From mountain devils to coastal pigfaces

PART ONE

In December 2016 my husband and I went on one of our adventures, an epic 5-week journey through five states of Australia. Our last journey before this was an overseas trek through England, Ireland, Amsterdam, Prague, Germany and Austria, a couple of years ago, the highlight of which was a tandem paraglide off the Austrian Alps. As always, I came back from this journey loving my Australian home more than ever, with a strong urge to make our next journey home-based, but a back injury had me grounded for a while.

While we were waiting out my recovery time, Spirit colluded with my great uncle, encouraging me to take a step back from work and focus instead on writing a family history. “Write my story” said my uncle, and in the next breath he asked that the story be not just about him, but my grandparents as well. “Exploring your roots will help you heal your root chakra” my spirit guides explained to me. Continue reading

Working with the flowers….

If you have a deck of the Wildflower Cards, spread your cards out in front of you so that you can see the images of the flowers, and notice which one you are drawn to. I’ll demonstrate, showing you how you can work with the flower spirits for healing and guidance, and then perhaps you can try this yourself! Remember to be playful and trust yourself: you will access your intuitive wisdom by allowing your imagination to take you on a journey.

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For me today, it was Tomato Bush, that drew me in, with her beautiful purple petals, and the warm sunset glow cast over her in the photograph.

Holding the card in my hand, I gaze at her image and imagine being with her in the red centre of Australia, surrounded by red sand and open space that stretches as far as the eye can see.

Like two women sitting at a campfire, we sit across from one another. Our ‘campfire’ is the red dirt and the setting sun. As the sun goes down, I feel Wild Tomato Bush drawing me into the wavy lines of the red sand-dunes. It feels like we are travelling, winding along through the sand like snakes. I follow her and she guides me to a hollow in the sand. I curl up in the sand and she covers me with her branches. Continue reading

Soul Retrieval – Falling off the mountain

This is part of the story about my second wildflower journey, a trek through Kakadu that nearly ended in disaster. At times, my re-telling of this story is simply memories being shared, but at times I am called back to Kakadu in vision, as part of my healing journey. This was one of those times. IMG_6566

I am laying in bed, in the room I slept in as a child, in the country I was born in. It is my fourth night here, visiting my family, and I am re-intending and strengthening the psychic dream-catcher I erected over the room on my third night. I am intrigued, because the catcher looks like the dome of a cathedral, and it seems like I am looking upwards at it, scintillating light streaming through stained-glass shapes above me. And at the centre of the dome is a lady standing with her arm raised and her hand resting on the dome’s centre, almost as though she is holding it up, ever so gracefully and effortlessly, with a lazy regal bearing. I don’t know her but her name hovers on the edge of my mind, just out of reach. Lady….. ? Later in the vision, I discover that she is Lady Nada, who is new to me. I haven’t worked with her before.

Lady Nada smiles at me and with her free hand she reaches past me, down to the bottom of the dome where it touches the ground, and lifts a small section of it, as effortlessly as if it were mere tablecloth. I feel slightly miffed and confused for a moment, because these are my dream-catcher boundary edges she is messing with, but I know this is silly, because she is very obviously in charge of the entire dome itself, and I have her to thank for it. As though she has just opened the door to a guest, a see a shape enter under the edge of the lifted dome. It’s orange, long and furry and the word ‘marmoset’ pops into my mind. Pay attention, I hear Lady Nada say.

So I keep my attention very firmly fixed on the marmoset and wait. “Did you know you have four tailbones?”, the marmoset asks, and flashes me a mental image of four tailbones lined up alongside each other.

“Um. No, I didn’t know that.”, I reply, somewhat dubiously.

The mental image of the four tailbones suddenly shimmers with intensity and zooms my focus in on the second tailbone on the left. I can see that it is damaged. Crushed. Earlier this year, on March 1st, the capsule around the cushioning disc between my lowest two vertebrae burst open, and the disc material spilled out, pressing against my spine in one of the most agonising experiences I have ever endured. The entire length of my left leg felt like it was being electrocuted and set on fire at the same time. 8 months later I still cannot walk far without limping, and I have only just begun driving again. The numbness and tingling in my leg and foot is caused by nerve damage that will be slow to heal.

So I knew the ‘crushed tailbone’ image had something to do with this injury, and that I was being invited to do some healing work on myself.

“What caused this crushed tailbone?” I asked, playing along with the story that was unfolding.

