Past Lives

The Butterfly, the Black Swan and the Dreamers

Sacred Familiar MoonMedicine for this month is Butterfly Medicine.

As I dreamt with the butterfly medicine I became aware of how much we are living from our minds instead of letting the mind be guided by our soul or psyche (Butterfly). And let me say, I really love the MIND! I really do. I just think we use it for everything, including our dreaming and that changes the dreaming to planning or wanting or worrying. To dream and really dream we must feel free and open and expansive. This is why our sleep is so important - very often it's the only time the mind is resting. I believe the mind is best used as a powerful tool to research and plan with once the dream is known.

Is your dream known to you? My guess would be that at this point in time, especially after the very big shakeup we have been given astrologically over the last 3 years, you will have a sense of what you wish for yourself, your community and Mother Earth. Sometimes trying to hold a dream for the earth can feel really hard and so I always come back to the 'little' because the medicine dolls have taught me: 'the little is the big'. When we hold a new dream for ourselves of becoming whole, this ripples out and affects everything and everyone around us and that ripples out and ripples out... Even if the insight into the new dream has been gained by seeing events we don't want to create playing out in our present, this too is a gift. Sometimes it's very helpful to know what we don't want, to create the new dream. The key is to let go of the fears once we understand what the new dream is and wants from us. Hmmmm and this is where it gets tricky doesn't it?

I want to share two powerful examples of butterfly medicine here that have helped me so much over the last couple of weeks. The first is channeled wisdom from Lena Stevens shared on the Mystic Mamma website about the energy of this time creating stress and pressure that cracks the butterfly's chrysalis and most importantly why this is happening - because your dreams are working! And the second jewel was passed along to me by our dear friends in Ireland, Karen and John from Sli An Chroi . It is one of the most amazing performances I've witnessed in a long time. I felt it in every cell. I love it so much! Irish poet, Venus CuMara has dedicated her life to She, to the Mother of all Mothers and in this earth shattering piece delivers a loving and unstoppable message from Kali to the Butterfly. Whoah! It's all coming through the poets at the moment isn't it? I feel like we are finally listening to the poets again and I'm so happy and to have Venus CuMara's golden voice in my medicine bag as I step out of the cracked cocoon.



I feel like so much of what we are experiencing right now is already preparing us for next year and beyond. I get a sense that Butterfly will be with us for much longer than this month, perhaps it will be a totem for the whole of next year, an embodiment of the spirit of New Dreams and New Wings. But how do the new wings form? What dreams are building your new wings? What do you have to leave before you can try them out?

On the morning of the Full Moon last week I walked to the post office to pick up a parcel from my Dad. Inside was the enormous smokey quartz crystal you see above found on his friend's farm in Tasmania. They were digging a new track when this dark beauty was brought to light. Smokey quartz found in Tasmania is often very very dark but like all dark things when it's held to the light, you can see it is filled with chambers of brightness and caverns of colour. At the top corner of the stone you can see a yellow cavern - it is holding pieces of gold. Down the centre is a large cut where the stone was first hit - the cracking of the cocoon.

My cocoon is cracking too. I am awake and now cannot stay as I have been for the last 3 years in the forest. I had begun to presume that this was now my life - I would be a dollmaker living in the forest. I loved the simplicity and the unhurried feel to that dream. I liked the idea of being left alone to create for hours and hours and hours...and hours and hours and hours. This cocoon of creativity and very little contact with people in the outside world was beautiful and needed - for a time.

What I'm being shown in the new dream is that it's time to integrate the work of dollmaking with the Swan. There is a calling to travel and create medicine dolls with different plants in different lands and to experience the ancestral spirit there. I am very excited about this already dreaming dolls to be created in the Redwoods again next year, Scotland and Cornwall...and the ceremonies that will be held for the ancestral tracks and migration lines between Britain and Europe and Australia. I have been shown how these tracks are in need of love and tending and that by doing this work we will be bringing more peace to our ancestors and indigenous tribes of the land. My ancestry like many Australians is made up of Aboriginal, Irish, Scottish and English grandmothers and grandfathers. I would personally like to bring peace to this ancestral weaving and I am passionate about providing circle and ceremony for others to do this work in their own family constellations.


