It's a frosty January day. Part of me wants to go out running in the sparkle and the other part of me has these thoughts and wonderings I want to communicate. The sun and sparkle beams through the windows.
It's coming to the end of the birch moon cycle. I journey and reflect back on the amazing insights and deeper sense of belonging here on the earth which the first moon cycle of Winter has brought through. I have spent the last month holding the energy with 2 new courses: one the Creative Shamanism Moon and Cycles group who have diligently been journeying close with birch too, and secondly with the Wheel group - who are initiating with the Spirit of Winter and the element of Earth right now. There is something so radiatingly connective and wonderful about travelling with the spirits of a season and an element and then with a tree and a moon cycle with people. Life opens up in a way that is more connective and true. More magic happens. The relationship with the world and how its spirit operates moves through the people more. Connectivity happens. You begin to see even more clearly that when we put out our intentions and name ourselves as co-creators in the web of absolutely everything then things line up to show us how it works.
I love the birch tree. When I was a little girl if you had asked me what my favourite tree was, I would always have said the silver birch. There is such a simplicity about it. As the tree of new beginnings, the robustness to come through and be the first tree to grow after fires, it shows us how to live. It spindles towards the sky no matter what and it feels like it drinks stars. This tree and stars seem to twinkle in unison. Together, they are like the conspirators of fairy story. Destiny lines open with the slivery birch.
This last week I have been writing an assignment for my Counselling training (which I can't believe is over in 3 months). I chose to write about Acceptance and the part it plays in the Counselling space. When I speak about counsel I am speaking about the ethos of the little red drum too. It's that focus on wholeness. It is listening, including, not running away from, being present and allowing that for me is the simple alchemical place of healing. I have always thought that. I dropped my first shamanic training 13 years ago to go and study NVC (Marshal Rosenberg's system of listening to feelings and needs to open the heart connections and bring people into alignment) instead for a while - because I knew that it was the understanding of the communicative aspect of shamanism and the ethos of the space that was for me the power of it. This was the path my soul was intuitively moving towards like the birch reaching for the stars.
It was the same reason I moved out of Art and into Shamanism. I was more interested in the mapping, the communication systems at work and understanding the conditions that were there for creativity to flow and wonder to happen.
The counselling study I was guided to take to help me even more understand the energetics of this communicative space. For me, counselling takes me into the Circle and an understanding of the way it works. The principle of acceptance is so crucial to this process. To accept we need the qualities of unconditional love and wholeness to be the safe and sure holders and allowers of a space.
Shamanic practice has been the way I connect with that. We all have our human knotty messy thrashy bits that are in war within us and then outside of us. I think I feel things so intensely that I had no choice than to look for a higher state of grace that I could hang out in and then bring in as a light to guide me and educate a process of healing. In my classes I call it 'the light house' or 'Sanctuary'. There is quite a lot in there at times! What you find is that with enough time and hanging out there you end up actually being reminded how to be that for yourself and carry it with you at all times. This is the ethos of the Circle of Light that is the medicine wheel and is also the ethos the counsellor holds when they hold a space for you to let those parts of you that feel so knotted or confused or angry, or whatever, find air and freedom and a new understanding.
I have journeyed with 2 groups last year through their graduations - one being Francesca of the Practitioner training group and one being the advanced group Revival. It is an amazing opportunity to graduate within yourself as a student or a teacher to a space of greater acceptance and belonging. We were looking for the symbols of our work. Again and again I just get circle. I am not very exciting really - everything i do is about cycles - I just do variations on a theme. My name even means a round. Anyway - I sit with this circle and just wait for it to bring enlightenment.
This morning when I journeyed with birch, I suddenly felt myself as a tree drinking stars and became 2 dimensional (as if from above like the mexican in a hat riding a bike drawing) as a circle which was the ring of the perimeter of the trunk and then inside me the clear white light of the stars.
It was one of those incredible moments of simplicity and awakening.
Last year I was obsessed with the idea of infinity. It wouldn't go away. We kept on opening up more and more infinity centres on the courses I held. I had forgotten how much I had called this moment in.
My invitation at the end of this moon cycle is - why not journey to the birch tree. Ask her or him if they would mind if you merged with them and became the birch for a few minutes at the end of this moon cycle. Ask them to show you the circle of light you are and to show you how to reach for the stars.
This is the time of opening to the dreams of the new. It is when the Muse awakens and comes visiting. She or he will bring you the scent of adventure just when you aren't expecting it. Let the stars open you so that you can be open to receive the gifts that the rowan cycle and Imbolc time can bring. The new moon is 00.06 on 28 January here in the UK.
Blessings on your new beginnings!
And the Counsel classes begin in Newport on 12 February. There is a day workshop too on 20 May. I will be posting out more information about Counsel as a Container of Wholeness and will be beginning new courses on the Way of Creative Counsel in 2018.
Off out into the sparkle now! Shine brightly!