Fragments Blown Through Death’s Door

…….stepping into the light Matais sniffed the air. He squinted as the late autumn sun sent arrows of light glancing from behind the darkening trees. The ‘copter carrying the chief to the hospital in the Bay had long disappeared behind the treeline, leaving a natural quiet to settle on the land. Matais felt his body relax. The valley around him was filling with shadows, the dark time would soon be with them. He  closed his eyes and listened. Distant crows were calling, deepening his sense of familiarity with this place. An image rose up in his mind of the valley around him at Frozen River. It was as if he was seeing with his eyes open, only, in his vision this was the Frozen River that had belonged to his ancestors, long before the Europeans came – where the small cluster of buildings now stood he saw a wide sweeping valley with the river meandering through its center, dense conifer forests covering the gentley sloping hills to either side. Everything shone with an untarnished beauty.

Matais felt re-assured by the vision and the crow’s calls. Their ragged edged commentaries cut through to the heart of the moment, reminding him of how it had once been. His ancestor’s memories were interwoven with the natural law of this place. He knew that the land was still strong, that its wild spirit would once again rise and reclaim Frozen River. At least, with a little help from certain quarters, that might yet become a reality. But, there was something else, something at odds with this deeper sense and, as he looked more deeply, Matais also began to feel a subtle change in the air. Signs were that a shift had already begun and Matais knew he was not the only one who had noticed the change in the wind.

The old man had been right…….

…….standing outside his cabin deep in the foothills to the north Shadow Crow let the light of the setting sun filter through his half closed eyelids and stilled his mind. In his left hand a small twist of Juniper sent a thin wisp of smoke skywards, slowly dissolving into the air as it spiralled above the old man’s head.

Although to his mind the change in atmosphere was becoming tangible, he was waiting for a sign. At that moment a pair of forest Ravens sent a rasping wooden cry out as they sailed over the cabin and disappeared into the tree canopy. Shadow Crow felt a ripple run down his spine and turned to look down the track. He would be expecting visitors, and very soon……

Matais went straight to the old man, but, when he got there he found someone else waiting for him……an unexpected ‘face from the past’.


It was always an understanding that death could be just as much of an ally as an enemy to the living, but, in the indigenous way, a person would use the path of the latter to gain an understanding of the former. The understanding that arose from this was that, when death finally came to tap you on the shoulder, not only would you be prepared for the encounter, but, would have the sum total of one’s life force bound up like a coiled spring waiting for this moment to release itself in a magnificent manner appropriate to the full power and mystery that is the human spirit. It was the moment of ones Last Dance in this life, the dance in which that spring, which contained all the life experiences, and the energies gained from them that had strengthened ones life, would unwind with austere and dignified power and beauty. Death would have no choice but to wait and watch, this would be the agreement, and it contained an unspoken but mutual respect.

Crow had seen many go into the stillness, but, not all had been able to let the energy of their accumulated time here spin their spirit in the spiral of life’s Last Dance. Some, far too  many in recent times, had been cruelly snatched from life, hooked by the barbed intent of fate, and by the violence of others. But, now, something else was stalking the living, unseen and predatory, its calling card a kind of madness, a cancer of the mind and spirit. Maybe it had been there all along, for those who had eyes and ears for it, but, the forest was dying and, unseen, a subtle presence  was stalking life throughout the land. It had already begun.

Crow knew that the bodies that had recently been found out in the freezing snow were testimony to the increasing presence of this new threat in their midst. But, this was not simply a matter of death. Even though both Matias and Shadow Crow knew the bodies had belonged to Qoys, they were outsiders to the community. But, it takes a Qoy to know a Qoy and it was the fact that they were all Qoys that proved the point. Qoys almost always came back alive, that was their medicine. No, there was another power besides death at work here, one with an unexpected sense of purpose, and timing.

It was Crow’s way to see that the dead were honoured and he had unerringly made prayers for those of his friends who had met with violent ends. But, the Qoys made this a complex matter. The mystery surrounding these new mortalities required  much deeper vigilance. He knew they would need all the help they could get in their journey beyond.

For many years Crow had followed the old understanding in relation to those who suffered violent and unexpected ends – for those whose life was taken unexpectedly or suddenly the last dance would take place beyond the boundaries between this world and the next, within the borderlands of the ancestral realms, and, unless the dancer was endowed with a rare and special quality, the question of how to approach death would include no options beyond that moment. There was no return once that place had been reached.

Yet, there was one thing that humans could garner in life that would make the difference. While the impetus of the journey in such cases would be against the dancer and only a magnificent dance might produce a temporary reversal of time’s flow, an opportunistic un-weaving of the thread with which all things were bound to each other could in fact release the dancer into that most sacred of capacities, choice. Few now knew how such opportunism was fostered ~ nevertheless, such had not been lost on Crow.

Choice.

Old Shadow Crow knew how much had been lost of just what that simple looking word truly signified. In keeping with the balances and protocols that surrounded so many natural powers, choice hid its own true nature. As a power that was waiting to be claimed it was less a matter of reason, intelligence and decision, than of spirit, whether or not it was claimed. That special quality of spirit was naturally endowed in some, and became the life’s pursuit of others. In the ‘naturals’ it could also develop, evolve and grow and, if it was allowed or encouraged to do so, could eventually take the form of ‘complete independance of spirit’. Those in whom it was naturally endowed in this way were known as Qoyanisqat, ‘backward walkers’, or ‘Qoys’ for short. They were always life’s artists and natural dancers, but, when their power of choice was fully developed, it gave them the upper hand against death itself……while, by virtue of their dual nature all humans enjoyed excercising something akin to ‘choice’ the Qoys could survive the journey beyond the boundaries of their lives, return intact, and at the very pinnacle of their powers, take their body with them. Their inner split became their gift, the ultimate choice.

Shadow Crow was one of those few who had been, since very early in life, in the almost constant presence of Qoys within his community, mostly by virtue of the fact that he was born into a family of them. He himself was anomalous amongst them – although he was a natural Qoy he had aquired the powers of another line, the Skin Walkers, as they were known. It was a term that had given rise to much superstition and misunderstanding.

The Qoys and the Skin Walkers. There was a connection between these two medicines, a common ground of spiritual mutability. The differences however gave an unusual edge to the relationship between the two paths. While the Qoys had seemingly been given the power to slip in and out of life, to even cheat death, the Skin Walkers were in no way tied to the body they were born with. Qoys were the indigenous quantum magicians of the human world, known for their ability to appear in two places at the same time, bi-location, or to not be seen at all. By contrast, the Skin Walkers could shift shape and appear as something, or someone, other. This was an expression of their relationship with the powers and beings of the natural world that, while it gave them great freedom, was an ability which brought with it much misunderstanding and mistrust. Nevertheless, in both lines there was a mutual bond that was based upon a simple truth – they both had something the other could make great use of, or desired, depending on one’s prediliction for power.

If born into either of these paths that individual’s life could be spent in pursuit of the knowledge and abilities of the other ~ it was a path that could bring complete freedom, but, it also carried great risks. This was a recognised choice for the naturally endowed of both medicine paths, one that might well benefit the support of a mentor who had themselves made that choice and followed that path, and Shadow Crow had mentored many, with good reason.

For many amongst those who made such a choice, either way and no matter what their natural bent, this meant a life in pursuit of the Qoy’s ‘independence of spirit’. For this reason Qoy’s were both predated upon and, when the medicine was turned around, could take on the appearance, at least to the innocent living, of the predator. But, appearances can be deceptive – there was much more to it than that……

For naturally endowed Skin Walkers the choice was felt, curiously, to be less urgent and many natural Skin Walkers simply lived life as any other person might, especially in these times. And yet, while appearing curiously confident in themselves to the outside, they would also feel strangely detached from themselves inwardly. It was this sense of detachment that the Qoys most sought to develop within themselves, but, for them the difference was that they would do so with full consciousness. One who dedicated their life in such a manner lived a kind of paradox – they were both fully awake to their abilities and yet also completely independent of them. They had choice, and this was the kind of choice that made all the difference, both when death came a-knocking and in the time they were alotted while alive. Great things could be done with such a choice and, given such empowerment, a person not only became endowed with power that set them apart from the rest, they could put those powers to work within and for the community – such people became known as ‘warriors of spirit’, medicine people of high repute.

This had been Shadow Crow’s crowning achievement and, with it, while outwardly keeping himself quietly to himself within the larger community, inwardly he had dedicated his life to the well-being of the entire community at Frozen River and beyond. He was the finest exemplar of the heights capable in one who combined the medicines of both the Skin Walker and the Qoyanisqat in one lifetime’s journey.

There was only one path that gave as great a power, that of the natural Skin Walker who aquired the powers of the Qoy. In this path there were no guarantees, and the path could just as easily lead a person in the opposite direction, towards all-out self interest and, in some cases a dangerous hunger for power. Such was the path chosen by Shadow Crow’s visitor.

His name – Roy Silver Tree.

What marked Silver Tree’s attitude to the path he had chosen was the strength of his sense of detachment from the medicine itself. Not only was he not in the least interested in other’s views about him or how he used his powers, but, he appeared to act with complete impunity. What made him dangerous however, at least to outward appearances in the eyes of many, was an apparent indifference to those powers themselves. To the untrained and unfamiliar eye there was something all too throw-away about it all that had made him appear arrogant and lacking in moral or ethical awareness – he just didn’t seem to care, but, this could not  have been farther from the truth.

Truth was, Roy had become the victim of other peoples ignorance and fears, which had stigmatised his existance since the death of Charlotte Rivers. For nearly half a century her mysterious death had been treated as murder and, even though the case had remained unsolved, Roy was the prime suspect, at least in the eyes of the feds. Charlotte Rivers had been a warrior of spirit, but Roy knew all too well how his innocence in relation to her death was now buried beneath layers of prejudice and bias that had come with the outright suspicion that both he and his sister Mojique were the guilty parties. They had been forced into hiding, being the perfect suspects, mainly because they knew that they had no way of proving their innocence, but, also because they knew that standing ground and proclaiming innocence afforded them no protection, especially in the face of federal law.

Shadow Crow knew this too and had discussed it with Matais only recently, shortly before the chief’s visit infact, which made Matais trust Shadow Crow’s intuition in handling the cop deepen. But, then, Shadow Crow apparently also knew who the killer was, and this crucial fact he was keeping to himself.

After so many years out on a limb, Roy knew that with this new round of Qoy bodies turning up and this new cop on the block, ‘the chief’, subsequently beginning to poke his nose into the unsettled business of the past, he had to set the records straight. He had to see Shadow Crow, if nothing else to try and find out who had infact killed Charlotte Rivers and where old Crow stood on all this, for, even after all this time, both Roy and Mojique were just as much in the dark as virtually everyone else and that, perhaps more than any other thing, made them all the more vulnerable. Only through a meeting with him would Roy Silver Tree be able to get Shadow Crow’s help and, hopefully, clear up this matter once and for all. More than that, he had to take precautions as he was anticipating the chief being dangerous, beyond the scope of his ‘official’ investigations, and Roy and his sister already had it hard enough. So, it came as something of a surprise to him to find out that the chief had been flown out to the hospital in the bay only the day before, after a suspected heart attack – “yeah, right” he’d thought to himself when he’d heard the news. As if an unseen hand were at work, miraculously and perhaps for Roy very luckily, their paths had swapped locations simultaneously. Strange how these things happened…..

