Having had two months of prolonged bleeding during menstruation I ended up in A&E at QA in Cosham for urine retention. I remained in hospital for a week on a catheter whilst having two blood transfusions and various investigations. A CT scan showed an 11cm x 11cm fibroid attached down one side to the muscle core of my uterus, which had been sitting on my bladder causing the urine retention. I was advised to have an emergency hysterectomy due to the risk of further bleeding. They were so busy I had to wait five agonising weeks while taking blood clotting medication to stop me from bleeding out. It was a very stressful time. My haemoglobin was still low before the operation so I had to have another blood transfusion the day before surgery for them to be able perform the operation. Fortunately my blood loss during the operation was minimal so another blood transfusion was not required but due to issues with my bowel I remain in hospital for another week.
Here are my post operative experiences which I treated naturally.
I spoke to a homeopath at Helios (a homeopathic remedies company who can be contacted on 01892 537254) and asked her which remedies she recommended for hysterectomy. She gave me a combination remedy for surgery to help bruising and inflammation which contains Arnica, Belladonna, Calendula, Hypericum, and Staphysgaria. All of these can be found as separate remedies in the Helios Basic Kit but I chose to buy the combination bottle so that I didn’t have to take my kit into hospital. I also took a remedy called Anaesthetic to clear the general anaesthetic out of my system (which isn’t in the Basic Kit).
I started the remedies on day two in hospital according to the directions and I came off the painkillers after around eight days which I put down to having had the remedy and the binding. My swelling also went down during the second week which can also be due to the help of both the homeopathy and the binding.
The painkillers I was given in hospital were in tablet form: Tramadol, Codine, and Paracetamol and these made my stomach upset so I was given anti nausea medication. I started to eat again but I found the hospital food very heavy. After two days I ended up vomiting 4 litres of liquid over an 8 hour period – everything that I had eaten since the operation. This meant I had to be on a drip for a day.
I later discovered that during the operation the bowel is moved up and an out of the way and that this causes aggravation which is normal. I wasn’t aware of this in advance and I believe that I should have been put on more simple foods to give my bowl chance to recover. Instead they put me on normal food and laxatives which didn’t work for me.
I eventually went home on day 6 where I gave myself bone broth and pureed fruit for a few days, followed by vegan yoghurt and then banana. I then introduced Yorkshire puddings into which I poured the bone broth, and organic soups. I was craving carbs so I bought french fries which were thin and soft and also garlic french bread which was soft and easy to digest.
I stopped the laxatives when I returned home and instead took a table spoon of organic Flax Oil every morning. You can also take a table spoon of Psyllium Husks in water if extra help is required but I didn’t need this as I soon started having regular bowel movements.
After a week I went onto muesli for breakfast, soup for lunch, and a normal dinner such as chicken with rice. I haven’t had any further bowel issues.
I would recommend drinking bone broth to heal the gut and only eating simple foods such as soup and pureed fruit for the first week of recovery, particularly the first few days.
I tried belly binding after the birth of my second child by c-section which involved wearing a corset to keep the abdomen supported which in turn helped the incision to heal. I bought three step-in/pull-up corsets from John Lewis so that I could wash them and fortunately I kept them. A hysterectomy involves removal of the womb causing a gap to occur which can cause problems for the surrounding organs. Binding causes gentle compression that holds muscle and ligaments in place and which may help the organs to gently shift into a new position. I waited until my incision was healed and dry before wearing them. If found it helpful for lessening the pain of daily activities, the abdominal swelling reduced within a couple of days of wearing it. I intend to wear them for six to eight weeks which is the estimated recovery period for a hysterectomy.
I asked a Shaman friend of mine to perform a removal of negative energy and a soul retrieval for my by distance session while I was in the hospital. She successfully removed some dark energy from the space that was left where my womb was removed and she also returned some soul parts which gave me more power and energy. I found this power useful when the staff were badgering me to leave hospital on day two. I told them in the afternoon that I was in pain and that I didn’t feel confident leaving. I refused to leave and by the evening I had started to vomit so I’m glad that I stood my ground as I would never have managed fourteen vomits which totalled four litres on my own.
I had already been seeing Josephine Luard at The Centre of Complementary Medicine in Petersfield for an ongoing neck problem so I understood the benefits of the treatment for the whole body. I saw her two weeks after the operation, and booked in for a week after that, and then fortnightly, and finally monthly. She was able to assist with adjusting the organs and the spinal fluid to support my recovery and I would recommend this treatment post operatively and after child birth.
