Some time ago Ben and I found a dead and decaying swan. It wasn’t in our own country I hasten to add, before anyone alerts the queen! (as we know all swans in England belong to the queen!) In fact we found two dead swans and on further examination we realised they had been shot. We were quite mortified that this could have happened and deeply saddened by it. We sat there and drummed and spoke with the swans, offering our support for their continued soul journey.

Why on earth would anyone shoot such beautiful creatures and then leave them on the ground? This has puzzled us immensely, but then I only have to look around at our human race regards animals and birds to know we are pretty ignorant in that department. But what to do in this moment? Back in England it was very customary of us to pick up road kill and any findings we had and honoring the animal or bird by giving new life to it through shamanic ritual and ceremony. We often keep wings or skin or bones with the deepest respect to the animal, inviting its medicine into our hearts and home.swans

So our new found meeting would be the same, but only one set of wings as our suitcase was not of the largest kind. To cut a long story and traveling experience short, we arrived back home with a beautiful set of wings that were treated and decorated in a most special way. On route we also discovered the bullet that had killed her as it hit the vein in her neck. I made a small pouch for it, wanting to also in some way honor the way she had died. I wore this small bullet in the pouch around my own neck.

It then came a time to take these wings to ceremony where we would be dancing and honoring our own dreams. The wings came with me and lay in the center of the room, representing ether, and the journey from earth to sky, from the south to the north.

As time went on, I met with part of my own journey within the dance. A moment where I had to question a story from my past. A time of being locked away, because I was ‘too’ much for my mother. Screaming and shouting as a four year old, wanting her own way, I stretched up for the golden door handle that I could not reach. My arms not long enough to take that door knob in my hand and release myself from that cold bedroom where I felt so alone.

I began to turn that energy in on myself, afraid of being locked away if i was at all unreasonable, if I dared to be different, outspoken or becoming unmanageable, I chose to be introverted and shy, nervous of speaking out particularly in groups of people. I knew that that needed to change and it did over the years, as I became a teacher of what I loved and began to share it with others, creating my own business, Alchemy In Movement, and stepping up into a leadership role. But I always knew there was more!

There is always more work to be done, no matter who, where or how we are in our life. I knew there was so much more in me and I was acting on around 46% of the energy I really had in my work and my ability. My childhood trauma was able to keep that in place and I knew there was a tough journey ahead to fully step up and move on.

And then something did happen, in that ceremony, that moment of being asked to call the part of ourselves that had the ability to destroy. ‘Destroy what?’ I remember thinking. Then I was called to look at that old story of 50 years ago, and suddenly the energy that had been held within my body, since those very early days shifted and as I stood amongst my peers, with all my heart, I spoke out some of the words I had never dared speak before. I felt like a bullet, searing through thin air, as my muscles contracted and that enormous energy was born into the atmosphere that I had created all around me. A moment in time so profound it almost knocked me over. My own wings expanded and I felt reborn. I touched that little pouch that I wore around my neck, my throat, the bullet that some how reflected this shift in my own energy and I thanked that swan medicine for supporting me and guiding me.

Later during our ceremony, I had the desire to sing a song that had found its way to me once while sitting in nature, as I danced in that ceremony its last verse dropped in,  it was a verse for the swan, the words very clearly sang through me, “Sacred Swan, help me sing the song that I was born to bring to earth”  and I stepped up to do so, but time was short and I was losing my will to give my voice that space. Suddenly from the area where I had been sitting, my song-stick, the one that traveled with me as I wrote my songs, fell or moved, I don’t know how and dropped next to a lighted candle, it began to burn before it was rescued by a dear fellow dancer. I knew in that moment I had to sing, for that song-stick reminded me, ‘sing or burn, sing or burn’….I found my voice, I sang my song I called that swan to sing through me with my own energy, the energy I was born to bring to earth.

And not until later did I realise that of course, the swan only sings when it dies!! I had let go of an old story, something had died inside me and I was singing the song of its passing. It had surely died and I was ready now to step up and claim the rest of the 54% of my own energy, to empower what was true for me and not to allow this old story to hold me back any more.

I reached for that golden knob of a door handle, stretching my body my heart and my spirit, I reached for that golden ball of light and called back the soul-part that had been hidden away, filling myself with its light, I was covered in warmth, sensuality and a strong sense of belonging. My song, my voice was here in its fullness…. By the will of nature, the medicine of grace and knowing, I was reborn.

Caroline Carey

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