The Muse in the Dark

I knew my menopause would ‘happen’ as I turned 50. I knew it because that is when it happened to my mother. She told me this and informed me that we usually follow the timing of our mothers on such things. I began my menstrual cycle at the same time as her also, she told me this would happen too. I was 13, so was she. So in my 50th year I stopped having my monthly menstruation and marked its occasion with a very large collage, hanging it on the wall to ever remind me of where I was in my existence.


Now dusty and losing the odd image as glue becomes unstuck, it included my blood, my last bleeding and many images of my female lineage of ancestors. It also included images of witches and healers, pictures of wolves, earth, rock, raging skin including orange peel and bark from the trees, crumpled red tissue paper among broken glass, the skull of a dead bird and its bones and then words amongst many words… “now is the time to leap,” poetry I had written that year from a darkened place, meeting the archetype of whom I was becoming.

My dark angel sits in the children’s grove,

My heartbeats and the waters of the river flow from my eyes,

My promise to her is to take her essence fully into the world,

My claws and my new found wings,

Jumping off their pedestal into the dark night,

Now is the time to leap!


Things started to change quite rapidly. My mother said she didn’t feel any change at all, nothing seemed to happen to her that she noticed. But I wondered if that was because she was a women slightly out of touch with her body, emotions and feelings. Well she never spoke of any of those things and had an uncanny way of shutting down, sulking or disowning anything that might have resembled ‘heat.’
For me I was pretty determined to ‘experience’ my menopause. I wanted to know what hot flushes, flashes and sweats were all about, what all the many emotions I had heard about actually did to us. Did we really become quite mad and hysterical? I did notice a sense of crazy, unadulterated, mad woman desperately wanting to emerge and yet doing my best to hone her, direct her energy and channel into something beautifully creative, which became my task.

Six years after my last bleed I still experienced those flashes in all manner of guises, I still needed to get some of those skills under my belt and I still needed to fill as much of my time with creativity as I possibly could. Failing at times and noticing the uncomfortableness when I didn’t resource myself with making something, anything that resembled art, poetry, writing or a dance, frantically piecing things together to make them look moderately like a sculpture, or an attractive (unattractive) display of nature.

In the first year I noticed that everything around me seemed to be falling apart, quite literally and was clearly a time when I had to say ‘enough is enough and I must just give up and let go and immerse myself into this darkened time.’ Many women will say ‘this is your time, a time to focus inwardly, be by yourself and be with the process.’ So try telling that to a mother of six children, a Grandmother, a wife, a lover of community and her work and see how well that sits!

It made the rage even greater and the madwomen for sure would become very frustrated, I created amazing pieces of work/creativity/maps to share with others, and was totally engrossed in that creative energy, my dance and the power that it gave to me.

But totally alone? I don’t think so.

I’m not a sit in ones cave and meditate kinda girl, but inward I did go, no matter what or who was around me, into that darkened place that only an aspiring crone can really go, because it gets darker and uglier the further she goes!

I had enjoyed my ‘periods’ and now missed my bleeding’s, feeding my plants with their regular fertiliser, having that monthly reminder of my femininity, observing its relationship with the moon and how well it seemed to connect to the seasons. I was lucky, those bleeding’s were never too bad, painful, hefty! I was very aware of how other women might suffer.

I experienced ‘the cramps’ for awhile after the bleeding stopped and they reminded me to keep on moving and dance them away as a new dance set in.

The changes to the rest of the body were a shock, as the skin wrinkled, (that was represented as orange peel and tree bark in my collage,) muscles are not the same, bones and joints ache and one is continually suggested to, to take this herb and that supplement that are all different depending on the woman and her experience. So much advice and suggestions can drive you a little bonkers and you simply want to just get on with it and stop fussing, because the mad woman is actually enjoying the challenge and even in her discomfort, even if the belly at times is so bloated she cant help but just feel fat, she knows this is such a valuable time and doesn’t actually want to make it easier, because this is part of the process, to feel it, to breath it, to be creative with it, and without the agony of body changing she would miss out on such an experience. Yes that belly knows it is a time for new birth, emerging as the new SHE, the agony of that emergence.

Well, its not exactly agony, that might be a bit dramatic, its more a fierceness, a hot rage that surges through the body making it so uncomfortable and itchy, yes itchy, that you want to rub yourself raw with the heat and then that inspires some crazy painting or a poem or words for the next book that seep through the raging skin and there you have something utterly beautifully creative, you need that heat again to bring on the next surge of passion and creative juice!

Twelve years has passed.  The creative fire is strong.

Who do we become at this time? Letting go of what has been before and accepting this new way, this new soul of womanhood. Only the one who experiences can know. It is different for us all. No couple of years can give us that knowledge, no ‘one’ experience, no other woman’s experience, but our own, our own souls calling into the creative spirit that we are. At this time our true medicine, our power, our artistry will shine through to its fullest, the words we speak, the art we create, the poems, the carefully designed cloth and tapestries and no one, but no one can tell us it should be any other way, but the way we have created it, through all that past experience coming to fruition, the life of our feminine spirit, ready to take her place in the world, to meet her own power source and allow it to nourish the very bones of our feminine lineage, that the daughters and sisters will find a way to follow.

I lay there on that big rock, two days, two nights, cradled in its arms,

relaxed as the sun shone down on my face,

my body, contemplating the meaning of my existence.

I told the rock about my life and all that it involved as I saw it,  

I'm Charlie_0088

I sang my song for it to hear.

