Embracing our Crone wisdom

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Last night I joined in a teleseminar led by Jean Shinoda Bolen, on the Goddess(es) in every woman after 50…. fascinating!

During the event, she talked about the “C” word… yep, Crone! A word many of us are reclaiming, just as many of us are also reclaiming the word witch, both with wise and sacred traditions of knowledge and wisdom.

Bolen spoke about the thirteen qualities that identify a Crone, in a light-hearted way, and the first of the thirteen really captured my heart: Crones Don’t Whine! LOL!

In her book Crones Don’t Whine, Bolen elaborates:

“TO BE A CRONE, you need to let go of what should have been, could have been, might have been. You need to silence the whining in your head that will come out of your mouth next. Whining makes you unable to live in the present, or be good company for anyone—even yourself. Whiners assume they were and are entitled to a different life from the one they have. Whiners do not see that everyone has had a share of the bad things that happen to people. Ungrateful for what they do have, whiners cannot enjoy the present.”

The book, of course, goes into this in much more depth… and defining what whining is (and isn’t).

It got me thinking about when I whine —or drop into Victim mentality, feeling powerless — vs. doing something about it. A powerful reminder!

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In future… I will wine… but not whine!

And I will stand proudly as a Crone !!!

Crone Power!
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sidebar graphics 7If you love working with Mother Earth (known by so many names, such as Gaia, Pachamama, and Danú), following the energies of Grandmother Moon (Seanmháthair Gealach), of the Goddess(es), of Father Sky (Daghda), following the Celtic Wheel of The Year, creating or learning ancestral crafts and herbalism, or follow an earth-based spirituality…. or are interested in learning more about this path, you will find great resources – and the opportunity to ask questions, share rituals, and more – in our NEW private Facebook Group, the Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle.

For more information about the Circle, CLICK HERE

Or, CLICK HERE to join us today on Facebook


WP Sidebar graphics-5Connect to your purpose, your medicine, eliminate self-limiting beliefs, and integrate the new wisdom into your life through this unique you-centered blend of shamanic coaching and journeys, energy healing, Earth Medicine, PSYCH-K® and PER-K® balancing, and six-sensory work. Together we draw on the modalities that best support your journey. Click on the picture for more information or visit our website:  www.innerjourneyevents.com

Divine Imperfection: the Joy of Making Mistakes

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This time last year, I posted Neil Gaiman’s well-known quote about mistakes, and it’s something that still resonates so deeply with me.

If you haven’t heard his quote, here’s the background: On December 31, 2011, Gaiman (one of my favourite writers) posted this thought-provoking New Year’s Wish in his online journal:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

🌟WOW! 🌟

Gaiman’s post shocked some people, angered and confused others. Many folks — me, for one — ❤️loved ❤️ it!

Why?

Because many of life’s most wondrous inventions and changes come from happy accidents and “mistakes”.

Because much of one’s greatest personal growth comes from so-called mistakes.

And because some mistakes are just blessings in disguise (and I know there is a Zen koan about this!!).

Yet some folks are afraid of of failing, of being judged, of being different, of not being perfect, and as a result they may take no risks… they may stay in a safe little bubble. But often the fear of all that is more profound that the actual “mistake”, the actual “failure”.

And that’s okay. I will not judge.  I will hold space for each of us to step into their glorious possibilities.

For me, no. That’s not the life I choose. I say, bring it on! I’ll give this crazy life 100% and if I stumble and fall, I’ll get up and try it again and again until I get it right. Or not! But I’ll try! I accept and embrace my divine imperfection. That’s what makes me human. That’s what gives my life meaning.

Click here to read Gaiman’s post.


sidebar graphics 7If you love working with Mother Earth (known by so many names, such as Gaia, Pachamama, and Danú), following the energies of Grandmother Moon (Seanmháthair Gealach), of the Goddess(es), of Father Sky (Daghda), following the Celtic Wheel of The Year, creating or learning ancestral crafts and herbalism, or follow an earth-based spirituality…. or are interested in learning more about this path, you will find great resources – and the opportunity to ask questions, share rituals, and more – in our NEW private Facebook Group, the Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle.

For more information about the Circle, CLICK HERE

Or, CLICK HERE to join us today on Facebook


WP Sidebar graphics-5Connect to your purpose, your medicine, eliminate self-limiting beliefs, and integrate the new wisdom into your life through this unique you-centered blend of shamanic coaching and journeys, energy healing, Earth Medicine, PSYCH-K® and PER-K® balancing, and six-sensory work. Together we draw on the modalities that best support your journey. Click on the picture for more information or visit our website:  www.innerjourneyevents.com

Making The Darkness Conscious

The journey of spiritual enlightenment is not necessarily a direct or straight line. . . it is more like a spiral, coming back to what may feel like the beginning but with all the knowledge and experience from the journey . . .  you are starting afresh, but with a new view of the world, with your newly acquired wisdom.

