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Resting in the arms of rhythm and repetition. For me this has been an ultimately profound experience. The journey of trance is a very grounding and life affirming journey, one that enables me to connect body, heart and mind with a deeper knowing that the guidance of a spiritual nature is present.
I cannot ‘not’ believe in a power greater than myself. If I did I would be too engaged with my own ability to control, to be self reliant (of which I’m a master!) and too able to be resigned to the challenges that life presents to me. I must always remember that I am not alone, that help is close by and I am able to ask for help in it’s many guises. I need to remember that if I do not pray, or do not believe in that greater power and seek its support, then I am too dependent on my own self-will which is not always the best way for me to live, for it is full of experiences that have not worked out for the best.
When I dance or journey, I surrender to that greater power, asking the questions I need to ask, and surrender to any particular outcome. At first I have to work for this, moving my body, dancing, keeping myself awake and motivated. Eventually I adopt a relaxation, resting into the drum beat, where there is no work to do, just a surrender, allowing the drum beat to do the work, where I am in the depths of the journey. I am still moving but I am surrendered to what ever the dance is, what ever wants to move through me, whether its emotion, physical energy, expression or a particular dance that just has to be danced. I might receive knowledge, a deeper understanding, wisdom or imagery. A poem might arrive or a phrase that speaks volumes to me.
Usually I am in a held space, where there is safety and I can truly let go.
After the journey, I might write what ever appeared, or what ever the information was that I received. Sometimes I might simply have ea glorious feeling of connectedness, open-heart’ed-ness, or a feeling of elation.
One thing is for sure, I must make an effort in this way, not depend on any drug or substance to get me there. My body is capable of achieving this, no matter what. It is all down to the movement of the ecstatic dancer.
To experience this in depth, we offer gatherings where participants are held over periods of time to explore, immersed in the beat, immersed in rhythm and surrendered to the heart beat of the drum. you are welcome to join us there.
Cork, Ireland. March/April… http://www.middleearthmedicine.com/event/the-shamans-oracle-a-portal-to-the-spirit-world/
Switzerland 5 day immersion. April… http://www.middleearthmedicine.com/event/shamanic-course-hollow-bone-teachings-switzerland/
I’ve been sharing workshops for nearly twenty years now, in dance and in personal process’s. And I am writing now about the challenge I see within how many students, as in the size of groups that we undertake to hold, we clearly need to make it viable as well as effective for everyone. There has often been a challenge for myself as well as for others between the necessary financial needs of the space holder/teacher and the level of intimacy that is needed for our participants.
If we are a really large group of people, then some of those participants are clearly going to feel lost and in the back ground of what is happening. Where as others will be able to step forward and take center stage and their voice will be heard.
In a smaller more intimate group, everyone has the potential of being heard and receiving attention. This is extremely important for some areas of our process and healing.
It is impossible for a large group to be held with equal connection between the teacher/space holder and students/participants. So if we need to ensure that everyone receives that connection, then clearly the groups need to be smaller. In which case the facilitator may not find this financially viable. We need nourishing too and to be able to offer our creative work without it breaking our banks.
It has never been easy to find this balance particularly growing up in a culture of ‘big’ gatherings. I have held groups of up to 100 participants and groups of around 12, they are completely different energetically and if they are based around any particular process and not just dance, then I know the small groups are going to best serve that intimacy needed. I also trust that the ‘dance’ itself can hold us with our connection to God/Spirit, but if we are also here to communicate and connect with our ‘space holders/teachers,’ to be heard and acknowledged then that can create an impossible task.
I am big into that holding of intimacy and hearing everyone’s voice, my tendency is to lean much more into that – the voice being very key to this kind of work. We must be heard and acknowledged, there is no point in stepping back, disappearing and feeling inhibited by ‘the big group’ if we are going to find any level of healing or acceptance of our own stories. Or is that the challenge – to step up no matter what and make our way through the quagmire of our inability to show up, be seen, be heard despite the pain it evokes?
