Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Place to Be

by Kindra Clineff {1}

Where is the Secret Garden in this City, shall I follow the voices of children?

So how much have I chosen this life? How much am I connected to others in this web of weaving. We talk of bloodlines. Of patterns of behaviour and learning being passed down. How much of those patterns are memories in our shared blood. How am I a memory of my ancestors; an imprint of ghosts reliving. And at what point does one life begin and another end. Is my life my own or how much of my life is a shared gift.

In this city lost, with souls rubbing shoulders pretending that they didn't choose this. Pretending not to care.

Living in a city I am increasingly seeing children who are not socialized with an inability to communicate and behave within different environments, contexts and people. I am seeing more children emotionally charged and reactive. Unable to be happy with themselves let alone their environment and others. I understand for many Life has been a threat and they are trapped in flight, freeze or run. And for many this learned survival is a lesson hard to re-learn.

Some see but I am not one of them that this as isolated problem with certain families. This is a growing symptom of our country where Margaret Thatcher proclaimed "There is no such thing as society, there are individual men and women and there are families". In this statement where is the desire for community? Where is shared responsibility? Where is shared accountability?

I learnt in my psychotherapy training that it was only possible for a group therapist to keep in mind no more than 10 with comfort or at a stretch some argue a maximum of 15. This led me to pondering on whether there was also a geographical limitation on how much an individual could relate to/keep in mind. And so for me this combination of number of people and space are key to understanding how community is created. So following this train of thought I wondered how in a city or in country I could feel part of a community.

Recently I was listening to a BBC Radio4 debate on ethics where two very similar scenarios were given. First one: a person is given the choice of saving 5 people from a runaway trolley/train or another person who was standing away from the other 5. In order to save the 5 they would need to push a button to redirect that trolley/train and in doing so would kill a person they did not know. In the second scenario the person has to physically push the single person onto the track to save the 5 other people. Apparently when given these two scenarios more people are able to say that would push the button than push the person. This ethical dilemma is called the proximity question. And since hearing this question I have been concerned at the mentality which created such question. This reminds me of the experiments that psychologists did on baby monkeys to see how they survived without a mother ~ either with a soft cuddly toy or not. I had found myself tied in mental knots trying to figure out this ethical dilemma until the light came on and I realized that ~ We are dealing with the wrong questions.

This is a made up scenario. Last week I was in a situation in which I had not chosen to be part of. Where the people who I was with lied to me. They set up the situation partly through the rues of getting me to leave the scene temporarily. And so I was unwittingly implemented as I had come with them. On my return I was witness to police racial/class brutality against two 13 year old girls. I did not know where to turn. How to help the girls. I was frightened for myself too and had no where to run as more and more people came involved. Family and neighbours watched on. The girls were taken away in a police van and I left standing with the family and neighbours. With their mother asking why the police had been violent to her daughters.

This quote has been inspirational for me this last week as I struggled with what I felt was my impotence. As I have questioned what more could I have done? What more can I do now other than what I have done including making a formal complaint and talking to others helping their hearts to thaw and feel their hurt and outrage of that incident:

I have come to believe that every one of us is an activist, and that every action taken in the name of interconnection ~ every action that brings us closer to ourselves, to each other, to the planet ~ births a better world.
Marisa Handler {2}

So when I see a person I do not know in pain, do I walk on by because I do not know them?When I hear that the tube train I am on is delayed and diverted because someone had fallen onto the tracks. Do I feel annoyed that I will be delayed by a person whose face I did not see, miles away from where I am? Or can I feel those threads that exist inside and outside of me shake and shiver. Daring to thaw my heart.

When our children rebel and refuse to answer the questions that we set them. Maybe we need to ask ourselves whether we are asking the wrong questions. If they answer in rudeness or anger it is time for us to step back and pause because we might just be asking the wrong questions. And those questions inform actions. Too often people presume and assume to know and understand. Have others speak our answers to our questions ~ the wrong questions.

So I hope to learn answers to questions that I did not know and are beginning to understand.

