We find ourselves again, treading through the wet damp dark of early winter. Rain patters on my caravan day and night. The river is high, a brown torrent cutting through the trees beside the sodden meadow. The shadowy track through twilight and dreamlands may settle fast into our bones as we trudge again into the frigid air to gather wood and swing the axe, dancing the rhythms that survival necessitates…but it will not go on forever. Fruits have faded and fallen. Empty calyxes dry into brittle spiders on bare stems, the smell of fermenting apples has dwindled into the earth. Life has gently receded but is far from extinguished; Crows and rooks caw and clonk in the morning mists as the fiery berries of Holly and the pale pearls of Mistletoe garland the wood. Shaggy cattle and ponies huff warm breath into the damp air, robust metabolizers of the pared back landscape. The guardians are here, evergreen witnesses to the turning year. We are well held in this dark mirror, to gaze awhile into the underworld, into the realms of dreaming and death. To grieve for what is lost, and for what we are losing, while the wild world slumbers and struggles through the seasons of less. Death has its sentinels – those who thrive and bloom in its company, and those many that endure.
Since I was very young thoughts of death and dying have often occupied me. My paternal grandparents died when I was age 8, a sudden disappearance not only of two warm and loving people, but of the older ways of life they carried as the last in a family line of rural village bakers. This experience of death was considered too distressing to expose a child to in any direct way, and so the bodies, the funerals and the grieving were largely hidden from me. Over the years I have come to realise that my parent's instinct to protect and shelter me from the pain of mortality is a widespread cultural trend. While at the time I was spared some shock and suffering, my abridged experience of death in childhood, accompanied by the disappearance of my beloved grandparents and the home they created, left a kind of vacuum and greyness in my world. At no point did I feel permission or invitation to feel the full impact of love and death within myself, to weep openly, or communicate about my emotions – and the spectre of those emotions terrified me, surely too big and wild to be acceptable. Like so many people, I suppressed my fears and curiosity, avoiding upset by not talking too much about my own or others deaths.
As I have grown older, the unknown that death represents has gnawed at me, and called me to journey more deeply into myself and the world in search of meaning and understanding. My questions have impelled many years of stalking the ineffable and essential; at times grasping at hope, at others reeling from revelations of delusion, but somehow along the way collecting grains of what seem, in their mystery, to be truth. Within nature, and within the rooting vitality of our own bodies, a language beyond what is spoken with the tongue and heard through the mind reaches out to guide us. I believe it is this guidance – and the sense of trust and belonging it engenders - that has allowed me to perceive the layers of fear, shame, rage and doubt that have obscured my ability to be present with death (and with love). Indeed, to discover that opening up the great well of sadness within me, far from miring me in terror and anguish (though these feelings do surface), actually brings incredible beauty and nourishment. It is a sustenance I have craved for many years, one that feels in my body like a layered quilt of community, the exquisite fragility of our lives weaving together in joys and sorrows…and the wildness we are coming so close to forgetting. Death work belongs to all of us, every being who by virtue of being born and breathing the air of this place, will also die. To it we each bring our own fears and gifts, our personal questions and pain. I am learning - it is all welcome. We are re-building the road home.
Gazing into the fabric of winter, I see a weft spun with accents of decline and hardship, and seamless warp threads stretched tight in an infinite wheel of potential. The weft is the stories, the warp the unbreakable structure they rest upon. Each year winter makes her cull…many creatures perish in the icy damp; those weak and old, those who have insufficient provisions to make it through, those whose homes or hibernations get disturbed. How does it feel to open the heart to this sadness, and through its lens feel the great losses of our age? - Seeing the sacred in every small body, in the magic of life expressed and the vacancy of life extinguished; loving and caring for life, for ourselves and each other in our excruciating impermanence. Talking about and preparing for what dying may ask of us; speaking and acting from our aching, beating hearts while we can. By turning towards and tending the winter on our doorstep, we begin also to tend the vaster ground of grief and loss that inundates the world beyond.
