Women & Transformation

'Women and Transformation' is my guest page where women write about transformation.

My next blog is "A journey into Shamanism" by Charlotte Gush...


A Journey into Shamanism….

Well, what a journey it has been…almost 10 years ago now I had a tarot reading in Glastonbury, the town, not the festival… I was told that from this day my life would change… “How many times have we all been told that?”
Well, it turns out that this time it was true and this was the beginning of my journey into Shamanic practice and living the Shamanic Way…
I’d like to just skip backwards a little here and give some clarity on what Shamanism is….it’s not a religion, I’m not even sure if it can be paired down to fit in any kind of box at all really…all I can do is share my experience and understanding so far.
I guess shamanism can be most closely linked to having an animistic view of the world, a belief that everything has ‘Spirit’, the Air, the Sea, the Trees, the Animal, the Plants, the Flames that create the Fire and of course the Earth herself…not only are all these things believed to have ‘Spirit’ but also that they can be interacted with.

Legend has it that there was once a time in the ancient past that all humans could speak with the River, the Mountains, the Oceans, the Volcanoes, the Sacred Caves and of course the Sun, the Moon and the Star….all seen as powerful forces that could assist or destroy lives… As romantic as this all sounds there are still many groups across the world today that operate very similarly in the way that they honour these powerful forces and ‘power-place’ on the belly of the Mother and beyond…. Temples, shrines, stone circle have been erected by many people in all four corners of the globe….Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, Pyramids in Egypt and Bosnia, Woodhenge, round and long barrows, resting places within cliff faces… many aligning with the stars above….
So, you see the ability to connect with the energy of the Earth and the Heavens in this way is still very much present and accessible, like showing us doorways, the ancients ensured that their ways were not lost and remained visible….but, like most things in life…just because something is there doesn’t mean everyone sees it!
Shamanism suggests that there are worlds that exist beyond that which is ordinarily available to the 5 senses….Other Worlds hold information, spirits, parts of ourselves, guidance healing and a truth that has been lost to the  many who exist only within the physical world and are limited to only the 5 senses….but more of that later.

 Skipping forward once more, almost 10years ago, only weeks after the Glastonbury Tarot reading, I found myself standing round a fire with Shaman and Shaman in-training being asked to face South, West, North then East and to speak with those directions…asking them to hold the space for the sacred Fire Ceremony that was about to commence…to be honest I felt silly, out of place and a little bit resentful… (Strange really as I’d paid to be there!)
Anyway, under a cloudy sky in the corner of a garden at a once Stately Home in Dorset, the transformative journey began…I must add, that although I felt silly, out of place and a bit cross, I had no compulsion to leave, in fact, I stayed much longer than I’d planned…
Over time, training, soul searching and deep honesty with myself I learned to work with and focus the healing energy of the Shamanic Way, it has become my life, my breath and my way of being in the world.
When I’m introduced people, as with many of us, we are greeted with “Hi, I’m ‘Whoever’, what do you do?” I used to hesitate when answering this question because when you say “Hi, I’m Charlotte, I work as a Shaman” the response was often a slightly crinkled nose, a tilted head and a vague expression of panic…but, it’s usually invited an interesting if not a little awkward conversation…because let’s face it, when people are being polite during introductions, do they really care what you do?.
These days, I say I’m a healer or a teacher and that seems to satisfy many…those who have a genuine interest generally ask more question and come along for part of the journey.
So, it’s okay me waxing lyrically about the all this but, what are the benefits? How can it help in daily life?  How can anyone get a piece of the action?

What are the benefits?
In truth I’m still learning, just when I have an ‘aha moment’, it’s closely followed by an ‘oh’ and learning continues. In many ways my life is similar to what it was 10 years ago, but, my way of viewing the world has transformed beyond what I believed possible. Things no longer anger me in the way they once did, I’m very rarely ill, the world seems a friendlier and easier place to manage, my relationships have improved and flourished, I often meet just the right person who has just the information or skill that I need to help me take the next step…the synchronicities run smoothly and quickly and with this dreams are fulfilled…

How can it help in daily life?
To be connected to the Earth and all her elements, the world around you, is firstly a huge comfort and secondly holds more information and guidance than Google or Siri…well, perhaps not more but the guidance that comes is just for you, tailored to give you just what you need when you need it and to touch that deep place of truth within.
Simply walking in the countryside, going to the beach, sitting a local park even your back garden can offer so much….sit, walk or simply ask. Ask in your mind to be shown a sign or given guidance around something that weighs heavy on your mind or a decision that you have to make. Then simply wait, it may not come straight away but it will come….keep the heart open and the mind quiet….we all have a sixth sense, it’s just giving ourselves time to use it…. Try for a few days and see what comes…sometimes an animal, plant, gust of wind or shower will give us guidance…sometimes an answers simply drop into our minds where there was no space for it before. Being open, connected to the outdoors and willing to listen, however silly, out of place or resentful we may feel can work wonders. Over time your connection will grow as will your ability to hear and see the subtleties of life and your connection to it.

How can anyone get a piece of the action?
One of the most straight forward and talked about practices associated with shamanism is Journeying….sending our energy to the Other Worlds in order to receive healing, gain clarity and guidance, bring back parts of our energy that leave us in times of trauma, meeting your Power Animal and much more….
I have found bringing this energy and guidance back to the physical world deeply healing and reassuring so here’s a little sample….There are a few steps to follow but follow them all and it will enhance the experience…
(Please remember this exercise is to be practiced in the sacred space that you have created. Only undertake this practice if you are in good health – if you have any pre-existing health conditions please be sure to consult with your Doctor prior to undertaking)

Journeying – The map to the Lower World
  • Open sacred space.
  • Do the 'little death' breathing practice 
  • Open your virracocha
  • And begin...

