me, it is one of those infinitely fascinating things. So I would say that is the core. And numerology is sort of, if you will, the operating system that kind of works behind the scenes sort of very into numerology, I’m very into numbers. And the whole, I mean energy and colors and sound can be broken down into math. And that is awesome. To me. It’s sort of the operating system that runs in the background, and terminology. So the tarot part of it 12 of the Major Arcana cards correspond to the 12 signs of the zodiac. And so for me, they are sort of like the archetypes of the signs. If anybody has any experience with astrology, you may notice that for instance, if I said to you that the tarot card that corresponds to Leo is strength, what you see a lot in astrology readings, like your horoscope in a magazine, or even in books that explain the different signs, there’s a little bit of a disconnect there. And I choose to use the Tarot, the Tarot signs can be both the highest vibration of that sign, like, the best thing about that sign, and on the flip side could be the downfall of the sign. So that’s what I use the Tarot for the archetype of the signs and a way to take it deeper, not not just a surface thing with the what the signs mean. Anyway, so that’s my practice in a nutshell. So

Bridget:
How much… it sounds like, and I know, I know you well enough to know that a lot of your spiritual focus is on your growth, knowing yourself, your evolution, would that be a safe description of your….

Bryn:
Yes, And so I was thinking about this today. And I also believe that you never know where your reach will end. So one person working on spiritual growth and evolution can change the world can start a spark and other people can do the same. But I also think it’s really important to leave… where we can to leave a record of kind of our spiritual growth. So this is where people who can write books, I think, are very instrumental in in the whole human species being able to evolve. So I think about kind of our human evolution has sort of been in fits and starts and we go backwards. And then we go forwards. And I wonder how much of that because somebody stumbled upon, you know, a writing of something. I mean, it happened with the Wright brothers in flight, you know, stumbling upon and they were sort of myths at the time. I mean, they were myths, but finding what someone else left in it some obscure writing, and that sparks you to take that in a new direction. So I don’t want it to be something that I just do for myself, thinks somebody’s story, even if it is not exactly like somebody else’s story. And it even if somebody else is not into astrology or numerology or the Tarot can still take things and it can help them maybe spark their evolutionary growth. So I don’t want to just keep it under, you know, a basket and just do just for myself, I also want it to be something that helps mankind. And I don’t mean that to sound grandiose, because it’s not like I’m planning on getting on some kind of soapbox. But one person’s change can spark change around them. So.

Bridget:
So what would you say is the secret to creating space in your life for your authenticity,

Bryn:
Not being afraid to make mistakes. So I don’t know about anybody else. But for me, that can keep me from doing things and trying things and searching out things. Maybe other people find themselves in that situation, too.

Bridget:
Perfect. So thank you very much for being on the show.

Bryn:
Thank you so much for having me.

Bridget:
You’re very welcome. I wanted to as I’m doing these interviews I want to kind of end with, I’m calling it show and tell. Even though this is a podcast, there’s not going to be a lot of showing. But I wanted to give you some space to either share something that you’re doing, share a cool story, share anything of interest, you get the floor for a couple of minutes to show and tell for for the listeners.

Bryn:
So I did write a book, I wrote my first book. And I say first because I hope it’s not the last. I’m just having trouble narrowing down for follow on books, but I did write a book. And it’s called Pieces of my Mind by Bryn Maycott it is on Amazon, it sort of documents, the beginnings of my what I would call my pagan spiritual path. So you may not find a lot of what I’ve talked about tonight in that book, but that was the beginnings. And I wrote that book several years ago. Hopefully there will be one to follow. And I just wish for everyone the space to be able to explore.

Bridget:
Awesome. Well, thank you so so much for being here. We will have more of these interviews. So if you are interested in being featured on the podcast, please reach out I will have a link on the podcast page where there is usually a downloadable resource, which there will be one for this episode. Even though this is not all my content. I’m going to make a resource about creating space for your authenticity in your life.

Thank you so much for listening.
New episodes of the Waxing Soul drop every Thursday.
All materials and resources except the music are copyright Bridget Owens.
Many thanks to my readers, listeners, friends, mentors, inspirations, and my framily for riding with me into season two.
Until next week, blessed be and be good to yourself.

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