How Do You Feel When You Look At The Stars?

How does anyone feel when we can see a night sky? Diamond bright pinpoints of light; some older than our own planet, wink and twinkle suspended above us, as we marvel and endeavour to make sense of what and why it is all happening.

That is, if we take time to notice at all.

At the time of my birth, the Plough, or the Great Bear [Ursa Major] was in the Sky. Little Bear following on [Ursa Minor] has since become an inspiration to me for a story of how a Mother and Cub became constellations. It intrigues me as to how any Constellations formed.

Chaos. That was the state of play at the time of the Big Bang; was it not?

It is said the Greeks first looked at the Sky and tracked the ‘wandering lights’ calling them ‘Planets’ they may have in the Western Hemisphere, it is however just as possible that the Mayans were tracking those stars too, even earlier in time. We have less evidence for that since the data on that was destroyed by Conquistadors and the Priesthood sent from Spain to relieve the Natives of their Gold and replace it with something less than was evidently good for them.

We are not the only beings that look to the night skies, the Wolf sings to the Moon, letting the other members of the Pack they are there. The lone Wolf also sings to the Moon and the Stars.

Birds and even Butterflies and Moths, Cetaceans and so many other creatures are mindful of the night skies.

It is only at certain phases of the moon, in certain seasons that the seas become a massive nursery of new life.

How do they know? How do they calculate the right time, the right phase? It’s as if they have an inner clock that is energetically wired to the changes happening around them.

We had that.

We still have that, we just find it hard to find it and release it from the cubby hole of gunk and stuff and technology and stresses. If we bother to look for it at all.

Even though it’s muffled chimes ring on, under it all.

We don’t look up.

We don’t see anything beyond a rectangle of technology, that is our world now.

Shall we one day, instead raise our eyes to the Sky again and wonder at it’s magnificence? Will we still know the mythology of the constellations? Shall we understand the dying light of stars long dead, shines still as it traverses distances that we cannot conceive?

Shall we look up and know that is where we began?

What is it to understand that we are the stuff of Stars? How does that translate to mundane tasks like paying the Taxman, paying rent, paying….and working in order to pay…?

When we dream are we dreaming on beams of Starlight? Is it memory? The being in the deepest of darks, our way lit only by those pin spots, themselves now only the stuff of dreams, since never discovered, never charted we can only see an impression of what and where they were; their existance shown by the beacon of bright energy diminishing as it travels to the ends of the Universe.

How is it, to conceive of that? The magnitude of it all?

How do I feel when I look at the Stars? Humbled, connected, a part of and apart from, small, a speck of dust from one, the only evidence of it’s existance… Powerful that this element is within me. Consciously aware of the knowledge that I am, here, now, a being who is all of this and more.

Purposeful and joyful and sad all at once.

I seek the moon, I seek the Plough, I breathe in the night air, I open my throat and I HOWL ! I celebrate the night Sky I celebrate being. I call upon any with the eyes to see and the ears to hear and the heart to love and the will to walk forward.

Such a feeling is that.

Singing The Song Of The Soul

Bloganuary: Describe Yourself As A Tree

Shamans & Trees

There’s a lot of Folklore and Magick centred around Trees. Faeries live in them and or their roots. Dryads merge with them to hide in plain sight. The Faerie Forest is filled with stories of magical, mystical things

So how do I choose to be as one tree? There is of course that ONE tree – the Tree Of The World Yggdrasil.

Yggdrasil the treewhich stands in the Middle World and whose branches reach out over the 9 realms and is the centre of the Cosmos, holding it all together; in Viking Lore if the tree falls all the realms fall with it.

Trees and creation stories. Trees; they are ubiquitous in the tales of our being. There is tell of a saying about knowing the Shamans of the World, they are the birds who sit on the topmost outer branches of the tree. They share the tree with the other birds but they sit apart, on the highest, outermost, exposed branches. This is a paraphrase and more of my take on what was written. It is true though. There are many of us who are a part of, and still apart from our relative communities.

To be a tree. It is my wish to be a tree. I can do this when I leave this earthly plane. The physical part of me can nourish the roots of a new tree.

I admire the fae-ish Silver Birch, who can be seen shiny-bright under the Moon; standing elegant tall and silent strong.

The chitter chatter of Faeries in the Hawthorn, from the sleepy roots to the bustling branches, there is so much magic in this tree. So much magic that the lone Faerie Thorn is never disturbed for fear of the incumbant Fae taking their revenge.

