Radio Interview

An interview I did with Cas Lake of My Spirit Radio about my book Shaman Pathways Web of Life can be listened to now by following this link


I love Teaching Reiki

imageI’m much later posting this than I would be most weeks as I’ve spent a good part of the day today doing one of the many things I love which is teaching. In this case I have been lucky enough to be teaching Reiki 1, the first level of Reiki.

As one of the most straightforward and uncomplicated forms of energy healing, Reiki is easy to learn and so seeing students begin to be aware of the energy, whether it be when giving or receiving is a real pleasure and often takes place surprisingly quickly. For many this will be their first experience of energy, whereas others may have experience of working with energy in other ways. With Reiki it doesn’t matter for it will always work with you exactly where you are and bring what you need whether you are training or having a Reiki treatment.

Although there are many books on Reiki and I too provide a handbook at each level, there is no real studying involved with Reiki, for all the teaching is through talking, questions, demonstrations and one of the most important aspects of Reiki, the practice of self treatments as well as learning how to share it with friends and family of course.

Many of my students stay in touch even if they go no further than Reiki 1 and one of my other pleasures is watching their growth, healing and development as they work with the universal life force energy that is Reiki.

My own journey began with Reiki and as it did with me it can open doors for others and lead them on in often surprising directions. One thing that is guaranteed is that Reiki will always bring change and everyone who comes to learn Reiki is seeking this even if they are not aware of it.

I certainly don’t remember actively looking for change although I must have been on some level as over the course of a couple of years I moved from a mainstream job with a contract to being a self employed therapist, a change I haven’t regretted for one minute. I am blessed in being able to work with what I love which is energy, whatever form it takes and also to be able to pass what I know onto others. For this and for finding Reiki, or rather Reiki finding me, I am eternally grateful.

You can learn a little more about Reiki here

Pagan Blog Project – Munay Ki

imageThe Munay-Ki Rites of Initiation

According to lore, the wisdom teachings of the Earthkeepers go back more than 100,000 years. During this time, the teachings have gone through many transformations, as mountain people migrated to lush farmland and then crossed the ice in Siberia into the thick forests of the American continent. Today we are going through another evolution as we bring this ancient body of knowledge into the 21st Century and although the outer form of teachings change the inner form remains the same.’ Alberto Villodo

The Munay-ki are part of these teachings and are the rites of the Shaman’s path of the Q’ero nation, descendants of the ancient Inca civilisation who dwelt high in the sacred mountains of the Andes in Peru. As is thought to be common with all Shamanic cultures, even though they are expressed in different forms and style, the Q’ero Shaman of today perform a series of rites that are known as the Munay-ki, a Q’ero word meaning love. The rites are passed on through a series of 9 transfers of energy known as: Foundation Rites: The healer’s rite, Bands of power, Harmony rite, Seer’s rite Lineage Rites: Daykeeper’s rite, Wisdomkeeper’s rite, Earthkeeper’s rite, Rites to Come: Starkeeper’s rite, Creator’s rite Once these rites have been received and worked with for a period of time anyone who has received the rites may pass them on to others as they wish. They may be offered as an integral part of other training, in their own right as Munay-Ki Initiations, over a weekend, several weekends, a series of days or even as one-off initiations during a healing session. Those passing on the rites charge for their time, experience and to cover expenses but the rites themselves are given free of charge, as the desire always is to train new Earthkeepers. Receiving the Munay-ki does not automatically make the receiver a Shaman or an Earthkeeper for there is work to do beyond the receiving of the rites. But the rites can help the receiver to heal the wounds of their personal past and that of their ancestors, as well as connect to and work with the Earthkeepers when they are ready to do so. As the Munay-Ki work with you where you are when you receive them, and bring you what you need at that time, it is difficult to be definitive but the following are the type of experiences that may be had after receiving the Munay-Ki rites:

