I love to make dolls for people when we journey together. Here is CrowMoon Dancer made for Karen and her Black Swan Blessing journey to sing back the Outcast Sister. Inside her body are many plants and herbs including moss, oak, mountain ash and arnica for keeping the wolf within. Wishing you beautiful moon dances together Karen xx
|Enormous tree growing outside the Abbotsford Convent windows|
|Tree growing in the quadrangle of the Magdelene Laundry compound|
|Here before the convent - Yarra River below the grounds|
The Barefoot Princess - Igor Oleynikov
She emerged from the waterfall and stepped towards me. Her skin was glowing olive smooth. She had toiled, but not in the sun. Her green almond-shaped eyes held the memory of a smile. Her white fine hair cascaded in waves down her back. She trod lightly, silently, her back was rod-straight.She led me back to her home, the entrance of which seemed to be an invisible knot in the trunk of a tree. Her home was without edges and warm with dusk light. A wooden table with two chairs, a few pots and pans, a kettle. Little but ample. Herbs drying in bunches hanging from the ceiling.Tea poured, she took my hands and looked into my eyes. My breath seared my throat as she took me back…
A small girl, about eight years old, playing. A perfect circle of light gleaming down through the tall trees onto her honey curls. She lay on her belly, her feet languidly searching for clouds oblivious to the butterflies dancing between them. Her play was serious, focused: naming the plants for herself, steeping them in her kettle, experimenting.Barefoot she ran, darting between knees and dodging heavy baskets, through the dark clouded marketplace. She headed precisely to her destination, barely detected but not oblivious to predators. She approached his tiny table quietly, head bowed respectfully. He was small and gnarly, and benignly nodding his ragged grey beard towards the tiny bundle of sticks at the end of the table. She pawed them nimbly, knowing they were exactly what she had been seeking. With silent thanks, she turned and disappeared into the darkness, flying towards her clearing, eager to progress her research.A dark cloud loomed across those almond-shaped eyes as rivers streamed down our cheeks…They came for her: tall, black, hooded, angular. Grabbing her roughly by the arms, lifting her feet from the earth. She kicked and screamed, writhed and bit, like a wild wild thing. She summoned the image of her protectors: young, love, glowing. They were far far away, and could not help her now. The marketplace table of the gnarly old man was empty, his chair smashed on the cobblestones.Times were changing.All that she had done, all that she had been, was wrong. A threat. Her solitude, her freedom, her enquiry, her craft: unacceptable. And those hooded ones: they did not even know half her story.
That wild girl who had run like a fox and communed with the trees in a circle of light now lived somewhere stone, cold, square. Her back was straight. Her mouth firmly closed. Her eyes hooded, downcast. Her wild hair pulled back, lank and dull. She walked with muted purpose alongside those long cold walls. She washed, she swept.At night she lay staring up at the blank ceiling, that thick coarse rope biting into her back. Gritting her teeth she vowed that she would never completely dampen her flame, that ember in her womb, that spark of curiosity, that life that had been hers. One day, she knew, she would walk right out of that place. Until then, she would not speak, she would not sigh, she would hardly breathe.And then, that day came. It was all over.Her chin rose, eyes meeting the horizon…The gates of that forbidding place were prized open by forces completely unknown and entirely irrelevant to her. Without loyalty, without regret and without rancour, she walked as she always had done: unseen. In the midst of the chaos. Right out of those front gates. As the walls crumbled around her. She walked.No direction but forward. She walked and walked and walked. Never looking back and never to return.The place that she found was not so different from that clearing where she had played as an ancient child. She made her home, stripping bark and twig slowly from one gnarly old man tree, taking her time, open to the gifts of the forest spirits and the seasons.She looked me straight in the eye. She saw me and showed me what I needed to see…
That vow of silence: it bound her forever. It was a vow she had been forced to take, symbolised by the rough rope binding her waist, constricting her breath, knots slicing into her spine. That ache would never quite leave her.The daughters of the well emerged from the waterfall and ignited the rope. It disintegrated to ashes, which dispersed on the breeze. We saw that we were now safe to nurture that ember, the flame that had been dampened for so many years. We understood we would nourish it back to crackling roaring life, one golden feather-like filament at a time.This was our work.My almond-eyed olive-skinned crone took my hands for one last time.She was safe. She welcomed fatigue, hunger, cold. She could endure.She lived alone and invisible to most. She was never lonely.And she healed, those tiny ones had started to arrive. Tiny as she had once been. Wordlessly peering into her window, gratefully pawing a lovingly-bundled collection of sticks carefully placed on the table within a small arm’s reach, knowing that it was exactly what they had been seeking.
