Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

The very purpose of spirituality is self-discipline. Rather than criticizing others, we should evaluate and criticize ourselves. Ask yourself, what am I doing about my anger, my attachment, my pride, my jealousy? These are the things we should check in our day to day lives. - The Dalai Lama

So when you look at all that surrounds you, your own personal mirror of life, what is it that you see? What does your circle of friends tell you? How do people treat you? Do certain traits in people you know irritate you often? Do you come across the same behaviour patterns in others time and time again? Maybe it's time to see that it is all a reflection.

I know I don't always like what I see staring back at me in my own life and it bugs me when I realise my bad habits are presented to me in the actions of those around me. It's so hard to not have one rule for myself and another for what I expect of others, but I've learned that certain scenarios disappear over time once I've worked on that aspect of myself. I'm grateful for my mirror even though I don't always like what I see. Sometimes I stupidly avoid being honest even though there is a neon sign, stating quite clearly the current shortcoming, on my forehead as I stare at myself. I can almost hear myself going "la la la it's not me" in my head ... and then I have to go "uh yeah it is".

Even though the honest reflections are a killer sometimes, it is through truth that we grow. So it's good to be humbly aware of our warts and blemishes, but obviously not lose sight of our glowing beauty. The more we acknowledge our own failings the less we see in others. In turn the less irritated we get, the better the reflection gets and all is much happier. Smiley face, smiley mirror.

The Dreadess xx

Friday, 13 April 2012

Don't Let The Barren Sand Put You Off Planting A Jungle

I was truly inspired by this story about Jadav "Molai" Payeng who created a 3650 acre jungle in barren sand. He planted those first few seeds out of compassion, to provide shade for the snakes. Then what transpired was an incredible 30 year thing of beautiful dedication and love.

This true story is full of metaphors and messages on every level. If one man can overcome a seeming piece of infertile land in such a way it definitely puts some of my supposed obstacles in the shade of his lush tangle of forest. Yours too, I bet.

The Dreadess xx

Becoming The Butterfly

We are all born to be butterflies. To dry our iridescent wings in the sun and fly toward the light. We were made to sip nectar from fragrant blooms and be the brightest and prettiest ones in the air.



The caterpillar self is hungry taking in more and more until it is stuffed with a glut of information and ideas. It build itself a cocoon in which to ponder the ideas and digest the information. It begins to dissolve, losing its form and it's structure. It turns into a soup of chaos in which it is unrecognisable as anything at all, just as well it built a shell in which to trap itself. It remains immobile, a chrysalis of potential.

Then within the liquid mess of what was, new thoughts begin to form about a future self. Thoughts about a wonderful self, a beautiful, free self who can fly and live out its dreams. These thoughts are called imaginal cells. But the self rejects the new thoughts as crazy. Self doubt creeps and because these cells are so different from the caterpillar's cells the immune system thinks they are enemies and destroys them.

Then the conflict begins. New imaginal cells continue to appear. More and more get destroyed in waves of low self esteem or lack of courage, but from somewhere deep inside, the caterpillar's desire to become something more than it is creates more and more of the little thoughts of positivity and ideas of potential. Then the imaginal cells begin to survive as the immune system cannot consume them up quick enough. Self belief overrides.

Then the process takes off. The isolated imaginal cells join together with others. The tiny ideas begin to form bigger ideas that resonate at the same frequency. Information gets passed along at a greater rate creating strings of cells all vibrating and dancing together as one. Soon coherent new parts of the self form and then a moment of realisation happens. The complete string of imaginal cells becomes aware that is on the edge of the birth of a new self. It has awakened to its true nature. I AM a butterfly says the caterpillar to itself and it knows it, feels it to its core.

The butterfly now understands what it has become and all the parts of the soup work together in creating its new form. The imaginal cells don't have to do the work of holding the vision. The mind and body work as one, every single individual cell in unison. The multi-celled organism becomes its beautiful self, ready to emerge back into the world, transformed and wonderful and new. It breaks from the confines of the cocoon, drags it's unfamiliar damp wings into the sunshine and spends some time blinking in the rays, stretching and warming itself.

And when the time is it right, that beautiful creature takes to the sky in a flash of brilliance and a flutter of colour. There is not one cell of it that still thinks it is a caterpillar, there is no self doubt, only joy. The metamorphosis is complete, a testament to courage and self belief which survives the times of hiding away in the scary soup of the self.

