Witch & Popcorn

February, 2019

Blessings film lovers!

reviewing a new show instead of a movie this time.

show has made quite a stir on Netflix this week, and people are
either celebrating it, or upset by the hosts suggestions. There seems
to be no happy medium response. People either love this or hate it.

watched a few Episodes of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

me begin by saying I freaking LOVE this!

business lady Marie Kondo hails from beautiful Japan, where she
single-handedly started an organizing business based on clean,
minimal living, only owning things you get a lot of use out of, and
teaching a lifestyle of keeping things neat, in their place, and

I’m not going to have 30 books or less, as she recommends, nor will
I fold every article of clothing I own into tidy origami-like
parcels, as a witch, I appreciate her attitude, and approach.

first thing Marie does when she walks into a house, after meeting the
homeowners, is ask permission to “get acquainted with” the house.
She then kneels, and looks to be meditating, and soaking in the
home’s vibes.

that isn’t magical practice, I don’t know what is.

The next thing she has the homeowners do is take stock of every item they own, and purge as much as possible. There is a lot of tears, a bit of tantruming at times, and a lot of resistance from some homeowners. They want an immaculately clean home, but they want it stocked full of junk, and things they squirreled away for years they forgot all about. In the end, the clients always say their whole lives are changed by the purge, reorganizing, and change to a lifestyle of cleanliness and simplification.

just throwing things out, and reorganizing, right?

it’s more than that.

rid of things that are not useful, and are eating up space that could
be better used otherwise frees up not only the space itself, but the
energy. Every item we use, touch, and keep retains energy and
memories. While some of us are consciously aware of all that, some
people are not, but they still are not immune to the effects.

call clutter visual noise, but have you ever had a toxic roommate or
live in lover and once they and all their junk was gone, you felt
like the weight of the world had been lifted from your home and
heart? Things hold energy.

thing I saw in common of all the clients in the episodes I watched
was they grumbled their house was not big enough- and stated they
needed more storage space, but Marie knew better. She knew they had
too much stuff!

made them pile their clothes on top of the bed, and thin out as many
clothes as possible before they did anything else. I think she gave
them a week to do all of that. People had entirely forgotten about
all of the clothes they owned. They said they never even liked
certain articles of clothing, and seeing the mountain of clothes
horrified them. One client remarked she was ashamed of herself for
being so greedy about clothing when there are people who don’t have
hardly any clothes.

in magical fashion, had people hold each belonging and only keep what
“sparked joy”. She expected them to feel the vibes off things and
keep only the things that had good vibes. Basic energy 101! She then
told them to thank the object for allowing them to use it before

process took forever with some people, but she taught them energy and
appreciation for objects.


might not identify as a witch, but she knows about moving energy and
all about psychology. The initial shock of the mountain of clothes
was all she needed to get people’s attention and wake them up.

not saying there was no pissing and moaning from some clients after
the realization. I’m saying it was the stab in the rear end they
all needed to see they had done this, and they needed to dig their
way out. One client aggravated me with her whining so much, I had to
watch that episode over the course of two days, but in the end she
did a great job and got with the program.

homes are supposed to be our sanctuaries, not places that exhaust us.
When we junk up our homes, we are constantly swamped in the sea of
trash, and it soaks into our bodies, minds, and spirits.

helps us focus on what we want and need in our homes so we can
control the focus of energy and the feel of the home.

always wonder why so many people cannot understand this.

am reminded of my first marriage. My ex husband collected junk- or
just shoved everything in drawers and never bothered to take care of,
or clean anything. He owned empty cardboard boxes from things he no
longer owned, and even empty plastic bags that had been in the boxes
he no longer had from things he also no longer had. He owned expired
turtle wax and tried to fight to keep it. He had hundreds of empty
wire hangers from dry cleaners in the trunk of his car which he
refused to part with, and he cried when I threw them out. He owned
broken golf tees he stated had no sentimental value, and he even had
undeveloped photo film he said he had no plans to ever develop, but
wanted to keep- because it was HIS. He had a three bedroom, two bath
house with a full basement, and it was not large enough to house all
of his junk and collection of thousands of books, CD’s, Cassette
Tapes, eight track tapes, VCR tapes, and DVDs- a collection that was
steadily growing. He did not understand that libraries are good
places to nab media and books, and less is more. He owned books that
were molded, having been rotting in the damp basement for over a
decade, and had books he had never read, but continued to buy more.

