Ross Heaven, Shaman and Author

Yesterday morning I received the sad news that Ross Heaven, Shaman and author had sadly and unexpectedly passed away.

I never managed to meet Ross in person but he was kind enough to write a review of my book ‘Web of Life’ despite having no idea who I was and when I decided to do the distance work based on his excellent book ‘Medicine for the Soul’ he proved himself to be the most supportive teacher, guiding, challenging and generous in the sharing of his own experiences.

If you have never read any of Ross’ books you are missing a real treat. His works are wide ranging in their themes from his own early training with Adam, the Sin Eater he knew as a child in Wales in ‘The Sin Eater’s Last Confessions’, his own journey and changing relationships in ‘Drinking the Four Winds’, and his interest in working with plant spirits in both Plant Spirit Wisdom and his mini series on the teacher plants of Ayahuasca, San Pedro and Salvia. This is just a snippet of what Ross wrote so when you have finished reading this why not head away and see what else there is and if it speaks to you.

Many of us will miss Ross for all kinds of personal reasons as the post I am sharing from today’s Indie Shaman Blog will confirm.

Travel well Ross, I for one am very glad our paths crossed.

Yesterday we were shocked and saddened to hear of shaman and author Ross Heaven’s sudden passing from this world. Ross was one of a kind and will be long remembered by the many people whose lives he touched. As well as writing many books and running courses, Ross ‘had time’ for people – he inspired,…

via Ross Heaven – Shaman, Author, One of a Kind — Indie Shaman

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Every year I go into solstice with idea about how I might mark the occasion and every year it works out differently. Think I’d learn wouldn’t you.

I began this year thinking I might see if anyone was around to drum, then quickly realised everyone was working, then I thought I’d watch the live link from Newgrange and during the day make a Despacho, a form of prayer bundle which I could then offer to the spirits in a solstice fire in my stone circle. This way I could drum while the spirits consumed the bundle along. Did any of this happen? No!

Instead an incredibly dark solstice morning found me driving to the dentist as I had a niggly tooth and needed to get it checked out before Christmas. During the drive, feeling disappointed not to be watching the sun fail to rise and illuminate the passage at Newgrange (it was a dull misty, damp morning everywhere in Ireland) when I realised that just as I often do a sign and omen walk I could do the same whilst driving as long as I was careful to also pay attention to the road of course. So shifting my awareness I asked for signs and omens for the day that was in it. Sure enough I soon became aware of my focus being drawn first to the bare trunks of clusters of birch trees as I drove past, then my gaze lifting above the trees and hedgerow to the lightness beginning to grow in the sky in the distance and finally to the crow flying directly towards me. As crow is someone I work with and whom is around often I asked for confirmation and was rewarded with a second crow immediately flying from a tree across the road in front of me. As with all signs and omens the real comes later in interpreting these and so I held onto them until I could sit, journey, gain insight, reflect and make sense of what I had been given.

Returning home, tooth sorted I was again disappointed that the weather was even worse. I had driven home through thickening fog and miserable drizzly rain neither of which are conducive to drumming outside and fire ceremony. So a quick rethink found me in my log cabin where I was guided to select two cards from Ted Andrews, Nature Speak Cards. I thought I was drawing these for myself until I was guided to draw a third which was solely for me and realised the first two were also to share here.

The first card was drawn for the darkness and was: Tulip – Trust in your efforts

Sometimes we feel that we aren’t really getting anywhere, making any progress but our efforts are working and rewards are coming if we continue to stay focused on them and to discriminate as to how and where to use them.

The second card was drawn for the light and was: Garden – Time for nurturing

This is a reminder to nurture yourself and to do things that give you joy, to sow new seeds in your life and then watch them grow. Doing this will stimulate new energies around you.

I have a suspicion that the signs and omens I received on my drive were also meant to be shared hence this blog post but as with all shamanic work the interpretation of them for anyone other than me is not mine to make. Basically, without going into details, for me the three signs together show me what I need to release and what I need to grasp hold of and carry with me as the shift from darkness to light takes place.

Maybe the signs I was given resonate with you in which case do reflect on them and what they might mean to you, or maybe this might inspire you to do your own signs and omens drive or walk.

I did drum, but out of respect for my drum, in my log cabin and not in the rain in my stone circle.

Just an aside here as yesterday where I live it was a seriously dark day, no sky visible, absolutely no light to be seen. I was out last night and I have never experienced such a deep and dark night, total blackness everywhere. I really do think this was the darkest solstice I have ever seen. May the light come quickly and shine brightly on us all in the coming months.

 

Winter Solstice at Newgrange

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Although I live in Ireland I am sadly the other end of the country from the Megalithic Passage Tomb at Newgrange where hundreds gather for the sunrise of Winter Solstice. Those few lucky people enough to be able to enter the tomb gather in the darkness to await the rays of the sun which light up the passage.

