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.  

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.

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