Changing Woman by Susan Seddon Boulet
The Sun and Moon Festival
How better to spend the ancient Lammas festival , the traditional first corn harvest, than at the Sun and Moon festival at Herstmonceux castle?.
I didn’t know that this beautiful castle was also a college in term time! Owned by a Canadian university called Queens, it was bought some time ago when the castle fell into financial difficulties.
The grounds were extremely impressive. There were some of the oldest chestnut trees I’ve ever seen, over 800 years old. We called them ‘The Dancing Ladies’ and there were a line of them just near the cafe.
My Secret Garden
My favourite place was a secret garden behind the folly, where it was a heat trap for dragonflies and butterflies. Here, it was peaceful, magical and utterly enchanting. This was especially so by the water’s edge, by the moat and the lake nearby. We found an exquisite eucalyptus tree, which helped us to ground our ceremonial work while we were at the festival.
Earthkeepers Lammas Workshop
The Sun and Moon festival promoted wellbeing on all levels and I attended some interesting and amazing workshops there, including vortex healing, the Anusha healing symbols connected to the stars and three Goddess workshops. However, the real reason I was invited there was to facilitate two workshops.
One was a creative workshop, where through ancestral work we created a ‘give away’ for the land, woven with five threads and a corn stalk. On a very rainy afternoon, a group of women sat down and worked as they might have done thousands of years ago. We spent a very enjoyable afternoon singing, connecting and laughing with each other. We wove the threads of our ancestors, considering our male and female lines. We wove in our talents and skills as we went.
The second workshop was in the castle itself, this was a flower blessing with sound healer Carolyn Richards. We used the sound of the tibetan singing bowls to take us to the upper worlds. After journeying to the upper worlds we retrieved the highest essence of energy we could for our partner we were working with. Using a red flower to honour our feminine and a white flower to honour our masculine, we dipped the flowers in sacred well water and blessed each other with the words ‘I bless you my brother, I bless you my sister’.
It was a beautiful ceremony and all round a lovely experience, well worth attending next year!.
There is an old woman who weaves the night sky..(traditional song)
There is a woman who weaves the night sky,
See her spin, watch her fingers fly.
She is within us beginning to end,
Our grandmother, our sister, our friend.
She is the weaver and we are the web,
She is the needle and we are the thread.
She changes everything she touches
And everything she touches changes.
(Repeat 3 times)
It’s possible to journey with changing woman, or spider woman at this time of year, what does she have to say to you?.
800 yr old Chestnut in the grounds.
We are the dance of the moon and sun
We are the power in everyone (the hope that’s in everyone)
We are the turning of the tide
My spirit sighs, my spirit sighs.
There is a time to be together, there is a time to be apart
But when our love goes on forever…
My spirit flies, My spirit flies.
See this beautiful article about Lammas by Glannie Kindred here.
May you walk in beauty,
For all our relations. Ali Rabjohns 2017.
THE SHAMANIC MEDICINE WHEEL (NORTH) Hummingbird Workshop with Ali Rabjohns and Marc Wood.As I move around the Medicine Wheel, we trust that all will be well. I have prepared my ground for re-birth through working with serpent and the south direction. I have dealt with enough of my shadow and projections with jaguar in the west and begun to move towards hummingbird.
North: The Way of the Hummingbird: Timelessness, honouring our ancestors and joy. 22 -23 April 2017.
Magical hummingbird medicine
Marc Wood and I will be teaching the hummingbird (North) direction of the medicine wheel. It will be a powerful and rich weekend, full of practical exercises and tools that will help connect you fully to the archetype of hummingbird and embed new ways of bringing your highest destiny into your every day life.
The current group is now closed as we are moving into the Hummingbird direction in April , this means that students have already been part of the wheel for a year and completed South (Serpent) and Jaguar (West) directions, so they’ve done a lot of preparatory work on themselves for this and it wouldn’t be appropriate to expand the group at this point. However, we will be offering further taster days for the Medicine Wheel on Sat June 3rd 2017 or Sat 16th Sept 2017 in East Sussex (exact location to be confirmed). Please email me firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Hummingbird Workshop Details:
In this workshop we will be asking ourselves the question ‘What is our soul’s essence?’. Hummingbird gives us the impetus to follow our dreams, propelling us into action. It gives us the force of action, combined with creative thinking we need to begin this epic journey.
