The house we met in was out in a local village, the home of one of Aureen's friends........ and a lovely home it is too, all neutral colours and rustic pine doors and furniture, with two gorgeous figurines on the mantelpiece in the living room that I loved. The atmosphere was instantly welcoming and I felt comfortable straightaway. Aureen introduced me to the other lady, who I shall call A, who I later discovered had been doing healing for seven years. Two other ladies were to have joined us but one had contacted her to say she couldn't come, due to having new lambs to feed, and the other one had been struggling to find a babysitter and didn't turn up, so guess she didn't find one.
We then moved into a small sitting area off the kitchen where we all sat on cushioned wooden chairs. Aureen then went on to explain a little about what she would be covering this week and how she saw things developing in future weeks and how we would be integrated with another small group when we reach the same level as them. Next were explanations on: psychic protection and various ways of creating a bubble of protection around ourselves, such as imagining a ball of white light surrounding us, or a sphere of light that we step into then zip up behind us; how to firmly ground ourselves by imagining branches growing from the soles of our feet down through the floor and foundations and into the earth below, where they anchor themselves; what the chakras are, the main ones and where they are and the colours associated with them and how to open them to commence working, by imagining them as a rosebud in the respective colour which slowly opens out to full bloom, or a door slowly opening or traffic lights on a dimmer switch that slowly intensifies the colour; then how to close them again by imagining the opposite. She also explained how she would open and close our circle with joined hands and prayer: Aureen herself refers to a Universal Spirit, rather than the patriarchal Christian God or particular Pagan Gods or Goddesses, and told us to use whatever term we prefer when joining in the prayer. I was comfortable with her version and used it.
Once the circle was opened we began by deep breathing then trying to visualise our protection..... I say trying because my skill with visualisation is rather hit and miss, occasionally leaning towards non-existent, despite my best efforts. I may be a Pagan but I rarely do spellwork, entrusting the Universe to give what is truly needed when the time is right, so don't use the techniques frequently, as Wiccans do. I "talked" my way through it until I felt it was OK, then turned my hands face down as a sign that I was ready. We then had to say how we felt it had gone. A already has this skill, though "feels" it being placed around her, rather than seeing it with her minds eye. It was pretty obvious I was going to need more practice - the visualisation wouldn't come and the breathing bit is fine when I don't think about it and just do it but once told I had to concentrate on it it just went all over the place! A suggested that I might be trying too hard with both, rather than relaxing into and just letting it happen - reckon she was right but I did feel I was lagging way behind her level, so had to try more.
Next we had to ground ourselves which Aureen guided us through by telling us to imagine the branches growing, spreading and then anchoring into the ground - this I could do as I find it easier to imagine and I actually felt the soles of my feet tingle, so knew it had worked.
Following this we then had to start imagining energy coming through the branches into each chakra in sequence, opening each out, starting with the root (or base) chakra and working up. I used the bud to flower image but couldn't really see colour and again had to more talk my way through it. I think switching to the door imagery may work better for me in future. When Aureen asked how it went A said she could see the healing colours purple, Spring green and orange basically because she uses them regularly in her healing work but struggled to see the other colours, so needed to work on those. The only time I saw truly vivid colours was at my last Reiki treatment (the healing colours). To answer your question Julie: meditation has become a bit of a struggle for me as these days I seem to fall asleep more often than not, so am lucky if I manage to see anything at all before nodding off. If I do see anything it seems to be hints of purple more than anything else (am curious to know why you asked now :0) ). More practice is definitely needed!
Following this we were then guided through something called feeling the power. We had to imagine white light shining down through our crown chakra (top of head) through our heads, shoulders and down through our arms and into our hands, then raise our hands, palms facing, and slowly bring them together until they touched. When we'd done this Aureen asked if we'd felt anything and I was glad to say I did! It was a rather odd sensation of feeling as if I'd got opposing magnets on each palm and as I brought them together the "magnets" were trying to keep them apart, or as if I was holding a small globe. Result! LOL
Next was closing down our chakras, followed by the closing of our circle and then a discussion of how we felt things had gone. One of the drawbacks of meeting in a semi-detached house is that there's no control over noise from neighbours and, whilst Aureen is able to block this out, A and I both found the occasional sounds distracting, so we shall use a little background music in future to help overcome it and begin with a little more relaxation/breathing before going on to do meditations or visualisations, to set the mood. We will also try a little psychometry - though I'm not really expecting much from myself with that at this early stage.
To be honest I feel as if I was more in touch with my inner self and intuition, and more in tune with my body, when I was in my twenties and that I've since managed to "kill" it off, partly because DH was uncomfortable with such things or straight out didn't believe (though he's now much more open-minded). Partially atrophied through lack of full use probably best describes it, so it's a case of using some mental physiotherapy to get things working and allowing them to flow smoothly once again. I have homework to do: practicing the visualisation techniques of protecting, grounding and opening and closing my chakras, so it will become easier for me to actually see it all happening in my minds eye.
All told it was a positive experience, despite a bit of an inferiority complex about my skills (or lack thereof), and I felt something in what we had done had worked as I came away buzzing and looking forward to next weeks session.