I was part of a ‘spiritual and transformative’ group in early 2000 that dramatically imploded. We were a gathering of dynamic and creative woman and men though this could not acknowledged by the ‘teacher’ and the system we were taught under. The downfall of this group was that we never addressed our shadow and this energy was not brought into the light. This experience was a challenging but transformative one for many of us for others it became quite destructive. I have found within me is a flow of potentiality from extremes of a concentration camp guard to a shining compassionate Buddha. I say this as I do look and meet what is within me both of shadow and light and in many ways as a result of my own personal story embracing my light became a more challenging encounter. Facing my own shadow and light has been a courageous blessing and certainly has brought a easier flow to life as I have found once I start to navigate within its easier to find my way outside too. What I found however is both mine and not mine and through various process I work with I can bring these aspect of being human I hold into the light of awareness. (If they are there then they are there and its more helpful to know they are than to deny or pretend they are not!) I say both me and not me as when you look into this stuff some of its is ours some we carry for our ancestors and our culture, others are conditioned societal responses all that go to form our personality for ‘better or worse’ and this all goes into the mix of what we present to the world. Shamanism pushes on the areas that are ‘weak’ in our lives and will strengthen the areas that are already ‘strong’ ultimately this process leads to a integrated wholeness that asks us to take responsibility for how we play in the world of both ‘shadow and light’. The more aware we are of this the more integrated and natural way we can be in the world as we are in a process of no longer being a slave to this conditioning there is a gap between our responses to events before us. Working with shamanism beyond this form I have encountered a deeper more authentic flow that we could call the essence or spirit of who I am, my souls expression, connecting with this opens up so many new possibilities for a personal creative expression and offers a more authentic place to bring form to our essence. Shamanism and our helping spirits leads us to this then we may enter a process to express or resist this quality of that ‘which we are’ rather than what we are in our everyday life this unfolding brings the potential of great freedom and creativity. I personally have found it to be a daily dance between personality and essence and sometimes I am in a perfect step and flow and sometimes I stumble and fall without doubt though I am making ‘progress’. In our society we are seeing this dance as while a new awareness and direction is rising up with people owning personal power and authority the shadow is pushing hard to dance out its dance both personally and collectively and if the prophecy of the Mayan is to be, this may well be its final dance. Maybe the blessing of Brexit here in the UK is that is has shown the system that is said to govern us for what it really is, so what is left? Well that which there has always been our own personal authority and our own personal nature. This is why shamanism excites me as it is to this place of our authority and authentic nature that it invites us. As a child I knew this place and bounced my way through the various systems as I tried to express this till with no support it wore me down and I had to find a way to survive. My healing journey began with awareness in 1999 and shamanism has been with me since 2006 and is giving strength and a growing carefreeness to bring this nature of who I am out into the light. The process of disentanglement from our personalities so we can play the game in our everyday (as we need it here!) while honouring that essence of what we actually are is a beautiful journey to take a courageous journey for sure but one that is full of riches. Once we encounter this essence we can start to identify with it we may well find we can loosen up on life. Shamanism has been such a blessing as this has been a path I have had to walk. A mantra could be ‘I honour my shadow I honour my light I honour and express the essence of that which I am.
As part of the core of my work in opening and deepening to a respectful and sacred relationship with all life I am just finalizing details of workshops for 2020 which all hold my own soul signature. A three day course in “WORKING WITH LAND AS SPIRIT”, as well as a series of five one day workshops over the year connecting and relating with the elements of “AIR, FIRE, WATER, EARTH and SPIRIT” full details/date for 2020 will be up on the website over the next days. I also will offer ‘REMEMBERING OUR SHAMANIC WAY’ as a two day introductory workshop to shamanism on 23rd/24th November 2019.