It is standard procedure at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth to remove the cervix during the hysterectomy. I requested to keep my cervix because I had read that it leads to shortening of the vagina which can cause sexual problems for some women. I’m glad that I did because after the procedure my consultant phone me to ask how I was getting on. I asked her what problems might occur and she said ‘sexual problems’ but that I wouldn’t be affected because ‘I kept my cervix’. It begs the question why they remove the cervix as standard if they know that it causes problems? My advice is to read up on this issue and to ask to keep it if you don’t want to take the risk of having your sex life affected.
I feel saddened to be having to write this post, which is about men being triggered by women talking about the feminine in Shamanic culture. This sadness stems from the realisation that patriarchal energy is still alive and strong even in the spiritual community – and I have seen it flowing through women too.
When I read this post from a Shamanic group on my FaceBook newsfeed I felt my heart open with a really powerful resonance.
I received the realisation of looking back at a long linage of women who were in service to others and I felt fortified by that strong female heritage behind me. It felt empowering to be part of that history.
At no point did I consider that making a statement about the feminine in relation to Shamanism would be considered to be controversial by anyone. Surely my male friends would want to celebrate the feminine energy if they knew of its power?
Apparently not. It seems that some men read this post and became upset. But instead of walking away from it with the realisation that they need to go and work on their own stuff, they stopped to take the time to project their issues onto me.
The first man said ‘why not a man?’. Well my initial response was that I didn’t say that a Shaman couldn’t be a man. Indeed much of the history of Shamanism is written by men and is about men. As a female Shaman I often feel excluded by the strong masculine energy within the practice which is similar to how I felt twenty years ago as an art student walking the halls of big museums looking at the world through the male gaze.
The past 5,000 years of patriarchy have successfully edited the feminine influence from every aspect of social history so that as a female scholar one struggles to find books about women artists or Shamen written by women and focussing on feminine perspectives. The further back in history we go the stronger the male narrative becomes with misogynistic tendencies completely normalised and accepted.
I was listening to a podcast by Gene Decode last night. He is a former military man who had a spiritual awakening and is now an intuitive in the truther movement discerning what is true intelligence about current events by using his psychic abilities. A caller into Gene’s Q&A show asked why there were missing elements from both the Platonic Solids (Spheres and Toroids) and the Greek Elements (Aether, Wood, and Metal). Gene responded that the missing elements are feminine and that feminine has been disregarded by the control system because of its power. Hence we had witch hunts where it was acceptable to falsely accuse a woman, subject her to sexual abuse, and then kill her in the most horrific way as a sacrifice to Satan.
He said that if society knew the true power women hold then all the repression would stop.
Later on another post popped up on my newsfeed which again observed the role of the feminine in Shamanic practice and related it to creative force women hold. It was attributed to an article in Tom Tom magazine but the author was not mentioned.
The most interesting and least well-known aspect of shamanism is the traditional role of women, both as shamans and drummers. British scholar Geoffrey Ashe wrote that shamans were originally women, and that the oldest form of the word ‘shaman’ is gendered female. Across Asia, female shamans have been observed since the dawn of modern anthropology, and even male shamans in some native cultures around the world have worn women’s clothes and striven for an androgynous persona in ritual to better connect with the spirit world. Some of the oldest known ritual burials were of female shamans or priestesses, in areas as far apart as Germany and Israel, dated from 8,000-12,000 years ago. How women came to embody this role so early in human history isn’t known, though their ability to produce life is most likely the answer. Ritual drums were often painted red to depict menstrual blood, had symbols of the vulva, and rituals centered around fertility and fecundity.
Feminine power therefore stems from the womb and the unique female ability to create new life which in turn feeds into the healing role of the Matriarch in tribal culture. It is an older woman’s life experience and deep understanding of the body and its natural cycles and magical rites of passage from maiden, mother, to crone that brings her to the role of healer. By coming to terms with the rhythms and changes in her own body she can assist others who are experiencing the same issues. She can guide the younger woman through menstruration, pregnancy, birth, mothering, and the menopause helping her to find the lessons and gifts they bring.
This notion of feminine bodily experience as the root of healing others is echoed in the words of Jane Hardwicke Collings founder of the School of Shamanic Womancraft in Australia:
The shaman was the community healer, seer and gatekeeper between the worlds, the spiritual ceremonialist and often the midwife. She worked with herbs, dreams, symbols, ceremony, ritual, oracles and journeying in trance states to other realms for the purpose of healing and mediation for others. Nature was her guide; she understood the interconnectedness of all things.
It is likely that early tribal cultures would have found the process of gestation and birth a magical alchemical act. The ability to make another human from sperm inside the magical space of the womb would have revered the feminine in society. Men perhaps would have marvelled at the ability of their beloved to bring an heir of a blood lineage. This reverence is likely what first created the matriarchal cultures that came before patriarchy.