For some this will never be the right path and those who are deeply sensitive and introvert, it is simply not the way forward and never will be. Better to find that voice in the safety of intimacy than to push ones way through the crowds.
My path, I believe, really is to hold those spaces for small intimate groups, to meet with the sensitive souls who otherwise would never be heard.
I find so much creativity is found there, so many shared stories that touch the heart, so much blossoming that could not be found elsewhere.
And I encourage those who have grown up in the field of high energy big group workshops and gatherings who now find it hard to accept the struggle of small groups, trust yourself to be with that call that clearly wants to be held through you. It is very important that those spaces are held.
When it comes to financial viability, there needs to be a way to create that space too, to hold a different kind of gathering, one that nourishes ourselves as well as our participants, where we are able to immerse ourselves into the big energy, whether its dance or whatever, and know that the small intimate space will also be available to us at another time.
In order to survive and do the work I do, I need both, big energy and small intimacy. Where the big energy means less attention on the deeper work, when the high energy is designed for a different reason, to connect to God/Spirit, to find the dance within ourselves and to learn to trust in something more than our own ego. Then we can bring what we discover to that place of intimacy, to the smaller held space, to share our story and what it means to us to bring it into the world. A lot of course depends on the type of work we hold, for me it has been necessary to have a high energy to feed the dance, until I found the essence of my work which is much more suited to a smaller circle.
This is a Mandorla process in itself and it is the Mandorla that is at the root of my offering to others 🙂
Shame is generally felt as unworthiness, caused by how we perceive others to see us or think about us. Guilt is generally connected to something we have done that has caused problems regarding what others think or feel and what we think or feel ourselves. If we are brave enough to take courage and swim from these debilitating shores and face our shame, we open up possibilities of incredible creativity. We invite in the truth, to show us who we really are.
I wrote on this theme many years ago in my first book ‘Ms’Guided Angel’ ‘I recognise old patterns of shame emerging, I knew they were bound to appear now and again, they had a strong hold on me for many years and occasionally they would stick their head out from over my shoulder, reaching forwards to whisper in my ear. I hear that old familiar voice begging me to save its life;’
“What about me, what about me, your old friend called ’shame’ you know me well, the one who has protected you all your life, the one who has helped you shut down so you did not need to hear those nasty words, those painful truths and even those lies, remember me“
‘Sometimes it sits on a fence looking at me like vultures awaiting the kill, patiently knowing it is coming, ripe and raw, plundered from the kill of its innocence. So I study, I search, I take note of the stories that unfold around me. Knowing that somehow as I work deeper and deeper these stories have to change. Often the fear is there because I do not want to feel humiliation and shame. Better to stay small and quiet, not speak out than have to face some of those unbelievably painful issues. The red blushing face, the feelings of being humiliated by others, the gossip that may spew forth. The deadening sensations in the pit of the stomach even the sensation of near vomiting. And then there is the hope that no one has noticed this shame, as the face distorts while trying to hide the truth of what is being felt. But it is too late and those feelings begin to seep into the consciousness like a wave that empties itself out of the ocean depths.’
I know that shame exists in many of us, me included. I believe that though guilt and shame may be difficult to deal with they are great teachers in the art of humility and being humble. They are both extraordinary pathways into feeling deep into the core of ourselves and the teachings that come from within. They can take us out of body too easily, cause dysfunctions and addictions, but ‘spoken’ to with care and tenderness they will show us deeply who we are, offering many gifts in the form of love and compassion for ourselves and others.
How do we react to and become ‘friends’ with our own shame?