“You fell off the edge of a cliff”, the marmoset replied. And certainly, the injury itself had occurred when my heel slipped off the edge of a step and came down hard on the ground. I ‘missed my footing’ so to speak, a simple misstep that had me screaming in rigid pain on the ground, unable to walk or move for 6 hours. But this isn’t the memory the marmoset’s reply stirred in me. No, the memory I found myself revisiting took place on a very real cliff, much grander in scope than a mere step at the bottom of the stairs: Kakadu escarpment, with cliffs stretching 50 metres above me and Goddess knows how many metres below me.

18 months before my tiny slip-up on the stairs, I was perched perilously on the side of a mountain, waiting for my two girlfriends to return from their mission on higher ground. I remember it took me quite some time to find a stable position, wedging myself safely above a small tree so that I wouldn’t slide down the sandy slope we had been climbing. In a way, it was easier when you had to keep moving, because the activity kept the adrenaline pumping, and now I was feeling dangerously tired. But I couldn’t afford to doze off when I needed every muscle in my body to focus on keeping me safe.

Finally the call came from above and I could hear one of the girls returning.

“What’s happened?” I asked. “Did you find a way out?”

“Sorry Om. We let the e-perb off.”

“So there was no way back to the escarpment?”

“Possibly. But it didn’t feel safe. We had a conference, and decided as mothers we couldn’t do it. We let the e-perb off for our children. Alex set it off at the top of the scree slope.”

I nodded. I understood what she meant. As a mother, you don’t take the kind of risks you might otherwise take.

The loose rocks on scree slope above us were bad enough, and I wondered how Alex’s hands were faring, because the rocks were covered in a vine with sharp thorns. Even if she had been able to climb the large rock faces above the scree, there was no guarantee she would be able to find a safe way down off the escarpment to get help, and besides, we were out of time. We were expected home within hours. It was horrible to think of the fear and worry our partners and children would go through if dusk came and went without any sign or word from us. A search party would be sent out so we might as well stay alive and tell them where to look by setting off the emergency device.

Jo explained to me that she and Alex would bring my pack back down to the waterfall ledge by lowering it slowly and carefully on ropes. This would free me up to descend quickly, so I could get started on lighting a fire to attract the attention of the helicopter that would be sent out. There was a panicky moment between us when Jo rummaged in her pack and couldn’t find the lighter and then we remembered it had earlier been transferred to my pack. Relieved to finally have something to do, I happily inched my pack off my back, retrieved the lighter and carefully wedged my pack above the tree I had been using as an anchor. Jo threw me down the rope which I attached to my pack, the other end held firmly in Jo’s steady grasp.

And finally I was free from my tiny perch on the mountain side! Without the pack on my back I could slide down this loose sandy stretch of slope on my bottom, shredding my trousers even further to shreds, using my feet to steer and brake. The urgency I felt made me go faster than I should have. Finally the e-perb had been let off! I had been fantasising about this for hours now, wishing for all of this to be over. Help was coming!

Sliding pell-mell down the mountain slope at break-neck speed, I could hear shouts coming from above me but it took a while to make out what they were saying. When I did, my heart leap up into my throat and I couldn’t breathe. Of course! We had veered left the first time we came down this mountain, and I was heading downward in a straight line, my urgency driving me blindly towards the cliff’s edge. For a long panicked moment my feet couldn’t find anything firm to break my slide and then finally they found purchase and I came to a shuddering halt.

“I’m okay!”, I called upwards to the girls with a shaky voice, feeling awful for causing them so much distress. A few shouts back and forth between us and they were reassured that I had my bearings again, and was safely veering left.

I might not have fallen off the mountain that afternoon with my physical body, but later when we got home, and every time I have dared think about it since, the feeling and vision of falling off the cliff’s edge feels more real to me than the memory of stopping my slippery slide towards death. My body physically jolts when I think of it, as though recoiling from the inevitable fall that is about to come. For the first few nights after we got home, I had to sleep with the light on, and I had to hold onto my husband because everything kept moving. The ground wouldn’t stay put. I felt like I was constantly falling.

Now I understand that I need to rescue myself from this vision, this haunting; I need to stop the falling for my spine to heal.

