Firstly, a little request to be gentle with your comments. This piece contains some deeply personal spiritual experiences and gnosis. This type of experience is hugely symbolic and meaningful to me as the practitioner, but can be hard to translate into words. It takes vulnerability to bring these spiritual visions into the light of public scrutiny so I ask that if you can’t relate, please keep it to yourself with my hopes for your own profound spiritual insights. Thank you.
Finishing the Boudica series of novels (by Manda Scott) was tough and as I read of the inevitable death of The Boudica, knowing what that has meant for the Britain I now inhabit, I honour that grief that laid thick on my heart and in my bones for many months.
To be honest, I’ve always resented the Romans for conquering this island, bringing their nailed God and concept of ‘civitas’ – citizenship, and what it was to be civilised. I know this is naive, and I’ve accepted that I am a naive soul and that’s ok. Of course, I know the Roman invasion was but one spoke in the wheel of those who have sought to crush us with religiosity, law, and later disenchantment, industrialisation, patriarchy, white supremacy, capitalism and all the other things I perceive as having challenged the beauty of living on this amazing planet.
But my body and soul always seem to look to the past for answers. I try not to romanticise the life of those on these isles before me, and am careful with the archeological and historical sources I put my trust in. But still, I feel in my many visits to ancient barrows, stone circles, grave mounds, sacred springs, chalk figures and museums, a grave loss of something colossal, and that loss was a world where the imprint of humans on the land was far less than the presence of nature, when we were just another species among many.
Of course, to be human is to strive and I’m no primitivist (I think). We always would have grown, our technology blooming from flint to microchip, but oh to live in a time when the Gods were among us rather than profit being god!
But it is this present sense of loss that interests me as well as the archaeological reality of Iron Age life. Boudica remains a symbol and the feelings raised by these books are in response to my internalised sense of loss based on my personal imaginings of pre-Roman and pre-Christian cosmologies and praxis. And these cosmologies have been for me, a balm against the current capitalist hellscape in which we find ourselves today.
When I connected with my ancestors to try to better understand these feelings, the message I received was, ‘grief and sacred rage are a bridge to the ancestors.’ This is comforting and makes me consider the experiences of struggle amongst those who have come before me. All of our ancestors include victors and victims but in this situation I also got a very specific sensation – that I can only express as an embodied sense of Albion, or the Spirit of Britain (though I acknowledge how problematic the wording is for the latter in a colonial context).
Albion remains, for me, an embodied concept that is brought to the fore when I experience folk tradition, hear myth brought alive, see museum objects, feel the sounds of folk music humm deep within me. I can’t tell you what exactly that feeling is conceptualising, other than to say that to revel in certain elements of folk culture burns a flame within me, and that flame is key in considering this loss and longing. It helps me feel like I’m accessing something not only from the past, but that helps me embody the thread of connection that remains with my ancestors, stretching back through time.
I feel these ancestral messages from my ritual will take a long time to process and will bring differing layers of insights as it sinks through my subconscious, but by far the most long-lasting part of my processing these insights came from a specific symbolic gift from the Otherworld, the triskele. Let me take you on a brief journey…
Deep within an Otherworldly journeying session I found myself far from my familiar haunts and in the most primordial place I’ve been so far, the darkness. I’ve been here before, an endless space of darkness that, far from being scary, is womb-like in its cocoon of safety. What I realised from this particular journey is that this place is timeless, meaning it contains all times, all places. The form that the gift of this realisation came in was the triskele, a symbol I’ve had a life-long connection to. The variation that I particularly like is where the triple spirals form a triangular space in the centre of the spirals. I was gifted the realisation that this primordial darkness I was experiencing WAS this central space of the triskele, and that this darkness, being home to all ancestors past, present and future, meant that truly nothing was lost in the Roman conquest of this land. All of the beauty, magic and potency of the days of Boudicca, the Druids and the tribes, is still here! I mean, wow! What a thing to arrive at! What a balm against the pain of the grief I’ve mentioned.
From this remarkable gift came a string of other insights. The Otherworld can never be taken from us, was a strong message I received that came with such a sense of belonging and relief. That no matter what oppression we face, we always have our inner landscape, our myths, our Gods and ancestors.
In discovering this came the knowledge that as spiritual seekers, our task is then to connect, to truly seek the ancestral wisdom that is our birth-right. Hmm I never thought I’d say something so cheesy, but I mean it with my whole heart. This is a life’s pursuit; to undo capitalist and productivity indoctrination in order to give ourselves permission to open up to such insights and relationships, but I feel deeply happy to know that I’m on this path.
So, drawing together these threads, what have I learnt? Firstly, the symbols created where myth and history blur, can continue to impact us, regardless of the form in which we experience them, and whether fact, fiction or something in between. Secondly, it’s more than OK to be deeply impacted by the past as history and legend provides a wellspring of psycho-spiritual inspiration, of awen and revelation. More than this, these insights are deeply healing in that they can help us deal with the rigours of living in this extractive and oppressive system. Lastly, the gift I was given through the triskele symbolism showed me that the wisdom of our ancestors remains accessible to us all. Ancestral wisdom lives on in us and can also be found in the Otherworld, and in seeking this knowledge we also renew and strengthen our relationships to our ancestors, whether they be of blood, of tradition or of place, as us Druids would have it.
