This is my teacher, my Elder, my friend, and one half of the powerful pair that is the head of the Warrior In The Heart Foundation. This is how I, and so many of us who sat in circle with her will always remember her.
There are people who come into our lives and when it happens we often don’t even realise how important, how marked their influence on our lives will be. And then there are people like Elsa and Howard Malpas.
I have oft times been heard to tell of the looking back and joining the dots of our destiny to see how we got to where we are… so I will tell you now of this one shining light on my path. This beautiful laughing and frail looking Soul who passed into Spirit in November of this year. Don’t be fooled though, this wee lady was and remains one of the most powerful, life changing catalysts ever to have been part of my journey, mine and so many others’ journeys too.
My personal journey was about to take a detour in the late summer of 2002. This had been foretold and I had laughed it off. Oh how naive of me.
One day walking up Glastonbury High Street I saw an A frame board ‘Warrior In The Heart Shamanic Training’, because of other convergences of the stars way before that day, the resonance pounded me into submission and my feet took me up the stairs of the Avalon Centre where I immediately signed up for a year long practitioner training course.
I had no clue what I had signed up for. I trusted in the Universe to keep me right.
Turned out I had signed up for my future.
In the May of 2003 I walked into a room full of familiar strangers. Later, I would realise this was my Spiritual family. My ‘Milk Line’.
This joyous, calm and gentle woman sat with her husband at the other side of the circle to me and welcomed me, bade me sit.
I was home.
It was here that my life began to take a different tack, in new and magically wonderful ways. It was here I would learn to be a teacher, a healer, and many other things; a human being connected to all other beings and states of being.
Since those days both Howard & Elsa have been behind me and all the other circles full of people who found their feet tramping up those stairs – and that goes probably into the thousands. Their progression of the teachings of Elsa & Howard will cascade to much more than that, infinity even… echoing through the Spirit web of the Universe
This crucible that is Death gives us pause to think on how we came to be known to each other, how we came to be the people we become. It shows us the starkness of our ambitions. Burns through to the white hot heart of what is and what is not.
This cauldron of plenty that is life simmers away and us with it; we are stirred around with the Universal spoon and spices and herbs added to flavour our lives. Nourished in turn we nourish others, adding to the recipe. We spend so much time adding and being stirred we forget to remember the individual catalysts that make our recipe what it is until we are bereft, and those catalysts are transformed in the crucible.
We gathered together on the 13th November at Glastonbury Town Hall to say our goodbyes to the physical vessel, weakend by health challenges none of us could begin to understand, that held her inimitable spirit and zest for life. This small physically painful frame never did diminish her vivacity. It did however belie her strength of will and her no nonsense way of getting her point across when she deemed it fitting.
We gathered with their family and friends, we their Milk Line, all together to say our fond farewells. Such a Ceremony, such celebration of a life truly gifted to Spirit. She walked her talk, even when in a wheelchair, her talk was from her heart. She was the Warrior of her heart and taught us to connect to that Warrior in our own hearts.
We walked her home with the Warrior drums and cries. Songs and chants were made, hearts were opened and voices heard to the heavens and beyond.
We took her stories to our hearts, her healing, her wisdom. We carry it all in our own heart’s and minds. When we teach it is her and Howard’s voices we use.
Elsa was passionate (and still will be so) about the Fae. Their place in our world and our place in theirs. Their stories, their healing, their mischevious ways. I see her even now with them enjoying the ruckass that we made in the streets, laughing joyously with a new energetic state with no pain or disability.
There are no stars out of reach for her. For any of us for that matter. It really doesn’t have to take being transmuted in the Crucible of Death to allow us to fly in Space and time.
After all it is what Shamans do the Worlds over… all the Worlds.
I hold no sadness for her, she is dancing on a Moonbeam and sliding down the Sunbeams of her Faerie Worlds. She is safe and she is free.
I am honoured and proud to have sat in Circle with both she and Howard, I am grateful to Spirit and to the Universe for nudging me into spaces and places and people whose influence has led me to being who I am today.
Lineage and heritage of whichever lines are important. Be your own Pathfinder, go out and meet your Wolf in the Woods, if you dare. I say this advisedly as once this Path less trodden is walked upon you will be led a merry dance. Power Animals, Allies, Guides so many amazing gifts and experiences. Friendships and love that transcends mortality.
So yes, I do not cry, her body is returned to the Mother Earth, she is now part of it all again. I have her in my heart and in my mind, Elsa and Howard both.
They sent us out after our initiation to find our own way in this world, as indeed we must all do, but we were not and never shall be alone. We are all ways supported by the gift of her love, power and joy.
So, goodbye, fare thee well, adieu my friend, my teacher, my mentor – I will see you in the Dreamtime, just a moment’s thought away.
Be Well Be Blessed Be Loved and may your Solstice this deepest of dark times show you the warmth and nurturing spaces where seeds sleep and dreams are dreamed and life is written, ready to come back and bloom in the coming Spring.