Sheep ties

February 5, 2016

lambs in Cumbria

This was Jason and my first few days knowing each other. We had met on the Friday on the shamanic medicine wheel at the beautiful Roeburndale in Lancashire, and this was the Sunday.

We had the 100 acres of woodland to explore, and the day before we had gone out alone to connect with the land. Today we were to work in pairs and take each other to our chosen spots.

Jason and I had teamed up, and were marching across the meadow down at the bottom of the valley by the river. As we looked across the edge of the field we noticed a sheep behaving oddly. It was standing still, away from the other sheep, with a ‘frozen’ look about it. As we approached it didn’t run off.

So we slowly moved closer and were presented with a quite bizarre sight. As it tried to run away it was being held back. Somehow the sheep had managed to get the wool on its back hooked into some brambles which were trailing over the fence. As it had struggled over the hours, the brambles had become more entwined and it was like it was being held by an umbilical cord.

So, we set to work to free her, which was no easy job. She had got herself into a right pickle.

She was exhausted and slumped down on the floor. I took her head and held it in my hands, and gave her reiki, calming her down. Jason took out his knife and slowly began to detach the wool from the brambles. The skin on his hands started to tear from the brambles as he cut away each piece. He pulled, and cut, mauled and cut, gradually getting close to freeing her. It took about half an hour in total.

As I watched I could see the analogy of me being freed from the tangles of my own life, working in the clutches of the corporations. This weekend had been all about letting go of the old, cutting my ties to what was holding me back. As I saw each bramble being cut away, the relevance to what this sheep was undergoing to my own process was very apparent. The slow healing process was underway, and at the end the sheep was to regain her lost freedom. Just like me she was no longer trapped.


I had another message for me which was just as clear. My healing work in the world was to be with Jason. Freeing the sheep could not have been done by just one person alone, it needed both of us, one to hold her and one to do the cutting. On our second full day together nature had presented us with a clear task to do, and together we worked to save an animals life who would otherwise most likely have died had we not been there. It brought immense fulfillment working with Jason in this way, and we were so excited to share our adventure story back at base camp later that afternoon. For the first time I felt really clear on what my work was in the world, what path to take now I was freed from the shackles of working as an employee for a corporation. I had waited for so long for that insight, and I was now ready. I was off.

This has been one of the many, many gifts the magical valley of Roeburndale has given me over these recent years. We would love to share more magical times with you here. If you are looking for some time away to focus on You, then do take a look at our two retreats there which are coming up this Spring.

Also, if you like this blog and know of someone else who you think might  like it too, please do forward it on.

Weekend retreats this Spring

Screenshot 2015-11-21 19.38.03Weekend residential retreat: Ignite the Spark – Friday 19th February – Sunday 21st February 2016
Roburndale, Forest of Bowland, Lancashire

The time is upon us to step up and grab that life we have always dreamed of. We might not know exactly what it is we want, but we have an inkling and can feel it in our bones. Join us to give space and time to tease that idea out into reality, which will take us firmly forward on our path. £245. Click here to read more.


Screenshot 2015-11-21 19.44.55Weekend residential retreat: Spring into Life – Friday 8th April – Sunday 10th April 2016
Roburndale, Forest of Bowland, Lancashire

Drawing on the spring energies to fully embrace our life here on Earth, we will explore what stands in our way from walking in the shamanic path more fully, and step into our power to go forward into life with shamanism at its core. £245. Click here to read more.


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About the Author


Nicola Smalley is an edge-dweller, shamanic practitioner and writer living in Anglezarke on the edge of the West Pennine Moors in Lancashire, England.
Following a career in corporate sustainability, she now runs The Way of the Buzzard with her husband Jason. Her passion is anything connected to nature and the mysteries of the Earth.

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