Waking The Witches: Standing In Your Feminine Power
Jane Hardwicke Collings is a powerful, magickal Boss Witch who is a on a mission to wake up the Witches. She woke me up when I came across her work, that’s for sure. As my incredible teacher of the Women’s Mysteries, I’m thrilled that Jane joined me on the Wild Flow Podcast to inspire, ignite, and call you into being the woman the Earth needs now too.
Jane Hardwicke Collings is a former homebirth midwife, teacher, writer and menstrual educator. She gives workshops in Australia and internationally on mother and daughter preparation for menstruation, the spiritual practice of menstruation, and the sacred dimensions of pregnancy, birth and menopause. Jane founded and runs The School of Shamanic Womancraft, an international Women’s Mysteries School.
tune in to hear:
Jane’s cosmic weather report, a powerfully simple tool to understand how the cycles around and within you are influencing you.
Jane sharing the breadcrumbs she followed that have led her to becoming the woman and leader she is today.
How we got into the state of the world we’re in today with high rates of depression, illness, disempowerment in a broken system, and what we can do at this pivotal point in time to create change individually, and collectively.
Reflections on the deeply transformative year-long Four Seasons Journey is which I’m doing with Jane this year, and what Jane’s intention for creating it was,
Jane explaining the phase of life she’s in right now: the Maga phase, post-menopausal powerful Autumn Harvest Queen, and how we can prepare before hand for a healthy, empowering menopause beforehand, and claim our gifts and power when we’re there ourselves.
Thank you so much Jane for chatting with us, leading us, teaching us and guiding us into our own power.
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If you’re interested in cycle awareness, which I’m guessing you are, because you’re here listening to this podcast, then you will probably have heard the work of Jane Hardwick Collins, who founded the School of Shamanic Woman Craft. She is one of my incredible teachers, somebody who I’ve just learnt so much from. She has informed so much of the way that I have my own personal practice. My own spiritual. Earth based practice. And also the way of working in the Shamanic dimensions. Which is about the interconnectedness of all things. And owning. Recognizing. Honouring. Nurturing our inner cyclic natures. As well as understanding the importance of rites of passage. How we journey through them. How they imprint us through life. And how we can heal them. Reclaim them. As well as set ourselves up for empowered experiences.
Jane, I’m just so thrilled is a guest on Wild Flow this week. I’m so thankful that she’s come on, because as you can tell, she’s somebody who I greatly admire and have really been so inspired by and learned so much from. And she’s here to share with you today about her journey to becoming the woman she is and doing the work that she does today. Having left the medical system early on in her career to resist and rebel and to really teach this old way and helping people to reclaim it and to step into their feminine power through the School of Shamanic Woman Craft work that she has founded and is teaching and that I have been journeying with this year on her Four Seasons journey, she’s also talking about the phase of life that she’s currently in, the Maga phase or the Grandmother phase post Menopause, and she shares on what we can do to prepare ourselves now for a positive empowering as easy as possible perimenopause and menopause experience, and then how to step into the gifts and the power of this Margaret phase of life.
Jane and I talk about what actually happens on the Four Seasons journey because I know it’s something that a lot of people are curious to hear about. And she shares how you can attend either in an in-person event or do this online. Now she’s got an online course for it, too, and just so much more. We’re talking about the system patriarchy, how to resist, how to step into our own power, the ways that we can stand in our own families, our own communities and create ripples of change just by ourselves, but also collectively as part of a sisterhood.
There’s something in this for absolutely everybody and I know that you’re going to love it. So let me introduce you to Jane if you have not heard of her before. Jane Hardwick Collins is a former home birth midwife. A teacher, writer, and menstrual educator. She gives workshops in Australia and internationally on mother and daughter preparation for menstruation, the spiritual practice of menstruation, and the sacred dimensions of pregnancy, birth and menopause. Jane founded and runs the School of Shamanic Womancraft, an international women’s mystery school. Settle down, tune in and prepare to be ignited, inspired, and, as she says, to be woken up as a witch. That you are welcome, the one and only magical woman, Jane Hardwicke Collings to Wild Flow. How are you today?
[05:18] Jane Hardwicke Collings: Oh, thank you, Charlotte. I’m very well, thank you. We’re currently after a long weekend, so that has a lovely effect to have had a long weekend and a short week ahead. So, feeling relaxed, but also feeling lots of energy building. And I’m also very fresh from the birth altar where I became a grandmother for the fourth time. So, I feel like I’ve got a different kind of pair of glasses on now, seeing things through, the blessings of birth and a newborn.
[05:57] Charlotte Pointeaux: Beautiful. I just love that you got to spend the time. Grandmother in residency called it so special. Yeah. Well, thank you for being here with us today. I’m just so thrilled to be chatting with you. And I was saying to you beforehand, there’s just so much that I could ask you about and we could talk about, and you could share on here, so yeah, let’s just dive in, though, as always, with the cycle check in, just to set us up. So, I’m cycle day four today and my blood is just starting to trickle off a lot more now. It’s a lot lighter and I just feel like I’m starting to come out the other side of that deep dreamy foggy. Like I’m here. But not here kind of realm and just starting to get the first glimpses of this new cycle ahead of the energy sort of not here yet. But I can sense that it’s there and just starting to get some bit of inspiration and some lots of visions dropping in some crazy dreams over the last couple of nights. So, I come to you with a foot in my Moon cave and a foot just starting to tease out.