Black Swan Fairy GodMother

In fairytales there is often a point when a magical person like the fairy godmother arrives and everything begins to shift and change - to dream. When I was young I loved to listen to recorded fairytales on little vinyl records that I would play over and over. I remember this moment of arrival of the fairy godmother or the witch or the wise sage was heralded by the sound of a bell or a harp. Just that sound told me that change and transformation was near. I believe that this repetitive and yes obsessive listening and engagement with oral storytelling was my wise child self practicing the art of active dreaming, vision-making and journeying. I have no doubt that the power of storytelling and significantly oral storytelling developed my mind's eye - I was tending to the ancestral track of the ancient dreamers and they in return shared their gifts.

Very soon I could dream awake - look into trees, rock pools, oceans and begin to 'see'. It is how I see a medicine doll before she is made.  I thought everyone saw like this but soon found I was wrong. I realised that many of the people around me had no access to vision, were either afraid to open their third eye or chose not to believe in it at all. The Swan, particularly the Black Swan, the bird of the land of my birth, is like a fairy godmother. She heralds the dreaming, the magical threshold, she acts as a trusted guide or psychopomp to the realms of the ancestors.

This is not my medicine but our medicine. We are dreamers. We all have our own individual way of dreaming and also our own totems that assist us in our journeys but we are dreamers in a huge weaving - we are dreaming as a collective. And so even though I resisted leaving my forest hermitage at first! I now understand how important it is to be gathering together to dream in community and to share those dreams. When I sit in a dream circle I am aware that each dream is all our dream. That the lessons and teachings are a gift for us all. And the Black Swan wants to bring more of the dreaming of our faraway brothers and sisters together. We will be opening the first of the Swan Blessing ceremonies in Melbourne in February, and travelling with the swan to return to Spirit Weavers Gathering in the Redwoods in California in June 2016 and also returning to Scotland, Ireland and to England in October 2016.


Three years ago at Seven Sisters Festival I shared Swan Blessing and spoke to the women before we journeyed about the Welsh word 'Hiraeth'. This ancient word has no exact English match but when I explained it as a sadness, a homesickness for ancestors and ancestral lands and even times that no longer exist there was a huge surge of energy in the crowd. This Welsh word was describing what so many of us were carrying in our hearts - a longing for a time of connectedness through ritual and ceremony and communication with our ancestors.

I believe that dreaming is the key to unlocking our own sense of hiraeth. By actively dreaming and developing practice of dreaming at night whilst sleeping as well as active dreaming in journeying circles with community we are rebuilding and tending to the ancestral trackways. The more we engage, believe in and then act on the messages and visions we receive in our dreaming the more these trackways will become whole and strong again. There is no need for us to feel so lonely and adrift from our ancestral medicine - it is right there waiting for us to return, retrieve and use in our world now. Dreaming is our birthright.

Knowing that the Swan was waiting for me to journey with her again I travelled back to our old home in Williamstown and the swan sanctuary at Shelley Beach where the medicine of Swan Blessing was first passed to me. The black swans were there in a shallow lagoon and my hope was that I would find just 2 swan feathers - even that can be very difficult to achieve. That day the tide was right out and Tony and I stepped onto a beach covered in swan feathers. Last week on the full moon I returned to the swans again and this time was greeted by 3 swans who made a beeline for me. One swan came right up out of the water to display all of his feathers, including the white feathers underneath his wings (you can see him in the image below).


How many times do we live and die and live again in this life? I think it is a constant cycle of living, resting in the cocoon until the new dream forms and leaving the cracked cocoon when it is time to live again. And so I encourage you to have faith in your dream and and your new wings and if you need an extra push just listen to Venus CuMara and her enchanting call to the wild and the free. I am so excited to sit with my sisters and brothers and hear the stories of their own dreaming.

I would offer one piece of advice - commit to your dreaming. As soon as I committed to the new dream to travel with the Swan I began to hear from other Swan Sisters from all around the world. I was surprised to discover we share so much similar medicine and dreaming after feeling like I was holding my own dream in the forest. We are many! If I had known this could happen in such a short time I would not have believed it, but that is the magic that awaits when we commit to opening the wings that we have been so lovingly growing. We are awake.

