Writing Creatively With Spirit

A journey of psychic discovery


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Birmingham shamanic group

2014-02-14 04.56.22Having looked for and not found a shamanic group in Birmingham, I decided to start one. We’ve had one meeting so far with voice, drums and journeying. It was very healing.

There were 3 of us. Our next meeting on February 25th will have a 25% increase in participants. Yes, there will be 4 of us.

The format is that I do a little teaching session on the principles of shamanism followed by the experiential work. Last time I looked at the place and purpose of ritual.

From small acorns great oaks grow. Watch this space. Let me know if you’re interested in joining us.


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Moringa in the morning – lizard at night

Thursday 21 November 2013

Moringa pods

Moringa pods

Yesterday I had my first mosquito bite. I got a sense that I had stayed too long in there space and they just wanted me to leave. I had been six hours in the same place in the lounge writing. I took myself off to my bedroom and noticed a small lizard on the wall. My friends told me that lizards eat flies and mosquitoes. That news was strangely comforting. I felt that the lizard was protecting my personal space.

Since I’ve been in Barbados my UK mobile phone has not worked. It kept saying ‘no service.’ This morning I had my cleaning head on and was doing it to the music on my phone which was stuffed down my cleavage.

As I bent over to move some shoes out of the way a small lizard (the same size as the one that was in my room) ran out from behind the shoes. Startled, I jumped back and my phone fell to the floor. The back fell off and the battery fell out. I replaced them both and immediately started receiving texts. Service had been resumed.

As I continued with the cleaning I couldn’t find a pair of rubber gloves. The same (or pretty near identical) lizard scurried past me. I watched where it disappeared to, and there was a hand of glove.

At this point I decided to look up the spiritual meaning of lizards. When lizards show up it’s mainly an indication to pay attention to one’s dreams and visions. I have not done a shamanic journey (meditation) in over a week now. Maybe this is a prompt to either meditate, or to pay closer attention to my dreams.

In terms of writing, I stayed on the project for about 12 hours yesterday. We have a meeting tomorrow to discuss progress and I was feeling a little panicked.

It’s been difficult to get my head back into academic writing – but I’m there now. Ably assisted my regular intake of moringa, both as tea first thing in the morning, and the seeds throughout the day.

Open moringa pod, exposing seeds

Open moringa pod, exposing seeds

My friends have a friend who owns a moringa tree. It’s interesting to break open the pod and get the seeds out fresh.

No beach for me yesterday. Doesn’t look like it will happen today either – but I am going to Oistens tonight to eat fish as part of the food and drink festival that’s going on here at the moment.

 


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Countdown to Cameroon – 7 days to go – Mapping the way

Wednesday 11th September 2013

A few weeks ago I did a shamanic journey in which I was told to always carry a cloth map (among other things) with me. I pondered this for a while and did a bit of research. I discovered that silk maps were made for the armed forces in both the UK and US during World War 2, but they were of specific places to help pilots and others negotiate their way out of enemy territory. There were no world ones.

World map

World map

I found a few world maps on beach towels but they were too large to consider popping into my handbag. A tea towel would have been fine but I couldn’t find any, and so I forgot about it as other things quickly rushed in to fill the space. That was until a few days ago when I had one of those Amazon ‘would you be interested in this’ emails.

It was for curtain fabric with the world map on. Doing a quick reccie on delivery dates I realised that the guaranteed date was the 17th, a day before I flew out. I ordered it. Lo and behold it arrived today. I am exceptionally pleased with it. It’s lightweight enough for me to carry in a largeish handbag, and will fit easily into a rucksack.

I’m not sure yet of the significance but I trust that all will be revealed in time. I’m totally loving this spiritual journey.