Drifting into the trance of comfort and belonging

I nestle under the sky above me,

looking into the heart of the universe.

What is my name I heard myself ask..ShamanKa-Mama was its reply.

Caroline Carey 

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Sanctum Pectus – A souls contract revealed

For many years I kept myself well hidden. Shrinking into backgrounds, not daring to have friendships and feeling generally ill at-ease with other children at school.

There were different reasons for this I am sure. But one that I remember being paramount was that I had a defect. One that drew a lot of attention especially in places like the school gym or changing rooms. 

My deformity was Pectus excavatum, a Latin term that means ‘hollowed chest’ also known as sunken or funnel chest. It is a congenital chest wall deformity in which several ribs and the sternum grow abnormally, producing a concave, or caved-in appearance in the anterior chest wall. It causes difficulty at times in breathing and can be very uncomfortable, particularly for girls as the time comes to find a bra that fits, works correctly and does the job needed! Mine was particularly concave and very deep, thus bras as well as breasts were more of a nuisance than something that a young teenage girl might feel a pride in.

I’m unsure if my condition was really known about when I was younger, certainly my parents never discussed it. It was simply accepted as ‘that is what I looked like.’ There was an operation developed in the 1970/’80’s and treatment of it, where you can have a metal rod attached under the sternum to force the bones to grow outwards. This is called the Nuss procedure. When I first learnt of this it was too late to consider for myself and I am happy that my parents did not resort to it, although I know it worked very well for some, and they now have normal bone structure in their chests. Some I have heard it did not work so well for, causing pain and discomfort forever after. But nonetheless I did still have difficulty breathing and never discussed this with my parents. I assumed it was normal as with many dysfunctional experiences within my family.

At night I would lie in my bed taking very deep breaths, sometimes gasping to attempt to fill my lungs and have that wonderful feeling of ‘life force’ weaving through me. I would  take short breaths rapidly, I would stop breathing for periods of time, holding my breath, letting it out slowly, and trying to expand my lung space in many different ways. Sometimes this would help me sleep, but often I would be wide awake – and dreaming! 

I don’t think I knew at this age it was all because of my deformity, which I was learning to keep hidden, both physically as well as in this exploration of breath and vision.

That flow of air, that I really had to work for was a Godsend. I could feel it in my cells and opening my heart to expand more and more from a tiny micro breath, to deep expansive caverns within me. It was so worth the effort. If I did not make that effort I could feel collapsed, dull, lifeless, and would sink into a dream-like deathly state.

It wasn’t all discomfort though having this condition, as a child I would enjoy moments in the bath, filling my ‘hole’ playfully with water and even as a young woman had my lover drink champagne from it! In my forties I was asked to play a role in a film. A strange women in a sexy yet horrificlood chest moment. She was dancing and putting her hands deep inside her chest to reveal her heart, in a rather strange ritual. It looked very real once edited and I rather enjoyed the experience, dancing with a gaping bloody hole in my chest for all to see, morbid yes, but suddenly my chest became a movie star!  And I can assure you the blood came totally from a bottle of red dye!

I did get a little tired of people trying to correct my posture, telling me to stick out my chest more, straighten my shoulders and spine. They didn’t know of course, and I wasn’t going to endlessly explain myself and my body to them. It turned me even further against myself and made me try to hide it even more, resorting to my deep well and cave of my own darkness. I was a freak, I was weird.

And so I danced, endlessly, it was my route to freedom, it was my connection to God, it is where I breathed so much more than ever before. It is where my euphoria reached for the heavens, it is where my visions became my life line. For sure my lungs were sometimes being crippled inside their cage but I knew how to set them free.

Dancing was always the best thing for me. It opened me up and stretched me. The euphoria would linger and ‘my altered state’ would intrigue me, becoming a normal part of my life. I was conscious of this yet it felt quite ordinary to me and I assumed everyone experienced this in some shape or form. I would talk about ‘imagination’ with my parents, my father would listen but my mother thought it odd and would say things like ‘oh it’s just your imagination’ as a sort of throw away comment.

I had a pony who had broken wind, which meant she had a hole in her windpipe. This caused her to wheeze sometimes but she also needed to be kept fit, to exercise a lot and this would help her enormously. We worked together, riding the terrains and landscapes, both getting out of breath and both having to rest awhile and regain our posture, strength and ability to continue. 

As I have become older it has been easier, as I have managed this assumed deformity more and more and learned to live with it. Still to this day, dance is essential, stretching is essential, keeping my bones free and supple is essential for the very necessity of being able to breathe properly. I always know when I haven’t’ done enough, it is always a reminder to me to hit the music button and ‘move,’ no matter how I feel! For all of us, no matter our condition, movement is a vital key, breathe is vital, without it for sure we die. And if, I learnt very early on, we do not breathe deep enough, our life force is not fully present then it is very difficult to relax or find enough energy.

As time moved on, I arrived within many shamanic trainings, as I found myself fascinated by what I was learning in this field. I wanted clarification on some of what I already experienced and to have some of my questions answered. I didn’t know why I was drawn to it, but something felt familiar and I remember wanting to be understood. I began to learn techniques and was given foundations and a grounding in various methods and teachings of the shamanic path. One of the teachings was about breath-work and also about visualisations. This was nothing new to me. I dropped into visualising at a ‘drop of a hat’ – in fact it was so simple I felt like I was coming across as a bit of a ‘know-it-all’ having experiences that others found difficult. I existed in those worlds that seemed so separate from anyone else’s repertoire.  But it was innate in me, and I found it hard to understand why others struggled. I would begin to diminish my innate abilities because I felt they separated me from the other students. I played things down.