Mugwort Faerie Queen

GrandMother Crow and Past Life Beliefs

Crow Medicine artwork by Sacred Familiar Lately I have been finding crow feathers on every walk in the forest. This is a photo of a GrandMother messenger that I met on Williamstown Beach many moons ago - one of the biggest teachings I've ever received. She said to me 'you are beholden to no-one' and began to show me visions of past lives where I'd taken sacred vows of silence, poverty, chastity and the healer's oath - beautiful & honourable vows in their time but promises that had become binding and heavy to my spirit now. Soon after this meeting with Crow I began to travel around Australia for the next 3 years with the medicine that became known as Swan Blessing - a release from old karmic contracts and sacred vows.

I'm happy to say that after resting this medicine over the last 6 months I will be opening space to hold these medicine sessions again in 2015 in person here in Sherbrooke Forest & by Skype. Blessings on your path friends, you are free.

Shapeshifters by Sylvia Ji

Kristan's Swan Blessing Story of The Outcast

In her past life, Kristan belonged to a tribe that could not accept the powerful medicine that she carried. In her tribe this medicine was seen as taboo for woman to hold. She was asked to obey or to leave. She chose to say NO to the tribe so that she could say YES to her spirit. 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 teepeeAnd 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 I caught 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.comand


Read more Swan Blessing stories

a walk with us in Sherbrooke Forest

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This week felt so light after two weeks of wild storms and heavy rains. I couldn't help but feel the invitation from the trees to leave everything behind and walk, look and gather. Here are some photos taken on our foraging journeys, gathering plant medicines to place in our dolls and medicine bundles for healing. Wherever you are I hope this helps you to feel the green and nourishing love of the earth.

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A Cup of Tea or Three with Me


Hey hey! What's inspiring you today? That's what Pip Lincolne has asked me and the rest of the recent graduates from her Blog With Pip course to write about today in a series called A Cup of Tea with Me. Have a look at all the lovely blogs at Pip's home Meet Me at Mikes. I did this course to help me get my head around technology and instead discovered and learnt so much about self expression and met a caring and very helpful new community. I think you had better put the big kettle on. I am! It's absolutely freezing here in Sherbrooke Forest tonight and I am settling in to do some long overdue reading of everyone's Cup of Tea posts from the class. And I'm a tea fanatic so it really rarely stops at one cup.

Well it's deep deep winter in the forest and it's really hitting most of Melbourne and Victoria. There have been whispers that it might even snow up here on the mountain this year and I'd love experience that. I find winter a very creative and beautiful season but it doesn't always have a positive effect on everyone. When I lived in Scotland I would go to work in the dark and come home in the dark and when my sister came to visit it had a terrible effect on her spirit. I think the land and the seasons are so important to our wellbeing. I think this is something we need to think more about rather than where it is convenient to live - where do you feel at home? Where does your heart dream? Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved dark green forests filled with mist. And sometimes the forest has a flash of red and white spots - faerytale mushrooms! Or if you want to be very specific and with mushrooms you absolutely have to be, they are Amanita Muscaria. I want to say first up that these mushrooms are highly poisonous and toxic and not to be handled by the inexperienced. But they are an absolute feast for your eyes and spirit. I think they bring out the child inside us all. I found the exquisite mushroom teaparty in the photo above in the Arboretum on top of Mt Dandenong about one month ago. And I photographed it exactly as I found it. How is that for an enchanted encounter? Autumn and early winter are the seasons to come and find these beauties in Sherbrooke Forest but I was surprised to find one more blooming all on her own 2 days ago - surely the last of the season for this year.

