A few years ago I went out on a soul quest in search of healing my heart. A soul quest is a shamanic practice where one offers oneself up to nature to help transform you. Normally you find a sacred or special place with a particular feature such as strong and ancient trees, caves or the sea.

In my case I had chosen the Much Marcle Yew – a Yew about 1000 years old. You can sit inside. As it is a public place I had chosen to spend the night in the tree, taking only water and myself – no distractions. I was to do a 12 hour soul quest from 8pm to 8am.

I made an instant connection to the tree by putting my forehead on it’s trunk. I felt I was going to relieve some healing around a relationship I felt very angry about.

During the night I journeyed to other realms. A shamanic journey is when you delve deep into your imagination and it as real as the world we see and walk in. In this state our brains are often in theta waves – a state between dreaming and meditation.

In my journey 3 blackbirds came and started to peck at my heart. It was quite gory! This kind of dismemberment journey is seen as transformative. I could physically feel the pecking and as I did I felt my heart being cleared of it’s anger.

I made it to the end of my soul quest. It was hard at times to stay with nothing but my process, releasing anger an finding peace – yet it is a very ancient way of transforming our feelings sadly long since dismissed in the medical model.

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