Saturday, 30 November 2013

Time Out

So ... I've been quiet ...

As is often the way, it never rains but it pours. It's Autumn, a time for clearing and releasing ... add to that a Kali puja to really stoke the fires of big change, facing your stuff and inner alchemy. So yes it rained, it poured and it flooded ...

This last month I have found myself processing old emotions brought to the surface by my grandfather's funeral and the last dregs (at least I hope it's the last, but heh) of old family stuff, letting go of all that was attached to my old surname and embracing all that comes with my new chosen one, dealing with a minor condition that I have had with me since childhood and for the first time really owning it and accepting the affect it has on my life, and dealing with grief over the loss of long treasured friendships and working relationships, and the acceptance of letting go of some huge hopes and dreams. On top of that I hit a financial shit storm, then had landline, mobile phone, computer and internet problems. Then ... cosmic joke icing on the cake ... someone bumped my car.

Now none of that's a biggie in the great scheme of things and my life is pretty awesome, I gratefully know that, but somewhere in the middle of all this I stopped. I wasn't really getting the cosmic joke by that point. My spirits and energy levels plummeted. I had nothing to give. And for a few days didn't even know how to give to myself, let alone anyone else. I wasn't moping, but having few deep down realisations and became the lowest emotionally and mentally that I've been in oh so long. I know when to batten down the hatches and let the processing take place and in truth that's what I've been doing. I didn't answer texts or emails, cancelled appointments, hardly went out, slept, pondered and cried a lot.

One of my biggest realisations was that my practical foundations and infrastructure do not support me. I kind of finally understood that I had started this process of evolving me so many, many years ago when needs must and had built this wonderful life on the messy heap of a broken old one. That did fine for a while, that lovely bit of renovation and restoration, but is nowhere near the strong foundation needed for the extension I've been adding on these last few years. So faced with cracks and a little crumbling, I stripped away the wallpaper and faced my truth. Sort the foundations once and for all, woman.

Finally from this dark space rose solutions, understandings, acceptances and determination. I'm so lucky to have friends that supported me in my retreat from a distance, dropping kind words, love and virtual hugs my way. I'm grateful they understood my need to withdraw.

So I've been out with my internal sledgehammer breaking down walls, digging deep and pouring concrete, laying out the ground work and looking over the architect plans for my vision. I've been meditating and working a lot with my root chakra, muladhara, anchoring me firmly to all the physical. When I first came to this energy work fifteen years ago, it was for me my root chakra that was so in need of repair, all the others too, but root, what root. I was like some insecure, unconfidant little butterfly with severely damaged wings and limited survival skills. This energy centre is what gives us a healthy settled feeling in life, it helps us stay grounded and secure, less likely to blow off course. Those with work to do here will be unable to bring their dreams into reality, ideas floating around them all the time and in worse case scenario be unable to live practically, head in the clouds, difficulties around housing, finances and even looking after the physical body.

The muladhara yantra, a symbol to resonate with our root chakra at the base of the spine and perineum, notice the square, indicating a firm foundation on which to build and the four petals of the four directions and elements. Everything resonates with the physical plane.

So many say to me now that my spirituality seems so down to earth and I'm so grounded, and it's true I am, but as my branches grow higher and higher and my, now repaired, butterfly flies further and further afield, there is always more grounding and root growing to do ... and I think I just realised I missed a bit.

I think for any woman, or anyone, juggling a family, work, day to day stresses, and a rich internal spiritual life it can be difficult with out those ever growing roots drawing up practical wisdom and know how from Mother Earth. So if you too, a bit like me, suddenly find the vision too big and the overwhelm too great, the anxiety around finances choking you at the throat and the day to day organisational skills gone out the window and it all getting a bit cluttered in there, then go and attend to those roots. Go and put in bigger, stronger foundations and spend some time re-jigging the infrastructure of your life so that it supports you and your dreams. The renovation and regeneration of self is a lifetime project and you cannot build a castle out of a hut without doing the groundwork every once in a while.

The Dreadess xx

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Today's The Day To Go Swimming

It's been going on seven years nearly. Six and a half and a bit long years. Six and a half and a bit short years. Six and half and a bit years since I swam.

Today is the day I went swimming ...

I didn't listen to music afterwards for a long time, and then one day I was ready and it was right. I didn't go back to yoga for a long long time afterwards and then one day I just knew that I could. I didn't dance for a very, long long time afterwards and then I just did. Each time I never pushed myself, just went with the flow and when the joyful urge bubbled forth to partake I just did it. Swimming was the last thing ... the last afterwards undone thing. It was the first thing I planned to do with her after she was born, me, her big brother and her. And afterwards I never swam again. I wasn't even aware that it was a thing I didn't do any more until about three years into grieving. Even after I wrote a poem just before her second birthday I didn't twig I had a swimming block. But by three years in I knew it was a biggy. It was huge.

Maybe it was all that water, the element of our emotions. A whole great big ocean of my emotions. Maybe it was because the planned water birth never happened, because of the burst water main which happened as I went into labour and the water was shut off in the whole area and the pool stayed empty. Maybe it was too womb like. Swimming in the amniotic fluid of the Great Cosmic Mother. Maybe it was other, darker things ...

This is what I wrote back sometime in 2010 about that poem, a song actually. Sounds better sung than it reads as a poem ...

I wrote Swimming on the 31st January 2009 with February looming. These words are the lyrics to a song that came to me in a very deep bath when I just wanted to slip under with my Izzy feelings and away. I couldn't get the song out of my head for days. The loss is so overwhelming at times that it’s as though the lights go out and there is no way forward and no will to try. The desire to stop breathing is so strong and seems too easy when my chest is heavy and breathing is actually an effort. Sometimes I wake up conscious of my laboured breath and have to concentrate on it or it just seems to stop. Just as well I don’t feel like that every day and only get those blackest of moods so very rarely now. When they hit they hit hard, but somehow I know I will get through, I always do and I always will.


Today’s not a day to go swimming
I might just want to breathe it all in
And dissolve into my grieving
In the Universal Womb
I want to wade right in
Little darling

Today I should not go swimming
In case I forget how to begin
If I could touch your soul again
At the end and the beginning
I would let myself fall right in
Little darling

Today I won’t go swimming
I‘ll stay on land where it is dry
And let my heart fall from each eye
In drops that I see you living
Form a sea that I could swim in
Little darling

Oh I want to go swimming
With you little darling
I don’t want to do living
No more

Oh I miss you darling
With every fibre of my being
I can’t do this hurting
Any more

Oh I want to go swimming
With you little darling
I don’t want to do breathing
Today is the day I could sink deep down
Forgive me
Little darling

Two years ago I bought a swim suit, but I knew I wouldn't wear it that summer.

Last year I thought I might swim. I was almost ready, but not quite.

This year I knew I would swim, but didn't know when.

This summer passed. Every opportunity and invite to swim seemed the wrong one ... a hesitancy in my gut, and I listened to it.

