The Spirit of the Dawn: Lessons from 426 consecutive sunrises

The Spirit of the Dawn: Lessons from 426 consecutive sunrises

One of the most common questions I get asked is, ‘what is my daily practice?’ These days, it changes depending on my inner enquiry and what my system needs. However, I remain true to one principle that I have upheld since I started regularly meditating around thirty years ago, and that is, I stick to any new practice until I have mastered it and it becomes familiar, loved, and enables shifts and changes.

Around February 2020, like many of us, my sleep patterns became disrupted. I have always woken early, but this was a new kind of early, around 4.30am every morning. Rather than resist the change, I decided to make the most of my disrupted sleep pattern and go exploring on my bike, allowing intuition to guide my travels in the dark, whilst the city slept. An extremely beautiful window opened up for me which I wrote about in my blog post, ‘The Art of Cultivating Detachment to Dance with Disruption’.

the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde

Speed, movement and adventure proved a fabulous balm to my caged spirit. There’s nothing like gliding in darkness, whilst the island still sleeps and before the day comes rushing into mind. Moreover, whilst the direction and areas I rode through changed each day, the consistent energy move was being up, aware and participating in the burgeoning light and promise of a new day. What transpired was a deep and abiding engagement with the dawn itself.

In Shamanism we acknowledge that all things, all phenomena, at their essence are a ‘Principle Idea’, a ‘Spirit’. There is an organising field of energy and information that informs everything we experience, including ourselves. In February 2020, I committed to connecting with the ‘Spirit of the Dawn’, every day.

At the time of posting this blog, I have met and energetically engaged with 426 consecutive dawns. So I think it’s fair to say that my daily practice currently and for the last 426 days is that, ‘I do Dawn’.

Sometimes it’s in the Botanic Gardens before my Qigong class. Sometimes it’s sharing a ride with my friends, sometimes it’s through a wild tropical storm, or at my altar in meditation. In the main, most days, I wake early, excited and expectant for what the dawn holds for me and ride the 37km round trip across the island to the East Coast and back. Coming from the East Coast in Australia, the sights, sounds and scents of the sun rising over the ocean make me hum. The atmosphere is charged with all the elements and this allows an incredible somatic, full-body immersion into my dawn meditation and energy practices. Dawn, on the sealine, is a double ‘Dragon Point’.

These junctures where different powerful signature energies meet are described in the Taoist tradition as Dragon Points. They are the point at which one form of Chi (vital life force) meets another. In nature, for example, it is where two rivers merge into one or the mountain peaks scrape the sky. They are where the ocean meets land or when the light emerges in the darkness at dawn. When dwelling on a Dragon Point, the awareness can easily enter into a deep trance state where intuitive guidance and revelation abound.

These areas and moments in nature are considered to be extremely powerful and if you recall those moments in the wilderness when you have been truly moved, and your consciousness spontaneously altered, when you have had a glimpse of the majesty and the mystery, I am willing to wager that you were dwelling in a Dragon Point. In most ancient cultures, the most sacred sites are either on or near natural Dragon Points like most ancient world temples, the pyramids or stone circles.  

In Shamanism, these ‘in-betweens’ are where the Shaman accesses ‘The Spirit’ of things, the ‘Principle Idea’, which also includes the day that is yet to unfold for me. 

the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde

How I greet each dawn when I am on my own varies. I usually engage in breathwork, some Qigong, Kabbalist energy practices, meditation, stillness and mantra. I find it good to have a selection of tried and true practices in my ‘medicine bag’ and to be responsive to what Dawn and my system are calling for. 

And I’m not alone! There are other dawn lovers out there, and whilst we’re all engaging in different ways, the one thing we have in common is a recognition of the moment and a mutual respect that The Spirit of Dawn has drawn us all there together. 

the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde

the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde

the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde

I have filled a journal with the revelations, insights and lessons that 426 dawns have given me and they are far too numerous to list here in this blog. So here are ten of what I believe are the most useful for everyone:

1. Commitment met with effort and then completion, is one of the best mental health hacks there is. 

In an extended and indeterminate time of holding patterns, pivots and shelved plans, creating a new and beautiful focus that requires some discipline and effort, and which results in personal achievement, is enormously satisfying and confidence-boosting. Just do it…whatever it is.

2. Regularity leads to familiarity which enables emotional/vibratory engagement.

The beauty of regular practice, especially one that engages the wilderness, reveals that even though the action seems the same, every single sunrise is not at all. I can honestly say that I have a deep and abiding emotional ‘love’ of the Spirit of the Dawn, and it is this vibratory state that allows the Dawn into my own Spirit, to stir, teach and guide.

3. Every single day is unique, and experiencing this uniqueness engenders deep-felt gratitude. 

426 dawns have leant me into the subtle differences in the feel of the waking day. All the elements of each dawn, down to the bird call, temperature, colours, and scents, will never, ever be repeated in that same combination again. This is true of every second of every day. That deep connection with the uniqueness of every moment opens the heart and floods it with gratitude. The high resonance of felt gratitude is proven to heal the body, boost immune function and lift the spirit.

4. Dawn air is fantastic for Pranayama (conscious meditative breathing).

As the first rays of sunlight touch the botanical realm, it triggers all plants to switch to their daytime breathing cycles, and they exhale a sigh of pure oxygen. The air at dawn is clear, light and highly oxygenated. Here in the tropics, it is also laden with the evening perfumes of frangipani, jasmine and ylang ylang, just to name a few. Bliss!

5. Wild beauty is medicine.

The colours, pheromones, light, sounds, scents…provide delight for the soul, unmatched by any architected man-made beauty, and it heals.

the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde6. It’s bigger than me…

No matter what worries, concerns, deadline pressures or client cases might be weighing in my mind, the massive energies of the Spirit of the Dawn put everything, every time, into perspective. Dawn short-cuts me back to humility and insignificance in the scheme of the wild, and there’s an undeniable peace that rises with this.

7. The reliability of nature is a balm.

Day always follows night. We know this, but to participate in the energy of it, directly and consistently, shifts paradigms of entanglement in a current state or the belief of being ‘stuck’ or ‘blocked’. Everything is always changing and ‘this too shall pass’.

