held and heard by the herd

~ mother wound ~
episode 09

"the pain of yesterday, is the strength of today."
– Paulo Coelho 
Sheltering in the shade of the big Beech tree, that's when you first came to me. All hot and bothered, struggling heat, searching for a watering hole for a cool retreat. Your trumpeting trunk, keen to protest, deep agitation that knows no rest. But then Water you found, what a great relief, hosing it over body for a cooling so brief. For it didn’t take long for others to come, their trampling of hooves like a banging drum. Your baby exposed in the way of danger, threatening advances of an approaching stranger. Your maternal instinct kicked into gear, moving child beneath you, there’s nothing here to fear. Using your Earth body, standing your ground, protecting your young from others around.

You see Fire, when untamed can run wild without care, so quickly consuming more than its fair share. It violates boundaries to take what it pleases, it doesn’t think twice in claiming what it seizes. It’s a force so strong, much is burned by its flame, destroying what it touches, it’s a crying shame. But there’s opposing forces that can be brought into play, ones that Elephant’s more than happy to convey.

She’s a family protector, wise beyond her years, regulating high temperatures using those big ears. She can listen with her feet, waves carrying the sound, distant cries come to her from deep underground. The cracks and wrinkles in her thick skin, cools her down by trapping Water within. Largest land animal, too mighty to move out the way, commanding of space, not a word she needs to say. Guarding of the innocent, you shall not pass, laying down the boundaries, that’s her masterclass.

But there’s some here in human form who commit to body build, overcompensating, other energetics unfulfilled. You can stand in power, without tensing and showing your gun, testosterone erupting, now look at what you’ve done. Tattoos and piercings might make you look hard, but they can also leave more scars over what’s already scarred.

The Elephant can use its body. like a blanket it smothers the blaze, capable of managing Fire in suffocating ways. But it then remains present, vigilantly watching on, restoring of boundaries ensuring the threat has gone. Lovingly reassuring those badly effected, grounding and calming knowing they’re now protected. With harmony restored, right relationship can be explored. Respect, love and trust for all life emerges, distancing begins from all destructive urges.

Dear friend, there’s a village In Africa, where the Elephant resides, who like to follow other rules and everyone abides. When someone’s caused harm to the community around, they bring them in the centre and lovingly surround. Sharing positive stories, heartfelt care and devotion, projects this same soothing and calming emotion. For destructive forces, imprisoned with the same tendency, often further encourage the same type of dependency. When the jail bars are lifted, the boundaries taken away, the Fire can rage on again in damaging display.

Yes, many of us have been burned in a variety of ways, developing compulsions, which like to lead our days. Some have stronger will power and keep them at bay, but deep down inside of us this is where they’ll stay. These hurts we need to sit with, but in a safe and loving space, so Elephant’s here to support you with her warm welcoming embrace.

Elephant, receiver of Earth cries, matriarch of motherly affection, bring forth that missing child feminine love and protection. Nourish and let flourish that fertile inner Earth, with shade from the midday Sun so new seeds can birth. Feed that foundation to stand strong on two feet and replenish that reservoir to withstand the heat.

These are my own insights, but a great beauty of life is that of perspective, so how might others respond to the spirit of Elephant, unbeknownst to this being the spirit they are receiving. How might they perceive it through their six senses. And when the Fire that’s burning out of control is lovingly heard, held and met, it can be transformed into a strength that’s no longer a threat.

Whilst this podcast focuses on one story, more sharings can be read in raw after session written form below.
* some participant names might have been changed for pen names.
* no participants were informed that it was the spirit of Elephant we were working with until after they had all shared their experience of the Session.


Kia ora koutou – hello
I will introduce myself, in the traditional way of Maori – which refers to and is in respect of our mountain, canoe, ancestors, tribe, family, meeting house, the place I was born, parents and lastly my name.

Ko Whetumatarau te maunga
Ko Horouta te waka
Ko Porourangi me Toi-kai-rakau me toku tipuna
Ko Ngati Porou te iwi
Ko Te Whanau a Tuwkakairiora te hapu
Ko HInerupe te marae No Wairoa ahau
Ko Mary raua ko Doug oku matua
Ko Donna toku ingoa

Through this experience I have been fortunate enough to share about my Dad, who undoubtedly was connected to the earth.

In 1997 he began to make real, a vision. With no experience, through trial and error and seeking out help (which was hard to find), he created a bullock team, comprised of 22 bullocks, from differing breeds and differing places.

