Branching Out

I'm Talking to You, Yeah - You!
Looking back it's been a week full of signs, several weeks maybe. Nothing as useful as a massive neon lit beastie saying 'Claire This Way' complete with directions and 'idiots guide to your life, 22nd edition' but nevertheless enough, 'hello that's funny' and 'wow, that's the 3rd time that's popped up in my day' kind of soul searching that is Goddess's way of throwing you a cosmic hat and yodelling if the cap fits...
Another day, another article this time about the bravery of being seen - about having the courage to share your dreams quite literally with others, the elusive sleeping ones that drag our subconscious into the harsh light of day and to lay bare our fears that wrack and torment us. I guess a metaphor too for the hidden ones that we dare not voice, for fear of mockery and derision or someone laughing at you that in particular resonated clear as a bell with me. (Have a read it's beautiful and a soothing balm to my ruffled and shamed jealous feathers!) In a way it's what I did last week, sharing my angst with you all, without being afraid. Thank you lovely people!
The Beautiful Interior of
Watts Memorial Chapel
So with that in mind I thought I'd share with you my plans to start training in the autumn to become a Soul Doula or Soul Midwife, supporting people at the end of their lives to make their final journey in dignity and peace, acting as their spiritual companion. Over the years I've worked in the care 'industry' I have been privileged to deliver a lot of palliative care and it's a direction that is definitely calling me. 
It sounds an odd thing to say I've enjoyed it, but it really feels like something that has been an honour to do for some amazing people, listened entranced to many an amazing long forgotten story from their younger days, shared the quiet moments of their thoughts and something that has stirred ancient memories and given me a passion to do so with the chance of dancing to the beat of the individual's drum, not a business or corporate one. 
It's little wonder then that given carte blanche
The Silent Pool
by himself to plan a weekend trip out, our first stop was a cemetery chapel, I'm such a joy to go out with! That said, it was a spectacularly awesome one, the Watts Memorial Chapel in Surrey. This beautiful mortuary chapel was built at the end of the 19th century and is decorated in a unique blend of Art Nouveau and Celtic Revival (so the guide said) designed by Mary Fraser Tyler and is adorned in a wonderfully eclectic mix of angels, cherubs, religious symbols from many faiths, celtic knots, labyrinths and mazes, dragons, an all pervading tree of life -complete with as above so below and symbols of the trinity that can represent either the Father, Son and Holy Ghost or the 3 original archetypes of Maiden, Mother and Crone depending on your inclination... definitely the latter for me with all those divine lady angels that appeared to watch you wherever you stood adorned and resplendent in red!

For lunch we drove to the nearby Silent Pool for a peaceful picnic at a local spring fed pool. It's chalky origin adding to it's unusual blue-green colouring dependant on the light and an atmospheric almost eerie quality, allegedly haunted by the ghost of a local woodcutter's daughter who drowned in her bid to escape abduction by King John. The slight mist that hovers over pool adds to the air of mystery and the atmosphere although tranquil lends itself to the story entirely. No sightings for us alas, but we did find this beautiful tree or more accurately it's splendid roots almost like a living tree of life, entwined and tangled on the water's edge, strong and grounded supporting a whole world above it. It's easy to believe the claims that this has long been a local spot for quiet pagan practices. For the second time in the day I was staring at these winding, weaving roots knowing I was being shown something and it wasn't the path of a tree surgeon.
Abundance and Fertility of What?
Moving on to a local stately home, complete with it's own arboretum (of course) and seeking some shelter from the sun, we walked towards the blissful shade of the rose garden, passing the grave of the Lady of The House when this image of a Grecian or Roman Goddess albeit commercial came into view proudly clutching her cornucopia of wheat.... shouting abundance and fertility at me. 'Abundance and fertility of what?' I wanted to shout back. Entering the gorgeous rose garden the heady scents of the roses on the trellises were almost intoxicating - as we passed some delicate peachy pink roses, a long forgotten familiar smell enveloped me, suddenly transporting me back to my childhood in Nan's lovely garden, so bittersweet it brought sudden tears to my eyes, whilst whispering motherline to my soul.
Lucky himself is a patient man, humouring me as I explained the one last stop on the way home, quietly asking for the post code with a resigned air and brooking no resistance, even his eyebrows did raise
The Oldest Yew In Britain?
a little at the thought of visiting a tree. No mere tree to be fair though, this ancient yew called the 
Yggsdrasil Of Surrey in this blog article by the amazingly named Feral Strumpet (what a freakingly cool name!) is allegedly no less than 4000 years old, this estimate based on it's trunk girth of over 10 metres, wow! It's still alive and you could easily fit a couple of people inside the ancient hollow trunk as it happily and nobly presides over the Church Yard of the 12th Century St George's Church at Crowhurst. It's Yggdrasil name coming from Norse mythology either as the home of the Goddesses and Gods at Asgard or as Odin's Gallows depending on which interpretation you choose. Another tree, another tree of life, the roots must be massive and take up half of the churchyard, still none the wiser why it seems to be national tree day for me, but it's got to be said I do like a tree. 
The beauty of the day brought me deep vivid dreams, that woke me in the middle of the night, my brain tripping over itself trying to unravel the threads and connect up elusive half thoughts and ideas. To quell my active brain, I willed myself into a meditation, which led me into more dreams where I was watching myself and unknown women around a hearth and in places I didn't know. My Nan talking to me and drawing leaves and flowers, which she was fabulous at in life. Waking up frazzled but buzzing full of sudden
Time Traveling Rose
certainty that the time is very much approaching for me to make a few changes, to create a lifestyle more around my beliefs, small steps maybe, time to trust my instincts to plan these carefully, to copy the wide reaching roots that support the body of the tree. So translated from my brain's half thoughts and musings into plain language, time to think about letting go of the comfort blanket of my second job and make a little income from the skills that I have inherited and been blessed with to help support my next period of study. 

Time to reroot and ground myself inspired by those amazing trees, tapping into the depth of knowledge and talents that I have available to me, blessed with a fertile abundance of ideas and imagination. Phew, so where will that lead? Time to investigate online shops and how they work, hone some skills and build up a stock of lovely things.....time to branch out, watch this space!

Have a Blessed and Abundant Week! x x 

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