I have been a companion of bees for a number of years; this relationship has walked hand in hand with my shamanic path. I see that bees hold a wisdom which humanity is reaching for, such is the rise of interest in “bee keeping”. How we listen and interpret this wisdom though is an individual journey to take. I would like to offer that bees as an expression of nature hold a great wisdom and this is a story of how my recent encounter with two colonies of bees and a group of humans moved and shaped my life into a new direction, one that I am sure the bees orchestrated. I recently was involved in bringing two colonies of bees to a large working community of people close to where I live. The community decided on the new site for the bees as I carried a hive with a friend I recall saying “we have the whole universe in our hands!”. When I am with a colony of bees I am in awe of the way they operate and something happens deep inside me a quiet and stillness comes to me. My approach to being a companion with bees is to build a relationship with them, observe and listen and ask of the bees what is needed, as well as using shamanic journeys to meet the spirit of the bees both of the individual hives and the spirit of bee, along with conversation with supportive people this offers a rich source of information to support the bees . Any interventions are then done using the information gained from these methods and offered as sensitively as possible with minimal and only necessary interventions. Both hives from this way of listening were calling for space which I gave to them by increasing the size of the hive, very quickly one colony began to thrive. The other colony I soon realised came with no queen and was struggling. I used my methods to find a solution that involved the bees input and would sit with the hives regularly and watch their comings and goings. Then there were murmurings from the community that bees were coming to the flowers and they were worried about being stung! I spoke with people in the hope of reducing the fear. Then one day I arrived and the hives had been rearranged, another bee person came looked at them and decided that everything was “wrong!”. Honey was taken from the hives and the space the bees were asking for was removed and the colonies were split! The original idea of the bees being allowed to be as a support for the land was over and a farming and resource approach was imposed. On a personal level the pain I felt was deep and strong the grief of how we relate to the earth opened up in me through this experience; I fell into a immense sadness. I called out to find a solution from the spirit of bee, I got no clear answer yet the following events unfolded. I spoke with a number of people and out of these discussion I went to meet a woman who has a number of hives all kept in a natural beekeeping way. When I arrived she had a visitor and I was left to be with the bees, soon I went deep inside and felt a connection with the bees and from feeling the aliveness of the garden I understood the impact the bees were having on the land and environment I was standing in as well as me as part of the environment for these moments. When she returned I listened to a number of stories about her experiences with bees, as I listened the grief I was still feeling started to drain away and by the time it came for me to leave I was with a great admiration for her and the bees as well as full of joy and inspiration. I left with a understanding that I had never experienced before and what I dreamed was possible with bees I now had just experienced. I felt how bees shape land and environment they really are alchemists. As a result I am now involved in discussions about setting up some kind of advocacy service for natural bee keeping here in Scotland. On a personal level as someone who is inclined to be a lone worker, this involvement with the bees has opened up something in me of working with others with both the advocacy service as well as the synchronicity of being asked to be a trustee of a biodynamic garden. It seems my involvement of working with bees directly as well as with the spirit of bees has opened and shaped a new direction in my life and old patterns are slipping away. Jaqueline Freeman in her excellent book “the song of increase” talks of the hive as a holy place. I met the hive each time as a sacred encounter and trusted in the wisdom the bees held and worked with the guidance both of the hive bees and the spirit of bee offered. My role as human was to listen and shape the environment to support the bees as they did there magic to the land. I also became unexpectedly a voice using language that met the people involved for this way of being with bees, a voice that largely was met with silence. This experience has changed me and new projects are on the horizon as a result. I understand this has come from an encounter with the wisdom the bees hold and meeting the bees in this holy place and maybe orchestrated by the spirit of the bee itself. I know when we engage with spirit our life will change and my story with the bees I see as a direct example of working with shamanism as opening a sacred relationship with life one I keep saying is much needed in the times we live in. So while it was a deeply distressing experience personally so much is opening from this and I can only wonder that this was orchestrated by the bee spirit? The group that made decisions about the bees decided to move them away from the community as there was too much concern about the bees being with the flowers! I wonder what there experience of this has brought to there life? Shamanism is rooted in the earth and offers a respectful encounter with life and one that is earth centred if we can open to find the questions and listen well to the answers that spirit and nature gifts us our relationship with the earth changes which brings us to a more natural rhythm. In Natures Sovereignty we work with the understanding that “nature is the best manager of nature” if we can listen and allow this to be so, and act for the earth and all life what kind of world would this be and what would we humans become as a result? It would be a radical move away from how society is now but the wisdom may well be with us if we can listen.