But ... today, as summer moved into autumn and the last rays were deep golden in a sky so blue, I just announced that we were going to go to the beach. I found myself putting on my swimsuit, completely calmly as if it were the most everyday thing in the world, then donning my clothes. The decision made unconsciously, so sweetly it didn't jar or feel odd. I know me. I know me so well and if somewhere, on some level inside me, I have decided that this is okay, and suddenly announce this to the world and to my surprised self, then I trust that this is okay and will not hurt. Today is the day. Then this whole plan emerged from within me which is so well thought out, I amazed myself.

I grabbed the only two white roses in amongst the freesias from the vase, wrapped them in damp tissue and we headed to the nearest sand and sea. As I drove I was aware that I was headed to the beach nearest to where my daughter is buried.

To the beach and the sand and the sun ... and the sea. We found a quiet patch in amongst the other sunseekers. Then I discovered within myself an urgency and a joy ... I had to get in the water. No fear, no overwhelming sad emotion just a desire. And in I went.

I cannot even relay to you how blissful it felt. So wonderful, so warm, so cold, so playful, free and delightful. I didn't want to get out. I had my quiet moment of absorbing the relief to have somehow got to this place inside myself. To find myself at this point in the journey of Izzy and me. I shed a tear, but it was okay. I danced on the sand beneath my feet, spinning in the water up to my waist, my hands trailing the surface in rainbow sparkles of water and sunlight.

My son went back to the warm shore, the blanket and sand, and I swam for a while, soon realising that my swimming muscles were feeling the long absence of use. Then all of a sudden I became aware that all the other swimmers and boarders had gone from the sea. I was alone ...

But as I turned to face the horizon, there not too far from me was one solitary seagull bobbing up and down too on the waves. And me and the seagull had a moment. A real moment. Now about a year ago, Seagull came to me as a new power animal, for me to work with Freedom specifically. And in that moment I knew what Freedom was. To be free I have to live from desire. From the feeling. A pure desire emanating from the Self connected to Source. That creates a blissful life free from fear and self imposed limits.

So I had this epically long moment of one, eye contact and all, bobbing together, with the Seagull and felt truly free, present and happy. And then it flew off.

Afterwards we celebrated at the cliff top cafe with a cream tea and a shared sundae of humongous proportions. Then we visited Izzy's little garden. A proper woodland now, so many of the trees have really shot up this year, hers included. I hugged that little hawthorn tree and I sobbed so many tears. "I swam with out you"

We laid a white rose each then went and sat for a while near the lake, watching the fish and the ducks.

I'm so glad I trust myself to heal and to know.

I'm so glad I don't force or push myself, just doing what I need to do and when.

I'm so glad I listened to my heart every time it told me "today's not a day to go swimming"

And I'm so very glad I listened and took the plunge without hesitation when my heart whispered to me "today's the day to go swimming".

Heidi x

The beautiful painting is Seagull With Wave by Lee Piper

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Getting It Rite

“Each place is the right place - the place where I now am can be a sacred space.” - Ravi Ravindra

When we plan a sacred event, perhaps a personal ritual or mediation time we often set the scene. We may light candles, choose certain statues, particular objects to represent the energies we are working with and offer up incense. We may call in the quarters, ask angelic help to be with us or ask our spirit guides for their contribution to our space and our work. We may even clothe ourselves in certain attire , or not at all as the case may be. These things focus our attention on the act to come. They set the scene within, not just externally. There is a shift in consciousness during the process of creating sacred space before entering it.

I love setting up sacred spaces and have been fortunate to be able to set up, and call in and hold the energies in sacred spaces at a number of large events. Recently I spent a few weeks researching and creating artwork to go into a Tribal Dream tipi space. I wanted those who entered within to feel somehow connected to all our ancestors, to see how their wisdoms and priorities are relevant to communities to day. So I careful chose each object and the placement of everything in that space. The altar itself evolved on my front room floor over a period of days as objects kind of found their way to it. When the space was eventually set up in a field and decorated, I went in, lit my sage smudge and candles. I walked the floor in a circle and drummed in the ancestors. I sat and I communed. I held the energies that I had called in for assistance in for a period of days before reversing the whole process at the end. It is right that I do it this way for something like this.

But it's not always this way ...

On Tuesday evening I went out with friends to an old burial barrow near where I live. My young man-child came with us to howl at the moon with the men folk. We walked out under the full moon each with different intentions for the evening. We spent some time together, chatting, before wandering our separate ways in the darkness. Some to meditate, some to moon gaze, some to play the flute and other instruments. Me ... I wandered off, barefoot amongst the bracken, with basket in hand containing, not quite the kitchen sink, but almost. I had come to ritually dedicate some new bowls and to do some scrying.

You see I had wanted some new Womb Blessings bowls for a while and with the Worldwide Womb Blessing the following day and UK Moon Mother Training coming up it was the perfect time to dedicate them for their purpose and then at the training have them blessed as part of another initiation. So last week I searched high and low over the internet looking for special bowls. In my head I had glass chalices, and if I could, a white one and a red one. Could I find what I was looking for? Could I heck!

Just before I was about to give up the words "sundae dishes" popped into my consciousness and there they were in front of me online ... in the house hold section of a large department store. I phoned up my local one, not ten minutes drive, and they were mine for a whopping £3 each, not like the expensive chalices I'd been envisioning, but actually perfect.

So there I sat, under the brightest of round bellied moons, unwrapping the bubble wrap and jiffy bags in a rather unceremonious way to reveal these two jewels to the night. I fumbled in the darkness for the incense and the lighter and resorted to using my mobile as a torch until I was sorted. In the end all was set and all was still. The air became dense and the dimensions shifted. I sat in sacred space under the tree looking at the moon ... and there I said my words and dedicated my holy pudding bowls!

So to the next day when I was up at 5:30 am for the 6 am blessing ... my little altar was beautiful, even if I do say so myself. The blessing energies came in strong and I was filled to the brim with peace and love, disappearing into the great stillness of the Divine Feminine.

In the afternoon me and my boy we went a-hunting. Chalybeate spring hunting. I had found on the map marked a holy well, Iron's Well, in a place we'd often wandered. After a bit of internet research I knew we had walked right by it several times without me realising what it was. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a bit passionate about honouring our sacred waters, the milk of Mother Earth flowing to quench our thirst and give nourishment to all her children. I hate the way most of our holy wells and sacred springs have been forgotten or deliberately blocked up or bought by companies with no soul. So off we went to offer our gratitude to this little iron filled water source at Eyeworth Pond. Th pond itself has not been there for so long really, but is a beautiful serene place with wonderful ducks and water lilies. I remember going there one winter as a child and watching the ducks skate frantically and comically on the ice as we fed them. The spring, that now feeds the pond, however is what gives it's name to Eyeworth and has been there much longer than the pond. The healing waters offered cures and restoration to those suffering with eye problems, mangy dogs and lepers from a nearby Lazar house.