The Dreadess xx

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Egg Day

I woke up this morning contemplating the egg. I'm not the only one. The egg is part of today for so many. Thousands of children will be peeling the shiny foil wrappers away from thousands of eggs as I write. Their eyes lit up with pleasure at the sight of the brightly coloured treasures and their mouths drooling at the smell of the chocolate beneath. We had eggs at Ostara, but we're sneaking few more little ones today as well, just cos we're like that ... and it's a good excuse for chocolate. What we're really waiting for is the sale at Hotel Chocolat in a few days time and then we'll get an uber luxury, all singing, all dancing egg.

Anyway enough about eggs of the chocolate variety, what I really woke up thinking about was the egg as a symbol. The perfect symbol embedded into human consciousness of new life. The oval of the egg also symbolises the void, the stillness and the nothingness, and yet in the seeming emptiness the potential for everything. In colour healing the shape of the egg, the oval, is used along with the colour indigo, the colour of deep space as the sky turns from day to night. A colour of endlessness and a sea of peaceful infinity. It is healing, reassuring and an analgesic. It is a symbol of the feminine, in that the womb is place of darkness and peace in which new life can germinate. A seed can burst to life held safe in the quiet, sea of womb waters.

I was truly reminded inside West Kennet Long Barrow of that quality of the Sacred Feminine. It felt like a loving space in which to sleep and dream. I felt held in the blackness and could have easily dissolved into it. The passive, yet powerful nature, of the feminine divine is one of serene stillness, of endless night into which ideas are born and given birth to, where dreams and goals are nurtured and developed, where the unknown and unformed are formed and realised.

The Cosmic Egg is present in many creation myths as the seed which gave birth to the cosmos. Within it's shell it contains the possibilities for all types existence and is sometimes laid on the primal waters and at others it arises from the abyss itself. The Cosmic Egg is the most abiding symbol for the eternal nature of life, of resurrection and as the space in which all forms, whether physical, mental or spiritual, are conceived.

So let's all celebrate the egg. Whatever your spiritual path it's a symbol worth contemplating. You were one once. It's a symbol of miracles and potential. No wonder we create chocolate ones and munch them in millions.

The Dreadess xx

Saturday, 7 April 2012

West Kennet Long Barrow

In the barrow on the hill there is an echo of the past. A place where the earth once held, so lovingly and so gently, the bones of the shamans. No bones are there now, only spirits whispering.




Last night I visited. I watched from atop the barrow as a glorious paint spill of pinks and golds stained the sky as the sun went down. I danced to the beating of the drums beneath and waited for the full mother moon to rise above the horizon and part the clouds. I wandered into the darkness of the burial chambers, touching the worn walls of stone, brushing the fingertips of my ancestors. In the candlelight I joined the others as they drummed up the ancient ones.

Some time for us to be in quiet reflection allowed me to feel the draught as the door between the worlds opened a crack at the stone in the end chamber. I'm not the only one who has felt it before. Same place, same stone. The time here overlaps. Our present time but a breath away from times before. An old woman sat on the floor before me. Grizzled grey hair, bare arms and legs crouched in the dirt, fingers drawing shapes in the dust, holding a skull and crooning to the bones.

It is a place of love and of learning. A place of initiation. A place of birth and a place of death. A place of coming and going. It is calm and peaceful. It is a comfort to be in the dark, coolness of Mother Earth and to be in the presence of the passive, still nature of the feminine and to feel that it is one of infinite potential.

In some ways similar and in some ways so different we honoured the ancestors and we honoured the earth. You can't help but be humbled and feel deep respect and gratitude in such places. We sent love and healing to the world. We walked down the silvery hillside as the Seed Moon shone bright upon our path.

Last night I went with friends, some old some new. I will go back alone sometime soon. It's a gentle place to sit with the old ones and who knows what wisdoms they still want to share. If I listen with my other ears I will hear the whispers for sure.

It's a place I've never taken my son to and last night reminded me I must take him. It's fairly awesome and the over lapping past is tangible and exiting. A good excuse for an outdoor neolithic history lesson under the guise of a ramble and a picnic.

If you haven't been, go. It's off the A4 Bath Road from Marlborough. If you fancy a more in depth adventure Peter Knight is for all intents and purposes a modern day guardian of West Kennet Long Barrow and a very knowledgeable guide. He holds many walks and tours of the sacred landscape of Dorset and the Full Moon drumming events like last night. Happy earth wanderings.

The Dreadess xx