You’re asking me to do what-PRAY!!??!!

I recall giving a similar answer many years ago when someone suggested to me during a challenging time to pray!  However, I worked through my resistance and gave it a try.  Today it is still an important part of my daily practice-why because it has worked for me-and I could give endless examples.  There are three aspects to my prayer life-the first is to pray, the second is to listen and the the third is to take action, as a result prayer is a dynamic process.  The results bring me a sense of connection of guidance and hope.  As with all practices they need practice to grow our own prayer life that works for us and this is an adventure you may wish to take.  I did pray as a child and my return to prayer was  too this way of praying, however I have come to see that the doing is more relevant than how we do it.  So in my beginning I would pray on my knees with my hands in the prayer position I find it a very humbling posture to offer prayers and today I will sometimes pray in this way.  Though more often my prayers are part of my meditation practice or offered while out walking with the land.  I will take a moment and take some breaths drop into my heart and offer my prayers sometimes spoken and sometimes silently. I find just like questions prayers are openings and can lead us somewhere new.  I use both a mix of traditional prayers and also what comes from my heart.  Prayer can be seen as a communication with the universe and once we speak its good to  listen to what comes back ,this may be instant or over a period of time. Once we recieve a clear answer then the final part comes into play to act on the guidence. This how we build trust and faith in the power and effectivness of prayer. To pray is a act of humility for me so as I do not know what is best for another I do not pray for outcomes for others. I do give thanks to others that are helping me in my life in whatever way that is. It is important as in all aspects we take responsibility for our prayers. Often when I am unable to find a way forward in a situation I will simply offer it in my prayer and say “I do not know please help me” and then listen and act as is required or not. This has proved over and over very effective and with my trust in prayer strong it relives a lot of tension for me finding the courage to not know is a prayer in itself. What do I pray to? Well that has changed over the years as I have developed connection and relationships with powers greater than me which has taken different names and meaning at different times again an adventure to undertake for ourselves. Sometimes the most simple actions can be very powerful and get lost. Prayer is simple and effective practice in our spiritual lives-  I remember my awakening to this, i had been with someone for a few days at a convention and we had a long trip back to Bristol overnight my patience was low at this point my prayer was “please may I not give my anger to this person on our journey back” within a minute a car pulled up with another friend offering us both a lift back to Bristol! My prayer was answered immediatly, there are not always but I trust if I ask it is heard and answered in time. Maybe a workshop on prayer and blessings would be helpful for the future. I am offering individual sessions for people from Monday 30th March contact for details.”These are unique times and may we find the resources on all levels to practcally and spiritualy adapt to what is presented to us” this is my prayer for us all.

Vulnerability and our Power

Early in Febuary while out on my beloved bicycle I hit some black ice and came off breaking my shoulder and upper arm! Ouch! I was very happy on this day till then and recall thinking about plans for the weekend just before this happened,then suddenly my encounter with nature takes me in a different direction! I was out on the back roads with no phone and no car seen for 30mins or so, it was cold i was in agony and in trouble, the thought came to breathe and call to spirit, i also thought with the shock, cold and remote location maybe this is it?
Within 5mins a car pulled up and out stepped a retired doctor, the begining of outstanding care and support across the board from our NHS! What a blessing to live in a country such as Scotland that has this service. So apart from times in hospital for treatment and my operation I have been recovering at home as my usual routine is completly changed, it has been a time to recover, of rest, connection and reflection, this rare space the accident has given me I have been able to turn into a oppurtuinity. In this time I have become acutly aware of how vunerable life can be but also where my power is as well. these two play out daily and it has taken this event to help me see this so very clearly.
To accept the situation, to receive the generous help offered, to do the things i can do-what an achivment to feed the cat in week one and put my socks on myself this became my progress markers- to say thank you and acknolwedge help given, to use the time as a oppurtunity adapting to new ways turning a challenge into a learning experience in all ways and levels and to meet life in a deeper way with both my vunerability and to claim my power too. With the slowing down of life I have felt real joy in simple things the play of the cat we live with or looking intently at the buds on the newly planted willow or the birds in the garden. I also have given space for my fears and despair that i have been with at times to wash through me.
I am recovering well doing my exercises for physio, the NHS were incredible across all areas and i made a point to thank them, friends and colleagues have shown love and kindness in so many ways supporting me through, the land i can now walk upon holds me and i am inspired by the awakening of spring and spirit guides me in my questions and a new vision is forming. My power has been in how i respond to this challenge with help love and support a setback becomes a oppurtunity and blessing that one day once integrated can become a offering to another. I will be able and well to offer individual healing sessions via Skype from Monday 30th contact me for booking. I also am offering free group distant “gatherings” email me to join and I will send you details currently by email and currently learning to step into the world of technology for the future! This seems important to keep a sense of meaningful connection at this time and as we know when we work together the power is amplified.

