Who was Merlin really? It’s a question I often get asked.
Well, we have to go back to the 12th century, when a school of scribes was appointed by the Norman conquest to win the hearts and minds of the unruly Celts, and they reinvented Merlin from an already-existing native, mythological shaman called Myrddin Wylt.
When I first tried to read Katharine Maltwood’s A Guide to Glastonbury ‘s Temple of Stars, I ended up with a terrible headache. Even though I’d studied mythology and archaeology for decades, this 1920s identifier of the Somerset circular landscape temple seemed so ‘other’ to me, and her ideas far too dense, like an overpoweringly and sickeningly rich scented pot pourri from another time. However, now – several years later – I’m picking up her books again and reading them with ease and joy. It’s almost as if she’s talking to me personally at times – as if she’d written for an age when we would have more knowledge about our ancestors and thus be more able to pick up her quiet nudges and gentle allusions which are threaded throughout her writing like delicate and refined gold knotwork. Continue reading
There’s a lot of nonsense talked about whether someone in the West can call themselves a shaman because, it is said, “shaman is a Siberian word and we’re not Siberians.” The truth is, we are shamans. By ‘we’, I mean the people who journey into the Otherworlds, who talk with the spirits, who bring back lost souls, who guide the dead and who experience the fire in the head. Continue reading
SOMETIMES I get asked about why I became a shamanic healer, or how I became a shaman, and I would like to try to describe something of the process here, albeit that my path towards becoming a shaman began before I was even aware of any kind of process taking place. Continue reading
TO our earliest ancestors, both death and birth were considered to be spirit initiations. In this dialogue, we unravel the rituals around childbirth going back at least as far as the last Ice Age. Continue reading