Eggs in Shamanic Healing

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One of my first blog posts for the Pagan Blog Project when it was running and when I first began this blog, was about Eggs. I am not going to rewrite the post again but am going to give you the link here as I do believe it is worth revisiting.

Eggs

I really should have titled the post Eggs in Shamanic Healing as that is where my interest and fascination lay and still lies if I am being honest.

I love the idea that something we use in our kitchens can also be a tool in our healing. We often think of things in the garden, that which we find in nature such as stones, plants, or feathers in this way but not necessarily an item of food.

Since I first discovered how to make use of eggs in my shamanic healing work they have become a useful tool and one that I use whenever it is needed. I am still fascinated by the way in which an egg rolled over the body can pick up information about the state of the body and which can then impart that knowledge to me through my interpretation of what it shows me. I have carried out some insightful and powerful healing thanks to eggs and hope to continue to do so as long as they are happy to work with me in this way.

If you haven’t looked at the link yet but are now intrigued…here it is again Eggs¬† Enjoy ūüôā

Getting Back On Track – Ancestors

The year I began my blog there was a Pagan Blog Project running where each week the organisers would post the letter for the week along with some suggestions of what we could write about. There was even a Facebook group for us to share our blogs in. This project was a real blessing as it made me write and helped me to blog regularly. Following this I found a group for Monday Musings which also helped me to keep blogging but sadly both of these ended and ever since I have found it harder to ensure I am blogging regularly. So this year I have made a decision:)

I am not going to pressurise myself by promising I am going to post every week, sometimes it may be more, sometimes less, but what I am going to do is go back through the alphabet and start again at A. I have decided that I will do two things.

1) I will write a new blog using a different word for my letter of the week

2) I will add a link to any Pagan Blog Projects or Monday Musings that are for the same letter

This way some weeks you will get two blogs for the price of one without having to search back through the archives.

So¬†here we go ūüôā

A is for Ancestors

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When I think about my ancestors there are two strands to my thoughts. One of these is ¬†my family and the other ‘all that exists’.

If I take my family first ¬†don’t know a lot about my ancestors, only my immediate family, as far back as my grandparents. I know stories and snippets of memories beyond this but no hard facts and my pathetic efforts at tracing my family ground to a resounding halt.

Some things I do know, such as the fact that my maternal grandmother was one of, I believe seven,¬†but they were¬†spread out between various places in the United Kingdom and U.S.A. and¬†contact between them became intermittent. I know that I have relatives¬†in USA some of whom are of Italian/American decent.¬† I also know that my paternal great grandparents were Irish but with family records being lost after my father passed I don’t know their names or where they were from. Like many things, by the time I was interested those who could have told me were no longer with us.

Growing up we were never a family who had photographs of ancestors, or of anything else on display and despite being an avid photographer, like my father was, it is scenery and animals that I take photos of, not people, and again none are on display. This is in stark contrast to those who might not only have photographs or paintings of their ancestors around the house but also on their altars as a sign of respect and constant remembrance. Just think about stately homes with large paintings depicting generations of ancestors, a constant reminder of those who have walked this path before. How far away from this some of us, myself included have moved.

In shamanism though I am very fortunate for I can journey to meet and spend time with my ancestors even if I do not know who or what they were. I am still able to make and develop connections. Quite early on my shamanic path I was journeying to meet my ancestors and can still remember my surprise at being able to meet and connect with generations of ancestors despite having no information on them or knowledge of them. I have walked back in time in shamanic dance workshops, connecting with my ancestral past as I have travelled, I have sat with ancestors deep in conversation and am fortunate enough to have a past life ancestor as one of my guides, someone whom I count as one of the biggest influences on my shamanic path.

It is though the sense of being one with everything which gives me my greatest connection to my ancestors and again it was early on my shamanic path that I was shown this. During a shamanic journey working with my ancestors I found myself becoming pure energy and in that energetic state was flew around becoming one with animals, birds, trees, plants, earth, sand, sea, sky, stars and in this realised the truth of my ancestors and I being part of all that exists and that all that exists are my ancestors.