Post script: I have had a lower disc injury in my back, the origins of which has – up until the Swan Blessing – always been a mystery to me.
Post post script: Whilst undertaking the Ninth Wave Water Rites to complete the Swan Blessing, I received my calling: to heal with words. Daughter of a nurse and an educator, gifted with words, I finally saw my life’s true purpose. The vow of silence, the prohibition on healing, had been broken. For this, I will be eternally grateful to Julia and Tony, and the daughters of the well.
|Far From Home - Morgan Weistling|
Tonight I share Robyn's Swan Blessing past life story of her Vow to Hide the Healer - to not let anyone know who she truly was. This fear of persecution is one of the strongest ties that binds us and stop us from stepping into spiritual and healing work again in our current lifetime. I was very touched by Robyn's courage to face this fear and was thrilled to see her rapid transformation after she released her spirit from this heavy vow. I hope that in the telling of Robyn's own story, it helps those who are also feeling this same fear to realise that this vow is ancient and does not belong with your spirit in this time of change and rise of the Sacred Feminine. I hope it helps you to feel that you are not alone and that you can come out of the shadows and into community with your sisters and brothers again.
Thank you Robyn and we are so happy to see the unveiling of your Wise Medicine here in this world again.
As I looked into the well I became a seven year old girl with long sandy brown hair in plats. All around was forest. Beautiful majestic trees that were as high as the sky. I was met by a lady, but could only see her curly, dark auburn red hair. She was wearing an emerald green cloak made of raw silk. It was stunning and shiny. I couldn't see her face through the shadow of the hood. I felt we were mother and child. She beckoned me to follow her and seemed very excited to show me something. We were skipping and running with such excitement and freedom through the forest.
We came to a clearing in the trees where there were some people in a circle surrounding a fire. They were pagans, all holding hands chanting blessings to the earth. I could see their shapes in white with no defining marks. The only defining vision was a giant rabbit joined in amongst the people, my mother and myself. We joined the circle and began to become one with earth and all the people. We prayed for healing of the world, for peace, for the sick, for all in need. We were healers, shamans and in an age where this belief could have you branded and killed as a witch.
Suddenly there were screams and men attacking us with sticks, breaking up the circle and beating anyone they could catch. As we fled into the forest they grabbed my mother. They pulled us apart, our arms stretched out for one last chance of touch. I watched as my mother was carried away screaming and kicking holding her arms out to me. I was crying out for her with no hope. I had to hide until it was safe to emerge. As I looked up, a hand reached out for me. It was a man who had come to help. He took me to a secret place where we were allowed to be free and safe. We all lived together in harmony with nature and continued to heal. They taught me the ways of nature and how to use the powers that I possessed.
I grew into a tall, stunning looking woman that walked tall and proud hiding my deep secrets. I was a healer with such powers that I could heal with a single smile or glance. I had my secret kept deep within, not sharing through fear of being killed. I healed from afar. I was living in a Scandinavian town on the edge of the forest. Nobody knew who I was, but I had respect.
When it was time to see my binding I felt a huge rope coil around my entire body much like a snake would strangle their prey. I was bound with this rope with a giant knot in my mouth. The knot represented how I swore to never discuss my secret within. Never to let anyone know I am a healer. Then my mother was reunited with me to show me I was safe. As she put out her arms for me, a feeling of love and peace shot through my entire body. Then my ropes were cut and they fell to the ground. The young girl was free to talk her truth. No more silence, no more fear, I too am free.
After my blessing the Swan circled above with the sun behind her. She came low enough to pick me up and carry me away. I embraced her with gratitude for allowing me to take this journey. I felt safe with her as she flew through the perfect sky, then spiraled down and around to land in the dam paddock of my home. A home I can now appreciate and feel settled and safe in from this day forward.
What an amazing experience. The most interesting guided meditation I have ever done. The emotion that was experienced was so intense inside my heart, but was finally put at peace through this magical healing. Having picked some cards Julia described exactly where I was in my heart. I was feeling trapped with my strong spiritual belief having to remain a secret, through fear of being persecuted, criticized and judged. At the end of the day, my choice to be who I am truly within my heart was being ignored, leaving me untrue to myself and my life as who I am today.
