Category Archives: Wise Women

Crossing the Womb to Birth Threshold

This is an extract from Gail Burkett’s new book, Soul Stories: Nine Passages of Initiation, a guidebook, a gentle companion for your pilgrimage through life’s many stages using meaningful ritual. If you choose, your experience will culminate in an initiation to yourself.

Gail invites you to join her for a New Moon women’s call.

“I have planned 13 Moons and feel deeply committed to bringing women together around Rites of Passage on each New Moon. September 12, 10 A.M. Pacific Time, PDT.

For my teaching on this call, I will describe the developmental spiral from birth and talk about each passage, showing how a life is built through relationships, events, books, seasons, all kinds of things shape each one of us. Together we can learn to see the catalysts of change that serves as our special marker, a threshold past to be reclaimed.” www.ninepassages.com

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Begin here in the Soul place before your Birth. Focus on your story of origin, your Soul story. Consider the time in history and your ancestry; meditate on this view and access your reason for being. Why did your Soul come to Earth when it did? For you as the initiate, this liminal time connects your spirit trail back through your lineage. As your own storyteller, you will gain a spiritual understanding of how the past shapes the present and the future. Remembering these pieces of your Soul story now fulfills a longing of your whole life. Everyone begins inside our Mother’s womb.

Design a ceremony using the same ritual elements your Ancestors used—fire, water, earth, and air. Sit as quietly as possible for a few moments and go inside with your thoughts and feelings. On Earth where gravity rules, all we know is time. This pilgrimage will help you identify gifts that came in with your Soul.

May I suggest something otherworldly? Use your imagination to enter the womb, float around at the end of an umbilical cord in the liquid bubble of the womb. Imagine floating with the Womb of the Universe. I actually mean to return your imagination to your Mother’s womb. Claim a rebirth platform to remember your Soul story. Create an exalted connection with the storyline running when your conception was announced. What story did your parents create just before you came to be? How did neonatal care prepare for your Birth? You were needed and expected here on Earth. Soon you will know why.

Call forth your imagination; enter your wee oceanic body in your Mother’s womb. You spent eight or nine months in the ocean Soul Stories of your Mother’s womb, so spend time this month to call forth the intentions and instructions of your Soul. Go inside this warm and spacious ocean preceding your first threshold. Begin to know yourself as the sperm meets the egg. Somehow you became the intersection of your Father and your Mother.

Consider what gifts came through the environment of living with these two people. Other gifts came to you from this womb journey, gifts that were yours alone, gifts of your Soul. At some point your mind-body-spirit met your Soul, perhaps at Birth, perhaps before. This womb-time directs your Soul’s journey. Spend some time here and decide for yourself, what do you believe? How are Birth and Death related? Engage your heart-mind, dance like you were in the womb. Play ocean music. Every visual image you receive during this first month will ease all the rest of your journey. I advise releasing your right brain to the fine act of creating art!

Take time to breathe lots of air, very slowly. Use this time to learn how to quiet all the way down. Take long, warm baths, return to the womb in your mind. Review your developing body. Find the place of gratitude for your toenails, for your pancreas and liver and spleen, do some visual work for the miracle of your blood. While you are inside your Momma’s womb, imagine her as an egg inside of your Grandmother’s womb. That, in fact, is where we all begin.

Remember this is no exaggeration, every one of your Mother’s eggs, 400 or so, came through your Grandmother’s womb first. We are miracles inside of miracles inside of miracles and need quiet time to honor ourselves.

Questions for your quest. To inspire your timed writing and help return your focus to this Divine mystery, listen to what Coyote asks:

  • What story was already running outside the wombspace where you were born? While you did acrobatics at the end of your umbilical cord, what was the mood?
  • What were the circumstances in your family of origin?
  • What story do you know? Before you were born, did you come with an agreement about this lifetime on Earth? This womb-time spent in review is a perfect opportunity to challenge yourself to discover what you believe.
  • Do your beliefs mirror your parents’?
  • How did you form your beliefs?
  • Did you agree to be here for a certain number of years and learn certain lessons?
  • What state-of-the-world story can you piece together while you were inside that warm, wet womb space?
  • When you were born was there any agreement about when or how you would die?

See how many perspectives you can entertain.

It’s important that you know what you believe for your origin story; Birth and Death have a relationship. Death walks with us through life and must be welcomed as a Soul choice, like Birth.

Allow your cosmic consciousness to awaken to these questions. If you are open and curious, your beliefs will be revealed. Ask your own questions and share a sketch of your beliefs with your sacred circle. Can you speak your origin story to your Soul Sisters? I experience joy and humility when I consider my origin story. What do you experience?