Little Death Breathing (7, 7, 7, 7)
The breathing practice ‘Little Death’ is named so as during this process we temporarily free ourselves from the chatter of the Ego Mind allowing it to die for a time. We stop identifying with physical self, peeling away our consciousness to traverse the Other Worlds…traveling fluidly the time trodden paths of the Ancients. This exercise enables us to produce the heightened of consciousness necessary for the journey. 
The pattern is as follows -Inhale to the count of seven. At the end of your inhalation hold your breath for another count of seven. Exhale in one continuous breath for another count of seven, until your lung feel empty of air. For the final count of seven, do not breathe. Repeat this process seven times. This process sounds simple enough, but can be disorienting and you may feel light headed. This sensation is your entry into an altered state of perception, so do your best to hold the full count.
Sitting comfortably with your hands resting on your lap, gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths…becoming fully present in your body and begin.

Opening your Virracocha
Take a moment sitting comfortably and centring yourself, placing your hands in the prayer position, raise them up the front of your body to the 8th chakra that sits above your crown, turn your hands back to back…and slowly stretch the chakra creating a bubble that surrounds you….sending the bubble right to the floor.
When you have completed your journey, be sure to close the Viracocha or energy bubble. In a slow and sacred manner gather up the edges of the energy bubble, bring your hands up the side of your body, gathering up the thin layer of energy. Reform the ball of energy, the 8th chakra, above your crown. Slowly lower your hands, giving thanks…placing your hands, on your knees or on the floor and ground yourself.

Journey 1 – Returning to the Womb of Mother Earth
Having opened sacred space and your Viracocha – set your intent for this journey – to return to the life giving womb of the Great Mother, to take her, once again as the healing force in your life.
You see in front of  you a huge ancient tree….strong and full with wisdom…it’s branches reaching high into the sky and thick gnarly  roots reaching deep, deep into the rich earth….it’s trunk has been shaped by time, the cycles, it  is Nature herself…breathing….approaching the tree with reverence you ask to be shown an opening, a doorway to the lower world…….you are shown a welcoming hollow which you are able to enter easily…as you step in imagine your luminous energy body, almost a hologram of yourself , going down, down into the Earth, feeling  the richness and nourishment of the , moist soil around you, the roots of this great tree and the small stones embedded in the soil. Your energy body travels deeper and deeper past boulders and smoothly and easily through the bedrock sensing the pulse of all that is around you. Through an opening in the bedrock you find yourself in a beautiful underground cavern, through this cavern runs a river…cool, cleansing and nourishing in the minerals of the Earth…step into the river…lie down sensing the small pebbles on your back and allow the crystal clear waters to run through you…carrying with any worries, concerns, tiredness or anxieties….

any weariness, taking with any concerns, or other energies that you may want to release so as not to take with you into the domains of the soul, the belly of the Mother
When you are ready allow the waters to hold you, carry you deep, deep into the belly of the Mother until you gently wash up onto the shores of a beautifully fecund lush green garden. Witness the abundance of this place with its meadows, a river and a forest….Breathe in the nurturing air of this world and walk a while…noticing the grasses brush against your legs and the vibrant life surrounding you.
As you walk you notice a smooth boulder in this meadow where you can a while, and sit and listening to the bird song. Remember that you can visit this place anytime you're in need of healing and revitalization, rest and when your energy needs replenishing. This is the life-giving womb of our Great Mother.
As you rest, call upon the gate keeper….the guardian of this world…he who keeps the seasons and the balance in this domain. A figure approaches and you ask, “Are you my gate keeper?”  Look into the guardians eyes, and ask in a discerning manner, if you may enter this world. Ask him to guide you through this beautiful landscape, the womb of Mother Earth. The gate keeper appears to us all in many different forms, trust your instinct, trust that the being in front of you ‘feels’ right. 
Again, ask him to guide you through this beautiful land. Allow the guardian to guide you through this abundant landscape, with its lush gardens, meadows, woods and canyons and to meet with the animals that make this world their home. Enjoy the garden, for this is the place where you can still speak to the animals, the brooks, the trees and the Earth herself…her stones and  her mountains, and all nature will still converse with you. Explore……long pause.

Once you have taken time to explore this beautiful realm, discovered its, abundant landscape, with its lush gardens, meadows, woods and canyons make your way back, back, back  to the shore line where you first arrived, thank the gate keeper, the guardian of this world and your trusted guide….thank you, thank you, thank you for allowing me to enter your domain….taking your leave, dive into the waters, allowing them to gently carry you to the place where you rested before, again feeling the pebbles pressing on your back. Relax here once again, enjoying the feeling of the waters cleansing and refreshing you in preparation for your return to the middle world; leaving behind all that you may not bring with you back to the waking world. Feeling cleansed and refreshed leave the  shallows of the river and make your way to the opening in the bed-rock where you first entered the  cavern and begin your journey, effortlessly back up, up, up through the bedrock, moving up, up. Becoming aware, once again of the rich, moist soil, moving freely and effortlessly …sensing the roots of the great trees holding fast and solid fed by the richness of the Mother, past the roots of the great trees, up, up, up and in to this middle world, returning to this room and fully into your body.
 Take a few deep breaths, becoming aware of your immediate environment hearing the sounds of the (THIS WORLD) middle world, hearing your own breath and its connection to the world around you… when you are ready open your eyes, feeling fully present, grounded and refreshed, experience the sense of belonging, your sense of connection to the Earth…remembering to walk on her belly gently for she is the Great Mother, the Mother that has always been there and always will.

Close Virracocha

Close Sacred Space.

I hope this article has given a brief insight into the world of Shamanism and Shamanic Journeying; this is only a snippet of this way of life and what it has to offer.
If you enjoyed the journey to the lower world you can find similar here http://www.shamanicway.co.uk/product/shamanic-journeying-series-1-2-dvd/
There is further work that can be done with the pieces of information, insight and symbols that were gathered on your journey, building a relationship and gaining clarity to further your path, healing and understanding of self…. http://www.shamanicway.co.uk/product/shamanic-tools-practices-download/

If you have any questions, wish to share your experiences or learn more about the Shamanic Way and other Healing Journeys you can contact me on charlotte@shamanicway.co.uk or via www.shamanicway.co.uk
Much love


My next guest is Denyse Shorrocks...