Amanita Muscaria - Sherbrooke Forest

Last bloom of the season

Another magical creature that has been sighted and spoken about quite a lot this week is the Lyrebird. Early this morning I heard one calling right near our house. This is new! I heard him calling last Sunday and he has returned today. Lyrebirds are such ephemeral beings. Even their feathers are fine and if you are lucky enough to photograph them they are almost always blurry because of they move so quickly and lightly. In photos it looks like they are emitting a kind of etheric energy. They feel like creatures that can move between the worlds, seen and not seen. When you see them they are always darting back into the ferns or flitting across the road and you almost have to question it - did I just see that? And I love that about them, that they are here and not here. Last week at our winter solstice doll workshop, one of the women brought along lyrebird feathers to put in the headdress of her doll. Wow - I'd never touched one before. She also told me that the males drop their feathers around this time of the year and that I should keep my eyes open on the Lyrebird Track in Kallista for them. I'm so excited I have to stop myself going out right now but of course, it's freezing and the kettle has just boiled, so I think I can wait. Here is a photo that Tony and I took up on Mt. Donna Buang on the full moon 2 weeks ago of a male lyrebird doing a mating dance-off with another male for the affection of a female who was quietly watching from under the trees. This was an amazing moment because they were so engrossed in their own performance that they didn't care that we had come so close to watch them. Such ancient and tribal moves.

Lyrebird dancing

Lyrebird is the totem of Sherbrooke Forest. I was told that it is such an ancient creature that they have dated fossils to 15 million years ago. Because of this their medicine is that of the ancestral record keeper. They remember the sounds of the creatures that no longer exist on this earth.

And finally, I am in the process today of dreaming in a new medicine doll for a woman of Afro-Cuban heritage who celebrates her ancestors in the Yoruba tradition which is more well-known as Santeria. She has asked for the doll to hold the medicine of the gypsy and ancestral wisdom of both Africa and Spain. I feel honoured to help create a doll to hold these ancient traditions. Each doll births differently and today I felt an urge to be inspired visually while I worked on her. When I first dreamed the doll, all I could see was that she had such dark skin that she looked almost blue. I began looking at photographs and kept being drawn particularly to a Berber tribe called Tuareg. It became clear that this was to be the medicine of the doll, she was Berber - and I am happy that the client understands. She knew that the doll would teach her about her a new way. The Tuareg are a nomadic tribe and something in the women's faces is so mysterious and wise. I was fascinated to learn that it is not the women that wear the veil but the men. And then I found the key : the Tuareg are often referred to as the Blue People because of indigo used to dye their purple and dark blue garments. Because of the scarcity of water, the dye is beaten into the fabric and rubs off on their skin turning it metallic blue. The fact that these nomadic tribes have moved through not only Niger but also in Spain confirmed that this was the perfect spirit to hold the wishes of the doll's new owner. Here are the photos found of wise women that inspired the early weavings of this new medicine doll.



I even discovered I had the perfect colours for her - a couple of months ago I purchased the most beautifully hand dyed silk merino wool from FibreArtemis in New Zealand. I love the combination of these colours against the forest ferns.


As I began felting I revisited Tony Gatlif's film, Latcho Drom, an ode to the spirit and journey of the Romani people from India to Spain. This film brought back so many memories for me of spending time with one of the most influential and inspiring people I've ever known, Australian artist, Vali Myers. We used to watch this film often in her adorned jewel of a studio in the Nicholas Building in Swanston Street. The scene below of the Bedouin girl spinning as she dances has always remained with me. When I first saw it I went into a strange awe because it felt like a memory I had forgotten. I felt such joy watching her spin and spin - when I was a little girl I used to ask my mother to dress me as a gypsy and I would spin like that for hours. I still think this young dancer is one of the best I have ever seen. And so that is the inspiration that is finishing my day. Remembering how it feels to dance! I am going to clear a space tomorrow to let the spinning child in me come out to play again. I think my body knows that moving in this cold weather is really important. Our spirits have memory beyond our current geography.

Where does your heart go to dream? What does that place look like for you?


Black Swan - Following Lilith's Past Life Tracks

Today I share West's Black Swan Dreaming of her past life Lilith story. These stories are often keys that unlock the door we are craving to open to come home and be with others again, to be whole again in ourselves. Our Lilith stories are our memories of the Wild Feminine and how she became outcast - it is a story we often feel but find it hard to express in words. The Black Swan comes to journey with the Lilith story and it is her gift for story and words that help you to find your own mythic tale and the lyrics to sing back your long lost Wolf Sister.