It eventually brings us back to our source, where our spirit was created. Hummingbird helps us to drink deeply from the nectar of our lives, through honouring our ancestors and continuing to clean up our river.
How do we share our souls calling with the world and re-create our mythic map to reflect our highest destiny or potential?. We learn how to release old structures and roles that we may play out in our life through our male or female sides. These roles may have been passed down to us through our ancestors. When we create ceremony to help these patterns of behaviour release through us, then we create a space for magic to occur.
The Medicine Wheel Training
Held over four separate weekends over two years, the Medicine Wheel is an initiation process handed down from the High Andes and the Q’ero nation that helps us to honour ourselves, as well as our friends, our families and our communities with all the light available to us.
It is a beautiful and powerful journey around the four cardinal directions with the archetypes . This course honours our right as human beings to speak, write, hear and know the truth of our becoming. It will help us to see that death (or a transition) is an opportunity to grow on every level. This organising principle helps us to see clearly through the darkness to find our way step by step as we listen to ourselves and to our unseen guides. We will help you to set your intention to clear all limiting behaviours and self-beliefs that hold you back from walking with beauty.
The Medicine Wheel General Details:
The core tools we will be working with around the wheel will be: working as a circle, hucha (heaviness) release and calling in sami (light) to replace this, sand paintings, fire ceremony, shamanic journeying, experiential and creative exercises, dreaming our world into being, energetic tracking skills, a deep connection to Nature, Munay Ki rites, mini death rites.
You will create a medicine bundle or Mesa of stones that you will be able to use on your journey to discover your hidden treasure, your true self.
May you walk in beauty
For all our relations
Hummingbird in flight, sipping from tropical flowers.
Hummingbird energy is beautiful, magical and loving, enabling a deep connection to our soul’s calling. Hummingbirds are called Siwar Q’enti in Quechuan.Traditionally, hummingbird feathers are attached to love ceremonies. Their iridescent wings hover and move at the speed of light, helping the little bird to move up , down and even backwards. These tiny creatures fly from Brazil to Canada each year and need a huge amount of nectar to survive. They don’t worry about where they’re going to get this nectar from but just have a trust and an inner conviction that all will be well.
This medicine helps me to find the right songs and stories for my workshops. It helps my word be filled with light nectar or sami and to follow the courage of my convictions. When humming-bird arrives it means it is time for ACTION! It signifies a CALL TO ADVENTURE and a move out of the head and into the centre of one’s will – one’s SOLAR PLEXUS. We stop procrastinating when we have to take a LEAP OF FAITH.
Alberto Villoldo says in ‘Shaman, Healer, Sage’ ‘ Once touched by the energies of this archetype, we are propelled on our own epic journey that eventually leads us back to our source, where our spirit was spawned, in that ancestral fields of flowers, we can drink deeply from the nectar of our lives’.
Hummingbird and Creativity
“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” Kurt Vonnegut,
This energy empowers me to connect more strongly to my soul’s essence through creativity, story telling, poetry and myth, even drama. Creative blocks can often be connected to an ancestral root. Once we have an awareness of this, we can release the emotional or physical blocks holding us back. Then we can move forward clearly and creatively.
As an artist, when I use the energy of hummingbird, I can switch off to the outside world. I sip the nectar of my creative voice with my inner ears and eyes through shamanic drumming. Humming bird medicine is represented by the theta waves of the brain. This is where I daydream out of the window whilst washing the dishes – or rise to a challenge, even though I have no idea how I will manifest it on a physical level.
Allow yourself the freedom to express yourself through art, music, sculpture or dance and allow those aspects of your true self to really shine and be integrated. When we engage in a creative practice, we receive inspiration and well being on so many levels.
Working with Hummingbird Medicine and Creativity as a Shamanic Practice.
