Category Archives: Telling Tale

Letter to Raquel Rolnik, UN Special Housing Rapporteur

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The information and detail regarding the background to this letter can be found here.

Dear Ms. Rolnik,


United Kingdom:  Coalition Government Welfare ‘Reform’

This is in response to your request for feedback on the above, with particular regard to the Employment Support Allowance and the Work Capability Assessment as I have direct personal experience of both.

May I first express my gratitude to you for enabling this formal communication.  The present inability of the ordinary people of the UK to affect any real understanding within Government concerning the human impact of their present policies is a source of considerable alarm and to finally be invited to share the detail of our experiences is a rare source of hope for me. May I also express my sincere regret at the deeply disrespectful and aggressive behaviour of UK Government representatives towards you personally. I hope you will understand, however, if I also say that this behaviour is quite typical towards those who disagree with the coalition’s viewpoint, particularly when this disagreement is expressed by women. Whilst I would not wish anyone to be treated in such a manner, that you now have direct personal experience of this can only underpin the emotional intelligence of the situation that I and so many British women now find ourselves in.

I have been a recipient of Employment Support Allowance/Incapacity Benefit since 2001 when first my physical health deteriorated so badly I was unable to work. This was followed by a severe deterioration in my mental health from which I have yet to recover. Prior to this I had worked my entire adult life with the exception of a year, in 1984 (when I suffered a similar psychological breakdown), up to and including running my own business for twelve years.

Following my mental health deterioration, in 2003 I committed a crime (my first) so serious that it resulted in a seven year sentence which included nearly five years of prison. I mention this because any and all decisions made regarding my ESA claims included this information and inevitably would have informed the decision-makers involved. It would be reasonable to conclude, in these circumstances, that any standards against which I was measured were likely to be more strictly enforced, with particular attention being paid to potential fraud on my part. It is the UK coalition government’s contention that ESA applicants are seeking to defraud the public and it is therefore useful to know that some decisions will have been made using stricter standards that might otherwise have been applied. Between 2008 and 2012, all my ESA applications were based on mental health issues up to and including active suicidal ideation.

Sometime in 2006, I experienced my first Work Capability Assessment via Atos with a male GP. The assessment, as structured, took little or no account of my mental health issues, focussing mainly on physical impairment. Since my claim was due to mental health impairment, needless to say I failed my assessment. I appealed and my appeal was upheld at Tribunal. During this hearing, my legal representative drew the panel’s attention to the WCA GP said “He would certify a chair fit for work”.

In 2007/8, I was called to a second WCA by Atos. On this occasion, my mental health had deteriorated so severely that, with the support of my GP, this assessment occurred at my home. The outcome is unknown because I was recalled to prison by the Probation Service soon after.

In 2010, on my final release from prison and the end of my sentence, my mental health (including suicidal ideation) still rendered me unfit for work and I renewed my claim for ESA. In 2011, I was subject to my third Work Capability Assessment. Given that the measures applied still related to physical impairment, I failed again and appealed. In full awareness of my history, the Appeal Panel continued to uphold my claim.

In November 2012 I experienced a heart attack, so when I was called to a fourth WCA in February 2013, my GP was successful in halting the process on the grounds that it could place my life at risk. Atos closed my file and the DWP accepted my claim for a period of six months. During this period – March-September 2013 – my mental health, which had been recovering, deteriorated so severely that my suicidal ideation has now returned and has now become almost impossible to manage. The personal detail of this can be found in my internet blogs here, here, here and here.

At the time of writing, Atos is in receipt of my most recent ESA/WCA form but I have yet to receive a response. It is nevertheless the case that my GP, my Mental Health support worker and I are all seriously concerned about my present suicidal ideation, which is based on the following:-

The WCA assessment still fails to enable me to fully share my mental health problems. Whilst the WCA failure to incorporate mental health issues has been known for years and has been the subject of numerous representations to government, the assessment continues to favour physical impairment measures. The likelihood, therefore, of my failing this next WCA are extremely high.

When I fail my WCA, I will have to appeal this decision in order to pursue my claim for ESA. In the past, this meant that my income would be reduced to the ESA minimum until such time as my appeal was decided. Now, however, the government has introduced a further stage of consideration by the DWP where my claim will be reassessed by that government department.

Despite many representations, the government has determined that I should receive no income whatsoever during this reassessment process and has placed no time limits on how long this might be expected to take. The government suggests that, if I need income during this period, I can claim Job Seekers Allowance. This ‘solution’ requires the following:

– That I am fit for work which, clearly, I am not.

– That my application for JSA will be accepted by the DWP, as I have to declare that I am fit for work. To make such a declaration would be untrue and the DWP, quite reasonably, sanctions all benefit applicants who make false claims.

– To apply for JSA, I am required to relinquish my claim to ESA. If my application for JSA is rejected on the grounds that my claim that I am fit for work is untrue, I must then reapply for ESA. This means that I will acquire a ‘record’ with the DWP for making false claims. It is also without doubt that I will receive no income at all whilst the matter is being settled. In the absence of any income, the likelihood of my destitution – loss of home and social supports – becomes extremely high.

In addition to the above changes, the government has also now removed my access to legal aid. This means that I face dealing with the above alone, unsupported and legally unable to challenge any of the above unless I do it myself at a time when I am experiencing severe mental health problems, am deprived of income, without legal assistance and where, if I were well enough to cope, any practical resources to do this are completely absent.

The combination of these most recent revisions, coupled with the circumstances I am placed in, lead me to believe that the desired government outcome in this situation is my death, either by attrition or by my own hand, which exacerbates my suicidal ideation to the point of action. I am deprived of a ‘fair trial’, legal resources/representation and any form of income whilst, at the same time, being ‘invited’ to behave fraudulently as a result of fearing complete destitution. It would be fair to say, given the present state of my mental health, that I experience the above as psychological torture which contributes to my suicidal ideation because, from my perspective, the only avenue I can see available to me to stop this is to die. If you can see any alternatives to this solution, I would be most interested in hearing them.

These are the facts of my personal situation but the problems do not end there.

The UK coalition government has a record of treating people in my position with the same levels of disrespect and aggression as has been shown to you. To justify their actions, the UK coalition government, aided by the UK mass-media, have engaged in a ‘campaign’ of misinformation and propaganda against those in my position. Coalition government ministers can be shown to have repeatedly and consistently misrepresented statistics in order to promote the false belief that claims like mine are fraudulent, suggesting instead that I am workshy and a social parasite. This has resulted in a marked increase in prejudice towards those in my position. When such views have been successfully challenged in the courts, the coalition government refuses to accept these decisions up to and including retrospectively changing the law to make their refusal lawful. Those who do actively represent people like me have been referred to as ‘extremists’ in the House of Commons in order to justify government refusals to meet with us. I experience this as a total unwillingness by government to consider the consequential impact of the ideological changes they have imposed, which further exacerbates my suicidal ideation and my belief that the only satisfactory outcome to the matter is my death. The levels of disrespect and aggression towards people like me are reflected in your own treatment by the UK government, the only difference being that you can leave and I cannot.

Again, if you can see any alternative viewpoint that might assist me to overcome my mental health problems so that I might actually recover and return to ‘work’, please do let me know because, at this present time and under my immediate circumstances, death really does seem to be the only way my government will permit me to contribute to my community. I blog about it because it is the only means of free self expression left to me. Given recent revelations of UK government internet surveillance and the various calls for censorship presently occurring, I am not confident that my present access to both factual information and free expression will continue.

There is one last point I would like to raise with you – the issue of gender discrimination. This is not the place to go into the UK government’s treatment of women but there exists considerable evidence to suggest that ordinary British women and children, already subject to existing discrimination, are bearing the brunt of these austerity cuts to welfare. The evidence of poverty, food poverty, destitution and other hardships falling on this group is now incontrovertible. The law is applied particularly harshly to us whilst those who are wealthy, and mainly men, enjoy the benefit of the doubt under law. If there is a way that these issues can be addressed within your organisation, I would be most grateful if action could be taken to ensure British law is applied equally to all.

From my own perspective, it seems that the UK government is making war against us and actively removing any and all legal safeguards that might protect us under the International Declaration of Human Rights. Indeed, it feels as though we are no longer considered human in the minds of those elected to represent us. As one woman to another, if you can help us please do so because the death toll is already in the thousands. Whilst this situation continues unchanged, it can only get worse. I am passed the point where I can point to any particular human right being breached. Could I indicate towards in entire Declaration of Human Rights and ask you to decide which ones are no longer being applied in the UK?

Thank you so much for taking the trouble to listen to me. I really can’t express how grateful I am.

Yours sincerely

Dylanie Wilde-Walker

PS
For information, I will be posting this letter on my blog as a way of modelling one way of writing to you, for those with less experience than myself. I hope this doesn’t present you with any problems. I will also be forwarding this email to my MP for his information too.

Thank you again for your interest and invitation – I really cannot express how grateful I am for this opportunity.

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Further Reflections on Suicide #WSPD

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Yesterday was World Suicide Prevention Day. As some of you already know, I experience suicidal ideation (under very specific circumstances), so encountering the sister of someone who had successfully acted on their own reasoned ideation was a sobering event.  Apart from myself, I had never met someone caught up in this same dynamic before and their feelings are undoubtedly as complex as my own. The common ground between us was the experience of helplessness. His sister described listening to a similar kind of ideation to mine. Her brother was as rational as I – the only difference was that he succeeded whereas I had ‘failed’.

There are not words enough to express my gratitude to this sister. Despite her own profound grief, she was able to sit alongside me without any judgment or censure… and she validated me. She understood that it was possible to arrive at this ‘death choice’ in a rational way and then follow through. She knew I wasn’t ‘joking’ or ‘attention-seeking’ because she had direct experience of the devastating consequences. For someone in my position, this is the greatest gift one human being can give another. It’s not so much the listening that counts, it’s the validation – the shared recognition that something can be so seriously and rationally wrong that it causes someone to choose death over life and act on that choice. This is about as deep as it gets on the ‘life’ side of suicide.

As WSPDay progressed, many and various suggestions were posted for addressing the problem. Some work with the thought-processes of what is being expressed. Whilst such interventions can be helpful if our reasoning is irrational, they fall at the very first post when it is not. Those who approach me from this angle frequently get stunned into silence when I sharply explain the route I took to the edge of this abyss. I get angry because the proffered solutions are the equivalent of treating the outcome of open heart surgery with a box of Elastoplasts. I already know my own worth. To those in the suicide-prevention ‘biz’, these interventions may form part of your tool-box but they are the equivalent of using a hammer when a drill is required and are more likely to contribute to the problem than resolve it. You are going to need to go much deeper to get at the stuff I am dealing with.

