Healing Journey in the Time of Coronavirus

When women were birds - Copy

Hello Dear Ones, I did this beautiful journey a couple of days ago. It is a journey for personal and planetary healing in this time of craziness. So much love and light came through me as part of this journey, that I wanted to share it, in case others would like to use it for themselves. Here is my journey. I hope it resonates for you.

Intention: I am journeying for healing on this day of lockdown, anxiety and fear.

I call to my power animals and my guides. Asklepios, the Greek God of Healing, is here. He is riding his beautiful black, glossy charger. He bids me get up on his horse behind him. We are riding across grassy plains towards snow-capped mountains in the distance. I put my arms around his waist and nestle my cheek against his strong, muscular back. The wind is strong. A stiff spring breeze is blowing.

Asklepios is quiet. He is not saying anything as we ride towards the mountains. The telepathic message is, ‘Stay quiet, Dear One.’ We ride and we ride for a long time. Now the mountains are getting closer. Now we are going up a track through the foothills of the mountains, and now through the forest. The fresh air filters into my lungs. I am getting the message to stay physically active, but also to be supported, just as the horse supports me now.

‘We are here to support you. You are safe. You are loved,’ say my guides.

We come to the edge of a great lake. It is muddy on this side, and we walk around the edge of the lake. I see waterfalls that feed the lake. He is taking me there, to a place of cleansing, a place of renewal.

Now we dismount. Asklepios gets off first and helps me down. He takes my hand and leads me towards the waterfall. ‘This will be cold, dear sister, but so refreshing,’ he says, as he bids me get into the lake. He gets in with me and takes me towards the waterfall.

I am to sit on a rock with the cool water flowing over me. I have some trepidation about how cold the water will be, but Asklepios holds my hands. He says, ‘It is very cold, but I will warm you,’ and he sends warmth into my body so that I am not shocked by the coldness of the water. I feel it pounding onto my head and flowing down over my shoulders, over my back, over my kidneys and forwards over my breasts, my hips and my legs, cleansing me.

‘Let the sparkling water clean, clear, cleanse you, Dear One,’ he says. I breathe deeply as I feel the water washing away my fears, washing away my troubles. Now the water sparkles and it brings light. Now the flow of water is turning to sparkling light that washes over me like a fountain. It washes through me, washing the old away, washing the negativity away, washing the fear and the self-loathing away. It’s washing me clean. It washes me inside and outside. It washes all my organs – my womb, my kidneys, my bladder.

It washes away the negativity of many generations. This is an ancestral healing. It washes away the self-criticism and self-judgement, taking me back to a place of purity, innocence and trust, where I can love myself just as a little baby, a little child does, in their innocence, when they knew no shame or guilt.

Now there are angels standing around me, bringing healing and beaming light to me. They are cleansing my heart and opening the channels to more love pouring through me, so that I may be a channel for pure love and light for the world.

And now the sparkling light and the love that I am receiving fill me to overflowing. It fills the chalice of my heart to overflowing, so that I have more than enough for myself. And it flows into the earth and it flows all around me and it flows out to humankind. It flows around the planet.

And Asklepios smiles as he still holds my hands, because this is what he wanted – for me to be filled to overflowing, so that I can be of service to the planet and to humankind. And together we form a link that is more powerful than one person on their own. He is the catalyst and I am the conduit of this loving energy, flowing out all around the world. We form a balance of masculine and feminine. And I see myself growing in stature until I am the same size as him. We are equals now, flowing the energy out to the world, out to the universe. There is so much beauty in this.

I hear birds all around me, singing with Joy. I am reminded of a quote my friend Erika gave me, that the birds still remember to sing at dawn and dusk, to sing for joy and that humans will soon remember to do the same.

I bask in this oneness. I bask in unity with the world, with the planet, with the universe, and all its beauty as the light and the love flow through me. It is so touching, so moving. It brings tears to my eyes. I feel the sun on my face and I feel the wind in my hair. A new wind blows across the earth, refreshing everything, bringing in the new waves of light and love.