I work a lot with blocked creatives in my shamanic practice, it’s a fascinating process! Clients are often held back on an ancestral level – possibly feeling that they’re ‘not allowed’ or ‘not good enough’ to create what they want to in the world. There are patterns to be released here and blocks to let go of. Whatever you do, hopefully you feel inspired by doing the work you love. If you’re not doing what you love, then make small manageable steps towards your dreams. When you work with passion in your life, the universe will step in and support you in your endeavours and try and make things easier for you.
Shadow work also can help us to be more discerning with our energies, seeing where we leak or give away energy instead of using it for our own creativity. In order to be creative we need to be organised and to look after ourselves, nurturing ourselves with natural foods. Listen to your body and develop body awareness.
Soul retrieval can also help us to reclaim those parts of ourselves that are lost through trauma or illness, also past lives. When we do this, we have more energy available for our creative lives.
Keeping a dream diary or journal has also helped me through difficult times in my life. What issues are arising that need to be looked at? What synchronicity is happening? Any chance meetings or strange dreams? Write them down and ask for guidance from your unseen helpers in order to move forward.
Hummingbird has helped me to organise a trip to Peru with my friends from The Four Winds Society and go. I left my (then) young family behind for three weeks !. Also, in Canada as I worked on a textile installation in a flowery meadow, I was lucky enough to be regularly visited by hummingbirds on our site.
On a day-to-day basis I use hummingbird to help me tune into my creativity or enjoy the arts, as well as serve great spirit. This medicine helps me to find the right songs and stories to touch and open up my student’s hearts. It helps my words be filled with light and to follow the courage of my intuition, even when I can’t see where I’m being taken.
In my next post I will be talking about hummingbird and ceremony – how you can weave this easily into your daily practice.
May you walk in beauty.
For all our relations
“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” ― Jalaluddin Rumi, The Essential Rumi.
Ali Rabjohns, Shamanic Practitioner, Tribal Earth 2016.
I want to share how creativity has helped me to weave in between my shamanic and creative practice. Of course, shamanism has been closely linked with creativity for thousands of years.
Artists, poets and musicians are able to switch off to the outside world, so that they can listen to their inner ears and eyes. These were our first shaman!.
The one constant element that still inspires my artistic practice is my own connection to nature. It has been a subtle, slow process helping my artwork to evolve. I use a shamanic and therapeutic approach towards felting and watercolour painting, in order to create my own sacred space. Whether it’s macro or micro vision, nature in all it’s forms and seasons speak to me through my own experience of them.
Nuno Felted Coat by Ali Rabjohns. Tailoring: Sandra Ventris. Photos: Ruthie Martin. Model: Holly Rabjohns.
My aim is to express my experience of ‘Walking between the Worlds’ like a shaman. Through my creative experience of shamanism and previous travels to Peru, I enjoy using my shamanic skills and my drum to help me to journey to the roots of those painful and joyous moments I’ve experienced in this sacred gift called life. Then, when these roots have been uncovered, they can start to emerge in my art work.
I gain clarity and nourishment from what some people call ‘The invisible realms’ and I enjoy watching these worlds of the unconscious and conscious arrive in my artwork. It takes a certain level of trust and courage to do this but that’s the wonderful thing about felt or painting, I’m never quite sure how it’s going to turn out!. Some experiences are unconscious and mysterious, needing further unravelling through sketchbook work, journaling and pieces of art.
Creative, Group Flower Ceremony with Earthkeepers. Summer Solstice, 2015.
What I enjoy most is creating special places outside with textiles and natural materials, places that connect to the elements and honour our cultural heritage. I enjoy listening to the rhythms of the natural world and using art to take ourselves inwards or help us to connect to all that is, to the stars and to the seeds of the universe that live within us and that we live within.
Yurt Blessing. Wild Star Gathering. Stanmer Park, Brighton, 2012. Photos: Graeme Telford .
When we create something we have seen on a shamanic journey, during a healing session or a ceremony, we are honouring the part of ourselves which needs to come back into balance. A very important part of my creative practice or ethos is the theme of sustainability. I prefer using natural materials and dyes, wherever possible – walking softly on the earth and leaving the smallest footprint I can for our children’s children.
Butterfly drum design onto deerskin.