How can we respond?

We are certainly living in unique times and are being called to respond in new and creative ways as we are pushed outside of our comfort zones.  So how do we respond to this? This may be one of the few things that we have choices in it is both a challenging time but one that brings opportunities. As a middle world teacher one aspect of this for me is to hold hope, not in a false positivity kind of way but in a grounded and realistic way.  As a species we are facing big challenges as we become aware just how vulnerable our lives really are.  In a few days the whole structure of the society has changed.  I have been self isolating since the beginning of February due to an accident I had on my bike and in one moment my life also went from a very clear direction into one of vulnerability and a greater dependence on others.  I have had  outstanding care from the NHS what a blessing this is in our society.  My wife, friends and colleagues too have been there for me in so many ways.  The space this accident has given me has led me to seek help from spirit in new and dynamic ways.  This experience has challenged me but with support, time to get through ranges of emotions that have risen up my fears, my frustration my grief and sadness  and with a slowing down of life appreciation of the great beauty in my life the joy and gratitude for simple things.  So now across the world we are all being asked to respond in new ways! Beyond the fear and panic within us all there is a place of calm and  peace and there are many ways to get access this place; the slowing down of life will help us get there or we may use meditation or a simple walk in nature once we are there we may wish to ask ourselves some questions that I have found helpful in my own challenge.  What are the opportunities for me at this time?  What are the qualities and strengths that I have to bring to myself to those I love and to my community?  What are the resources available to me in both the physical and spiritual worlds?  How do I allow myself to receive help and how do I offer help?Once we ask questions and be open to listen for the answers however they come to us we open to new possibilities. As the questions act like keys unlocking wisdom within us.  We are all in this together and how we respond calling on the resources we have and the attitude we bring to this situation is where our individual power lies.  It is a time where we really need to come together and although physically we cannot do this we can find creative ways to make this happen.  A time for kindness, time for compassion, a time generosity, a time for unity and in experiencing our vulnerability as human beings, maybe this is an opportunity for a new society born out of the current challenge.   Energy goes we’re attention flows this has been a very helpful practice for me since I first heard this.  If I focus on the very real pain that is in my arm as a result of the accident then I am in pain and this will impact me and everyone around me .However if I focus on the resources opportunity and healing then my day goes in a different direction which also ripples out around me.  It simply comes down to how I respond to the complexities of being human if I can make space to become aware and see what’s going on  maybe I am able to respond in a kind and compassionate way.  All workshops and sacred activism events are currently postponed however I am looking into ways to offer learning opportunities and spaces for us to come together during this time.  Shamanism still is effective outside of time and space so we have many opportunities to meet in this way.  I wish each of us strength and creativity and flexibility as we navigate our way through this time.  The willow that we planted earlier this year is coming into bud, the frog spawn is in the pond right on time and the rookery in our village is very alive and as I walk my ear is awaiting the sound of the Chiffchaff the first migrant to return to this land.  All around spring is awakening. I love witnessing this phenomena of the natural world and we are part of that too!  May the blessing and wisdom of spring touch us all.  Each morning at 7.00 AM and each evening at 7.00 PM I will be in my regular personal prayer circle you’re most welcome to join me where ever you are.  There is no set format it is simply a time to come together and intuitively respond and bring through what is needed the power and strength is in our unity as we move from I to we.

In Honour of Ancestors

I have noticed over the last weeks that I have been spontaneously speaking of my ancestors at various opportunities. A sign that the power of Samhain is rising up to be expressed as this is a time for the ancestors to be remembered. I have a altar in our home that honours the ancestors so its is part of my regular practice but at this time of Samhain this grows and the focus is stronger. In many ways so much of my healing journey has been about learning about the stories of the ancestors and how this is played out in me. To transform the wounds and honour their gifts that I hold one such gift was celebrated today. I am just back from a walk over 14km around Loch Levan here in Perthshire. The day was Dreich with regular Sumps of rain (Scots for it was a grey day with down pours of heavy rain). The wind was howling and fierce carrying the regular calls of the geese and songs of the swans as their wings fly with the wind. In the time I was out I only met three people accompanied by their dogs who like me were enjoying this extreme weather. This willingness to be out on the land in all weathers is a gift from my father who as a young child encouraged this. I recall one Christmas day when I was about seven out walking in a snow storm hearing under the winds “I am glad were out in this” “why?” I shrieked, “so we can experience it” This attitude he gave to me, which goes beyond a walk in a storm has been a blessing in many areas of my life. Now back in the warm and dry I feel very alive and like I have been through a profound experience shaped in some way by this time with the elements and the land. Over the weekend of November 23rd/24th I am offering a Introductory to shamanism weekend “Remembering our Shamanic Way” here we will explore and learn practical effective and safe methods of engaging with shamanism as a support for our lives. Full details are up on the website please get in touch if you would like to come or with any questions. Reclaiming shamanism for ourselves as natural practice of this land and across all cultures, can be seen as a gift for the ancestors of the future. New possibilities in our relationship with ourselves others and nature open and become reality. So in honour of the ancestors across the veil and for those yet to come I continue to deepen into the blessings of these ways.

