In the depth of the black night they sound so loud.
High in the trees they are calling to one another.
Wise owls that in my half awake state, I imagine to have glistening eyes and soft feathers. They disturb my sleep and dream state which on this last night alone has been wildly vivid. At times I wake and feel like I am embodying what I dream of – running, sweating, dancing, laughing – only to then realise I am in darkness, half sleep, with the rain gently falling on my tent.
The night is long. The longest of them all.
Waking pre-dawn I can barely believe I have spent three nights alone in this beautiful wild, with nothing passing my lips but water. By the middle of today I will return to see everyone else who has been out. Do I want to? I genuinely do not know.
I spend the morning gently walking, journaling and thinking about my beautiful vision. Right now, in this moment, I’ve never felt more whole, connected and sure of who I am. The feeling of connection I have with The Great Mother feels as though it has crawled its way beneath my fingernails and into my blood. Earthly. Held. Nurtured. Nourished.
“All that I am is within you.”
All of the flowers and trees and wind and rain and creatures and rainbows and storms and light and darkness and soil and sand and water and mud and mountains and caves and…
“All that I am is within you.”
You are beautiful and strong and flowing and regenerative and wild and heavenly and unpredictable and shining and shadowy and rich and grainy and lush and thick and tall and deep and…
Slowly I begin to pack up my tent. Every step I take feels like ten and I move at a snails pace. By the sun I make it to be midday or past. It’s time to return and I am at once excited to see my sisters but also in so many ways wishing to remain where I am. What is waiting for me? Do I look different? Will they know and understand?
I am greeted with beaming smiles and a warm hug and a beautiful support sister sits with me gently, asking only what I would like to eat. And I am lost for words in what to answer asking only for water to begin with. Most of my sisters have returned by the time I came back and I can see it is important for us all not to crowd each other or ask a barrage of questions. I don’t want them asked of me and truth be told I don’t have the energy to ask them of others. It’s just good to see each other again.
The smell of stewed apples drifts my way and I know I’ve found what I first wish to eat. A warming cup and teaspoon are my companions for the next hour while I gently have my first food in four days. Expecting to be ravenous I instead eat like a delicate bird, almost afraid at what may happen. And that continues for the next few days while I slowly adjust.
Over the next two days and nights I adore listening to each sister recount her experiences of her time alone. Each so different and yet so similar. Heartfelt journeys of connectedness, fear, laughter, sleeplessness, drumming, earth magick, bush medicine, animals, birds, wind, rain, sunshine, love and self-love.
And when it comes time to drive away and back to my life I feel joyously happy.
I am not changed. Just more myself than ever before.
Many people have asked me about my solo journey since my return and I will openly admit that it has been hard at times to find the words to articulate the experience and what it meant and means to me. I still stumble in trying to formulate language to an experience that was so focused on the present moment and felt almost cocooned in a space and time not of my own and yet all of my own.
All I can share with you is what I know to be true right now. Did I know it before? Of course. But maybe not in the way I do now.
• We eat out of habit.
• Water is life.
• What you think you fear is more fearful than what you are actually fearful of.
• It doesn’t hurt to get rained on.
• Journaling is a salve for the soul and your sanity.
• Owls are loud.
• Knowing oneself in both light and shadow is one of our greatest life callings. It is where all transformation stems from.
• You are loved every moment of every day and night by the Great Mother.
• You hold your life vision inside of you.
• Nature heals both wildly and tenderly.
• Time alone is a gift.
• I am a stewardess of flowers and beauty.
• I am capable of great and hard things. And so are you.
I am so deeply grateful to the School of Shamanic Womancraft for this incredible year long journey. As cliche as it may sound it was truly life changing. I have deepened my connection to source and myself in the deepest and most challenging ways. It was not easy. In fact at times it was outrageously hard, uncomfortable and dark. And it was only through those hard and dark times that I was able to appreciate my light and divinity in a way that is not egoic or surface orientated.
Rather it is rooted in the richness of the beautiful land below me, love within me, sisters around me and the Goddess and source above me.
Grounded. Connected. Sourced. Loved.