8. Playing with the Dawn engenders mental agility.

Sometimes, in meditation at dawn, I play with perspective shifts. Rather than engaging with a rising sun, I will move my attention to the Earth beneath me and ‘feel’ the other truth of dawn, which is, the Earth turning on its axis towards the sun. These shifts provide an agility of mind that is super useful for life and work.

9. Dawn provides practice in detecting subtle energy shifts within the energy body.

At the true point of dawn, there’s a palpable shift in the atmosphere and a distinct, very light movement in the air. It requires stillness and an open heart, but it’s there. I have an app on my phone which tells me the true point of dawn each day. However, I have taken to not looking at it, but rather entering into a deep state of awareness and letting my body detect it. I have it down now and can pinpoint the exact moment of the dawn. This drill practice in detecting energy shifts within my energy body is key to perceiving intuitive information and my energy healing work.

10. Tapping the highest potential of each day.

Beneath and beyond words and thought, is a state of ‘beingness’ that the dawn slips me into, and I can locate and connect with the highest potential of the day. The day is yet to play out, but within that potentiality, at the dawn, it can be found, sensed and drawn in. On the days that seem impossible to pull off, that have me feeling tight and contracted, like for example overbooked healing sessions, or launching a new course (with new tech involved), I have been able to sense into the highest track within that day, before it has started, and stay pegged to that potential. It yields, every single time.

In May, my goodwill donations always support Mother Earth, through endangered species adoption and reforestation drives. This May, I am delighted to start sharing my Dawns with those who are eager to tap some of this divine magic. Dawn Dreaming, open-air meditations start in May. Once Twice a week, I will meet anyone who is keen, at certain locations around Singapore to greet the rising sun and guide a practice. Group sizes will, of course, be limited due to restrictions and we can swing the distancing via my Vox sets that allow you to hear my voice at a distance. $20, and all proceeds will be donated to the monthly causes…all Earth-loving initiatives. Email me here if you’d like to be notified of dates, times and locations. 

the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde
the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde

the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde
the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde

the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde

If you have any questions or thoughts on the Spirit of the Dawn or about Dawn Dreaming, do get in touch. You can also visit my website to explore courses and useful content to guide you on your path to healing, self-discovery and mindful living. 

If you enjoyed this post and would like to share it, I request that you please credit Danielle Van de Velde as the author. I do not authorise repurposing or republishing without my written permission. You may email me for the same.

the powerful gateway of the spring equinox temp daniellevandevelde

The Powerful Gateway of the Spring Equinox and how to engage

The Powerful Gateway of the Spring Equinox
and how to engage

The Spring Equinox fell on March 20th this year in the Northern Hemisphere. This is the second turning of the natural Wheel of the Year; the changeover point between the dark and light halves of the year when the Earth rotates towards growth and renewal. The Spring Equinox has, for centuries, been celebrated spiritually as a powerful time for change, renewal and a move into ACTION.

In my spiritual communities, we have been exploring how to engage in these beautiful wild shifts in the Earth and atmosphere around us for inner change and growth. Why? Because this is our human nature, to change, evolve, grow, create and express. In this extended period of restriction, we are unable to change our external circumstances, change our scenery, or change our direction from the outside, in. Yet, there is an incredible opportunity to switch perspectives and learn to generate change from the inside, out. And one of the few reliable supports we have at our disposal in these times is the energy of the wild field.

The myriad of Equinox traditions and rituals of our forebears have their own unique characteristics, but what captures me is how so many beautiful themes and threads are shared in common. And it’s this commonality, these archetypal ripples through time and culture, that hold all the good stuff and useful information as to how to engage. The dynamics and unique energies of the Equinox ripple through myth, story, ritual and religion as we have tried over the aeons to encapsulate it, conceptualise it and engage with it. The wilderness is the ‘source’ and despite our modern lives telling us that we are separate from it, we are, in fact, the wild field. It runs through us, it is with us, it is in us, it is what brings us to bear.

This article lays down the major themes of the Spring Equinox and the energies it holds. I have cited only a small sample of my favourite ancient traditions here, although I encourage you to explore others more deeply. With a slightly expanded perspective and a draw to inner practice, the Equinox and the weeks that follow it present an opportunity for amazing inner shifts and changes within our lives.

1. It’s an accessible energetic gateway its an accessible energetic gateway daniellevandevelde

At this time, the sun rises due east and sets due west, giving exactly twelve hours of sunlight on the day of the Equinox and then it begins its increase, which dissipates the remnant winter and triggers new growth in the earth. The sun passes over the celestial Equator. Balance points in nature like this, where one direction or action swings towards its opposite pole, are regarded as openings to access broader fields of energy and information to support the same shifts that are happening within us. They are known in the Taoist culture as ‘Dragon Points’ and in Shamanism, as ‘liminal spaces’ and can be found throughout the natural world and also within the human body. When we seek out these liminal ‘in betweens’ and dwell in them, meditate in them, soak in the feeling of them, we access an opening out of our mundane consciousness and into our deeper, felt knowing, our spirits.

The Vernal Equinox offers a wholesale, planetary Dragon Point between light and dark, night and day, dormancy to action, inner to outer, east to west, that can be put to use in our inner practice to generate growth, movement and new directions. It’s like a Dragon Point on steroids! It represents the soul’s journey from separation and darkness into Oneness and Light.

It’s a powerful time to enter meditation and meditative ritual with the intent to access these potentials and draw them into our field of experience.

2. It works with the feminine aspects of the human system

So much can be gleaned from names. In Pagan Europe, the Spring Equinox was celebrated through the archetype of Ostara the Germanic maiden goddess of spring and the Anglo-Saxon goddess of the dawn named Eostre (pronounced East-ra).