If you have ever been travelling in Ireland and Scotland and have viewed a lone tree, in a field or on a roundabout, or in the middle of a bypass and thought to yourself, ‘I wonder how that got to be there.’ Then it is possible that what you are looking at is a Faerie Hawthorn Tree.

The mythology around these trees is well known to the older generations, and is being lost as time goes on, however, the legends come back to the fore when roadways, buildings and land purchases are being made and one is found to be somewhere in the picture. The power of the apocryphal stories involving the repurcussions of uprooting these trees is impressive.

The sturdy steadfast Oak. The magical choice of Druid lore and mistletoe. The Seasonal Sentinel of Ancestral knowledge and more. A tree whose age is measured in epochs, whose roots are the anchors of time.

The Mountain Ash AKA the Rowan Tree, a Spiritual Guardian and tool of the Druids, (they did a lot with Trees and have a whole calendar based around them). It’s a resilient little tree and the berries feed the birds long into the late Autumn, those Druids used those berries and the bark to dye ritual clothing black for lunar ceremonies. It’s known in Scotland as a protector against enchantment and Witchcraft. It has mythologies globally. For such an unasuming tree it has a massive place in Cultural history across the World.

The Eucalyptus, the comeback kid, from raging fires this tree returns Phoenix like from the ashes.

There are so many, so many that I could write a book about the relative merits and stories of them all.

Which wood I choose?

In my garden I have Acers, Japanese Maples in pots. One day it is my wish that I have a garden of my own in which they can grow. A peaceful medatative space. I have a deep connection with these trees since I have watched them grow and helped to nurture them along.

That is one thing.

My way of thinking is that when we remember what the Tree is, what they do, and how they are the lungs of the Earth, then we might be more respectful of them. We might be even more respectful when we can think of ourselves as Trees. Connected, communal, beautiful, healing and having a World wide connective root system, so each knows what is happening to another from anywhere in the World. The hosts of Dryads and Elemental beings. The source of the homes we build, the fuel we might use to heat those homes, the fuel on which we might cook the food we eat. They even feed our animals too. They give us shade in the Summertime and protect us from wind and so much more. They are hospitable friends who we have taken for granted for so long.

There is a song by KailashKokopelli , ‘I Am A Walking Tree https://youtu.be/MQwG1vfM4lw and so I am already a Tree – a walking tree.

Shamanically the Tree represents the 3 Worlds, Upper, Middle, and Lower Worlds. These Worlds that we can connect to.

Let’s be Walking Trees together.

Dryad Tree Spirit

A Dream That Became…

A Dream That Became…

The Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet.

When I was about 5 years old, something happened that has had a lasting effect on me.

I was awakened by an unfamiliar voice. It was a gentle voice. It did not however, belong in my house.

I was not afraid, more curious. I have always been just that; curious, and as Alice would say this was indeed, ‘curiouser and curiouser.

I lay, listening for movement, any indication of another person in the room or next door in my Parent’s room.

All was quiet.

I whispered, ‘Mum’ and waited. She had bat like hearing and I can tell you it was impressive; what that woman could hear when we didn’t particularly want it heard, and with only one ear! The other, well she burned that ear drum out with peroxide when she tried to dye her hair as a teenager.  This night however, this night she must have been sleeping with her ‘good ear’ on the pillow, and Dad was snoring. I was alone with the disembodied voice.

As I believe most children of this age do when confronted with situations that are not entirely ‘usual’ and there are no Parental guides; I looked for instances where I knew there would be a ‘how to react’ and I didn’t have one really, so I did what I have done since in these situations. I decided to ‘wing it’!

I sat up in bed, in the dark and I waited. The voice hadn’t seemed at all menacing, it actually sounded like someone does when they are trying to stir one from sleep in the morning. He’d said my name three times in increasing volume and intensity. There was no shouting, just an increase in the volume and that kind of importance factor. The ‘you really have to wake up now’, tone.

As I waited and my eyes adjusted to the dark; it never occurred to me to turn on the bedside lamp, it seemed like it wasn’t really so dark at all. In fact it was quite light really. Then a tiny speck of bright light pierced into my awareness. There at the end of my bed a couple of feet off the floor, something was happening.

The bright thing looked like a tiny square tile, and it was glowing golden yellow. It sort of flipped open like a book and became another tile of light, and another and another. These were not all golden yellow, these others were blues and greens, a mosaic of tiny tiles of light in my room; not just randomly there but coalescing into a form.

