Tuesday, 8 September 2009


Yes, the second attempt at getting the Development Circle up and running has finally come to fruition and am I one very happy bunny! LOL Take 2 saw five other women, as well as Aureen and myself, turn up for the first session - a far better result already. :0)

We were running a little late when DH dropped me off at the house so I'd got a bit panicky, especially when I realised that I still hadn't put Aureen's mobile number into mine so I couldn't contact her to let her know. On going in Aureen did the introductions: there were two S's, the one Jan introduced me to the previous night (S1) and the one I remembered from the Angel Workshop (S2) and Sh, a lady I hadn't met before. We chatted amongst ourselves for a little while until the final member turned up, A. A made me do a bit of a double-take..... at certain angles and when she made certain facial expressions she had a look of my SIL, Helen (she passed away in 2007 from cancer at the age of 40), about her. I made a note to warn DH, just in case he happened to catch a glimpse of her during the times he's dropping me off or picking me up.

We all went through into the back room sitting area and took a chair in the circle - I had Aureen on my right and Sh on my left. Aureen then proceeded to do an introductory talk on what the Circle would involve, the types of development we would cover, ensuring we always wore comfortable clothes, didn't eat a heavy meal beforehand (Ooops!), ensured we avoided coming to Circle when feeling ill, read a wonderful piece called The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer - the parts that would speak to us now, the parts that would speak to us when we have developed/grown - what should happen as we work together as a group, the Higher Principles (come back to this in a separate post) and the Chakra colours/positioning. She then went on to explain what we would be doing that night: opening the Circle, and what to do if we felt we needed to leave it at any point; Protection, and knowing that we were in control at all times; Grounding; opening the Chakras; hand energy sensing exercise; closing the Chakras; grounding the energy; Cloak of Protection and closing the Circle. She also touched on any development we each may have done previously and were able to ask questions on anything we weren't too sure about. Once we were happy she then proceeded.

Opening the Circle: we all clasped hands, closed our eyes and Aureen gave the affirmation to the Universal Spirit (we could make this to our own preferred deity if we wished) and called upon the Archangels for their Protection throughout. I can't remember it word for word...... I will gradually pick that up as it's repeated each week. We then released each others hands and opened our eyes.

Protection: Aureen gave examples of several ways you can surround yourself with protection, such as stepping into a bubble of white light, imagining a swirl of white light covering you from head to toe, traffic lights of white light shining on you from all directions or imagining a balloon of white light with a zipper on which you step into then zip up behind you. S2 imagines her Guardian Angel's wings folding around her from head to toe, which I thought was really nice. :0) We then proceeded to use our preferred form. I'd always tried the bubble of white light around me but actually visualising it had always proved a bit difficult and I resorted to talking my way through it..... so I tried the stepping into the balloon and zipping up instead - result! So wish I'd thought to try that much sooner! LOL Whilst doing this we had to sit with our hands on our knees and palms facing upwards and when we had finished we had to turn our hands palm downwards - it helped Aureen know when she could carry on to the next step.

Grounding: next it was visualising branches sprouting from the souls of our feet and deep into Mother Earth, spreading out and then firmly anchoring in the soil. Now this I can do have always found it easier to do than the bubble of white light - probably why Aureen always mentions I'm firmly grounded whenever I have a Reiki treatment. The only difference with this is that whilst most imagined the ends of the branches as anchors I can't, so have always seen them all as little hooks held firm by the Earth. All hands turned down. A mentioned she seemed to have a banging headache so Aureen said she may not be grounded properly and got her to do it again - she started to feel better then. On to the next step.

Opening the Chakras: Aureen detailed some of the ways this could be done, the ones I remember are: lights on dimmer switches, gradually turning up the brightness and the flower bud gradually opening to a full bloom - all in the appropriate Chakra colours in turn. S2 imagined opening coloured curtains. I've always struggled with this when using the bud/flower: I can generally imagine the colour and I can usually imagine the flower but bringing the two together gives me trouble...... so I abandoned that a while ago and opted for opening doors instead, with a slightly better result (less talking through and more actual visualisation going on). All through Aureen was happy for us to use the imagery that worked the best for us and talking about what we used was interesting: I know I gleaned a few good tips and an alternative visualisation method I feel much happier with. :0)

Hand energy sensing exercise: this I did for the first time during the Development Circle Take 1 (and only) session and have practised it occasionally since then, so felt really comfortable doing it. We had to imagine a ball of energy growing in our solar plexus Chakra, then breathing and pulling it up through our body to the heart Chakra, then breathing it up to our shoulders, down through our arms and on down into our hands. We had our eyes closed (as we did through each stage) and held our hands in front of us and apart, and then had to slowly bring our hands together. I do enjoy this as it feels amazing when it works well. :0) When we'd done and all hands were turned over Aureen asked each of us in turn how we felt it had gone. All had had success with it. Several of us had felt the energy flow up our bodies (several mentioned it had made them sit up straighter) - I felt it as a combination of a mild tingling sensation and a warmth that gently flowed through my body (a bit like a wave) as I breathed it up and then down into my hands. A couple likened the energy in their hands to a slightly squishy ball and Sh said it felt like magnets pulling together. Aureen said that a couple of times it looked like I'd struggled to get my hands together: well, a couple of times it felt as if nothing was there, then the next that I'd got two opposite magnets pushing each other apart. I have a feeling that this had something to do with my concentration: when I focused it was strong, if I got a bit distracted it wasn't...... possibly down to the too heavy a meal I'd had and the slightly gurgly stomach that was making me feel a bit self-conscious. I'll definitely be taking steps to change that for next time.

