A Space Clearing Ceremony.
Town House in Islington
This was an absolutely stunning town house in Islington spread over five floors. It had been previously owned by the Roman Catholic church until the 1960’s and was a place where pregnant unmarried girls and young women from Ireland were sent to have their babies. They were then strongly encouraged to give these babies up for adoption, at this time there was no other choice.
Michelle, the owner of the property herself had Irish heritage and felt called to bring healing to the land of this place. As we opened sacred space and I spent time in the house, we tuned into the qualities of uncertainty, deep shame, fear, desperation and feeling controlled. There had been very little choice for these young women, as it was perceived that these babies would be given a ‘better chance of life’ in Holborn and the surrounding areas.
At first, it wasn’t apparent where the heaviness lay, except that I was shown that there was a deep root of pain right into the centre of the house footprint going into the earth. The pendulum showed me that there was heavy energy in the first three floors of the front rooms in the property but these rooms were easily cleared with my crystal and bell.
The Shamanic Ceremony.
Despacho Ceremony using rose petals from the garden.
It was very easy working with Michelle, infant it felt as though the whole day’s work was a gift from heaven in more ways than one!. First we put up an altar facing North West, this was guided to me by the ancestors. The altar had spring water, fresh flowers from the abundance of the beautiful walled garden, chocolate offerings for the land spirits and the ancestors and many crystals. Michelle set up the altar and had also brought a labyrinth with her, handmade by herself and a friend. The opening of the labyrinth faced the trees at the back of the property.
Next, I journeyed to the root of the pain and cleared it with my vogelwand, whilst Michelle walked the labyrinth over and over again in honour of all the women and girls who had suffered under the roof of this house. Afterwards, we felt that there had been kindness but that there has also been a few domineering and controlling individuals on the church side. I later, connected the space to the christ consciousness grid and asked the star beings to take extra care of this place.
We played some music, the essence of which for me was about empowerment on behalf of all young women, stepping into their sexuality.
An Ayni Despacho
Basket of perfect roses from the garden.
We then created an ayni despacho for the house and women, using different coloured rose petals from the garden. Yellow in particular was for healing. An ayni despacho harmonises the energies and brings them into balance. We blew in our own wishes and prayers for ourselves, our families and friends plus our wider projects and groups/communities. This was such a beautiful experience, knowing that we were bringing everything into balance with the living energy of the universe.
The Despacho Fire
Despacho fire in garden.
At first the despacho burnt easily and then we struggled to keep it alight, but we persevered and this eventually burnt to ash. After it had burnt, we felt that the work was complete and I experienced the energy of the land moving like a clear river under the house once more.
We travelled back to Lewes on the train, chatting and laughing – A day’s work well done! Thank you Michelle for inviting me to work on your land, it was a great honour and I hope that there will be more opportunities like this in the future, as I really enjoyed this experience.
If you have any questions about space clearing or would like me to help you please contact me on email@example.com.
May you flow with beauty,
For all our relations.
Beltain gathering in the garden.
A Beltain Ceremony
For me, all of life is bursting with fertility and the power of it’s own potential at this time of year. I was very much guided to connect with our hearts at this time and our own feminine/masculine archetypes within us. We had a beautiful ceremony at my friend Sharifin’s house. First, we opened scared space. Then we shared poems and sayings connected with blossom and spring. We made garlands for our heads with blossom and willow.
Male and Female Archetypes
Imagine that you have a King and a Queen archetype in your heart space, what would they say to you?. What would they say to each other?. This is a good time to re-evaluate your relationship with yourself, your friends and family. Sacred water from a local well was available for people to bless themselves where needed.
We went outside into the garden, where luckily the weather was kind to us. A spiral had been laid with felted rope in the grass and little tealights to light the way. In the centre of the spiral was a young maple tree, with it’s variegated leaves just emerging. We took it in turns to drum and rattle each person into the centre of the spiral and out again. Some people walked slowly, some danced and ran!. Each person took his or her own journey. Some had a question for the journey, some held an intention for themselves.
Then, the sun was setting and a sacred fire was lit at the bottom of the garden using the Q’ero tradition. We released what was no longer serving us and welcomed in a light quality in it’s place for the fertility of our future plans and projects. Once we had all worked with the fire and connected with the fire being in the centre, everyone voiced a need to jump over the fire!. The energy was high and bursting with potential at this point. after a time, we all came back together in a circle around the fire holding hands.
At this point, we made a heart meditation and sent healing energy wherever it was needed in the world.
After closing sacred space when the embers had died down, we shared a wonderful array of food together. This kind of event keeps me going for a long time and is a wonderful way of planning the next six weeks for the heart, head and hands.
The earth festivals are a gentle rhythm connected to nature and it’s seasons. They are an organising principle for us humans to set our intentions and let go of what no longer serves us. Why don’t you have a go at creating one yourselves?. I recommend Glennie Kindred’s books wholeheartedly.
May you flow with beauty,
For all our relations.