was an extreme case, and his inability to change his compulsive
shopping and accumulating damaged our relationship. We were not
married long enough for me to find out what his psychiatric issues
were. I do not miss living with him. He found somebody who was okay
with his lifestyle, and I am thankful he moved me out of the mess.

out of that trash heap was a breath of fresh air for me. I can only
imagine how awful people who have done this to themselves felt before
Marie helped them.

the show, Marie takes people who don’t show psychiatric problems.
These just have a lot of unnecessary crap. They make excuses, and
Marie does not buy it. She goes in every week for about a month, and
teaches them how to clean out the whole house. By the time it is all
done, the homeowners have done all she says, and my OCD is appeased.

will say this show gives me appreciation for The Queer Eye. Somehow,
the Fab Five manage to guide the people they are making over to NOT
descend into self-pity, but they prod them to organization. I respect
Marie’s philosophy that they homeowners will do their own
organizing, and it serves to ensure they know how to keep it that
way. There is just so much whining and complaining from some of the
clients, you might want to slap them. They made the mess, they clean
the mess, and Marie makes sure they do.

am also appreciating the Hoarders shows, as the clients often are
very open about their psychiatric issues that lead them to let their
homes go to seed. The home is an outward manifestation of what is on
the inside. And these organizing shows take the outside, use it to
illustrate what is going wrong, and set the outside right first as a
way to start inner work.

magical practitioners, we know all too well that what we surround
ourselves with influences us. If we are surrounded by repressed
memories and buried pain, or even good memories, manifested by things
we chose to keep although it is useless- we are working bad juju on

rid of it.


Kondo’s show might be viral right now, and she might be all the
rage currently, but her approach, her attitude, and her techniques
are old magical practice every witch can do without any spellwork.

just refer to this as space clearing on the mundane level, and it’s
just as important as ritual banishing, and mundane house cleaning.

good watch.




the Author:

Saoirse is
a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11,
but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was
called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not
explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing
Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age
studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse,
pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I
serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor
as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and
Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I
received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my
Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently
focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and
Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein
University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s
Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be
reached through my Facebook page Tarot
with Saoirse
. You can, also, join me on my Youtube

Sexual Harassment on the Energetic Level

November, 2018

The week I wrote this article  the case  of Christine Blasey Ford was headlining. She is a university professor from California who has accused supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a sexual assault that occurred when they were both teenagers (in the 1980’s). Dr Blasey Ford has been forced to go into hiding since the story went viral and her life has been turned upside down completely. Yesterday many people close to me were glued to their screens as she gave her opening testimony and explained how  the sexual attack has changed her life.


I am acutely aware that her story is upsetting and triggering many other women who have had similar experiences and are now experiencing flash backs or nightmares. (It certainly brought up some memories and issues for me personally). These women (as well as some men) may not have found the courage (or place of personal safety/support from loved ones/enough confidence or indeed faith in the public justice system etc.) to speak out. Or they may have spoken out (as I once did) and been hammered into the role of perpetrator for making allegations.

My shamanic teacher colleague Caroline Kenner helpfully shared a link about the concept “DARVO” yesterday:

DARVO refers to a reaction perpetrators of wrong doing, particularly sexual offenders, may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior. DARVO stands for “Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.” The perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim — or the whistle blower — into an alleged offender. This occurs, for instance, when an actually guilty perpetrator assumes the role of “falsely accused” and attacks the accuser’s credibility and blames the accuser of being the perpetrator of a false accusation.

Institutional DARVO occurs when the DARVO is committed by an institution (or with institutional complicity) as when police charge rape victims with lying. Institutional DARVO is a pernicious form of institutional betrayal.