And how about you, Jane, in terms of your cycle check in? What’s that look like for you, your post-menopausal? So how do you connect with your cyclic nature and what’s that look like for you today and feel like to you?
[07:39] Jane Hardwicke Collings: Well, I like everyone who doesn’t have a menstrual cycle, for whatever reason. My cycle is the lunar cycle. So, the cycle of the Moon, and we’re just past the first quarter, so a little like a few days ahead of you in terms of where you are in your menstrual cycle. So, there’s energy rising. And more than anything. I guess. At this point in my cycle. The lunar cycle. What I can begin to be aware of. My new Moon prayers beginning to take root and grow leaves. So, they’re coming into being. Which is what one would expect of this stage or phase in the lunar cycle. So like you in the increasing energy and interest in the outside world. But a few days ahead. So that’s my cycle, the lunar cycle.
[08:37] Charlotte Pointeaux: Thanks for sharing that. I love that. I love how much you always say if you don’t have a menstrual cycle right now, you’re with the Moon. And it just makes it so simple and so easy for people to connect with because it’s real as well. Like, the Moon just holds such a powerful force on us, whether we’re conscious of it or not. And just to simply say you’re with the Moon, you’re with the Moon, just feels like so reassuring, lovely, and constant, too.
[09:10] Jane Hardwicke Collings: It never goes away.
[09:13] Charlotte Pointeaux: Yeah. And something that you’ve been doing with us this year, doing your four seasons journey, which is we’ll get into that, but amazing. And when we have our gatherings, you always begin it with a cosmic weather report. And, Jane, I would be honoured if you wanted to share with us what’s the cosmic weather report and what is that for today?
[09:41] Jane Hardwicke Collings: Well. I always share it at workshops and gatherings and in situations like this. I bring my mind to it because the phase that the Moon is in and the season and where in the season that the Earth is impact us. Whether we pay attention to it or not. Just like everything else on Earth is under the influence of the Moon and the cycle of the seasons of the Earth. And the point of bringing awareness to it is that the energy of where the Moon is and where the Earth is in her cycle of the seasons impacts our experience. It colours or influences what arises for us, what’s significant for us, what’s important for us, what we don’t care about, or what we do care about. So, it’s kind of like the weather. So that’s why I call it the cosmic weather report, because the weather impacts how we live. This cosmic weather report, the energy of the moon and the sun, which is the briefest of all cosmic weather reports, because you can bring in all the other cycles and all the other planets. And to be clear, your menstrual cycle is the overriding, overarching most dominant experience. But in terms of the lunar cycle of the cosmic weather report, it’s what I was just saying about where I am in my cycle.
So just past the first quarter, that would make us about like maybe eight or nine days into the lunar cycle, and I say eight or nine days, because a lunar day and an earth day are two completely different things in length as well. So, it’s the energy rising. It’s equivalent to the energy that one might be able to attribute to how you feel post menarche. In fact, like a girl has been welcomed into womanhood and she’s just starting to walk around in that new way of being. That’s kind of like what this lunar phase represents. Things are starting to take effect and there’s a new thing coming. Whatever the new thing is, in this case, it’s like a quarter of a way into the lunar cycle. And the other thing that happens around this lunar phase is that, as I mentioned, the new moon prayers are actualising. So, what that can actually look like and what that could actually require is a reorientation or a focus in on what we’re going to focus on this lunar cycle. So, our new moon prayers may have manifested all kinds of sprouts, all the things you want to call into your life. So at this point, a week and a bit on, you got to choose which one of those sprouts you’re going to focus on. Maybe you can focus on three, maybe you can focus on one. But to choose from what’s arising, what’s beginning to grow in your life, choose the things that have the most lifeforce and go with those. So that’s kind of like what would be part of the cosmic weather report for now, what’s got your energy, what has got energy and your energy? And that could be where to focus. So the earth season part of the cosmic weather report takes us to notice where we are in the cycle of the seasons on the earth. So in the southern hemisphere, we’re just a week past the spring or vernal equinox, and in the northern hemisphere, they’re just past the autumn or fall equinox. So these are the two times in the year when there’s equal day and equal night. So the length of the day and the length of the night are the same length of time. So it’s an opportunity. Like every sabbath or seasonal shift in the cycle of the seasons of the earth gives us the opportunity for a spiritual practice and the equinox, spiritual practice, and it’s only a week pass, so we could still do it. Now is to in the southern hemisphere with the spring equinox and the cycle of growth, we have the opportunity for spring equinox prayers, which are, what do we want to call into our lives to bring balance. So what do we want to plant? Because spring is about planting, and then for the autumn equinox in the northern hemisphere, when they’re in the waning and the autumn headed towards winter, it’s, what do I need to let go of to bring balance? So that’s an example of what I mean by the relevance of where the earth is in her cycle of the seasons and where the moon is in her cycle as a cosmic weather report and the useful information so that we can orient ourselves around what the dominant energies are out there, so we can flow with them and do whatever one would do. Long answer, short to a short question. Sorry.