Thank you West for sharing your heart and words, oceans of love to you and your wild sister as you journey together now. You can read more about these sessions here.

As the journey started I walked into the forest the green light blurred. I looked up, the foliage had disappeared and a thin green membrane was above me, held up by hundreds of solid black tree trunks that disappeared into the murkiness. I started to walk into the forest but as I walked, I moved backward; every step I took dragged me back. Eventually I was blown back and I realized that the forest I was in was actually a dragon’s eye. It was Lilith’s eye. The trees were veins and the green the membrane was her skin. As I realized this I tumbled out and came face to face with her.

Lilith had the most beautiful face. In fact, as I looked upon her I knew that there was no woman who would ever be as beautiful as her. Her features were long and elegant; dark eyes, soft lips and a sharp jaw. She wore a dark blue cloak. However, the longer I looked at her I started to notice her features were morphing; fading in and out. Lilith was a Shapeshifter. Sometimes I could see the bones clearly underneath her features. Her eyes became the eyes of a wolf. She had antlers, a horse’s mane and nose, paws with feathers and wings made of quill arrows – ready to fire at a moments notice. Her legs were that of a lion and her feet were those of an eagle; strong and sharp. Yet underneath all of these morphing animal features, the woman remained; composed and peaceful. I only ever saw the left side of her face, the rest remained in shadow. “That’s just how it is.” she said. “The darkness just is.” she said. “Forget the names of good and evil, forget the names of darkness and light. That is just how it is.”

As we walked she donned a giant wooden mask, half wolf and half horse. The mask was stylized, thick lines and blocks of colour – red, green, white and blue. She wore a cloak made of moss and sticks. She stalked like a shaman steeped with magic; dancing her way through the night. We were crossing a frozen tundra together. We were in the Arctic. There was an ice-wall ahead and the Aurora Borealis danced wild green above our heads.  She whispered that the Aurora Borealis were the ghost of the forests that had been. Suddenly the sky cracked and an ice-water waterfall flowed down; glacial shards piercing the tundra like flesh. The world peeled away. I found myself alone and looking in to a dark pool. The air was painful on my skin. Lilith was looking back at me from in the pool. I wanted to ask where she had gone; how had she got to the other side of the water? I missed her but I was scared. Suddenly, a white paw shot out of the water and dragged me down into the pool. The pool was a portal.

Once again I stood beside Lilith on the tundra however, I knew we were on the other side of the pool; like stepping through the looking glass, I guess. It was daylight now and the air sparkled with the cold. Looking up I saw we had broken the ice-wall. Just our presence changed things. Lilith was a Shapeshifter and Shifter of Shapes; a catalyst for change. Lilith and I walked on through the ice crevices. I marveled at the whites and blues. The next thing I knew I was looking down at a grave; my grave from a past life. The grave was open and it was all bones and dirt and a mess of long black hair. Some of the leather clothing remained but it was stained red. I looked down at the broken and dry bones with curiosity and compassion. Lilith stood beside me in reverent silence but I could sense her silent howls. She wanted me to get going. What was I to get going on? I looked down at the bones of the young girl’s hands, my hands, they were clutching a brilliant ruby red heart. If you caught the heart in the right light you could see a foxes face in the ruby. 

I looked behind me, rows of Polar Bear Clan people and polar bears stood watching from afar. Some turned their faces away. A great sadness resonated through the crowd, only the bears stood strong. This Wildling girl had been of the Polar Bear Clan. There had come a time where in order for the clan to survive, to assimilate to the new ways, the Clan had needed to freeze and hide the magic. The girl was furious. I was furious. Lilith was furious. How dare they deny us? I ran. I took the magic with me. I dug my own grave with blooded hands. I froze myself along with the magic. I would not breathe without the magic. So, there I lay for thousands of years, talking to the dirt about death. I listened to the poetry of the fallen hearts rumbling in the soil. Gods came and went. I learned how nothing ever ends, just transforms. All transformations are magic. All transformations are sacred. Dirt is sacred for it transforms, and magic never leaves us, it just waits...