For those who understand this need for depth but have never actually lived it, quoting Viktor Frankel, who said – from his own experience of the Holocaust – that the key to survival was to have found meaning, also works to a point but not with me. As a shaman, I can give chapter and verse of the meanings I have applied to my suicidal ideations and whilst you are right, you also miss an important issue. I may still here to write this but this wasn’t achieved by turning away – my achievement came from walking straight into my ideation with my eyes wide open. Perhaps you might like to consider another Holocaust wisdom instead. It was Bruno Bettelheim observed that those who survived were those who were able to express their feelings; it was those who didn’t who died.

The feelings and emotions involved with a rational suicidal ideation are deep, broad and long. Most ‘normals’ cannot hear them which, for those of us down here on the edge of the Abyss, adds to the problem in spades. Such ‘normals’ exhibit tendencies to label folk like me as ‘attention-seeking’, ‘manipulative’ or claim that we’re ‘making it up’ or ‘don’t really mean it’.  My personal response to such attitudes is to walk fast and hard into my suicidal abyss without a backward glance because it’s the only way to prove them wrong. I intend to present them with evidence of the real-life consequences of their own ideation. These are going to be much harder to deal with than simply acknowledging we were wrong and, consequently, can actually change the situation we all find ourselves in.

To address my kind of suicidal ideation, we all have to understand the very specific emotional ground we are standing upon. The common ground both Frankel and Bettelheim share with me is that they drew their conclusions when facing their own deaths. Much of the advice from those who have not lived the experiences is going to be untested theory which is useless at best and lethal at worst. If folk genuinely want to help those of us on the suicide abyss, it helps to understand the following.

Most of us with suicidal ideations normally, at the very bottom, actually don’t want to die – what we want is for something harmful within our life experience to die instead but find ourselves helpless because try as we might, we can’t change it. Over an often extended period of time, we come to believe that killing ourselves is the only way to effect the desired change, which is to stop what is occurring to us. During that time we will have tried various options and failed. Sometimes it is true that we need to understand our internal psychic structures to make the necessary changes – this is the area of expertise suicide prevention excels in, so despite their failures with me, lets all be deeply grateful for the work they do for others who can respond. These strategies only fail with me because I know how to effect change in myself – my problem is that the changes don’t impact upon my environment. When I am walking into my suicide abyss, it’s because the world refuses to change, not me. I walk in full awareness of my feelings (Bettelheim) and chock full of meaning (Frankel) because I want to change my environment so badly I believe its worth dying for.

The trigger is always the same: abuse.

I refuse to consent to abuse. I believe there is nothing wrong in my refusal – I like and admire the woman-who-is-me for her courage and obstinacy in the face of such behaviour. I refuse to be ordered about or governed by those who behave abusively and if they refuse to change, then I reserve the right to refuse to live. Anyone capable of sitting alongside me when I am in this frame of mind will hear, if they’re willing to listen, example after example of abuses I have challenged or confronted and how the abusers refused to change. In these circumstances, what the listener needs to attend to most – especially if they carry social responsibilities – is where the ‘system’ has failed. Somewhere in the reporting will be personal actions the listener can take but there will be no comforting tickbox list for this. Each conversation is unique, each potential action will be personal to the individuals within the dynamic and, remember, the chances of the listener failing to effect the necessary abuse-reduction are likely to be equally high as well. Nevertheless, it is this – deep listening followed by action – that makes the difference for me personally. It is this that marks the turning point – where I step away from the edge and begin the return journey to life because someone changed their actions as a result of mine. Someone did something they would otherwise not have done because of me. The change maybe minute but it is no less valuable for that. Sometimes what is done fails and I turn again to face the abyss but this time I know there is one more person trying to change the situation with me. I am no longer alone because another is facing down the problem and I want to help them as much, if not more, than I want to help me. If I do die, then my companion at the edge of the abyss will have more evidence to show they were right and the perpetrators of the abuse were wrong. As far as I am concerned, this is a win-win situation for all of us because, with each additional person ‘getting it’, at least we build the hope that the problem of abuse can be changed.

The road back from the suicidal abyss is very long, slow and painful for everyone involved. It has to be taken step by step. The kind of change I demand, as I confront and challenge my abusers, needs to be effected by as many people as possible for it to work. The long-term abuse of ‘helpless’ people by those with power to behave otherwise is not just wrong, it’s a crime against humanity. It’s a crime whether it’s perpetrated by those at the top or those who follow their orders and if that’s the world society wants me to dwell within, it can fuck off. I refuse. It will be over my dead body before I consent to such an arrangement because it breaks the law and I am a desister.

Is my strategy effective? Well, considering that I have been using it for nearly twelve years and I’m not dead yet, it would seem that it might. All I would say is that I’m sick of having to live on the edge of this abyss whilst so many of my peers are tumbling in through a lack of understanding how this dynamic works.  Perhaps, for this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day, my contribution might make enough of a difference that it saves the lives of some of my peers because, in a world ruled by increasing and unrelenting criminal abuse, it is quite evident that the wrong somethings and someones are dying.

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#DearCJSprofessionals We seem to have a very serious problem

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A few weeks ago, I had this idea about tweeting #DearDVPolice as a social media exercise in communication between police and public on the difficult subject of domestic violence. As you can see, from this blogpost (only just now un-password protected), I took the matter further because I have an interest in improving understanding between problem-solvers and those experiencing problems. The idea took off but soon belly-flopped when it got to @CollegeOfPolice, who leaped from huge enthusiasm to complete silence within a single afternoon. This was probably attributable to one of the many negative social labels I carry. Still, I gave them a couple of weeks to see if they’d get their act together and then said I was thinking of unprotecting the blog. “Go ahead” came the response “we welcome all kinds of ideas” as if they had never heard from me before. I felt as though I was dealing with “Dumb and dumber” because this behaviour lacked any real insight into the way women use the social media. It’s worth exploring this possibility again simply because results elsewhere have shown them to be effective.

From my CJS perspective, as a desister, there seem to be two schools of thought within the system at the moment. The first one – the school to which I belong – seeks to improve CJS ‘community relations’ from all sides. This includes identifying the problems, which leads to problem-solving whatever (or whoever) is getting in the way of effective lawful social solutions. For the purposes of this blog, I would confirm the existence of highly competent professionals across the entire CJS who adopt a similar approach. I’ve met them. They rarely have a problem with my desistance perspective because my intention is for the community to benefit. They are the most refreshing people you could wish to meet even though most say there is little they can do personally but tend to forget how powerful just listening can be.

The second learning mindset – this “School for Dumb and Dumber” – is the catalyst for this blog because it’s short-sighted approach is raising some very serious moral and ethical issues for the whole CJS, particularly in its attitudes to women. Bringing these out into the open where everyone can see them does, at the very least, define the problem because victims have the experience of how this system either failed or succeeded for them.

With regard to the issue of on-line abuse of women, the ‘second school’ is now making its attitudes very plain. What ‘Dumb and Dumber’ forget is that their ‘public policy’ now sets a social ‘standard’ of what is acceptable in the eyes of their ‘law’. The consequence produces a ‘virtual’ social sanction which permits the social-media abuse of women, both individually and collectively, and which completely ignores any evidence of the harm this ‘policy’ is actually causing the victims. In the matter of on-line bullying and stalking, the School of Dumb and Dumber transform the UK social media into a place where it’s perfectly acceptable to graphically abuse women until they are ‘dead’ or in hiding and to collude with blaming victims who object to it. Please bear in mind that the distinctions between on-line and real death are now extremely blurred – we already have a death count for this stuff. Whilst the prohibition of psychological torture is recognised as absolute in human rights law, its standard is not being applied by those responsible for UK law enforcement within the social media. With each failure to contain the problem, the danger of lethal violence towards women grows in real life with the end result of this ‘public policy’ can be measured by the death toll.

There are people in the CJS who understand this but I’m not sure you quite ‘get’ just how serious it has become – not yet, anyway. This ‘blockage’ seeks to systematically silence the abused whilst letting the abusers off the hook. The way around the problem is to remove it for the victims by enabling them to talk to you directly. Some stuff will be uncomfortable to hear; some may leave professionals feeling defensive but if we’re willing to give it a try I think we all might learn a very great deal in the process, particularly as to whether some CJS policy decisions can be reasonably regarded at lawful.

I’d like us to start having a conversation about what we can do to put a stop to what is going on here because I suspect this School of Dumb and Dumber are now way over a legal line they were never supposed to cross.

Desistance and the Path of Blame

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A Female Whirling Dervish In Capadocia by RicardMN Photography

A Female Whirling Dervish In Capadocia
by RicardMN Photography

 

Hazrat Alim Azimi made me irritated, which caused me to examine my irritation, to trace its source. Alim Azimi made me angry, so that I could feel and transform my anger. Alim Azimi allowed himself to be attacked, so that people could see the bestiality of his attackers and not join with them. He showed us the strange, so that the strange became commonplace and we could realise what it really is.

Idries Shah: “The Dermis Probe”

Some forty years ago, when I was learning how to use my intellect, a woman friend told me I thought backwards. It’s a very strange thing to hear when we’re only nineteen and I’m grateful she elaborated on her opinion. She said that when a question is asked, I appeared to know the answer in an instant but I had to think backwards to the question to find out how I got there. In the intervening years, her insight has served me well because it is quite true and describes my intuitive experience of being Sagittarian.

Some years later, when I was learning to become a psychotherapist, I discovered there was another way to gain knowledge and understanding. Mostly, in contemporary society, learning is thought to come from without, to be ‘taken-in’ by the mind – our ‘upside-down’ education system is a very good example of this model. However, I was learning the language of the emotions. In this model, it is the feeling that arrives first, thought comes afterwards. It is only once we have explored these feelings that the knowledge and wisdom contained within them makes itself understood to the mind. In ordinary life, more often than not, emerging feelings are judged as mad, bad and dangerous by minds afraid of learning from the unknown, yet the lessons gained are worth every discomfort. I can attest to the truth of this wisdom because it well describes my Water-ruled birthchart.

The last lesson I learned, when starting out on my shamanic path, was to trust the promptings of my heart in any given situation and act on them, no matter how mad, bad or dangerous those actions might appear to be to either myself or others. What I discovered, when I did this, was that the spiritual wisdom suffusing my actions came later. It’s a very slow way of learning – this experiential path – but once the lesson is learned it becomes a part of me that I can trust deeply in any future situation. This methodology is described by my Moon in Taurus on 11th/12th house cusp.

