huntress collective

The Huntress + The Dark Night of the Soul

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The dark night of the soul is something that many people have written about over centuries. The phrase itself has become synonymous with hardship and loss and quests to regain what was lost. I have written alot over the last few years about the experiences and heartache that have shaped who I now am and and most importantly the work that I now find myself devoted to.

I no longer want to tell the stories of ‘this or that’ happened.

I want to tell you how I came out the other side.

I want to tell you what worked and what didn’t.

I want you to know that there is a way through and you don’t have to go it alone.

I want to encourage you to let go of the stories that no longer serve and discover the strength that lies at the heart of your feminine darkness.

In those spaces between the knowing.

This is my story of the Huntress.

 


 

You see I’m fascinated with mythology, I always have been.

These myths date back to the beginning of time and form tapestries on the walls of our collective unconscious. The stories of Artemis and Diana in mythology show her as a moon goddess, governing the wild natures of women children and animals. She is depicted often with the crescent moon with a bow and arrow in her hand. The huntress governs the ebb and flow of our feminine cycle and it is with her by our side that we enter our dark night of the soul. Like a stroll into the woods without her guidance and fierce support do we make it out in one piece.

For this to happen we have to trust her, dance in our darkness and embrace the power and strength that quite frankly we have no clue exists until there is nothing else.

Ask a mother in child birth where she drew the strength from

Ask a wife how she knew that something just wasn’t right

Ask the artist that writes and writes where that first divine spark came from

So when I saw this archetype begin to show up in my life I new it was time. I knew that despite the exhaustion I still felt that I really was out of the woods. That somehow that part of my journey was over. That her strength and resourcefulness was somehow mine to access piece by piece.

This is what she wants me to tell you;

She wants you to listen.

She wants you to sit in the dirt in the darkness in the warm loving embrace of your fellow women.

And stop. And to put. down. your. weapons.

There is a time for fighting, for defending, for taking aim at the target in our sites, but there needs to be a time for taking refuge in safety and warmth and softness. Let us create a space for that now, before its too late. Before the heart ache of loss and let down, of disrespect and disillusionment tarnish our ability to love and trust forever.

Before we lose the learning and the magic inherent in the huntress.

Before all that is left of her magic is anger and armor and we lose the ability to be creative and spontaneous and tap into the endless wisdom of mother nature.

That is the wisdom of the huntress.

 

If this sings to you I would love to hear from you, comment below, or pop me an email

#huntresscollective will be an ongoing part of my coaching work and I’d love to see how she’s showing up in your world too, hashtag your courageous moments on Instagram I’d love to cheer you on!

x

K

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Feed Yourself Love

 

With the new year looming down on me, I found myself ( yes just like so many other people without the 20 years experience that I have) feeding the fears. The fears of ‘not enough’ not thin enough, beautiful enough and on and on it went.

I decided that I would put myself on a certain diet regime and that would guarantee that I would be ‘enough’ Well my lovelies that is not how it works and just in time I recognised the fact that I was coming from a place of fear and rectified my course. Violá Feed Yourself Love was created. A manifesto of sorts to come back to when we have forgotten how perfect we really are with all our inherent imperfections. You are exactly where your meant to be. Feed yourself love, and watch your relationship with food transform. This is the first of 4 videos. Email me for the worksheets (all free)

With love

Keri

 

Women On Fire

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Its been tough.

Its been amazing .

Life has taken you to your edge more than you ever thought possible, the thoughts dreams hopes and fantasies of your youth got gritty and edgy and dirty and you thought and prayed on more than one occasion “Fuq I hope I get through this.”

Yet on the outside you looked for all the world like a woman coping with amazing adversity with grace poise and determination. The option of collapse just wasn’t on the cards there was too much riding on your success.

And even while people complemented you on your ability to get the job done, at home on your own you doubted your very ability to get up and do it all again the next morning.

You read books on self help Echart Toile and Brené Brown have been your bedtime companions, you bought yourself flowers, walked the dog fed your kids and kept the toilet paper stocked up. And Did. It all. Again. The next day.

