Deathwalking

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‘Deathwalking: helping them cross the bridge’ edited by Laura Perry and recently published by Moon Books is an anthology consisting of ten perspectives on the shamanic practice of deathwalking, or psychopomp as it is widely known, which is the guiding of souls to the next realm.

I have blogged about this important book before and I would normally be writing a review for this but as one of the contributors to Deathwalking this doesn’t really feel appropriate. Instead, now that you can actually pre order it ahead of its publication on 26th October 2018,  I will leave you with links to the book for UK  and USA so that you can read other people’s reviews and this tiny snippet from one endorsement:

‘…a rare opportunity to learn more about guiding souls and also about the compassionate people who perform this essential service.’ Evelyn C. Rysdyk, author of The Norse Shaman

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Forest Bathing

 

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I haven’t written a blog here for a while but you can head over to my Moon Books Blog and read all about Forest Bathing if you’d like to.

There are loads of lovely blogs there by all kinds of pagan authors so why not go exploring and see what else you can find while you’re there.

Stirring up energy

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I have spent the summer procrastinating, hovering between what to do, what not and not really making any firm decisions about anything really. I could blame this on the amazing summer we have had, the energy sapping heat, the fact that being in the garden has been much nicer than being anywhere else but really I can’t. Sometimes when things are like this it’s good to shift things around and stir up the energy a bit, or even a lot which is exactly what I have found myself doing over the last few days.

For the last few weeks I have been finding that I have been very drawn to water; rivers, the sea, any water with movement. Water is of course very cleansing and purifying, a good energy to use to release and is a great reminder about going with the flow rather than fighting against it.
Water is not a normal energy for me to work with as I am much more likely to be found using fire to transform and shift rather than water, but writing this now I am aware for the first time that having spent summer surrounded by fire in the form of the sun, which no doubt has been working away on me, that maybe now the opposing energy of water is exactly what I need.

In line with going with the flow and not questioning what I was drawn to do, armed with the hoover, a bowl of water and a sponge I set about cleaning my workspace, something I was feeling very strongly needed to be done. In order to work with water to clean though I also had to do some sorting out and throwing away, in itself a great form of releasing. Who knew I had so much stuff that I didn’t even know I had, and in some cases where it had come from. I found course notes from 10 years ago, print outs of information that had long since stopped being of any use to me not to mention training materials for therapies I have long stopped working with to any great extent. Of course once I started on one area there was another that caught my attention. Deciding to move a bookcase meant that it needed clearing off first. In order to move it to a new place I needed to sort out my CD rack and so it went on until the whole room had been cleared, cleaned and rearranged.

I should have felt tired after doing this and the next day I did ache more than a little, but above everything I felt energised and this feeling has continued to hold. Going into my workspace now feels different, fresher, new in some way. The energy in there has changed as has mine. I’m not sure that I am any nearer making those decisions but for now that doesn’t matter. I am ready to enjoy the new energy, and to see where it takes me; as with water just going with the flow of it all, being, observant, being mindful and feeling excited about where I might end up.

Deathwalking

Deathwalking

 

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One of the things I love about being a Moon Books author is that sometimes we get to contribute to community books. The latest of these is the new Shaman Pathways book ‘Deathwalking: Helping them cross the bridge’ which due out in October 2018 is available to preorder now at a great price from Amazon UK and Amazon USA

Deathwalking, also known as psychopomp, is where someone helps a soul that has passed cross over, sometimes at the time of death and at others some time afterwards. It is one of those fascinating subjects that is often ignored as it can be difficult for people to talk about.

In the ‘Deathwalking’ anthology ten authors, myself included, have written about their experience or understanding of deathwalking.  All of us have different experiences, some very personal, some with souls outside of our immediate families, but together the ten essays give insight into and perspective on this area of shamanic practice.

I could wax lyrically about the content of the anthology but then I am biased. Instead I will leave you with an endorsement of ‘Deathwalking’ from Sandra Ingerman who has no connection with the book whatsoever.

Deathwalking is a brilliant and much-needed anthology on the topic of death. The collection of authors who work with different spiritual traditions provide multiple views on assisting deceased spirits return to Source. The collection of perspectives and ways of working to help the deceased are fascinating and educational. —Sandra Ingerman, author of Soul Retrieval

What are you doing for Summer Solstice?

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I often have great ideas about how I will spend Summer Solstice but they rarely come to fruition. Some years it’s because everyone is busy, other years it rains, and last year I had been unwell and hadn’t the energy to do anything much. I rarely hold a ritual as even though I am studying as an Ovate with the OBOD I have never been fond of set ritual and so tend to avoid them. I probably should just do as I do at other times of the year, wait until the day, spend time connecting with my guides, the energy around the time of year and the spirits of the space I am spending it in and take it from there. Summer Solstice for me though always feels different for some reason.

This year at Bealtain I spent time in my stone circle, tidying, removing anything that had found its way there over the winter, knowing as I did that I was thinking that I would like to spend Summer Solstice amongst the stones. Then a few weeks ago I took delivery of a load of wood chip and so this was moved to refill the wood chip that had mulched down over the last twelve months. As I was refilling the circle I knew that I was preparing it for Summer Solstice and that the day would find me there.

