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Unshackling the past

11th October, 2017 Miscellaneous

“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.”
Rosa Luxemburg


A new, black Remo Pluto drum, a deep acting homeopathic remedy, a Banded Agate tie-cutting skull and a gong bath with Sarah Lownds all came together to create exquisite agony in my gut. ‘You need to release,’ said Terrie Celest having looked at the astrology. So I booked a shamanic session with Sarah at which she used my new drum. Up came an African life I had never glimpsed. ‘Shackled,’ Sarah said, ‘I feel you were shackled and you still are.’ I could feel my left ankle being constricted and a pull towards one side. But other than that was unaware of any particular life so I just stayed with the flow and agreed to work with the drum daily until I could get to the core.

The next day I lay on my bed with my Banded Agate skull on my heart and my drum balanced on my aching belly and let the drum take me where it would. I went from glimpses of African faces peering down at me, medieval Templar knights fleeing to the depths of Africa and ‘slaves’ in ancient Egypt many of whom were economic migrant workers much like today but others were prisoners from battles, to white men being taken as Arab slaves travelling from the coast of Africa by dhow across to Arabia, and Africans in the slave transports to America, and, of course, to slaves everywhere. I saw no specific past life, but these can often be allegory and symbolism that tell our story rather than actual, factual truth. I realised once again that we all shackle ourselves with impedimenta other than metal shackles around our ankles. We chain ourselves with beliefs, fears, concepts and rules and intentions. Out-of-date contracts and so much more. All waiting to be released. So I drummed on, an ‘I let go, I let go’ rhythm. And on.

“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
Erin Hanson

Freedom from Fear

Freedom from Fear

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.”
Jim Morrison

Shackles loosened,

Shackles loosened,

Gradually the scenes change. I begin to see souls who are still chained to earth, held either by the way they died (so many on the slave ships or in pogroms and ethnic cleansings but other causes too) or by their beliefs and fears. The drum begins to open portals, urging those souls to free themselves by moving towards the light. Round the earth we journey, portals opening at so many sites I lose count. But ultimately I land at Goree Island, which I featured in Crystals and Sacred Sites. I had journeyed there before using Rutilated Quartz. Now I take a piece of Freedom Stone from the quarry at Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was held and plant it in the centre of the island as a symbol of freedom.

Freedom Stone c. Michael Illas The Crystal Companion.

Freedom Stone c. Michael Illas
The Crystal Companion.

I realise that this is on-going soulwork to which I will return until not only I but the collective is freed from the shackles that bind. I call it work but, apart from the physical embodiment of the pain, which lessens as I drum, I count it as a privilege. Do join with me in this work. There may well be more to report as time goes on. There’s a journey you can make yourself at the end of this extract from Crystals and Sacred Sites:

Rutilated Quartz and Goree Island

Goree Island, Dakar, Senegal

Goree Island, Dakar, Senegal

Goree Island, off the coast of Senegal, has become a focal point of remembrance for the millions of Africans who were enslaved in the Americas. It is a place of pilgrimage for those who wish to pay their respects to their ancestry, especially those who will never know their origins. But connection to Goree Island can benefit anyone who feels in any way enslaved. Rutilated Quartz is a stone of purification and protection for the site.

Rutilated QuartzGorée Island certainly belongs to Africa and America but, on a large scale, it is a universal heritage. It may become a land of meditation and contemplation where men, now aware of their history and its tragedy, will appreciate even more justice and brotherhood.

Mr. Amadou Mahtar M’Bow, December 22nd 1980.

Former director-general, UNESCO

What this site offers you

  • Answering the call of ancestral spirits
  • Honoring African-American heritage
  • Remembrance of things past
  • Healing the ancestral line
  • Liberation from enslavement

Connecting with Rutilated Quartz

This connection offers you a potent source of energy and profound healing for the past. It can take you journeying down your ancestral line to give healing to all those who have carried pain or anguish. It also helps you to reprogram your DNA so that ancestral patterns are cleared and you can move forward freed from the past.

Rutilated Quartz contains strands of rutile, otherwise known as titanium, the mineral that colours the land of West Africa red. This red earth was once described to me as “the bleeding heart of a country” in memory of all those forcibly taken from their homes. Rutilated Quartz is a fitting stone for this site although it may not necessarily be found on the island. But any crystal from your homeland, wherever that may be, can be used to reconnect.