Author : Elizabeth Crawford
Elizabeth Crawford is a basket maker and herbalist living cooperatively in South Devon. Her work and life explore beauty, embodiment and deep relationship with the land as pathways to belonging within a wild and changing world. www.foragedfutures.co.uk
The woodland flowers have brought their deep magic beneath the trees, blue-mauves and clear whites, the golden shots of archangel in the undergrowth. By mid-May we are just past the zenith of this soft dream of colour as green leaves fill out the canopy and the dappled forest floor becomes a quieter, peaceful place of seed heads, crunchy leaves and soft humus. Now the wood is filled with heart. So full and blooming, so sated with itself as all arrives in balance, in a still, fecund state of attainment. Each of us is a carrier of life at this moment, blessed with a task that may not feel of our choosing. At times, it may be simply to dwell in this place where the blossoms gather in the dusk and the birds sing an ancient wild prayer of belonging. At others, the world is leaning in ever closer, demanding attention, awakening and transformation. The notes of evening music pierce me with a sweet knowing – that belonging is in the love and harmony of here; of life flowing from one incarnation to the next. Belonging is waiting right here for us to grasp…but it is also a learning: to inhabit our own truest natures, finding the doors and windows of the safe-houses society has constructed within our psyches and flinging them open, however rusted and obscured they may have become over the long winter of our sleeping.
In springtime, our power expands with the eruption of life; the pressure to grow, to emerge, to blossom is intensifying. The call is vast and penetrating to break through the fetters within our own heads and do something daring, like the first step over the edge of the nest, or the compulsion to swarm away from the honeyed safety of the hive and forge a new home. The clarity of spring came late this year on a tide of frosted nights and aching dryness. The usual season of growth and exuberance was strangely quiet. At last with May the world is quenched again and the land is greening and abundant. The pathways of sweet saps and rising blossoms open themselves to us now, spaces of wonder where the tendrils of the heart may unfurl way beyond what we think we know, who we think we are. Our beings are fertile at this time of year with numberless seeds scattered over seasons past, each with its own exquisite potential, green and heart filled sparks quietly longing to be realised in a riotous uprising.
The unprecedented increase in public control and surveillance over the past year perhaps heightens and highlights our awareness of internal constraints. Watching the fierce battle for ‘safety’ in the face of an ‘invisible enemy’ playing out across the world is illuminating many of the assumptions, values and power systems that enmesh our culture – and enmesh each of us, in whatever ways our upbringings and life experiences have chanced to catch us in the matrix. The heady blossoms high in the apple boughs and hawthorns beckon us upwards for a fresh view, scrape knee-d with twigs caught in our hair, to see the rutted deep beliefs and limitations that inevitably steer our course. The habitual behaviours, the well-practiced sabotaging of wilder impulses, the close protection of perceived security…a step away from these anchors can seem like an unknowable and confusing chaos. What does it look like and how does it feel to stride out into the untracked wilderness? To peel back the cobwebs and let in the memory-laced breeze? This is no escapist dream of mountains and tundra untouched by human activity, but a questing for illumination of the regions of our minds and emotions that did not fit the job description, which have been suppressed and overridden by a survivalist drive to fit in and prosper within the prevailing cultural narrative as well as our personal stories.
We are living in remarkable days, when human ingenuity and innovation threatens the very fabric of what makes life good…perhaps even what makes life viable. Technologies, within holistic cultures that honour and respect the more-than-human earth, express in a healthy way the incredible creative capacities that we all harbour. Within toxic, destructive cultural systems that measure and record an inert, deadened earth, technology can become dangerous. I have sincere doubt that it is possible to experience profound, creative connection with the natural world and with each other, when our attention is locked within a screen-gated, artificial universe. Yet, I wonder how the vision inherent in digital technologies and AI shapes our imaginations and sense of possibility – whether we choose a device-mediated route to explore these potentials, or turn back to the older and more innate technologies of nature connection and the mysteries of our own bodies, how does our dreaming now differ from that of our ancestors? And how many of us are dreaming of a technology that is in harmony with nature and all living systems? Light frequencies surround us, emanating from plants, minerals, other animal creatures. We are not alone, away from the social media feeds and email inboxes. It is a case of tuning back in to the ancient languages, half forgotten yet achingly familiar, rich with wisdom and growth that is organic, unprescribed, fiercely our own. We may feel the fear of plunging over the precipice, while cocooned within the safe tether of the known…but what if something waits to catch us out there,that is so much more than anything we can presently dream? I pray we may all find the grace and courage to open up to a wider seeing, that we can find some holding in our greatest vulnerability and witnessing for the beauty and immensity of what we most essentially are.