In a world where many do not understand these processes, these lessons helped me realise that I have always educated myself this way. My thoughts, feelings and deeds have nearly always got me into trouble in one way or another. I suspect that it was only as a result of being with people who, in their own way, understood me that I didn’t wind up in prison sooner. With my backwards, downside-up, experiential, feminine personal reality dwelling within a forwards, upside-down masculine world insisting that I fit into its ideas of me, becoming ‘criminal’ seems almost inevitable. I am reminded of Faith Whittlesea’s remark: “Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels.”

It was whilst in prison that I discovered there was a ‘school’ of spiritual wisdom that used a similar technique which could also explain my actions. It comes from the Sufi and is called “The Malamati Technique“. This is how Idries Shah describes it in his book, “The Dermis Probe”:

  • to allow oneself to be attacked to dramatise the situation.
  • to incur reproach to illustrate its absurdity, or the shallowness of the attacker, or the superficiality of the assumptions of the audience
  • to incur blame for a higher purpose.

I am not Sufi and this blog is not a Sufi teaching. I am a contemporary, white-western-cultured shaman who is walking my own path and, needs must, am dependent upon existing spiritual world knowledge to correct my mistakes. This shaman deeply grateful to Sufism for sharing their wisdom because the understanding I have drawn from their lessons has proven to be a reliable anchor during storms at sea. My deep gratitude, too, to the Sufis who thought to share this wisdom freely with prisoners by placing it in prison libraries.The following is an example of how I put my understanding into practice:-

 

Recently, I was asked to help in a difficult situation and engaged the Malamati Technique in order to deal with the behaviour of this man. I was seeking to elicit the upside-down ideas pertaining to a deeply emotional situation and I gather the twitter results were as informative as I had hoped for. Having been supported to work through some the feelings I was expressing in order to understand them (downside-up learning), I am better able to return to this lesson in desistance and perhaps take it to its next stage. But first, it is important for me to reflect upon my actions so far.

 

If I view my blogpost “Attitudes towards Women in the Criminal Justice System” from the upside-down view, I probably look like a crazy, emotionally-manipulative female whining about something only real men understand. The judgment will be made about the ‘sorry-for-myself’ complaints and it is likely the suicidal ideation will be seen as a made-up story that does not hold any truth to it. “People who don’t know you may get the wrong impression” said some feedback, which was filed under ‘extremely useful’, alongside the implied threat of libel. I can live with this because the conclusions are based on a false premise. It’s false because there were some things I chose to leave out of the blog at the time. These were excluded because I was concerned that my actual confrontation might be harmful to innocent others and I wanted to make sure that those responsible for public protection were aware of the problem. As a desister, I have a social responsibility to ensure that my actions are not harmful to witnesses and we were already in a harmful situation. In addition, those who believe my suicidal ideations are manipulative need to take a look at my deeper reasons because these are not as they first appear either.

 

 

This blog is a lesson in desistance. True desistance is transparent. We don’t hide anything we do unless there is good reason, yet there comes a time when we must come clean. So here is the unedited exchange of tweets between @Prison_Screw and myself.

 

FireShot Screen Capture #074 - 'Twitter _ Prison_Screw_ @wildwalkerwoman hello my twitter ___' - twitter_com_Prison_Screw_status_372487098898857984

There is always a very grave danger in thinking our personal beliefs about ourselves or others is accurate. Unless we test our beliefs for veracity, they can sometimes come back to bite us.

To make us invisible for, to the man of the world, ‘visibility’ means that you are looking like something or someone he expects you to resemble. If you look different, your true nature becomes invisible to him.”

                                                               Idries Shah: “The Dermis Probe”

To understand desistance is to understand that there are some behaviours a true desister simply does not do – it’s an essence that belongs to the decision to desist, no matter how imperfect that individual might be. To be a desister is to trust that ours is always going to be backwards, downside-up and experiental world because it’s the only way we learn about compassion, mercy, kindness, humility and the need, on occasions, to put ourselves in danger for the sake and safety of endangered others.

If my reading of this man is correct, the information in this blog-post will be new to him, so his reaction will be fresh. What he does is of no interest to me whatsoever – this is about teaching the essence of desistance. For those who wish to observe, it is important to remember that this particular confrontation occurred several days ago in my reality. Although I’m not certain how my heart might react (my physical body seems fully aware of the danger given the number of times I’m having to use the Glyceril Trinitrate spray for my heart pains), my emotional responses are well worked through and my intuition says that if the Spirit I Serve wants me to stay alive, I will. Issues of life and death belong to ‘God’ – my issue is how I live the life I have and this seems to be as good a reason to die as any I’ve come across so far. Desisters learn from their knowledge and experience and I’m clearly still on my own path to learning, as well as taking up my responsibilities as a teacher of desistance. Let the avenues of learning unfold as they may.

For those wishing to observer, consider the following question: how well is this man practicing his knowledge of peace and reconciliation.

The transformation of Gunn – nicknamed Ben many years ago when he had a long beard – to a balding, middle-aged man has been captured in a portrait recently drawn by a fellow prisoner and sent out in the mail. The scholarly air is heightened by a short beard and Gandhi-style glasses. No surprise, then, to hear that he has used his time in prison to gain a BSc (Hons) and a master’s degree in peace and reconciliation. Gunn’s dedication to the cause of peace stems, he says, from the need to explore “why I had done the terrible thing that brought me to prison, and to repair the parts of my personality that had clearly broken down”. His soft vocal tones still carry a hint of his Welsh upbringing.

                                                                Eric Allison – 2009

“We may think we are wise, but nothing can be put into a full pot”: Saadi

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Attitudes towards Women within the Criminal Justice System

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Warning: Suicide and other PTSD triggers

 

When I was a prisoner, there were times when the atmosphere on the wing – or sometimes even throughout the entire prison itself – would become so toxic that I’d bang myself in my pad. There were times when I actually asked wing staff to bang me in so I could get away from it. I may be a battler but there are times when all I want to do is get away because my own mental health can’t take anymore. This worked but only to a certain extent.

 

A toxic atmosphere in prison as always very loud and nearly always violent. These are the times when the riot bell keeps going off until I no longer have to ask to be banged in – we all end up on lock-down because it’s the only way the staff can cope. Whilst there are always ‘screws’ in prisons, I was always grateful to the authentic professionals because they dealt with the worst kind of behaviour human beings can display. It may have taken time but it got sorted and those of us who simply wanted to get on with doing our time were able to with some degree of civilisation.

 

Mind you, there were times when even lock-down was a nightmare. Prisoners can still be loud and violent, even if they’re alone in their own pad. Flooding the cell, smashing up the fixtures and fittings, smashing TV’s, playing loud music, shouting at other prisoners, shouting at the staff and simply just shouting. The violence in the atmosphere would trigger self-harming and suicidal ideation amongst those of us with mental health problems, which meant that the pressure doubled on the staff. It could take days to sort out, which meant that if I was feeling suicidal or in need of support, I often had to wait as long for assistance to arrive. I often found myself caught between my own needs and the needs of those who were resolving the problem, simply because I was grateful that they were. My crimes had occurred because no-one stepped in to stop what was happening. I learned, in prison, the behaviour that would set the riot bell off. I learned that, in a healthy community, there were some attitudes that were simply not tolerated and which would incur sanctions if the individual persisted. Through the complaints procedures, I made certain this was applied to both prisoner or staff which was not difficult – staff are lawfully obliged, under Prison Rules, to set a good example too. All I wanted, when the prisoners went FUBAR, was for the Prison Rules to be applied fairly and equally to everyone. That’s not because I want to be particularly authoritarian because I believe some rules need to be broken; I wanted the Rules applied because, when they were, peace broke out. It meant we could get on with making life bearable. I lived on long-term sentence wings for the most part and, in peace-time, we could get our chores done – cleaning, washing, cooking and hanging out together. In peace-time, the staff were able to have conversations with their ‘no-bother’ prisoners that weren’t just about the emotional fall-out living with ‘prisoners-at-war’. We could remember we were human beings together instead of ‘just-doings’.

 

The reason I tell this story is because I’ve just come through a prisoner-inspired shitstorm. This one I wasn’t able to step away from, so I ended up doing exactly what I did in prison. I reported what I was seeing to those who hold positions of ‘authority’, both prisoners and ‘staff’. Because this kicked off outside prison, ‘staff’ in this instance were people who know what it is to hold authority within the criminal justice system that happen to be part of my twitter community, and particularly who have responsibility for enforcing either rules or law in person. I ‘spoke’ to both prison and police officers, together with one leader outside enforcement – none of them had any personal authority to act but they do know how to listen and I needed someone to hear me. In prison parlance, my counsellor put me on an ACTT last Friday. I hadn’t realised that this benefits torture stuff I’m experiencing had gone so deep but I’m way inside my Red Zone and the meter is still rising. I know about the ACTT because she did something afterwards that showed her concern for me and I’m very grateful to her for that. It validates how I’m feeling. The only other time I’ve experienced this has been in prison. An ACTT, for those who don’t know what I mean, is a suicide watch, which can range from four times a day to constant observation – I’ve been on every scale. What the procedure did, in my experience – (I think I’d probably be on around 15 min obs if this was an ACTT) – was to ‘concern’ the professional officers and, again, it showed in what they did.

 

I am so grateful that in this latter-day woman’s jail I find myself in, on an ACTT, the ‘procedure’ still seems work.

 

FireShot Screen Capture #074 - 'Twitter _ Prison_Screw_ @wildwalkerwoman hello my twitter ___' - twitter_com_Prison_Screw_status_372487098898857984

 

That kind of brief check brings a visit afterwards because I’m not only feeling suicidal, I’m expressing fear too. Fear usually comes after I’ve done something that challenges the thinking process of so-called ‘authority’ and attracted some inappropriate or unprofessional comment from a ‘screw’. The screws learned, the hard way, to treat me with respect but there are always those who don’t want to learn. Someone has to stop them but it comes at a very hard price for those who try – ask a prison officer. It means they can hear me when I say I just can’t take anymore and unless this energy stops, women are going to start dying. We’re already cutting up.

 

My friends are expressing concern for me but I appear to have fallen out with quite a few people who didn’t quite appreciate that I really do make up our my mind and reserve my right to strongly disagree with them. They are disagreeing with my conscience and, if their behaviour is being socially condoned, being behind my door seems like a wise place to be. I need to talk because this is how women work through their problems and I am a woman. I refuse to be silenced when, as a desister, I see a very serious problem concerning public protection that isn’t being dealt with.

 

If trigger behaviour like that of Ben Gunn (which involved these women – here, here and was complicated by this ) had occurred in prison, we’d all be heading into deep shit because, in the words of my bestest prison officer friend IRL, ‘the lunatics are running the asylum’. I’ve been told to leave this bloke alone by a number of people but, you know what, they can fuck off now. I’m not going to play this game even if it kills me!