You were hungry, you still are hungry, craving a desire for nourishment deep in your bones deep in your very soul that wakes you up every day, eyes on the horizon putting one foot in front of the other.

You gratitude prayer is your mantra, its your daily bread and butter whilst you put together that proposal and dream up the next step of your evolution.

Its been tough but the light is getting brighter, YOUR light is getting brighter.But hell it would be great to not have to do it all on your own.

A tribe, A team that has been there too. Has been there in the dark as you watched all that you knew and love vanish and yet you still drew breath.

You danced you swam, you made some very questionable decisions, repeatedly!

You learnt you experience you picked yourself up and fell down another rabbit hole!

Your not happy with the status quo, the mundane you can deal with but settling isn’t part of your vocabulary. Its not that you want lots of attention and ego stroking, just to give yourself the permission to fucking BE all that you are, permission to speak your truth and live your dharma, the role, the story, the magic that only you dear woman can sing into this world. I hear you!

The peak of your youth is just behind you, but you have never felt more at home in your body, more quietly confident, the fire in you is rising, the magic, the sex the power that is yours and only yours is simmering almost ready, you feel it yes?

 

I’m calling out to you women, high and low, good god I’d love to meet you how I’d love to have you on my team and share my story with you.

 

To sit around this virtual fireside and support each other and journey together that is my wish, is my heartfelt spiritual directive.

 

In ancient times we had a place, a collective and a space to weave and share and dream and birth our stories in this world.  To laugh and be deliciously wicked and wild. Dear one this is such a space. Come sit and play and laugh and heal.

Healing that will set your world on fire.

x

K

 

Primal Po meets Modern Man

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From the archives is the post all about  the Po. The alchemical spirit of the lungs and how we can incorporate this ancient wisdom of the most primal aspect of ourselves into our modern worlds .

 

I have all these incredibly intellectual ideas and theories to share on the soma; the physical body, and its responses and how the Po is an expression of the innate wisdom of our cellular bodies. And I”m sure I’ll get to that at some point… there is an endless amount of information I can share from this elemental point of view.

 

What I am really feeling tonight when I think about the Po is the gentrification of the body and the senses and how thats effecting our health and our relationship with our bodies wellness. Oh is that all… the ‘gentrification’ of the body!!

The Po is experienced through our senses, taste, texture, scent, sight. Its the automatic functions of our bodies like breathing and peristalsis (digestion). Its experienced in that space between our skin (our awareness of where we start and stop) and the outside world. Its the animalistic aspects of our functioning bodies and our psyche.

 

Its all the bits we have no control over yet constantly inform our likes dislikes and urges. 

 And as highly functioning modern upright people, we have a few issues with these urges and tastes don’t we? ( This is where the gentrification bit come in ) Our minds and intellect, and our hearts and dreams would have us operating from an almost utopian platform. We have been culturally disciplined to detach and suppress the so called less attractive aspects of our bodies and minds. There is much that still today we wouldn’t dare discuss ‘in public’ . And yet much of these taboo subjects include basic bodily functions that are quite essential to our wellbeing and survival ( think poo and sex ).

So what happens when we suppress the Po and ignore the innate wisdom of our bodies and trust that connection between the body and the mind? Pain and ‘psychosomatic’ symptoms ranging from stress-related skin disorders, eating disorders and chronic undiagnosable pain.

 

Our bodies only ‘language’ is our nervous system and its through this system that it will try and get its messages across to us. They sound something like this.

 

“Hey, you up there! ” (patient pause for response) “Hey! We don’t think you should be eating that… (another patient pause) HEY!!!! (huddle together for a brain storm) I know, we’ll create some pain, that’ll do it. (patient pause) Damn it they just took a pain killer….. hmmmm Ok Ok I’ve got it, some red skin that always gets them ok GO!

 

Ok so this isn’t exactly scientific but you get my point. The bodies wisdom; the innate cellular wisdom, that gut feeling, intuition, or a ‘sense of knowing’, does actually need to be heard occasionally! Or, quite simply there are consequences. Now this doesn’t mean that we have to go all primal and throw out all the other functions. The other spirits have their place.

