The Wise Woman SHEro Pilgrimage

The Wise Woman SHEro Pilgrimage

Rhythm. When we are connected to our rhythm we can connect more deeply with ourselves, others and the world around us.

There is a beauty in rhythm. A trust in the pattern of the rhythm.

Our lives are guided by these patterns.

The seasons keeping rhythm, and the sun and the moon keeping time.

Internal body clocks and monthly menstrual cycles.

There’s a majesty in patterns.

They are dependable and bring structure, routine and order to our lives.

When you feel out of synch, disconnected or overwhelmed, you can be sure that you have lost the pattern of your rhythm.

We must re-discover our natural rhythms, as we rarely set our own pace, instead being governed by alarm clocks and the expected schedules of others.

Working with the wheel of the year connects us back into the natural rhythm of the world around us.

The seasons set the pace, all around us reminding us what energies are flowing in and around us.

Spring brings with it the energy of growth.

Summer brings fruition.

Autumn brings reflection and release.

And winter, the rest and renewal.

These natural cycles remind us that we live in circular and spiral patterns, and not the linear timescales we try to squish ourselves into.

The SHEro Pilgrimages are designed to re-connect you to your own inner rhythms, by remembering what we instinctively know, that there are greater rhythms with a greater intelligence to guide us through our lives.

As John O’Donohue said in his book Divine Beauty:

“The ancient rhythms of the earth have insinuated themselves into the rhythms of the human heart. The earth is not outside us; it is within: the clay from where the tree of the body grows.”

When you find your own natural rhythm, you can relax into it, knowing that you are part of the sacred wholeness of life, leaving your energy to expand into other levels of awareness.

To celebrate the Winter Solstice I held the very first SHEro Pilgrimage with Clare Barnes of Artemis Rising.

The Winter Solstice is the celebration of the return of the sun, as the days began to gradually get longer again.

On the SHEro’s Journey the Wise Woman embodies the energy of the Winter Solstice, and her landscape is the sacred space of the Red Tent.

The Wise Woman SHEro has become all that she was meant to be. She doesn’t need to prove herself to anyone else, because she knows who she is and her work is done.

She embodies the energy of wholeness, sacredness and mystery.

For this SHEro Pilgrimage we held it as a virtual event, as I know that many people would LOVE to come to my Red Tent in Herefordshire, but just can’t make the trip, and I didn’t want that to stop people having a wonderful experience.

So I set up a video conference via zoom and invited people in my Sacred Grove community to join us for the full experience of being held in the sacred space of the Red Tent.

During the pilgrimage we explored the energy of the Wise-Woman, and did a journey meditation guided by drumming.

It was amazing, here’s some of the feedback:

“I had somehow gotton away from myself again. Thank you for coming to get me – Now I’m bringing me back”.

“Thank you for creating such as amazing, safe and healing space. That spiralling with the drumming… Wow that felt amazing! I could feel my womb space pulsing under my hands. An excellent first pilgrimage. So much gratitude for this group.”

“Amazing amazing! I felt so much joy and peace listening to the replay”.

One woman even shared with me that she felt like she was going to orgasm listening to the journey mediation – obviously that wasn’t the intention, but we will certainly embrace that!!

Re-connecting to the wisdom of the rhythms can bring you back into deep connection with yourself, and pilgrimages literally walk yourself back home to yourself.

When I was completing my Priestess of Cerridwen Training, in Glastonbury, there was a song that we used to chant:

“Every step I take is a sacred step,

Every step I take is a healing step,

Healing, healing, healing my body,

Healing, healing, healing the land.”

Every step we take on these SHEro Pilgrimages is a sacred step, it is a healing step, as we heal ourselves, and connect more deeply with ourselves and the land around us. 

Knotting your intentions into being

Knotting your intentions into being

This weekend I hosted a Red Tent here in my yurt in Herefordshire.

These always feel like extra special events where women gather to share time and space with women who ‘get them’.