The whole design of our human experience is free will. Why would your Soul choose your Mother? Why did your Mother choose your Father to be her mate? How did all of that happen anyway, what chemicals were racing freely through the world? Testosterone, estradiol, what part do you understand? We are truly much more than miracles.

I want to introduce Soul as energy of the Divine, the Source energy. While you are still in your womb-space consider the concept of your Soul as the bringer of gifts from the Source, does this fit in your belief system? Take this opportunity to understand how Soul fits into your personal cosmology. If terms like past life, rebirth, life after life, or life between life, offer clues, solidify these beliefs also. When you step up to the Birth threshold, you will know what you see coming.

Starting in the womb-space before Birth provides time and opportunity to preview the agreements between your parents as they cradled you. How did they prepare to receive your gifts and hold them safe for you? Parents are only one of our Soul’s agreement; some of us have siblings who have been the closest confidants because of common origins. From the Cosmos your Soul agreed to also walk with your biological body and bring your cosmic mind into consciousness. Your cosmic consciousness wraps around mind-body-spirit at the peak moment of your Birth and then all that stardust seems to fold in on itself. Ask your sparkly cosmic consciousness to open beyond a rose bud to reveal more beautiful petals.

Consider why Soul is less talked about than other earthly experiences of human beings; we rarely share intimate meditations. If you begin a meditation practice just for this pilgrimage to review your life, more will be revealed and you will have an interesting perspective to share. Perhaps you could agree to an email drop to your circle of Soul Sisters and Mentors. Sharing your immersion will likely expand the vistas for every witness.

This time may be approached from many angles, try asking, what needs healing? Did you choose this warm and welcoming environment? Can you tell the story of why you made the choice of parents, of geography, and so many other details? What essential part of yourself came from your Father and what came from your Mother? For tender-hearts from divorced families, do you see and feel the difference between nurture and Nature? How can this reflective point of view expand your healing?

On the national and global historical timeline surrounding your Birth, what happened? Be curious. Wikipedia will help answer this curiosity for your origin story. Go there and plug in a date, like your birth year or conception year.

Your intuition is the best guide for this approach to review for healing. Remember you came with a purpose. Listening to your intuitive mind that delivers messages in subtle and complex ways will connect you to Source. Perhaps your purpose is already fulfilled or perhaps this pilgrimage will reveal the reason long known to your Soul-self. Look around to your friends now, how were their lives affected by history’s timeline?

The emotions stirred by questions, mine and those you ask yourself, become clues to follow and journal about because the origin of your joy or pain lies somewhere in those emotions, not necessarily in plain view. While you have your mind in the womb-space, your biological creation brings a renewed appreciation for your body as a remarkable miracle. It brings into stark focus the need to think about your Soul.

If I asked you to please write a sweet letter to your Mother, do you jump at the chance or cringe? Nearly everyone has some kind of mommy-wound. Your personal experience may be well reasoned and understood or the consideration begins here while you’re in reflection with her bulbous womb that became you. Your thoughts and feelings may fly back to this neonatal or postnatal birth time. Somehow mommy didn’t attend quite perfectly. My Mother didn’t nurse me, so at some point I decided she didn’t love me enough.

Here and now is where forgiveness rises in me and flows out. Each one of us has our own definition of perfection for Mother. Without her perfect attention, we decide our Mother has abandoned us. This dance of attention and abandonment is reinforced each time you felt alone or did not have your needs met, perfectly. This rock and a hard spot is an old story for Mothers without many Aunties around. I let Mothers off the hook for this unfortunate cultural wounding wheel this way, as daughters we must realize we cannot know all the facts.

Write, dance, share and share more to heal those wounds for this reason if for no other: Culture has been far too hard on women; we bear so much unnecessary stress. This guilt and shame can be healed here and wherever it surfaces again. In Endnotes you will find Brené Brown, an authority on the topic of shame and vulnerability, how to recognize it, and what to do about it.

Perhaps it all started when Mother divided her focus while you were still an infant. Half of her attention went somewhere away from you and you couldn’t get it back. This wounding is natural, we all have it because we made mommy our only focus. She focused on baby for much of your deep dependence and then returned to herself. This is true for more than half of all mommy-wounds. What were your specific details?

