a person with whom one shares a secret or private matter, trusting them not to repeat it to others.
Vasilisa had a doll! I have Peggie!
Peggie and I communicate at least once a week! She knows me better than I know myself, doesn’t spin me any nonsense or spare me truths. I trust her completely! She acts as a guide when I am not sure what to do.
But enough said! What goes on between Peggie and I stays between Peggie and I.
How do you make space for intuition?
The Hundred Years’ War was a series of conflicts waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Plantagenet, rulers of the Kingdom of England, against the House of Valois, rulers of the Kingdom of France, for control of the latter kingdom. Each side drew many allies into the war. It was one of the most notable conflicts of the Middle Ages, in which five generations of kings from two rival dynasties fought for the throne of the largest kingdom in Western Europe. The war marked both the height of chivalry and its subsequent decline, and the development of strong national identities in both countries.
I have come to understand that events over a period of twenty five years plunged me into a struggle of such proportions. As I have sought to reinvent myself I have found myself see sawing back and forth. It has been hard to come to terms with the void that came after multiple losses. This poem, written in 2006, is about a personal war that was raging on many fronts.
If I could write
I would write about
when the war ended
I would record how
we threw our ration cards
into the air
and danced into the night
hugging one another
I would marvel
Little things like
Spring lambs gambolling in the fields
The song of
crystalline Castalian waters
gurgling over ancient stones
I’d tell of
pulling out sheer silk stockings
and my golden organza ball gown
to wear at the celebratory ball
with my one true love
to the sounds of
Horrie Dargie’s Rag Time Band
After the war
I will write.
Heather Blakey 2006
Peace appears to be on the horizon. I can feel the creative force strengthening. I now have an understanding of the landscape of loss and I know that all I can do is carry those losses and manage my feelings. Maybe the words will come and I will write again.
Upon returning to the Alluvial Mine, after so many years away, I see my offerings to the keeper of the mine have been archived. What offering will you make?
An eye for an eye
A tooth for a tooth
Within the field of rushes
Lies the heart of one
Mother, daughter, wife, sister, friend,
Whose time in this realm is done?
Within the field of rushes
Lies the heart of one
Teacher, counsellor, advocate, imagineer, friend
Who took but gave an eye, a tooth, a shoulder
Earth to Earth
Ashes to ashes dust to dust
Within the field of rushes
Lies the heart of one
Who gave more than she took
Who returns to the source
As light as a feather
Heather Blakey March 29 2005
Drawings by Heather Blakey
If you have no stomach for being fodder for a King or dying on the battle field you can still be remembered on St Crispian’s Day. Form a word army, storm the feast day of St Crispin, make a stirring speech, or not, and be long remembered for the power of your words.
Like light moonbeams they quietly gather, stealthily creeping through the cast iron curtains.
Treading lightly, the whispered word patterns silently amass, emerging from within the lofty mansion of the gods.
The rebel army forms a vivid word picture.
Disciplined, they gather resolutely in the darkened, labyrinthine corridors of the psyche, forming sturdy battalions.
With banners raised, they prepare to march, ready to invade distant lands.
Graceful, curling, silky, smooth little words, skilfully pirouette,
performing acrobatic feats, leading the way with striking agility.
While taut, tense, cryptic vipers, having skillfully twisted themselves from within the invisible chains, Hephaistos so meticulously fashioned in his anvil, self-righteously form an indomitable rearguard.
United the word warriors stand erect, on the mountaintops, awaiting the bugle call. In unison they surge forward, gathering momentum as they ride into the valleys.
The word army, united, buoying each other, singing, marches in tight formation.
In rhythm, the armed force gathers momentum, vigorously occupying and outwitting the foreign, virgin, white unblemished soil of the New World.
by Heather Blakey 2005
I have excavated the skeletal remains
Of the child I was
Before my childhood was unceremoniously snatched
Before betrayal stole joy and eroded the flesh
Before the burdensome grief of another
Weighed down my shoulders
I look at the remains and remember
that I knew who I was
all those long years ago.