Upon finding the spring, I was kind of glad that at least it was marked by the wooden square of railings, not ignored altogether. We offered our thanks, lit candles and incense. We braved the well hoofed squelchy mud and washed our faces in the waters. We even sampled the smidgen of a taste taken from source. Then I sat with the waters for while whilst my boy wandered off to the woods. The ponies came and drank, then a dragonfly visited and then, just before going woods ward too, I noticed a tiny red ribbon with gold stars tied to a holly hanging over the waters. That filled me with the utmost joy as I realised I wasn't the only one who has been to honour this spring in recent months and recognised this as a sacred space.

We wandered the woods for an age, meandering from ancient oak to magnificent beech. We scrutinised last years fungi and discarded feathers. We found a staff each and wandered through doorways to new worlds. Then we came upon a fabulous den built into a fallen yew. Time just passed and when I first looked at it it was 5:50 and I realised there was no way I was getting back home in time for the 6pm blessing.

So with minutes to spare I headed for a patch of sunshine, the evening rays shining through the trees. I borrowed my son's blanket rug from his rucksack, he also goes everywhere, prepared for impromptu picnics and forest lounging, and rummaged in my, ever present on rambles, medicine bag for the candle, incense and goddess stone. I created a little altar with the Light of the Blessing and only had my water bottle for the Living Waters of the Womb Grail. I opened sacred space with a little seed shaker that also lives in my magick bag and lifted my voice in song. At home I would have had my other accoutrements for channelling the energies as Moon Mother to the women of the world, but out in the forest I only had my hands. I sat in blessing between three yews, joining Miranda and many other Moon Mothers. It was powerful and beautiful. My special sundae dishes a distant dream. With the stillness and beauty of Mother Nature containing me, I was blissfully aware yet untroubled by my son banging loads of wood around as he continued to modify the woodland den and I hardly noticed the mossies attacking my bare feet, although I'm noticing the twenty odd bites now!

So there you have it four sacred spaces in twenty four hours. All completely different. One a bit fumbly and clanky in the in the moon light. Apparently a couple of the others out in the darkness somewhere near me could hear as I nearly dropped my silver metal moon dish and tried quietly, unsuccessfully, not to clink the glass bowls. One carefully planned, all laid out with precision and colour co ordination. One a bit ad hoc and muddy. And one that was rather impromptu, hastily cobbled together, complete with plastic bottle, because of a time deadline.

I've always known that all the fancy frippery in the world does not a sacred space make. Wonderful as it is to have special objects and the most gorgeous goddess statues and the like, I know that's not it. It is the intention that makes it. Most indigenous shaman will put stones, bones and feathers on the altar of bare earth. Sometimes an old, not so clean, definitely not ironed, cloth down first. One of the most powerful and memorable ceremonies for me was the final day of a years worth of Inkan shamanic and mesa training, and after receiving the last of the Munay Ki rites I sat with my dear teacher on a large rock in a stream in a very sacred place and pulled, with my eyes closed, my pi stone out of a bag.

The pi stone is the stone that an Inkan paco, or shaman-priest, uses to give the rites to another. A most sacred moment indeed. The blessed bag I had to dip my hand into ... a supermarket carrier bag! It was what my teacher had grabbed to put the pi stones into before filling the car with everything else and driving all her students to West Kennet Long Barrow. It was perfect. You make do, always with what you have to hand. And as I pulled my pi stone from that crinkly, white, blue and red wonder, I could only hug my teacher, my spiritual mother, for a long, long time. My stone, very different from the others in the bag, is of spider agate, rich in earthy tones that encapsulated strangely the place in which we sat. On the smooth surface there is the colour of the pale rock, the red of the clay earth, the green of the nettles and even a tiny white fish that seems to indicate the river. I will never forget that moment, with all the weight of the universe behind it, and I smile to think of the humble lesson of the Tesco bag.

So ... getting it rite then. It's always always about the intention you hold not the material objects you have. The sacred space is where you are. You carry it inside you. The sacred space is you. You need drums, you have your hands. You need music, you have your voice. You need silence, then be it. Everything else is, just as it is. Whether planned or on the spur of the moment, wonderful. What ever you intend an object to represent, so be it. What ever you have around you is always perfect.

Heidi x

Friday, 5 July 2013

This Wombman's Tears

Yesterday I went to Avalon and for the first time ever I was resistant, having little arguments in my head with the Goddess and muttering under my whispered breath at the "joyful" task ahead of me. I had even managed to manifest in my anxiety a car problem that meant it was down to the last minute or not if I would make it. I really, really wanted to be there and at the same time I really wanted not to ...

As you know this women's work is my heart and my soul, my path and I walk it with dedication and passion, but little do you know that I've carried a little secret, a big fear and it has gripped me for the last few years and this particular day in the heartland of the Goddess was gonna make me face that fear and step through to the other side, or at least poke my toes through anyways.

...So let me tell you all about it ...

Before giving birth to my precious daughter, I was passionate about birth. To me bringing souls through to this world was a sacred act, not only in conception and in gestation, but in the birthing. When I found I was pregnant with my gorgeous son I was still a little muddley in those days, and my life still chaotic, but in my bones I knew that I had been given a chance to step up. So I did. I stepped in to Earth Mother. I nurtured my self, ate better than I had eaten in years (which in truth wasn't hard since two years previously I had been severely underweight and coming out of some eating, or lack of eating, issues). By the time I conceived I had managed to get up to a size 8 then throughout pregnancy I piled it on till I was a size 18! I researched birth with passion. I was doing natural all the way. I would have given birth under a tree if I could of. I planned a home water birth for my son, and persuaded my midwife that even though it was my first it was my right, my choice and that was that. I bought a homoeopathic birthing kit and mixed aromatherapy oils till there was enough for every eventuality. I massaged rose oil into my vagina and perineum and covered my bump with rich wheatgerm and vitamin E blends. I was sorted.

Then my feisty boy decided to make his appearance early. My waters broke and the birthing pool was weeks away. I just kind of ended up at the hospital for a check up and there I stayed for the duration. I did have the presence of mind to cart my natural pharmacy with me. So with my now altered birth plan in my head reforming I ordered low lighting, half the equipment to be moved out, and blankets and partner and parents moved in. No wires and the bare minimum of monitoring for me. Random midwives kept popping in as word spread to admire the calm atmosphere and to tell me the room smelled lovely. 17 hours later, after a litre of red grape juice, some massage, some moaaaaning and bit of tearing my boy arrived. He nestled to my breast within minutes. The midwife put the naturally delivered placenta on tray and I calmly fed him as we did the the placenta check together. The placenta was then bagged up, as asked and sent home with my mother who, bless her, kept it in her freezer until I flew it out to Spain (don't ask) to plant it under a tree on our land for Cayo's first birthday.

So you kind of get the picture ...

... I did come back from Spain less than a year later, single and homeless, worked two jobs and put myself through holistic training. I qualified in reflexology, massage and aromatherapy with view to helping women with emotional difficulties and addictions, and also possibly working with antenatal and labour support. My path then called me in to further healing training and work and those ideas went on hold.

