Foreword by Ami Smart of Honeysuckle Healing:

Aromatherapy is an ancient practice (with the name being the only modernising addition), and one that still excites and intrigues me.

In many ways it’s a system that resonates with me due to its Bach similarities; in terms of its global accessibility without qualification, its ability to enhance mood, support (and some say limit) many chronic conditions, and that it’s a derivative of nature.  However, this is where I believe that most people don’t appreciate that the comparisons end.  For unlike essential oils, Bach remedies do not contain the plant extract itself and therefore come with far less complications, restrictions (such as age), barriers to health (such as orthodox medication side effects) or things to consider before administering.  Essential oils, like most systems, tend to treat the outcome/result rather than the source of the problem, and therefore should be treated and respected as two standalone systems.  Both therapies require (in my opinion) a strong foundation of knowledge, an accredited qualification and a real thirst for using nature to heal in order to get the best out of the systems.

It’s a complex subject and whilst I use essential oils in smaller forms both personally and professionally, it is an area that I am happy to leave to the experts…such as this months guest, Louise Morgan.

Some of you may remember that Louise kindly joined me in Guest Corner in November 2017 when this monthly spot was in its infancy.   It’s wonderful to end 2018 with her wise words and revisited specialist subject, as she is a businesswoman and practitioner whom I respect tremendously.  Louise owns Kinsale Therapy Centre, which since July 2017 has been my base for offering Honeysuckle treatments, and we have exchanged many treatments and had a fabulous journey together.

This month I have asked Louise to join us to try and condense the vast and popular subject that is Aromatherapy.  As always my guest is the expert in the monthly topic and I have really enjoyed learning more about this subject in conversation.  Due to the length of this interview I will keep my opening paragraph short, as I have been inspired to write a future blog to clear up some of the misunderstandings between the Bach remedies and other plant-based systems of healing.

I want to say a heartfelt thank you to Louise for finding the time in her always busy schedule to connect this month and to end Honeysuckle’s Guest Corner’s as we know and love them.

Yours in love and light,




December Guest Corner

Q&A With Louise Morgan Holistic Therapist




What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is a branch of complementary therapy which uses bottles of different oils in small amounts to create an affect to help a person.  The bottles of oils are called essential oils and are extracted from plants, trees and fruits through different methods.

What are the benefits of Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy has several benefits depending on how it is used.  Inhalation is a really quick way for essential oils to enter the body, whilst putting essential oils on the body in an oil or cream can mean a longer and more subtle effect, depending on several factors.  On an emotional level, essential oils can be used to help mood, and the oils can be blended depending on how someone wants to feel – they can be used to stimulate, refresh or relax an individual.  At the other end of the spectrum, with clinical aromatherapy, you can use essential oils to support an individual with their health conditions.

What got you into Aromatherapy?

I worked in an office and knew I didn’t want to be there for the rest of my life.  Months before approaching a ‘0’ birthday, I’d seen the course advertised, asked for information and then stuffed it in a drawer when I saw the cost!  One day when clearing the drawer, I found the paperwork and decided the cost wasn’t that much for a complete career change.  By the time that birthday came, I was 6 months into the course!


How do you use Aromatherapy in your business?

Aromatherapy is a core part of my business.  For some clients, it’s the bespoke blend they get for a massage, for others it’s a high diluted blend for a problem they would like help with.  I make an essential oil blend in a cream, which I use for the final massage in my Reflexology sessions and I also use essential oils around the clinic if I want to change the aroma.

What are some of the easy ways my readers can use essential oils in their everyday lives?

One easy way is to put a few drops on a tissue and inhale it through your nose and out through your mouth.  This option doesn’t need expensive equipment and can give you a quick burst of energy or calm, depending on the oil you’re using.  Another way is to pop a few drops on a cotton wall ball and pop it behind a radiator (if children and pets can’t reach it) or on top of a shelf/wardrobe where little fingers and paws cannot reach!  The oil then diffuses gently into the air without being too overpowering.

What are your top 3 essential oils and why?

I love sweet orange.  There’s research into how it can be an useful option for anxiety; people of all ages tend to love it and it’s safe for all age groups.  It’s a ‘cheering’ oil, but as it’s a citrus oil you do need to be careful.  Every time the bottle is open and it is exposed to the air,  sweet orange reacts with the oxygen.  After about 6 months, it should be discarded.  Or if you have about a 1/4 of the bottle left you may wish to discard it as there will be a lot of air in the bottle.  If you use a bottle which is oxidised (i.e reacted to the air) you may find you experience a reaction and your skin could become sensitised to the oil.

Lavender – a few years ago this wouldn’t have made it onto my list as I felt it was overused, but since I have had my clinic I have fallen back in love with it as clients have requested it to be part of their blends.  It’s a great ‘all round’ oil, which is anti-inflammatory and also cicatrisant, which means it helps skin healing.  Over the years I’ve used this in blends for bee stings, chickenpox, sleep blends and eczema.

Please note Louise has kindly provided lots of uses and points of concern when using Lavender, particularly when using alongside ADHD conditions.  To aid the readability and length of this blog, please contact Louise directly for a consultation and to learn more about general usage and health and safety points.

Benzoin – this has a wonderful deep Vanilla aroma.  It is a thick oil, which gives a chocolate orange aroma when combined with sweet orange.  It’s a great choice for calming and de-stressing and is also good for the skin.  This is an oil I wouldn’t use in high dilutions, but is great for creating a lovely aroma.  If you are using a diffuser you will need to clean it out afterwards to avoid it leaving a residue.

Is Aromatherapy suitable for use with children and pets?

I use Aromatherapy with my children, and I talk about how to safely use essential oils with babies on my baby massage courses.  The problem is, some oils are safe, but it’s all about which oil you are using and the amount of oil you are using.  There’s lost of information on the internet, but with babies and children it’s worth making sure the information is from a reputable source.  I’m not qualified to give advice on essential oils with pets, and I know during my initial training I was advised you could only do so under the guidance of a Vet.  Personally, I wouldn’t use essential oils with pets as I know how potent they are.  Also, I know that cats’ livers can’t actually metabolise essential oils, so they can be toxic to them.

What are your top tips for working with essential oils?

Think about how you store your oils – keep them in a cool, dark place, out of reach of children and pets, and keep the lids on as much as possible.

Remember a little goes a long way!  You don’t need to be using a lot of essential oil to create an effect, and you should always try to use the least amount to avoid overexposure.

Buy a good quality essential oil.  If you check the membership list of Aromatherapy Trade Council, they hold a list of suppliers who provide good quality essential oils.  Unfortunately the market isn’t regulated so oils can be adulterated with synthetic or natural chemicals.

If you’re thinking of using essential oils for a specific health condition, it really is worth spending the money on an Aromatherapist.  If you look online you may find some information, but it is general and may not be suitable for you.  When you pay for an Aromatherapist appointment you are paying for the expertise and experience in understanding the oils, and their understanding of how they may interact with medications or pose certain problems for some individuals.

And, as it’s the season of Yule, what oils would you recommend to get that traditional Christmassy aroma?

Personally, I love a bit of cinnamon and orange!  I use cinnamon leaf (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum) as it’s safer than the bark, and sweet orange (citrus sinensis).  This is a traditional aroma, but the sweet orange is cheery and uplifting, while the cinnamon is good at keeping the Winter bugs at bay.  Cinnamon leaf essential oil is potent, so in high dilutions it can be mucous irritant (you may not want to diffuse it all day) and it should not be used by pregnant ladies.


Louise is a holistic therapist who owns Kinsale Therapy Centre, Bristol; a clinic offering a range of holistic and beauty therapies.  Louise offers reflexology, aromatherapy, aromatology, holistic massage, Indian head massage, reiki, baby massage and story massage.   For further information visit or contact her clinic on 01275 217160


Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you


Legal disclaimeras always, my guests are invited to share their work with you in order to support your healing journey as a whole, by giving you empowering tips and food for thought.  I only invite guests whom I know to be insured and practising to the best of my knowledge at the time of their guest spot.  I will only welcome guests that I have personally used the services of, and have found to benefit my own individual healing journey as a result.  However, if you choose to book any treatments or use any guests services as a result of my monthly interviews, then please be aware that you act personally on this decision.  Honeysuckle Healing take no responsibility for the outcome of this decision and these guest blogs do not act as a referral or recommendation service.  Please ensure that these guests and services meet your individual requirements prior to booking.  Thank you


Foreword by Ami Smart of Honeysuckle Healing:

This month it is an honour to welcome a therapist and healer I respect very much to November’s Guest Corner, Tristan Starling (formerly Stibbards).

I liked Tristan as soon as I met him!  He was coming to the end of his Reiki journey just as I was beginning mine, and this is how we met as we trained with the same Reiki Master.  What I’ve always liked and admired about Tristan is that he is a responsible and authentic practitioner.  Whilst he brings a wealth of  knowledge and skills to his practice, I know that he has done a lot of ‘groundwork’ and like me hasn’t cut corners, which is something that is so important to me as a practitioner as well as a client.  This is something I feel strongly about, really getting to know your onions so to speak, or in this case your gongs!  The foundations of all that we do as therapists is so important.  I believe that we have a responsibility to grow as channels and as people into the best versions of ourselves when we choose this path, and I don’t believe you can do that by reading alone or without doing a pilgrimage of sorts, which often requires taking the longer routes to qualify.

I’ve attended a few of Tristan’s sound healing workshops and sound-baths and used his 1-1 treatments a lot during my Reiki training to help me shed the old beliefs and barriers to becoming a practitioner myself.  In Tristan’s company I have cried a lot!  Sound for me is very powerful, and my biggest trigger.  It’s highly emotive and is always the therapy that makes me cry, feel super vulnerable and as a result often avoid through resistance or the fear of being too exposed in front of others.  When someone whips a bodrum out that’s particularly when I am likely to lose my s**t!

The introduction of sound in healing is becoming more popular today, and many therapists use it within their treatments.  But for me, finding a sound therapist with this as a specialism and who resonates on the same frequency as me has been harder than I thought.  Given what I do for a living I am now quite ‘choosy’ about who I let into my energy space and who I work with.  This is not because I don’t think there are many great practitioners out there, but because I am the expert in my own healing journey, as is everyone else in theirs, and so I know what I need and more importantly who I need to address blocks and barriers to my health and well-being.  We must always take the time to find who personally works for us, and for me the foundations of their business and their approach to their own personal healing journey is very important.

Having experienced several of his workshops, sound-baths and 1-1 treatments Tristan is someone I would personally use as well as feel confident to refer my clients to.  Tris is now using ceremonial cacao, something I was hoping he would venture into when we spoke last year after my first experience of it.   I am hopeful that Honeysuckle and Snailspace will be able to ceremonially collaborate in some way in the future, and I am looking forward to receiving guidance on how and when this will be the right time.

This months guest corner, albeit later than intended, is one that I believe is quite thought provoking.  This interview shows just how beneficial, yet specialist, the world of sound in healing can be.  Sound is used in so many ways, from setting a relaxing atmosphere with music in treatments to moving through the aura and chakric systems with instruments.  It’s a vast subject and this is a great introduction as always.  If you would like to read more about my personal journey with sound then click here

With many thanks and love to Tristan for bringing his time and expertise to Honeysuckle this month.


Yours in love and light,


November Guest Corner

Q&A With Tristan Starling of  Snailspace Therapies


“A Sound Way To Heal”


What is sound healing?