When Matais found Silver Tree sitting in the exact same seat that the chief had occupied just 48 hours earlier, seemingly perfectly at home with Shadow Crow, it was as though a ghost had materialised…..and, for all the years that Roy and his sister had kept themselves off radar, it might just as well have been true.

Silver Tree was not what Matais had expected either. To look at him you would never have guessed his years – he was tall, lithe and surprisingly muscular. Also, unlike Shadow Crow, who had a full head of fine long grey hair pulled back into a tight braid, Roy’s hair was thick, cropped and peppery, neatly framing a deeply creased but remarkably smooth skinned and tanned hawk-like face in which two jet black eyes sparkled with obsidian intensity. He looked strangely alien. And, you instantly knew that nothing would escape that gaze. Roys voice however was a complete surprise – his quiet spoken delivery was softened even further by a slight rasp, giving him a rangy drawling quality that helped obscure a dangerously savvy intellect. Matais was instantly intrigued.

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Shadow Crow made the introductions and, as was his custom in Crow’s house, Matais offered to make fresh coffee while the two old timers continued their conversation. Matais liked to look out for the old Crow, but, these two obviously had found a common understanding and seemed to be comfortable with each others company, which made Matais suspect that important matters had already been covered, and he had an idea of what they might be. More than anything else in that initial moment Matais simply needed to cover his genuine surprise at Silver Tree’s sudden appearance. When he returned with the coffee he was curious to know just what had motivated Silver Tree to come out of hiding. He knew better than to ask him straight out, but, he didn’t need to; Shadow Crow came straight to the point.

“Roy has decided to break cover, at least amongst those he feels he can trust.”

Shadow Crow let the words sink in; whether it was true or not, the implication was that he had always been a party to Silver Tree’s hiding, made it sound like an acknowledged tactic, a complicity, and this was compounded with ‘those he feels he can trust’, meaning……

Silver Tree cut across Matais thoughts:

“…..and I’ve known you both, at least from a distance, for many years, so, I’m counting you in Matais….providing you want in?”

Matais looked from one man to the other – it sounded like a challenge. Both Shadow Crow and Silver Tree held his gaze implaccably. Matais took this as a confirmation of an agreement already reached between the two. There was no reason to say ‘no’. After a couple of seconds, pausing to take in the faces of the two old timers, he gave a nod – both Shadow Crow and Silver Tree breathed out with a smile.

“Huh! Your a cool customer eh Matais?” Silver Tree exclaimed sitting up and looking Matais over as if he had just been out played by him. He slapped his thighs with both hands and stood up in one swift movement – Matais leaned away involuntarily; this man was agile, confident and not to be messed with, and, as his comment hinted, he knew very well how to get the upper hand…but, Silver Tree looked with kindness at Matais and nodded….

“….yip, you sure are…..”

…….and this time Matais felt that Silver Tree meant it, in fact, he was paying him a compliment.

“Crow’s been telling me about your dealings with the cops, and the Qoys…..” Roy said, moving over to the hearth. He had emphasised the last three words.

Shadow Crow was watching them both, his head slightly cocked to one side, only his eyes moving as he followed the exchange that Roy was building with Matais. Even without looking at his old friend Matais could tell that Shadow Crow respected this man.

“Well, if the Qoys I’ve known were anything to go by your never going get the jump on them by trying to figure ’em out –  ya’gotta follow your own medicine and trust, ain’t that right Matais?”

It could have sounded patronising, as well as another veiled challenge, and the irony of Roy’s question was not lost on Matais. The thought crossed his mind that Silver Tree was trying to demonstrate that he had the initiative and was fishing for just how much Matais knew – Matais knew these kind of tactics well and also knew when someone was using them in trying to conceal a disadvantage of their own. Had it not been for the pressure Matais felt coming from the beady eye of the old Crow he might not have answered….

“What else is there?”

“Heh, heh – true, true…..” Silver Tree said as he fed a split log to the fire,

“…..unless you don’t know what your own medicine is…..”

Now Matais knew what Silver Tree was driving at. The cop.

“Hmm…..” Matais gave a brief smile and picked up the coffee pot asking both men with the gesture if they wanted some – they both nodded and as Matais poured he picked up on where he felt Roy was leading him.

“The guy’s gonna have to watch his ticker if he wants to follow his medicine any further”, he said with a deadpan delivery, and with a wry twist to the corner of his mouth he offered the coffee to Silver Tree. The tall man’s face slowly transformed into a beaming wide smile and he suddenly let out a loud barking laugh that cascaded into a gurgling wheeze. Shadow Crow’s face was cracked with a broad grin and, quietly laughing on his breath, he shook his head and let out a sigh…..if there was one thing the three of them had in common it was that same dry, wry sense of humour.

“What’s an overweight Fed nearing retirement doing getting transfered to the River anyhow……” said Silver Tree, wandering over to the cabin window. “….’specially if he don’t know he’s a Qoy. There’s something else, I know it.”

Shadow Crow pursed his lips and, catching Matais eye, raised his eyebrows – they all knew that was the sixty four thousand dollar question.

“Someone doesn’t want the Qoy medicine getting involved”, the old man stated matter of factly. “Its the only reason they’re bein’ killed off…..”

“Thats as may be Crow….” said Silver Tree as he gazed out, “….but, it ain’t as if it ever went away. Why here…..and why now”.

Matais felt he knew, but, it was a long shot…..

“Lot of folk getting hot under the collar over whats goin down since the big trucks started rolling in….’specially south of the Bay.”

Silver Tree turned to listen. He too had noticed the activities of the op around Hooded Mountain stepping up a gear – Matais was right, it wasn’t just the cop. But, could they be connected, the deaths and the mountain?

“You think the mining company has something to do with this……?” he said, fixing his hawk like gaze on Matais.

Matais shrugged, “Why else would a city cop be drafted in…..recruited, even”….

“…..heh! You think he’s been hired to clean up?…….Man!” said Silver Tree turning to look out of the cabin again. “They could’a chosen someone with…..” – but, he stopped suddenly.

message4 001“Holy shit!”

Matais and Shadow Crow exchanged a glance as Roy reached for his rifle and lifted the latch on the cabin door.

“That’s Floyd Rivers…and he’s been shot….”

His hands gripping his stomach, a trail of dark crimson beads fell from his knuckles and led back down the snow covered track behind Floyd as he staggered towards Shadow Crow’s cabin. Last thing he was aware of was the clear sensation through his blurred vision that a man was running towards him……there was a voice, but, he could barely hear him…..and then a face very close to his, a face he recognised…..Silver Tree. But, it couldn’t be – he hadn’t been seen for twenty five years or more…….

……and then, as far as Floyd was concerned, the only thing that mattered was the vacuum of silence he felt himself falling into, and the overwhelming urge to summon all his might into one last dance……..


After all these years it seemed as though Roy Silver Tree could not shake off the shadow of the past that was following him. Death was stalking him, following his tracks as if waiting for the means and opportune moment to bring him down, at least that was how the Feds would see it if they knew he had been present at Floyd’s death. But, death carried no thoughts of vengeance, that was a human quality and the bullet that had pierced Floyd’s back had vengeance written all over it. Floyd too was a natural Qoy, one who had learned well how to use his gifts for the good of all, but, more than that he was a knowledge keeper of the medicines at Hooded Mountain, as had been his grandmother Charlotte Rivers. It was their responsibility to look after those matters of spirit that belonged this sacred place. To Shadow Crow and Matais this and Floyd’s death was the confirmation of the link and, true to form, they too now found themselves under suspicion of the Feds.

The shock of Floyd’s murder, and there was no doubt this time about the nature of the crime, produced a gaping wound in the indigenous community. Not only the people, the land and the medicines were now under threat, but, the immediate threat was now as tangible as the trail of blood that led to Shadow Crow’s cabin. When news reached the Bay the ripple it sent out across the community brought another kind of vengeance out of hiding, one that had been building ever since the mining company had begun their operations at Hooded Mountain. The peace of that sacred place was being violated, the rights of the people along with it, and the past could not be kept buried any more. Their voices would now be heard. But, there was one other curious matter that compounded everything ~ the cop, the ‘chief’, had gone missing…..


‘Fragments Blown Through Death’s Door’ is adapted from the novel ‘The Message’. I started writing ‘The Message’ and its sister works in response to the escalating violation of indigenous rights and violence being wrought in the pristine wildernesses of our world at the hands of corporate greed. The medicines of the people are at the centre of this struggle for freedom and justice and this story, the second of three exploring the roots of the medicines and the motivations of their enemies, is now nearing completion. This is an extract from the first draft. The first story, ‘Chenge and the Spider’, is currently being edited but extracts of ‘Chenge’ have already been published at Owlmirror. The third story is currently in its first draft – updates and further extracts from all of these stories will be published here in the course of time.

‘Fragments Blown Through Death’s Door’, ‘The Message’ & ‘Chenge and the Spider’ © Rob Purday 2013-17

The Seventh Moon

ROOT MEDICINE OF THE STARS ON EARTH

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The seventh lunation of 2014 is initiated as the Sun and Moon meet in the 6th degree of Cancer on June 27th. There are many planetary influences and events present throughout this period, especially around and after full Moon. Here, rather than giving direct reference to these, we will explore the key characteristics, qualities and energetics of the 29 day cycle as a whole, between new Moon and New Moon.

Traditionally, this lunation is associated with the swelling and ripening of fruits and buds, their growing fullness, and with the outer changes that accompany this organic process. It is a moontime, or month, that is infused with the red blush that spreads across the skin of fruits as they ripen, with the heat of the Sun and simultaneously with the inner warmth of the womb and deep earth. It is connected with the newly grown antlers pushing against their covering…

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To the Watchers

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NSA, CIA, FBI, MI5, SIS, ASIO, and surveillance agencies and remote data processing organisations – you know who you are. This is for you. Welcome…..Watchers all.

So, here we are, you and I…..see this and make of it an invitation. You may be here to surveille and analyse, profile and determine, make inroads, remain hidden, and yet we already share so much, as you know. Strange as it may seem, perhaps more than you know. Yes, we are the same, beneath our skin, and roles, the outer and inner trappings of our lives. But, don’t doubt, in our own ways we are much more than this, and humanity is diverse like no other species, each in our own ways – amongst us, watchers and the watched, wearing the clothes of life, are the artists and the healers, the activists and the complacent, the scientists and the spiritualists, the leaders and the led, the bemused and the aware, the disenfranchised and the sharers, the programmed and the awake, the fearful and the compassionate, the vulnerable and the inspired, the violators and the nurturers, and, not to put too fundamentalist spin on this, at root, fundamentally so, we are all a part of the same tree, fed from the same root, and more, much more, at heart, deep at heart, the carers and the lovers of life, the living guardians of what gives us life, even though we may not know it. But, wanting to know is something we have in common.