The word oestrus (referring to an animal in heat) is derived from Eostre and is also related to the Greek Goddess Eos, the goddess of the dawn. The word oestrogen also comes from these roots. The Equinox is distinctly feminine; not in a gender sense, but in an energetic sense. The ‘feminine’ side of our human system is represented by the right hemisphere of the brain and parasympathetic arm of the nervous system. It is the softer, more magnetic side, which governs our sensual, creative cyclical aspects. Men and women are blessed with it and the energies of this time invite us to indulge it and nurture its strengths. Somatic meditations, creative visualisation and journaling are some examples of the types of practices best engaged with at this time.

it works with the feminine aspects of the human system daniellevandevelde

Ostara, the spring goddess, oversees the budding plants and burgeoning fertility of the earth. She signals a move into action; to take germinating ideas and inspirations and bring them into the light of day through soft, creative action. The Equinox energies support us in making some moves, writing that plan, starting that book, joining that class, seeking those contacts, actioning our spiritual priorities. At this time, witches cast spells for careers, relationships, and love. It’s a time for planting new ideas and seeking harmony and balance to project good health, good fortune, and confidence in achieving goals.

Ostara’s feast day was held on the full moon following the Vernal Equinox and she, along with the ancient Greek goddess of the season, points us to connect with the movement of the moon cycle as a spiritual tool, and for women, to connect into their monthly cycles as powerful spiritual movements rather than what many regard as ‘a curse’. A simple way to do this is to track your personal cycle against the movement of the moon and to make time to enter prayer and ritual, especially in circle, at the main lunar junctures of the new and full moons. A lot can be achieved by aligning our practice and intent with the waxing and waning moonlight.

3. It’s an opportunity for final release from tethers

This aspect of the Spring Equinox is perhaps the most exciting. Many world traditions around this time hold themes of new beginnings, redemption, resurrection and a rising from old states into new, more expanded states. A dynasty of Persian kings known as the Achaemenians celebrated the spring equinox with the festival of No Ruz, which means “new day.” It is a celebration of hope and renewal still observed today in many Persian countries and has its roots in the much more ancient framework of Zoroastrianism.

The indigenous Mayan people in Central American have celebrated a spring equinox festival for ten centuries called the Return of the Sun Serpent. As the sun sets on the day of the Equinox on the great ceremonial pyramid, El Castillo in Mexico, the lengthening shadows appear to run from the top of the pyramid’s northern staircase to the bottom, giving the illusion of a diamond-backed snake in descent and taking with it old paradigms, past hurts, regrets and anything we may have held that keeps us separate from our divinity.

The Roman god, Mithras, was born at the winter solstice and resurrected in the spring. Mithras helped his followers ascend to the realm of light after death, and in ancient Rome, the followers of Cybele believed that their goddess had a consort who was born via a virgin birth. His name was Attis, and he died and was resurrected each year during the time of the Vernal Equinox on the Julian Calendar. The Jewish Passover is celebrated at this time as a celebration of deliverance and freedom.

its an opportunity for final release from tethers daniellevandevelde

These themes of new beginnings and the opportunity of freedom appear again in the Christian festival of Easter and the resurrection of Christ, which is determined each year through the lunar cycle. Easter always falls on the Sunday following the full moon that follows the Spring Equinox.

These are but a few beautiful traditions that encapsulate the return of Light through messianic saviours. There are many more, and most follow similar patterns of the saviour dying and after a time period of three stages, rising again, offering a new beginning and freedom from past low vibration states – just as the sun disappears for three months through the winter and returns as promised in the spring with the assurance of freedom from enclosure and a feast of new growth.

Our spiritual explorations can sometimes see us fall into the mire of attachment to old useless states and perspectives of ourselves, our lives and our world. So many spiritual modalities and practitioners offer ways to search, analyse, identify, name and blame the causes of the hurts, anger, blockages and illnesses we may be experiencing. Past life, karmic, familial and ancestral work is interesting and illuminating, but the Spring Equinox is reminding us that the final move is always a choice to lay it all down and move into a new day. This opportunity is open to us in every moment, but if we have built a whole identity, life and set of relationships on top of that psychic junk, it can prove sticky and hard to let go of. The energies of the Equinox can be put to use here. At this time we can simply make the choice to lay it down, along with the ninja weapons, sharp words and defence shields; to go raw, forgive, release and claim a new beginning.

The dawn of the Equinox was a common time to enter practice and align with these beautiful movements across all traditions as is the orientation of the east. A beautiful practice is to wake early on the morning of the Equinox and the mornings that follow it, head into nature, face east and hold the intent that the rising new sun is also rising within and dawning a new way to move forward from that moment onwards. It sounds simple, but the engagement with intent and the correspondent energies in nature creates the shift. Just try it and see!

4. It’s a time for purification and forging

The increasing light at this time of year triggers growth in the botanical realm, seeds to germinate, animals to be birthed and eggs to be laid. So, it is of little surprise that the key element engaged with, in Equinox traditions, is Fire. In pagan Europe, the threshing hay that covered the floors of houses during the long winter months was gathered and burnt. In Iran, a festival called Chahar-Shanbeh Suri takes place right before the Equinox begins, and people purify their homes, burn fires and leap over the flames as a ritual of personal purification to welcome the 13-day Equinox celebration of No Ruz. In agricultural lands, the winter dross in the fields was burnt to clear the soil for the spring planting and first season crops. Old materials were recycled into fuel for growth.

its a time for purification and forging daniellevandevelde

On Ostara, green and white candles were lit in homes to honour the coming of the sun and the opportunity the season brings. Fire both purifies and forges, and this is the invitation of the Equinox. It is the time to dispense with the dross of low-grade content, thought patterns and relationships that hold us apart from our soul calling and to garner the courage to set to work in bringing it into a lived reality.

5. It’s a time of creation and celebration

In ancient Babylon, the Goddess Ishtar (pronounced Easter) was celebrated through ritualistic orgies that went on for days over the time of the Spring Equinox. Rather than the Netflix image that this tradition might invoke, it was a deliberate spiritual practice that accessed the enormous creative potential energies of the sacral within the human system.

Ostara is usually associated with the coupling of Pan, the Lord of the Botanical Realm and the energies of the spring goddess, to generate new growth, new realities, and the pagan traditions of the Equinox were marked by celebrations of romance, beauty and nature. Pan was also the Lord of the hunt, dancing and the feast, and he reminds us of the importance of acknowledgement of our journey, the beauty of the game of life and the importance of celebrating our blessings.

