death and dying

Guardians of the Threshold - Death and Dying

Hello everyone our Death and Dying wisdom circle: Guardians of the Threshold is now completely full. For all those joining us we will meet on New Moon Saturday 1st March 1-5pm at Kumbada Studio. I will send out a preparation email tonight to all participants. We are looking forward to welcoming you to this beautiful and sacred work. 

For those who have missed out on a place, we will be holding a second workshop Rites of Passage in May and will have more details soon - get in touch if you would like to be included in this circle.

Ocean Without a Shore - Bill Viola

'The Self is an ocean without a shore. Gazing upon it has no beginning or end, in this world and the next.'
Ibn Arabi (b.1165-1240)
These words from a poem by Andalusian mystic, Ibn Arabi inspired video artist, Bill Viola to create his work Ocean Without a Shore, presented at the Venice Biennale in 2007. I would have loved to have seen this amazing video installation exploring death and the afterlife in person. The symbol of threshold is represented by an incredible 'waterwall'. I often see this threshold to the otherworld as a waterfall. Bill Viola talks beautifully below about the people who took part in the piece and the stories that began to unfold naturally about their own experiences of visitations from loved ones after they had passed. 
'it's a piece about humanity. About the fragility of life, the borderline between life and death is actually not a hard wall. It's not to be opened with a lock and key, it's actually very fragile, very tenuous and you can cross it - like that in an instant... I think just the nature of the awareness of death is one the things that in any culture makes human beings have that profound feeling of what we call the human condition.' Bill Viola 

precious beauty of death + dying

Little Wing precious gift from Mother Earth

Whenever I commit to a new dream, Spirit begins showing me just how much that dreaming has always been close. I believe Intention brings more focus - just like the zoom lense of a camera, we begin to see the worlds within worlds around us. Now that we have begun taking enrolments for Guardians of the Threshold, a death and dying wisdom circle, I am seeing Death everywhere. And It sounds morbid but it truly isn't. Yes it is sad, there is always a loss when we face death but there is so much beauty. Death is the ultimate invitation to FEEL and she strips away our masks and armour to expose the tender heart. She makes us remember what it is to be truly human and alive.

Here is Little Wing the wing of a dear parrot who passed away on my doorstep on the day we signed the lease on a new home in the forest. For the last 12 months, this house has been my private bird sanctuary, so many feathered friends visit us here every day and owls come to keep us company at night. This ending is of course the threshold I must cross to begin again. I feel sad to leave but also excited about the new chapter awaiting. The next home is still in our beloved Sherbrooke Forest but in a house that is more open to welcoming to visitors and seekers. After year of sabbatical, I am ready to begin seeing more clients. I could not hold this work in our current home. And so this week I feel like I am in limbo - I know I am moving and yet I can't seem to make myself pack yet. it's been manifesting as a constant underlying anxiety and obsession with tiny, unimportant details. I feel exhausted and I realised yesterday it is because I have not let myself feel the grief of this change.

This is also a common experience when we lose someone we love and it can manifest in a much deeper and traumatic way when we repress our deepest grief and pain. In my family there is a long history of suicide in both my mother's and father's families. Suicide is still such a taboo subject and can be one of the hardest causes of death to talk about. In my family there is a gaping hole that is filled with silence and deep pain. This hole, this wound is a source of soul loss for many family members and instead of feeling and speaking and facing the many unanswered questions, the pain has been repressed and has manifested as deep depression. Recently, in Vision, I asked to know more about this spirit of depression that has followed my family for generations and I was shown not a horrible demon as I had expected but instead, the lost and forgotten spirits of family members who had taken their own lives and were never spoken of again. They were asking me for acknowledgement and remembrance and that is something we can all do and give. Often all Death requires is for us to be truly present.  It was this vision and the incredible healing that came after it, that pushed me to create a circle where we can finally release this unacknowledged pain, ask questions about death and dying and share our stories of loved ones no longer with us. To remember with love. We will also speak of the beauty and rebirth that occurs in this crossing of the threshold. The mystery of the afterlife and the visions and visitations that Spirit often gifts back to the living to help us to understand that there is nothing to fear.