[14:49] Charlotte Pointeaux: No, it’s perfect. Thank you for explaining. I think it’s something that I really have loved hearing you do and just really noticing, not just where am I in my own cycle, but what’s going on around as well, right here and right now. And like you said, you can go into all the other aspects of planets and blah, blah, blah, but that just simply just gives you a point in time, and maybe it’s the time of day as well, or you’ve done that as well, so there’s all these different layers, but just simply coming to notice where you’re at and how that feels for you and what that means. And like you said, orient is simple but beautiful. So thanks for sharing that with us, Jane. Yeah. So, Jane, you’re an incredible person. You’ve got such a fire in you, and I would just love to ask you, what is it that gets you out of bed every day? Like, why is it that you do what you do? What’s for you to be you as you are in this moment?
[15:58] Jane Hardwicke Collings: Well, I have a mission. I actually have a mission. And that’s not that strange, because that’s what happens for post-menopausal women. They get a mission if they’re open to it and call it to them. So here I am in my postmenopausal mission self, and my mission is to do what I can to help heal the wounded feminine and the wounded masculine of our patriarchal culture mental cycle and my desire to cocreate a future where the great great great grandchildren will thrive. You know, I want to be a good future ancestor. I want to do what I can there that’s part of my mission. And a way that I articulate my mission that really sort of gets my fire really going, is that, in summary, my mission is to wake up the witches from the patriarchal slumber spell.
[16:59] Charlotte Pointeaux: Yes. I love that. It speaks to me. It’s called me in for sure. So you have come from a medical system back in the day you trained as a midwife in Sydney and you were working there for a time doing your training and then after that you left in resistance to become a home birth midwife. And today we see rates of children being disempowered and feeling under prepared and ashamed at their first period and you know that those rates are really high. It’s so pervasive and everywhere the rates of birth trauma, particularly in medical settings, are terrifying, particularly post covert, it seems. And then I’m hearing a lot about menstrual and gynaecological related health issues and mental health diagnoses as well, just going through the roof. It seems to be like we’re going potentially backwards, it seems, or maybe I’m just more aware of it now. But what’s going on? Why are we in this state that we’re in with all of these physical health issues and stemming from all of this shame and this taboo and this general oppression of women and the feminine?
[18:30] Jane Hardwicke Collings: Yeah, right. Question so ultimately what’s going on is a process and actually a cycle and ultimately an unfolding of where we’ve come from. So the Buddha is often quoted, I don’t know what he exactly said, but we attribute to him the quote that if you want to know why you are where you are, look where you’ve come from. So where we’ve come from is a place well, is the patriarchy, basically. And maybe we can share with your listeners the Herstory so they can hear the impacts of the patriarchy on the feminine because that doesn’t just mean women, that means the feminine aspect of which men have a feminine aspect and it also means the feminine way which is cycles and the earth is the feminine. The feminine has been oppressed, suppressed and all kinds of terrible things throughout this patriarchy. But basically if we use the maps that people have created to map change and often they use pendulum to describe when things shift and often how the pendulum is described, the shift is described is that the pendulum is as far out in the way it’s going as it’s going to get. So the worst of the worst shows up in a culture before it shifts. So I’m hoping and guessing that what we are experiencing now are the death throes of the Patriarchy. I’m hoping that we are on the cusp of change and death and rebirth. And it’s not just happening in health and birth, it’s happening in every single sector. Like in agriculture, the earth is being terribly treated and the yield of the vegetables have hardly any nutrients in it. So like education is not what one would want it to be. For example, healthcare, the health industry, like it’s happening. The patriarchal death rows, the dish harmony disease, disagreeing is happening everywhere. So it’s a large thing that we don’t need to take personally, but we need to all do something about. So when systems are way out of balance and they start causing more problems than they solve they will break down like they implode and they will be replaced. This is the way and new things begin to emerge and we’re seeing that even the fact that you call yourself a menstrual cycle coach. That’s revolutionary actually so the changes are happening everywhere so it’s time for the revolution we’ve all been talking about I mean. It’s actually the time of the revolution what’s going on are the death throes of the patriarchy and the revolution to a different way is ushering that in all we have to do is look out. Look what’s going on in the world at the moment the current example of the Iranian women defying the hijab rule like revolution that we would have wished for but would that ever happen? For example, it’s all about control, right? And making things be a certain way in nature when this level of control is used on nature because nature doesn’t do this right. Nature is diverse and cyclical but when we control nature. Say in like a farming way and create what’s going on in the culture. Then basically like the example of that would be a monoculture and we know how that just messes up everything and requires heaps more intervention with pesticides and hormones and what do you call it. Fertilizers with chemicals so the more control you put over something think birth while I’m talking. The more tensions are required to manage it and so what happens then when soil is fully depleted in a monoculture situation, and it gets abandoned? Then slowly the wild seeds return, the pioneering seeds and they sprout. The strongest, most resilient seeds sprout first and then they feed back the soil, put more nitrogen in and then the next seeds will come so, you know, I think that’s where we are and so we must not lose hope, we must trust in the cycle and know that every ending is a new beginning, and that nature will have her way. I think that the pandemic photos of people deserting city streets and animals coming back in and things like that I feel like those images really showed everybody what a mess we’re creating.