Even though we may not know it. Can you hold that thought – can you believe it – can you doubt it? Is that why you are reading this, thus far? Can you apply it to yourself? Because it matters that we can say yes, to each of these, as it makes us what we are. Not knowing, they are all keys to knowing. And we are all these things, these people, within ourselves.

Lets not pussyfoot around it. Not one amongst us is immune to the future, though some would have it otherwise. Not one of us is without a past, though some would see more value in this than others. Not one of us lacks the needs of the body, floats outside the pull and push of the present, and where-ever we are going – we are going there together, in this way. This we share. We are not seperate in this. Can you remember who you are, as we do?

Who am I? Mine is a small voice, a whisper amongst the multiverse of sound and glorious chaos in perpetual motion, a fragment within the whirling kaleidoscope of nature, of Nature – but, in this, this is a voice, like yours – wholly a part of the same picture and wholly a voice that once knew the sound and rhythms of timeless dreams within our mother’s womb. That once danced in that mysterious place to the drum-beat of her heart. Earth’s heart. Not one, apart. And we each carry the power of that memory…..it feeds us still. Remember. This may be vital information. To you personally.

Yes. Lets not pussy-foot around here. We all know something. We all know, we are arriving at the crux point, our feet upon the threshold, toes over the edge, hanging on, trying to maintain balance together, and what lies beyond depends upon the choices we now make, their wisdom and our ability to act upon them, wisely. You know that. You would not be here, reading, if this were it not so, a reality in your own life, no matter the nature of those choices – they all inform us. This place we find ourselves in, is it uncomfortable, is it a portal made of chaos and order whose interwoven dynamic oscillates between pillars of polarity, the clashing gate, the mouth of the river, where tidal rip and torrent’s flow push against each other, the maelstrom, the edgeland. A place uncharted. Is that why you are here? Do you need priceless information to navigate this terrain. Is it fear of the unknown that leads us? Are we in a race for survival, at war over information, you and I?  Who said there is an information war, who said ‘we are losing’ it? Who is afraid? Where is the conflict, the evidence, where does the trail lead back to? Everywhere around us? A select few? Or inside us……and, even then, is it yours? Does fear belong to you?

For those sucked under, under the oppressive regime of fear, fear itself prevents, violates, terrorises, obscures, the path and the terrain, not who or what we are. Deep within us all is a seed, a remembrance of the truth of this. And, we share a common source, we were all born from water, from the river, and the ocean, have salt in our blood. Why fear? Is it the ultimate exotic weapon…or a legacy of someone elses nightmare? Are you free of it?

And, for those free of fear, what lies beyond that threshold? Death? No. Lets not pussyfoot around and act as if this is not real. Amidst a necessary meltdown of the patterns that have overshadowed the Life loving with the Death dealing, We are. In its vortex. We have all been subjected to corralling and coercion, bullied and programmed into becoming the devouring, the unthinking and the divided. And yet, as you know, all too well, some have retained the memory of who they are, failed magnificently to succumb. I am a small voice, but, I know the power of that memory, and, in this I am not alone, as you also know all too well, not through surveillance, but, within yourself. That too is seeded within you, at your core. And still we have not fully reached into the core of our being, our uniqueness, and turned upon the ultimate truth of our wildest most beautiful imagining beauty. Is this what you fear? Is it to be feared at all?

We have imagination, yet. And, our ancestors have been there before us, reached this point, and taken the path to its limits, until imagining spread its wings and lifted them beyond the threshold, beyond who they were, what we are…..and, we would not be here now without them, you and I, had this not happened. They did survive, and live on in us, in the rivers and mountains, the forests and the wind. They speak to us from the stars, ancestral fires that burn in every particle of our being. This is not unreal, or to be feared. Neither can it be erased. We are not seperate. You and I. We share imagination, the commonground of that original dreaming. Would you deny who you are?

If this is an inconvenience, a boring drag amongst your daily routine, of dredge and surveille, filter, analyse and profile, if this presents no threat, is hollow words, some new-age nonsense, lacks the trigger, the buzz-word, if we’d spoken of ‘terrorist’, ‘conspirator’, ‘covert operation’, ‘threat to national security’, ‘bomb plot’ and ‘government database’, ‘hack’, ‘Al Qaeda’, ‘Taliban’, ‘Hamas’, ‘IPLO’, ‘ETA’,  ‘PLF’, IMU and you know far better than I who else, what else……if device + freedom + attack do not = the necessary equation, is not enough, if this does not carry the implications, contain the code, the signs and catalysts for investigation that you are looking for, for you to look, and take this in, look again, simply look again, for the invitation here is not hidden in plain sight, or a cause for suspicion. But, don’t just look, or look for phantasms – let me offer you water, the traditional offering to guests and visitors – it means something, peace, healing, reconciliation and Life. And, look over your shoulder at your co-workers, and if you are alone, ask why, if in fact it is true, and know that it is not just your own life that hangs on your choices, and your ability to act upon them – your own life and what you do with it is important. And yes, question, imagine, mark this page, file under…..’an invitation’, only do it in your own personal file, the one marked ‘Remember’, and, as you do, ask your forebears, what opened the portal wide to their future, enough that we have life now, that you have life, in their living imagination, as they lived and live in you now. Imagine……I invite you.

The Soul Road

……..when silence speaks to us, why break silence……

……..its voice is more eloquant than a thousand poets, and, more filled with meaning, heart and the presence of soul….than all the words we cast about it…..

…..our bodies too speak, have their language, and their silence, forged in the greater silence of being…..what greater poetry is there than the body of Life!? Yet, it, like the voice of silence, is oft drowned out by the cacophony of worldly life…..

Rumi said…….

‘We have fallen into the place where everything is music.

The strumming and the flute notes rise into the atmosphere, and if the whole world’s harp should burn up,

there will still be hidden instruments playing, playing

This singing art is sea foam.

The graceful movements come from a pearl somewhere on the ocean floor.

Poems reach up like spindrift and the edge of driftwood along the beach wanting, wanting

They derive from a slow and powerful root that we cannot see.

Stop the words now.

Open the window in the center of your chest, and let the spirits fly in and out!’ (1)

It has been said that we arrive here forgetful, of our path, the one we have come to find and make, its destination and meaning, and the one we have trod in coming here. Yet, forgetting, we forget again. And, the world is filled with noise…..

You would think, we must be in shock, as, we learned, long ago, if the voice of our heart be true to the origin of memories we carry, that we are children, that we are at play, forever at the onset of our road, finding the voice of its story, and forgetting…….in that moment the story of our life is the gift we have come to deliver, and, how close to our true voice we are as children……cast around, and listen….do you hear that voice, present in the world, amidst the hubbub…..it is there….if the heart is open to hearing it, once again……

Yet, we have shod our hearts in ill-fitting shoes of lives forgotten, poorly remembered, as yet unlived…..shoes that we would have the soles of our souls protected by, out of the hope that we might in wearing them walk the extra mile, and in doing so, recollect and remember our soul roads……

Our shoes filled with earth, with the legacy of stars, with blood and ancestry, our hearts filled with long memories walking the soul road, this body is more than ourselves, borrowed from the wind, the fire, the ocean, the bodies of those who have gone before us, all birthed from the one womb we call Life, and her daughter, Earth…….

…..it were better we cast off our shoes and let the silent beauty of the breathing Earth speak once more the magic every child knows in their heart to be our guide, as we travel the remembering pathways of our own soul road……

Let there be silence and let its fullness flow from the heart of all things into our hearts, if only for the blessed moment in which the voice of the Beloved is heard, and we are held, in the ecstacy, the delicious perfume of Its song….

and find the Soul Road, the path we came to here to travel…….once more.

(1)  ‘Where Everything is Music’ – Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī (Jalalu’ddin Rumi, Maulana), 13th century Persian poet, founder of Mevlevi order / Whirling Dervishes of Sufi tradition – tanslation by Coleman Barks.

10 Billion Beats 2012

The 10 Billion Beats global drumming event of 2012 is this year taking place plumb on the September Equinox – as we move deeper into this time of great transition there could not be a more opportune moment for bringing a powerful wave of peace and goodwill to our home planet. As 2012 comes to completion through the last quarter of the year the calling is in ‘bringing the highest and finest qualities of these momentous times into manifestation’, and this years 10 Billion Beats is an energetic gateway to the harmonious and timely realisation of this call.

We should be under no illusions about the potential of this global drumming event. For a start the timing of this year’s event ties it into the solar cycle aligning the wave with the annular creative cycle of Earth. This gives our drumming an extended reach and potential in time that will accompany us all the way through to the much anticipated 2012 December solstice, and beyond. How far beyond depends on how we work with the energy raised, the quality of consciousness brought to it now, and this includes any intent we bring to the drumming. The timing also brings out 10 Billion Beats syncretic qualities, unifying our diversity and placing the event within the ‘bigger picture’, connecting our drumming with the archetypal qualities of our times…….as the drums call around our Earth, Sun culminates in Virgo and enters Libra, and we celebrate the ripened harvest in the north and the flowering earth in the south. The energies of this time are rich in possibilities.

The Virgo/Libra cusp perfectly expresses a significant station in the human life cycle as well – the transition made by the individual ripened through experience into the sharing of the fruits of wisdom within community. There is a correspondence here between the energies within the earth cycle and the calling that is being asked of us collectively to manifest. This is very much about our transit into maturity as a species and it is in essence perfectly in keeping with the ‘elder’ time, the time of year in which our connections with the cosmos deepen. Within the bigger picture ‘community’ here means both those collectives formed through harmonic resonance and the larger community that extends across time, space and dimensions.

Through alignment with the solar cycle 10 Billion Beats 2012 gives us an opportunity to collectively entrain our inner vibrations with those of the planet, the solar system and the Sun in harmony with the greater cosmic processes at work now. This is about working with energy that generates momentum…….

And, talking of momentum…..last years event attracted approaching a quarter of a million participants and, with numbers increasing year on year, in 10 Billion Beats we could well be seeing the beginnings of an important global healing practice emerging. It has been said that it takes only 8,000 people working together energetically with a shared intent of this nature to manifest the most significant change in the world, change that affects the entire planet, that can have lasting effect for the greater good – last years event saw 25 times that number taking part, with over 200,000 people drumming globally. We should expect this number to increase again this year, and, with this the unity and continuity of the wave increases as well.  It may well be too early to say, however, what is emerging in a new form is already a part of a tradition with roots as deep as humanity. We are seeing the emergence, in Martin Prechtel’s words, of ‘new sap in the old tree’. And here, intent is everything…..