My name is Denyse Shorrocks and I am an artist and Occultist but my main passions are animals and nature. Nature has been my constant teacher from, well from forever really. As a child I would spend all my time foraging in the garden exploring the flowers, insects, stones, being blown away by the funny antics of the hedgehogs and finding pure joy and amazement at how the birds flew in the sky, how at sunset the heavens would be alight with fire and at night a million sparkling diamonds would glitter over my head! I now live in the beautiful land of Cornwall and I am still amazed at the nature around me. The sky is never the same twice,the beaches change their dresses every day as the tide goes in and out moving the golden sands and the tumbling stones to their new positions. Everything in nature is change and we are part of nature so we also are in a constant state of change and I hope for most of us that that change is for the better. Yes we will suffer trial and pain along the road but that is all part of the nature of life and should work to make us stronger for our next great adventure when we pass . However, while we are here we can do so much to help the suffering of our fellow creatures who by many in this world are not as special us humans. I will never see it this way as to me nothing in this world is of less value or importance than anything else. There is so much cruelty in this wonderful world of ours and I would take this chance to ask all of you to sign petitions, attend anti-cruelty marches, teach others by word of mouth. I am aware that many of you have very little time, however it takes no time at all to pass on info with a share button. If we in the spiritual community cannot help the plight of our fellow creatures then who will? Please be the voice of those that do not have a voice! Blessings to one and all Denyse.



My next guest is Wendy Banting...

My name is Wendy Banting and in 2010 I was diagnosed with an advanced aggressive breast cancer. I decided that I would take no medical treatment even though my doctors recommended chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery in the hope of getting me six months. My overall prognosis was grim. However, I felt strongly that I was here to do something different; that I had the ability to heal myself naturally. I felt strongly guided to go deeper into this experience and felt that if I trusted universal source energy, that I would be supported.! !  Thus my transformational journey came uniquely disguised as this cancer. During the previous five years I had been moving into awareness of higher consciousness and was seeking understanding of universal knowledge on a grand scale. I was to discover that theoretically understanding metaphysical concepts was one thing and experientially living through them was quite another. Moving into the energy of the divine feminine requires surrender and trust. Totally. I have learned this on a very deep and profound level. My decision to heal naturally as a result of allowing myself to accept this experience as being perfectly in order for my soul growth resulted in the most exquisite and victorious experience. I would not have missed this gift for anything. I can say that now.! !

At the heart of this surrender was my letting go of fear. Fear was playing a strong role in my life on many levels, and it is easy to play with letting go of fear when you have a perceived expansive stretch of “time” in front of you. This was a point of shifting energy that would move me into a deep level of releasing old stagnant energy patterns of emotional bondage that had been replaying itself out for many lives. Taking off the masks of who we think we are is a long and arduous process. Everything that is not in alignment with the truth of the soul’s vibration has to go. This takes deep commitment and focus. The rewards are healing, peace, and a freedom unsurpassed as you become all that you naturally are. It took having cancer to take me to this level of contrasting experience. To know who I am, and who I am not.! !

I took action on many levels, and released old judgments and limiting ideas on pretty much everything. I cleaned up my body holistically, as this gave me a great leg up in feeling more balanced and full of energy. My understanding of myself as universal energy that has the power to create my own reality allowed my energy pathways to be created anew. My life moved from a state of disease and despair into a state of harmony and peacefulness on a level not experienced in my life this far. I was guided each and every day. I had no pain, my body healed effortlessly over time, as I reached newer levels of surrender. I could feel the heaviness leaving my body and soul, and I felt lighter with each new challenge in the healing experience. I am here now four years later, with a new and appreciative level of trust of a persons inner power and the knowing that all is in perfect order in each moment. So when you perhaps have what you consider an undesired experience show up in your life, try to allow it and see it for the gift it truly is, and enjoy the growth the universe is putting in front of you. ! !

I wrote my book as a manual for those wanting to follow in my footsteps holistically and also as an inspirational story for others to move into their own transformational journey. Love and honour yourself for
the courageous souls you are in your own story.

Here is a link to Wendy's website : www.wendybanting.com
And a link to her book on Amazon :  Wendy's book on Amazon

My next guest is Marigold Fairweather...


If you follow your heart’s desire, you will be made to transform… if you seek a life of freedom from the birthing & rearing of children by shaping your world to fit your own dreams…. you will still have to transform…and if you choose to follow the nature path by becoming a mother and nurturing the new life you created… you will also be forced to transform…

Your mind may be your motor, and you may decide to take hormones & have surgery, & laugh in the face of death…. But there’s no escape….

And even if you accept the ravages upon your body that begets children and ages disgracefully, with rotting teeth and saggy flesh… you will transform too…

Because Nature doesn’t care… time will transform you… your ideas, your weaknesses, your achievements and your loves… you will be called upon to change your very being… to view life from a different perspective… to BE different than you were as a child… a Maiden…. A Mother… a Crone… and all the stages in between….

Life IS transformation… it will embrace you… and if you love it, you will become that which you were made to be… 

Marigold Fairweather: Visual artist, gardener, cook, mother of adult sons, Transpersonal Art therapist, adult educator, Reiki practitioner, Druid.
Would like to see: A kind world, where humans reclaim their rights and responsibilities, & use their power to love and be loved.


My next guest is Hypatia Boudica Mystlydene...

Spirit and Soul

This is a metaphor to help us be able to talk about spirit and soul regardless of our belief system. Imagine we have a field of awareness emanating from the center of our physical body.The day is beautiful and we are in good spirits and our soul is at peace with the world. This state can be described as the shape of our field of awareness.

Imagine we are watching a movie or listening to a story and suddenly the story in some way touches us emotionally. We know all know when the story moves us inside, triggered by what we are observing, without any conscious permission at all, the depths of our soul start rising through our body even flooding our eyes with tears. Often it is as if we feel the tingle of spirit rushing in across our skin opening the pores our body, as if our body is responding to a secret message that’s connecting with our soul. This can also be thought of as another shape to our field of awareness.The shape of our field of awareness constantly changes.

