School of Shamanic Midwifery – Four Seasons Journey 2014

School of Shamanic Midwifery - Four Seasons Journey 2014

I’m excited to announce that I’ve begun my Four Seasons Journey (4SJ).

What is a Four Seasons Journey (4SJ)

The 4SJ is a year long course beginning in November facilitated by the School of Shamanic Midwifery.

During my 4SJ I will learn about the cycles of moon, earth, life and death and the menstruation cycles. I will learn heightened self awareness which will allow me to heal myself and in turn heal other people. I will learn about MoonTime and practice MoonLodge, I will get to practice shamanic journey work and make a drum and medicine bag.

What’s the Importance?

I’ve talked previously about the wounded feminine in my “D is for Doula” and “The F Word” posts and I still truly believe that a lot of the world’s problems could be eventually resolved if we stopped demonizing feminine attributes (such as creativity, intuition and empathy). On a more personal level, I would like to get more in touch with my own innate feminine nature.

As part of this journey I will also learn how to facilitate women’s and maidens circles which is one of the main reasons I’m doing this course. I would really love to hold space for young girls who have just gone through or are approaching menarche as part of a sexual education course through primary schools (obviously still a dream but a reasonably realistic goal none-the-less!).

Please Check out my 4SJ2014 Category for more information!

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Weather Observations – 29/10/13

Weather Observations - 29/10/13

The weather has not changed much since September. It’s still been hot, dry and sunny – summer has come early this year. Flies have been multiplying like crazy and our house has been temporarily overrun by them.
Bush fires have been burning through most of my home state with a couple of big ones located about an hours drive from my house. The skies have been filled with smoke ever since my birthday week (17th Oct). Thankfully we haven’t been threatened by any bush fires; my thoughts go out to all those who have been or are.
The sun is hot and burns the skin very easily.

Many of the ducks have been producing ducklings (daww) and surprisingly a majority of the ducklings I saw in May have survived and are looking like gangly teenagers now.

The ocean has been bitterly cold for the last few months but about a week or two ago had clearly warmed up – could this be changing tides?
Whales have also been migrating up and down the coast for the last few months… I haven’t seen any.
Dead mutton birds have also been appearing on the sand at the beach due to their long migration home. I’ve found a couple of alive ones who were clearly too exhausted to move on (they allowed me to pick them up). In this instance it’s hard to know what to do. I felt sorry for the birds but wasn’t sure if saving them now would really do them any good – they’ll just die next migrating season won’t they? I moved them into a nice shady area where they could peacefully die. I felt like that was the right thing to do.

As usual the magpies chicks are leaving their nests and we’re seeing extremely territorial behaviour from them. I’ve not experienced a swooping this year but I think they’re used to me (I feed them sometimes).

11\10\13 Another Adventure Begins

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I’m a high achiever, I like to be in control and I put pressure on myself to always be the best I can possibly be.

As far as I know, these aren’t bad qualities and yet… I’m not happy. If anything, these qualities are making me continue along a path that might not necessarily be right for me at this point in my life. I’ve had dreams of being an important, successful person from a very young age so one thing is for certain – just because I’m changing my path, doesn’t mean it will be any less amazing than the one I was previously on.

Weather Observations – 19/8/13

It’s been a wet spring – it hasn’t necessarily been raining but there’s been a lot of moisture in the air. The plants have been loving it. Majority of days have been sunny and quite warm late morning to early afternoon. Nights have been cold with fog and frost sometimes making an appearance.

About 2 weeks ago I saw a big group of Jellyfish in the river that I regularly cross to get into Sydney. I kept my eye out for them again last week and I couldn’t see any of them – was that their seasonal breeding time? Brian says he’s observed a similar group quite a few years back when he went for a holiday on the river during the summer months.

The birds have been pretty loud and fussy for the last 3 weeks as well. I’ve seen nests appearing in the tops of trees.

The wind has also picked up a bit on a few days – it’s a warm wind that seems to circle around (instead of coming from one location). This reminds me of a spring about 3 years ago when it was so windy that all the wattle trees had their yellow flowers blown off – they all sat in little yellow fluffy piles on the road.

The wattle is still out now though and hasn’t been effected by the wind much. Although it did only hang around for a day or two.

Pagan Blog Project #4 – ‘D’ is for Doula

What is a Doula?

To me a doula is the wholistic version of a midwife. They offer non-medical support and information to parents in pregnancy, childbirth and the post natal period (the differences between Midwives and Doula’s is outlined here). The Australian Doula College says that a Doula “…believes it is a woman’s rite of passage to birth her baby where, with whom, and how she wishes. The Doula is knowledgeable in comfort measures such as relaxation breathing, massage and positioning, managing labour sensations using water, hot packs and aromas. Doula’s specialise in non-medical skills and do not perform clinical tasks, such as vaginal exams or foetal heart rate monitoring. Doula’s do not diagnose medical conditions, offer second opinions, or give medical advice. A Doula is skilled in supporting the birthing woman and her partner to meet the challenge of labour one contraction at a time.”