Dance and breath-work have given me just the right amount of movement, oxygen and understanding of my body’s needs. No pushing, no force, just gentleness. Once my body is strong and healthy then I know how much I can support my life and the lives of others. Finding my micro breath and learning to expand it has really helped me, rather than trying to force the breath in, as I felt I had to do when I was young. 

But had I realised the connection between breath and my visions?

I began to feel that I was given this bone structure for a reason, I had to! There was so much I could learn about breath and about movement because of it. It actually became a teacher for me, and I learnt within that to love this part of my body, ugly though I felt it was, then. The rest of my body was fine, it bore babies and danced freely.

I learnt to be with the tiny micro, the restrictions of life, to understand sometimes that things do not need to be forced. I learnt to be patient with my body and to take time with it. I learnt how important the breath was and how sometimes we need to really respect it, feel immense gratitude for it and learn how to use it to affect different areas of the body. I learnt how deeply connected to the breath are our emotions and how to breath through everything we feel. I understood the need to breathe and release trauma and the challenges I received throughout my life. I did not dwell on these things, I moved through them with the means and visions to create a new life for myself. But I didn’t know that, not way back then. I didn’t know visualisations were not innate within us all!

rebel birdAlthough I did not know it, I was a visionary. I was born – because of the consequences of my condition – to experience visions and much later on in life, attending shamanic gatherings and circles, I didn’t actually feel the need for the training I received, it was all second nature to me anyway. I didn’t need to be shown ‘how to,’ I was already there, it was innate within me however the framing of it was really useful and also to look at where ‘I and it’ could help others. I also wanted to be around others, to meet people who might have similar experiences. I was tired of feeling separate in a world that wanted normality. I wanted it myself at times, to fit in to be like everyone else, but I was never going to find it, no matter how hard I tried, there would always come that point in time, where I had no choice but to recognise…I was odd.

In my uncertainty and years of searching for myself, I had worked for over twenty years with a self professed shaman, who offered a form of dance which I found myself deeply immersed in. I was attending a ceremony with him, where a woman struggling in her pain was meeting the spiritual distress in herself. She lay broken and crying.  I sat beside her, he came over with his shamanic implements and attire and I said to him ‘I can see what’s hurting.’ I could feel what was moving in her body, I felt the need to be there, to support her through what I knew was happening. He moved me out of the way. I had become a threat. My lifetime of medicine was not wanted in that space. I was of no use.

 He told me that there was a problem with my voice, that it had a sticky energy and caused people harm. That I needed to do some work with it. I took these words harshly, my deep wound opening up and swallowing me whole. I saw it happen, I stopped breathing.

A deep anger that I could not express held me in its grip, I couldn’t even dance. I had been denied my very purpose this lifetime by someone who I had trusted to support me and my soul contract.  

 The following day I did nothing, except stew in my passive aggression, I dared not speak out. He felt the whip of my tail, I felt it too. So he said I had a borderline personality disorder – and he told me that he could now understand why my husband had treated me the way that he had. It was all about ‘my problem.’ He never took responsibility for his part. And when he began to insist I sat at his side instead of being at the birth of my grandson ( which of course I refused) I left his self-proclaimed world that I could no longer have any respect for. 

I continued my journey alone, to delve into the possibilities that lay in waiting for me to recognise, so that at some point I could fall in love with my own purpose and never fall into the hands of anyone who might abuse it because of their own insecurities.

  My visual capacity was immense and continued to be so, my ability to feel into the visions, to allow them to be a physical experience, tapping into my innate kinaesthetic learning abilities, meant I would ‘be’ in these places, not just ‘seeing’ them. I was also moving towards wholeness, breathing through any difficulties I was experiencing. The breath could help me to transcend my worries, visualise the support I needed in the more spirit-realms, what I often talk about in my work, ‘to go beyond the veil’ of normal existence. 

The breathing many people achieve within training, holotropic or otherwise,  in classes and with healers, was what I already experienced at a very early age, I was just doing it myself and there was not much for me to learn. This was the body that I had been given, by God, to work with and because of its structure, I was actually training very early on, as a small child in the art of breathwork, visualisations and euphoria, the experience of pleasure with intense feelings of well-being and happiness. I was also learning this from deep in my own cave, shut away from the world, trying to fit in and yet locking myself away. I knew this cave of intelligence.

My voice was also held in place through the cage of bone structure, giving me a tiredness if I had to speak for any great length of time, often feeling uncomfortable because I couldn’t get the breaths in between the words, inhibiting me with the feelings of inferiority, yet it wanted its freedom, wanted attention, wanted to be heard. My speaking voice, my songs, my personal expression would need to find their way, their poetic language, their particular rhythm and their ability to listen into the heart space, to know in each moment how I was breathing, to capture each breath, to know it intimately and the effects it would create. I held a deep friendship with the spirit of air. cage

Voice, movement, breath and the landscapes of vision, riding together, just like the rider and the horse, my teenager and her pony, working together to be whole, to be complete and to be free.

So yes…pectus excavatum is a Latin term that means hollowed chest – maybe for myself, I now choose to have it called sanctum pectus…holy chest.




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My first book ` Revisited

The beginning of my last book about 18 years ago…I didn’t notice the codependency that lingered, but re-writing this book many years later where I deepened my enquiry I understood it…and the book invited so much more to be written…

It was time to go home, to leave Ireland. I was forty nine years old. I had been there for seventeen years. When I left England my fifth child was eight months old and my youngest was not yet born.