This vision took him 3 years to create into a reality, with lots of challenges along the way.

The point of this vision was to…at the dawn of the new millennium, at the eastern most point of New Zealand, have these 22 bullocks pull together to raise the NZ Flag.

The love passion and drive behind this incredible feat, was to show the world that it doesn’t matter where we come from or how we look or what culture we are born to…if we all work together, as one, we can achieve great things., we can achieve peace.

I would like to say a huge thank you to Andy for this opportunity to share my perspective of this Medicine and Journey with the Elephant Spirit. And for gently edging me out of my comfort zone.

I am humbled by and through this experience and have been deeply moved.

A week before the session itself, when the group already started to feeling into the medicine…it felt like, for me, an expedition of exploration into the unknown. Walking without seeing the path ahead, excited but scary at the same time.

I loved the newness of it - though I love to learn - so there’s no surprises there.

When the sharing began, I was struck by the depth of awareness within the group, and the level of sharing. And initially needed to manage my own internal sparks and triggers. The most prevalent, being invisible and being seen. This lifelong duality, comfortable in my invisibility and yet wanting to be seen…being seen and my uncomfortableness in that, and wanting to become invisible. And the constant interplay…in all moments…when interacting with others, whether physically present or through technology.

So, I know already, there is a BIG message here for me.

Sitting outside in the warmth of the sun on a winter’s day, I am drawn to the sounds of the birds in the trees…reminded of a bird encounter during the medicine.

On my daily walk I go through a little piece of nature. A Piwakawaka in Maori or fantail flew to a branch a couple of metres away from me. It hung upside down on the branch, its back towards me, and then lifted its head back and looked me in the eyes (so I knew he was there for me) and then he began to talk. I stopped, curious to listen to what he had to say…hoping for some insight through this healing experience.

Just before Piwakawaka arrives, my mind is recalling all the sharing of the group and noticing how different I am in this. I’m trying to delve deeper. Feeling if I do so I will find a little something that is the same or similar, and this will alleviate my feelings of not being on the right track.

The Piwakawaka reminds me to loosen up, to be playful, to hang upside down from a tree.

I’m also, in that moment, reminded that Piwakawaka in Maori tradition is known as a chatterbox, and to be mindful of my own internal chatter.

My need is to slow down and allow…so silence can enter…and to feel into and embrace MY experience of being and feeling different within this medicine, having faith that what is meant for me - through the medicine will arrive.

The silver lining of feeling invisible in one’s life…births in me the creation of authentic listening. The ability to listen with my whole being. If I am unable to receive this, then let me give it, so everyone who interacts with me always feels seen and heard.

In a meditation a few weeks ago, I was shown my heart space as the hole in a guitar in an upright position and the strings overlaying it. I was told I am able to attune within my heart, the needs of others, and then speak this back to them.

During the medicine I felt these heart strings attuning very strongly towards a group member and moved into being seen, so as to speak this attunement back to them.

This is the voice of my soul, the topic of the meditation from whence the attunement came and the origin of this intra and inter connected experience.

I was very grateful of the opportunity to support this experience with them, through the voice of my soul. Having been attacked by 2 big Rottweilers’, and thankfully having a bike which saved me, as I used it as a shield. In this energy exchange, of giving and receiving, I follow the guidance and feel the balance and in doing so, find the peace within.

I was also hearing this John Wayne quote “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway” as an acknowledgement of their bravery.

I take a pause here…and move back into the reality and or illusion of daily life.

A few days before the session my daughter came to stay, she had hurt her back, and was mindful of her movements. Having helped her previously with physical healing through energy work, I offer this again. She agrees, and on Saturday I prepare and get ready for this with lots of care and presence and connection. Though I am confident in energy work and receiving guidance and messages, actual physical healing is uncharted territory, I am learning.

My daughter is on the table, and I begin. What I see, that is relevant here, are rings, coming up from the earth and through each of my foot chakras. I see these rings continually moving through me. The rings are moving up and are around each of my legs, one after the other. I then see the rings moving down my arms and hands and through into my daughters back.

I am excited even though I have no idea what is happening, I just know that I am the channel for the Earth through which this work is being done.

Later that evening I see this message from Andy. “The most wonderous thing is going on within you all at the moment, will you open to receive it?”

I say yes, and as I lay down to go to sleep, I specifically open and ask to be part of this wonderous thing.

What I see that night in my dreams is a very big ring, with other people in there with me. I feel this is our group, it is the medicine, I am learning, I am being taught. It felt powerful!