But I experienced anything but reverence for the feminine from a male Shaman friend of mine. When I read his response my heart shuddered with disgust for what he had written: that I was wrong. It is interesting that he was projecting his anger at me because the words I posted were not mine, they were written by a male writer. There for it should be the writer who is wrong.
As a former admin on a natural health group I know how those who are Archontically controlled can deplete our energy with pointless arguing. As such I have learned to let others hold their own opinions without wasting my time giving the alternative view. If people try to argue with me now I just scroll past and feel confident in my ability to not allow others to intrude into my personal space. I hold my frequency high and am unaffected by the anger of others.
I deleted the comment and deleted the person as a friend as it isn’t the first time I have felt this intense negative energy directed towards me from him. I wondered though, what evidence is there that I am wrong? Of course in his egoic state of anger at my audacity as a female to associate Shamanism with the feminine he did not cite any published works.
So I decided to do my own research into the notion of the feminine in Shamanism and I’ve been fascinated with the research I have found – expect more from me on this topic.
Having received two blood transfusions I was discharged from hospital to wait for my surgery date to be booked.
To prevent further bleeding I was prescribed three prescription drugs to take daily during this waiting time.
For the previous two and a half years I hadn’t had so much as one paracetamol. As a result I was feeling very tired, unable to concentrate, and feeling disconnected from my Shamanic practices.
This was compounded by having had seven days in hospital without meditation, grounding, or Qi Gung and being in a busy environment surrounded by electromagnetic radiation so I was very much depleted.
I contacted Scott, my teacher from Shamanic Spirit Medicine, for advice and he recommended contacting the Possessing Spirits of the drugs I was taking and extracting them from my body along with a soul retrieval to return any soul parts that I had lost during the hospital stay.
Having repeated this exercise a several times I suddenly got my energy back and felt well enough to go to a friend’s birthday dinner which I really enjoyed.
This experience has taught me that when prescription medication is require to save our lives, we can support ourselves with Shamanic techniques if we are negatively affected.
This is an example of how Spiritual Healing can work alongside allopathic medicine and surgery to assist healing in the physical body.
Due to high blood loss I was taken to hospital where a CT scan showed an 11 cm diameter fibroid in my uterus connected down one edge to the middle layer of the uterine wall which required urgent surgery.
My Shamanic teacher, Scott Silverston, conducted a distance healing on me to address the spiritual aspects of the illness. He and his spirit helpers entered my uterus and saw a cut in the back wall which couldn’t heal due to a sword stabbing in from behind. This was causing heavy bleeding.
The spirit guides showed Scott how my mother had been stabbing me in the back all of my life with her anger and judgment of me. I had a pattern which was set in childhood whereby my mother would use me to process her emotions for her which left me tired, drained, and lacking the energy to fulfil my potential.
The spirit helpers conversed with her and she told them she didn’t like that ‘I am no longer taking care of her emotional needs’ and that ‘I am prioritising my own needs over hers’.
The sword was removed by the spirit helpers holding onto it as I made the choice to walk away along my true path where my mother cannot follow. The guides discover that she is a soul thief who has gained power for herself by taking my soul parts which she is told to return so that I can regain my personal power. She has hundreds of them, hidden away in different places and initially refuses to return them!
I keep the sword as a reminder of martyrdom, the old experiences, and the wounds that I bear that drove me to seek a new path. I pick up the sword to cut away the obstacles that are holding me back from realising my true potential.
I now stand in a warrior position with the broadsword pointing up to the sky and I’m standing strong in my power: nothing will get in my way.
This experience has taught me that sustained emotional abuse by a narcissist can be a cause of illness in the physical body. Indeed through my research I discovered that abuse in childhood is listed on some websites as a cause for fibroids which then grow bigger with increased stress.
This is an example of the power of Shamanic healing on the spirit of a home.
Having bought a 100 year old house in a state of disrepair and neglect, which I had to live in, I decided to renovate the house room by room. Finally I get to the thirty-year old bathroom which has tiles dropping off the wall and a leak on the shower. I hire a competent plumber who has a week of bad luck: the ceiling falls down, the electrics are messed up, the extractor fan doesn’t have an external outlet and has made the insulation in the loft soggy, and when he tries to chip the tiles off the walls the plaster comes away in huge chunks.
So what to do? I decided to give the bathroom a Shamanic energy healing, focussing all my attention on removing the stuck energy which is preventing the renovations from moving along at a quicker pace. I then fill the room with light and ask my spirit guides to bring their assistance for the work to go more smoothly.
That evening I am alerted by cars swooshing through water on the road outside that there is water gushing up through the manhole cover on the boundary of my property. I phone the water company who come out and end up clearing the sewage drains all the way along my street. The stuck energy had pushed out of my house and into the sewer creating a blockage which was thankfully fixed.