I was a happy carefree child with a sunny disposition
Who played practical jokes
Whited all the sand shoes
Lined dolls up
Made tea on the back verandah
Taught French from dusty texts
Was infused with the magic of treasure hunts
Played in a cubby house
under the shelter of majestic Pussy Willow trees
that lined our back fence.
I remember that I was
the gentle, studious one
steeped in mythos
who loved the library and
her own company
causing barely a ripple to family life
I look at the skeletal remains and ever so carefully
Place them in my saddle bag
to carry and sing over
to bring flesh to
and discover joy, in simple things
all over again.
Heather Blakey 2005
Consider the following
In her book, ‘Caravan of No Despair’, Mirabai Starr tells us that “you cannot succeed in mourning your loved ones. You cannot fail. Nor is grief a malady, like the flu. You will not get over it. You will only come to integrate your loss…”
In the introduction of ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’ Clarissa Pinkola Estes introduces the notion of Singing Over The Bones. Later in the book she presents the idea of Descansos and talks about descansos being symbols that mark a death, not just of loved ones but of hopes, dreams and potentialities. She shows her clients how to look at their lives and mark where the small and big deaths have taken place.
Watch this video featuring Dr Kim Bateman and consider ways of singing over the bones of small and bigger losses.
It really is worth seeing what Anita Marie is doing at The Crossroads.
The Great White Owls Prayer
Oh Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds,
And whose breath gives life to all the world – hear me.
I come before you, one of your children.
I am small and weak. I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever
Behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made,
My ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise, so that I may know
The things you have taught my people,
“And Let Me Learn With Wisdom
The Things You Wish Me To Know From Nightingale
To Understand That Which Is My Task
And That Which Is The Duty of Others
To Measure A Spirit With No Bigotry
To Do All These Tasks Led By Your Hand
To Complete These Tasks For Thy Purpose
And let me know”
The lesson you have hidden in every leaf and rock.
I seek strength not to be superior to my brothers,
But to be able to fight my greatest enemy,
Make me ever ready to come to you,
With clean hands and straight eyes,
So when life fades as a fading sunset,
My spirit may come to you without shame.
“Let Me Cross Over To The Meadow
To Greet My Ancestors With Tears Of Joy”
Equa Unega Wahuhi, The Great White Owl
Adapted from The Native American Prayer of : Yellow Hawk, Sioux Chief
Ishtar is the multilayered Babylonian creator goddess, the source of all life and embodiment of the power of nature. She is the giver of plenty, a lawgiver, a judge, the goddess of time as well as the goddess of both love and war. Her name means “giver of light,” and derives from her role as Queen of Heaven. She is the planet Venus as both morning and evening star, and her girdle is the zodiacal belt. Ishtar descends to the underworld and restores the vegetation god, Tammuz, to life and thus restores fertility to the earth. As she descends she removes a veil at each of seven gates. While she is underground all life on earth is depressed and nothing comes to life. Ishtar is a multifaceted, powerful symbol of a forthright mode of being that is unafraid to venture the depths of the underworld. She represents the creative feminine, active and strong.
from GODDESS KNOWLEDGE CARDS,
Susan Eleanor Boulet Trust. Text by Michael Babcock.
Ishtar reminds us not be afraid to venture into the depths of the underworld. She has the power to restore our creativity.
“The Shadow describes the part of the psyche that an individual would rather not acknowledge. It contains the denied parts of the self. Since the self contains these aspects, they surface in one way or another. Bringing Shadow material into consciousness drains its dark power, and can even recover valuable resources from it. The greatest power, however, comes from having accepted your shadow parts and integrated them as components of your Self.” from John Elder
Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is, in its deepest being, something helpless that wants help from us.”