Citronella oils

Citronella oils

As mosquitoes generally want to be friendlier with me than me with them I thought I’d get some insect repellent. In the spirit of natural remedies I headed to Holland and Barrett to find citronella oil. Oh joy! They had a buy one get one half price sale. I’ll mix it in with my home-made body lotion (cocoa butter, olive oil and aloe vera gel) to make a cream that I can apply all over. Mossies – be warned!


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Countdown to Cameroon – 17 days to go

Sunday 1st  September

It should have been a day of bee-like activity of preparations for Cameroon. I was awake at 5.45 a.m. and raring to go. I did my cards, A Course in Miracles lesson, journal and a 30 minute shamanic journey. And was in the gym by 8.30 a.m.

Not having been all week I gave 100% in a 45 minute spin class followed by abs and upper body work. A quick blast in the steam room and I was ready to pick two pounds of blackberries from the grounds at the gym.

The healing Wisdom of Africa by Malidoma Patrice Some

The healing Wisdom of Africa by Malidoma Patrice Some

After making a crumble from the blackberries with apples and plums from my garden, I was just fit for a snooze. I resisted, however, because my attention was completely caught by Malidoma Soma’s third book which arrived a couple of days ago.

The Healing Wisdom of Africa – finding life purpose through nature, ritual and community is providing many answers to the issues that are arising in my shamanic journeys. It was probably the best preparation for Cameroon for today.


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Countdown to Cameroon – 28 days to go

20th August 2013

Moringa seeds

Moringa seeds

The body preparations began yesterday with the first of three visits per week to the gym. Today was a rest day – only a walk and back to the High St. (About 2 miles)

Instead of malaria tablets I’m using Moringa seeds and powder. Moringa has been shown to build immunity against malaria which is only one of its many health properties. Other include: reduces high blood pressure, cures diabetes, reverses failing eyesight, and helps blood to coagulate. It’s brilliant with weight loss, and even turns grey hair black. It is actually called the miracle tree.

Moringa leaf powder

Moringa leaf powder

So I reckon I can use Moringa as a one stop for all my aliments. (I’m not suggesting I have all of the above, but I’m hoping it can save me a few pounds on hair dye and help to reduce my visits to Specsavers).

Still on the body preparation front – I’ve booked to have my Yellow Fever vaccine on Friday. I tried to persuade my GP to let me have the vaccine for free, as I have made no claim on the NHS or her practice for nearly twelve years. But alas no. I have to play £50 like everyone else!  I’m also cutting down on my sugar intake. Though with jam making season around the corner, and the fruit trees laden with plums, apples and blackberries, this could be challenging.

Admin wise I got my passport photos done and collected all my papers into one pile. I’ve decided to send my application for the visa by special delivery and go to collect it from the embassy when it’s ready. This is because the only other option for returning my passport is a stamped addressed envelope. I’m not keen to risk using ordinary post this close to departure. Even my post man advised against it. Tomorrow I’ll try and find a good deal on the train for picking it up.

Spiritually I’m doing more shamanic journeying. They’ve become part of my daily routine. I’ve been having some amazing experiences which I will, when I can find the time, record in this blog.


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The Way of the Shaman – Journey to find my life purpose

Saturday 3rd August 2013

Of Water and the Spirit by Malidoma Patrice Some

Of Water and the Spirit by Malidoma Patrice Some

I’d just finished reading Malidoma Patrice Some’s book Of Water and the Spirit and was so envious that he knew what his life purpose was so early in life that I decided to do a journey to try and find mine. I’ve been asking since January to be helped to remember what it is.

I set the intention three times – ‘my intention is to journey to the lower world to meet my animal guides and to ask them to show me my life purpose.’

I felt very apprehensive as I walked to my usual axis mundi, and the journey down the roots of the tree was slow and laborious.

Both the eagle and the jaguar were waiting for me. They bowed to me as before and I told them why I’d come. I began to gibber away about what I’d been told before about being a high priestess in Egypt, about being a writer, a healer and a shaman. I rattled on for ages while they patiently listened and didn’t interrupt.

‘So can you tell me,’ I ended.

