Here is a personal testimony from Sharon Baker in Australia, and her first Ogham Journey with Michael Conneely’s Ogham Pathways Course: www.oghampathways.com
I have kickstarted an exploration and love of many cultures the biggest being a strong connection to Ireland and the culture of the ancient Celts. I found myself reading a lot of Celtic mythology and Irish history and was thrilled when I happened upon a local man advertising classes in Irish Gaelic. I spent about 3 years with this group of like minded souls thoroughly enjoying the classes. I never became conversational with Irish but it gave me more of an understanding of the old Irish words I was encountering when reading. Slowly but surely I had also formed my own spiritual beliefs that included a strong belief in the interconnectedness of all things and reincarnation. I have always loved nature and feel lost if I have to spend any length of time without the sight of green and the sound of birds. I’m a very creative person and at this time I was also drawn to the very beautiful Celtic illuminated manuscripts and used knotwork and animorphic designs in my own artwork. I’ve studied many things including Counselling, relaxation therapy and transpersonal art therapy this I felt gave me permission to continue to enjoy mythology and showed me how I could use it in my life and the life of others I work with. It also opened up a world of symbols which I use a lot in my art and I also tracked my life and saw symbolic themes running through it. The biggest symbols to feature in my life have been and still are the phoenix, mariners compass, spiral, butterfy and dragonfly all symbols of discovery and transformation to me.
This brings me to present day. I have been working as a Support Worker in mental health recovery and although I feel it’s important work I had been starting to feel hemmed in or limited somehow. In July last year my father passed away after a short illness and although I know on a soul level it was time for him to move on and he is fine I have experienced a lot of grief and dark times since then at the loss of him in my physical world. I had started to question everything in my life and as I said I was feeling really hemmed in and limited because I couldn’t see past what I’m doing now. I even felt totally disconnected from the amazing journey I’m finally taking to Ireland and UK in May – a trip that I’ve been wanting to take for nearly 20 years. Two weeks ago that all seemed to change something clicked into place and for the first time in 6 months I could see and feel myself expanding again. I was drawn to druidry so did a google search and was led to your course which I quickly signed on for. I also made a connection with a beautiful healer in my local area for a tarot reading and this has turned out to be the meeting of two like minded souls. I can see that I will be working for myself offering my blend of healing and creative exploration. Finally most importantly all this has connected me once again to the journey I’m about to take in Ireland and I feel like it’s going to open up my world big time.
So moving on to the journeys I took over the weekend. I was quickly and easily able to establish my divine centre as this is a place I’ve gone to many times. I took a guided walk down the alder path. I felt it to be a little cool because of the swampiness but at the same time very comforting because I find those kinds of swampy areas magical somehow. I walked down the path and up ahead I saw a light shining through what appeared to be structure of woven branches. As I got closer I met Bran who said “welcome”. This structure was like a little hut with some seats and I sat down next to him. We sat in silence for awhile and then I asked if I could come again and he said yes. I thanked him and continued on the path. I then turned left off the path I did and came across the stone of Fal – a mid sized boulder on even ground with nothing else around it. I felt compelled to place my hands on it and I had an overwhelming feeling of peace. I then stood and looked out over the ocean for a time and then walked to the tower at the end of the Alder path. It appeared as a crumbling ruin like the picture on the handout you have sent me. I walked around and through the ruins for a bit and then made my way back to my divine centre. I decided to walk the path again yesterday on my own in silence and found Bran in the same place. This time I asked if there was anything I needed to know right now and he said “you are on the right path”. I thanked him and moved on. Again I got no verbal or visual messages from the stone of Fal but I felt it’s strength. This time when I turned to the tower it was no longer a ruin but a tower with a spiral staircase going up the centre. I walked up the stairs and stepped out on the top of the tower. I stood looking out to sea but I found I could also turn and look out across middle earth. Looking around, I could see that a path leads upwards from the tower which is the willow path leading to Magh Mor, the Upperworlds, and that the downward path is Rowan, which leads to Tir Andomain, the Underworlds. I made my way back down the stairs, along the path and back to my divine centre. I found this path to be very comforting and look forward to further journeys.
Sharon’s Face Book page is: https://www.facebook.com/sharonlbakerart