Shame can be a deep pit of despair if we allow it to be, it can consume us and tie us in knots. Trying to force our way out of it can only make it cling on harder, like a small hungry child needing more acknowledgement and reassurance, to push it away will not serve and that deep pit will grow ever deeper. My journey has always been to explore the areas of shame that I/we feel in our hearts and bellies. Whatever the story, where ever it comes from, there is a dance of healing to be danced. The journey is to take apart, very gradually, the stories we carry around shame, and see if we can gently unfold the edges to look within and to be kind to those parts of us that need a little more light. The seen and the unseen – where we hide and where we speak out, they can all evoke in us a sense of shame that is innately connected to our core-wounds, to our innocence and betrayals, the pain within and the longing to be free from it. Acknowledgement and acceptance of shame is the turning point, where we begin to take the action needed to move forward and not allow the shame to diminish us. To make friends with our shame and honor the journey it has taken to be able to look and see.
I saw her as a very beautiful woman who had been locked in a tower.
I saw her suffering because we were too ashamed to even admit we felt shame!
Her femininity was outcast because we could not bare to see so deeply into her, as a society.
Shame came to me as a beautiful woman,
No longer banished to an ugly tower,
She came to me as a beautiful woman
Free of the shackles and chains that would bind her,
Shame came to me as a beautiful woman
Full of her own creative wisdom,
Free to dance and sing with her own voice.
Shame came to me as a beautiful woman,
No longer cast out as a memory of dysfunction
The spirit of shame IS a beautiful one.
The feminine of our society, that energy that is diminished if it shows its face. The feminine, (not women,) where ever the feminine resides.
The soul is free of shame and the ego carries shame – the soul and ego need to fall in love – one cannot be in the world without the other. So we allow the soul to fall in love with our shame. If we are ashamed of others and their actions it is usually because it reflects something we feel within ourselves. The soul will accept any amount of shame within the ego and the ego must also allow the soul to receive and gently transform the ego to accept itself. It may be that we do not experience huge feelings of shame or be aware of them, but we may be acting out patterns and habits of behaviour that is still related to the original shame and its experience.
These things can relate to eating habits, to sexuality, to hiding emotions or fear of losing control. We may remain very shy and avoid any kind of embarrassing situations. It may be that our concerns about how other people perceive us or think about us, are way out of proportion, so we live our lives in fear of that and try to adjust ourselves to fit in with their perceived expectations. We may be living a very mundane existence without any creativity because that is a safer option.
Shame that manifests itself in the roots of destruction, the part of us that believes we are worthless and have no value, is the very thing that so many of us would bury as deeply as possible. Some would bury it with alcohol, food and drugs. Some with a superficial appearance of everything being ok. Much narcism is born under the guise of shame and for some they will live a life of depression and begrudge others around them.
Those who suffer shame often feel they need acceptance and love, they need people who value them, one person will never be enough. Yet the only one who can truly help us overcome this debilitating experience is ourselves.
I awoke one morning from a dream, everything seemed wrong and a voice in my head would not still itself. I reach for my note pad and scribble down words that simply flow out of me, looking for release, for freedom, so as not to be caged inside me anymore. I know it is the voice of a lack in self-esteem and I know that to know my self-esteem, I must know its shadow too.
Shame is believed to be the most disturbing experience individuals ever have about themselves; no other emotion feels more deeply disturbing because in that moment of shame we feel so deeply wounded within. People who experience traumatic events are prone to shame. It is associated with a desire to hide or to disappear. Even in extreme cases to die and not be here at all. A baby has the ability to feel shame very early on in its life, being caused by simply not receiving attention when he or she expected to. When a baby or small child does not receive that attention expected, the muscles in the back of the neck weaken and the head drops forward, as eyes look down to the ground. The emotion of shame has planted its seed. Many people will close their eyes when speaking to others, look away or look to the floor. This can become a life long habit if not addressed. Such a vast subject, especially as shame creates so much pain in our lives. So often the feelings from childhood haunt us. We can too easily believe that we are somehow not good enough, that we are wrong, defective or not strong enough. We can feel different intensities, sometimes experiencing fleeting shame for some minor incident, or we can feel chronic shame. The most intense being humiliation. Humiliation is painful and yet children are often humiliated by their peers, their teachers and even some parents. The scars of humiliation run very deep and in order to alleviate them, those deep core issues need to be addressed and self esteem reclaimed.