 

As a desister, I want to register a formal complaint with the entire Criminal Justice system about this! Why isn’t his behaviour being reined in? It wouldn’t be permitted on the wings! This is deliberately provocative behaviour and I’m appalled that anyone is colluding with it! Could we please remember what often happens to these so-called ‘predatory’ 13 year olds after a middle-aged man has finished with his statutory-rape fantasies about her! Let’s have some fucking reality in here!!!

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/mar/30/prisonsandprobation.mentalhealth

http://www.newstatesman.com/alan-white/2012/11/women-are-suffering-prison

http://www.howardleague.org/francescrookblog/women-and-the-criminal-justice-system

 

What is this? I hear a great deal about his ‘rights’ but whatever they consist of, they are inhuman to women like me. The Criminal Justice system has been told about this time and time again, and you are still not listening! Let’s have a discussion about who actually HAS any Human Rights in this situation. I haven’t ‘spoken’ to a single woman who agrees with his views about us. When we step out to object to his deeply disrespectful and offensive behaviour, we are subjected to the most appalling responses. Any woman who approves of what he’s been doing is in an absolute minority – we’ve all told him and I bet he’s still not listening (don’t tell me, I don’t want to know – I’m just dealing with the impact this is having on me – I’m on an ACTT, remember).

 

Do you know the thing that worries me the most? It’s this: I’m being told that there are political reasons why this “*removed under threat of libel*” ** seems to be untouchable – I question the standards of anyone involved in such an arrangement and I question them as a desister. I have no doubt that the man has buried himself deeply into the CJS changes going on at the moment and, as a woman, I have the strongest objections possible to that continuing. Not after this. Given his publicly proclaimed ideas about my ENTIRE GENDER his contribution could only worsen conditions for women prisoners. This is why I object so strongly and will not be silenced. Aren’t the women already in the CJS, or caught the aftermath in this concentration camp of a society, suffering enough for you already? How dare any of you point to this criminal as some kind of model of rehabilitation! I don’t give a fuck if he ‘doesn’t know any better ‘cos its environmental damage’. That’s absolute bollocks! I know ex-cons from far more hardened criminal backgrounds who do desistance – they wouldn’t dream of treating me this way. Neither would any of the other authentic CJS professionals! We treat each other with respect even if we can’t stand each other to begin with. I much prefer respect because it continues working in the worst kind of places.

 

In a place like this, the very best staff listened and made up their own minds – we were allowed to tell it like it is, not have to spout some misogynist fantasy. Ben makes out this is the old sex war stuff and what a hero he is. Bollocks! What kind of hero sides with a convicted rapist? Every hero or heroine I’ve ever met is looking out for the victim but is willing, with conditions, to allow sinners to repent – which is desistance in a nutshell. And every quality prison officer knows the procedure for dealing with bigots and bullies – which does not include staying on normal location. Not unless the lunatics are running the asylum.

 

I know I’m going to be hated for this but you know what? Each time I’ve done something like this in the past, the people I wanted to help often told me how grateful they were that I did. I know exactly what kind of prisoner I’m dealing with in this man – he likes hurting people – they come in all genders and they are the ‘few’ women that need to remain in prison as a matter of public protection. I’m not involved in a sex war – I go after women who do this too. He won’t change because he doesn’t want to – he’ll always hold these opinions – and this is the man ‘politics’ is making untouchable? Whoever is involved with this has no business in the Criminal Justice system unless they can wake up and see whats going on here. How dare this man have any traction or influence within the CJS? And exactly what else is being condoned because, one thing is for certain, its got nothing to do with public protection! Not if half the population have to tolerate this level of disrespect and no behavioural sanctions are being imposed!

 

Perhaps it might be worth remembering that the UK is being told – by EVERYONE – that it’s treatment of women is already breaking Human Rights law. This is how it is done – by giving abusers the power to abuse and not stopping them. I think what is occurring here is hate crime.

 

If you could see a way out of this – my fucking ‘reality’ – do let me know because I’m damned if I choose to live with this. And that’s my own moral and ethical judgment as a desister. And I choose to be ‘banged-in’ about it because that’s what desistance is all about.

 

And the biggest thank you to every prison officer who ever caught me in this frame of mind and managed to get me laughing after I’d ranted and so I could remember to cry. This stuff is so hard on every single dimension. It hits me physically, emotionally and instinctively. It makes me hyper-sensitive, touchy, with very sharp claws that I have to use very wisely – in the face of abuse and abusers, we have to be so fucking perfect because they’re so fucking not.

 

Oh, and if anyone wants to check if Ben Gunn’s knowledge about women is reality-based or merely carved out of a bar of prison soap, get him to write about me. He knows exactly who I am. Get him to tell you about this woman and then you can really get to choose which reality you want to live in.

 

Oh, and I’ve already bagsed the Lawful one in the name of desisters everywhere!

 

 

Ase6SaUCAAAYYck

**

I notice how quickly the world comes in to edit me. As a woman, I believe I can justify the phrase I used in fact, which then makes it fair comment. As a desister, I will take the advice as a way of demonstrating my ability to learn and correct my behaviour. I’m sure I am as regretful, in this instance, as the man is himself – I would suggest he be very careful with his thoughts though. They can kill.

 

Women’s Solidarity is Multi-coloured: Why #Solidarityisforwhitewomen is wrong

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Dear Sisters of the #Solidarityisforwhitewomen hashtag,

When I wake up to how I have been silenced – again – I tend to get a bit touchy when others start trying to do the same thing to me. It’s the same if we’ve been abused – in whatever form that abuse takes – remembering that abuse affects us all. There are abusers in every human culture – it’s an equal opportunity problem. In my own experience, there comes a point where some forms of abuse become completely intolerable and I run the danger of behaving very badly. I’m at that point now. I’ve had enough of it. From the looks of it, so have you. I ‘get’ how you must be feeling because my own seem similar. The only difference between us is that I may have more experience in dealing with such feelings than you have. Here’s why.

 

BRVocprCUAAIVRNSpending seventeen years in psychotherapy, three months in a psychiatric unit and nearly five years in prison has a way of leaving me rather ‘sensitive’ to being told who I am. I am a white woman, I am feminist and I tell you this, YOU WILL NOT DEFINE THE COLOURS OF MY SOLIDARITY.

 

You will not tell me who I am or what I am when you know nothing of me. I don’t know where you got your definition of solidarity from but it looks nothing like the one I have lived. I may not have lived my solidarity out where you could see it but it will be recorded in what I did in prison. When my Sisters of Colour needed help, I gave it. If there were problems of bigotry and prejudice – when I was there and could act – I did something about it, even if all that was left was to be a solace and friend in hard times. On those occasions where I appeared to do nothing, that’s because  I was respecting my Sisters’ boundaries. I know it’s true because I lived it. It’s what Sisters of Colours do in those situations: I DON’T CARE WHAT FUCKING COLOUR WE ARE – I CARE ABOUT HOW WE BEHAVE TO EACH OTHER!

 

*takes deep breath and counts to ten*

 

BRYvzp9CMAAVcyQYou ‘youngsters’ are about to make the same mistakes my own generation made. If you do, we are doomed to repeat them. Please stop and think for a minute.

 

If I’m treading on sensitive ground for you and it hurts a bit, then I apologise for that in advance but take a look at where you are on mine. I’m not hurling all my ancestors at you either (yet) – I’m simply talking to you as one human being to another. I am on the edge of an Abyss with you and I’d rather you didn’t fall in, unless you insist. In fact, I’m hoping I can help you climb out but you’re going to have to take that projection you seem to have about white women off me first please.

 

There is a Spirit Rule in Albion (this is where my ancestors square up to your ancestors) that when we point a finger of blame at others, three fingers point back at us. This is a useful tool to have in our awareness because it makes us careful about that we accuse others of being. There is ALWAYS a truth in a psychological projectionotherwise it doesn’t work. To break a projection, however, needs a human being – I’m volunteering in this instance because I won’t stand by and let you make the mistakes we made if talking back to you will stop it. The human race can’t afford such acting out anymore and this kind of unconscious mob-think needs to stop.

 

BQ0scBdCUAAiIrXNo, white women aren’t perfect. We’re not supposed to be. With all due respect, you’re not perfect either. White women have their place in this Medicine Wheel, whether other Sisters of Colours like it or not. This means that my Voice as an Elder has an equal right to be heard as that of Youth! I wish no harm to your fury and rage – that is to be honoured, respected and heard. What I am asking is that you adjust your target. I am not your enemy. Whilst you shoot your bullets at me, your true foe steals your goodness from you. No-one is supposed to be perfect and anyone who claims they are is a problem. That applies across all cultures. Healthy people understand respect, whatever shape, colour, spirit or culture their Spirit inhabits. That’s how I know that Solidarity is not just the property of white women. Solidarity belongs to the Medicine Wheel – She is all-colours.

 

You complain that I know nothing of your non-White experiences but fail to explain how I might correct the problem. How I’m supposed to learn how to do that? Live your life for you? This is not a reasonable demand and I reject it. Only you can live your lives and, from what I can see, you are our future. You are young. You have yet to learn than life has limitations; one of them being that we only get to live the life we are given. As a shaman, I believe that we earn bonus points for good behaviour BQrElk1CEAAvqOjin the Spirit World. The only bonus points we get from bad behaviour come when we learn the lesson and grow up into adults. Growing up is simply part of human experience. So you didn’t get what you wanted from white women and you never will. What you want is not possible in my reality. What I can tell you is that the neo-feminism you describe – which most certainly does exist and is only useful for tab papers in prison – does not apply to us all. I tend to the opinion that if we can’t explain ourselves in simple language, we still don’t know our subject well enough. I believe the women you describe speak only of theory. The feminism I know is the one I have lived as impeccably as it is possible for one individual woman to be, whatever colour she might be.

 

This is what I have learned that might help each and every one of you make up your own remarkable minds. The future is always bigger than the past. What my own generation had to learn seems to be instinctive in you. When I explored feminism I learned from all Sisters who used the same resonance of meaning. When I read outside my colour and culture, I found there were some things I couldn’t hear. Each time I listened, I learned more. I know there are words, spoken and written, that can only be understood within your own experience. The same is true for all of us – no-one gets to live our lives but us. Some experiences cannot even be spoken of. This is true for all of us. We are the sum – or gestalt – of our heritage, relationships and experience. In encounters like the hashtag, we offer certain fragments of ourselves. What aspects of your own self did you consign to the solidarity of white women alone? I saw bitterness, abuse, hurt, betrayal, abuse and envy in many of the tweets. This is good because it is the beginning of wisdom. I also saw erupting fury, biting wit and outrageous passion too. This is wonderful for this is creativity in action. Both Shadow and Light erupt into being and we acquire the ability to make new choices. Somehow, old chains cannot restrain the Spirit of Women anymore.

