February brings us new shoots and new learning - moon phase, medicine and meaning...

We’re beginning to see the early signs of Spring here in Dorset. Snowdrops hanging bravely in the frosty verges, bright green leaves of the Daffodils slowly awakening and reaching for the sun.

Spring is in the air...

It seems like Spring is the most refreshing time of the year and although soup and scarves are still factors, I love to get outside and feel nature stirring. The fuzzy buds on the tips of branches always make me smile as I consider how much of a risk, they take by reaching out and how it is their nature to do so. The natural cycles bring pleasure and learning and this year I will move deeper into them.

Moon, fire and the power of ceremony...

For over a decade I have worked with the energy of the Full Moon and for the last year the New Moon as well. Building and watching the flames of a sacred fire is such a deeply cleansing experience. Handing over prayers to flames, that the gods may receive my smoke signals and offer clarity and guidance… this is medicine.

Each month an ever-growing group of individuals, in their own homes and gardens, join together, create an energetic connection and perform ceremony in line with the current astrology. We work with shared intent for the Earth, the collective consciousness and do our personal work with spirit. We call this, ‘Connecting in Ceremony’ and share our experience in a group on-line. Although we work alone, there’s a reassuring feeling of connection. We are sharing the same prayers at the same time and therefore, creating community

Some may argue that, ‘this is not the way ceremony ought to be done’, I argue, ‘we are energetic beings and it is our intent that creates our realities.

Becoming 'Moon Wise'...

Recently on social media I was sharing thoughts of working more closely with the Moon and nature cycles, and how tribes are now spread across the world. In response I received a message the lovely Awen Clement (Author, Celebrant and life-long Pagan) asking if I would like a copy of her recently published book, ‘Moon Wise’. With a big grin on my face, I eagerly accepted.

<img src="moonwisebook.jpeg" alt="moon phases">

Over many years, Awen has discovered that the phase of the Moon we are born under has a significant effect on us and how we work with the Moon cycles. I’d never considered this, but after reading her diligently constructed argument, this of course made complete sense. Similarly, other aspects of the heavens affect us as individuals; our zodiac, sun and moon signs, so it makes sense that the moon phase contributes too. ‘Moon Wise’ is easy to follow, leading you through the months and moons of the year, is packed with folklore. For,me Awen has answered a few questions and for that reason I'm now working on combining this new knowledge of the personal lunar phase with my existing Moon practice.

it’s early days but somehow this new understanding brings a little more meaning.

Weaving a life we want...

As ever, I’m keen on the practical application of spiritual ideas and ideals, because sitting around, as my father would say, ‘contemplating my navel’ doesn't change anything without action. I wish to learn how, daily, this new knowledge can be practiced, implement and woven into being. Yes, knowledge is power, but it is action that creates change.

As a result of recently completing a Small Holders course, I’m building a kitchen garden. The perfect place to learn of the cycles first hand and therefore, the obvious choice for me, was bio-dynamic gardening; pruning, planting, sowing, saving and harvesting, all guided by the phases of the moon and the zodiacal sign that she sits within. I’m excited to see how things develop and how this positively affects and informs my living closer to the cycles…. It’s a little bit of ‘watch this space’!

Using personal power to help change the world...

The main motivation I find for working with the cycles is two-fold. First of all, I'm a lover of the ancient ways, a believer in the power of ceremony and an advocate for ‘the natural path’. Also, it’s no secret that the earth is a mess: out of balance and shouting for us to engage with her in a different way. I believe that it is humans disconnection from Gaia that allows for our mistreatment of her. By nature, we do not care for that which we do not love.

By reconnecting with the cycles, seasons and phases of the earth and surrounding cosmos we can gain a better, truer, deeper understanding of Gaia, her places in the heavens and the roles that we each serve on her belly. From this place of knowledge, love and informed action, change will naturally occur.

Connecting in ceremony...

Connecting in ceremony - If you’d like to get involved, work more closely with the cycles and contribute your personal pinch of power to the collective, you are welcome to join myself and Awen in getting to know your personal moon phase and bringing this knowledge to ceremony, for the earth, the collective consciousness and for yourself.  Community is a mind-set and activism is balancing the fight within.  

People are looking for change, yet when change comes the same individual responds with fear. Change is often overwhelming; re-scripting the inner dialogue, establishing and following through with new wished for behaviour, and then remaining consistent. Changing our lives and habits is a big job, firstly for the mind and then for the rest of us. Yet, change is a natural part of life.