[24:12] Charlotte Pointeaux: Yeah, absolutely, and when you could see that pollution had just gone and you could see what the earth was doing just healing and regenerating itself, when we just stepped back and get out of the bloody way and just oh, that fills me with so much hope. Jane, thank you. Thanks for sharing that. I love that and it’s so fascinating to me that I’ve always had this perspective that we’re so bogged down in the day to day of just all the small stuff that we’re sifting through and just survival and this culture that we’ve created that means we’ve got to find money to afford things and go to work and just get through and then we’re looking so down. When you look back up and you zoom back out, you can remember that civilizations rise and fall and change just keeps happening and the Earth just keeps turning and healing herself. And that reminds that’s just a beautiful way of reminding me, and I hope everybody, that change is coming whether we are ready for it or not. I think we are ready, but obviously some are not. So you’ve been teaching and doing activism for decades, and you’ve grown an epic body of work with the School of Shamanic Woman Craft and all the other work that you’ve been doing personally as well. And the School of Shamanic Woman Craft has been going, is it 13 years about now? Yeah. Amazing.
[25:43] Jane Hardwicke Collings: She’s a teenager.
[25:46] Charlotte Pointeaux: Oh, she’s at her menarche!
[25:47] Jane Hardwicke Collings: She’s at her menarche.
[25:50] Charlotte Pointeaux: Oh, that’s very special. So I’ve been journeying with you this year, and like you said, you’re waking the witches. And something else I’ve heard you say is your call is about being the women that the Earth needs now. Can you give listeners some tangible ways of, like, what does that mean? But how can we be that woman when you feel like you’re kind of powerless to do anything? How can we make change by ourselves?
[26:27] Jane Hardwicke Collings: Well, be the woman the Earth needs now is actually a quote from my teacher, Janine Pavarti Baker. So it was her call to action, and she died in 2005. And I had the honour and privilege to learn from her for probably how long, decade and a half before she died, 15 years or so. And she travelled and came out to Australia. She’s from America. She stayed with us in Australia, and I helped her do workshops and whatnot, and I went over her there a couple of times. And so Be the Woman the Earth Needs now was something that I used to end a Four Seasons journey on with the call to action. And so now I’ve just been saying it more because I feel like it’s more urgent and that the Earth needs a particular kind of women. And what is that for us? It comes from her. And I actually started I’ll tell you a bit more about that later, why I started this school of connected to her. But being the woman the Earth needs now, to me, what that means is to be ready and able to be and do not just do, to be and to act for what is happening and what is coming. We can’t walk around with a blindfold on anymore. We’re heading in. Well, I think we’re already in the Dystopia. We’re certainly birthing in a Dystopia now, and there’s many Dystopian things happening all around the world. So we need the women the Earth needs now need to be ready and able to be and do whatever is required for what’s happening now and what’s coming. You know, like, there have been lots of movies made about what’s coming. We’ll now get to see what’s coming. But the women in the earth needs now need to be ready for that. That’s what I think. So I think that the woman in the earth needs now is strong and soft. So not just strong, soft, strong and soft and resilient. You know, like we can’t just fall over at the first infringement on us. We have to be resilient. We need to be intuitive awake and aware and in our feminine power with all our senses switched on. We need to be ready and able to respond to the needs of the highest good of all and the planet. So that’s what I think the woman the earth needs now is. And how can we be her? Well, we need to do our inner work. We need to be our own midwife. We need to be our own therapist. And it doesn’t mean to do our work on our own, but we need to be witnessed to our self and our processes. We need to understand why we do what we do, the way we do it, or why we think what we think, and how to change that if necessary. So doing our inner work, our healing work, to build our resilience, because our inner work helps us understand our default behaviours, what we do when we’re under stress, we need to know that. And we need to know that that is the result of what we had to do when we were children to survive whatever we had to survive. And also when we do our inner work, we find out what our own personal superpowers are and we need to know those. So we cannot think, oh, maybe I can do this, we can know that that’s our superpower. So that and I think that the woman the earth needs now needs to and this is the way to be her. We need to connect with the cycles and with the earth. So we need to reclaim our menstrual cycle and practice the spiritual practice of menstruation. We need to reconnect and practice earth based spirituality, like by honouring and living according to the cycles. And we need to develop and practice from a growth mindset, as they say in some circles. But basically what we need to do is be aware of our inner world, our sacred wounds and our inner wounded child, so that we can be the woman the earth needs now able to respond rather than just react from a wounded perspective. So the effect this is all going to have is lots of things, but the healed sisterhood will arise from this because we’ve currently been having a very old effective war tactic imposed upon us which is called divide and conquer. So women have been divided by getting us to compete against each other, to judge each other, to talk about each other behind our back, all that bullshit crap. And that divides us. And so it means we’re easily conquered. So part of doing our work is to realize that and then come together as the healed sisterhood. Because can you imagine what would change if we were living a healed sisterhood? So that’s part of who the woman, the woman the Earth needs now. So the ways to do that with women’s circles and creating community and we need to be connected to nature. We need to know that we don’t visit nature, but we are nature. We’re the human variety of nature. So all of that will have all our senses switched on so that we will hear what we need to hear. We will see what we need to see. We will know what we need to know. When we connect with all of these things, we will then be wanting to do the things that the Earth needs or the people need or the animals need. So basically, our intuition and our inner knowing of what we need to do, we will be witches awake, working together for the highest good of all, as agents of the goddess, as I call them. And other practical ways to do this, which are our responsibilities, is we need to do all the things we know we can do in our homes. We need to recycle. We need to buy recycled goods, and we need to eat and buy or grow organic food and then gather and work together to wake up everybody else and help heal our culture and as they say, save the planet. So that’s what I think the women, the Earth needs now, who they are, who we are and how to be.