IMHO I feel that Carlisle Bergquist and the organisers of 10BB have pitched it just right; there is a global invitation to drum made in the spirit of ‘peace and goodwill’ and the invitation is left open – we bring to it what we each choose……take some time to think on this and the message in the poster. The event offers an opportunity to go far beyond this……

When a group of drummers get together the pulse they create carries a dialogue that speaks the language of the soul. In drumming together we recall an innate gift, as old as humanity, that allows our souls to speak freely with each other within the energetic matrix of Life. Drumming is, in this sense, re-membering. Music motivates at this level, but, when allied with ‘sacred intent’ or when held within the spacial contours of ceremony rhythm and pulse also provides an energetic drive that activates meaning and carries us beyond the physical boundaries we normally experience – when we remember in this context our connectivity carries a restorative as well as a generative ‘soul-making’ dynamic. This itself is a dynamic intrinsic to the Virgo/Libra cusp. At its highest level it is an energy point, like the descendant in the natal chart, of activation within communion.

In the transit from Virgo into Libra we find the culmination of the inner path of individuation transiting into the outer, the initiates path entering into the adepts and our highest levels of achievement becoming shared. These can become naturally nucleated within the collective and this finds symbolic representation in the ‘harvest’. One of the keys to understanding this transition is provided by the Sabian symbols for the degrees that form the cusp, the thirtieth degree of Virgo and the first degree of Libra.

The Sabian for 30 Virgo speaks of the quality of complete focus and it is this that brings about this ‘culmination’, which is akin to the decisive step taken by the initiate at the entrance to the holy ground. Decision of this kind, once made, becomes the backbone of intent. We face these moments of decision at all the major crossroads of our lives, but, if we are to live consciously and with intent, as does the adept, these moments fill our lives. Humanity is at that crucial point and we are being called upon to make the decisive step into adept-hood and maturity. Can we once more recognise our home planet as holy ground……

The Sabian for 1 Libra speaks of the quality of ‘making’ sacred – when living with intent the divine is not simply a given, it is a collaboration and partnership, or better, an affiliation and friendship. How would it be if we rcognised our ‘beloved’ in Nature….perhaps a rhetorical question for this event? The heart is the natural center within our physical frame that regulates the manifestation of this dynamic of connectivity. And, every heart beat echoes this dynamic, literally embodies it – the mutual symbolism of drum and heart beat is a potent reminder to us. Even more so through the evolved part of our beings that we express – there is a richness in the rhythmic cadence of our stride as we ‘walk our talk’ and in the steps of our personal ‘dance of power’ as we mature and let go into the greater rhythms of Life. It is a dance and dialogue built upon experience that can be perfected through pure mindfullness and love, and its realisation is every individual souls gift back to life. If the coming solstice marks a point of transformation it will be realised through our ability to give of this gift, personally within the collective – but, it is also crucial to us building a community capable of transcending and evolving beyond our own limitations.

The planetary affiliations of sign and ruling planet are revealing here too. We normally associate Venus with earth and Mercury with air, yet Mercury is the traditional ruler of Virgo and Venus ruler of Libra – the mutual receptivity of their rulership within the elements mirrors and is expressive of this energy of affiliation and is unique to this particular cusp.

……..as we approach the solstice, following the Sun’s journey from Virgo through Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius, the energy raised now follows a path of awareness, piercing the veil of the physical, deepening as it creates new connections –  permeating the intelligence of the emotional body awareness becomes a power, bringing the opportunity to mature beyond the physical, before entering the spiritual realms of pure intellect and re-birthing from ‘the heart of the world’, the center of all manifestation, into the generative physical realms of Capricorn. The next 13 weeks give us the opportunity to align fully with this process and through the drums affirm an intent that will help us to do so. But, there are yet deeper levels available to work with here.

With the opening of the drumming we find the Moon, corresponding to ‘the People’, conjunct the Great Attractor in mid-Sagittarius. The GA’s influence gives us the view beyond the horizon, the future we dream of in our innermost selves. The seed dreams embedded in the energy of every participant are connected down the line over the 24 hours of the drumming. At close of drumming the Moon conjuncts the Galactic Center and grounds this influx of dreaming through the energies of the cosmic womb. This may be very subtle and esoteric by nature and appeal only to a few, but, even a small percentage of all those drumming can make the difference and it is the power of the essence carried within the dreaming, its qualities rather than quantity that matter most.

Before drumming this year, since it is ‘this’ year, take some time to consider an intent that arises naturally from the cornucopia of your own innate gifts, that arises most strongly in your heart, and that you can give through your drumming, as a gift to the world…..and give it your all…..

here is the link to the 10BB website

see you there!

In Peace, R

Diviner’s Tales

Divination is at root a communal activity and, in our times, bringing its practice into a circle of shared space can also mean an opportunity for re-discovering just what ‘community’ means, and feels like…

…..it was perhaps one of the most unlikely places to find a scene such as this, but, on this occasion the circle of people, old and young, gathered around the African diviner’s cloth in a small Austrian house on the edge of the mountains, were enacting a communal event that could have been found in traditional villages the world over in a timeless span stretching back to the very roots of humanity. Three people had already been called to sit with the diviner and the readings had been good – everyone was enjoying each other’s company within this communal ritual space, the sharing of news from both this world and the ancestor’s, as well as the knowledge that those particular problems that had been besetting the divinees were infact an important part of a larger plan or perhaps the calling card of a spirit, but, whatever the purpose, were at the very least already known about by the denizens of the unseen worlds, and the diviner’s allies….help is always at hand, if you know where and how to look for  it.

……the diviner’s cloth was spread in the center of the room and was oriented so that its water quadrant, the place of the spirits of healing, was in the north, where the diviner sat – the divinee would sit opposite, nearest the fire quadrant, the place of the ancestors. Atop the cloth were many objects associated with the quadrants and the diviner’s personal medicine and the cloth itself had a medicine wheel, a cosmic elemental map, painted onto it with representations of the five main elements, the diviners own hands and feet, and various other miscellaneous markings whose meaning contained many mysteries…..at the center of the cloth, covering the earth quadrant, was a pile of cowrey shells with small stones, bones and assorted objects mixed in amongst them. These would spell out the picture, in relation to the elements, that the diviner would read once the divinee had churned them around within the circular medicine wheel at the center of the cloth…..but, there was yet more to this comprehensive healing kit….

….close by and on the cloth the diviner had placed the additional tools and equipment from his medicine bag that wanted to be present. He might not use any of them within this session, as they did not belong directly to the cloth and shell divination practice, but, they were a part of his extended repertoir for seeing into the other worlds and conversing with its inhabitants. Amongst them were a stout natural wooden stick, which could be used in spirit led ‘stick divination’, a small woven basket that looked like a minature beehive and was both the home, shrine and meeting place for two of his main allies, and various organic and man-made objects, shells, roots, coins and bits of bone and hide, amongst other less identifiable material……these could all be called upon, often at the prompting of the spirits, to help the diviner to fine tune and look deeper into the nuances of the reading as things came up, or to see aspects of the situation that the shell divination might not extend to.

Almost everything visible came from the world around, had been aquired by the diviner over the course of time and training and fit comfortably into the diviner’s hide bag, which he could carry with ease slung over his shoulder. This was a practical healing outfit suitable for travel within a global community that, when brought out into our midst, provided a focus of otherworldly and multi-dimensional proportions. Every diviner is a gatekeeper, and those things that did not come from the world around, although they might not ‘look’ particularly out of the ordinary, had infact been gifted or brought back from the otherside of the gateway……

“So…..who’s wanting to come up next” the diviner asked softly, gathering up the shells  into a small compact mound at the center of the cloth. He did not look up until there was a movement as my friend made her way to sit in the center of the circle with the ancestors….”I guess I am….” she said, a little self-consciously….

The diviner gestured towards the cloth…..” you know how it goes – using your dominant hand you move the shells within the circle – the women move the shells moon-wise. If I say ‘stop’ you stop, or you stop when you feel to stop……ok, if you are, we’re ready……”.

There was a pause and the circle settled back quietly, expectant at the events about to unfold……the flame of a candle on the house keeper’s altar flickered momentarily as my friend rested her hand on the pile of shells at the center of the cloth. She closed her eyes briefly and then, on the command of some inner impulse, opened them and started moving her hand counter-clockwise in a circle. Shells, stones and bones began to spread outwards and one or two slipped right to the edge of the circular design – this was usually a sign of either something heading for the spirit worlds or something about to arrive from them. Only, my friend’s hand kept on turning and, as it did, shells began to cross the circle’s boundary….a subtle ripple of energy swept through the room.

I knew enough about my friend, her situation and what had brought her here (and I myself had over two decades of experience in the practice of divination at that time) to know that, although the patterns appearing on the cloth might well extend into the spirit realms, here there was something awry about the spread she had produced and the people gathered around were also picking it up. I was watching the diviner carefully – he showed no sign of speaking but his eyes were riveted on the cloth……eventually my friend stopped churning the shells.

There was an audible outbreath from the village circle and a few quiet whistles and exclamations – the diviner scratched his head and raised his eyebrows. Only now was he showing a reaction, and it was as of one slightly befuddled, astounded even, by the complexity and import of what he was seeing….

“Well…….” he paused, as if looking for the right words…..”what….has been going down with you…..!” It was obvious from the distribution of the shells that this person was undergoing some major challenges and it was not the purpose of the reading to find out what they were, at least not on the outside, that would come from her – no, the purpose here was to disclose what was at their root and find ways of responding.

The aim was to help restore balance and ‘optimise’, no matter how difficult or challenging the situation, but, first we all needed to hear it from the horses mouth, so to speak – this was just as important to the communal aspect of the healing as the practical solutions that would come later.

From the way the shells and objects were spread over the center of the cloth, some spilling well beyond the boundaries of the medicine wheel, it was obvious that this person, my friend, was not all here, that parts of her energy had become dislodged and found their way into the spirit realms, which meant that her integrity, inner balance and perhaps, more than likely infact, the fundamental health of her world situation, was seriously out of kilter – her answer would confirm this…..she was suffering breast cancer, it was impinging on her lymph system and, to make matters more difficult, she was looking after her mother, who was in the more advanced stages of the same disease herself. Without going any further into the details surrounding this situation here, like the divinee’s situation itself the level of healing required in this instance was, in the words of the diviner, going to be ‘radical’!

What I found especially interesting about this reading at this point was two aspects of ‘knowledge’ that the divinee and the ‘village’ circle embodied simultaneously…..on the one hand, the village contained some people who were already well versed in the cowrey shell practice of divination they were taking part in, but, they had not been a party to the divinees situation. There were no visible signs of her suffering. However, the tangibility of the reading, its energetic imprint and effect upon the village circle gathered around the cloth was powerfully visceral, even and most notably, before my friend spoke about her plight……the second, and equally important to the veracity of the reading, was that neither she nor I had witnessed this particular kind of cowrey shell reading before – she had no idea that her actions with the shells would send out such a strong signal to the village, nor how clearly their configuration revealed the extent of her problems, let alone their exact nature and the reality of what lay behind them. The reading taking place here was genuine and true.