A connection to ancestors has only been part of my life for a handful or years and, in truth, I didn’t know what people meant when they discussed accessing ancestral wisdom. So if that’s you right now, I can relate. I’d love to know if you’ve ever been gifted insights or knowledge from your ancestors and, if not, what do you think could be your first step on that path?
If you want to lean into some support in this world to help you forge practices to connect to ancestors or deity, if you could use some advice or broader perspectives about your spiritual path, whether fresh out the broom closet or looking to revive and reimagine your practices, I’m here for one-to-one spiritual coaching. My services via Labyrinth Life Coaching offer radical and spiritual support and I’d love to connect with you on a free call to chat about how I can help you (see the Labyrinth Life Coaching page of the website: https://www.walkthespiralpath.co.uk/coaching/ ).
May the voice of your Gods, guides and ancestors support you on the path…
Imposter syndrome is a reality for many of us and since starting Spiral Path at the start of 2021, it has surprised me many times by sneaking in and undermining me before I’ve even become aware of its presence. This has led me to understand the real importance of support systems. We’re going to look at the advice of mentors and like-minded folks, as well as spiritual support and acceptance as a part of this.
Recently I was feeling very stuck with something in my business. I realised I had unwittingly created a narrative about how I expected it to unfold and when it didn’t, I simply didn’t know what to do. I sought a range of advice and I got more than I bargained for! I didn’t just get an answer about how to move ahead, I received the realisation that the narrative, the plan I’d created for a particular offering wasn’t based on anything other than replicating what I had seen others do. I was so shocked when someone questioned why I was fighting so hard to make something work when, as they suggested, it could just run in a different way! A different way!? Why hadn’t I seen it?
On top of that, another source I turned to for help gave me some advice that was just so far from who I am and what Spiral Path is about, I started to doubt myself. If this professional business advisor was suggesting something so alien to me, surely I’m at fault?! Thankfully, after some rest and encouragement I came to see the huge difference between advice given by like-minded people versus conventional support. Those with a similar approach to business were just as grossed out by the tone of the suggestion as I was, soothing my worries and giving me the courage to ignore the suggestion. There is so much vulnerability in being an anti-capitalist small business owner with no business experience! I realised I’d given allot of weight to this advisor due to their job role, but in actuality, this did not translate to knowing me and my business, therefore it was down to ME which piece of their advice I take on, and which I release. Phew, what a relief!
Support systems can bring us realisations and relief and can look like any number of things. Perhaps it’s self-soothing methods to bring some space and perspective. Perhaps it’s a trusted friend helping you with the figures (what a legend!). For me in the case above, once the suggestion had been made by a friend that I could totally change the method I was trying (and failing) to use to deliver my BLOOM BLOCK offering, I knew I need my most trusted tool – the pros vs cons list. It may not strike you as cutting edge business planning, but I promise it’s not something to take for granted. When I started to think about my need to talk to you all about these themes and drew together some of the threads around it, I arrived at the insight that whenever I’ve done a pros vs cons list in the past, I actually knew beforehand what I had chosen, but I needed to put it down on paper so I could give myself permission to go with what my intuition was already shouting at me. Do you have any methods for allowing your inner voice to tell you what it already knows?
This realisation led me to bring in my spiritual support systems. I understood how in my spiritual life I’ve been open for many years to being led by my intuition and guides (did you know Spiral Path was a concept given to me by one of my deity? You can’t ignore something like that!) So why haven’t I been open to that with the running of my business? But when I made that list to decide if I should overhaul the BLOOM BLOCK process, it was my intuition, not my rational thinking that told me what was right. This type of planning then allows me to be value-led rather than disempowering myself by simply following others as I had been doing. So, moving forward, it’s exciting to see where my intuition might take Spiral Path now I’ve given it the reins.
And this leaning into acceptance is not just about giving space for my intuition to speak. I had a hot minute there, after accepting what the list was confirming, telling myself that to make a u-turn is not a failure! I’m not a politician after all! I probably blocked out my inner voice to try lessen the imposter syndrome, but if my business is truly heart-led, I need to create space for my heart to speak, as well as listen to those who understand my values and spirit.
Do you have people like this you can turn to? Do you use spiritual support systems? I’d love to hear. These questions are the reason why I started Labyrinth Life Coaching. I had never been able to find someone I could go to for support who shared my radical values. LLC provides radical support because we all live in a world where oppression and marginalisation shape us. To try to create change without acknowledging that is unfair, just as unfair as putting the emphasis on personal change only when it is system change that is so desperately needed too.
I’m so pleased to say that the full range of LLC offerings is now available to help you on your path. SEED SESSION gives you a potent one-off session to explore your goals and dreams through the body. BLOOM BLOCK is a 3 month coaching deep dive where we can form a plan and smash your barriers (and yes, I stopped trying to make the waiting list work and, thanks to some excellent advice, you can now start whenever is right for you!) and SPIRIT SPEAK is a one-shot of spiritual advice.
It’s my job to be part of your support system as we walk the labyrinth path together, deep into the heart of who you are, what your values are, what your hopes and dreams are and what your intuition is trying to tell you about them. This is the support I always dreamed of, and now it’s my honour to hold space for you. With radical coaching, personalised tools and your commitment coupled with my support, we can change your path.