It’s an absolutely vast topic with a million different perspectives. From my point of view, sound healing is basically the utilisation of sound frequencies and vibration to promote health. This can be done using the voice and / or a multitude of different musical instruments and tools. If we imagine the human body (and in fact all matter) consisting of energy which is condensed to various levels of vibration (solid matter like a rock being a slow vibration and gasses like oxygen being a faster vibration for example) These vibrating particles all have their own specific frequency, or musical note, which can be “tuned” in order to increase the efficiency of their particular function. This can work on a physical, mental, emotional or energetic level as all of these things are connected, so from a holistic perspective you can’t influence one without the others following suit to a degree. Sound vibration can also be used to dissipate clogged energy, almost like a micro massage. Certain frequencies and patterns can also have a powerful effect on the human brain, using resonance and entrainment processes we can essentially influence our state of mind and therefore our emotional state too.

What brought you to sound healing?

I’ve been a musician since I was 4 years old so music and sound has always been a huge part of my life. I remember being a small child and we had this giant rubber plant in our house that was dying.  My mum moved it to sit next to my piano telling me that the sound vibration can stimulate the plants. Within a couple of months it was healthy again and I think that ingrained something in me at that early age. I studied audio engineering my early twenties and was fascinated by the physics and psychoacoustic side of the course. Psychoacoustics is the scientific study of sound perception and audiology. More specifically, it is the branch of science studying the psychological and physiological responses associated with sound. When I began to work specifically with massage and energy healing work more recently in life, all of these elements naturally came together and now sound is a huge part of  my healing work.

How do you incorporate sound into your services at Snailspace Therapies?

During energy healing sessions I often use the voice to tune into certain energetic blockages and help to dissipate them. I also incorporate various instruments depending on what’s required. It’s all very intuitive really. I work a lot with the chakras – the seven main energetic centres of the body, which I see as a scale of seven harmonic frequencies ( just like a musical scale.) I also run workshops involving sound healing, showing people how they can use their own voice to clear the energies of the body moving up through the chakras with certain vowel sounds. This is called “Chakra Toning”. I generally end the sessions by taking people on an extended sound journey with the gongs, crystal singing bowls, guitar and voice and many other things.

Do you have a favourite instrument that you like to use in your treatments?

My gongs are by far my favourite. They are just so unbelievably powerful and beautiful. When I play them It feels like it opens portals to different dimensions of reality.

What reaction do people usually have to sound healing?

A lot of the time people are surprised as to how much of an effect it can have and also how quickly. People are generally very receptive to it and find it very relaxing and calming, although sometimes it can bring up deep emotional release too.

How could someone use sound healing at home in their everyday lives to heal?

Singing and using the voice is the best way to work with sound in your everyday life. Opening the throat chakra leads to a universe of self expression that in itself can be the most important part of any healing process. There are many online videos regarding chakra toning exercises that will help clear and revitalise the body and mind. We’re all musical beings and the more we explore that aspect of ourselves the more we open ourselves to the universal energy flow. Also using music as a meditative aid is always great.

What brought the snail to your business?

(laughs) I’ve just always had a thing for snails really. I think they’re kinda magical. Also, I think “coming out of the shell” is a great metaphor for healing work.

There are lots of therapists now using sound in their work, how important do you think it is to be qualified in this field?

So I’m actually mostly self taught with sound healing specifically, although I have done quite a few workshops and training sessions with various people along the way including the UK Gong Master Sheila Whittaker. My training with music, audio engineering and my extensive energy healing training in Reiki and Shamanic healing both in the UK and Peru (which also involved sound and music) have all blended together to give me the skills I need to do the work even though a lot of the training I’ve done wasn’t exactly the kind that gives you a certificate at the end! Due to all these elements, and the fact that I’m already a qualified massage / reiki therapist, I was able to get insurance as a sound healer based entirely on my past experience. It’s definitely important to know what your doing in this work as it can have powerful effects on people, and if you’re going to be working with the public then you definitely need to get insurance – which generally involves doing a course of some kind. However if you just want to experiment at home in a non professional sense then go for it! There are loads of books on the subject that can get you going. I’d recommend anything by Jonathan Goldman. You could also come along to one of my workshops sometime.

There is an increase of ‘sound baths’ around the UK now, what are these for anyone who doesn’t know?

A sound bath is a sound healing journey. “Bathing” you in sound.

What easy tips can you give my readers who wish to begin their journey with sound, whether personally or professionally?

There are loads of books on the subject that can get you going. I’d recommend anything by Jonathan Goldman. You could also come along to one of my workshops sometime!


Snailspace Therapies is run by Tristan Starling.  It’s a healing practice based in Fishponds, Bristol offering a variety of therapies / combinations of modalities. Tristan is a fully qualified and MTI approved massage therapist offering professional bodywork, Thai massage and holistic oil massage.  Offering energy healing that blends different techniques including Japanese Usui Reiki, Chinese Medicine, The teachings of Barbara Brennan and also certain South American shamanic practices. Sound healing therapies both one to one and in groups are available – mostly utilising the gongs. For more info / bookings please text or call Tristan on 07873 535880 or check out the website here

Tristan also runs regular events mainly involving cacao ceremonies, sound healing, music and yoga with his wife Fleur Starling from their beautiful studio. You can check out upcoming events here


Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you


Legal disclaimeras always, my guests are invited to share their work with you in order to support your healing journey as a whole, by giving you empowering tips and food for thought.  I only invite guests whom I know to be insured and practising to the best of my knowledge at the time of their guest spot.  I will only welcome guests that I have personally used the services of, and have found to benefit my own individual healing journey as a result.  However, if you choose to book any treatments or use any guests services as a result of my monthly interviews, then please be aware that you act personally on this decision.  Honeysuckle Healing take no responsibility for the outcome of this decision and these guest blogs do not act as a referral or recommendation service.  Please ensure that these guests and services meet your individual requirements prior to booking.  Thank you


Foreword by Ami Smart of Honeysuckle Healing:

As most of you are aware by now, I am keen to build a positive and empowering community through means of social media, my monthly newsletter and the blogs I write.

My hope is that whether you take advantage of one to one treatments with me or just utilise the aforementioned online support, you feel included in your health and well-being programmes and more importantly empowered rather than overpowered by your Honeysuckle interactions.

Some of the media contents may at times seem ‘random’, but they are lovingly selected by me to give you the tools to try things that have personally worked in my own physical and mental health management.  The aim is to offer a holistic approach to your healing journeys and to give you things to try or consider outside of your Honeysuckle treatments.

That said, I am really excited that Honeysuckle Healing is evolving, and it’s turning into a rather lovely and co-creative space.  With that in mind, this month I am so pleased to welcome my childhood friend Lisa James of LiLi’s Little Farm.  Lisa being the girl who I fondly remember singing Madonna’s ‘Immaculate Collection’ in it’s entirety with during our innocent primary school days!  However, Octobers guest spot is less about Papa Don’t Preach and more about peachy pumpkins!

Through Lisa’s green fingers I have been further inspired by nature and it’s connection, spending many early evenings watching the sunset over her allotment when Audrey and I have stopped by on our walks.  There is a real tranquillity to this space and Lisa has kindly shared many of her beautiful produce with me to taste or in picture form to cheer me up on days I haven’t been able to join her in person.  I have proudly watched Lisa go from having a small allotment to now being a co-creative and very active member of a rather impressive small holding.  She continues to inspire and remind me just how much the land can provide physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually when you are willing to put in the hard work.

Thank you you to Lisa for her time in updating this Guest Spot from last October, and for her delicious Pumpkin loaf cake recipe at the bottom of this blog!

Yours in love and light,




October Guest Corner

Q&A With Lisa James of

LiLi’s Little Farm


“The Perfect Pumpkin”


What Advice Would You Give To Anyone Wishing To Grow Their Own Pumpkins?

Everyone has their own way of growing them and the trick is to find what works for you.  In this interview I am sharing some of my tried and tested tips and the ways that have worked for me.  A lot of my approach has been to learn through ‘trial and error’ and learning how to apply those lessons to ensure I have a better crop each year.  So don’t be afraid to just give it a go!

When Is The Best Time To Start Your Pumpkin Patch?

To get the best from your Pumpkins, you need to ensure that they are planted after the last frost and when the soil has had chance to warm up.  This is around May time, but if you are like me and can’t wait that long then you can start them off indoors from around April.

What’s The Difference Between Sowing Into The Ground Or At Home In Pots?

If you aren’t sowing directly into the ground and choose to start them off in pots at home, then you will need to ensure you harden the plants off by putting the pots outside for timed intervals, around 2-3 weeks before you are ready to transfer them to the ground.  This is so that the plants can get used to the weather and ‘toughen up’.

However, if you are sowing directly into the ground then you will not need to worry about this process.

NB: Make sure the soil is warm enough, as I say around May time, as if not it can cause the seed to rot.

Do You Have A Favourite Variety Of Pumpkin To Grow?

I grow quite a few different varieties of Pumpkin and my favourites are Jack O’ Lanterns or Atlantic Giant Pumpkins.  Once I have chosen my seeds and compost then I am ready to plant my seeds.  If planting directly into the ground then I push the seed 2-3 inches into the soil and water well.

What Are Your Tips For Growing ‘The Perfect Pumpkin?’

Pumpkins are very thirsty plants and like a lot of space in bed!  So water plenty and try and leave as much space as possible between planting.  You can get several pumpkins from one plant, but if you are after that one large Pumpkin then you will need to remove adjoining shoots and plants as they grow, in order to leave one plant on the vine.

How Long Do Pumpkins Last Once Harvested?

Sometimes Pumpkins can come away from the plant – if this happens then I just leave them outside to get a sun tan!  Leaving Pumpkins to harden in the sun will mean that they can be stored for up to 6 months after harvesting!  Pumpkins are usually ready to harvest around September/October during which you can make a yummy cake such as the recipe below.


Lisa’s Easy-Peasy Pumpkin Loaf Recipe


250g softened butter

250g caster sugar

Juice & zest of 1 orange

4 eggs

*250g sieved self-raising flour

1/4 of the flesh from a small Pumpkin-grated & strained of juice

You can also add optional warming flavours such as mixed spice, cinnamon, vanilla or whatever you enjoy!


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees
  2. Beat together the butter and the sugar until pale and creamy
  3. Add in the juice and zest of one orange
  4. Add spices you wish to at this point
  5. Add the grated Pumpkin to the mix, ensuring you have removed the juice beforehand (you can use a muslin cloth to do this) – stir contents of the bowl well
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, beating in a little flour if the mixture starts to split
  7. Fold in the remaining flour
  8. Transfer the mixture to a greased loaf tin and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and cooked through
  9. ENJOY and share your pics via Honeysuckle Healing’s or LiLi’s Little Farm social media accounts!

*Substitute flour for gluten free varieties if required and you can also vary the recipe to support a Vegan diet


Lisa is part of a community collaboration and small holding known as ‘LiLi’s Little Farm’, which lovingly produces and sells an array of homemade treats including fresh veg, eggs, pickles and jams.  They welcome visits to the animals and appreciate those who ‘shop local’ and support their growth. Lisa has recently passed her beekeepers exam and now produces and sells her own honey  from her buzzing hives in South Bristol.  To follow the treats for sale, as well as keep up with all the news and pics from the farm you can follow LiLi’s Little Farm on Facebook 




Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you


Legal disclaimeras always, my guests are invited to share their work with you in order to support your healing journey as a whole, by giving you empowering tips and food for thought.  I only invite guests whom I know to be insured and practising to the best of my knowledge at the time of their guest spot.  I will only welcome guests that I have personally used the services of, and have found to benefit my own individual healing journey as a result.  However, if you choose to book any treatments or use any guests services as a result of my monthly interviews, then please be aware that you act personally on this decision.  Honeysuckle Healing take no responsibility for the outcome of this decision and these guest blogs do not act as a referral or recommendation service.  Please ensure that these guests and services meet your individual requirements prior to booking.  Thank you


Foreword by Ami Smart of Honeysuckle Healing:

I invited Will to join me in the Guest Corner this month as September is a month of new beginnings and self investment!

