Today I would like to share with you a new skill that a wonderful lady I met this week has taught me, and it has made such a difference to my thinking and being already, I really think it is worth sharing with as many people as possible.
Have you heard of 7:11 breathing? If you have, do you know what it is? And if you know what it is, do you know what it is actually doing? Well I hope to explain this simply and effectively. Anyone can do it, and the wonder of it is, you can do it anytime, anywhere, and it only takes a few minutes!
Simply put, 7:11 breathing is a way of breathing, and breathing out for longer than you breathe in. Why? Breathing in is the Alert Mode of our body system, and breathing out is the Relaxation Mode of our body system. So when we breathe out longer than we breathe in, we are helping our bodies to relax and calm down. This is particularly helpful if you are feeling stressed, tense, or your mind is so busy that you are beginning to feel wound up because you cannot let go of all those bothersome thoughts.
And here’s another thing: When our body tenses up, through stress or anger, it can take up to 20 minutes for the body to come back to a relaxed state. So if you have ever wondered why you are holding on to angry feelings, or cannot let go of certain thoughts or the stress you are feeling – it’s because you haven’t given your body enough time and space to be able to fully calm down and reset again. This is also a great example of how the body and mind are linked: When we think about things that makes us stressed or angry, or otherwise emotional – what does the body do? Right – it reacts to those thoughts. And you may not even be aware of it at the time, but with these thoughts, the body begins to tense up. Once the body has reacted in this way, it becomes hard to let go (Sound familiar?) 7:11 breathing releases the tension and stress in both the body and the mind, allowing both to relax and come to a ‘reset’ state of total calm. I did this for just a few minutes with the lady who taught it to me, and those few minutes were enough to completely change my body’s reaction, and, even more wonderful – I stopped thinking! My mind was in a state of total relaxation; no worrying or busy thoughts trying to insert themselves into my brain. As I say, a few minutes of doing this can help immensely – if you can find 20 minutes to do this, it will have an even bigger effect.
Ready to try? Okay here we go then: sit, lie or stand comfortably, whatever feels natural to you. Make sure you are in a relaxed position. Breathe normally to start with, just be aware of your breathing. After a few breaths, pause slightly at the end of your out breath, and then as you breathe in, breathe up from your stomach, all the way up… (known as diaphragmic breathing), feel your chest swelling with your breath, as much as you can comfortably. Try and count how long you are breathing in for. Now, breathe out and count, try to breathe out for longer than you breathed in. To start, don’t worry by how much, just make sure you are breathing comfortably, and get the hang of breathing out longer than in. The idea is that, as you become more practised, you breathe out for 4 more than you breathe in – hence, ‘7:11 breathing’. As you are doing this, keep your shoulders relaxed, your whole body relaxed. Do it as long as it is comfortable. A little to start with, to get used to it. When you have finished, take note of how you feel, in your body and your mind.
And that’s it. That is all there is to it. You can practice this when washing up, hoovering, taking the kids to school, in bed before you go to sleep, watching t.v… anytime, anywhere.
Simple, effective, and potentially life-changing.
I hope you find this useful, and please do let me know if you try this, and your experiences with this marvellous skill.
I had an experience last night that was so unusual and amazing that I feel I just have to share it.
I’ve not been feeling myself lately (hence the delay in blogging): I’ve been very low – in mood, energy, and physicality. I am constantly tired, and feel like I am living in shades of grey. I have not been giving my children the mother they deserve. So last night, I did a ritual to ask for help.
After casting the circle and inviting and welcoming the four elements (Air; Fire; Water: Earth), I called specifically on the Mother aspect of the Goddess to help me. I asked her to help me banish the negativity around me and in me, to give me, as a Mother and as a Woman, patience; love; joy; calmness; to be the mother I should be, to know that I can be.
I am not going to go into the full ritual here, but I want to share with you the vision that I was granted as I sat quietly, eyes closed, waiting for a message from the Mother.
I saw the Goddess – or more accurately, I should say a Goddess – with raven black hair, pale skin, and a white robe. It was night-time, a dark sky, with stars scattered above crystalline clear. The Goddess was skipping across the sea, and she held in her hand a Silver Star. I greeted her, thanking her for coming to me. (I was a bit bemused, as this was not what I had been expecting – normally visions/messages with the goddess is just words in my mind, or somewhere earthy). She looked at me and said, “You’ve lost your power.” I nodded. “Here, eat this”, and she put a gift into my hand – it was a white sphere, hand sized, like the moon or a pearl. To be given a gift in a vision is an honour and means something in the physical world. I lifted my hands to my mouth and ate half of the white sphere. The rest, at some inner direction, I placed in my heart, third eye, and crown chakra. As I did so, I felt a wave of clean energy/different energy surround me. The Goddess smiled, and I thanked her for the gift, and asked Her what I can do for her in return. She replied “Visit the Sea!”