The marmoset is talking to me again, showing me a psychic image of hanging off the edge of the cliff-face by my tailbone. As I Iay here in bed, my physical body is aching around my tailbone. I can feel my energy body instinctively pulling myself away from the fall, pulling back towards the mountain, but not knowing how to set myself free. “Help me!”, I cry, and suddenly a male energy is approaching me, from within the mountain itself. I recognise him: he is the cave spirit I worked with in Kakadu, two days before ‘the fall’.

“Come to me”, he says. “Lean back into me”.

I am overwhelmed, so grateful that he should come.

“Why are you helping me?”, I ask him.

“Because you helped me”, he replies.

“But how?”

“You stopped me from feeling lonely”, he replies, and now I am weeping, tears streaming silently down my face as  I attempt to manoeuvre my falling energy body back into the safety of this solid mountain spirit. I feel his gentle hands wrapping around me and suddenly I am safe. I know I need to stay connected with him and my male energy to be whole. He is showing me the vision of the four tailbones, merging together as one.

“Come with me”, he says, leading me into the stars above, and I feel starlight knitting my fractured tailbone together as he holds the four pieces together as one with his hand. But the starlight isn’t enough. Strangely, I am drawn to the image of a tree. It seems familiar. I feel like I have climbed this tree, been carried by it, revisited it many times as a child. And then I see an image of my mother and my aunt as children and know that this tree is an old friend for them too. It’s a river red gum, from this country here where my physical body is now: Alice Springs. I feel like it’s sending a stream of river-sand up from its roots, up into my tailbone to help it knit together.

The mountain/rock spirit man talks to me, whispering knowledge to me. He tells me this healing could not have happened until now. My physical body needed to be here in Alice Springs, exploring my roots, my family tree, my family history… which is exactly what I have come here to do. The pieces of sand are placing themselves very precisely, weaving themselves in a perfect pattern between the cracks between my tailbone fragments. Strangely, I see each sand particle being placed, and colourful, like the dots in a dot-painting. I keep seeing my uncle’s smiling face as he teaches me how to paint. It was the seven sisters I was enchanted by, and one that he had me paint over and over again. I could feel stories from the stars in each individual dot.

“Our ancestors…”, said the rock spirit. “….all the stories come from the stars. All the stories are inside you. Your roots are spreading deep.”

He touches me on my fourth eye, pushing me backwards, and suddenly I am home in my body, typing this story, home in the country I was born in, putting down new and old roots.

Blessed Be

Daisy Bush

Screenshot 2015-10-08 08.28.28Given the connection I made with Utju, I’m embarrassed to say this was the one community where we got into trouble for going into the wrong area while looking for flowers. The two young men who told us we were heading into sacred men’s territory were very patient and polite. We quickly turned around and headed back out on to the main road. Seeing a variation in leaf colour amongst the trees, I wondered if it might be a mistletoe, so we pulled over and I went to investigate.

I had to scramble through a narrow, dry streambed with steep banks and weave my way through a maze of spiky spinifex to reach the nearest tree. Unfortunately the mistletoe wasn’t in flower, but as I stepped back from the tree, I looked down and discovered a magnificent daisy bush at my feet. Daisy bush belongs to the Olearia genus. In her book, Grandma says: “Olearia are perennials, and are only found in Australia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.” Continue reading

Courageous Soul-retrieval.

FullSizeRender-3In 2013 I went on a wildflower spirit journey through Kakadu and almost didn’t make it back alive. For a while, writing the story was good medicine. That was, until I got to the part of the story where we were about to climb down off the escarpment onto the cliff face. The writing stalled for a year and just recently I’ve been re-reading, editing and reflecting on what I had written. The fact that I’ve been able to read it without nightmares makes me think I’m ready to pick up where I left off, but I can feel myself skittering around it nervously, so I’m backing off and looking for safe ways to re-enter.

Why do I think this story needs to be written at all, given that it could simply be a fruitless exercise in re-traumatising myself? I instinctively feel as though it may be an integral part of my recovery from a large disc-extrusion 6 months ago that has left me with numbness, tingling and altered sensation in my left foot and leg. And the following words, channeled through to me from Spirit during a healing from a friend, keep resonating in my mind : “I will help you down the mountain”.