It was only when the diviner began to open the dialogue between himself, the shells, his spirit allies and the divinee that the way forward began to emerge, but, in this particular instance, it was a tough and demanding process – so much of this person’s energies were becoming scattered beyond the physical worlds. First steps required a cleansing of the ‘wound’, which was as much if not more spiritual than physical, although the physical was pulling the anomoly into manifestation – this required an otherworldly dressing and application of preventative medicines that reached right into the spirit worlds. The radical nature of the healing would, infact, last over a period of 5 years, require many more readings, strong practical remedies (which, for the sake of privacy, integrity and brevity, I will not go into the exact nature of here in detail), but, would eventually lead to complete remission from the disease. Complete and sustained, largely thanks to two things…..

The first was my friends willingness to undergo the full journey, to stay the course, and that rested on the second thing. Besides ‘radical’ responses there were those that provided ‘maintainence’, that kept things in balance and good health. While the former, the ‘radical’ actions this healing required, could only be overseen and facilitated by an experienced and initiated healer, the maintainence work could be undertaken by the patient themselves.

The second thing was that, in the course of undertaking and keeping up this work, my friend discovered that she herself was a healer within this tradition, that she was naturally endowed with connections to the spirit worlds that this diviner’s tradition recognised, facilitated and supported, and she eventually became a fully initiated healer herself in the tradition of Kontombli medicine and divination. I’ll say a bit more about this kind of medicine in due course, over the coming months, but, this was an immensely important part of her journey through illness, a major part of its inner significance, and it was only through the divination itself and her willingness to follow it through that this itself became revealed. How much of what we ‘suffer’ in this world actually represents an opportunity, a signpost or significant shove in the ‘right’ direction, is an important question in our times – most often, we need the assistance of the otherworld, its insights, and the work of diviners and our own divination practices to help us discover this. Its not so much about ‘self-help’ and evolution, as reclaiming the power inherent in our own path and using it in the most appropriate and advantageous ways, for both ours and the community’s ‘greater good’ – the latter two are synonymous.

I wanted to introduce something of this traditional practice firstly through personal anecdote, as I will be writing up readings working with this method of divination here at Owlmirror, using this as a way of exploring some of the fundamentals and principles, the pragmatic as well as esoteric aspects of the diviner’s art, as well as for looking into the current processes and state of things in the world, in much the same way as we do with astrology – this form of cowrey shell based divination works surprisingly well alongside astrology and complements many other paths and practices, from diverse traditions. Secondly, this particular event also marked the beginning of my own practice as a cowrey shell diviner.

The year was 1998…..after practicing astrology, rune-casting, tasseomancy, the I Ching and reading the signs in nature for many years my practice had begun to feel incomplete and slightly out of focus – I came later to realise that, despite all the previous years experience, I had not yet found my own personal center of gravity as a diviner. The pull of that center had begun to become conscious in the early 70’s through encounters out in the land with the ancestral spirits and spirits of nature, particularly in the Atlantic coastal area of North Devon and in Wiltshire in the UK where I had been living. It took a decade of following the twists and turns of the path before I met my first formal teachers and mentors, at which point those encounters became much more interactive and articulated, and I found myself pursuing a training in ‘spirit medicine’.

It felt like a calling, although I was at pains to make something practical of it in the world, and there still remained the feeling that at the back of it all, like a powerful magnetic core was the real center, that I was slowly spiralling in towards, the place that felt like’ home’. Through the next decade I was pulled further into this ‘medicine’ world and I found my old divining practices becoming more like technical variations on this larger theme – the ‘medicine’ work had become ‘life-work’. It wasn’t until finally I arrived in that room in Austria and laid eyes on the divining kit spread at its center that everything changed, came into focus, and the dots all suddenly and, quite ecstatically, joined up – it was an instant recognition, an ancient and familiar feeling, uncanny and so deeply known, beyond any doubt, just as one might recognise loved ones and places one has known in former lives……

……..that moment of recognition was followed by six years of training with the diviner, Malidoma Some, a Dagara elder and shaman from Burkina Faso in West Africa, and through this all the strands of previous training and activity, in medicine traditions, creative work, divination and different modalities of healing, both contemporary western and ancient indigenous, came together and made sense. In that moment was one of the most liberating feelings I had had in my life to that time…..but, as is in the nature of the trials of life by which we truly learn, even this affirmative centering was eventually to become challenged and questioned.

My friend did recover fully into complete remission and I was fortunate to accompany her on the entirety of her journey – I witnessed the immense liberation and burst of life-force that she too experienced in arriving at that moment, when the doctors confirmed what the spirits had already previously revealed to us – the cancer was completely gone……the moment marked a turning point for both of us. A whole series of events was set in motion that would change both our lives, even more radically than this part of the journey had, much more infact, but, thats something that will have to be spoken of another time…….suffice it to say, she pursued her calling within the Dagara tradition and I, largely through the fated intervention of the Kontombli spirits, eventually came to totally rebuild my own life and practice, from the absolute zero point. Hard as it is to convey just what this means, it required most of all that my own work in the world comprise only that which I could truly say ‘belongs’ to me, to this particular ‘spirit having a human experience’.

Divination is a constant resource in helping us to undertake such work on a personal level – I have seen lives changed in profound ways by its intervention, the intervention and advice of the spirits. The stories that people bring back as a result of having taken up and followed through upon that advice are the real reward for such service as the diviner provides – I hope to relate some of these here, but, from this point in I will be including readings working with the shells, as the occasion arises. Unlike astrology, which is a useful vehicle for divination practice, but, which has a utilitarian availability that allows it to be made use of at will, the cowrey shell practice is of itself much more spirit led and comes up almost unfailingly with a ‘certain purpose’ behind each reading. The fact is, as a diviner, the practice can be developed to such an extent that this particular way of working becomes the basis for all divination work, if the path is followed with a full commitment. At its most integrated levels the practice seemingly disappears and becomes the life lived once more, rather than something one does within one’s life…..the implications of this are worth exploring as its effects profound, liberating and ultimately, I would say, bring us home to ourselves.

We will go into the components of the practice, as described and introduced in the above story, in more detail – and the correspondences with other divination practices are many, so, there will also be opportunity to compare and feedback from your own practices as well. The images here show my own working kit, as it was when I was training with Malidoma, and I will be talking about this kit in some depth as well. Over the intervening years it has changed, become more integrated and personal, while retaining the essense of the original. That process of recapitulation, distillation and refinement is key and the kit has become idiosyncratic to my own practice. Within this is the fundamental point – that we can all discover, put together and work with a divination kit (and practice) that is unique to each of us and that this can and does allow us to fully integrate the ways and means of the diviner seamlessly and invisibly into life, such that we can live our purpose in fullness, balance and total integration – such empowerment is, in my humble opinion, more valuable than anything else, both to ourselves and our communities, and supercedes any notion of evolution, collectively or individually.

Within the indigenous community from which this form of cowrey shell divination has arisen the purpose of a person’s life is primary to their identity, health and ability to function within the community – it is the gift that we have come here not only to remember and own, but, to deliver into the community. A divination such as the one in which my friend found her healing also gave her the crucial footing upon the most profound aspects of her own path and, through this, the community was changed, forever – such is the way of the diviner, no matter in which way or at which level we engage with it. It was also the shared knowledge  of her predicament amongst all those present at her reading that enabled them to provide the support she needed to make that journey, and, in the course of time that support rippled outwards into larger fields and communities. This came about not least of all as a direct conscequence of her having reclaimed her power and life-force in the process of entering into the wider community of life at the call of spirit. Everything is connected in this way, and we all are both affected by and can benefit from such interventions, especially when they are consciously sourced from the spirit worlds. The transformative and fundamental nature of divination rests on this basis – it is innate within us.

Entering the Dragon Path

Chuang Tzu dreamt he was a butterfly, but, on awakening he could not tell if he was a man dreaming he was a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming he is a man……

The coming year of the Water Dragon sees a wise power building within the waters of spirit at work behind the world – we have this time up until the end of January when the Chinese New Year arrives to take a pause in anticipation and to gather our personal power. This is a valuable moment to stop and listen. Roughly up until the end of the current lunation, the celestial weather directly supports our inner and world work in this way – a subtle amplification within the dialogue between ourselves and the Earth. In the coming months the dynamics of this dialogue will change so it is also a valuable time of preparation. The consolidating, developmental and altruistic work we do now lays essential sacred ground for entering the Dragon Path. So, lets take a look at the celestial influences arising now that support this dialogue…..

After traversing Scorpio and Sagittarius, through weeks of depth work and internal re-alignment with our inner Sun, the spiral path we weave around our home star has brought our focus once more to Earth with Sun now in Capricorn. Scorpio’s deep healing waters offered us access into the heart of our selves, connecting with the soul core, our spiritual center, and helped us clear the blockages and accretions that have been preventing a clear and vital flow of energy, feeling and awareness to and from our roots. Sagittarius’ cosmological illumination of our inner realms brought the potential to activate the dreaming body, birthing the Sunchild, bringing meaning and direction to the flow of energies within and helping us see how we can focus these along paths of manifestation with purpose in the times ahead. We now have the opportunity of capitalising on our clear and activated dreaming and are ready to step into grounding our creativity in new forms with the support of the mutable earth energies of Capricorn.

From this time of the year, our dreaming can become married with purpose in order to birth new forms that change our reality. This is a spiritual practice that stems from the heart as the generative creative center within the womb of creation. From the perspective of astrological cosmology an alchemy of manifestation is at work, for both hemispheres of our Earth. In aligning our personal energetics with Earths’s we can strengthen the flow of information within our dreaming between all of us. This flows in naturally from the Sagittarian influence, as Jupiter in Taurus is amplifying the earth energies through this time, and begins to become activated in the physical – when we work with these energies cardinal earth will help initiate transforming our aspirations into realities that are in alignment with our home planet.

This Solstice template, however, is carrying an increased potency this time around that has brought an enhanced element of indeterminacy into our forward looking. There is speculation within the cosmological community that this is partly down to the ongoing effects of the close alignment of Earth and Sun within the galactic plane with the center of our galaxy, and partly down to the unusual energetic qualities of the space/time matrix that our solar system is now entering, bringing transformation to the planets and our Sun, physically and energetically – all of which are now pushing the boundaries of reality to change. There are, however, other perhaps more esoteric factors at work as well – we can expect a potent release of energy in the time ahead that is a consequence of the breakdown of integrity within the earth plane, a shaking loose of boundaries, an experience that is beyond the scope of determinacy, and this is essentialy where the enhanced element of indeterminacy is arising from.

