An exerpt from my latest piece of writing on what Passover means to me, from Elephant Journal (link below darlings xx)
"Do we have to have faith? (Thanks, George Michael!)
The show “American Gods” (now excitedly showing up for its second season), foretells of such prophesy, though ’twas written 18 years ago by the genius that is Mister Neil Gaiman. The falling away and forgetting of our old Gods, of nature and honour, of respect and mystery.
Where do we place our faith these days? Who do we pray to or seek to glorify?
Surely, for the masses of our Westernised living, ’tis the false gods of Kardashian, soaps stars, and footballers. Perhaps “faith” is a dirty word, muddied by war, grief, power, and corruption. Can we reclaim it? Dust it down and hold it closer to our hungry hearts? To wonder, with willingness, what it might be like to pause, and to listen to nature and our own breath. To ask the clay of our own bodies how we are, who we are, and how can we be reminded of where we once came from, and to tell those stories once more to our children, and to our children’s children too. To see with reverence the wisdom held in a leaf, the sky, our world, our breath, and our very soul.
When did we stop believing in miracles? In stories and tales? It’s never too late to still believe in magic and wonder, and in the glorious technicolour madness of it all..."
Hello loves xxx
Tis the season of the witch.
The quiet calls us. The pull inwards, to listen.
Intimacy. Dropping. Staying with.
Starting to shed, the leaves that though glorious in their plumage, now give way, effortlessly, to reveal the bones beneath. The branches. Undressing slowly. Do they become shy as they slip off their coat? To begin to bare their nakedness? No rush. Steady. Slow. All in the right time. All in sync with the cycles of the seasons. But first they burn, they show us their fire.
Maybe Samhain (Halloween), the Celtic end of the year, is akin to the ego beginning to shed, dropping what has acted like a mask. The mask, our sun, shining out into the world. Perhaps Samhain is the initiation, the doorway to the underworld, to soul, where we are invited to enter unclothed, disrobed, of all that hides our skin and bones.
To be intimate with soul we must be willing. We must be willing to stand without identity that plays out, in all its roles and frolics, in the worlds above. There’s nothing wrong with this, for indeed the world is a giant playground of experiences. But the soul realm is different. It requires a different part of us. It requires our vulnerability, to become intimate with the depths and the oceans, with the bones and the space, and with the silent vastness of the void itself.
As we journey through autumn we are preparing the way for this journey. It will last through winter’s long, dark and deep months. It will ask of us to give up the sight we rely on day to day and to close our literal eyes so that our inner vision can adjust to the dimming, adjust to the shapes and forms that appear on and in the darkness. There is an intimacy in darkness. It’s close to us. We can feel it, almost as if it’s breath can touch the skin on our arms and bellies, and it’s fabric graze the skin on our faces and neck so that the hairs on our body prick up and tingle in response. It’s primal and nature. It’s unknown and thus scary. It holds all things and so it asks of us to be awake and to stay with it even though we cannot know what it is doing to us. There is a surrender asked of us here. To be worked on, done to, moulded, shaped and given the downloads that will become the knowing wisdom we will carry in our nets as we float back up and swim to the shallows and surface with Imbolc and spring’s new light.
We are asked to dive in. To become intimate with the waters that once we knew as the womb, where even our very breath was not in separation.
There is an intimacy between sex and art, between our sexuality and creativity. Two years ago I recall writing in my journal the words: Creativity, Sexuality, Life force. I knew that I desired to embrace all three in my life and in my work. and indeed, over the last year, and in particular the last few months, the pieces of the puzzle, the ability to hold and juggle with all three, have landed. A new gateway is opening, and just the last few days a vital thread has been seen that binds them all. The thread? Intimacy :-) For you see, our sexuality, like our creativity, is in fact our life’s longing to live through us, through you, through me. Like sap. And it’s in everything. It’s the bridge between life and death. Running through everything it is the intimate connection to all of life.
