Yesterday Britain filed for divorce from the European Union, Brexit has been set in motion. Across the “pond in our global village” Donald Trump too is very busy unraveling years of progress made by others.

As a shamanic teacher it is my belief that we human beings are all teachers for each other – but often both parties are not aware of this! Therefore I have been asking myself the following question: What are Trump’s Teachings? Those may well be teachings he is utterly unaware of – but teachings on the global stage nevertheless…

When we, collectively do NOT do our shadow work – meaning that we do not own our dark side (the parts of ourselves we are ashamed of hide from view) we are actively creating a powerful vacuum that someone will step into. In that sense “we have ALL created the Trump phenomenon”, the Shadow Leader, the Nightmare Politician, all of us together.  World history has already served up this lesson many times (think of world war II and how no parent today calls their newborn baby boy Adolf). Did we listen? Did we learn?

Trump is teaching us how NOT to be a true Elder of the Community passing on the hard-earned knowledge and wisdom of our ancestors. This is a lesson we badly need in Western society. We are youth-obsessed and old age-phobic. Maybe a few years of Trump will mean learning (urgently, for once and for all!) why indigenous peoples have Elders and why they play such a crucial role as leaders of their villages and communities?!

I have read articles claiming that Trump displays telltale signs of “narcissistic personality disorder”. If this is so (and medically speaking the diagnosis has not been made), isn’t he mirroring our own self-obsession right back at us? We have, frankly, never had it so good in Western Society. And we have never complained more, ignored issues of global importance in favor of our own lifestyle, personal luxuries and comforts. So yeah, sooner or later we will have a world leader who embodies those values. Are we willing to look in this brutal mirror?!

If Trump, as a man in power, will not model the Healthy Masculine, we women have only one option: accessing and activating the healthy masculine within ourselves. (This is a big theme on all courses I teach right now on two continents, Europe and the USA).

As for men: hopefully they too see clearly what is not working and they will conclude that “Male Medicine” is leadership from a place of integrity and spiritual maturity, always in service to the Highest Good for All. It’s not unlike abolishing slavery: it takes both a higher level of awareness and activism, but it is not impossible. American history proves this!!

If we cannot trust decisions made on our behalf on a global level (the level of world politics) it seems to me we have only one option: taking our power back and putting our focus on building strong and healthy local communities.

If we no longer believe in the decisions made about Education for instance, we may need to look at home schooling and local apprenticeships for young people.

If Trump abolishes “Obamacare” (and here in the UK we are rapidly dismantling the NHS or the National Health Service) I see all of us being forced to make a move back to cheaper and safer medicine such as herbalism, homeopathy and shamanic healing. (Personally I’d prefer not to lose mainstream medical care altogether, it has its uses!)

Last but not least…

If we cancel all measures protecting the environment it seems to me that the Earth will survive and cleanse herself through earthquakes and tsunamis – but the ultimate loser will be the human race. Plants and animals will adapt, given the truly vast time scales of geological Earth Time. However human beings might not make it. And would that be bad news for our planet?!

Actually I think so… because Mother Earth herself wishes to evolve and I believe that she is doing so through her relationship with the whole Web of Life – the human life form not prioritized over all other life forms. Our Mother does not want any of her children to die but, like human mothers, she gives her teenagers and young adolescents space (and says a heartfelt prayer).

To sum things up: I think we have  a powerful Teacher “on stage” and on our screens. (Trump is not alone, obviously there are many politicians on stage right now!)

The question is not: what is he doing? The real question is: what are we going to do about this? How are we going to respond?

Do we, perhaps, hold the Trump Card?!

Imelda Almqvist

About the author:
Imelda Almqvist’s book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon Books on 26th August 2016.  She is based in London,UK and teaches shamanism and sacred art internationally.

This Autumn I hit upon a very simple recipe for a more balanced life. You could call it “the litmus test”  (and it is the second definition given here that I am interested in): litmus t…



This Autumn I hit upon a very simple recipe for a more balanced life. You could call it “the litmus test”  (and it is the second definition given here that I am interested in):

litmus test  n.
1. A test for chemical acidity or basicity using litmus paper.

2. A test that uses a single indicator to prompt a decision: “The word ‘hopefully’ has become the litmus test to determine whether one is a language snob or a language slob” (William Safire).

As Jack Frost has arrived in London and we rapidly approach the Winter Solstice (the great turning point!) , I thought I ‘d share the recipe. It is very simple:

For every single relationship in my life I ask myself just one simple question: is this relationship balanced? Is there fair energy exchange? Does what I receive match the energy I invest? (This is very much related to joy: truly balanced relationships are JOY-FULL).