Before your Birth threshold, while in the wet and warm womb space, you will be opened by my suggestions. Take what is useful and leave the rest. Please get comfortable with your routine as you flex and stretch to accommodate your new ritual habits. Write about everything in your heart and mind, write about your Ancestors who beckoned you to return to a body to complete your lessons. Then write about your parents, your siblings, and your earthly grandparents. Perhaps you hovered over the scene with your spirit guide. Once or twice each month, strengthen your circle with a call or a meeting. Your Soul circle needs you and you need them.

Be willing to examine your inner realm, to heal and grow. Be willing to listen to your intuition as the Divine Feminine, the Source, or perhaps the voice of God of your understanding.

How you do what you do deepens this experience your way and leads straight to the drumroll—the Birth Passage which marked your emergence into the Earth plane and the whole of your life? The first and most dramatic of all of the Passages happens when your Soul meets your body.

gailburkettGail Burkett, PhD, author of Soul Stories, and Gifts from the Elders.

www.ninepassages.com
https://www.facebook.com/authorgailburkett

 

 

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Moon Time is re-born

 

LucyMoonTime

The second edition of my book, Moon Time, has LANDED! And until Saturday, there is a FABULOUS LAUNCH BONUS… read on for details… and grab it whilst you can.

Moon Time shares a fully-embodied understanding of the menstrual cycle whether you’re struggling with PMS, coming off hormonal birth control, getting your periods back after pregnancy… or wanting to deepen your understanding of your body. It is packed full of practical insight, empowering resources, creative activities and passion. Including:

  • Guidance on living and working in sync with your cycle.
  • Natural approaches to healing PMS.
  • Self-care practices to nurture and support.
  • How the moon impacts our cycles.
  • How to celebrate a girl’s first period.
  • How to start your own red tent or moon lodge (it was the first book in print to document the rise of the red tent phenomenon!)

Originally self-published back in 2012, Moon Time was my first book. It has been recommended woman to woman, being hailed as ‘life-changing’ by readers around the world, consistently placing it #1 in Menstruation on Amazon.com.

We are thrilled to be bringing it into the growing Womancraft Publishing catalogue at last. Join the mailing list and get a FREE SAMPLE of Moon Time plus 10% off signed copies.

CoverMoonTimeGet it now from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or a signed copy from the Womancraft Publishing store.

The second edition is YOUR book. I have read every email, Amazon and Goodreads review, every letter, card and Facebook comment and incorporated your valuable feedback. The Moon Launch has been supported by a wonderful Moon Team of doulas – authors, teachers, coaches, creatrixes in my field – around the world. (Be sure to read to the end to find out more about these generous hearted sisters.)

This new edition has been lovingly revised, with a beautiful new cover and subtitle… and contains over 45 pages of additional material including:

  • Fertility charting.
  • Much more on creating ceremonies: menarche, mother blessing, menopause…
  • Moon phases and celebrations.
  • Healing modalities for the womb.
  • More on the red, white and wise woman cycles.
  • A hugely expanded and fully-updated resource section.

In revising it I actually doubled it in size… but then thought some of that new content would be better off in a new book… so I took it out… but the new book has taken on a life of its own in quite a different direction… So long story short… for one day only… I’m giving it away!

You can get your hands on my favourite missing chapter: Welcome to your Womb… plus access to a live group call with me next week.

But hurry! To qualify you need to buy a paperback or ebook copy on FRIDAY JUNE 5!

LiveCallBannerHow to claim your bonus features:

1. Buy a copy of Moon Time: harness the ever-changing energy of your menstrual cycle on launch day FRIDAY June 5 2015. (Paperback or ebook format – it doesn’t matter which.) Get it now from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk or a signed copy from the Womancraft Publishing store.

2. Simply fill in your name, email address and your Amazon order code, or order number from the Womancraft store on this handy form.

3. We’ll look after the rest! You will receive a bonus e-chapter this weekend of the book plus an invite to a video call with me: Living in Flow – harnessing the power of your menstrual cycle will take place on Wednesday June 10 2015 at 8pm GMT.

(Don’t worry if you aren’t available – we’ll send everyone a link to a recording of the session that will be available for 7 days after the event.)

PRAISE FOR MOON TIMELucy your book is monumental. The wisdom in Moon Time sets a new course where we glimpse a future culture reshaped by honoring our womanhood journeys one woman at a time.
ALisa Starkweather, author and founder of the Red Tent Temple movement.

