Many years ago I used to wonder if I would ever find my own work rather than teaching what another had created. I mean by this, the work that would not just be my own style or my own approach, but something specific that I created myself from my own journey.
I’ve been teaching movement and shamanic work for over twenty years and although I do most definitely have my own style and ways of creating and holding a space for others to do their work within. Despite being a shamanic, dance and movement guide, I knew there were a few key elements I needed to offer. And so I kept asking the question ‘what is mine to do?’
Ten years ago, quite accidentally and without any searching or planning for it at that time…it found me!
In fact the biggest realisation was that I had actually been living this ‘work’ most of my life and it was as much a part of me, as I was of it.
Of course it had not come easily, in fact it was the biggest challenge in my life. It included my home life, my working life, my children and their fathers and all the ins and outs of daily living and working things out. It was about who I had become and all the energy I carried to enable me to be who I was in the world.
And it had all been choreographed quite beautifully to form a constellation process that I could offer alongside my dancing warrior path. It would in time develop into a magical process that transformed people’s lives and opened up new door ways of deep enquiry into their own human-being.
The Magic of Mandorla has been crafted from my life experience where all I had to do to find it, was quite literally ‘live it!’
Over the last years it has begun to show me exactly what it is about. Each time I hold its process, new and different pieces of its puzzle present itself to me and the work just gets deeper and deeper.
I had been witness to many others work and enjoyed my time taking part and experiencing their art and healing potentials. I knew it was all influencing my own ways of working and would in time be part of the small seeds that influenced the work I offered to the world.
This was me right in the centre of my own Mandorla, empowering myself with the energy it created. Without any knowledge of what the Mandorla actually was.
Within a dream that connected me to two fire places and then finding those two fire places in real life, I knew I was on to something. I was literally being shown what to pay attention to through my dreaming and through being in nature.
The dream maker appears as a Station Master, old and grey, he seemed somewhat saddened. He took me to an old house, it was very dark and damp, there were thick cobwebs in every corner. As I entered the room I saw that there were two empty fire places, neither had any sign of a flame or coal ready to be burned, they looked like they had been left for many years to collect dust and webs. Why were there two fireplaces here, maybe once it had been two rooms?*
It is known as the most powerful of religious experiences we can have in life. Mandorla is the place of poetry “And the fire and the rose are one.” Little Gidding ~T. S Eliot
There is a tension that is created at an evolutionary level. The Mandorla is the almond shape where two circles partly overlap, it is the Italian word for almond. Where the circles merge, this place symbolises the sacred place in which balance and reconciliation are birthed. There is a generative power available within the tension of opposites as in heaven and earth, light and dark, masculine and feminine, loyalty and betrayal, to name but a few. Mandorla is the sacred space of our soul work; it is where beauty and terror exist together. There has been a split and these two circles become united together. The curse is the pain it can inflict but with the greatest potential to heal.
At a time when our differences, our needs and desires, gender, culture, politics, faith traditions, etc threaten to divide us, the Mandorla provides a bridge that can deepen this experience with relationships and empower the right action. There is no way to depict the Mandorlas brightness, except by darkness. If we stand in the place of the Mandorla, that meeting place of two opposites, then we can use the energy of that particular conflict to provide a vital spark which can lead to a deeper understanding of what is occurring and to enable us to make clear decisions and feel into the power this gives us.
In my own case my mothering and my ever-emerging soul-craft conflicted with each other. I became more aware of these two opposites or polarities as I explored them. I held two very strong levels of soul work. One was the rearing of six children; the other was my work in the world. They were both equally as important to me. I was stretched unbelievably between the two. For years I experienced deep anguish and pain as I juggled these roles and found ways to combine both of them in my life.