I snapped back out of my old life. Once again I was looking down at the bones. Lilith and I started to breathe life in to the skeleton of my old self. The wilding started to take form, wrapped in furs and weapons. We helped her stand, her eyes frantic. I held her tight, I kissed her bloodied knuckles, her blood was my blood, was Lilith’s blood. I and lent the wildling my warmth. A pack of wild beasts huddled around us; their fur keeping us safe. Lilith leaned in and with her bite, the Wilding was healed – the shock of pain telling her: “You are alive, even in death, you live on.”

Once she was warm I looked down to discover my abdomen was cut wide open and I was bleeding black. I was bleeding Lilith’s blood. This is where Lilith raged through. I was bound to this beautiful Wildling Girl with black dripping seaweed that came from this wound. The Wildling raged and tugged, she wanted to be free to run. I was in pain and my chest ached. I was guided to turn to Lilith for a sharp tool to cut the seaweed binds. However, Lilith handed me a duckling. The duckling ate the seaweed and grew into a large adult black duck. The duck waddled around my wounds, healed them and then waddled off… just doing what a duck does. “Beasts just are as they are.” Lilith said. “Never, never underestimate their medicine, no matter the form… no matter.”

Once I was healed I came face to face with my Wildling Self. Lilith watched over us as we stepped into one another and merged – becoming one. In the background was my Polar Bear Clan, they just watched. I loved my Polar Bear Clan but I could never return. I was too different. I needed to find my own clan. I needed to run wild. I needed balance of togetherness and aloneness. I could not pledge to any person. However, the Polar Bear Clan had promised to always protect me from a distance. Their protection and power echoed down through history affording me great strength and safety. I was marked with the paw. This taught me about forgiveness, letting go, and love.  

I had a sudden feeling of being home. My whole body relaxed... she was home. We were home; the medicine of death, of threshold and transformation, wildness, and creation shining brilliant in my heart, Lilith at my side ready to return. And so the next journey begins – to know my medicine, to honour it well, and to be with others when the time is right while taking the time to hibernate with my beasts, the bones, and the soil when needed… and to run thresholds…  to celebrate the my darkness, to realize and embrace myself and embrace Lilith.

New Forest Space for Sacred Familiar

Hello dreamers we have now opened our new space in Kallista surrounded by the green wonder of Sherbrooke Forest. Ancestral Medicine sessions will open on Monday at the New Moon Solar Eclipse. Hope to see you soon. We also offer sessions by Skype and telephone for our faraway friends. Green love to you all for your weekend wanderings, Julia and Tony x

Redwood Dreaming in Australia

This week I have begun preparing for the Swan Blessing ceremonies I will hold at Seven Sisters Festival on 28th March. This is more a process of stopping and listening rather than planning and being busy which is the way our minds have been programmed to gather knowledge. Wisdom gathering is hard for the mind because it happens through stillness. Over the last 2 weeks we have been without phone or internet and I remember something very similar happened before Seven Sisters last year - enforced stillness haha. 
And so this is where our enforced stillness led us this week - to discover a Sequoia forest in Warburton. I don't know why there is this forest of Redwood beauties planted here but it was a beautiful detour on a our monthly water quest to Mount Donna Buang. The forest had such presence and deep vibration and was full of the sound of a colony of bats that circled and communicated above us. We also stopped to pay our respects to the Yarra River. It saddens me to hear people talking badly about this beautiful river. The fact that she ends up in a dirty state in the city is due to human neglect. For all those who have never seen her in full and clear beauty - come to the mountain to see where she begins her journey. Let's all start showing her more love, she is looking after us. We love you Mother Yarra, thank you. 