From the position that all is sacred, Spirit creates ALL there is…. Spirit is very creative and likes to shape-shift and it has gone as far as creating itself in flesh, and embodying flesh as ‘soul’ … deep in the center of our field of awareness lies our soul… when we are born our souls are very open and each and every life encounter impresses upon our field of awareness and so the soul takes shape and form. Spirit is creative… soul is creative we are the living conduit between spirit and soul and how well we do is revealed by what we are creating.

Spirit is always waiting at the edges of our field of awareness ready to be called… Soul is always wanting to emerge further from our emotional depths into our awareness field so it may touch upon the spirit of the day. The interplay that takes place through us is our lives.

People talk of evil. Perceived evil is only that which divides us. On very close inspection of our perceived division we will find that which unites us already. All of life is sacred as is each action thought and word…. Treat as so and we will find the divine is with us all already…. call it god or call it rockn ‘roll. Neither a belief in god or a belief in rockn’roll is going to unite us if it persists in resonating division. Rooting out what divides makes way for the new…. We will always make distinctions as this is creative… we will always synthesize as this is creative… life has no other purpose other than to be creative. This is the way of heaven on earth.

If Soul can’t connect with Spirit and Spirit can’t connect with Soul Life becomes dull and boring… or even totally crazy. If too much fear, restriction and division our impressed upon the field of awareness the soul will choose not to come out or grow because it does not feel welcome in this world… when it is out we are playful and happy when it is restricted we angry and scared.

Embrace anything that brings your soul to life and lets your spirit soar… be it found in sacred text and holy scriptures or in music, nature or little child’s smile.

In this model ‘’Love’’ is the perfect mixture of spirit and soul in our bodies. It’s a bit of a tricky one because most humans have not been taught that it is best to cultivate Love in our own hearts first – so our Love becomes strong and guides us… resonating our Love so it can radiate from our field of awareness and influence all we encounter. Instead we project our sense of love onto others and set ourselves up for division in ‘you’ and ‘me’, again breaking our hearts. Natural people like the Kogi Tribe in Columbia do not have a word for ‘I’ or ‘you’ so they do not struggle with the division of the 'ego' the rest of us have created in our field of awareness.

Remember spirit is creative so it makes distinctions and puts things together in new ways. Our nature is a reflection of spirit only we have mistakenly taken distinctions and turned them into divisions and then gone crazy fighting each other over whose distinction is right!!! We can break free of this madness if we stop holding on so tight to what appears to divide us and start embracing the idea that each and every one of us is a unique expression of soul emanating from a very creative collective spirit. Just think what we could get happening if we all just dropped the crap found what brought our souls to life and let our spirits soar.

My next guest is Eleanor OʼHanlon :

Eleanor OʼHanlon is a writer and conservationist who has carried out field work for leading international conservation groups. Her articles on wildlife, wilderness and animal behaviour have appeared in BBC Wildlife and other magazines in Europe and North America. Eyes of the Wild Journeys of Transformation with the Animal Powers is her first book. From Baja California to the Arctic pack ice, it takes the reader on an epic, personal journey to meet whales and wolves, bears and wild horses. The journey is guided by outstanding biologists and other observers, men and women who are renewing an ancient way of relationship with the wild. Their scientific research meets the indigenous wisdom that understands the animals as guides to deeper relationship with life.

'Walking the way of the Wolf' by Eleanor O'Hanlon

June. 2013 Riding In the Country of Wolves and Wild Horses. On the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies.
A family band of wild horses is grazing on the sedges by the lake, their summer coats gleaming darkly in the sunshine. Sleek, muscled, fit in the original Darwinian sense, their beauty has been sculpted by the challenges of survival as they face predators like grizzly, wolf and cougar, in this harsh mountain land, where winter temperatures drop below minus 30C.
The band stallion is black, his coat scored with white scars from his encounters with other stallions, eager to claim one of his mares. We dismount from our own horses, tie them up, and settle down to watch the wild herd from the shelter of the trees.
Thatʼs when the wolf appears.
A large male, with a dark-gray coat emerges from cover and wanders towards the horses. I focus my binoculars on the stallion, expecting a tense, even bloody encounter, as he prepares to defend his family against this powerful predator.
But the wolves and the horses confound my expectations. The wolf is completely relaxed; he looks like heʼs taking a casual stroll along the lakeside. And the horses simply watch him with relaxed interest; even the mares with foals show no visible sign of anxiety at his approach. These animals know each other, and theyʼve clearly worked out a way to co-exist.
The wolf picks up the buoyant trot that is so characteristic of wolves and disappears into the dwarf birch bushes. And I take a deep breath. Wolves were once the most widely-distributed of all northern mammals, found across the northern hemisphere. But our long hatred and persecution of them have drastically reduced their range and numbers. To see or hear a wolf in the wild now has become a rare experience. It is also a deeply emotional one. Wolves have such intense presence that it sharpens all your senses and snaps you wide-awake in the present moment.
Native Americans say that the wolf only shows itself for a reason, when it has some message to bring. Certainly, the message it brought me that day was a reminder not to make easy assumptions about life in the wild. We humans make so many divisions with our minds; we separate creatures into “predators” and “prey.” and expect them to behave accordingly. Of course, that is true of certain aspects of wild behaviour. But the living reality is far richer, far more subtle and profound than such simple oppositions, and one of the most glorious aspects of watching wildlife is having your preconceptions torn apart and scattered to the wind.
Watching that wolf moving so lightly through the landscape, I also remembered how indigenous peoples everywhere have honoured wolves for their loyalty, courage, and exceptional endurance. Wolves were understood and honoured as potent spirits, endowed with healing and transforming power. Among the Hopi, wolves embodied an aspect of the creative power of the universe. The women of the Haida, of the American Northwest, placed wolf fur on their bellies as they gave birth. And the Chukchi people of northeastern Siberia wrapped their sick in wolf pelts to surround them with its power.
For my book, Eyes of the Wild Journeys of Transformation with the Animal Powers I travelled among wild wolves in Russia, North America and Central Asia. One of my guides was a remarkable biologist who had lived alone for two years with a wild wolf pack. He learned to communicate with them, he hunted with them, and shared their food, and he was trusted and accepted by them completely.
Eyes of the Wild also includes a retelling of a traditional Native American story called The Woman Who Lived with Wolves. This story shows how wolvesʼ healing power works at the emotional and psychological level. It tells of a woman whose husband was very unkind to her. She endured her unhappiness for years, until a night came when she could bear it no longer. Leaving her family and her tribe, she walked into the wilderness, and wandered
alone and exposed to the elements for many days. One night she found a cave for shelter and fell asleep. In her dreams, wolves came and surrounded her with the warmth of their fur. When she woke, she was among wolves. At first this terrified her, but when she met their gaze she saw that there is nothing to fear.
The wolves are so intensely present that in their company the woman herself becomes more present. She begins to free herself from the dominion of her painful and repetitive memories, becoming stronger as the fear and pain she carried with her into the wilderness are transformed. Gradually she becomes rooted in the power of her own true nature. Until one day she looks into the wolvesʼ eyes and she knows the time has come for her to return to her people with the strength and knowledge she has gained from living among wolves. The story is profound and beautiful and the people who told it first knew wolves well. They knew that many young wolves leave their family and familiar territory and wander alone in search of a partner and a territory of their own. Wolves have been known to travel for hundreds of miles on these solitary journeys, which are very dangerous for them.
In this story, the motif of leaving the familiar and exploring the unknown, takes on profound psychological and spiritual resonance. And that resonance is as real and immediate and important now as it was then. The story depicts the archetypal journey that each one of us makes, as we find the courage to leave the familiar territory of our pain and fear, our limitation and hopelessness and seek the country of inner freedom.
That journey is challenging; it can appear dangerous and most uncertain, but grace and healing come with certainty in the most unexpected places, and in the company of wolves and all the elemental powers of nature.