Change can look a bit like this- The New Year’s resolution, all good intentions, post-holiday demands of life setting in, backed up by ingrained beliefs followed by the inevitable, “I’ll do it tomorrow” the thought which willingly hammers the first nail in the proverbial coffin!

I’ve done this so many times! But, 2019 was a year of deep thinking her in Dorset. My family are leaving the nest (one down, one to go) and this left wondering me “what’s next for me?” It’s such a huge change now that my time is not filled with full-time parenting. I was intent on not being a total pain in the arse for my kids due to my own feelings of loss or becoming stagnant through inaction.

“Is this good for me?”

I mused on the following;

“What is that I really enjoy?”

“What do I actually want?” This one was tough.

What is it that I really love?”

“What am I passionate about?”

 and “What contribution do I or could I make?”

At first, I was a bit stumped. The last 20 odd years have been so filled with the need of the, now grown, boys, that I’d lost sight a little of what I am about. Actually, if I’m totally honest, I’d lost me completely. Not the Mum me or the Shamanic and Spiritual me but the ME me.

Honestly this was quite a shock and took time, tears, healing and some hard-core ceremony to find my personal ground again. Fear was the main character that I was facing. Fear of going it alone without excuses to hide behind and fear that if things don’t work out, I have full responsibility. Eek! This was a leveller that led me to the aforementioned questions!

Whenever an answer popped up, I followed it with, “Is this good for me?”

Discovery

I realised I’d been suffering even more from empty nest since I released Corvey Crow back into the wild in late spring last year; this release however galvanised my intent and set me wholly on the current journey. His release brought home all manner of things that had been bubbling under the surface and it was time to look at them… but more about the quick succession of powerful lesson another time. (When the bloody book is finally written!)

The essence of my musings and the subsequent answer were as follows:

  • A deepened love of Nature but was hardly ever out there.
  • A rediscovered sense of justice and no way to enact it.
  • The realisation of an ingrained streak of cobweb gathering laziness.
  • Butterfly mind and magpies’ heart (flitting from one thing to the next and easily excited and distracted by shinny things!)
  • An evaluation of my skills and abilities. This I was quite pleased with. The study of Spirituality since my late teens and working Shamanically for over a decade does pay dividends. These are my passions or maybe obsessions but either way this is my path, and I am working a little each day to weave this calling deeper into my actions and assisting clients to do the same.
  • I got honest with myself about various health irritations and above all the realisation that I’ve worked bloody hard to become the woman I am (and constantly discovering), even among the dramas of life, and I was damn well going to live the way I wanted to!
  • The rest? A work in progress.

Action taken.

Health first. I had a host of test both allopathic and traditional/alternative. Bloods, Kinesiology, VEDA testing, massage and reintroduction of yoga. (Gaia TV is fab for the yoga and other things) I got clear on what was missing and causing discomfort, and this was really important part. Otherwise butterfly and magpie would have been flitting here and there and achieving bugger all! Predominantly though, I took responsibility, adjusted the diet a bit at a time and slowly began to feel a rise in energy.

Then nature. I love a walk, but energy had been sorely lacking and I was only getting out maybe every ten days or so to watch a sunset and stretch the legs. Although I was working with the plants (indoors)most days in the form of loose smudges, Palo Santo, bay leaves and herbal teas to ease the aches it was mainly in ceremony, before and after healing and mentoring sessions. I knew this had to stop, so I began tackling the garden which had been unloved for a good few years.

Beginning to pursue the dream.

I’ve always had a romantic idea of owning land, become largely self-sufficient and inviting people to stay for a while and work through their spiritual process when life’s thrown them a mega curve ball. A place to heal, gently and slowly, through working the land, honouring the journey and spending time in ceremony.

As a medicine woman who wished to practice more of what I preach, I put my money where my mouth is and enrolled on a Small Holders course at the Kingston Mauward Agricultural College. This was supported by a deep calling to live more in line with natural cycles and on reflection is helping with that cobwebby lazy streak. Nature, like the Tax Office, wait for no woman!

Wow! What an absolute delight! Tractor driving first day! Followed by all thing livestock, foul, planting (inside and out) land management, slaughter, butchery, soil and crop rotation. I have loved every minute of it, even the torrential rain and scary bits.

Pig are big, powerful and took a real fancy to me (250kg of pig amour is nothing to trifle with!) Cows are beautiful, strong and intelligent. There are various types of grass and sheep can blow up like balloons if fed the wrong stuff! Who knew? Well to be fair, probably thousand of people but not me.

