Every Friday, we send out a weekly roundup of what’s new on Blood & Milk along with articles you may have missed from the archives. We also include an interview with an inspiring woman and this week we’re excited to Keeva Dagg. To get the newsletter, sign up here.
Keeva Dagg is a talented healer and elemental medicine expert. She uses the elements fire, air, earth, and water, to support people in finding the healer within themselves. Her inspiration to start her company Elemental Empress Medicine came from a calling to share with others how to deeply connect with the body. As an author, international public speaker, and healer, she embodies her mission to connect people with the truth of healing.
Working from an elemental perspective is such a fascinating way to approach holistic wellness; from natural contraception and menstrual empowerment to emotional dysregulation and psychosomatic ailments. What inspired you to utilize this as the primary container for all the work that you do?
I feel like this structure was gifted to me to share with the world. The time leading up to the creation of Elemental Empress Medicine were steppingstones to use the elemental structure. I only realized this in a conscious way after manifesting the company using fire, air, earth, and water. I looked back and saw essentially how I was led by the universe to use the ancient wisdom of the elements. It feels like the answer of what to create or which step to take next is always available through tuning into the body and listening to myself.
Over time I have developed different tools to be able to receive messages and, importantly, to trust the messages that I receive. This idea encapsulated me and drew me in after I had my aha moment for Elemental Empress Medicine. It was clear from day one what I needed to do even though it was challenging to let go and surrender.
I had built an entirely different business, so I took a breath and disintegrated that to make space for this bigger container. I feel this medicine wants to be shared with the world at this time. The elements themselves seem to have come to me to use me as a vessel to share this wisdom and to support other people in tuning into the elemental wisdom as well. It has so much to offer us in this transitional time on our planet.
The elements —air, fire, water, earth—are so often spoken about in relation to personality, astrological placements, and spiritual traditions. Can you describe some of the ways in which each of these elements is held and expressed through our bodies?
Within each element, there are strengths and challenges. This is where I like to begin with sharing about using the elements. If you were to think about which element out of fire, air, earth, and water, you resonate with the most, which would it be? Then, ask yourself which element you resonate the least with. Usually, the one we are drawn to is the strength we hold within at that time.
An element that is of no interest or is challenging to connect with can be something we are being challenged by in life. For example, if I am most attracted to water and least to fire. My strength is residing in my connection to my emotional body and intuition. Expressing my creativity and embodying my personal power may be something I am shying away from.
The fire element is most easily translated in the body as heat. Physical heat can be felt from activity, inflammation, and emotions like anger or frustration. Like all energy, it seeks to be in a state of flow. For fire, if we suppress the emotions or creativity that want to come through, the body becomes akin to a volcano on its way to a violent eruption. In this scenario, if my strength is in water, I would work with tapping into my emotions through flow writing and trusting my intuition about what to create in each moment. If your strength is in air, expressing your passions with your words or voice would facilitate the movement of this fiery energy.
As you can see from the examples above, the elements support each other in finding balance within the mind, body, and spirit. For earth medicine, the main thing I work with in the beginning with clients is taking the energy from the head into the physical body. Moving their awareness all the way down into the feet through guided meditation.
In between sessions I then recommend practices such as slowing down while spending time with food, placing their feet on the earth, and expansive breathing exercises. These tools are recommended to increase sensitivity within the body and, therefore, more easily connect with the physical aspect of our being. From there, worlds of wonder open up as one can then access the different energies the human body has to offer.
When a strong connection with the energies moving in the body is cultivated, the work with the elements can go deeper. More wisdom from fire, air, earth, and water becomes available.
What do you find is the most common struggle among the women who come into this work with you? And which element is this connected to?
With women, I have seen a common struggle around the womb space and root chakra. I feel that in the way that women are being raised in many parts of the world, trauma is manifesting at early ages for a variety of reasons. It deeply saddens me that there is this much trauma in these beautiful areas of the body that hold a huge potential for us in life. I have found a bounty of treasure by tapping into my menstrual cycle. I went on a journey into the womb space to discover what energy can support me in life. The women I was surrounded by as I entered womanhood only shared the pains of being a woman. Something in me knew there was more. A few years later I am grateful to say that I met women who guided me on my path. Those women changed my life in profound ways. From that, I feel it is an honor to be sharing this ancient wisdom of the elements with women.