I would like to take a moment of silence and contemplation to acknowledge the experiences of all people (women, children, men) who have lived through sexual abuse of any kind. Tragically this makes up a large percentage of the world population (the #Metoo phenomenon has certainly flushed that fact into our collective awareness, beyond any reasonable doubt).

Many authors have written beautifully and courageously about sexual harassment and sexual abuse. It is not my call to add to their words and testimonies. Instead, by means of this blog, I feel called to explore a more hidden dimension of this phenomenon. What seems to escape our collective awareness is the impact of sexual abuse or harassment that occurs on the energetic or astral (if you prefer) plane.

Now you may say: “What?! You mean sexual abuse that never actually happened?!”

Let’s take a step back and please allow me to explain what I mean.

As a shamanic practitioner (and teacher) I have heard more than my fair share of stories from people (not exclusively women) who woke up in a night sweat to the sensation of someone climbing into bed with them. From people who started to dread falling asleep because the same character would show up night after night tormenting them or interfering with them.

Let’s be very clear: I am speaking about a sexual/emotional/psychological/spiritual interference that does not take physical form, here. By this I mean that the perpetrator is not physically present in the room – but nevertheless there is an undeniable sensation of being touched, intruded on, violated or abused in some other way.

I am aware that victims of sexual abuse may well have flash backs due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Indeed, this could be one explanation for the phenomenon I am trying to describe, as trauma dissolves a person’s sense of time and space, meaning that past events appear to recur in the Here and Now.

I am also aware that many (if not most) people will experience dreams with uncomfortable or unwelcome sexual content from time to time (such as having sexual interaction with a person other than their current partner). Again, that may just explain some of this. After all we cannot really control our dreams the way we control our waking actions and choices.

There may be other explanations as well. It has been said that the human body does not forget and that our body holds the memories that our conscious mind represses or denies. I have certainly found evidence of this in my own body.

Therefore… yes… to all those possibilities. But still, my mind is not at ease.

Let me approach this issue from a different angle. I am aware that in some circles or circumstances (let’s say a group of friends out clubbing) it is considered acceptable to talk freely about other people’s physical attributes. E.g. “I would never consider dating her, she is way too fat!” – While the person thus discussed wouldn’t never even contemplate a date with the speaker. But that side of the story is not being acknowledged. There is the illusion that a physical characteristic allows us to make arrogant and severely imbalanced assumptions about someone: “I wouldn’t dream of dating her – but she would date me if she could!”

Recently I have found myself in a situation where one person keen to find a life partner has been eyeing up every possible “candidate” moving into their line of vision (here I mean walking into a public area), endlessly running a commentary on their physical attributes – while the person thus being commented on was engaged in a different task altogether (doing some gardening and her focus completely on her plants). I could spot absolutely no flicker of reciprocity in response to the obsessive interest and (for lack of a better word) “meat market approach”. This process has, I believe, also been called “undressing with the eyes”.

People commonly masturbate while calling up in their mind’s eye images of people they fancy. Pornography actively invites that – and to my mind there is no problem (and here I am only speaking regarding this specific issue, not other dimensions of the phenomenon) if the actors (or photo models) willingly participated and received a fee for their work. They then agree to, and actively invite that kind of attention. In other words: they are paid to carry the projections or obsessions of others.

I think that we all have understanding and compassion for a lovesick teenage boy or girl obsessing about their “love object”. Having said that, in my opinion there is more of an issue when mature people do this to others (in graphic detail!) without even stopping to meditate on the energetic ramifications of this. During half a century on this planet I have had three stalkers and I know how utterly unpleasant it is to be followed or obsessed about in unwelcome ways.

The suggestion I am posing by means of this blog is that all adults (certainly those with a degree of spiritual and emotional maturity!) need to do some shadow work (read serious soul-searching) on the role we ourselves all play in this larger phenomenon. It is easy and natural to get outraged by cases we follow in the global news – and I am horrified by the fact by some of the responses that Dr Blasey Ford has received for her courage to speak out and potentially protect other women from a man in a position of great power – what else could she have done?!