{1} http://scienceblogs.com/bioephemera/2010/03/spider_spiral.php
{2} http://www.marisahandler.com/home.html

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Holy Grail of the Unconscious

The very first book that I read that guided me through psychotherapy and spirituality when I was 17 was 'Man and His Symbols' by Carl Jung.
Now Jung's infamous book 'The Red Book' has been translated and published. To say that I am excited would be bit of an understatement! It is his diary of his own journey through his underworld. Unfinished and locked away. There is still ccontroversy over its publication.
"Some people feel that nobody should read the book, and some feel that everybody should read it. The truth is, nobody really knows. Most of what has been said about the book — what it is, what it means — is the product of guesswork, because from the time it was begun in 1914 in a smallish town in Switzerland, it seems that only about two dozen people have managed to read or even have much of a look at it.
Of those who did see it, at least one person, an educated Englishwoman who was allowed to read some of the book in the 1920s, thought it held infinite wisdom — “There are people in my country who would read it from cover to cover without stopping to breathe scarcely,” she wrote" (1)
Here are 3 links:

(1) New York Times Article
PDF preview
2 Talks at Treadwells
Quest for the Grail brief intro 1 persons journey

Saturday, 12 June 2010

From moment to moment
I am waiting

for something to happen
to wake up from this dream
live this life
while I hear voices
dare I
breathe happiness
must I dream to forget

or must I live
to remember
and so I remember
every mother
gave birth to us all
daring to live
this life
silver Fox

5 Agreements

Be Impeccable with you word

Don't take anything personally

Don't make assumptions

Always do your best

Be sceptical, but learn to listen


The Fifth Agreement: A Toltec Wisdom Book by Don Miguel Ruiz & Don Jose Ruiz


Friday, 11 June 2010

Raven Returns to Dover after 120 years!

Call of the Raven by Jarmo Manninen

The Raven returning to the White Cliffs of Dover after 120 years {both icons for Britain now again linked} previously hunted from extinction from this part of England; Fills me with hope after a week of hysteria following a suspected incident of an urban fox attacking a human baby. As us humans further domesticate ourselves taking over more and more green space, and so alienating ourselves from nature. We forget that this story is repeated over and over. Be it tigers, elephants, polar bears, wolves or foxes. It took time but the Raven is now a protected bird. So what has been the Raven's story, myth and medicine?

Raven is found in myths all around the world. A powerful figure. Linked with creation and Shamans. A shape shifter, transformer, bringer of light out of the darkness, creator of the world egg, messenger and trickster to name just a few key elements of Raven's medicine and power.

It is Bigger than the British Buzzard. A beautiful, formidable and cunning bird.

Linked with Celtic mythology of Bran the Blessed, primordial Deity and protector of Britain ~ whose name means 'Raven'. "A master of the Isle of Britain, he is a cauldron-God, associated with a cauldron of regeneration which would revive the slain while leaving them voiceless. His cauldron destroyed, and he mortally wounded in a war to rescue his sister Branwen, he instructed his adherents to decapitate him and, after many travels, bear the head to London and bury it, where it would become a defense and a protection to the whole Isle. " (1)
So Legend says Bran's head was cut off and buried on the White Mount of London now the place of the Tower of London. Here lives the belief that England will fall should the Raven's depart. I still find it curious for many reasons, as well as cruel; that even today there are keepers of Raven's at the Tower who clip the Raven's wings to stop them departing.

Raven is also connected with Celtic Goddess Morrigan of darkness/night/battle/fertility/death and lover of the son of Lugh. Raven is also directly associate with the God Lugh ~ bringer of light, divine ruler. Raven a bridge between the worlds and between darkness and light. The fear of Raven has been mirrored by our interpretation of Shamans and Witches.

Morrigan and Lugh are Deities associated with Giant Semi-God race of Tuatha Danann named the Shining Ones by W.B Yeats. They have close associations with the Angelic race who fell to earth and gave birth to the Nephilim ~ founded in Middle Eastern myths (referred to in the Bible and Book of Enoch}. Both are described as a beautiful frightening powerful giant race, with god like powers who taught humankind the arts such as smith craft and medicine.

