A Paradise of Screams – A ‘Celtic’ Perspective

I read recently that two days before a slave ship docked it could be smelt on the quayside, the air thick with the stench of rotten flesh, vomit and faeces. Add to that the energetic qualities of fear, anger, sorrow and despair and you have a recipe for hopelessness and abject suffering. Within the paradise of the Caribbean’s sun kissed beaches, the grains of sand are screaming and dripping with blood.

Just as we can get stuck in our own stories and stuff our past in the folds of our own skin, so the earth holds the pieces of the story that have not been energetically cleansed. Oh the earth itself is constantly bathed by sun, water and the sweet breath of the wind, however, energy still stagnates in places where displaced souls meander aimlessly, an army in torment, stuck in the story of their past, and in these spaces the suffering is palatable.

Empaths will know what I mean. Those who are sensitive to the energetic vibrations that are constantly swirling around them will sense this. Take an empath to the Caribbean and they will see, hear, feel the anguished shrieks that echo from the shores where slave boats once docked in the sparkling sunshine of a seaside port. It was certainly so for my fiancé Joyce, she felt the shifts before we disembarked the plane.

Displaced people from Africa sing their laments on the wind and to those wild screeches come the keening cries of the Gaelic and Brythonic people, who like their dark skinned brothers and sisters were also rounded up as both slaves and indentured servants. Shackled, beaten and treated as if they had no soul, sold and abused so that others could grow fat from the profits of their labours. For some ‘White Slaves’ their treatment was less harsh than those stolen from Africa, for some the journey was as harsh if not harsher. The pale ‘Celtic’ skin sizzled in the sun, crisp and raw and these unfortunates were saddled with the nickname of redshanks. The worth of a pale skinned Scot dropping as they drooped in the stifling heat of a foreign sun.

Glasgow reeks of the fortunes made on the backs of those kidnapped, and stolen from their homelands. Buchanan Street, Jamaica Street, Tobago Street and the Kingston Bridge all bear the name of the seedy past that brought great wealth to the Lairds, Ladies and business folk that wheeled and dealed in the price of flesh. Trouble makers, children, prostitutes, the destitute and those unfortunate enough to wander down a wrong alleyway disappeared in the night, thrown into an abyss of darkness, torn from their homes, their families, the land of their ancestors and carried on stinking vessels to feed the economy throughout the British Isles.


So what can we do about this and how does the past affect our lives today?

As a shamanic practitioner who stirs the cauldron of the ‘Celtic’ pathway I have been led to work with displaced Celts in the USA, Canada, Barbados and now Jamaica. In working to clear my own ancestral lines I discovered a huge cog in the wheel that needed a major overhaul. My grandmother was born in 1915 and before birth was disowned by her father. She never named him; she took that piece to the grave with her. All we know is he was a Scottish Laird; my great grandmother was a servant at the Manor House. She was dismissed from service once the babe started to show. Being ‘bastard born’ carried a huge weight in those days and was a millstone around my Nana’s neck throughout her life. Can you imagine the surprise of my family to find that the Laird on his deathbed left his fortune to her? However she refused his fortune because it was in her words ‘Blood Money’.  Up until 3 years ago I thought it was because her father had not accepted her blood as his. Spending an afternoon working with the threads of Family Constellation I was gobsmacked to find out that my Great Grandfather and my Great Great Grandfather, both Scottish Laird’s, were ‘White Slave Traders.’

Three years ago I was ignorant to there being a white slave trade. I have since found out that according to the Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series, America and West Indies of 1701, there were an estimated 25,000 slaves in Barbados, out of these 21,700 were white.

Within 5 months I found myself being invited to Barbados by a Scottish woman to work the Wild Hunt, this is Gaelic shamanic medicine whereby we stand up for life, sweep away negative forces that look to rob the worlds of prosperity and sing home the lost and displaced souls of the dead. Oh, and where on Barbados did this take place? A plantation!