[33:18] Charlotte Pointeaux: That incredible. I’m just sat here feeling it all, and it’s just like my whole body is so alive. And I love that because thanks for sharing where that came from, from your teacher, Jeanine Parvarti Baker. And then how you’ve really made that practical. And it’s simple and it’s things that we can do easily for ourselves and for each other. It’s just that it’s almost like going well, it is. It’s going back to the old ways. It’s just, you know, none of this disconnection. And what you said there about the healed sisterhood, it’s so special to be in a group of women where you feel like you can just be yourself, like truly who you are and not there’s no pretence, there’s no judgment. It’s that real, healthy, mature, healed, feminine and sisterhood. And those spaces are just so essential. And we need as many people as possible to hold those kinds of spaces and role model that it’s possible. And, you know, it’s such a special thing. And when we can give that to mothers and women, older women and younger women and children and say, hey, you don’t have to be falling into that divide and conquer thing that happens straight away at school, doesn’t it? It’s like instant. And then it’s even well modelled from everyone around you. And we can just have. These new generations of people coming through who are just open and to themselves and to each other.
[35:12] Jane Hardwicke Collings: I think it starts with the menarche, like, remembering that the veil of estrogen descends upon us at menarche, at our first blood, and that’s the hormone of accommodation and self sacrifice. And I see that playing out with teenagers or younger. However, I’ll bow that they want to all be the same. They don’t want to stand out. They’ve all got to have the same clothes or watch the same things or whatever it is, and that they conform into being this competitive thing of something being right, another thing is being wrong. And there’s only one way to do it. And, you know, it starts there and it just grows and grows and grows.
[35:54] Charlotte Pointeaux: The space to be included and not excluded at school at whatever cost. Yeah, exactly. So I’m doing the Four Seasons journey with you this year, which began in, I think it was March time. And it’s been, thankfully, in some ways, it’s been extended because COVID got in the way and messed up some plans. And so we get to see you all for longer, which is cool. But anyway, it’s this incredible year long, deep shamanic process and experience that is just wildly transformational. And so I’m about halfway through and, you know, includes multiple gatherings across the year in person, which is so nice after everything we’ve been through. And, you know, some of those processes that you spoke to earlier on, we’re really doing those to look at our own shadows and our own wounds and sacred wound work and exploring goddess archetypes as well, and journeying with allies from the spirit realms and the animal kingdom and just connecting with our guides and going to the underworld to meet the Dark Goddess. Like we did that at winter solstice. It was like dark, dark, dark. Amazing. So I’ve got a vision quest coming up in a couple of months, which will be my first one, and I’m so excited. I’ve just been telling everybody about this and everyone wants to know, like, what are you doing? What are you doing? And I’m torn between telling everything and going, well, it’s a mystery and I know lots of people want to hear about this, so I would love to just ask you to tell us or to tell everybody. In your words, as the visionary for this and very much, you’ve been the space holder for this as well. What’s the Four Seasons journey about. The impact that it’s having is obviously waking up the witches. But what are you seeing from this legacy that you’ve created in the Four Seasons?