Where Shamanism Leads!

Over the years shamanism and ceremony has brought me to a direct and ever deepening encounter with nature as living and sacred. So how does this help me in my everyday life? Well when I stumble, falter and fall in my daily doings this encounter makes the journey back to my centre, creativity and power so much clearer and easier to navigate. This week I was in a situation where I listened to people highly critical of climate activism, describing it as a cult as well as questioning if there is a problem at all. Science and people across the world offer a conflicting view however shamanism gives us a opportunity to find our own truth and power. In my own work if I feel and observe how we are treating our home the Earth and all life upon it including each other it is clear to me that there is a issue we need to address! I see Shamanism as a branch of activism and of this awakening addressing these issues and offering spiritual solutions beyond our personal lives. I asked in a shamanic journey earlier this year about a possible climate disaster and the answer came “if we told you would it stop you planting the trees, working with ceremony and your healing work with people and the land” my answer was clear I am simply to carry on in my work because it is my work and what else am I to do but follow my heart. This encounter with the sacred through shamanic ways and ceremony supports inspires and brings me back practically to a reality that has been with me since I was a child. It also offers this old but new dynamic and creative relationship with nature our earth and each other in what I see as our community to all, as it leads us to release what does not and integrate what does support our lives and contribution to the whole, and we all have one to offer. In response to this and my wish to offer a learning experience for this I have a number of workshops planned to open and deepen to this encounter and to learn practical ways of working with nature as a living and visible face of spirit. I also am offering a course on learning the shamanic journey as a opening to this path and a pragmatic method of engaging with spirit. Full details on my website www.oakenleaf.co.uk

COMMUNION WITH TREES a nine month course starting Saturday 29th September 2019 opening to a animistic relationship with Trees of our land. REMEMBERING OUR SHAMANIC WAY a weekend course to learn and use the shamanic journey as method to support daily life held on the weekend of November 23rd/24th. MEETING THE LAND AS SPIRIT  a three day course on the weekend of 27th/28th/29th March 2020 over these day we will work with nature as many shamanic cultures understand as the “visible face of spirit” and that includes us! On the Saturday evening we will have a ceremony with the land. ELEMENTAL JOURNEY a series of five day workshops to deepen and work with over a years cycle the five elements of Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Spirit, starting with Air on Sunday 22nd March 2020.

 

Of Shadow,Of Light,Of Essence!

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.

Orchestrated By the Bees?

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.

 

Climate Emergency and Shamanism!

A climate emergency has been announced in the UK and politicians talk of the “great steps being taken to address this emergency”. If we accept that we are in a emergency what action can we each take to respond to this call and what role does something like shamanism offer to this? A memory comes to me as a young child while at my first school witnessing new born mice being drowned in a glass jar. I became so upset distraught and hysterical, it was really my first direct witnessing of the cruelty of humans, the rational for their death was we have to many. It would be easy to see my response as a over reaction from a overly sensitive child which of course is how the school saw it and I became a problem child with issues. However if we go deeper I was aware of a knowing that all life is sacred and as such is to be respected. My reaction came from this truth in me being crushed. It seems clear that humans still see nature as something to be managed as our own natures are sought to be managed by the hypnosis of media and societies conditioning. If we are going to address this climate emergency as a whole, how can we learn to live with nature as a part of nature? How can we become open to think for or like the earth and open up to expressing our own unique nature? Every action we take has a impact the ripples will flow out across the collective. The deeper I go into our inter connectedness through my own spiritual practices the more I feel this to be a reality given to us by time honoured wisdom – so what we do does make a difference! It is a relatively new occurrence for humans to not turn to the spirits for guidance, working  with shamanic ways brings new possibilities and invites an emergence of our own nature as well as a return to this respect of all life and honouring of the sacred. If as a society we each lived this what kind of world would we live in? One where our unique nature is encouraged as a expression of the sacred. These things may well not be resolved in our life time however I believe we have the wisdom available to achieve this, so what is needed is a willingness to try. I do see I am making progress in this and working with shamanism opens me to a more natural way of life one that holds respect and honours the sacred connections of us all. It will push on areas that hold us back from expressing who we are and strengthen the areas where we do. To live this in daily life in our current society I find is a challenge but wherever I go in my daily reactions this is the place I drop back into when I give the space to it in my daily practices my own encounter with shamanism supports and helps me reclaim this. In preparing for my upcoming tree course I have read a number of articles where science is understanding trees are alive in ways they did not know before. This is a move back to a animistic world view and if we are to address our climate emergency then animism surely has a part to play where we see the earth as a living organism that we are a part of and not as a resource for humans to take from. Along with my ongoing sacred activism events I am currently developing some workshops giving opportunities to deepen into this. I was told once there is very little each of us can do so we had better do something.  With the discoveries I am making with shamanism and my connection with our earth what else am I to do! There are amazing things happening in the world currently as we are pushed to move in a new direction and we each have a part to play.