We do not always know our own shame, but some of the ways we can know we feel shame are through our shyness, discouragement, embarrassment, self-consciousness and/or inferiority. Shame is often triggered by expectations or hopes, being frustrated or blocked, disappointed or perceived failure and rejection or lack of interest from another. These may be the triggers but not the full story of why we feel it. We need to master our shame and not allow it to have that debilitating grip on our lives. It means being a witness to it; sitting in the eye of the storm and not being blown about in the hurricane.
Innocence can be reclaimed through this process especially as we begin to acknowledge those places that we feel deep shame. So often we try to ignore it, put it aside and ride above its painful wave. Yet it sits deep within us lurking in those hidden places.
In the pain of my own body I feel your eyes
Encouraging me to open more and share those dark secrets from
Searching for the unlimited stories that have lurked in the corners
Time forgotten on all sides
Ready to emerge to envelop me with shadows of dances not yet danced
And my feet move down into the ground
Spreading my roots into the earth
Saying hold me connect me support me
Here I go once more releasing the unnecessary burdens seeking fire to burn and rid me of the past and its melancholy
Surrendering to the fluidity of mighty rivers to wash away the pressure of having to live my life
To give it up is a timely and appropriate feeling
To live no more in dread of what may or may not come
My hurt, not yours, watch me yes
But do not rob me of my own power to heal myself
It is mine and given freely for me to use as I desire
Do not make yourself the rescuer do not make your self the healer
For that is you’re healing to let go of
This dance is my doing and mine alone
Simply see me and hold me in your gaze, see the darkness of me as well as my beauty
For here it unfolds onto the picture called ‘my life’
The painting rich of many colours and textures
I am maiden mother warrior and crone, the wise woman in each
I am all these things and will be all for you
Whenever you need the dance, the eyes of connection
The witness of our truth, I see you
From Ms’Guided Angel 2010
Carolines next book ‘Middle Earth Wisdom’ will be published with its own medicine cards in 2018.
Our imagination is a portal to the spirit world, it is what our ancestors used for guidance, wisdom and story-telling. We can learn to recapture the essence of our indigenous nature, the ways of our great, great ancestors and expand our consciousness and awareness by using and re-membering our innate human skills.
The Journey is an ancient practice which connects us to the Spirit world. Along with Animism, it is the most time tested of all spiritual practices. Often used during healings, ecstatic dance, soul retrieval for gathering insights and wisdom, the shamanic journey offers us a way to seek guidance and support in our daily lives, connecting us to the Spirit World of power animals, guides, allies and guardians. You will learn how to access the ‘other’ worlds via ‘axis mundis’ and learn how to interact with what you find.
Our imagination becomes a portal to the spirit world, where we begin to perceive and connect with the other worlds, also using myth and inner guidance of the heart. We begin to imagine that non-ordinary reality and vision-in what we learn to expect to see, characteristically archetypal and nonlinear in nature. Our imagination gives the journey a container which can help us to interpret the messages we receive. This gives us a way to articulate the experience for ourselves, to write it and draw it, create art or poetry. We become story tellers of our own visions. We can then translate what we receive into our ‘ordinary’ reality, manifesting our dreams upon the earth.
Within the journey we are experiencing an altered state of consciousness, that expands our awareness to many dimensions. Expanding our awareness to include not just our ordinary state, sometimes called the mundane state, but to understand on a much deeper level, the potentials held in the metaphoric, the artistic and the creative. We learn different ways of ‘seeing’ things, like the patterns in our lives, the habits, the ways of relating and within relationships. We learn to understand things in a whole new way, interpreting them to find a greater meaning for ourselves finding more passion, purpose, and authenticity.