A few years later I was building up my practice and once again my attention turned to antenatal support and doula work. Then out of the blue I became pregnant with Izzy. I did meditations with her in the womb and I connected with her gentle soul. It was so sad that both of us were so traumatised by the passionate, but highly destructive relationship I was in, which ended when I was seven months pregnant. I counteracted everything I could with yoga, pranayama, meditation and mantra.

Those last two months of pregnancy were bliss. Just me and my two children and two cats ... a little gem of motherhood, family and calm, although Izzy's father was causing on going problems. Again I prepared for a home water birth. My birth plan was so awesome it was later used by midwives to show others how it could be set out. I bought another homoeopathic birthing kit, mixed my oils, chanted and sang, did fluid yoga and gentle dance, hugged my belly and was so excited ... my daughter, my daughter, my gift from the goddess was on her way. In those last weeks I connected with her deeply, I had visions of her, which in hindsight gave an inkling of what was to come, and I told her to remember all that she had come here to do. To not waiver from her path.

The birthing pool was set up and we were set for and Imbolc birth and the maiden's arrival. I was so blissfully gungho that I trekked off to Cayo's dance show fit to pop and then when she didn't arrive on time I went to his gymnastic's gala one day overdue on the Friday evening. On the way out of the door I lost a smidgen of blood. I didn't tell a soul, figuring labour was finally here and I would be able to fit the gala in before getting back home to birth my girl.

During the gala she jumped and danced, perhaps twisted and tangled, with the music as I watched my son in his routine. The next day she didn't move at all. I called the midwife on the Sunday morning and we decided she was settled for labour as her heartbeat was strong. I went into labour an hour or so later, around lunchtime, also around the same time as a mains water pipe burst on the estate and all the water was cut off. The birthing pool was a no go. Neighbours offered water for cups of tea and the like and that was that.

Two midwives arrived and a student midwife in her first week of training. They sat in the front room and chatted to my mum and my son while I got down to it alone in the bedroom. I did yoga and I chanted. I sung her in in my head. We went on the deepest journey together. My feet planted between the worlds. Every now and then some one would pop in to check and all was fine. Towards the end it was a little crowded in my room, but I was in another dimension by then and did'nt notice. It was discovered she was cord wrapped, but still no cause for instant panic, many babies are born this way and are successfully unlooped by midwives and her heartbeat, although dipping with contractions, was still so strong. At 20:12 she arrived. Not blue, but a deathly grey and lifeless. A mama hug and kiss within seconds didn't bring her to gasp for air or to pink up. The cord which had been wrapped twice, was found to be very compressed and thin at one point and she was whisked away for resuscitation into the next room. By 20:14 the ambulances was called and I never saw my daughter again until midnight. She was pink and perfect, but wired up to the hilt. I was told immediately that babies like Isadora don't always survive.

Five and half days we had. Five and half precious days. Even in the hospital I was aware of moving through the days like the elements, the first being Earth. On day five I let her go back to Spirit. That was the only right choice that as a mother I could make for her. I personally removed her life support and pulled the tube from her tiny mouth. I held her in my arms as we cuddled to sleep in bed with my brave boy and a load of teddies. My dear mum, dad and brother stayed for the long haul. Eleven hours I held her as she gasped and rasped intermittently in the deepest of comas. I watched my boy sleep. I watched my two beautiful children. I asked her to let go and told her that I would hold her always. I asked the angels to comfort her through transition and I summoned the great Azrael to carry her over. I tried so hard to stay awake, but after nearly a week of not sleeping and little food it was not easy. In the hours before dawn, when the veils are thin and it is easiest to depart, Izzy's breathing became silent, sweet and rhythmical. A breath she had not managed in her short life. Like a normal sleeping baby she slept peacefully and perfectly and I drifted off to sleep with her. When I awoke around seven she was gone.

To tell here of my journey with grief as my companion would be too much. I'm not sure how I found the scattered jigsaw pieces of my life, but with the help of family, friends and Sands I did.

As I gained my strength and I learned from other loss mums, some now treasured friends, how to be a mum to my dead daughter. I poured out my grief and bore witness to other stories, other lives and losses, others survivals and burials. I went on to help many others through Southampton Sands as it had helped me. I facilitated meetings of support and even became the Chair for a while. At the moment I work in hospital liaison and help with the memory boxes and such like.

But I avoided happy birth stories and new pregnancies like the plague. I was an expert on death, grief and sadness. My left foot planted firmly in the world of the departing. And that journey was right for me at that time. The learning was immense and the Initiation from the Dark Mother powerful indeed. But in the end as much as I wanted to want to turn back to the lifeing and the birthing I felt as though that door was painfully closed to me. I was robbed of the joy I had once had.

For the past five and half years I have also desperately wanted another child. I have had dreams and I have had nightmares. I still felt that the big family I always wanted would not be denied me. I believed and I hoped. I looked into sperm donation. I even asked a friend and I even found a donor through a wonderful, carefully researched, online site. But it was not right in the end. I knew it wasn't the right choice for me. I looked in to adoption, twice. Then 2012 I knew was my last year of hope for biologically becoming a mother again. For me to keep hoping was like torture. I was now grieving for the child I would not have. It was like living with the pain of two losses all the time. I cried in silent and wept alone and often. And in the last Moon Lodge of that year, just as I was finally looking into adoption for the second time, I led the women into a deep meditation to find what they had to let go of for the final stage of 2012. As I held them sacred space, deep in the waters of the subconscious, I was told loudly and clearly to let my own dreams of another child go. My knees buckled and I'm not sure how I held it together for the rest of the evening, but I did.

As I write this I weep. It is too hard not to. And the pain in my chest and on my chest is like that heavy elephant of grief that a dear friend so often talked about. Fuck, fuck, fuck this is so shit. It just is and that's that. I have lived with so much unwanted anger and jealously and envy, and believe me when you lose so much you would have to be a saint not to kind of manifest those emotions somewhere in your body. Every time someone talks about pregnancy or happy births I've cringed, not out of wishing ill will or not joyful of others happiness, but because it is like a knife in my own wound. It is like the na na na-na na taunt that reminds me of what I cannot have. And believe me I've guilt tripped over having this secret horrid and vile feeling too. It sucks. And I worked on it. But some days it's been as though if I see another pic of a crocheted bootie or cute hat or another pregnancy meme on Facebook I'm going to explode.

I also hurt so deeply because I have been blocking part of my work. I love what I do. I love my becoming and I love where it is taking me. I teach women how to connect with their wombs and their cycles. I show them how to use that place of their power, but I have lived in fear of the day a pregnant woman shows up a to my door wanting womb blessing or the like. Crazy I know. Nuts to think I was womb working on deeper levels, but was gonna be the only womb worker who wouldn't work with one of the primary functions of the womb. I know I've been energetically blocking it. I have women come to me who have experienced miscarriage or baby loss, those who've had hysterectomies and early menopauses. I'm sadly in my comfort zone with all that and I feel able to help those women. Exciting new areas had opened up for me around sacred sexuality, blood mysteries and shamanic work, but I was still internally blanking that one thing. Avoiding and blanking pregnancy and childbirth. The thought of a round full belly doing what a womb does so beautifully had me running for the hills. I was going to be out of my depth in that scenario and it was only a matter of time. I also began to realise that what if I offered a beautiful womb blessing to a mum to be and that pregnancy by some misfortune also resulted in a dead baby I would feel cursed and not cope. The unravelling was only a thought away. I was also out of my depth with pregnant friends and babies. I find myself socially inadequate. I never was a really coo-ey baby person anyway, I was always more into toddlers and the endless questions. But now I can't even find the words and I can't do the small talk. I begin to wake up in the middle of the night when it nears someone's due date. The anxiety builds and builds as I search texts and Facebook for news that all is okay each and every time.