The elements are abundantly helpful, firstly, to understand what is happening physically within the body. There are patterns that can be seen within the body from different kinds of trauma. Womb trauma, for example, can result in water retention around the abdomen, lack of self-care, and shallow breathing. Moving deeper into the pelvis, one can identify trauma by noting how the woman feels about expressing herself. Women are more comfortable sharing about that aspect of life. In following that thread through sessions, we end up in the pelvis.
I love to use birthing as a way of approaching this challenging topic of root chakra trauma. We can see the connection between the throat and pelvis clearly when giving birth. If the woman is resisting the energy flowing through her and constricting her pelvis, her voice will be high-pitched. With a relaxed opening pelvis as the birthing energy flows through, the voice is deep and low, like a primal bear! When we are able to truly relax our pelvis, the throat relaxes. We get to share our song with the world.
I support women in gaining access to this powerful flow of energy so that they can birth their potent creations into the world. If there is a block in the pelvis, it can be common to be able to have a vision for a manifestation, to feel passionate about it, but still struggle to bring it into the physical world. Moving through pelvic trauma clears the way for birthing of what we want to create.
I was gifted an intense experience of releasing a pregnancy to tap into this trauma within my root chakra. I realized through that journey just how connected I am to the line of women in my family. I was gifted this body. Through giving birth I was able to bring into the light the energy that was stopping me from expressing myself and bringing what I dreamt of into this physical world. Shifting this kind of energy can be scary because it is often powerfully dark and heavy. That was another moment for me where I felt deeply called to be of service to women. To walk with them through those dark times so that they do not feel alone, and they can tap into their strength to face what their body is sharing.
Many of us identify with some elements; we might be drawn to waterfalls, rivers, and the ocean, or leaning more toward candles, fireplaces, and crackling bonfires. What do you think we stand to learn in cases where there is an explicit resistance or disconnection from a particular element?
This is where the work gets potent and absolutely fascinating. Where the aversions lie are like breadcrumbs or what I like to call golden nuggets for personal development. I have always felt the call to find my boundaries and push them. The elements have gifted me many ways to do that. With resistance, we have the opportunity to look at what is before us with symbolic sight. This is essentially like learning a new language. Over time practicing symbolic sight of the world, you can get better at connecting the dots. Living in a way overtime where you live and breathe the truth that everything is connected. Realizing that the universe is always holding you and communicating with you in profound ways.
Recently, I was exploring a series of beautiful water pools along a river near my home. I was enamored by them and their purity. This, for me, is a day with my teachers. To recharge and receive. I came up to a gorgeous little waterfall. The sunlight was shining through the trees and onto the pool of water beneath the waterfall. I looked at the water pool and I could not tell the depth of different areas because they were dark. This was hugely challenging for me to get myself to step into the dark water of unknown depths. With symbolic sight, this is translated as struggling to step into the unknown depths of my own emotional body. Essentially, if I do not know how deep the emotion is going to go, I am experiencing an aversion toward stepping into it. Having these experiences in nature supports me in connecting with people about how to work with their emotions and move into the areas of their being that they are nervous about exploring.
If you are experiencing a complete aversion to an element, it is worth asking yourself what a connection to that element might gift you. With fire it might be more passion for life, water shares an opportunity for emotional connection, air can calm the mind, and earth could bring you more into the present moment. I have created my blog to support this exploration. It is organized into the four elements so you can look at the element you are attracted to and the one you least resonate with to gain some insight about yourself.
A running theme across your platform is that “the healer in me sees the healer in you.” What do you think are some of the greatest barriers to women harnessing the healers within themselves?
There are three barriers that I have observed in myself and others for embracing the healer within. The first is how we are conditioned when we are young. As a young girl, I was taught that people outside of me had the answers. This is naturally a part of society with the way schooling systems are designed. The answer is in the book, or the teacher knows what it is. The resounding message becomes, look outside of yourself for the answers to your questions.
To overcome the first barrier, I support people in closing their eyes and simply spending time with the energies of their body. Just observing in the beginning and becoming familiar with how the body feels. Then with time, we expand into asking the physical body questions. Using the physical body is a magical trick to silence the noise of the outer world.
