A Sussex Shaman shares her inspiration...
Family trip to Avebury
Reflections on my shaman training.
It was the most empowering, yet also soul naked experience;
Ten students, all with some energetic or shaman experience behind them, jumping into the void of offering shamanic healing to each other.
After the process is demonstrated, we split into pairs and work. The room is filled with soft whisperings, tears, gentle voices, escaped gasps, rattling, drumming, smudging.
It is exhilarating to be energy working in this concentrated way. As I work I catch a glimpse of the other pairs, and can reflect on what I am doing in the mirror of their work. Because to be a Shaman is to work from the soul, and we are ten individuals each using the tools and techniques slightly differently.
This week one of the techniques was soul retrieval.
It involved (after much complicated breath, rattling and energy work) the shaman journeying to the under world to visit specific caves.
Looking for the; Original wound, Soul contract, gift, Lost soul part & animal helper for their “client”
It is very strange as the shaman to be seeing these things (or at times hearing), yet they were mostly meaningless to me. The skill lies (I believe) in then supporting the client to make their own personal connections with these finds, supporting them as they choose to accept, or leave, or perhaps adapt what has been found.
A stone is used to represent each of the caves I visited, and then my client uses the stone to connect with their inner connection to the meaning found int he cave.
I found it intensely soulful to help my client understand these images and words I had found in the underworld.
They stand, hold the stone chosen to represent the cave I visited, and connect shamanically to the meaning. I can see in their face, body & breathing how deeply they are connecting.
To watch their face light up as they realise the connection that has been masked by their mind at a time of survival, trauma and stress.
Now I am back home, working, sorting out finances & children & mealtimes and that cave-like group experience seems a long way way.
Yet I am left with a dull ache in my heart chakra.
And I realise the deep, intense, unconditional love of the weekend has expanded my heart chakra. To quote The Grinch;
“Well, in Whoville they say – that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day. “
And that is how I feel. Still processing, I will include more thoughts & reflections as they come to me.
Spirits of place...
Shaman's gate was not what I expected last night...
We gathered to connect with Spirits of Place.
And the barn was so quiet, both of spirit and animal and weather.
It was as if the barn was listening to us.
There was a common thread to our journeys, of peace and a sense of when you look at the bigger picture all of our worrying and stressing is just such a waste.
I almost felt I met the Barn herself, the wisest, oldest Great Grandma Crone of the Woods. She put my life into perspective.
Personally I realised (I even saw when journeying) the pure joyful synchronicities that drew my friends to the Barn. As if I could have ever micro-managed such lovely luck!
What gifts I was glad to recieve last night;
The drum sang of her own accord,
Good friends gathered together (with love sent to those who could not join us x)
And that the Barns fell silent to hear us, and let us glimpse her true depth for a moment, that is one of the most humbling things ever to occur to me on my spiritual journey.
But the wheel has turned, the cold approaches, and I promise the warmth of a fire next meet. x
Solstice full moon..
As the full moon and summer solstice combine this year, I am loving the number of shaman sessions I have planned for this week...
When I start drumming my guide (Freya) places a blue cloak around my shoulders and pulls the hood above my head. This is the point when Frey takes over the drumming. The ground pulls away from under me and I lean against the tree to enjoy the bliss of the moment.
The stars glint in the sky, seeming a long way off and yet very bright.
If I am working with one person I will often catch glimpses of them; dancing, drinking from the stream, flying high above, or falling deep down.
The drum is singing its own song now, I hold the space, feel the energy, enjoy the experience and feel the magic of the moment.
Sometimes I have to be very strict with myself, to stop drumming and bring myself and others gently back to this physical world. But a shaman walks, like everyone, with his feet firmly on the ground.
A calm word, gentle rattle, and we are walking back to this place, this moment.
My journeys can offer me inspiration, healing, sometimes simply a rest.
I feel very blessed to enjoy sharing shamanism on such a regular basis.
I had a wonderful couple of weeks away with my family, heading back to places that I used to love. Avebury, Glastonbury & The Roll Rights.
My first full pagan ritual was part of a Druid priestess course I attended, a long time ago, and it was held at the RollRights.
The workshop was led by Bob Cat (Emma Restall Orr) and was a fascinating experience. What I loved most was experiencing the calling of the quarters and taking part in a group ritual led by such an experienced leader.
It was magical to have some one hold the group and lead us to take part. I had read about it, had a go myself, and with equally inexperienced friends.
But it was so different working with a teacher rather than a book!
Revisiting the Roll Rights & Avebury, so important in my early days when I was walking a Druid path, has bought back a lot of Joyful memories.
Later in the year, when the whisper is right, I will be running rituals to celebrate the eight fold year as a development of my Shaman's Circle.
I will always walk alongside the Norse Gods, but I am called back to Druidry too.
A Druid shaman in Sussex
I spent a full day on the beach, watching th children swim, feeding them large amounts of picnic foods and re-reading Emma restall Orr's Living Druidry. At times my focus seemed to slip to memories of past circles, old teachings and time spent with soul connections along the way.
I walked up the path to the barns, slightly sunburnt and too late for dinner. Nervous about calling the quarters for the first time in at least 15 years. I am always nervous about new steps, even when they have been walked before and feel so right.
I always feel a change in energies, a deepening in place when I call to the Sky Father and the Earth Mother. I love calling upon Frey, Freya and Odin, chanting to the woods and barn, and feeling the peace of connection.
And as i walked around the circe, welcoming the spirits of earth, air, fire and water I felt great joy at the strengthening of circle and connection that was created.
It feels as if a wheel has turned within the group. We talked about intention, as a group and individuals. The group intention was whispered around the circle as everyone shared what they wanted to experience, with similar heartfelt words of connection; to soul, guides, season and each other.
As the year turns we will build our associations with the four quarters. Not from lists and books, but personal memories, stories of our past and our culture. With shared connection of the element itself.