The Equinox invites us to tap this aspect of ourselves as well. To celebrate the union with our lovers, to feast with our friends and nurture gratitude for our blessings of friendship, abundance and love, things that many of us reprioritise in busy, modern lives. These activities are correspondent with the energies rising in the wild field around us and generate inspiration, movement and productivity.

its a time of creation and celebration daniellevandevelde

Another important shared symbol of this time is the rabbit or hare. It is the first animal to make an appearance when the snow starts to melt and is known for its fecundity. In ancient Egypt and Japan, the markings of the spring full moon were believed to represent a jumping hare. In medieval societies in Europe, the March hare was viewed as a major fertility symbol. The female of the species is super-fertile and can conceive a second litter while still pregnant with a first. Ostara’s consort is the white hare and she was believed to take on its form when delivering messages and prompts for action and movement through nature.

These beautiful energies of fecundity and productivity support all actions at this time. Procrastination will be met with higher than usual feelings of discomfort and frustration.

6. It’s a gateway to access the field of possibility

Eggs and seeds were commonly used in Equinox celebrations and rituals and supermarket shelves today are already stocked with shelves upon shelves of chocolate eggs. The symbol of the egg has very ancient roots. In pagan Europe, seeds and eggs were incorporated into seasonal feasts and eggs used for a beautiful tradition of writing the intents on the shell and then burying them under the earth near the front door of the practitioner’s home with new spring plants planted on top, a practice still used today by modern pagans.

Eggs, for this reason, were also coloured and placed in bowls in the home. Seeds were used to carry whispers and prayers into ‘the other’ by breathing intent into them and planting them in the garden, and crop seeds were honoured with a ritual before the first season of planting.

its a gateway to access the field of possibility daniellevandevelde

Pagan Anglo-Saxons made offerings of coloured eggs to the Ostara at the Equinox. In fact, most cultures paid homage to their springtime goddesses with gifts of eggs, including the Egyptians and the Greeks.

The golden yolk of the egg represents the Sun God. The white shell symbolizes the White Goddess, and the whole egg is a symbol of rebirth. Today, we know that chickens begin egg production as the days grow longer. Egg-laying is intricately connected to the lengthening of days at the Vernal Equinox. The Druids dyed eggs scarlet in honour of the sun, using gorse blossoms and madder roots. They also ritually ate the eggs at sunrise on Ostara.

One popular legend in the Germanic tradition is that Eostre found a wounded bird late in winter. To save its life, she transformed it into a hare. The bird took the appearance of a hare but retained the ability to lay eggs. The hare would decorate these eggs and leave them as gifts to Eostre, hence our tradition of the Easter Bunny was born.

To alchemists, the egg also has symbolic associations with the four elements: the shell representing the earth, the membrane representing air, the egg white representing water, and the yolk, fire. To Christians, the egg represents the empty tomb of the risen Christ.

However, it’s the traditions of the eastern Europeans, particularly the Ukrainians, that honour the symbol of the egg in the most beautiful ways. They created intricately coloured eggs called pysanky as amulets of fertility, protection, and prosperity. Pysanky can be found in many homeware stores at this time. Another Ukrainian magical egg is the krashanka. Krashanky are hard-boiled and intended to be ritually eaten at sunrise on Ostara. They were associated with healing, extraction of illness and low-vibrations, and protection, and were believed to increase the production of crops and honey.

its a gateway to access the field of possibility daniellevandevelde

These symbols represent the immense generative powers of spring and are also symbols of the embodied human spirit, that holds the potential and infinite possibilities of our highest expression in life. They remind us to look within, to our innate spiritual design for revelation and transmutation. All that we require to rise is within us.

For me, the most complete information around the spiritual potential of the Spring Equinox can be found in the runes. In ancient times, the Nordic and Celtic runes were far more than an alphabet or divination tool as they are commonly understood to be today. They were a series of energetic correspondences collapsed into symbols and they hold much information relevant for us now on how to engage with the Wheel of the Year. The runes for the Spring Equinox (by their Anglo-Saxon names) were in order: Tyr, Eoh and Beorc.

its a gateway to access the field of possibility daniellevandevelde its a gateway to access the field of possibility daniellevandevelde its a gateway to access the field of possibility daniellevandevelde

This combination of runes captures the creative forces that unite to bring the manifest world to bear and they are no more detectable than at the time of the Spring Equinox. Tyr is the god rune (Father Sky) represented by the spear. The rune speaks of action and direction. Its characteristics are order, justice, social values, oaths and courage. Beorc is the goddess rune (feminine mysteries) and is represented by the birch tree. The symbol speaks of birthing, regeneration, growth, caring, creativity and fecundity. And in between the two is Eoh, represented by the horse. This symbol speaks to the use of our own spiritual vehicle of the human system, movement, adjustment to various situations on the move, partnership, cooperation and the astral or energy body (the call to get your spiritual game on). Together, they encapsulate both the energies of the Equinox and the connections we can make to engage more fully with this incredible wave of energy that is stirring within and around us.

Happy Spring Equinox! May the growing Light bring you freedom, celebration and a shift into your true purpose and life.

Love,

Dani

If you have any questions or thoughts about the powerful gateway of the Spring Equinox and how to engage, do get in touch. You can also visit my website to explore courses and useful content to guide you on your path to healing, self-discovery and mindful living. 

If you enjoyed this post and would like to share it, I request that you please credit Danielle Van de Velde as the author. I do not authorise repurposing or republishing without my written permission. You may email me for the same.

 

Conscious Creation: what is it really?

Conscious Creation: what is it really?

Does your current reality have you seeking deeper engagement and skills to navigate your inner and outer terrains? Does the ‘shape’ of your life no longer fit with the ‘shifts’ happening around you? Are you recognising the pull to prioritise your desires and dreams, but you’re not sure where to start or how to make them a reality? Do you have a feeling, a palpable knowing that there’s so much more to you and the nature of life, that has so far eluded you, but also beckons?

These types of questions are not only common to many of us but are being regularly asked, every day in my private sessions. The impact of the last year (which continues into this one) has everyone, at some level, seeking much deeper meaning and engagement with life; and, the ways we have always approached things just don’t seem to be cutting it anymore. 

