Australian spiritual teacher Alana Fairchild on inspiration, the Earth Warriors Oracle and trusting our instincts
The wonderful Alana Fairchild is someone whose work I have admired and used for many years. I have also been lucky enough to work with Alana on a couple of occasions under quite stressful circumstances, and I discovered that she absolutely embodied her work - she proved to be a true wise woman who walked her talk. I have cherished her terrifically ever since, and look forward to her new work with great anticipation.
Alana was gracious enough to take time from her busy schedule to have a chat with me, and I asked her some burning questions about spirituality, creative challenges and her new deck, The Earth Warriors Oracle. And as usual, I was delighted with her answers. I hope they inspire you, too:
1. Alana, could you tell us about the inspiration behind your new deck, the Earth Warriors Oracle? What was the catalyst for their creation?
Some years ago, I was invited to sing at a drumming circle. I wasn’t a drummer, but I love to dance and have good rhythm, and apparently they were open to all sorts of musical offerings. So I took my crystal singing bowls and my voice and went to this drumming circle for the first time. The moment I stepped into the warehouse where it was held, it was a breath of fresh air for my soul. I felt a sense of kinship with the wild and free spirits that were part of that community.
Being a rebel and marching to my own beat, as the expression goes, I could totally relate to them. There was a sense that their entire tribe - and I would call it a tribe for this reason - was actually one spiritual body, with many individual members. Their values of leaving no trace when in nature, of loving the earth and protecting the environment, of supporting each other in their journeys for personal development without any judgement whatsoever was astonishing to me.
I was used to communities (even spiritual communities) that were rife with political backstabbing and power games, and yet here I had stumbled into a tribal family of some hundred or so members spread all over Sydney with so much genuine encouragement of each other, so much absence of ego … I felt like a cross between a long-lost sister of the tribe and a spiritual anthropologist discovering a rare tribe and I was fascinated!
There were problems to be dealt with of course, pain and struggle are parts of life, even lives well lived with awareness. Still it was one of the healthiest human ecosystems that I had ever encountered, and I have been in and out of many ‘tribes’ or groups over the years, many claiming to be spiritually evolved. What I loved about this group is that it didn’t claim anything other than it was a type of family and it was based in love and respect, all of which seemed very true to my experiences in that community.
As I travelled, I found similar tribes in other parts of the world too. It was a consciousness rather than a type, and it was a global movement rather than something that was unique to this one beautiful community that I had been led to in Australia. Some groups looked like they should belong to that tribal consciousness, yet lacked the real heart. Other groups seemed to have little in common on the surface, but held the same genuine heart frequency underneath it. There were people of all ages and walks of life that were drawn to these types of communities, and the ways of being that they naturally create, and recognised the value of what they bring to the earth.
When I found Isabel Bryna’s art online, I recognised a visual representation of what this soul tribe group felt like. I asked her if she would be interested and she agreed. Earth Warriors was born out of that experience.
2. You do so much with Goddess energy, and have always been a big fan of the stuff you do with Kuan Yin and Mother Mary. What do you think we should be doing in 2018 to work more closely with Goddess energy?
I think one of the most beautiful and simple practices we can do is talk to her. Some people call this prayer. I don’t think of prayer as religious necessarily, more of a spiritual practice. I like the idea that prayer is speaking to the divine and meditation is listening to the divine, but really, if you are deep in connection with the divine, pouring out your heart, you are so present and authentic, it can become a healing meditation session! Human beings tend to need a form to connect with – so I’d suggest a fun internet search of ‘goddesses’ or ‘divine mother’ and then choose which goddess you relate to most at the time, from whichever spiritual or cultural tradition you wish. Then you can imagine or intend that you are speaking to her, rather than to ‘empty space’, when you have your prayerful conversations.
We live in an amazing time where we have the freedom to obtain information about many kinds of sacred beings with only a laptop, internet connection and curious mind. Starting with a connection to a deity that you resonate with and then opening up a dialogue – talking to her like you would any true friend – is a way to begin this process of connection. I personally find the divine mother so practical and non-judging, you can talk to her about absolutely anything.
Talking to a sublime being about mundane issues can seem a little strange or even disrespectful sometimes. They are so beautiful and shining with ethereal light, you can imagine that you should only speak a sacred mantra to them and not talk about your love life, or how to deal with the person at work who is making your life a living hell. But actually if you do talk about whatever is happening in your life with openness, I find that the answers usually start to come to me pretty quickly. The goddess energy is responsive, when we are open to it.
|Spread from Alana Fairchild's Mother Mary Oracle
3. What things do you do to keep yourself spiritually and physically healthy, and what should we all do?
I am a big believer in people trusting their instincts and exploring to find what works for them. It’s taken me many years to figure out the balance of how much exercise, meditation, alone time, social time, study time, rest, sleep, intimacy, vitamin supplementation and the type of nutrition that suits my mind, body and soul. And of course, it’s always changing! When we travel, if we are going through a tough time of things, if we have lots of energy, our needs shift.
So I suppose really what I am saying is that I would recommend that we listen to ourselves. We might get information from others – and finding open-minded, holistc and well-trained professionals to support us in finding the information we need for health is so worth the effort - but there’s no point just doing something because it works for someone else. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, as the expression goes. We need to take our time, consider that we are worth the effort required to live well and take care of ourselves, and try different things until we find what suits us.
I also think a great starting point for pretty much everyone on the planet – especially in the developed world where there is abundant access to technology – is to learn how to switch off and rest. I mean proper rest, where you don’t have a screen in front of you for some time before you go to sleep and certainly you don’t jump on Tinder or email when you are in bed!