And I am told the flow energy will continue through me for the rest of day, but for now, it is time to return. Asklepios helps me up. From his saddle bags, he produces a big warm towel to dry me off and to wrap around me. He helps me to remount and he gets up in front of me. We set off at a gallop for home. When we arrive back, he helps me down. He hugs me and he kisses me. He tells me, ‘All is well. Go in love and light, dear sister. All is well.’

I thank him and I come home to my body in this reality.

If anyone would like me to do a journey to ask for personal guidance or healing for them, please get in touch via phone or email.

Much love and light to you all.

 

Menopause – A Fart at a Dinner Party

BeautifulCroneOfCordoba

The Beautiful Crone of Cordoba*

I have heard it said that talking about the menopause in polite company goes down about as well as a fart at a dinner party. Well I say that stinks and it is about time it changed. I grant that talking about the intimate physical details of the changes to a woman’s body may be too much for the squeamish, and perhaps should be held with more reverence and mystery. But the concept of menopause as a rite of passage for a woman is something that should be far more widely talked about. If approached in a conscious way, the menopause is a time when a woman can harvest all her skills and experience, and step into a phase of great power and wisdom. And perhaps this is what our patriarchally dominated culture is truly afraid of.  

The conventional concept of menopause seems to be that it’s the beginning of the end. Soon you will become a wizened, bent backed old bag with brittle bones and a dry vagina, who smells of wee and mutters to herself, perhaps even cackling from time to time. Even spiritual circles who talk about the triple phases of woman – the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone seem to be missing something. Surely there is a phase between hard worked Mother and ancient Crone, where we step into a place of wisdom, freed from the ties of mothering young children, but still with enough energy and vigour to make a difference in the world? This is surely a time when we are free to follow our soul’s true purpose and to fulfill the secret wishes of our hearts. This is the time of the Maga, the wise elder woman, who is at the top of her game in terms of skills and experience. She is the majestic Autumn Queen who harvests the abundance of all she has created in her life. As the world teeters on the brink of man-made self-destruction, this is the time when we truly need these women to come into their true power to help rebalance human life on earth.

As I embark on my perimenopausal years, I am making it my mission to find out all there is to know about walking through menopause in the most empowered and conscious way that I can. I will be embracing my hot flashes as a transformational fire that burns away all the crap that is no longer needed in my life. I shall be seeking herbal allies to help me through the worst of my physical symptoms. I shall be seeking the spiritual meaning in all that happens to me. I intend to step out the other end of this experience wiser, stronger, with more vigour and a medicine bag full of tools to help others. I want to share this knowledge with any woman who is willing to listen. And if there are sisters out there who have gone through this rite of passage before me, I would love to hear of your experience and your wisdom.

*The image in this blog post is taken from Grandmother’s Stories by Barefoot Books.

 

Dreaming with the Bee Goddess

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In Brigid’s Garden by Judith Shaw

It was a bright spring day with a sharp wind, as I stood in the garden, about to go for a walk. My hand brushed over something on my dress. Too late I realised it was a bee, which stung me on my palm, just below the middle finger of my right hand. It felt such a specific spot, like an acupuncture point. I felt sorry for the bee as I pulled its sting out, knowing it would die. I tuned in to ask, ‘Why did that just happen?’ The guidance I got was, ‘Don’t worry. It was a blessing from the Goddess.’

I set off on my walk, delighting at the spring flowers that flanked my path and the noisy twitterings of bird song.  There were violets, primroses, a host of celandines, and more bluebells than I have ever seen on this route before.

Soon the destination of my walk made its presence known, even before I could see it. The delicious scent of apple blossom came to me on the breeze, enticing me towards it. I arrived at my dear friend the crab apple tree to see her robed in delicate pink blossoms and absolutely humming with bees. She is a magnificent old lady, huge and gnarled, part of her blackened from a lightning strike, but still incredibly beautiful in her gown of flowers.

The Healer by Holly Sierra

The Healer by Holly Sierra

I greeted her and sat on a natural seat formed by her roots. It felt so comfortable, like sitting in a mother’s lap. The spring sunshine filtered through her leaves, the aroma of the blossom and the hum of a thousand bees surrounded me. The hypnotic effect of this soon sent me off to sleep. I dreamed of falling through an opening in her roots into a cave where I met the Bee Goddess. She wore an amber coloured velvet dress and a coronet with a golden bee at her brow. To her right was a beehive, with bees busily going in and out. A river of honey flowed from the hive along an earthy floor and out of the cave. I greeted her and asked what wisdom she had for me.