This process has tested my nerve, I’ve had to seriously get over myself, speak with the fears and allay and acknowledge its concerns. The main thing that sticks out and that is I really, not only think I can do the whole Small Holder thing but KNOW that I can. It’s a real source of enjoyment and packed with rewards. This means that I am a big step closer to living on my terms and providing something of value to others. Realistically the work has just begun but I’m up for it!

We all have dreams and one small step at a time we can realise them.

Now I know that this lifestyle is not the ideal life for many, but I do know that you have an ideal life living inside you somewhere and it’s totally possible to live it!

When our dreams, wishes, goals and choices have meaning I believe they are more likely to realise themselves. When we know our ‘why’, clarity remains. When things get tough, meaning helps us stay motivated. When we are asking what is good for us (and listening to the answer) we can’t go far wrong. It is when we are led by fad, fancy and predominately wounds that when the shit hits the fan.

We are told by outdated core beliefs, dogma and salacious media click-bait that we are not okay and this plays into feeling of uncertainty, at times manifesting as paralysis. “Lose weight yet have a round arse, have straight hair yet natural curls are beautiful, be vegan save the world, yet mono-culture soya crops are destroying the jungle… The list is endless, it’s blah and confusing.

Only we can really decide what is good for us or not. Only we know our inner desires. Only we know our purpose and our passion. And we can, if we take inventory, move towards our dreams one step at a time. A trick I’ve found is to start where I am. Assess what I have. Gather what is available to me and be grateful for it all.

Living the practice…

My spiritual/shamanic practice helps me to navigate the often-strong feelings that come hand-in-hand with change. From the boys leaving home, through working with the lazy streak, to remaining focused and knowing that I can meet whatever the future holds.  I take it all to ceremony, either as an altar to honour how things are or perhaps a fire to burn off some of the old. My favoured and most revealing process is the shamanic journey for gaining insights where I struggle to accept certain realities or resist what I know to be true.

This spiritual lark is not just about ‘church’ on Sunday or the odd workshop where we come home glowing, only to feel shitty again come Tuesday. It’s about weaving your truth deeply into your daily life - "Being the change". Bringing meaning to the mundane and knowing internally that you have all that is required to live and walk your passion and purpose, even if you’re not quite there yet. Plus, all things happen in divine time….

This year, I will live closer to the cycles. I’m building a ‘Tiny Holding’ in my back garden and preparing the ground for the coming year. I’m clearing, digging, lifting, building and recycling so that one sunny evening in August I can sit outside, eat a salad that I have grown, pick warm strawberries from the plant, sip medicinal teas blended from herbs in the flower bed and know that all is right with world… all the while, learning about more about myself as each moon passes.

We can all find the truth, the time and the inclination if our hearts are in it. When we put in the work the Universe really does unfurl in front of us and with the digit 2020 firmly grounded, I’m excited about the adventure and the change!

If you’d like to follow my journey you are very welcome, if you’d like to find out more about some of the topics covered I’d love to hear from you plus a bit of accountability never goes a miss. ?

It was early Monday morning and I’d been out in the garden painting, what seemed like the endless garden fence and was listening to an Audio book as I find painting to be laborious… I’m not sure how long I was doing it for, but at one point during the mundane dip and wipe, dip and wipe, I noticed that I wasn’t listening to the audio book at all, but rather, chuntering enthusiastically in my head like some fuckin’ crazy woman!

The chuntering topic, last night’s dream! The dream… an ex turns up with a new girlfriend, (she seemed very nice) but he was insistent on pursuing me right under her nose…! Shall we just say, that a few years ago this individual and myself parted on shitty terms and judging by my dream last night he’s lurking somewhere in the attic of my psyche… waiting to pick his moment and right enough, Sunday night was the night.

Social media had previously informed me that during Mercury retrograde (currently underway) the past can turn up (silent eye roll) … an opportunity in fact to revisit, review, rewrite perhaps? Or have an ex visit in a dream so it would seem!

Anyway, to the enthusiastic chuntering! There I was painting the boards playing out scenarios in my head about what would be said and how I would handle any unsolicited visits. I could feel myself getting het up and nauseous… I could feel the churning of old hurts, clearly unhealed pots of goo bubbling and popping… then another internal voice joined the conversation… “Stop! Just stop!”

Questioningly the interjecting voice continued, “Why are you doing this? You’ve missed sections of the audio book, you’re not present and can’t take pleasure from having just completed the fence, (I’d hardly even noticed!) this nonsense is taking up your time and energy and none of the things you’re ‘planning’ in your head will even happen! Just stop!”