It’s the month when we look for new adventures, start new projects and often want to take better care of ourselves after an emotional period of processing and purging.  So what better way to show up for yourself than to put on your running shoes and get out in nature; witnessing the autumnal colours starting to come into visual appreciation and releasing those endorphins through a new challenge.

I first met Will through a local self-employed networking group and I have to say I liked this guy as soon as I met him, we just clicked! I could visualise myself jogging alongside him, and his personal story of depression fuelled running really resonated with me and I thought made him very authentic and personable.  He has never made me feel like a fat girl struggling to keep up with him!

Running has always had a special place in my heart since discovering it after a huge health scare 10+ years ago, which became the catalyst for better self-care after making a full recovery at the time.  There was a period where like Will, I used running to improve my mental health and it became my main form of exercise (and transport) – even taking part in a few running events with a not too shabby finish time!  With a forever fluctuating waistline and my own personal battle with chronic illness, this does make exercise that much harder to factor into my life in a sustainable way now, but that doesn’t mean I don’t constantly challenge this setback and find ways around it!  Using a tailor-made service like Will’s has meant that I can learn new ways to adapt my dreams so they continue to be achievable.  At the moment I may only be donning my trainers for a quick lap of the park with the Welsh wonder that is Will, but through my new eyes of self acceptance I am realising that sometimes that is more than good enough.  The showing up, the getting up (early starts) and the weekly improvements will eventually lead me to places I never thought I could travel again.

This September, in my efforts to put myself first, I am joining Will back in the park to try again with my personalised running plan.  With kinder eyes looking at myself, more patience and the inner knowing that one step forward (no matter how small) is always better than one step back.

Thank you Will for your patience, expertise and for joining us this month to share your story and tips.

Yours in love and light,




September Guest Corner

Q&A With Will Jones Fitness

“Running Into Happiness”


How did you get into running?

I first started running about 8 years ago.  I was suffering with depression after sadly loosing my mum and my doctor recommended I start running to help with it as I was struggling to leave the house.  It didn’t happen over night and it took many months for me to be able to run even 5k which was a real struggle, but the more I did it the more I loved it and wanted to challenge myself more, it helped me a great deal and still does as if I’m having a bad day I will go for a run to clear my head.

Did this lead to you setting up your own business?

I set up Will Jones Fitness because running changed me massively; my fitness improved, my health and mood improved and I loved it!  I wanted to help others experience this also and so trained as a run leader, then a coach in running fitness and also qualified as a personal trainer but I focus on the running side of things and help get people into running or improve there running.

Have you run any marathons or races?

Yes I have ran two full marathons (Bristol 2 Bath marathon and London Marathon) the atmosphere at these events is amazing and the crowd helps carry you around.  I am currently training for the Brighton marathon next year and also my first Ultra marathon which is 45 miles long. I have also ran races of other distances such as 5k, 10k and half marathon distance and you get the same great feeling whatever the distance.  I recommend trying a race sometime during your running journey but never feel like you need to rush into a distance as you may take the enjoyment away from your running.

What support do you offer people who come to you to run?

I offer full training plans working to individual needs, we work to what is appropriate for each person.  I love working with people who have never run before and seeing them grow and enjoy the feeling they get after each run.  I set homework runs to keep them on track, I also offer group runs and runfit sessions.

What is your motivation when you don’t fancy putting on your running shoes?

I think everyone sometimes feels like they can’t be bothered and running is a lot of mind.  I know once I put my trainers on and make myself get out the door I will enjoy it once I’m out and I will feel better for it once I’m home.   Runs can always be cut short, so if you do go out and it’s just not your day it’s quite easy to turn around and head home, sometimes as your heading home in this situation you may suddenly think actually I’m enjoying this now and have one of your better runs. I also build runs into my day by running to the shop, work etc.

Do you have to be fit and healthy or a certain size to run?

Anyone can run if they want to.  I have worked with so many different types of individuals and if they want to learn to run and are committed they can do it.  I know week on week they will see improvements and it’s what makes it all worth while for myself.  Things like size, age, health should not be a barrier and if someone wants to start running but thinks they can’t then they can get advice from a doctor for example.  If the Doctor gives the ‘ok’ then they can do it.  The running starts off very short times and distances and builds each week tailored to individual needs, I’m always available to give advice or support.

What are the benefits of running?

There are many benefits of running such as helping keep joints healthy, build muscle strength, it can help with blood pressure, improved bone density, feel good chemicals and hormones are released helping ease stress and anxiety, depression, weight loss, improved cardio and lung capacity are just a few of the improvements you can  see from running.

What are your tips for anyone wishing to start running?

Lace up those trainers and give it a go!

Do you have a favourite running track or tracks when running to music?

I don’t listen to music at all when I run anymore as I like to be aware of my environment.  When I started running I did used to listen to a bit of music to take my mind off what I was doing, and enjoyed listening to upbeat feel good songs.

What is the best way to cool down or recharge after running?

I believe you should always stretch after a run no matter the distance to cool down.  Everyone will be different and recharge in there own way, but as long as you are giving yourself rest days during the week you shouldn’t really over do it, the more you run the more you will understand your body and needs.

How often would you say someone needs to run in order to lose weight or improve fitness?

It will vary from person to person, but as long as you are committed and also changing other aspects such as diet then you will definitely see improvements before long.

How important is diet in running maintenance?

Diet is very important when you run, as you need to fuel your body properly or you won’t be able to run to your full potential.    If you are just starting your running journey it may be difficult to change your diet straight away but little changes here and there will help massively as you learn more about what works for you.

What is your advice to anyone who is thinking of running but perhaps doesn’t have the confidence to start?

Don’t let anything stop you!  Give it a go, find somewhere quiet that is close to home and just try a really short run, you will soon learn no one pays any attention to what you’re doing and all runners have had to start somewhere, not everyone is a natural but just keep trying and you will get there.  I’m always happy to chat to someone if they are not feeling confident and my groups are extremely supportive of each other.


Will Jones Fitness is based in South Bristol, but Will is happy to travel to meet his clients needs.  Offering tailor made 1-1 running and fitness programmes together with regular RUNFIT group training sessions.  For more information and to connect with Will please make contact via his email or Facebook



Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you


Legal disclaimeras always, my guests are invited to share their work with you in order to support your healing journey as a whole, by giving you empowering tips and food for thought.  I only invite guests whom I know to be insured and practising to the best of my knowledge at the time of their guest spot.  I will only welcome guests that I have personally used the services of, and have found to benefit my own individual healing journey as a result.  However, if you choose to book any treatments or use any guests services as a result of my monthly interviews, then please be aware that you act personally on this decision.  Honeysuckle Healing take no responsibility for the outcome of this decision and these guest blogs do not act as a referral or recommendation service.  Please ensure that these guests and services meet your individual requirements prior to booking.  Thank you

Foreword by Ami Smart of Honeysuckle Healing:

It seems very fitting to welcome Starlight as my August guests, as it was a year ago this month that I first put faces to the name.

I met Katy and Kath AKA Starlight Soul Journeys (previously Starlight Meditation) in Glastonbury this time last year.  Having taken part in several of their ‘magic month’ webinars and online courses, all of which I credit my goddess awakening to, I nervously joined them on one of their soul journeys, having been drawn to my favourite place, Avalon.  This began a healing spiral of deep alchemic proportions and my love affair with Starlight.

For anyone who personally knows me or regularly reads my blogs and online content, you will know that I mention and recommend Starlight a lot, and that’s because I cannot say enough good stuff about them.  Their work is not for the faint hearted, but I credit so much of where I am, both personally and professionally, to these two wonder beings of light.  It is like no healing I have ever experienced, for it’s a shamanic fusion that triggers and gets to the very centre of pain and trauma…it’s certainly not all love and light, and there is nowhere to hide!  I also hadn’t experienced ‘portal sickness’, mass burping to release energy or indeed cried tears from such a depth until I met these two!  In fact, they often affectionately remind me that I said to them, following a Cacao ceremony at the bottom of the Tor, “why on earth would anyone pay for this shit!” whilst crying and laughing at the same time!  Of course, I jest, for I have signed up time and time again for their unique offerings, which says how addictive their work is.  I even completed my channelling course with them, as they are channels and spaceholder’s whom I respect immensely.

I think both Katy and Kath will agree that the three of us have been on a real journey of love, laughter, tears and triggering together, but personally for me they will always be two of the dearest souls residing in my heart, regardless of how long we choose to physically journey with each-other in this lifetime.  And they are guests whom I hope will always be in my life in one way or another, as they have taught me the importance of the shadow as well as the light and to honour my ability to keep it real!

This month I asked Starlight to join me to discuss the rise of the priesti, and oh my gosh I am so excited for this long overdue interview!  The priesti energy is one that is becoming an integral part of my light work, with thanks to the awareness from Starlight.  In fact I feel almost sheepish for understanding and respecting so deeply the diversity in sexuality and gender, but naively on my part not equating that fluidity to divine energy work.  I think it really is time that we individually and collectively bring this third dimension and duality to light-work.  I am really enjoying interpreting this energy through my own guidance and bringing this into the work I do at Honeysuckle Healing, but the experts and chosen light-bearers of this energy are definitely Starlight, and in particular Kath, who has taught me so very much.  Without further ado, I hand the reigns over to this formidable duo and I sincerely hope that this interview will resonate with the resting priesti within us all.

If you see the purple and green heart emoji’s pop up in my work, or indeed if you choose to follow Starlight after this interview, please know that this is the sign of the priesti, which is how Starlight have received guidance to represent this dual divinity.

August also seems a fitting  guest spot as I will be supporting Starlight at their Frankincense ceremony in Bristol this month.  You can find more details at the bottom of this interview.

The warmest of love and gratitude to the amazing Starlight for bringing the priesti to Honeysuckle this month, it’s a true honour to have you both and to talk about this fascinating subject.

Yours in love and light




August Guest Corner

Q&A With Starlight Soul Journeys

“The Rise Of The Priesti”


What is a priesti?

Both: A priesti is the gender of unity

Katy: A priesti is someone who is twin gender – they don’t really identify with being male or female, they identify with being both genders within one body whether that body is male or female externally 

Kath: The presence of both genders is within most people, however with priesti’s it tends to be at the forefront of their personalities and identities as opposed to somewhere deep inside

What made you discover the priesti energy?

Katy: When I first met Kath, I realised she was like a boy and a girl in one body and over the years we talked openly about the struggles and the joys of that.   Then in Ibiza 2017 we had a dominant female group that was referring to themselves as priestesses in ceremony and Kath said the word did not resonate with who she is.  The name ‘priesti’ came to my heart, along with the most beautiful energy and music accompanying it

Kath: So, I’ve always felt a bit different in terms of not fitting in to gender types and feeling almost angry and upset that they even exist.  When I was in Ibiza 2017 in a particular ceremony I was blasted with visions and information about the third gender – on experiencing that energy I can honestly say it felt like I’d come home (or I had a breakdown haha!)