I often start with an intention: honouring, singing and drumming, making offerings to the four directions. Sometimes I take a medicine walk. In my next blog I will talk more about the different ways you can connect to my creativity and spirit. Shamanism helps us to find the treasures in an unseen world, gifts that we can bring into the real world, at the same time honouring our creativity and power.
“Creativity takes courage. ” ― Henri Matisse
Find out more about my work on my website feltgoodfeltfine .
For all our relations.
This is a simple exercise that will help you release any heaviness into the earth.
Sacred Exchange Exercise.
This is an easy and great way of releasing heavy energy. Here, we are practicing reciprocity, i.e. giving heavy energy in order to receive sami or light nectar. Please contact me of you would like help setting up a daily practice.
The process is as follows and is called Samichakui in Quechuan:
1. Bring your attention to your energy field or aura. Notice the quality of the energy .
2. With intention, make an opening in the top of your energy field (like a trap door) and draw sami (light nectar) down into your energy field from the heavens, filling it with sami and letting it exit through the feet.
3. Whilst doing this, simultaneously intend any heavy energy (hucha) to be released into pachamama (Mother Earth), also through the feet.
4. Be particularly aware of any perceptions (verbal, auditory, olfactory, visual, etc) that arise whilst doing this exercise and be ready to receive any messages that may come to you during or just after this process.
5. Take in as much sami as you feel you need and before ending the exercise.
6. Intend the opening at the top of your energy field to close.
This exercise can be done almost anywhere, at any time. It is often combined with saywachaquy, which is described below.
Saywa means a column of living energy. This exercise is about building a column of living energy where the energy is from the Earth, rather than the heavens. The exercise is done as follows:
1. Perform saminchaquy (sacred exchange)and release any heavy energy to Pachamama (Mother Earth) Once this is done, due to the law of ayni or reciprocity, we can ask to receive from Pachamama her finest energy.
2. From the soles of the feet intend for small roots or cords of energy to exend into Pachamama.
3. Intend sami from Pachamama to enter the soles of the feet through these roots or cords and allow this energy to climb up until the whole bubble/poqpo is filled with this energy.
As with saminchaquy, you can do this exercise almost anywhere at any time, but it always must be preceeded with saminchaquy.
There’s nothing quite like a fire or music to bring people together and as a shamanic practitioner, I often hold full moon ceremonies in the garden. They stoke the fires of people’s hearts through any hardship or suffering, as well as helping us to let go of a quality that we no longer need in our lives, or that may be holding us back. The full moon fire ceremonies are a chance for like-minded folk to gather together and re-connect. Anyone can join our circle to experience the essence of this beautiful energy that’s created when we re-connect with each other and ourselves. This in turn helps to build our awareness about how we can bring our own lives into balance and dream our world into being. Circles are a strong way to hold and share light with each other through the level of the heart. When we sit in a circle, we share our highest most talents and skills with each other. A mayan elder said that when we create circles of light and they interconnect, this creates an invincible chain.
A community can share a vision, dreaming it into being and holding the energy of that vision as a group until it manifests. One example of this is the Camphill Communities. I have worked there as a crafts tutor for young adults with special needs. These communities live with the students or adults and have a beautiful Ethos developed by Rudolf Steiner and Karl Koenig. The qualities that come through most strongly here are respect for each other but also working together for the good of the whole, with a shared daily and seasonal rhythm. This rhythm and togetherness builds resilience and helps to negate any unhelpful addictive behavioural patterns through the crafts we offer, which are weaving, basketry, pottery, felting and woodwork, as well as cooking and baking. Of course, it isn’t always easy to do this but the strength of any community lies in its strong roots and a deep connection with each other.
Like a tree, a community needs to have a strong foundation or root structure that connects deeply to the earth, as well as the highest branches that connect to the stars, then it can create beautiful and tasty fruit!. Trees communicate with each other through fungi in the earth and have built up a huge network of communicating light energy across these lands.
Unlike trees, humans are also able to create and manifest their creativity into beauty. One of the most important lessons I’ve learnt is that in order to honour my community, I need to honour my true self and let that be expressed in the world.
