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Beginning at the end

Sometimes in the process of change we hit the floor.

That’s not a euphemism, I mean sometimes we actually end up lying in a shaking , quivering heap on the floor unable to stop crying, unable to catch our breath , all alone and wondering how the fuck we get back up again .

How many more times do we have to fall to bits? How long till the next wave hits and wrecks our ship?

In recent times , I expect many have had this happen in seemingly endless waves , as more and more is being confronted . As more and more is being addressed personally and collectively.

We thought we’d seen the end of it – but one last bastard thing tried to kill us ,we thought we had had enough of this shit already , but apparently not .

Life had other plans for us .

And before the stuff we knew we needed could be let in – everything that we knew we didn’t need had to go .

Whether we liked it or not we either jumped in or we were pushed to face what we had been putting off.

Letting go.

What kept us so scared and frightened of doing it? what kept us clinging in fear? Our own fear of change .

But let go we did and….

Once we made it to the other side we saw it was actually not the awful, terrible thing we thought it was going to be.

What did we wait so long for ? Why did we struggle so much ? Why did we keep resisting what we knew needed to happen?

We waited because we needed to feel aligned with-in with what we were bringing out. We needed time to check in, make sure, double check , cover old ground , weed out the last bits and properly clear the ground.

We needed to grieve our losses and take comfort in our gains and in what remains.

Its been tough for lots of us one way or another.

Turns out this year has been a massive clear out of old baggage for the last time . A clean sweep. The loss of all that we really do not need anymore . Friendships , jobs , relationships . If it wasn’t helping it was hindering and won’t be coming back.

Big Karma has been clearing if you like. Its been a chance to say ‘nope, not doing that anymore , I want something different” and the cosmic back drop has been assisting us collectively to do this.

Dare we dream a new life into being collectively? Dare we rewrite the narrative , tear up the old and try something radically different ?

Dare we create a future where we survive and thrive in a more co-operative and mutually respectful society ?

Something better is coming our way – something new. Something needed. Something necessary for our future survival . Something new for Earth.

It is possible – the end of the old is coming – there will be a shift – a paradigm shift – it will take place . It is already happening.

What comes after that though is up to us – its dependant on the foundations we choose to lay . Do we take the opportunity to learn from the past and do it differently this time ?

I believe we will. We will sow the seeds in the ashes of whats left and something new will come . A new time of redressing the balance.

As the old celtic year threshold has been crossed and we walk through the veil between the old and the new year to come – we are in a place of either letting go and dying to the old or in a process of transforming and potentising whatever it is we wish to bring forth.

Can you feel it ?

Potent is definitely the energy of this time of year for me. Its a cauldron of energies mingling , mixing under the heat of the fire – distilling , condensing , brewing , alchemising .

I can feel the power of it as it bubbles away – waiting. Waiting for the perfect moment for it to be done. For the elixir to be ready to bring forth new beginnings, new life , new projects , new ventures.

Its been brewing for aeons. We have had to be patient. To wait. To stir and sit and test and taste the potion we have been concocting.

Tapping into a primordial , timeless space of creation – we begin at what appears to be the end . In a void . In darkness.

In the deep womb like cauldron of potential the sparks of atoms combining into form , take shape.

What are you alchemising? Transforming? Watching and waiting patiently to bring into being ?

What will you choose to create in the New Year to come ? what spark of light will you bring forth from the darkness to light up the world at the time of Winter Solstice – to carry through the next cycle of the seasonal year?

Its a time of deep resting , going within , travelling inward to receive and retrieve your dreams and visions.

Enjoy some stillness, slow down a little and allow yourself the opportunity to just be .

Enjoy the dark. Enjoy the quiet. Enjoy the pause. Enjoy the deep exhale as life breathes out and lets go before the next breath in.

In the darkness , life is dreaming with you.

Dream big. Bring forth a dream worthy of your power. Worthy of your best efforts. Worthy of the transformational shifts from what was to what will be.

For the benefit of all.

A new story for the earth is waiting to be dreamed into being . What thread will you bring to this Great Reweaving ?

What will you choose to be ? To do? To become ?

Take your time. Go gently.

Take care x

Alexa đź’—

Wildness

They asked me how I knew , if no one taught me ?

Simple , I said.

I listened

to the whispers of the wind.

I watched

the flight of birds.

I observed

the patterns of the weather

And the seasons.

I followed the rivers flow.