At present and over the next few weeks we are under the subtle but increasing influence of a bow wave of energy that precedes this reality shift, so to speak. If you have been gifted with the abilities and developed the skills to sense well beyond the physical you may notice this undercurrent in energetic form – that is to say complex vibratory patterning arising from vortices of catalystic change that appear and disappear without warning. These may appear as random events that challenge us or impulses to act in ways we are not accustomed to. Energetically it is advisable to do no more than observe at this point. Awareness needs to remain anchored in the heart center, our major center of intelligence and feeling where we interface with the source field. So, keeping focused on personal work, but, staying awake to the world. Earth will show us how this shift is integrating, even as it happens at a subtle level, but we have strong assistance now from Venus in Aquarius in working with the unexpected……

Have you noticed how the Earth field is also developing a ‘present’ time focus ripe with potentials that reach far beyond the known – human consciousness is not only becoming freed up to conjoin with instantaneous effect within the earth plane, our access to the source field is opening up bigtime. This is reflected in the growing resurgence of working with ‘free-energy’, a powerful and inspiring leitmotiv for our coming times.

Although readers here will almost certainly be well aware of the spiritual health of humanity in relation to our home planet, amongst the wider populace we are also seeing increasing openess about our role in life as guardians and preservers of Life. Spirit helps us connect and expand dimensionally. But, this means that our work in this role will now feed directly into this change. This is key. And, we are not the first to arrive at this point. The cycles of time have seen our ancestors approach and cross these thresholds of diffusion and multi-dimensionality before. Its worth considering that what has failed the ancestors in the past, when they have failed, will fail us now if we go forward without heeding their messages from the past, so it serves us well to honour and pay strong attention to our ancestral connections – it is not a given that we will avoid error; they have much to teach us that will help us avoid repeating the same mistakes. In fact, this is a hugely important time for ancestral healing  and, in effect, our world work has become a vehicle for this.

There is assistance at hand – the world around us is waking up with almost daily revelations about the hidden past of our ancestors; their voices are becoming stronger in ways we may resonate strongly with now as re-awakening memories of former lives within very different communities. It is surely no coincidence now that our human heritage is rising from the Earth. They too are asking us to question and change how we have organised our lives, through the predominant culture, as well as how we have used our power. And we know that there is much more to come….

It is beyond doubt that the ‘status quo’ is a human fabrication that serves to organise. It may be that this ‘fixation’ has arisen as a response to our dissociation with Nature – we have been predominantly seeing it exponentially manifest control and subjugation of nature (and that includes human nature) within our current time-line over a 12.6k year period. But, this too is changing now. With virtually every archeological revelation our timeline is changing. And this is a great gift to us from the ancestors. The shift needs a radical ‘opening out’ of reality, as this will naturally change our values. So many false notions of power have become projected into money in our culture, but, we now can see clearly that this is nothing but a con.

Revelations of the extent of financial corruption and deception are escalating, showing that this process is already accelerating. But, these too are a part of the process of adjustment that is freeing us up from the narrow confines of a single time-line. At this time we can most clearly see this in polarisation between the roles of ‘destroyers’ and ‘preservers’. But, this will develop a multi-dimensionality of its own as diffusion spreads in the coming year and frees up the energies within the matrix. The Solstice template and lunation this year shows us being strongly assisted now in embodying, some would say reclaiming, our multi-dimensionality.

The Solstice influence is with us over the coming three months and we can begin reading into its astrological matrix by looking to Venus, whose entry into Aquarius is helping our archetypal heart energies to grow wings, the wings of Aquarian freedom. Venus is central in this reading. We know that breaking free of the gravitational field of ‘fear’ is happening when we feel light within and work with the empowerment that our courage gives us and Venus is in the Uranian influence as a field of electrifying creativity that ignites a fire within our hearts. In the Solstice template Venus stands at the midpoint of a T square formed with Jupiter and Saturn in opposition – her role is pivotal as her heart focus becomes the point of resolution through which their energies manifest. So, what are Jupiter and Saturn telling us of those energies?

Being the only planet retrograde at Solstice, Jupiter anchors our sense of the bigger picture inwardly, aiding us in giving it body and meaning on the earth plane, amplifying our senses and sensuality and helping us to listen to our earth – when worked with positively this will bring a feeling of inner enrichment and well-being in the world. As Teilhard de Chardin said, “there is an almost sensual longing for communication with others who have a larger vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendships between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality almost impossible to describe”….feeling that connection expanding and finding form is one of Jupiter Saturn and Venus’ main gifts now.

Shortly after the New Moon in Capricorn Jupiter stations and turns direct, so activating all the degrees of Taurus over the coming six months. This offers us a sustained time for feeling and sharing this inspiration, the sensual experience of meaningfulness. In the first degree of Taurus at solstice Jupiter speaks of re-establishing the dharma path, as expressed through the roles we embody. Saturn in late Libra gives the form and balance to this self focus with a fullness of purpose that lifts it out of the realms of selfishness – the impetus to give form to our higher selves in reality, here and now. With this aim Jupiter and Saturn are connecting us with the essential form of the greater whole, the extended community of spirit – if we hold the two energies in balance they work in perfect harmony, but, the key is in allowing this to center in the heart and being receptive.

This is fundamental to bringing mind, body and spirit together, and, through this we are strongly assisted in working the multi-dimensional nature of our earth experience in a positive way. And, not only is articulate ensoulment present within this, when we open to our multi-dimensional nature the living thread of the dreaming that connects us with our ancestors vibrates and re-sounds within our own dreamings. This is given extra torque by Jupiter’s angle to the Moon’s nodes. Within hours of Jupiter going direct the Moon passes over Venus’ solstice degree and grounds the T square, helping us further ground its potency and energy values within the influences of the Capricorm lunation. This means we can become free to ground our ancestral connections within our dreamings and share them in communion with the wider spiritual community here on the earth plane – a great opportunity for some deeply connected spirit-world work free of time line restrictions.

When the mutliple strands of our dreamings become interwoven and resonant across time we can also confidently take full responsibility for our role as ‘the ancestors of the future’. This is absolutely fundamental to our collective work. There is also much speculation around the multi-stranded nature of our DNA that is becoming a fascination for many now. Some are now seeing this as a cosmological development of our genetic coding, an awakening of our dormant potentials through reclamation of its multi-strand nature. The speculation seems to be that with this natural embodiment of our inter-dimensional nature we can realise our total connectedness across all time and space, all dimensions, all universes…..

Multi-strand DNA gives us the building blocks, the organising constructive memory and hardware to facilitate this shift in connectivity – it will happen of its own accord as the matrix frees its energies. However we envisage it, the heart is the locus and anchor point for this process. We would do well to allow nature to take its course here, but, remaining balanced is essential as reality will shift in ways we cannot imagine as this happens. In this is an emergent creative potential that aids us in meeting with the unknown in equilibrium. In other words, our multi-dimensional potential cannot be realised until we have learned how to be in balance within our selves, which is the pre-requisite for generating compassion as an active agency within Life, and it is Compassion as a power that will give us the keys that set us free. This, hopefully, puts Saturn, Venus and Jupiter’s great gifts in unity, into perspective…..the spiritual alchemy of the solstice….

Being in the Aquarian stream of consciousness Venus is also sextile to Uranus in the solstice imprint. Uranus is now direct in the first degree of Aries – this raises the truly transformative potential that can now unfold in firing new forms of consciousness within the earth matrix. Venus Sabian symbol of ‘the unexpected thunderstorm’ gives us the flavour……we must learn how to navigate this energetic terrain and work with the inner essense that animates us when ‘creating the path is the path’.

Mercury, the spirit of articulate self knowledge, also stands at a mid-point in the Solstice template, between Mars and Neptune. Unaspected directly, Mercury’s sensitivity to the connective flow of intelligence present within ‘the field’ subtly and adroitly gives us access to Mars and Neptunes influences. Mars in mid Virgo at solstice calls us to energise our connectivity, through the guidance of the divine feminine in the fixed earth of Virgo.

Neptune in the last degrees of Aquarius has the Sabian symbol of ‘the Butterfly emerging from the chrysalis’ – the cells within the transforming pupa within the chrysalis that bring forth this new elevated (winged) form are themselves called ‘imaginals’! Mars motivating powers activate the imaginal energies – Neptune breaks down the barriers for their emergence. We can, with Mercury’s assistance, expect the subtle nature of our emergent processes on earth to feed our dreams through this solstice imprint. The more consciousness we give to them, the more they will activate our growth. And we can expect accurate and effective divination to help us listen in now as well. So, consult the Oracle as we need to be wise about how we travel the course we are setting out on! Time has taken on a different quality now and, like our weather, the dynamics of change are filled with unpredictability…….

Once again Venus increases her central role and stands at further mid-points, between the Sun and Chiron, as well as between Pluto and Neptune within the solstice imprint! Her wings are taking on deeper implications for riding  the winds of change……

The Sun entering Capricorn at solstice brings the emphasis back to ‘responsibility’ in our use of power. We have all been hurt at heart by the entropic destructive and delusional forces present within our world – however, Chiron supports us in healing the suffering behind these wounds. Wounds and scars, especially in the non-physical, make us highly sensitive, and can help to raise our consciousness.

With Sun closing on Pluto the plutocrats position at the peak of the pyramids of power can no longer be hidden, and the abuse we have suffered we will no longer allow to wound us – with such raised consciousness this is no longer possible. The key to handling this enhanced sensitivity is again in working with the heart center. Compassion also brings release from the restricting influence of fear and ‘en-courages’ self-empowerment. Time to claim our self-authority and, as Robert Bly poigniantly said, to “walk our limp” with pride. Clarissa Pinkola Estes has done some amazing work with women in helping them literally create a coat of power from the wounds that they as individuals have suffered. This is Chirons wisdom and Pluto makes it revolutionary. A collective wave of self-empowered individuals working with the higher self is an irresistable force.

Venus lifts us and Pluto reveals the extent of the next step. His influence is unflinching and indiscriminate, exposing the realities of power that connects us all, through taking us to deep and fundamental, revolutionary and soul-full levels of awareness…..this is epoch making energy at work within ‘the field’ that will become increasingly visible in the world through the year ahead, especially as Uranus and Pluto begin their exact squares mid-year. This will occur just as Jupiter passes into Gemini, so, now is the time to dream deeply, in communion with the divine in Nature, the ancestors and our spirit allies and let the expansive energies of our dreaming too be the channel for transformative power of liberation, healing and the birthing of our dreams within the world. Solstice has ever been thus, but never the more so now! We can all embody the return of the Sunchild……

We should pay head to the Moon in late Scorpio within the Solstice template, which here indicates that we can expect the feelings we have about our lives to run deep, but, must also keep our whits about us and not let the passion we feel rising after millenia of subjugation to blind us to the balance needed now.