‘You said you wanted to be shown,’ jaguar reminded me.

They both looked kindly at me, before eagle flew off.

‘Where’s she going?’ I asked jaguar.

‘To keep watch,’ he replied and indicated to me to follow him.

I was expecting something akin to what I’d been reading in Malidoma’s book – some kind of initiation. We walked through a clearing, through a forest and past the mouth of a cave. All these things are in Of Water and the Spirit.

Each time I thought the jaguar was going to show me something, but he just kept on walking till we came to another much bigger clearing.

It took me a while to work out that we was standing in the middle of a massive heart. Gradually the outside of the heart filled with men of all different shapes, sizes and ages. Although of different races they were predominantly black.

‘You are to heal men my opening your heart to them,’ the jaguar said.

I wanted to scream ‘NO! NOT THAT! THAT’S TOO PAINFUL!’ I looked around at all the men and began to cry. I wasn’t just crying in the journey, I was also crying into my blindfold. I felt as if my own heart was breaking.

All I could think of was that it would mean no happiness for me – men constantly coming and going in my life. The jaguar tried to reassure me that all would be fine.

‘But what about the women?’ I asked, ‘Don’t the women need healing too?’

‘When the men are healed, the women will be healed too,’ he carried on in his soothing way. ‘The women are strong but they look to the men for leadership, they look to the men for love. The men need to heal. It’s why you came.’

All I kept thinking was, ‘what about my own happiness,’ while the jaguar went on about the importance of the men healing.

Then all the men disappeared and were replaced by prepubescent boys. My heart went out to them and I sobbed (I must find a less clichéd word) literally and figuratively. Then they were replaced by the men, then the boys. They kept interchanging.

‘How am I going to do this?’ I asked the jaguar.

‘That’s for another journey;’ he answered softly, ‘this one was about your purpose.’

‘Where’s the eagle?’ I enquired.

‘She’s gone to check out the way,’ he said before the call-back tempo made me realise how quickly 30 minutes had passed.

I was still crying when I returned, with a heaviness that made it difficult to move. It wasn’t really what I’d wanted to hear or to see. It felt (feels) like too much at too big a personal cost.


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Session 41 – Soul retrieval and the chamber of treasures

Thursday 1st August 2013

We were five tonight, three women (including a new one) and two men including Greg.

We began with a relaxation meditation – which I really needed. It began with the usual deep breaths. ‘See any part of our body that’s in need of healing surrounded by the colour grey,’ Greg instructed us.

I focused on my broken finger (or should I say the finger that was broken ). Although I think the fracture has mended there is still some deep tissue bruising which is painful to touch, and the skin on that finger continues to peel, very slowly. I’m literally shedding old skin.

We then had to move white light through our bodies changing the grey to white, healing and rejuvenating any part of us that needed it.

Just before the meditation ended (and I’ve wondered about including this) I saw a couple of men pushing an old van. It was hot and they were naked from the waist down. They seemed unaware that their genitals were swinging for all to see. I didn’t mention this in the feedback. On reflection I’m wondering why. My own embarrassment? Not wanting to embarrass others? Maybe a bit of both?

Next we did a shamanic journey to retrieve parts of our soul and also to visit the chamber of treasures. The shamanic journeys we do here are different to the ones we did on the course a few weeks ago. These are guided, whereas the way I was taught is that you do your own journeying without any guidance from anyone.

‘Allow your luminous body to go into the earth, past the stones, tree roots, loose debris until you come to a river. Bathe in the river to remove anything that shouldn’t be taken into the lower world. Flow with the river till you come to a lake. Swim to the shore and find a power animal waiting there for you.’ Greg’s voice was soft but firm.

As I’ve been practicing on my own I’ve learned to go at my own pace and I’m beginning to find the guided ones a little too fast for me, so I don’t always get from one place to the other in time.