‘Ayllu’ means tribe in Quechuan and I have found that as I work on my self and my own awareness, I meet others who are like-minded. I feel like they are part of my soul family or tribe. In Peru and with the Q’ero medicine men and women, there is no word for ‘I’, it is always ‘we’. A high priest or Alto Masayok (a shaman who works with the spirits of the mountains) will still be helping his brother to build a fire or bring in the potato harvest. In the High Andes, working together is imperative for their survival. However, as someone who lives in the West, it’s also important to nurture myself first, in order for me to give my highest energies to my community.
I believe that before we are born, we make sacred contracts to meet or learn certain lessons from soul mates or friends during our lifetime. I believe that Karma has a great deal to do with our daily life and the friends we meet on our path. Synchronicity is a way for the universe to help magic in our own lives to unfold, through meeting the right person at the right time or seeing the right piece of information amongst other things. If we are open to this, then we can achieve so much more than just making plans with our rational brain. It’s about being open to a flow of energy that is bigger than we are and trusting that we are going in the right direction.
© Ali Rabjohns 2016
It is an honour for me to introduce fellow shamanic practitioner Marc Wood. We have been part of a shamanic group for seven years and recently started working together with this beautiful medicine from the High Andes.
Below, I have asked Marc to talk a little bit about his own healing journey in becoming a shamanic practitioner.
So, where does the journey to becoming a shaman begin? For me it all began sitting in my friend Caz’s kitchen having a cup of coffee and a chat. Caz looked across the table and asked me what I would like to do in my life. My reply was that I wanted to become a shaman and her reply was that it would be the hardest journey that I could ever take!
I wanted to learn more about healing, so I trained in massage, reflexology and then sports massage. I got to learn about the body and how the ‘heal’ on a very physical level. I also signed up to learn metamorphic technique, then cranial sacral therapy and spinal touch. I used all these therapeutic techniques to help my clients. Most clients would ‘get better’ and recover but some would improve but not actually recover fully. I then studied reiki and trained as a reiki master and my list of therapies grew further.
One of my greatest challenges was that I was still looking for healing for myself. I carried a deep wound of being abandoned as a child, being left by both parents who were parting. I was carrying loneliness, a deep feeling of not being cared for and loved. I just wanted to be liked and loved and to get this I would sacrifice myself for others.
When I feel like a failure, I look at where it originates and send love to that disowned aspect of myself. (Sidane Buchet, 2012).
Then one day, during a phone interview with Chris Waters I started to discover my path. Chris is founder of The Spirit of the Inca; I was researching about sacred space and what happens when we open sacred space. Chris began to explain to me about ‘the organising principals’, and that when we opened sacred space, that we are bringing these together. Chris invited me to join her for the next Medicine Wheel, which I did.
A deep clearing process began, clearing out all that I needed to heal including the deepest wounds. Gradually peeling away the layers I began to discover myself, I understand that I’m not the sum total of my wounds!
What I have come to realise and know in my life is that the world is a beautiful highly polished mirror that reflects back to perfectly what I am putting out into it.
I now hold a different view; that I’m loved and cared for deeply. I’m now living in a world where I do not have to prove myself and sacrifice myself for others. I walk my path and follow my truth.
The shaman is told that we can dream a new world and new paradigms into being. Shamans have been dreaming this for thousands of years and my dream joins theirs.
Marc shares this medicine path through ceremony, workshops, talks and at festivals. He also runs a private healing practice and sports massage clinic in West Sussex.
Click the link to Marc Wood’s website
May you walk in beauty, for all our relations.
Amazonian serpent entities include the Yakumama, mother of the water, Sachamama, mother of the jungle, and Huairamama, mother of the sky. These entities are illustrated in the painting below by the artist and shaman Pablo Amaringo (in Ayahuasca Visions: The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman, 1999, North Atlantic Books).
In this workshop we work with the archetypal symbol Serpent, sometimes feared, sometimes revered in the contrary World of Men.
