Happy November to you all and as we mark the end of the harvest season and the slow slide into the darker months, many would say the human world is feeling a little shaky with current events reflecting the extremes of our modern beliefs and behaviours.
As some of you know from my monthly musings, I have been a student at the college of therapeutic shamanism for many years now. My urge to delve deeper and deeper into who we once were and still truly are under all the layers of conditioning and domestication, comes from a desire to glimpse how we were ever able to coexist in right relationship with a world full of other beings, animal, plant and mineral and the deep respect and compassion it must have called for.
To set the scene of an animist worldview which it turns out is my chosen spiritual path, think Philip Pullman and ‘His dark materials’ with daemons and other worlds and consciousness or maybe Avatar which portrays in multicolour, the interconnectedness of all things and the joy that comes from living within the ecosystem rather than trying to direct it from the outside as we humans now seem to be attempting.
I have recently been reminded of a profound experience I had while studying at the college and it feels appropriate to share it. I ask that you suspend judgement for the next couple of paragraphs as the shamanic path may not be everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ (haha sorry I couldn’t resist) and enjoy pondering how different things may now be had we all been given a blueprint at birth of who we were supposed to grow into, a personal map to support and guide us and our choices throughout our lives.
This newsletter isn’t the place to share the details of how this particular experience came to happen (for that, you will be much better served by going directly to Paul at www.therapeutic-shamanism.co.uk) but through a practice known as shamanic journeying, I met my ‘wild soul’ and by that I mean the untamed person I would have been had I grown up in a healthier human world.
There are some definite similarities between me and her but she feels a lot less hindered, a lot lighter and full of grace. She seems a lot more content in her skin although her feet are much more battered and leathery than mine! It is an honour that I know her, I see her and I try my best to embody more and more of her into my being every day.
The reason I mention this experience is that regardless of how you feel about it, it opens us to the time-honoured questions many of us find ourselves facing as we reorientate within the midlife transition point- who are we? What are we being called to do? What no longer works for us? Who do we want to show up as? What wonky stories do we believe about who we are?
These are the genuine dilemmas of mid life and I again ask, what if there was a blueprint? And I ask it because I have met mine!
So what does this have to do with ATTIC and tea?
Well in thinking about these big life questions and where to look for some clarity, the obvious answer is within ourselves. There has been such a rise in plant medicine ceremonies, I realise certain plants are here to help us find a way to the answers we seek.
This week I begin offering ‘Breathe and Brew’, the age old practice of sitting with a cup of Chinese tea and allowing its beneficial nutrients to work some magic. It is a practice that calms and centres us so we can hear ourselves think. It engages our right brain so we can feel more harmony with the world around us and if we sit in the stillness and space it creates, it can offer up insight and foresight and bring us gently back to life.
If you are interested in trying out a Breath & Brew practice either online or f2f (in Bristol) please reply to this email with ‘interested’ and I will keep you informed as things develop. But you can also just start being a little more mindful each morning with your first cup of ATTIC tea. At the bottom of my story page (https://www.atticteas.com/pages/teavolution) are some recordings to get you started.
Enjoy the journey into winter 2023, nothing better than a warming cuppa on a dark, cold night! We look forward to talking to you again in December :)
Anne and Ric x