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The Ancestors Walk in The Footsteps of the Living

November, 2018

For today a reminder that we will be Ancestors for a much longer “time” (Outside Time) than our lifespan on Earth. Perhaps life on earth is a training for becoming a wise or compassionate ancestor? Let’s make personal and global decisions that we can be proud of once we join our Ancestors!

Some tribal peoples (especially in Siberia) believed that the Ancestors literally walk in the footsteps of the living, in an “upside down realm”. If this is so – our every footstep affects them and pulls on them…. just as they in turn can influence every move we make (if we let them).

As I am publishing a book about Sacred art soon I might try to reinstate the Painting of the Day posts on Facebook (for the days I can manage this anyway).

 

My new book can now be pre-ordered on Amazon:

Sacred art: A Hollow Bone for Spirit (Where art Meets Shamanism)

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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”

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk  (website)

https://imeldaalmqvist.wordpress.com/  (blog)

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=imelda+almqvist

(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

 

Finding Avalon

June, 2016

Tangle-wood

tanglewood

 

Photo by Vivienne Moss

 

As I walk along the moss covered earth, I find myself lost in thought. The worries of my mundane life slowly fall from my shoulders as I soak in the rich scent and the sweet sound of Nature. At times I feel like an imposter among the untouched trees of the forest. But not today. Today I feel connected to the wooded land I find myself in. Tendrils of Willow reach out to tap me on my shoulder, reminding me to wake up to the wondrous world that I am blessed to be a part of. This is that magical moment I have been searching for. This deep peace that calms my mind and soul is the very essence of the Goddess—of Avalon—of Faery.

It is the natural world that brings me pleasure and inspiration. The warmth of the Sun is intoxicating as its bright rays caress my body as I lie comfortably on the body of Mother Earth. The sound of rushing water is soothing, lulling me into a meditative state. I close my eyes, giving myself over to the splendor of the moment. I hear rustling in the underbrush, I know not whether it is animal or Fae but I do not feel frightened. I understand that I am a guest here and must honor the ways of Nature. I silently rise from my moss covered resting place, nodding to my still hidden companion in a voiceless farewell.

As I continue on my journey through Tangle-wood (for this is what I call this wooded land I visit), the canopy of trees shades me from the noon-day sun. The air is starting to feel sticky now, thick with the humidity that makes it hard to breathe. I make my way out of Tangle-wood, regretting that I cannot spend more time in this sacred land. My home life calls to me, it is time for the more mundane tasks of the everyday world. I remember to bring a little of this magic back with me, enchanting my home with the deep beauty of Avalon and Faery.

The Goddess has blessed me once again. Morgana of Avalon whispers the sweet secrets of Faery, filling my home and life with blissful charm. The deep peace of Tangle-wood has followed me home, reminding me that Avalon can be found within and without. It is with the blessings of Avalon that I continue this journey, searching for the enchanted lands that are hidden from us, hoping to reveal Her secrets to all.

SpellCrafting: Spells & Rituals

March, 2016

Why Walk a Labyrinth

labrynth1

Photo by Mario Dasz

Merry meet.

A labyrinth offers a sacred space for introspection. In the shape of a circle, it also holds magic.

Labyrinths go back 4,000 years, are found in most major faiths and around the world. They are found in parks, places of worship and private homes, and often can be walked for free, offering the opportunity for a no-cost, nothing-needed ritual.

Unlike a maze, there is only one path in and one path out of a labyrinth. No dead ends. No wandering, lost. This makes it suitable for meditation. As you walk through a labyrinth, following the path, you head one way and then the other, turning right, turning left. This allows your awareness to shift from one side of your brain to the other and then back again.