This is a time when the sacred feels near. Maybe the sacred is just another word for intimacy? The sacred is a bridge between this world and the divine/spirit world. A bit like October. And Samhain. Ritual keeps the hinges, nails, of this bridge well oiled, like lathering and slathering coconut oil to our bodies as the air becomes dry. Like the tin man. All heart. But that’s no good if he all rusts up and dries out to fuck and cannot move. That is death. Ritual oils us, keeps the soul sap ripe and juicy. And ritual can take any form, no need for grandiose gestures darling. Maybe light a candle and say a prayer. Maybe as you wash your hands or take a shower you invoke what is needed to be washed away, or shed, to do so; or maybe, you remember to place your hand on your heart and bow your head in appreciation when you find a moment free from busy-ness. And of course, making art. The ritual of creative work and play feeds the soul with its endless possibilities.
Where is the sacred and ritual in a modern creators life? It is found in the space, the stillness, and the silence. The holy trinity. We have to make time for these, to slow deep, to stop, and to allow ourselves to become intimate with the soul, and thus, soil, in us.
Autumn is the prepping season. And it is the season of enchantment. Of magic. Of witches. Of mystery and the macabre dance between life and death. We have no choice but to raise our spirit filled glasses and toast to its time. But what a time!
Let’s invite and incite this potency. Whilst we can feel it in the air. A magical brush and moment akin to dawn and dusk. Where anything is possible and where the possible is everywhere.
A time for spells.
My favoured are the spells that words form on the empty page, invoked by intention and curiousity and the urge to go deep to the bone. I am offering two new workshops in November, dancing the arts of storytelling, fairy tales, ancestor boned wsidom, and erotica tales. Frida would approve! ;-) These will be uber juicy, potent and transformative.
Are we more afraid of life than death? Are we really so engaged with life? The paradoxes. We know one deeper when we are more willing to be intimate with its opposite. Day of the dead is coming. My favourite. Why does it transfix us so? Why so important? Can we look into the mirror and see our skeleton looking back? Stripped to the bone. Empty of all that we give our sense of identity to. What are you most afraid of? What lies in shadow spooking you with its ‘boo!’? What skeletons live in the closet of who you are?
These days I welcome the witch that I see more and more mirrored back as time rolls by. The witch in me belongs to my ageing, softening, body. The witch in me belongs in my firey morning breath, the sleep crusts of my eyes, the iron red blood between my legs. The witch in me belongs with the lil whisker on my chin, the creases of a life lived around my eyes, my missing teeth, and my graying and whitening hairs. All of this is her, and she is so fuckin’ beautiful! Strong and fierce. Fierce beauty. She is rich and tender and touched by the ouch and aches and haunts of life in its fullness. She is all of this and so so so much more! And at this time of the year, she squats down on her haunches and howls. Howls to that portal between life and death. Howls to wake up those who are sleepwalking through the living. She is my ghoul, and I love her :-).
Celebrate that which ghouls you :-). And honour your ancestors, your loved ones lost, the dreams that slipped away or dissolved, or left you for another. Yes this happens to our creative ideas too. They can leave us for another if left ignored for too long. Honour their loss, and as you do so, you create the space, the fertile fascinating void, for something new to stir you from the depths. But for now, no rush, take your time, and allow autumn to work its magic on you.
Value and worth and Love...Oh My!!!
If we are seeking outside of ourselves for how much we are of value, then we follow a foolish and folly path. Looking for the percentage of love or care from another, and we diminish and immediately devoid and devalue that which can never be measured at all.
Who is it in us that seeks this reassurance, this affirmation, this validation? Who is it in us that has forgotten to drop our head’s down, to our hearts, and listen? And who is it in us that by focusing solely on the woundings of ego unconditional love, has negated and lost that which can never be questioned, that can never not be, love itself?
When we are in our own heart, solid and stable and unwavering though each and every crash threatens to drown us or engulf us with splutterings of salty tears, we are unmoveable. Not in a fixed, shut down, guarded and hard way no, but in a fluid and flexible and feeling and alive manner. We allow the waves to crash our star board. We allow ourselves to get wet, soaked in fact, and yet the anchor of who we are is so deep and so vast that we do not sink to the bottom of the sea bed and become lost treasure.