‘I felt that tension growing in me, the tearing apart of what I needed to do, pulled in all directions, it was growing inside me, a creature going crazy feeling the madness of it all. My own heat rising in my belly, the curse of the mountain lion sharpening her claws, what was going on, what was happening to the child I wanted to protect from wounding. I raged with agony to be in both places. One voice saying ‘go home to your daughter, be a ‘good’ mother.’ Another voice saying ‘let her be, this is her journey she needs to experience this’ Another voice recognising the importance of the work I was undertaking and how it may affect hundreds of other beings in years to come, as well as helping me very deeply to connect with my own strongly emerging mytho-poetic identity.’
The Mandorla work was exploring me, just as I was exploring it. Now I had a ‘name’ for what I had experienced so much in my adult life. I began to see so many other Mandorlas, every day I could see where this energy field could be created and made use of.
I was awake and aware of what moved inside me, fascinated by the path I had chosen, no matter how challenging or how cursed it felt at times. I had lived a life of polarity. Born on the winter solstice between the light and the dark at midwinter, born in the Midlands, the middle of the country. A middle child between a brother and a sister, I had myself birthed three boys and three girls. I had been educated between two religions and journeyed the path of both cityscape and nature. These polarities had formed me and sculpted me. I knew this journey well. I was learning how to balance the opposites of my existence with the light of the Mandorla’s magic and light.
If we look at any spiritual icons, like Jesus or Mary, saints or images of angels, we will see that golden almond shape of light that surrounds them. This is called the Vesica Piscis or the Aurola. It depicts sacred moments, transcending time and space, its brightness shines out through the darkness that it emerges from. The energy we feel within the power of the polarity we are experiencing creates this luminosity, it shows us what it is we need to be aware of. It is an experience of pure presence.
Where there is conflict there is light, there is energy and there is healing potential in that moment. We need to stand in its centre, be still within it, feel into its energy and allow that light to be created. The light will illuminate what has been hidden, showing us where we might need to make changes in our lives. As we engage with the circles around our own Mandorla process we get to see what is really going on that has not been made clear before.
Stepping up and standing against the wall between the two fireplaces, I became the the Mandorla at the centre. Singing my song, tears rolling down my cheeks, playing my drum I felt the weight of that tension lifting from my shoulders into the universal energy of love that was all around me, held and supported by the ground, the earth beneath my feet, the deep love of the mother.
And I remembered my little clay boat I had crafted. Had it represented a small boat, or was it indeed the almond shape of the Mandorla symbol?
After a time of exploring my own Mandorla process, I recognised that it would become part of my work. It meant I would use creativity and artistry to help others to depict its deeper meaning.
I invited others to experience this work in my small garden yurt, and when a friend from the Netherlands heard me talking about it, she was keen to experience it and so arranged for me to share it with her own community.
It began to grow and I realised that this piece of work wanted its own journey in the world. It has stretched as far as South Africa where its energy has touched others individually and collectively. It has expanded to many communities. Sometimes I am completely in awe at its power, something that has surprised me at times and left me in wonder at its magic.
‘The Magic Of Mandorla’ has been rocking around the world entering into the hearts of many and collectively rocking our boats, stirring up the hidden truths and bringing to light what needs to change, for only by seeing what is hidden in the dark, can we truly manifest abundant and lasting change in the world.
If ever I am asked, “how do I find my own body of work?” Of “how do I find what my own offering is?” I often just say, ‘live it! Watch what is happening through your life and document it, learn from it and see what is being asked of you’
In order to know our work, we must embody it and find its truth. We cannot make something up or take anything from others. We might work with the processes of others until we come to the understanding of what is unique to ourselves. We find our own unique talent and the delivery system that brings it about. This all takes time and cannot and should not be rushed.
The Mandorla, is nothing new and is thousands of years old and is used widely around the world as well as taught, written about and mused over. There are umpteen diagrams and paintings of it. But what was offered to me in my own process was how I could work with it, which came from my own way of working. This is how I came to find my own unique piece of work.
More of my own story can be found in Ms’Guided Angel: An Innocence Reclaimed.
To take part in The Magic of Mandorla please see https://middleearthmedicine.com/magic-of-mandorla/