A Brief Encounter

(not my photo I wasn’t quick enough) 

This morning driving to the gym (I put that in to impress everyone πŸ˜‚) 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 πŸ˜‰

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Dilemas

Although you may not have realised it as WordPress has been efficiently posting the blog posts I had scheduled before I left, but I have been away on holiday.

Normally this is not a problem as I can get internet coverage pretty much anywhere but this time it was, as I was in Bhutan. Every now and then it was possible to pick up my emails but replying was another matter. This is not unusual as my email provider seems to think that the only place I need to reply to emails from is my home. I have long since given up trying to do so whilst travelling and instead save anything important to deal with when I return….

and herein lies the problem…

This time all the emails I carefully forwarded to be saved and stored safely, emails that I know were there, on my arrival home mysteriously disappeared. I did manage to retreive some emails that were important to respond to but one that was equally important has vanished off the face of the earth.

So what am I to make of this I now wonder?

The email was one asking about shamanic training, not a workshop in learning how to journey but long term or apprenticeship style training. This is something that I am asked to do every now and again and which I have so far resisted. I had been wondering if the Universe was giving me a shove towards this with the new request but now it has vanished I am wondering if it is something I should let go of, something I am not meant to be doing after all.

This is a dilema that is not infrequent when we start paying attention to the messages we receive from the Universe or our guides. It is not just enough for us to be aware of the messages or signs we are being given, we also have to make sense of them and making sense of them can at times be hard. Sometimes we make sense of things in the way that we wish to, in a way that meets what we want to do, Β at others we make sense of things in a way that stretches us, leading us forward and helping us learn which is obviously more rewarding in the long term than taking the easy way out. Sometimes we have to be patient and wait for more information or messages to arrive as trying to make sense of something with incorrect or incomplete information can lead us into all kinds of problems.

Me….I’m just going to sit on this, be patient and see what, if anything, else turns up. Better to be still and wait, than spend time trying to find something that isn’t supposed to be found.

Connections – Rose Quartz

image

Sometimes the connection with any crystal or stone gets overlooked in the desire to find out the properties associated with it. When we are working with our connections and/or teachers the actual properties matter far less than the message that us there for us to receive and to work with.

This week from my bag of possible connections in the Web of Life, Β I drew Rose Quartz. I bet a few of you reading this are already thinking of what you know about this crystal. Well leave that aside for now and if you have a piece of Rose Quartz pick it up, hold it, sit with it quietly, meditate on it, journey to its spirit and listen to what it has to tell you. If you don’t have a piece of Rose Quartz but would like to try, write the name on a piece of paper or card and do the same for the energy of it will still communicate with you.

This is what Rose Quartz said to me today…..

Be still, look inside your heart and listen to it beating. This was the first sound you ever heard and it is likely to be your last. Get to know the sound of your own heart and the rhythm it plays for this is unique to you. The better you know it, the better it can lead your dance through life.

Web of Life Connections – Adventure

For those of you working with ‘Web of Life’ or who are starting to search for and looking at ways to connect with your own teachers here is this week’s connection – Adventure.

Please remember that this is only my connection with this teacher within the web of life and the message here is what was given to me. Some of it may resonate with you, some of it not which is how it should be. You might like to sit for a few minutes, focus on this teacher and see what messages you are given.

As I sit with Adventure the first thing I get is an image of hang gliding, flying free over the hills. This isn’t the message though, it’s not a call to go and hang glide although that would be fun as it’s something I have never done but quite fancy. Instead the message is….

Stretch yourself, don’t sit back and be complacent. You will never know what you are capable of unless you try. Don’t be afraid of anything, just leap in and have a go no matter what others think or say.

Pagan Blog Project – Omens

imageLooking omens up on line or in a dictionary gives us the information that omens are portents or presage, phenomena believe to tell a good or evil event in the future. They are prophetic signs as it were. Here we also find that the word omen is most often used in the foreboding sense.

In my world I have a completely different understanding of omens, what they are and what they do and think of them in connection with signs. They are part of my every day life, a great source of information and insight for me and in no way foreboding.

As a shamanic healer and someone who believes that everything that exists is interconnected, I look for omens and signs to bring me messages and insights as I move through my day. If I have a problem or need to make a decision I will consciously ask for omens or signs from the world around me, not to foretell the future but to bring me guidance.

Making a conscious decision to watch out for omens and signs is a good way of being aware of how the web of life ‘speaks’ to us, supports us and helps us. These omens and signs may come in the form of something in nature that catches our attention, perhaps an animal we would not usually see for example, or a song on the radio, someone we meet, a book that falls open before us, an overheard conversation, the list is endless. Our difficulty as with so many things is how to interpret what we are being shown if course.

The best way to explain how omens and signs work for me perhaps, is to give an example.

In 2013, following an operation I had to walk. I knew it was for my own good but found myself resenting every minute of it, there was no joy or pleasure in it at all. A week into my enforced exercise routine I decided I needed to change how I felt about it all if I was to make it through. This got me thinking about how when I walk by choice I wander, being aware of what is around me, connecting with the energies that abound wherever I am walking, listening and watching out for any messages that are there for me. In other words enjoying being in nature. At this time I was doing none of these things but was totally focused on the mechanics of walking and of the length of time I had to walk for.

