On the first new moon of the new year we received the keys to our new home. Sometimes I laugh at how my world seems to slip into perfect timings even when i am not aware.
When I returned from my vision quest experience, I had an experience of feeling suffocated. In the bath with my daughter, her washing my shorn hair, I felt like i couldn't breathe. With the door shut and the bath curtain drawn, there was no air, no breeze, no sky. I remember running out of the bath, opening the back door and realising that an urban back yard was not going to give me anything close to the serenity of the bush. I remember thinking it would have been slightly more convenient to have discovered this before we bought our ocean city house.
And so continued a process of unravelling within myself and within our family. The dreams we thought we were manifesting in that space kept hitting up against brick walls. Literally. I felt on edge all the time. Feeling anxiety and stress so often that I quit drinking coffee in hopes of calming down my inflamed and broken sleep body. My relationship with my partner was quickly unravelling. And we didn’t seem to do anything as a family except survive. This was no way to live.
With all due respect to all of my friends who still live there, Newcastle felt toxic. The dust from the coal stacks was coating my car and front door, the morning air smelt like whatever chemical Orica was making that day and we could see the plumes of filth spewing out into the air. My back yard, stripped of bitumen and laid with organic soil and turf, was just covering over a hundred years of toxic sludge not far under our feet. The final straw for me was learning about the Williamstown spill that was slowly leaching into the ground water that we were drinking. I couldn’t bear the thought that we were poisoning our children just by living there. The toxic overlay began to permeate everything. Some people were incredibly horrid, my partner was stressed and at breaking point and I was drinking like a fish just to take the edge off.
On Imbolc, we planted the seeds of a new dream, or rather the old dream, the first dream we had together, before kids and uni and work took us on a different tangent. We planted the potent seed of land, of community, of a forest with a little home that brings us together, of a life where being at home meant we could breathe, put our hands in the earth, listen to birds and watch the earth breathe and change around us.
so here I sit, in my spiral house in the rainforest with a resident kookaburra the kids have named “Cookie”, marvelling at how the seeds planted on Imbolc were harvested at Lammas. That magick does actually work. That the intentions we set, the words we utter can change our lives.
I had a magickal mantra that i uttered daily. Gratitude. Vision. Flow. those three words kept me focused and centred. They reminded me to always live in gratitude for all the amazingness of my life. That I am healthy, fed, with a roof over my head. With a family, friends, and work that is my passion. Vision to always hold it clear, unwavering. And Flow, to flow with what is, and not what i think it is.
Those three words carried me through the biggest transition I have experienced to date. I was reminded of how I experienced transition with my first baby, long, difficult and lots of tears, and such was the transition to this new life. With a magnificent baby to behold when it was all done, the hard work worth it, the tears all dried up.
And like with a birth, I babymooned with this new house, this land, this life. I walked my land. I stayed in the house listening to the constant rain. I learned how the rainwater tanks work, as rain is our literal lifeblood now. I hibernated with cups of tea and crochet, feeling shy and vulnerable in my new community. And then, as with a new babe, there comes a time to come out in the world. And so here is my rebirthed self. Living the life i dreamed for myself. Trusting that all will be exactly as it should be.
I recently received a letter from AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) telling me that I needed to stop using the term “Shamanic Midwife” to describe what I do, because under Australian Law, “midwife” is a protected title.
Each graduate of the School received a letter, each one with threats of prosecution should we not comply with their requests to cease and desist.
It has been a big process of letting go.
I received my letter in the middle of selling my Newcastle home, which in itself was a massive letting go process. Letting go of a home, the ocean, our friends. Letting go of the dream that we thought it would be and having to accept the reality that it was too much, too city, too stressful. This letter was now telling me I had to let go of something else i held dear.
The name Shamanic Midwife brought with it a deep resonance. We were midwifing women in the Shamanic realms, that is the unseen, the unknown, the inner worlds untravelled. It was a way of pulling us together. Shamanic midwives, facilitating transformations. It bound us together as names can. With the swipe of a bureaucratic pen, we were un-named.
I have no doubt that the intention was to divide and conquer. It is a strategy that has worked well for thousands of years. I have no doubt that its just a modern day witch hunt, searching out those on the fringes, the ones who dare, and stamping them out in order to keep the status quo. But instead of torches and pitchforks they use regulations and fines to silence us. Or so they try.
So we lovingly released Midwife. She who is with woman. She who facilitates transformation. She who has been taken from us, from all of us, wether we use her name or not. She has been taken from women and been “protected”. From what exactly? from women using her for their own support? their own power?
We let her go, we drummed her name into the cosmos under a sunset sky. Women around the globe, drumming to release the Midwife and allow for what came next. For our work will never change. We are still there, drumming, supporting, processing, loving, journeying with women, holding space for them to drum, process, love and journey for themselves.
The rebirth came. The (r)evolution to the School of Shamanic Womancraft. A Craftswoman, a woman who weaves her magick for herself, and all her relations. A Witch, a Shemanka, a Wayshower, a Priestess. We can claim all of these names, and know that the work remains the same. And remember that they can keep trying to silence us, but we will never be silenced.