The barrier of self-criticism comes in strongly when moving from childhood into womanhood. Learning to doubt our power as women is taught by many aspects of society around the world. There is this ideal woman that is created for one reason or another. She is not real but at the same time, she is the yardstick for how well we feel we are doing in life, which always results in us falling short. I find this is manifested because of the relationships women have with each other as well. The competition facilitates a desire to cut other women down to feel better about ourselves. I see this coming back to a lack of knowledge and wisdom around what it means to be a woman and the power that it holds.
We are all given these energies without guidance on how to use them. The result is chaos and strong energies being harnessed by manipulative sources that perpetuate disempowerment. These energetic patterns cut us off from our inner power and lead us to believe that we are not good enough to be our own best healer.
The third barrier that I reach with women in this sequence is facing the darkness within. Those tormenting voices in the mind and heavy energies in the body. When someone goes to a healer, the healer wants to see a clear picture of what feels good and what is troubling the person. Laying it all out on the table so they can do their work. To be our own best healer, we must be willing to do this with ourselves. Meaning we must be able to be honest with ourselves about the attractive and unattractive things we experience. For this barrier, I work with cultivating awareness of all things. Of course, we can choose to focus on the positive or what we want to see manifest in life. With that, when we can observe all of ourselves, this is when doors to powerful transformation really start to swing open!
What would you say to women who do not recognize or may even reject the notion of there being a healer that they house within themselves?
I feel that everyone comes to see their own power in their own time. Often these kinds of realizations result in big shifts in life. It can have ramifications on long-term relationships, careers, and belief systems. If this is a new concept, I would recommend being gentle with yourself as you explore. With the body, we have a perfect magical gateway for the transition into embodying the power we hold within. I work with the body because it meets people exactly where they are on their journey, and we can then take steps from that place to where that person wants to be.
In working with the body, the power always remains with the person I am working with. I have never spent a day in their body. They have been getting to know it and evolving with it for many years. Therefore, they are always the expert. I am just the reflection and guide to support them in seeing the light within themselves. One does not have to feel particularly self-aware or powerful to embark on this journey of discovery. Getting to know the capacity of the body can be for reasons such as relieving pain or making better decisions around food. Over time if we go deeper with the work, then there can be a trust cultivated within that there is a potent healer that resides within.
I like to leave the choice up to the person I work with or connect with, how far they want to go. After hearing their desires and expectations, the route is set. I take cues from what they share with me. Through the back and forth and understanding naturally reveals itself that their words have amazing power. They steer the ship. It is a beautiful and intense evolution of self and therefore, I trust when a person says they are ready to reveal that inner healer and when they say they are not. Our words are sacred. If you are reading this and you in no way feel there is a healer within you, what I would say to you is that what you believe is always true for you.
You often talk about ceremony and ritual, and of course, this differs across the various backgrounds and contexts in which women find themselves. How does one begin to create personal rituals and ceremonies, even when neither of these have been previously modelled to them?
I feel we all have a connection with rituals and ceremony from the lineages we come from, and this becomes evident as one starts to dive deeper into their intuitive capacities. As we become more in tune with ourselves, it becomes easier to trust the prompts that come forth. A lot of the time this means doing things before they make sense. Picking the flowers on your way home or buying something unusual in the supermarket. Through flowing with that and continuing to listen, ritual and ceremony naturally blossom in life.
Sharing about ritual and ceremony is an important part of Elemental Empress Medicine because it brings us back to our own well of ancient wisdom. In the beginning, keeping it simple is a beautiful way to expand into embracing more rituals and ceremonies. For women who are new to these practices, I like to start with the menstrual cycle. The reminder comes rhythmically to step into a ceremonial space with ourselves. During menses, the ritual can simply be that you take a nice shower, tend to the needs of your physical body, and oil your skin while playing some nice music. The power of ceremony and ritual is in repetition. Doing that each month is what cultivates a woman building a strong relationship with herself.
When I started out using more of these practices in my life, I surrounded myself with women who were more experienced than I was. I followed people on social media and attended events with red tents. Putting myself near women who were tapped into the wisdom of setting up sacred spaces. I found that when it started to feel more normal and familiar to me, I was able to open up more to my own intuitive capacities and create my own practices that felt aligned for different moments in my life.