‘Child, life can flow as sweetly as honey, or be as painful as a bee sting. It is your choice whether you wish to go with the flow, or to stay in a place that gives you painful stings. When you are stung by life, it is a sign to change direction.’

She told me that local honey included in my diet is very beneficial for me, and described its healing and fertility boosting properties. She advised me to keep one hive of bees and to make sure I talk to the bees regularly. I awoke from my nap with her words ringing in my mind, ‘Tell it to the bees, Dear,’ she said.

The Bee Goddess Calls by Judith Shaw

The Wisdom of Crab Apple

 

Crab Apple Tree in Flower

Crab Apple Tree in Flower

I did a shamanic journey to the Spirit of Crab Apple to ask what wisdom and what qualities it has, and to ask if it has any message for humankind?

Crab Apple Blossom

Crab Apple Blossom

I sit with my back resting against an ancient gnarly crab apple tree. It is vast and abundantly covered with scented blossom. The sweet heady scent of the blossom saturates my nostrils. The buzzing of the bees that attend it is almost deafening. It has been struck by lightning and one of its limbs lies charred on the ground. Another limb has cracked and fallen to rest partly on the ground but still lives. I am very aware of the presence of the tree. I call to the Spirit of Crab Apple to come. Immediately my vision is filled with pink and white crab apple blossom. I ask Crab Apple what messages it has. This is what she tells me…
‘I am cleansing. I am loving, nurturing, nourishing, uplifting. My blossom and my fruit connect you with the earth. The tart, sourness of the apples cleanse the liver in a gentle nourishing way. Make my fruit into jelly, to cleanse and nourish you and connect you with the earth, in a gentle, sweet, loving way. I am the epitome of love. My blossom is the epitome of love. The sweet scent of my blossom surrounds you in love. I enfold you in love.
I ask you not to pick my blossoms, but to use photographs, paintings or drawings of me. Use them on your altar. Place them on your heart when you are meditating, if you need to feel surrounded by love. If you are feeling unloved, connect with me – I am the epitome of love. Warm, sweet, tender, I enfold you and I uplift you.’
I see myself lying on a bed of apple blossom, being uplifted under a blue, bright sky in warm gentle weather.
Crab Apple continues, ‘I am gentle. I teach you to be gentle with yourself. Gently care for yourself. Know that you are loved. Love yourself. It is the only way for you to be more loving to others. This is the way forward for humankind – to be gentle and loving with themselves, that they may be in this way, gentle and loving to others. You humans, you put so many demands on yourselves and then you have such high expectations of others. This is where judgement, resentment and bitterness comes from. Be gentle with yourself, that you may be gentle and loving, giving and compassionate to others.
I epitomise youth and beauty. My fruit can help keep youth and beauty. For those finding it difficult to conceive, my fruit can cleanse away negative thoughts and stagnation – stagnation of the liver that is holding back your fertility and your ability to move forward in life. I cleanse away stagnation and help you move forward in life. Apples can do this in a sweet, loving way. The scent of my blossom can also do this. Eating the fruit of the apple is good for this. Move with the seasons. Use the scent of apple blossom at this time of year to do this. Using the preserve, crab apple jelly, can do this when the blossom is over. You can have it on toast or as a relish for example with pork. Tune into me.
I have a connection with the element of air. I am like a keen wind that blows through you, that helps to cleanse. It cuts into the liver and moves stagnation. It blows away the cobwebs. I help you to cleanse what is no longer needed, what is no longer serving you in your life, in a loving and compassionate – not in a brutal way where you have to go on a big detox where you suffer from headaches and feel like you’ve lost the will to live. I can do this to help you in an uplifting way, so that the toxins are gently lifted and released and allowed to leave. Meditate on the colour of my petals to do this – gentle, pale pinky-white and green. These colours help lift stagnant things out of your aura and move them on.
The star which you find at the equator of my fruit, the star that starts to form as my blossom starts to set into fruit, is important. I connect you to the stars, to the ancient ones that come from the stars, to the gods and goddesses, as you knew them, to the magical realms. I can assist you on your soul’s journey. Through contemplating my star, I can connect you with the stars and with the star beings – the angels, as some of you know them.’
As Crab Apple says this, I see a winged being with white feathered wings, standing next to the crab apple tree.
Crab Apple continues, ‘My message to humans who don’t feel connected to these beings who have come to help this planet, is that I can help them to connect. Contemplate the star at the centre of my blossom, and at the end of an apple or at the centre of the apple. This will connect you with the magical beings of the angelic realms. I want you to know that you are not alone. There is so much help for you. Come often to visit me and I will help you to feel loved and supported.’

