Monthly Archives: December 2016

Snake Wisdom -The Digestion of Old Self

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To my inner Snake, my temptress, my healer my guide…

One of the oldest mystical symbols is that of a snake or dragon devouring its own tail, it is known as Ouroboros. I have been magnetically drawn to this symbol for many years, intrigued by the messages within it. It symbolises Infinity, the Cycle in Nature,  Death and Rebirth. It points to Wholeness, Completion and Transformation. For me, it also symbolises the ability of our Larger Selves to fully digest and absorb our Little Selves. By “little” I do not infer any meaning of unworthiness or failing, rather the Self that our childhood, schooling, culture etc tells us we are. Proto-Self, before Metamorphosis.

Some heady/mind based spiritual teachings may call this  “death of Ego” and Conscious Awakening. I prefer to walk the more juicy, curvaceous body-based spirit path…and when I say digestion I do actually mean physical and energetic digestion of Old Self. Caterpillar Self enters the Soul Cocoon and emerges Butterfly Self.

Anyway, how did I first come to experience this digestive process? It was 2012 and I was taking some baby steps on my path: learning about meditation, developing an interest in shamanism and healing. Sat at my desk one day, gazing into space, I felt the jolt of a “Serious Soul Message!” One of those out of the blue longings which suddenly takes over your world…. I had to go to Peru!  Six months later I was in the Andes, growing organic vegetables, dancing, singing and blown away by the beauty of life.  What I didn’t yet know was that my Soul had lined me up for more…it had put me directly on a trajectory to begin my digestion!

Five months into my trip I decided to take part in a series of Ayahausca plant medicine ceremonies. Until now, I was a very cautious and sensible person, fearing the unknown and trying very hard to not lose control. Yet something deep inside was stirring, asking to wake up and I swallowed the thick, bitter medicine and lay down…praying that I wouldn’t die or worse, vomit all over myself. After a while of trying extremely hard to stay “normal” a new feeling came , a feeling of complete acceptance and excitement in what was coming next…

I felt a surge of life intelligence fill my body, a Plant Being begin her healing on me. This other being, a far wiser, knowledgeable and capable being than myself had taken over the controls of my operating system. I just had to to lie back and let her work. Something in me trusted her, something I did not understand then, was ready for her healing…and I surrendered. Then four hours of shaking and digesting began. My whole body shook violently for 4 hours, not a random shaking but a rhythmical, spiraling shaking, undulating, conscious, the contractions of life…the shaking of kundalini awakening. My muscles were rhythmically pulsating, breathing out bubbles of old self, her work was truly amazing to witness.

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During my four hours of serpentine digestion I let go of so much. So much that did not belong to me. The clearing of old self was brutally rigorous and equally loving in its completeness.Imagine 10 years of psychotherapy in 4 hours! Such changes, I was to find, take many years of integration.The day after such a huge transformation it is hard to know how to fit this into a normal sense of self. I remember folding my washing, hoping not to be too obvious I had felt Goddess move through me. My ceremony group felt distant, and I heard them crying. Maybe I had experienced too much, but it was my experience so I looked deeper within for answers.And that was my Path.

Kundalini, the serpent energy. The snake within us all. The helical pattern of our DNA hints at her power, but to feel it is something else. A primordial energy rich in cosmic juice! Snake energy is very real and very powerful and one day it will find you and transform you. You may invite it in or it may take you very much by surprise. You can fight it, fear it, try to control it…and yet is keeps on transforming you, shaping you into who you really are. I can promise, you are part snake…let its slippery undulations unravel who you truly are.

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Love Clare x x x

 

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My Isolation from Humanity

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To the bewildered orphans in us, who takes refuge in the Forest.

The origins of my love and connection with Nature lie in my greatest struggle and most vulnerable wounding…my powerful feeling of disconnection from humans, even my own humanity.

Something was fundamentally flawed in my primary bonding to my mother and father. Not a fault of anyone, but a conclusion of two emotionally damaged people bringing life into the world, perhaps to try to fix their pain. A common story of humanity I guess, and as a consequence, all other relationships become meaningless, transient and unfulfilling. Without a foundation of trust and safety held in my cognitive memory, I “played the human game” but felt nothing…except self-hatred and isolation. I played the game in the most twisted way I could to meet my emptiness. I used my sexuality to manipulate and hurt. I abused my body with food, alcohol and self-abandoning behaviours. I have spent night after night alone, downing bottles of wine, texting men for attention and days spent in deep guilt, attempting to fix myself from my hideous mistakes.

One day I looked in the mirror…hungover and full of shame I asked for help. I begged the parts of me in pain to speak out. Why would I do that? Desperation, of course. A wish to be heard, oh yes! When you have cut off from other humans, you having nothing to face but your own reflection. I started a dialogue with my most damaged Self, a dialogue which was led to many terrifying and beautiful experiences.

I discovered a part of me who did not know I was Human. A part so lost in time, and without a body to attach to, a part so in pain of being alone and abandoned. This part of me asked to come home ..and I wept in grief and love for this reconnection. This part had often come to me in dreams as an alien or monster..wanting to be seen and I finally saw what was there.

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I discovered a part of me that knew I was whole. A part so defiant in her love for me, I was humbled by her beauty. She showed me all my wounds were perfection. My deep isolation and fear were my Path. My fear of humanity had given me my greatest gifts…and my greatest obstacles. Yes, I am completely terrified of asking for help from other humans, so absolutely terrified, it keeps me frozen. I write these words hoping in some way for a sign from humanity…a sign I am accepted. My longing…my deepest vulnerability.