I have the sense that part of me is still up there somewhere and I need to write my way down the mountain to bring her back. Real or not, this idea holds powerful healing possibilities for my psyche, but I also know I need to be gentle and careful with myself. It struck me recently that I need to revisit the cave I entered while on this journey, where spirit showed me stories and called me a ‘wildflower brujio’ or ‘wildflower spirit walker’. I have two strategies in mind for the writing/healing process:

  1. Write backwards, starting at the end of the story and working my way back to the worst bit on the cliff-face.
  2. Lean on the flowers for support. It’s time now to let them do their healing work. Between them and the spirit in the cave, I know I will be guided safely. I’ll use my imagination to revisit the cave so I can be guided from there.

Continue reading

Kakadu – deciding to go

This is the pre-edited beginning of the Kakadu Wildflower Journey. Looking back, I admire my inner strength and courage, but find it hard to believe I did this hike with an injury!


Stirring after a restless night, I took a moment to listen to my body. My heart sank and my stomach churned with a mess of conflicting emotions. There was a part of me that didn’t want to go on this trek through Kakadu and now I had the perfect excuse not to go: a neck and shoulder injury. The first little warning twinges had started the day before and I had hoped in vain that it might clear up after a good sleep. The pain was excruciating and I couldn’t even get out of bed without help from my husband.

 

That damned massage! I thought to myself crossly. A few days earlier I had received my part of an exchange with another practitioner. She had lovingly given me extra time, but it was extra time I could have done without. It was an Ayurvedic consultation and included an oil treatment. My head was tilted back, hanging off the end of the table, with oil pouring down over my forehead. As usual, I was being excessively polite and I didn’t have the heart to tell her how uncomfortable I was. To be fair, having my head tilted backwards for almost an hour might not have been an issue if I wasn’t also in the midst of re-painting the walls in our old bedroom. My husband and I had moved ourselves downstairs, and were preparing to take on a boarder. As is so often the way, the injury sets itself up during these crazy weekend ventures and then pounces days later while doing perfectly innocent things like receiving a massage.

 

I checked my phone and found a message from Kate: How’s the neck?

 

Worse, I replied. I can’t come. Not happy. Steve is going to meet you at Alex’s with the GPS, beanie, mushroom soup ingredients and stock for first night soup. Say hello to the flowers from me! xx

 

Kate called me back immediately and asked me to reconsider, saying she had spoken with Alex and they would be happy to set up a day-camp so that we didn’t have to carry full packs, and I could rest there if I wasn’t feeling up to the walk. Then found a beautifully worded voice message on my phone from Alex herself, imploring me to come, with similar ideas about how we could still make it work.

 

I felt so torn! I knew Steve didn’t really want me to go, because he was worried about us getting lost or eaten by a crocodile, and I had similar fears myself, but they really wanted me to come. And I had done so much work to prepare for this hike! It seemed like such a waste. I had been practising walking with a loaded pack for the past two months and I had prepared dehydrated food packs and spent hard-earned money on equipment for the journey, like my compass, boots and backpack.

 

“I don’t know what to do!” I wailed to my husband. We talked it through for a while and he encouraged me to rest for the remainder of the morning.

 

“Sleep on it”, he said. “I’ll go and get you some special things to help your muscles relax. Come on, let’s get you back into bed! You can make a decision at lunch time after a good rest.”

 

I crawled back into bed, struggling to find any position that was comfortable and gave me relief from the pain. Steve soon came back with a glorious bag full of goodies and insisted I play lucky dip. I reached a hand in and came up with deep-heat, which he promptly applied. My second foray into the bag yielded a packet of medicated sticky bandages, a box of Epsom salts, pain-killers and Tiger Balm, amongst other things.

 

I did feel better when I woke at lunch time, and throwing caution to the winds, decided to text Kate: I’m coming. What time do you want us to get to your place?

 

Yeehah! 1pm here??

 

I ate lunch and did one last check on my pack, adding the medicated bandages and filling my camelback (a water bladder with a hose attached so you can drink while walking). Then we drove out to Kate’s. Kate lives on a rural block with her husband and three daughters. She’s a veterinarian with a passion for horses and on their block they have horses, chickens, dogs and a pet crow. This was only my second visit, and Steve’s first. I really didn’t know Kate or Alex very well beyond the practitioner-client relationships I had developed with them, and was looking forward to getting to know them better.

 

We collected Kate and she guided us to Alex’s house, further out into the rural area. One of Alex’s chickens seemed quite intent on coming with us and we had to keep shooing her out of the car while we were loading up. Steve had made me a walking stick to take with me, and he strapped it firmly to the roof rack. It was a long staff made from an old tree-branch, with the bark scrapped off so that the surface was smooth under my hands. Besides being another point of contact with the earth and thus providing extra support, it had also been designated Chief Crocodile-Basher, ‘just-in-case’.