Nothing outside of ourselves has the power to wash us away, unless we are looking out, on the captain’s deck, from the wrong telescope, scoping the horizon in a limited and anxious perspective.
My value and worth does not depend on anyone else.
The ending of this latest love affair and sitting on my mat I drop in to find some part of me wanting his attention still. Wanting to know if he had cared really, if the words and intimacy shared and hearts touched really had meant nothing or something to him. I wanted to know if he still wanted me. Aah! I wanted to know how much he valued me, now or then, as if in this very moment, after the fact, when we were already fast becoming strangers again, that would mean anything.
Well, to some part of me, that would mean I mattered. I was valued, that I was loveable and valuable and worthy.
And something shifts as I hear myself say what I see. My heart opens more, stretches, and that’s ok in its ouch. And I realise, as I drop back in to me, to I am, to here, to the ordinary moment of no-time and no-thing, that it doesn’t matter what he thought or thinks. It doesn’t even matter what his experience is and was. Indeed, to quote my teacher, its none of my business. And my heart opens more, and I bear a little more, because that’s all I know that I can do. Is to bear my own experience.
All I can know is my own experience, what I felt, what I gave, what I received, what moved through me, what my hopes or dreams or expectations were, what I was met with and what I wasn’t. what I delighted in and received pleasure so deeply from, and what hurt. What I was willing to stay open and in ‘love’ to, and when my boundaries were seriously crossed. What I did when I realised that my value and worth was nothing to do with him but my own responsibility. When I said no and goodbye. When I said thank you in appreciation. When I decided that the inner compass of my worth and value, this place that is my anchor, was way off course. When I came back to me despite the hurt and longing and soberly saw what I had been gifted. When I had to go through something old to realise that that’s not who I am anymore, that’s not for me.
When I realised my worth and value was inherent within me all along. Its my rock. It’s the diamond polished by life’s tsunamis over and over and over again until it glints and glistens so bright that its light can create shadows to cast behind everything in a call for fullness and truth.
Maybe I am not the captain seeking and sailing and bobbing along vast waters. Maybe I am the lighthouse and there's nowhere to go searching, just this light that casts its slivery, and silvery, net, over all the oceans and boats and fish and sailors. And the ones who know, who get it, who feel it in the depths of their own waters, will find their way to my light.
Nothing to do. Nothing to prove. Here I am.
Stories are amazing.
Our mind's creative imagination is amazing. It is one of the richest paths to follow, full of unimaginable things n landscapes. We need stories for we ARE stories and that's pretty goddamn amazing!
What's your story? You can be anything. We carry stories in our bones, they create us right down to the tender loined marrow.
Yes we all carry stories, and yet, we all have the capacity to create any new one that excites us, calls to us, pulls us by our dreamings, desires, n deep soul joyed thrills. What are your stories? What do you wish to be created into like the mud, the earth, Adam, all crafted and formed by the hands of God.
Not too sure of the word God? Substitute that to Spirit, Muse, Mystery, Magic, or how about Curiousity or Love.
Sprinkle love onto every damn thing you do. No, not like candy filings, or sweet sugary butterscotch cream. Oh no, that's not Love. Love is full of substance and weight, a solidity that's unmoveable, ordinary, just there.
It's a force is Love, one that moves us, not like a hand on your back, but by pushing on your heels, nay, your roots.
It's all in, devoted, unshakeable.
Love can move mountains and bring us to our knees. It can cause us to throw all that we have assumed that are we are so certain of, out of the window, upside down and inside out. We are spinned out of control, the carefully jenga-stacked pillar of who we are turned to salt, like Job, because of Love. But salt ain't too bad.
It's the Love inside tears, and salt water, and sweat.
So Cry. Swim. Dance. Fuck. Make Art. Offer your sweated brow beads to life, each a deep hearted and guts oystered pearl of You. Of Story. Of Imagination. Of Wonder. Of Love.
Our stories are amazing.
Heidi Hinda Chadwick
Creativity. Sexuality. Life. Art. Soul. Love.