We explore Serpent’s essential female nature and beauty, her Earth-bound wisdom, her life-giving properties and the Medicine she offers us: Truth and Beauty.With her Medicine we dive into the depths of who we are, we are confronted with who, through the years, we have become and she teaches us the Way of Beauty through the constant practice of Letting Go. She shows us how to connect to our innocence, shedding our past and all the things we have clung onto the way that she sheds her skin: all in one piece. She thus shows us that life is an endless series of deaths and rebirths as we learn to come to terms and celebrate who we are and what we have right NOW, in this moment.
The way of the South is the first workshop in a series of four, where you will start building our Mesa’s or medicine bundles. If you already have one, don’t worry – you can use the khuya’s you already have or change a few of them if you wish. These workshops are intended to inspire you to weave a shamanic way of being into your daily life. You will learn different ceremonies that you can go on to practice at home or with others and you will be given tools that can help you to shift any blockage in your path. This is not a series of workshops that will teach you how to become a shamanic healer, what they will do is give you what you need to bring your own life into balance and heal yourself.
Day One: We will be looking at what needs to be let go of in our lives in order to come to a place of peace, innocence and beauty. Serpent helps us to shed our skin, as well as walk softly on the earth.
Day Two : This day will be a celebration and an exploration of who we truly are. After shedding our skin, we connect to our inner truth, to Mother Earth and open up towards a new beautiful, gentle path.
All workshops are experiential and contain a mixture of energetic practices taught by Ali and Neil, shamanic journeying, ceremonies and experiential exercises. Be prepared for a deep, magical adventure that is held in a safe container of loving support, allowing you to trust the mystery and beauty of this powerful work and open up to a new paradigm. A more detailed itinerary of what’s planned will be sent out to those interested nearer the time and there will be notes sent to each participant via email covering the most important aspects of the work we do together.
COST: £235: This also includes £50 deposit payable in advance. This includes all teaching on Saturday and Sunday. Some food is provided but we will ask you to bring something delicious to share for one meal.
FACILITATORS : Ali Rabjohns and Neil Brocklehurst are experienced shamanic practitioners who have trained with Alberto Villoldo and the Four Winds Society and with Juan and Ivan Nuñez del Prado. They run regular workshops and healing sessions for groups and individuals. You can find out more about Neil at www.peruvianenergyhealing.com and Ali at www.lucidhealing.co.uk
VENUE: Tin Tabernacle Hall, near Barcombe in Lewes, East Sussex.
HOW TO BOOK YOUR PLACE OR FOR MORE INFORMATION.
To book your place please phone Ali on 07528 614 747 or contact her by email on email@example.com.
Both Simon and myself felt it was the best experience we have ever had, I think we both felt we connected with a type of energy and way of being that we had been seeking for such a long time. We both love nature and ritual and ceremony and were very moved by how simple but strong these were in your teachings this weekend. As I think we said to you, Neil and yourself are a powerful force and a really amazing combination for this kind of work, making it accessible to the uninitiated like ourselves and yet keeping that focus and magic and honouring the energy you both work with.
Sue and Simon Reason, Manchester 2012
I attended a two-day course with Ali and Neil and it was amazing. I began it feeling quite unconfident and lost in my life, unsure of what I was doing and of myself. After two days of beautiful and powerful ceremonies I feel revived, more confident and more at peace in myself than I have for a while. They are caring, knowledgeable and thoughtful healers / guides and they gave themselves to the course as much as we did. As with these courses the more you put in the more you put out. I thoroughly recommend them.
Kirsty Torode, Brighton 2013.
I have attended many wonderful, experiential workshops in the last thirty years but this was something different and of a high nature. Although it is called a workshop I would describe it more in terms of a deep communion with something that resides within me, awaiting my call. This communion with my inner Serpent energy led me to perceive what I needed to ‘let go’ and what I needed to ’embrace’ if I wished to become more of my inner Truth and Beauty.
The most powerful for me was in creating my own sand painting, which changed and evolved with me over the weekend. We each made a Mesa, a medicine bundle filled with our khuyas, which are continuing to be imbued with love and healing. By the end of the weekend I received many insights and I knew what was holding me back. I gratefully let go because I was ready. It is almost a month since the course and I have received so many gifts in many forms, in shadow and light, from Sachamamma. I can unreservedly recommend these Medicine Wheel journeys if you are intent to let go and uncover your true self.