So as is my want to this deep soul work, I went to the source. I womb worked. I wanted to shift this. I wanted so badly to get to the same place of peace and acceptance with this new accelerating grief that I had found around Izzy's death. I knew to go deeper in was the only way to swim through. So in I went and began a series of ceremonies that began on the last dark moon. Each time, deeper I swam, diving down to find the nugget of wisdom. I could feel the energetic currents of life drawing my pain to me and then people started sending me things, blissfully unaware that in "my womb work" I didn't do "that". In this last month I've had poems, pictures of pregnant women, powerful pictures of naked women holding babies with umbilical cords still attached and a dear sister sent me this absolutely amazing video of the Birthing Tree. It's all been wonderful, but so bloody painful. Like a festering wound coming to a head as the Goddess called forth the beginning of my healing around this.

Also some many weeks ago I got an invite to rather special day. A chance to meet and learn and be in sacred space held by the wonderful and inspiring Jane Hardwicke Collings, all the way from Australia. A day of ceremony at Chalice Well, of all places, to heal the sacred feminine around the issues of sexuality, fear and women’s rights in pregnancy and birth. A chance to work with others as Priestesses, doing ritual, craft and magick guided by the Goddesses Freya and Brighid. Of course I leapt at the chance and yet stepped back in horror simultaneously.

Immediately my heart and my intuition went "Yes, I'm going", but elsewhere it was not so easy. I ummed and ahed and the little voice in my head went "Heidi, you can't, you're not going, it would be too much. You don't have to do this". Then the other voice in my head went "Heidi, this is what you need and it's what the women of the world needs so you go." Aaaagghh!!

Alongside all this was the womb ceremonies. Only last week I was given a dream vision. I gave birth in once again to my daughter, this time in ecstatic pleasure and bliss. She was born as before, alive but lifeless and breathless. A grey vision of birth and death. Her mortal body and her still attached umbilical changing and fading slowly into a wisp of winged white attached by a hair like thread and then she was gone. I then felt kisses upon my face and a whispered thank you. A soft gratitude for allowing her to do the journey she was meant to do, for having the courage to agreeing to this path for both of us.

As the weeks have gone by I have fought internally and struggled with my stuff. Then my car problem clarified that I needed to go. As soon as I realised I may not be able to get there I panicked, knowing I so needed to be there. The pain in my chest physically grew worse as the grief welled into a crescendo. My car was sorted on the Monday night as I my moonblood appeared a few days soon than expected and I had to leave on early on the Wednesday. I felt totally unprepared and I wept as I gathered my things together on the Tuesday. So many friggin anguish riddled tears mixed with a real excitement and joy. I was going back to Avalon, to my heart, to my healing and to trust. My darling son just said to me "You have to go, mum, you have to go". He ran me a bubble bath, lit candles, played soft music, made me a pot of women's tea and basically told me to get my shit together. What a man-boy.

I packed some special things for our altar. I wrapped my candle jar holding Brighid's Flame and the solar St Brighid's Cross I made out of straw for Brighid back in February. I packed the gift from Mother Nature, known in our house as the "Woody Vagina" and a painted stone with a golden spiral goddess for Freya. I packed lots of bottles to collect the sacred waters and I also took an offering off my own to give to the Land and the Goddess once there. I received a text from one of my dearest SiStars who was doing womb yoga training at that time and was struggling like me with the learning for different, yet similar reasons. Mutual and virtual hugs and support all round.

Early the next morning I drove off ...

After a happy journey, and some deep breaths I entered the Meeting House at Chalice Well. How blissful to be greeted by some new smiling faces and a warm hug from fellow Moon Mother Clare. How wonderful to meet Jane. As we gathered and sat in circle I internally gulped as I realised we included two pregnant women and breastfeeding mother complete with beautiful babe. I internally cheered as I realised we included many midwives and doulas and womb workers. I internally applauded the lengths some had gone to to be there especially those from Spain and Italy. What a truly magnificent group of women. How happy was I that I had been brave enough not to deny myself this day. As I looked at Jane and fell into those eyes I knew that the the Goddess had gathered us truly.

The Mother candle was lit. We opened circle and spoke our truths whilst holding the "Talking Bowl" and lit our daughter candles. We included our mothers, our grandmothers and our ancestors. We created our altar. We journeyed to the upper world to meet the Goddesses Freya and Brighid. We each came back with knowledge about how to serve humanity around the area of childbirth and a tool to use. I was relieved when the path for me was not to step back into the doula and birth support arena again, but to carry on with what I'm doing. Freya told me in no uncertain terms to learn yet more and teach more around sacred sexuality and Brighid told me to continue to use the spearhead and to continue uphold women's rights in all things with it. I got given a new tool though, something which only today have I realised is connected to my original journey with the spearhead and the uncoiling black snake. How exciting.

We then brainstormed about the medical practices during pregnancy and labour that damage women's sexuality. The whiteboard was not big enough to contain it all as the stories from within the profession and without poured forth. I still can't believe I never realised before that some midwives call an episiotomy a cliterotomy or clitorectomy because of the tissues cut through and that it is routinely done in 1 in 4 labours (if I remember that statistic rightly). As the day progressed my passion returned and I felt more than a little fierce for my birthing sisters. We then used the Amber Tears of Freya to represent the wounds and threaded them along with healing amethyst, because the wound reveals the cure, and with pearls of wisdom which comes with each tear.

We then brainstormed the issues around fear in childbirth and how our innate power is stripped from us through patriarchy and media. Again the whiteboard was filled to overflowing with ideas and indignations. Then we burnt each of those those fears in sacred ceremony, vanishing them in Brighid's Flame, the cleansing flame which I brought with me. We worked some deep magick, the ripple effects of which will take place in the coming months and years in the field of midwifery and childbirth. As we completed I saw before me the same vortex deep in to Mother Earth that I saw back in February with Brighid. She set me upon yesterday's journey even back then. Afterwards I made Jane a Keeper of Brighid's Flame too, to take back to Australia to use in her work with the School of Shamanic Midwifery.

We then made our prayer ribbons and tied them to sticks gathered from the Tor. We close our circled. Each of us changed and inspired. Me with my heart full of gratitude to each of those women. My heart full of love for Jane for holding that space and leading this work. Me thankful to myself for daring to dip my toe back in the water and glad I have the Goddess to kick me lovingly up the backside when I need it.

