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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

 

“Aromatherapy”

 

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 Louise’s website 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

 

Castanea Sativa is more commonly known as Sweet Chestnut, and a mature tree can live up to 700 years!

Often confused with Horse Chestnut in appearance, this tree bears both male and female flowers, with the female flowers changing form after pollination to the edible chestnuts we traditionally roast in the Winter months.  This beautiful, but rather ‘spiky’ looking tree, is the last to flower of the remedy trees and the Sweet Chestnut remedy was first prepared near Wallingford in 1935.

I picked Sweet Chestnut as our focus this month as so many of us have left behind a tough period of healing.  One which has contained many ‘dark night of the soul’ moments and even left a collective heartbreak as we say goodbye to loved ones, old friendships and patterns that no longer serve us.  And for those who haven’t done the work, I’m afraid this is the state you will find yourselves going into when you play catch up.

Sweet Chestnut would be the remedy that surpasses Gentian and Gorse states, and is one that can leave a real darkness that can feel as though we will never come back from.  I personally believe this remedy encompasses many other remedies such as Honeysuckle, Cherry Plum, Star of Bethlehem and Mustard as well as the aforementioned Gentian and Gorse, as it’s often a point of no return and a very lonely place to be based on passed failures, loss and actions (from our own personal viewpoint).  It is first and foremost a remedy that we utilise on the dark nights of the soul, the times when we send up a flare or send the Morse code (. . . – – – . . .) aka SOS!  It’s the overwhelm and accumulation of many missed remedies and those low moods we just haven’t nipped in the bud through successful remedy selection.  A pain and longing like no other that makes our hearts break, our stomachs knot and our tears fall hard and fast.

A SC state is a lonely one.  It can be the period after a huge amount of ‘inner work’ on a healing journey when the many emotions, traumas, heartbreaks and fears you have suppressed present like a rush of blood to the head, leaving nowhere left to run.  When we feel we have exhausted all avenues, started to question our faiths and can no longer see the wood through the trees or the light at the end of the tunnel.  We have lost our way in many ways and are praying to be shown our next move.  Unlike a Gorse state of darkness, we haven’t quite lost our hope in the early stages of Sweet Chestnut.   And like a Cherry Plum state we are unlikely to be so low to the point of suicidal tendencies, as the Sweet Chestnut state is more strong and stable.  There is an inner trust that once we come through this period of despair and anguish then we will be stronger for it.   We know there is always a lesson in our struggles and we trust the period of surrender in many ways, allowing ourselves to become vulnerable through asking our higher power to step in and lead us back to our salvation.  With Sweet Chestnut it isn’t so much about needing others to save us, but needing someone or something to walk alongside us whilst we save ourselves.

In illness a Sweet Chestnut will be justified in their mental state.  No doubt fighting many invisible battles, chronic illness and daily fights against their own bodies which often bring about a ‘breaking point’ or deep fear that they can no longer fight this.  Feeling as though this is the end of the road for them and becoming a subconscious permission to allow all buried emotions to surface with a vengeance.

On the other side of Sweet Chestnut, we utilise this remedy to soothe our hearts, usually when they’ve broken.

This is where I think the loss and grief of a Star of Bethlehem state and the reminiscing and rehashing of a Honeysuckle frame of mind can come in.  It’s that permanent dull ache when you long for your body to be next to the person you love, when every power ballad sounds as if it was singing the song of you and your soulmate and when you wonder if your heart will ever start beating again without the other persons accompanying rhythm.  The anguish is so great, it becomes almost unbearable.  It’s the knife to the heart feeling and the nights you cry silently, or loudly, into your pillow.  It’s the checking your phone for them to text, it’s the seeing their face every time you close your eyes and every time you open them.  It’s a state which is nothing short of torture, especially if unrequited.

So why take Sweet Chestnut?

Well basically to bring the opposite to all of these things into your life!  The above are just some of the common ways in which a Sweet Chestnut state presents, so taking the remedy in these cases will no doubt be a very restorative and transformational experience.  It’s a remedy that has the capability of mending a broken heart, of placing a lighthouse in turbulent emotional waters in order to guide you back home and to be the life-raft when you’re lost at sea.  It’s a bridge, it’s a light, it’s clarity.  It’s a soother of the soul, a repairer of the heart and should never be overlooked or underestimated in the case of bereavement.  I have been utilising Sweet Chestnut as we leave August and come into September, and will be certainly taking it during this 9th month.

It’s a beautiful remedy that removes the darkness and replaces it with light, allowing us to move through our pain with gratitude to those who have broken our hearts as much as those who have mended them.  A truly magical remedy that is deeply purifying and supportive in purging old wounds, emotions and loves from our aching hearts.  It’s the very thing that transmutes negative energy into positive and leaves us held in a place of greater good, whatever the reason.  It’s a real phoenix from the flames moment, when we rise from the embers of our past traumas and belief systems.  Helping us to shed what no longer serves us, and leave behind the weight that tethers us.

Sweet Chestnut is nothing short of a miracle cure for the hardest of times.

When the sky seems full of darkness, this remedy will reveal the stars.

 

Yours in love and flowery light,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLEASE NOTE: I would always recommend having a consultation with a qualified and registered Bach Foundation practitioner/BFRP, to ensure that you get the most from the Bach system.  Dr Bach advised that blends be bespoke and BFRP’s teach their clients how to use the system effectively.  These monthly insights are offered as a guide to the remedies, but are by no means exhaustive.  Guidance is always advised when using the remedies for the first time or without suitable qualification.

 

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

 

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.

Enjoy!

Yours in love and light,

 

May Guest Corner

Q&A With Joanne Hopes

 

‘Crystal Healing’

 

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 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 practising 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 mantra 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 re-branding 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,

 

 

March Guest Corner

Q&A With Heidi Rearden

 

‘Reiki And Energetic Space Clearing’

 

What lead you to Reiki?

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.

What does Reiki mean to you?

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.

How do you incorporate Reiki into your own personal life?

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.

What is distance Reiki?

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.

Is Reiki just for people?

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. 

What is energetic space clearing?

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.

What are the benefits of energetic space clearing?

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.

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

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.

Is Reiki affiliated to a particular religion?

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.

What is your advice to anyone wishing to learn Reiki?

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.

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

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, please visit her website for course dates

 

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 some of you may be aware, I have been an active Melissa for just over a year at the Bristol Goddess Temple, since it opened in August 2017.

Although I am unable to hold space quite so much now, this is still 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 since becoming a humble servant to the Goddess, 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  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,

 

 

February Guest Corner

Q&A With Ruth Cogan

 

‘Awakening The Goddess Within’

 

How did you discover the goddess?

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.

What does the goddess mean to you?

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.

Is the goddess only for women?

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.

How can people incorporate the goddess into their everyday lives?

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.

Does the goddess symbolise a particular religion or faith?

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.

What is the Bristol Goddess Temple?

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.

What is your role at the Bristol Goddess Temple?

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.

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

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.

Do you personally have a favourite goddess and why?

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.

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

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.

Can anyone become a Melissa?

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.

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

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 by email for more information or to discuss an appointment.

The Bristol Goddess Temple is currently open on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, with extended hours over yule.  It also runs regular circles and events and is growing all the time, with lots of plans for the new year.  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 event details and opening hours 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