I believe more and more in past lives and at times have had some amazing things happen to convince me even more again. I have always had a yearning to be in India. It was a place where one of my many spiritual steps were taken and where I have always felt at home and allowed to embrace spirituality. I have always felt a strong connection to India through family history, past and present, but also in the heart. In India, people show you respect for your strong belief. Monks, nuns and Holy men are looked up to and never persecuted. My past lives as a holy being were many and I was loved and respected for who I was. This was making it hard to settle in my own home, a paradise surrounded by nature. A place that people come to enjoy and relax. But for me, no, India felt like home. For a while now I had the feeling that my beliefs and abilities should be kept secret, as judgements and criticisms I have had to face from opening my heart to people have felt so unfair. I am not cuckoo or going to hell, I am an amazing being with a lot to share. Life is good!
So a couple of days pass. I start to see visions of my past again. This time, I recognize my mother. She isn't my maternal mother from this life as I originally thought, she is Judy, healer I bump into on occasion. In my Scandinavian life, Judy is my mother. Judy is also the healer that helped me on a few occasions. She turns up at the right time. A lovely lady I have always felt like I should get to know better, but has never had the chance. First thing the next morning After this visit to Melbourne my family all went to our chiropractor for our regular adjustment. We hadnt seen a single soul in town before entering the clinic. Guess who were the patients before us, Judy and her husband Jack. I hadn't seen them for over 18 months and now I feel its time to get to know them better. I think I have a new teacher.
Thank you Julia and Tony for helping me find peace. Look forward to another magical experience with you both. Robyn, 2013
Bright love to you Emily for your beautiful courage to awaken the Black Serpent of your Wise Medicine and for sharing your story. For those who resonate with Emily's story I hope that in the reading, comes great unbinding and release.
It’s taken me a full cycle to begin to discover the power that was unbound by your swan blessings at the Seven Sisters Festival (I came to both the Friday afternoon and Sunday morning). I am so grateful to you for the gifts you shared and what has been awakened in me.
I was quite frightened and disturbed by my past self and by my animal guide. She was angry and vengeful…her black eyes spitting vicious spite at me. She looked proud and Roman...somewhere dusty and crowded. She had cut out her own tongue to bind her magic and power, to punish and prevent herself from practicing evil. I felt this as barbed wire around my throat and heart.
The first unbinding came from my animal guide…it emerged from the darkness as a huge black serpent, terrifyingly beautiful and powerful, with glowing red eyes and glistening black scales. I shook with fear as it rushed towards me, towards the barbed wire. It wound its strong body around my legs, up around my hips and chest and somehow just melted the barbed wire away.
The second unbinding came from the crone…she handed me a black stone knife and I knew it was the same knife She had used to cut out her tongue. I thrust it into the pool, shattering its surface into light. WE ARE FREE. Her power is my power. My healing light is her healing light. I am free to choose to speak the truth, to never speak evil. It is my choice and my power to wield.
The black serpent was there to guide me, to travel with me on my journey. It sinuously slid away and I ran after it, rushed through the darkness. We easily merged into one and travelled through the dark, unafraid. We are power, energy, in direct connection with the earth. We wrap the ones we love with our whole body and strength, entwined with love, hearts beating together in the darkness. We shed many skins. We never act in anger, spite or evil. We are protective. We are guardians of light and truth.
This freedom and power has awakened many of my old dreams and childhood memories and activated the way to move forward and create new dreams, new ways of working and healing people's bodies and souls - not just with my hands (as an osteopath) but with colour, collage, art and movement. Using my heart and my voice that have both been silent for too long!
I hope to visit you in the forest soon, to continue unbinding my power and activating my soul's purpose. To find more love and less fear. To let my heart crack open. I have attached a card I made after the Swan Blessings. I only just found its voice today. EMILY
|The Goddess, Kimberly Webber|
She came to me my familiar stranger and shared with me her emotions and memories. Her feelings reflected my own. The heavy ones that had lived so deeply within me for as long I could remember. I had taken them to be mine. I had taken them to be of this life, but they where not. They were the blonde haired girl's all along, and she was I. But that life has gone. She had lost her freedom to be herself when all her love was taken from her. This blonde haired girl had lived on the land amongst the natural people. These folk lived in small homes with lavish gardens and roaming wild life. Most of her days were spent running with the deer.