I felt overwhelmed by the loving generous nature of the crab apple tree. It nourished and uplifted me. I have been back many times to visit this tree and it always makes me feel good. I made some hedgerow jelly using apples from this tree mixed with hawthorn, rosehip, elderberry and blackberry. I have it on toast or with meat such as venison. It’s delicious and it makes me feel connected to the seasons. I’d love to hear about anyone else’s experiences with crab apple. Has anyone else made crab apple jelly?

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The Wisdom of Violet

Violet May 2013

I journeyed to the spirit of the violet to ask what wisdom, what qualities does the violet have? What messages does it have for humankind?

I see a big purple bloom in front of me. I ask violet what qualities and wisdom it has. I breathe in the scent of the violet. There is a lot of green in the background. I get the message that the purple, the green, the freshness of spring and the colour of royal purple are all important elements of Violet’s qualities.

‘I am a regal flower, Queen of Hearts. I am connected to the heart chakra. The green of my leaves is important too. If you look at my leaves, they are shaped like a heart. The green is related to the heart chakra. My leaves are a representation of the heart. I bring warmth, the first real warmth of spring. I warm and melt hearts. My scent is part of this. I bring sweetness. You can use me in cakes and in biscuits, to sweeten and bring joy to an occasion. Use my scent on pulse points to warm your heart and bring joy into your life.

I am a sweet shy creature. I help those who are shy or feeling awkward in a situation. Connect with my essence if you are feeling shy. Connect with my essence to have a heart connection with those around you. Wear me over your heart chakra – place a violet leaf in your bra or your breast pocket over your heart before you go into a situation where you know you will feel shy. This will help to connect your heart with those of others.

Infusions of violet in water are good for bathing the heart chakra. It is useful to do this where your skin is itching. I help you to feel at home in your skin. I help you to feel grounded. I am about grounding the energies of the heart.

I am warm and gentle, like the first sniff of the summer breeze. My weather is warm and gentle, the first heat of the year. I am soft like the summer rain. Bathing in water infused with violets is softening. I have softening and soothing properties. I am good for eczema and other skin complaints when used like this.

I am good for bathing fungal infections such as in toenails – my grounding and soothing properties help this. Use a violet infused in spring water in the sunlight for half an hour or an hour. Then bathe your foot in this to help with grounding and to help the nail.’

I ask, ‘Can you tell me more about your connection with royal purple?’

‘This is a regal colour, the Royal Purple. It connects you with your own magnificence, your own queenliness or kingliness. I connect you with your radiant magnificence when you are feeling small, shy or a shrinking violet. Essence of violet can help you connect with your royalty, your regalness, your magnificence.

All the properties of the heart chakra are benefited by violet. You can use the scent of violet to bring these qualities to the fore. Put it on your pulse points, particularly on your wrist, and sniff the scent to bring these qualities to the fore.

I am soothing and soporific and can help you to sleep. Breathe in the scent of violet and feel me filling your heart chakra, cleansing the chakra. Breathe in the soft, warm gentleness, the soothingness of violet. Breathe out any harsh residues, any anger, any negative unwanted attitudes. The violet flame of transformation is also connected with me. I am connected to St Germain and St Francis of Assisi.

Violet and Celandine May 2013

The Wisdom of the Primrose

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Journey to the Spirit of the Primrose

I call to the Spirit of the Primrose and immediately I see a primrose – really big and yellow. ‘Beautiful Primrose, may I ask you some questions? May I ask for your wisdom, can you tell me about your qualities and whether you have a message for humankind?’