  • Sleeping more deeply
  • Increased energy
  • More vivid dreams
  • Better dream recall
  • Feeling more calm or peaceful
  • Heightened intuition
  • Increased clarity
  • Being more focused
  • Increased self confidence
  • Increased optimism
  • Feeling happier or more joyful
  • Better or easier relationships
  • Improved physical health
  • Greater awareness and a greater sense of purpose

However the most common experience seems to be that ‘something is different’ although most people cannot explain exactly what. Receiving the Munay-Ki is a unique experience and everyone brings their own understanding to it. Many drawn to receive the Munay-ki do so because they long to make a difference in the world and in their lives and may well feel they have a received a calling from Spirit. If you feel called to receive the rites then they are right for you. Trust what you feel and be open to whatever you receive. I give Munay-Ki workshops in my healing room in Kilbrittain, Co.Cork for more information see

If you would like to read about my own experience of receiving the Munay Ki Rites you can read about them by following this link My Experience of Munay Ki

Web of Life Connections

In the web of life we are connected to each and every thing that exists. If we learn how to work with these connections we can find those that may become our teachers and so bring us messages and give us guidance.

One way of discovering what is bringing you messages is to literally keep your eyes open.

This morning looking out of the window I saw a rabbit happily eating away at the grass at the end of our garden. Coming downstairs I picked up my cards which have some of my teachers written on them. Putting my hand into the bag I pulled one out and on it was written RABBIT. This is a sure sign that rabbit has a message today so sitting with rabbit I journeyed to meet its spirit (you can also meditate on it) and this is the message I was given…

‘Take is easy, there is no need to rush at everything. Sit, look around and make sure it is clear and safe before you leap into action. This will save you time in the long run but may also save you in many other ways’


imageWe have quite a large strawberry bed in our garden. It has been there for around 16 years now and every year we talk about how we should replace some of the plants……next year. And every year…..yes you’ve got it….we forget.

This year is no different and the plants that are there are still the old ones.

The difference this year is that every other year we have carefully dug around the strawberry plants in the spring, removing any grass, stinging nettles, buttercups and anything else that might stop them growing big and strong. This year we were away and so did nothing but leave them to their own devices.

Today we had some time and decided the strawberry bed was our priority if we were to get any fruit this year and so set to. At first it was hard to even see where the plants were but as we dug and pulled we quickly began to uncover nice healthy, strong plants. The grasses had grown long as had other plants whose name I don’t even know but in doing so they had protected the plants.

As we uncovered more and more we realised that not only were there flowers on the strawberry plants but green strawberries and even a whole container, ok a small one but still, of ripe juicy strawberries.

I have a very loose attitude to gardening anyway. If it flowers it stays. If we plant something and a stronger plant takes over the space so be it. We don’t have straight lines nor neat and tidy flower beds but wild fuchsia hedging, ash trees and hawthorn. My herb beds and paths have been taken over by evening primrose and wild garlic and our ‘patio’ area by foxgloves and aqualigia.

So what a lovely surprise to discover not only fresh strawberries hidden under grass but a new relaxed gardening strategy for the strawberry bed. Next year I will just be leaving them to fend for themselves. They certainly seemed to like it.

House Martins

imageHouse Martins are not really amongst my favourite birds, every year they swoop and dive around our garden spooking me with their antics whilst looking for the ideal place to build their nests.

Their favourite spot this year, the one they have set their sights on, seems to be on the front of my log cabin, the log cabin where I work, the log cabin where clients walk in and out of when they come to me for healing sessions. I keep spotting them flying up in the eaves on a thin beam of wood which unfortunately is over both my window and door 😦

As anyone who has had a bird’s nest near them knows they can be messy. I have visions of the birds going about their business and dropping unwanted presents onto my clients. Also baby birds have a nasty habit of falling out if nests and they would land right on the hard step leading into the cabin. Not good.

I am happy for the House Martins to build their nest at the back or even side of the cabin, but no, the west facing front seems to be their side of preference. Like all good house hunters they are coming back for a second, third and even fourth viewing it seems.