The House of Slaves

House of Slaves and the Door of No Return

House of Slaves and the Door of No Return

A small island a short distance off the coast at Dakar, Goree has become a focus for pilgrimage by African-Americans who want to remember their heritage. Some 30,000 visitors a year pay their respects at this site. For three hundred years The House of Slaves shipped Africans to the Americas under horrendous conditions. Many died before reaching land. Estimates of the numbers vary widely, some authorities suggesting as many as five million others far less. But slavery is much older than this, slaves were taken from many other places in the past and it continues to this day. This site acts as a focal point for every person and each culture that has been enslaved.  Guided tours of the dungeons and museum on Goree ensure that the awful history of slavery will never be forgotten.

Remembrance statue gifted to Goree Island by the people of Guadeloupe

Remembrance statue gifted to Goree Island by the people of Guadeloupe

After capture in the interior of Africa, slaves were force-marched out to the coast, weighed and priced, and then sold and branded. It could take up to three months before the slaves were shipped out. Meanwhile they waited chained up in tiny dungeons. Food was deliberately restricted so that the slaves would fight amongst themselves rather than banding against their captors. Slaves who died were thrown out of the “Doorway of No Return” into the sea beneath.

The power of purification

Rutilated Quartz

Red Rutile in Quartz

Red Rutile in Quartz

Often known as Angel’s Hair because of the fine strands of rutile, Rutilated Quartz is a powerfully purifying Quartz. In crystal lore this stone connects to the highest angelic frequencies. It creates portals and higher-dimensional possibilities and is said to have the perfect balance of cosmic light and creative power.

Properties of Rutilated Quartz

Spiritual evolution is hugely accelerated by Rutilated Quartz which opens inter-dimensional metaphysical sight. It amplifies the power of thought so that what you think in your mind manifests in the outer world. If the power is misused selfishly or abusively, it backfires but it can dramatically transform your world for the good of all. An efficient purifier of toxic thoughts and constrictive emotions, Rutilated Quartz liberates you from the past so that the barriers to spiritual evolution are dissolved and soul purpose comes into play. Useful in past life or ancestral healing, where it promotes insight into the core issue and encourages forgiveness and release, it highlights if a particular dis-ease or karmic pattern has deliberately been taken on as a soul learning experience. At an emotional level, Rutilated Quartz heals the past and dissolves the deeper causes of depression, phobias or anxiety. It is an efficient earth healer for environmental pain.

Healing power

Drawing off negative energy and infusing new vitality, Rutilated Quartz provides a firm foundation for new energetic patterns to be imprinted into cells. Crystal workers use it to balance the thyroid, heal the lungs and stimulate cellular growth. Placed on the solar plexus or thymus it treats chronic dis-eases and sexual dysfunction.

Alternative Crystals

Any of the African crystals can be used for this meditation or one from your homeland.

Journey: Coming home

This meditation helps you to return to your roots and heal your ancestral line. It offers you liberation and emancipation from anything that is holding you captive in your life, setting you free to be your true self. It also helps you to put down roots in a country that you have made your home. The journey helps you to step through the doorway into true freedom, a knowledge of who you are, and strengthens your spiritual roots.


If you have photographs of your ancestors or your place of origin set them out in front of you. Light a candle and lay out flowers. Purify your stone and ensure that you will not be disturbed.

The Journey Home

Holding your Rutilated Quartz in your hands, half close your eyes and look at the doorway. Honour all those who have walked this way before you, their struggles and their pain. Let the light

Journey Home

of the Quartz go to them to heal that pain, lifting them up and helping them to pass on to higher dimensions and new possibilities. Send them on their way with dignity, unconditional love and forgiveness in their hearts.

Taking your courage in both hands, picture yourself walking forward through this doorway so that you fly free, leaving behind any bondage or restriction, angst or anguish you may have been feeling. Feel yourself moving into liberation and emancipation, into your birthright of full humanity and expanded consciousness. Travel where your Rutilated Quartz takes you or simply sit quietly absorbing the energy.


When you are ready to return, place the Quartz on the photographs of your ancestors or ancestral home in a place where you will see them often. Blow out the candle, sending your ancestral memories on their way with love.

Picture a bubble of protection all around you. Stand up and feel your connection to the earth beneath your feet. Feel long roots growing out of the soles of each foot, passing down beneath your feet and twining together. These roots pass deep down into the centre of the earth, hooking themselves around the iron ball at its core. They hold you lightly in incarnation and anchor you to the place you have chosen to call home.

Attaching yourself to the planet in this way does not shackle you, it gives you the freedom to journey and return. To be on and of the earth and yet to reclaim your cosmic heritage. Enjoy!

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