That was it – seems like such a small price to pay, yet it is something that must, absolutely, be done – a Goddess’ favour is not something to be taken lightly.
Then, Her consort appeared beside Her and clasped hands with Her. He looked at me with clear, intense eyes, and said only “You need him” (meaning my partner). They were reminding me of the support network, and of the balance of energies that comes with a special partnership. With that, they were gone.
When I had finished the ritual, it dropped into my mind to look up online ‘Goddess of the Silver Star’. Now, for those of you have read previous posts, you know that I worship the Triple Goddess, and not any single specific deity. I wasn’t sure what this search was going to bring me – but my intuition is rarely wrong. Imagine my surprise then, when two sites came up under this search, with the Goddess Arianrhod!
I was further amazed, because Arianrhod is not a Goddess I know anything about except Her name. And when I read these sites – Her image is EXACTLY as She had appeared to me; She is a Mother aspect Goddess (as oppsed to Maiden or Crone, or representing any other aspect that many specific Goddesses do); and She is linked with the moon, stars, and sea! So everything She represents was shown true in my vision – despite my not having known anything about Her.
I felt humbled, amazed, awe-struck. And also puzzled, in a good way, that a Goddess unknown to me chose to come to me, and not only that, but grace me with a gift. This is one of the most fantastic experiences I think I can honestly say I have had – certainly the most intuitive! My happy task now is, of course, to further research Arianrhiod, and to work with Her further.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey and experience, and I welcome any comments you choose to share, and to answer any questions you may have – if I can! Please also feel free to share any similar experiences you have had.
In the name of the Goddess Arianrhod – Blessings be!
- Meeting The Triple Goddess (reikiserpent.wordpress.com)
- Arianrhod, Celtic Star Goddess (feminismandreligion.com)
I realise that I am very lucky: my Animal Guardians came to me, I didn’t have to go searching for them. Apparently though, it doesn’t always happen this way, and this post is an intention to show you some of the ways that you can find and connect with your own personal Spirit Guardian.
Note: here, we are just talking about your animal Guardian: There are many Guides and teachers and yes, even Angels, that reside in the Spiritual Plane, all of whom can help us in their own unique ways, if we consciously connect to them. This post is concentrating on the Animal Guardian connection.
Sometimes, your Guardians do come to you in various and unexpected ways: a friend may give you a gift of an animal representation, and say ‘I thought of you when I saw this’. You may then notice that this animal crops up quite often – on tv, in pictures you see, in dreams… you may even notice your thoughts straying to a particular animal, or thinking to yourself, ‘I feel like bear/butterfly/deer at the moment’, and so on. Don’t ignore this – your Guardian may be trying to connect to you. Look the animal up: see if the symbolism connects with you. If you are still doubtful, look at the meditation/Journey exercise below.
If this doesn’t happen, and you want to reach your Guardian, then there are two ways that I, personally, know of doing this. The first one doesn’t require meditation/Journeying. If you are not familiar with doing that type of trance work, I suggest trying this: Get a mirror, big enough that you can see into without holding it up in your hand, and place it propped in front of you, where you can look into it. Place a candle- any candle, a tealight will do – in front of it, and light it. The flame enhances concentration. Now, you can either stare into the mirror, looking deeply and firmly into your own eyes – the flame should be in your peripheral vision. Or look into the mirror first, into your own eyes, and then transfer your gaze to the flame. Keep your gaze on the flame, don’t stray from it. Do whichever appeals and seems more comfortable to you. Concentrate your thoughts on your Animal Guardian, on reaching and connecting with your animal Guardian. You will enter a light trance state, a meditative state. Eventually, the idea of an animal will show itself to you. Concentrate on it until you are sure it is clear. This may take a while. If you don’t get it first time, don’t give up. It may take a bit of practice. Be sure to thank your animal Guardian for showing itself to you. When you are done, look it up, to see what it represents – this is a mark of reciprocating your honour and respect, your thanks for its appearance, and coming to you.
Note: Depending on what type of person you are, you may see your animal, you may not: instead, you may ‘hear’ or ‘think’ of the animal. Don’t dismiss this, this may be the way it is reaching you. You may ‘feel’ – the strength of a bear, the wings of a butterfly, a paw on your shoulder. Not everyone sees images in this type of work. I very rarely do. I’m a Clairsentient, which means I ‘know’ things, information just suddenly ‘drops’ into my mind, from seemingly nowhere. Sometimes images and feelings accompany this. Whatever happens, trust your instinct. Your instinct is a lot more attuned to this type of work than you may be aware of!