I woke that morning to what I call a spiritual hangover, feeling done by the huge amounts of energy felt during the night.

That afternoon I set off on my walk. It is a wintery cold overcast day, not a lot of people out and about, eerily quiet. I am mindful of my recent experiences and consciously tune into the medicine.

Given the stillness of the afternoon, as I get closer to the nature part of the walk, I become more open, for a moment I feel oneness, I AM the Earth! Expansion and connection to all that is…Wow! Then consciously back to the walk and approaching the trees. I feel more respectful of where I am, more present in my steps, more silent in my movement, and more stillness in my mind.

I stop and take a breath before I enter. I can feel the communing going on between the trees, in my mind I apologize for the interruption, as I slowly, softly and quietly move through.

What happens next is crazy!

A feeling of ecstasy begins in my feet! At first, I’m wondering what the heck is happening…I feel a bit wobbly…then I settle into honouring this extraordinary experience! The feeling of ecstasy remains in my feet as I continue my slow quiet walk through the trees, hoping I don’t snap myself out of it with a random thought! The feeling then moves into my hands. I am in awe of what is going on, though I cannot explain it. As I move to the end of this walk, the feelings subside and then disappear.

I know this is part of the medicine although at this point, I am unable to interpret its meaning. However, fully understanding its importance and value!

That evening I write about it in my journal, as well as the dream. I draw the big ring that encompassed me and the others. The next day, on my walk. I arrive to the entrance, only to notice something new.

There is an oval ring (exactly like I’d drawn into my journal) that has been scratched into the concrete. I stop! My eyes widen and my jaw hits the ground, I look to the trees for an explanation. I feel a smile and a playfulness from them, like parents watching their child learning to ride a bike.

Given my newness and patterning I was happy to remain an observer and take-in the perspectives of others and picture their journeys through the medicine. Along with intermittent thoughts from my inquisitive mind, seeking to find the animal spirit through which the medicine was flowing.

As an observer and a learner, I pay tribute to the group, to their willingness and not so willingness to share.

The Mother, The Ancestors, The Playfulness, The Homecoming, The Surrender, The Beauty, The Sovereignty, The Faith, The Unfolding, The Hero’s Journey, The Calmness.

And to Andy, holding space so beautifully and, in such love, to allow for our collective movement through…

The Fire, The Resistance, The Push, The Opening, The Truth, The Expansion, The Trust, The Connection, The Protection, The Bravery, The Flow, The Peace, The Freedom, The Presence and The Love.

On to the session itself. It was strange to see my kids during my healing work. Though I had given them both energy sessions within the medicine, only a day apart from each other. Which in and of itself was unusual.

Their representation in the journey spot on! My Son finding his way to embracing the eagle and being a protector and my daughter moving into a warrior of wisdom as a goddess. The message for me, “Let go” In hearing this, I feel a sense of fear, floating to the surface in my body and conscious mind. I raised my children on my own. I felt responsible for them. I AM responsible for them. If something happens, the buck stops with me! No-one else, there is no-one else.

This aspect of raising children alone also entered into the Journey again, a bit later on, though a different life and different children. Or the same? I am told they are good boys and did very well in very challenging circumstances of that day and age. I see them in that past life, as I am leaving that plane.

In both lives I’d been shown the protective mother and an awareness arises. Though my children are adults now and living their own lives, the Protective Mother is still ever vigilant and ever present.

In the Journey, I also felt a strong sense of home, Egypt, where I have lived many lives, and a feeling of incompleteness. I felt strongly the energy of Spirit encouraging me with love to face back, return, to this time of incompleteness, to even things out, to repay a debt, to make things right. Spirit provides two loyal companions to support me in this. It is BIG, I can feel it, I can feel the wobble in my legs as I begin to walk, supported and nurtured in to this by spirit.

After the session had finished we were told of the animal spirit

Holy hector the Spirit is Elephant!! Wow!! I am speechless and mindless for a moment…contemplating the reverence of this beautiful animal spirit that has been with me.

As I start to listen in and open to the experiences and how Elephant has been showing up, I begin to laugh. It’s a pretty big challenge for the Elephant Spirit to be invisible! As I reflect and relate to this, the chakras within my ears being to pulse. Elephant Spirit is showing me I can transmute the discomfort of invisibility from that place of less than and move into being seen from a place of presence. Through her own size and enormity, she does not need to say or do anything. Her presence alone speaks of her value, and she is felt…and in turn, she is seen and heard.