One way to walk a labyrinth as a ritual is to prepare by taking time to reflect on what you would like to be able to resolve. Is there a situation spiritual or physical you would like to better understand, something for which youd like a solution?

labrynth2

Photo by Lynn Woike

Slowly, step into the labyrinth. Let each step be soft and deliberate. As you walk toward the center, feel yourself walking toward a bit of wisdom, an answer, a clue. Let all your senses allow you to become aware of your surroundings. Gently explore the situation: when and how did it begin, how does it make you feel, what are the effects? Hold no attachments and no emotions, remain open and allow space for insights to come to you, if not consciously, on another level. Accept visions without judgement or analyzing even if they dont make sense.

As you step into the center, let your solution sink in. Imagine how you will feel when this is resolved. Know that you are healed, supported, loved and guided.

On the return path, ask for the help you need and remain open to ways to make this happen, bringing that resolution you felt in the center back out of the labyrinth with you. Bring any deities, tools or answers you were given, leaving behind that which no longer serves you.

When you reach the end, which is also the beginning, offer gratitude for the awareness and the strength to make changes.

labrynth3

Photo by Mario Dasz

In a group, we once placed divination tools including runes and tarot decks in the center of the labyrinth before beginning our ritual. We contemplated the situation on the way in, drew from as many of the decks as we were called to do, and carried them with us on our return journey. We then gathered for cakes and ale, and, as we were moved to share, spoke about what we drew and allowed others to offer interpretations.

To help find a labyrinth near you, visit the worldwide locator at labyrinthlocator.com. To connect with others, there are Facebook groups you can join. Consider Labyrinth Wisdom, The Labyrinth Society Global Group, One Path Labyrinth Ventures. There was also a recent article in Smithsonian Magazine you might like: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/walk-worlds-meditative-labyrinths-180957823/?utm_source=smithsoniandaily&no-ist.

Enjoy your adventure!

Merry part.

And merry meet again.

HedgeWitch Days!

August, 2015

Wiltshire Witchy Walk

Bedecked with basket swinging my arm I wander out into the place from of my spiritual home, the hedgerow. The sound of my feet crunching on the gravel of the lane beat a harmonious tune in time with the grumble of the combine harvester, and I marvel at this technology, bringing in the crop cleanly and quickly, saving the vital life giving grains from the water element that threatens a sharp shower later. I bow my head in a gesture of respect to this modern monster, and the help it gives our hardworking farmers all over this glorious British isle. I give thanks to the Goddess for the grain as it is collected so efficiently this Lammas.

Renewed in my focus back to the now, my footsteps beat a slower tune as my sight sharpens on the green verge to my left. The hum of the machine is no less invasive but my ears hone their witchy vibrations as the gentle buzz of a fat honey bee lazily makes it way from creamy clover to the blush pink of the rosebay willow herb. I stop and watch as the bee bounces from blossom to blossom, speckles of pollen clinging to its round little behind. How does this now much heavier bee fly? I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for this most industrious of insects, its gift of working for Mother Nature does surely make the world keep turning, I bow my head as a mark of respect, a whisper of my thanks for all the insect life escapes my lips as I give thanks to the Goddess.

Rooted to the spot, I feel my feet connected, grounded to the earth below. Raising my head my gaze is met by a wall of green…but I look closer through Witchy eyes. My feet find what they are looking for, my connection with the earth penetrates through my flip flops, down within the warm almost moist soil and join with the force of the roots, a tangle of threads and cords envelop my ankles, holding me firmly and accepting me as a passing visitor in their space. A pulse not unlike my own heartbeat pumps through the earth as these tendrils, just like a baby’s umbilical cord, draw up and feed the canopy, supplying damp goodness on tap. I feel myself become one with this lifeline. I feel my energy travelling along these fleshy tendrils and breathe a sigh as does the hedgerow, feeling flooded with nutrients from the element of earth, our greatest recycler. I bow my head in reverence to the underworld, the labyrinth of networks, home of the worms and the roots, and I give my thanks to the Goddess.