When I use my imagination and try to place myself in her shoes I sense I would speak out to mainly protect other women, knowing what this man is capable of. I would be acting from a place of knowing that no apologies or amends were ever made – therefore there is no evidence the man has changed.

Holding a position or office of power in society needs to be matched by exercising the muscle of moral integrity.

However, speaking on another level I also believe that an issue has now come to public attention and to my mind it extends well beyond the specifics of the Blasey-Kavanaugh case. All of us have inner work to do on this…None of us, who claim a degree of awareness or “evolved consciousness” can escape doing shadow work on this… To resolve this we need to “own” the fact that we are participants, not observers.

Imelda Almqvist, London UK, 29 September 2018


About the Author:

Imelda Almqvist is an international teacher of shamanism and sacred art. Her book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon Books in 2016 and her second book Sacred art: A Hollow Bone for Spirit (Where art Meets Shamanism) will be published in March 2019.  She was a presenter on the Shamanism Global Summit in both 2016 and 2017 and is a presenter on Year of Ceremony with Sounds True. She divides her time between the UK, Sweden and the US. She is currently in the editing stages of her third book “Medicine of the Imagination” and has started her fourth book “Evolving Gods: The Sacred Marriage of Tradition and Innovation”  (website)  (blog)

(YouTube channel: interviews, presentations and art videos)


Natural Born Shamans – A Spiritual Toolkit for Life: Using Shamanism Creatively with Young People of All Ages on Amazon

ME TOO – The Hashtag Phenomenon

November, 2017

Me too” or ~ #MeToo spread virally as a two word hashtag on social media this month (October 2017) to denounce sexual assault and harassment. The context for this is the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Obviously similar allegations have recently been made against the current president of the US, Donald Trump.

The phrase was coined to be used in this particular sense by social activist Tarana Burke as part of an awareness campaign in 2016. More recently it was popularized by actress Alyssa Milano who encouraged women to “tweet” (repost and publicize this on social media) to demonstrate the widespread nature of abuse and misogynistic behaviour. Millions of women, including many celebrities, responded to this call.

So this month has seen the mushrooming of this phenomenon. I have been observing this with fascination (and admiration for the collective courage in action!) and some misgivings both. I chose not to participate and this article explains my reasons for that, first posted as a blog and now rewritten for Pagan Pages, with additional paragraphs addressing some issues raised by people who responded to the original blog.

First a misconception: I was under the impression that the original post asked women to post “me too” if they had been sexually harassed or assaulted at any time during their lives. I was informed that the original campaign invited both men and women to participate. I did not see any posts by men, so I assumed it was an “all women phenomenon”. I admit that I should have done my research before writing about the subject!

I have been trying sort out my personal take on this tidal wave phenomenon. I appreciate that awareness of issues often needs to mushroom to reach a (so called) tipping point or critical mass, where real change can occur – as opposed to everything re-setting to exactly the way it was before a particular volcano erupted. From that point of view it is beautiful to watch the collective courage and candidness of many women (who do not even all know each other personally) in action. I want to acknowledge this fully and wholeheartedly!!

However, for me personally that is only one part of what is happening here .No “#Me Too” message has appeared on my own page. I am not denying that abuse occurred in my life too, but I decided quite a long time ago (after much soul searching and inner work) that I no longer wish to let this define me and who I am today.

Please note that I am only speaking for myself in this article – not for others. Some people suggested that I should have stayed silent and out of things completely. That is a fair point in some ways. In another way I feel that the Western World is (thankfully!) one of free speech. After weeks of reading stories about abuse and sexual assault, I also want to tell a story – a healing story, not a story that adds to the growing rift between men and women in our society. This my choice and reflects on me alone! No one is forced to read it!

As goes for everyone alive today: I became the person I am today because of a complex mix of experiences (some “good” and some “bad”, as viewed in our polarised world). Even the negative experiences brought me gifts – or forced me to develop my own innate gifts.