Author : Elizabeth Crawford
Elizabeth Crawford is a basket maker and herbalist living cooperatively in South Devon. Her work and life explore beauty, embodiment and deep relationship with the land as pathways to belonging within a wild and changing world. www.foragedfutures.co.uk
At AEVA we are asking what will it take for us as humanity to put on the brakes and change the course we are on? Are we willing to make the changes necessary? Overwhelm and despair are not comfortable feelings and sometimes we have to travel through them to arrive at the place of hope and possibility and transformation. Certainly we need to let go of multi dimensional layers of our perceived reality to make way for new possibilities. As Albert Einstein said “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”. We need to loosen ourselves from our narrow view of reality and reconnect with our sovereign nature; we are vast beings, infinite in our scope. What humanity has become is not divinely orchestrated but led by disconnection, fear and a belief in scarcity.
Given the present crisis we are in on Earth, we each need to be holding the space in all ways that we can for a profound reshuffle of the cards here, no small measures are going to hit the mark. How can we, without shame and revenge, allow and make ourselves available for, the profound transformation that is needed? To begin with, I believe we need to welcome the overwhelm that is often triggered, without having to do anything, just to be with it, to feel it as a first step of engagement. Answers and inspiration come when we are open to receive, but if we are blocking the overwhelm and the fear then our doors and windows are shut to so many levels of experience and possibility.
What do you need to face in yourself to make the next shift? What do you need to let go of to create more space and connection with your divine essence and to hear the next steps? We are each a microcosm of the macrocosm, by plugging into our sacred origins we can create space to do the work of feeling, shifting through and befriending the disconnected, fragmented and fearful aspects of our psyche, creating a map within ourselves for the transformation we need to see in the outer world. As the Spring emerges, may new avenues of communication, effortless letting go and miraculous transformation become apparent for us all.
Author : Yzabelaah Samahra Rose
Yzabelaah is a movement artist, a singer, a mother to three gorgeous creatures, and Editor at AEVA Magazine. She is passionate to live fully and support this time of profound awakening and recalibration that we are in. www.ancientfuturedreaming.co.uk
We are living in incredible times, when a new wave is surging, washing over and through the old paradigm. No area of life is left untouched. Rising within this wave is the voice of the feminine, that which has been quieted, shut down and ignored is now awakening. Rumblings from the Earth mother’s belly herself, calling us to stand up and speak from our hearts. Within this rise of the feminine which can be seen through the numerous and inspiring projects emerging all over this beautiful planet is the voice of woman. Women are rising, remembering our sacred innate connection to the Earth, reclaiming our shared voice and power as we gather in circles, round fires, in fields, woods, village halls and sitting rooms.
Together we are an undeniable force, a power as ancient as the Earth herself, together there is nothing our hearts will not achieve. Together we are changing and challenging the face of Politics, Law, Education, Community, Family life and Celebration. Helping to bring the connected heart back into our world. Girls and Women across cultures rising up, speaking out and calling for change. Each voice is an inspiration and a support to our own. We believe in each other, help each other with that next step and through each woman’s unique story is reflected the true power and beauty of woman.
At ‘AEVA’ we are gathering women’s voices from this diverse and global movement, creating a magazine that offers a more reliable and accurate reflection of who we are as women than most mainstream magazines offer women at this time. What if a magazine could mirror, not only your struggles and longings but, your true power, beauty and worth? At ‘AEVA’ we are creating just such a magazine.