I get the words, ‘Wrap you up and go inside.’ That’s what Primrose wants to do. She’s folding her petals around me and then going inside me.

‘Where are you going?’ I ask. I feel it in the centre of my chest. I’m getting a feeling it’s around the sternum and the diaphragm. Not so much the heart – it’s below the heart and it’s not as far down as the solar plexus, but it’s in the middle of my sternum. She’s folding her petals into there. Primrose tells me she is linked to the diaphragm. ‘I can help with breathing, and control of the breath. I can help to protect you from respiratory problems at this time of year, when the cold wind blows, and you can be susceptible to these problems.’

‘Wrap you up and go inside,’ I hear those words again. What Primrose is telling us is that when the cold wind blows, wrap yourself up and go inside. That ‘going inside’ also represents going into your inner being and dreaming.

‘I am the Flower of Dreams,’ she tells me. ‘Breathe in my sweet perfume and it will bring you clarity in your dreams. If you want to know the answer to a question, before you go to bed, spend a few minutes breathing in and out with your hands cupped around a primrose and ask for Primrose to bring you clarity in your dreams. This translates not only to night-time dreams but also in your dreams of what you want for yourself and where you want to go in life.’

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‘I am a spring flower. I am at the beginning of all things. I am about awakening – dreaming and taking those dreams into your awakening, manifesting your dreams, empowering your dreams. You can soak my petals in spring water and drink it – even better if you can find some spring sunlight to fall upon the glass. Ask for my spirit to go into the water. Drink this water – the essence of Primrose and it will help you manifest your dreams, whatever they are. I am a successful flower. I bring success. I bring about manifestation of whatever it is you desire.’

‘Thank you so much!’ I say. ‘How may I use your properties to help manifest my dreams?’ I ask.

‘Clear your altar. Put one fresh primrose flower in a small bottle of water on your altar and change it every time it needs to be refreshed. Ask me to help manifest your dreams and keep visualising the outcome of whatever it is you want. Visualise people having a positive response to whatever it is you want to create. Every time you change the flower, imagine that response. Imagine people around the world loving it, and telling their friends about it.’

‘My scent is fresh and pure. It brings hope. I am the Flower of Hope – hope that things can change for the better, renewed hope after the Winter has passed that things will get easier and more abundant with the approach of Summer; the hope that new children may come into being.’

So I ask, ‘Do you have any properties of fertility?’ Primrose answers, ‘Not me personally, but my sister, Evening Primrose does. I bring the Hope of Possibility.’

‘Is there anything that I can do to honour you?’ I ask.

‘Grow more of me. Plant more of me. Have your garden full of primroses. That’s all I ask. Just go now and manifest your dreams.’

‘Beautiful Primrose, I thank you so much. I have longed to hear your wisdom for so long and now I know.’

Lizzie Harper's sketchbook illustration

Lizzie Harper’s sketchbook illustration

http://lizzieharper.co.uk/gallery/sketchbook/

The Girl who Dances Amongst the Hares

Dancing with Hares by Anna Bromley 2017

I journey using  a drum with the intention of meeting the Ancient Mother and connecting with the earth.

In my journey, I walk towards the Vision Tree across luxuriant spring grass. In front of the tree, there’s a Spring picnic going on. The weather is perfect, mild and sunny, there are spring flowers everywhere, birds singing in the trees. There is a checkered picnic cloth spread with beautiful things and around this cloth, there are hares dancing in a circle. On the cloth are painted eggs, chocolate, spring flowers and lots of other goodies. In the centre of the circle of hares a little girl is dancing. She has long golden hair and is wearing a beautiful blue dress. She is seven years old.

The hares tell me they are guardians to the realm of the Ancient Mother. I ask them to show me their natural ways. They tell me that at this time of spring they are very active and joyful, dancing and celebrating life. They represent the abundance of Mother Earth at this budding time of spring. They connect me with the cycles, of the earth of the seasons and of the moon. I see them spiralling up on a path of moonlight, showing me the moon. But now, they want to show me to the realm of the Ancient Mother. So they bring me back to the tree.

It’s a great big beautiful oak, like a tree from a fairytale. There is a little green painted wooden door into the tree. The hares open the door and take me down to the realm of the Ancient Mother.