The Moons nodes remind us that we are heading for ‘Aeonic consciousness’ (North Node on the Great Attractor) and highlight how mental balance and clear and unpolluted levels of health are intimately connected (South Node) – this latter aspect will be boosted during the first exact Uranus Pluto square in mid-year when Jupiter conjuncts the South Node in Gemini. The energies will be extremely high and widespread, working at fundamental levels of change at that time, so our work now is crucial. With continuing open and honest revelation of our true history, we will surely feel enraged at the extent to which we have been denied our natural heritage, but, this too can aid us as we can clear our minds of shared and self-replicating wounds, of memories, habits and lies of seperation that have kept us from realising our birth rights and human potential.

Lastly, the adjusting refinements of the current Capricorn lunation……

The New moon at 3º Capricorn sees the Solstice template subtly yet powerfully adjusted, acting like a lense focusing the archetypal inner light into present time, becoming more penetrative and intense. Being close in on Pluto at New Moon, the light of the returning Sun can ignite depth-charges of seismic force, shattering and collapsing darker uses of power and exposing them at the surface, but, this too will first and foremost catalyse a pull towards greater unity within the emerging body politic of our times. There are however indications that it is the ‘quieter’ aspect of the solstice imprint that will prevail over the coming month. The salve that helps us find balance in the world is brought by Jupiter. The great planet carries us through every degree of Venus home sign over the coming months, bringing a bountiful knowing and expansion of heart centered optimism to our individual and collective paths. Retracking over the degrees of the retrograde period through this lunation and the entirety of the solstice period, the expansive influence of Jupiter will re-open and amplify many of the revelations that have come out since the end of August, the onset of Jupiter’s retro period. This could up the anti in the world of finance, politics and international power struggles, but, our run up to the return of the Water Dragon will enable us to gather our personal power in balance to this. Watch out for new and astonishing revelations from the past!

We can now enjoy a lunation of expanding connection and sharing of true wealth – we can give this great depth through pausing now in receptivity – this is valuable fuel for the lunations preceding equinox, especially once Mars goes retrograde in Virgo at the end of January and Neptune re-enters Pisces in early February. Then we are into a zone of inner change and dynamic experiences in which reality will take on very unusual qualities…..the Dragon Paths of Earth are awakening….

…….in following the Dragon Path it is the Way that is walking…….

Peace be with us all……..

Children of the Corn

Given recent events, this post has  been a long time coming (literally, as Mercury retro has been playing havoc with comms and technology at this end of things!), and it carries a bitter sweet message, but, when the harvest is burned to stuble before its fruits have matured and been taken in its augery must be heeded…..

 The Oath

“….there were three men came out the west, their fortunes for to try

And these three men made a solemn vow

John Barleycorn must die

They’ve plowed, they’ve sown, they’ve harrowed him in

They threw clods upon his head

And these three men made a solemn vow

John Barleycorn is dead…..”

So, just what did happen this Lammas – seems the world is unravelling, and, the harvest has gone awry…..but, while the black dog tugs at the lose ends of our culture the old woman is stirring. And while the debates are sounding like an old cracked record, global tension shows in the lines drawn upon the face of the world and humanity is inexorably drawn further into the pressure zone of systemic breakdown. The cracks are showing, and the chasm widens when the bridges are burned…..a warning to all who would take sides; we are all in this together.

As EQs, volcanoes, extreme weather and Solar activity flare, we are seeing the emergence of Natural Law in confrontation with Human Law – the disparity between the two is being exposed – its the old wound.

We live in ‘Black Dog’ times, facing challenges that can both pitch us into depression, outward expressions of inner discontent and, ultimately, offer us a path of liberation and renewal. Such times can manifest both entropic collapse and creative growth, but, the ability and responsibility to access the latter depends very much on how we individually, & our leaders and governments, react to the former. The two go very much hand in hand, both in a material, psychological and spiritual sense. In fact, the whole matter of the health of our individual and collective soul is brought out at such times, and this is no romanticised notion – it is raw and visceral in the extreme.

The Black Dog

“They’ve let him lie for a very long time, ’til the rains from heaven did fall

And little Sir John sprung up his head and so amazed them all

They’ve let him stand ’til midsummer’s day ’til he looked both pale and wan

And little Sir John’s grown a long long beard and so become a man”

What is our emerging predominant position in our changing world, and how is it expressed, in human terms? Where are we at? It does not look as though we’ve cottoned on yet and started re-weaving, but, the signs are that it won’t be long before we turn around and find the whole damn edifice has become a mass of chaotic threads on the cave floor; and, for all the grandiose promises and words we may hear over the coming weeks, months or years, the medicine blanket cannot be repaired and then we carry on ‘AS IF’. Where in Hell’s name are our leaders at!? No, don’t bother to answer……..and, do ‘they’ seriously expect us to believe that the Sun also shines……

If ‘We’ adopt the same position, well, do they, should we, expect everything will be alright…..and, what exactly is ‘Our’ position?

Is our position expressed in advances in science, in education or health and longevity, through democracy? Could it be economic breakdown, political unrest, human violence and oppression, through terrorism and war, abuse of the natural world and human rights, famine and fear? Does it have a more positive face, is it visible in the emergence of ‘people power’ und uprisings against the oppressors, are ‘We’ getting any closer to the manifestation of a movement towards ethical global unity, towards sustainable living and life-ways, through our enhanced communications and interconnectedness, are we really realising transformations of consciousness?

When the answer to the latter transcends the personal flowering head, and spreads a shimmer of beauty across ourcollective field, like poppies in the corn field, we will know – Lammas is the time of the cross quarter fire festival between the hay and the corn harvests, time for an augery before the harvest is brought in. Is it a far cry from the harvest, that we see the used and abused, the disowned and out of synch playing the reapers game…..

The Unravelling

“They’ve hired men with their scythes so sharp to cut him off at the knee

They’ve rolled and tied him by the way, serving him most barbarously

They’ve hired men with their sharp pitchforks who’ve pricked him to the heart

And the loader has served him worse than that

For he’s bound him to the cart”

Time was when we knew how to bring this energy into the fold of community, to work with it for the greater good…..we once had rites of passage and initiations that helped the young find their place in the world, that vitally tempered the vital energy, that taught of Life and Death, and how Death was a responsibility of the living that was much a part of the learning process as the most ancient of our connections; breathing in the final breath of the Deer, honouring its gift and giving thanks, rubbing its blood into our hearts, its saliva into our joints, that we may be in communion, one energy, before taking Death back into the community to feed the living with its sacred flesh…….then we learned how to grow corn and the sacred balance shifted

Time was when the child’s path to adulthood was marked by a kind of respect and holding that allowed the young ones to taste their own capacity for manifesting and experiencing their direct relationship with Life and Death, in ways that nurtured a respect for both, ritual ways…..this is natural, where Natural Law and Human Law have an interwoven nature, like the warp and the weft of the medicine blanket, that weaves a pattern of Great Beauty, out of Great Mystery…..and creates a garment that can be worn as one’s own with pride, that shows to all to what, where, whom and how one belongs……oh my!, but we must weep surely, tears of grief, for the tattered garment of lies that we now offer to them…..the pattern it shows, the inner meaning it conveys, its allegiences, are those of Human Law at odds with Natural Law. Is it any wonder that the fierce energy of Natural Law gone riot is flooding our village with destructive energy, burning down our temples of consumerism, releasing a lava flow of disdain and dis-respect – whats to respect?!!!

It takes a village to raise a child, so what kind of village do we invite them to come live in? No need to answer this either……we all know.

The Augery

“They wheeled him around and around a field ’til they came unto a pond

And there they’ve made a solemn oath on poor John Barleycorn

They’ve hired men with their crabtree sticks to cut him skin from bone

And the miller has served him worse than that

And ground him between two stones”

We watch for the signs in Nature, listen to the Earth speaking in Her bardic tongue and wonder as she calls to the stars…..

“Are the Blades of Teaching ready…….Are they forged anew in the smithy of the boiling clouds, thundering hammers and blinding shards of fire echoing across the Land……Do you come now, are you ready for the reaping…..”

The promise of the Cornucopia, the weaving of the Sacred Mother’s flowering heads into Her image…..rest on that note and breathe the ozone of the approaching storm….but, breathe deeply, so it fills your blood and carries the life-force to all parts of your body, and swearing an oath to Life would be better than swearing alliegence to a dieing culture, or swearing damnation on the young……

As I was writing this the song of John Barleycorn kept coming up and flooding my memory – I had intended a prayer, a poetic invocation, but, I did not expect this……and yet the other worlds, the ancestors, were insistent….”look again”…….it has many layers and possible meanings , and is loaded with potent symbolism, such that it fit with the times. So, Ioffer this old song for contemplation and post it as an oath song, for choices that matter now….

Originally, perhaps, and best known as a song of protest, for solidarity in the face of prohibition, the verses offered here are from in the English version, which feels relevant in its own way. Burns’ Gaelic version is worth reading for its raw lyricism, as sharp as a prick from the Thistle’s thorn, and celebrates the hardiness of the Gaelic spirit, especially in the face of the oppressor. Burns used the pseudonym John Barleycorn when he answered the prohibition laws in his ‘Address to the Scottish Distillers to the Right Honorable William Pitt’, the British Prime Minister at the time. The English version has become more literalised, made to resonate with a different political flavour, steeped in its own magical traditions, but, the pertinent message remains the same. And, the essence is the stronger for maturing through time, like the spirits at the heart of the protest, and it reaches back to the roots of the agrarian revolution……it remains potent in spirit and celebrates the earthy realism of life lived on the land, where the people’s roots hold strong and connect them through the old ways with each other through the Land.

The Harvest

“And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl and his brandy in the glass

And little Sir John and his nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last

The huntsman he can’t hunt the fox nor so proudly blow his horn

And the tinker he can’t mend kettle or pots without little Barleycorn”

Times have changed and we prohibit the hunt and drive out the tinker, and John Barleycorn holds his own mirror up to us, his song become the rallying call to the bar and tavern – but, with more time and care it spins a different magic, bitter sweet and persistent, with a bite, like all the best distillations of spirit, a reminder of a past that yet has a relevance to us now. So, the song is sung and the oath is made in honour of  the Ancestors who fought for their rights, for their land and who buried an undying spirit within its midst, in thanks for their persistence…. 

Those  ancestors wove their paths across the oceans by means of star wisdom and the flow of the ocean tides, the knowledge of the winds, and brought with them the crafts of the smithy, the ship-wright and the navigator, and they too planted the precious seeds they carried in the belly of our fertile land. The song contains a ritual, hidden in the weave of its medicine blanket, that belongs to the full realisation of a strengthened spirit through the rites of passage – a ritual belonging as much to the Northern Isles as it does to the Southern Plains….