If you are very new to Shamanism…
The journeys are particularly useful for anyone facing change, looking for direction or insight, or seeking skills and ways to support themselves or others. When we discover our Spirit guides, we have a huge amount of resource at our side. They are there for us in many shapes and forms, guiding us and always willing to give us wisdom. We learn to communicate, to be grateful, to honor these spirit guides in ways we have forgotten within our busy ‘technological’ world.
We aim for the journey to be body and heart centered and can be used within movement, as well as by sitting or lying down. We may find ourselves speaking or singing, telling stories and finding new poetry. Discovering where we may have become artistically blocked and need more inspiration.
This experience is of an ecstatic nature, taking us into territories never experienced before, to other-worldy visions and places where we can converse with animals, spirit beings and sometimes those who have passed on.
Shamanic journey has been a life changing experience for me and it feels like my body, heart and mind were longing for it and so grateful for this gift, for this tool. Thank you for sharing it. With love and respect, Johanna (interior designer)
So here is an online journeying course run by Caroline Carey, that you can use in the privacy of your own home. You can listen to Caroline sharing sessions on the Lower, Middle and Upper World Journeys, typically used for Spiritual insights, empowerment, gathering of information, wisdom and knowledge. It is simple yet deeply nourishing and empowering.
Once you have signed up for Level 1, you will find a series of videos and information as well as practice journeys to do. Included are:
Preparation for the journeys
Lower world landscape
Lower world and power animals
Upper world landscape
Upper world spirit allies and guides
Recapping the journey
Once on level 2 you can also take part in free webinars that run most months, where we connect together as a group and journey with chosen themes. These meetings have been very gentle and profound.
Once all has been experienced we move on to Level 2, where we will be focusing on very specific journeys and how to master some important techniques. You can join that after attending this first course. Details will be found on the Level 1 page.
You will also gain exclusive access to a private Facebook group for course members only.
Level 2 includes:
Middle World Journeys
Journey in Movement
BPM and Brain Waves
To join this course (with the videos), click on the button Sign up for the Course
The Level 1 part of the course costs £47 and can be paid with a paypal account or with credit/debit card through paypal. Level 2 also costs £47.
It is recommended that you use good speakers rather than the speakers on a lap top or smaller devise. The sound quality, particularly of the drum will not be good on Iphone, Ipads and laptops.
We hope you enjoy the course and if you need more info write to this address email@example.com
Individual sessions are available for shamanic journeying, please email for more info Sessions cost £65 for one hour or £35 if you are signed up to the course.
Why does shamanism work? And how have scientists proven this is now fact?
Shamanic healing has often been named as superstitious and primitive, with no proof of reality. However, scientists have now recognised that there is a quantum mechanism behind these rituals and in fact, shamans know exactly what they are doing.
In a scientific way, the basic ‘behaviour’ behind a ritual is the use of repetition, which creates energetic waves. Energy moves in waves and when you engage a strong intention and human will, over a long period of time those energy waves work together and can change what is effectively a negative/dysfunctional dis-ease. The prayer is set and the intention is made, thus the energy, now created with the repetition, can begin to make those quantum changes in the energy field.
The process is connecting many stories and works through the imagination as well as the energy. The imagination being a portal to a higher expansion of awareness and as some would believe and see – a spirit world.
Shamans, when intently focused on that one prayer or intention, focused on the cure or on the gathering of information and connecting and working with their spirit guides, helpers and teachers, can effect change in local time and reality, when working at a quantum level. This is always achieved through ritualistic repetitive action. The use of movement, shaking, drum beat, rattle or song affects this change. There often needs to be some form of sacrifice for the rituals and healings, as in the past when shamans were gifted food, money, medicine gifts and clothing, so that there is an energy exchange, keeping the balance in harmony.
Shamanism, with its explanation based in modern physics, is a reality, but maybe not the reality that a shaman would believe, still it proves that their healing works, that it is not mumbo-jumbo and if used in the traditional methods and ways, can be extremely potent medicine.