We go down, down, down to a cave. It’s not a dank, dark cave. It’s like a fairy grotto full of sparkling crystals. There are many landscapes going off in different directions. There’s a stream of water. Sitting on a throne beside the stream is the Ancient Mother. She welcomes me. She has hares hopping all around her, sometimes hopping into her lap. She calls me to her lap and embraces me. She does hand gestures over me to bless me and readjust my energy. She realigns my chakras. She massages my toes and the soles of my feet to help my connection with the earth. Then she sits me up on her lap and makes me put my feet down in connection with the earth. My roots grow down. She places one hand on my sacrum and the other at the front on my lower abdomen. She is healing my root chakra. I feel warmth and energy coming into my lower back.

‘May the solidity of Earth be yours dear Child,’ she whispers in my ear. ‘May you be connected beautifully and gently with the earth. May you walk gently on the earth.

Now she heals the sacral chakra. ‘May you feel safe. May your basket of creativity be filled with wondrous things for you to give and receive.’ She shows me a picnic basket full of Easter goodies. She places it inside my abdomen and tells me it is my basket of creativity. In the basket there is a pen and paper. There is a beautiful book for me to write in. There are beautiful crystals for me to work with and to give to others. There are flowers for me to create herbal medicine, healing balms and beautifying creams. There are hares and all the gifts of Easter and the abundance of the fertile earth.

Now she moves up to my solar plexus chakra. She opens it at the back, like opening a trap door, and takes something out. ‘You don’t need that!’ she says and throws it behind her where it is consumed in flames. She is tracing a spiral of energy on my back. It is a warm, ruby, glowing red. It goes through me to the front and back again. It is healing, clearing and energising my solar plexus. It feels lovely.

Now she comes to my heart space. ‘Loving, beautiful child, let the gold of your heart, the golden fire energy of your heart spread to all those around you. You have this gift of love – lovingness and care. Let it spread to all those around you. And equally, may you receive love and care from those around you.

Then she puts her hands either side of my throat chakra and says, ‘May the silver words of your heart ring like bells from your throat and your tongue, making delightful, delicious music for all those who hear you speak.’ This makes me feel very emotional, because I have felt so blocked in being able to voice my beauty. ‘No longer, dear Lady!’ she says as she heals my throat chakra.

Now she comes to my brow chakra and says, ‘Vision and Beauty are yours already, my dear dear Child. May you see truly and clearly. May you know what is yours and what is others’. May you use this gift wisely for the benefit of all.

Then she moves up to my crown chakra. ‘This chakra needs no healing, dear Beautiful one,’ she says. ‘Your connection with the Heavens is strong. Keep it open.’

She says, ‘You are a multi-dimensional being. You know that already. The Book of Your Life is open to you. You may come back again whenever you like to look into your Book of Life. For now your message and your healing are complete. I send you home with my blessings and my love.

So I thank the Ancient Mother and retrace my steps escorted by the Hare Guardians. I thank them and return to this reality.

Meeting the Seven Year Old Girl

When I reflected on the journey, I wondered who is the 7 year old girl, the one I saw dancing at the picnic amongst the hares? So I lit a candle and invited her to speak to me.She told me she is my 7 year old soul part who left because of religious oppression – being made to go to church every Sunday, sometimes to more than one service, which seemed to take up the whole day. She hated it because it was dull and boring and indoors, where she was preached at about sin and all the things she shouldn’t do and must not do, where she was told that magic is evil, when all she wanted to do was to put on a pretty dress and dance in the garden and in the woods and the fields amongst the hares and the wild animals. She wanted to have fun and to dance and be free and to feel the sunshine on her face and to know that there IS magic in the world.

So I sat in my sunny garden, where the bees hummed in the prunus blossom and the lambs bleated in the field next door. I painted my seven year old and then I danced with her and then we ate chocolate birthday cake together. It was blissful, especially because it is something I rarely let myself do.