A beautiful, inspiring book full of practical information and ideas. Lucy not only guides us through the wisdom inherent in our wombs, our cycles and our hearts, but also encourages us to share, express, celebrate and enjoy what it means to be female.
Miranda Gray, author Red Moon and The Optimized Woman

This book could change your life!
Rachael Hertogs, compiling editor Thirteen Moons and author Menarche: A Journey to Womanhood

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Meet my wonderful Moon Team of doulas…

I have become acquainted with every single one of these women via my book – I honour their support and am deeply grateful for their willingness to stand shoulder to shoulder with me and share my work with their people. There are sisters here from Ireland, UK, US, France and Australia. Do take a moment to visit their wonderful businesses, and check out their fab books and programs.

Holly Grigg-Spall & Dana Michelle Gillespie co-created #RockYourRhythm awareness campaign. www.rockyourrhythm.com Find out more about their charting app from http://www.mymoontime.com which was in part inspired by Moon Time.

Molly Remer is a priestess, writer, teacher, and artist. Author of Womanrunes: A guide to their use and interpretation, she blogs at Talk Birth (http://talkbirth.me) and (http://goddesspriestess.com).

Rachael Hertogs, Creatress of Moon Times washable pads, author of Menarche a Journey into Womanhood, Doula, Reiki Teacher, Moon Mother, Red Tent facilitator, Beekeeper and Earthy lady! www.moontimes.co.uk

Lorraine Ferrier, Natural Fertility Expert and creator of the Fertility Joy Program—which blends ancient wisdom and scientific know-how to make your baby dreams a reality. www.lorraineferrier.com

Melia Keeton-Digby, sacred circle facilitator, transformational life coach, and author of the forthcoming book, The Heroine’s Club:  A Mother-Daughter Empowerment Circle  http://www.TheMotherDaughterNest.com

Giuliana Serena is a Ceremonialist, Rites-of-Passage Facilitator, Menstrual Cycle Educator, lover of Ritual and Magic and the Moon, and creator of the Moon Cycle Timepiece: a hands-on spiral calendar for lunar and fertility awareness. www.MoontimeRising.com

Karin Chandler ~ menstrual activist, writer and Druid celebrant; fusing feminism and spirituality with the blood mysteries.www@redwisdom.co.uk

Ruby Toad, a gifted intuitive, empath, healer and spiritual mentor bringing spirituality back to its roots as a powerful and practical tool for real life. www.rubytoadsoulfulenergies.com

Suzanne Thomas, Storyteller/weaver of the Red Thread, https://cranesfield.wordpress.com/

Corinne Andrews, Birthing Mama® Prenatal Yoga and Wellness ONLINE Holistic Pregnancy Program  www.birthingmama.org

Paula M. Youmell is an Holistic RN Healer, Health Educator, and Author in Potsdam, NY. www.PaulaYoumellRN.com

Avalon Darnesh’s calling is to support women reclaiming sexuality within motherhood, including sensual pregnancy and ecstatic birth, for a more blissful and beautiful family life. http://www.blossomingwoman.com.au

Karina Ladet is a soulful and creative mum, intuitive reader, coach, writer and teacher who helps people to trust and develop their own intuition. www.karinaladet.com

Becky Jaine, writer, mother, heARTist, joy activist in ever-rotating order. www.beckyjaine.com

Awen Clement, Virtual Assistant and Women’s Priestess working from the heart and womb. www.wildmagpie.co.uk www.connectedwomen.co.uk

Kathryn Cardinal – Herbalist, Fertility Awareness Educator & Moon Lodge Facilitator www.SpringMoonFertility.com www.Facebook.com/SpringMoonFertility

Christine Agro is the Founder and High Priestess of The Church of Nature and the Founder/Station Director for Nature’s Channel.FM. which offers all Nature based programming. www.Natureschannel.fm

Kirpal Joti Kaur is an International Bestselling Author / Healer / Teacher / Life Coach / Public Speaker / Priestess & Owner of “Lochcarron Retreat” www.lochcarronretreat.com

Becky Annison is a feminist and knitter who blogs about sustainable simple and sustainable living. https://westwickdreaming.wordpress.com/

Shirley Gain is a mindfulness and creativity coach and mother who is passionate about inspiring mothers to nurture their own needs and dreams amidst the ‘busy-ness’ of motherhood. www.sunflowermama.com

Lucinda Button works with Mothers as a Coach and Mentor, to help them go beyond what their parents didn’t give them, use their parenting triggers as mirrors, and helping them deepen their connection with themselves and their children. www.mamaspace.co.uk

Jackie Singer is a celebrant and healer, and author of Birthrites – Rituals and Celebrations for the Child Bearing Years. www.jackiesinger.co.uk