I took a step back, admired the endless fence and packed away the paint and brushes…. Sitting on a log next to the fire pit I got quiet… “Why did I feel nauseous?” Was the first question, secondly was “WTF are you doing?”

I was feeling nauseous because the totally made-up mental scenario was out of my control, I was feeling nauseous because I thought that this part of life was dealt with, I felt nauseous because once again I felt I would have to defend and protect myself…

In that moment, I spoke to the Universe, “I hand this to you Divine Beloved, I hand you this ‘maybe scenario’, I hand you this potential cluster-fuck. If said individual were to arrive, I know it would be for a purpose, I know there will be knowledge to gain and wisdom to add to the trilogy of life lessons…” and relief came

In answer to “WTF are you doing?” I was being violent, violent to myself.  I decided to go for a shower, wash off the splashes of fence paint and any remnants of the ‘maybe scenario’ bullshit…

Showered and sitting on my bed I began thinking about the violence towards myself and the Munay Ki Rites, (shamanic rites of initiation, the energetic upgrades if you will, that I was gifted many years ago) these rites came with 5 principles, teachings that this morning resurface and helped me to remember and care for myself once again… the first principle is Non-Violence. Sitting there the words echo around my mind, ‘non-violence to self and others’.

In life, among thinking individuals, non-violence to others is obvious… right? But what about violence to self? In thoughts, in behaviour, in poor boundaries, in low self-esteem?

 ‘In the more consciously self-aware areas of life there’s much talk of self-care… many a floral bath accompanied by the obligatory salt lamp pop up on Instagram, followed by manicures (this I will never understand; pumping all those chemicals in through the nailbed can never be self-care), massages, retreats, yogaing yourself into a pretzel  etc…. many of which have their place, I guess.

But is there a point to all this stuff if there is still internal violence? The ranty, angry voice…What if the internal dialogue is “Is my juice green enough?” “Is my yoga pretzely enough?” “I’ll tell her about herself when…!”  “I shoulda been better or stronger in that situation…”

This is not only negative self-talk but violence to ourselves… If we find this within us, as I did this morning, here are few things we can do….

You always have a choice to stop

Stop, take a moment, change your activity.

Congratulate yourself for stopping, taking a moment or changing your activity (the thought process has been interrupted)

Stop 'shoulding' on yourself

Assess where these ‘ranty-maybe-scenarios’ are coming from.

Write the story and place in the flames.

Shower and wash the granules of old down the drain

Find the root cause

But, when you have some real time to invest yourself, some real self-care moments put aside for sacred contemplation and healing…. Investigate further and see what is left unfinished.

For me, this trigger this morning, was related to things that were left unsaid, anger left unexpressed, hurt still to tend and forgiveness withheld…

So, maybe social media was right… maybe my ex did visit, in my mind at least, that I could investigate the relationship once again, at my own pace, while I painted the fence, in safety while I showered, dried and remembered, and in writing this short story….. some real self-care and not a luxurious insta-tastic pic in sight!

With New moon in Leo coming in the next few days, I know what my ceremony will involve now… forgiveness of the past, forgiveness of myself and a handmade herb bundle of gratitude for the remembrance of non-violence and the opportunity to practice this sacred self-care during my not so mundane Monday.

Sacrifice, instinct & balance.

Crow Teachings 2 - Thank you for continuing to accompany me on this journey with crow

Corveys wellbeing…

Rainbow Crow - www.uncorkedcanvas.com

Since Crow Teachings 1 my friends took to calling me, hopefully temporarily, Mama Crow or Crow Mother as I was still responding to Corveys every caw and feeding him with a literal, yet very tiny, silver spoon… my god, I was hearing that caw in my dreams…Crows are classified as song bird you know, what’s that about?

He quickly regained his strength and readily adapted to me. This could be shocking confidence or simply the fact that I was the one filling his belly?

Instinct

The wildlife experts had explained that baby Crows, just like human babies, imprint quickly (an obvious survival move) One expert suggested keeping my distance so that he didn’t ‘humanise’ and the other, relaying that Crows are social creatures and he needed company and interaction??? Confused…… all I could do was what felt right, observe his reactions and response and act accordingly.

Anyway, during feeding, I was considering what constitutes a healthy Crow diet. Advised to feed Corvey cat food, transition into minced beef, to include meal or wax worms and a few other tasty morsels all mushed up with warm water thus simulating regurgitation. It absolutely stank! I’d also been told of a mineral powder that can be added to the stinky mixture, should he become deficient and get ‘white feather’. I was prepared to obtain the aforementioned powder should a ‘white feather’ show itself.  In fact, I’d noticed just how prepared I was to do whatever it took to rehab and release this gorgeous glossy black little fella.