And if I arrive at the conclusion that no: things are 60 – 40 or 80 – 20 (or even 95 – 5, this has been known to happen!) , I make tweaks. I do not announce a revolution and trumpet the changes off the rooftops. I just give myself permission to step outside the established pattern, to not respond the way people expect from me.

Now I appreciate that we all have relationships where The Litmus Test cannot be applied in a straightforward way. The most obvious example of this is the relationship between parents and children. We honour our parents and it is the duty of parents to give to their children who, one day, may well give to their own children in the same way. (This is the great cosmic version of our modern “giving forward concept”).

Work  relationships are tricky too: when you are paid to perform a job, where do you draw the line? Do you go “above and beyond the call of duty” or not? Or just  a bit? Are you valued for going the extra mile?!

My younger self wasted a fair amount of time trying to define relationships as “good or bad” and people as “generous and selfish” etc. I now know that all of us have all of these aspects in equal measure.  And we all bring out different facets in different people. This is why we may never quite agree in any take on any  situation or person – and that is fine! This is the rich Tapestry of Life!

So this Autumn I have done my spiritual homework. I have gently put everything on the cosmic scales. Whenever I have perceived an imbalance in give and take, I have renegotiated – most of the time just within my inner world. I have said no to more things. I have told people that I was not going to prioritize doing whatever they expected me to do. I am also slowly learning The Art Of Not Responding To Emails. I let things drop. Time and energy are precious resources.

Then I am learning the trickier lesson that I have often agreed to co-create imbalances out of compassion: I felt sorry for people, I wanted to help them, make a difference. This is the Do-Gooder instinct in me that I now keep an eagle’s eye on. It is also the maternal instinct in me going strong (some of my friends call me Momma Bear!) I have learned the tough but liberating lesson that the only people in the whole world I actually need to mother are my three children – and no one else. It sounds so obvious doesn’t it? Yet I have fallen for that one many a time…

The most wonderful thing is that I have been able to move through this process (applying The Litmus Test)  without being sucked into great moral judgments or character assassinations  (on either  myself or others!) . The truth is that when there is no fair energy exchange in a relationship, all joy seeps away and resentment will build up. Not acknowledging or expressing this just leads to some inappropriate explosion (or “acting out of character” some time down the road). So I have experienced being at a far greater peace with myself and who I am (and also who I am simply NOT and will never be. For instance I will never be a gregarious cook who gives dinner parties… I am a hermit who needs serious doses of solitude to function socially and cope with Big City Life!)  I have felt empowered. My load has lightened.

Though I live and breathe (and teach) shamanism today, I was brought up as a Roman Catholic in an all-pervasive atmosphere of sin/guilt and divine retribution.  Today I believe in neither Heaven nor Hell. I do believe in what is commonly called the spiritual law of karma: unresolved issues return for further exploration over a series of lifetimes. I do not see this as punishment. I see this as balancing: things floating up for healing. In other words: an amazing opportunity to get it right this time….

You have my full encouragement to experiment with the same Litmus Test!

About the author:

Imelda Almqvist’s book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon Books on 26th August 2016.  She is based in London,UK and teaches shamanism and sacred art internationally.

Last night two of my sons had a very interesting conversation about quantum entanglement. One of them is doing  A Levels in Physics  and Further Maths so dinnertime conversation in our house is pep…



Last night two of my sons had a very interesting conversation about quantum entanglement. One of them is doing  A Levels in Physics  and Further Maths so dinnertime conversation in our house is peppered with references to quantum physics and maths.

At regular intervals students and clients ask me about “twin flames”. Personally I have never worked with that concept (or even set any store by it) but some people have a profound belief in the concept.

So… What is a twin flame?

Some research quickly informs me that twin flames are sometimes called twin souls as well and that they are “the other half of our soul”. Apparently we each have only one twin, and generally after being split (aeons ago)  the two went their separate ways, incarnating over and over to gather human experience before coming back together. Ideally, this happens in both of their last lifetimes on the planet so they can ascend together. For that reason most people have not had many lifetimes with your twin.

As a shamanic practitioner my inner voice instantly pipes up: you could never incarnate successfully with only half a soul – but I shall try hard to suspend my disbelief for the time it takes to write this article!

Is  a twin flame the same thing as a soul mate?

The same author helpfully explains that

… soulmates are our soul family, the ones we do have many lifetimes and experiences with, who help us grow and evolve, create and dissipate karma. According to ancient wisdom, when the soul is “born” or descended from Source, it is created in a group. The souls in this group are our soulmates, ones who are very like us in frequency makeup. Then each of these souls is split into two, creating the twins.

