|Julia Margaret Cameron 1875
Here is the incredible Swan Blessing story of Kylie whose free-spirited nature was bound by vows of Chastity and Silence after being forced to take vows as a nun. For Kylie the greatest binding of all was her spirit's agreement to be resigned to this life, to not expect anything more. As a nun, she learnt to develop a deep inner world to deal with her circumstances. In releasing herself from her vows, Kylie learnt that this rich inner world could also be her experience of the outer world too.
Undergoing the Swan Blessing was both a simple and natural thing to do. I had had an immensely emotional week, I worried whether I really wanted to “go there”, to have to delve into my issues and problems. To be honest I had no idea what I was walking into. I had already booked this time with Julia and Tony and didn’t want to cancel, I trusted the simplest yet sometimes the most challenging belief I have, which is to believe everything is happening as it should. I have also worked with Tony and Julia for years and have always found their energy to be soothing, and working with them has only led me to feelings of calm and healing.
I entered the room, I stepped into a circle, where Tony smudged me with a sage stick, wafting its fragrance around me, removing the energies of my hectic week from me. He then left the room, working from a distance to hold the sacred space that we were to work within but leaving Julia and I to work together. There is no major moment or dramatic entry into my past life, there is simply a direction to look and see. It’s like watching a movie, it’s so simple. Julia guided me to look into the Well and take me to the person I once was, for me to meet the person who once made a vow so strong and so sacred that it was still driving me to this very day.
She was young and beautiful and she knew the power of her looks, a graceful maiden growing up in London from a relatively well to do family. She was always a loner, always dreaming by the docks, her favourite place to be. She loved to watch the ships come in, see the men and dream of the places they would go and admire their swarthy looks from afar. What were they speaking of, their voices carrying on the wind with the dialects and words of foreign places. She could never get too close though, her position demanded distance, as it seemed to demand distance for her from most of the world around her. Her virtue was her most valuable asset and the architecture of her life was such that it would not be compromised.
As we entered the meditation and I approached the Well, before I had met her, before I was taken to the docks of her youth, I was guided by a beautiful maiden of Avalon. She had taken me to the well and Avalon was where i felt my journey was to be. As I was guided to turn my eyes and look to the well, I excitedly anticipated to see myself as a beautiful maiden of Avalon, amongst my sisters, in no way was i prepared for who I saw myself to be. A nun, a very old nun with rheumy blue eyes, eyes that spoke whilst lips did not move. She looked at me and spoke a thousand words through her eyes but never once moved her lips. She was silent, forever silent, she had vowed silence and had lived it so long she no longer knew any different.
She took me through the streets of an old Medieval English town to a small church at the end of a street in an area of much poverty, grime and sickness. She showed me her church and the Friar who worked with her, her eyes told me she had found acceptance of her life, that she regarded both herself and her life as unremarkable, as no one to be known or remembered, and probably no one who would be remembered, simply a servant of the church with a vow of silence. As I connected to her I felt so little emotionally, I felt a shell of a person who was neither happy nor sad but merely existing. Her mind was quiet, there was nothing left to say to herself after all this time.
As we delved deeper and I tried to find a connection in her, a fire, a passion, we journeyed to the day she made her vows. She knew she was still so beautiful in her nun’s gowns, she stood tall and proud, her rosary beads hanging around her slim waist and still knew of her power. She knew why she was here today and she owned the actions that had made her family send her here. She felt no regret, the docks had called and she had answered, and whilst she chose not to share with me the details of her encounter there, still her own personal haven, her own sacred memory, it was enough to ensure she be banished from her family to serve out her days in the church undergoing a vow of silence that was to last her a lifetime. Not only was she to serve here for her shameful actions she was to be silenced so she could never shame her family with the true reasons for her vocation, with her true self. She simply held that silence with a knowing look, she had experienced a taste of freedom that she knew her life would never have afforded her, and she would pay the price for the rest of her life.
We looked at each other in the mirror, my blue eyes matching hers, this time I looked at her with love and together we tenderly removed the stiches from her mouth. I sent her all the love I had, let her know she was someone, she was so remarkable and her life had made a difference. She granted me the gift of her incredible strength and her still mind, something I have never been able to achieve and something i needed so badly at this time in my life. My own mind had been screaming at me, tormenting me on things I had to deal with, she helped me to move through. Her life of silence, her life of servitude and anonymity just set me free or did i just set her free with my gifts of love, acceptance and acknowledgement of her greatness and incredible strength, for that moment we became one and we were both free.
As now, weeks later I now revisit this moment of unity, it is like we both spiralled to become one person. She craved freedom and found it in her mind, she was a dreamer and so too am I. She lived her glory in her mind, she vowed to keep her strength and her uniqueness to herself, she had no other frame of reference to live by, there was no other choice she knew of and I realised I had been living the same. What I have realised is, I don’t need to.
I have choices, choices she could not even imagine yet have still had been living bound to my own mind, still living as if I had no choice. For all my life I have taken my gifts and tried to bury them from view where I can live safely with them and not challenge the status quo of my world and the people in it. The fear I experience at times to bring myself forth are just irrational, a real physical sinking in the pit of the stomach and total inability to push myself to the next level on so many things, jack of all trades master of none. Never to really excel, better to be amongst the crowd. The gift of the Swan Blessing to me has been the realignment of myself to this very day. To take the gifts I have and remove the binds that have held me back. I always felt like i had reached some wall in myself that made no sense and now i realise that it didn’t make sense because it was built in another time and I could not put the pieces together, now it all just makes sense.
Kylie, DJ, 2012
Kylie is a beloved sister & soul friend and has been an illuminating presence in our circles for many years. Mystic, healer, storyteller, Kylie heals through the sound waves. To be in her company is to be brought back to pure joy. As 'DJ Ma Bower' Kylie is spreading that joy and deep bliss to all the beautiful dancers and music lovers. Healers take many forms and the healing that takes place through sound is profound. She will be playing at some beautiful festivals this summer so when you hear the call to the temple from 'Ma Bower', when you can no longer resist the urge to dance on the earth again...let yourself return. We already thought Kylie was out of this world, we can't wait to hear what is unleashed after her Swan Blessing!