A Visit to Cae Thomas’ Holy Well, Llanveynoe, Olchon Valley, Black Mountains

Cae Thomas well

Cae Thomas Holy Well

Yesterday, Phoebe and I set off on an adventure. Our quest was to find Cae Thomas’ Holy Well near Llanveynoe. Rumour had it that this beautiful natural spring was to be found somewhere in the mystical Olchon Valley of the Black Mountains on the border between Herefordshire and Wales. So far no-one we knew had been able to find it. Local folklore has it that the water has special healing properties and is particularly good for rheumatism and strengthening weak eyes and this was good enough incentive for me. Perhaps it would be good for my gammy hip and maybe I’d even be able to read the small print on labels after a draft of the elusive water.

So, armed with an OS map and a sketchy description from on elderly guide book on the Holy Wells of Herefordshire, we set off. Phoebe was as excited as me and had prepared a bag of provisions – a bottle to put some water in, some extra strong mints and a bag of jelly babies – excellent emergency rations!

We drove off up Long Lane in the direction that leads away from civilisation and into the mountains. I love this route – turn right at Bob Shop, through Michaelchurch Escley and then dipping down into the valley of the River Monnow. The verges of the narrow lanes spilled over with wildflowers – purple vetch, the magenta of rosebay willow herb and the frothy cream flowers of meadowsweet, to name but a few. Amongst these, waved the golden fronds of tall grasses bleached by the August sunshine. We passed quaint cottages with flower filled gardens, tumbled down stone ruins, glossy red post boxes set into garden walls, each turn in the road unveiling a scene more beautiful than the last. Rounding a bend, the imposing ridge of Black Darren reared up in front of us. Round another bend we were treated to a lovely view of the craggy end of the Cat’s Back Mountain, also known as the Black Hill, made famous in Bruce Chatwin’s novel.

Now entering the Olchon Valley and crossing the Olchon Brook, we kept a beady eye out for anything that might resemble the description in the book.

‘Ooh, hang on, that tiny little gate might be promising. It’s not big enough to get a tractor through and why else would you have a gate only big enough for pedestrians going into a field?’ I asked Phoebe. She thought it looked like a good bet too. I squeezed the car off the narrow lane into another gateway, hoping that we wouldn’t meet an irate farmer wondering what we were up to. But I needn’t have worried – there was not another soul about. We went through the little gate and hearing the sound of running water, thought that we must be onto something. Going through another small gate, we found ourselves at a beautiful waterfall flowing into a pool. We sat and enjoyed this lovely place for a few minutes. Phoebe was keen to fill her water bottle, but I was sure that we hadn’t found the right place. So near and yet so far. How frustrating.

We started making our way back towards the car to try again further along the road. I pondered about the little gate and then something made me stop and turn around. This time I noticed another gate off to our left. Not a small gate this time, a full size farm gate, but it was propped across a gap that again wasn’t big enough for vehicles. Phoebe got really excited by this and ran back ahead of me. I heard a shout as she disappeared round the corner.

‘This is it Mum. I can see the enamel cup hanging from the tree with the initials carved into it, just like it said in the book!’ We had found it at last. I negotiated the broken wooden gate and immediately, the atmosphere changed completely. It was serene, peaceful and welcoming. The vegetation was somehow different here too – short neat grass, soft moss and shamrocks, gave the impression of a magical garden. A three-limbed ash tree grew out of a rock above a little pool, into which the spring was merrily gurgling. The water in the pool was crystal clear and very inviting. The ancient enamelled cup hung from this tree, left there by some thoughtful person who would like others to enjoy the spring. With great reverence, we took it in turns to have a drink from the cup, and to bathe our eyes and feet. The water from the spring was the sweetest and freshest I’ve ever tasted. We stayed and enjoyed the atmosphere of the Cae Thomas’ Well for a while before saying a little prayer of thanks for such a lovely place and hoping that it always stays as unspoilt as this.

We returned to the car, feeling refreshed, soothed and very satisfied that we had accomplished our mission to visit such a beautiful and magical place.

New Course – Shiatsu and Shamanic Journeying

Bluebell woods

Bill and I will be running a weekend course – an introduction to Shiatsu, Shamanic Journeying and Chi Gung on April 18th and 19th. It will be in a beautiful venue on the edge of Paradise Woods, near Bacton in Herefordshire. The woods will be full of the scent and colour of bluebells – a delectable backdrop to our work.