Someone (author Patricia Cori) ran a post in response saying women need to consider privacy and confidentiality issues before posting this where an awful lot of people can see it. Do we really want this information in the public eye and out there in the public domain?! I agree that this is an overlooked point here – but world history shows that extreme action sometimes brings lasting change. So I trust that women all over the world gave this serious thought before posting. Sometimes vulnerability paired with courage can be a great agent for change, a catalyst!

My own personal perception is that we are “all in this together” – meaning that, sadly, only very few women will escape harassment or abuse during their (average of) 84 years on the planet. Abuse is systemic in our family systems. (I am not saying this is OK or acceptable – I am just saying this is WHAT IS,the larger fabric of human history and reality).

Whatever our ancestors do not heal is passed on future generations because it seeks healing. And awareness of any issue (a “thank you for coming to attention and inviting me to decide on a response or course of action” – please see the other article I wrote for this same issue of PaganPagesOrg about Rage and Spiritual People) is the first step. Abuse, sexism, racism, misogyny, patriarchy etc. – all those things (and many others) are wired very deeply into our culture and family systems. Humanity is still in its relative infancy – we are only just learning different ways of being in the world.

Another issue I have with this phenomenon (as it unfolded, not as it was apparently intended) is that I am the sister of brothers – and the mother of sons. I have no (biological) sisters or daughters. Perhaps that has been a great privilege (or personal teaching) because living so close up to men and boys (in various stages of becoming) for all of my life, I am simply not able to make sweeping statements that all men are “in the wrong here”. I think that the issue is more complex than that. I will say the unspeakable here: women habitually abuse men too!

I am deeply moved by the process of my own eldest son (aged 17) navigating issues in his social circle with deep thought and integrity – always seeking to restore harmony.

As a shamanic practitioner I have done a lot of shamanic healing work with men (and men attend my classes in shamanism). I know only too well that men and boys too get harassed and raped. That “soft or pretty boys” do not always have an easy time of things. That “cooler boys” learn to put on an act in the outside world, (to stay safe and keep their street cred), etc… That co called ‘nerds’ find other ways again of being safe and accepted. That some young men grow up on the streets where “killing someone” is seen as a rite of passage and proof of reaching manhood.

We live in times of many hidden things being exposed and seeing daylight, which is an entirely good thing because that means they can no longer fester and the people responsible are finally held accountable (assuming they are still alive). Here I am thinking of many media stories of priests abusing children (commonly young boys). The Church actively covered up such stories for many centuries and that is not right on any level! The Church is now being held accountable for this. About time too!

Some men certainly harass women and others go as far as assaulting them, or making their lives impossible in the workplace. I do not remotely deny this. Then there are the men who abuse their wives and children but keep their nose clean outside the home so no one knows what is really going down. There definitely is a HUGE hidden dimension to this phenomenon and that secrecy has now been pierced and penetrated so it can no longer veil or shroud abuse. For that I thank everyone who found the personal courage to speak out!!

BUT there is yet another dimension to this.

I have personally worked with men who thought they were having safe sex with a partner they trusted and the woman (often with a biological clock ticking ominously) decided to try for a baby. These men end up in highly challenging scenarios: parenting and financially supporting children they did not truly want (or actively decide to have). Not a great start for a father-child relationship. Some men had really wanted to father the child properly but the woman moved to another area, took another partner and denied the birth father access. I have worked with men who were buckling under the pressure of producing a baby (by partner and prospective grandparents) yet having a deep inner knowing that this was not the right path for them.

In shamanic healing sessions men have cried bitter heartfelt tears and pummelled a pillow with rage – because of all these scenarios they were lured into, or that crept up on them over time until they couldn’t see an honourable way out (meaning that the way out takes the form of depression or a nervous breakdown).

To my mind this is just one way women “sexually abuse men”: by not being honest about the parameters and possible consequences of the encounter. And let’s face it, in Western culture birth control is freely available, meaning not all of these outcomes are “accidents”.