 

Ideally they work together. Depending on our own make up and our cultural learnings some are going to be more easily integrated than others. Myself, I live in this visceral world of experiencing life through the Po. I probably give this spirit way too much free rein! What does that look like?

 

Senses, texture and environment are paramount to the Metal element. There are always scented candles burning and fresh flowers and my house has always been full of animals (lets not mention the bats here ok). I work physically with peoples bodies. I have a bathroom full of more oil and lotions than any one body is ever going to be able to absorb and I spend almost more time in the ocean than on dry land. In winter this is replaced by the bath tub (Tonights blog is proudly bought to you by Embody Bath Salts). Textured cushions, natural fibres, LOTS of colour, really I could go on and on. If this sounds like you and your saying, well thats every modern woman surely, I’ll tell you sadly this is not so.

 

This genuine external expression of the Po is matched with an internal nourishment and respect of that animal instinct. The ability to ‘check in’ with our bodies and interpret its metaphorical language. This I believe is becoming quite a rare ability as we seek to cover up, pretty up and medicate the aspects of ourselves that we don’t like, don’t ‘fit’ or are fearful of. To bring that full circle and back to the bodies I spend my day working with, this results in disharmony. Disharmony of mind and body expressing its self in pain and inflammation of increasing severity.

As I read this I realise this really is my primary function with my treatments. To work as an interpreter for the body and to translate the pain and inflammation that my clients are experiencing so they might heal themselves. What can you do to nourish your Po? Well, any of the above is great, experiencing your senses, in what ever way is fun for you. (You don’t have to turn it into the extreme sport as I tend to do)

One of the easiest ways is to simply ‘check in’ with you body. When I think this or eat this how do I feel? more or less calm?  more or less tight in my shoulders? BREATHE! yep just slowly calmly breathe. You’ll be surprised to find just how often your holding your breathe.

 

To finish off, here is a quote from one of my favourite books “Five Spirits” that so beautifully articulates the place I wish to take my practice.

By Lorie Eve Dechar. Lantern Books 2006

 

“When the acupuncture needle penetrates the surface of the skin, there is a moment of silence, an emptiness, a wondering and not knowing. When the metal needle meets the living body, there is a silence, a pause …before the tiny whirlwind spins and the qi redirects its course. For thousands of years, the intentions of healers and patients have met in that single breathless emptiness, that turning point of the soul that is the moment of transformation.

Perhaps, as we open to another form of consciousness, the present silence of our world will become that empty turning point, that breathless moment of change.  Perhaps, if one by one we humans reclaim our vision of a living cosmos imbued with intention and intelligence and illuminated by wisdom, we will become like ten thousand silver needles penetrating and healing the body of the earth. Then perhaps , through healing our planet, we will heal ourselves and hear again the songs that the stones of the earth are singing to the clouds of heaven .”

 

x

K

 

Ride that Unicorn to Boyfriend Town + other real life rituals of love!

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So. This weekend is Valentines Day. And you know what, I am really quite over having my otherwise gorgeous relaxing weekend taken over by some absolutely bullshit holiday or another! Yup I’m not even sugar coating this rant, its straight into it!

You see, as I found myself  today launching headlong into another grinch style moment over the upcoming Hallmark occasion, I realised, a little self consciously, that I go on like this a bit lately. As my mind tracked back over Australia Day, New Years Day, Christmas and please-don’t-even-get-me-started-on-things-like-Hens-Parties I saw a real trend happening here.

No, not that I’m a woman of a certain age that is single and gotten her Victoria Secrets in a twist.

That’s not it at all.

Really.

Its that I actually dearly love and cherish ritual in my life REAL ritual. Ritual that marks occasions with authenticity and thoughtfulness mindfulness and meaning and yes fun too! I have gotten to a point in my life that I’m finding it harder and harder to play along with occasions that I find honestly, quite distasteful and disrespectful to all involved.