I noticed how the animals moved.

I paid attention to the trees.

I felt the changes

in the air

and the earth

Beneath my feet.

I remembered my dreams

And took notice of my visions .

I spoke to the landscape, to the old ones of the forests and wild spaces.

I heard the world

speaking to me

in a thousand different voices

and

I listened.

Copyright The Well of Belonging

Entering the Void – Winter Solstice Rebirth – Initiation Embodied Part 2 .

This is part 2 of my Poem Initiation Embodied.

Where the first part of this journey took place after Samhain – this second part followed naturally from it , aligned with the theme of the winter solstice – that of returning from the dissolution of death to conception – to the first spark of light and life after experiencing the transformation of ‘death’ – as I journeyed through the layers that keep me from deeply embodied presence, until I reached the ‘void’ – a timeless place where all is , and all is yet to be . In the ‘before’ state of becoming.

Becoming – Initiation part 2

Entering the void ,

The darkness of becoming.

The stillness of being

All.

The void of all potential.

The potential of everything.

The potential of nothingness.

Oneness- unity.

Polarity- separation.

Duality- all are both paradox.

The threshold takes me

into the realm of the dark-mother.

The realm of initiation by death,

The death of becoming,

The death of being ,

The death of separation

and through into

The initiation of unity.

Oneness.

The all that is before it becomes.

I approach the threshold of re-birth,

the light of conception.

All that is forming before we become,

Forming into matter but not yet matter.

I am not … yet,

But I am beginning…

In this space , this vastness

In the womb of the mother,

I know nothing

but infinity.

Stars and atoms ,

Forces,

Pulses,

Impulses….

The stillness of being

All-one….

Conception.

I am about to become…….

The me that is ‘I’ has no consciousness,

and yet ,

I am aware.

Distilling essential wisdom

From universal truths.

I am creation , creator and created.

I must fathom a form

from infinite possibilities

Or ….

choose never to exist at all.

(All words copyright The Well of Belonging 2018)

Initiation Embodied

Embodiment requires you to drop out of the head space ,the place of thinking and judging, observing and questioning, answering and  processing external stimuli.

It requires you to drop down  from the mind space and in to the physical space of the body you inhabit, the space of feeling and sensing. We can often believe we are in this place as it feels impossible to conceive that we are in fact existing outside of ourselves , in our thinking , in our heads , separated from our bodies by our minds.

I recently found a space , over a weekend , to be completely still for a prolonged period of time and in this time I journeyed inwards. It was a spontaneous decision that arose from wondering  ‘what happens if I choose to do absolutely nothing ?’ So I followed the impulse.

I lay down and did nothing but consciously bring myself and my attention into my body. For several hours I came back into myself .

For the first time in nearly 2 decades I experienced a profound sense of contentment , a long forgotten yet familiar experience of oneness with myself and my environment. An echo of a memory of womblike safety and comfort . Nothing required of me , except to be . A  blissfully euphoric  experience.

I encountered many profound realisations in this place that I continued to process for several days afterwards – most notably my desire to return to that state and live within it permanently – followed by another realisation that it is not a state we can inhabit all the time in this world . There is too much going on. But it is a place we can visit and restore ourselves in from time to time .

On the one hand this was a very easy journey to make in and of itself , however its been years of work to arrive at a point where it became possible. The conditions just happened to be the right ones .

So I share with you here my journey , my Embodied Initiation. The poem is in 2 parts . The second part, Entering The Void will follow in my next blog .

Initiation Embodied- part 1

I drop down , down from the mind space ,

down ,down, down ,into the body space

and meet the numb indifference,

the pain, the anger, the sadness, the rage,

the shock…..

The fear, the anxiety, the empty spaces where ‘I’ used to be.

The hollows where ‘I’ used to feel .

The absences where ‘I’

once was.

I sense the breaks , the fractures, the rips in the fabric of my being and

I follow the painful and uncomfortable sensations;

The awkwardness, the restlessness,

the bruising and the stitches.

The aching and the cramping,

the heaviness and the stiffness.

The conflicting need to run and be motionless,

petrification and endless turmoil; flowing in,

only to be catapulted out again in fear,

in anxiety , in shock.

In shame , in guilt, in bitterness,

in powerlessness.

Back and forth between body and mind

until….

I can anchor a sense of safety in myself.

until…

I can find  the part of me that is always standing strong .

Unshakable and present.

