Book Review – Merlin: Once and Future Wizard

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Merlin: Once and Future Wizard

by 

Elen Sentier

 

 

As someone who has the pleasure of working with Merlin as a guide and teacher I was really looking forward to reading Elen Sentier’s ‘Merlin: Once and Future King’ and I was not disappointed in any way, quite the opposite. I often find myself reading of others work with Merlin only to see him glamorised or mythicised beyond recognition so it was really refreshing to read of Merlin being described as ‘tricky’ and to feel that yes, this is someone who really has worked with him and who knows him, not someone who’s knowledge has been acquired 3rd hand as it were.

Elen’s account is both personal and academic, in that in her book she generously shares her own journey with Merlin alongside deconstructing and explaining some of the myths and legends that surround as well as looking at those people and places connected with him. This is always done in a thoughtful and considered way, leaving the reader with insight and material which they can use to draw their own conclusion about Merlin.

I love synchronicity and shortly before starting to read ‘Merlin: Once and Future Wizard’, I found myself studying Brocéliande in Brittany, France, in my OBOD work, then discovering that one of my student’s home places is very near Brocéliande and that she knows it well, then finally reading Elen’s version of the same place. I’d like to think Merlin himself had a hand in this although maybe if he did it wouldn’t have been as clear to see 🙂

Due for release on 9th December 2016

Shaman Pathways Web of Life Review 

It can be really difficult to publicise and share reviews of my own work without it feeling like my blog is a sales pitch which it really isn’t in any way. It’s so much easier to share other people’s work than it is my own anyway but I think all authors feel that way.

This week though I had contact with someone who really loved my book. She was so enthusiastic about it that I really wanted to share what she said in case anyone was feeling lost or was searching for something that Web of Life might help to give them. 

The review was posted in a Facebook group so the only way I can share here is via a screenshot so I apologise for the size of the text, any smaller and it’s illegible. 

Shaman Pathways Web of Life Uk
Shaman Pathways Web of Life  USA

Taking time

 


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much we rush around nowadays and how little time we all seem to have for anything. We only have to look at over the counter pharmacuetical products to see how this lack is reflected in what we are being fed by companies too. Everything is express this, faster acting that, delivered yesterday or at worst in a few minutes.

It has taken a summer of being unwell to make me stop and take time. Firstly I had allergy asthma that progressed to bronchitis. This required three lots of antibiotics each one progressively stronger and each wiping out my body and immune system as fast as they were ‘curing’ me. I had no choice but to take these as without them my lungs and heart are seriously compromised but this doesn’t mean I liked doing it. Anyway, a few weeks after recovering I picked up a viral sinus infection which had vertigo like symptoms. It was, according to the Dr I saw, a mild version although it didn’t feel that way. She put it down to the effects of the antibiotics and I learnt then that it takes the body six weeks to overcome one lot of antibiotics so I can only imagine what three lots had done to me! This virus again cleared up only to return with a vengeance.

As a result of all this I decided to give myself what I clearly needed which was time. I stopped rushing around, I made space, once I felt well enough to go I allowed myself to wake up properly before going to the gym and to sit and have coffee and food afterwards. I have done things in small bites rather than all at once, and yes this is taking longer but so what.

I also made time to go for a massage and the conversation with my therapist reinforced my thinking. We were talking about the changes in my body, seven years after a car accident, lots of physio, Reiki,  Chi Kung and Tai Chi, massage, Bowen treatments, sound healing, cranio sacral work, and finally five months  (minus the time I’ve been unwell) in my local Curves gym. My muscles are different, stronger, my back tightens but lets go now rather than holds on and my body feels different now to both her and me. This has all happened because I allowed time, time to heal, time to recover, I listened to my body and what it needed, I paid attention to when things weren’t working, like yoga and Pilates, worked out why and then sorted out what might work. It’s been a long journey and it’s not over yet for there are still things I can’t do and which need more time.

This has all helped me to realise that we need to allow ourselves time to heal all the time and not just when something drastic happens to us. We should stop expect quick fixes where our health is concerned and give ourselves the gift we really need, we should be patient and allow ourselves to heal. We are and our bodies are immensely powerful but only if we give ourselves permission to take time and give ourselves what we need.

So heading into the winter I am doing what I can to build up and support my immune system, feeding and nourishing myself and I am going to continue to be patient with myself and allow myself to take time.

Samhain non ritual, ritual

 

As a Bard with the OBOD I valiantly worked my way through the rituals associated with the eight festivals of the year. My own guides advised me to do this so that I whenever I went my own way, I did so from a place of understanding, which made complete sense and over the year and a bit, this gave me a much stronger connection to all the times when the wheel turns rather than just the ones that resonated with me most strongly. As an Ovate now I have completely let go of this practice and have reverted to going where I am guided or drawn, attempting to live the wheel of the year rather than focusing on the rituals.

Samhain, the end of one year and the beginning of another, again saw me doing my own thing which as a solitary practitioner is easy to do in a way that were I to mark the festivals with others would not be.

Originally I had thought that I might use the space on the 29th, when I had plenty of free time, to mark Samhain and had in mind working in some way within my stone circle. What actually happened was that on Saturday I spent the day in the garden cutting back some of our hedging, something that is very much part of clearing and tidying at the end of the year. The 30th then saw me on a forest walk, enjoying the crunch of leaves beneath my feet and the changing colours of the trees and plants around me.

The 31st, Samhain itself, again found me in the garden, continuing the clearing and tidying, planting bulbs for the spring and eventually in the stone circle lighting a Samhain fire. This gave me chance to work with my allies and the spirits of the place, to sit within the stones and mark the passing of the year by offering the fruits of the land, leaves, wood, herbs – Rosemary, Sage, Bay Leaves and the last of the Evening Primrose flowers to the ancestors.

This year, this is what felt and continues to feel absolutely right for me, this time next year