Not only was the keening work and collective journey work important for all of the slaves involved, it was vital for beings like my Great Grandfather who was wrapped in darkness, suffocating in guilt from his work as a ‘Slaver’. The work we did in plucking the 3 strands of poetry in the Celtic world, connecting with the sorrow, transforming it to joy until the chords of peace vibrated through the air was incredible, it is work that requires lightwalkers to wander into the depth of shadow to take our light there. It means being willing to go into our own shadow first, to do our own shadow work so that we can wander brightly into the harsh places and seriously love the land!

So is it any wonder that I am headed to Jamaica this February? I have been invited to a beautiful retreat centre that is on a stretch where slave ships docked. I go armed with the 3 strands of poetry, with the medicine of the Morrighan, Brighid and Boann, with Lugh’s spear of vision and with a group of dedicated beings that are ready and willing to do this work with me. Once we have worked with the displaced souls we will stir in Amrun, the magical chanting of the ‘Celtic’ people and with the aid of the Dragon beings, we will power up the Dragon Lines, the energy lines, the grid that goes through the earth, the waters, the airwaves with the fire of love, beauty, freedom and truth!

So what can you do?

Why not join me.

Whether it is in the sunshine of Jamaica in February or at the Wild Hunt in either the USA in October, Scotland in November or Canada in Oct 2015, the work of singing our ancestors home is of paramount importance. When a people or a land is displaced and disrupted we need to address the disturbance. Scotland has not yet come to terms with the Highland Clearances.  It is our own trail of tears. When the Jacobites fell at Culloden in 1746 the ring leaders were hung or deported. Our language taken away and the tartans worn by the Highland Clans were banned. Wearing an outlawed tartan was a quick way to find oneself in the belly of a Slave ship bound for a plantation. Not only were we displaced, we forgot that we were and still are an indigenous people. Working the medicine of our ancestors calls us home here on planet earth/planet water whilst helping our ancestors cross the bridge to the ancestral grazing grounds.

It is why I have been called to work in the lands where my ancestors were shipped to and as importantly why I work these ways in the heart of the Isles. Interestingly the displaced Celts in North America understand and yearn to touch their ancestral lands and drink deeply from the cauldron of their own medicine ways. My fellow brothers and sisters here in the Isles are often gulping down the medicine of other cultures and denying the fullness of their own home brew. I hear the words Aho Mitakuye Oyasin spoken from the lips of so many of those walking a medicine way with tobacco being placed on the land as an offering for Spirit all across the British Isles and Ireland. This is so appropriate for those on the Red Road in North America. Here in the Isles we are dancing the Green Road. We have are own medicine ways and when we work with them we will reweave, restore and replenish what was ripped from the land when we forgot our own indigenous wild nature.

When I first started leading pilgrimages in Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales in 1999 I was seeking a word or phrase to give thanks at the end of a prayer or invocation. I love that a group of Irish Sisters and Brothers shared the word Séa with me. It means ‘Yeah’. I always say the ‘Celtic’ world is about yes and yes. King Arthur was born in Wales, yes he was. King Arthur was born in Cornwall, yes he was, Scotland’s birthplace is at Dunadd in Kilmartin, yes it is, Scotland’s birthplace is in Angus at Arbroath Abbey, yes it is, it is all yes and yes!

It is time to place whisky, organic milk, juniper or cake onto the land and to dance our own medicine ways with a resounding Séa ringing on the wind. Let us embrace the Living Tradition of the Green Road and embody the Celtic saying; ‘Sing like no-one is listening, dance like no-one is watching and live each day as if it were your last’. Look for teachers who know and are living the traditional ways of your ancestors and then stir it into your own cauldrons, the ancestors and the fae will love you for it.

If you are called to weave the web and sing home displaced souls please consider coming to Jamaica with me or sign up for the Wild Hunt in Scotland, the USA or in Canada. It will be a pleasure to go into battle beside you. Email me at asteed@andrewsteed.com with questions or for more details.