As the form took shape there was, I realised more happening, there was sound! No, not the voice that had awakened me, but a tonal sing-song kind of chant and a deep long bass tone. I had never heard such a sound before…then how could it be so familiar?

Being 5 or so, I didn’t dwell. After all there was this truly wonderous sight in front of me sitting, suspended, somehow at the end of my bed. He was beautiful. He was peaceful, he was entrancing.  He was made up of these greeny blue, turquoise tiles and the golden yellow light. He sat legs crossed with something in his left hand and his right was held up as if in greeting. At least that is how it looked to me at the time. He was exotic-bright. He was in my room. I was woken up to see him. I wanted so much to go with him, I remember leaning more and more toward him.

And then he was gone.

From that time onwards, when I was in distress, emotionally, mentally, physically I would have a dream. It was also after the ‘visitation’ that I became fascinated with Tibet and everything about it.

I dreamt that I was with a group of people and we were travelling in Tibet. We found ourselves in the mountains and there was a monastery. We went through these fantastically painted doors and there was a long room, banked up on each side behind rows of butter lamps were monks. Their robes red and orange, their faces serene, they chanted a sing-song chant I remembered. At the end of the room there was a stone dias, upon which a lectern stood. There was a single long window just above and behind the lectern and on the lectern was a great tome of a book.

Each of us in the party took it in turn to ascend to this lectern and as we approached the book a monk appeared from one side with a circlet made of iron. This was placed on our heads as we read a page of the book. As we read the light spilled from the window behind us and illuminated the pages of the book. To me as I waited my turn it looked like they were being bathed in the light. Their faces shone in some otherworldly way.

My turn.

I was suddenly there, at the lectern. The book was the grandest, most unique thing I have ever seen. The binding was what looked like wolf skin, I had my hands there and there was that energy, it was red, from what I could see of the edges, but it was what was written on the pages… before the Monk placed the circlet on my head I could see some kind of language there, it made no sense to me. Once the circlet was on my head, everything changed. The light was so bright, it cold burned my eyes. They were not what I was using to read. There was something else going on. It was indescribable. What I remember is, this was the relating of the journey of my Soul through time. This one set of passages in this book was the story of me. There was the future there also, it was there, I read it.

They took the circlet from my head and I was no longer able to remember the information. It seems the future will unfold as it is written and not to be ‘edited’ by me. Though, I have an idea that there is a way to do it.

I dreamed that dream for years.

Then in January of 2019 I received word of a pension I ‘forgot’ I had. I also saw that my friend and Teacher, a Nepalese Shaman was taking people on pilgramage to Mt Kailash. I immediately knew I was going on that trip.

I was 60 years old. I finally got to Tibet.

I finally saw the butter lamps and heard the chanting and most amazingly I heard the bass tone of the Tibetan Horn the way I remembered it. I had heard it on the film Kundun by Martin Scorsese and recognised it. I had seen one in a shop window on Glastonbury High Street, but when I was in Tibet, so high, the atmosphere, the energy, the knowledge that a whole culture was being quietly and incrementally erased brought that visitation sharply into focus.

I have never dreamed that dream again. It stopped shortly before going to Tibet. The one thing that I brought back with me though, the one thing that made my heart and Soul sing when I found him in the deep dark belly of a shop in Kathmandu… my visitor, with his robes made of shiny turquoise tiles…

my visitor

 

 

A Spectrum of States

Spectrum: Definition: A spectrum is a condition that is not limited to a specific set of values but can vary, without gaps, across a continuum. The word was first used scientifically in optics to describe the rainbow of colours in visible light after passing through a prism. wikipedia

We have many spectrums in life. Two of which for example would be light as stated above and the Spectrum of Autism which is a specific set of variable behaviours across the continuum of ‘perceived normality’.

Consciousness is on a spectrum. We have various levels and states of consciousness. It is known now that we are always in one state or another there is no real, stark awake and aware state; it is all a spectrum consciousness that we move along via oscillating waves.