Rose is very pleased with the sound of her bespoke Red Deer hide Shamanic drum handmade in Lancashire by Nicola Smalley at Anglezarke Hallows.
The Red Deer hide cape was handmade in Scotland by Anthony Right at Barrhead Leather.
Rose made her own headdress using English Pheasant feathers and ethically sourced Red Deer Antlers.
My friend, Michael Bartlett, a talented artist whom I met at Aspex Gallery in 2008, has very kindly painted this portrait of me based on a picture he took at my solo show in early 2020.
See more of his work at http://www.michaelbartlett.org.uk
Published in the June 2020 edition of Hampshire Life magazine: https://www.hampshire-life.co.uk/out-about/artist-profile-fran-richardson-1-6663128
I will be showing a selection of photorealistic charcoal drawings and monochromatic paintings of domestic interiors on
Saturday 1st February 2020
1100 to 1530
or by appointment Monday to Friday 0900 to Midday
Office 6, Lavant House, 39 Lavant Street PETERSFIELD GU32 3EL
- Lavant House is situated on the corner of Charles Street at the top of Lavant Street.
- Office 6 is above The General Wine Company.
- The entrance is next to Richard Mitham Associates estate agency.
- Go up the stairs and office 6 is straight ahead at the end of the corridor on the right.
Zen In The Art of Archery was recommended to me by the late Tony Carter when I was postgraduate student and he was both Principle and leader of the Fine Art MA at The City & Guilds of London Art School.
Last week I found a used copy which reminded me that I needed to read it – after thirteen years. During that time I have developed both my understanding of Buddhism and a strong daily meditation practice, which I believe puts me in a better position to understand the subtleties of the book.
Tony Carter’s understanding about the connection between Zen, archery, and artistic practice has become apparent to me on page 46 of the text. At this point the author, Eugen Herrigel, has convinced a Zen Master to teach him archery. He has spent a year learning the correct breathing technique for drawing the string of the bow. Having finally understood how to breathe and relax his body he is struggling to let the string of the bow go without jerking the bow, and thus missing the target.
‘You have described only too well’, replied the Master, ‘where the difficulty lies. Do you know why you cannot wait for the shot and why you get out of breath before it has come? The right shot at the right moment does not come because you do not let go of yourself. You do not wait for fulfilment, but brace yourself for failure. So long as that is so, you have no choice but to call forth some thing yourself that ought to happen independently of you, and so long as you call it forth your hand will not open in the right way – like the hand of a child: it does not burst open like the skin of a ripe fruit.’
I had to admit to the Master that this interpretation made me more confused than ever. ‘For ultimately’, I said, ‘I draw the bow and loose the shot in order to hit the target. The drawing is thus a means to an end, and I cannot lose sight of this connection. The child knows nothing of this, but for me the two things cannot be disconnected.’
‘The right art’, cried the Master, ‘is purposeless, aimless! The more obstinately you try to learn how to shoot the arrow for the sake of hitting the goal, the less you will succeed in the one and the further the other will recede. What stands in your way is that you have a much too wilful will. You think that what you do not do yourself does not happen.’
… ‘What must I do, then?’ I asked thoughtfully.
‘You must learn to wait properly.’
‘And how does one learn that?’
‘By letting go of yourself, leaving yourself and everything yours behind you so decisively that nothing more is left of you but a purposeless tension.’
How often do we too ‘brace ourselves for failure’ instead of ‘letting go’ in all aspects of our lives. In relation to artistic practice this notion of ‘letting go’ can be applied such that one is no longer trying to make a picture, or indeed produce a good one. By letting go of the outcome we can feel the brush or pencil and be at one with it in the moment, unhindered, so that the brush is moving without will power, it is automatic like the muscle memory used by sports professionals.
When I learned windsurfing I was told that by breaking down the manoeuvres and practising the movements required I would be training the muscles to remember how to perform the sequences on their own, without the need to think about it. So that when the wind came up and speed together with the correct movement was required the response would be automatic. By letting go of the need to control the equipment the body would feel and respond to the wind directly without requiring any input from the mind.
For the author, the thought of letting go of the string is becoming a block to letting go well. Letting go well would prevent the jerk of the bow and therefore the target would be hit directly. Therefore by not thinking about the goal we would be better able to achieve our goal.
The Master’s comment that ‘you think that what you do not do yourself does not happen’ relates to our ability to let go and to be able to trust. Setting our intention and then letting go of it is essential for manifestation. We need to be able to put our trust in the right outcome happening without straining for it with will power.
I believe that Tony Carter was talking about going with the painting and allowing it to happen without force. Being in the moment, being in the painting, working automatically.