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My original post for A was on Altars and if you click here you can read about them too

No Resolutions – Lots of Intention

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I never make New Year’s resolutions and in fact, never have. Growing up they were never part of my own experience as none of my family ever made them and the only time I was really aware of them being mentioned was by people discussing how quickly they had broken them, usually in connection to losing weight or giving up something they really enjoyed but felt others disapproved of. I guess I have never really seen the point of making a resolution that¬†I knew there was a high chance I was going to break or to make one that was to do with others opinions or judgements not something that was actually important to me.

This doesn’t mean though that I don’t do anything. I actually do quite a lot around this time of year and this year it has felt necessary to do more than most years for some reason. The reason why doesn’t matter, what matters is that I listened to the messages, the awareness, the gut instinct that what I did and continue to do now, is important in some way.

So what have I been doing?

Those of you who read my blog will know that I have been doing ¬†a lot of reflecting, looking back at what has been going on, looking at what needs to be left behind, changed in some way and what I want to hold on to. Part of the way I have been doing this, this year, ¬†is that I have¬†made a list of all that I do, the ways I go about my life, things I am happy with, things that I am not, things that I am not sure about and so on…..I’m sure you get the picture. I then made column of the pros and cons of each and then a final column for am I keeping them on not. This was a really interesting thing to do as it really helped me clarify my thinking and see what was happening. I have let it sit there for some days now and this again has given me space to reflect on my initial thoughts.

Today I was fortunate enough to¬†be able to go to a women’s circle which gave us all a few¬†hours of time for reflecting on the year gone and what we were stepping into, fire to release, to transform and water to help carry the flow of our intentions into the coming year. This was very much in line with what I had been feeling I¬†needed to do and also in line with what astrologers have been¬†saying about planetary alignments and the need to be clear about what we take forward into 2017. Also numerologicaly we are leaving a number 9 year which is the end of a cycle and entering a number 1 year which is new beginnings, so it really makes sense to have a good clear out before we go.

I had wanted to share a post about the planetary alignments but as so often happens couldn’t find what I was looking for but instead came across this……..

AT THE END OF THE YEAR

As this year draws to its end,
We give thanks for the gifts it brought
And how they become inlaid within
Where neither time nor tide can touch them.

Days when beloved faces shone brighter
With light from beyond themselves;
And from the granite of some secret sorrow
A stream of buried tears loosened.

We bless this year for all we learned,
For all we loved and lost
And for the quiet way it brought us
Nearer to our invisible destination.

John O’Donohue

Excerpt from, ‘At the End of the Year’
BENEDICTUS (Europe) / TO BLESS THE SPACE BETWEEN US (US)

May our reflections bring us clarity and insight, may we recognise the many blessing that the past year has given us even if the lessons sometimes have been hard, and may we carry forward our dreams for the coming year in the knowledge that we create our own reality and dream our world into being.

Happy New Year and a blessed, peaceful and abundant 2017 everyone xx

Three Days of Stillness

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Although many people seem to believe that once Winter Solstice is passed the days immediately get longer again this is far from true. Instead the sun  maintains its Solstice position, resting on the horizon, for a total of three days providing us with three days of stillness before we turn towards the light once more.

In what can be ‘crazy season’ even if we don’t buy into the enforced celebration of commercialism that Christmas can bring, three days of stillness sounds like magic. Three days in which we can rest, go within, gain insight, release, give thanks to Mother Earth, the sun, the moon, tune into and recognise the turn of the wheel and make plans for the new year ahead. How many of us though allow ourselves this ‘time out of time’?

I do always manage to stop and mark Winter Solstice itself in some way but three days? Not if I am being completely honest.