An inspirational, colourful, bold and inspiring publication full with a rich variety of women’s wisdom in an array of articles, artwork, poetry, personal story and reviews. It speaks of both the intimate personal journeys we are all on and the collective global story we are all apart of. It really is food for the soul and a must for any woman who cares about the Earth and is passionate to play her part. Together we are weaving the threads of our voices and strengthening our web in the creation of a just new world.
Author . Yzabelaah Samahra Rose
Yzabelaah is Mother of three, a Performance Artist, Writer, Medicine singer, voice for the Earth www.ancientfuturedreaming.co.uk, and Editor at ‘AEVA’. www.aevamagazine.co.uk
Just sitting here with the energy I feel hearing the short video about AEVA, this is what comes to me......
Thank you to you All for ‘birthing’ AEVA, for the efforts of staying with heart and that deeper knowing through I can only imagine many challenges and possibly being close to sheer exhaustion... I feel the deep belief in the power of purity of truth and light shining through the horror of some present and ancient times, happenings, doings. Shining a light on all the beauty, all the ‘goodness’ of shared care, that news never or little reports, it is so important to share these happenings throughout this Earth. I feel the energy of AEVA , of the many women, together throughout this Earth, with their feet in many places, rooted in love and with the Earth, with hearts together, to hold grace for what is to come, so that we may bring healing and in all our ways STAND for this Earth.
While sitting with a group of women holding Lovingness for All, the Nameless One, 'Grandmother' of the poem, came to me, strong and bold, soft and tender, magnificently creative; Maker Heights.
Dear Great Grandmother without name,
Oh Great Nameless One,
Of a Land that I love.
You have sat for Aeons,
In your wild holding,
Of all that is deeper than the stars.
It is you who can move mountains.
You who create a Haven
For the newborn in your curves.
You who was born before words.
Living with timeless patience,
Giving freely of your essence,
To the core of pure creation.
Older than this Earth's present Sun,
I ask blessings of your wisdom.
For you sit larger than the Land,
Solid and Soft, Loving and Ferocious.
I Honour your Being,
I Honour your Landscape,
I will come without words,
To sit with You,
In Honour and Safekeeping
of this Haven
I hold close to heart at present this wondrous part wild land called Maker Heights where I live which has been such a community space for time since memory. Recently distressfully part sold to property developers. It was devastating how bailiffs arrived early one morning wearing balaclavas. However we stood together as each let each other know, we came and we stood in peace, even in such seeming threat. Since then for now much has been lost, however there is much to grow, (Links below on what community are doing to save Maker and be creative!)
We did Save Whitsand Bay, after 7 years on my part, from being used as a dumpsite ( 30+ years of toxic silt dumped into this Bay). We, myself and my husband, finally took the government to court, crowdfunded and with great effort of mind and learning of Law, then through mediation we saved this beautiful sea scape to be able to re-grow in restoration to its natural health...the dumping was stopped. Throughout I held heart every tiny crab or anemone, dolphin, fish, seal, ( it was a seal who showed me the way, I met its heart and knew to try to save its future and it’s children's future) ) I cried out with strength of heart and soul to every spirit of the seas and cosmos to show me the way, to work through and with me, against such odds. I said ‘We will not Stop until you Stop’. I organised demonstration upon demonstration, standing together at times 400 hands held in protection of Life and bringing the truth to light of the need to Care.
I am an everyday mum, in an everyday world.....as individuals we can each bring small changes to heal ‘Our Beautiful Mother Earth’. Even be it our gardens or some pots on a balcony for the wildlife we share our lives with to have greater chance to live and thrive, and in doing so our future generations who are connected in community with every life form on Earth. I could go on and on.....a smile at a stranger...