It takes many years for scientific evidence to filter down into the mainstream of human consciousness, just like any other discovered theory. Some of these theories are hard to accept or believe, they take time to be fully acknowledged. Like accepting the earth is round or that man can actually fly in a plane. Scientifically it is impossible for a bee to fly and yet it flies! However for those who it has been a daily occurrence, shamanism is the normal approach to healing and has never been considered to be any different. It is simply those in the western world, who need more fact and information, possibly scientific proof, whether they are taking part in healing ceremonies, ecstatic dance creating expanded awareness, gaining wisdom for the community, or whatever the particular ritual is for, it is the art of repetition over a long period of time, with intense focus and prayer that creates, in a scientific term; the quantum mechanics rule.
The repetition of movement, as in movement meditations or dance, song and drumming, connects to these natural waves of energy, awakening and changing the consciousness, opening the third eye or expanding our awareness. When the drum beat (rattle, movement, song) is experienced, the mind will begin to adapt to its waves and the focus of the mind will draw on images as the body-heart responds. We are mostly water, and if we observe rhythm in connection with water, we can see how it creates patterns. If we are moving, the repetition becomes embodied, affecting the cellular structure within us and enabling the bodies cells to shift and re-position themselves, this also happens by simply listening with an intent to a drum beat. When something is observed and focused on for long enough, it changes the patterns and the waves of energy fields, (this was scientifically proven back in the 1920’s.) We still use many methods of prayer, focus and momentum to keep going with our intentions to create change and healing. What we give enough time and energy to, can over periods of time begin to change or manifest greatly. The rules of this ritualistic healing/expansion are that there is need for focus and a strong intention. In a shamanic healing or experience, the prayer that we are making needs a very strong ‘human will’ behind it, sometimes it needs more than one person to hold this, that is why healing ceremonies often need to include many witnesses and support for the shaman. The ‘human will’ is powerful and it can be hard to have that presence and determination to be with the will power and complete its intention. We see the ‘human will’ in runners and extreme sports, in the focus and determination to get a job done, in musicians and artists to perfect their work. To experience these arts of healing or creative endeavours, one must have a willingness to engage fully with the ritual/experience.
My own experience is that shamanic rituals need to be kept very simple for our western minds to be able to fully accept them, without getting too distracted or to find ourselves being skeptical. Skepticism at times can be healthy, it can also get very much in the way of the experience! Our modern-mind however, is much more sophisticated now and has an expectation for immediate results and for ‘having things done for us,’ expectations of doctors and medical people, somewhere forgetting that it is up to us to create our own rituals as well. We look for proof where there is none and want debates to argue our case, not recognising that the truth is in the effects not the previous thoughts about something. I have heard this be called ‘contempt prior to examination!’ The assumption we know about something before we have fully experienced it. It often comes about because it is hard to understand something we do not understand, rather than admit our ‘not knowing,’ or even our fear about it, it is easier to show contempt and set aside any possible examination for ourselves.
There is so much we can learn from the traditional shamans and bring into our own practices today. But if we use the word ‘shaman,’ we need to know that we are using a word that is derived from an old language and is about the connection to the spirit world and our own allies and guides. Maybe a new word/name is needed to engage with what scientists are now proving to be true and we can leave that name ‘shaman’ where it truly belongs, with the Siberian shamans, with those who are deeply connected to their spirit guides, and those who hold respectfully to those original beliefs.