The Journey meanders through light and dark, through mountains and valleys of energy, frequently bringing us back to revisit, relearn and re-evaluate. And, although we move consciously towards the light, it is also true that we may walk in darkness at times, trying to understand and learn from the shadows around us and the shadows within us.

And each step — in both light and dark — brings us closer to our goal. Each step peels away the layers of delusion, illusion, filters, and beliefs until we arrive at our Truth, until we begin to know and understand not just our Self but our place in this world, and the Medicine we carry.

This is why I love and embrace shadow work. As we acknowledge and work through the darkness, the light is revealed. This can be the most challenging aspect of our Journey, but also the most transformative.

So when you find yourself revisiting familiar territory, do not despair. Recognize this as an opportunity to dig deeper, to peel away another layer, to use your new wisdom and perspective to find a deeper understanding. .  . or a new way forward.

Embrace and love all parts of your Self.

Learn from them.

Honour them.

Thank them.

Forgive them.

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
― Carl Jung


If you find you need support on your journey, consider working with me to bring those pieces together through a you-centred combination of shamanic journeying, PSYCH-K® balancing and six-sensory work.


sidebar graphics 7If you love working with Mother Earth (known by so many names, such as Gaia, Pachamama, and Danú), following the energies of Grandmother Moon (Seanmháthair Gealach), of the Goddess(es), of Father Sky (Daghda), following the Celtic Wheel of The Year, creating or learning ancestral crafts and herbalism, or follow an earth-based spirituality…. or are interested in learning more about this path, you will find great resources – and the opportunity to ask questions, share rituals, and more – in our NEW private Facebook Group, the Wise Woman Bean Gealach Circle.

For more information about the Circle, CLICK HERE

Or, CLICK HERE to join us today on Facebook

Only Connect!

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Many years ago, I heard a quote from E. M. Forster that so moved me.

“Only Connect!”

And I have lived by that, as I believe that one of the greatest wonders in our world is our ability to connect with others. The full quote from his novel Howard’s End is:

Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect, and the beast and the monk, robbed of the isolation that is life to either, will die.

And then today I read a quote from rabbi-philosopher Martin Buber. I had heard it before and thought “well said”, or something innocuous like that… but today it struck me just how deep and powerful the quote is.

He said,

“When two people relate to each other authentically and humanly, God is the electricity that surges between them.”

Buber refers to God, in this instance, as that was his belief system. I might use the term Spirit… or Universe… or Flow… or Goddess. Some may choose a different word… love, acceptance, beauty. For me, this is not necessarily about religion… but about our innate spirituality.

Students of philosophy will know Buber from his thesis of dialogical existence, the concept of Ich-Du (“I-Thou” or “I-You”) where what is important is the mutual and holistic existence of two beings, and how they can related without any qualification or objectification of one another (thank you Wikipedia for this simple description!).

Buber believed that there were many layers to an Ich-Du relationship…. and one of them was that “an Ich-Du relationship with anything or anyone connects some way with the eternal relationship to God”. (again, my thanks to Wikipedia).

WOW! So in Buber’s view of the world…. connection, friendship, love… all these are spiritual.

And this, I too believe.

This has been a troubling year for many…. terrorism on the rise…. controversial and confusing political outcomes in countries such as the UK and USA…. But, at the root of it all, we are people. We are individuals. We have so many common goals and wishs – a peaceful life, the right to love, to be heard, to be valued, to be in community …

We can choose to live ethically and morally from a place of love, rather than a place of fear… We can choose to connect with others in an open way, unconditionally. We can listen to others, connect with their experiences, rather than judge or condemn.  We can hold sacred space for others.

We can choose to exalt the human experience through love and connection.

So, in the words of E. M. Forster…. Only Connect!

And in the words of Martin Buber, do so authentically and humanly…. there is power in that.

There is spirituality and Spirit in connection, and within you.

Wisdom of the Acorn

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When Nature plants an acorn, it strives to yield its potential — and destiny — as a magnificent oak, its growth tempered only by the amount of sun, rain, and nutrients.

But what of we humans? What other factors may be in play?

Our beliefs — and that of others — can shape who we are, and how we experience the world. Our growth too is tempered by the amount of sun, rain and nutrients we receive… the sun of love and affection, the rain of our confidence and self-worth, the nutrients of healthy relationships.

But when some of those elements are missing, and life become challenging, we still can choose to believe in our Self.

If this happens in your life, choose to believe in your potential, that you are magnificent… empowered…. capable… deserving of love, joy, happiness, success, abundance.

Mahatma Gandhi said it well:

“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I shall have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning.”

So, what do we do with that fear?

This time of the Waning Moon is a very powerful time for releasing what no longer serves us… allowing our authentic empowered self to step up and emerge.