Elephant goes on to say, that this space, even though you are consciously aware of it now, has become a safe place to hide. I hear her say “stop making excuses about patterning and start changing it.” Ouch! I feel the fire and her love, and my need, and her asking of me, to fill the space within the skin of the elephant, with my own energy. To expand, to be present, to be seen.

I contemplate Elephant and her big ears, reminiscent to me of authentic listening. The different purposes for which Elephant uses her ears, apart from her excellent hearing. A likeness to our human body, and though we also have excellent hearing, how might we use different ways within our body to connect in and open, to our own authentic listening. Elephant showing up and guiding me to speak, and then showing up and guiding another to stand in their power. Supporting us both to expand and be present, and illustrating what births within us, on the other side of this, are new levels of awareness of our capabilities, and our capacity to change, and then, as a consequence, a deeper connection to the source of who we are.

I consider Elephant in my healing, in my dreams and in the ecstasy of nature. The enormity of being connected to all that is. How that shows up. The depth of feeling that emerges when one is respectful, present, silent and still.

The understanding that nature cannot always be explained. That it doesn’t need to be explained. That in some instances it can only be felt. And that the mystery of all that unfolded, was completed with such immense intelligence and integral connectedness, that me as the student and the child could only be astounded and astonished!

The Mother, such a huge role of any person’s life if this is a part of their soul’s earth walk. A single mother adding differing layers and dimensions.

Elephant the epitome of Mother, telling me to “Let go”. I can feel the tears welling, another, what feels like, lifelong behaviour. I know and feel the reasons, I know and feel she’s right, I know and feel her courage when she does it. I sit with it, as my chest physically aches… I know it’s time for me to move out of fear protection mode and into love, allowing my children to expand into themselves and their purpose, as shown to me in the journey. They’ve got this already, they have help, and they can help themselves now too, it’s not all on me anymore.

And then Elephant showing up for me as my Mother, with immense love. Giving me the courage and the support, to dig deep even though I am wobbling. She calls upon friends, my friends, to assist me, to walk back into the fire.

As I walk on my usual route a couple of days after the session, someone has done some major gardening and there is a big tree root still plugged with dirt between the roots, laying bare on a little grassy knowle.

I see it and immediately feel Elephant has uprooted something deep within me. I feel a strange knowing and an immense gratitude as I walk by this root.

And yet like the ecstasy in nature, I am unable to fully interpret its meaning, yet, fully understanding the huge significance, importance, and value it will have in my life!

With deep honouring and reverence to Elephant Spirit for an extraordinary exploration into an enchanted earthly experience, which engaged, encouraged and embodied, with exceptional eloquence her unconditional love and her connectedness to all that is.

With heartfelt gratitude love

Blessings to all

Haere ra.


From the inside out.
pressing play I straight away feel the spirit deep inside of me. Asking me to relax.to let go. A feeling as if someone is holding me from underneath..inviting me to relax the backside of my body..slowly and gentle. It feels like my body is disappearing completely at same time I feel every cell of my body vibrating. a recalibration. light vibrating through me. a force being activated. we stand in a forest in a circle. holding hands. heads deeply bowed towards each other. something holy, sacred is about to happen. some people in the circle I know some I don't. We call on the tribe. It is time to come together. Many people and beings arrive. I get called to leave the circle and step in the center. There is another person there that I know. We both kneel down.. heads and hands on the earth. It is time to forgive. It is about balance. Balance between masculine and feminine. Returning to an original state. There is a very deep healing taking place that goes to the root of all that there is. it feels like someone is tickling my feet.I have to laugh. A very light childlike energy starts flowing through my body..from the feet all the way up to my heart. There it stops.. there is a heaviness a sadness in my heart. it's like the spirit starts holding me a speech like a slightly annoyed teacher: you need to let this go now. It is over. Stop playing small. Stop hiding away your powers. My body starts moving a lot. Like fighting against an invisible rope. Spirit: stop it, break this pattern. With all my willpower I stop the movement and stretch my body it feels like I am stretching beyond the rope that was 'imprisoning' me. My spine starts moving, like a wave of energy running through me. The music stops. It feels like no time has passed and at the same time lifetimes. In deep gratitude  .