Fiona Morris is a medical herbalist, massage therapist, nature artist, astro-tarot reader, tutor and founder of Nourish and Flourish, empowering folk to heal with nature at her creative herbal workshops, wild remedy foraging walks, holistic clinics, and natural wellness blog. www.fionamorrisherbalist.co.uk
Lou Hayden –Wise Woman Well Woman – holistic health
Donna Raymond – Founder at Donna Raymond, Wise Wombman Dreaming
Jackie Stewart of FlowerSpirit and SoulSanctuary
Summer Thorp-Lancaster – Doula at Summer Birth Services
Wendy Cook -Artist/Owner at Mighty Girl Art

Eve Agee, Author – The Uterine Health Companion

Jane Hardwicke Collings – author and teacher of Shamanic Midwifery

Jane Bennett – teacher and co-author of The Pill:  Are you sure it’s for you?

Miranda Gray, founder Womb Blessings, author Red Moon and The Optimised Woman.

Katharine Krueger, creator of Occupy Menstruation and Journey of Young Women

Tree Sisters, Heidi Wyldewood, Anna McLoughlin, Anna Clapp, Deirdre Steele,
Amanda Krawczyk

And all the magazines that are currently considering it for review: SageWoman, Pagan Dawn, Green Parent, Holistic Parenting, Natural Parenting…

What if I Said YES to the Moon?

earthing

What if I said yes to the moon?

What if I let my calendar mind fall quiet and forget

Let that incessant load of lists get parked

Over there,

by the side of the road

That I used to follow

when I thought I knew who I was

when I thought I knew what I was.

What if I fell still enough to hear the tides

The ones that rise and fall me

The ones that deeply inform me

The ones that guide and nourish me

That teach me who I am

When I let myself soften enough

To be carried inside

Carried and watered by the nature that lives me

When I do, will it show when you see me?

When I step out of time, out of line

Back into the full circle

of womankind?

Back into the river of life

That shows me who I am

So that now, I make sense to myself

So that now, I reclaim myself

And so it is

Rediscovered as woman

Amazed, inspired and captivated

Infused by that deeper flow that knows

Making sense to myself as the seasons unfold

I am home

Home on the inside in a life that is mine

Home in a mystery that makes sense to my soul

Back, on the throne of woman

~Clare Dakin, TreeSisters Founder

TreeSisters is launching explore our radical and revelatory new five week on-line course for women: Earthing The Moon – Reclaiming the Inner Gateways of Feminine Potency, Creativity, Sexuality and Spirituality

www.EarthingTheMoon.com

There are teachings that are the birthright of every woman alive.

Teachings that can reveal us to ourselves – that can replace ignorance with reverence, shame with self respect and pain with healing – teachings that can guide us into relationship with our bodies and wombs as the most profound spiritual teachers that we could ever know or need.

Radical? Yes. Gloriously radical – life changing and fundamentally feminine. Inside us we house a gateway to creation that is also a path back to ourselves.

Reclaiming the Sacred Feminine

Today’s guest post is from our first Womancraft Publishing author, Nicole Schwab, whose book The Heart of the Labyrinth launches today. It has been superbly received by many world-changers and global thought-leaders, including…

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You can get your sample copy here… this will automatically enter you into a giveaway to win one of 2 paperback or 5 e-book editions as well as giving you an EXCLUSIVE 10% discount if you buy direct from us! Entries close 12am November 12th.

 The Heart of the Labyrinth_cover_front_72

Amidst the complexity and beauty, chaos and agony of our present time, I believe we are being called to step into wholeness and live to our full potential.

This is a time when playing small is no longer acceptable. Not only for us as individuals, but also collectively, as a society. And for me, this means we urgently need to reclaim the sacred feminine within our hearts, bodies and minds – that part of us, which we may have unwillingly buried because it was not valued by the world we grew up in. The wild voice calling our name from within the unexplored caverns of our soul.

Through my journey I have come to understand how deeply most of us have been conditioned to view everything female and feminine as being worth less than their male or masculine counterpart. This doesn’t apply only to the fact of being a woman, but also to our inner feminine qualities, our intuition and empathy, our ability to connect with all of life, to be permanently in touch with the wisdom flowing through our bodies. Somehow, we have adopted the belief – consciously or not – that being and feeling are not quite as important as rational thinking, action and control.