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)
Pauline Black by Shakeel
It is with great pleasure that I introduce my friend and colleague Pauline Black, a Shamanic Homeopath based in West Sussex. Pauline spends part of her time living in Brittany, which is where we originally met. We are in a shamanic group ‘Earthkeepers’ together, where we meet to celebrate the earth calendar and have a yearly vision quest. An important part of Pauline’s work is with Labyrinths. Here is her story of how she created a portable labyrinth from old french linen sheets.
What’s the purpose of walking a labyrinth?
The first time I ever walked a labyrinth it felt like a deeply enriching experience, like it helped me connect to something bigger than myself. I have since walked them many times in different places in the world and it always feels like a special experience to me. After walking one in Brittany that a friend created, something quite extraordinary happened to me and my life shifted into a different gear. I just think they help to connect you to a greater potential and doors begin to open that were previously closed….
Can you tell me about the deepest experience you’ve had during or after walking a labyrinth?
I was walking a vast stone labyrinth in Brittany, which was based on the Chartres one, with a group of friends and also some complete strangers, as part of a ceremony on full moon. I felt like I had stepped into another dimension and was so completely one with this whole group of people, most of whom I didn’t even know. Love was so present for us all (we discovered in the sharing afterwards) and it just felt completely magical. However, what followed this and surrounded the whole experience was the real magic – dreams I had held for many, many years began to unfold and manifest – it was as if a door had opened and a world of infinite possibilities had opened themselves to me.
What made you decide to create your own Labyrinth?.
The magic continues to this day – so much so that I was determined to create a cloth labyrinth for us to use when we wanted to and to share it with others.
How was the labyrinth was made?
Firstly I brought the idea to our shamanic group Earth Keepers, we met as a group and drew the design onto the linen sheets after Julie Nicol designed the labyrinth n her computer. The separate sheets were then given to different people to embroider/embellish, each were told they could use whatever colours they wished . Finally after several months we all met and sewed all the seams together. So many synchronicities happened along the way to help it come out perfectly at the end but there were a few hiccups, like I sewed my part on the back rather than the front ! . It also took a long time to co-ordinate everyone together, the process was a bit chaotic at one point- like the experience of walking the labyrinth itself.
When was the first time people were able to walk the Labyrinth you created?
It was on the Winter Solstice 2013 at The River of Life Church in Worthing (we needed a large room with a spiritual feel to it, so this lovely Art Deco church was perfect). About 23 people came and walked it in a candle-lit church with Carolyn playing her Tibetan and crystal bowls to accompany the walk. We shared lunch/had refreshments in a separate room so anyone walking it was able to do so in an atmosphere of complete tranquility. Comments received were that it was a very moving and novel experience, like nothing they had experienced before and that it brought them into a place of peace and stillness.
Go to Pauline’s website here for more information about her practice or please contact Ali for her contact details if you would like Earthkeepers to create a Labyrinth in your area . Julie Nicol and Pauline Black also run fantastic Labyrinth workshops, why not give it a go? .
Julie Nicol by Shakeel
Tuesday 20 March was a special day. It was labelled the International day of Unity, with many labyrinths being created all over the world. Earthkeepers created their own shamanic ceremony and labyrinth for those interested on Cissbury Hill. We drummed as the sun went down, a perfect antidote to stressful lives. The banners were made for another purpose , but in fact I realised their real place was amongst the trees to symbolise infinity.
There was an incredible amount of energy in the centre of the labyrinth and a fast flow as you walked around the path into the centre. I almost danced all the way out again!
These photos were taken by Graeme Telford , a local photographer and we planted our seeds for the year yet again.
Walking the Labyrinth on Cissbury Hill
- The oak tree at twilight
I am currently fascinated with labyrinths. A single spiraling path that leads to a central area. You walk the same path back out returning to the beginning. The labyrinth is often referred to as an archetypal image as it emerged in different cultures 4000 years ago and is thought of as a mirror or metaphor for the spiritual journey and the evolutionary spiral of life.
This year I visited Chartres, where there is a 12th century labyrinth in the centre of the cathedral. An immense energy flows right through the centre of a six petal rose, each petal refers to a quality of love needed. Service, surrender, forgiveness, faith, overcoming and abundance. Standing in the centre of this labyrinth is pure bliss, I thoroughly recommend going.
There’s a book by Kathleen Mcgowan which explains the labyrinth and the Magdalene line. It’s called ‘The Source of Miracles, Seven steps to transforming your life through the Lord’s prayer’.
I have also walked the All Saint’s Labyrinth as part of the Brighton Arts festival in May, during a Vision Quest and a shamanic retreat this summer. Each time I walk to the centre it’s timeless and unique. Someone may be drumming or it could be silent, I always make sure I have an intention or question. As I walk to the centre I release and let go of what I no longer need.
At the centre is a place of meditation and prayer, a place to be open, to listen and sense what needs or wants emerge within me or within the issue I’m reflecting upon.
Whilst walking back I crystallise the idea and return renewed and empowered. The return path embodies this new way of being.
There is no right or wrong way to walk the labyrinth, I hope I’ve inspired you to try it !
‘As you start on the way, the way appears’ Rumi