Grounding the energy and closing our Chakras: we then had to visualise the energy flowing back out of us, down through the grounding branches and into Mother Earth, then gradually closing each Chakra in turn, from the Crown down to the Root, doing the reverse visualisation to opening them. When we felt we'd done this we then "unanchored" and drew our roots back to us. Though the first two steps may have been done the other way around - I've had a few sleeps since then so the recall isn't 100%.

Cloak of Protection and closing the Circle: we then had to visualise drawing on a big blue cloak with a hood that eneveloped us from head to foot. For some reason I struggled to visualise a blue cloak - it kept wanting to be black. Now black to a Pagan doesn't have the negative connotations it can have for some folks: black is seen as protective, the velvety darkness of a deep cave - womb of Mother Earth - where life.... or insights... or inspiration springs from (just a few of many positive aspects). I will have to talk this through with Aureen and see what her take on it is. We all joined hands and then Aureen said the closing prayer.

This done Aureen then asked how we all felt it had gone - well - and if any of us had felt or seen anything that we hadn't mentioned previously. Sh and one of the others said they had both had the feeling of cobwebs on their faces, which is usually a sign that there was Spirit present (no, there weren't any crawlies). S2 said she thought she might have seen a figure stood behind Aureen at one point but hadn't been sure if she really had or if it was her imagination. (I didn't say anything but did think: Aaah, that could explain the flippin' cold spot near me!). Now the Angel Workshop brought it out to me that we suffered from self-doubt when it came to Spirit or paranormal events - when you're constantly told that it's your imagination you start to believe it....... and it takes a lot to get beyond that and start trusting in yourself again, so that's something she and I (I don't know about the others yet) are going to have to work on. Though Aureen said that when we start to see Spirit there will be no doubting it - it's different to imagination and we'll learn to recognise it. It's good to know she has every confidence in our abilities.... even if some of us don't. :0)

She then asked if we would be happy to return again next week. S1 had already mentioned she wouldn't be able to, as she had something else on, but the rest of us would. Actually my answer was: Definitely! The emphasis must have been there too because it made them all smile and Aureen comment that she had a feeling that I would say that. LOL It's just so good to finally be at this point. :0)

We were then given some print outs to read up on at home: Higher Principles; a print out of The Invitation; a crib sheet for the Chakras; a run through of the hand energy sensing exercise and a sheet with a list of colours and their aura meanings. We can practise the exercise if we want and are to ponder on the written pieces and see what draws us - I think I'll start a Journal on these, jotting down which I'm drawn to and any thoughts that spring to mind....... it'll be interesting to look back on at a later stage, if nothing else. I think we are going to do some Chakra meditation next week.... but don't quote me as I was feeling a little tired by this point and the concentration slipped as we started gathering our belongings together. I do know that three other ladies should be joining us next week, increasing our numbers......... and that should help overall numbers some folks have to drop out at any point for any reason. I must say that working in a bigger group (rather than just the three of us at Take 1) certainly makes a difference to the energy flow and general feel of the room.

We were over running by this time and Aureen was concerned my DH would have been waiting for a while (Uh, she doesn't know him yet, does she? It's a standing family joke you always tell him to meet you at least 15 minutes before you actually want him there LOL) so she went through to unlock the front door to let us out. I said I'd see her on Saturday, for my Reiki treatment, and for her to remind me to tell her about my dream before we start, then we said our goodbyes. Surprisingly DH was there, sat in the car with the overhead light on so he could read the evening paper. After dropping me off he'd driven along the round and found himself a vantage spot with a good scenic view and sat listening to some music, reading a magazine and generally chillin' until he fancies a half pint, when he drove to the same pub he went to last time. He may well end up being classed as a regular if he goes in every Tuesday night. LOL

By the time we got home I definitely felt tired and opted for an early night. The following day I felt really good..... so much so that I took it into my head to have a trip down the High Street. No, I didn't have a Clinic appointment to go to, though I did have a package that needed posting - though the main reason for going out was....... because I felt like it. :0) I'd chatted to DH the night before about needing to stretch my comfort zone again, so going down the Street on non-appointment days will do that. Then there's the thing about not having a big meal before going to the Circle: DH is OK, he is quite happy to get a dinner at work, and have a light meal before taking me out, so that just leaves me. I'm now getting my head around really stretching that comfort zone: having a walk down to the Malt Shovel and having a meal in there on Tuesday dinnertime, sometimes maybe meeting DH..... but mostly on my tod. Keep your fingers crossed for me and I'll let you know how I get on! :0)

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