Deathwalking

fullsizeoutput_d46

‘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

Advertisements

Forest Bathing

 

IMG_3928

 

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.

Deathwalking

Deathwalking

 

fullsizeoutput_d46

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

Osho Zen Tarot and Insight

fullsizeoutput_d41

 

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.

A Rare Snow Event

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 11.10.48

 

I live in the south of Ireland and we really don’t get snow…..ever…..and if we do it never looks like this, it never lays on the ground and it never, ever stays. This though we are being told is only the start, tomorrow, tomorrow night and into the next day is going to be worse with blizzards caused by a storm coming up from the Bay of Biscay.

This may not look like anything for those of you who are used to it but for us it is so unusual we are not equipped for it. Schools, the doctors surgery, the gym and who knows what else are all closed. Roads are impassible and we are all advised to stay at home.

I’m tucked up in the kitchen with the fire roaring but only after making my way outside to the shed for wellies, an extra bird feeder, more bird food and a shovel to clear the snow off the coal bunker so I could get in coal for our two multi fuel burners.

If it stays sunny and safe a walk might be on the cards, after all it seems a shame to only watch this from inside 🙂

fullsizeoutput_bb7

You can just see part of my stone circle in the snow.

fullsizeoutput_bb8

My car is under here somewhere.

These photos were all taken first thing this morning and it’s snowed since then plus our orange weather warning has just been upgraded to red so it’s going to be interesting in the days ahead.

February

Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 10.58.14

Winter is never my favourite season mainly due to the fact that I don’t like the cold and damp, so I can always be relied upon to be a bit biased but this year Winter already seems so long. January seemed to last forever for some reason and I know from conversations with people that I am not alone in feeling this. This year I was more than happy to have actually turned to the new calendar month of February and the beginning of Spring.

A few years ago after spending much of my life telling anyone that would listen that February was my least favourite month, one that I was always glad to have over with the promise of better days ahead, I did some exploring. I discovered that this was in fact the month where we really begin to welcome back the light that we have been waiting for since Winter Solstice and there certainly does seem to be a stretch in the days now. I also learnt that the original Roman name for February was Februarius, named after the Latin Februum meaning Purification. I found out that every year on 15th February, the night of the full moon in the old Roman Lunar calendar, a Purification ceremony known as Februa was held. February is also where we find the period known in the pagan wheel of the year as Imbolc which may have got its name from the old Irish Imb-tholc meaning to wash or cleanse oneself in a ritual cleansing. This may also of course be where our idea of Spring Cleaning came from.

These discoveries gave me a way to approach the month so that has some purpose By  connecting with it in a different way I am beginning to appreciate it more fully.

I now try to use the month of February to cleanse, purify and prepare myself for the months ahead. By doing this I am know I preparing the ground for the seeds of whatever I want to bring in during the coming months. I have been doing this now for the last couple of years and am finding that each year it takes a different form. Sometimes I am drawn to a physical cleanse, other times it is an energetic one and some years a mixture of both.

The Romans would have made the whole month a time of cleansing and purification which seems a bit OTT and spring cleaning the whole house sounds like hard work but there are always a few nooks and crannies that I know get overlooked during the quick lick and polish it gets usually.  Already this month the house has been given a thorough hoover, working with the element of water floors have been washed and the doors and windows opened wide both in the house and the healing room to let the element of air do its work. In the shower this morning I was also mindful of taking time to cleanse my body, paying attention to how it was feeling and enjoying spending time with myself rather then rushing as I usually am.

Maybe this is partly what cleansing and purification does. By taking time, paying attention, seeing and sensing what is there we are more mindful of what we are doing. The more mindful we are, the more we can see what really needs to be done. If we spend time living with awareness as we cleanse and purify we can see beyond the surface, beyond the superficial. This is then something that may also be good to carry forward into the rest of our lives, what better way to sow the seeds for the months ahead than to use February to learn to live each moment with awareness.