When I first encountered her she was outside with the women from the house chanting and sharing stories. I was drawn to her immediately. The youngest of the group, no more thirteen years. The wide-eyed, golden haired girl soaking up the lesson being offered by the wise women - with an awe of excitement. This place was special, the Faerie played there. Together they worshipped the land healing plant, animal, and human alike. People travelled far to see the natural people and be healed from both mental and physical ailments. No payment was exchanged. The risk of travel was enough and to arrive by the cover of night was they only request of the healers.
One night in a blink of an eye the blonde haired girl's life was turned to ash. By the men in black who travel the countryside, defusing the light in people’s hearts. On this night only one survived. The young girl was taken by the men and placed in a cold blue-stoned cell and robed in black. They tried to force her to use her abilities to heal their wounded men. Though she refused with conviction. As she laid in the darkness she bound her light and shielded her love, she would not share the magic of the land with those who were only out to destroy it.
Her magic was strong and her internal binding became physical. She herself was bound in rope by the men in black and left in the darkness - left to fade. Her sadness was deep, her conviction was strong and her intentions where true and clear. I could feel it. I had felt it before. I'd felt the bound girl inside, often a dull aching I could not quite place. While connecting to this feeling I was transported to my sacred space. The space that I enter upon meditation and out of the water she emerged, that I of the past. She was now free I had become the one bound. Our eyes met, two of the same, she untied me from the rope she had once been bound in, and then she smiled.
And with that smile she whispered –
‘Thank you for coming back for me., now we are both free and in your world you don’t have to hide, you can dance under the moonlight without fear, you can use your magic, release our light and show others the way to theirs. Always remember the Faerie as they are still with you’.
Bless it be.
Thank you Julia and Tony, I have experienced so much healing from releasing this vow. I also feel that part of my soul experience has now become open to me within this life. You have both shared a truly amazing gift, the gift of remembering who we are and all we can be.
We are so glad to see you reclaim your birthright Kelly, your own natural, wisdom passed down through those beautiful, chanting, storytelling wise women of your ancestral tribe. We can't wait to see how this new opening to all that you are channels into your sculpture, art and life. Love to you Kelly for sharing this past life dreaming, we hope that it's healing message resonates with many readers.
|Sylvia Ji - Shapeshifters|
Many of us have experienced similar stories in past lives and in our present lives. We have felt that to truly be ourselves, we must journey alone. Or we have put up with behaviour that hurts us just to stay a part of the tribe whether that tribe is family, society, peers. In this time of the rise of the Divine Feminine we are being called out of the shadows to embrace all of our natural gifts and to release the fear of being rejected and cast out by those who do not understand or accept us. Saying NO when it is right for us is a practice of honouring ourselves. When we release the belief that there was ever anything 'wrong' with us we remember that we are all creatures of the earth - as individual as every animal and plant and an integral part in the wheel of life.
Looking into the waters of the crystal ball of consciousness, I stared and I waited and I imagined I would not see anything. And I saw nothing for what felt like such a long, long time, I was beginning to feel I would not see, that my mind was too strong to allow my soul to show me what I needed and wanted to see
I stayed with prayer, asking and pleading at one moment to see, please let me see
. . . and then the mists began to clear and I could see a clearing in the mountains, green pine all around, the smell of freshness and soil, and a teepee
And horses, many horses And then I saw HER, myself in another time By the teepee, the wild life of the mountains surrounding HER Ah, she was alone, living an isolated life, no tribe, a sadness surrounded herI could also sense an understanding, acceptance of her situation as the best possible outcome for her at that time and place We saw each other, she smiledI could see her deer skin clothing, her turquoise choker with red beads HER long, long braids of dark black hair I could feel HER and I felt a relief that we had met, that the veils had parted and that we could meet
I began to track why she was alone in the woods, her only communication with the forest life; the birds, woodland creatures, trees, the natural world who heard her and loved her
A new vision appeared
I found myself within a tribe of teepees A fire A Father, a Chief at the door of his teepee
And a Mother and more children (my siblings) sitting at the door of her teepee
I stood by my Father, the Chief as he asked me again if I would do what was expected of me
and again, the 12 year old HER (me) said NO