Reflections…Going the extra mile….

I’m no stranger to going the extra mile, I’m a mother. Taking care of this demanding and righteous young bird had me lacking in sleep, cleaning up shit and my back, oh my back was aching. It’d been a very long time since there was infant in this house and the tiredness, two hourly feed disruptions and pile of dirty laundry had me reflecting on my own parenting journey….

I was also acutely aware of the ironic timing of this visitor…. Just as my own children are flying the nest, along comes another baby! I’d already been asking myself a few interesting questions in relation to being ‘chickless’? But more about that another time…

A few tears…

I meandered down memory lane, re-remembering events and stories, selecting them from an archive deep within me, bringing with them all the old emotions. Together, my boys and I faced battle after battle. Both stared death in the face in childhood and both were raised to be their own people; this comes with its own challenges as anyone who sings to their own tune will know…

Sitting on the carpet resting my aching back considering some of the bigger potholes in the road of parenthood, hot stingy tears gathered as I realised possibly for the first time what a journey the last 20 odd years had been…. The sacrifices I’d made, the ‘extra miles’ I’d tallied up and the subsequent marathons I’d run and realising in the process how not all sacrifice is equal….

Doubt…

Corvey meanwhile, belly now full, was preening his feathers, stretching his legs again and again, hoping on and off the perch I fashion from a fallen tree branch was beginning to flap his wings. His instincts were amazing to watch. One minute being fed by a middle-aged woman with silver spoon and next doing his crow routine like a pro. A thought came to me… Crows, probably all animals, just do what comes naturally to them and this is not questioned by them or, I assume, others. While I recognise that humans are somewhat more complex creatures this thought touched me none the less…and raised another question around why we as mothers often doubt ourselves????

For all the upset he’d experienced over the last few days he was acting exactly as his instincts led him and without doubt or question…his resilience was impressive but not nearly as much as his natural ability to do what he needed be done in order to become a fully-fledged crow.

Sacrifice, instinct and self-sacrifice…

Returning to my reflection; I raised my kids, feeling into my heart and trusting my gut and honestly, I took a lot of shit for it. There were enough frowns and raised eyebrows to last a lifetime and I remember the turmoil this caused. Feeling as though I knew what was best for me and my tiny family but being told otherwise by just about everyone. In order to gain acceptance, support and to placate others I assumed more than a few roles of expectation and honestly these were the most painful times. The times when I feel I sacrificed myself, going against my instinct and feeling wretched and powerless; it all came down to not trusting in myself enough… so then I felt guilty about that too!  

How could you not love 'im?

For me, there’s sacrifice for the greater good, then, there is sacrificing ourselves; for family patterns, for inherited wounds, for expectations, tradition & culture in order to garner love and acceptance… and in Motherhood to be viewed as ‘Good’…. Resting on the floor reflecting on our difference, the old wounds and stories came flooding back as though Corveys unquestionable self-assuredness and flapping wings had rippled the waters of my past. Some interesting characters, all too willing to self-sacrifice, arose from the now lapping waves… all having been told at one point that their instincts were of no value or fanciful, sometimes just plain ridiculous…. The hot tears started rolling…

I’m just doing what comes naturally right?

The world over, caring for others is obviously celebrated, but for women folk it’s actively encouraged, even expected. We are the nurturers and carers, right? And this ‘correct caring’ fits within certain accepted parameters.You see, we can go to such lengths to fulfil the Good Mother idea that we often forget ourselves and our power & the self-sacrifice that it can take to achieve such accolades…….

Pious action and earnest commitment are revered but we must ensure that these deeply ingrained patterns and stories, even drives, do not topple over into the realms of pious deception.

It can become so easy as givers to give ourselves away in the caring process for all-manner of subconsciously perceived rewards… beating ourselves for not attaining the ridiculous expectations of ourselves and the expectations of other.

Folklore

Here is an abridged version of beautiful story from the Native American group known as the Lenape it speaks of sacrifice in an amazing way and to me speaks of the right reasons, reasons for the greater good of all…

 Rainbow Crow

Great spirit had thought into being the lands and the animals and all was well. Great Spirit next thought into being the first winter and food and warmth were scares. Wise owl called a meeting and it was decided that one among them would fly to visit Great spirit and ask that she unthink winter. Rainbow crow took the flight an sang to great spirit of the coldness upon the land and the lack of food and asked her to unthink winter.