This year though is different as I really have no choice. Many times, being less than patient with myself, working through anything rather than giving in, this would be a problem, but at the moment¬†I am strangely Ok with it all, perhaps because my own need to be still coincides with the Earth’s need to stop so we are in some way energetically¬†empathic¬†with each other at the moment. I know from past experience that being still and going into the void often brings me the greatest insights and so instead of being concerned that the house isn’t tidy and that I don’t know what the next meal will be I am just allowing myself to consciously take three days of stillness, admittedly on top of the several days I have already had.

I had begun this part of the year with the idea that I would¬†do some serious reflecting aware that there was a lot that I was pushing myself to do that was maybe not completely right. I had intended to be journalling every step of this process so that I had a record of my decisions, I had decided I would weigh up the pros and cons of everything and then that I would release what I needed to into the fire at the ceremony I had arranged¬†for today. Spirit though seems to have other ideas for I have not picked up pen and paper once but have slumbered in that ‘in between’, state, journeying to non ordinary reality and have thus done all of this there supported by my guides and allies, throwing away things that my guides have then been showing me that I need to reconsider and realising that I was not seeing things clearly. Then being shown how much I still have that does needs to be gone through and sifted out, things that in ordinary reality I might not have even identified. Not one word of this has gone onto paper but it is burnt deeply within me now, so much so that this morning I found myself thinking about whether my shamanic practice ¬†could possibly fit what someone was looking for, before quickly realising that I wasn’t going to do that any more, that the only thing that mattered was what I actually did and not what anyone else was doing, that I didn’t care anymore. Total freedom.

I still have two more days of stillness to come and I am going to make the most of them, excited in many ways to see what other insights and understanding come to me when I completely surrender.

So what else could we use these three days of stillness for should we choose to take the time out to use them?

There are many ways to spend this time including giving thanks for and making offerings to our Earth Mother but these are a few simple ideas of ways to take some time to be still.

  • Sit¬†by a window and spend time gently observing¬†nature
  • Curl up and listen to music, allowing ourselves to receive healing¬†from the sounds
  • Watch the sunrise and sunset
  • Hold a simple fire ceremony, writing down what we wish to release and then surrendering it to the element of fire
  • Sit in the darkness and¬†spend time in reflection
  • Light a candle and welcome the light back in, perhaps thinking of our plans for the coming year, sowing the seeds that the light can germinate over the next months
  • Journey or undertake a guided meditation to meet our guides and ask for support or guidance
  • Journey or undertake a guided meditation to ask to be shown our soul’s purpose for the coming year
  • Make a vision board of¬†your intentions or hopes for the new year

This is a symbolic time, a time of new beginnings, of setting intentions, of the light returning to shine in and push back the dark and lead us forward, so taking time out gives us chance to go into this consciously not blindly in the rush of it all. I for one am determined this year to make the most of it all, working in harness with the energy of the earth instead of running against it.

 

Tonight’s Supermoon

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It’s pouring with rain, overcast and dull so the chance of my seeing tonight’s Supermoon, the last of 2016, is extremely unlikely however that doesn’t stop me feeling its effects of knowing its there.

I’ve just been reading a post in relation to it which was basically saying that there is likely to be an energetic shift with this moon, especially with it being so close to next week’s Winter Solstice. The post was also saying that its good to stay positive through this time of yet more change.

This really resonates with me as I’ve been feeling a little sorry for myself as I’ve managed to pick up yet another bug of some kind. This one is the sore throat, loss of voice, raw chest, coughing a bit,¬†type one ūüė¶ I’ve had it since last Thursday and although its on its way out I’m still feeling more than a bit wiped out, although that may have more than a little to do with two meals out and a Christmas party in the last four days ūüôā My problem is that I am not at all used to being unwell and so am not good at it.

Anyway, in the spirit of releasing before the Supermoon I’ve been doing just that this morning by writing down everything I want to release and top of the list was being unwell. I’ve held a mini fire ceremony, burning the sheet of paper in a fire proof container, and despite the fact that its raining it burnt quickly and easily. This leaves me clear now (see positive already ūüôā )to be positive in my thinking and communication, enabling me to harness the power of the Supermoon tonight and ride the shift in energy, whatever it might bring.