It’s a time and space where you can let your guard down and relax into the truth of who you are.

In preparation for the events I always have an outline of my intentions for the day, but it often unfolds into its own perfect form.

I hold the sacred space and it’s important to me that women leave feeling nurtured and nourished, (I often do this with food too…although I tell people to bring some food with them, inevitably I make some food too – sometimes it’s raw vegan lemon cheesecake, this time it was hearty vegetable soup…)

I love to hold space for women.

To create a space where you can feel held, witnessed and heard.

If you’re into astrology I have my moon in Cancer – so I am The nurturer, you will always be safe and looked after with me…

A couple of weeks ago I held two virtual Re-Enchant Your Life retreats for my group The Sacred Grove where we reviewed the year, reconnected to what was important to us and then re-envisioned our future.

I’ve always found it important to make a conscious check-in with ourselves.

Too often we can find ourselves going through the motions, and then feeling frustrated and cranky, and not really understanding that the frustration comes from living a life that’s out of alignment with your energy and values.

I truly wish this was taught schools, it certainly wasn’t when I was at school… we learnt how to be ‘good girls’, to not make a fuss, and to focus on our grades.

We were taught nothing about connecting with our own emotional or spiritual well-being.

Nothing about focusing on and developing our individual skills, especially our non-academic skills.

Nothing on finding our own answers within and learning how to be a Sovereign woman – We were taught that answers always came from an authority outside of ourselves.

And we were certainly not taught anything on the value of pausing and reflecting. It was all strive, strive, strive.

In fact if this was mentioned, it would probably have been considered ‘indulgent’ and not at all important. It was much more important (or maybe that should be easier…) if we were compliant and followed the ‘rules’.

This ‘education’ not only comes from schools, but from our families, and society in general, which makes it even more important than ever to stop and pause, and to notice those areas of frustration.

Those areas of frustration are your soul and spirit telling you that you are ready to expand into something bigger, but as yet you aren’t aware of the new rules or framework on how to do this, as you are still operating on the ‘good girl’ software.

So I chose to hold the Re-Enchant Your Life retreats at this time of year, as it’s the perfect energy to take that moment to consciously reflect on what’s worked for you and what hasn’t. What’s actually yours and what are the expectations of others.

It’s a chance to honestly notice what you’re doing and why, so that you can decide what you’re carrying forward and what you’re letting go of.

We then took the time to connect with what was actually important to us, so that we could set intentions for the year ahead that were in alignment with who we were becoming.

Some of these intentions looked like goals for people, others looked like values and feelings that they wanted front and centre of their life, often it was a combination of the two.

Importantly, there was no right or wrong way to do this, only the way that felt expansive.

It’s simple, but very powerful work.

To build on this, I thought it would be great to then quite literally weave these intentions into being.

So during the Red Tent we created Witches Ladders, or as I renamed them ‘SHEro Intention Ladders’ – these are simply braided ribbons, that with each knot and weave of the ribbons, you activate with your clear intentions (you can see mine below on the right).

We picked out ribbon, cords, and threads in colours that activated our intentions.

Then we chose objects to weave into our ribbons and threads that were symbolic of our intentions. We used crystals, feathers, ogham sticks, dried fruit, charms, feathers and beads.

We then braided everything together, focusing completely on our intentions, so that we could weave them into being.

We did this in silence, held in the sacred space of the Red Tent.

The energy of the tent was completely different.

Usually it’s filled with conversation and laughter.

This was reverence, sacred, intentional.

You could feel the magic weaving it’s way round the tent.

These ladders once completed are hung up, placed on your altar, on your desk, in your bag, as something tangible to remind you of and reconnect you to your intentions.

They can be used for meditation, much like a rosary.

These are working tools, not just something pretty to be forgotten about.

This is practical magic!

Fun, intentional, sacred and joyful.

Then after we completed our ladders, we drew oracle cards for the year.

We asked the cards for what action we needed to take for each month to bring our intentions into being.