She could not, she said, for once a thought was thought, it could not be un-thought, but she offered rainbow crow something instead. The gift of fire- A flaming stick lit from the Sun and a few words of warning.

Here, she said, you may warm yourself, the earth and the animals with the fire but fly quickly as the stick will soon burn down. Rainbow Crow flew quickly back to earth and spread the warmth across the land and return of spring, but he suffered in his action…. his feathers became singed and blackened and his beautiful singing voice became a caw.

Crow was sad that he was now blackened and could no longer sing but Great Spirit reassured him. When men come to the Earth they will not hunt you for food as your meat will taste of smoke or capture you for your song, you will always be free. Now look at your feather and see how, if you look closely, there are still shimmering rainbows and Crow was happy once again…

Crow Teachings

All journeys come with insight and when were in amongst the demands of child rearing, working, juggling responsibilities and social expectations all the little golden nuggets can be hard to spot…sometimes we must look closely.

There’s a fine line to be walked between the role of self-sacrifice, sacrifice for the greater good and the wisdom gained in giving just the right amount. The steps on the road of this finely struck balance are easier to navigate when we our trusting our instincts and indeed singing our own tune … be it caw or lullaby. The action of doing things our own is what makes us, us! This beautiful uniqueness not only determines what medicine we carry but how and just like the Crows famous caw can be recognised from miles away. Crow is no longer trying to be a songbird, he is who he is… either feared or revered the world over he has earned his place as one who holds wisdom.

Therefore, as rainbow crow shows us we must remember that our roles inclusive of sacrifice for the greater good are sacred and come with their own gifts, thus they are in need of honouring, and a trip down memory lane to retrieve those nuggets may be in order…

As I have gently paddling through these remembrances I shed old heavy stories of ‘not good enough’, ‘powerlessness’ and ‘no right to be me’… something I’d never fully realised I was still carrying… it was as though the rippling of the inner waters gave permission me to acknowledge, honour and accept the marathon of a journey and reclaim some gold along the way.

It is said that Crow carries the power of deep transformation, should one be willing to go there. My current unfolding is proving to be beautiful and I am in awe of these most amazing Crow Teachings

Crow Teachings - An amazing journey with Crow!

The Keeper of Spiritual Law, the Guardian of the Void, and it would appear, the re-education of me…

The Universe sent me a gift of Crow Medicine

It's easy to get very caught up in your own ideas of what needs to happen in life, where you’re heading and what the future should look like. The mind is a powerful and creative force, backed-up by social conditioning, tells us that thinking your route through life is the right and only way to behave. After all when you ‘know’ stuff, you're safe, and therefore in control of your destiny, right!

The Universe however often has other plans and brings us the unexpected. These curve balls can appear as inconvenient and not part of the plan but viewed as an opportunity can evidently turn into the most transformative experience. On May 16th, the Universe dropped in and offered me a gift of Crow Teachings!

Our first meeting

Meet Corvey…

After a full day of mentoring, I nipped out into the garden to water the Californian poppies I’d transplanted the day previously….

And there he was, huddling between the fence and the raised veg beds…. This little bundle of feathers, gangly legs and a beak that’s all too big for his head, took me by total surprise.

He opened his mouth wide and I saw the flash of red! Apparently this is fear response and not hunger as one may first imagine.

First of all, I took a seat nearby whilst looking out for his parents, keeping my tom cat at bay, consulting the God of Google and getting in touch with a local wildlife expert….

Ironically Crow energy has been part of my Spiritual life for more than ten years in the form of Spirit animal, Guide and without a doubt a teacher. It was not lost on me, even with all the practical stuff going on, that suddenly there he was in the flesh! Spirit works in mysterious way huh!?!? This was no meeting of chance

Folk Lore...

To many Crow is the keeper of Spiritual Lore, Guardian of the Void, even the representation of Odin! The Celts have The Morrigan, a warrior goddess of War, Death & Fate, crow-shape-shift or flanked by a flock of them. Story after ancient story speak of the Crow as an omen, or, as in some Native American tales, Crow is the intelligent messenger who comes to teach us about ourselves! Sacred Crow Teachings.

Be it physical or spiritual, I knew I was about embark on an unexpected yet interesting leg of the journey!

Night is closing in…

<img src="crow.png" alt="crow teachings">
First re-homing attempt!

