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.

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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.  

Years ago, having a spiritual interest, I set an intention that, 'This time I'm doing 'IT!' not knowing what 'IT' was....I would not undertake another incarnation, get to the end and think, 'Shit! shoulda, woulda, coulda'....I was aware of previous incarnations where, things were cut short!....not this time!!! I was 100% committed!

The motivation behind this?

I'd reached my early twenties and to be honest, I'd already had enough of being on this planet. I knew enough however, that if I were to jump ship, I be spun round on the wheel of Karma and promptly spat back in! I resigned to the fact that I'd chosen to come here and in order to survive it I had to find and live my purpose.

Some may think this brave, some, stupid, but hey, that was the message that I sent out. "I'm here, I'm committed, please show me what I'm supposed to be doing here this time around".

I had a couple of 'no thank yous'....I would not lose my children, I would not go to jail and I would not become consume by an addiction......funny though, I've come very close on a couple of the 'no thank yous'... one more thing.....I never wanted to be an 'if only' person, sitting on a sofa all middle-aged, thinking the guy next to me is a dick, watching some shitty soap thinking, if only.......!!! There had to be adventure.....

The unknown 'it', the purpose this life-time turned out to be the Shamanic Way.....How? WTF? Really? you're joking right? ...eye rolling, despair and or laughter, however it turned out that adventure was included!

Social Expectations

Committing to my purpose was all well and good......a shock came for me when I met people and they asked the standard question, "What is it that you do?".

This, "What do you do?" helps the person to establish a few things.

One 'where you fit' within consensual reality.

Two, where you are subsequently categorised in their own 'roller deck' of life.

When the questioner is presented with '"I'm a shaman" their heads often tilt to one side, social-worker fashion, (fruitlessly flicking through the internal roller-deck), attempting, unsuccessfully to hide their confusion  ...mentioning terms like 'Witch Doctor', Native Americans and a documentary they may have watched on Discovery Chanel, and then it comes....."But, what actually is it that you do?"

I've taken to stating the following....It's somewhere between counselor, teacher and priest. That tends to satisfy most. Occasionally there are those who genuinely would like to know more.

So, for those who would like to know more, here goes....

Traditionally the Shaman would be the spiritual guide for the village and it's tribe....from birth, everything that happens in between, to death and beyond.  These days our networks are often global, those in our 'village' are varied and dispersed...our tribes look very different to how they once did.  The role of the Shaman however is much the same....Births, Deaths and everything in between.

The ability to commune with the unseen brings a little something to most situations, working with nature is a free resource available to all and the combination of the two is just magic.

Many who work shamanically are guided or choose to specialise in specific areas.....some choose to pass on the knowledge in the form of training others, some are drawn to the darker end of human existence and have an aptitude for working with the shadow, others work with delicious rich plant medicines, others walk the dying over to the next world, and some welcome souls back in, some work with the land alone lifting patterns of times past, some work with those who are trapped between the worlds, many simply 'be', finding themselves always in the right place at the right time. Many however, do it all.

I find this way of life to be the most diverse, challenging, rewarding, perpetually eye-opening learning cycle, that I have ever had the regret and privilege to walk into. This way of being has changed my life from the core out and that of others too.

Purpose 

It can be odd to find that your purpose has no 'roller-deck' section but these days I kinda like it... our purpose is exactly that, ours....it isn't for anyone else to approve of, undertake or understand. We each have a unique set of gifts and talents and our own special way of using them.....let us not be limited by other peoples or even our own ideas of what life 'shoulda, woulda, coulda' be/been like'.....for me true happiness came from being myself, following my own inner voice, doing what feels right contrary to popular opinion, speak my truth and doing the work that I'm on this planet to do. This is the true path of freedom.....paved with many commitments.

Big loves

C x