We then asked the herb, plant and tree cards, what herb/plant/tree we need to work with that month to support us and our intentions.

I usually draw cards to give overall guidance for the month, but it felt more relevant to ask what action we needed to take.

And I always trust my feelings and intuition! After all that is what I hold space for women to do too – to completely trust and believe in themselves!

As early evening drew in and it became darker, we snuggled under blankets, and by the light of just the candles and fairylights we listened to stories told and sang by Carolyn Hillyer, and ate mince pies…

I think it’s fair to say that I create events that I want to attend lol…

There is something so magical about giving yourself the time and the space to create sacred tools that I suggested to the members of The Sacred Grove, that we start to make these tools with each of the Sabbats, the earth celebrations, in our virtual Red Tent.

Members of The Sacred Grove are all around the world, just because they couldn’t come to my home, I didn’t want to miss out on such a beautiful event.

And guess what? They loved the idea, so that’s what we’ll be doing too!

If you’d love to join us and learn more about this amazing community, you can do so here: Join us in the sacred sisterhood

And if you’re wondering how people from all round the world join together to make sacred tools….

It’s really very easy! Before the event I would give you everything that you need to know and of course including a list of what you need to bring with you. Then at the time of the event, I will be in my red tent and use a video conferencing system called Zoom, so that you can join me in this sacred space.

From there everything is the same as if we were all together, except at the end you won’t get to try any of my delicious soup (but I would of course share the recipe!)

Here’s your invite again to join us weave magic in The Sacred Grove

Believe in who you are

Believe in who you are

The New Moon is the perfect time to rest and tap into your intuition

“Believe in who you are

Believe in what is yours.

Believe in your power.

Believe in what lies

In the depth of your soul…”

– Meg Bowman

These were the words that opened my 67th virtual Red Tent tonight. It seemed a perfect reading to explore the energy of the Sagittarius New Moon.

I host virtual Red Tents for the members of my Sacred Grove Community with the New Moon and Full Moons throughout the year – I can’t believe that we are at no. 67! How did that happen?

I feel it’s important for women to have a place where they can spend an hour or so where nothing is expected of them. They show up to the call and all they have to do is rest and receive.

My intention is always the same each month: that each woman allow herself the space to honour herself, to rest and be restored, then I add a little extra to harness the energy of the particular moon.

Before I read the opening poem/reading, I like to draw a Womansrune card to offer insight into the the themes of the event, and even after all these years, the accuracy of the card never fails to amaze me.

Today’s card was the The Dark Moon – The Rune of Wisdom. This fitted perfectly with today’s theme of setting bigger, bolder, and more adventurous intentions with the expansive and confident energy of Sagittarius.

The card spoke to me of trusting your own wisdom, of having the courage to sink deep into yourself and allowing yourself to name and claim your own dreams and vision for your life – ‘Believe in who you are’.

Too often people, especially women, can be so busy going through the motions of life, checking off those boxes of expectations, that you can completely lose track of what YOU actually wanted from life. What you find fulfilling and what brings meaning and purpose to your life.

After I draw the card, I always like to see what card is behind it, as the cards always tell a story. Today the card behind the Dark Moon was The Labyris – The Rune of Will.

This seemed like the perfect card to support your own wisdom, as it’s about cutting away those things that hold you back or weigh you down. It’s about making clear choices and aligning with those choices – ‘Believe in who you are’.

After we’ve explored the energy of the moon, and shared intentions (ask me about the Carebear stare another time!), we do an energy clearing and activation to release the energetic patterns that prevent us from reaching and achieving our intentions.

The main part of the clearing today was around the energy of “Fear of not being heard”.

Two things came up as we cleared the energy around this:

  1. It’s the holiday season and many people will be spending more time with their families. This is enough to trigger old patterns of being the ‘good girl’, or the ‘child’ in a family situation. Even if you are a fully grown adult with responsibilities.
    Triggering patterns of not being listened to, being dismissed or even ridiculed for your beliefs or dreams.
  2. Not listening to, or trusting, your own intuition. Not allowing yourself to hear your dreams and desires.