 

This choice of hashtag is both an error and a catalyst for learning, in my opinion. There are clearly some major issues to be re-understood between us but you may not use your collective power to abuse my white sisters solely on the grounds of bigotry. My true white feminist sisters refuse bigotry as stoutly as I do. We need you to make room in your imagination for women such as me, so we can actually function on our own terms in your experience. We always start with respect for difference, so it’s time everyone else checked their own privileges too. How free am BQrQcCxCEAAGKd6I to walk in your reality on my own terms, provided I walk with respect?

 

This is not about who you are. Who you are is a mystery on the point of unfurling. This is simply about your behaviour. We women have a massive problem in the world coming at us from every direction. Now is not the time for competition about who is valuable and who is not. Now is the time for discovering each other again and what new information your erupting generation is bringing to Women’s evolution. We can’t learn that if you’re busy dismembering colours from our Medicine Shield.

 

I’m not telling you to listen to me. The leaders for this next step in our evolution are to be found with Red Women – these are the prophecies belonging to the Medicine Shield and this is the Wisdom I am guided to heed as Truth. There are hidden secrets in all Colours of Shield Woman’s Wisdom; Black, Red, Yellow and White women and it is our Solidarity that holds us together. It is our humanity that holds us apart so we can see ourselves more clearly. Each one of us is unique. We all hold Wisdom, whoever we are but we can only access that wisdom through our individuality and the care we take of our target when we join an erupting crowd.

 

BQrVJ32CYAAsAFjAll these lessons I teach I learned the hard way. It might look easy but don’t be fooled – the Wisdom of the Medicine Shield is hard earned. People who have honestly come by such wisdom shine with their own authenticity. We know what it is to be both harmed and harmful. What we learn is simple: to treat others the way we would wish to be treated, until such time as one, or other, of us realises the person we are dealing with refuses to learn. It is at this point we find out about the stuff we are truly made of – do we struggle to escape or do we succumb to sleep and numb ourselves off?

 

My Sisters, the face you were showing to white women with your hashtag is a very powerful one for waking people up. Applied in more imaginative and thoughtful ways, but with full awareness of your responsibilities to our future, the powers you wield could benefit humanity enormously but to do this competently requires that you learn from your mistakes.

 

I return your soul fragments to you. They don’t belong to me and are not mine to keep. They are your true source of deep wisdom but be careful because some have sharp edges. I do not need yours – I have my own which seems to be growing well given the experiences I now find myself in.

 

As a parting, and only for those who would choose it; I have placed a Blessing Gift of Love for you in my Otherworld. Just say the word ‘Yes’ to receive it. How it works, I don’t know but I hope it gives us what we all are in most need of, in all individual realities: Love.

 

In Sisterhood and White Solidarity

 

Dee Wilde-Walker

 

2pxUx

Idle No More UK

Thanks to Julienne for this picture.

Thanks to Julienne for this picture.

Transformation: Entering the Void Point

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Yesterday I faced my fears with courage and entered my latest Void Point with awareness. Whilst walking up to the ‘hole-in-the-wall’, I felt much the same way as I used to as a therapy client walking to my next ‘session’ knowing I’ve done something ‘wrong’. Anxiety doesn’t quite describe this experience but there’s something there that allows for hope. It’s the Uncertainty Principle of Schroedinger’s Cat.

Fritz Perl’s, one of the creators of Gestalt Therapy, used to say that fear is thirty seconds deep. Once that thirty seconds is over, it’s too late to go back. We’ve said the ‘unsayable’, done the ‘impossible’, the energy has started to roll and all that is left to us is to roll with it. Sometimes our worst fears come true and sometimes we get a different response from the universe. Yesterday, the universe gave me a fortnight’s ‘reprieve’ which led, after I had dealt with practical matters, to ‘collapse’. In mental health terms, it’s equivalent to post-traumatic shock. In shamanic terms, I call it Soul Shattering – which is what happens when we go into shock.

On the other side of the Veil of the Void Point, we are similar to hermit crabs transitioning from a too-small shell into a too-big shell we can grow into. The passage between the two is one of excruitating vulnerability. I simply cannot bear ‘old’ behaviour anymore. This is what I have already chosen to leave behind me and the experience of shattering means that I have already moved on. We find ourselves saying or doing things we had previously thought but stopped ourselves from doing. In my case, it was erupting at the behaviour of a neighbour’s child who had just kicked a ball very close to my head whilst I was talking to his father. I couldn’t take anymore and so, today, both my doors and curtains are closed. The world outside has its ‘right’ to be there on its own terms, but I do too. For now, I need to be private – I need to find out more about this new dimension I find myself in.

BQRn0hcCAAI42_WWhenever we move dimensions, the ‘rules of manifestation’ change. This notion is not so strange – the ‘laws’ of physics change when we move into quantum realms too. What a shaman (a ‘transdimensional’ traveller with plenty of air-miles) comes to discover, if they take the trouble to explore the dimensions of experience they find themselves in, is that there are pathways through if you know what to look for.

The path through the experience of the Soul’s shattering is called the Good Red Road amongst the First Peoples of Turtle Island for it is this that creates our portal of opportunity. The portal of opportunity becomes our living path through this new ‘world’.

The other side of the ‘Veil’ is always bigger than the dimension we are leaving. C.S. Lewis described the Spirit of Narnia, at the very end of that series, as being like an onion in which every layer inwards was greater than its predecessor. This is a good metaphor. What also needs to be remembered is that each person’s experience of this process will be unique to them. No-one else can undertake your journey for you and we each get to define it for ourselves on our own terms. Crossing the Veil into the Void Point causes the Soul to shatter because we are growing and our Soul grows alongside us. The egg must be broken; the seed must crack; the babe must be birthed. However, when we enter – or are forced to enter – such a Void point without it ‘meaning’ something valuable to us, we run a far higher risk of mortal death. In my own case, it quite literally broke my heart. I hope to counter this lethal problem via this series of blogs.

Entering the Void is to be on unknown territory but if we believe in a beneficent Universe, then that will be what we create on the other side because our perception creates our reality. When our Soul – experienced as instinct and intuition – is in tune with our e-motions – experienced as feelings, these two aspects of self inform how we think which affects our behaviour. This is why “By their deeds shall ye know them” is a Law of the Spirit World, however you may perceive that to be. When our personal soul harmonises with our feelings, thoughts and actions, we attract others who harmonise at our vibration. The shamans I shared my first Void Point post with all commented on the resonance they experienced, so I’m trusting that my information is as accurate as one human can be on such matters.

Within the Void Point comes a shedding of the old. The egg no longer required the shell; the seed, the husk; or the babe, the safety of the womb. Nourishment comes from the environment and, in human dimensions, Soul nourishment comes from sharing ourselves with others. In my terms, I do this by making myself useful to my heart and trusting my instinct. Writing these blogs is a way of doing this – or initiating new conversations along pathways I can see that have a heartbeat of their own.

BP-8ouhCQAA2lSVWhat I’ve learned, from traversing many a Void Point in the past, is that if we are following the Good Red Road, as best as we are able under extremely testing circumstances, is that what we first allow ourselves to do on the other side marks our pathway back to manifestation. An Initiation such as this collective one so many of us are now finding ourselves in is both a journey into the unknown and a returning to the community with wisdom – it is the monomyth where we become heroic in our own realities. In the recent past, I crossed a Void Point and did this. In crossing this most recent Void Point, I see the potential of that work now being made manifest at a global level. More heroines and heroes are stepping into their destinies, it seems. There is an intuitive response occurring amongst many people that seems to match the deeps of my own experience of our Soul Mine.

If I’m at all correct about this, I believe that in-between the fragments of my shattered Soul – now reassembling into a great Gestalt of me than I was before – dwells the Resonance of the Great Spirit. This has been confirmed by synchronicities and serendipities too numerous to mention in my own reality. They also seem to be occurring in other peoples’ realities too. I have come to believe that all those who have crossed into Void Points in their own lives, and lived, can ‘hear’ this Resonance too in their own way and on their own terms. We are not ‘alone’ in this anymore – our numbers have now crossed a crucial tipping-point. What do we do now? Follow the Good Red Road; follow the Part with a Heart; follow your Passion. Trust that you are part of something far far greater than you could ever imagine and then trust that something with your Soul.

BQrxbuxCAAEMDNcOne thing I do when I cross into a new dimension is to try and make my perception of its dimensions a Mystery so I can grow as great as this Spirit Resonance needs me to be. My real life will continue to remain precarious simply because this is a collective transformation – if I want to make myself useful to this Spirit, I must accept where it sends me because this is what I need to learn.

Did you know the best way to learn is to teach whatever you want to know? These wisdoms and experiences I share with you belong in my reality but I am ‘connected’ to many others. I suspect that in our present social chaos, theorists might like to consider whether this Resonance I am experiencing qualifies as a Strange Attractor. If this is so, then it ought to satisfy the scientists and atheists amongst us. This attractor works through cooperation. This is about as great as I can get my imagination to stretch at the moment but, if shared and understood by many, we can grow this Wisdom and Awareness together.

As always, take what you need from this. What makes no sense to you belongs to someone else. I make no claim to be ‘right’ about any of this for anyone else – this is right for me, that’s all and I always make mistakes. Nevertheless, I am impressed with the evidence my reality is producing.

May the best woman win ;)

May the best woman win 😉

How Bigotry Works: Stealing “Goodness”

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Every once in a while, I encounter bare-faced personal bigotry aimed at me.  In many ways, I am deeply privileged and fortunate – as a member of the White tribes  – to not experience this on a daily basis; a point made regularly by those who experience bigotry they cannot ‘hide’ from, with racism being a prime example. There’s an aspect of me that believes my complaints are anaemic by comparison. They probably are if we’re playing comparison ‘games‘ where we point-score to see who has the greatest claim to being the ‘victim’. This ‘victim-competition’ between groups often seems to me to contribute to the overall problem because it continues to frame us within the bigotry dynamic and it is this that I am trying to get a handle on. I want to understand, on my terms, exactly what is going on.