The tragedy is that we have severed ourselves not only from our own bodies, but also from the larger body of the planet, an intimate extension of who and what we are. And in this disembodied state, we find ourselves stripped of our inner power and wisdom. Like Maya, the main protagonist of The Heart of the Labyrinth, we are left with nothing but a question and an inexplicable longing:

“What would it be like to experience a profound connection with life, with the Earth, with each other? It was hard to even imagine. I had been raised to denigrate anything that was not of the intellect, to dismiss any alleged source of knowledge that lay beyond reason and analysis. Had I missed an essential part of what it meant to be human? A painful longing started to well up within me, and I suddenly felt immense grief for the loss of something I couldn’t fully grasp yet, a loss I seemed to have unknowingly inflicted upon myself.”

The wise woman who guides her on her journey confirms:

“Yes, Maya, you lost your Mother in the deepest sense. …you were torn away from the Pachamama, [the Mother Earth], from that within you which knows. The world you grew up in taught you to suppress Her until you could no longer hear Her voice. This is why you are in so much pain. A pain that your body has been holding for years, begging you to listen. To listen and to remember that She is still here, waiting for you to notice Her again.”

Many of us are starting to feel this pain. In a million different ways, our bodies are slowly waking up from the slumber of apathy and denial. The pain is becoming stronger every day, urging us to surrender to the transformation, remember who we are, and rekindle the embers of the sacred feminine fire.

“Reclaiming the feminine. It is about reclaiming our intuition, the voice that speaks in the dark. About reconnecting with the one who reveals herself in the moonlight, in the whispers of dead leaves crackling under our feet. She, the impermanent One, shining in the eyes of a newborn child and in the creases of an old man’s hands. She, the force of change. Powerful beyond measure. Forever untamed. We must accept her in the fullness of her glory, fierce and gentle, soft and wild. Only thus will we be showered with the grace of Her presence. And to do that, we must start by remembering that we are also made of flesh and bone, that we have the capacity to know by feeling, to know through this amazing body of ours.”

This is our journey as much as it is Maya’s. It is the path leading us back to wholeness, to healing for ourselves and for our planet.

This is my invitation to all of us. This is my plea.

And that all it will take, is for us to(4)

Nicole SchwabNicole Schwab is an author and social entrepreneur, co-founder of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, and EDGE Certified – a global scheme certifying organizations for closing the gender gap in the workplace.

Her first book, The Heart of the Labyrinth, from Womancraft Publishing, gives voice to her engagement on behalf of a world that values and honors the feminine principle and is rooted in our connection to the Earth as a living being.

 

 

 

 

Wise Women Found!

This guest post is from one of my favourite women’s authors, Jackie Singer.

In answer to Lucy’s recent blog post, Where are all the wise women? I would like to report that I have found two, at least, alive and well, and working in Dorset.spirit It all started last May, when I was coordinating a women’s lodge for the Sacred Arts Camp in Oxfordshire.  Our beautiful Mongolian yurt stood ready, and in morning meeting, my colleague Kesty Jakes and I stood up and invited women to come and help dedicate the space to the Divine Feminine.  It was the first time we had led this space together, and we didn’t know who would come, if anyone.

A few women gathered, and then through the small door squeezed the impressive figure of a large-boned woman, probably in her fifties, with long raven hair.  Her power and authority was palpable, and when she called in spirit to bless the space, it was clear she knew exactly what she was doing.  From that moment on, I knew the women’s lodge would be just fine.  And it was: an astonishing flow of healing and beauty, which needed only minimal coordination.

This woman, I discovered later, was Seersha O’ Sullivan, one of the teachers at Shamanka, a school of traditional women’s shamanism, based in rural Dorset.  I knew instinctively that she had something I wanted to learn.  I had a look at the Shamanka website, but hesitated.  Partly, I felt like a kid in a sweet shop; the programmes all looked so delicious.   On the other hand, the rational part of myself baulked at spending more money and time on this off-beat path.  Didn’t I have a young family to look after? Shouldn’t I be maximising my income?  After months of indecision, and working on some of these issues, I couldn’t resist any longer.  I jumped in with both feet, and signed up for the start of the two-year course in shamanic healing, which started this month.

Before going, we were encouraged to dream into the spirit of Shamanka, and record any images that occurred to us.  Shamanka, I learned, is the female version of the Shaman: a woman of power, vision, and healing.  Why had I not known that before?  When I visualised her, I saw Russian dolls, with small heads and wide bellies, one inside another.  I saw bright colours.  I saw the wild woman, with snakes for hair.  And then I dreamed of a team of animals, ready to pull some kind of carriage.  They had the bottom half of shire horses, with great, feathered hooves, and the top half of reindeer, with fabulous antlers reaching for the heavens.  I am greatly comforted by this image of a creature deeply grounded and capable of work on the earth, also fully plugged into a magical sky-realm.