Where do you think the priesti originates?

Both: Its roots are in Lumaria and beyond (pre-Atlantis).  It was recognised within all of the ancient spiritual cultures of the world and still is in many

Why do you think it’s important that we all connect to priesti energy?

Katy: We are in a time of ascending back into unity consciousness, and part of that ascension in our consciousness is the recognition of the unity gender, that gender is how we are going to bridge into unity consciousness 

Kath: For people that identify as priesti it is important for them to feel acknowledged and honoured in order to energetically fulfil themselves, their truth and their path


How can others reading this know if they identify as a priesti?

Katy: It is something you know within yourself, although this can take time to arrive at that knowing.  If you are questioning it; it is probably because being a man or a woman doesn’t feel 100% aligned with who you are

Kath: I wear it on the inside and the out, always have, so for me it was almost obvious.  But it has nothing to do with sexuality or pronouns etc this is more of an energetic experience that falls into alignment when you work with the energy

How can we connect to, or awaken, our inner priesti?

Katy: Just as all people have male/female within them we also have a priesti energy within us (however we identify).  To find the priesti energy within yourself, explore where the male and female energies within you meet, and the place where the meeting is harmonious is the ‘essence’ of your inner priesti (usually around the heart, higher heart and throat areas in the chakric system)

Kath: Sound really helps me do this and Frankincense

What are the ways in which we can support others who strongly identify as Priesti?

Katy: Being inclusive in your language of the presti gender (such as  not assuming ‘ladies’ is the correct way to address an all female group etc), and celebrating all of the wisdom, beauty and incredible healing that the priesti people and energy can bring to the world

Kath: Acknowledgement and acceptance

How does Starlight incorporate this energy or indeed help others to connect to it on your soul journeys?

Katy: Starlight channels the priesti’s regularly now, working with their energy, their music and also give a lot of guidance about who the priesti is.  We also heal the collective priesti wounds on our journeys

Kath: I am part of Starlight and these days, after previously taking more of a backseat role, I tend to work predominantly with the unity energy in ceremony, and so I think that naturally the energy is present within me when I am in circle.  We also use the priesti energy to help heal the masculine and feminine wounds and ‘blame’ that are so prevalent in our work

How important do you think gender or sexuality is in priesti identification?

Both: Gender/sexuality are fairly irrelevant, we have met priesti’s across the spectrum of all genders and sexuality

Can anyone identify as a priesti? 

Both: Just as a woman can identify a masculine energy within herself but she would still identify as being a woman, anyone can find the preisti energy within themselves.  But only a ‘Priesti’ would necessarily identify themselves as being one


Starlight will be travelling to Bristol to hold a Goddess Aphrodite Frankincense ceremony entitled ‘The Beauty In You’ this month.  Held at The Bristol Goddess Temple on Wednesday 29th August 2018 , 7pm – 10pm.  Please click here to read more about this amazing event and to purchase  your tickets.  I will be their Melissa at the event, supporting the loving and nurturing space they are providing.  It will be wonderful to welcome you all.  Limited tickets available, advance booking essential.

Starlight soul journeys is run by Katy (the Channel/teacher/right brain) and Kath (manager/travel co-coordinator/and everything else left brained).  Often referred to as the ‘rock and roll of spirituality’, Starlight is fundamentally about self-empowerment, working a lot with Shadow so we can be our authentic self.  Together they run online courses, 1-1 sessions, ceremonies, soul journeys and much more!  Click here to visit their website.  You can also join their online Facebook community here, where you can get free vlogs, meditations, guidance and tools about the Priesti and other Starlight themes like alchemy, connection, divine feminine healing etc.


Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you


Legal disclaimeras always, my guests are invited to share their work with you in order to support your healing journey as a whole, by giving you empowering tips and food for thought.  I only invite guests whom I know to be insured and practising to the best of my knowledge at the time of their guest spot.  I will only welcome guests that I have personally used the services of, and have found to benefit my own individual healing journey as a result.  However, if you choose to book any treatments or use any guests services as a result of my monthly interviews, then please be aware that you act personally on this decision.  Honeysuckle Healing take no responsibility for the outcome of this decision and these guest blogs do not act as a referral or recommendation service.  Please ensure that these guests and services meet your individual requirements prior to booking.  Thank you

Foreword by Ami Smart of Honeysuckle Healing:

This month we welcome the West-Country’s answer to Bear Grylls, Mr Steve England, or as his Twitter handle refers to him as ‘wild Steve England’.

Described through his website as an “award-winning wildlife educator, conservationist and horticulturalist from Bristol, on the Walk of Fame leading wildlife, wild food and protection”.  And I have to say after attending a few of his workshops and wild walks now, he is all of those things and not to mention a generally nice bloke!

Audrey and I first met Steve on one of his workshops last year, which looked at taking a “walk on the wild side”.  I came home with an even bigger thirst for natural knowledge and wishing I could invent some kind of machine that would steal his brain!   That’s because attending just one of his workshops will give you more hands on experience and nature connection than reading several books non-stop for a week could do!

Bristol naturalist (not to be confused with naturist!) Steve, is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to all things nature; from being able to identify an individual bird song, knowing a poisonous plant from an edible one and he is definitely the man you want around when you’re sourcing a mushroom in the forest for your tea or wanting to learn how to light a fire!  I am not saying this to inflate Steve’s ego in any way, but for anyone who has attended one of his events or even looked at his website you will know how much you take away for a very small fee!  In fact I find you even have to ‘write off’ the day when you are booked on one of Steve’s events, as his talks always run over due to his blatant and infectious enthusiasm.

As someone who is deeply passionate about the Bach remedies, it is becoming part of my flowery pilgrimage to learn as much as I can about the source of each tincture, and to witness each plant growing in the wild.  Trees in particular fascinate me and they are the very things I choose to walk amongst (and even hug) when I need grounding or answers.  That said, I was honoured when Steve accepted my invitation to be interviewed for Honeysuckle’s guest corner.  This month I have asked Steve a series of questions which are structured around some of the tree-based Bach remedies, and alongside his interview I have added a brief synopsis of why you might take the remedy in question.  I felt this was important as a lot of people don’t realise that the Bach remedies harness the energy of the plant and do not contain the plant itself.  Therefore, the medicinal benefits of consuming a plant for example will not necessarily mimic the emotional balance obtained from taking the same plant in Bach form, they almost become two separate entities and rewards for working with the same plant.    It is my hope that perhaps one day (when I have personally taken a lot more Larch) that Steve and I might be able to collaborate on our own little plant based workshop!

Thank you so much Steve for your time this month, as I know you are a busy man.

Yours in love and light,






Beech is the Bach remedy for those who find it hard not to criticise the way other people act, speak or do things.  Beech’s find it difficult to tolerate other people’s idiosyncrasies and as a result may have a tendency to ‘bitch’, gossip, moan at length or may be inclined to be instinctively judgemental – guilty until proving innocent so to speak!  The remedy helps us to be more understanding and tolerant, even when perhaps our feelings are justified, as we are able to exhibit more patience and empathy towards others, learning lessons from every person we meet and every trigger.  Sourced from the Beech tree, the Bach remedy was first prepared in the countryside near Dr Bach’s home, Mount Vernon, in 1935.

What are your tips for identifying a Beech tree?

The easiest way to identify Beech is by its elongated leaf buds that are pointed, also the greyish bark of the tree helps identify it too.

What are some practical uses for Beech?

The leaves are edible in spring just as they open, having a citric “tang” to them.  A traditional use of the beech is the mast, or beech nuts, when simmered in warm water they release their oils which float to the surface and when scraped off can be used in cooking or as furniture oil. The wood is a hard wood and is traditionally used to make rifle buts, as it has a very tight grain and does not split, a good wood to burn being a hard wood burns hot and slow.



Pine is the remedy best known for balancing feelings of self-reproach, guilt and issues of self-worth.  It’s utilised in times when we don’t feel worthy or good enough and when we tend to take the blame for situations, even when it’s clear it’s not our fault.  Pines tend to apologise for anything that goes wrong, often feeling guilty and in affect doing everyone else’s healing for them! The Pine remedy helps us on our journey to self-forgiveness and self-acceptance, as well as brings a balanced understanding of what is and isn’t our fault or responsibility. One of my personal favourites, the Bach remedy is sourced from the Scots Pine tree and was first prepared near Sotwell in 1935.

What are your tips for identifying a Pine tree?

Pine trees are identifiable by their leaves, which are always in pairs of two needles, and they smell of pine!

What are some uses for Pine?

This is in my top two of trees that have uses! The resin is loaded with anti inflammatory, anti-fungal and bacterial agents that can have multiple uses such as a glue, and a great wound dressing.  It’s fantastic for lighting fire as the resin is flammable too. It was used as a water proofer in roman times; heated pine resin was used to line their drinking pots to make them waterproof.

You can also twist a pine cone from its tree, leave it on a heatproof dish/plate on a radiator for a natural air freshener.


Elm is the number one remedy we utilise in times of overwhELM.  This is the remedy for people who become overwhelmed when taking on additional tasks or responsibility, despite usually being able to cope.  It can be utilised for crisis of confidence, when extra pressures and demands mean that we can doubt our competency and ability to manage the task in hand.  The remedy is a great ‘stress-buster’ and restores our belief in our own strengths by helping to break down tasks into bite size pieces, restoring calm and order once again.  Taken from the Elm tree, the Bach remedy was first prepared using trees growing near Sotwell in 1935.

What are your tips for identifying an Elm tree?

To identify elm you can use multiple methods, first the leaves have jagged edges and at the point where the leaf is attached to the stem one side of the leaf is higher up the stem than the other confirming it as elm, also by its bark and seed cases.

What are some uses for Elm?

Being a hard wood it is great for carving, but the inner bark is traditionally used to make cordage and rope, not the best wood to burn as it smoulders.


Sweet Chestnut is described as the remedy for the ‘dark night of the soul’.  It’s best utilised in those times when we have reached the limit of our endurance and we are searching, praying even, for the ways to get ourselves out of these dark times.  This remedy is a saviour in times when we feel as though we can take no more, we have nothing left and no means of escape.  The remedy helps to restore our hope, to bring about light again, and to help us continue on our journey with renewed will and vision.  Sweet Chestnut was first prepared near Wallingford in 1935.

What are your tips for identifying a Sweet Chestnut tree?

To identify sweet chestnut you look for its long jagged edged leaves and also by the spiky chestnut fruits.  It can also be identified by its wood colour as sweet chestnut is very high in the wood preserver tannin, giving it a very yellow appearance.

What are some uses for Sweet Chestnut?

Traditionally used to make fencing products called “pales” another great wood for carving and being a soft wood it is great for use in lighting fires making a bow drill set from its wood.  The nuts are very edible, traditionally roasted over a fire in winter.


Willow is the remedy for when we find ourselves hosting our own little pity party.  When there are feelings of bitterness or resentment for the situations we find ourselves in, which make it hard for us to be accepting of other people’s success.  The Willow remedy is one of rebirth.  We become more aware of all of the things we ‘can’ do rather than the things we ‘can’t’ and we refocus our direction in a positive light rather than a negative.  It helps to bring about a steady flow of abundance through a more optimistic mindset and connection with others.

What are you tips for identifying a Willow tree?

Depending on the time of year, in spring it can be identified by its fuzzy catkins, or by the waxy bark. Some are very yellow such as the weeping willow, or look for the diamond markings on some tree bark.

What are some uses for Willow?