 

The advantage of my example is that, because there are clearly disturbing facts involved, it forces people to think about their attitudes and identifies those who refuse to. My example concerns bigotry towards criminals, particularly prisoners. When it turned up on my twitter timeline this morning, it looked like this:

 

FireShot Screen Capture #053 - 'Twitter _ dylanandmolly_ @Prison_Diaries @wildwalkerwoman ___' - twitter_com_dylanandmolly_status_358773050009219072

 

For those interested in the full exchange this tweet was contributing to, it can be found here. This ‘contributor’ brought with them a whole barrel-load of bigotry to a twitter conversation between a serving prisoner (with an illicit cellphone) and a former prisoner. The conversation focused mainly on our own experience, so this ‘new’ contribution was unsought yet shines a very clear light on how bigotry works within the UK prison system. For example: there is the contributor’s assumption of the reasons we were banged-up at ‘Her Majesty’s Pleasure’. Despite the fact that I have no criminal convictions for murder, rape or paedophilia, here are the same old ‘charges’ because… well, you know, all prisoners are ‘bad’ so who cares about the details? In addition, the ‘contributor’ was also under the impression that s/he had been very clever in ‘outing’ us two criminals because, well, we were busy hiding our true status from our followers. S/he really ought to have checked out facts first before leaping to such conclusions, as I pointed out in my response:-

 

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Whilst I may not always agree with @Prison_Diaries, one thing is for certain; neither of us disguise our status. We are upfront about our situation, so we can already begin to see the signs of bigotry from our contributor. S/he obviously thinks that s/he’s got one ‘over’ the pair of us when, in fact, the so-called ‘revelation’ is nothing new to any of our followers. In my own case, I discuss my offences and their consequences regularly because I believe these are conversations that need to occur.

 

@Prison_diaries had a longer twitter conversation with this contributor and came to the conclusion that he was probably talking to a prison screw.  ‘Screws’ are the prisoner’s pejorative term for Prison Officers who believe it is their personal mission to make our lives as miserable as possible. I’ve met quite a few on my journey through prison but I have also met those staff who are genuinely professional and have earned their title of ‘officer’. Those are the Officers who comply with Prison Rules, which clearly state the standards expected of both prisoner and officer alike:

 

Purpose of prison training and treatment

3.  The purpose of the training and treatment of convicted prisoners shall be to encourage and assist them to lead a good and useful life.

Maintenance of order and discipline

6.—(1) Order and discipline shall be maintained with firmness, but with no more restriction than is required for safe custody and well ordered community life.
(2) In the control of prisoners, officers shall seek to influence them through their own example and leadership, and to enlist their willing co-operation.
(3) At all times the treatment of prisoners shall be such as to encourage their self-respect and a sense of personal responsibility, but a prisoner shall not be employed in any disciplinary capacity.

Use of force

47.—(1) An officer in dealing with a prisoner shall not use force unnecessarily and, when the application of force to a prisoner is necessary, no more force than is necessary shall be used.
(2) No officer shall act deliberately in a manner calculated to provoke a prisoner.(my emphasis)

 

As a prisoner, I met and came to deeply respect all those Prison Officers who understood the spirit contained within these rules. With this standard of staff on duty, it was possible to meet the requirements laid upon me under Rule 6(3). With ‘screws’, however, it was not because they failed in their own responsibilities. After a while, prisoners learn to tell these staff apart because it shows up in their attitude. For example:

 

 

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This does not bode well for any lifer or IPP-sentenced prisoner, even though professional Prison staff are perfectly capable of treating prisoners with human understanding – as has been my own experience by the very best officers. If this contributor is actually working in the Prison estate, I wonder how s/he complies with Prison Rule 3.

 

Then came this:

 

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So if this were a Prison Officer on duty and I, as a prisoner, had a genuine problem, what kind of ‘extraordinary’ job would s/he do. Even an ‘ordinary’ job might be better than anything done by someone with this attitude. But I saved the best for last:-

 

 

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I wonder, from this tweet, exactly how this ‘ordinary’ person is doing an ‘extraordinary’ job. Precisely how does this comply with Prison Rules 6 or 42(b)? In fact, as far as I am aware, the Prison Service screens-out such people from their recruitment process because these screws cause far more problems than they ever solve. It is a build-up of such attitudes within prisons that eventually result in riots.

 

If the Prison Service wants me to report the good work done by Prison Officers – often in the teeth of opposition from those who regard prisoners as worthless – I would be happy to provide chapter and verse because I met many staff who truly were extraordinary but this contributor is not one of them. S/he may well have ‘reported’ @Prison_Diaries for breaking prison discipline but let’s make sure the reporting is evenly balanced because I’m not sure it is at present. Perhaps it might be worth noting that my own prison disciplinary record in prison was spotless and I never lost my enhanced IEP status over a total period of almost five years. Somehow I doubt this ‘contributor’ could manage that themselves based upon their present behavioural standards. Indeed, from my perspective, there is little difference between the attitudes expressed above and the worst of the worst prisoners I ever came across.

 

So I can take these exchanges apart to see where the problems are occurring – if  prison staff cannot model the behaviour they are demanding, they are really not in any position to complain when prisoners break rules too. Personally, I regard this contributors behaviour as provocative, which was why I blocked them. But that is not what this blog is about. This is about ‘stealing goodness’ and I wonder if it applies to all forms of bigotry but I won’t know until I ask.

 

BPsDzGGCIAAuRIcIf we accept that human beings – regardless of individuality – are a mixture of good and bad, then what seems to occur is that bigots steal ‘goodness’  by colonizing it for themselves whilst irresponsibly dumping all their own undesirable personal aspects upon the ‘object’ of their hatred.

 

Those who are hated in this way are reduced to having ‘no good in them at all’ whilst the bigots claim all the best parts for themselves. This contributor ‘dislikes murdering bastards a lot’ – clearly this is considered ‘good’ in his/her eyes because there is no hesitation in tweeting it. S/he claims to be an ‘ordinary’ person doing an ‘extraordinary’ job – I wonder if the Muslim prisoners would agree… ah, but they are “fuck-off and die ‘retards'”. Notice how even their prayers are hijacked to bolster the self-claimed ‘goodness’ of this screw.

 

To “turn away” from the “self and/or other” destructive evil impulse within ourselves and to “turn towards” and reorient ourselves towards the good is to genuinely “repent.” Repentance is the highest expression of humanity’s capacity to choose freely – it is a manifestation of the divine in humanity. Repentance is a living manifestation of the power within us to extricate ourselves from the binding power of…  the chains of endless causality that otherwise compel us to follow a path of “no return.” As Jung points out, “The sin to be repented, of course, is unconsciousness.” From the Kabbalah’s point of view, a “sinner” who “repents” is on a higher level than the saint who has never sinned.  (link)

 

tumblr_m7f5b0Rgak1qz4d4bo1_500In a civilised society, prison is a corrective measure but in an uncivilised one, it is a tool of repression. This ‘contributor’ assumes that his/her views are acceptable – why else make such remarks or comment so negatively on a conversation between two people who were sharing personal experiences of prison? The contributor is quick to implement procedures to silence @Prison_Diaries but I do wonder where they think they got the power to silence me. My sentence was spent in 2010, I haven’t reoffended and I continue to work to desistance standards even now. Yet this possibility seems to be beyond the imagination of this contributor. Indeed, I’d put my chances of rehabilitation at zero if I were ‘managed’ in this way and from this perspective. The contributor feeds his angry, jealous, greedy, resentful and inferior ego with lies and denies those s/he despises of any joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth – despite the fact that the Prison Rules themselves point in that general direction.

 

This is bigotry and, as far as I can see, it crosses all the intersections that link universal bigotry of all descriptions. Perhaps it is rooted in inferiority – it must surely be a painful place to live if the only goodness we can ascribe to ourselves has to be stolen from those who we attack, despise and look down upon. Are these people not capable of funding their own goodness by feeding their personal Good Wolf?

 

And if they can’t, then they have no business working in the criminal justice system because, until they start locking-in their own bigotry and learning what it means to rehabilitate their own attitudes, they are unfit to do the job and consequently bring the Prison Service into disrepute. Prison staff are not exempt from discipline, no matter how much our contributor may like to think otherwise:

 

Code of discipline

68.  The Secretary of State may approve a code of discipline to have effect in relation to officers, or such classes of officers as it may specify, setting out the offences against discipline, the awards which may be made in respect of them and the procedure for dealing with charges. (Prison Rules 1999)

 

Stealing goodness from others is a lazy and incompetent way of failing to live your own life. Because this goodness is stolen from those who are willing to learn – in any number of different ways – it cannot last. Our own shadow will find us out – as it appears to have done to the contributor today. It isn’t the prisoners/former prisoners who emerge from this situation looking dishonest, but a self-proclaimed ‘extraordinary’ employee of the Prison Service.

 

And we wonder why we fail at rehabilitation in this country!

 

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“Back to the Future”

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Waterfall nebula

Waterfall Nebula

This blog begins with a complaint from the ‘future’ about the failures of the past. One of my social-media friends was tweeting his anger and frustration towards his elders – my generation who, from his perception, had used their lives to free-ride whilst bequeathing all our problems to them. As far as I know, it’s possible that every up-coming generation feels this way – I remember expressing the same anger and frustration when I was young. Now my situation is reversed and it becomes ‘my fault’ the world is now the way it is. I have a lot of empathy with that view and it was remembering my own anger that frequently prompted me to enter situations that, without it, I may have let pass me by.

There’s always been that nagging question when I’ve faced down problems or blockages I’ve found in myself or my environment; what do I say to the children when they ask me what I did to stop this occurring? I’ve always known what kind of answers I would give but, then, have always been faced with the actions I must take to ensure my responses are authentic because children deserve no less. Yesterday, my long-awaited ‘moment’ arrived and this blog is my reply.

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Artwork by Memtitued

Without doubt, the youth of today have a very valid complaint about the state of the world we are bequeathing to them. To all intents and purposes, any benefits my generation of Baby Boomers enjoyed have now been swept away and our grandchildren are facing the same poverty as was faced by my grandparents. It is as if we – and the world – have come full circle. It is not surprising that the young would criticize my generation’s apparent laziness and selfishness – we were, after all, the ‘me generation’ – because it certainly looks that way from their vantage point.  I remember feeling the same kind of grievances when I levelled equally valid criticisms at my own elders. It seems almost as if I have been preparing for this moment all my life. So here is my own answer.

On a personal basis, I have never stopped challenging the inequalities and iniquities of the social systems of the West I was born into. I fought as a shop steward in my twenties; an educator and psychotherapist in my thirties and forties; and, now, as a shaman in my fifties. My battles have ranged from the intrapersonal (with myself), through the familial, interpersonal, political, social and spiritual – and this is what I have learned along the way.

BPdgnHYCUAAopefFirstly, the social problems we are facing as a global community, are an ancient system buried deep within the pysche of humanity. Within our human community, there are very few who have remained untouched by this system and that it has caused untold harm to all life on earth – of that there can be no doubt. But how to describe this ‘Long View’ I have discovered during my travels. I tell the story in this way.

