There are times in our lives when we experience a profound inner call to retreat to the deeper mountains of our soul and spend undiluted time with ourselves as close to the Earth as possible.
This very natural desire is often not just a one-off need but cyclical in sync with the rhythms and seasons of nature intimately mirrored in our own bodies.
Our collective imagination holds potent images of withdrawing from the demands of our ordinary lives in order to simplify and open to deeper states of consciousness or mark a significant passage from one life stage to another.
A moon lodge under a luminous full moon on the side of a mountain or a snow cave high in the Himalayas are both examples of this.
When I was in my early 20s I gave away all my possessions and went to live in a tent on the island of Iona in the Scottish Hebrides. As a working class woman with few resources this was a bold choice but seemed to me at the time to be the only way I could step onto my own path, return myself to semi wild nature and establish the numinous at the forefront of my life. I later lived as a hermit in Ireland.
As we grow older and wiser it becomes possible to achieve balance and spiritual satisfaction much closer to home. We discover the ineffable and the everyday aren’t separate. Sometimes very small changes can bring about profound shifts in consciousness.
We also realise many of the paths on offer have been made by men and are much more suited to their needs.
I brought my body and soul together and gave them equal value by making silent, solitary retreats in my own home during the bleeding phase of my menstrual cycle which had a huge impact on every aspect of my life.
We are living in a unique time when Climate Emergency, Pandemics and dwindling finances personal and global have limited our freedom or even desire to go out into the world to ‘find ourselves.’ Retreating and nurturing our inner lives at home has its own set of challenges.
Responsibilities, children and family members to care for mean solutions need to be easy and accessible.
One of the most profound tools we have is our potent imaginations.
Thirteenth century Mystic Meister Eckhart said “When the soul wants to experience something she throws out an image in front of her and then steps into it”
The Moon hut is a notional place to explore what our souls most long for.
I will be creating various offerings from here.
I am currently developing a course called SoulQuest which will be available on InsightTimer drawing on my experiences of questing and retreating. It will be a comprehensive tool kit of practical tips for bringing soul-time into everyday life, creative activities, mini retreats and quests in a spirit of depth but also pleasure and playfulness.
If you are interested email me and I will contact you when it is live.
Our minds have fingers
there is so much they can touch.
Our hearts plump or reel in shock
from the impact of what they choose.
Some mornings our thoughts are happy dogs
running on ahead to sniff out the day’s best,
harmless as bees smooring to the next comfrey patch.
It is a daily discipline to choose how much of the world’s darkness we touch
We could be incandescent with righteous rage at the injustices of the world
every second of every minute of every hour.
Our collective grief could raise the sea level overnight.
But sworn enemy of joy we can’t take Ecocide with us on every walk
even though it whines and scratches at the door.
It is joy too we are here to spend.
Celebration and active reverence give us the energy
and motivation to make our best difference.
So we write ourselves into a poem
that turns out to be a path into the deeper mountains
where there is a moon hut as round as a Mongolian yurt,
as protective as the encircling arms of a she-bear
draped with heavy tapestries of every being we have ever loved
human and furred.
A pot bellied stove in the centre warms us through to our bones. Wolves howl their songs across the tundra to each other
and to us.
A snake coiled on a thick yak rug waits to shed its skin
For forty days and forty nights our ancestors
feed us warm heather-honey from their fingers,
cocoon us in the feathers of swans
and take the trouble from our minds.
We have never felt so held.
If you would like to hear me reading this poem and others, click on the image of the Yurt to be directed to the free audio on InsightTimer.
Menstruation is a time when our bodies and psyches need deep rest, comfort and ease. This is a yoga nidra for menstruation without music or bells to allow your nervous system to completely relax without any input other than guidance from a soft, soothing voice.
Yoga Nidra brings us to the liminal between sleep and wakefulness where healing, renewal and access to the deeper states of consciousness that menstruation naturally facilitates can take place.
This is a gentle and soothing Yoga Nidra for women. It has music and a beginning and end bell. It awakens witness consciousness and includes the Yoga Nidra stages of settling and grounding into stillness, rotation of consciousness through the body, awareness of the breath, rapid visualisation of natural and archetypal objects, and sankalpa to evoke a heart's desire.