[38:11] Jane Hardwicke Collings: Well, it’s interesting, you know, how it started. I would never have imagined to do this because I didn’t even know it was a thing, right? And I was a home birth midwife at the time and I was already teaching two workshops, one called Moonsong, which is about the cycles and the menstrual cycle and the spiritual practice of menstruation. And I was also teaching a pregnancy workshop, like preparation for childbirth. So I was doing that work, and I was also doing shamanic practices myself personally. So vision Quest, wet lodge, circle work, journeying, drum making, all that kind of stuff. So I had the experience of all the things that I ended up weaving into the Four Seasons journey as a really fabulous experience and eye opening journey, creating freedom, awesome process. And so how this all started was back in 2008 at the Home National Australian Home Birth Conference, when what’s her name, Ricky Lake, brought out her movie The Business of Being Born. So they had their launch at that conference, and I spoke at that conference with two other midwives who I’d been working with over the years. And we were like something like 20 years into our midwifery practice. What have we learned? Or something? And we all shared our perspective. And when I spoke at that conference, I talked about my practice as a spiritual midwife and how I had learned so many things from Janine Parvati Baker as my teacher, and combining shamanic practices that I’d learned from my shamanic teachers and also the things I’d learned as a home Birth midwife. And after that conference, a young midwife came up to me, and she was very much, very interested in Janine Parvati Baker. She was already dead by that point, and it was really hard to get information about her staff and what she was teaching and step back three years. I actually made a deathbed promise to Janine in Utah when I visited her when she was dying to continue her work, to carry on her lineage. So then three years later, at the end of this conference, this midwife comes up to me and says, you’ve had the opportunity to learn from Janine. She’s dead now. We all want to know what she taught. It’s your responsibility to teach us. And I thought, oh my God, how am I going to do that? I’m not a teacher. I’m a midwife. So what I did was I designed a program with a lot of help from one of my other teachers, Cedar Barstow, who I learned about Margaret From. She helped me design a program that was more about the midwifery model and how to midwife from a midwifery perspective to navigate our rites of passage in our life and the shamanic dimensions that includes our shadows and the access to the upper and lower realms and the teachers and guides of all of that. So I created this curriculum with a lot of help from Cedar in answer to that call from Melody, that midwife, because I felt like it was not only honouring my deathbed promise, but it was my responsibility. But retrospectively, what I now know was that that was all happening at what turned out to be the beginning of my perimenopause. So in my own personal sort of journey and story. I was starting the harvest season of my life there by figuring out how to share it. And now that’s where I well and truly am. The other thing that sat before that even further, in the year 2000, after a quite scary and life changing financial situation in our family, in desperation, I dedicated my life to the goddess. So I feel like everything that has happened is because of all of those things and then the impact it’s having. And there’s nearly 500 women who either going through the program or have gone through all around the world, and the impact is huge. As women say, it’s life changing. So the way I like to describe it now, because as it’s grown, as we’re saying 13, what’s actually happened is the creation of a modality called Shamanic Womancraft. So a way of being for healing and education and whatnot. So this modality has been created which also enables us, those of us who teach it and learn about it, gives us a common language. So we’ve got this common language and a map, and with a common language and a map, then we know where to go and how to communicate it. So I feel very honoured to have midwife this entity I don’t know if that’s the right word, but this being, this creature, this School of Shamanic Woman Craft, which was actually called the School of Shamanic Midwifery before. But the government came on to me and said if I didn’t change that name, they’d find me 30, $60,000 every time it appeared somewhere. And if I didn’t pay that, they’d put me in jail. So that was just a really good sign that something was working.
[44:31] Charlotte Pointeaux: It holds power.
[44:34] Jane Hardwicke Collings: And Woman craft was another of Janine’s terms as well. So the School of Shamanic Womancraft is very much a continuation of the lineage of Jeanine, Poverty, Baker and I’m Midwife.
[44:46] Charlotte Pointeaux: Sharing all of that. Yeah. And you have you’ve midwifed it and it is well and truly initiated into her Womanhood, I reckon. Yeah, for 13 years.
[44:59] Jane Hardwicke Collings: So special and interesting thinking about it from that perspective. The men are I was having a conversation the other day with the teachers, the School of Shamanic Womancraft teachers, who are going to teach the new online course that the school has now called Earthwoman. And one of the teachers, Maria, was saying, 13, this is her monarchs. This is all the eggs going out into the world.
[45:26] Charlotte Pointeaux: Wow. So special. And so is that course going to be available for people who can’t get to one in person?
[45:35] Jane Hardwicke Collings: Absolutely. That’s what it’s made for. It’s made for women who basically can’t get to a face-to-face gathering, which at this point in time is only happening in Australia, and also for women who just want to do it in their own time, in their own homes. And there are two ways of doing it. One is a self-directed do it yourself, however long. And the other is with a small group, minimum three, maximum five, guided over a six-month period through the content with a teacher. So two different ways to do it. Basically, the point of it is to simulate as much as possible, recreate the inner work of the Four Seasons journey to be available for to everybody, so we can get all the women the Earth needs now.