Many of us then wandered up the Tor to anchor our magickal workings in the earth. On the top of the Tor facing the sunrise several years ago I buried a fine filament of my daughter's hair wrapped in some of mine. In my mind's eye we see each dawn in together that way facing East in the heart of the Goddess. And again I found myself in a strange full spiral burying a connection upon the Tor. We dug our fingers in to the soil and planted the tiny tears, the cures and the wisdoms in a circle around the phallus of the church tower, the physical representation of the patriarchal stamp on the old ways of the Goddess. Our work was done and begun. My healing around this extra grieving has also definitely begun. Lots more to go I know, but it is a real start.

I look back today on yesterday and realised that as Jane said, the balsamic moon that we met under was a fruition of what was planted within ourselves at that last new moon. It was that on that day that I began some deep womb work with The Fountain of Life and the fruit has been juicy indeed. I feel honoured and blessed to have been a part of this beautiful circle of women and to have worked some healing for all our relations.

The future of midwifery has some awesome women fighting for the sacred to be put back into it for all women and all humanity. There are so many inspiring and incredible women now taking up the mantle, perhaps the verdant cloak of Brighid herself and healing the damage that has been done around childbirth. The divine feminine is rising in all things and the web is being woven thicker and stronger by we the weavers. I will continue to carry my daughter into every Moon Lodge and every Red Tent. I will continue to walk the way of empowerment, the blood mysteries, the cycles and the sacred sexuality alongside those shamanic midwives and soulful doulas knowing that we women have so much to heal in our wombs, so many gifts to discover there, that my path is just another red thread in the most magnificent of cloths. And I will shed no doubt a few more of this wombman's tears, as so many of us do with sad causes, pains and damage of our own, but I know that those tears water the soil and in the wound is the cure and the wisdom.

Heidi x

Dedicated with love and gratitude to Jane Hardwicke Collings and the Priestesses of the Amber Tears and Cleansing Flame

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Wonderful Women's Day 25th May 2013

After so much planning and nerves a wobbling it happened ... and here it was ...

After an early rise on a gloriously sunny Saturday I drove off in my car, laden to the hilt, to pick up two more gorgeous goddesses and trek across the forest. At the hall we met with another beauty and set to work. We created with cushions and rugs, bunting and hangings, tablecloths and joss sticks, flowers and posters. We put up the screen and set out the stalls. We laid out the altar and we dedicated the space. Then we opened the doors ... to the Wonderful Women's Day.

Then the Wonderful Women arrived with smiles and hugs. After dipping into a rather impressive array of herbal teas, we opened circle and began our wonderful day. Debbie guided us through gentle yoga, stretching and breathing to connect with our womb centres and powerful mudras to feel the energy of each chakra. After half an hour we were ready to receive the energies of the Worldwide Womb Blessing. 2012 was the year of initiation, our Maiden year, the start of the awakening of the Divine Feminine in the hearts and minds of women. This year we moved overall in to the Mother energies. As we move through the year the dynamic energies of the Maiden archetype were strongest in the springtime and now at this blessing we moved into this year's Mother phase with the Moon softening into it's nurturing and growing time, helping us to blossom. So for us all during this particular blessing, the extra strength of the mothering energy combined with a super moon and an eclipse were truly felt. We beamed afterwards.

The alter was adorned with pink flowers and green crystals, to keep in with the decor theme, representing the energies of the heart chakra. Following the Womb Blessing I moved it to a smaller shrine.

After the blessing we grounded ourselves with mudras and song. Then we nourished our bodies with an amazing, shared, vegetarian feast. We made the most of the sunshine and chilled in the garden. During the afternoon even more women joined our happy gathering.

After lunch, Elaine encouraged us to let our creative energies flow, as one, as we made a mixed media representation of the womb. This idea for this was inspired by The Uterus Flag Project. It evolved, in the midst of much laughter and giggles, from a plain canvas with a basic outline, to a powerful and bright cosmic womb.

After the excitement of the art session we relaxed with a story in the cosy stage space. In the low lighting , on chairs rugs and cushions we were treated to a tale of initiation, a story from long ago of a girl's first bleeding, with Lynn-Amanda. Some were deeply moved by this tale and I think some of us realised how much we are missing from our culture today. After this we were treated to a green smoothie demo and taster by Jude. She had thoughtfully brought along some super herbs such as shatavari, maca and ashoka, all chosen specifically to support a woman's endocrine and immune system. Along with the green smoothie we were treated to raw chocolate brownies, with cashew cream, and raw chocolate orange cheesecake. Look how pretty the cheesecake was, real goddess food. As you can see from the pictures we all got a bit giddy on these wonderful high vibrational foods.

Then out into the garden and afternoon sun to listen to Jo teach us about herbs useful to balancing and coping with some of the extremes of the menstrual cycle. Then ZeeZe treated us to a mini belly dancing workshop and a performance. She whirled around so fast during her sensual veil dance that I couldn't get her in focus.

After the shimmying and the shaking we got cosy with more nibbles for our movie, The Things We Don't Talk About. This film, about the Red Tent Movement, touched us all deeply and I don't think there was one of us that didn't shed a tear or three. We women so need to get together and share our stories, support each other and inspire each other. The reaction to this film made me even more determined to carry on creating events for women to just be with each other.

The finale to the evening was the raffle draw. We raised a wonderful £174.92 for the Rainbow Goddess Temple, a new project in the New Forest to establish a permanent sacred space for women. I will write a separate blog about this in the coming days. The raffle prize table was packed with goddess goodies, books, candle, treatment vouchers, goddess dolls, perfumed oil and luxury creams, all kindly donated to help raise the much need funds.

A wonderful day indeed. Tired and happy, as friends old and brand new, we joined hands and closed our circle. We acknowledged our gifts and our strengths, we soaked up the love and honouring, then we Wonderful Women went home our separate ways under the rising Full Moon.

Heidi x

An almighty, love filled thank you to the Moon Mother of us all Miranda Gray for her hard work, dedication and service in the Worldwide Womb Blessing, to Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, PhD for the deeply moving and inspiring Red Tent Movie, to dear Debbie at Pranamay, amazing Elaine, the Wytch in the Woods at Elaine Allsopp Art, Samantha Yoga Fairy at Sew Much 2 C, Cat at Chaoticat, Red Earth Jo, Lynn-Amanda at Soul Fire Therapies, Jude at Judelicious, Sharon Collis, Sarah Phoenix, Irina at Yummy Makes, Marion at the Feel Good Factory, ZeeZe Chenai at Zee'z Events, Nicola Spiral, Fran and Jenny at Weird and wonderful world of Jen, Carla and Katrina for your help on the day and the raffle donations. Also a big thank you to Richard, Mike, Simon and Cayo for your support and technical help.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Strong Woman

I found this poem today. I so needed to find this poem today. This wonderful poem by Marge Piercy. This poem sung to my soul and galvanised my thighs. The last few weeks have been full of set backs and knock backs, wobbles and horribles. I find myself daunted often with the task I have set my self and the path that chose me. I am one of those that "goes on shoveling with tears in her nose" ... but at least I'm still shovelling, even though it does feel like I'm "determined to do something others are determined not be done". That's how things change and not stay the same ... with the scars and the shovelling, along with my SiStars with their scars and their shovelling. I've been chatting to a few of those SiStars this past week, those whose path is similar to mine and they are also finding it very tough out there. We talk, we share, we are in this together. There is unity. A growing oneness. A sisterhood. Strong and vibrant, propping each other up through our worries, easing the fears and pouring the balm of love on the isolation. We are no longer "strongly afraid" ... we are just strong. We may have salty tears on our beautiful muddy faces, but we are damn strong. I'm so proud of us ... so proud of all strong women everywhere. So glad you are all there making me strong.