Beloveds - Tony carrying Rory in the Redwood Forest
Mother River - Yarra River

Dreaming back the Outcast - Singing Home the Wolf Sister

Dark Moon blessings to you all. We are preparing to move to our new nest in Kallista. Exciting and daunting (packing...). so I won't be here much this week. From 6th March I will be holding Black Swan Blessings - Past Life Lilith story healing to sing home the Wolf Sister and Wild Feminine. I feel drawn to hold this work particularly before we gather for Seven Sisters Festival - it can be so hard for the lone wolf, the outcast to join big groups and so if you feeling drawn to be with your sisters but are also feeling fear of entering the circle, of being vulnerable in a group, get in touch and I will be honoured to hold space to help you sing the Wolf Sister home. This year we are being asked to share our personal medicine together, in community - my wish is that you will be there in the circle with us. These sessions are also offered by Skype and phone for our Faraway Sisters, love, Julia

Return of the Medicine Women - encaustic 2014

Swan Blessing Past Life Story - Unbinding Plant Wisdom

Offering from the Amazon Shuar Series by Susan Thompson

Today I share again with you the moving Swan Blessing experienced by our dear sister, Nicole Ahava, doll enchantress and plant medicine woman. These are not titles that Nicole gives herself but this is what I see and feel around her so strongly. I will always be grateful to Nicole for awakening my own ancestral memory of shamanic doll-making and plant medicine. It is a path that once re-awakened, is hard to ignore!

We both knew that there was a memory with Nicole of still needing to hide and work in secret. This is something that many of us feel now and it can be very hard to reconcile with only the rational mind. I hope Nicole's story helps all of those feeling this fear to come out of the darkness and share your wise medicine with us again.

I am walking barefoot through a familiar forest. I come upon the well. I look into the deep pool and see her. She is a tribal woman, with long dark hair and dark eyes. She takes my hand and we cross the threshold, I am there. It is dark, the land is barren.  She dances around a fire. I see so much pain inside her. This is a dance of mourning. Her face is full of sorrow as she stomps and writhers around the fire. 

She shows me her journey. I see her wondering naked on the bare earth. She is a very small child. There has been a great upheaval and her family has left her behind. She is found by a wise old woman who takes her in, raising her and teaching her wisdom. They walk the earth together. This is where she learns her medicine. Later she is a grown woman she takes me to her village. We are in front of her mud hut with her six children. They are so beautiful. They have very little but there is so much love. She shows me her work with plants making medicine.    

There has been great famine, all the people in her village have been driven away from their lands. They now live on barren land, fighting starvation and illness. Her husband has gone to a far away land to work.  The women from the village cover their heads as they go to her for medicine and scurry away quickly with her brew hidden in their robes back to their huts. She is living in fear and isolation. She shows me how they come, soldiers, tearing her children out of her arms. They are taking them away, she pleads with them desperately, she vows never to use her medicine again, but they take them all away.   

Finally I see her lying on the bare earth, she is old and lonely, overwhelmed with grief. She lets her body go and is instantly free.
I am back in the forest at the water’s edge we are facing each other. I honour her. I understand why she made that vow. She smiles at me. She knows why we are here. It is time to let it go. We hold each other with deep love and she transforms into light she is surrounded and embraced by her family, her children, her husband, the wise old lady and her mother they are all free. 

I am standing before the daughter of the well bound heavily. Together we cut the bindings and instantly I feel myself expand, I am free. She takes me into her sacred well, all the daughters are there. I am floating in the sacred well. The daughters are washing away all that burdens my soul. I am cleansed, pure, light and free. 

The first time I got an email from Sacred Familiar about the swan blessing I knew it was something that I just had to do. I put it aside for a while but the swan medicine continued to call me. It is a very sacred and profound blessing. In this life I was born a healer. As a child I would give healing to sick animals, I would lay in my bed at night and send healing to people. I was cut off from my medicine after receiving one of my vaccinations and very quickly it was forgotten. Years later when I began to explore my own healing I became a Reiki master and it all came back to me, but I would find that every time I shared my medicine the energy would get stuck with me or my children would get sick. I could not share my medicine because I was afraid that it would harm my children. 

The swan medicine really is very gentle as she continues to unfold and expand in my life. There have been many changes I have been able to share freely without fear, I feel as though a channel has been cleared from which I am free to connect and receive more clearly and my medicine is changing, becoming more potent. Julia really is a divine magical being.  I extend my deepest gratitude for these beautiful blessings to you Julia beautiful sister. Thank you. 