Lunch with a friend I often work with, found that she too was free on 21st June. We had both been talking about the need to be still, to reconnect, to drum and to hold a fire ceremony and so plans were set.

Tomorrow we will meet, we will sit amongst the stones, tune in and connect with our guides and the spirits of the place, we will drum, we will probably make a Despacho to offer to the spirits, and we will have a fire ceremony. The weather this year is on our side with the forecast of a dry sunny day so we will be able to fully connect with the sun at midday. Fingers crossed that all of this will actually come to pass.

This all got me wondering what other people were doing for Summer Solstice so how are you spending it?

If you are looking for some ideas of what to do then this link will take you to some Ancient Celtic Traditions which might provide some inspiration.

Whatever you do, even if it is nothing, I wish you all Solstice Blessings.

 

Osho Zen Tarot and Insight

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I don’t use cards very much and this is in fact the only tarot set that I own but it is a set that I am often drawn to when I really need insight into what is happening in my life.

I first came across the Osho Zen Tarot by Deva Padma, when I was receiving the Munay Ki rites. The tarot is nothing to do with Munay Ki but was used so each of us could gain insight into where we started and the shift that took place during the rites. I found the cards so powerful and insightful that I immediately set about getting hold of a set for myself.

At the moment I am going through a period of being still, of relaxing and enjoying what I have and where I am. When I say being still, what I really mean is helping spread many, many tons of gravel around our drive, house and patio, moving a load of wood chip from the front of the garden to the back so that I can top up the centre of my stone circle for the coming year and getting into a new work out regime after changing from Curves when it closed to an actual gym, somewhere I haven’t been for many years. Stillness and relaxation for me it seems simply means not seeing clients or teaching courses. It is so good to have the space to explore the physicality of my body through the gym and gardening, while the garden is also giving me chance to connect fully with nature in a way I haven’t for a while. Plus of course the amazing weather has made it a pleasure to be outside topping up my Vitamin D 🙂

This ‘time out’ is something I am really making the most of and which I am in no hurry to change in any way but nevertheless less it is still useful to know what this time is for so that I can consciously make the most of it and this is where the Osho Zen Tarot comes in.

For me one of the best ways of gaining insight is just to draw a single card and then reflect on it’s meaning. The other way is to use a Paradox spread and this is where I find the Osho Zen can be really insightful, giving as it does, the here and now, past life influences and of course the paradox.

Today I have done both and so have a clearer understanding of why I have been given this space, what is happening whilst I am ‘busy’ doing my own thing, and where it is leading me.

Rather than try and explain how the Osho Zen Tarot works and how it differs from normal tarot I have copied this extract from the write up on Amazon:

Osho Zen Tarot focuses ….on gaining an understanding of the here and now. It is a system based on the wisdom of Zen, a wisdom that says events in the outer world simply reflect in the outer world simply reflect our own thoughts and feelings, even though we ourselves might be unclear about what those thoughts and feelings are. So it helps us to turn our attention away from outside events so we can find a new clarity of understanding in our innermost hearts. The conditions and states of mind portrayed by the contemporary images on the cards are all shown as being essentially transitional and transformative.

Is it really Spring Equinox?

 

Yesterday it was snowing, today, a bank holiday, we have icicles outside the conservatory, the water in the water feature is frozen and we were going to go and have a walk on the beach but it’s sooooo cold brrrr. It really doesn’t feel like tomorrow is Spring Equinox.

As at Autumn Equinox tomorrow the light and dark will be in equal balance. Unlike at Autumn Equinox when the dark begins to take over, tomorrow it is the light that begins to return. I am hoping that along with the the light comes some much needed warmth.

It is not just me that is feeling the cold, the birds are eating us out of house and home having devoured a large drum of bird food in three days instead of the week to ten days it usually lasts. They have two bird feeders, a bird table and a feeder full of fat balls yet it still seems barely enough. Our daffodils are struggling, the furry shoots on the pussy willow seem to have gone into suspended animation and spring bulbs that would normally be showing signs of life are nowhere to be seen.

It is though much lighter than even a couple of weeks ago. There is a definite stretch in the day and on days when the sun appears there is beginning to be some warmth in it.

One of the things that it can be nice to do at Spring Equinox is to plant some seeds, often having spent time breathing plans and ideas for the months ahead into them with the idea that as they germinate and grow they will act as a reminder and a focus for your own plans. This year though if I am to do that I will need to plant them in a pot to be kept inside or in the greenhouse, as the ground is too hard and lacking in the warmth needed to germinate them.

For me, what is more important than doing anything specific, holding a ritual or ceremony, is to be aware of the turn of the wheel, the passing of time and the shift into a new part of the year. It may not feel like spring, nature may not be showing me it is, but the balance of light and dark will still be there tomorrow and this also gives me chance to stop and find the balance within myself if I give myself the time to do so.