Learning how to love what technology can do for you, whilst managing the potentially addictive nature of it, so that you get some time to feast your eyes on nature, and experience an absence of artificial light for a while each day does a lot for allowing the body to go into the parasympathetic nervous system mode that it needs to rest and repair. It makes a huge difference to our quality of life!
This is also the state of nervous system that makes us most open to sudden insights of spiritual guidance, that just seem to pop into our awareness out of nowhere. I imagine sometimes that the Universe has heard our requests for help and is waiting patiently for a moment when we just rest and switch off so it can finally swoop on in, past the to-do lists and constant anxious chatter and slip the answer to our heart-felt prayers straight into our conscious minds. Suddenly we realise the answer to our problem. We probably also think we are so brilliant for figuring it out!
It’s about making rest a priority. Most people don’t do this – and I could have a very long conversation with you about why I think that is the case! The short answer is that most people have no idea just how much their body is in need of some proper ‘divine downtime’ and just how much it would do for them in every part of their lives if they decided to honour that.
4. I have a real problem with finishing things. And you are so prolific and create so much beautiful work that enriches the world. Any tips for seeing a project through to the end and sending it out into the world?
That made me laugh. You are so productive though! I think of you writing and sharing and being out and about amongst people. You give a lot of yourself. It’s really beautiful.
You are not alone in the more ideas than you can handle boat though. Most highly sensitive and creative people have an abundance of ideas! At one point I had to acknowledge that no matter how hard I worked, I was never, ever going to be able to translate all of my ideas into form. It just wasn’t possible.
What I focus on is how good it feels to complete each project. I imagine the people who will read it, and that it will help uplift, assist and inspire them. I find that very motivating. Even though I love what I do, it’s still hard work to write a book or create a CD. It’s so much more fun to come up with the idea, I find, and easier too! If I could run a think tank just coming up with ideas for other people, I’d probably quite like that, but I don’t think it’s what I’m here to do. Completing projects always takes much more out of me and so much more time than what I expect, even though I’ve created many books and CDs at this stage of my life. I always forget! Like childbirth perhaps?
I am also a stubborn and determined sort of person. So when I decide I am going to do something, even if it takes me a while, I just keep at it until it’s done. Sometimes that has meant that I’ve climbed the wrong mountain, even though half way through I realised it was the wrong mountain. But it also means that I do – eventually – complete my writing or other tasks that I set out to do.
For me, that’s important. So it’s a high priority and I get it done. It might not be so important for someone else though, even if they have the talent to do it. We all have different priorities and that’s as it should be. No matter how much time we have or don’t have, I feel that we make time for our priorities. It’s just that sometimes maybe we aren’t as clear about what those priorities are – and then there can be frustration until we either make peace with the choices we’ve made or make new choices.
5. If I came to you and asked you for 3 or 4 books I should read that would transform me, what would you recommend?
That is an amazing question and I cannot answer it with suggested book titles. I would say they will be the books that you are drawn to instinctively at certain times in your life. It could be a book of poetry, or art, or a novel or autobiography, or a new age healing book like the types that I create. It could be anything really. What matters is that it resonates for you, moves you, feels like it was somehow written for you in that moment. Then there are those books that you can go back to and read a decade later, as if it is an entirely new book, with a new layer of meaning and depth, simply because life has worked on you enough that you have more receiving apparatus!
6. What about working with oracle cards. How is that powerful, and how can we best use them?
Oracle cards have an ability to transform a person’s state of being. I had no idea just how powerful they were until I began writing them and receiving the most extraordinary feedback about how they were impacting people’s lives. The experience for me when I write them is astonishing. The energy of the deck is a living thing, it has its own personality and purpose, its own style of language and its really quite palpable. It’s a bit like living with a new friend for the duration that I am writing each deck.
It’s similar when I write a book, but I think with oracle cards, they are so distilled, so focused on a particular theme, that they are very powerful. I feel that people are instinctively drawn to the energy of the deck that they need. I refer to them as vitamins for the soul.
I also think at this particular time in history, when we are living so much in our heads, anything that uses the eyes – such as amazing art – to connect with the heart, can be corrective, powerful and healing.
Also we talked earlier about the divine feminine. When we want to become more intuitive, creative, responsive to Spiritual energy and guidance, aware of our own feelings and so on, we need the feminine energy to do this. Working with imagery, colour and feeling, which is what happens with oracle decks, supports that process. It can help us tune into ourselves in a much deeper level. They really are bridges to the soul, and from the soul, to the wisdom of spiritual guidance - at least that is my intention when I write.
In terms of how to work with them, I include suggestions in each of my decks, along with card layouts, but I also say ‘choose what feels right for you’. Some of my clients sleep with them under their pillow, others create altars, some draw a card each day and read the message, some use them to do readings for clients, others give them as gifts! I’ve not heard of anyone using one as a door-stop as yet – hopefully not! Or perhaps that really would be grounding their spiritual journey! Jokes aside, it’s really about playing and choosing what works for you.
I’ve just realised that I’ve likely said that in practically every question you’ve asked me! But I think that part of where we struggle in social conditioning is that we are often encouraged to be more outwardly focused than needs be. Sometimes we just need to trust ourselves, get some guidance and then figure out our own approach. I’m so in-touch with my inner maverick and have been for a long time, and I am quite passionate about helping people discover that quality in themselves too. It makes for a very interesting and unique life!
You can see some samples from Alana's Earth Warriors Oracle and all her other work here at Blue Angel Publishing