 

Steve gave us a brief lesson with the GPS and then before I knew it, we were saying our goodbyes and heading off towards Kakadu! The first few hours of driving were filled with chatter about family and I occasionally felt a bit shy, realising these two knew each other a lot better than I knew either of them. I may have been their healer, intimate with them in ways they perhaps weren’t with each other, but I still knew so little about the day-to-day of their lives. Not for the first time, I found myself brushing away vague fears, wondering what on earth I was getting myself into and whether it was wise to be going into the Kakadu wilderness with two clients and an injury.

 

Arriving at the turn-off into the part of Kakadu that was to become our home for the next four days, we went through the open gates on to dirt road. Alex refused to relinquish her position in the driver’s seat, even though she had no experience with four-wheel driving, and we had a lovely time guiding her through creek beds with their steep inclines and rises. She did a brilliant job. There’s such an art to finding the right approach and speed when navigating country like this and it was fun watching her exhilaration when she successfully got through each creek-crossing without getting us bogged.

 

Along the way we saw some wild horses, a mother and child. The discussion that ensued gave me an insight into Kate’s love for and knowledge about horses. I haven’t had much to do with horses myself, beyond my connection with them on a spirit level. My childhood was filled with camels and camel treks and the only time I ever went near a horse, it bit me, so I’ve been rather wary ever since. That doesn’t stop me from admiring them though. Perhaps they are another power animal for me: we usually have a healthy respect for our power animals. When animals come into our lives, they bring spirit medicine with them and the spirit medicine of horses is about adventure, freedom, stamina, strength and warrior energy. Thank you horse, for lending me your strength and spirit. I certainly needed it for this journey!

 

Wildflower Spirit Journey in Kakadu

IMG_6714Two years ago I had a wildflower adventure in Kakadu.

My birthday brings the memories back because I had my birthday out there under a tree on the escarpment with two incredible women who kept me alive and amazed me with the blessings they kept pulling out of their backpacks. Grapefruit tastes like manna from heaven when you are thirsty from shock and you still have to get through the night with only half a litre of water to share between three people. 

I’ve decided to publicly share some of the writing I’ve done about this, even though I’m not sure I will complete this story and release it as a second wildflower book. It was an incredibly powerful experience, and one I would love to share, but I can’t seem to write about coming down off the escarpment without having nightmares, so I’m putting that part of the writing on hold until my psyche feels safe to continue. The journey ended with us being rescued by helicopter from a waterfall ledge half way down the cliff face. Phew! I may have cured my fear of heights in the process but that’s only because everything else seems like a walk in the park by comparison. 

I feel nervous sharing ‘the cave’ part of this story with you- emotional actually- but I think it’s time, and at least this part of the story is mine to share…. or is it? Spirit assures me it is, at least in terms of my relationship with Spirit and the land. Some of the reason I keep hesitating with the writing of this book is because it involves two other people. Do I really have the right to tell a story shared? And if so, how do I do it in a way that honours their privacy and the fact that their story might be very different from my own? Perhaps I need to revisit the cave and re-anchor the decisive male energy I discovered there. 



THE CAVE

I lay down again and opened up my senses, reaching out and speaking to the canyon, the cave, the rock spirits, the space itself.

We apologise if we are trespassing but we have travelled a long way. It’s getting dark and we are very tired. Can we please rest here for the night?

The reply came as it always does: a collage of words, feelings, impressions, images and knowing. I could feel a strong male energy stepping forward.

We understand. You may stay the night but you must leave as early as possible in the morning. We like you three. You are quiet. We are tired of noisy people. Everything is changing. We don’t like all these white people coming through here. We long for the old days.

I suggested to the spirit energy that he could talk to his people and ask them to speak with the rangers about this. At first, all I could feel was silence in response. Then grief, which soon gave way to reluctant acceptance.

We’ve already done this. The way it is now, with this area being shared with the white man… it’s the only way. We have already negotiatied. It’s either this or nothing.

I could feel the deep grief of the canyon about the way everything was changing so quickly. I felt sad for Spirit, but what could I do? I agreed to the terms laid down about our stay and gave thanks, ready to end the conversation, when it suddenly veered in an unexpected direction.