Anyway, it was going to get dark soon so I eventually popped Corvey on the shed roof under the tree he’d fallen from and went inside. I watched dutifully from the window hoping that his parents would return and take care of him…. Unfortunately, they did not. The Wildlife expert advised bringing him inside as he was too vulnerable to make it through the night alone…

In light of the above, Corvey spent his first night indoors. He cowered on an old curtain, in his hand-towel nest, beneath the make-shift washing basket cage. I discovered very quickly that bird shit and soft furnishings don’t mix! Finally though, at the expense of a hand towel, he was safe and warm!.

The next morning...

The following morning, I woke and was a little afraid. What if he hadn’t made it through the night? Maybe my bringing him inside had been too much for his little heart to take? What will happen now, he can’t live under a washing basket!!! I could pace around the hallway all day or get a grip! I decided on the latter...

Basically, I donned my big-girl-pants, took a deep breath and opened the lounge door. He looked straight at me!‘He'd made it!’ What a relief!... My relief was followed by feeding, cleaning up, feeding, cleaning up, feeding… you get the idea. I managed to find a big cage on a resale site and one kind soul sent us a donation…. It looked like the Gods had given me everything I’d needed to support Corvey and the journey had begun… the learning curve very quickly became vertical and the insights came thick and fast....Without doubt the Crow Teachings were underway.

Crow Teachings…

For years I’ve always considered myself as quite connected to Nature. Camps, retreats, fire ceremony, forest work, all coupled with working with the Four Directions, the elements and the plants, yet until now I’d never really worked with the animals. This reminded me of a Brene Brown quote

"I love the human race, people however, nah, not so much"

I was similar with animals, and if I’m honest, they always scared me a little bit. Animals, however, have always been pretty keen on me. At a friends house her big dog would sit on my feet, her cat near my shoulder on the back of the sofa and bird after bird would land on the conservatory roof. I’d sit very still and rather wide-eyed as my friend would laugh saying…. “Look at you, Dr Doolittle, they love you!” The feeling was not mutual…

Anyway, here I am, Corvey in tow, spirit having plugged an ethereal HDMI cable into the back of my head to ensure the messages get through and the teaching began.

How connected to nature are you?

Pavement Poppies

I opened the lounge curtains on the second morning of Corvey's residence, it struck me just how, in reality I'm more disconnected from Nature than I'd previously cared to admit. I paused to allow this thought to sink in. "I’m manipulated on a daily basis by the environment I’ve created and now Corvey was being subjected to it too'! In a word I was shocked!

How many of us wake with the rising sun, retire with the setting and in between know how to source food, find clean water, build shelter, light fires?

I've gotta tell ya, I’ve done a bit of the above, but on a daily basis, with my survival dependent on it, how long would I survive? How long would any of us survive? And how pleasant would that survival be?

Via an unremembered internet platform (sorry) I recently heard an aboriginal man describing Western Culture, on account of our disconnection from nature, as being ‘three days deep’… meaning after three days of not being able to fulfill our most basic needs, the shit would begin to hit the proverbial fan!

Please consider this- food comes in plastic packages, power comes down pipes and cables, the mind is distracted by shinny things, etc, etc, etc, it's important to acknowledge the potential outcomes for all of this in relation not only to our consumption but also our natural sacred connection? How disconnected from our instincts are we? How disconnected from Nature and Mother Earth are we? Moreover, how disconnected from our bodies are we with all these external distraction and 21st century comforts?

How can we love and care for something that we are not connected to?

All is not lost...we can become balanced again

You have time. You may think you don't but in truth you have a moment to stop and smell the roses, both literally and figuratively. There are 5 minutes in the day to sit consciously, to reflect, or place your toes in the grass, sand or sea… It is still possible to feel the heartbeat of Mother Earth in the wild places… her rhythm is slow, strong and reverberates with deep wisdom. We can consciously reconnect to Her at any time, she is ALWAYS there. My favourite way to connect with Her is to make offerings... berries, libation, mandalas, even menstrual blood... I show Her love as she shows me love. A beautiful Mother, daughter relationship of reciprocity.

Remember the question above about love and connection? When we love and connect with something, we care for them. Strengthening your relationship with planet is key to saving her and you.

Give yourself the gift of time, without delay, go outside, sit, admire your view even if your vista is not picturesque. There is beauty everywhere and you will feel better for it. See what you can sense, hear and feel… does your body have a message for you? What is she or he thirsting for? Does nature have a sign or symbol to gift to you?

In due time these moments of contemplation and connection will bring you an answer you have been searching for. Allow the Natural world and your connection to Her to do their magic. Starting small is all it takes and is the road to falling in love with her and hopefully yourself too.  