It is for exactly these reasons that on the March Equinox this year, I am opening up my process of Shape Shifting to anyone who feels drawn. For the last five years, this incredibly self-empowering process has been held in a private community and repeated as a group, as participants have manifested their intended goals, and new horizons have opened up. 

‘Shape Shifting’ is a Shamanic term that explains the process of energising a new reality from ‘the field of possibility’ into our current experience, through creating inner change. The ability to consciously create our experienced reality is taught in most major esoteric frameworks, which propound the importance of expanding the perception of self and life, to work with the vibrational fields of intent, desire and volition and use our intuitive faculties to receive guidance, and interact with the field of possibilities. 

Through shifting our inner perspectives, practices and vibration, we can change the shape of our experienced reality. In fact, we are creating our reality every second. However, for the most part, we are doing so unconsciously, and therefore experiencing less than desirable or ‘mixed’ events and relationships. The process of Shape Shifting makes the unconscious, conscious, and puts us back in the driver’s seat of ourselves and our lives. 

It is a process that I have engaged with for years, and it combines perspectives and practices from the main schools of knowledge that I participate in, those being: Western Hermetic Magic, Shamanism, Yogic philosophy and Taoism. And whilst the process itself requires a goal, and measures to be defined at the start, these are simply to create a frame of reference for engagement. Once the goal manifests, the process remains integral to our operating system and this is the real treasure of Shape Shifting. 

“…Dani and her Shape Shifting course have changed my life! I’ve always believed that you take charge of your own destiny, but Dani took this conscious creation to the next level, that is divine and magical…I love this course! It has integrated my life in ways I’ve not imagined, and for that, I’m grateful for Dani, her wisdom and guidance throughout the process, and the collective wisdom of the tribe that has made this journey even more extraordinary…”

I am enormously grateful for the current Shape Shifting community which has rigorously engaged with each of the six steps, the home practices and within the community over the years. Based in Singapore, UK, USA, The Netherlands, Switzerland, India and Australia, each and every person has added their energy and insights to the process, ripening and guiding its evolution. Thanks to them, there now exists a fabulous library of resources that complement the six audio lessons. And, their experiences have guided me to create new members’ features for the journey, including additional support from coaches, seers and providers, a set of exclusive guided journey and meditation tracks, and a solid program of live check-ins, talks and additional materials, if desired. 

What I have learnt over the years, is that there is a far more efficient way to master the self and life, and that is to view and approach it spiritually, and with our inner abilities of intentional choice, ritual, introspection, intuition and intuitive guidance. With solid ritual, guided introspection and especially belonging to a magical community, change can manifest in measurable ways, with a revitalized sense of personal power. 

“…Magical, otherworldly, essential – Dani’s Shape Shifting course has changed my life in a way I could not have expected. I am fully awake and in control of my own destiny, no longer merely a passenger on life’s bumpy bus. Shape Shifting has injected a dose of magic and purpose into me that will forever course through my veins, and for that, I am in gratitude…”

This experience is not for the faint-hearted or casual dabbler. This process facilitates some huge paradigm shifts that require courage and valour. 

Here are some of the main initial paradigms that are flipped by Shape Shifting:

LIFE IS NOT HAPPENING TO YOU. IT IS HAPPENING BECAUSE OF YOU AND IT IS HAPPENING FOR YOU.

WHEN YOU CONSCIOUSLY TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR EVERYTHING YOU EXPERIENCE, YOU RE-MERGE WITH YOUR CREATIVE CENTRE, AND YOU START TO CREATE CONSCIOUSLY.

THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS LUCK.

YOU HAVE AT YOUR DISPOSAL IMMENSE CORE FIELDS OF INTELLIGENCE AND ENERGY THAT CAN BE PUT TO USE TO CREATE DESIRED OUTCOMES.

How do these feel when you try them on? 

Is your system calling ‘YES!’? Excellent! This means you are ready for some tools and perspectives to get going.

Are your senses piqued, but you’d like to understand more? Excellent! Click the links at the end of this article or get in touch

Can you feel resistance? Excellent! This means that you’re touching a paradigm edge that is worth exploring. 

“This course in Shape Shifting is highly powerful and has the transformative potential to completely shift how you perceive and experience yourself and the world. The question is whether we are personally and deeply ready to make the inner changes required to start and maintain this process. The course is not for the faint-hearted or weak-willed, but it also comes with immense resources to support the equally immense shift. As a teacher and guide, Dani generously shares her deep knowledge and tools to facilitate and nurture the changes that each individual seeks to create, completely at our own timing and process. She has also carefully curated a community of medicine women who are ever ready to share their expertise, as well as a wider community of Spirit seekers that offer sincere encouragement and friendship for our journey.”

Alongside the Shape Shifting instructional content – which takes the form of sequenced audio lessons, guided home practices and access to video updates from previous shifts, beautiful guided meditations, shamanic journeys and energy practices – community membership is just as important. Why?

Community is important because transformative inner practice always involves contemplation of inner patterns of behaviour, beliefs and fears which have held our current reality in place. When we desire change, to experience a new reality or goal, our inner landscape must change first, as it is the causal aspect of being. 

To do this effectively, we need to find ways to view ourselves, perspectives and behaviours objectively. The tools within the process of meditation, divination and journaling are enormously useful for this, and equally so, is a bonded community. 

A bonded spiritual community becomes a conduit to the process of each individual therein. Insights, synchronicities and shared experiences are always a feature of the Shape Shifting group. Very often the support, encouragement and alternative perspectives of the group are what’s needed to unlock well-laid patterns and perspectives that keep us small and misaligned with our spiritual power. 

Through sharing and articulating our process with each other, not only is there a beautiful experience of camaraderie and celebration, but an essential felt knowing of Oneness as Spirit moves readily through a group with shared intent.