The following day before I went out I made the decision to do it differently, to walk with consciousness and awareness, so as I left the house I held the intention to look for omens and signs as I walked.

The first thing I became aware of was that I was walking more slowly and having slowed down was looking around me and listening to the sounds of water running in the stream by the road and rustling in the hedgerow. I then heard the caw, caw of crows and looking up noticed two of them sitting on an overhead wire some way ahead of me. Crow for me is an important spirit helper and one to which I always pay attention so as I walked towards them I waited to see what message they might bring. As I reached them they flew off still calling as if asking me to follow them and so I did.

At that point the road turned and the winter sun shone directly in my face effectively blinding me. I now had to trust that my feet and ears would guide me and so focused only on the sound of my footsteps. After a short time I lost this sound and instead heard only the swish, swish of my coat as I walked which lulled me into an almost meditative state. For the first time walking, there I was in each and every moment, not thinking of anything else and certainly not focused on how much further I had to go or for how long.

I reached a point where the road changed direction again and the sun now shifted behind me meaning I could see once more. As I looked down I saw how the slate at the edge of the road had formed in layers and marvelled at how wonderful nature is. This brought my focus to the earth beneath my feet and allowed me to breathe in the energy and as I walked I asked Mother Earth to feed and nourish my leg to help it heal, something I had completely been forgetting I could do.

My gaze then settled on a small yellow flower peeking out of the grass in all its glory. Stopping to look I realised it was a buttercup and the sight of the bright colour on this wintery day brought a smile to my face. I then wondered at the resistance and determination of this tiny flower still there defiant after the recent snap of cold weather and overnight frosts. If it could survive that and still be there head held high then I could surely survive walking which was nothing in comparison. As I walked on I was attracted to the greenery at the side of the road and noticed prickly brambles intertwined with soft ferns, both growing happily side by side. This reminded me that even those who do not seem to be natural bedfellows can make things work if they choose to.

Two good message for me at this time from the buttercup, brambles and ferns. I am not an enthusiastic walker, I don’t enjoy walking for walking’s sake nor for exercise, but by making my walk work for me, by working with the energies, looking for omens and signs and then being aware I could not only survive this but find a way that walking and I could coexist.
(Excerpt from my Shaman Corner Blog Post for Moon Books 2013)

So if you wish to be aware of the omens and signs around you
1. Set an intention or hold a question
2. Be aware of what you hear, see and who you meet for the rest of the day
3. Make a mental note of any ‘coincidences’ for example if you hear a story about an elephant on the news, read about an elephant in the paper, pick up a book and see a picture of an elephant then it is a good idea to explore what elephant means to you, what thoughts you hold about them, how they behave and so on to decipher what messages elephant might be trying to give you.
4. Be aware that if something comes to you three times it is a message trying to get through.
5. Take your own meaning from the omens and signs you discover for your meaning is the only one that makes sense and is of any value.

Web of Life Connections – Tasting

So what has Tasting got to do with a connection in your life you might be wondering. Absolutely anything can be a connection and bring you a message that has meaning for you or gives you insight. Tasting might be woven into your web of life along with seeing, smelling, and hearing for example.

Anyway, when I sat with the bag of connection cards it was Tasting that leapt into my hand for this week so what can Tasting bring us?

Just sitting here writing this it has brought my attention to the last thing in my mouth which was a cup of fresh coffee. I have realised how, even though I only have one cup a day and make this my treat, I seldom stop to really enjoy the taste. So here I am now, savouring the sweet aftertaste of the coffee I have just drunk, the full flavour of which would have passed me by otherwise. It also makes me realise how often I do put things in my mouth, food and drink, ends of pens, pencils and paintbrushes, my fingers etc without really being aware of the taste of anything. Some of this comes from my being focused on other things of course, being distracted, some of it from familiarity.

Sitting with Tasting for the message for here this is what I got…

Enjoy the sensation of whatever you choose to place on your tongue. Savour it fully. Let tastes explode inside your mouth. Be fully in the moment and completely aware of what your taste buds are telling you’

Sitting here with the taste of a biscotti exploding in my mouth by focusing on what I am doing this feels like a ritual rather than mindless eating which I am now aware I have been guilty of.

Web of Life Connections – Bees

Sometimes I’m a bit slow on the uptake, I miss signs and messages even though they should be quite clear to me. This can happen to all of us whether we are used to working with the connections in the Web of Life or just starting out doing so.

So what have I been missing? Bees! They have been flying into the conservatory for days on end and I have been carefully picking them up with a tea towel and popping them back out the door to fly free. It was only today that I actually realised what I had been doing, not once, but over and over again. A clear reminder that if we don’t get the message the first time the Universe will keep on giving it to us until we do get it. Fortunately I realised before a bee had to sacrifice itself by stinging me so that I really paid attention.

Sitting with Bee the message I was given was this:

‘Don’t waste your energy going after what does not or cannot sustain you. Chase only that which will nourish you in whatever way you need at the time. To do that you must first decide what it is you need and then look around, seek whatever can provide that for you. Drink of this until you are sustained and then move on’