Big love, Charlotte & Corvey - Crow Teachings, Crow Medicine xxx

To find out more about Charlotte's work, aside from temporary 'Crow Mumming', take a look HERE

Reclaiming Wise Woman Healing.

I'm feeling so delighted to have been asked, once again, to contribute to Grey Areas Journal - For Creative and Intellectual Perspectives.
This 4th Edition is dedicated to International Women's Day 2019. I download a full copy of the full publication HERE


Wise Woman Healing brings a wholeness...
The following article is a little insight into my own personal healing path and the benefits I found in the Shamanic Way. I found the Wise Woman, she lives in me, she lives in all of us.

Feel inspired to get in touch?
Please email me at charlotte@shamanicway.co.uk

To find out a little more about Charlotte's work, reclaiming the Wise Woman & Healing you can do so here

Create your own home made smudge stick, it's easier than you think!

 

Every stage is a pleasure. Nature walks to  collect your herbs, creating your own spiritual tool, gorgeous aromas wafting through the house during the drying process and the Grand Finale! The feeling of cleansing lightness that fills the home when the final burning ritual takes place.

Traditionally, spiritual workers created and blended their own wares, making tools especially for the job at hand. When we work to create our own ceremonial tools, we connect at whole different level. It may be a smudge stick or  herbal fire offering. A journey tea or a Herbal Sleep and Dream pouch. Each creation brings us closer to the plants and closer to nature...

So, if you'd like to get creating, you can download our Home Made Smudge Stick - How to... right HERE! 

There are tonnes of reasons to smudge your home regularly but Natural Living Ideas beautifully explain a few them.

Make sure you don't miss out on our next Practical Spirituality Blog-ish update by joining our mailing list

Big Loves, C x

Chakra clearing for the busiest time of year...

The winter months can be hard on the body. With longer nights and shorter days we can feel less inclined to be out.  Our energy systems can become slow and stagnant because we are not spending enough time in nature. With the Christmas season looming we can get stressed, bogged down and begin to feel a bit yucky... Dreaming of Mediterranean beaches and alfresco brunches is lovely but we can do more to help ourselves with this beautiful Chakra Clearing technique

Download a printable version here

We have gorgeousness in our Marketplace to clear your home too!

Smokes, Smudges & Rich Aromas are all part of preparing for Spiritual practices…

So, I thought I'd share with you how I make mine

Download a printable version here

Also available in our Market Place

Here's a bunch of other stuff we do too

Big Loves, C x

 

 

Shamanism in the 21st Century - How we can heal communities.

Check out my most recent article! The relevance of Shamanism in the 21st Century; including little things you can do everyday to contribute to improving your world and the world around you.

When one thinks of shamanism perhaps the mind is drawn to indigenous tribes shown on National Geographic or perhaps the Medicine man that casts the bones – divining the destiny of the tribe, foretelling the good hunting grounds and the ceremonies needed to bring rains to replenish the lands. These images may seem distant or even superstitious nonsense, furthermore, a far cry from Western European 21st Century life but it’s not really as distant as you may think….

Download the full article via The Grey Areas Journal - the link is below... Find my submission is in the Focus on Faith Section - pages 23-26

Grey Areas is a beautifully eclectic, multi-cultural, open publication. Actively encouraging its writers to visit the areas of life that are 'grey', because realistically, it's never simply black and white. Seems like SunBird are on to something amazing with these beautifully written, subjective pieces, giving a window in to the lives of others, how they fill their days and what gives their lives meaning.

The world is often presented as a fear-laden place, filled with those who wish to do you wrong. I feel Grey Areas challenges this by welcoming differences of opinion, debate and an intelligent forum for those who wish to share.

Also, I'm privileged to have been offered, and subsequently accepted, the offer of Resident Writer for all things Shamanic. This makes me even more excited about the publication! So, look out for the 3rd Edition coming in the late Autumn where you will find more pages of gorgeousness

The 2nd edition of the e-journal ‘Grey Areas’ By Yann W. Tanoé and contributors. Edited by Antoinette Hewitt.
(Courtesy of SunBird Journal Publishing)

<img aria-describedby=

" width="410" height="410"> Grey Areas Journal Cover - Shamanism in the 21st Centuary

Grey Areas 2nd Edition August 2018 click here...

 

Or you can download the magazine directly from here...

https://sunbirdenterprise.wordpress.com/

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Finally, for similar articles on Shamanism & Ceremony click here