Here are words from Sandra Ingerman: Traditionally it is not typical for someone to volunteer for the role of shaman or to self identify as a shaman. Rather someone is chosen by “the spirits” to become a shaman and to act in the service of his or her community. In shamanic cultures it is actually considered bad luck to call yourself a shaman, because this is seen as bragging, and the shamanic view about power is that if you brag about having it, you will loose it. Instead your community recognises you as a shaman based on the successful results that you achieve for the benefit of your clients and the greater community.” Sandra Ingerman Shamanic Journeying
In my dj’ing days, my dj name was CcEcstatic, I liked to call this role a ‘Mistress of Ecstacy’ She knew the art of repetition and its power, no matter who she played for. Now in shamanic journey rituals and ecstatic dance ceremonies I still respond to the calling, but just as myself and my own true nature, following rhythm, following the beat, opening the heart, letting Spirit in.
I am curious as to what we might name this ‘art of healing’ now so that this scientifically proven altered state of consciousness, awareness and healing can and will be accepted by modern western ears as an alternative to some of the medicines that are clearly not working or costing some people so much more than they can afford, financially as well as emotionally/physically. The pharmaceutical companies are difficult to be in competition with, but when you think a shamanic healing can cost so much less and be so much more effective, it is a wonder we have not adopted the world of the shaman a little more fully! And I am not saying that we should not engage with modern day medicine at all. Myself and some of my children have had our lives saved and I am ever grateful to the NHS, but we could bring the two together. Would it not be better, if there was a way for both to be in a respectful relationship, less skeptical and more in wonder of the traditions of humankind.
Middle Earth Medicine Ways
Shamanic course 2018 http://www.middleearthmedicine.com/shamaniccourse/
An extract from ‘Middle Earth Wisdom,’ by Caroline Carey
The new Middle Earth exists in this modern world, where mystery and dreaming are being brought back into the arena of our daily living. The old middle earth became neglected and misunderstood in the past and disbelieved, it became inconvenient to believe in such folly and in many cases people lost their lives because of such beliefs. Women and men were murdered because of their medicine ways, their stories and healing’s, what they believed in and what they spoke about.
Now we listen to story’s of old, the fantasies and myths acting out some of those stories in the great play of life, watching in awe on our T.V. screens and looking afresh at how we might gather and learn within community. We are thirsty and hungry for this kind of fantasy and intrigue, of magic and mystery in our culture where technology and science has failed us. For sure they have their benefits, but they cannot possibly give us that sense of magic that we hunger for, not the personal magic that happens inside us. We have created so many wonderful objects, technically advancing our world beyond measure, yet somewhere deep in our psyche there is a knowing that we are leaving something fundamental behind, advancing ourselves out of a culture that believes in the deeper dream of humanity, that understands there is so much more to our existence than performance, results, financial wealth and marketing.
Tolkien gave us the inspirational journey of Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings, and J.R. Rowling’s gave the magical experiences of Harry Potter. Those wonderful tales that inspire and remind us of our own imaginations, some of them waking us up to that part of our psyche that has been put too easily to sleep.
We might also recognize that the ways of our imagination are being ‘given’ to us by outside forces and we are no longer able to manifest this part of us for ourselves, depending on cinema, film, and images thrown at us from the media.
Our own world of using the imagination and of animism is often left as something to be provided for us by others. The ability to use simple ‘tools’ to encourage and practice this art has been, in some places, forgotten.
Back in the so-called dark ages, or Middle Ages, our own imagination was relied upon. Story-tellers were some of the most important people in the village, children and adults depended upon them, as they wove magical stories of history, fable and myth opening up the minds of those who listened allowing them to create their own pictures and forms, landscapes and imagery that nourished their minds and fulfilled a need to lessen the hunger of the imagination. From these stories we sourced great wisdom and understanding of myth and fairy tale, of history and peoples lives.
It was a way of education, with much to learn about and much to inspire us with.
It is possible to reignite some of these old ways through our own cultures rituals and ceremonies, to begin yet again to awaken the dreamer and learn to trust our dreams, to believe in them and not judge them for something ‘not real.’ Our imagination is key to our own ability to see more, to find the pictures of who we are and to project our desires into the future so that we can manifest from a personal place rather than from what others feel we should know or bring to the world, to pay attention to those moments of Spirit, to those ‘God moments’ in our lives, those synchronicities that make us pay attention a little more to our natural abilities of clairvoyance and ‘seeing.’