Now I know, a bunch of you are reading this thinking yeah but I bet if she had a delish man in her life showering her with attention this weekend she’d change her tune. Well peeps unless someone gets their act into gear quick smart between now and Sat your going to have to wait a while to see what that metaphorical pudding looks like… um in about a years time. What I can say  is that in the beautiful romantic relationships in my past I have enjoyed sharing created rituals. How do you do that I hear you say?  Read on gorgeous ones read on!

Lets start with New Years as its the most recent.  I usually categorically avoid New Years, I’m not sure why, I think it just feels like there is so much pressure for it to be this evening of epic proportions. I have two caveats here and that involves Sydney Harbour  fire works and the New York Times Square dropping of the ball, other than that I’m in bed in time to get up and watch the sunrise.

This year things didn’t go to my control freaky plans but I did enjoy this beautiful new year sunrise and the next night which was the first new moon of the year I created a new year ritual.

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For this ritual you will need.

Something to safely burn small pieces of paper in. A pot out in the open or safely in the laundry sink is always a good idea.

Of course I have a cauldron!  Then add all your favourite things like candles, tea or your favourite yummy beverage, and a list.

On that list you are writing down all the things you have to thank the previous year for. The gifts and learnings, the fun stuff that you want more of  and the tricky stuff that you struggled through and learnt from and are ready to let go. You can write it down like your talking to someone or just list all the words thoughts and pictures down any ol’ how on a piece of paper.

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For my New Year Ritual I was home alone, I had my yummy tea, I was working through some new years plans and lists, I had candles burning and beautiful music playing.

The trick with any ritual isn’t that these things actually have  magical powers on their own, you see its all about your intention. For me these things set the mood, create the feeling of sacred space and open me up to the possibilities and dreams that are hiding away in my subconscious. If all you have time for is a five minute out loud wish list and blowing out a candle whilst you hide in the bathroom from your 4 year old playing hide and seek. I totally believe that works too!

The wonderful thing about this kind of ritual is that it works for lots of occasions. I did it to mark the new calendar year on the new moon. You could easily do it as friends of mine did for the Chinese New Year. Anniversaries and Birthdays are another beautiful time to re-asses and let go of the old and invite in the new!

 

So once you have that list all written out its time to set it on fire!

Now seriously, do I have to remind you to put the kids and the cats and curtains and the expensive silk highly flammable things away… far far away? I do? Ok go sort that stuff out then come back.

Now you set it on fire in the cauldron (big pot) and visualise your dreams and burdens streaming away into the ether to be filed in the appropriate cosmic filing cabinet as it goes up in smoke. Easy Peasy!

 

So whilst your working out how to apply this to our own lives, here are 5 sure fire ways to feel loved up and romanced with or without a romantic partner, this weekend or any other. Of course I have assigned them according to the elements.

 

Metal  – Give the gift of an occasion to yourself. Carve out time to read that book or watch your favourite film. Enjoy some time in nature or visit your local art gallery.

Fire  – Use Candles or scents to create a sensory experience in your home. Light candles for yourself and make an occasion of your evening meal. (ahem and yes put your phone away!)

Water- Run a bath to nurture yourself

Earth – Create a beautiful meal full of greens and beautiful flavours to nourish your senses.

Wood – Get sweaty and expressive and turn your fave tunes up nice and loud and dance like no-one is watching!!

 

 meljanephotography.com

In the last few weeks there have been quite a few beautiful opportunities to create and enjoy ritual in my world I believe its something  I will do more of  Here is the link to the gorgeous MelJanePhotography’s Blog. She was the photography for our friend Jodies’ pre wedding ritual. Jodie aptly titled it  ‘Secret Womens Business’  I had been calling it ‘its not a hens party’  You’ll see my cauldron in full swing in her photo above. It was truly such a beautiful night. It was a complete honour to help organise and I really didn’t realise until it was all happening just how special an event it was going to turn out to be.  We all left feeling full up and nourished in a way that only happens when women get together and celebrate and love each other.

That is my kind of Valentines Day!

