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.

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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

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

 

 

 

 

A Brief Encounter

(not my photo I wasn’t quick enough) 

This morning driving to the gym (I put that in to impress everyone 😂) I suddenly realised that a bird had swooped in front of the car. There it was flying at windscreen level, at my eye level, wings outstretched, wider wingspan than any bird that I usually see whilst driving.

I knew immediately that it was a bird of prey and although I have seen Kestrels from a distance , usually from underneath and up close sitting on our garden furniture and on the patio, I have never seen one flying that close to me and that low before so I wasn’t completely sure what it was…..until it settled in the tree by the side of the road that is.

Once it had stopped there was no mistaking it. It was a beautiful Kestrel.

I too stopped (quiet country road so no problem) opened my window slightly and for a moment we looked at each other. Then off it went swooping across the road in front of me, over the ditch and away into the field off to do whatever it had been doing when we met. 

A brief encounter but what an amazing start to the day 😊

It also made me reflect on how much the countryside where I live has improved in terms of wildlife. Farmers who had previously ripped out dry stone walls and cut hedges and verges during the summer therefore destroying habitat and food sources, are  starting to see the benefits of leaving hedges and verges to grow over the summer months, plus now it is the law to leave them uncut which helps. We still have pollution in the seas around us, the result of new houses,  lack of water treatment plants and run off from farm land, but Kestrels are a more familiar sight now, buzzards who fly overhead, calling to each other as they do, are nesting in the woods and birds , butterflies and bees are enjoying the wilder gardens and countryside that is now taking shape. A long way to go but several steps in the right direction it seems. 

When I get chance later this evening, I intend to journey and meet the spirit of Kestrel to see what message it has brought me, what it is asking me to be aware of. I could of course, look this up online or in a book, but then I’d get someone else’s interpretation of Kestrel and what I really want to know is why Kestrel came to me at this time and what I and not anyone else needs to learn from this encounter. I’m sure it will all be clear soon enough 😉

A Bit of Cut and Paste

I’m not good at self publicising/self promotion which as an pagan author writing for a specialist publisher where this is needed sometimes struggle and sadly my poor book suffers from people not knowing it exists 😦

When I wrote my first and so far only book, I had the foolish notion that the energy of what I had written would carry it far and wide and it would reach those who needed it. This worked initially but in the long run is not a good strategy.

I am also very reluctant to use this blog to create a sales pitch too frequently and like most people do not have unlimited hours whereby I can post on social media or write promotional articles in the hope of getting them published somewhere.

I do though write a regular column for the wonderful  Indie Shaman Magazine and the amazing June Kent who owns, edits and publishes this has recently created a new add for my book so with a bit of cut and paste along with her permission I have created this……….

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……….which I am kinda happy with and have shared it on Twitter and once this blog post is published, also on my various Facebook pages and on LinkedIn.

I am sure that others may have produced something better, smarter, with more information or impact but for my first attempt I’m reasonably happy 🙂

 

Writing can be hard work

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I am not at all sure I am a natural writer. Ideas do not pour out of me nor am I bursting with things that I need to get onto paper. At school I enjoyed creative writing but have never had a burning desire to write a whole fiction book. Non fiction is more my scene but hampered a bit by not really enjoying research. Not a lot going for me really is there 😦

The thing is that I actually enjoy writing when I get down to it and I loved somehow managing to produce a book that someone actually wanted to publish, but now I have a half finished manuscript that has been gathering dust and taking up space both physically and energetically. At the start of the year my guides gave me an ultimatum; either finish it or throw it away. No messing about there it seems yet three months in I have done neither.

This week though two things have happened that seem to have made a difference:

  1. A fellow author told me that they thought I was a good writer
  2. A friend who has written a book and has several publishers interested, keeps asking me if I have finished my book

Today I have pulled the draft manuscript off the bookshelf where it has been languishing since last October. I have blown the dust off, have deleted all other versions from my laptop so I am more focused and I am just about to read through and see how far I have got. On a word count I am about half way through so I know there is much more to do.

I may do no more than this today but that’s ok. My interest has been reawakened and the energy of the potential book stirred up. What I need to do now is keep this moving.

It has though got me wondering why the two things this week made so much difference and I think it’s because writers do not always get a lot of feedback. It’s hard to get people to take the time to write reviews on Amazon or on their blogs and I am as guilty of not doing this as everyone else is. As writers we also don’t often tell other writers what we think of their work and so we do not get real feedback from our peers. When we are creating we tend not to share what we are doing, holding our work close to our chest and nurturing it in private, so we may have no one to keep us going, no one showing any interest in where we are and what we are doing. Much of our feedback is in actual fact, based on book sales and if you write, as I have, for a small niche publisher, then getting sales, maintaining the drive to get your book seen and even better purchased, can be hard and it’s easy to run out of stream. When book sales are slow then confidence can quickly fall and it can be difficult to remember that this is a marketing issue and not a reflection on the quality of what we have produced.

So this is a plea:

  • If you have read something you like please write a review somewhere, anywhere.
  • If you can let an writer know that you like their work either by commenting on a blog, clicking the ‘like’ button, or in some other way please do.

Think of us writers as pet dogs or cats, sometimes we need stroking and by doing so you can  help encourage us to write more. It doesn’t take much 🙂

Healing

 

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I have struggled with finding an ‘H’ blog for this week. This is in fact the 3rd blog I have started and probably the 4th or 5th subject I have toyed with, but as its now Wednesday I feel I need to knuckle down and write about something.

I have settled on ‘Healing’ as my final topic because after all that is what a lot of my work is about in one way or another.

I feel at this point that I need to be absolutely clear though that my work is never about me healing anyone else, but is always about me providing the space in which others can find ways to heal themselves. All I do is facilitate that.

I work with lots of things that, for want of any other way to describe them, have labels that help people make some sense of how I work, but in reality when I meet with a client we decide together what blend of assistance they need to move towards being able to heal. It is after all, all energy, the distinction is really only in the way energy is worked with/manipulated or passed on at the time.

I don’t believe there is any quick fix regarding healing. Instant changes happen not because of anything I or any other therapist does but because of the work the client has already done on themselves that makes it seem so. Right place, right time as it were.

I am also my own ‘work in progress’ for once we start on a journey of healing there is always more to do. I can’t work on others unless I am working on myself. There is though nothing more frustrating than thinking we have dealt with something only for it to reappear at a later date. This I am afraid is what healing is all about. It is the stripping away of layers, touching on what is there, dealing with and if we are lucky, clearing what reveals itself, but all the time knowing that unless we have reached the root of the issue then there is always more beneath it. I often use the analogy of an onion but sometimes that of an iceberg might be more appropriate. What can sometimes be hard to see though is that we never revisit something in the same way if it reappears. We are not in the same place we were the previous time, we are not the same people. We revisit with more experience, more knowledge and hopefully more wisdom. When we revisit we work and heal at a level deeper than we were able to the previous time and we can only do that because of the work we have done before.

There is also no ‘one size fits all’ in healing which is why I like to have a range of ways in which I can work both on myself and when I work with others. What is perfect on one occasion is unlikely to be on another. As we heal ourselves so the ways in which we work need to adapt to our new needs.