It reminded me of a time from my own childhood.

Each year at Christmas we would travel across the UK to go and visit my mums family.

When I was 13 I became a vegetarian, Back in those days (lol) being a vegetarian wasn’t that common. But I think it’s fair to say that people new what it meant – I didn’t eat meat…

So the first year I was vegetarian at my Aunty’s house for the Christmas gathering, she served me minestrone soup with ham in it.

When I said that I couldn’t eat it because I was vegetarian, she said ‘Oh yes I know, but you eat ham don’t you?’… I could almost have understood if it had been chicken… there are some people who call themselves vegetarian but still eat chicken or fish… but not pig!

The next year the same thing happened, but this time it was chicken… ‘Oh I know you’re vegetarian, but you eat chicken don’t you?’

Talk about not being heard… Perhaps you can relate?

These patterns can often follow us throughout our life, showing up in all areas.

Do you find it easy to speak up, do you feel heard, or do you have to shout and almost have a meltdown before people take notice?

Do you listen to your intuition, hold space for yourself to connect deeply with your hopes, dreams and desires, or is that very idea alien to you?

How would your life be different if:

  1. You felt heard, witnessed and seen. People listened to you, believed in you and supported your ideas and dreams (even the hair-brained ones!)
  2. You listened to, and completely trusted, yourself. You believed in who you were.

During each energy clearing, as we gently remove and dissolve another layer of limiting beliefs, fears and out-dated patterns, and that’s exactly what people begin to experience.

They trust in themselves, and make confident choices that are aligned with their truth, energy and values! No more doubt or second-guessing themselves (or at least much less!)

Then after the energy clearing, now that you’re relaxed and more connected with your intuitive self, we do a meditation along the theme of the Moon’s energy, this month I thought I’d try something new.

For longer than I’d care to admit… okay I’ll tell you… at least year, I’ve been wanting to write meditations that are specifically for the energy of the Zodiac signs as the Moon travels through them – this month was the first time I actually did it! And writing it here, in black and white, is my commitment to keep going – only 23 more to go!

We then finish the Red Tent with me drawing cards for the members who want some additional guidance, again I love seeing the patterns and messages emerge for people as the months unfold – nothing in these events is ever random, everything has a meaning!

I love these Red Tents, I love the community we’ve created in the Sacred Grove – it’s all the perfect blend of accountability, guidance and space to connect with your inner voice and truth – even if you don’t know where to begin.

No expectations, people dip in and out of what they need, but always knowing they are held and there’s a space for them to come and explore their passions, beliefs and desires, share their concerns and challenges, or have a community to celebrate with them.

If you don’t have a space where you can do all of this I highly recommend that you find one! It will quite literally change your world!

Everyone needs a community where you can be witnessed, celebrated and where you feel safe to explore all the things that light you up.

Of course you are more than welcome to see if The Sacred Grove is a good fit for you, but if this isn’t for you find one that suits exactly what you do need.

So in the spirit of the Sagittarius New Moon, what bigger, bolder, more expansive intentions/goals/dreams are you setting for yourself and what community is going to support you reach them as you learn to more deeply trust and ‘believe in who you are’?

Why Every Woman Needs To Know About Red Tents

Why Every Woman Needs To Know About Red Tents

When I was growing up, apart from the obvious anatomy, I never realised I was different from a man, and I certainly never considered myself any less capable than a man.

As a child I saw my mum doing the wallpapering, the painting and decorating, I’d heard her talk of roofing a house and fixing a car – none of which you’d ever find my step-dad doing.

She’d also cook and clean.

At school I excelled academically. I had no reason to think that I was any less intelligent than the boys, especially when my grades and exam results were higher than most of theirs.

In fact I never realised that as a woman, I would ever have been considered less able in any area of my life, just because I was a woman.