I had left in a green and blue painted bus, no home to go to, just a desire to recreate myself and my life. This I had achieved in many ways amidst challenges, breakdowns and breakthroughs, some crazy mistakes and some decisions that hadn’t been so wise to make.

Now it was time to leave, I knew this instinctively and yet it was going to be hard to do. Still, I was packing up my belongings, my history, my work and my children’s home. I was leaving a time of incredible transformation behind. A time where I had discovered myself; revisited my childhood and uncovered some of who I was in an intimate relationship. Most importantly I had let go of who I really did not want to be and was moving towards something much healthier.

I knew there would be so much more to do, as there always is and I was willing to take that journey. This time around I would need community, a new relationship and a program of work that would enable me to uncover so much more.

But this I did not know just yet. Filling my boxes with books and paperwork I came across some old journals that I had written over the years. There was one in particular, a leather-bound small book that was full of writings and poetry. It was many years old and I began to read it. Flitting through the pages to begin with, I then sat down amongst my boxes to take a more in-depth look.

Here was the story of what seemed like a different woman embarking on a relationship with a new lover. It spoke of the dread she felt, how she was somehow compelled to be with this man and yet all the signs showed her that it was not right, she was not being treated with respect and was hurting deeply. But she could not stop herself from allowing this relationship to run its course.

Deep inside something was calling for her to learn from its dark and desperate situation. I lifted my eyes from the journal for a moment. The story of my lack of self-esteem that had developed in me as a small girl was showing itself quite clearly and I recognised how much it was part of the feminine culture in our world, the stories that motivate dysfunctional relationships.

I had learnt that by investigating my childhood and writing my story, I would discover some of the roots of my own. This would lead me on a further exploration, a timeless unfolding of the significant moments in my life, those that carried with them a tale that needed to be told. I was going home, to where it all began, as we all must do if we are to truly know ourselves and our purpose on this planet. My beginning, my birth and my sacred contract.


When I rewrote that first book I thought it might be a simple editing journey. It turned into a whole new experience of weaving two books together.

The second one I had written because there was so much more I wanted to say after the first one was published.

But this time I realised how much they needed to live together, as if they were two parts of me that had been separated.

I received a beautiful testimonial a few days ago, which partly read:

When I ordered your book I expected something very different looking as I always am for a solution to what I perceive as my problems.

Reading it was humbling and empowering at the same time. Sharing your story as you did served as a powerful and moving gift from you, much appreciated by me. Deborah

I was touched by this because more than anything I want the journey of my life to empower others.

If you would like to read this book please let me know. It can’t be found on Amazon, only on my website 😊

Caroline Carey

Middle Earth Medicine

Caroline Carey
‘Ms’Guided Angel- Revisted’ available on Middle Earth Medicine website…

and my website blog

#newbook #msguidedangel #spiritualgrowth #codependencyrecovery #mystory #Healing

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The Oracle of The Shapeshifter

There is a dance that ‘merges’ us with the world of spirit. Standing within the experience of trance and polarity, we surrender through the dance and the liminal space, the threshold of the ‘nagual world’ that presents itself. Liminal space is where all transformation begins. Through the connection to this space, shapeshifting is achieved via  an inherent ability within the liminal, to transform or to transmute oneself energetically, through movement meditation, shamanic journey, experiencing a cellular shift – metamorphosing into creature, being, or simply our own potential as healer, poet, artisan, singer, writer, dancer, thespian.

This is the sacred space where the old world is able to fall apart, and a bigger world is revealed.

When we become aware of our own liminality, we can find it hard to know how to navigate this transition, whatever the journey is. We often miss the real potential of ‘in-between’ places as in the central space of the Mandorla which requires deep immersion  – so we can become numb, or we can panic ourselves into inappropriate actions or flee with fear of the dreaded unknown. There is a quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs within our rites, when dancers have not yet begun the transition to the status or the shape they will hold when the rite is complete. These can appear in many guises, for example boredom, fatigue, hunger, or becoming distracted by others processes.

Moving within this liminal space, one learns to trust and wait, to witness what will transpire. This requires trust not just in ourselves and the dancer, but in the connection to that space and its healing properties. There is no knowing what will occur, but holding a strong intention and trusting in the process will allow us to merge with the unknown in a way that serves our greater purpose. Once experienced and the transition made clear, we can  move forward with confidence into our future. It takes courage to enter into those spaces, as well as discipline and a hunger for change.

Carolines offering includes the ‘Hollow Bone’ way of holding space for individuals and groups with an awareness of shamanism being the most ancient of spiritual practice’s. Here you will find how drumming, movement meditation and repetitive dance opens a portal to the spirit world, drawing spirit in with breath and a change in our consciousness, opening us up to receive new and profound wisdom.

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Wounded Innocence

What happens to a child that has been abused, neglected or traumatised, who later in life is trying to deal with that story, remembering that what ever happened and not just what happened in those moments but also what happened around the abuse, the words spoken, the relationships to others, the stories hidden? Whether it is sexual abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, they all have their stories.

Chances are that in those moments the child learned to dissociate, to lose presence and dissapear. The child became ungrounded and uncentered, which might have appeared as extreme shyness, overtly confident even bullish, self centered, with an inability to speak out, a need to steal, to hide, to shut oneself away, the need to self-harm.