We want you to come into the cave. We have things to teach you.

It wasn’t a request. I almost felt as though it was part of the condition of staying, a sneaky addition tacked on at the last minute. I also knew I would do what I was told, in spite of my reservations about entering the cave.

I conveyed all of this to the girls and they relaxed a little. Or at least, I thought at the time they did. Later I was to discover otherwise. While they began setting up camp, I went into the cave. As I entered, I became aware of a power position on the ground, up against the rock wall in front of me, and headed towards it. Then I stopped suddenly, confused, because there was another one up against the wall to my left.

Which one do I sit in? Why am I aware of two?, I asked myself. The answer came in a flash. The one directly in front of me was a man’s power position. The one to my left was a woman’s power position. I turned automatically to the left to go and sit in the women’s position, when Spirit stopped me.

No. Sit in the man’s position first.

First. Obviously that meant I was going to end up sitting in both. I sat in the man’s position, feeling very comfortable with the rock wall supporting my back.

Are you sure I’m meant to sit here?, I asked Spirit.

Yes. We have things to teach you, Spirit replied.

Are you sure I’m meant to be in this cave? I’m white. I don’t have the right.

In hindsight, I’m guessing I sounded a bit whiny, but I was exhausted and feeling overwhelmed.

Quiet. We asked you to be here. Everything is changing. We make do with what we can get. Black, white, it’s irrelevant. You are a Spirit Walker. Not many like you come up here. We make do with what we can get.

Reassured, I settled back into position and went into trance. A series of shadowy images flittered through my mind, morphing and shifting. I peered more closely. It looked like an animal. A black mountain goat? Or was it a mountain lion? A kangaroo? Finally the shifting settled. It was a black dingo.

I felt the spirit I had been speaking with earlier drawing my attention back to the canyon. I became aware of my position in the cave and then the perspective lifted, as though I were flying upwards and looking down over the canyon. Higher and higher we lifted. Finally the ascent slowed and the cave spirit pointed into the distance. I looked and could see Uluru.

Puzzled, I asked Why are you showing me this?

This is your Country, yes?, asked the spirit, it’s tone light and friendly. I realised it was making a connection with me, almost like a traditional form of greeting.

Yes, this is my country. It was close enough. I grew up in Alice, a days drive from Uluru, otherwise known as Ayers Rock, or more simply The Rock. During my childhood we often went to Uluru to visit my Great Uncle Peter, an arid zone botanist and ranger.

As the spirit and I gazed out over the land I could feel a connection in the land between where I was in Kakadu, and where I had spent time as a child in the comunity at Mutijulu, where my Great Uncle lived. I felt as though the land here in Kakadu was understanding me via my connection with Uluru.

Then the spirit showed me an image of a dingo and referenced the famous Australian story about a dingo taking a baby, back in the 70’s when I was a child. I wasn’t sure why spirit was showing me this, but I politely acknowledged the event, saying yes, I remember this. I also remembered the many dingos I had spent time with at Uluru, especially the one that used to visit the community in the evenings, looking for food. We were taught to be wary and careful, but not afraid. I thought they were beautiful.

The spirit seemed satisfied with my memories, somehow identifying me and where I belonged via my connection with Uluru and the dingos. Then it’s attention snapped back to where we were, pulling me back with it. I could feel it looking into me and through me, as though rifling through my memories, especially of the journey up the side of the mountain.

You are a flower spirit walker, it declared emphatically, as though this were my sole purpose in life, engraved into the fabric of my being.

I’m a healer. I work with colours, I replied, trying to convey a broader sense of who I was.

If this spirit had had a hand, he would have waved it dismissively. All spirit walkers are healers. You are a flower spirit walker. Obviously my identity beyond this wasn’t open to discussion. I shrugged and acknowledged what the spirit was saying, feeling a little dubious about my new title.

IMG_6441Then the spirit showed me an image of one of the flowers I had met on my way up the mountain. It was the first flower I had met along the way, on the first day heading out of base camp.

This is cleansing spirit medicine, it told me, showing me an image of my aura, full of small dark blotches.

You need cleansing. You filled your mind with negative thoughts on your way up the mountain. Why were you thinking these thoughts? You are a spirit walker. Be in your power.

It brushed the branch of flowers over me and through me, all the while scolding me for my unbecoming behaviour on my way up the mountain.

How can your body stay strong with these useless thoughts? And no wonder you were having trouble keeping up! Look!