Straight in small sad grey elephant in floods of tears. Rain pouring, people helping each other up a very steep slippery slope. Waves move upward through my body and stop at throat. Activation then in my feet, my hands start to feel strong. My arms filling up (for the last days have felt total fatigue in my arms), now pumped with strength. Feel my lymph and heart also being activated. I have to surrender to the receiving. Feels amazing. I am at Source being replenished. Is this really allowed to feel so great!!! Some nausea. Headachy. Pains moving around. Lower back eases, been painful today. Old snake uncoiling in my sacral very slowly. Patience. Trust. Loads of itchy skin moments. Cleansing. Relief in sight. Black shiny hooves holding me down at the wrists. See my whole life flying past me, loads of visuals, so fast, can’t focus, horror flashes, could be fearful but am not. Then I am at bottom of a well. Deep down. Two white horns and blue sky. I am riding a huge hairy animal in a desert. Massive Light. Safe New Terrain. Surrender to the not knowing. Don’t know what it will look like, doesn’t matter. Told to Dance. All around huge kind Laughter belly laughing and from the heart. Massive heartfelt smiles. I feeling very grounded and serene. So much Gratitude .


A large circle is drawn. My body lays naked in the centre. It envelops like a liquid cloth of space. And then I “fall”. Descend. Through dimensions. Over and over again. Where even am I? I am everywhere. I see a black panther peering out from the shadows and leaves. I have seen him many times in these weeks. But I feel him now, I have recognised he as me. Birds flying, looking down, what catches the eye? The eagle I have seen a lot these weeks also present. Seeing his eyes. Through his eyes. Present to all, observing, bearing witness. Into water, Through dimensions at warp speed and yet so slow. A never ending journey. I become this, I become that, It matters not, for I am everything, what flavour in infinite possibility do I wish to be? I come from the sky as a stream of energy, into a bird. Suddenly I am stroking my two feet together. One over the other, blanketing, caressing in a downward movement/ it is so natural, so primal and feels luxurious. I see black talons or claws. See lions, the killing of lions for sport, for fame, for victory, for a sense of rising above another. The wounded masculine, arising for healing. As this comes up, I feel it deeply and easily, in the most instantaneous and extraordinary “poof” I become fire and then see myself as a stream of energy. As existence. Dancing its movement. The circle, the loop, sound traveling, I am sound. I am only sound but can see it all. I can feel it’s journey, that it is ever present, there is no way to extract one from another. For all is it. “Remember to remember it is.” My 5 year old wrote on our fridge last week. I end with the black panther again. Journey through dimensions again, into worlds through his eyes. Touching brow to brow, in gratitude. I end seeing eyes. Sacred eyes. As the music is ending, I wish to stay, this feeling of presence and acceptance for all to be is so familiar, is all I am, it is a beautiful blessing. Thank you all for this journey, for divine masculine to be unified.


I was an eagle flying high, seeing the hunting of a Leopard of a Bison. At one point they were standing in front if each other both in their power and no winner or loser. I was both of them, feeling the elegant speed of the Leopard and the rooted stamping of the Bison on the ground. Could feel the vibrations in my body. Hunter and being hunted. I was feeling an extreme heat in my abdomen and the whole body, dry mouth.... And the prayer - please spirit burn all what I am not! I was giving birth and looked between my legs - there I was as a baby. Unknown to me! I asked the spirit - what is my task - and she answered - bring the fire! I am still burning!


Heart rate higher. Warm, radiating hands and feet (less) Head opens and gives rise to an unfolding flower. Tingling/sparkling face, especially cheeks, legs, both more front than back, hip zone, womb. Triangle solar plexus, shoulders. "I am available" I am your daughter. Empty yourself. Trust me. Big energy through heart, opening, bringing my attention to where wings grow. You can fly without wings Constantly connected with feet-earth-radiating core in earth I float, slightly pulling force pulling my feet Tinglings: Torus shape energy in my belly zone. Pressure on left jaw in direction of ear. Wake up! Relaxation, attention moves to throat. Air moves out. Space Opening forehead/third eye. Flower unfolds with my head as it's container. Moves upwards through my neck/back of my head. Relaxation mouth, lower face. I am carried by air, water, earth.
Thank you Donna for gently stepping out from your comfort zone, for your willingness to experience and all that you’ve shown. As one welcomes in other things, with it new perspective it brings.

Thank you to the group who participated in these sessions, whose open heart sharings have completed elephant’s lessons.

Thank you dear elephant and beech tree too, for it was her who brought me to you. They say it takes one to know one. but perhaps it also takes one to show one. Within the group, elephant certainly strengthened some, but she clearly softened others. This graceful ability to walk alongside and lovingly guide from either side.