I have stood and continued to stand and sit, mostly quietly, at times with loud voice, for places of this Earth. Being with the true power of Lovingness. In the depths of my work 'journeying alongside' and supporting people who experience horror and homelessness, mental health issues, disability, it takes a kind of bravery to trust, without other tools, that genuine loving kindness, heart to heart, that this is what brings healing and changes. Being able to be with, not turn away from, their deep pain, their struggles, often having been added to by the way our society can be neglectful and disabling rather than caring, based on fear rather than love. However I trust and see daily the power of humanity. Always the heart will light a candle of hope that can shine through the deep dark of pain and fear.
This is like the story too of our Earth, our treatment of Her, of each other, our lack of respect for the wisdom of our grandmothers, the Old ones, if we could only hold Her hand and let Her hold our hands, ( through heart) just like a Good Grandmother., the Fairy Grandmother of the Old stories , who we can only find with purity of heart. I know at times, at the age and place in Life that I am in the wheel of life, the ‘Good Grandmother’ shines through me, I have met her in the deep place beyond time.
With Whitsand and now Maker, I could not brave to do what I did, with my work that I do, I could not do what I do, if it was about me. It is always about going to that pure place within me, much more than me alone, where there is Heart only in genuine care for all, free of judgement towards others, judgement of anything or myself, where there is only Love, and it’s power of Light, where I do not know what needs to happen, what changes are needed, I have to trust this to Life, but I know how to Stand or Sit or Be. I learn how to let myself be seen, even though I might feel afraid, even though sometimes it has felt like the tiredness of heart, a weariness to the bone, the depth of sadness has been almost too great to bare, life has always held me, at these times, so I can hold Life, to stand with the Joy of Lovingness shared with All. This is not about me, this is about Life, this is about togetherness, this is about the Earth, where all is possible with Grace .
I hope this stands with you, in the tremendous effort you are sharing
Love Deb x
Tonny and I set https://www.facebook.com/StopDevelopmentAtMaker/?ref=bookmarks as a platform to bring all who care for Maker Heights together, to leave differences aside and join with all our best ways to do the best we can together to Save Maker ( scroll to beginning for full story).
Maker with Rame CIC; https://www.facebook.com/MwRCIC
Patchwork Studios, two young men doing an amazing job of art, music, performance, education and personal/community development space; https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=patchwork%20studios
Rame Conservation Trust; https://www.facebook.com/www.rct
Maker Woodlands CIC; https://www.facebook.com/makerwoodlands
Maker Memories; . https://www.facebook.com/lovemakermemories
Awenek Studios; https://www.facebook.com/pg/awenekstudiomakerheights
Nature Wizards @ Maker Heights; Petruse79@yahooFamily Foraging kitchens; firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Deb Hoskin
Core to my life has been being in the natural environment, I have experienced some deep traumas and this was my only solace. I run a charity based on this, creating safe space for people with mental health issues, homelessness, disability, any need, to share their abilities and ‘grow’ in gardens in central Plymouth. I have had adventures, all unimagined until their happening! My experience has shown me the miraculous power of love. I was blessed with a loving family and central to my own life now is motherhood of my 3 daughters and my step son, and being a wife, sister...however I see us all as one human family and this Earth is home and I am glad to serve in any way I can. I also cry for how I also harm her. I hope we all can learn better ways. I am 54 and embracing my growing elder hood. I hope for the future of any grandchildren and all Life.
One grey day of December I found my self by the river Dart in Devon who gifted me with an astonishing message of Love. The months that followed were hard with a depth of loneliness and fear being entrusted with such stream of words.
As Spring came I gathered the courage and fiery passion to share Water's message with others. A Series of Interviews came out of it.
It is a series of interviews with women and men engaging fully with our collapsing world, our dying systems, our grief, our deep love and longing to fully participate in our world in ways of soul and beauty.
These interviews have one thread in common. A message that was given to me by Water on the 2nd of Dec 2016. This message is read to each person in this 'Conversations with Grief' activating a unique response.
So far I have spoken with and recorded Jon Young, Francis Weller, Manda Scott, Pat McCabe, Megan Hollingsworth, Stephen Harding, Pablo Serviane and Stephan Jenkinson… each one bringing a thread for a cloth weaving in the past, present and future… I anticipate mystery and our bone memory to be awakened by it.