What fears might be at play for you?

What could you gratefully release?

That fear may have once served you, and kept you safe… but maybe now it’s just holding you back and has become a burden.

Question it.

Release it, through a release ritual or with a PSYCH-K balancing session.

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“Fear is your greatest obstacle – so question your fear. If it does not serve your greatest life then do not make it your master.”
– Joy Page

So, be like the Acorn…
fulfill your potential and destiny.


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The beauty of transformation

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I took a walk this morning, curious to see what the Trees had released in last night’s wind and rain storm here in Vancouver. Whenever possible, I collect from windfall rather than collecting directly from the trees… even though I do ask 🌳their permission❤️

It was breezy and so invigorating, walking through the fallen leaves with the smells of autumn all around, and I found a few fallen treasures to add to my Autumn incense.

Each tree is changing, going through its life cycle of growth and change… into its time of rest and renewal… preparing for regrowth and new energy in the Spring. Some trees have turned completely and have lost their leaves, whilst the tops of others are ablaze with colour but with the lower leaves — those closest to the trunk and roots — still retaining their vibrant green.

As each tree experiences its transformation, it celebrates with riotous colour, changing from calm and restful greens to brilliant golds, reds and purples until the branches are once again bare… Just as we too can celebrate our own transformations in Autumn, and release in preparation for the rest of Winter.

Yet not everyone has the same perspective… I see cycles of change and transformation, whilst others see only endings. I remember a conversation last year with a neighbour. As I was basking in the beauty around me and snapping pictures, a neighbour walking her dog stopped beside me and said, “I hate this time of year. All those falling leaves are just death to me!”

What medicine did the plant spirits teach me today? That change can be beautiful, as we go through the threshold of transformation.

How do you feel about Autumn?

And how do you celebrate your transformation?


 

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Animal Allies: Embrace your Dingo!

 

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I love working with my Animal Allies, an important part of my team of Allies which includes life guide(s), spirit messengers, ancestors, crystals, journey guides and so on.

I learn from all the Animal Allies that show up for me… creatures of the land, sea, air, extinct animals, and those of myth and legend. All are powerful. All have medicine for us.

Lynx has been with me for a long time and often guides my journeys into non-ordinary reality. She is a Life Guide for me, what some people might call a Totem Animal. For me, however, that term is more closely aligned with clans and kinship, and the animals of the various Medicine Wheels and zodiacs…. but we can each have our own terminology.

I have other Animal Allies too, and I am often both surprised and intrigued by who shows up in life and in dreams or meditation. Often we get quick doses of wisdom from what many call Animal Messengers: Hummingbird reminding us to be joyful or agile, Spider reminding us to connect with our creativity, Mouse reminding us to look at the small details. Messengers disappear once we have received the Medicine or learned the lesson… although they can reappear when we need to be reminded!

We can also work with the spirits of animals that have passed. Very recently, my childhood cat Ginger showed in a dream with some lovely wisdom and messages. I know many people receive messages for years from their companion animals.

Connect with the wisdom of your Animal Ally

I have participated in many Animal Ally workshops, early on as a participant but most often leading workshops (alone or with co-leaders such as Roz Shakespeare, and Sharron Basanti of The School of Gypsy Arts) so that others can connect with their personal animal allies.

I love that moment of discovery, that moment when people make a connection and start to form a relationship with their Ally.

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When first discovering their Allies, many want “powerful” animals such as Horse, Bear, Lion, Whale, Butterfly or Eagle. Or they hope to “choose” an Ally that is somewhat like them… a gentle deer, a busy beaver, a beautiful songbird.

Few want Stink Bug, Mosquito or Rat!SM 800 x 800-21

But here’s the thing: we do not choose our Allies. They choose us. We can discover our Life Guide Animal Allies (and other allies) through meditation or through a journey to non-ordinary reality, where we connect with them and are accepted by them.

And, of course, some may know intuitively what their Animal Ally is because of messages they have already received.

Myths about Animal Allies

Myth # 1: One Medicine Only
People often believe there is only one type of Medicine for each Animal Ally species, but their wisdom can differ from others in their species as much as we as humans differ from each other. Although, as Maya Angelou says “We are more alike than we are unalike”.

IMG_6460Each Ally carries different Medicine and has its own personality. And each culture may have different insights into the Ally, based on their history or culture and geography. Spider means one thing to me in my Anglo-Irish culture, but something very different to my husband in his Jamaican culture.

Yes, there may be “general” Medicine from Bear or Lynx  or Deer, but it’s important to connect to YOUR specific Bear or Lynx or Deer. Is your Bear male? Female? Young? Well nourished? Ailing? Scarred? Wounded? Mature? Hunting for salmon? Stuck on a lonely ice flow? Polar Bear? Grizzly Bear? Spirit Bear? Yogi Bear? (seriously, that happened in one workshop!)