Someone wrote in and challenged me over this: was I saying that birth control is always the responsibility of the woman?! No! Of course it is a shared responsibility!! BUT it is perfectly possible for a woman to say she is on the pill – when she is not. It is perfectly possible to be less than meticulous about using the pill. In longer-term relationships people do not always use condoms.

I have been in social situations where women have shared (after a few glasses of wine) that they are desperate for that last minute baby (before the menopause hits). Other women (after a few glasses of wine) have said things like: “Well, you know what to do… grab yourself a man and get on with things….” I seemed to be the only person present (possibly having drunk fewer glasses of wine) having a big issue with that “solution”.

I have one brother who is an amazing, dedicated step father to one boy. He does many things for that boy that his biological father will not stretch to (including financially supporting him and sitting with him every night to help with homework tasks). He is a major healing influence in that boy’s life. That boy will do well in life because my brother took on the challenge of being a live-in step parent involved in his day-to-day care.

On a completely personal level (and this does not reflect on anyone else, just on me) I decided a long time ago that my life was no longer going to be defined by abuse. Any abuse that did occur was really a “something desperately seeking healing”. So my personal response to such things (whenever and wherever they rear their ugly head) is to respond from a place of sacred wholeness and wellness – and do the healing work that the issue requires. That may include doing ancestral work, doing shadow work, working closely with the earth, reaching out to people and places suffering in ways I have personal experience of. Most of the time my response needs to be (and is) a mix of all of these things.

Writing blogs and articles is also one way I choose to respond to issues of collective concern. This raised the accusation (in one Facebook thread) that I am “a self-appointed guru”. Right! That was an interesting issue to do shadow work on: I am, on a purely factual level, a self-employed teacher of shamanism and sacred art. I run my own school and teach courses all over the world. Those courses are attended by people who choose to be there, of their own free will, and learn ancient shamanic techniques for personal and global healing. I don’t think that makes me a “guru” but I will take that on the chin and say yes: the “guru” archetype is a scary shadow manifestation (one of many!!) of the spiritual teacher phenomenon. I spent about a week doing deep shadow work on that one! Thank you!!

And I now invite every reader of this article to do their own shadow work on this: be brutally honest with yourself… Have you never ever abused another human being? Have you never cursed anyone or spouted abusive language at anyone?! No road rage ever?! Can you not find within yourself some form (however mild) of the abuser archetype? – I f that is truly so, you are better (more evolved and serene) human being that me!

I hold a strong personal vision of all of us accessing healthy expressions of the sacred masculine and sacred feminine in our lives. I actively bring this into all the courses I teach and all the groups I work with.

I have personally come to believe that staying in wounded consciousness (and an over-attachment to painful experiences – which for some people can become an identity and way of life) will ultimately – when a lot of time has passed and all is said and done – just attract more of the same. We live in a vibrational universe where our own vibration or energy signature attracts “more of the same”, not unlike a reverse magnet. We had better change our personal vibration with great care!

I observe that our wounds (once worked, grieved, keened over and healed) can teach us about creating healthy reality – about actively choosing not to perpetuate the dysfunctional imprints so common in our social and family systems.

For all of these reasons you will not see #MeToo appear on my Facebook page or on Twitter. This is a very personal response to a phenomenon that touched my life too as many abuse stories have recently flooded into my consciousness. My own spiritual beliefs require that I formulate a response. Which I have now done – twice!

Thank you for listening to different perspective!

There is no pressure to agree or approve of it.

Be true to yourself!!

With gratitude to all the people who wrote in and challenged the blog that forms the heart of this article. It can be found here:


Imelda Almqvist, Sweden, 26 October 2017


About the Author:

Imelda Almqvist is an international teacher of shamanism and sacred art. Her book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon Books in 2016.  She is a presenter on the Shamanism Global Summit  2017 as well as on Year of Ceremony with Sounds True. She currently divides her time between the UK, Sweden and the US.

For Amazon information, click image below.  (website)  (blog)  (Youtube channel: interviews, presentations and art videos)