For Strong Women

A strong woman is a woman who is straining
A strong woman is a woman standing
on tiptoe and lifting a barbell
while trying to sing "Boris Godunov."
A strong woman is a woman at work
cleaning out the cesspool of the ages,
and while she shovels, she talks about
how she doesn't mind crying, it opens
the ducts of the eyes, and throwing up
develops the stomach muscles, and
she goes on shoveling with tears in her nose.
A strong woman is a woman in whose head
a voice is repeating, I told you so,
ugly, bad girl, bitch, nag, shrill, witch,
ballbuster, nobody will ever love you back,
why aren't you feminine, why aren't
you soft, why aren't you quiet, why aren't you dead?
A strong woman is a woman determined
to do something others are determined
not be done. She is pushing up on the bottom
of a lead coffin lid. She is trying to raise
a manhole cover with her head, she is trying
to butt her way through a steel wall.
Her head hurts. People waiting for the hole
to be made say, hurry, you're so strong.
A strong woman is a woman bleeding
inside. A strong woman is a woman making
herself strong every morning while her teeth
loosen and her back throbs. Every baby,
a tooth, midwives used to say, and now
every battle a scar. A strong woman
is a mass of scar tissue that aches
when it rains and wounds that bleed
when you bump them and memories that get up
in the night and pace in boots to and fro.
A strong woman is a woman who craves love
like oxygen or she turns blue choking.
A strong woman is a woman who loves
strongly and weeps strongly and is strongly
terrified and has strong needs. A strong woman is strong
in words, in action, in connection, in feeling;
she is not strong as a stone but as a wolf
suckling her young. Strength is not in her, but she
enacts it as the wind fills a sail.
What comforts her is others loving
her equally for the strength and for the weakness
from which it issues, lightning from a cloud.
Lightning stuns. In rain, the clouds disperse.
Only water of connection remains,
flowing through us. Strong is what we make
each other. Until we are all strong together,
a strong woman is a woman strongly afraid.

Heidi x

Dedicated to Clare, Belinda, Deborah, Rachael and Elaine ... keep shovelling :o)

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

An Invitation To The Wonderful Women's Day

I feel very blessed to have some amazing women around me in my life, and every week I get to meet more and more. I am always inspired by their life tales, their talents and their gifts. And I know how important it is that we gather and that we share our ideas, our stories, our loves, our hopes and our dreams ... from those times together come deep healings and new projects. So here is my gathering in the New Forest. I'd like to invite you to a Wonderful Women's Day ...

Heidi x

Friday, 19 April 2013

A Real Goddess Gift

One very talented and dear friend came to my Goddess Gifts of the Menstrual Cycle workshop just under two weeks ago. She went home so inspired, why thank you, that she created something rather wonderful.

I have to share it with you because it is little gem of a tool for understanding and becoming in tune with your own menstrual cycle. Elaine decided to create a dial that she could use daily. And she's made it available to all of us too.

It allows you to visually align the day of your cycle with, not only the moon phase, but the goddess phase you are in as well. It has inspiring words about each of the goddess phases, the Maiden, the Mother, the Enchantress and the Hag.

The Maiden energy or archetype strides in just after bleeding with a spring like quality, full of ideas and the energy for new projects. The Mother is the ovulation phase of our cycle, our summer, full of compassion and the energy to see these projects to completion. The Enchantress, the pre-menstrual and autumnal fire, full of sensuality and creativity. And finally the Hag, marked by day one of our cycle, the onset of bleeding, our winter wise woman who brings us our reflective and deeply spiritual phase.

This dial gives you the chance to really optimise your cycle, reaping the benefits of each stage of the month. What is wonderful about this dial is that if for what ever reason you no longer have a bleeding cycle, either through hormonal difficulties, surgery or your post menopausal stage of life, you can use this dial to follow the moon phases and link them to the four goddess archetypes. So you will still be able to tune into the cycling energies and feel the benefits.

I have to say that I was a bit giddy to be one of the first to have one of these and it really is a beautiful piece of art. I'm loving using it and at the moment I have it on my goddess shrine in my bedroom. My own personal menstrual mandala.

So I really recommend you treat yourself or treat someone you know to this goddess gift.

Heidi x

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

And We Flow ... As One

Yes I know it's been an age since I've posted, I've started so many times and still have drafts unfinished. It's been busy and hectic and I have so much to tell you, but in the meantime ...

Today as my moonbloods began to flow and the crone came to visit I sipped my rose tea in amongst piles of cushions, rose incense and womb wisdom books ... and the old shaman woman in me wrote this. I may tweak it later, but for now here it is ...

And we flow ... as one

In this sacred space, this body,
I AM wild woman, wise woman, priestess in this temple of mine
This house to the goddess of thirteen moons
The place where the eight winds blow beyond the here and now of time

And I flow ... this woman pours ... with life, love, creativity, tears and blood
And she flows ... this goddess force ... with life, love, moons and seasons into earth and mud
And we flow ... as one

The Vestal virgin flame is lit
With a clear and joyful eye I keep those maiden fires burning
I join Artemis with my arrows and my bow
Inspired and alert is my vigil till a new day is dawning

And I flow ... this woman pours ... with life, love, creativity, tears and blood
And she flows ... this goddess force ... with life, love, moons and seasons into earth and mud
And we flow ... as one

With mother love I open my arms,
My Isis heart wide, I want to feed you, to clothe you, to hold you
Cover you with kisses and whispers sweet
I will manifest your heart’s desire and make your dreams come true

And I flow ... this woman pours ... with life, love creativity, tears and blood
And she flows ... this goddess force ... with life, love, moons and seasons into earth and mud
And we flow ... as one

The empowerer steps forward
Her magic demands that Kali chants sing themselves in my skull
Sparks flying from my mind and fingertips
I am great snake woman, creating and destroying it all

And I flow ... this woman pours ... with life, love, creativity, tears and blood
And she flows ... this goddess force ... with life, love, moons and seasons into earth and mud
And we flow ... as one

The old woman comes to me
My ancestors beating their drums on my belly, my spine and my hips,
Summoning the knowing, the ache and the pain
Until the blood flows like a prophetic utterance from my lips

And I flow ... this woman pours ... with life, love, creativity, tears and blood
And she flows ... this goddess force ... with life, love, moons and seasons into earth and mud
And we flow ... as one

In this holy space, this body,
I AM wild woman, wise woman, priestess in this temple of mine
This house to the goddess of the sacred womb
The place where the moonlight glows beyond the here and now of time

And I flow ... this woman pours ... with life, love, creativity, tears and blood
And she flows ... this goddess force ... with life, love, moons and seasons into earth and mud
And we flow ... as one
And we flow ... as one
And we flow ... as one

The beautiful, and rather fitting, artwork above comes from the Temple of the Blood cd by Katherine Cunningham.