Here is the message from Water at the River Dart, Devon, England passed on to me on 2nd Dec 2016:
" My dear child do not worry about me, Water. I recover quickly with the song of our birds, the love of trees, with movement, moments of rest and the prayers moving around our Earth. I regain balance with your heartfelt tears, your remembered songs added to the ones of so many now. Do not focus your energy on 'Saving me'. Something way more profound is taking place right now, listen and observe!
All of us; Soil, Water, Plants, Air, Animals and all Ancestors are Calling YOU Humans, to Us so we can Save YOUR species. We know and have known for a while that you do not have much time left if you do not wake up to your birthright Belonging to Earth and come Home soon, real real soon. We keep dying, we keep Giving Away our Lives to shake you up from a deep and very long amnesia. Once you can allow the truth and quality of such Love to permeate through your traumatised being and desolate soul you will wake up from a life time of anesthesia to your immense grief and capacity for Love.
When you create containers of sacred beauty that opens your Heart to what Love truly is then you will realise with a massive Sob that you were loved all along, always have and for ever by all of Us who you think You are Saving!
You have five years as a species to Wake up, Mature and Remember in your bones that you belong to Life "
What would be your response?
To listen to the poignant interwiew series 'Conversations with Grief' visit www.souland.org/conversations-with-grief-and-water.html
Azul Valerie Thome
Azul-Valérie Thomé is an artist, an activator and tender of soulful visions, a sacred activist, a mentor, a circle holder & trainer whose creations are infused with rituals informed by Mother Earth for the thriving of all Life. She feels blessed to be the mother of a strong and dedicated young man.
I have had the privilege of leading or attending Mother-Blessing ceremonies for pregnant women for almost two decades now and in that time I have observed how much these occasions bond women together and increase the confidence of the mother to be. In fact, a midwife once commented to me that she had noticed how the women she attended who had a Mother-Blessing approached the birth with less fear, so I thought I would like to share with you what we have learnt over that time.
The Navajo Indians, are most associated with their Blessingway Ceremony for women before birth and we need to be sensitively aware that we are not misappropriating their sacred ways disrespectfully because seemingly we have lost our own traditions in our culture. However, I truly believe that somewhere deep in our memories, we women of these Isles remember when, we too, gathered to bless mothers and their unborn children. On so many occasions I have witnessed women deeply moved, often to the point of tears, as they experienced women gathering in ceremony for the first time, commenting that they “know” what to do, they “remembered” and it felt uncannily familiar to them. Nowadays in our culture most of the focus is on the physical health of the mother, but in a Mother-Blessing, the mother-to-be’s closest female friends and relatives gather in circle to attend to her emotional and spiritual needs, bringing small gifts and sharing maternal experience and wisdom with her.
One of the key themes of the Mother-Blessing is the symbolic show of solidarity for the mother in the giving of many parts that make a whole... For example, each woman in the circle offering a bead, along with a blessing, a story, maybe a poem or a song or some words of birth-wisdom. These individual beads are then strung to make a necklace that can be worn during labour, some mothers then hang them above their bed or baby’s crib after the birth. Over the years we have found that, having been inspired by the essence of this, many different ideas have emerged according to the whims and desires of the mother. Here are a few memorable ones:
Another way to create a more lasting memory of the Mother-Blessing, is to ask the women to write down their contributions so that the mother or another can put it all into a scrapbook to share with other family members, her children and the unborn baby when it is older. I found that women really put so much effort into this, creating beautiful and much treasured artworks, often handwritten, with delicate borders and illustrations, they became something of an heirloom to be passed on to future generations.
Why Women Only?