Trying to head the inevitable nest building off I have now fixed Tibetan Prayer Flags to the front of my cabin, as high up as I can reach with only steps and not a ladder, in the hope that the flapping of them will be a deterrent. Which it might well be, if only there was some wind.

This morning I came back into the bedroom to find one of the House Martins had decided to pay a proper house call. There it was on our windowsill, wings outstretched looking out into the garden. Naturally I decided this really was a step too far and carefully lifting it with the curtain popped it back outside and watched it fly off to find its mate.

I am now in a slight dilemma. If the flags and my vigilance are not enough of a deterrent what do I do? Do I leave them in peace to build their nest knowing to well the implications of this or do I try even harder to dissuade them from their choice of premises? The shaman in me who respects the tiny creatures and knows that I and they are interconnected would leave them be. The human ego part of me (who I am not conceited enough to deny exists) wants a clean entrance to the cabin and happy clients. It will be interesting to see which one wins.

Pagan Blog Project – Making Ritual Work For You

imageAt the moment I am enjoying spending some of my time working at Bard level with the Order of the Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD) which has made me think much more deeply about ritual both the form and the purpose.

As a shamanic healer I’ve never been one for formalised ritual as in shamanism we work with the spirit of the place, our own guides and allies plus more than a little of our own intuition when we perform ritual. As with much of shamanism there is no right or wrong only what we need to do in that space at that particular time. Consequently my rituals are never the same two years running even though they may take place at the same time of the year and sometimes in the same place. The spirits of the place may ask me to do something and their wishes or needs are always paramount. My own guides and allies may guide me in a particular way and the energy of those present, or my energy if I am on my own, may also affect the way I perform the ritual.

At Bardic level with the OBOD however there are set rituals for set times of the year, one for each of the eight turns of the wheel. To be fair the OBOD does encourage us to make the rituals work for us, to use what resonates and leave what doesn’t. The form is a suggestion so it is still possible and encouraged, to make each and every one work for you.

My guides though had other ideas. At the start of the course they told me that it was important for me to work through the rituals and ceremonies exactly as they were written so that I could understand the symbolism of them. In doing so I could then make an informed choice based on understanding. So that is what I have been doing. I would like to say it’s been easy….but….

I have obviously learnt so much by working in the way my guides told me to. A lot of things that I would have done instinctively or because I had been asked to now make perfect sense. I have a much stronger connection with the eight turns of the wheel of the year whereas before I would have celebrated Summer and Winter Solstice, Samhain and being as I live in Ireland and it’s hard to miss here, Beltane. And this is where the ‘but’ comes in…I find myself doing the ritual set out in the OBOD materials and then doing the ritual again in my own way. It is doing it my own way that gives me the strongest connection always.

So coming up to Summer Solstice on Saturday what will I be doing?

First of all I will carry our the ritual as in my OBOD materials for this is my first Summer Solstice training as a Bard. It will be a solitary ritual as I will be on my own. Had I been with other OBOD members then I would have fitted in with the group ritual and here I can see that having a scripted ritual makes perfect sense so everyone knows where they are, what their role is and what is happening. Once I have done this though I will, as usual, perform my own ritual.

I will be in my garden and in one particular area the energy has always been special. It is here that I used to have my labyrinth and where I am as sure as I can be that there once stood a stone circle. First of all I will sit quietly and connect with the spirits of the place to see what they need from me, if I need to undergo a shamanic journey then I will. I will listen carefully and then if I need to collect something to work with for them will do so. I will then journey to meet my guides and allies to see if they need anything of me and again if I need anything I will collect it.

Most often I will work with sage, drum and rattle at some point in the ritual and there is always earth, fire, water and air present. I will follow my guidance and also my own intuition, doing what feels right for the space and spirits present. The ritual may be long or it may be short I will only know when I work on Summer Solstice itself, at the moment I have no idea, which is exactly how it should be.