Until I trust this part is here for me.

Until it has proven itself to me a thousand times

and never let me down.

I keep coming back to myself , until all is well

and then I drop down.

Down , down ,down into the body

that I used to know;

that I used to feel;

That I used to love,

before it was broken.

And I drop down deeper ,

deeper ,

under the skin.

Into the abyss.

 And enter the void.

(All words and image copyright The Well of Belonging 2018.)

Goddess encounters

I haven’t felt compelled to write a blog post for quite a while as I’ve been focusing my energy else where , but with the season shifting to Autumn and the approach of Samhain , a time when the veils between worlds thins and we connect in with our ancestors I felt it time to offer another poem and my newest Otherworldly Art creation.

I’m reminded of my connection to the earth , her cycles and seasons , her elements and her nature regularly. The Goddess comes in many forms and many guises to many people . I often wonder who else out there is aware of her presence in their daily lives – who else catches her out of the corner of their eye when walking the woods or strolling along the hills. Who else feels her presence within them and around them in times of need . Who else hears her calling.

The Goddess

Do you see her
There
Amongst the trees ?
Her skirts that stir the gentle breeze.
Her light reflected all around.
Her footsteps woven in the ground.

Do you hear her
There,
Upon the hill?
In whispers, when the mind is still,
The calling forth of voice in song,
That speaks of where the heart belongs .

Do you feel her
There,
Along the shore ?
of ebbing, flowing seas that roar,
As tidal forces kiss the earth.
As life brings forth more life
In birth.

Do you know her
There
Amongst the flames ?
Of hearth fires lit
And ashes claimed
Of light in darkness,
The pathway shown,
Within the embers gentle glow .

Do you see her
There
In your own eyes?
In winter boughs
And summer skies .
In autumn leaf,
And springs frost thawed.
In things that fly and swim and crawl.

In loves great loss
And deaths embrace,
In cruel moments snatched by fate.

In tempers frayed and words miss spoken.
In homes abandoned.
Promises broken.

In half seen glimpses
of time to come.
In words of grace
And welcomes home.
In starlit black
And blinding sun.
In deaths rebirth as life’s begun.

Do you see her
There,
Amongst the trees ?
Her skirts that stir the gentle breeze.
Her light reflected all around .
Her footsteps woven in the ground.

 

The Centre

Having had a short break from the computer to gather myself in and do some inner work to bring myself back to centre , I thought I’d share another of the artworks I created as part of the Journey cards.

This one , as the name suggests, holds the energy of the centre of the Sacred space, the place where all things meet in balance ,where all is connected and held in love awaiting the right time for its potential to become manifest . It is the space between the spaces, where all things come from and to which all is returned. In the medicine wheel it represents the element of ether , the place of spirit. A place of stillness and paradoxically  movement from within.

I often visualise it as a cauldron with all the other elements combining to create a potent potion , the brew of inspiration  that will bring forth new ideas and  new perspectives  or offer a space to  drink of the healing medicine contained within it. A medicine that takes us on a journey, to a timeless place of limitless possibilities and allows us to glimpse the threads of the web we are weaving our lives upon. Where we enter the void of beginning  and ending, dying and being reborn , in each moment , over and over again.

This is one of my favourite images, I find it very powerful and evocative for a number of reasons , non of which I am able to share.

Some of what we are shown and taught by our guides is not for others to know. Its is for us to keep and work with as we reclaim our inner power . To tell all abroad to others is at times to diminish the energy and medicine of what one has learned. Its called The Sacred Mystery for a reason xx

 

 

 

 

The Journey

As those of you who have visited The Well of Belonging will be aware , I have a life long connection to and awareness of  ‘Other’. That which is other than human. Land spirits, plant spirits, animal spirits. I have felt drawn towards exploring and discovering a deeper connection to the beings that co-exist with us on this earth and those that support us and work with us in the other realms.

A path that is  often termed these days as Shamanism. Whilst I would say the way in which I work could be considered shamanic in nature , I do not and would not consider myself by any stretch of the imagination to be ‘A shaman’ .

Striclty speaking a true Shaman is one who is called by the spirits themselves , receives numerous initiations by them and is usually apprenticed to another in their lineage for a number of years before being allowed to call themselves Shaman. The spirits themselves decide if you are up to the job – one which is actually full of pitfalls and dangers and needs to be navigated with the utmost care and with full knowledge of what one is doing.