The second way of connecting is through meditation. And there are various ways of connecting once you are relaxed and calm enough. If you are not used to going into a trance like state, you may need to practice first – paradoxically, it can be quite tricky to calm yourself enough to let go of the outer world! Either sit or lie down, whichever is most comfortable for you. Make sure you are in a relaxed position, and I’d advise taking off a watch. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and slowly. To start with, just think of nothing: nothing in your mind, in your brain. Just calm, centering yourself, going inward. No thoughts, just.. calm; emptiness. Once you feel you are ‘inside’ (and you will know when you are there) you can begin to concentrate on your Guardian. As I say, there are two ways of doing this.
The first way is, just to think of connecting to your animal Guardian. Concentrate on that. Call to them: “I would like to connect with my animal Guardian. Please will you show yourself to me?” Again, this may take a while, so be patient. Things may happen; you may see/think/hear/feel various images or scenes. Accept them, let it happen, but don’t involve yourself with them. If and when you see an animal, respond according to your feelings – your inner self and instinct will guide you on what to do. If you connect with an Animal, watch them, and your own feelings. If you are happy, excited, filled with warmth, trust etc, this is likely your Guardian – particularly if they are looking right at you, or are dancing, or doing something else that feels positive. If, however, you feel doubtful or fearful, then this may not be your Guardian. Many strange things can happen when you are ‘seeing’ in a trance state. If you are unsure, think to the vision ‘are you my animal Guardian?’ It will answer you with a yes only if it is. You can stay with the vision, see what else happens. Talk to your Guardian, ask questions – or it may have a message for you. When you are ready to leave, be sure to thank your Guardian, and come back to yourself slowly. You will need to ground yourself after doing this – you may feel strange, lightheaded. Eating is a good way of bringing your self back to normality. Or sit quietly for a while, thinking about your vision, or write it down.
The other way of connecting in meditation is by Journeying. You may want to take a few practice runs at this before travelling to find your Guardian. Start by going to the World Tree. This is where you connect to the Upper, middle, and Lower Spiritual realms. Imagine a huge tree, one that you connect with, that has huge roots and big, widespread branches, the trunk extending far, far up. Some books I have read state that you have to travel downwards, to the Lower World, to connect with your animal Guardian. Personally, I would say that whatever feels right to you, do – again it’s all about trusting your intuition. (If you are just exploring – taking initial practice runs – you can just climb up and down the Tree, through the branches, see what it has to show you.) Before you go anywhere, state your intent: I wish to connect with my animal Guardian. I am travelling to find my animal Guardian. Then look at the Tree, and go where your intuition leads you.
To get to the Lower World, follow the roots downwards. It may seem to take a while to get there, but the roots will not lead you wrong. If you want to start in the Upper World, climb the tree, past the lower branches, keep going up and up and up… you’ll sudenly ‘clear’ the top branches, you will likely hit a barrier of some sort: clouds, light, or something else. Go up past the barrier, and you are there. For the Middle World, you don’t need to climb. The World Tree is your frame of reference, but here, all you need to do is walk away, heading towards a forest clearing, or a meadow, or something of nature with which you feel comfortable. Once you are there, you are in the Middle World.
Wherever you have chosen to go, keep in mind why you are there: to find your animal Guardian. You may see other things and other animals in these Worlds – every experience is different. Just as with the previous exercise, be guided by your inner responses. If you have negative feelings, remove yourself from the situation you are seeing. If you have positive feelings, by all means engage with what you are experiencing – you might learn something new, or receive messages from other beings inhabiting this World. Just be aware at all times and don’t allow yourself to be ‘sucked into’ something you are not sure about. Keep focussed. Think of this like taking a walk in an unknown woods – it is peaceful, enjoyable, experiential – but always be alert, for you don’t know what else could be there. Just as in the real world, think about your own safety as much as the weird and wonderful things you are seeing.
Again, as with the above exercise, when you see an animal, ask it directly: Are you my Guardian? And watch and listen for its response. Your Guardian will only ever answer with positive feelings and attitude. Any other animal who has appeared for reasons of their own, will either ignore you, snarl, or give off dubious or negative feelings. If you encounter this, simply turn and walk away, and carry on calling for your Guardian to come to you.
Your Guardian may want to show you their world: whilst with them, they will keep you safe and protect you here, follow and heed them – and enjoy yourself! Or if you prefer, you can return directly – by making your way back to the World Tree. Don’t forget to thank your Guardian for coming to you. Again, make sure you ground yourself when returning to the normal world, and look up the symbolism and traits of your Guardian.