People have always drawn their deepest wisdoms from our environment and, in the West, we translated some of that wisdom into the discipline of Astrology. The astrology I learned, when I was thirteen years old, worked as a map – or guide – to the internal experience of life as ‘known’ by a particular moment in time on Earth. The moment of ‘birth’. Both astrology and psychotherapy attracted my teenager because they represented my first awakening that my human experience could be understood and, if need be, changed – I didn’t know people knew such things until then and I was so hungry to learn because I knew I had real problems I needed to deal with.

Nevertheless, the pressure of the mundane world – making a living and doing all those ‘things’ I had been socialised to do – forced these studies onto the back burner. I didn’t really start unpacking these maps until my thirties when I entered therapy, eventually becoming one of my teenage ‘dreams’ – a psychotherapist. Therapy deepened my understanding of how the planets worked in astrology, but neither study gave me the answers I was looking for. Those didn’t arrive until I realised my other teenage ‘dream’ by becoming a shaman. I discovered that by directing my intention down our least colonized pathways, I was gifted with the ability to see a compassionate tale of our human evolution despite its terrible consequences and the appalling situation we all find ourselves in now. Let’s see if I know the story well enough to tell it to my young friend now, in response to his perfectly valid criticism of my generation.

Armenia’s Stonehenge

Long, long ages past, lost within human memory but ‘known’ still deep within our souls, our experience of Earth was as if we lived in Eden because we dwelt within our natural instincts. It’s not to say that death, injury, sorrow and pain were unknown – for they surely were; these experiences have formed a part of the Life-Death-Life cycles on Earth from the very beginning. The tales are writ deep in our Great Mother’s bones. We humans live our tiny lives alongside the much longer cycles of Great Mother, She who leads the Dance of Life-Death-Life.

The way the story was told to me was this. The last time Great Mother entered Her Great Dying, She released a Great Cry of agony and grief for the loss of all her beautiful children – the echoes of her grief are still told amongst humans to this day. To ease her grief, the Creator Spirit elected to teach some of her new children emerging from the ashes how to help heal Her Wounds and assist during the next Great Cycle of Dying and ReBirthing. Both Creator Spirit and Great Mother searched amid the ashes of her Great Dying and found the few remaining females who became all of our foremothers so long ago in Africa. Into these mothers, the Creator Spirit placed a catalyst which would eventually result in the human spirit as we know it today: the ability to think, to become ‘conscious’; to become self-aware in a whole new way.

It’s not that we were ‘unconscious’ before – we were naturally instinctive, responding to the energy streams of Great Mother as naturally as breathing – an integral part of Her Great Tapestry of Life. The catalyst that resulted in our capacity for independent thought has enabled us to grow into an understanding of this world around us – where we could shape this world to fit our needs in ways that weren’t possible before. Human civilisations emerged from this catalyst – this ability to think in new and different ways. But what was the catalyst itself? I was told it was this: Free Will.

Thus began the Great Cycle of Human Evolution. When we began our journey through the explorations of Free Will, we still lived close to our instincts and our Great Mother. Our societies were Mother-led but as Free Will worked it’s way through our consciousness, we discovered we had other choices and began to explore where these would take us. With each move we made away from Great Mother, so we ‘lost’ our innate connection to our instinctive selves and came closer to our intellectual capacities to understand the world around us. We moved from Mother-knowing to Father-understanding. With each move towards intellect, our capacity to create miracles like Stonehenge or the Pyramids dwindled and this also included our knowledge of the universe around  us.  For example; there was a time when we had known and understood our solar system and Her place in our universe but this knowledge became buried in our instincts where our minds could not reach. At the very height of our Great Separation from Great Mother, the White peoples knowledge was limited to only seven visible satellites around our Great Sun Mother/Father and, so foolish did this limited knowledge make us that we believed Great Mother was flat and that we were the centre of the universe around which all Creation circled.

envisat_karman_vortex_canarie_20100606_h1It was the catalyst of Free Will coupled with human ingenuity that created our way out of this terrible error in thinking. Humans began to be industrious in work and sciences – eschewing and dismissing old knowledge like astrology in favour of mind-based understanding. We developed learning that could test our knowledge of the world. In the 1770’s, the White peoples ‘discovered’ that there was more to reality than we realised. The discovery of Uranus not only changed perceptions of the solar system, the ‘energy’ of this planet enabled a collective shift in consciousness. This gave the ability of ordinary people to collectively change their world and gave rise to dreams of a better world than contained within earlier  limited thinking imposed upon us.

Cross-section of a Molecule

Cross-section of a Molecule

In the following centuries came more new ‘information’ which re-established conscious links between instinct and intellectual awareness with the rediscovery of Neptune and Pluto. These impacts caused further changes within collective human consciousness that resulted in, at its very best, human beings being able to show Great Mother Her Own Beauty and, it worst, the true meaning of genocide and holocaust.

Our instinctive knowledge is being returned to us now, just as we enter the Great Dying again. For those humans who remember the reason for our journey, at the beginning of the Great Cycle, the time we have been yearning for throughout this bitter and painful journey has arrived but, as with all Creation, we must let go of our past in order to move forward, with our Great Mother, into Her Future.

Neutrino tracks (copyright: Cern Laboratories)

Neutrino tracks
(copyright: Cern Laboratories)

This is where we stand today. We better understand Free Will;  our power of Choice and its consequences. Until now, true Free Choice has not been available to humanity as we worked through the consequences of our choosing. Collectively, we are already down the Road of Returning. In human terms, that path began over three hundred years ago for the Peoples of White Medicine. Returning does not mean to live past mistakes all over again, but to re-turn towards Great Mother and Her instinctive wisdom of Life gifted with the intellectual knowledge of how Creation occurs. This is what our Great Journey outwards has been about.

When Great Mother’s season moves on to Rebirth, those humans who keep choosing to Re-Turn to Her Ways will be Her Allies and Helpers. Learning how to do that wisely has been what this past adventure has been about.

And this was where my story-teller ended the Tale.

So, how does that influence what I might say to the younger generation, who are angry with mine for our irresponsibility and the mess we are leaving behind us.

QT7i8Firstly, I have seen some of this wisdom in action in my own life. As I look down the generations of women I am birthed from, both my mother and grandmother were born before Pluto’s discovery. Each, in their own way, carried the Planet’s transformational power but only on an unconscious level. In Astrological terms, this means that the access to deep transformation was blocked to them – they could only go so far and no further. As a young woman, I did not understand this and there was no-one who could explain it satisfactorily to me at the time. Perhaps now, as someone on the other end of the argument today, I might offer my version to see if it is yet satisfactory to our new ‘young’.

I am amongst the first generation who was born with the power to transform. Pluto was rediscovered when occupying the sign of Cancer – the transforming ‘Mother’. We notice the synchronicity of Mother issues – together with the highly destructive expression of ‘father’ issues within human society. The first generation to feel the full impact of Pluto upon our consciousness was my own. Pluto was in Leo – a perfect description of the ‘Me’ generation but it is also interesting in the message that seems to say ‘Before we can change the world, we must change ourselves.’ It might look like self-indulgence to those who face such enormous problems in their own future but our collective awareness didn’t finish expanding. Chiron was rediscovered in 1977 – I don’t have conscious awareness of this power unless I choose to go looking for it. For you youngsters, you were born with this gift.

BPdfJjyCUAAJb_mThe solar system I studied in Astrology some forty five years ago has altered beyond all recognition. It has become infinitely more complex. As young people, you will have access to knowledge and wisdom now that I cannot even conceive of, because I am now – like my mother and grandmother before me – a woman of my time. My conscious ability is limited in what I am able to do, not because I am stupid – far from it – but because I am wise enough to know my limitations. We are but leaves of one season on the Tree of Life – you are unfurling to your fullest abilities whilst I turn the colours of autumn and will soon nourish the Earth to nourish this Life we are a part of.

Your Elders are wise in experience but limited in their ability to see the Future because that is your skill. Your ‘limitations’ will be to deal with the consequences of our mistakes when we took a hand, not because we are the irresponsible generation but so you can see how we failed. If you look around you, you will see members of your own generation failing too. This is because we have all yet to deal with the original catalyst.

BPfOcz2CIAExCd7We all have to explore issues of Free Will ourselves and on our own terms. Humanity, as a whole, is slowly moving towards the consequences of the choices we have made – particularly in the West… what I call the White energies of the Medicine Shield. Astrologically speaking, each generation born now comes with a greater capacity for Free Will than before which means that some people have the potential to lead our White energy in our Re-Turn to Great Mother’s Medicine Shield. But we will have to leave behind our bad old ways. This cannot be done overnight. Neither yours nor my generation have that ability. All we can do is ‘grow’ ourselves towards it and our histories are like rings within the Tree of Life. Each generation is ‘bigger’ than the last. You may not feel it now but the generation behind you is already nipping at your heels, chivving you along, challenging you not to be the hypocrites you claim we are.

And your challenge… eventually? To stand in my shoes and give answer to the charge to from the young that your generation was irresponsible when you were caretakers for the planet.

To you, my young friend, my answer is that I have always done by best with what was available to me at the time. I won’t apologise for my mistakes because they taught me to be wise enough to answer you but I am sorry for them nonetheless. No human being would wish our current situation upon another. My generation were prevented from dealing with it but I know you will be able to do more than we could and I am still here to help. I haven’t stopped battling – once we learn how to exercise our Free Will for the sake of others, we know our true worth and we never give it up, no matter how much it might hurt us.

And the prize?

tumblr_lzjcjsGDXG1ro46rko1_500For me? Three times in my life I have had the chance to turn a dream into a reality. The first was political – I ran a trade union for a short while but I ‘failed’, so I turned inwards to find out if the problem was me. In doing so, I began to realise my second dream; to become a psychotherapist but I still didn’t find what I was looking for. My third dream was to become a woman of magic dedicated to healing. This was the most unattainable of all – the crazy notion of a 1950’s child of the ‘respectable’ Tory-London suburbs. Yet, this ‘dream’ is my life now and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else on earth, not only for loving it so much but also because it gave me the answers I share with you now. This is what Pluto in Leo taught my generation – the power of personal transformation. I have learned that for as long as someone uses that power for personal gain rather than collective benefit, the Peoples suffer. I have learned to pay close attention to quantum mechanics, Complexity theories and other sciences because they are revealing how my magic works. These are the gifts of my generation to yours – they are the baton in our evolutionary Re-Turn relay that will eventually create the Rainbow Nation.

In our times, we are the Rainbow Warriors – acknowledging our responsibilities; accepting our limitations; and yet still leaping into the Void in pursuit of our Peoples’ dreams.

Welcome to the world of Adults, young man. I offer unconditional Respect; for you are our Future and, as both Creator Spirit and Great Mother know, we need you now.

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Thanks to Julienne for this picture.

Thanks to Julienne for this picture.