Willow is traditionally used in basketry; I use the branches for weaving fish traps and general baskets.  The willow sap contains salicylic acid (a key component of aspirin), which in bush craft if in pain you can simply peel the bark off a young stem and suck to give yourself an aspirin dose to relieve the pain.  The tips of the new shoots are high in concentrated auxins which is the plants growth hormone.  By cutting the stems and crushing them, then soak them in water to release the auxins into the water which can then be used as a plant hormone cutting fluid – fantastic for helping promote new growth for cuttings!


Not one of the Bach remedies, but a little bonus from Steve is the addition of Silver Birch.  After having tried some of it’s sap on a recent ‘plants and their uses’ workshop with Steve I can confirm it tastes lovely!  But after witnessing how much is involved with tapping it’s water in a way that ensures you leave enough for the tree, I will leave it to the expert….

What are your tips for identifying a Silver Birch?

Silver birch can be identified by its white bark.  Some have paper bark which is very flaky and easy to peel

What are some uses for Birch?

It is an amazing tree with multiple uses.  The sap in spring is drinkable and is used to make wine or syrup.  The oils in the bark are extracted to derive tar, and also the bark is used to make pots and fire.  The leaves in spring are edible and have a nutty flavour.  Being a soft wood tree, the wood makes awesome firewood that burns very hot.


Steve England Outdoor Learning comprises of educational material and hands-on workshops in Bristol, but Steve is also available for private bookings.  Steve shares regular videos which help those to connect to his knowledge outside of the West-Country and he has both a Twitter and Facebook page (links here in bio).  For more information on upcoming events and Steve’s work please visit his website here  


Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you


Legal disclaimeras always, my guests are invited to share their work with you in order to support your healing journey as a whole, by giving you empowering tips and food for thought.  I only invite guests whom I know to be insured and practising to the best of my knowledge at the time of their guest spot.  I will only welcome guests that I have personally used the services of, and have found to benefit my own individual healing journey as a result.  However, if you choose to book any treatments or use any guests services as a result of my monthly interviews, then please be aware that you act personally on this decision.  Honeysuckle Healing take no responsibility for the outcome of this decision and these guest blogs do not act as a referral or recommendation service.  Please ensure that these guests and services meet your individual requirements prior to booking.  Thank you

Foreword by Ami Smart of Honeysuckle Healing:

I first met Joanne at a regular ladies pamper night I attend in Bristol, whereby I was offering Bach flower taster sessions and she was offering seated acupressure massage.

I remember being intrigued at the time by the services Jo offered once I caught a glimpse of her beautiful business cards, as they seemed to bring a taste of the orient and tranquillity with their eastern design, which made me pick one up to find out more.  However, it wasn’t until recently, when I stumbled across said-business card in my home and followed a series of synchronicities and intuitive calls, that I was led to using Jo in my own personal path of healing.  I booked a tarot reading with Jo, something I rarely feel the need to do, since I have become lucky enough to be able to channel my own guidance and messages.  However, we all need that outside influence sometimes and that reassurance that we are indeed on the right path and that tougher times will ease.

I have to say, I loved it!  My reading was 100% accurate and moved me to tears, and I was lucky enough to be joined by my spirit guides, which I could feel stronger than ever in Jo’s presence, as could she.  I noticed lots of beautiful crystals around Jo’s home, over-lighting our session and indeed in Jo’s beautifully bold jewellery that she wore.  At the end of my session Jo offered me a choice of crystal pendants to take away with me and I instinctively selected tigers eye, a crystal I have worked with many times before, and one that was appropriate at the time; given I was finding myself being energy attacked from several angles and needing protection.

From that moment on, I knew I needed to work with Jo, that she was sent to teach me my next lessons in life, and perhaps I was indeed sent to teach her some of hers.  I have since been lucky enough to sit in circle with Jo and to experience her energy, which cemented my decision to invite her to this months Guest Corner, as I witnessed first hand that Jo, like me, is keen to give others the tools and knowledge to help themselves, which is the type of people I am increasingly keen to source for my readers.

I have really enjoyed this month’s interview with Jo and she provided me with so much useful content from our time together that it was difficult to edit it all, whilst still giving enough for you to enjoy and learn from.

My journey with crystals is really awakening and I often use them in my own personal and professional practice, so I have really appreciated the tips Jo has kindly shared in this edition of ‘Guest Corner’.

Heartfelt thanks to Jo for her time, expertise and abundant enthusiasm, and for giving my readers so many easily adopted ways to connect to crystalline energy.  I can’t wait to experience my own crystal vibrational sound therapy session with Jo later today.


Yours in love and light,






What is crystal healing?

Crystal healing is an ancient and powerful treatment that has been used for thousands of years by Tibetans, Mayans and Egyptians. Crystals are powerful transmitters of energy, which when placed on the appropriate areas of the body can work deeply on the physical, emotional and spiritual levels, in a way unlike traditional medicine that treat symptoms alone. Crystals balance energy flow, release disease from the body and leave you feeling relaxed.

What are the benefits of crystal healing?

The main benefits are a deep healing. When I perform crystal healing I do an ‘aura sweep’ which concentrates on healing the 7 subtle bodies, that includes the mental body, physical body and working with the chakric systems and auric fields.

Like many healing systems, it can help with low mood, illness management and prevention, as well as aid deep relaxation and necessary energy flow around the body.

Is crystal healing just for humans?

Crystal healing can be used to benefit animals. It can also be used within the home or other spaces, to remove stagnant or negative energy or indeed to invite in new energy.

When using crystals within the home, the easiest way is to create  a ‘grid’ or multiple grids.  Simply put a crystal of equal size in each corner of a room, or around each point of your bed, whichever area you want to invite renewed energy or healing to; clear Quartz works particularly well for this, or Rose Quartz if you’re inviting love for example, and this focused area will receive the invited healing.

How did you discover crystal healing?

I was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, and whilst I was lucky enough to make a full recovery following treatment, it did make me sit up and think about where my life was going and what I was doing, and I realised I needed healing.

As a child I was always drawn to fossils, beautiful stones and crystals, I liked holding them and collecting them and I was always into spiritual practices growing up.  I had a visit from my Aunt who was in the spirit world, and I took all of these things to be a sign that I needed to re-evaluate my life and my path.

I trained in Reiki and then later qualified as a certified crystal therapist.  I really enjoyed healing myself, my friends and family and helping others on their journey.

Do you have a favourite crystal?

Yes, labradorite. It’s full of flashes of colour with iridescent blues, golds and greens so I think it’s gorgeous to look at. It’s a powerful protector as it takes away negative thoughts and energy. It can be used to balance insecurities and fears, calming overactive minds, dispelling illusions, as well as helps with intuition and wisdom, clarity and concentration.  It’s widely used by shamans and psychics for its awakening properties.

What are good ‘starter’ or generically useful crystals?

Clear Quartz – It is easy to source and not too expensive. It’s a great general healer as it’s like the paracetamol of the crystal world! You can use it to amplify other crystals, i.e if you put any other crystal in the middle of a clear quartz grid it will amplify that crystals energy and healing properties. You can work with clear quartz points to heal a specific problem, so if someone had a bad knee you can hold the crystal points towards the knee to invite healing to this area, and point it away from the knee to remove the pain/ailment/illness etc.  It’s just a generally good crystal to work with in all aspects of healing.

Amethyst – a general first aid crystal as it is great for headaches and removing negative energy.  It’s a powerful protector, particularly good for physic work and awareness.

Rose Quartz – a great protector for the human energy field, brings in love and calmness and has a positive effect on all the chakras.  It’s a much lighter energy so it can be used with children, people with learning difficulties, those with sensitive energies, empaths etc.  It’s a crystal that doesn’t affect the electro-magnetic field too much, so it’s not going to make you feel all ‘spacey’.

Outside of these 3 crystals, I would suggest people start with a basic set of chakra crystals, so select 7 crystals you are drawn to, based on the colours of the chakras (red for root chakra, orange for sacral, yellow for solar plexus, pink or green for the heart chakra, blue for throat chakra, purple for third eye and a clear quartz perhaps for the crown chakra).  This is a good set to start with for self-healing.

Do bigger crystals have bigger/better benefits?

No not at all! It’s all about the power of the crystal really and the quality of the crystal or gemstone. For example, you could be working with a smaller crystal of a better quality such as an emerald, which may be really tiny but more powerful over say a huge chunk of poor quality rose quartz.

How do you suggest you source good quality crystals?

The best way to source crystals in my opinion is from local stall-holders, smaller independent shops and reputable crystal ‘traders’ as opposed to shop chains or the internet. Find people who know their stuff, it’s their business, it’s their passion; places like Glastonbury, Wells and other places where healers naturally gather for example. I would personally pick the crystals up, feel them, see if you are drawn to their energy, speak to the owner, get an idea based on your intuition and the feeling you get when you hold each crystal.  It’s a really personal choice and decision.  Use your hand to hover over crystals, you might be drawn to colour or shape, and I would say go with what you are drawn to rather than what books say.  You can look in the book after, and you might be surprised that you have picked the very thing you need to work on.

What does a crystal healing session with you involve?

I work from my home in South Bristol, and I create an atmosphere that would encourage someone to relax; with music, incense and crystals surrounding the room for example. Lying on a couch, I would place crystals on the main chakra points and begin with a chakra balancing, using my other tools and intuition.  I will also perform an aura sweep, to remove trauma and negativity from every aspect of the physical and auric body.  Then depending on what someone wishes to work on, I will use specific crystals I am drawn to or are known to contain specific properties, and use grids on the body or around the couch to aid healing.  

Recently I have re-branded my crystal healing treatment as crystal vibrational sound therapy, as I use other tools during a session such as my singing bowls and tuning forks for example.  Treatments are tailored to the individual so will vary from person to person.

What are some of the ways that we can work with crystals in everyday life?

Program crystals – every crystal sends out a subtle electro-magnetic vibration and they can be ‘programmed’ to aid a particular person or situation to enhance their properties. If you wish to programme a crystal without the advice or assistance of a crystal therapist, I would suggest using something like a clear quartz or rose quartz as these will generically be good to programme. You can programme crystals for yourself and others, for the highest good of course, you can request crystals bring clearer communication, improved health, improved family life or indeed invite love into your life.  Take it in either hand, whichever feels more appropriate, say out loud and repeat several times what you want it to do i.e. hold a rose quartz and say “I want this crystal to bring more love into my life/more peace into my family/to help me with self love” etc.  You can ask the crystal to help you with addictions, health problems and just about anything!

I would also suggest you take a photo of the crystal before you programme it as often they can change colour once they are programmed and used regularly.  It’s not uncommon for a clear quartz to become cloudy or to show rainbow light once programmed, as it becomes a ‘record keeper’ due to the intention that has been stored and recorded.  I would personally only use this crystal for this purpose moving forward, I wouldn’t use it for general healing once it’s been programmed specifically.

Wear and carry them wearing jewellery is a simple way to connect with crystal energy and their properties.  Wearing bracelets, necklaces, rings and even carrying crystals in your pocket are an easy way to aid healing, work with crystals and indeed benefit from them.

What are some easy ways to cleanse crystals?

There are lots of ways to cleanse them, but the easiest way is to run them under water, put them out in the sun, move them through sage or incense smoke, and use sound. When using the water method, you need to ensure they are not water soluble, as running crystals under water can damage them and soften them in some cases, as can some crystals when they are left out under the moon.    Water soluble crystals tend to end in ‘ite’, such as flourite, calcite, angelite, sodalite.  Lapis Lazuli is also water-soluble.  I personally use sound to cleanse mine, as I can cleanse a few at one time by putting them in my Tibetan singing bowl and asking for any negative energy to be removed and inviting in new charge. If you have nothing around you such as water, sun, sound etc you can just ask your guides and helpers to cleanse them.