Pamela and Simon, Manchester 2012.
The whole workshop was thoroughly and thoughtfully planned providing fun and challenges in equal measure. You both created an atmosphere that was supportive, safe and nurturing so that the personal challenges could be approached with confidence and openness. Your experience and deep knowledge of the tradition shone through giving all the work strength and integrity. A powerful experience in every way! Many thanks.
Debbie, Manchester 2013.
I met Nancy three years ago on a shamanic course near Guildford after a series of synchronicities I could no longer ignore . Whilst teaching, Nancy’s effortless grace in shifting between the worlds and the creativity shared during her sessions made the whole learning experience very powerful for me. I went on to complete the Moving Mandala training. The next Moving Mandala course will be in August near Lewes, East Sussex. Scroll down for more details. I respect Nancy’s openness and vulnerability to be guided by Great Spirit at all times, making sure we were on track as a group and individually.
Here is a short interview, specifically around the Moving Mandala and her life’s work.
What brought you to walk a shamanic path and work with the Moving Mandala?
This shamanic direction came from three fates finding me, to change my life. An energy shift, a shamanic initiation, offered me a chance to connect deeply with our ancestors, to root me in the earth. As you know in hindsight many things point down the path, in my case a creative and seeking spirit, and the love of outdoors.
After several years of doing my own mandala practice I went to India to receive the Kalachakra, another mandala, in a location where the teachings originated through Shakymuni Buddha. I have also been deeply committed to Native American practices. One of the teachers spoke in the lodge one day, reflecting that he didn’t see a spiritual materialist and wannabe, he saw a person who had to go around the whole wheel in this lifetime and take the essence of that journey for the benefit of myself and all our relations.
How do you integrate your own creativity with your shamanic path?
In the early 90’s I created a portable labyrinth cloth, one with the chakra colours and astrological symbols that could be used in a flat, taken to a park, etc. After it was in a women’s fibre show I took it to Findhorn and donated it to the Children’s Dept., because I had noticed during that show that they instinctively gravitated toward it; the channels were quilted to make “paths” and my mother enjoyed sewing it with me, so it had lots of female energy in it.
When I go into a situation to seek in a shamanic way, I need to empty my mind in order to let the answers come; the form in which they come may look like dancing, singing, chanting, mudras, felt shifts, and I receive sense impressions, words, and images as well. Often after the journey I may write or draw, but the time spent in the timeless realm is where the energy is shifted from whatever I brought in with me, and was attached to, to releasing it and allowing something fresh to enter the space. I have had to learn to trust that it is whatever is needed at the time. This affects myself but my client and/or large gatherings of people who come together to re-balance and heal. I am using healing and re-balancing interchangeably.
What is The Moving Mandala and how has it helped you?
The Moving Mandala is only one way to train but it is a good way. That is, when we co-ordinate our intention to join that cosmic template with the earth’s seasons, place of power and human energy centres, beneficial results have come about for many, many people, in different settings and continents.
The mandala in Sanskrit means circle. It is a sacred cosmic architecture which when entered, allows us to bring that sense of Oneness and wholeness to the earth. The Moving Mandala uses the sacred geometry of a 12-point mandala for an energetic container, having 4 cardinal directions within the 12, and thirteenth point in the centre. The body’s chakras, right up to the archetypal level, hold the potential for us to shift energy as light beings. Because we are energy beings, we get primed to very high vibrations of light again when we enter a circle where intention to heal is being held. That is why the mandala form is useful for letting the interconnectedness and wholeness of our being come into consciousness.
How does the Moving Mandala help in the community?
The resource of the Mandala Dance in the community has been to create opportunity to gather and direct energy for the greater good; the course itself people say is life changing and I know the truth of that, so end up saying it supports change in all of us
The Mandala Dance itself is where time and the timeless meet, where when we forget to be self-conscious and join the collective energy of the moment. With trained people, the Mandala Dance, which is a form of journeying, can bring a whole community to another level of awareness together. The courses I have been teaching in the last decade or so have made the mandala principles accessible to people who might not be familiar with it and who are on the shamanic path.
