Today I am honored to have Widdershins as guest Blog post. Read On & Enjoy!
Widdershins has just published her book, Prelude – The Gaining Of Shamanic Wisdom. It’s part memoir, part memoir, part Shamanic adventure, and part guidebook, with a dash of dire warning on the side. More information about Widdershins herself, and Prelude, at the end.
Take it away, Widdershins!
We are Beings of Earth, Air, Water, Fire.
But there is so much more to our existence, so much more to ‘see’, all around us, if only we have the ‘eyes’, the awareness, to understand what we’re looking at.
We are also children of this planet, our Mother, Earth. And as such we are able to connect to the fifth Aspect of Her Spirit, by engaging with a different Realm of Awareness than the Physical, measurable, quantifiable one that we see all around us, and without which we wouldn’t exist in these biological forms we currently inhabit.
One of these Realms of Awareness involves the Places of Power on the surface of the Earth, and their interconnectedness through the body of the earth.
The Places of Power are scattered throughout the six great landmasses, Australia, Africa, South America, Eurasia, Antarctica, and North America, and the myriad islands throughout the ‘seven seas’. (There may indeed be Places of Power under the oceans and seas, that we haven’t got close enough to experience yet)
They are naturally occurring Sacred Circles, that separate the magical from the mundane and from within which, it is easier to connect to other Realms of Awareness.
They range from famous and grand structures like Stonehenge in south-western England and the Nazca lines in Peru, to the moment when you walk between two trees on either side of a forest path and know that something is different.
All of them are connected to each other by rivers of energy that pass through the body of the Earth, the mantle and inner and outer core, like a giant three-dimensional spiderweb.
In my Shamanic Journeys I see them as brightly colored strings of shiny beads, woven around a core of pure energy. It’s possible to, carefully, engage with these rivers and hitch a ride to any destination, to any Place of Power, you wish.
The rivers also allow the Places themselves to communicate with each other, to share energy as needed, to repair the passages of Time, or the careless scuff made by the boot of a human tourist.
The smaller Places that are not anchored to one geographical location, as are the two ‘famous’ ones I mentioned above, have the ability to move around, drawn by a Spirit’s need, or responding to the Earth Herself.
They are both the Journey and the Destination. And are such fun to play with!
Imagine, having prepared your physical and Spirit bodies, you close your eyes and hitch a ride with one of the rivers. You travel, at the speed of thought, through the great body of the Earth, observing all the energies swirling around you.
Who knows what adventures you will have.
Shamans come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, from all the continents of the Earth. We’ve been around since the human race realized there was more to existence than just the physical, and we’ll be around long after the last star has died, when the Wheel turns to renew All.
Becoming a Shaman is not for the faint-of-heart, or the timid-of Spirit. It is not an easy Path, nor should it be. The responsibilities are great and require harsh testing before one is judged capable of shouldering them.
There are many Pathways to becoming a Shaman, and I came to understand mine through my Earth-based, Goddess Spirituality, She who is the First Mother of Us All, in all Her forms.
‘Prelude’ is the story of my very first steps along that Path. It is part memoir, part Shamanic adventure, and part guidebook, with a dash of dire warning on the side.
From the moment I came across a giant statue of Bast, I knew my life would never be the same. There were times I froze, bled, burned, raged, and cried. My life, my past, the shadows, and the shining moments, all the things I believed defined me, were challenged, until nothing but a truth, my Truth, remained.
Join me as I confront my monsters, discover my true Name, and come to understand that the Physical world I grew up with was just a tiny corner of a much vaster Cosmos.
I was born in England on a crisp autumn eve in 1958, emigrated to Australia at the tender age of two, and moved to Canada in 2004 where I married the love of my life. I left school when I was fourteen, and thereafter continued my education via libraries, books, and whatever Life decided to throw my way.
I’m a Shaman, a lesbian, a writer of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Fiction. I’m a bicyclist, a feminist, a gardener, a crafter of clay … I’ve been an architect, a seamstress, an athlete, a field hand …
Being a Shaman is the Thread of my life from which all else is woven. Writing is one of my Great Passions, novels specifically, short stories occasionally, and always with lesbian characters.
I adopted ‘Widdershins’ as a username in the early days of the interwebz, and it stuck … because I am, if nothing else, contrariwise. Also, it’s witchy, whimsical, and wild.
Widdershins, as Writer:
One day, late in my high-school career, in order to avoid writing a very boring science essay, I turned in a short science fiction story instead. It incorporated the information in the essay, but in a much more readable form. (in my humble opinion)
When I handed it in I caught a glimpse of my teacher’s face as she started reading it, she’d turned rather pale. I discreetly exited the room before her ability to speak returned. As I fled I heard a bark of what I hoped was laughter, but it could’ve been an incipient heart attack. Only time would tell.
Upon receiving the marked essay back I saw the following scrawled across the top. ‘Don’t ever do this to me again.’ Somewhere in the middle was a, ‘Well Done.’ In the bottom left-hand corner was a very large red ‘A’.
That was the moment my career as a writer began.
Widdershins, as Shaman:
I always wanted to know the layers of ‘why’, about everything, and to see beyond the horizon, all the horizons. I found answers to most of my ‘why’s and wherefore’s’ about things of a physical, intellectual, and emotional ilk, but the spiritual … hmm … that evaded me. So I engaged with the obvious first, but found far too many holes in traditional religion, and any practice that required genuflecting to a guru didn’t do it for me either, particularly if there was some bloke at the top of things telling everyone else what they should or shouldn’t do in order to achieve his vision of … whatever he wanted.
I read everything I could get my hands on, and quested among New Age philosophies, and ‘eastern’ practices. (a good many of which, unfortunately, fell into the above mentioned ‘bloke-at-the-top’ category)
Then I discovered the women writing about feminist politics and spirituality from a woman-centered perspective. Women like Mary Daly, Colette, Kate Millett, Diane Stein, Starhawk, Monica Sjoo, Dale Spender, Vicki Noble, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, and many, many others.
After much searching I came to understand that what moved my Spirit was an Earth-based, Goddess Spirituality, the First Mother of Us All.
And so, my Journey to become a Shaman of Her Path began, with ‘Prelude’.