Joanne Hopes offers one to one treatments in her home in South Bristol, which includes intuitive tarot and oracle card readings, crystal vibrational sound therapy, Reiki and seated acupressure massage.  Joanne also holds space regularly at psychic, holistic and spiritual events around Bristol.  You can find more details on her website or by email.  For those who do not live in Bristol, you can follow Joanne on her social media accounts for insights and occasional live card readings – follow on facebook or follow on twitter


Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you


Legal disclaimeras always, my guests are invited to share their work with you in order to support your healing journey as a whole, by giving you empowering tips and food for thought.  I only invite guests whom I know to be insured and practising to the best of my knowledge at the time of their guest spot.  I will only welcome guests that I have personally used the services of, and have found to benefit my own individual healing journey as a result.  However, if you choose to book any treatments or use any guests services as a result of my monthly interviews, then please be aware that you act personally on this decision.  Honeysuckle Healing take no responsibility for the outcome of this decision and these guest blogs do not act as a referral or recommendation service.  Please ensure that these guests and services meet your individual requirements prior to booking.  Thank you

Foreword by Ami Smart of Honeysuckle Healing:

This month’s Guest Corner has got me rather excited and I feel like I am writing a column for Carrie Bradshaw rather than Honeysuckle Healing!

If someone told me only 6 months ago that I would be writing a blog that contained the words clitoris, genitals and anus I would never have believed them!  That’s because I was amongst the many people who believed that not only was I not allowed to call my body parts by their correct names, but that if I said the words in public then they were to be in a whispered tone or with some kind of humorous innuendo attached…..well not anymore!

There have been many paths that have led me to discovering the word Yoni and in turn the importance of connecting to her and releasing blocks specifically trapped within this area.  Namely my discovery of the Goddess, but also my own conscious awakening, which continues to help me connect to my own body on a deeper level.  My healing and attunements have allowed for me to be able to experience energy frequencies within my own body and to become finely tuned to the ways in which I can assist her back to health.  That said, I have become more aware in recent months of the need to release trauma held within my Yoni area and more specifically my womb.  Some of this has been as a result of painful past relationships and some of this I believe has been as a result of inherited ancestral wounds, carried through from my past lives.

For those who aren’t perhaps aware, Yoni relates to the vaginal area in basic terms.  When I  learnt not so long ago that vagina means ‘sheath for a man’s sword’ and Yoni means ‘sacred temple’ in Sanskrit, it became a no-brainer for me that from this day forward my lady garden would now be known as a Yoni!  Just making the transition from calling it a miniwidge (yes you read that right) when I was a child to muttering the words vagina in my much later years meant that discovering the word Yoni took me from a feeling of being dis-empowered to super-empowered in a matter of seconds!

Experiencing a Yoni steam on ‘Miss Daydreamer’ was wonderful and I concur completely with Helen when she said it was as though her Yoni thanked her for the experience…I felt like my Yoni actually gave me a high five in appreciation!

Like many women, my Yoni has been a thing of taboo, something that can be quite embarrassing to talk about and something I rarely take time out to connect with.  But after my first steam, that changed.

I cried throughout the treatment and felt a deep release linked with my past relationships, it felt like a total surrender to let go and another step to truly moving on.  Giving my offering to the water, overlooked in ceremony by some rather curious passing swans and ducks, was nothing short of magical and a process that I can’t wait to repeat.

Heartfelt thanks to Helen, the beautiful and amazing Goddess that she is, for bringing her fascinating topic of Yoni steaming to this month’s guest corner, which really has been enlightening.  Writing this blog reminds me just how far I have come on my own personal healing journey, which is always an added bonus to these monthly guest interactions.  My hope is that this blog might inspire many women to try it for themselves, especially those who perhaps winced at the opening paragraph of my foreword or who still have nicknames for their Yoni’s…trust me, you need this blog more than you think my lovelies!

Yours in love and light,





Q. Firstly, for those who may not be aware, what does the term ‘Yoni’ refer to?

A. People have different ideas of what the Yoni area may be. My understanding of the Yoni area is from the anus to the clitoris, incorporating all of the genital area and all of the reproductive area, regardless of whether you have those organs or not.

Q. What is Yoni steaming?

A. Yoni steaming is something that all of us ladies should be doing!  It’s a way of looking after ourselves and taking time out for ourselves in the form of self-care on many levels.  It can also help with physical ailments that can affect many women.

Just as you may have a facial steam to aid a cold or runny nose, you can also get great benefits from steaming your Yoni area.  Sitting over a bowl of sacred herbs and hot water, your Yoni will inhale the steam and the benefits of the herbs into your body.

Q. Are there any specific herbs that are used in a Yoni steam?

A. There are quite a few herbs that are used traditionally. One of the herbs that many women may already be aware of is the Raspberry Leaf, as it is used at the end of term in pregnancy as it helps the muscles to contract. It is also beneficial during periods when women may experience menstrual cramps.  There are a number of herbs and you can choose more of one and less of another, and I encourage people to instinctively choose the herbs they are drawn to and the amount of each they feel they need.   I prefer clients to tune into their bodies, rather than overthink or analyse the benefits of each herb, as this helps them to intuitively pick the herbs and amounts that are right for them at the time of the steam.

Q. What brought you to Yoni steaming?

A. I have completed a Priestess Healer course in Glastonbury in the last year and there were many modules of this course, Yoni steaming being one of them.  Yoni steaming was the module I felt most drawn to, I loved it and immediately I wanted to offer this service as a separate entity.

During my training it was less than intimate as we did it in a large group, which was quite a surprise initially, but actually very useful in another way as I got to witness the physical reactions people can have when things are releasing.  Some people cough, some might cry, some people make physical noises such as pass wind and I found it so interesting to see many people having such significant reactions as well as those who were just quietly releasing.  For myself I just felt that my Yoni afterwards was just so happy and grateful for the experience.  It was like my Yoni said ‘thank you’ for remembering me!  I returned home with such enthusiasm, telling everyone about it and many of the people I told weren’t expecting this conversation so they were looking at me strangely.  I told people that from that day forward I was no longer going to talk about parts of my body in a hushed voice, that it’s OK to say the word clitoris without having to whisper it!  And I’m unapologetic about that.  I think it’s time.

Q. How do you perform a Yoni steam session?

A. I am based in Bristol Marina on a beautiful boat called ‘Miss Daydreamer’ where I use a folding commode for Yoni steams, which is secure and comfortable.  Using a heatproof dish, we select the herbs that you wish to use and then top up the bowl with hot water.  I leave the room whilst you get yourself in position, removing your clothes from the waist down, and covering with cotton sheets to protect your modesty.  My role as a Priestess during the treatment is to hold space and encourage the release of whatever the person wishes to release.  The role of Priestessing is very much about enabling the client to observe, acknowledge, and release, whilst ensuring they are comfortable and feel safe as they do so.

Q.What do you do with the water afterwards?

A. An important part of the process is that the water is given back to the earth in some form. Being based on a boat means that you are able to release the water from the Yoni steam directly back into the water of the Marina. The intentions placed in the water are effectively given back to the land, which will assist in further release.

Q. What are the benefits of a Yoni steam?

A. The Yoni can hold trauma and emotional blocks from situations such as past relationships or even physical surgery to this area or the loss of a baby for example. You are encouraged to set an intention prior to a Yoni steam whereby you are asking for trauma to be removed from this area or blocks perhaps relating to past relationships that you want to let go of.  Attachments to old relationships can affect us in the present and blocks can be held in the Yoni area, which can be released through steaming.  Physical traumas such as surgery, removal of organs and even miscarriage or termination of pregnancy can also benefit from kindness and connection to the Yoni.

As well as emotional freedom such as the situations mentioned above, Yoni steams can help on a physical level with things such as painful periods, those who are out of rhythm with their monthly cycles and specific women related discomfort of this area, by having multiple steams.

Yoni steaming can assist with yeast infections and in bowel health.  

Those seeking help with fertility can find yoni steams beneficial as the cleansing and detoxing effect helps bring the body back to its natural state.

Q. What intention would you recommend is set for a Yoni steam in order to get the best results?

A. Normally there is a reason people would come for a Yoni steam.  People might want to detach from things that have happened, in most cases a relationship, in which case your intention may well be that you might want to release all ties to a relationship that isn’t healthy.  But your intention can be whatever feels right for you at the time and this will be something you can choose to share or keep to yourself. 

Q. What makes you so passionate about Yoni steaming?

A. I very strongly believe that we hold trauma in our body and I think that this is what results in illness and disease.  I believe the more blocks and stress we can release from our body the better it is for each person.  Old relationships can be the biggest blocks we hold, things change and we often find it hard to move on, carrying these unhelpful patterns or energetic disturbances within our body which make it hard for us to truly move on.  It stops us having the life we could have as we get stuck, so I believe it helps us to move forward, releasing anything that no longer serves us.

On a physical level I also find it helps with symptoms of women specific health issues.  Also, from a regular perspective without even thinking about releasing stuff, I just like the sensation, as having a Yoni steam feels nice.

Q. Can you experience a Yoni steam during menstruating?

A. There is no physical reason why you cannot receive a Yoni steam during bleeding, however it’s simply down to a level of comfortableness between client and practitioner. I personally do not mind performing a Yoni steam during this time as long as the recipient feels comfortable with the process.

Q. Is Yoni steaming just for women?

A. In theory men can have this treatment, but currently this isn’t something I personally offer. In America the treatment is called V steams and A steams and is used a lot by men as well as women.

Q. How does a Yoni steam constitute self-care?

A. A Yoni steam is about looking after ourselves, being nice to ourselves, taking time out for ourselves and above all else connecting to this amazing area. The Yoni is not only responsible for giving life, but it also gives us great pleasure, which we often take for granted or feel ashamed in some way to discuss or acknowledge. Connecting to this area through the steam not only gives great benefits on a physical and emotional level, but it also just feels so nice!  It’s a conscious acknowledgement of this sacred area that is often forgotten and a way of honouring ourselves as the beautiful women we are.

Having a Yoni steam is an amazing act of self-care with the additional benefits of sacred herbs which have been used for lots and lots of years.  I really think we should be looking after ourselves in this way.  We get our hair done, we get our nails done, we have a facial, we go to the gym or pick out nice clothes but we often forget this sacred part of our body.  The part that not only produces children but also gives us such great pleasure, yet we often take it for granted, don’t connect to it or take care of it in any way.  We don’t do anything nice for her, which I think is terrible.  We neglect her and I think it’s time we start appreciating her and all that she does.

Q. How many Yoni steams would you recommend?

A. I would personally recommend 3 sessions as a minimum, in order to shift something. And I would recommend that these are held 1 month apart so that the recipient can gauge physical benefits such as an improvement during bleeding for example. Like with Reiki and other healing systems, if you are coming to deal with a specific issue then it’s unlikely to have happened overnight, therefore you will need time to release this from the body.  I always suggest a minimum of 3 to experience letting go and energy shifting for yourself.

Q. What are your suggestions for how anyone reading this can connect to their Yoni if this all seems a new and daunting prospect?