How is this Relevant to my Spirituality and Practice?

Well, everything I do in life somehow relates back to my spirituality but in particular, Doula-ing (I don’t think that’s an actual word but we’ll run with it) is something I see as a very spiritual act for me and the parents I’ll be caring for. I will be facilitating their rite of passage into parenthood, especially the mother who is giving birth. As well as becoming a Doula I will also be trained by the School of Shamanic Midwifery – which I believe will focus more on the spiritual side of pregnancy and childbirth as opposed to the emotional side (but both are important!).

“Midwifery is the practice, art and science of being a midwife. Midwife means ‘with woman’ and the classic role for a midwife is to be ‘with woman’ during and around her childbearing. To midwife is to facilitate, to assist someone’s learning [by guiding] the person to discover their own inner knowing through asking questions and ‘holding the space’ for them to travel within to do this.” – School of Shamanic Midwifery

In this respect along with my duties of midwifing the arrival of new life onto Earth I’ll also be trained in midwifing death and change within others eg. young girls beginning menarche, menopausal women and even those who are close to the void. I believe these skills and duties come hand in hand.

The Important of Women’s Spirituality

Under all this is the realisation that in our modern age we have neglected and to some extent tormented, the feminine in nearly all ways. Traits such as creativity, intuition, empathy, compassion, etc are seen as feminine qualities (but are not secluded to just women – remember ‘feminine’ =/= female) and are mocked as ‘weak’ ‘unnecessary’ or ‘illogical’ and therefore useless. If I may be so bold – I believe that this could be a lot of the reason why we have so many problems in our world. The domination of masculine energy within our species is, basically, initiating our ultimate downfall (extinction?). Masculine qualities such as competitiveness, independence, more logically focused and rebellious behaviours have, up until this point, been very successful methods for the survival of the species. At this juncture in our evolution however I believe that the feminine qualities need to be respected and nurtured to a point where they are valued just as much as what the masculine qualities are in our modern society.

I believe that in becoming a Doula and Shamanic Midwife, I’ll be able to help facilitate the integration of the Women’s Mysteries into our culture – creating a safe space for the feminine to emerge. In particular I hope to encourage women and girls to feel safe and important. To acknowledge the power of emotions and intuition more will, I believe, facilitate a new consciousness for humankind. One that is sustainable and fulfilling.

Pagan Blog Project #2 – ‘C’ is for Children (and Culture)

I’m ‘creating’ a culture for my children.

How do Children relate to my spirituality or to paganism for that matter? Well, my children and my children’s children continue to be the inspiration for a lot of the choices I make, including why I study Druidry and worship the Earth. It became important around the time I begun learning about Global Warming and the damage humans inflict on nature – how will that effect future generations and is there a way we can change our lifestyle now to improve that?

I’ve never really had much of a culture (unless you call bigotry and alcoholism a culture) and in my study of nature, culture seems to be a key element in achieving a sustainable and successful civilisation. It’s also effected me on a personal level as I’ve always felt out of place and that there was something missing – Paganism filled that void temporarily but the relocation of my bloodline to a place completely different from my ancestors and everything that I relate to spiritually continues to make me feel like an intruder. I decided that trying to lay an entire Earth worshipping religion over a land that’s completely different to the land where it was originally created is a band aid solution to a problem that needs to be fixed from the inside out – it seems to be the only way to permanently fill this void. In a nutshell; I’m personalising old traditions and applying them to a new land and set of deities. I will then use that as a foundation to ‘maturing’ the culture that we already have. White Australian’s do have a culture it’s just not very accepting nor is it beautiful – it’s rough as guts, intimidating, and exclusive (even if you were born into it, if you don’t like drinking ‘X’ beer, watching ‘X’ sport and just being a general asshole to people then you are excluded or tormented).

To me culture and spirituality should be intertwined but not to the point where we confuse fact and imagination. Spirituality and imagination aren’t bad things but they should be developed on an individual level – not forced down children’s throats before they’re old enough to ask the questions themselves. I want to teach my children about art, I want to tell them stories about mythical creatures and Gods/Goddess’, I want to teach them about dreams and how to celebrate without having the adults they look up to getting drunk. These things for me are spiritual but I don’t want to force my particular beliefs on my children and I don’t want them mistaking what I believe as fact because it’s not – it’s just the way that I see the world.

I want my children to feel like they have a purpose and that they belong here. I want to teach them to have respect and a reverence for the Earth that we don’t experience in our current culture, so that they can be conscious of how they treat her and every being that lives here. I believe that practicing a form of spirituality that regularly worships nature can do that – it’s not the only way but it’s the only way that seems fun to me. Then I can develop a culture, using those principles, that I will feel comfortable raising my children in.

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Healing Through Art Project

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I found these beautiful stones in the middle of the Australian bush, some of them were laying in the dirt but most of them were being pounded by the cool waters of the river. Collecting these stones were fun – something I don’t allow myself to experience often.
I have a plans for a few of these gifts from nature but I won’t divulge too much yet. Surprises are fun!