Nicole 2013

Thank you precious sister for your healing story. I believe it is a beautiful gift and medicine that Nicole holds in her gentle soul. Nicole will be holding her Spirit Doll Workshop at Seven Sisters Festival next month. When she came for her Swan Blessing I saw that Nicole is a powerful healer and one of her strongest gifts is working with Plant Medicine to create Medicine Dolls for sick children - beautiful comforting dolls for them to take into hospital when they are feeling afraid and to become dear friends to them in the long weeks of recovery at home. For those who wish to look into purchasing one of Nicole's healing dolls or receive a distant healing session from Dream Empire, you can find her here and on Etsy.

Swan Blessing - Religious Vows of the Seer and Mystic


Today I share again Sharon's Swan Blessing story of the release of the Vows of Chastity and Poverty taken as a nun in a past life. Sharon felt these vows very keenly in her present life particularly the Vow of Poverty. And there was also something deeper, harder for Sharon to name or understand with her conscious mind. It manifested as a deep fear of rejection, particularly by her family and also a need to hide her true self in belief that to reveal it, would lead to the dreaded outcome of being rejected and outcast, not only from family but from society itself.

As the Swan Blessing opened Sharon's gift of sight, she saw a lifetime that began with abandonment. She saw herself as a baby being left on a doorstep by parents too young to keep her. She was taken in by a family who did not welcome her as a child of their own but as an unpaid servant. It was a childhood of hard work and of feeling unseen but deep within the child was a knowing that she was somehow meant for greater things. She was a child with a gift to see and communicate with the angelic realms. This secret gift was the only source of solace and joy in her life but when revealed became the source of ridicule, forcing her to run away from the adopted home. Like many female mystics of the past, she entered a religious order in the belief that she would not only be allowed to carry on her spirit communication but that she would be understood and honoured.

To enter the convent she had to take the heavy vows of Chastity and Poverty - vows that meant little to the young girl who was seeking a safe place to share and celebrate her medicine as Seer.  She was again relegated to the duties of servant. Over the years she gradually managed to rise up in rank in the convent but again felt the calling of her medicine, a deep knowing that she was made for deeper and stronger spiritual work and began to slowly reveal her gift of communication with spirit. In thinking that by entering a convent she would be in a place where this gift of direct revelation with spirit would be honoured and accepted she was greatly mistaken. Instead she saw herself experiencing the fate that befell many healers and medicine women of the past, she saw herself suffering the greatest of betrayals when her gift was labelled as witchcraft and she was burnt at the stake.

By releasing this story that has bound and held her medicine for lifetimes, Sharon felt enormous release and sense of freedom. I am glad that she is able to begin to embrace her ancestral wisdom once more and share her gifts in this lifetime free of fear.

"I Sharon am a Healer. 
Dear Julia, I just wanted to say thank you so much for yesterday's session. I had an AH-HAH moment in the car on my way home. Now it all makes perfect sense as to what has been going on in my life. 

As I looked into the well and saw that girl aged 15 with her piercing blue eyes and long blond hair, I felt a sense that I was looking at myself from centuries back. When she showed me that she was in a nun's outfit. 

She was such a tough little girl, to be abandoned by her parents when she was a baby, being rejected from her first day of life. Then to be taken in by a family where she never belonged and felt rejected once again, being a maid. Her only solace was talking to her friends the angels. Then being ridiculed because people thought she was crazy when she told people about her gift. Her only option was to run away.  

She thought that being a nun was her only way of being able to talk to the angels again, but she was made to be an outcast, so she renounced her gift and took on the vows of poverty and chastity and joined the order. Yet she never felt that this was her vocation and when she had risen through the church and decided to once again explore her gifts, she was burnt. 

This all makes sense to me, all my life, I have tried to do everything for my family. I always feared that they would reject me if I did anything wrong, This caused me so much anxiety and I even suffered from depression. 

The vow of poverty resounded so well for me, never being able to have a stable job because I didn't think I belonged anywhere and never giving myself fully to a relationship. This is all about to change. I am reclaiming my freedom and from this day forth I will ensure I lead my life . I am so looking forward to opening myself to the spiritual realm, to explore meaningful career opportunities and to welcome abundance. Thank you so much."

Blessings, Sharon

Artwork: Suscipe Me Domine, John Henry Frederick Bacon (1895)