Making Space for Something New

 

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One of the things I often¬†talk to my students about is clearing space on an energetic level so that they create space for something new to come in. If you imagine (or maybe you don’t need much imagination here ūüôā ) your wardrobe so full that you can no longer fit anything in, this is what our lives can get like. The problem is that unlike in our bedrooms where there may be somewhere else to stash that newly acquired bargain, in our inner lives there is no way of doing this. If our inner lives are full there simply is room for anything new to come in.

So how do we go about clearing our inner lives?

Our outer life reflects our inner life so that is a great place to begin. The wardrobe, cupboards, drawers, bookshelves etc are all good places to start. Have a look through them, what is there that is no longer worn, looked at, valued, liked? Throw it out, find it a new home, donate it to a charity, pay it forward, move it on.

All of this stirs up, shifts energy and creates space for something new.

One other way is to go through our phones, look at our contacts and delete any that are no longer needed, no longer relevant. People take up space too.

I have just done this with my very old address book which was full of crossing out and new addresses added as people moved, business cards, sticky notes etc of numbers some of which I no longer recognised. My brand new address book is now only has addresses and phone numbers of people I actually know and want to stay in touch with. I am doing the same with the contact list on my computer of course.

And….thanks to Facebook deleting the Interest List option, and thanks to a helping hand as to how to access my liked pages, I have spent some time going through all these pages and unliking many of them. I was astounded to find how many pages there were there that I had never knowingly heard of, no longer used and can’t remember ever liking. So a big spring clean and I am clearer and lighter than I have been for a long time. Who’d have thought that having been so annoyed with Facebook the other day I’d have ended up feeling gratitude towards them.

We do expend a lot of energy holding on energetically to both things and people that we no longer need or which are no longer serving us. All they do is clog us up and take up space. On a Macro or global scale this year has been one of holding fear, uncertainty, anger, disbelief and more besides, on a micro scale much of this is also being held by us individually and therefore is taking up energy and space. It takes way more energy to hold on than it does to let go, which is why this Winter Solstice will find me, along with some close friends, making a community prayer bundle in the form of a despacho, (the image at the top of this blog is of a despacho all ready to be wrapped up as an offering) and along with gifts for the spirits, adding in all that we are asking to release on behalf of the world and ourselves.  In a fire ceremony we will then make the offering of the despacho and ask that the element of fire, along with the spirits, accept our offering. In this way we can help to release, clear and make space, hopefully for something that serves us all better.

Samhain non ritual, ritual

 

As a Bard with the OBOD I valiantly worked my way through the rituals associated with the eight festivals of the year. My own guides advised me to do this so that I whenever I went my own way, I did so from a place of understanding, which made complete sense and over the year and a bit, this gave me a much stronger connection to all the times when the wheel turns rather than just the ones that resonated with me most strongly. As an Ovate now I have completely let go of this practice and have reverted to going where I am guided or drawn, attempting to live the wheel of the year rather than focusing on the rituals.

Samhain, the end of one year and the beginning of another, again saw me doing my own thing which as a solitary practitioner is easy to do in a way that were I to mark the festivals with others would not be.

Originally I had thought that I might use the space on the 29th, when I had plenty of free time, to mark Samhain and had in mind working in some way within my stone circle. What actually happened was that on Saturday I spent the day in the garden cutting back some of our hedging, something that is very much part of clearing and tidying at the end of the year. The 30th then saw me on a forest walk, enjoying the crunch of leaves beneath my feet and the changing colours of the trees and plants around me.

The 31st, Samhain itself, again found me in the garden, continuing the clearing and tidying, planting bulbs for the spring and eventually in the stone circle lighting a Samhain fire. This gave me chance to work with my allies and the spirits of the place, to sit within the stones and mark the passing of the year by offering the fruits of the land, leaves, wood, herbs – Rosemary, Sage, Bay Leaves and the last of the Evening Primrose flowers to the ancestors.

This year, this is what felt and continues to feel absolutely right for me, this time next year