I would NOT
I was banished from my tribe
For being who I was For speaking who I was For saying NO to what was not true for me
Icaught the eye of my mother and she caught mine sadness but understanding i saw there
and in my father too, not as cheif, but as my father a sadness and again an understanding
And away SHE went, alone, to live a life of isolation, to be herself
Again, I find myself back at HER teepee
This time we connect, we stand in a pool of water, a water fall, falling behind us The vines from below come up, writhing and cover her, strangle her, snake like she is bound I connect with HER, I cut with my teeth the binding reedy vines I free HER She smiles at me, she becomes as of light and as a shooting star Returns
The wounding: I will be rejected, cast out, banished from my tribe if I am myself, authentic and truth speaking, if I say NO to what does not feel right I release this binding, this wounding as I bite and free the vines of that lifetime
The blessing: authentic, true and free, I express myself fully, I am my actualized self, accepted, loved and cherished by my tribe, now and for eternity
Thank you Kristan Read, for sharing your beauty, strength and truth. Kristan is a Shamanic Midwife, Teacher and crafting creatrix extraordinaire! You can experience Kristan's inspiring medicine for yourself through her work at www.atmypractice.com and www.thecrafthive.com
Hello to all of our Sydney friends. We are heading your way again with The Swan Blessing and will be in Glebe offering personal sessions 1-3rd February 2013. We are already taking bookings so please let us know if you'd like to book one of these sessions for yourself. See you all soon!
Here is a beautiful Swan Blessing story from Jane who was the first person to journey with the Swan on our last Sydney trip. Just beautiful Jane - thank you again for sharing.
I saw her, old, long scraggly hair, wrapped in tanned animal hide for protection, by the river, in the forest, alone, very alone, sad, resigned, quiet. She'd been banished from the village, or maybe she'd run away and been hiding, either way it was because she'd been found out or would have been and that meant she'd had to leave or die.
I saw her, young, she was writing furiously, long feather quill, hiding somewhere in a corner of the attic of the dwelling, in the dark, a lone taper burning. She was scared, fearful of being seen, yet she wrote and she wrote, pausing only to hear more to write.The words were coming to her from others, words she couldn't see who spoke, yet the words came and she wrote them.The Grandmother who lived in her hut in the forest had told her that the voices and their words that she heard were important and that she must write them down and give them to her. She taught her to write and read and told her to keep it a secret, not to tell anyone and to keep on doing it.On the Grandmother's death bed, she made her promise, make a vow, to never let anyone else know about the words she heard and to not let anyone see her writing, otherwise she would be killed.
She wrote and wrote and the words soothed her soul. She shared them with her mother and her sisters because the words spoke of a different way, a way where they would be honoured and respected, it was so different to how it was for them....
The vow she made to the Grandmother kept her scared, scared of being seen, scared of being found out and scared of what would happen should she be discovered and the vow kept the words secret, but the words wanted to be shared and read.....
The vow she made stayed with her until another lifetime when she went to the Blacksmith's cottage and met a Witch who flew with Swan. The Witch helped her find a way to cut away the web that was the vow, that had stuck to her, that was stuck in and around and all over her. And Black Panther came then, to be with her, to protect her and guard her. She was safe now, the vow was released and the words could come freely and be shared.
Jane, Sydney 2012
|In the Word Wood by David Wyatt|
The power of our Word in our lives is immense. And so too is the way we express our words in written form. I have long been a fan of hand-written letters. I love looking at the hand-writing of others and I enjoy the physical movement of writing by hand. Almost every morning after waking from dreaming I write for at least an hour - just for myself. I have a little ritual of making a cup of tea, choosing a favourite pen, gathering my journal and my Tarot cards and then settling Rory and I comfortably on the bed. This ritual and the time taken for myself afterwards is precious to me because it is so slow, quiet and almost in a dreaming state - a beautiful reverie. It is in these writing hours that I have learnt the most about myself, decoded my dreams, healed the past and heard the whisperings of my spirit. Writing, myth & storytelling are my medicine.
|Sir William Russell Flint Le Morte D'Arthur 1910|
With every journey we make with The Swan Blessing, Swan's message of immortality and the purity of our Soul gets stronger. We carry so much pain, shame and guilt that is not ours, that is not true. To all of the beautiful sisters and brothers coming forward to release past life memories of the witch burnings, we are honoured to share this truth with you. Your love is pure.