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I am still prone to long periods of isolation and fear of humans…that is my deepest struggle and my biggest gift. Through my basic human need for connection, I found addiction and bonded with substances which gave me the illusion of love. I have found Nature, and bonded with her, hoping she would rescue me from my addictions. I have known so much love from humans, at a level I could not imagine possible…and sometimes I trust enough to let it touch me. I know in my heart the pain of isolation from humanity, and I trust it brings all of us home.

Love Clare x x x

 

 

The Dark Earth – teachings from the Yew Tree

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Standing below the yew tree I am humbled by her timeless presence. She has deep love for me and equally I feel completely insignificant, tiny in her world. Surely my life means something? I have felt so much pain and joy in my 38 years on Earth, I know things and I suffered such pain. She hears me and also ignores me…a life so small…her wisdom is In Greater Things.

Fossil records show the Yew Tree has been living on Earth since the Jurassic Era, 140,000,000 years ago.  Ancient oracles say Yew was with Earth at her origin…before the Sun was centre of our galaxy, 4.5 billion years ago. When the dark star Saturn ruled the galaxy we know today.

It was an endless unfolding of dark, a void, a womb, which created Life. It was Our Beginning. Not a “big bang”, but a slow and beautiful awakening of Life. The Dark Feminine has a slow burn….creating and releasing energy from digesting and composting a dark star for eons…

Can you imagine our solar system revolving around Saturn…dark and timelessness. This is how is was before Chronos the Sun accepted his duty as time-keeper of our world. During this Dark Timeless state Mother Earth knew herself as Complete. She was busy creating life without light…singled celled bacteria, fungi and yew trees. Dark Beings, red mushrooms, bacteria that live deep in our insides, anaerobic organisms existing without oxygen and creatures that only come awake at night. Their deep red juices can draw nutrients without light. Energy without light.

Photosynthesis is a very recent invention, 3.2 billion years ago! Using sunlight to make energy is the basis of our human experience, but what came before?  We can only dream about those 1.3 billion years that plants and trees ruled the Earth. They hold in their DNA the codes to teach us.

Yew Trees can connect us to this Ancient Way of Life. They know this period of Dark Earth…and are willing to teach…if we can listen. I am willing to listen and adapt myself on a cellular level. When I stand under a Yew Tree I know eternity. I know myself as a simple Earth Being, tiny in the scheme of things…willing to learn from her Greatness. x x x

 

The Watcher, The Owl Soul

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A wise person once told me that our soul communicates to us through images and symbols rather than words. Often those messages can go unnoticed over decades, but they are there, sometimes appearing as an animal or other being in Nature, a reoccurring theme that follows us through life. Were you drawn to an animal or plant as a child? Has an image from Nature been present throughout your life, in ways that make you feel safe or even unsettled?

Much as been written regarding animal guides in shamanic texts, as keepers of wisdom and companions to assist us on our journey through life. In many cultures and traditions where Nature-focused views are maintained (rather than ego or human-focus) animal guides are invited into ceremony such as vision quests and healing rituals to aid the shaman or seeker and provide guidance.

I have found this to be true and valuable, and also sense that animals can present themselves to us as aspects of our Larger Soul Identity. Parts of us that we have not acknowledged, skills we have yet to embody…the soul can alert us to these gifts via animal form.

The Owl has been an ever-present and comforting symbol in my life. As a baby I slept with an owl toy in my cot. I was picked out from the class to touch a glorious Eagle Owl when a handler visited our school (despite serious competition from far louder and confident children) As an adult, everywhere I have traveled, owls have been there…maybe I feel so called to live in the forest as I hear owls every night?

For many years I felt Owl-Presence as an external thing…they were there to bring me comfort and guidance, but I did not identify with them, I did not see them integral to the Whole Me.

And so Owl messages kept on coming and getting louder in voice and impact (the soul is rather determined I find)  I dream of looking in the mirror and seeing an owl looking back. A playful chat with friends on what animal you look like…I looked like an owl! During a women’s group a soul sister looks deeply into my eyes and says…”you are an owl, in the forest, huge eyes seeing from the the outside of life, looking in…”

The last experience totally floored me…I felt a huge wave of joy and also grief at Being Seen.  A beautiful person, who I let myself be completely vulnerable with, had seen inside my soul. Deep gratitude to Jennifer.

And after being fully seen like that, I can never go back to simply existing (although at times it seems tempting). I am falling in love with the huge owl eyes of my soul. They are Watching the Dark Night Unfold. These owl eyes of mine hold me on the outside of life…looking in. And now so much of my struggle make sense….

May your soul speak to you loudly and show you your true beauty.

x x x

 

 

 

 

How The Forest Warms Me

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My home in the forest over the cold winter months has brought me into deep gratitude of the importance of wood. Finding it, collecting it, sorting it, nurturing it, celebrating it and burning it…these are daily tasks. I am living, surrounded by trees, kept warm by their gifts. The forest’s beauty when I wake, surrounded by a golden glow at sunrise. During the day I move seasoned wood into the store, sorting through little blocks to use in my burner. I love the time I spend in the Earth Lodge, an earth and wood roundhouse which we care for by protecting her with oils applied by candlelight. In ceremony she protects us with deep holding, a womb like space which feels ancient, almost timeless.There was a time when we lived like this, quite naturally and felt very much at peace.

By 4pm the sun is setting, the pink winter sky turns to blue and frost sparkles. There is an amber glow as the sun sets through the forest, reflecting from the bracken and beech trees. It is so peaceful here, like the trees slow down time. Reminds me to go speak to an ancient yew tree tomorrow. My soul needs warmth too, ancient wisdom and guidance from the Yew. Back at my home my body is heated through from walking, carrying wood and sawing up pieces for my little burner in my caravan, I welcome the frosty chill and feel happy I have enough wood to keep me warm tonight. I light kindling and hope it burns well, the forest has kept me warm….