These are my experiences and ways I have come across of connecting with Guardians. This is a not a definitive guide, and you may com aacross other information which differs. Always do what feels right to you. I hope this has been of help to you, and I wish you luck, and most of all, fun with this. As ever, I will be happy to answer any questions you have on this subject, and to hear of your own experiences regarding connecting with your Guardian – or Guardians.
I initially intended to write a post about mine and Neometheus’ Shamanic drumming experience that we enjoyed the other day, however something rather wonderful happened today that I would like to share with you. We will post soon about the drumming (I promise!)
Finding myself with a bit of free time today, I decided to do a meditation. Not on anything specific, I just had the desire to go within. As I sat down, my beautiful Obsidian crystal ball (a gift from Neometheus), that sits on our mantel piece, caught my eye. Yes, I thought, I haven’t used that in a while.
I sat on the sofa cross-legged, with the crystal ball held in both hands at my root chakra. I closed my eyes and just breathed, turning my attention inward…
Immediately, I felt the universal energy all around me, and it zipped down within me. I felt this like a lighter-than-air feeling, bright and pulsing. After a few moments, I felt the earth energy begin to push up within me. I concentrated on that, rooting myself with it… and felt not only the ‘roots’ around (underneath) me, but a connection to mountains; volcanos; plants… this was a reminder of my connection with the Oneness of all things. The earth energy felt dark and slow as it reached up within me – the very opposite of universal energy. The two energies met inside me, entwining, like two warriors gripping arms with honourable intent. My own inner energy, my Being, combined with these two outside forces, swirling and pulsing within.
Suddenly, I was with Snake. She is my Totem Spirit guide; my spirit animal. Snake has been with me for many years, and has shown and taught me much. I see her as residing in the Otherworld above my head, looking out into Space. It’s not really space, as it is just a vast blackness – it is the Void She looks out on. She does not reside or help me in the mundane realm- this, our earth realm, but is involved with Spiritual knowledge and matters.
I felt a ‘gap’ from the top of my head to below my eyes; the energy was different, there was a change of ‘colour’- more felt than seen. This is the place she resides when with me, and is also the place of the 3rd eye chakra, and the place where Spiritual energy channels through into the body, the crown chakra. I greeted Snake warmly – and She told me her name. This is the first time in the many years She has been with me that She has consented to give me this information. So it was a big deal to me: I felt honoured, warm, graced, and excited. I will not share her name here, as your personal Spirit Guide’s name is as personal as a Witch’s taken name. Suffice it to say that it is something that touched me very deeply.
I conversed with Snake, telling Her that at last, I was ready to learn. We sat, side by side, in the Void, looking out at Blackness. This is the first time I have done this in an Inner Journey- just sat with her, at her ‘home’. She emanated feelings of warmth and happiness, that we there together. Then, she danced: She swirled and whirled, her snake body circling and twining and moving in all directions – She was beautiful, radiant, elegant.
She then showed me my Path: She shot forward-straight ahead, on a road of Blackness, emptiness, of Void, with the shape of hills and valleys on either side. All Paths are (Ultimately?) nothing. This is your Path, She said.
(Does She mean that my Path is a Spiritual one, because of the fact we were in the Void? Or that any Path I choose is mine? Or something else entirely? I’m not yet sure of the meaning of this.)
After this, Snake shot up- and up, up, up… further up than I could imagine – I put a boundary on the ‘up’, but knew that really and truly there was no boundary.
There are no boundaries – you imagine a boundary because your Mind cannot conceive of No-boundary, She said.
Again we sat, side by side. Asking her permission, I slid into Snake – I became Her, to see, if possible, from Her perception. With this action, my perception of the Void opened: It widened, became deeper, I saw more of it – as if a horizon you look at suddenly expands, doubles what you take in and can see. But still I was limited by Mind – still, I knew, I did not see everything.
And that was it. The whole Inner journey took a very short time – maybe 15 or 20 minutes. It had not been my intention to go on a ‘Journey’, merely to meditate. Yet I was taken on this journey – by the outside energies and my own Spirit Animal. This makes it even more extraordinary to me.
The fact that I re-connected with Snake, and that she told me Her name, suggests to me that I am taking further steps forward along my spiritual Path. For the rest of the day, I have felt totally at peace, with no extraneous thoughts in my mind, and just ‘being’.
Thank you A—– (Snake spirit). I honour you, and I thank you for the Journey, and your message xx
I will add a post soon about connecting with Power animals/spirit guides, my relationship with mine, how I discovered them, and how you can find yours. I will add further details about the meaning of Snake spirit, as well as some others.
For now, I hope you enjoyed sharing this journey, and please comment with any questions or thoughts you have about this. And we would love to hear about any Inner Journey experiences that you have had 🙂