May Blessings

Walking with the land is a rich and powerful part of my daily practice; to walk as a part of the natural world brings many health benefits. I work with the local cycles of nature as a indicator of where we are within this cycle. Here in Perthshire the hawthorn is not in flower as yet, which is when I acknowledge the full arrival of Beltane. However the creative power and fertility is really moving and the land is changing daily- It is a real joy to feel and witness this. We may well feel this creativity and fertility flowing through us at this time as well as we are part of this natural cycle. So may the fertile and creative blessing’s of Beltane be yours.

Here is a update on upcoming workshops. In July I am offering a day event, “creating and working with altars” as well as a Friday evening and weekend workshop “ceremony for everyday and everyone”. I aim for this to bring a strong support for our daily spiritual practice .

These workshops are open to anyone that feels they may be helpful to them so no shamanic experience needed. I again am offering the “remembering our shamanic way” in June, a weekend introductory to shamanism workshop.

In September I am very excited to offer “listening to the trees”, a nine month journey of partnership and friendship with the trees. This is a series of 9 day workshop to grow deep relationships with the trees for healing, guidance and wisdom. Full details of all workshops are up now on my website, if you feel these would support your spiritual and shamanic life, do get in touch.

 

Inspiration from Spirits Vision!

The shamans role is to build partnerships with helping compassionate,  and over time, trusted allies in the spirit world. The spirits have a greater view for our life and see us in our creative power rather than how we may see ourselves in perceived failings. It is from the spirits that the solutions and healing for our problems come, then it is for us to us to do something in the everyday with their guidance. People I have learnt from who grew up with shamanic ways use ceremony and listen to the spirits to maintain harmony and health of individuals as well as the community and this is very much a living and regular part of their cultures way. Shamanism is thought of as the oldest spirituality on our earth and is still very much returning today to our western culture. It is a fairly recent phenomena for people to not believe or consult the spirits for help which maybe why shamanism often feels familiar for people. So what can shamanism offer us today? When I am challenged in my own life I find a question to bring to the spirits for there input and guidance. Having worked with the spirits since 2004 I have a deep trust based on experience in the answers that come and have trusted enough in my own helping spirits guidance to sell a house and move country. This trust in spirit has payed off and has brought a life that I could not of imagined or conceived from my own viewpoint. Learning these ways has brought a resource that has opened up life in so many unexpected ways. In our culture we face many problems and uncertainty in many areas and there seems to be a broken trust in a political system to address these for the good of all life. Maybe what is needed is inspiration for a new vision one that we cannot conceive from our current viewpoint and turning to spirit once more may be a way this inspiration can come through us and out into the world. If it can happen for individuals could it not happen for our society as a whole? In my lifetime I have seen a huge growth in people seeking a new and different way and finding many ways to express this through a variety of spiritual practices. Shamanism is one of these ways and as ever for global change we start with ourselves and our own lives. Working with the question, “how do the spirits see me?” opens us to see ourselves in a new way. You could work with this in a shamanic journey or in meditation or ask this when out in nature and see and feel what comes. When I have done this in my own practice over the years the answer that comes has changed though it is always more than I can see or imagine. Seeing myself with the eyes of spirit has inspired me to step beyond my comfort zone and into a richer life and when challenges come from taking that step the spirits are there to help and guide. The spiritual journey is a amazing one to take a courageous act for sure but as we take those shaky steps the spirits step with us too. I wonder if we will return to a time where this trust and turning to spirit is our cultures way and open to this inspiration once more?

There are two upcoming workshops “remembering our shamanic way” and “ceremony for everyday and everyone” I also am planning a day course “creating and working with alters” and a ongoing course “stories from the trees” details will announced soon,  for full details on workshops and booking please see the website  http://www.oakenleaf.co.uk/?page_id=42