The child or young adult loses confidence and there is a problem with self esteem as they grow.

Shame and guilt ensue

and the spiral into

those deep pits of darkness

where the pain is felt

with no way out,

no way to claw

ourselves back

to the rim of light,

we sink deeper

where no hunger

will ever bring us out.

Lost to a story

that no one can hear,

because we dare not tell it,

for fear,

for fear of what?

In order to reclaim connection to the body and overcome the dissociation, body contact is needed. This is a physical necessity for any human, touch, verbal communication, body connection a simple hug. But who can the child trust? Certainly not the adult world for it is usually the adult world that has been the perpetrator of the abuse, or has not protected the child in the first place.

What does the child reach out to?

Something other than adult, even human. Possibly the child looks to what is innocent that he can trust, what he sees as that part of himself that is lost.

This might be other children, it might be animal and often is, the need to cuddle a kitten, or a soft toy.

The child can begin to feel again, be close to something finding that it supports that reconnection to life, to warmth to body comfort. This can help for awhile, but is not the ultimate need fulfilled. There will be a longing for more.

And then what if the child is teased for always needing something to be attached to. If she is denied those objects?

So she lets it go, hides the need away, makes it into something else that is not so obvious. Food, alcohol, sex, drugs, smoking? And sometimes possessions that are more common to others. We become materialistic, hunting for the next fix, something to buy, to own, to fill a hole we cannot fill any other way.

Over time the inner-child accumulates. Purchasing ‘things’ that are tangiable, material, the objects not really needed, yet one feels a sense of belonging to something and something that can be trusted, not taken away, not ridiculed, not harmful.

She then feels alive again, the shock diminishes for awhile, she feels reconnected, she can feel her skin, her body and feel safe.

When shock arises, because it will re-emerge if the story is not remembered, understood and fully digested, then a hug from another may not feel ok, it has its demands and its conditions, ‘what will I need to give back he might ask.’ Does this come without conditions?

The child mind is unsure and fear follows and the need to understand, the need to heal, so the cycle continues, reaching out for inanimate object or something that makes him feel alive again.

The dissociation might still linger, but she can bring herself back through touch, the touch of her child’s hand, or her grandchild’s cuddles. But she cannot ‘use’ this for her own healing, it would not be right for the innocent one to be used in this way. So she reaches out for a new cushion, a new dress, an item for the kitchen, something that feeds the need to have and to hold.

What she must learn is a new way to trust, to not depend on something that she can do further harm with, or by purchasing. She can fill her home and gather possessions, and our earth can be further used as a resource for what we do not really need and the cycle turns as more and more plastic and waste is thrown into our oceans from the need to heal the child.

We are all shocked and wounded in some way, and we all have different ways of trying to stay embodied and be able to feel whole and alive.

How we find our way to do and be that depends on our own particular personality. It also depends on the wounding of our innocence.

This Middle Earth Medicine work is all about the reclaiming of our innocence, not to be that child again, but to embody the purity of spirit and not have to carry around with us the pain, humiliation and distrust that has wounded us in the first place.

And so as we step further towards our sovereignty, we begin to stop telling the story of victim-hood, the ‘poor me’ stories and we learn to find out who we were born to be, without the unnecessary baggage. It is a long journey that con not be overcome over night, it takes careful unwrapping and gentle coming to terms with the horror that may have been such a strong part of our growing up. Trying to understand it might make us fall back, for some it is totally not understandable as why we would have been treated in that way. But we are here to overcome, to heal, to make a difference in our lives and to know that the stories we hold of recovery, will inevitably be of service to others, once we have digested them ourselves and come to a healthier place with them.

What ever we experienced, we can be sure does not go without its deeper connection to ours and others healing path.

We cannot support others with our stories until we know our own and can be accepting of them. We cannot journey on the path with another, holding their hand or wanting their growth, if we are not able to share something with them that helps to bring them back, even if it is simply by sharing what it was that helped us. A shared experience is worth much more than a hundred hours in a therapists chair and I share that from my own experience.

The challenge to overcome and grow into sovereignty despite this, makes us stronger and more resilient in the end. It means we then have a tool bag of offerings for others in similar circumstances.

Our journey around the middle earth medicine wheel, supports us to find this healing, to enable reconnection to what came before the abuse, the neglect or the dysfunctions, to release ourselves from creating more harm, to ourselves and others, to drop the dysfunctional behaviour and the over-protective and hyper-vigilant aspects of ourselves, to know it was not our fault that we were brought up in some of the ways that we were and that we played no part in it as children. To then grow from our life story to start to reclaim back our creative and beautiful self, to honor it, to allow its dream to unfold and begin to create from it, until it supports us to stand fully in service to the good of all.

Then we become sovereign, then we find our wisdom and then we find the joy that means we are alive and its good to be entering the adult world free of our guilt and shame.

A Soul Free of Shame

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

My spirit of shame, becomes that beautiful woman.

And this is where we find the dance so supportive towards our growth. We begin to reconnect to body, our own body. We become creative with the body and we learn to allow our emotions move more freely.

Only we can dance this dance, for it is our dance to do and our healing to make matter. We become more embodied, more centered and if we so wish we begin to find that connection once more to God to Spirit, it is where the soul can reach us once again because we become free of the shackles, the limitations and the beliefs that we are not whole. But for sure, this is not an easy ride, not like it might be for others, not like how you witness those who had less abuse in their history.

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

“Yes I do see you, you girl, or boy who had to leave trauma behind. And I know the part of you that has been stunted in your growth towards life and living. I know the part of you who feels broken inside, that finds it so hard, at times, to let your inner light shine.