Focused community experiences are necessary to build the kind of strength and courage that we need in this century. When we leave the Mandala Dance, we are more aligned within light, in soul and body, and with all those in the energy field within which we participate. An extension of the actual mandala journey is the mandala of our individual lives and the mandala of our shamanic community.
For all Our Relations . Nancy Dancing Light and Ali Rabjohns.
I’d like to warmly introduce Sue Claire Morris, who brings over 20 years’ experience as a therapist/healer/facilitator . I had the good fortune of meeting Sue Claire and Zoe Hudson whilst participating in the Moving Mandala training with Nancy Dancing Light in October 2012.Please see Sue Claire and Zoe’s website www.healingheartsandlandscapes.co.uk for more information about their work.
They will be coming to Rodmell this August to facilitate a four-day Moving Mandala training.
The Moving Mandala is a profound and powerful community building tool for people ready to transform together.This program is experiential with focus on opening to Spirit through the expression of shamanic journeying, sound, colour, movement and the arts.
Please contact me or more details.
Here is Sue Claire’s article about working with labyrinths.
The labyrinth is an ancient universal symbol found all over the world and increasingly, labyrinths are emerging in communities as a sacred space for people. They are also used as a tool for problem solving, in personal relationships, for meditation purposes, or purely for enjoyment. They are amazing resources – they can work real magic by bringing worlds together and creating transformation.
Here in East Devon where I live and work as a therapist and group facilitator, we are lucky enough to have an 11 circuit labyrinth based on the one at Chartres Cathedral. It is situated at Seaton on the Jurassic Coast with far-reaching views across to the Dorset cliffs. A local man, David Kelf pioneered this and attracted Heritage and Lottery funding and it was completed in 2004. I first came across it through a dear friend and have been walking it alone and with others ever since, and then the two of us set up a company “Healing Hearts and Landscapes. We offer individual sessions as therapists and group pilgrimages around the celtic calendar. Zoe and myself run an ongoing course for groups “The Creative Power of the Labyrinth” as an experiential weekend to really embody and experience the labyrinth, with trained Veriditas Labyrinth facilitators, such as ourselves.
1.“The labyrinth serves as a sacred container. The clear physical boundaries of the pattern, which contain both the circle and the spiral, offer a feeling of safety. This container is even more powerful when we add community. New emotions, unique thoughts and a sense of being at one with others can enter our awareness.”(Artress, L 1995)
2.“Based on the circle, the universal symbol for unity and wholeness, the labyrinth sparks the human imagination and introduces it to a kaleidoscopic patterning that builds a sense of relationship: one person to another, to another, to many people, to creation of the whole. It enlivens the intuitive part of our nature and stirs within the human heart the longing for connectedness and the remembrance of our purpose for living.” (Artress, L, 2006)
Whether walking the labyrinth alone or with a group, there is a sense of making a deep connection with our true self and then feeling part of a bigger picture. The centre is an opportunity to link with energies beyond our own heart and somehow this brings a new awareness that can then be with us on the journey back to our lives, on the path out of the labyrinth.
Walking the labyrinth is a very personal experience where we each bring our hopes, dreams, unique history and yearnings. Unlike a maze you cannot get lost on a labyrinth, there is one path in and then the same path out, although the journey will be different.
In my work at a College of Further Education I have facilitated a group of students to create a labyrinth in the grounds. It is in a very peaceful place away from any buildings or cars and before the labyrinth was there, I used to go and meditate in that spot and felt the space would benefit from having one. It is a classical seven circuit labyrinth cut into the grass with pathways delineated from bark chippings of trees felled in the grounds of the college.
3.“The labyrinth is a means of meditation, offering us space to listen to ourselves. It can be a slow and contemplative experience or fast and energizing:it can help us shed layers of emotion and unravel a problem or it can stimulate the mind and offer inspiration.” (Raphael Sands, H 2001)
4.“The circular path inward cleanses and quiets us as it leads us in. The unwinding path integrates and empowers us on our walk back out. Walking out of the winding path, we are literally ushered back out into the world in a strengthened condition.”
(Artress, L, 1995)