A. At home, you can meditate, bringing your awareness to your Yoni by breathing deeply into this area.  Focusing on each part of the Yoni such as clitoris, labia, womb and just breathing loving intentions and a purpose of connecting with these areas.

I would recommend getting a hand held mirror and looking at your Yoni!  She is beautiful – we are all different shapes and sizes, and so are our Yoni’s!  So try and not be shy, take a look and say hello!  And appreciate her, she is gorgeous just like you!

Having regular healing treatments such as Goddess or Reiki healing can be a way of building up confidence to explore trauma specifically relating to the Yoni area.  Together with your practitioner you can find a plan of treatment once you feel ready to release this through steaming.

Q. What are your tips for Yoni steaming?

A. I personally wouldn’t recommend that people try Yoni steaming at home.  I would personally go to someone who is qualified to hold space, encourage the release, and that you can feel confident that they have gathered organic and sacred herbs, appropriate for this treatment. If you are trying to look after your health, then I would advise you ensure that all herbs gathered are organic.  Just as with choosing essential oils, you want them to be pure and free from chemicals that could cause your body to have a reaction or adverse effect.  Never put essential oils in the water as you will burn yourself, this is for herbs only.  By going to a qualified space holder, you ensure that all these things are taken care of for you and the space is safe and prepared for your highest good.


Helen Hatton owns ‘Healing in the harbour’ (formerly Reiki on the water).  Helen offers one to one Reiki treatments, Goddess Healing and Yoni steams from her beautiful boat, ‘Miss Daydreamer’ in Bristol Marina.  Helen is a Reiki Master which enables her to offer Reiki attunements and training, with course details being available from her website and by contacting her directly.  Helen also runs monthly Reiki shares.  You can contact Helen by visiting her website or by emailing


Legal disclaimeras always, my guests are invited to share their work with you in order to support your healing journey as a whole by giving you empowering tips and food for thought.  I only invite guests whom I know to be insured and practising to the best of my knowledge at the time of their guest spot.  I will only welcome guests that I have personally used the services of, and have found to benefit my own individual healing journey as a result.  However, if you choose to book any treatments or use any guests services as a result of my monthly interviews then please be aware that you act personally on this decision and that Honeysuckle Healing take no responsibility for the outcome of this decision and these guest blogs do not act as a referral/recommendation service.  Please ensure that these guests and services meet your individual requirements prior to booking.  Thank you





Foreword by Ami Smart of Honeysuckle Healing:

This month we welcome Heidi Rearden of ‘Heidi Reiki’ to our Guest Corner.

I first met Heidi on my initial stages of Bach Flower training and I instantly felt the heartfelt love and warmth radiate from her as I sat next to her in class.  I believe that it is no coincidence who you meet in life, and when you strike up a conversation with someone you really can learn so much about not only them, but yourself as well.  In talking to Heidi I realised we were going down a similar path in many ways.  We obviously shared a love for the Bach Flower Remedies and I was fascinated to learn that Heidi was a Reiki Master, at a point when I was midway into my own Reiki training.  Heidi is also a practicing Buddhist, which although I personally do not identify with any one religion (I like to combine the practices of many to form my own super faith!), I have to say that I have always been intrigued by Buddhism and in particular the healing power of chanting, the connection to nature and the infamous phrase of karma.

I really enjoyed meeting with Heidi for this month’s question and answer session.  I always find it interesting, not to mention beneficial to my own practice, to learn about others interpretations of Reiki; how they learnt and indeed how they personally benefit from this amazing tool once it has been acquired.

In talking to Heidi over a cup of Jasmine tea, I soon learnt that we share very similar ideas of Reiki and both hold it dearly, believing that it is a great catalyst for change and a wonderful heartfelt technique that everyone can benefit from learning or receiving.

Talking to Heidi certainly made me fall back in love with Reiki in its purest form.  Over the last year or so I have gone on a real journey with Reiki.  At points I have even questioned if it’s ‘enough’ for me, due to feeling like it’s becoming so widely and diversely taught, and it seems in such fierce competition with other forms of healing, often not seeming to ‘measure up’ when compared to more shamanic or alchemic based forms of channelling.  That said, I have evolved my Reiki style from what I was taught, to the point where I have even considered rebranding my services to something more along the lines of intuitive led or energy healing.  Although evolving my style in line with my own personal healing journey has been right for me, I was reminded today just how beautiful Reiki is in its simplest of forms, and in turn that it really is ‘enough’ on its own.   I respected Reiki so much more as a stand-alone treatment through a deep conversation with Heidi, as I was reminded of what drew me to Reiki and just how much I still use its unique practices for myself and others in everyday life.

Reiki really is a beautiful art.  I credit my change in outlook, improvements in physical and mental health and the channel I am today to Reiki, as it really was an enabling power in my own life.  I believe that Reiki has been a fundamental catalyst for my journey and indeed the foundations for all that I do.  I have even been lucky enough to witness similar effects subtlety ripple through the lives of my clients, as they embark on their own journeys following treatments.  I use it daily for myself; utilising it in times of needing self-treatments as well as times when I see anything from a distressed family member, a tied-up dog crying for its owner outside of a supermarket, protecting my car when it’s parked somewhere unfamiliar to comforting an upset stranger on the train.  It is something I feel so very blessed to have learnt and in turn to be able to share with the world.

Without further ado, I hand you over to the lovely Heidi who this month talks about Reiki and energetic space clearing for your home.  Thank you Heidi for your time, insights and this lovely addition to our guest corner.

Yours in love and light,





Q. What lead you to Reiki?

A. I was studying different types of healing, because I had been having a lot of bladder and kidney infections.  My children were quite young at the time and my Daughter was also suffering from chronic kidney and bladder infections, so I was trying to find a holistic way of helping us all.  As my children got older, I recognised they were getting more stressed with school and becoming affected by life and so I really wanted to be able to help them.  My interests led me to a course, which was based on shamanic teaching, and Reiki was one of the little taster modules being covered as part of the course material.  I loved it so much that I didn’t end up continuing with the course as I wanted to learn Reiki instead.  I just found it an incredible energy.  During the course we were paired off to practice Reiki, and this was before I was even attuned or knew much about Reiki itself, and when the lady sat up on the couch after I had given her effectively a Reiki treatment, she said she had never felt so loved in her life!  And I just thought ‘oh my goodness, did I really just do that?’, it really was a very humbling experience and that was the start of my Reiki journey.  I then went on to do Reiki level 1 and 2, and personally felt I needed to go on to do Reiki level 3 to gain more confidence and because I became really passionate about teaching it as well.

Q. What does Reiki mean to you?

A. Reiki to me is an enabling and healing energy.  I act as the conduit and as the channel for the energy to come through to me for the person who is receiving, and they can then use it for their best purpose.

Q. How do you incorporate Reiki into your own personal life?

A. I use Reiki everyday on myself through a self-treatment, usually in the morning and at night when I am going to bed.  Or I will use it during the day if I feel I am lacking in energy somewhere.  As much as I used to use it on my family directly, it tends to now be something I use for them indirectly; through emitting this light in my general being when I am around them and others.

Q. What is distance Reiki

A. To me, it’s sending the intention of Reiki to someone who isn’t present.  So they can be anywhere in consciousness or in the world and they can receive Reiki as equally as someone who is sat next to you.

Q. Is Reiki just for people?

A. Oh absolutely not!  Reiki is for everything.

It may sound strange but I can do Reiki on furniture!  I offer a service whereby I go into a space or home to do an energetic space clearing and I actually use Reiki in that situation, as I will often get a feeling from a piece of furniture.    Furniture can feel like it doesn’t belong within a home or space.  Whether that be because it’s disliked or it doesn’t ‘go’ with the rest of the house, or perhaps it’s second hand or from acquired past relationships etc so it can then disturb the flow of energy in the home or space.  I will give Reiki to the piece of furniture as the first option before looking at something more drastic like whether that item needs to be removed from the home at a later date. 

Q. What is energetic space clearing?

A. I offer energetic space clearing as a service of my business.  It’s an element in Feng Shui which is used for helping a home or living space to be happier, healthier and a joyous place to be.  For example situations such as bereavement, relationship breakdown, illness, or perhaps there are teenagers in the house that are going through anxious times, an energetic space clearing basically brings back the balance and the joy to the home.  I also give Reiki sessions to everyone living in the space, either remotely or face to face, as it’s really important to have both together as we affect our environment just as much as our environment affects us.

Q. What are the benefits of energetic space clearing?

A. The benefits are endless really.  People have said to me they have experienced a real happiness in their homes and their lives, that it’s really helped them to go through and process deep trauma and hurt from situations such as relationships breaking down.  They have been able to see things in a more positive light.

Q. What would your advice be to anyone who doesn’t think Reiki ‘works’?

A. Try it!  Reiki will work whether you believe in it or not.  Whether or not you think it works, just try it and see what happens.  My advice would always be to have 3 Reiki sessions as a minimum, as that’s when you really start to feel the processes of letting go and the deep healing that can take place.

Q. Is Reiki affiliated to a particular religion?

A. Not at all.  I personally feel that the history of Reiki is steeped in Buddhism.  I am a Buddhist and have been practising for 32 years and I have found many similarities between the two.  I also feel there are aspects of Reiki that are shamanistic from all over the world, and for me that’s why I believe Reiki is for everyone as it doesn’t identify as one religion or practice.  It’s with everyone and for everyone.  There are some types of Reiki that are Christian based, which is popular in America.  But Reiki that is widely used today and that I practice is not affiliated to a particular religion.

Q. What is your advice to anyone wishing to learn Reiki?

A. Find a teacher that you really connect with and resonate with, as it is a very personal decision.  Call them up, speak to them, meet with them and don’t be afraid to meet with a few Reiki Masters before making your decision.  In my experience, different teachers teach in a different way, so I think it’s really important that you find a teacher that you really resonate with and go with an open mind.  You may wish to check a teacher’s lineage to Dr Usui, so that you know you are undertaking an accredited and traditional course, but not every teacher is happy to share this prior to signing up for a course.

Q. Do you have any tips for how people reading this can use Reiki or energetic space clearing within their lives and homes?

A. FOR YOU: To me what is very key in Reiki is treasuring yourself and really looking after yourself, so that’s something we can all do.  And many people feel they don’t do it enough.  It’s learning to combat that negative voice and backchat in our heads that says ‘you’re not good enough’.  By challenging that and learning to stop it, we really empower our bodies to heal and ourselves to be happy, balanced and joyous.

FOR YOUR HOME: Again, do things that make your home feel joyous.  So light candles, play music, place flowers in view, decorate etc.  This might sound strange, but part of Feng Shui is talking to your home.  Saying how much gratitude you have to your home for keeping you warm and dry for example.


Heidi Rearden runs a business called ‘Heidi Reiki’ which you can find more details about through her website or by emailing  Heidi offers individual Reiki sessions and space clearing in homes and spaces in Bristol, Bath and London, with a willingness to travel accordingly.  Heidi teaches Reiki levels 1, 2 and 3 in Bath with her next course for Reiki 1 running on 15th March and Reiki 2 on 5th and 6th April.  Details for level 3 to follow on her website.

Foreword by Ami Smart of Honeysuckle Healing:

As some of you may be aware, I am a Melissa at the Bristol Goddess Temple, which opened in August 2017.  This is a role that I take very seriously, am sincerely grateful for and is no doubt a greatly pivotal step on my own personal healing journey.