[46:20] Charlotte Pointeaux: Incredible. I highly recommend that if you’ve even got like an inkling of curiosity or even a bit of resistance to doing it, that might be a sign just for you. Because it took me a while to join up because we’ve been having babies and stuff, but it was just something that I knew was going to be part of my path and here I am and only halfway through. Amazing. Thanks, Jane. So you touched on the word MAGA that you learned from Cedar Barstow and you touched on this as well. But I just really want to touch specifically on Maga and this postmenopausal phase of life as an archetype, but as a very real part of our life. And it’s something that I understand is quite new and a lot of people haven’t really heard of Maga and know what it is. But you’re volunteering in this Margaret phase of life. As you mentioned, you’ve been a grandmother in residence very, very recently, just fresh back from the birth altar, back into the world. And you are also such a powerful, prolific creatrix. You are always like, there’s that real, just incredible creative energy that runs through you. And the things that you’re putting out into the world are so powerful. So I’d just love to ask you to share with us a bit more about what you have learnt and what the Maga phase of life is and means to you. Maybe people who are listening, who’s not heard of Margaret before, can kind of identify with it as well
[48:14] Jane Hardwicke Collings: Yeah, okay. So basically the Maga season of our lives is the season between mother and Crone. So after mother and before Crone, we have another season. So Crone is the winter of our lives and it’s the wise old woman. So many of you will have an old grandma or a mother who’s in her 70s that’s a chrome and a mother is from about 25 years old. The mother season is like the summer season of our lives, from about 25 till menopause, whenever that is. Average age is 50, 51. So then from 50 till 75, after summer and before winter, we have the awesome season of our eyes. So menopause heralds it and then it finishes around 75 when we go more inward and slow down even more. So Margaret is the term that I was taught. There are many other names that people use. Queen enchantress sovereign woman grandma while woman boss Witch That’s my favourite.
[49:37] Charlotte Pointeaux: So basically I’m going to be using Boss Witch, by the way…
[49:42] Jane Hardwicke Collings: Good, excellent, great. So if we think about the Earth season, then we know what the autumn life season is. So autumn is about harvest and letting go, basically, and the descent. So that’s what the postmenopausal or Maga years are all about, are about letting go. Because at Menopause, everything changes. I’ll talk about that in a SEC. But it’s a time of harvest. That’s the main key word of autumn harvest. So it’s the time when women my age post menopause and before 75, need to give back what they’ve learned. So it’s that boss which that CEO, that leader teaching or role modelling or whatever, sharing what she’s learned because she’s learned it, you know, it’s her responsibility. So in the same way that how we give birth, when we’re birthing babies, how we give birth births us into the mother. The babies come from into the next version of ourselves. So that’s what happens at a Rhetor passage, right? It turns you into the next version of yourself, the next way you’re going to be. That’s what happens at Menopause, too. So the experience that we have around menopause, perimenopause, peri means around, it’s a journey, and it can take a decade, and it’s a birth and a labour and a birth, and it’s kind of a slow becoming in the same way that we become a woman at Menarche. So it’s not sort of like, bang, you’re there. It is if you have a surgical menopause or a chemical menopause, it’s definitely everything changes, crash instant. But with a natural menopause, it’s the slower becoming, and it’s all about estrogen waning, that hormone of accommodation and sacrifice waning. So the birth process of perimenopause is a journey, and it’s a journey that happens in all of the aspects of our lives. So things will change or need to be addressed, renegotiated or dropped or whatever, within your relationships, within your work life balance, say, with your health and your body, with what you eat, how you move or don’t, all those things. So everything needs to be attended to and reviewed like it’s like everything up in the air sort of thing. And then where are you going to land now? It’s a time it is a natural process, right? So it’s a bit like the birth process. It’s something to trust. But then, you know, our culture doesn’t even trust birth, so then that hangs over into menopause, and it’s like, is it as scary as birth or worse? It probably depends, something like that. But there’s some great quotes that I feel like gave some really helpful information about what’s going to happen or what is happening or did happen. From Christian Northrup. So she says that it’s the mother of all wake up calls, so you can no longer get away. I remember one mother saying to me after the first order woman Harvest Queen workshop that I ever did, she said of the change and what’s required as the orientation moves more around sacrificing yourself to others more. You orient to yourself like, who am I? What do I need now? She says, oh, I get it. You can’t live on vegemite sandwiches anymore. You have to actually look after yourself. And so that’s going to be just that will be a journey. And so there’s that happening everywhere. So, as Christian Northrop says, it’s the mother of all wake up calls. And everything that you’ve swept under the carpet comes out at menopause so that you don’t carry it into the next half of your life. And also that it’s the right of passage designed to heal all the unhealed parts of you. So there’s a lot of preparation that you can do, knowing that, so that you don’t land split into menopause. Lots of preparation, like training your body, getting strong before menopause, because it’s much easier to get strong while you’ve got lots of estrogen than it is when you don’t. And to be mindful of how much work you’re making your liver do, so that when you go through perimenopause, your liver is available to metabolize the excess estrogen that needs to happen to take you through menopause, instead of it having to be so occupied on metabolizing alcohol and cortisol. So you need to manage your liver and also be mindful about what the big things are that are going to come up. They won’t be random and out of the blue, they’ll be the things that you have swept under the carpet. Mine was classic. I had to stop ignoring that I had high blood pressure. I had to actually do something about it and face all the things that I had in my head about that was massive. And that, of course, rippled out to everything else and affected everything because everything is interconnected. So it’s quite an amazing process to go through the actual menopause experience. And then in this Maga phase, it’s a whole new responsibility. I had the owner and privilege to sit with Minmia, who’s one of our first nation’s Australian Aboriginal teachers, and I talked to her about menopause, and she said, because I said to her, oh, well, menopause, we’ve got to renegotiate everything. And she said, that’s such a Western way of thinking, renegotiating everything. Actually, the role of the Mimi, which is her term for the grandmother, which is the term for the post menopause or woman, not necessarily grandmother, but that age. The role for the Mimi is not business as usual. It’s a whole new role to weave the dreams for the grandchildren.