So, I am fresh back from my first weekend, and full of wonder for what I have experienced.  The school was founded by Eliana Harvey, and here we meet another true Wise Woman.  Eliana described herself as ‘very antique’ and she is, indeed, 82 years old. In her long life, she has studied with all manner of uncompromising shamanic teachers, and carries a natural authority as soon as she walks into a room.  Still she was quick to point out that we were her teachers too.  I don’t know whether she matches Lucy’s image of a Wise Woman.  She probably doesn’t live in a shack in the woods, with row upon row of herbs in bottles.  She is short and neat in stature, and speaks with a refined English accent.  She could be a headmistress of a girls’ school, until she encourages us to “eff and blind as much as we like”.  The only swear words at Shamanka, she tells us, are “I’m terribly sorry” and “I’m awfully afraid . . .”  Hooray!

In her company, things that have unnerved me in the past, come to seem normal: tuning into stones, speaking with trees, just knowing things about people.  With Eliana, casting a mantle of luminous energy over someone is as matter of fact as buttering toast. I can heartily recommend all Shamanka’s courses, and there is one coming up just this weekend, which feels particularly relevant to The Happy Womb:  Cauldron of Mysteries :A powerful journey of re-discovery and potency of the Deep Feminine.(Click through link for flyer.)

The further I go in my journey towards the Divine Feminine, the more I come to understand how important the womb and the belly are to our power and intelligence as women. Trying to operate in the world without knowing this part of our body, is like trying to walk with only one leg.  I imagine that after this course, a woman would come home with not just a ‘happy womb’ but one awakened to the magic of creativity and access to deep wisdom.  A transformation of this kind is not just for the individual, but for the world.  I really believe this is the medicine we need right now, collectively.  I am so grateful to have found my teachers, and honoured to be an ambassador for their beautiful work.

Cauldron of Mysteries runs from 6th – 9th March at Star House, Middle Piccadilly – the home of Shamanka Healing.  

Contact 01963 23468 or info@shamanka.com For the full list of workshops and courses, visit http://www.shamanka.com. DSC00466

 

Jackie Singer  is a writer, workshop leader, and independent celebrant, living in Oxford with her husband and two young girls.  She increasingly works with women and girls, exploring rites of passage and the archetypes of the Deep Feminine.  Jackie is author of Birthrites: Rituals and Celebrations for the Childbearing Years, and a regular contributor to Juno magazine.  Visit her blog at http://jackiesinger.wordpress.com.

 

Where are all the Wise Women?

Welcome to Week Two of the month-long Carnival of Creative Mothers to celebrate the launch of The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood by Lucy H. Pearce

Today’s topic is Creative Heroines. Be sure to read to the end for a full list of the other carnival participants.

Join the Carnival and be in with a chance to win a free e-copy of The Rainbow Way!

  • December 4th: Creative Inheritance.
  • December 11th: The Creative Process.

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As a creative mother and woman what has been lacking in my life for years is a mentor: a Wise Woman.

I have so many dear friends, a mother, heroines on the pages of books and blogs, or professional coaches offering their services and e- courses.

But I do not want a high-priced online guru for sale.

1-DSCN0489I want a Wise Woman with wide hips and a big heart, and fire that we can sit by with steaming cups of herb tea. A woman who will teach me about the deeper mysteries I do not know as we look at the moon or walk a country lane. A woman to pass me the well-thumbed books from her groaning shelves that I have yet to discover. Who challenges and guides me and knows how both to bring me out of and deeper into myself.

So many of the women whose wisdom I rely on are walking the same path as me, but their kids are younger; or they do not yet have children to stir into the creative mix; or they had children and a creative career… but perhaps wouldn’t be mothering heroines to me; or they waited until their children were grown before they did the whole creative entrepreneur thing. There is no one who I know who can stand before me and say ” I KNOW!”

You know when you are in labour and your husband tells you you’re doing great? Or your midwife who has never given birth. That always made me want to lash out and say: “You don’t KNOW, you have no idea.”

I want a Wise Woman who KNOWS. A midwife of the soul. Not qualified with educational credentials or honorary degrees… but one who KNOWS deep in her bones, through lived experiences… But this is not what is valued in our world…

I remember in my early twenties longing for a Wise Woman mentor to help guide me from my list of dreams, to this vision of a life that I knew was destined to be mine when I was older – someone who could help me journey from A to B. But she never showed up.

