Today I share Rebecca's Swan Past Life Story. I met Rebecca when she was co-presenting an ecoprinting workshop - a workshop that fascinated me as it involved cooking up in a cauldron recycled items like old keys, pieces of metal, wood and leaves and flowers to create natural dyes for silk. I loved the transformation of items regarded as waste or rubbish into incredible beauty.
Rebecca's story is of a young girl who on her mother's death-bed promised to carry on in life alone. To survive without the love and assistance of any members of her Feminine Matriarchal line. As with many of these Soul Promises made in past lives, the energy and binding of these oaths are carried by our spirit with us into the present. It is a beautiful remembering of a life endured with quiet strength and in the release of the binding comes the release from that word 'endure'. How many of us have endured our lives? For so many lifetimes we have had to 'make do' in hard times. I am so happy to see that we are now remembering ancient ways of creating communities through creativity and motherhood and sacred medicine. If we are without elders in this lifetime we can seek them out in community and this is why the Red Tent movement of creating sacred space for women is so important. As are the sacred spaces being created by our brothers for men to meet and share and receive the guidance that may not be available to them in their birth families.
The painting you see above, 'Christina's World' by Andrew Wyeth was chosen by Rebecca to accompany her Swan Story and I am always so fascinated to see the threads of art symbolism woven into the words of story. When I looked into the story behind this painting I discovered that the model for it was Wyeth's neighbour, Christina, who had polio and had lost the use of her legs. This painting had been inspired when he'd seen her pulling herself across the field to her home with strength of her arms alone. It is poignant to me that when parts of our spirits are bound by past life vows, in soul loss, our present lives can often feel like this - as if mobility and movement is somehow limited by energy beyond our control. The gift of this impediment is that we are often forced to develop new skills and ways of finding nourishment beyond the normal constraints of culture and society. This is why, I believe, we are seeing a rise in the shamanic approach to spirit - regardless of the fact that western society has become so urbanised and materialistic. Our spirits are wise and we remember the truth - that we are all one, that our mothers and fathers are many, and the greatest source of Feminine Love is always available to us when we connect to the Earth.
Deep in the heart of Mother Mountain, in the home of the Crone, who has a name I can’t remember, I looked into the Well of Memory. She emerged, a young girl with red hair, wearing a dress with an old-fashioned collar. She stretched out a hand, and we met, palm to palm. I joined her in a country field, wheat waving golden in the afternoon light. We walked towards a farmhouse, and her sadness, grief and loneliness were tangible within me.
The girl led me into the empty house, upstairs, to a bedroom. The bed was smoothly made, a sense of timelessness in the air. Without words, I understood that her mother had died here, and in the last moments of her life, she’d compelled her daughter to make her a promise: to live, to survive, to carry on, despite the painful lack of any feminine energy. No mother, no grandmother to hold her.
The girl was stoic and sad. She had to hold herself, and it was a very lonely path.
I felt grief, tears, and the familiarity of her pain deep within me. The resonance of making do without loving feminine energy around me. Nowhere to receive a deep hug, or older wisdom and nurture. I felt all that, and how I live that, and I also felt how this no longer serves me in this lifetime. I felt how it is shifting. I have survived that painful absence of Mother, and now I can soften and seek out the love and support of the feminine all around me.
Crow came and led me out of the mountain, flying from tree to tree. I felt her energy of watchfulness and waiting, a companion high up in the branches. I felt the holding all around me. There is enough. I am safe and loved. And I can offer safety and love to my daughter and all those around me. Rebecca, 2013
Thank you Rebecca for sharing your beautiful story and helping us all to remember that we are not alone. Rebecca is embracing her medicine as Artisan and this is one of the many ways to express the limitless power of the Feminine. You can read her inspiring words at her website: Healing Tools
- I visited yesterday and spent a couple of hours immersed in her nourishing stories and wisdom. And you can also see the stunning ecoprinting creation and take part in workshops with the Oracle Textile Collective here.
Love to you beautiful Artisan x