I was going to journey for a Summer Solstice ritual/ceremony to add here but have been told not to. Instead I have been asked to suggest that you take yourself outside to whatever space feels right for you, with whatever feels right for you be it drum, rattle, bells, candles, water, feathers, crystals or anything else that you find calls to you.

Once you are outside be guided by your own intuition and instincts. Change what you are doing if it doesn’t feel right, if it does then carry on.

If you have a ritual you have found elsewhere great. Don’t follow it religiously but make it work for you and what feels right in the space that you are in. Use it and adapt it so that it fits and feels right. And above all have fun.

Summer Solstice is a celebration, a time for thanking the period of light and acknowledging the move towards the darkness once again. This is something to be celebrated as we all need to reach the point again, as the wheel turns, where we go within. To do otherwise isn’t healthy, so make the most of the long summer nights but know that as they drawn shorter all is exactly as it should be.

Web of Life Connections – Reflection

imageIn my book ‘Shaman Pathways Web of Life’ I speak about the web of connections that links each and every one of us with every living thing and how there is constant communication between everything. I also explain how, if we learn how to develop these connections we can receive guidance from them to help us in our lives.

The idea of this can be quite overwhelming and mind blowing so to help I have decided to dip into the type of connections that someone might choose to work with and by sitting in meditation with them or journeying to meet them will pass on messages from these connections.

This I hope is the first of many for you 🙂

‘Go within, go deeply, breathe and allow anything you need to be aware of to rise to the surface. These reflections then come from your heart and not your mind’

Unexpected Emotions

imageOver the last few days I’ve been coping with disappointment totally inappropriate to the situation that created the emotion. All that happened was that something I was to do next weekend got moved to the following weekend, which means I can’t go. It’s really not the end of the world even though it was to be a weekend of total relaxation and healing, giving and sharing Reiki with old and new friends and something I have been really looking forward to.

My first reaction was that it was fine, a mix up, these things happen, this though was followed by feelings of sadness that I couldn’t go, that others would be there and I wouldn’t, then real disappointment that I was missing out on my weekend away and then very surprisingly anger.

I’m still not sure who or what I was angry at, it was after all a genuine mistake by someone somewhere, but for some reason it triggered all sorts of things, pushed lots of buttons and I had to spend a good amount of time quietly and unobtrusively, releasing the anger that I was feeling as a result. I had I fact turned down the opportunity to be elsewhere this weekend, one of these was a sweat lodge, something that I have been wanting to do for a long time. It feels way too close to the sweat lodge to go back and ask if there is space as I’d really want to some preparation on a personal level before attending one. So maybe I am angry that I am missing out on both opportunities now.

I could conceivably make part of the weekend, but I know this is not the right thing to do for many reasons. My intuition tells me this as does all the divining I have been doing. So am I angry at myself for not making the effort to get there? Or am I angry at those who guide me for making it clear that this isn’t the right thing to do?

Where in my childhood is the root of this anger for it is surely there that this is coming from? Or does that even matter as the anger is now completely gone leaving in its place the excitement that comes from knowing I will now be home for Summer Solstice and that I can now have my own meaningful ceremony? On an intellectual level I would like to know what was triggered but on an energetic level it has been released and so my understanding it all possibly doesn’t help much.

I did journey in an attempt to gain insight, the result of which was a dismemberment which left me even more puzzled than I was before. This can often happen with shamanic journeying in that we can be left with a puzzle containing so much symbolism that it may take weeks or months to understand it all. All I can do here is to record my journey then leave it be, knowing that at some future point in time something will click and it will make perfect sense.

Emotions though are complex things, rising up and biting us when we least expect them. Sometimes they make total sense and we can see what has happened all too clearly. Memories from earlier in our lives come flooding back and with it insight and understanding. At other times though, all we can do is acknowledge how we are feeling and deal with the emotions in what feels like the most appropriate way at the time, knowing that if the underlying trigger has not also been released, we will probably be given another more appropriate opportunity to work with it in the future.