“The Shape Shifting course has been incredibly transformative for me, allowing me to delve deep into my true and authentic inner hopes, fears and desires under the carefully planned and beautifully authentic and heartfelt spiritual tutelage of the divine Dani. I cannot say enough about the depth of loving-kindness and support that Dani brings to the table, alongside her deep knowledge of spiritual frameworks. The course is really well planned and easy to follow for busy people, with weekly official audio and video tutorials as well as in-person optional check-ins, which I felt were incredibly useful to connect with other shape shifters and as a vehicle to practice in person and discuss progress with Dani. The private and confidential FB group was also a great way to harness the power of group progress and learn from one another. I would recommend this course to anyone and everyone seeking to make changes in their life, understand themselves better and grow their spiritual and intuitive practices. Dani goes above and beyond to support her students. Thank you, Dani, from the bottom of my heart!”

And from a few of our 2020 Shape Shifters:

“My Shape Shifting experience was life-changing. I came with a very practical intention of something to manifest, and finished with a massive shift in my confidence. This is something I have been working on for years. The process of Shape Shifting unblocked it in a meaningful and long-lasting way. This was my first Shape Shift, and I am looking forward to starting another in 2021.”

“I was completely new to anything like Shape Shifting and I was not sure if it would be for me. I loved the very practical nature of setting a clear intention, thinking about what I would see, hear, feel if (when!) this happened, and then the invitation to move forward each week with specific clear tasks. I loved thinking about altars and how to set one up, and the meditations that Dani shared. They have made a fundamental change to my daily practices, and how I think and feel about setting intentions and moving towards them. I highly recommend Dani and Shape Shifting, and I can’t wait to start my next one.”

“Shape Shifting was an experience of Great Remembering. It provided the tools, container and support to deeply dive into the realms of my Shadow and Light; into my hidden creations and aspects. It opened the doors to greater empowerment and connection. Truly transformational – not in becoming a different person, but rather a Return to the self. Thank you.”

conscious creation what is it really danielle van de velde

In the window of the 2021 March Equinox, we will together enter the Shape Shifting Journey again, and continue once more with a second Shape Shift on the September Equinox. Will you join us?

Registrations close Monday, March 15th (midnight, Singapore time). Click the link to find out program details, journey planner for your diary and to register. 

Welcome to a seasoned and proven process of Conscious Creation. Now more than ever, it’s time!

If you have any questions or thoughts about Conscious Creation and the process of Shape Shifting, do get in touch. You can also visit my website to explore courses and useful content to guide you on your path to healing, self-discovery and mindful living. 

If you enjoyed this post and would like to share it, I request that you please credit Danielle Van de Velde as the author. I do not authorise repurposing or republishing without my written permission. You may email me for the same.

2021 the year of unity danielle van de velde

The Maiden Archetype and the Magic of Today’s Young Women

The Season of the Maiden

The Maiden Archetype and the Magic of Today’s Young Women

 

My mum’s favourite nursery rhyme for me growing up was:

Mary Mary, Quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With Silver Bells, And Cockle Shells,

And so my garden grows.

And it was a great fit for me for several reasons. I was, and still am, quite contrary. My wild curly hair could not – and still can’t be tamed. I questioned everything (still do), which would often get in the way of the schedules of a busy home with four very active children.  

But the nursery rhyme also speaks of an otherworldliness and a connection with nature that I felt deeply. I would spend a lot of time dwelling upon this – whether that be out on the grass, cloud-gazing, or up a tree, away from others or in the quiet safety of my room, drawing, writing, crafting. Every year my school reports from grade one through to high school made some mention of my tendency to daydream. My bedroom shelves were full of shells, feathers, special sticks and stones. I had an irresistible urge for making healing potions out of available honey, herbs, and anything else I could get my hands on. I was indeed a girl of ‘silver bells and cockle shells’. My dreaming was always strong – and what I later found out to be lucid, that is, I was aware that I was dreaming in my dreams and could direct the action and outcomes of the dreams. And the diaries…many many journals over the years! 

I felt deeply connected to the shifts in the wild field of seasons, storms and moons, the creatures, earth and the sensations within my own body. I knew there was information there, an intelligence. This too has remained with me as an adult.

The drive to create beauty, with meaning, was a constant. Being an artist, my mum generously indulged this, with journals and materials always in full supply. She also encouraged me with time in the holidays and weekends to simply create. She very patiently sat and listened to the recitations of every poem and short story I penned and made sure each new artistic creation occupied a place of pride somewhere in the house for a time. Thank you, mum!

the season of the maiden 2 danielle van de velde

In my teens I had an insatiable appetite for systems and frameworks and world views that could answer my questions about my own nature, the sensations I felt within and in nature itself. 

Perhaps because the answers were not readily available, and very much to deal with my contrary nature, I was moved into excellent and strict education, groomed for a life of business and success, and the behaviours and ‘magical’ leanings were gently dismissed as the whimsical nature of a little girl who ‘needed to grow up in the real world’. But they didn’t go…these leanings, they couldn’t be dismissed as they were intrinsic to my being…they just went deep underground. They were nurtured quietly through my ponderings, reading and experimentation and then later, by wonderful teachers and guides who taught me how to tend to my spiritual garden, prune it, water it, weed out what didn’t serve me, to love it and make it sacred, powerful and prioritised.

Fast track years later, after many years of teaching girls and young women in community workshops and in meditation courses and becoming the mother of a vibrant, creative and magically-inclined teenage girl, I have come to understand two significant realities.

That all girls have these leanings towards the sacred, meaningful creativity, deep ‘felt-sense’ or clairsentience, and, 

that these ‘whimsical leanings’ are not ‘just girly nonsense’. They are the first wild expressions of the dazzling spiritual nature of the Feminine, the archetype of ‘The Maiden’.

the season of the maiden 3 danielle van de velde

The Maiden archetype has been acknowledged around the world in various ways since ancient times. It is in the first of the Celtic Triple Goddess, through the New Moon to First Quarter Moon in Lunar Magic; in the fairy tales of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White; in Greek mythology’s Persephone, and in the Sanskrit epic poem Ramayana. 

Far from a compliant, virginal wisp, The Maiden represents the burgeoning feminine power, aching for expression, with all the glory and power of the awakened woman enfolded within it, much like a rose is enfolded in the rosebud. No less striking nor impactful, in its promise, beauty and potential.

the season of the maiden 4 danielle van de velde

In the wilderness, The Maiden corresponds with the seasonal turn from Imbolc to Spring Equinox, when there’s a stirring of life within the earth. There’s a subtle and beautiful tilt in light, vibration, and the palpable and highly magical state of potential and promise.  