When I need to cry and release I often head to the water and yesterday we drove to Phillip Island. It was the best gift I could give to myself - to just step away from it all and dive into the soft embrace of Mamma Ocean. As we arrived at the beach, we saw Bunjil, the wedge tailed eagle circling above and as we left the ocean we came upon a beach memorial that we hadn't noticed on the way down. The memorial was in a grove of trees and when we arrived it was being guarded by a blue tongued lizard. I was touched by this small and public altar to a beautiful young girl. It was decorated with toys and shells and was accompanied by this dedication:

'Where there is love the heart is light.
Where there is love the day is bright.
Where there is love there is quiet peace.
A tranquil place where troubles cease.
Oh blest are those who walk in love.
They also walk with god above.
Fly free Miranda you are loved.'

Whether you have healing to do around the loss of a loved one, are living with a loved one right now at the sacred threshold of dying, or want to come and heal the taboo and fear of speaking about death and the afterlife, you are welcome to join us in this wisdom circle. Together we will remember what it is to embrace the natural wisdom of the endless and eternal cycle of life.

Details of Guardians of the Threshold - Wild Wisdom of Death and Dying with Sacred Familiar and Rainbowalker.

Memorial for Miranda
letting go letting flow

the wild wisdom of death and dying

Hello everyone, on the New Moon last friday, we met with Rainbowalker to consciously open the dreaming well for Guardians of the Threshold. In this circle we will be sharing practical information on how to care for loved ones during the shamanic threshold death and dying. You will also have the space to share your own stories and wisdom, together we can bring light back to an area of our lives that is so beautiful and natural but has been shrouded in fear and taboo.  
Not too long ago this wisdom was a part of ancestral wisdom or 'granny wisdom' as I call it. There would have been someone in the family that was called on whenever a family or community member was nearing the threshold of death. They would have come to your home and gently consoled the family and made the dying as comfortable as they could be. Most importantly they brought peace and solace to the dying, often just by being a calm and gentle presence in the room and held their hand as they made the Great Journey. And this wisdom would have been passed to a child who perhaps at a young age began to accompany the granny in her work and showed a natural ease and knowing with this medicine. 
This is very specific medicine that may not call to many of you, but if you are feeling drawn to know more or if you are already making the journey with a loved one in your family, we encourage you to get in touch. For too long this natural process has been surrounded by fear and just as it is important to have a conscious life, it is important to have a conscious death.  When we lose our fear of death we can begin to truly live.
Click here to register for Guardians of the Threshold

Embracing the Wild Wisdom of Death and Dying

Hello friends, I am writing this post at the exact point of Full Moon in Cancer from our forest home here in Sherbrooke. I have chosen this point to speak about a dreaming that has been growing between Tony and I and our sister Bec Walker (Rainbowalker) for some time. We are now opening up new circles under the name of Memory Tree Collective to create spaces to speak openly and without fear about death and dying. This is an area that seems to be naturally becoming a part of our work, especially Bec who is an Aged Care Nurse and has many years of experience of being a part of the caring team that prepares a soul to move from this world into the next.

This service, a Guardian of the Threshold, is part of Ancestral Medicine. Not too long ago this wisdom was carried in the family. Real practical information about how to care for the physical body as it was breaking down and also how to hold space as the spirit was getting ready to cross the threshold to begin the Great Journey. Our grandmothers and grandfathers would do this preparation in our homes and and communities and we are all passionate about honouring this natural wisdom again. A natural life also deserves a natural death and we will discuss green burials, home funerals and the ecology of the sacred Earth.

No-one is a stranger to death and yet there is so little spoken about it - we are still so afraid and also bound by the taboos of the past. In this first of the Memory Tree circles we will hold shamanic ceremony to release the binding of the past and honour and show love to our fear. In our journeys we will create a new relationship to the natural cycle of Life-Death-Rebirth and to Mother Earth. We will journey to make peace with death and to loved ones no longer with us. We will open the door to our own personal understanding of Life After Life. In becoming fearless and conscious about dying we also give ourselves and loved ones the gift of conscious living - we become deeply at peace with all that is.

We would like to thank the artist, Iain Whittaker, for sharing his incredible artwork which is a part of 13 panel frieze called 'Fascinum Frieze' that was a part of his recent exhibition: 'Psychopomp'.   Here is a link to a great interview with Iain and further panels from the Fascinum Frieze. When I look at this vision I see a woman who embodies the feeling that the Memory Tree Collective would like to share with you - that there is nothing to fear from death. Her glowing necklace of wild bees and her luminous eyes feel like a beautiful invitation to live.