antlered-dreams-2013

Last night I had a vivid dream. It stayed with me all day: I had been invited to spend the day with a group of teenagers. They were unknown to me (meaning that they were not friends of my own three teenagers). Their intention was to show me The Ways of the Future.

They put me in a classroom (it actually had a whiteboard!) Then they started telling me how working with ancient gods and goddesses is no longer good enough. We need to actively create the gods and goddesses of the future. If we do not do this, we will continue to create a future shaped and delineated by the past.

As I have a very great love for (and intimate relationship with) many ancient gods and goddesses I felt some resistance rising. I felt I had to speak in support of  of those ancient deities. The teenagers laughed and gently pressed me down on my chair again.

It is simple! They said. The future will not resemble the past. We young people live in a time of unheard of opportunities and dangers. We need gods and goddesses that patrol the internet. Gods and Goddesses invigilating social media. Facebook needs a Face Goddess and Twitter needs a Bird Goddess. We also need a True Face God and gods in charge of the drugs that teenagers use at parties… As our concept  of reality expands (reality has never been what we think it is anway!) ever more gods and goddesses can enter and fill our consciousness. We conceive them just as they conceive us!

I am feeling dizzy. Here I thought I was progressive in the way I teach and work. The teenagers proceeded to draw faces on the white board. The face of gods and goddesses. They proceeded to name them and invoke them, welcome them.

They said: gods and goddesses are shape-shifters and Reality is the greatest shape-shifter of them all!

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.

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk

https://imeldaalmqvist.wordpress.com/

http://shamanismsummit.com/

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Source: Book Review for Shamanic Journeys Through the Caucasus by Michael Berman

It is a rare treat to have a book in your hands that offers tales and folklore from countries that, in truth, I barely knew existed. We have all heard of  the War in Chechnya (sadly) and I adore Armenian medieval music, to the point of dreaming of going there! Other than that I could not have named or found the following countries on world map: Ingushetia, Daghestan or North Ossetia. Could you?! Hint: they are situated between The Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in an otherworldly liminal zone that forms a natural border between Europe and Asia.

This book tells ancient tales and describes folklore and customs from this area. The author is actively looking for evidence of shamanic practices – and he finds many indication that indigenous forms of shamanism were indeed practiced here. As a shamanic teacher I always love hearing about the cosmology and spiritual practices of tribal peoples. These countries sit on the mountainous “spine” that divides Europe from Asia and because of their strategic position they have seen more than their fair share of upheaval and ideological persecution. This means that ancient tribal practices go strong in inaccessible regions but also that there are many overlays of other religions and influences (from Zen Buddhism and Sufi Mysticism to Communism trying to impose atheism).

I love the wealth of detail Berman shares in this book. This is information I would simply not have had access to had he not written the book. The book is based on his own travels and a lot of research. I also like the way he frames the stories by actually understanding shamanism “from the inside out” so to speak. (I looked at his author page and he himself trained in core shamanism). This is relatively rare: I have read many books about tribal peoples, cave art and folklore where the author ultimately did not understand the “otherworld dimension” of the material they were presenting. That can make for frustrating reading, to see fundamental concepts misrepresented or ignored.

This book is a gem! The only negative, in my opinion is that Berman tends to repeat chunks of information he has already presented. Some chunks or passages appear three times in the book. The explanations of shamanic cosmology are lengthy too and pretty exhaustive (he quotes Mircea Eliade extensively). Then again, as a shamanic teacher I am very familiar with this material – but most readers will not be. They may well welcome those elaborate explanations!

If you are shamanic practitioner, story teller, explorer, mythology lover or keen collector of folklore and wonderful tales – this is the book for you!

This author has written many other books on related subjects. I have just started “Shamanic Journeys Through Daghestan”. Keep an eye out for my next book review!

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.

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk

https://imeldaalmqvist.wordpress.com/

http://shamanismsummit.com/

Source: BOOK REVIEW FOR CANDLE MAGIC by Lucya Starza

This week I read this charming small book CANDLE MAGIC: A witch’s guide to spells and rituals.  I started reading it one evening and then just kept on reading because I was hooked!

For a small book it packs a lot of information. It is a very practical book as well. It offers plenty of magical activities you can try with materials from your own home and kitchen. No need to acquire a large amount of esoteric equipment or ingredients!

Even if you have not tried working magic before, this book offers plenty of suggestions. Always with a reminder of the health and safety aspects

I am a shamanic practitioner and I use candles constantly in my work (teaching classes and following my personal spiritual practices). I thought I knew about the use of candles but I now discovered there are new things I can try: using a larger variety of colours perhaps or burning candles to manifest a magical outcome.

I read with interest what Lucya writes about the thorny issue of “ethics and curses” (one chapter in the book). Apparently the issue it hotly debated by modern witches and I am not surprised.  Should you ever cast a curse against someone who has done you a terrible injustice?

I am not going to disclose what the author advises. I will say that I spend an awful lot of time discussing ethics and boundaries for spiritual work with my shamanic practitioner students!! It is a very important issue to reflect on.

This is a book to keep on the shelf and return to from time to time. A book to recommend to people who have just started following a spiritual path and wish to try some magic. Also a book for people who already use candles but want to get more innovative and creative with it.

I invite you to check out this book and other books by Lucya Starza!

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.

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk

https://imeldaalmqvist.wordpress.com/

http://shamanismsummit.com/

Source: TRUMP’S TEACHINGS

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.

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk

https://imeldaalmqvist.wordpress.com/

http://shamanismsummit.com/