–Rainer Maria Rilke
The object of soulwork instead is to bring depth to life, even when it means honoring our suffering (our pathology). It requires, in Hillman’s terms, “growing down” into life. In soulwork, the central question usually pertains to the individual’s “calling” or purpose: “Am I living according to my purpose?” The primary “organ” of inquiry is the imagination (for thousands of years envisioned as the perceptual function of the heart), rather than the intellectual, spiritual or the feeling functions. The body’s role is essential, however. A sense of soul that is not fully felt remains a concept. Cliff Bostock
“When Lemuria perished by volcanic fires it left but scattered fragments to mark where once it spread. For us it will be enough to trace the Divine Wisdom from the beginnings…to carry on the teaching of the divine instructors.”
Gathered around a cradle, rocked beneath the shelter of the Himalayan peaks, the divine initiates, guardians of an ancient teaching, ancestral members of the divine sisterhood, gently prepare a girl baby for her earthly journey. This child is destined to protect the ancient teaching and bring it to humanity, wrapped in brown paper.
Silently, speaking only with actions, the sisterhood perform rituals, passed on by initiators before them, initiators whose strong hands carried the divine science safely through Lemurian fires and Atalantean floods.
A guardian, with long, luxuriant red hair, wrapped in a sapphire, brocade trimmed robe, steps forward and speaks.
“Lone Warrior Maiden. You must take this ancient teaching and go forth to a corner post of the old Lemuria, our homeland. The law we have given you will direct your life. All your actions must be in accordance with the law, which will in turn protect and preserve your destiny. You will be a member of an earth family, a citizen of the great universe, a part of the whole. You must not forget that you are a part of a circle and over time you will form a circle with other initiates who follow. They will gather with you in an eternal, spirit garden.”
Soft red light, like that emanating from a legendary Lemurian sunset bathes the crade and infuses the baby with a gentle warmth that will linger, fills her with a dynamic life force.
Quietly the Goddess lays down gifts beside the cradle.
There is a stylus, tablets, a loom and golden thread to weave, to hold for others to follow, a mirror carved with the words ‘to thine self be true’, a golden badge of honour to preserve dignity and last but not least, a treasure box to store the treasures of life.
Now to find the right womb…
From The Wintered Womb
Underneath the thrice ploughed, fertile, fallow field
Impregnated within a wintered, woven, womb
Of richly composted humus
I lay seeking sustenance, nourishment from
The oxygen filled wintered mist that
Drizzles, seeping, replenishing the amniotic fluids
That trickles through the membranous umbilical cord
Ensuring a bountiful spring harvest.
Voices on the wind, drift through the chosen womb, throught the richly composted humus… a mother crying… she has three children already… how will she manage. Dr Salvaris reassures her. They will do a tubal ligation at the same time as this child is delivered, to ensure that her womb will lie fallow from this time on. What does this mean for me I wonder? ‘Prove your worth that’s what you will do….’ more words come filtering into the womb filling me with apprehension. Will I ever be good enough?
Heather Lorraine Blakey
born 27th August 1950
St David’s Hospital
Maffra, Victoria, Australia
daughter of Colin James Goodwin and
Dorothy Jean Goodwin
Born in the ward
giving precedence to
Graeme Chirpig who
tried to take
all the attention.
Born in time
for an extra slap
on the bottom
for so unceremoniously
disrupting Sister Cameron’s morning tea.
With a deft knot in her mother’s tubes
ensured she would be
the last divinity to slip
from her uterus
the room filled with
radiant heated light
on that August morning
entered the stage
brown eyes glowing
It was perfectly evident
To all with eyes to see
And ears to hear
That this quaint child
Sheltered by the Great Dividing Range
Wore the mark of teacher
Emblazoned on her brow.
Her mother knew
That this child of her womb
Would be her last
that this child of Clotho and Laschesis
Was to be shielded from Atropos’s scissors
Her mother knew that this child was to be
Sheltered, protected, within the isolation of a remote outpost
That sacrifices had to be made to
Nurture, nourish and encourage her
To live out her carefully measured destiny.
The Journey by Mary Oliver
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
‘Mend my life!’
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations—
though their melancholy
was terrible. It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice,
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—determined to save
the only life you could save.
Perhaps you will be inspired to make a video to celebrate a poem that speaks to you. One poem that comes to mind is ‘Poetry’ by Pablo Neruda.