“The Wormhole of Evolution”

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When I was first being taught the shamanic pathways of my Land – the Spirit of the Islands of Britain and Eire, with all their tribal diversities – my teacher, John Matthews, spoke of the shaman’s way as being ‘seamless’. I have come to understand this to mean being alive to both Spiritual and manifest reality – to ‘live my visions’.

 

When we follow a true shaman’s path, especially living in the ‘West’, it is inevitable that we will encounter opposition. It is fascinating to observe, now I have ‘arrived’, how those I oppose define who I am and who I believe myself to be (with all my flaws visible to the eye). Equally, if I look at the behaviour of those who oppose me, the sins I am clearly guilty of seem to pale into simple misdemeanors by comparison – it would seem there’s hope for me yet.

 

The Chalice Well - Glastonbury Source - unknown (happy to attribute)

The Chalice Well – Glastonbury
Source – unknown (happy to attribute)

 

Nevertheless – a shaman must deal with the ‘reality’ they find themselves in. I am not ready to go back into that fray yet. I haven’t completely closed off the option of seeking medical help yet – if only for the sake of the hearts of my friends – but I first want to share my experience of stepping through the Veil of Death. In some ways, it is the equivalent of Jesus’s ‘eye of the needle’.

 

(As I was writing that last paragraph, my electricity meter cut out because my credit had run out. Clearly, I’ve been able to top it up but the process involves lifting a heavy ladder to get to the meter. With the ‘weight’ in my chest reminding me of it’s presence – and being in the middle of this blog and not at the end – I chose to lie down afterwards. My Otherworld Allies and Teachers have been doing a lot of healing work on my heart and, just now, we removed the most toxic black object (a long lightless sharp-edged sliver) from it I have ever been asked to ‘handle’. Whilst most of my other symptoms remain, the ‘dark weight’ in my heart has gone.)

 

tumblr_lavqrsd7jY1qephwdo1_500The world of the ‘Dead’ speaks the Language of the Ancestors, I have found, and She imparts her Wisdom to me through the legends, histories and deeds of the People and our past.  It’s where the richest seam of practical Ancient Magic of Britain resides; where we find the Halls of the Heroes and the Weavings of the Wisewomen. We have to be True in our Intent when we cross the Veil – any wavering of our intent topples us into the Abyss, for Death becomes quite real now… for some people. For others, we are merely experiencing a transition from one form to another. The journey into the Underworld is well mappedit involves a stripping away of ego and property until La Búsqueda is brought before the throne of the Queen of the Underworld (this is a woman’s tale, remember!). It is a tale told in many Lands of our Great Earth Mother, but the major template for the West is this one.

 

When I was in prison, I did a number of Soul retrievals and power extractions for both staff and prisoners. It was always interesting to see who still clutched to their selfishness afterwards. Nevertheless, there was one lass who approached me again after I had been recalled to prison. It seems that the written record of my work had been stolen from her by an ex-boyfriend and ‘ could I do it again?’ Well, no – and my present sense of ‘unfinished business’ makes me think that I need to share the work I did for her now. She’ll know who she is when she reads the parts I remember.

 

I cannot recall how I got to the Lower levels of the Lower World, but I do know that when I got there, the Soul part I was seeking was cornered and under severe attack. I know I was able to bear the Soul part safely-enough away, despite continued pursuit because a portal to the Void opened before me and I stepped through it onto the back of my power animal. My Power ally then conveyed me, with the Soul part, through the Void to another portal of Light into which we stepped with perfect safety. All our pursuers fell into the Void and were lost to light – I’m told that what occurs to them afterwards is God’s business. This is what I remember from some seven years ago.

 

tumblr_lqcjztuOdF1r1vfbso1_400When I step through the Veil of Death, I step into the Void. I am reduced to Spirit alone – nothing ‘manifest’ can accompany me. It is at this point my Soul is ‘weighed and measured’ and shown the correct destination for me to follow. The ‘judgement’ is always about which way to go next – I’m never going to be perfect at present because I have no desire to be. I grow much more from my mistakes and I have yet to tire of growing. This is how it works in my ‘Heaven’ anyway. Once we know where we are going, the path opens up before us because we are in accord with the Will of Heaven. I know this path well because I have walked it in both Spirit and Life.

 

To pass safely through this portal and into the Wormhole of Evolution; the Eye of the Needle; is to become ‘naked and bowed low’ because this is the only place we learn where we truly belong in our Universe. When our own Honesty drives us to the edge of Death, we need to understand what we are doing. Not all of us do, and we die in great pain and suffering. In the Underworld of the Dead, this soldier – and all those like him – dwell in the Halls of Heroes; the Soul’s of Love severed from them in life restored to full glory and honour for holding to the truth of their situation. In the Realms of Women dwell all our unsung and unknown heroines who were ‘tortured to death’ in the same way. These wounds are healed with Forgiveness and Compassion. But there is also a place in the Underworld of the Dead for all those who inflict such wounds upon the ‘Children’ of Love and in this Queen’s Kingdom, any hierarchy gets determined by behaviour-on-earth or by learning. By our deeds shall ye know us. In this world, everything is turned upside-down and topsy-turvy compared with the ‘real’ world – and it is in this living experience of ‘here’ that we learn to ‘see’ Truth face-to-face.

 

tumblr_m3bmiqYSCs1r2zdh7o1_500It is a rare breed of human who can withstand the pain of watching someone they love go through their personal experience of facing Death – I am Blessed with dear friends of this nature. They are willing to trust that this journey is needed – this blog is, hopefully, about proving them right. More often than not, these days, the tale of the descent to the Underworld seems to end in Death alone. This is the man’s way. It does not belong to women and children. We have our own path – which a man might walk only if divested of his ego. In our legends, there is a Return from Death. The Hero/Heroine descends for a reason – to claim some ‘prize’ for the community – and is reborn to Life ready to share it with those who can hear.

 

According to Jesua, the first to recognise the Truth from a returning hero or heroine will be ‘last’ and the last will be first. He turns mundane understanding on it’s head. The ‘gift of knowledge’ borne by the hero/ine contains the power to overcome the tyrant Holdfast. In my ‘real’ life, Holdfast runs my country – if I am truly the returning hero then something in these blogs of my journey to the underworld will enable those, previously disempowered, to act in ways they were in some way prevented from doing before. I hope, too, that those who presently find themselves in the Void of Despair see their path to new Life opening up before them.

 

tumblr_m3g57cWoIW1r312weo1_500Remember that true change often comes disguised at first – we believe we are dealing with one ‘thing’ only to discover that we have loosed a ‘jinn’. If we are in the midst of living this nightmare, please keep trusting your feelings and sharing. For all those who have been lost, how many are still miraculously alive and finding their way through? We have to make our own way but if we trust that Love is real, we will encounter it in our lives and each hand of kindness offered is the handrail through to your own version of the Light. Expect the unexpected – the more unlikely it is, the more authentic it is likely to be. Trust your instincts – not every hand offered will be that of a friend. Use the experience for learning – then you can spot the problem coming in future and side-step it. In my Otherworld, No is a word that is respected but our best results come when we say Yes.

 

It’s the gift of this journey to be able to write authentically about the process Holdfast the Tyrant is inflicting on my country, Her People and Land. It is an Abomination in the eyes of my Goddess – She who gives Life. In my Heaven, the Power to apply the Law of the Creator Spirit on Earth resides with Her. This is the Message I bring back. The plethora of difference in human spirit currently present on our planet is to be likened to the Cambrian Age of Life on Earth. We are all the result of Free Will and we have all been necessary for this stage of our Spiritual Evolution. Nevertheless, Mother Earth is cleansing Her Body as She has done many times before. Following the cleansing, only those Spirit/Souls chosen by Mother Earth will remain. The Choice is ours but Earth Mother is only likely to nurture those children who Love and Respect Her in return for Her Gift of Life.

 

tumblr_m2y10u0jRM1qav48no1_500I say these things because I believe we are in the midst of a Spiritual, Instinctive, Thoughtfully-Awake evolution with Mother Earth. We are going to have to align ourselves to Her Laws if we have any desire to survive. She’s testing our resolve now. Those, from the White Peoples of Medicine Shield must step forward and take up our Spiritual Duties to our Earth Mother, whether we perceive it in that way or not.  When all four Peoples of the Rainbow Medicine unite, more pathways will open. Those who have already Chosen will find their paths Blessed with Assistance or necessary lessons. Those who freely and generously share their wealth with those in need will find their actions Blessed in the same way. Our proper attitude is Gratitude for all Life. The proper approach is to deal with your realty and begin removing that which does not favour Earth Mother in all her life-forms – the task is huge and will not be completed in our lifetimes, or even that of our greatgrandchildren. What results from we begin now is for Earth Mother to determine, not us. Simply put, we are ‘merely’ the turning of the tide marking the onset of the tsunami that will be human transformation. Wise are those who have learned to heed the signs and start moving to safe ground. Wise are those who trust the ‘messages’ that find them during their waking life or in dreams. Wise are the men who, not always ‘understanding’ but with trust in our ‘mystery’, listen to the intuitions of their mothers, sisters, wives, daughters and friends. Wiser, still, are those men who ‘hear’ the same ‘secrets’ within themselves.

 

I hope the above is enough to heal the wounds and wipe the tears from the Love of my friends who stood with me yesterday. It is a terrible thing to do to anyone. I am ‘free’ to do this because I have no children. Mothers should never have to walk this path – I can do a better job because I have no future to be concerned about. There is a very special place in my Heaven for the Stephanie Bottrill’s of our country and an equally special Blessing for her children and grandchildren, for she died a heroine and an honest woman. She died believing there was no Hope – Jesua has things to say about those who make good, honest folk believe lies like that. For sure, I would never want to be in their shoes now. For others, still living on their last knockings of hope, I hope this blog shows a possible turning point.

 

When we turn to face death as result of the murderous behaviour of others, we are not choosing to kill life itself. We are choosing to kill that which murders life that has, in some way, attached itself to us. If we truly are honest, Life will show us mercy through release or it will return us to life without the parasite obscuring our vision or mind. This is the shamans way.

 

Today an increasing number of us are stepping through the Veil that is the Fear-of-Death because there is something more important than just the life we call our own. This trickle is going to turn into a flood as the prophecies about secrets being shouted from rooftops comes into manifestation. The pattern is the same each time this dynamic plays out only this time, Mother Earth isn’t playing and we humans are expected to be responsible adults about it.

 

Within all of this are going to be my generation’s flaws – there are things I cannot see that seem blindingly obvious to those who follow. My errors are supposed to be corrected on the understanding that their solution will also be flawed too, and so on down the generations. The intention of any Spirit path I open to others is to enable you to find your own connection and make your own course corrections.  Our own Soul is always our best pilot.

 

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Idle No More UK

Idle No More UK