"This wonderful book takes us to the land of Whale, Bear, Wolf and Horse, and describes the path of the shaman and a good degree about biology, indigenous cultures, mythology and travel adventure as well.
It’s a delight of a book, beautifully written and full of insight. It is a precious pearl formed from the grit and pain born from a great love of nature, a deep connection with the wild and the desire to protect and preserve it at all costs. I read and savoured every word and didn't want this book to end. Highly recommended."

Maddy Harland, Editor, Permaculture Magazine.

My first guest is:
Samantha Yates
Editor of Radiant magazine.  

We are in the midst of amazing transformational times, ripe with potential and possibilities, a time to review the past with an eye to assuring a brighter and better future. If the cycle of life is the path that we travel, transformation is the vehicle that we drive and change our compass of navigation.

As I approach my fifth decade in this physical life, I feel as if I have lived through many mini life-times on my chosen path. I am not the same person that I was ten years ago, or even five years ago. I have learned to embrace change and to recognize that when I am unhappy, that a transformation is imminent. It takes a brave leap of faith to embrace change, trust and welcome uncertainty, with one foot in the old and the other in the new. I can say in all honesty that I have no regrets; I have learnt something essential, something life changing from each and every experience, situation and person that has crossed my path.

I believe that before we incarnate into this physical life, that we choose what we would like to study and learn on our journey. One of the most important discoveries that I have made is that I am not a victim of circumstance but a powerful goddess on a quest for knowledge, with the choice whether to react or respond in any given situation. To react is merely to repeat an action, but to respond is to empower ourselves and choose whether to feel positive or negative and discover the lesson within each and every experience. Our lives now, in this moment, are the sum total of the choices we have made in the past. We are where we are meant to be, right here, right now.
There are no mistakes, rather a multitude of opportunities to learn and grow into the best human being that we could possibly be.

By giving thanks for the past we free ourselves from regrets and disappointments and open ourselves to infinite new possibilities; gaining an awareness of the lessons learnt in every relationship and situation you have encountered on this journey called Life. Be particularly grateful for the obstacles and difficulties, for they are your greatest teachers from which you have learnt the most. Embrace change; be open and learn to trust that the universe is working for your highest good. Change is inevitable, stop resisting and surrender to the flow of life.

Some people do however, choose to stay in their comfort zones, believing that better the devil they know, unable and unwilling to experience all that this wonderful life has to offer. Desperately unhappy, allowing their fear to become bigger than their courage. The purpose of life is to change and transform, we either do this willingly or wait for a cosmic boot to help us on our way. Facing our fears is the only way to release the hold they have and to claim the life of freedom that we truly deserve. Each time that we do this, the fear diminishes, little, by little. Every single one of us has a warrior goddess within, patiently waiting to be discovered -  find the warrior within and the freedom without - fear.

Forgiveness is another huge lesson that I have learnt. Be open to forgive yourself and others; release negative emotions such as anger,resentment and guilt - all toxic emotions that eat away at your physical body and create dis-ease within. We are not perfect, we are not meant to be, sometimes we make mistakes. Everyone is doing their best, maybe not your best, but their best. Develop empathy for your fellow human being.

Spend time with like-minded positive people that inspire you to be the best that you can be. Release with love and gratitude those that do not. Not every person that crosses your path are meant to stay in your life forever, even family members. As you change, so will the people around you. The people in our lives are the mirrors, reflecting back to us what we need to see, what needs to be worked on. The ones provoking the most extreme reactions being the ones we really need to pay attention to. Don't play the victim, the power is yours. Within this physical life we are given the opportunity to experience every emotion, the good, the bad and the ugly. How would we recognize joy had you not experienced sadness?

Practice gratitude; for all the wonderful people in your life and all of the simple pleasures that we take for granted on a daily basis. A gratitude journal is a wonderful way to end your day and to reflect on the days blessings. Gratitude is the key to abundance, the more that you give thanks, the more the universe will deliver.

View your life as a beautiful tapestry; a vibrant work of art reflecting your inner and outer growth. Each delicate thread a lesson you have embraced to create the unique masterpiece that is your life.

My greatest wish for my fellow warrior goddesses is to have faith and trust.... laugh and love...unconditionally. You are unique and beautiful......believe!

Love, light and abundant blessings,
Samantha Yates
Editor Radiant Magazine.

My next guest is Anne Baring...