I travelled from my usual axis mundi and the jaguar came to meet me. He came with me to the room Greg directed us to and I saw a three-year-old version of me sitting in a corner with her knees pulled up to her chest looking a little lost and frightened.

I brought her into my heart as directed, but before I was fully integrated with her we were on the way to the chamber of treasures.

‘You will meet someone there who will give you something,’ Greg said.

I wasn’t given anything as I was still occupied with my younger self.

We retraced our steps and returned. Greg suggested that the little girl probably represented an event that happened when I was that age that I’ve never fully integrated and that this afforded the opportunity to do that.

The final meditation was one to open the 3rd eye.

We focused our energy initially on our third eye before allowing the energy to fill our heads. We then built a bridge between our third eye and the pineal gland.

My bridge was blue with sparks flying off it before it changed to turquoise.

‘See a screen ahead or you, like a movie screen,’ Greg began. ‘Look at it and project something on it from your 3rd eye.’

The Magician tarot card

The Magician tarot card

I saw a torch and picked it up. As I shone it at the screen it made lots of sideways 8 (Greg said the infinity sign) and then circles, then back to the sideways 8.

I’ve been seeing the number 8 a lot over the past month or so. I know one of the meanings is abundance and power, and another is, as Greg pointed out is infinity. I also remembered that the infinity sign features prominently on the Magician tarot card. (Ryder Waite version)


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The Way of the Shaman – Eagles and Jaguars

Journey to find the significance of the Jaguar and Eagle in my life.

Monday 29th July 2013

Yesterday I got a reply to the blog Way of the Shaman – Power Animal Retrieval. Sandra asked whether I was aware that ‘The Jaguars’ and ‘The Eagles’ were names given to elite warriors in the Aztec army.

I wasn’t, but Googled it, and sure enough my animal teachers were the noble and elite warriors of that ancient civilization.

Now, this was a little disconcerting because I have no wish to go into battle over anything. Not voluntarily anyway. In fact my whole focus of the moment is towards peace, inner and outer.

I was so rattled by this that I decided to do a shamanic journey to find the answer. This is what happened.

I journey to the lower world through my usual axis mundi, the tree in my front of my house. As I entered the lower world my teacher, the jaguar, was waiting for me. I told him why I’d come.

He contemplated for a little while with his head down. I’m getting used to his ways now. He seems to take his time to consider how best to work with me.

When he raised his head a big round boulder had materialise beside me.

‘Sit down,’ he said softly.

I did as I was told and he sat opposite me.

‘You need to learn to breathe like a jaguar’ he continued in his soft voice. ‘You need to learn how to rest properly and be ready for action when necessary. When you get back look up how jaguars breathe.’

We sat for a while, both of us breathing deeply.

‘Why do I need to be ready for action?’ I asked, remembering the warrior link.

He showed me a crowd of people, thousands of heads, like when the spotlight washes over the crowd at a concert.

‘What are they doing?’ I asked perplexed.

He didn’t answer for a while, and then in a voice I could just about hear he said, ‘you’ll touch them all in some way.’

I was about to ask another question but he indicated that I should get back to the deep breathing. He kept reiterating how important it was for me to learn to breathe properly, to relax, and to be prepared.

After what seemed like a long time I asked him why I hadn’t seen the eagle since the course. Almost as soon as the question left my lips the eagle appeared beside him. She was almost the same size as him.

She bowed her head to me, then the jaguar did too, then they both bowed together. I bowed back.

We sat looking at each other in silence for a while before the eagle reached out her right wing and gently, as if I was a baby, stroked the left side of my face. Looking deeply into my eyes she stroked my right cheek with her left wing before enveloping me in both wings.

She felt tender and soft and I could have happily stayed in her embrace forever. It was then I felt the jaguar put his arms around us in a group hug. I felt safe and protected and very reluctant to leave as the music changed to the call back tempo and I made my way back up the tree roots into my room.