When I became a mother I loved it… and then I floundered. I went under. I needed her deeply when my sense of self was unravelling. But she never showed up. Though I have been extremely blessed to meet my soul sisters along the way, who were and are travelling along with me, sharing their wisdom and insight. When I am lost or scared they guide and support me, and I do the same for them. We fill in each others gaps.

But I have a vision of a Woman complete who has walked this bit of the path already.

In my women’s group I longed for the wise woman to hold our space and teach us deeper. But instead we make it up as we go along. Holding each other.

When my creative dreams ignited, and I was stepping into being a creative entrepreneur, I longed for a Wise Woman to guide me. But only found paid teachers online. They were great… but they could not hold me… I was just one of many, many virtual students.

I have immense trust in the ways of infinite intelligence, the Universe. And the lesson always has been the same it seems: find your own Wise Woman within. Become your own Wise Woman. Embrace those who come across your path as you have gifts for each other.

And so I have… and in doing so have become a Wise Woman for many other women. Which is an immense honour. But also a responsibility when I feel I am still only forming myself…. And often I feel so very small and like an imposter… “who am I to be anyone’s wise woman?” I wonder. And I want to run and hide, not take my mantle. “I am too young, too busy, I don’t yet know enough!” I stutter…

The internet has been truly wonderful in connecting me with so many wise, strong, creative, beautiful, intelligent, thoughtful women who are shaping and molding my mind and soul… But still I long for that flesh and blood Wise Woman who I can drink tea with. Who KNOWS. Who is not muddling through. A real-to-goodness Wise Woman who has walked this path before me and knows the way. Who can hold and comfort me in her strong embrace when the fear and exhaustion get too much. When I don’t know how to do another moment. When I doubt myself and hate myself.

She sounds like the ideal mother. The sage. The crone. I would say perhaps she doesn’t exist. Or perhaps not all in one package. That is the wonder of the world, that gifts are spread between many containers of consciousness. Perhaps the Wise Woman is simply an archetype… I don’t know. But it doesn’t stop me yearning for her.

Have you found your Wise Woman?

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  • Carnival host and author of The Rainbow Way, Lucy at Dreaming Aloud celebrates her creative fairy godmothers, and gives thanks for the creative blessings that each has gifted her.
  • And on her other site, The Happy Womb, Lucy expresses her sadness at a lack of real-life female mentors and Wise Women in her life so far.
  • Becky at Soul Sunshine shares the creativity heroines– her Saviors– who reactivated her creative heart after a near-20-year-hiatus.
  • Lucy Pierce from Soulskin Musings explores the ways in which three artists have inspired her to follow the inner wild of her own creative narrative and it’s interface with the forces of nature and of Spirit.
  • Kae at The Wilde Womb shares how she invokes her inner child when summoning creative juices. 
  • Zoie at TouchstoneZ reflects on the women who have inspired her most. 
  • Alex at The Art of Birth shares her Journey of a Creative Mama which is all about liberating the Feminine through Art.
  • Laura at Authentic Parenting is grateful to those women who have inspired her.
  • Who most inspires Georgie at Visual Toast? She’ll tell you here!
  • Please come to the dinner party, invites Nicki at Just Like Play, where we will celebrate Judy Chicago, art, womanhood, and the creative kitchen table.
  • Becky at Raising Loveliness shares her creative heroines.
  • Dawn Collins at The Barefoot Home honors three artistic mothers in the post:her strong willed Nona, her free spirited mother and the best solo artist ever… Mother Earth.
  • Angela at Peach Coglo looks to her grandma and granny as her creative heroines when the creative going gets tough.
  • Jennifer at Let Your Soul Shine wears odd socks proudly!
  • Kelly at Knittingandthings shares how she turned her grief into helping others  
  • Biromums remember their biggest creative heroines.
  • Darcel at The Mahogany Way shares who inspires her.
  • Aimée at Creativeflutters discusses which artists influence her in her creative journey. Find out how she nourishes herself as a creative mother, and finds the time to help other moms on their journeys.
  • Creativity is something that’s always meant the most to Jasmine at Brown Eyed Girl and she can’t wait to take the journey in identifying herself and supporting other moms with it as well.
  • KatyStuff has a mother who allowed her to make mud pies while she knit or embroidered near by.
  • Ali Baker is a creative mama to twin girls who reignited her creative energy and sense of who she used to be by just doing it and creating whatever needs to be created in an imperfect way. 
  • Liz at Reckless Knitting remembers her biggest inspirations.
  • Milochka  at Art Play Day shares her creative heroines.