Shaman means ,one who knows. A shaman is often a well respected member of the community, whose life is dedicated to mediating between the human and spirit realms on behalf of both, to support the wellbeing of the place, the spirits and the people. To maintain harmony and balance for all concerned. You can’t become a shaman in a weekend. But you can utilise some of the practices, such as journeying, to enhance your own connections to your helpers, guides and teachers in spirit.

For a lot of people in Western cultures sadly, our connection to our native spiritual heritage was severed long ago with the advent of Christianity- and those who had the knowledge were either murdered or went into hiding. So we have had to patch together fragments from our oral history and combine them with borrowed practices from other cultures, likely to be similar to our own ancient practices and do our best to reconnect the threads of our spiritual and nature connected heritage .
There aren’t many who are connected to a lineage and most people, like myself are in effect taught through their relationship with their guides.

The majority of people in the modern world who are drawn to shamanism , those that aren’t part of an established tradition or culture, work within what is termed core shamanism- which is a set of practices gathered by western anthropologists studying other tribal cultures , that are utilised to help  dissociated and disconnected westerners re-connect to their own innate capacity for relationship with beings beyond the physical , human realms.

One of the main ways of doing this that is often taught is Journeying. The prescribed method is to lie down , with eyes closed and listen to the repetitive beat of a drum and journey on its sound into the spirit realms of upper, middle and lower world. The concept and knowledge of these 3 realms is shared by all cultures across the globe.

You journey first to a beginning place , somewhere that has a familiar counter part to a place you know well in this realm. Then you ask for a guide to connect with who will be your helper and obviously , guide, around the inner realms. Time is spent forming a relationship with these guides before you are then ready to be taken to the access point for the Lower, Middle and Upper realms. Usually the most common presentation representing these 3 worlds is the World Tree. The roots represent connection to the Lower world. The trunk Middle world  and the branches the Upper World.

Some people connect to this practice very well and very easily – but it requires an ability to be able to both be relaxed in body and mind enough to leave this world behind, whilst remaining conscious of what is happening, so you can bring back the information /healing you need. It is essentially dreaming whilst being awake.

But this isn’t the only way to journey , nor is it the only way to find or strengthen your connection to your own guides, helpers and other realms. Its a method I’ve found quite frustrating and difficult because it doesn’t always happen the way its described.

There is a big emphasis on the visual aspect of the journey and of seeing what is going on – but not everyone sees clear images of what is taking place.Some experience the journey as a purely physical event -with bodily sensations providing the information. Some see only colours or hear messages.

Every one is different and so it makes sense that we will each have our own method.At the end of the day the purpose is to learn to work with your own guides and helpers and not everyone is destined to travel between the realms this way . I spent years wasting time being overly concerned with getting it right , until I eventually gave in and accepted the fact that this way, may not be my way, and my guides and helpers will show me what I need to know , in ways that work for me .

Some people, like me , can’t travel to the sound of a drum beat , its too loud and intrusive for me to be able to relax enough. So I don’t bother with it . The drum beat is there to help you shift your brain waves from one state to another so you enter into a state of consciousness that is between waking and sleeping. But there are many ways of doing this.

Some people can do it at will , some do it with breath, some do it with meditation, some do it with rattles . I find silence and stillness  quite helpful. Singing and chanting is another good way. Dreaming is another way of learning to journey.

One of the ways that works very well for me and no doubt lots of creative types , is though  creating art. I find working with story, a very powerful way of journeying, that brings imagery and language together to bring awareness of what needs to be healed . Creativity using the imagination offers  a way to connect with and bring back information from the spirit realms  to this one. For many people, the creating of the art work is the Journey.

So here, I offer the second of the images from the Journey cards series , as well as a Journey Poem I have been given permission by my guides to share with you.

 

The Journey

Old Mother Raven

came to my door ,

to tell me of wisdom and ancient law.

Dressed in fine feathers, with eyes darkest black,

she cawed to invite me on a journey ,

way back.

To the land of my ancestors,

in story and song,

with magic there,

weaving a place a I belong.

With a sky full of stars

and a moon nearly new,

together through time

the two of us flew.

”The shape of your destiny, is still to be told.

Honour the learning and power you hold.

Dream of a vision the world can behold.

Be daring! Be brave !Be courageous! Be bold!”

frame4ravensglamour13.jpg300dpi2
As Above, So Below- Copyright The Well of Belonging 2018