Heidi x

Friday, 8 March 2013

International Women's Day

This day, 8th March, has been set as International Women's Day since in the early 1900's. We have seen so many changes since that time and many advances made in gaining back some of the rights for women. Sadly though there is till so much to do. Today though all over Mother Earth many events will be taking place to "inspire women and celebrate achievements".

So especially today, I'm thinking of all the women of the world, my sisters, my mothers, my grandmothers and daughters, I will stand heart to heart, hand in hand and womb to womb with you, Happy International Women's Day. This is for you, written today ...

My Prayer For The Women Of The World

The wise women, the wild women,
The meek women, the mild women,
The brain the size of a planet women,
The heart the size of a cosmic ocean women,
The hurt women, the free women,
The I AM women, the I just wanna be women,
The jiggle hips women, and the barefoot women,
The high heels and cleavage to boot women,
The in the dark woods women, the suited city women,
The gloriously hairy women, the sleek silky women,
The svelte skinny women, the luscious curvaceous women,
The utterly rebellious, out there and audacious women,
The loud mouth shout their stuff women,
The quiet truly think their stuff women,
The A cup women, the A grades women,
The just trying to get properly paid women,
The walk for water women, the bought a bottle of water women,
The I think I really shouldn't have ought to women,
The under the sun women, the in the snow women,
The minimal apartment always on the go women,
The cluttered cottage women, the dancing women,
The I eat chocolate whilst prancing women,
The house full of kids women, the sad empty arms women,
The it'll be okay and totally calms women,
The battered women, the bruised women,
The trying to live my life abused women,
The I am Goddess women, the I love God women,
The I'm following in the path they trod women,
The every country, the all, the each and the every women,
The all those remembered and all those forgotten women

Please, just please, may we live the life we deservedly dream of, a life in which love and respect surrounds us.

Heidi x

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Goddess Gifts Of The Menstrual Cycle

"Menstruation is is still viewed today as a biological disadvantage to women, making them emotional, unreasoning and unreliable workers" ... this is one of the lines in the introduction to Miranda Gray's Red Moon. One of the most life changing and empowering books I have ever read.

The thing is, we do often see the menstrual cycle as being frustrating to live with. We can find ourselves unpredictable, our energy levels fluctuating and our abilities changing throughout the month ... hardly a gift we are told.

There is another way though ... to understand the energetic flow of the menstrual cycle is to read the waves so that you can surf the seeming highs and lows. Once you realise that each part of the cycle is a "time of the month", each with its own gifts and strengths, then you begin to live your life in a different way. You can benefit from those changes. You can maximise your potential. You can make the most of this most amazing of Goddess gifts.

I really recommend Miranda's book as a great read to understanding and living practically with the wax and wane of the menstrual cycle ... or come along to my workshop next month if you are in the Hampshire area.

The Dreadess xx

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

A Women's Creed

Sometimes you just need to reaffirm why you do what you do. Sometimes you just need question whether the old garb still fits. Sometimes you just need to strengthen those parameters. At times like this I read things like this. Does this still fit who I am? Is it still my thinking? And I'm glad to affirm that yes it is still my belief, my aspiration, my hope ...

Women's Creed:
We Are the Women

We are female human beings poised on the edge of the new millennium. We are the majority of our species, yet we have dwelt in the shadows. We are the invisible, the illiterate, the laborers, the refugees, the poor.
And we vow: No more.

We are the women who hunger — for rice, home, freedom, each other, ourselves.
We are the women who thirst — for clean water and laughter, literacy, love.
We have existed at all times, in every society. We have survived femicide. We have rebelled — and left clues.
We are continuity, weaving future from past, logic with lyric.
We are the women who stand in our sense, and shout Yes.

We are the women who wear broken bones, voices, minds, hearts — but we are the women who dare whisper No.
We are the women whose souls no fundamentalist cage can contain.
We are the women who refuse to permit the sowing of death in our gardens, air, rivers, seas.
We are each precious, unique, necessary. We are strengthened and blessed and relieved at not having to be all the same. We are the daughters of longing. We are the mothers in labor to birth the politics of the 21st century.

We are the women men warned us about.

We are the women who know that all issues are ours, who will reclaim our wisdom, reinvent our tomorrow, question and redefine everything, including power.

We have worked now for decades to name the details of our need, rage, hope, vision. We have broken our silence, exhausted our patience. We are weary of listing refrains on our suffering — to entertain or be simply ignored. We are done with vague words and real waiting; famishing for action, dignity, joy. We intend to do more than merely endure and survive.

They have tried to deny us, define us, defuse us, denounce us; to jail, enslave, exile, gas, rape, beat, burn, bury — and bore us. Yet nothing, not even the offer to save their failed system, can grasp us.

For thousands of years, women have had responsibility without power — while men have had power without responsibility. We offer those men who risk being brothers a balance, a future, a hand. But with or without them, we will go on.

For we are the Old Ones, the New Breed, the Natives who came first but lasted, indigenous to an utterly different dimension. We are the girlchild in Zambia, the grandmother in Burma, the woman in El Salvador and Afghanistan, Finland and Fiji. We are whale-song and rainforest; the depth-wave rising huge to shatter glass power on the shore; the lost and despised who, weeping, stagger into the light.

All this we are. We are intensity, energy, the people speaking — who no longer will wait and who cannot be stopped.

We are poised on the edge of the millennium — ruin behind us, no map before us, the taste of fear sharp on our tongues.

Yet we will leap.

The exercise of imagining is an act of creation
The act of creation is an exercise of will.
All this is political. And possible.

Bread. A clean sky. Active peace. A woman's voice singing somewhere, melody drifting like smoke from the cookfires. The army disbanded, the harvest abundant. The wound healed, the child wanted, the prisoner freed, the body's integrity honored, the lover returned. The magical skill that reads marks into meaning. The labor equal, fair, and valued. Delight in the challenge for consensus to solve problems. No hand raised in any gesture but greeting. Secure interiors — of heart, home, land — so firm as to make secure borders irrelevant at last. And everywhere laughter, care, celebration, dancing, contentment. A humble, early paradise, in the now.

We will make it real, make it our own, make policy, history, peace, make it available, make mischief, a difference, love, the connection, the miracle, ready.

Believe it.

We are the women who will transform the world.

The Declaration of the Women's Global Strategies Meeting written by Robin Morgan, in collaboration with Perdita Huston, Sunetra Puri, Mahnaz Afkhami, Diane Faulkner, Corrine Kumar, Simla Wali, Paola Melchiari, at the 1994 Women's Environment & Development Organization Global Strategies Meeting.

The Dreadess xx