The message about relaxing made a lot of sense to me as I’ve been flying around like a mad thing recently. It was interesting, when I reflected on the experience, that I had gone on a journey to meditate, because that is clearly what I’d done for most of the time. This message was reiterated with an experience I had with butterflies. See blog Messages from butterflies.

Touching many people? Yes, that makes sense too, because words can do that. It doesn’t mean I have to personally meet with thousands of people.

But I’m still not clear why specifically a jaguar and an eagle. I looked up how jaguars breathe but couldn’t find anything.

I’d be happy to hear your take on any of it.


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The Way of the Shaman – Power Animal Retrieval – Page 9

This was the last exercise of the course and the only one that was optional. By now I was beginning to feel the effects of the lack of sleep.

Essentially it was to give us a chance to experience what Simon and Martha had just done for the two participants in the healing canoe.

The exercise involved journeying to the lower world to see if there was a power animal that once worked with your partner who wanted to return and help.

The instructions were these.

Go to the lower world

Meet the animal at least three times

Gather the energy of the animal and bring it back

Place the energy into the client at the heart and head

Ensure the energy filled up the whole body

Use the rattle all around the body to seal in the energy

Do NOT bring back snakes, reptiles dripping venom, or insects of any kind

As before we would take it in turns. I decided to go first.

My partner lay down on his ample cushion and I made sure a part of me was touching him as instructed.

As the drumming began I set the intention for the journey:

‘I intend to journey to the lower world to see if there was a power animal that was once with my client that wishes to return to help in their life’

I went down the tree roots again and met the jaguar as before. By now we had built a great relationship and after the bear rug incident I trusted him completely.

I asked if he could take me to an animal that used to work with my client. Immediately he showed me, through an opening, a gazelle.

‘Is that it?’ I asked the jaguar.

‘Why don’t you ask it?’ he said as the gazelle made its way over to us.

‘Are you the power animal for my client?’

It nodded and ran off playfully.

‘I need to see it three times,’ I told he jaguar.

‘I know,’ he said knowingly, then proceeded to show me the gazelle through two other openings as we walked along. These openings just seem to appear out of nowhere, and the gazelle was there.

It came willingly to have its energy gathered up, and I had to stretch my arms up, down and sideways to make sure I’d gathered it all. I could imagine how ridiculous I must look to someone who wasn’t aware of what I was doing.

Once I had it all gathered up I thanked the jaguar who had simply looked on, and told him I had to return. On this occasion Simon had said we didn’t have to wait for the call back if we were finished before.

I made my way back to the tree root and, with the gazelle’s energy gathered closely to my chest wondered how I was going to get back up the roots without losing it. I felt something hook into my braids and began to winch me up the roots.

I carefully placed the energy on my partner’s chest and blew hard to make sure it entered his body. Then, as instructed, I blew the remnants into his head.

I found the rattle and when I was satisfied that it had filled up his body sealed it in by shaking the rattle all around him. I saw other people doing the same thing and realised how odd we would look to a passerby.

During the feedback my partner said he could feel the energy enter his body, and wasn’t surprised that his animal was a gazelle, as all his animals were playful ones.

When we did the switch over I lay down and totally went with the instruction that all I had to do was wait and receive. Happy days, no more work. I was drifting into the beat of the drum when I felt my partner’s hands on my chest. As he blew a wave of energy shot through me causing minor tremors at first which soon became convulsions. The drumming became louder and more intense and the convulsions became more frequent and pronounced. I was being totally energised, shot through with something invisible that revived me so that when the drumming reached a crescendo I was fully charged and ready to run a marathon.

At the feedback my partner said my animal was a massive eagle who was virtually chomping at the bit to get back to me. Its energy was so powerful he struggled to bring it back, but he was pretty confident that he blew all of it into my body.

During the final large group feedback I received two profound pieces of information.