It showed me an image replay of me climbing the mountain, pausing to decide which way forwards as I debated whether to go around a tree or under it, push past the bush or go over the rocks. Over and over again I had lost time pondering while the girls pushed forward without hesitation.

Just keep going. Go in a straight line. You think and wonder too much. Just get on with it!, said the spirit with exasperation.

I could feel my body soaking up the male energy in the position I was sitting in, and I started to shake off the indecisiveness that had slowed my progress, not only on this walk, but in my life in general. Then the branch disappeared and tiny points of yellow light appeared, like sparkles of sunlight coursing through my mind. The lights were flower spirits and they were filling me with positivity.IMG_6610

After a while the shower of yellow light stopped, and I knew it was time to move into the other position.

Leave your spirit-body here, said the spirit, so I was careful to stand up in body only. I left a firm image and feeling of myself sitting in the men’s power spot while I walked over to the women’s position.

The women’s position was just as comfortable, but the rock behind me sloped backwards rather than being completely vertical. Instinctively, I leaned back against it, with my legs in a squatting position. It felt like such a good position to give birth in. My mind filled with images of women giving birth here, while my body went through the bearing-down motions as though I myself were giving birth. I didn’t really feel like me: I felt like all the women who had ever come to this place to give birth.

As the baby slipped out of me into my hands, the spirit of the place stepped forward and took the baby from me.

Now leave your body here and go sit in the men’s position.

I did as I was asked, stepping out of my body and walking over to the other power spot. I could feel myself in both positions at the same time. I was the man watching the woman giving birth, and I was the woman giving birth.

I watched the spirit hand the baby to the man, the father of the child. I held my hands out as the man, and received the child. This imagery repeated itself, over and over again.

Then I saw an image of someone taking the baby into the water and somehow ascending together up through the rockface at the head of the canyon, emerging up through the rock onto the top of the escarpment. The baby was held aloft to the sky, as though being presented to the heavens, as though a great event had unfolded and was to be celebrated.

Then everything became more intense but I don’t remember all the details because I was in such a deeply altered state at the time. I was being shown a dreamtime story. What I do remember is that when it first began, I realised what was happening and felt alarmed. What right did I have, to hear such a story!? I got quite upset about this and wept until spirit calmed me, saying Hush child.

You are a spirit walker. The stories have to be told. We make do with what we have,

I wonder if my reluctance to hear the story is the reason why I can’t remember all of it, or if this partial memory loss was a safeguard established by spirit to ensure the sacred parts of this story were kept secret.

The story began with an image of a vortex over the cliff face at the head of the gorge, above the waterhole. I remember feeling mesmerized by it and drawn towards it. Spirit stopped me. It almost felt like an invisible arm was pushing back against my chest, holding me back.

No. Don’t go there. Not for you. Not safe. Stay here and watch. Listen.

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Convolvulus Flower – Rebirth

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Leaving our home town of Darwin in Northern Australia, we headed south on the Stuart Highway. The green landscape around us gradually became more arid as the kilometres ticked by.

We spent our first night at the Daly Waters campground. The next day we had been driving for a few hours when Stephen spotted a beautiful white flower, so we decided to stop for lunch and investigate. As we got closer we realised it was a Convolvulus vine creeping over a tree.

If I had met this flower a few months earlier, I would have walked right on by without connecting. I’m an independent person, and the idea of a plant that climbs over and suffocates other plants has never appealed to me. Thankfully, my friend Kathleen had recently softened my view on vines by introducing me to a vine essence she made. Connecting deeply with Kathleen’s vine essence helped me understand that vine spirit medicine helps to balance us if we are too independent or not independent enough. It also helps us to let go when we are struggling with grief. Continue reading

A ‘Grandma excerpt’, from the book

Hello everyone!

I’m currently creating a crowd-funding campaign to raise the money needed for the formal release of this book. I’m on a last edit, thanks to my Auntie Kay, a professional editor with whom it’s been lovely to share the journey. Kay is from my father’s side of the family and it’s been wonderful getting to know her better and sharing my mother’s family history with her. We were both surprised to find that Grandma and her especially share the same birthday, and it somehow feels very right to have her on board.