As we near the first two days of February, we enter the first turn of the Wheel of the Year, a cross-quarter point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox (in the northern hemisphere). This is the Feast of Imbolc, the season of The Maiden. 

The sunlight changes in the sky to a brighter and perceivably longer day. Water currents in the oceans and river systems shift, and deep beneath our busy cities and busy lives, the Earth is stirring into spring. Just like young women, the early spring is subtle under the surface. For most northern countries, the land is still veiled in ice and snow, but the signs of the shift become evident at this time. Snow drifts start to shrink and the slight increase in the light stirs seeds into germination and animals from hibernation. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we are all affected by these shifts, because we come from, and dwell in, the same wild-field which enters into a wholesale ‘gear-up for growth’. 

In my observation and personal experience, young women embody this ‘under the surface’ gear-up for growth, expansion and expression. It comes through us in impulses, like the impulse to write, draw, craft; or to clear out disused clothes and items from cupboards and shelves; the impulse to take new directions, learn new skills, create new habits (or shed old ones). 

As with all the ‘hinges‘ of the Wheel of the Year, this time has been marked for thousands of years with beautiful rituals across many different traditions that help the seeker connect consciously with the immense wild-field of energy that is stirring, and to put it to use. The ancient Celtic festival is known as Imbolc (pronounced EE-molc) which derives from the meaning, ‘in the belly’. Perhaps this is in reference to pregnant or milking sheep of the season. It could also refer to spring, stirring but still remaining within the belly of the Earth and within the heart of The Maiden. In Pagan Europe, this time was closely associated with the pre-Christian goddess Brighid and the three-fold goddess transforming from The Crone (winter) into The Maiden (spring). Festivals to mark this juncture were known as Feast of Torches, Oimelc, Lupercalia, Feast of Pan, Snowdrop Festival, Feast of the Waxing Light, and no doubt, many others that are now lost in time. 

Later, Imbolc was celebrated by Christians as St Brigid’s feast day (the pagan goddess and Christian saint sharing many attributes and features). The vibration of this time also refracts through the festivals of Candlemas and Groundhog Day. 

What is beautiful about the many evolutions of the rituals that connect us with the early vibration of spring, is that over the ages, certain archetypal symbols and rituals have repeated over and over again across traditions. It is these threads that intrigue me and that I put to use in my own practice. These symbols and traditions link us to the wider field of energy that is available, because they have been charged with the awareness of many, many people before us through time, just as our churches, temples, sacred sites and the wilderness are energetic bridges too. It is their role in the human story. They are gateways. 

the season of the maiden 5 danielle van de velde

I’m grateful that my teenage years were spared from the pressures of the Internet, social media, augmented representations of the female body, attributes and messaging, that our girls today need to navigate. Now more than ever before, our young women require inner stability and strength, and access to their truth and voice, a deeply rooted inner garden. 

Of all the world’s refractions of The Maiden archetype, it’s the Nordic Shield Maiden that appeals to me the most, as a useful archetype for our modern young women. 

The ‘Shield Maiden’ in ancient Nordic cultures was a highly revered and respected member of the tribe. She was a warrior who wielded extraordinary power, strength, presence and magical ability. She held her place in the armies of men. She was young, unwed and schooled by the tribal Mages. She had the power and blessings of the Valkyries at her command. She stood for the archetype of ‘The Maiden’ in her full power.

Her shield represented her Spirit, not one of attack or defence, but rather a protector, counsel and tactical adept. She had the lore of magic at her disposal and was consulted by the great councils. She advised on strategic direction and she and her sisters unleashed precise and effective victories. It was not her physical strength that gained her a place in the Halls of Valhalla, as impressive as that was, but her alignment to and embodiment of spiritual power. 

In our modern times, the days of physical battles and raids dwell within myth and legend. However, now more than ever, the attributes of the Shield Maiden are calling and stirring in young women. Modern pop culture, music and images, peer and societal pressure, augmented stereotypes and media have our modern maidens seeking answers and reconnection to their inner ground and their magic which is deeply felt and a source of great strength.

Since my daughter arrived 13 years ago I have pondered how I can offer support for the reclamation and reconnection for girls and young women with their innate spiritual garden bed. Recently, after receiving the 13th request from the mother of a maiden to support her daughter’s spiritual leanings, I have finally done something about it.

I am delighted to open up the Shield Maiden series this Imbolc, January 31st. It is a series of workshops to enable that reconnection and equip young women with the wisdom, practical know-how and spiritual life-skills that Modern Magic offers. Each workshop includes guidance and instruction, materials, meditation techniques, creative magic, spell casting and downloadable reminder notes.

the season of the maiden 6 danielle van de velde

Welcome to The Season of the Maiden, in 2021. And if you have a maiden in your home who has these beautiful energies emerging through her, and you’re based in Singapore, you can check out the Shield Maiden series details here. To generate some inner stillness and connect with your own inner garden, meditation and self-enquiry are proven to open this space up and enable you to come to know yourself more deeply. You can find my online meditation resources here.

Blessed Imbolc, everyone!

If you have any questions or thoughts about the Maiden Archetype and the Shield Maiden series, do get in touch. You can also visit my website to explore courses and useful content to guide you on your path to healing, self-discovery and mindful living. 

If you enjoyed this post and would like to share it, I request that you please credit Danielle Van de Velde as the author. I do not authorise repurposing or republishing without my written permission. You may email me for the same.

2021 the year of unity danielle van de velde

2021: The Year of Unity

2021: The Year of Unity

Happy New Year everyone, and welcome to a brand-new, squeaky-clean year!

I like to think of a whole new zipped-up year that’s before us, as one big swirling living field of POTENTIAL. All possibilities exist in there. And what brings them to bear within our experienced reality is…US! Yes, it’s what we intend, what we desire and what we choose.

Intent, Desire and Choice are our three biggest spiritual superpowers. The energy from each ripples out from our largest emanating centres of the energy body, and when those emanating vibrations are in accord, unified, and felt vibrantly, we create realities. This is the vision, magnetism and raw fuel of our spiritual design. We are Creatives! When we are unified within, we heal. When we are unified with life and each other, we live magically.