General Intro to world myths of Raven ~ http://www.ravenfamily.org/nascakiyetl/obs/rav1.html
How to identify Raven and much much more! ~
W.B. Yeats 'A Vision'
Bran ~
(1) Bran the Blessed by Obsidian ~
( http://www.realmagick.com/articles/01/901.html
Nephilim ~
I recommend 'From the Ashes of Angels' by Andrew Collins though at times he makes leaps with his conclusions it is a very interesting read and has many references.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Queen Hornet

http://www.bwars.com/ ~ Queen, In woodland below the Wrekin, Shropshire, 2005 by Nigel Jones

In 2 weeks I have seen 2 Queen Hornets. 1st in Hungary. 2nd nr Yeoford Devon. Both times I was completely transfixed. Amber Gold red colour. Such powerful confidence. Strong. I remember how the mention of Hornets people quake and shake.
So why was I so at ease? What was I missing? Or were other's missing something?
Tigers on wing. To be respected. Their beauty admired.

Some species of Queen Hornet apparently have enough lethal venom to kill a human. Hornets can kill bees and wasps. So everything including us has a place. Us who are at the top of the food chain.

The Queen and her female workers maintain the nest. Shamanically a Hornet would connect with female warrior energy, sisterhood and understanding female societies and communal living. I am very excited that I am meeting Hornet.
And with this {shamanic/spirit} medicine I experience working on befriending my shadow side which is fiercely protective. So many insects and animals have had so much shadow projected onto them do we see who/what they are?
I wonder at the misleading shadow we cast onto them. I wonder that I am connecting with ancient as my dear friend said today Hornets are mostly to be found in ancient woodland. She also told me an amazing story of when she first saw a Hornet she did not know they existed and watched with awe as she heard it's jaws crunching eating a wasp! And I wonder whether as man has reduced ancient wilderness so maybe the Hornet is coming into more domesticated spheres...Would that affect the medicine of the Hornet...Would many more meet that medicine?...
With this thought of my need my desire to meet wilderness of my heart. This year I have been faced with what I would have assumed as other's similar desire, has been at times glamour in service to the ego. At worst this has a dangerous echo of colonialism. Misunderstanding and misusing other oppressed people's life/culture/being which is inter-connected with the land.
I refer to many westerners after apparently seeking out indigenous shamanic teachers, using their experience to sell and promote themselves. Some ask whether you have trained with an aboriginal/indigenous shaman or 'their' shaman~ there by clearly defining the 'pecking order' and offering something which you can only get from them.
When I have met indigenous healers/shamans which I have learned a lot from; they have been very down to earth, average person/every day people. They have a job. They earn respect. And do not separate out their job/role from life and other people. I experience them of having studied bloody hard with open hearted and open eyed curiosity. Like our wonderful British naturalists who sit hours on end watching and observing nature. Tired and aching. On their own. They are rewarded by such amazing knowledge and I believe in time gifted with wisdom.
What I am describing is being in service. Full of love and therefore full of power. And I think that westerners have much to learn about what power is. Power not connected with ego.
I am hearing too often western people describing themselves as Shamans when I am not clear what their intention is.
It has been a journey for me to witness women within the alternative spiritual subcultures promoting themselves as a business. We trip into not only the tricky area of £ for spirituality but also the tricky area of the previously oppressed, marginalised and misunderstood ~ women's power and spirituality.

For me my journey this year has been about reclaiming my authentic spiritual woman self. I have been working with not giving my power away to other female figures in my desire to heal the wounded daughter that comes from a line of mothers and daughters who have been abondoned. My journey has been to see this ancestral thread. A woman's wound. That thread, that blood which longs to bleed into the earth and belong.
This journey of healing the woman's wound has connected me with a desire to connect with the Divine feminine. That which is woven inside my womb, vulva and heart. In my blood. That vibrant hot red energy. That song.
And so I have been meeting Queen Hornet. A truly humbling experience.
And with that, dare I connect with that power. Not distort. Not demonise ~ internally or externally. Be that either an unclaimed part of my self or another woman.

For we are all mirrors and 'our worst teachers are our best teachers'

I am reminded that to connect with Divine it is that volcano that burning star that burning sting. Fire. Red. Orange. Yellow. Sun. Hot.

I am reminded of the wonder, diversity, power and beauty of Her Divinity.


For an interesting read on a related subject ~ "Personality" by W.E.Butler

Yeoford ~ Devon

Along the Tarka line ~ www.trailsfromthetrack.com