That creative life force stamped out of you, even though others say that you are talented beyond measure. You see, they simply do not know!

I know what you go through every single day, that crevice, hidden in the darkest cave; we dare not let it out. Where did that abuse come from? Sometimes we do not even know. Because at times it was so normalized and made so ordinary.”

from the book ‘Middle Earth Wisdom’ by Caroline Carey

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The Phoenix from the ashes, the rebirth of our Sovereignty

When I witness a Mandorla constellation and hold the space for this process, I am bringing together quite a few decades of being fascinated with soul-retrieval. As I watch the process unfolding in front of me, it sometimes takes my breath away, quite literally, to see how powerful the actual process is.

What is soul-retrieval?Prayer

Well we often talk about being soulless, sensing a loss of soul or even being depressed, feeling like something is missing in our lives, at a loss for who we really are and many other small but potent sayings. To me this all has a note of soul loss and if we were to give it enough attention, we might start to find that there truly is something missing from our life.

So how can we go about recalling that vital part of us back into place?

If we have a group to support us and really want for our greatest potential, without fearing us, or the process, then we can begin to see those parts of us that are holding some of the dysfunction or the conflict, or the separation that is being held in the body, preventing us from being fully present.

If we have some one there who is willing to accompany us on that journey, who totally trusts the process, because she/he has been there many times on their own journey beforehand, then we can feel that courage and heart opened willingness, to brave the under currents, to not fear the turmoil or the deep grief from the inner realms, and we can know that  the soul  part is ready to find its way back, through the opening of that heart, the clarity of what is needed and the realm of the mundane, to accept it back as an integral part of this life.

It’s a mysterious experience, one that is hard to put ones finger on, so we have to use creativity and movement, to ensure that we are able to put the analytical mind out of the way for  that period, so that we do not try to ‘think’ our way into healing. The healing must happen by us getting out of our own way and allowing the medicine to flow through us.

If not much else has fully helped to open us to the power of our own polarities, or that we still feel that our life is missing some vital element, or that at times we do still feel depressed or disillusioned with life, then it may just be that it is soul retrieval we are looking for. And if we can find a way to ‘be and do it ourselves’ then I can pretty much guarantee it will be much more powerful than some one else doing it for us. It is our work to do!

Standing in that central life force, the light of the Mandorla, we are seen, we are heard, we are re-born! For it is truly the central place of our soul work, the phoenix from the ashes, the rebirth of our Sovereignty.

Are you willing to enter that holy and life changing realm?

Individual sessions are available with Caroline, small group work or intensive gatherings.

Magic of Mandorla Intensive

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the most delicate of petals

The woman’s body, tuned into the natural rhythms, it ebbs and flows and changes with its own seasons. Each part of it ages, just like the leaves from spring to autumn to winter and beyond.

And like those leaves the woman’s skin becomes so very delicate, even more tender to the touch – where moisture is hard to replenish with out the scattering showers of rain

A woman’s skin turns thinner with its winter season, changing its material form to include beautiful lines like waves on the shore. Her temples her cheeks and her eye lids become like the artists pencil marks before a great work of art.

And in that sacred place, where once her babes were born, the softening of that tissue, the most elder skin copydelicate petals of the sacred rose that begin its fall to ground, with each fall remembering a time of great passion and weeps a little more.

Gentle, so gentle we must honor her, allowing only the sweetest of kisses and the tenderest of touches from one who loves deeply and understands this precious time….

And if given permission fully, that one will be taken to a palace worth remembering, for if she allows him in, he surely is a king – for no woman will allow a mere prince to dine at this table!

A woman’s body must change we know, so she is aware of that wisdom bestowed upon her and the bleeding is done, for now as she knows herself so much deeper, she knows she is holding the power, the power that only the winter can bring

Wise crone, you show us the ways of that inner world. Not through the sweet flirtations of the maiden but of her ripened truth and ancient tree of knowledge

Maybe few will understand, no matter how they try
And for sure there are those who would turn back time
Still she will come no matter the desire, for no one can turn her face
She is knocking at the door!

Her holy union now means more than any desire,
no need for erotic pleasure to sharpen her eye, that eye is sharper than any eagles, for she has come beyond that circle of soaring and has alighted to greater heights,
for now it is she who sees the world

It is she who knows this landscape
She with the inner smile, sings to the depth of her soul
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I often hear that it is helpful to aspire to be like another person, maybe one other person, maybe an action of anothers or even a community. Its a good question to ask and is also good to ask ‘what do I aspire to in myself?’

I have often found it hard to think of another person to aspire to in the media, I don’t watch telly so I don’t know the actress’s or the singers that have become our Gods and Goddesses of our times. I witness people in power and I have my misgivings! I listen to speakers and spiritual teachers and a lot of what I see I like, I might admire, but do I want to be like them?

The question I ask is ‘how creative are they? How often do they dance? Are they heart and body centered? Are their morals and principles ones I would aspire to? Do they reach my soul?’

These questions help me to connect with the person I want to be, because sometimes I learn about how I do NOT wish to be, and I can learn a lot about things I need to work on in myself, because if I am troubled or I find I am uncomfortable in another persons actions or words, for sure I might well be behaving like that myself and I need to check on this, usually with the help of my own trusted advisor, wise elder or one who is on the path of personal recovery and healing and who I admire as I witness their own journey. Importantly I need to be able to trust them and allow them to help me to see into my own shadow so that I can release the energy of that and ‘own’ who I am or who I have become.