I travelled widely in India and the Far East during the 1950's before training and practising as a Jungian analyst. I am a member of the Scientific and Medical Network and, until my retirement from private practice in 2000, I was a member of the Association of Jungian Analysts, London and the International Association for Analytical Psychology. I have lectured for several years in both the United Kingdom and the United States and have recently given a seminar course called The Sleeping Beauty, the Prince and the Dragon - an Exploration of the Soul, which drew together my interest in psychology, mythology, ecology, fairy tales and alchemy (see Seminars). In 2013 I published a book called The Dream of the Cosmos : a Quest for the Soul and have just given a series of lectures on it for the Ubiquity University in Chartres, France. The following is an extract from the book.

Awakening to the Feminine

Anne Baring

Earth, isn’t this what you want: an invisible arising in us?…
What is your urgent command, if not transformation?
  — Rilke, Ninth Duino Elegy
The primary theme of The Myth of the Goddess – the book Jules Cashford and I wrote together some twenty years ago – was that Western civilisation had developed on the foundation of a fundamental dissociation between spirit and nature, creator and creation. This dissociation effectively destroyed the ancient shamanic understanding of the presence of spirit in the phenomenal world and opened the way to its ultimate exploitation.  The Feminine, once associated with the image of the Great Mother and the Great Goddesses of earlier cultures and with the deeply experienced sense that the world was part of a Sacred Cosmic Order, was relegated to the unconscious. Today, our current worldview rests on the premise of our separation from and mastery of nature, where the resources of the planet are unthinkingly plundered to serve the ever-growing demands of our species.

Once upon a time, the feeling for the sacredness of life and relationship with the Cosmos was a deep instinct, shared by the whole of humanity. Then, almost imperceptibly, it was lost. For centuries, a tremendous problem has been troubling the waters of the soul. It is this: in a civilisation which is patriarchal in organization and outlook, which has been structured for millennia by a male image of God presiding over religions and institutions created entirely by men, and by a polarising mythology which glorifies power, conquest and the mastery of nature, how can the long-silenced voice of the Feminine, the voice of the Soul be heard? How can we begin to recognise once again the sacredness of the Earth, the sacredness of the Cosmos and the role we might play in a great cosmic drama if we were once again able to bring ourselves into a harmonious relationship with them?

The voice of the long-silenced Feminine is needed to heal the Wasteland—the current state of the planet and the lives of the billions of men, women and above all, children that are blighted or destroyed by human cruelty, greed and ignorance. Centuries of conflict between nations, religions and ethnic groups have brought us to the present time when we must find a way of transcending this archaic pattern of behaviour or risk destroying ourselves as a species. Will we choose to imitate the patterns of the past, or can we embrace the truly immense transformation of consciousness we will need to make if we wish to forge a different future for coming generations?
The Desecration of the Anima Mundi or World Soul

The effects on the world of the loss of the Feminine, the loss of Soul, are incalculable. Instinctive knowledge of the holy unity of things, reverence for the interconnection of all aspects of life, trust in the power of the imagination and the faculty of the intuition — all this as a way of relating to life through participation rather than through dominance and control, has almost been lost. We can see the effects of this loss of soul everywhere today, not only in the devastation and pollution of vast swathes of the earth, but in the unhappy, impoverished and hopeless existence that people endure in the hideous and ever-expanding suburbs of our cities, in the increase of diseases like cancer, diabetes and mental illness — particularly depression. The old are neglected and even ill-treated in a culture more interested in achieving targets than caring for people. The young are offered nothing to aspire to beyond the material goals promoted by the media. Women are degraded by having their bodies exploited to sell every kind of commodity. The human heart cries out for the return of beauty, for a place of sanctuary, for community and relationship, where the inner life is seen to be as important as the outer and where a unifying sacred order to life on this planet is recognised and honoured.
         In the wider context of the planet, forests are not cherished as sacred places but are cut down to supply paper and packaging or to establish cattle farms or crops to provide biofuels for energy; mountains are hollowed out to extract the elements needed to construct nuclear reactors, computers and mobile phones; areas of land are shattered by explosions, eviscerated and scarred to extract shale oil or gas; military bases are constructed as launch pads for guided missiles on land that was once the sacred territory of people whose ancestors had lived there for centuries (Diego Garcia in the Chagos Islands). The Arctic is pillaged to extract vital supplies of oil and gas. Vast tracts of Africa are bought up to provide land for biofuel crops or food for states whose own land cannot supply it in sufficient quantity for their growing populations. Animals are viewed in terms of the amount of food we need to feed our ever-increasing numbers, not in terms of their well being: the indiscriminate daily slaughter of African elephants and rhinoceros and of whales and dolphins in the earth’s oceans continues.
        What does this pattern of exploitation amount to if not the crime of ecocide, with our species destroying the habitat on which all species depend? Ecocide leads not only to the destruction of the environment but to wars over diminishing resources and crimes against humanity as conflicts proliferate
        As this process has accelerated, nations have come to be viewed as markets to be exploited for financial gain and, if necessary, brought to their knees by financial traders, without a thought for the millions of helpless people whose livelihoods and lives may be destroyed. Politicians debate the radical cuts in expenditure needed to reduce the towering amounts of national debt, incurred through years of injudicious borrowing and promises made to the electorate in order to ensure their re-election. Decades pass as men argue the pros and cons of climate change and only a small proportion of the funds promised by governments to help protect the rain forests of the world reaches their destination. A Charter for the Earth, which offers an agenda for a different relationship with the planet exists, but governments and powerful corporations pay little heed to it. All this might be described as a desecration of the Anima-Mundi or Soul of the World.

