My story in spoken word
A plush, deep red velvet bag nestled in a box together with a little book; strange symbols inscribed upon the cover and exterior. It seemed so out of place in the self-help section. You know the one – every type of holistic, spiritual, astrological, vegan, feng shui, eco warrior existence smooshed together on one shelf. My book is red, white and black. Angular, brutal symbols carved deep and true into its glossy cover. I feel them. Not in my head, or my heart, but in my blood. This is the first voice to call me home – though I do not know it yet. A pebble on the path, a piece of grit for my soul.
The wheel turns. I am 18. Standing on the cold damp platform in that muffled, shuffling time between trains. Engaged in the ritual of shutting down. It started at night, in the darkness. I don’t’ remember when I became afraid of the dark. Gut-wrenching, heart-stopping, numb from head-to-toe. Clenching every muscle in your body until you’re so still you’re not even breathing. The clock thuds dully in the corner, impassive and immune to terror. I want to be the clock. The convenient, reliable clock who doesn’t wake everyone up screaming. Become the clock. Then the walk to school, college, work. A steady bricking up of my inner world. Slab by slab, step by step. I have already learned some parts of me are not to be taken out into the world. I have already learned that my sensitive soul cannot feel the pain of others without wanting to respond. As I stand, unblinking, staring at the train indicator a woman in green moves out of lane, brushing past me. The smell of her coffee fills my nostrils and jolts me out of rhythm. Hot, rich, exotic. Ripping through my wall. Shocking me into my seeing self, unprepared, unfettered. In that moment I feel it in my chest, a deep, dark, clawing thorn. Growing there, painfully rooted inside my diaphragm. It is seered into me, I cannot unsee it but I have not been taught how to deal with it.
Like so many souls from the western world I am parched and bleeding for something sacred, real and rooted. I become a collector of experiences, trainings, knowledge. I follow the rainbow trail of the chakras. I seek out the Gods in their temples where the incense burns thick and hot, I summon angels, whisper to crystals. Healer after healer sees the thorn, affirms its realness, helps with the wall. I stand in circle, I lead circle, I call on the spirit of the beating drum. I walk the ancient paths of the ancestors of the earth. I am healing, but I am not home. Still I walk the world with a thorn inside me. I clear it, extract it, diminish it. Still it burns.
On my windowsill my little red bag has been bleached silver grey by the Sun and Moon. The runes inside are throbbing in song. The ancient alphabet of the northern peoples. There was no circle to join, no teacher to show me my path. Alone I worked through the runes, day after day feeling their smooth surfaces and deep etched lines beneath my fingers. I draw Thurisaz many times. The rune of the thorn, the resistor of repression. It erupts in anger and burns in the heart of Mjolnir – the Hammer that protects the earth itself. It is a rune of the heart, it is the iron in the blood. Alongside all my learning, my many books, many courses, many ceremonies, rituals and healing journeys I begin to gather the stories of my runes. However far I journey out they call me home; this is their gift. I come to know the thorn. It is my soul wound. The place where my story rages beneath the surface and demands to be heard. When I tend to it, it is soft as a blushing rose petal in the sun. It vibrates in greeting like the quivering needle of a compass: This is not a path I have learned, it is one I have remembered. When I deny myself, shut down, brick up it becomes the thorn. Thurisaz. Rune of giants, storms, rages and lightning. Roar of the subconscious mind, thorn of the heart.
I am a story-keeper for the people of the northern lands who, like me, seek themselves on that book shelf. Who hear the call of our planet and our ancestors past and future. Who were prepared to stand and make their difference. A purpose, a calling that has becomes a path and a profession. The western world holds a powerful tribe from an ancient land lost beneath the layers of time. No text for us, no rite of passage, just fragments lodged in land, word and heart. Empaths, old souls, and intuitives whose innate creativity means they can pick up the threads from any tradition and find a way through to healing. I remember that the word healing comes from the northern lands, it means to restore to health, to become whole. We deserve to be whole. Our wise eyes and dreaming selves are calling us home.
I work with men and women of the western world who run successful holistic and self-development businesses and are now seeking a more authentic, connected path for themselves and their tribes. A way that is not stolen, borrowed or even gifted, one that is theirs to claim. Our heart stories are forgotten but not lost. Their fragments are held in our land, our bodies, our fairy tales and our languages. They are calling us in to remembrance in this age where man will either soar, or fall. We too have our part to play.
Through my work I create immersive experiences of story, song, picture and play through which this powerful tribe come to know themselves and their stories once more. Acts of remembering and re-imagining. Reclaiming the tools of healing and magic forged for their hands, their tongues, their hearts. Connection to the spirit guides and teachers of the northern lands. My Hearthspace community is a space of story, play and practice. My training programmes are guided journeys to the knowledge held deep in your bones. And, when the path is unclear or the soul-wound thorn burns, 1-2-1 help and support to find your way home.
- Back in the ‘noughties’ I trained as a shamanic practitioner with Kay Gillard mastering practices including soul retrieval, power retrieval, cord cutting, extraction, past life regression, journeying and sound healing. We co-founded our own training practice StarFire Alchemy and developed northern tradition techniques which I further developed through Magin Rose founded in 2010. I continue to weave my qualifications as a reiki master, tarot reader, crystal healer and stress manager into my seership, healing and mentoring.
- I was initiatied into the Wiccan Alexandrian movement 15 years ago and continue to honour the eight spoked wheel of the year. I have run a number of groups over the years including a northern tradition guild and psychic circle. I practice an exploratory form of seidr in a closed group.
- I am a qualified Women’s Leadership Coach with One of Many specialising in helping highly qualified, emotionally intelligent and deeply intuitive women express their gifts authentically and powerfully in their work, lives and leadership. If you are interested in coaching please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- I have two Masters degrees and have spent 25 years working in universities as a service leader, equality and diversity champion, strategist and consultant.
My path is an ecclectic one which I know can generate cynicism amongs people who follow a single, well-trodden path. I have sought to navigate my way through holding fast to the following values: thorough research to guide my work, respect for the traditions, cultures and human heritage from which the practice stems; reverance and openess to guidance from the divine.
I believe that genuine exploration of a spiritual path enriches the soul. My conception of the ‘woven soul’ which I have found so helpful within the northern tradition provides me with the freedom to recognise I have led whole lifetimes following other traditions and these remain part of me. My guides, gods and teachers are as varied as they are powerful and inspiring. I spent many years wondering why, when others seemed to find themselves within a single tradition, I could not be comfortable within a rigid path dictated by others, nor could I accept that one path was more ‘right’ than another.
As long as I am guided by my values I am now entirely comfortable with the freedom I have to gather the threads I need from across traditions and draw them into my own soul tapestry – it is in the weaving that unity is found and a solid, coherent path is created. The gaps, spaces and tensions between different traditions and spiritual frameworks should not be ignored (and I am not claiming connections where they are none), but for me these points of disruption, uncertainty and contradiction are opportunities for personal discovery, evolution and transformation.
I look forward to meeting you on the road.