In the meantime, here’s a pre-edit snippet in honour of Grandma Anne:


Since Grandma’s funeral, I have become more comfortable in my own skin. I am validating my own approach to life, and I can feel Grandma cheering me on from the sidelines. I would like to call Grandma my guardian angel or my spirit guide but she won’t let me:

I’m not an angel, she says. I’m just me. And you don’t need guarding. You’re doing a perfectly good job of looking after yourself. I’m not doing anything that important. Just call me your spirit friend. She always was humble. At least she acknowledges she is helping me write this book.

I’m encouraging you and helping you stay inspired by your project, says Grandma. I love what you are doing, and I know you are doing it for me. I don’t understand everything you are writing about flowers being used for healing, but I can see how much you are helping people and I believe in you.

In my work I see people become disconnected from their loved ones who have passed, and it leaves a great gaping hole inside them. I encourage them to talk with their deceased loved ones, even if they don’t believe in life after death.

“Your loved ones live on inside you, in your heart, in your memories,” I tell them. “So talk to them. What would you say to them now if you could?”

We can imagine how they might reply, and this has the potential to be a source of comfort, healing and guidance in our lives.

I wasted twenty years being angry with my father after he committed suicide when I was fifteen years old, and it’s only been in the last five years we started talking again. We had a few heated disagreements and misunderstandings at first, but we worked through them and now we are really good friends. Regardless of whether life after death is literally ‘real’ or not, healing my relationship with my father has transformed the way I feel about myself. Knowing that he believes in me has healed old wounds that would otherwise hinder my capacity to believe in myself.

Pi Ca Nor – A male energy centre

It was the Women’s Fuchsia at Areyonga who originally taught me about the presence of a deeper sexual chakra that sits below the base chakra. When working with me during healing, Spirit refers to this as the Pi Ra Na or the ‘clitorus chakra’.

Yesterday while working with a male client, I found myself working in this same part of the energy field; between the thighs, below the base chakra, and was told that this is the male equivalent. Spirit referred to it as the Pi Ca Nor.

I expected it to have the same function as the female centre, but was surprised to find it was quite different, but being in a slightly altered state at the time, I can’t remember what the information was! So I’m going to shift state now and see if I can re-access this information.

Spirit is telling me that these chakras, in both males and females, are connected to the higher chakras above the crown chakra. They aren’t active or highly developed in most people, tending to ‘switch on’ when someone on their spiritual journey reaches a certain stage in their personal growth. The Pi Ca Nor varies slightly in structure and function between all individuals. To help me access the information I have about this chakra, Spirit is referring me to one of my past lift-times when I was male and this centre was active.

It feels similar to the way the womb functions in women: providing a degree of intuition. It feel very directional though, as though it is specifically useful for helping a man use his intuition to sense his way forward into empowerment i.e. what path should I follow, what direction should I go in next, what is my next step? It seems to have grounding lines that run down the insides of the legs into the earth. These lines are almost like tracking devices that feel their way through the earth, sensing earth rhythms and information. I can feel the energy lines following pathways of information and energy that run underground, then emerging out through the surface of the ground at a specific point and acting as a beacon. The beacon sends the energy lines back into my belly (just below the male power point i.e. dan tien or hara). These then travel back down into the Pi Ca Nor. I feel a pulling sensation in these parts of my body, pulling me towards the beacon site. It makes my legs feel like moving! The beacon site is a place of power where everything becomes clear; where energy aligns perfectly for me as an individual. It’s an ‘arrival place’, bringing great clarity and awareness of ones place. I really feel like this centre helps a person get their bearings in life.

During the same healing, I became aware of another two energy centres below the Pi Ca Nor. I worked primarily with the lowest one, between the ankles. I’ve worked in this space before but never with such a clear understanding that this space is an energy centre, a chakra of sorts.

Another area revealed to me recently was an area just above the navel. It wasn’t the Solar Plexus Chakra itself, but it was connected to it, almost sitting on it’s bottom outside edge. It was small and compact, almost star-like. It reminded me of the dan tine. I knew it was a storage site. The keyword here was ‘Will’. It seems to be a place where a person gathers and stores willpower for future use. Spirit was showing me how the body can transform excess energy from the nervous system and mental aura into compact ‘willpower’ energy, and condense it into this area of the body. This can be preferable to earthing all the excess charge out via the feet, but it must be done carefully and gradually, never adding too much at any one time.

Again, this isn’t a centre that activates in the average person. It’s more likely to come into play with people who are learning to use their mind in powerful ways, especially martial artists, meditators, reality creators, shamans and healers.