Defining the Feminine

In its deepest sense, what does the word ‘Feminine’ mean? As I am defining it in my book, The Dream of the Cosmos, it does not refer to the female sexual attractiveness that is so promoted in today’s world, nor to the qualities of caring and gentleness usually, though not exclusively identified with women, nor to the feminist agenda of the empowerment of women in a man’s world.
        The word ‘Feminine’ stands for the Soul: the unseen cosmic web of life that connects each one of us to all others as well as to the life of the planet and the greater life of the cosmos. It stands for the recognition that we live within a Sacred Order and that we have a responsibility to protect the life of the planet and all the variety of species it embraces instead of exploiting them for the benefit of our species alone. In sum, the word ‘Feminine’ stands for a totally different perspective on life, a totally different worldview or paradigm of reality and for the feeling values which might  reflect and support that worldview. It stands for a new planetary consciousness and the arduous creation of a new kind of civilization.
        Without reconnecting to the Soul and the guidance and wisdom of the Feminine, without going in search of the values it represents and opening our own heart to its subtle guidance, we will not understand the purpose of our presence on this planet, nor will we be able to disempower the unconscious atavistic tendencies which draw us ever closer to the destruction of our habitat and therefore to self-annihilation.
        Like the fiery magma of the earth’s core, the long repressed feminine principle is rising to meet the masculine one in response to a deep soul impulse to balance and marry these archetypal energies within ourselves and within our world. The resurgence of the Feminine invites a new planetary consciousness where the deepest instincts of the heart in both men and women: compassion, informed intelligence and a longing to protect, heal and make whole are able to find expression in ways that can best be described as devotion to planetary and cosmic life.
        Awakening to the Feminine means becoming protective of the whole of creation; dying to all the divisive ways of looking at life and each other; being born into an utterly different vision of reality. As it becomes more conscious in us, we are already becoming aware of our dependence for our continued existence on the integrity and sustainability of the planetary biosphere. Our image of reality and our relationship with the planet and with each other are being transformed as we assimilate the implications of this ‘marriage’ of the two primary archetypal principles. The return of the Feminine has the impact of a planetary earthquake, dissolving long-established social patterns, political and financial systems and religious institutions, asking for a radical transformation of our understanding of life.
        The influence of the Feminine is responsible for the growth of the environmental movement; for the determination to free women in every culture from their long oppression and subservience and encourage their increased participation in society; for the interest in the so-called non-rational; for many new approaches to healing both psyche and body. It is reflected in the mounting revulsion for our weapons of mass destruction; in compassion for the helpless victims of our addiction to war; in the engagement of hundreds of thousands of people in the work of helping both the planet and the victims of oppression. These different channels of influence are creating new perspectives on life, new ways of connection that bring together body, soul, mind and spirit. All this is being accelerated by the connections between people facilitated by the Internet and by online organizations like Avaaz which now has over twenty five million subscribers.
        The recovery of the Feminine invites a reorientation of consciousness; a receptivity not only to the events occurring in the external world but a receptivity to the long-ignored voice of the Soul. The activation of the Feminine is helping us to relate to the deep cosmic source of our psychic life and draw up the living waters from those depths. This enormous shift challenges every aspect of our beliefs. It immeasurably deepens and broadens our perspective on our presence on this planet. It gives deeper meaning to our lives. It is changing everything.
        It may be that the new epoch we are entering will see the birth of a very different image of God or Spirit, a new understanding of the instinctive intelligence within the processes and patterns of nature, and how the unseen or inner dimension of reality influences and interacts with this material dimension. This new understanding may help us to recover an authentic spirituality which takes us beyond religious and secular beliefs into a new sense of relationship with a sacred earth and an ensouled cosmos. From my work on The Myth of the Goddess and its last chapter called “the Sacred Marriage” I know that this emerging phase in the story of our species could herald an evolutionary advance as spirit and nature are reunited and humanity enters into a conscious relationship and partnership with life, seeking to serve it with insight, compassion and wisdom.

The Awakening of a Sense of Relationship with the Earth

Perhaps the most significant herald of this awakening was the first view of the earth rising above the rim of the moon taken from the moon in 1968 by the unmanned Apollo 8. The astronauts’ journey to the moon in July 1969 (Apollo 11) gave us the breathtaking view of the earth seen from space. Five hundred million people watched the Apollo landing of the moon and listened to Neil Armstrong’s famous words. The technological feat of putting man on the moon was awe-inspiring in itself. But the very sight of the earth seen from this distance was the catalyst that changed our relationship with it. For the first time we became visually aware of the jewel-like beauty and fragility of our planet and knew it was our home in the vastness of the cosmos. It seemed so precious, so vulnerable. Love of our blue planet awoke in our hearts.
        In the space of a few hours, our planetary eyes expanded to cosmic eyes. In those few hours, as our relationship with the cosmos and our perception of ourselves was transformed, the sense of expansion was extraordinary. The fact that it was the moon that was being explored – age-old symbol of the Great Mother, the Feminine and the Soul – was in itself significant. But it was the sight of our planet from the moon that lifted us beyond national and ethnic allegiances and opened our awareness to cosmic consciousness, to a sense of belonging to the cosmos.
The Healing Power of the Feminine 

As long ago as Bronze Age Sumer and Egypt, records detailed the charitable impulses to care for the orphaned, the widowed and the sick. Today, apart from the thousands of charities and NGO’s which have come into being to assist the millions in need of help, there is increasing pressure on governments to act ethically and with the welfare of the planet in mind. Thanks to television, we have a far greater awareness of the suffering of people all over the world. We participate through witnessing and empathising with the suffering of people remote from ourselves. Wherever the call to compassion goes out, there is the voice of the heart, the voice of the Feminine.
        The focus of the Feminine is on the ethical values that have been obscured, marginalised or incompletely developed during the solar age. These values can never be recovered by force or even by strident demand. They can only emerge as human consciousness changes and facilitates their emergence. One example of the emergence of these values is the establishment of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, designed to try men and women who have been deemed to have committed crimes against humanity. Political leaders can no longer claim that the atrocities and acts of genocide they commit are justifiable in defence of national interests.       
        A response to the Feminine asks that war and the creation of weapons of destruction are relinquished just as racism and conquests in the name of God or any other ideology need to be relinquished. If we can abandon our addiction to weapons and war, directing the trillions saved on feeding, educating and caring for the children of the world, the result will be an infinitely better world and the possibility of our own survival as a species. We need to  challenge the arcane warrior ethos of governments which demands continual preparation for war, selling arms for profit and bringing devastating new weapons into being. 
        As a new cultural impulse, the Feminine is putting us in touch with the deep sources of our psychic life, drawing up from these depths the living waters which nourish and sustain the soul. It is encouraging people to overcome patterns of subservience established for millennia, helping them to throw off their bondage to oppressive autocratic leaders and establish democratic governments which serve their hopes for a better life. It is freeing women from centuries of oppression, enforced silence and virtual slavery.
The Voice of Women

