September 30, 2022

When It’s Time To Change: Shedding Our Skins


I’m in my 50’s now, and like most of us I’ve shed a lot of skins in my life, outgrowing them, or simply shirking them off because they didn’t fit snugly. Daughter, schoolgirl, wife, mother, this, that, other (lots of other). Even within the context of work I still do, I went through many skins – as a writer, I started out writing supernatural novels, moved on to romance when I needed to pay the bills, jammed quite a bit of poetry and a fair few short stories in there, and then I wriggled my way back out of that romance-writer skin, since the zip caught on my scales and feathers and it just didn’t fit as well as it should.

Funnily enough, this path I’m on now has spiraled right around, bringing me back to what I started out doing in my twenties – working as a psychic, teaching about dreamwork, writing about the metaphysical and supernatural. When TS Eliot said this, he was really on to something:

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” 

The fact is, that like a snake, we shed a lot of skins over the course of our lives. We grow too big for them; they get itchy and shrunken and we are forced to split them down the back and shimmy ourselves out of them, which is a great exercise in bravery, since we are so new and vulnerable when fresh out of our old skin.

Snake is my spirit-kin who accompanies me on my travellings to the Otherworld. It is Snake who leads me where I need to go to understand what I need to do, and when I do healing journeys, he takes me to those who need my help – and this seems right and fitting to me, that it is a snake who does this.

When we shed our too-small skins, we are healing ourselves. We have grown, shifted, and become more, and will no longer be stifled by our old selves.

Let’s not be afraid to shed our old skins. It means only that we have grown.


‘A soul that is awake in all its aspects,’ the Queen said suddenly in the pause in conversation, ‘becomes the stronger for it.’

‘You’re saying this is a desirable thing?’ Morghan asked.

‘We,’ the Queen said and smiled. ‘And by we, I mean you, carry wounds from one life to the nrxt. They must be healed or repeated.’

The Threading, Ch. 14 (This novella is available in Follow The Wind, Selena Wilde Book 1)

Katherine Genet is the author of the Wilde Grove mythic/visionary fiction series, as well as complementary non-fiction. She has been walking a pagan path for 30 years and is a shamanic Druid, spirit worker, and priestess of  Elen of the Ways.

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  1. Jessica

    Oh so true, funny, I have a real aversion to snakes (actually worms as well lol), however, after reading all your otherworld books, I’ve grown a new appreciation for the snake. And learning more about kundalini energy, as we grow we gather new and different perspectives. I’ve spent most of September with a massive shingles attack, and your words about our skin becoming itchy really resonates, as this is exactly how my skin feels. I’m a Cancerian, and a couple of weeks ago I had an image of my crab shell being too small, and me needing to shed this shell and grow a new one. Thank you for your words.

    • Katherine Genet

      I love that image of your crab shell being too small! I wish you well on growing your new one – what a wonderful adventure that might be.

  2. Terry

    It seems that at 66, I am about to shed my old skin for a new one. Possibly. I teach art to people with disabilities and have for about 10 years. I have been trying to reduce my hours at my job to give more time to myself. However, there is a part of me that would like to leave the current job and try teaching art to others. I would be able to do that but to be honest I’m afraid to try. I have my doubts I would be able to teach anyone anything since I feel inside I still need to learn so much. Perhaps this feeling is my old skin trying to shed. I certainly hope so! This is a very unbalancing and scary time for me right now.

    • Katherine Genet

      I don’t think we ever stop having so much to learn – and it’s really healthy to know that there is always more to learn. I think you sound perfectly qualified to teach art to others, but I absolutely understand the fear. It’s hard changing things, putting yourself out there in new ways, and quite frankly, feeling like you’re qualified to do so. I’m facing the same thing! I can write books, yep, I’ve been doing that for long enough to know that. But I’m just now committing to teaching what I know through other means – a retreat, our upcoming community group, online courses. I don’t think I’ll ever be 100% sure about doing this, but I’m going to anyway. It might not go as brilliantly as I hope, but I’m going to dance around for a while in this new skin anyway. I hope you try on yours as well – I’ve a feeling it will fit beautifully ?

      • Terry

        Thank you so much for your encouragement!

  3. Catherine Eddy

    Kate you mentioned other genres you wrote. Are these under different pen names? If so would you share them with us so we can check them out?

    • Katherine Genet

      I will do so. I’ve gotten too many requests not to now! I’ll make a post about it, so watch for that.


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