ALTERED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS & HEALING PRACTICES
NB that in 2020 I’m focusing on 3 aspects only of my work: the Islands of the Heart courses on Iona, the distance learning Tongues in Trees course and an ecosoul project, and completing a book on trees and its companion book on the Lost Feminine. The work below is now on hold until the end of 2020.
On occasion, I offer SOUL MEDICINE work to individuals. This is rooted in two practices, often used together:
STORY MEDICINE, and PLANT SPIRIT MEDICINE
Both these practices are ‘doorways’. I guide you through them, usually via email.
PLANT SPIRIT MEDICINE
Much of this work involves finding and creating a relationship of companionship with the spirit of a particular plant, often a tree. I would offer you working practices that would often involve your being outside in the company of that plant.
Mostly, this doesn’t involve ingesting that plant. I want to emphasise that I’m not a qualified medical herbalist, and although on occasion I might suggest some herbs to ingest, they are entirely benign easily-sourced herbs with no side effects. Although I myself have experienced them, I’m not qualified to offer, or offer suggestions on the use of, psychoactive plants.
As an adjunct, I might also call upon Animal Spirit Medicine if it seems appropriate for the individual.
The core discovery of my psychotherapy training was my uncovering of the idea that we can be ‘caught‘ unconsciously by one of the stories or myths in our cultural heritage. In making this story conscious, it becomes possible to understand some of the habits and patterns that shape our individual lives – and, importantly, changing these aspects into something more positive that will enhance rather than deplete our life. This was a, or perhaps the, key idea in my first book: Riding the Dragon – myth & the inner journey, commissioned by Element Books and published in 1994.
Both these ‘medicines’ involve reflective writing. The way it works is that I offer you a ‘prescription’ based on your individual circumstances. You work with this for an agreed length of time, such as a month, and then come back to me with a reflective ‘report’, to which I will respond briefly, and offer you further work if that’s what you would like.
If this interests you, I offer this work by email to just a few people each year. Please contact me below. However, I will need to know a little about you, your situation, and context. Not everyone is up for this kind of practice, and if I judge that you are too vulnerable at the moment, or not well-equipped psychologically to do this work at a distance, or if I am at my own limits with mentees, I will if I can suggest an alternative.
You can see a little more related material, or sign up for my new distance-learning course Tongues in Trees, here.
My qualifications for this
Above is a younger me (obviously an embellished and highly-stylised me) posing for my friend the illustrator Stuart Littlejohn for an image that’s been used in print to represent both Boudicca and a druid priestess. (Take your pick!)
Some of my work can come across as wacky in the sense that I work intuitively as well as drawing on decades of personal and professional experience. I generally keep this aspect under wraps. However, it underpins my own personal psychospiritual path, and some of the work with individuals and the groups I’ve been leading now for nearly 28 years.
I have worked within the British shamanic and druidic tradition, and other strands of the Western Mystery Tradition, for all of my adult life. Most of this has been private practice and research, which I didn’t know how to name for decades. Later, I undertook various more formal trainings.
Most of it started when I was in my teens, though I was brought up in a deeply-Celtic family in which animal lore and close animal companionships, plant knowledge and attributes like telepathy and second sight were rather taken for granted. For myself, various spontaneous and often very challenging out-of-body experiences opened some ‘doors of perception’.
I’ve always had a deep affinity with the animal realm. Through my childhood and teens, I was continuously surrounded by animals, often wild ones, and often brought to me injured. As an adult, I have met my what are called ‘spirit animals’, and request their presence when needed.
Since my teens, I have made and given plant medicines, face creams, ointments etc to family members, friends, and any animals with whom I’ve shared my life (they didn’t usually have the face creams!), and on occasion strangers or strangers’ companion animals if it’s seemed appropriate to offer such healing suggestions or products. (My daughter, now in her late 30s, has never had antibiotics.)
When my daughter was tiny, I was a vegetable-dyer, handspinner and knitwear designer and maker, so she spent her early months and years slung on my chest or accompanying me as a toddler out onto the land and sea-coasts of Devon, Cornwall and Atlantic France gathering plants for dyeing.
In my 30s and 40s, I also created, made and sold ceremonial incenses, sometimes to commission. So that’s the physical aspects of working with what plants offer us.
However, having worked forever with the potency of plants and trees on a much more subtle level as well as the physiological, I learned there was a name for this latter: plant spirit medicine.
Alongside this, I’ve had a lifelong interest in mythology, and as an undergraduate studied Celtic myths in their original languages at Cambridge.
I followed this later with a training in Transpersonal Psychotherapy, focusing largely on these Celtic teaching tales and the Grail myths specifically, but the power of mythology in general, in relation to our souls, or psyches. I wrote about this in my first book, commissioned by Element Books in 1993, Riding the Dragon – myth & the inner journey.
I’ve also had a meditation practice for over 40 years, and use this and key practices like mindfulness, guided visualisation/journeying and reflective and creative practice in much of my coursework, especially the outdoor work. The aim is not only to help an individual heal themselves, but also to make a positive contribution to healing our desperately-fractured relationship with the rest of the natural world. This is via a conscious relationship of reciprocal affinity, which I believe is at the cutting edge of the work needed in the Western world at this time.
For a while, I worked as part of a group of healers. I’ve distanced myself from that term as I believe it’s not only over-used but often also misused. Nonetheless, although I don’t claim to heal, I believe I can quite possibly help you find a way to shift aspects of your life in which you may feel stuck.
I’m telling you all the above as I want you to know that this aspect of the work I do is thoroughly grounded in many years of personal and professional experience and study.
© Copyright Roselle Angwin 2018