The answer to the question “What do women really want” – asked by Freud early in the last century – is that women want themselves and their families to live in freedom from fear, from hunger and destitution, from oppression, violence, torture and rape. The world needs to hear the voice of hundreds of millions of women from every nation. Education and contraception have transformed the lives of millions of women yet countless millions of others, through destitution, prejudice or tribal custom, have no access to either. These live in abject poverty, victims of the brutality and neglect of men, used as sexual objects and (in Africa in particular) infected with AIDS by their husbands and partners. They struggle to keep themselves and their children alive from day to day, are forced into prostitution through poverty, paid miserable wages that barely sustain them and their children and are unable to express their distress or find witnesses who will speak up for them. Even in so-called advanced societies with a high standard of living, domestic violence blights the lives of millions of women. Wherever there is war, rape is used as a devastating weapon against them. Trafficking destroys the lives of millions of others. Where there is carnage and devastation, as in war torn Somalia and Syria, women and children bear the brunt of it. The plight of all these suffering women and their children is intolerable in a world where communications are increasingly easy, where the pitiable condition of women and their children can be seen on television, where wealth and medical expertise exist which could alleviate the suffering of so many.
        Matthew Arnold, the philosopher and poet, declared that if ever there would be a time when women would come together purely and simply for the benefit of mankind, it would be a power such as the world has never known. The Sufi sage, Hazrat Inayat Khan said that he could see as clear as daylight that the hour was coming when women would lead humanity to a higher evolution. In 2009, the Dalai Lama astounded his audience at a conference in Vancouver by saying that the world would be saved by Western woman.
        There is a saying by a great Hasidic saint, the Baal Shem Tov, which goes: “When the moon shall shine as bright as the sun, the Messiah will come.” Woman through her struggle to articulate the highest values of the feminine principle, will begin to make the moon shine so that it can balance the solar brightness of our present consciousness. In recognising her depression, her suffering, her longing to outgrow the subservience and powerlessness of her past and present experience, in recognising and supporting her deepest values, she may accomplish something truly heroic and extraordinary for life and the planet, something that humanity in centuries to come will celebrate. For this reason, nothing is of such importance as woman’s rescue of herself.

The Awakening of the Soul

The resurgence of the Feminine and the awakening of the Soul are focused on the feeling values that have been incompletely developed, marginalised or obscured during the patriarchal era, partly owing to the suppression of woman’s voice that has been one of the characteristics of that age. These values can never be developed by force or even by strident demand. They can only emerge as human consciousness changes and allows them to emerge. The recovery of the Feminine may be the key to the transformation of our world culture from regression into mass uniformity, banality and brutality into something longed for and extraordinary.
        This powerful evolutionary impulse, reconnecting us to our deepest instincts for relationship with each other and with the life of the planet, is working a profound alchemy beneath the surface of our culture. Women and men are participating in a process of transformation that is manifesting as a new planetary consciousness, a new cultural impulse whose emphasis is on the growing recognition of the interconnection and interdependence of all aspects of life. The arrogant celebration of “man’s conquest of nature” is being replaced by the realisation that if we are to survive we need to respect and cherish the planetary life which sustains us.


Woman’s age-old instinct to nurture life and man’s instinct to protect and defend it, are being extended to embrace and serve the life of the earth. A planet which has taken over three and a half billion years to evolve an organ of consciousness through which the cosmos can come to know itself on this planet may be under threat; our own survival is uncertain. Before too long, we may not be able to alter the course of events we have unwittingly set in motion. Yet, in response to the extreme peril of this situation we are beginning to recover the lost sense of relationship with a sacred earth and a sacred cosmos. We are drawing together in closer relationship with each other, working towards the goal of rescuing this planet and the lives of future generations from our unconscious and predatory habits of behaviour. The resurgence of the Feminine is reflected in these different initiatives:

        A growing sense of responsibility towards planetary life.
        An awareness that we participate in a living universe.
        A recognition of the inter-dependence and relatedness of aspects of life.
        A conscious effort to heal the soul/mind/body split
        A growth of insight into where we are still controlled by unconscious complexes
        The emergence of a different quality of relationship between men and women.
        A growing awareness of the suffering and needs of children
        An awareness that we need to treat all species with respect and compassion

There are four great questions that challenge us now:

1. How do we recover our lost sense of being part of something totally sacred?
2. How do we develop respect and compassion for the life of the earth in all its forms?
3. How do we find ways of meeting the deepest needs of the human heart for love, relatedness and connection?
4. How to we relinquish the beliefs and patterns of behaviour that have been so damaging to the soul as well as to the planet?

There are immense opportunities in this time of transformation but also immense dangers, for the very transforming power of the Feminine activates deep fear of change and evokes the response of reactionary forces which seek to re-assert or maintain control over people’s lives. We tread a path which is on the knife-edge between the conscious integration of a new vision on the one hand and social disintegration and regression into barbarism — perhaps the virtual annihilation of our species on the other. At the beginning of a new millennium, we are participating in the birth of a new evolutionary era, one with radically different aims and values from those which dominated the patriarchal era. Mythologically speaking, this new era invites the marriage of lunar and solar consciousness and the birth of the ‘child’ of a new kind of consciousness arising in the soul of humanity that would be the fruit of this union and the true ‘saviour’ of our species. It is a time when we are asked, in the words of T.S. Eliot in his great poem Ash-Wednesday, to “Redeem the time. Redeem the unread vision in the higher dream.” It is a tremendously exciting, challenging and creative time to be alive.

This is an extract from Chapter 10 in The Dream of the Cosmos; a Quest for the Soul

The Dream of the Cosmos: a Quest for the Soul
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Here is a link to Anne Baring's website :

1 comment:

  1. There can only be love. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and path. It is certainly a pleasure to cross paths.