I enjoy meeting every person that comes through its doors when I hold space, more often than not on a Saturday afternoon, as in almost 6 months since I have become a volunteer, I have taken a great deal from this role.  It has helped me to grow in knowledge and confidence as a person, as a space holder and as a goddess in my own right, and I know there is still so much more to come from my awakening divinity and path.  Connecting to the goddess has contributed to the flow of clarity, peace and abundance in my life.  She has also brought a strong sense of identity and belonging through a deeper connection with nature, source and self.

Like Ruth, who kindly shares her time with us in this month’s guest spot; I have also felt that there was a higher energy from a young age.  Something that needed exploring, and for me, for a long time this was something I tried to suppress and something that I considered to be my ‘dark side’ rather than my gift.

In resisting this power, I was in fact delaying my light work, making my path more troublesome, more isolating and possibly it even contributed to my ill health.

That’s because I believe that it’s a deep need within us all to connect with the land, to listen to our internal voice before we listen to the voices of others and to act on every impulse, every instinct and to follow every sign that excites us…. trusting that in doing so we will be universally held and guided to meet our authentic selves.

I’ve always been a bit of a feminist at heart, long before I even knew what that word meant.  Learning about the Suffragette movement ignited deep fires within me from a young age.  Watching films and reading books shocked me to witness the many fights women have endured over the years, and even in today’s modern world, for equal pay and rights.  And I have to admit I was a die-hard Spice Girls fan growing up, largely due to buying into their slogan ‘girl power’, and believing that was the very way in which I should live my life…with a zig a zig ahhh!

Don’t get me wrong, the goddess collective is not about feminism per say and there is very much room for men to get involved, but just as my fires were fuelled by anyone from Emmeline Pankhurst to Geri Halliwell, it is about women stepping into their power and no longer hiding in the shadows.

I could talk about this subject for hours now that this part of me is awakening and this divine energy is running through every inch of my being, but this opening paragraph is in a goddess nutshell really, as this is not my story to tell today.   However, the very realisation that I am now a part, albeit small part, of the amazing group of women who head up the Bristol Goddess Temple, excites me beyond words.  I feel that this space and this divine movement is part of a collective of women that stir, that are awakening and that are powerful enough to bring about much needed change to this world.  To bring back an equality of the sexes and speak the ancestral wisdom of Gaia herself.

Ruth Cogan from the Healing Couch and who is the Mother of Melissa’s (amongst many other valued roles at the Bristol Goddess Temple) kindly joins us in this month’s newsletter and guest corner for a Q&A session about the goddess.   Ruth is a woman and healer who I have come to respect very much.  I asked for her to join us this month with a view of sharing her knowledge of the divine with you all and as always to give my readers tools of support and empowerment on their own unique healing journeys.

It’s time to awaken the divine and it’s time to awaken ourselves.

Enjoy this lovely time with Ruth and enjoy the beautiful and awakening month of February everyone.   For my male readers, please read on as this blog is very much for men as well as women.

Yours in love and light,





Q. How did you discover the goddess?

A. The goddess has always been present in my life since I was very young.  I have always been aware of a higher energy, something that makes the world rotate, the earth breathes; something that makes the clouds scuttle past when you’re lying on your back looking up at the sky on the side of a mountain.  I was always walking around with a fishnet when I was a child, scooping around in the ponds looking for things, just being in total awe of the world, and I knew that there was more to it.  What brought her back into my consciousness was when I was slightly post-menopausal, as this is a time when I think you start to take stock. My children were no longer with me, having grown up and leading their own lives, and I started to question my role in life.  I was walking the dog one day, on the land we were renting in Alabama for a time, and all about me was solitude and peacefulness. I stood there and it was like She had just gone back into my heart and said ‘do you remember those conversations we used to have, well I’m still here and I’m waiting for you to reconnect.  I’ve got so much I need you to do so don’t feel sorry for yourself or start asking yourself too many questions.  I’m waiting for you to step into your true self”.  When I came back to the UK, I started reading more, looking at Pagan websites looking for groups and I began to think this was exciting, that there was something in this and I wanted to explore more and to train.  I trained in Swedish massage, then I did crystal healing therapy and from that moment I thought ‘there is so much more to this’, there were more questions than I could answer.  My daughter took me to Glastonbury for the first time, and I picked up leaflets and heard the goddess voice everywhere.  It’s just been a succession of one thing leading to another, and then a link leading to something else and it’s evolved from there.

Q. What does the goddess mean to you?

A. To me, she means heart to heart connection.  She means helping to heal the world.  She means bringing back the power of womankind and woman hood.  She means dealing with the harm that’s been done for centuries and hopefully bringing man and woman back together in synchronicity, empowering women.  I think once women realise their power again, there will be a softer coming together and wars will be blown out of the human psyche.  There is a lot of work to be done, so we all have to gather our skirts and go with the movement.


Q. Is the goddess only for women?

A. Absolutely not.  The goddess speaks to everybody in their hearts, minds and higher selves.  She has been there since man probably started forming the very first words and thought processes with themselves.

Q. How can people incorporate the goddess into their everyday lives?

A. It takes practice.  It takes a little bit of stepping outside of yourself and accepting that there is higher energy, higher connection and incorporating a connection with her in your daily life.  For priestesses it’s a dedication of daily devotional practice, because we are the ones spreading the message of the divine feminine, so we need to practice what we preach.  For individuals, I think its about gratitude and not doubting oneself all the time.  It can be as easy as spending a few minutes saying a few words to her, in the morning when you’re fresh and before you walk out the door and face the world.  “Lady, Goddess, a goddess’s name”, however you tune in or wish to relate to that feminine energy and just do that everyday.  It could be as simple as a wink in the mirror when you’re brushing your teeth, or daily affirmations.

Q. Does the goddess symbolise a particular religion or faith?

A. No, I believe historically awareness of Goddess goes back to when man could first fashion a word or a tool.  When man recognised there was a change in the seasons and the phases of the moon.  To be closer to goddess you don’t need to follow a particular path, its more about looking inward, and community.  Goddess is all encompassing, she can be in a person as much as she can be in a stone on the ground, or a tree in the wood.

 Q. What is the Bristol Goddess Temple?

A. It grew from a seed of an idea.  From regular meetings that were happening already such as a Moon Lodge and a drumming circle particularly for women; giving women a sacred safe space to give, to share, to learn, to experience, to craft, to go out in nature and just to connect and communicate.  We realised we were attracting a particular kind of woman and a community was forming.  Two of us had trained in Glastonbury in the Avalon tradition, and acquired priestess status, so we had the skills and ability to encourage people to find a different way to be and to connect.  We came up with the idea as the room became available in Warmley, Bristol.

Q. What is your role at the Bristol Goddess Temple?

A. My role is a temple weaver.  The weaver is a term to express the core group of organisers, or committee if you like.  I am also Melissa Mother, so I am the person who trains and coordinates the volunteers who step forward to donate their time to ensure that the temple is open on designated days.  I like to get involved with decorating the temple at the changing of the wheel, so a temple dresser if you like.  I make the incense and oils for the temple, which are used to smudge and clear auras.  I like to Melissa myself, and I also run the monthly New Moon healing sessions.  In my role as priestess healer, I channel the healing energy of the Goddess on the evenings of the new moon.

Q. You are one of the few, if not only, goddess temples to have a male alter, what is this for?

A. This is to acknowledge the need for balance.  The goddess needs her consort, just as the moon needs the sun to shine.  We debated this for a long time, and because we felt Bristol was such a diverse pagan community, it would be irresponsible not to express the sacred male divinity as much as the female aspect.  It felt right.  I loved dressing his altar, and I love connecting with him.  To me, he is all about the sun, earth and energy.  The particular altar picture in this space is the Lord of the Wildwood, but similarly to the goddess altars, you can connect to whatever the male aspect means for you.  Natural aspects such as bones and wood are used on this altar.

Q. Do you personally have a favourite goddess and why?

A. Yes, my favourite Goddess is Danu.  I am training to be a priestess of Cerridwen, and I also work with Bridget’s energy.  She is very bright and represents fire, crafts and healing, which again appeals to my craft work, my bead and woodwork along with making the incense and oils for the temple.  Working with the energy of Cerridwen prepares you for the darker episodes of life, as well as learning a great deal about the life source in herbs, trees and crystals.  I believe Danu was really the first goddess I recognised the energy of, the one who first connected with me in voice, and said ‘now all your mothering is out the way etc, I’m calling you back into the fold as we have work for you’ and I think she was the one who really set me upon my path.  I am definitely moved more towards the Celtic goddesses as opposed to a lot of the other pantheons.  The triple goddess for me is symbolised with Bridget, Danu and Cerridwen.

Q. What are the benefits of connecting to the divine/goddess?

A. Connecting to goddess helps to ground you as a person. It takes a lot of internal work, and helps to connect you to each other, to the earth that we walk on and share the abundance and beauty.  It helps us to feel elevated and enlightened and to remember; because we all have past lives even though we may not all be aware of them, and to connect to our higher self.  The way I see it is what exists within us is our spirit, the essence of us that keeps us going, that brings us back from pain and wounding, the aspect of us that the world sees.  Whereas our soul is our higher self.  Our soul and spirit connect to each other, so we need to connect to our higher self in order to understand energies that are higher than ourselves.  The energy that flows within us comes from one source and is what connects us all, and we are reminded to step back and breath, smell the roses from time to time, and connecting to the goddess encourages us to do this.

Q. Can anyone become a Melissa?

A. Anyone who is hungry to learn and grow and has the time and feel they can hold space, in terms of giving the right energy, keeping the temple space calm and peaceful.  It’s important to be a good ear and be respectful of people’s needs, because you will get all sorts of people in all sorts of states come through the door.  You need to be patient and reliable, because there is an element of trust.  You don’t need to be an expert in goddess stories but acknowledging that there will be a difference in people’s faith and beliefs, so you need to enable the space to be open and equal for everyone.

Q. For anyone interested in connecting to the goddess after reading this blog, what is a good place for them to start?

A. There are loads and loads of books out there on goddess and goddess energy and mythology.  Books are a good place to start for knowledge but connecting to goddess comes from going out onto the land, you have to go on walks, you have to sit with your back against a tree and feel the sun or the moon on your face.  You have to tune into and experience the changing of the seasons.  Things will come to you when you feel like you are getting it right.  Join workshops, groups, talks, even FB groups – when someone posts something that feels interesting or ignites a spark within you then act on it, follow the link and explore.  The internet has been such a bonus for the pagan communities over the last 10/20 years as its brought access to groups and events.  Meeting in scared places such as Avebury, Stanton Drew and Stonehenge with like-minded people, will encourage discussion and sharing of information about groups and events that you can join and develop your path.


Ruth runs a part time business called ‘The Healing Couch’, offering Swedish massage, Indian head massage, crystal healing, hot stone massage and Reiki.  Ruth also offers priestess healing, which is predominantly holistic healing using an intuitive tool-set alongside Goddess energy, using Ruth as a channel.  Ruth can provide mobile services and a base at the Bristol Goddess Temple, by prior arrangement.  You can contact Ruth at for more information or to discuss an appointment.

The Bristol Goddess Temple is currently open on Wednesdays 10am – 12pm and Saturdays 2pm – 6pm.  It also runs regular circles and events and is growing all the time, with lots of plans for 2018. The Bristol Goddess Temple is passionate about its Bristol heritage and is working hard to provide a space for local craft people.  The temple weavers are planning to research the Goddesses of the wider Bristol and Avon region, looking to expand on the Avalonian tradition, sourcing Goddesses relevant for the area.  You can visit Bristol Goddess Temple’s Facebook page for more information