Finding stillness in the eye of the storm

March 11, 2016

1304g124Stillness is not always the prominent energy we associate with spring time. As nature is waking up, it’s all getting very busy out there. The birds are singing their new songs, buds are appearing on the trees and daffodils trumpet the arrival of the sun.

But there is a point in this awakening time of year when the world reaches a point of perfect stillness, and this is at the Equinox. For just a single moment twice a year, a perfect balance is achieved, at the Spring Equinox and Autumn Equinox.

What can we learn from this? How much of our lives do we give to being still and the magic that this can bring?

We are constantly on the go, consumed with the business of being busy.

Our British culture has been designed to keep us active. It distracts us so that we feel like there is no chance to take time out for ourselves. It’s like our minds are purposely wired this way to keep the system moving at a fast rate, to maintain ‘growth’. That’s financial growth, not personal growth or spiritual growth.

This needs to change if we are to have a role in creating a new way of being on the Earth, the New Earth.

From my experience, the only way we can truly grow is to punctuate  busyness with being still. This is because it is through that stillness that we can hear our guidance.

So how can we find stillness amongst all the constant happenings of our world? The easiest way is to go out into nature with intention. We do this naturally when we go on a walk, or sit in the garden. How often have you had a brilliant idea when you are out walking, or just feel better about things in general?

I know in my life, when I have stilled myself – really stopped – huge changes have taken place. My life loses a certain richness when I am frantically rushing around ‘achieving things’. It’s something I am really working on right now, cumulating in a night time Vision Quest in a few weeks time up at Middlewood in the Forest of Bowland where I did my 3-year shamanic training course. The date is looming ever closer along with my increased anxiety and anticipation, but I know that, from a night time vigil, I will get the clarity and shift I am looking for right now to step my stillness up a notch or two.

Another time in my life when I achieved that stillness was when I was made redundant from a well paid job as a senior sustainability manager in a corporation. My 60-hour working week and frequent trips to and from home came to an abrupt end. I chose not to go back to work, and instead to still myself and follow my instincts. This is life transformational stuff and seemingly very simple, if we can just find that stop button and work out how to use it. I am still learning this.

How do we step it up a notch? Combining stillness with the transformation energies of the wheel of the year is where the magic lies. It really is that simple.

As Elen Sentier says in her book Trees of the Goddess,

being still is one of the fundamental skills of the shaman… you stand at the still-point, in the eye of the storm, the still point of the equinox and so become better able to face going forward again.


We have two events coming up around this Spring Equinox where we will be working in nature and finding that still point to allow our guidance to come through.


Screenshot 2015-12-14 17.35.40Wander the Wheel Spring Equinox Gathering, Saturday 19th March, 10.30am – 5pm
Anglezarke, Chorley, Lancashire
The intention we will work with on this day is new beginnings and new life. Its a time to kick start those new projects and begin to move forward with the year ahead. This workshop is designed to help participants do just that at this special time of year. We will be spending the first part of the day together in an old converted barn, before roaming the beautiful landscape of  ancient  Anglezarke. The cost is £50 for the day including a pub lunch.


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

On this retreat to the beautiful Roeburndale in the Forest of Bowland, 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 including accommodation & food.


Free Wheel of the Year guide
Also, if you are new to the wheel of the year, then do take a look at our free Wheel of the Year Guide which you can download from our website.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, we hope you enjoyed it. Please do forward this blog onto anyone who you know might be interested.


‘It is only in the intentional silence of vigil and meditation, or in the quiet places of nature, that we encounter the song of the universe. Like the wind through the telegraph wires, this song echoes along the pathways of the cosmic web: it includes the celestial spinning of the planets, as well as the hum of insects and the dancing song of the grass; it includes the song of all the ancestors and spirits as well as the beating of our own hearts.’ ~Caitlin Mathews

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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  1. I also need to take time to be still in our chaotic world of family and work commitments. Indeed, I have planned a family day-trip on the Spring Equinox, to remove us from our responsibilities and give us time for each other, and ourselves. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, and I hope to join you soon on a retreat.

  2. Thank you for your comment Catherine and we shall look forward to sharing good times together with you on one of our retreats when the time is right. Wishing you a beautiful day with your family on Sunday – it sounds like a perfect thing for you all to do 🙂

  3. For some reason I found myself checking emails at 4am and just read this article Nicola- and I thank-you. Perspective restored am off to find that stillness. Xx

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