FOR many people, the call to the shamanic path leads them to exotic, far flung climes. Eager to learn all they can, they start swotting up on all things Native American, long to drum with the Sami or start saving up for a trip into the amazon to discover the delights of ayahuasca.
That’s what shamanism is, isn’t it? That slightly elusive path that beckons from afar – the drums, the smoke, the rattles, the pipe, the Injun spirit guides…
There’s nothing like that in England, is there? We don’t have vision quests, sweat lodges, sacred pipes, medicine plants…. and we certainly don’t have those really cool medicine names, do we?
FLICKING though some of my old dream journals, I came across the following advice from one of my most trusted guides: “Beware people on high pedestals – especially self-perpetuating ones”.
Looking back at the scenario I was living through at the time, the advice was perfect; it had accompanied these words: “Sometimes, if the energy of a place or situation cannot be cleared by you alone, it is best to leave the area”. Again, perfect advice for what was happening at the time, and even today I’m so pleased I took it!
In the shamanic world – as with any other walk of life – you will find plenty of people who have allowed their power to go to their heads, and it’s not always surprising. Continue reading
WHAT is it about alcohol that divides so many people? Guaranteed, when I tell people I don’t drink, they look at me as if I have three heads!
What we know about alcohol is that a) it’s a poison, b) it creates a false high, c) it lowers inhibitions (and makes us vulnerable) and d) it’s addictive. Most of us will know of people whose lives have been ruined, whose relationships have been wrecked, whose health has deteriorated or, worse case have lost their lives through alcohol abuse, yet our society still views booze as a normal part of life. No, scratch that… our society still views alcohol as an ESSENTIAL part of life. Continue reading
WHEN was the last time you felt awe and wonder for the world around you? When did you last stop not only to smell the flowers, but to wonder what makes their scent so beautiful? When did you last look down at the earth beneath your feet outdoors and marvel at the expanse of life growing there? When did you stop being amazed and asking questions?
Do you know what I’m talking about? That magical, childlike wonder that encourages us to look at the world in a different way, to take in the sheer awesomeness of the elements, the planet and all who share her; that beautiful, bright, shining inquisitiveness that encourages us to explore, to grow and to SEE what so many people miss as they stomp through life. Continue reading
THERE’S no doubt 2012 has been a difficult year for many souls… lots of us have been tested to the limit as we approach ‘The Shift’.
Personal crises have challenged so many; all different and, seemingly, designed to test us on the deepest level according to the difficult lessons we needed to learn.
Taking a step back, regardless of the shape of the teaching, there’s also been an overarching theme of the victim/warrior state. In shamanic teachings, we’re either on the path of the spiritual warrior, or we’re adopting a victim mentality. It’s sometimes a bitter pill to swallow, but that’s it; we’re one or the other with no space in between. Continue reading
NOT too long ago, a freelance journalist asked if she could interview me about the goddess movement. Honestly, the question took me a little by surprise; anyone who’s worked with me for any length of time knows ‘The Goddess’ ain’t really my thang.
Don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for the movement and I’ve certainly worked with a few ‘goddess’ energies in my time but, for me, the division between the divine feminine and masculine doesn’t really come into play. I’m not really into separatism… I’ve never felt the need for it and sometimes, just sometimes, I wonder if much of the divide is of human creation; our brains steering us into a familiar comfort zone and filing system, if you like. Continue reading
SOMETIMES it amazes me how us Westerners find it so easy to forget our own culture. In today’s ‘get it quick’ society, we seem to want everything NOW, often in exchange for the swipe of a credit card, rather than real effort. We spend all our time either worrying about what we did last week, or fretting about what’s to come.
Rarely do we live in the moment which, to some extent, might explain why so many of have lost our connection to what’s real and, in doing so, we’ve lost our connection to who we really are. Continue reading
(Back to part 1)
A quick scour of the internet will tell you shamanism is the oldest known spiritual path, that it pre-dates religion by some time and that there are traces of shamanism all over the globe. Trouble is, if we want to be really technical, some will tell you that the term is only properly applied to the traditional religious systems of the native peoples of Central Asia, Siberia and the circumpolar region of the Northern hemisphere.
What muddies the waters further is that the term ‘shamanism’ has become broadly used in anthropology to categorise similar spiritual/religious practices in other parts of the world, including ancient Britain. So, who’s right? Continue reading
FOR almost as long as I can remember, I’ve been dreaming of things to create in the waking world. Whether asleep, or during a shamanic journey, it’s not unusual for me to come back with designs that simply have to be turned into physical objects.
In the shamanic world, this is known as bridging the dream and is one of many ways in which medicine objects are created.
In the early days, of course, I didn’t really understand the significance of such dreams. I’d just wake up, desperate to start crafting, then spend hours creating the piece I’d ‘seen’ on the spirit plane and – very often – know exactly who needed it. Most often, it would be a piece of jewellery, but it might also be a dance staff, rattle, drum, divination set… anything at all. As these dreams became more frequent, and the detail of the pieces became more complex, the wonders of the creation process began to unfold. Continue reading
Click to hear me being interviewed about shamanism on FM radio
IT’S been a while since my last blog, but so many of you have been asking to hear the my full radio interview, rather than the three minute teaser clip, so I thought I’d better oblige.
If you click the link at the top of the page, you should hear me chatting with Stafford FM’s Ian Beddow. What a lovely chap! For those who don’t know, Ian is married to the very lovely Kate Beddow – one of my Twitter friends. Kate is a reiki healer and has a really beautiful energy; her business name is Growing Spirit and you can also find her on Facebook…. go look her up. Go on. Yes, right now! Continue reading