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. 😊

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

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

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/

Follow on Instagram: @sunbirdjournalpublishing and @greyareasjournal

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Finally, for similar articles on Shamanism & Ceremony click here 

Shamanism is ultimately about following our true nature, not the one we are told is best for us or the one we inherit from our family or culture.  In this modern world of huge expectation & chaos we need to find & maintain balance.

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