Empowering our own imagination gives us the freedom to integrate our innocence and curiosity into a functional practice that is as ancient as the rocks of our landscapes. We become the Seer; being able to see clearly, even predict our own futures and journeys. The imagination is recognized as a portal to the spirit worlds and very much needed in order to follow our shamanic heritage.
In the time of the ‘Old Britons,’ from which I sense my own calling is connected to in my lineage of feminine wise women, healers and medicine people, peoples belief in nature as their gods and goddesses was very clear. They lived their lives with a deep sense of honoring all that was around them, in the forests among the trees, the meadow flowers, the elements and clouds in the sky. They believed in what they could see and touch. They lived in buildings that were close to nature, not that they could not afford or had not invented other ways, but because they did not want to live separately to nature. They did not want to block the spirit of the land from their homes; they needed to literally live amongst nature. This was their spirituality. When the Romans came and built huge houses and mansions with all their décor and what the Anglo Saxons saw as ‘false gods’ to deck their halls with they shut out the very forces that the people of these lands understood to be necessary for their daily survival and were not interested in divorcing themselves from what was so important to them. Spirits, dragons, mythical and fairy folk, were all part of the daily spiritual beliefs and practices and a way to ensure that their lives were in connection with this, thus supporting their way of life, and their future way of inhabiting the world. Many rituals were performed, offerings made and songs and prayers spoken. Their way depended on it.
We still build constructions that keep us very much separate to the forces of nature, protecting ourselves from the winds and the rain, turning on our central heating whenever it suits us and not thinking about the consumption of energy we use. We build our walls thicker with more substance in order to shut out the great outdoors, use air conditioning systems and chop down tress because they spoil our view. What we are doing in our seeking for creature comforts, is shutting out the very spirits that can give us so much more if we would just listen. Instead we search for something material to give us satisfaction and keep our imaginative world and our fantasy world glued to a box in the living room, replacing the fires hearth and the visions that are all around us.
In our own day and age now, many people are wishing to go back to the land, to live a more natural life with animals, growing their own food and being closer to the elemental forces. It is being recognized as a ‘need’ in our culture to live in more harmony with Mother Earth and to once again honor her and all of her inhabitants. We gravitate to indigenous peoples of other lands and countries, some how putting them on a pedestal, thinking they have got it all right. And in many ways they have, but lack some of the sophistication we have mastered in our own psyches particularly around personal development. There is no ‘right’ way and we cannot judge ourselves too harshly for wanting to evolve, it is the nature of mankind. But we can find ways to allow the indigenous of our own culture filter back through our psyches and learn once more to live in harmony with its laws and principles.
We cannot go back to these old times, unless it is enforced upon us, we must live the way we do and try our best to live with integrity to what we have become and what we do upon this planet. But if we do not learn from our mistakes and we do not at least try to keep some of our heritage alive and honor the traditions of earlier times, then it will be our loss, and not just our loss, but also the loss of our beautiful landscapes, its animals and plant life and the innocence of the human nature. When we reach into our hearts, connecting to the children that are yet to be born, can we not feel a touch of dread for their souls, if we do not at least attempt as individuals to pave a better way and instill a way for them to develop their own imagination through their own minds eye, resourcing them with the ability to connect better with the spirit world, to learn to listen to the callings of nature and create an opportunity for belief in something much greater than some one elses fantasy?
I feel our ancestors calling to be remembered and for the old ways to have a voice and for us to reignite a sense of spirit in our own homes.
from ‘Middle Earth Wisdom,’ by Caroline Carey to be published with its medicine cards 2018.
More books by Caroline http://www.middleearthmedicine.com/written-work/
www.middleearthmedicine.com for rituals and story telling, shamanic understandings and Middle Earth reconnections