…..they met with ancestors of another line, who wove their paths through the forests by means of the Deer tracks and Owl call, who read the messages of bird and leaf, who carried the long memory of the hunter, the healer and the diviner – they all carried their Wheels, the sacred medicines that speak of the great circle of Life. Their Wheels held the the signs of their wisdom woven into their medicine blankets, by which they honoured the wise and kenning ways of Life common to us all. We can remember this, it is still ours.

When we and the Wheels come together we find the ritual comes alive, weaving the Fire, the Earth, the Oceans and the Winds around the axis of the Stars and the Soul…..weaving the Spirits of the Ancestors and their eternal Dreaming Fire of Vision and Continuity, the Spirits of Healing and Cleansing whose cool Waters offer Peace and Reconciliation, the crystalline Beings of Stone and Bone who hold our Stories and Remembering, the Nature Spirits who speak their Shape-shifter riddles of Change and Transformation, all centered and gathered together within and around, supported by, the Spirits of Earth whose Village Meeting Lodge opens its threshold to us all to join together, to be held within the Shelter of Community and share the gifts of Communion with Life, and teaches us of Who We Are…..

…..there are gifts for us all here, that we can still offer  folk, should we care to – and we should, especially when youthfull vitality is drowned in the spirits in the bottle, has its roots severed by a culture of debt and greed, and is suffering our own short-comings…..but, we must remember the approaching Harvest, and ask what ‘We’ can bring into the ritual space that celebrates the circle dance of Life and Death, that will truly nourish us and keep us alive through the coming Winter…..wise now for us each and together to make our offerings to Earth as She offers her fruits to us, to weave the fruits of our labours into an image in Her likeness and through this bring the healing ways of Her Medicine Blanket into the Meeting Place at the Heart of our Village, would that we could remember the way…….

……………………………………………………………..

I want to make a toast, a prayer of thanks – to all of you who have come to this oft’times unpredictable (for me at least!) and peculiar meeting place over the last year – Yes! Owlmirror is one year old……my, how time flies when you’re having fun. So, to everyone who has visited, commented, ‘liked’ and ‘shared’ within this mad hut and spun our magic together – THANK YOU, BE BLESSED and SLAINTE!

 

Deep Moon

Venus gives us a Heart connection right to the heart of the Void, Great Mystery, the Source at this Capricorn Full Moon……and Ancestors are rising to great us!

The Capricorn Full Moon in the 23rd degree of the Sea-goat highlights how we have crystalised our personal and collective power in the world and how this manifests, or works against, our sense of belonging. The spotlight is on the underlying security and empowerment that our rootedness give us, and there is a great opportunity for deep healing here.

While we see the macrocosm reflected in the microcosm of our personal lives, and visa versa, this can be a very emotional time and the balance that feeling ‘at home’, being centered, brings us will help us greatly as we face up to the power struggles playing out on our home planet. There is a pride and dignity in having strong personal identity, in knowing who we are and where we have come from. This is not ego-pride, but, the dignified wisdom of the soul that gives a deeper sense of purpose to the direction our lives are taking. Being in possession of this power is all about being more deeply connected into our soul path and, through this, remembering why we are here. We can align what we are and what we do with that purpose. This was revealed in the Storyteller Eclipse and the seeds sown then are germinating now. ‘Why’ we do what we do matters more than ever now, is a matter of deep healing at the heart of our transformation. The Earth needs us to have this sense of purpose, it is an energy we can all feel rising….

A person, like a plant, cannot exist easily without roots – there are exceptions, but, it is what is below the surface and our ability to draw upon the rich nutrients of life that helps us to become strong in the world. We need solid ground beneath our feet and ancestry, tradition and the bonds of kinship can provide this. No-one is an island…..

With the Sun in Cancer, an opportunity for consciously tapping into the natural wellsprings of our roots and drawing on the primal wisdom that flows from and through them, we can bring this deeper sense of wellbeing into full consciousness at this time. It will be a good time to work with our personal and tribal affiliations, to bring healing and strength to those connections, and, as we are all in this together, this will also work for the greater good – but, respect and balance are key. If we work on this at the personal level with these cohesive qualities our collective sense of purpose will be strengthened. When the people are strong the balance of power resides in the rootedness of their will. Nothing can take this away from us once it is established within.

Ancestor work is powerful and essential medicine, so now is the time to bring offerings to those who have gone before us. Asking forgiveness for our own failures to keep those connections alive, forgiving their errors and pledging to renew this sacred contract with our forebears will truly help heal the wounds we see opening out in the world. Honouring ancestry itself brings great sense of belonging and wellbeing – its shadow side is zealous nationalism, racism and tribal warfare. When the underlying dynamics of this shadow are allowed to accumulate over time they can call up the vengeful power of the Furies. Old wounds underly our wars and through these the Furies seek blood payments. When we lose respect and balance our emotions can fuel their wrath; when we restore these important qualities and make it possible to acknowledge the wounds without being sucked into their energy we can also consciously acknowledge their presence. The sense of self and compassion that arises with this are essential here, but, so is the honouring of the Furies….but, our work here is with Venus and her essential grounding, so more on the Furies in the next post.

Once we have renewed ourconnections within with our ancestral roots we can also ask for guidance and support from them – its a mutual relationship, profound and meaningful when centered in the heart, problematic and disruptive when we loose ourselves from our center and allow the power to rush to our heads. Balance. Integration. Partnership. Co-operation. Generousity. Respect. Compassion. These are all human qualities that this work can engender, that spring from the heart and that fund us with the ability to enter and face the challenges of the unknown with courage, the power of the heart…..they too bring dignity to our personal dance.

The health of our integration with those ancestral powers is a big issue on both a collective and personal level. The current upheavals/tensions in the world and our ancestral connections are intimately related, a relationship we feel collectively, know instinctively. Those connections have suffered immensly at the hands of ‘progress’, ‘modernism’ and the imbalances of personal power that are rife in the world. There is a mutual feedback loop in this – the call is to break the bonds of the negative loop and restore the bonds of the positive. With the emphasis at this Moon on our emotive power, understanding how our feelings reflect and feed into the health of this fundamental relationship is important – when we are wise to the energies of our emotional body we can walk in balance. This too reflects our personal rootedness, is key to working with this Moons energies. So, make your personal space conducive to quiet focus, free of distraction, a natural and beautiful container for this work. If you have a circle or communal space in which this healing work can take place now is the time to bring this together. Make it a sacred communion. Through this, together we can create something of immense value that is much greater than the sum of its parts. There is an imprint of the last Solar eclipse at work in this too, tapping into archetypal energies – the key to working with those energies is to create a strong enough container for them to flow through us into life without entirely loosing our sense of self, so the power of community is also supported here by traditional forms and practices belonging to those communities…..this too can connect us more deeply with our origins.

And this is where Venus comes in……Our origins are beginning to speak to us now through ever deepening rememberance, guiding us into ever more tangible embodiment of our true essence. The reality that we are star beings incarnate through the body of the Earth Mother is a leitmotiv that we are beginning to recover from our past, but, this is not an invitation to escape into fantasy. The eclipses have opened archetypal portals in space-time and ‘the lid is off’. The archetypes fund us with this realisation, but, they also bring very tangible challenges if we have our spirits in the stars while ignoring our physical grounding. Integration is so important. As the Taoists (and Sistertongue) remind us we must honour the Yang but stick with the Yin. Venus in the 14th degree of Cancer gives us the sensual connection. And she is given a powerful incentive to crystalise our connections in balanced relationship as she is squaring Saturn in Libra, but, it is the Sabian symbol attached to this degree that reveals the deeper link.

14º Cancer has this : A VERY OLD WO/MAN FACING A VAST DARK SPACE TO THE NORTHEAST.

KEYNOTE: Fulfillment in transcending and changeless wisdom.

This symbol describes the Wise Elder, an archetypal figure found in all systems of symbolism. In occult terminology the northeast is the direction from which spiritual-cosmic forces enter the Earth-sphere. This is probably because the polar axis of the Earth is inclined by some 23 degrees away from the exact perpendicular to the plane of its orbit. Thus the actual pole of our globe not only differs from the permanent pole of the Earth’s orbit, but constantly changes its direction, successively pointing to several large “circumpolar” stars during the so-called processional cycle (or “tropical year,” or Great Polar Cycle), which lasts somewhat less than 26,000 years. Because of this inclination of the polar axis, we have the phenomenon of seasonal change. Supposedly during the early Golden Age no such change occurred; a “perpetual spring” reigned. This is the (traditionally) spiritual state. The Wise Elder faces the Changeless Reality, the true North —- which for us is located in a northeast direction. S/he faces the great Void, that apparent Darkness which is an intense Light invisible to our senses.

As this is a fourth stage symbol in the five-fold sequence, there is as usual a hint of technique. Implied is that by consistently and for a long time meditating on the changeless and spiritual reality at the very core of all experiences one can attain the supreme and age-old wisdom. We see in the symbol a way beyond appearances and toward PERMANENCE IN TRUTH.

The North-East is also the direction through which spirit enters the Medicine Wheel in many traditions, before becoming manifest in the East – on the outer rim it is where the ancestor’s road crosses our personal path, and it calls us to consciously choose the best path for our energy to follow. With the empowerment of a centered and self-knowing soul, deeply rooted and connected with the Source, we become the truely empowered, co-creative ‘self-leader’ that our ancestral heritage has endorsed us to become on our journey into Life. It is the place of the pre-dawn light, and Venus as the Morning Star is its herald. She is rising in this form now……

The exquisit beauty of the planetary dance at this time is further aided by aligning our soul paths with their energetic matrix. The planetary matrix contains all the patterns they have made and will make as we spiral around our home star, spiralling around the galactic center – tapping into that timeless memory is an important esoteric function of astrology, made more poigniant now through the culmination of the Mayan Calendar and Earths axial alignment with the Galactic Center; the strength arising from this now is at the heart of and manifest in the very power of the spirit dance. The sacred circle dance opens the human circle to spirit and facilitates the ancestral healing that augers the mending of the Sacred Hoop, the Wheel of Life restored. Not for the first time……

……the vision that Northern Paiute Wovoka recieved on the 1st January Solar Eclipse of 1889 held a calling for the resurgence of the spirit dance amongst the indigenous folk of North America, and his vision carried a profoundly pertinent message for our times. The dance he was giving call to has since become erroneously named the ‘Ghost Dance’, more a reflection of the limited understanding of his detractors than of the spirit of his vision – the story and events that preceded and followed this important event in Native American culture is deeply tragic, but, the vision that Wovoka beheld was equally deep and inspiring. Wovoka advocated ‘clean living’, non-violent peaceful cross-cultural co-operation and an end through this to the destructive hegemony of the white-man. This Full Moon conjuncts the position of the Moon’s nodes at the exact time of the 1889 eclipse…….perhaps the ancestors are calling us now to take up the soul path of this vision…….Mercury conjuncts the 1889 eclipse Saturn, so our voices can be shaped by this vision……it is our calling too.

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