From this I learn about my own aspiration, which for me has to be the very best version of myself that I can possibly be, which means I have to aim high, very high! And of course there are some incredibly wonderful beings in the world that touch me deeply and I pray to become as spiritually integrated as them!

Every part of this journey matters, from my physical posture, my attendance and service to others, my morals and principles, my voice and the sharing of my own experience.  My spiritual life matters, it really matters, and it needs to include body, heart, mind and soul if I am to be of any use in the world, if I am to truly be the one I aspire to be.

Caroline Carey

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On being a Grandmother

It’s one of the most beautifully exquisite experiences that I know and like anything else not without its need for awareness, strengths, prayers and hopes.

Like many there is a very deep and loving connection I have for my grandchildren, it’s different to anything I’ve known. A love for them that connects strongly to my pulsing heart, like a deep concern and the protectiveness of an old aging lioness, I feel joy at everything they do and I laugh at funny, even naughty antics that as a parent I might not have been so accepting of. I can tolerate a lot more these days, I’m more patient and am more able to give a different kind of undivided attention  that I could not have done so easily before, what with the washing to be done and cleaning the house, taxi servicing and multiple layered mothering roles. I do not see each one of my grandchildren as regularly as I would like, yet still they are a big part of my life.

I have moments to remind me of how my heart connects to being a grandmother, remembering the phone call from my son, the one that says ‘baby is here.’ It’s a soft gentle voice no matter how big the son is, his voice is gentler and softer as if he has been to the most magical of places and I can feel his smile spread down the phone-line and into my heart, we have a moment together as tears come to my eyes. ‘Congratulations’ I say equaling his softness as if no one else should hear. I’m so happy to hear the news and I am swift to pack a bag and head in that direction, if I can, to give any support if needed or just to look into those little eyes and make our acquaintance.

Holding a new born grandchild is something special indeed. My heart will leap a little and curl its tendrons around this little soul, with a deeply nurturing and loving acceptance of all that he or she is. Knowing this is the fruit of my own child, and has come through these lineages to join us all together, is indeed a blessing.

I am blessed that each of my sons and daughters with a child, now know a bit more about me and what it has meant to me to birth and bring them into the world. They know the unconditional love that they have for their family, is what I have lived with for the most of my life. This unconditional love is also there in my heart for my grandchildren, for sure I can hand them over and get on with the other parts of my life, but the love doesn’t leave, and the thoughts and the preciousness for this life do not go away.

‘Did you ever believe you could love this deeply?’ I once asked.

Sharing a birthing experience with my daughter as she brings her little one to the world I am in awe of my own child’s strength, but she is a mature woman now and I can no longer see her as a child. We have been through the same experience now, we know each other a little better. My grandson, born as I held his mother in my arms, even remembering his tiny bottom cradled in my hand as I supported their first meeting, witnessing with the sense of awe in his eyes as he stared at his beautiful mother, is a moment unforgettable. Exhausted from a long night and two days of hanging in there for them both, I’m relieved when rest finally comes, but still I want to be back there ensuring that all is well as if there is a compulsion some how to watch over just in-case I am needed. And I know to back off and allow young mum to find her way, even through the difficulties; because that is, as mothers know what makes us stronger.

And holding back as they find their way, I am rewarded with the look in the eyes of her, or my son as they bond with their little one. It opens my heart immensely. How much prouder can I possibly be? Such a touching experience to witness.

And I do not always get it right, for that stepping back is often hard to do. I am conditioned to be that busy-body-mother-hen, who wants to support and take care and rescue! – which is the very thing I cannot allow myself to do. For every one of my friends and family must find their own way in life, I cannot make any assumption that I know what is right for another! And this is my learning to do no matter how big the addiction is to sorting out other peoples problems, I remind myself and ask…’what is truly mine to do here?’

There is the grandchild that lives far away and I am eternally grateful for the internet allowing me to know something of her and share messages from afar. Maybe one day we will meet in the flesh and I pray for that. Till then it is a journey of loving from afar, that only when circumstance allow can I know who we are together. I do my best, as only I can, always remembering that no matter what, we are connected and that will never go away. We are connected through DNA and a link to our ancestors, our connection will remain in the lineage of our timelines and the history between the families of old.

What might my ancestors today think of this situation, what would SHE think of my Grandparenting? For sure the extended families of those days would more than likely share those same kitchens and back yards, maybe work the same fileds and share in the abundance of their crops. The grandparents would watch their families grow and be so much more hands on when needed, as mothers washed clothing, as grannys cooked and mended, as fathers and grandfathers worked alongside each other in the factories and came home together to be greeted with those smiles. Well maybe not always, but I recognize my own fantasy of that extended family unit and the possibility of being more hands on on a daily or weekly basis in my Grandchildrens lives. I’m a different being, I travel to work and in this day and age of workshops and gatherings, of living far apart from each other simply because we can and we can roam the countries more easily – it makes for a different way to stay connected to our families.

And then there is the grandchild I may never see, because of a different circumstance, but one letter a year that tells me all is well and a loving family that ensure this. I felt her once, a cuddle, a kiss, a little play with toy bricks, we got on well and then a heart wrenching goodbye, I cried. My love still tied to that little soul who shares my blood but not my life. Maybe one day, who knows, but she will know that I have thought about her every day and that there is a little light inside me just for her. She will know her blood family, if she wishes to, that I can most definitely ensure.