As with any oscillating wave they are made up of amplitude and frequency modes, our brain waves operate in KHz

Frequency band

Frequency

Brain states

Gamma

>35 Hz

Concentration

Beta

12–35 Hz

Anxiety dominant, active, external attention, relaxed

Alpha

8–12 Hz

Very relaxed, passive attention

Theta

4–8 Hz

Deeply relaxed, inward focused

Delta

0.5–4 Hz

Sleep

Sciencedirect.com

As shown the oscillation frequency changes show different activity in the brain. Gamma: Concentration, problem solving is in the high frequencies however Beta is a myriad of activity and at its peak anxiety dominated; here you would have stage fright or butterflies, paying attention to external stimulus. An example of this might be when we are going somewhere for the first time and we are ‘mapping’ our journey, thinking of the possibility of being lost or late or both, so we make a point of noting places and signs. Once we have been there however we relax more, we are still paying attention but we are comfortable as we recognise the route

Alpha is almost cruise control, here you will find the sometimes elusive ‘zone’ this is the state of being in flow. A resourceful state for creativity, a space of deep knowing and being at the same time. Connection. So connected are we in this state that we can do some insightful work seemingly without effort. We are calm, Zen like and we are at a peak learning capacity as we passively absorb information.

Theta; this is the state of being both inside and outside of the recognised trance state. Here we are almost but not quite in sleep mode, we drift just above the Delta wave and here we have some very interesting things that can happen. Meditative, entranced, deeply relaxed we can be inwardly focussed.

The saying that ‘where the mind goes the energy flows’ is absolutely correct, even physiologically speaking. While dominating the activity of the brain there are brief burst of activity known as ‘sleep spindles’. A peppering of these higher frequency bursts of brain waves may be important for learning and memory (Fogel & Smith 2011; Poe, Walsh, & Bjorness, 2010)

It is this oscillation amplitude and frequency that is the focus of Binaural Beats. This idea of stimulating and accessing the Theta state is not new; our Ancestors were doing it from very early times and still today using a percussive sound wave for example a drum, rattle, a Didgeridoo. Though the didgeridoo is a wind instrument it has a percussive wave that will ‘hit’ some people (as will the drum) reverberating through the chest cavity.

The people who knew how to make this happen an epoch or so ago, they were Shamans. The word comes from the Tunguska/Evenki people of Siberia and my favourite explanation of it is ‘the one with eyes to see in the dark’. The Dark; those recesses in the mind that are as the depths of Oceans. Today we can access those deep recesses and take a peek behind the curtain.

The rhythmic element is key to attuning the brainwaves to the external soundwaves. In order to reach Theta, the beats of a drum or shake of the rattle has to emulate the natural oscillation of our brainwaves. There is also of course the modern equivalent, Binaural Beats. These are an external dial if you like, that we can operate to change our brainwaves and allow us to access Theta at will.

In this state we have what might be linked to lucid dreaming. It’s called an ecstatic state from the Greek ‘Ekstasis’ which of course is the root of the word ecstasy, and means ‘to stand outside or to transcend oneself’.

Within this particular oscillation is another state, an accessible state; a state which in and of itself provides a rich and deeply resourceful cornucopia of connection to collective consciousness. This is the state that Einstein could well have been accessing when he ‘dreamed his theory of relativity’. It is known that he would purposefully access a different state within which he would allow his thoughts to coalesce, settle and to become clear.

The high frequency sleep spindles firing off as active waves inside the Theta wave could well be the dendrites sparking information at the synapses at deeper levels, which I would posit would be a split second of inspirational information.

We also know this as an altered state of being. As is Delta – sleep, more levels, spectrums within spectrums of consciousness. Here we dream, and then we go to the deepest state of sleep and we lose all awareness, or at least most of ourselves do. One part of us is all ways conscious. This part keeps us breathing among many other things.

Writers and other creative people are often asked how they come up with their ideas, the concepts of their work. Some will say it just happened, others may say they dreamt it, a few like Aldous Huxley seek the state of being where it comes from; some have utilised hallucinogenic drugs to do so, either not having knowledge of or caring to use the natural way.

All were looking, seeking through the spectrum of states for the ultimate connection. As a Hypnotherapist I see and experience these states and help others to induce them in themselves to heal.

By utilising those ancient techniques, I also help people access the Theta state; where they can find inspirations, answers, resources and relaxation. A Shamanic trance state is a natural state we all have the ability to find; maddeningly it can be quicksilver in its way. We have to record the information Dreams disappear from our awareness with the morning light, melting like fog in the Sun.

However when we know how to access our states of awareness and to actively find within them that which we seek. That is a prize beyond measure.

Dreams are there. Dreams are a necessary part of our wellbeing. The capability of accessing states of relaxation and getting into that zone purposefully… ask yourself, what could you do to make your life better by being able to do that?

There are upcoming taster events for beginners and the more experienced journeyers. These tasters lead into a series of monthly Circles to deepen your practice if you wish.

See Facebook pagehttps://www.facebook.com/shamanismscotland for more information and updates

 

Good things come to those who wait

Happy New Year!

