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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine.     May Theme: "Roots"     Volume 1 Issue 4     ISSN# 1708-3265

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The Envelope Please…
Featuring: Changeling

Aleesha: Theo, Changeling, or Tigger - whatever name you may know her by (or are yet to meet her in this profile) is a gifted artist and Shaman. Her willingness to share her path with others and her generosity of spirit are definitely aspects of her which I cherish.

I know Changeling, but not well, so I decided to profile her in this issue of TSM in an effort to get to know her better, and also allow you to all do the same.

Changeling, when did your spiritual enlightenment begin. When was your defining moment of "Ahaa"?

I suppose I always had odd experiences and an awareness of strange things happening to me. I spent a lot of years finding out about the world, exploring and discovering what sort of things I wanted to be and do, which kept me busy for most of my early twenties. Then in my mid twenties I was drawn into the rave culture - a lifestyle and community which encouraged more active spiritual aspects in my life.

For the first time, it felt normal to explore different states of consciousness, different ways of looking at the universe. I suppose just as many people had contact with the alternative cultures of the sixties and seventies.

For my generation, contact with the music, drugs and culture of the rave scene could really open your mind and heart to things you didn't even know you were looking for. I remember standing in a rave, feeling a total sense of bliss and unity and the connections between my soul and everything else in the universe.

I was thinking, "You know, it doesn't matter that this awareness, this feeling, is a product of the music and the lights and so on. It doesn't make it any less real." The feeling, the golden light… I think it's exactly the sensation which 'established religions' refer to when they talk about being 'touched by God'.

So it felt natural, from that point on, to find other ways of feeling the connection. So I reckon the 'Ahaa' was more of an 'Oh, wow'.

Where is your path at this time… spiritually?

It took a while for the initial euphoria to calm down and for me to find my niche. I was exploring all sorts of different forms of spiritual practices, and learning so much from them. A little Buddhism here, a little Taoism there, a little Sufi, a lot of Paganism - all in various forms.

I was very aware of what I had been given, the glimpse of something ethereal, almost like a promise, and I needed to find my own way back to it, without the use of drugs. Dan Millman's books talk about this. He said it was as if he'd spent years climbing a mountain looking for enlightenment, and when he reached the top, he could finally see the jewel inside his own heart.

I identify with this very strongly. I felt I had been shown the beauty and harmony of the universe, and then asked what part I was going to play within the pattern.

Just saying 'I make beautiful art' wasn't enough anymore. I felt I needed a mentor, a guide; and I was ready to learn. It seemed I wasn't quite ready yet though, as my path remained hidden from me.

So last spring I gave up smoking, and this action alone was like floodgates opening. The clarity of my mind allowed me to suddenly realise I'd been running scared from 'my' path for years. It was right in front of me! I had just needed to grow up before I would be ready to embrace my destiny.

I am currently strolling down the road, becoming a Faery Shaman with the Society of Celtic Shamans. I feel I'm almost ready for my second degree Reiki. I'm investigating the effects of Bach flower remedies and even volunteering to work with today's youth.

I've discovered mentors all around me, both Inworld and Out. My whole environment is in flux, I'm going through intense personal transformation, and I'm tired, fractious and can't seem to find enough hours in the day. Half my friends don't seem to understand what I'm going through, but I wouldn't be anywhere else, doing anything else. I am an artist, writer, designer, healer and a shaman, and at some point it all will start making sense.

Are you becoming more comfortable with your path now?

People are beginning to ask me to assist their healing. I'm doing incantations and oracle casting… it's all unfolding before me, joyously.

I used to close my eyes and see someone walking towards me but I couldn't quite make out whom. Now I close my eyes and I am the one walking, following the tracks made by generations of my tribe before me. It makes me proud to find my place in this life.

Even though you are developing other aspects of yourself, you are still an extremely talented artist. What forms of artistry do you enjoy most?

I've been creating visual art in various forms for over ten years now, and I think I'm finally getting good at it! I used to draw and paint - usually on and with anything I could find. I decided to switch to digital media about four or five years ago. I loved the possibilities available to me within a computer program.

Now I mostly work from photographs, and sometimes sketches, in a really complex layered style; taking composite images of figures or landscapes from dozens of source images. It creates a look, which is deceptively simple, not quite real - an enhanced form of reality, in my opinion.

I'm still getting to grips with photography, but I'm really happy with the software I use - Adobe's Photoshop. I've yet to discover anything better.

I still enjoy sketching, but I tend to scan it as soon as I can make out the basic shapes! One of the many things I want to do this year is more sketching, putting more of the physical process back into my art.

I am also a body painter. I find it great fun when I can persuade someone to sit still long enough! Then I work the photograph of the body painting into my computer art. I love incorporating images of sacred spaces and symbols in a hidden or subtle way into my work and it's becoming a minor obsession, as it seems to create a sort of magic of its own. I'm also rediscovering my love of abstract and geometric forms - patterns and mazes in particular.

I hear you write poetry as well, what inspires you?

Writing always feels like an incantation or a spell these days, so I guess it's as much to do with my spiritual processes as my artistic ones. Writing was my first love, and I studied mostly literature at university. Then I became very over-analytical about my own words, and stopped.

I didn't write for years, until I had this big symbolic clearout of (almost) everything I had ever written. I waited, and slowly I started writing again. It still feels very new, as I rediscover what was blocked and hidden from me.

Aleesha: I wish you great success on your path Changeling, as you live up to your name and continue your progression through this lifetime and into the next!

All images within this profile are copyrighted to Changeling. This display is an example of her artistic versatility.

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