The teenager grandchildren – we have our own relationship now. They gently find their way to adulthood and we can communicate in a new way, I am here for them and it is now they who decide when to see me, when to acknowledge me, when it works best for them. My door is always open to them, and I love the feeling of that growing and becoming the young people that they need to be – the way that he needs to be, a charming sweet young man, he tells me he loves me and I believe him, we know something of youth and I’ve watched his parents grow, become young parents and grow with him. I’m fascinated with how he meets life and all that he is becoming.

From the very first moment, I am observing who they are becoming, what their own gifts might be and what is theirs to offer. That is a privilege!

And another important aspect of granny-hood, how it is to have my own life. To not be dependent on my grandchildren to meet my aging needs. I have a career, my own home and relationship, I have my writing and my offering to keep ahead of. I know I must look after my own needs.

I am also aware of how important it is for my sons and daughters to have the last say with their children’s upbringing and not to interfere or make demands from my own opinions. My opinions must be kept to myself, unless I am asked for my experience, or a thought to share. If I notice an opinion bursting through, I must rein it in, put it elsewhere and leave well alone – for the diminishing of the parents own authority is unhealthy for everyone and will not serve the family dynamic.

And that can be hard, but not impossible, it must be remembered that if not heeded it will only cause grief and upset, it will only alienate the parents and grandparents, and cause problems with the bonding of babies to family.

My own life experience with this has taught me much. My first born, a difficult time as a sixteen year old. A blind boyfriend and much to look after. His family took over the care of little one, taken from my arms as I managed the boyfriends needs. It was many years later that I had the realisation that that was the wrong way round and how much better that would have been if they had supported their own family member, their son and brother and allowed and encouraged me to look after my own baby, to be the young mum I needed to be.

My confidence was shattered, I felt they knew best, I was watched with every move, until I could only do what I could, to lead a blind man, to care for his needs, to sign his betting slips, forever giving too much to this circumstance that was unhealthy for all. I didn’t look after my baby, except at night when all others where asleep and it was there that a sang and coo’ed to him, the time I could cuddle him without making another jealose. The time I had to be with him all by myself.

Young mums need to find their own way, to be able to ask for support when they need it and not to have this first experience taken away from them, as it was for me.

So much to learn from as we encourage those around us, no matter how much the love, let go of control, learn to let be, even when things look not quite as we would have them, remembering we are not the parents and not necessarily the best judge of what is happening, no matter how much experience we have. Unless of course there is real danger, it is not our job. Our job is to be the grandparent, to be all loving, supporting and trusting of our sons and daughters with their own decisions and ways of doing things.

I have attended births and deaths and held many ceremonial gatherings, I have played with children both young and old, I’ve walked the path of nourishing the soul and assisted the many gateways and transitions that life offers to us. And there is always more for me to learn.

Transitions between experience and the bridging of what that means is essentially my medicine, my offering and my own passion.

Walking on the edge between the worlds of birth and death is the journey of my own souls purpose and as a mother to six and a grandmother to six, maybe more as time goes by, I am doing what feels most important, to be a good Granny, to be connected to God and to love my family beyond measure, where ever they are in the world.

Caroline Carey


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the beauty of e-motion

The art of emotion is very important to me, the journey of heart and voice.  I am very passionate about doing my individual work and taking responsibility for my life and for sure I don’t always get it right! But engaging in this work touches me to the core, because it is about me showing up and growing into full maturity with my reactions to the world.dancers emotion

I know that the only thing I can heal is my own life, no-one else’s, so understanding the emotions of my heart and how it operates is very important. I know it is sometimes hard to ‘feel’ emotion and just be with it. Yet emotions are beautiful, liberating and creative, they are not to be hidden, whether we are men or women, emotions are ‘energy-in-motion’, a living breathing organism, they have their own particular dance, expression and artistry, they matter!  When that energy is released it frees us from pain, from stagnation, from depression.

But too often when emotion does arrive, we make it about what another person has done to create this feeling in us. What I know is that my feeling is MY feeling….its about me. As soon as I make it about another person I become a victim, and that is very unattractive. If I want to ‘sit with my feelings’ it needs to be in the moment, pure, this is mine and its nothing to do with any one else, no blame – kind of thing.
The crazy thing is is that it’s so much ‘easier’ to make it about someone else, it diverts the pain and for that moment, we are released…and then it comes back, maybe the story changes slightly, but the pain still arrives, time and time again.
And then what can and often does come through is emotional manipulation, and that does not serve anyone, not the one who is feeling nor the ones listening, if we manipulate and become victims with it, we are not honoring ourselves and ultimately not growing up! We go round and round in a circle, or a triad of victim, perpetrator, rescuer and it never ends.
We might admit we are at fault, but can also be prone to insist that some one, some thing, some place is also at fault.
So taking the feeling and making it ‘my own’ and nothing to do with ‘the other’ is the way forward. And owning our own part in the scenario, at least being willing to look, means we are not helpless victims, we have choices and we can gain a level of serenity no matter what that situation. And when that e-motion moves…we experience freedom, no matter what the story is, because that story no longer exists, it becomes a poem, a work of art, a manuscript even a song.
Caroline Carey
Middle Earth Medicine Ways
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Resting in the arms of repetition

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.

Screen shot 2012-08-17 at 14.51.44
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.
doctor-dancingOne 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.
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A Mandorla of Intimacy vs High Energy

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. img_7426

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/particip487827_10151244028481583_1912567428_nants. 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 🙂
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