1)      One of the women said she had an intense sexual experience. At last! Someone else who admits to this. I spoke to her later. She said, ‘use it; it’s a gift’ but that I should journey on the most appropriate way to use the gift.

2)      One person said she’d been told once that her illness was caused by evil spirits, and wondered whether we risk putting evil spirit into someone in this exercise. She said a shaman had removed the evil spirit and her condition got better.

Simon said nothing was created evil. What we perceive as evil spirits are things that are in the wrong place. The shaman’s job is to remove it and put it back in its rightful place.

I was trying to explain this to a friend and used the analogy of mint. It’s a very useful plant, but left to its own devices it will overtake any space in which it’s planted. It will kill off other plants in its way. That doesn’t make the mint evil. If it’s contained in its proper place it’s simply a useful plant.

Some gardeners say ‘a weed is only a flower growing in the wrong place.’

Viruses in their own habitat are not harmful, but they are when they inhabit human bodies.

This was extremely reassuring for me, and I left feeling spiritually replenished and with a lot more knowledge.

I’d totally recommend this course. I’m really looking forward to doing the advanced course on soul retrieval.

The Amadeus Centre, West London

The Amadeus Centre, West London


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The Way of the Shaman – The Spirit Canoe – Page 8

Yesterday Simon had asked anyone who had a long-standing health issue who would like to be considered for healing to put their names in a hat. I didn’t consider my broken finger long-standing enough so didn’t bother.

The session after lunch was the one which would help us to understand the healing element of shamanic practice.

2002-01-01 00.00.00-1685Simon explained that in a village or community where shamanism is practiced healing is a community issue. If the baker is ill, it is within the community’s interest to ensure s/he recovers as quickly as possible. There is no NHS or private health insurance.

In shamanism when a person becomes ill it is because of some imbalance in the system caused by a loss of their personal power. They are power-empty. The shaman will journey to where the power has gone and bring it back to the person to make them power-full again which enables them to heal.

As a group we were going to assist in helping two people from the group become power-full again.

It would involve travel on a canoe to an axis mundi of the shaman’s choosing. The community would row the canoe there and back and journey with the shaman while rowing the canoe.

This was a big physical exercise involving all fifty-two of us on the course, including Simon and Martha who would be the shaman working with the two people who needed healing.

‘We will form a canoe with our bodies slightly touching,’ Simon instructed us. ‘The oldest in the room will sit at the head of the canoe and will not be required to row. Four people will sit at the back and keep the drum beat. The people forming the body of the canoe will row in unison on the beat of the drum.

When we reach our destination the drum will stop while the shaman recovers and re-inserts the power into the people who are unwell. Then we will turn around (metaphorically) and row back.’

He gave those of us who needed the toilet time to go while the other began to form the canoe. When I returned and saw the bodies on the floor in the shape of a huge canoe with two people lying in the middle of it I was instantly transported back to the slave ships.

I had a very uneasy feeling as I found my place toward the back of the canoe and took up my imaginary oar. We were told that the downward stroke had to be on the beat of the drum, and as we began I felt as though my soul had done this before. That I knew too well the downward stroke of the oar and the beat of the drum at precisely that tempo was all too familiar.

I closed my eyes and tried to focus on the journey to heal the two people in the centre of the canoe, but my eyes became more and more filled with tears with each downward stroke. I saw in my mind’s eye my people from hundreds of years ago making this journey, and in a very odd way felt that I had made this journey myself.

I stopped rowing and opened my eyes to watch what was going on. The two shaman made hand gestures and body movements that I knew from growing up in Jamaica and from watching films about witch-doctors and medicine men. Only these people were white, and not wearing traditional head-dresses and animal skins. Everything about them, even the whistling that sounded like bird cries seemed familiar.

Eventually my tears dried, the canoe was returned safely and the community opened its collective eyes and arms to embrace the newly healed.

‘That was very powerful,’ one participant said at the break following the healing.

‘Yes,’ I answered, ‘it took me to a very strange place.’

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