In the past I have been able to watch this online via a video link but the last couple of years this stopped. This year though it is not only back but is being broadcast worldwide for the first time ever.

So if it is a clear boring on either 20th or 21st December this year we will all be able to join the lucky few and watch the sun light up the passage tomb by tuning into Ireland’s Ancient East YouTube channel

 

 

 

 

The Holiday Tree

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This might look like a Christmas tree and most people who call to us would say that’s what it is but if they look closely they will see that it really isn’t.

Ok, we have lights, a few baubles and the odd Santa but almost all of the decorations on our tree have been brought home by us from holidays. We have for instance a koala from Australia, elephants from India, a Tibetan bell from Nepal, an orangutan from Borneo, palm fish from Cambodia, figures in national costume from Bhutan, a hummingbird from Costa Rica and most recently a maple leaf from Canada.

I love that this is how the tree is for every year when we unpack the box to decorate the tree we revive memories of the places we have visited through remembering where each decoration came from.

Our tree is always up before Winter Solstice which has far more meaning for me than Christmas does so the fact that it is more a holiday tree than anything else is absolutely perfect 🙂

Auragraphs

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Yesterday in the post there was an envelope addressed to me, an envelope which contained money, always nice 🙂 and a request for me to do an Auragraph.

Now one of the things I do as part of my work is to offer distance readings for people and one form of distance reading is that of the Auragraph. I love doing auaragraphs but don’t do them very often possibly because many people may know what they are. They are always done as distance work as they do take me some time to complete and probably even longer if the client was watching me work. I think I might find it much harder to channel the drawing if I had the client present as I do need to be able to focus and be aware of what is taking shape. I love that I sometimes have no idea what I am drawing until it takes form on the paper, that the meaning of it and any colours used will become clear as the auragraph forms. In many ways when I am working it reminds me of the magic paintings I had as a child, the ones where there was nothing  and then when I painted with water images would begin to appear. At other times though I will have an image or colours in my head but only when the auragraph takes shape do I start to understand why I am seeing these. Like I said magic 🙂

Every auragraph I do is different and unique to the person I am reading for. They carry information about the present, the potential future and sometimes the past, the energies or archetypes that are around supporting and guiding and all come with an accompanying written explanation of what I have been given to pass on. They are always drawn in a circle as this represents the whole, the whole person as well as past, present and future.

An Auragraph is lovely to have done for yourself but also make good presents. Some people frame them and display them, others use them as a tool for meditation and some just take them as a reading that sums up where they are now.

Auragraphs were first created by the medium Harold Sharp who used the term Auragraph to describe what he saw as ‘artistic diagrams of the human aura.’

I became aware of Auragraphs in a slightly unusual way when I was on a course at the Arthur Findlay College in Stanstead, UK. Arthur Findlay is a spiritualist college with a small museum depicting the ‘World History of ‘Modern Spiritualism and ‘Mediumship’ and during my first time at the college I paid a visit. At one point in the museum, when I stopped in front of a photograph of a gentleman, I experienced a strong rush of energy flowing into me. I moved to the side, it stopped, I moved back and there it was again. I left the museum, found one of the friends I was there with and dragged her in to see if it happened to her which it didn’t. So puzzled yet fascinated by what I was experiencing I spent the rest of the time stepping back and forth on the spot where I had this amazing energy running through me.

Back at home some time afterwards I was looking to see other courses that the college ran and came across one on Auragraphs. ‘I can do those ‘ I said quite confidently, without having any idea of what they were and then proceeded to prove I could, before looking them up to find out what they actually were.

Fast forward to the following year which saw me back at the college and of course back in the museum. I returned to the spot I had stood in the previous year and there in front of me was the photo and this time I looked at the name ‘Harold Sharp’.  Behind the photograph was a book and beside it was a label stating that the book contained the auragraphs of  Harold Sharp. It also said that the book could not be touched but I went and explained and was allowed to carefully look at the work of the man whom I am sure enegetically connected me with the idea of auragraphs.

I do Auragraph readings for anyone anywhere in the world. They are produced on good quality watercolour paper with watercolour pencils and are always sent by post along with the accompanying reading. For more information do check out ‘Readings’ on my website

In the Eye of the Storm and the Aftermath

Ophelia

We weren’t actually in the eye of the storm, more a bit to the right of it but that didn’t sound so good as a heading 🙂 Ophelia though was an experience which thankfully we have survived almost intact.

So how was it?

Well, we listened to all the advice and outside moved anything loose; plants, pots, wheelie bins and even the tiny stone dragon, and gargoyle as well as the ironic garden gnome. We filled buckets with water to weigh them down and also so we had some extra water even if it was a bit green and slimy and then we gave up as we didn’t know what else we could do. Later, in the dark we ventured out to do some last minute moving of a table and my tiny oak saplings.