Traditionally Mother-Blessing ceremony was attended by women only but again, in taking the essence as being about offering solidarity and support, there is no reason , if the mother wishes it, why the circle should not embrace women and men together. I have led such ceremonies and they have been every bit as sensitive and meaningful as the women-only occasions. Of course, another option would be for the brothers to do it for themselves and call a men-only circle for the father-to-be! Another point worth mentioning is that a Mother-Blessing ceremony does not need to be “led” in a formal way, although it is a good idea to have someone holding it together, you do not need to have a celebrant in the way you would for, say, a naming ceremony or wedding. I believe that somewhere deep within our woman-source, we know how to do these ancient circle gatherings and there is most emphatically no right or wrong way to do them as long as it feels right for the mother. Often the ceremonies I have attended included a meal afterwards to which everyone attending has brought a dish (however the mama-to-be needs a few supportive friends to ensure she is not left with a pile of washing up afterwards!), some have been outdoors, with a fire, some indoors...one was in a (large!) bathroom and one was in a bedroom! The best time to hold a Mother-blessing is towards the end of the eighth month of the pregnancy.
One more vital and perhaps more sobering aspect that women are learning is the courage and commitment to be an available and supportive circle post-birth for the women who need it. We all know that not every woman experiences the birth of her dreams, sometimes the birthing pool goes cold whilst the reality is a 4am dash to the hospital in an ambulance. Can we then be available to witness grief, disappointment, sadness, anger and confusion? For in the same way that our mainstream culture often wishes only to focus on the physical condition of pregnancy so post-birth all too often the only acceptable public face is that of excitement and gratitude and advice to “put all that behind you now, you have a lovely baby”. Sometimes the need arises to sit and listen, to non-judgmentally witness the birth story as often as it needs to be told as a means of offering the mother a gentle healing. I wonder how much less post-natal depression there would be if a woman could be cared for in this way? On a less intense note, a promise from each Mother-Blessing friend of a nourishing meal on a certain day, perhaps with a rota drawn up, can do much to help the mother recover and establish breast feeding knowing that she and her family’s needs are being cared for by the community for a few days.
Sharing with our daughters!
In creating contemporary ceremonies like this, they become accessible to all women, whether they have religious convictions or none. Several women have commented to me how they are pleased that their daughter will grow up seeing the Mother-Blessing as a “normal” part of the pre-birth experience. I like to think that this is a small way that we can begin to be the change we want to see in the lives of women in the West.
Author: Kate Rose
Kate's life has changed so much in the past six years, through illness and a deep retreating into menopause... she is not who she was and not yet who she is becoming and peaceful with that.
Like for many Divine Feminine Warriors, my conscious journey began after experiencing trauma. It brought me so many questions and so much pain, it was a process of discovering how to grow. Since all that time ago, the wisdom and understanding of connecting with vibrational medicine, shamanism and ourselves has brought me to this space.
Sepia Officinalis is a remedy made from Common Cuttlefish - hugely sensory beings that squirt their famous sepia ink. Sepia is a medicine that grounds, fuels and supports me and, at times, holds my hand. I am so moved by the love this sister of the sea gives out - intelligent, ancient and wonderful - by how it interacts with the menstrual cycle and provides medicine as an adrenal tonic amongst many other things. I call her a sister as, at times, the nurturing qualities of Sepia have been invaluable.
Often real life consists of a lot of juggling between the many roles of empowered woman, urban earth mother of two boys, a partner/wife, performing rituals and ceremonies, writing, deadlines, helping other women and finding my way through life’s challenges and moments of pure beauty. Sepia is often the indicated remedy for when, as a Wild Woman, at times like many other Wild Women, I just want to run away.
When I have had total exhaustion (I recently helped both my children through whooping cough) Sepia, as an adrenal tonic, connected me to my body and allowed me to restore my energy. I am incredibly inspired by it because, as with all vibrational medicine, an understanding and respect for the right time to connect with it ignites my relationship to it and its individual qualities. Nature’s magic in a drop, my wonder tonic, my ally, her healing offerings are embodied in pure vibration and show me the wonder of relating.
