familiar

An Ending (Ascent) - Reframing Grief

We are living in Deep times. For anyone feeling the weight of this point between Eclipses I hope that this beautiful piece of music helps you to Be. An Ending (Ascent) by Brian Eno has been a beloved piece of music for many years and I've played it many circles and meditations. I remember reading an interview with Brian Eno about the creation of his album, Apollo Atmospheres and Soundtracks, and he said he remembered watching the moon landing as a child and felt interrupted by all of the commentary and chatter. And so he created the soundtrack he would have liked to have heard to accompany this memory.
I think that's a beautiful way to re-light the past. And perhaps that is something we can also do now. With an open heart, we can step out of the painful judging of the past and see it in a new way with a deeper understanding, we can give it a beautiful soundtrack, a different atmosphere - even if it was a difficult time. Not all of our past can be dropped or chopped away, sometimes it is easier to integrate it in a different way or reframe it. We have a tendency to see the past as only good or bad experiences.
There are changes happening now that are vital and needed but that doesn't mean it is easy. Tony and I have been on our own journey with Death and we are only now feeling the light returning as everything gets birthed again. In the passing of our familiar, Rory, 2 weeks ago we have experienced such a wave of grief but on the other side of the grieving has been an illumination of what is truly sacred and important to us.  And it has brought us closer - we are falling deeper in love with each other. This growing love is helping to give Rory's passing a different 'atmosphere'. What if his passing was his last great gift to us? What if this time is the midwifing of the best that is in us all?
Oceans of love to you all as we quest in the deep together. I hope this heart-opening music brings you some sweet relief x
Moon Games - Astrophotographer Laurent Laveder

Heart of Violet Leaf

Violets were mentioned frequently by Homer and Virgil. They were used by the Athenians 'to moderate anger,' to procure sleep and 'to comfort and strengthen the heart.' Pliny prescribes a liniment of Violet root and vinegar for gout and disorder of the spleen, and states that a garland or chaplet of Violets worn about the head will dispel the fumes of wine and prevent headache and dizziness. The ancient Britons used the flowers as a cosmetic, and in a Celtic poem they are recommended to be employed steeped in goats' milk to increase female beauty, and in the Anglo-Saxon translation of the Herbarium of Apuleius (tenth century), the herb V. purpureum is recommended 'for new wounds and eke for old' and for 'hardness of the maw.' via www.botanical.com


My biggest plant teacher this week has been the humble Violet Leaf. In an effort to 'get myself back' after losing our familiar, Rory I have been striving and pushing and not surprisingly, exhausting myself. Grief is such a mystery, sometimes such a huge and deep cup of emotion and I am learning how to gently float up from the bottom without a constant companion who was walked beside me in my work and life for the last 16 years.

At the Full Moon Eclipse I realised I have been keeping my mind busy but it was now time to really open my heart to feel what has been lying beneath the grief. I was scared - what if it was a fathomless well of pain? How could I 'operate' in that space? At the same time I knew avoiding it was like trying to take a 'shortcut' to skip the deepest part of the forest.

Just before he died, Rory sent me an image to show me where he wanted to be buried - under a carpet of violets. He had always loved to lie in the violets on hot days. And so it was there that I was sitting when I let myself stop and feel. What arose was not violent or even very painful, it was a mournful howl like a wolf mother. It was a huge release and relief to let it out. I had to empty out my heart and soon it began to fill again. As my heart kept emptying, it kept opening. So that soon I could feel a space where the pain used to be and something else beginning to flow and fill it.  I began to notice the gentle scent of Violet Leaf all around me. Such a comforting smell - damp and earthy and sweet. I began to notice I was sitting in what looked like a sea of hearts. The heart shaped leaf of the Violet has often been used to create tinctures and essences to bring peace and sleep and was also known as a flower associated with death.

I harvested some of the soft fuzzy green hearts around me to create an essence, placed some of the leaves in my bath that night and then gathered another handful to dry inside. The smell of drying Violet Leaves has woven through our whole house like a loving vine. It is the scent that woke me this morning. The green fertile earth is the best healer for loss and teaches us so much about the natural cycle of birth, death and rebirth. For all those feeling grief today I send you a green hug from Violet. If you have any growing nearby, place some leaves beside your bed - a green blanket for your heart x

A Spirit Sister for Summer Solstice

Custom Spirit Dolls for Summer Solstice - I am taking the last orders now for dolls to be made handcrafted for you or a loved one in time for solstice or christmas. These dolls are made with your intentions, animal totems and plant medicine - they come with a reading from your Spirit Sister. 

$100 including postage - send me a message to place your order. 

heart of a Fox

The honourable Fox has been demonised for too long. I loved watching this true story of the Fox tonight, true because it tells of the honest spirit of the fox and the depth of feeling between this beautiful old man and his Fox companion. And yes I thought of my dear friend, Australian artist Vali Myers and how she would have loved this too.

Vali told me once: 'I like dogs and cats but a fox... a fox is like my own spirit'.

Foxy, the orphaned vixen who was brought to Vali after her mother had been killed, became Vali's deepest love. Vali called Foxy her 'daughter'. The last time I visited Vali's home in Positano, Italy it was after Vali's death and I returned with some of Vali's ashes to give to Gianni Menichetti, Vali's companion and friend who cared for her animals and home. Gianni, Tony and I sat up on Vali's tiny bed built up high in the roof of her domed stone home and Gianni spoke beautifully about Vali before placing her ashes into a small wooden box that contained the remains of Foxy. And in that moment I felt a sense of calm and release. Like someone or thing had exhaled and relaxed.

'Now mother and daughter are reunited', Gianni said.

Such love, such spirit. Are we really so crazy to discount the meaningful relationships between human and animal? As I write this, my own familiar, Rory sleeps beside me. He will stay up as late as I do and I am an Owl. He is almost 18 years of age now and yet he still will wait for me to finish so that we always go to bed together.

Give the animals in your home and life an extra kiss and squeeze tonight. Our familiars, our children, our teachers. Wise beings of fin or feather or fur. We are the lucky ones they have chosen to share their whole lives with.

Vali and Foxy by Rudi Rappold
Self portrait with Foxy taken by Vali with a polaroid

Tawny Frogmouth Familiar

source

Look at those faces! I am really loving creating new doll familiars with the medicine of Tawny Frogmouth. Since working with the essence of this beautiful Australian bird I have received so many gifts of friendship. I feel that their medicine is not only of camouflage and shapeshifting as you can see above they blend amazingly with the bark of trees, but also of symbiosis and integration - coming together and yet still holding your own authentic essence.

A dear sister sent me these feathers found on her travels in Queensland and this weekend I will get to meet her in person and hug her heart-to-heart at our medicine doll workshop on Mt Tamborine. It's been over a year since I have placed my feet on that magic mountain. 
Here are a couple of the Tawny Frogmouth Familiars...I think there will be quite a few more sisters of this tribe making themselves known soon.
Making new friendships - Tawny Frogmouth and Acorn plant medicine doll

Lilith Tawny Frogmouth and Plant Medicine Doll -
Welcoming home all parts of ourselves