About the course…

Reconnect, Replenish, Renew

An introduction to Shiatsu,
Shamanic Journeying and Chi Gung

April 18th and 19th 2015

Reconnecting with ourselves and with Nature.
Replenishing Body, Mind and Soul.
Renewing our sense of purpose and finding support to move forward in our lives.

Venue: Paradise Woods, Herefordshire

• Learn how to give and receive a basic shiatsu treatment.
• Go on a shamanic journey, to meet a Power Animal and Spirit  Guide.
• Learn about the five elements – water, earth, fire, metal and wood, using Chi Gung and gentle stretching exercises.
• Spend time in beautiful woodland, connecting with Nature and experiencing the five elements.

Further information from Anna and Bill on
0788 062 7108

Course details…

Learn how to give simple Shiatsu treatments

We’ll give you an overview of shiatsu, which is a gentle way of balancing the body’s energy system using acupressure points and stretches.

We’ll provide a safe, supportive environment for you to learn to give and receive a lovely relaxing back treatment.

Journey to meet your Power Animal and Spirit Guide

You will learn how to go on a shamanic journey to meet your Power Animal and Spirit Guide. We will teach you how to create a sacred circle for your journeys. Shamanic Journeying is a way to access information and healing for ourselves and others. It deepens our innate connection to the web of life and helps us to find insight to support us in moving forward in our lives.

Use Chi Gung and the Five Elements to energise your body

We will be learning about the Chinese five elements of water, earth, fire, metal and wood, using Chi Gung and gentle stretching exercises to balance these elements in the body. The exercises will help you feel energised and centred.

Being centred and sensing energy

We’ll show you how to be in touch with your centre of energy and centre of gravity (the hara) from which all shiatsu moves originate. We’ll also show you how to sense different qualities of energy – a simple and effective method of diagnosing which areas to treat.

Connecting with Nature

We will have some experiential time in Nature, in the beautiful bluebell woodlands. You can experience the Five Elements first hand and tune in with Nature.

What happened to Spring?

Ostara, the Goddess of Spring

Ostara, the Goddess of Spring

The snow fell thick and heavy here at the foot of the Black Mountains. That was some time ago, but the snow is taking such a long time to melt and the icy North wind is cutting through all attempts to try and enjoy the great outdoors. So I retreated to the fireside and contemplated what had happened to the Spring. This is what I found…

I am met by my guide wearing a thick, heavy cloak. He pulls it close around him and leads me through a snowy, frosty landscape. I am on horseback and a little fox trots alongside us. Eventually we arrive at a cave. My guide enters and kindles a fire. He motions for me to come in and draw close to the fire.

‘Things are changing, Anna,’ he says. Do your best to survive this in whatever way you can. Stay in, keep warm, keep the fire burning. Toast your toes in front of the fire. Mother Nature is in mourning.’

I ask what has caused this and if there is anything I can do to make this better. He replies, ‘The bad and unkind deeds of greedy people are the cause. Kindle a light in your heart. Spread warmth and beauty. Be warm and open to people. Be giving and kind. Do not operate in the way that the greedy takers do.’

I get a sense that there is more to this that I am not being told about. My guide strokes my hair and says, ‘Oh wise, golden child, keep spreading Warmth, Beauty and Love in the world. It’s all that you can do. Keep warm, nourish yourself, nourish your child. Keep spreading Joy and Beauty. Turn your back on the greedy ones. Find ways round their policies. If we all do this, it takes away their power.

‘What of the earth?’ I ask. ‘When will Spring come back?’

‘Soon enough,’ is his reply. ‘The birds will soon be nesting in the hazel thickets and before long you’ll be eating strawberries again.’

‘The Goddess of Spring is in mourning. Keep doing what you can to celebrate her Light and Life. Put a picture of her on your altar and light a candle to her. Honour the light within each other. Make offerings to the Earth. Tune into the Divine Feminine. You are a Divine Spark.

The energy of Imbolc is still carrying on. We all need to kindle warmth in our hearts, to combat the cold. Shine your light in the darkness. The world is changing. Meditate to kindle the warmth of fire in your heart and then beam it out into the world.’

The Spring is a time for us to focus on the growth of the dreams we nurtured in the long winter months. They are ready to emerge now.