It’s 2022, how did that happen? I suppose that there are many of us with the same thought… or not…

Time is something that is its own animal to a certain extent. We get busy focussing on one thing and it just goes… it flies.. it runs away with us.

Are You Ready?

At this point in Time, we can sit back on our haunches for a bit and wait.

Wait for what?

Well we can wait and watch the passing of time; or we can be using that space to really get to grips with the idea that we might have something to say, something to do, something to be, that we hadn’t really explored before.

This is January: the month dedicated to the Roman God Janus. The main blog for this WordPress site is The Janus Paradigm. This is all about space time. A pattern or model of situations and/or behaviours. There is much to be said about Janus as he is the God of doorways… a gatekeeper if you like. Think about it – from December to January, we have decided that this is our ‘page break’ our ‘new paragraph’ of the blog of our lives. We all have agreed, somehow somewhere to let old Pope Gregory rub out Pope Julien’s work and do some revisions (not entirely all, there are some places who still follow the Julien Calendar and their New Year is yet to come). It’s all about the Romans too; the months being named after them, Gods and Caesars.

Janus, the doorkeep

Janus, the two headed God, he can see the past and he looks forward to the future. He is also the God of Marriages and Contracts. He is the God of new beginnings. The story goes that he was present at the beginning of the world and he is the God of Gates. He is the one who has access to Heaven and the other Gods.

For today; be in the picture above, stand in that doorway, side on. Take this opportunity, before the door closes, to look where you have been. See it for what it was; the good, the bad, the indifferent. The useful the totally unecessary and choose something that you want to take with you into that bright unblemished future, that place just across the threshold.

To help make up your mind as you sit on your haunches contemplating this meditation; take that sneak peek into the future. Take a good look at what is beyond that door. As much of it as you can see that is. Of course we only get to catch a glimpse; a glimpse should be enough because beyond that door we have the choice to either continue walking our old talk; carrying all that old stuff around with us like Jacob Marley, or we get to choose to close the door on all of that and take forward only that which will serve us to be better at being ourselves.

Janus is there, for 31 days; enough time to allow you to make a plan and then make a contract with yourself and Janus of course.

This is a magical time. It is a time of change. A time of Growth. Two heads are definitely better than one now.

courtesy of cartoonstock Janus

Have a great New Year

New Course Coming!

Talking Sticks and a bag to carry them in…

These designs are based on dot work.
Spirited and worked on in a state of trance, the images and designs flow when the maker is in flow.

In an earlier blog on Talking Sticks, it was explained how it came to be that I began to make them. Each one is unique and we have some for sale too, mainly from the first picture.

To make your own though, now that is something else entirely. There are many ways to make them, you can of course go out find a stick in the woods and decorate it with some twine, some beads and a bit of fur if that is what you feel like doing. It will be fit for purpose as it is chosen for that purpose, and in a way it reveals itself to the person when it wants to be so used.

Then there is the way of connecting with the energy of the stick that you find, (and if you don’t want to wait for a piece you have seasoned yourself, you can go to a craft shop or online and you can get some all ready to decorate). I am in the way of believing that the right stick will find you.

It is then a case of understanding the Spirit of the stick and the energy that will come from working with that Spirit. You may be very surprised and not just a little bit delighted at what can come from this endeavour.

Even the mistakes, or should I say, perceived mistakes can be beautiful.

The new course will have pdf. downloads attached to it for more in depth (not too much though) information on Talking Sticks and their uses in modern society as well as their historical importance. It is a way of being totally ‘in time’ as your hands are busy and your conscious mind takes a bit of a back seat while you and the Spirit of the stick sit in congress. An experience in deep connection, farther even than mindfulness, I would say. For myself I find it so deeply satisfying, surprising and humbling: I cannot think of a better way to honour a fallen branch. Indeed, I cannot think of a better way to connect to Spirit. It is well known that the Art and Craft of making these tools and others like them for Spiritual work is deep and so very powerful. Shamans have been known for ‘smythies’ transfiguration and transmutation of so many things physical and non physical.

The great thing is to experience the moments. To be in complete concert with the object and your energy, remember this, your energy while you do this will become one with the item. A stick, a bone, a stone, a cloth, a lenght of thread or wool. What you put into it will manifest itself in what you put on it, the energies of both will become mingled.

This is how magic is made. This is how touchstones and lucky bits and bobs have power. It is infused into them, any that they hold in themselves is then magnified.

So when you go to work on something check your emotions and purposefully infuse positive and wonderful things into your chosen material.