These stories illuminate the journeys that people are on as they move from states of fear, restriction and pain to courage, love and action. They are inspiring and I hope they will give you hope.
The story of Rebecca and how holly helped to clear fear
Rebecca contacted me because she had been given a chance to move home. She had been in her current home for about 9 years, trying to manage in difficult circumstances. She wanted to move but felt very frightened at the prospect of speaking with letting agents and landlords. She did not want to miss this opportunity, so asked if I could help. I had previously worked with her and knew her to be open to trying intuitive approaches.
Prior to the session, I journeyed to find out a little more. The term ‘humiliation’ kept arising and I found myself switching from planning a remote session where I would work in my home with representations of her, to working in nature, using whatever I found to represent her issue- working symbolically in nature on her behalf.
At the appointed time, she rested at home while I went to the woods and asked to be guided to work for her. The first thing I noticed was a holly bush with bright red berries. The berries stood out from the brown and orange foliage of the trees and woodland floor. I asked permission to take a small piece of holly branch and proceeded to walk on, now carrying the holly.
After a short walk I noticed a tree that had a white fungal infection on it. I thought about how Rebecca has retained her naturally blonde hair into adulthood, making her stand out, like this tree.
The white tree
Beside the tree was a clearing, surrounded by laurel and oak. I noticed a large fallen tree and beside it a smaller, thick branch. I put the branch on the fallen tree and thought about how Rebecca had lost potency, possibly to do with humiliating experiences. I also thought about the fact that holly bushes only produce berries on the female bushes. They are dioecious, like yew, meaning that the berry/seed only arises due to fertilisation by the male tree. A male holly can fertilise up to 20 female trees, as long as they are close enough.
As humans, we need to be able to utilise our masculine and feminine resources. It is important that we don’t overuse one at the expense of the other. Masculine energies are our capacity to take action, to act with authority, to set things in the right way. Feminine energies are our capacity to listen and be receptive, to communicate and understand the underlying, hidden complexity of something.
Rebecca needed to restore her masculine energy which was not currently available to her. Masculine resources help us to push through fear. Action kills fears because, by doing something, by taking literal steps, we pass beyond the restraint that belongs in the past and step into the now.
To help with this, I placed the holly in front of the log, turned around and noticed a small pigeon feather on the ground. With that placed to the right of the holly, Rebecca could begin to fly. I then requested a stem of laurel and used it to brush away dead leaves that had accumulated on the fallen tree. I swept along the tree several times, sometimes gently and sometimes vigorously, as seemed necessary. I closed out the healing by rattling with a fallen oak branch.
I spoke with Rebecca afterwards. She had spent the time resting. Initially she had simply relaxed, but then found herself recalling experiences from her childhood. Specifically, she remembered being bullied at school at about the age of nine or ten. She said that she was only now realising how profoundly it had affected her. Such humiliation had led her, inadvertently, to deviate from her path. She had not fulfilled her ambitions. Instead she had hidden away from the world and told herself she wasn’t deserving. She cried a lot as she rested and remembered that, when we had worked before, she had retrieved a childhood part of herself that had been absent for many years. Now, during her session, she apologised to this part of herself, for not being able to give support.
I explained that, even today, it is hard for children to find the words, the courage and the necessary support to enable them to stand up to bullies and hold onto their identities. Without those resources we trade our identities for security, for fitting in, for not standing out. Later in life, as she has now found, we cannot make proper progress without our true identities.