In my usual process over the last month, I dipped into ‘the field’ to intuit the direction for me, my family and my offerings for my community going forward. It’s a beautiful process, which involves deep gratitude for the unexpected blessings of – let’s face it – the weirdest and most challenging year to date, settling into deep stillness, and watching my inner ground and outer experiences for the direction.

Part of this process for me is to pull up from detailed planning and look at the synchronous themes, the ones that keep repeating. Within a day of setting up our Christmas tree at home, a sweet little spider wove its web just under the top angel’s feet. On the Solstice, another little spider had moved into my sacred space. Every day when I went to meditate and light my candles, it would pop out to say hello from a crystal, seashell or flower. This beautiful ‘spider-medicine’ was inviting me to get weaving. So first, I gathered the threads I was to work with.

It was in the writings I published throughout 2020, the themes within my private sessions and my own inner enquiry that held them.   

From the start of the year, I have written consistently around the knowing that every twist and turn of 2020, from the Australian fires to the dynamics of the pandemic, to BLM, to politics, and everything in between has been,

 

“a simulation in Oneness Consciousness.” 

 

So, what does that mean?

2020 didn’t operate along the lines of ‘separation’ like the human race does. It didn’t discriminate. It had us gagged (AKA masked), separated from contact, touch, rituals that mark our lives, loved ones, and travel. It radically and equally affected the kings and queens and the poor and vulnerable. We were forced ‘in’. We all realised, to some degree, how important the freedom of breath, the spoken word, face to face contact, touch, family and tribe and community are, to our wellbeing and our spirits.

It is abundantly clear that the countries that have a positive bias toward community responsibility, clear and regular communications, collusion between leaders and trusting communities, flattened their pandemic curves faster and established a degree of stability. It was and is the ‘united fronts’ that are faring the best.

The BLM movement revealed the ugliness of systemic racism in the United States and it rippled around the world, waking many of us up to white privilege, and the insidious acculturation of racism, within our language, expressions, street names, product branding and pop culture. And it led many of us to make very different choices. There’s so much more to be done around police brutality, and equal access to opportunity and care for everyone. However, in the scheme of the year, and certainly for me, BLM shifted my compass to zero-tolerance for discrimination of any kind, and it did so by showing me my blind spots to it. The political turbulence globally invited all of us to choose what it is we personally stand for, and to put that choice into action.

In my day-to-day, it has been the requests and feedback from my community, which has also illuminated the same theme of UNITY. Calls for in-person meditation circles again, calls from parents asking for guidance in connecting their children to modern spiritual arts, calls for connection to and expression of life purpose, calls for deeper diving into spiritual frameworks, calls for healing, calls for empowerment.

I scanned my library of debrief recordings from healing sessions and realised that I had delivered just shy of a thousand intuitive healing sessions in 2020, a jump in numbers by hundreds. Partly because my annual pilgrimages didn’t happen, I had around two months more than usual in the healing rooms, but mostly due to the crucible of 2020 waking people up…via dissonance, illness, anxiety, depression, cancer, relationship splits, and a whole raft of uncomfortable, unignorable, kick-in-the-pants messaging. And all of the healing happened through connecting with healing energy and connecting with perspectives of Oneness…with the self, with life, with purpose, with Spirit.

oneness conciousness daniellevandevelde

‘Oneness Consciousness’ is not a thought. It’s an embodied, felt, mode of operation, outlook and perception. We all have experienced snippets of ‘felt unity’. Usually, for me, through the wilderness, but also through a random act of kindness, a dream of someone and then through contact received from that person afterwards, or the palpable joy felt by everyone I know as 2020 drew to a close and we passed into this new year, for example.

We all have had flashes of the feeling that we are interconnected in far more mysterious and invisible ways than we logically understand. It’s not a thought. It’s not a concept or abstraction. It’s not the stuff of social media. It’s a knowing. It’s a felt, lived, vibrational, non-personal, empowered, ‘place-taking in the hologram of life’. Oneness consciousness is an experienced reality. It is freedom. Freedom from need, fear or shame. This freedom comes from an expanded perspective of self and life and recontextualization of intense sensation. In other words, a spiritual enquiry.

So back to my process of ‘leaning into…welcoming…uniting with…2021’. How can I weave these threads into offerings of the highest support to UNITY?

To enable and empower UNITY we need re-connection and re-membering between the parts of us that have been dis-membered, between ourselves and the Earth, between our magical and mundane and between each other. And this is what I’m focussing on for 2021 – courses, workshops and experiences that create connection, enable remembering and empower UNITY.

In this weave, it feels fitting that the first new online meditation experience to open this year is Heart Light. Heart Light is a series of eight beautiful meditations that are specifically engaged with to serve others. Each comes with a mini audio lesson that explains the origins and dynamics of the meditation and a beautiful unique guided track. The intent for Heart Light is to help us raise our focus to the collective, and in doing so, expand our hearts in service and love, and in their capacity to generate and hold spiritual energy.

In addition, in the first few months of 2021, some fabulous new offerings will open alongside the favourites. The focus is on:

–  Uniting with self-healing and intuitive abilities

–  Connecting with deeper esoteric processes and other practitioners of Magical Arts

–  Connecting minds and hearts, with some of the world’s greatest teachers and spiritual writing

–  Uniting with the wilderness and our next generation of spirit-seekers

–  Connecting wealth and abundance to those without

For regular updates on all 2021 programs and registration windows, please subscribe at https://daniellevandevelde.com/subscribe/

My January newsletter is out next week with some fabulous new offerings.

I am hoping, willing, with all of my might, to head off on pilgrimage later this year and also to cycle back to Oz for some time on my land and with family. But like you, I am playing the wait-and-see game. So, all of my focus is on providing unique, inspirational and life-changing experiences in the first half of the year, and then we’ll see.

Welcome to 2021. Let’s do this together!

If you enjoyed this post and would like to share it, I request that you please credit Danielle Van de Velde as the author. I do not authorise repurposing or republishing without my written permission. You may email me for the same.