I don’t have a bucket list and have no desire to do so in much the same way I don’t have lists for anything, oh except the vague shopping list that says things like fruit, veg, food, that is. If a bucket list had existed though, for the last ten years the top item on it would have read ‘Sleep in the stone circle at Avebury’, closely followed more recently by ‘Climb Glastonbury Tor’. Neither of these things would have been difficult to do when I lived in Hampshire, but having moved to Ireland some eighteen years ago, a journey, by car and either plane or boat plus a suitable amount of time was needed to reach them and so Avebury and Glastonbury have remained a distant dream. This year though found us with both the time and inclination to make the journey. The ferry was booked, the car loaded up and off we headed across land and sea to Avebury.
For the first night we stayed in a lovely B&B in East Kennet which gave us chance to visit the West Kennet Long Barrow and Silbury Hill on the way and the Sanctuary and part of the Ridgeway before we left.
I have no idea why I wanted to sleep in the stone circle at Avebury and even having done it I still don’t but as with most things I have learnt to trust my intuition, roll with it and know that it may all make sense in time. I have also learnt that everything happens when it is supposed to, so the fact it has taken me ten years to do this is perfectly ok. So after a really long wait I got to spend my birthday inside the stones, walking in them, connecting with them, listening to a Hang Drum being played within them and yes, even sleeping in them 🙂
The following day it was time to fulfil my second ambition which was to climb Glastonbury Tor. When I was studying as a Bard with the OBOD I journeyed to a place that was my ‘Sacred Summit’ despite having never climbed it I recognised, in Non Ordinary Reality, the summit and the path immediately as being the Tor. This then was a chance to be there in Ordinary Reality too. Needless to say I also took the chance to walk between worlds while I was there 🙂
Making the most of our time in Glastonbury we also visited the Abbey and before leaving the town I was able to spend time sitting peacefully reflecting beside the Chalice Well.
It has been suggested to me recently that the title and cover of my book ‘Web of Life’ published as part of Moon Books Shamanic Pathways series doesn’t really explain what the book is about so I thought I’d try and redress that here in the hope that it will help.
I actually wrote the book as a result of my own struggle to work with a Medicine Wheel, a struggle that led me to realise that the problems I was having were because Medicine Wheels do not belong to either my culture or my belief system. It was a bit like ‘square peg into round hole’ and no matter what I did it wasn’t working.
So I began to explore other cultures and wheels including the variations between Native American tribes and in doing so discovered both the similarities and differences. This exploration led me to the realisation that in order for many of us to work with the power of a medicine wheel we needed a way to create our own, one that could be adapted to fit us and so the idea for my book was born.
The title of my book is actually down to my guides, who showed me the web, the matrix, or network that connects each and every one of us to everything that exists and through which we all have the power to communicate. Alongside this they showed me the spider at the centre of the web, the spider that represents ourselves, spinning our own web and weaving in the connections within it that can support and guide us as our paths unfold. They also taught me how we can consciously weave our own paths within the web either for projects or our lives in general. The book passes on all that I learnt so that you can do the same. Basically it gives you a modern day, culture and belief free way of working with power of the Medicine Wheel in a way that fits YOU.
Example of a created path
Example of an extended path
The images here show my own connections or teachers within the web and examples of the way in which I create my own path and then have the freedom to extend it, or I can start again. Your connections or teachers will be different to mine as will the paths you create.
If you are looking for a way to create your own Medicine Wheel or Shamanic Web of Life using then you might be interested to read A Bad Witch’s blog which is about my book “Shaman Pathways Web of Life”
Taz Thornton’s book ‘Whispers from the Earth’s not big but is jam packed with stories and not just any stories but ones she has channelled from the ancestors, from the bones of the earth which she is part of and the spirits of those she works with. These are stories to read to yourself and to read out loud to others, for they are stories that are crying out to be heard, to be listened to and to pass on their meaning to those who need to hear them.
Ms Thornton also shares with us guidance as to how to channel our own stories, ones that come from the spirits we work with and from our own ancestors. Whilst her stories are a gift in their own rite, a greater gift is the sharing of how we can become our own storyweavers and in doing so find stories of our own.
I am in no way a story teller or storyweaver but inspired by the guidance given in Whispers from the Earth and by the stories contained therein I have had a go at it myself 🙂 While I am nowhere near Ms Thornton’s standard it was far easier than I expected, I enjoyed doing it and am sure I will do so again. I’m telling you no more than this for now. If you’d like to learn how to channel your own stories the advice in the book is clear and easy to follow. If you want to read mine you will need to subscribe to Indie Shaman Magazine where my sorry attempt, all being well, will form part of my Shaman Moon column sometime later in the year.
White Buffalo Calf Woman is a sacred woman of supernatural origin central to the beliefs of the Lakota of North America. There is a beautiful legend attached to her which can easily be found online so I won’t go into it here rather I will share the message that she has given us today.
‘When times are hard and you feel like giving in reach out, for there is always something greater, stronger, more powerful than yourself in your human form that will be of assistance. Sometimes this help is found outside of yourself, sometimes it is within you but it is always there waiting for you’.
As I sat with the connection or teacher that is Beauty I had one phrase pop into my head ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. Having had this thought I stopped and looked around at all the beauty that surrounds me, beauty that I take for granted until that is I am reminded to stop and look.
The message I was given from Beauty though was this:
‘Stop what you are doing and have a good look, not at your surroundings but at yourself. See what an amazing creature you really are. Open your awareness to the healing powers of your body and marvel at its abilities. Take time to sit and connet with your soul. These are what is really beautiful not the outer wrapping that this gift comes in’.
This week when drawing the connections cards to find the conection or teacher that had a message for us I drew two cards. They were back to back and firmly stuck together. The first one I saw was Growth and the second Serpent but even just looking at them I was getting a firm message that they belonged together here.
Often when I draw two cards I will listen to them separately and post their individual messages but because of the sense of them being together this message is from both of them.
‘Just as the Serpent sheds its skin so must you in order to grow. The Serpent does not spend its days trying to hold onto what is dead or dying but rather struggles to move out of it and to leave it behind and so must you. There is no Growth, there can be no Growth without leaving behind the old part of yourself, the part that is no longer alive’.
This morning when I sat down to draw a card for everyone for the week the card that I found in my hand was Sexuality. This is not a connection I know well for it does not appear in my own web of life.
Sometimes unusual connections are easier to listen to for there are no presumptions to be made about the message it is bringing. Sometimes though it is the opposite and they need to be listened to more closely which was the case with Sexuality.
‘Do not shy away from your own sexuality, nor use it as a tool or even a weapon to get what you want. Rather connect with it and see it for what it is, an intrinsic part of who you are and something that is very beautiful’.
Beaver which I drew this mornng is another one of those totally unexpected connections, one that I have no recollection of making. It is these connections that can bring deep insight at times simply because they are so unknown and fresh for us.
So what message does Beaver bring us this week?
‘Dig deep, stay strong, even when it feels as if you are not getting anywhere. Nothing ever comes to those who give up when things get tough or look to be impossible’.