 

Oh and the Unicorn in Boyfriend Town? Well I also used the above ritual to invite a new man into my life….. I’ll let you know how that gets on as news comes to hand!

x

K

 

 

 

Qi Follows the Yi – Part Two

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Ah Yes! The good ol’ a picture tells a 1000 words!

The 5 elements that I have been banging on about for practically ever work together in this 5 pointed star type arrangement. If you follow around the circle in a clockwise direction you get the nourishing cycle. This is how things work in harmony. You can simplify it if you put it into terms of what would happen in nature. For example we need water to nourish new plants (wood) so there can be growth and then in turn those trees feed fires… and on it goes around.
The star cycle that criss crosses shows us how things are kept in check. Keeping it simple as I can metal ‘controls’ wood….(metal chops down trees) makes a bit of sense right? It does get a little bit trickier when we bring the organs in, especially knowing how complex their functioning is from a western point of view, let alone Chinese Philosophy!
But keeping it simple… you know how I love to keep things simple, an example would be when we eat lots of cold forming foods, e.g. dairy and our digestion doesn’t process this effectively the Earth function of transforming our foods into fuel we can use diminishes. This affects his friend the Metal element (next in line) resulting in a build up of phlegm in the lungs, skin issues or constipation…….. kinda making sense Yes? Think children with allergies resulting in rashes.

So here we have a super fun chart of all the stuff that can go wrong when the energy is going in the opposite direction! In this picture we are looking at what happens when our negative thoughts and emotions start to get away with us!

Earlier on in this blog I talked about how our Qi (energy/ fuel) follows our Yi (thoughts/ concentration). This theory works in regards to all our mental / emotional experiences as wherever we are placing our focus and attention our energy will go. So when we experience an excess of any emotion this begins to tax the correlating organ and can set up, in long term situations, real physical pathology.

Now, I’m not one to want to bum out my readers so I’m going to turn this little chart into a silver lining. When we understand the very real interactions of these emotions and the physiological effects they are having on us we can begin to see and slowly master what we need to do in order to regulate these feelings that are not always super helpful.

I’m not saying here for a second the emotions are not an essential and necessary part of our biological vocabulary, but sometimes for a whole range of reasons real and imaginary we can get stuck in one or two of them, long after the correlating situation is long gone. Challenging situations in life can also be ongoing and without some way of managing our emotional responses these situations can and do often get on top of us.

My favourite example to explain this is by looking at the liver and the lungs.

The Liver is damaged by anger and frustration, or conversely an unhealthy liver ( one fed with chips, refined sugar and alcohol for e.g.) creates the emotional state of anger and frustration. Either way over a prolonged period of time this unhappy liver consumes more energy than can be created by its pal the kidneys and the water element and this sets up the right conditions for fear to become the predominate emotional state.

As a side note this also very simply explains how some recreational drugs damage the liver and set up the conditions required for paranoia and other fear based behaviours.

Anyway I digress…. Where do we look to balance and mediate this grumpy liver syndrome? Across the way to the lungs of course! The lungs positioned where they are above the diaphragm and above the liver on the right hand side are in the perfect spot to massage the Liver into a much better frame of mind. Slow deep breathing, gentle exercise or yoga is the ideal way to nourish this controlling cycle and re create balance in the five elements. Now I have to admit a grumpy person is not as likely to respond so well to …. darling do some downward dog…… but maybe a house rule of “walk off the grump” is a good idea?

The elements all work in their own way to regulate their counterpart;
The liver with its decisiveness and ability to create strong boundaries steps in when the the earth elements tendency to worry and obsess gets out of hand. The water element cools the fire of impatience with humility, this might be in the form of increased hydration or extra sleep, I mean, how hot headed are we when we’re over tired?
The stillness and meditative qualities of the spleen are helpful when managing an over worked water element. Remember this relates to will power and our adrenals. Each has its place and role in maintaing our overall emotional health, which in turn helps create our physical health and visa versa.

Keep this in mind next time you find yourself stuck in the rut of the same old emotional story running around our minds. Let the emotion move thorough you, and do what you can to support yourself.
(And feel free to let me know if any of this makes sense or if I need to do a little more explaining! )

Go Gently

K
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