Reflections on 2018
Today has been a long day sat in front of the computer working hard on new ventures. The computer is not my favourite place to be yet I know it is a necessity. The fun part of it though has been the launch of a new exciting joint venture with Katharine Lucy Haworth of https://www.facebook.com/orangeblossomoldways.co.uk/ Many of you have already liked our page https://www.facebook.com/TheSacredLighthouses/, please do also join our closed group The Sacred Lighthouses Circle https://www.facebook.com/groups/200189254242558/ This is where you will find exciting adventures to join in and news of great things to come very soon.
With these new ventures has come a time for reflection for me, which means changes will be coming to my website too to reflect the shifts in me and my work this year. It seems all around me many people I know or who have a connection with have faced huge shifts, changes and challenges this year. It was New Moon on Friday and perhaps this too has bought it’s mood of reflection to me.
I have so many things to be grateful for this year, not least of all finally meeting Imelda Almqvist, a truly wonderful woman who has changed my life for me. In March in between my dad dying and his funeral I went on her 2 day Introduction to Sacred Art, I have no doubt that the timing was meant to be. It was my dad who decided that pursing art and needlework at school was a waste of time and instead I did Geography O Level, I can’t remember what the other option was either French or Physics to replace the Art and Needlework. So I know all about crop rotation and absolutely nothing about Physics as I “failed” spectacularly and my French is somewhat limited but I get buy in a ski resort and haven’t gone hungry or thirsty yet in France and have even managed directions to swimming pools and in Senegal “the woman with the fabric” These 2 days also entailed the most amazing, magical experience of a blind labyrinth walk, that continues to have a lasting effect upon me and no doubt will forever. I now see and think of labyrinths in a whole new way, their magic runs deep.
Luckily, I continued my sewing alongside my mum and it has remained a big part of my life and this year I finally went out there and had a fair selling my wares. Next year, more sewing is planned and I am toying with the idea of more dressmaking for myself and others so watch this space. My art however, unfortunately did not continue, it laid baron, neglected and became something I couldn’t do, something I was no good at. So it was great fear and trepidation that I set off to London in March despite reassuring emails from Imelda stating that all I needed for those two days was the desire. Those two days opened something magical inside me, so much so that I went back for a 4 day Sacred Art Retreat with her in July, a fully immersive experience. I remember great joy sat outside, bathed in sunshine, paintbrush in hand. I was happy, I began to blossom, my inner artist resurfacing, shy, stumbling steps, and yet also liberation, I had no perceived ideas, no mediums that I always use. I felt free to experiment, one day acrylics, another day watercolours, painting on and around feathers. The only time I played safe was with a needle and thread in hand but even that was different, there was no pattern to follow it was abstract it came from within. In February I return for more. This experience has bought a shift to my work and this is what has bought about the new venture. Today our closed circle has been alive with energy and has made me feel truly proud of what Katharine and I have achieved today it has been all that we intended and more.
My meeting with Imelda bought another shift for me too, something that was coming, and she’s given it a nudge. I always say that people come into your life at the right time. It was Joanna Joy that stepped into my life and took me onto the start of my shamanic journey and I absolutely love my Shamanic Work, but for me there was a niggle much of what I have learnt as for many people in the west has been the core shamanism with Michael Harner’s teachings at the heart of it. This in turn has many links to the Native American shamanic ways; however, Imelda has introduced me to the idea of Norse Shamanism. This spoke to me loud and clear, the introduction week in October saw me sat painting my own runes, what a magical experience. The runes were made from stones I had chosen, with their permission, on a beach in Scotland near a shipwreck. I am delighted and excited to say that I will be joining her in Sweden next year on her two year Norse Shamanism Training Programme. It seemed only right that my runes would come from Scotland, Scotland feels home to me especially the North West coast. I discovered this year that ancestors on my mum’s side were Gaelic speakers until very recently, I can’t remember the most recent, I will have to ask my Aunty, again!! And I didn’t know until this year of the links between Gaelic, North West Scotland and the Norse it all feels so beautifully linked together.
The Sacred Art has bought a shift in my Shamanic Healings, the visual aspect of them has become much stronger and richer and I hope to be finding time in the near future do more paintings after these sessions.
Another big change for me this year was after 14 years I left Project 6, I have absolutely loved working there, met some incredible people both clients and staff. I have made some deep connections and beautiful friends. Unfortunately, due to never ending funding cuts my job was no longer what it hand been, it saddens me deeply to see how such vital services are being devastated by the constant cuts. Project 6 continues to do amazing work in Keighley and I shall be forever grateful for those initial 3 months turning into 14 years and all that it taught me about myself and the opportunities it gave me.
On looking back on choices we make as adults, those made for us as children, the connections we make, the people that enter our lives, we can see how all these shape us and carve our path.
So as this year draws to a close I have so much to be grateful for and so many exciting ventures to look forward to in the New Year. Also a timely, reflection that we don’t have to wait until the New Year to make changes; opportunities present themselves to us a daily basis, it is up to us to grasp them and run with them, who knows where they will take us next.
So I sign off as a proud “mama” of The Sacred Lighthouses, and I too have been an incredibly proud Aunt this month, as Cerys has twirled her way around in her polar bear skirt, a belated birthday present, but it appears a good one.