With still rooted feet my eyes drift upwards towards the canopy, their focus sharpening, a myriad of shapes and colours explodes into my vision, the general green shapes expanding into jewel like flashes. The Hawthorn, leaves tinged with the beginning of red, bows low under its own weight of berries. In the main still green, but orange and occasionally red shining through they hold the promise of Mabon. The next door neighbour, the blackthorn supports the velvety almost blue Sloes, plump and bitter, protected by its defences of sharp thorns. The beech sits in my eye line, spreading its crisp fuzzy husks and a smattering of small tasty nuts as a strew along the lane. Hanging nestled in the leaves ready for the waiting squirrels to hoard them for winter they spend their time plumping up ready for their next journey in the cycle of life….as does the hazel sitting to the right of the Hawthorn. Green clusters of the juiciest cobs show a brown tinge of ripening and loosening from their safe haven. I bow my head and give thanks to the trees for all they provide our species and others too. I give thanks for their shelter to all creatures, and I think of the warmth of their spent branches providing fire in the coldest of times, in their death the warmth of life can continue. I whisper my thanks to the Goddess.

I smile gently as a tiny brown wren, the size of a field mouse hops through the straight Hazel whips to the Hawthorn, stopping only to pluck an insect from the truck. It spies me! Paused in a freeze frame, a moment of connection with this small soul makes my heart skip a beat. Its glinting black eye sees no threat in me and as I gently exhale it continues on its way with effortless flight, almost levitating into the sky.

My gaze follows the wren, saddened at the loss of connection to this creature of the sky, the moment and feeling passes…the glorious sky now captivates my vision. Lifting my head I inhale a warm autumnal breath. It permeates my nostrils with grain dust and grassiness, and floods through my veins, sealing the moment of the season into my very being. The element of air comes to me like a wave, cleansing me inside and out as my fringe is lifted delicately away from my forehead to allow the dancing sunlight to touch my face. I close my eyes for only a moment and embrace the gift of this most tactical of elements. I feel complete, a part of the landscape in which I stand as I receive no special treatment from the breeze, its caress is all inclusive, from the tiniest ant to the tallest oak. My mind flips back to the farmer, knowing he too will feel this healing wash of air as he works.

My eyes flutter open slowly, adjusting to the golden light. How wondrous is the sky?!

Blue, clear clean blue peppered with white candy floss clouds. The grey of the autumn rain clouds hover in the distance, waiting in line for their turn to fill the picture above my head. Crows circle over to my left as they follow the trail of the combine, a meal of the finest just cut wheat awaits. I feel my inner being drift upwards to connect with the clouds, seeing as if sat atop of them. The rolling hills, the streams and lanes, the market towns, villages and fields are all laid out in a tapestry, a patchwork quilt of the most ancient threads, linking and holding together the communities and all sentient beings as far as the eye can see and further still. What mystery is held within that sky! What goes beyond? I lower my head in respect to the upper world, in respect of the mysteries of this life, my heart hoping one day to learn some of their secrets as I quietly give thanks to the Goddess.

My breath is a deep one as all the elements converge once again to allow the complete picture. My being becomes centred as my feet are released from their nest of roots and my mind returns from the mysteries of the sky…I feel renewed, replenished, restored, connected. My basket is empty, save the odd piece of abandoned rubbish, snatched from the mesh of the hedgerows tangle of branches, removed as my offering of thanks to our Mother. My soul is full and my heart sings with the joy of my spiritual fulfillment. As my steps carry me home I whisper a final thanks to the Goddess for my journey today, for her gifts that, as ever, are unconditional.

I find myself at my own front door and check my watch. I have been gone almost two hours from this time, and I remind myself that the magical path I walk upon holds no time constraints. I breathe one last magical breath, ask that the magic of my walk today touches all I do. I cocoon the energy of today around my inner soul, draping it in and around me like a sheer luminous silk.

This is the magic of my home, Wiltshire. It does not just reside amongst the obvious stone circles and barrows, nor is it the landmarks so conveniently printed in our maps. It is the ancient connection of this my homeland that runs all across our beloved Mother Earth, knotting us all together as part of an invisible web of energy, love and light.

How blessed we all are to be part of that web!