Angie Litvinoff - I am a workshop facilitator, shamanic homoeopath, creative celebrant, feminist, Wild Woman, and founder of The Sacred Earth School. Through my rites of passage ceremonies, rituals and workshops I help other women to thrive and grow into themselves. I am inspired by nature and the elements, and feel the more I merge with them the more integrated I am as a whole being. It is through collective experiences that I feel we can connect with the soul and essence of life and so ritual and ceremony are essential for me day to day. I feel a strong calling to reach out more than ever to other women so that we together can create a strong, fearless and beautiful life full of hope and understanding. www.angielitvinoff.com
After reading Donna Moon’s article, 5 Steps To A Vibrant Life, in the Spring 2018 edition of She Who Knows, I knew it was time to take action for my body. I started with the third step, body brushing. Dry skin brushing is something that has been on my radar for almost 30 years. I have owned various soft brushes in that time but I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I have actually entered into the practice. Living off-grid I don’t get to do full body immersion bathing very often and this Winter I have not been to the pool once. So, after I had purchased an absolutely super-duper new brush, complete with detachable handle for ease and comfort, I was ready to commit myself to new habits.
The first time I used the brush I can honestly say that, on certain parts of my body (namely, thighs), it was as if I was sanding a piece of wood! Small piles of dead skin built up just like sawdust as I went over and over these neglected areas and great clouds of “dust” filled the air, causing much perturbation to my husband as he worried for his lungs! That night I slept soundly and awoke feeling refreshed rather than still tired which is my usual disposition in Winter.
I have been brushing regularly now for almost three weeks and, last week, I had my bleed. Usually I really do suffer with period pain but this time I sailed right through with no pain or lengthy discomfort, and no clots or sickness, just a wonderful, healthy flow and beautiful, sensual feelings that all women should be able to experience at this time of the month. Of course I can’t be sure that this was due to the body brushing, but nothing else has changed in my life, and it makes sense that sweeping away toxins and greatly improving the circulation would benefit the womb.
Now, my body asks to be brushed. It cries out for the soft sweep of bristles on my skin, it is excited at the tingling feeling that each stroke creates as blood rises to just beneath the surface, and it delights in the soaking in of oils that are now massaged into its layers. How things have changed! No more living inside a crust! But rather in a body that delights in a new found freedom and lightness, and that wants to dance with the sweetness of Spring!
"In ancient times, in the time of the goddesses, long before periods gained a bad reputation, women used to gather when they were menstruating to help and support each other, sharing experiences and stories about their lives.." in The Goddess in You
The arrival of the first blood was once a reason for a great celebration: a proof of fertility, of life and of the continuation of the species. Today, however, menstruation is often seen as a nuisance...
The need to reframe menstruation to girls is mainly intended to allow them to learn about their bodies, acknowledging their “physiological mechanics” and the understanding of the natural cycles of life. As an ultimate goal, the acceptance of oneself, of one's emotional, physical, psychological and intellectual abilities as a result of a full process, arising from the respect for each other's identity.
Low self-esteem is at the centre of the main problems we face at a personal level, conditioning and (invariably) leading to an unequivocal need of external validation, acts of submission or harmful behaviours for the sake of group integration.
Recognizing the female body as a micro-cell of the Cosmos, as a tiny-scale mirror effect of what Nature creates and perpetuates, will allow recognition and validation of the Feminine as something legitimate and autonomous – instead of the usual “alternative to Masculine” – restoring a clear stand which will enable the needed dynamics to a balanced social evolution.
The goal of this book is to celebrate the body, its rhythms, Nature and Life, so that we can witness the birth of a new generation of women – healthier, more confident, socially more capable and intervening, conscious of their potential and power as individuals.
Menstrual and Fertility Educator
Patrícia Lemos, author of The Goddess in You, is a Fertility Coach and Menstrual Educator, holding a Master's Degree in Public Health, and a practicing Hypnotherapist, based in Lisbon, Portugal.
Passionate about education, she's the founder of Círculo Perfeito, an educational project based on a mind-body approach to help and support women throughout their fertile years.
Patricia is married and mother of a 12 year-old girl.
Contact for Patricia is email@example.com
Image credit for Patricia Lemos (credits vero-photoart).
Link and more info about my book here: http://www.womancraftpublishing.com/thegoddessinyou.html