Myth # 2: Good-Better-Best
I also find it interesting that for many folks — especially when they first start working with Animal Allies — there may be some sort of perceived hierarchy of “good-better-best” Allies in their mind.

But truly, their medicine is equally powerful. We receive the Medicine we need, not the Medicine or Ally that we want or think we need. The power is in how the Medicine can transform our life and our Self, not in how big or small, “good” or “bad” the Ally is.

How we see the Allies may also be a reflection of how we see the world, a powerful indication of shadow work at play.

Animal Allies come to us with Medicine that may be lifelong or may be just for that moment, that crossroad, that experience. And all are equal. Following their Medicine can be life-changing, whether it comes from Elephant or Butterly or Stink Bug.

The Power of the Shadow Animal Ally

There is a very special type of Ally that can also come to us in Animal form: the Shadow Guide. We all have a shadow side, those traits or qualities that we keep out of sight, under the surface of our consciousness, in the dark. The Shadow is often associated with undesirable qualities such as anger, fear, jealousy and other things we don’t like to acknowledge.

But the Shadow can also hold wonderful positive qualities waiting to emerge. By embracing the shadow side of our Self, we can shine light on it and transform/release the negative and allow the positive to bloom.

Raise your awareness for those messages about your Shadow. Do not fear them. Embrace them. They may appear in your dreams, a journey or in real life. I’ve heard some wonderful examples in workshops, such as folks connecting with an Ally in real life but not “getting” the message… and then the Ally getting their attention in a dream by a (painless) bite… the sting of a bee, a spider bite on their heart chakra, a nip from a dog or cat, etc.

When an Animal Ally brings a lesson about our Shadow side to us, it is a powerful opportunity for self-learning and self-development. And in that lovely duality of Yin-Yang, it can carry the Medicine of both Light and Shadow.

Embrace Your Dingo!

I had an experience at a workshop several years ago that both illuminated the “good-better-best” idea of Animal Allies and the power of the Shadow messenger guide.

As we sat in Circle as participants, our workshop leader started with messages for each of us from the Animal Allies she saw around us. This was essentially an icebreaker before we started digging into the main part of the workshop but ended up as a very powerful opportunity for transformation for one participant.

By the way… Seeing Animal Allies is an ability many of us have, including me, and it’s worth exploring as a form of clairvoyance. When I meet new clients, shamans, empaths and intuitives, and lightworkers, I often see the Guides or Allies accompanying them. It can be a great ice-breaker to share messages, with permission, from an Ally folks may not have known they had!

As the workshop leader began to share messages, the woman beside me (who had a very “big” and dominating personality!) leaned toward me and loudly said, “I already know mine will be something very powerful. It must be Bear or Lion. My personal motto is “Hear Me Roar!””

The workshop leader continued to share her insights, eventually coming to the woman beside me and gently said, “Dingo walks with you.”

The woman’s reaction was very strong and totally unexpected. It turned out she was originally from Australia, so was very familiar with that animal. She burst into tears when she heard this.

I am the Dingo“, she said.
“Nobody understands me and nobody likes me.
I scare everyone
.”

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It was a stunning heart-felt moment and insight that allowed her to start acknowledging and exploring her shadow side and start being authentic. The surface bravado (Hear Me Roar!) concealed her deeper fears and her lack of connection to others, her fear of being unloved.

“I am the Dingo”. Knowing that helped her to find a new way to connect that didn’t dominate, overpower or instil fear. She could choose Love over Fear. She could love her Self. She didn’t have to “roar”. She could speak quietly and gently from her heart in future, with assertion rather than intimidation. She didn’t have to worry about being judged as “not good enough” as she reclaimed her confidence. She worked with this insight throughout the workshop, dropping her shields to allow others to see her authentic self and describe her fears.

It was a beautiful and inspiring moment to see her transformation begin.

Each Animal Ally has both the Shadow and the Light within their medicine. Dingo too also has very positive wisdom/medicine. For instance, like Coyote it adapts easily to new environments. It is a messenger with Spirit, a survivor, and carries ancient wisdom. This woman truly was powerful but had to learn to stand in her power authentically. Dingo helped her with both her Light and her Shadow.

What Animal Allies do you connect with?

How have they influenced and guided your journey?


Many of the photographs in this post were used with permission of Sue Ratcliffe Photography, an award-winning and gifted wildlife photographer (and yes, my sister), who has photographed animals that inspire her across Canada, America, France, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Ireland, Tanzania, India, Iceland and likely many other places I haven’t mentioned!

You can follow her work on Facebook at @Sue Ratcliffe Photography and on Red Bubble.

The images of Dingo, Rat Babies, Stink Bug and Mosquito were sourced from Pixabay under a Creative Commons License.


 

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