Inside we cleared all the window sills, lowered blinds and drew curtains. I’m not quite sure what this was for but suspect it was in case the windows blew in. We also filled up water bottles, kettles, anything we could get our hands on really so that we had as much fresh water available as possible.

The Irish have a very laid back ‘sure it’ll be fine’ attitude towards weather warnings, mainly because we get so many, but the night before we watched the weather forecast and listened to the warning that this was not ‘the tail end of a hurricane’ this was an ACTUAL hurricane. This might it seemed, be serious, especially as half the country (the bit I am in) had a red warning, the other half orange.

The morning itself I woke around 4am and weirdly could physically feel the hurricane coming, something in me had changed. I had not expected this in any way that on a physical level it would make its presence known. By about 7am we were wide awake. It was incredibly warm for October and still relatively calm but by now I had a headache.

We had been given comprehensive information as to when the storm was expected to reach the various parts of the country and as we still had power we knew it had reached the far south west and was on its way. By this point the whole country had a red warning. We put out phones back on charge and being very first world, also the electric toothbrush, then settled down in the lounge, the farthest point from the south/south east winds as well as the furthest from our (glass) conservatory and watched the drama unfold online.

Durning the morning we were more and more aware of the wind, sneaking peeps out of the windows at odd times we saw trees down on our crossroads, leaves blowing outside and felt the temperature drop dramatically.

Somehow we held onto power all morning, watching reports from those with mobile internet that the power had gone all around us and then at 12.30pm during the peak of the storm for us, the power went.

We had been expecting to be in the band of fiercest winds, shown as dark purple on the map, but the hurricane had changed course, very, very slightly, and so the damaging gusts were not as bad as we’d been warned. Yes it was fierce but it didn’t seem to be gusting as much as we had expected. Despite an incredibly strong desire to go and see what was happening we stayed hunkered down listening to the odd and unexplained noise from outside

Eventually around 4pm my headache cleared and we felt the worst had been and gone so we ventured out. Three ridge tiles had blown off the roof and were laying on the ground in an empty space where the table we moved in the dark the night before had once been. Somehow these fell the right way and so luckily missed going through the roof of our conservatory. We had also lost a couple of outside lights and the fascia from a shed. Oh and the contents of the fridge and freezer which have now had to be thrown out of course.

That evening we listened to the wind change direction to come from the North West. This then hit the end of the house we were sheltering in but luckily had lost lot of  its strength.

The next day dawned calm with blue skies and sunshine. We chanced the roads into town where a supermarket with its own generator, cleaned up by providing take away coffees. The delight of a hot drink. The afternoon saw us first of all clearing up fallen branches in the garden and then walking on the beach still in the sunshine. We had been lucky. No roads blocked, none of our trees down, others though weren’t as lucky.

In the city over twenty ancient lime trees had fallen completely blocking a road, all around the south and south west of Ireland trees had fallen and are still falling, my husband’s golf course is closed for the foreseeable future due to damage and we know that means a large number of trees have been lost. Three people lost their lives in the storm, damage to property is widespread.

Today and tomorrow we have another weather front bringing heavy prolonged rain. Drains and ditches are blocked with leaves and debris causing flooding on roads. The road from our village to town was only just passable this morning.

Our power came back on last night, others will still be out over the weekend it seems, maybe even into next week.  We have another storm on the way after the rain. It’s called Brian which sounds harmless enough, but has winds that we are being warned could do even more damage coming after Ophelia. Lets hope not.

The three days we had without power have taught us the following:

  • Not having any idea what is going on anywhere is incredibly isolating, we may now get mobile internet on one of the phones, just in case.
  • We should have bought some baby wipes and hand gel then might not have felt quite so grubby.
  • Pot noodles, just add water pasta meals, tinned tuna etc would be handy to have in the cupboard
  • The old camping stove that we eventually remembered we had and unearthed from the shed yesterday will be better kept in the house in the future
  • Food in the fridge is not edible once the power has been off a while

We were lucky. We are a little sheltered from south/south easterly winds, if the next winds from Brian come from the north/north west as forecast they will hit us straight on. In that direction we are exposed 😦

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I would like to think the energetic protection I put in place helped keep us safe, that the overtures I made when journeying to Ophelia persuaded her to change her course slightly (although I clearly wasn’t persuasive enough that the storm missed Ireland, or even us, completely), that connecting with Huracan (thanks Laura Perry for the suggestion) which was easier once I had discovered his links to Quetzalcoatl whom I know from Munay Ki, may have made a difference. Who can know for sure. What I do know is that with Brian brewing up a storm I am off to reinforce our energetic protection ….just in case.