A soulmate is someone you are close to at a soul level, and with whom you have had many shared experiences in different lifetimes, in various kinds of relationships — siblings, parent-child, best friend, as well as romantic relationships. There is a deep love for each other, and a spiritual bond that sets them apart from the superficiality of most other people in your life. Conversations are generally deep, about personal growth and service to make the world a better place. We can have many soulmates in our lives, and they come to us to help us grow spiritually.

Again, as a shamanic practitioner I do observe in shamanic healing work that soul groups of people DO exist and that they DO choose to incarnate at the same time to join in a common task.  Therefore I find that I can entertain the concept of a soul mate more easily than the one of a twin flame.

Right! Let’s add a pinch of quantum physics to the mix now-  bearing in mind that quantum refers to the tiniest unit (not the largest one). So we are not talking about astrophysics, we are talking about the movement and behavior of the tiniest particles, also known as particle physics. They are so tiny that we cannot even observe them under a microscope!! (My eldest son is extremely annoyed about this. According to him this is to do with something called Planck’s Constant).

Question: What Is Quantum Entanglement?

Answer: Quantum entanglement is one of the central principles of quantum physics, though it is also highly misunderstood. In short, quantum entanglement means that multiple particles are linked together in a way such that the measurement of one particle’s quantum state determines the possible quantum states of the other particles. This connection isn’t depending on the location of the particles in space. Even if you separate entangled particles by billions of miles, changing one particle will induce a change in the other! Even though quantum entanglement appears to transmit information instantaneously, it doesn’t actually violate the classical speed of light because there’s no “movement” through space.

We now have the ingredients to bake bread!

As my sons were enjoying their conversation and I was dropping into shamanic/mythic/poetic consciousness, I suddenly felt a deep inner knowing:

1. The Universe (Cosmos) is wired to seek balance.  All movement is created by the desire for balancing. This movement brings learning, evolving and shifts in consciousness.

2. Shamans have always known this. Their job is to actively create balance. On behalf of individuals, groups, nations,  eco-systems and/or even planetary systems, balance is the key word to healthy dynamics.

3.  “On some level we know even those things we do not know”. By this I mean that somewhere deep in our psyche we all hold rudimentary awareness of great cosmic mysteries.

This all came to me in one flash and I thought: AHA! The talk about “twin flames” then is a myth in the true sense of this word: it tells us about a deep underlying principle embedded in our cosmos. The way of myths is to turn such truths into stories that transcend time and space. So the story some people choose to tell themselves (and each other) is that we all have a twin flame.

This plays quite cleverly to our innate need for romance and feeling special. Life becomes a quest for the Holy Grail when we believe in this one person, out there, just waiting to be found by us. It makes all of us the protagonist of a great cosmic adventure story and great romance novel combined. – But I still do not believe it!!

I think what is going on here is a bit like “anthropomorphism”: e.g. people treating their dogs or cats as if they are human beings and ascribing very human viewpoints and motivations to them. Always entertaining, often comforting – but is it fair to the cats and dogs? Does it do justice to their dog-ness and cat-ness?!

I do not believe for a minute that I have a twin soul. I believe that my soul belongs to me alone and that there is not “half of me” floating out there somewhere. I do not believe either that my husband is my “twin flame” (a journalist asked me about this only last week. She was trying to write a really great feature for a glossy magazine. I suspect my reply put a spanner in the wheel!) I do not believe that a twin flame and I “will transcend together”. I do hope that one day I will have learned enough not to need to incarnate on Earth any more to be presented with the same lessons over and over.

I believe that the cosmos and All That Is craves balance on a very deep level and that the collective will sometimes sacrifice the individual good  to arrive at greater collective balance.

I also do believe that we human beings create a lot of entanglement by projecting romantic notions onto each other. This is very different entanglement from the meaning of the word used in Physics!!

Shamans have always know how to communicate and travel outside time. The common belief that we cannot do so is yet another myth we collectively buy into – but many indigenous cultures have always taught something very different.

The Trickster in me then says: we human beings have the power to co-create. So…. if you are determined enough to insist on having a twin flame, then I am pretty sure you can create a reality for yourself in which all evidence points in that direction. Meaning that the fantasy becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. And ultimately self-fulfilling prophecies are great Teachers here in the realm of Earth…

So…. if you are doing to create a Twin Flame – do so with great care and some misgivings!!

Imelda Almqvist


About the author:

Imelda Almqvist’s book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon Books on 26th August 2016.  She is based in London,UK and teaches shamanism and sacred art internationally.

As “The Trump Card” was played on the world stage last week I wanted to respond with beauty. Shamanic teacher colleague and friend Susan Rossi gave me the phrase “Dire Beauty̶…

Source: ART BLOG #2 FOR TIMES OF DIRE BEAUTY: The Cellist of Sarajevo