[56:14] Charlotte Pointeaux: So special.
[56:15] Jane Hardwicke Collings: Yeah.
[56:19] Charlotte Pointeaux: It’s not a renegotiation exactly.
[56:22] Jane Hardwicke Collings: No, it’s new. It’s like, look out. And remember, the other big teaching around menopause is to look at where else it happens and what happens there. And evolutionary biologists have looked at human women and pondered, why do human women survive beyond their fertility? What could possibly be the use of them? Which is such an annoying thing to hear. But anyway, what they found was that there are only five creatures on the planet that go through menopause. So human women and narwhals orcas pilot whales and balloons, your whales. So the four toothed whales and human women are the only creatures that go through menopause. So they looked at those toothed whales to see why are they still living beyond their fertility? And what they discovered, which is clearly, to my mind, the blueprint for us is that the post menopause of Grandmother Wales were the leaders of their pods and by their presence ensured the longevity of their daughters and sons and the thrivability, if there’s such a word, of their grandchildren. So I feel like that’s the that’s what we need to embrace as post-menopausal women. As Margaret. Our job is to dream, leave the dreams for the grandchildren and be leaders of our communities in order to do that.
[57:55] Charlotte Pointeaux: Incredible.
[57:57] Jane Hardwicke Collings: Yeah. And I just got a little list of four things, and there’s probably heaps more, but they came to me quickly about what the gifts are in that phase. So we’re much more stable because we don’t have the ups and downs of a menstrual cycle. We just have the lunar cycle, which is more subtle. So we’re stable, we have more energy, and we have increased intuition. And it’s amazing.
[58:32] Charlotte Pointeaux: Is that a brain thing?
[58:35] Jane Hardwicke Collings: Yes. And also increased visionary capacity.
[58:40] Charlotte Pointeaux: Wow.
[58:41] Jane Hardwicke Collings: So there hasn’t been enough research to see why that happens. There’s speculations and all of that, but it’s definitely a thing. And the other thing is increased orgasms. Like, orgasms are so much more intense.
[58:58] Charlotte Pointeaux: Like, why would anybody not be looking forward to this time of life? No, that’s it the whole thing about being, you know, invisible, powerless, useless. Like, it’s just bullshit. It’s just patriarchy, isn’t it? Like you say, it’s just like, well, if we’re valuing a woman by fertility, like she’s done, what’s her purpose now? It’s like, actually, because she’s so powerful. That’s why it’s been tabooed, because she holds so much power, such potential. Sounds amazing.
[59:35] Jane Hardwicke Collings: There’s a lovely Native American saying, at Menarche, a girl meets her power, through menstruation she practices her power, and at menopause she becomes her power.
[59:52] Charlotte Pointeaux: Oh, Jane, I love it so much. And, you know, what you said in there as well is really like, that’s where I’m at in terms of, like, I’m in my late 30s, but I’m starting to think about, okay, this is going to happen. What can I do now? So I don’t have the experiences that you hear so much about in the media or, you know, that kind of the stories you hear, which, of course, that’s not how everyone experiences it. It’s just the horror stories always get the headlines. Right. But what you’re saying is that there is this way of preparing yourself and physically. Mentally. Spiritually. And paving that way ahead. Preparing your body. Preparing yourself so that you can be. As you say. Worked by the process and come out the other side ready to embrace and claim and just be your power and be that grandmother weaving the dreams and being that leader you’re really embodying. It’s such an inspiration to see you in action as well and hear from you and be in your energy. I just think that it’s incredible leadership what you’re offering, but also the way you’ve put together these your workshops and your programs and your books, and you’ve got so much available to people so that we can take it up and we can do that work. Thank you. Yeah, thank you. So what’s next for you?
[01:01:38] Jane Hardwicke Collings: Well, next year I’m not going to be teaching Four Seasons Journeys anymore. There’s a whole wonderful group of teachers that have learned how to teach it with me and each other guiding them. And so what I want to do is be more available as a grandma next year to help there because I’ve had too many years of, oh, sorry, I’m working, I can’t come. So I want to be able to come. And I’ll keep doing my one day workshops and I’m going to teach some five day Shamanic Womancraft retreats and do more online workshops. And we’ve got the Earth Woman e course that we just spoke about before happening. And very, very soon, my long-time coming app is going to be born, which is called the Spinning Wheels App, which is going to be all about the wizard of the cycles and a period tracking app. And I want to finish writing a book that I’ve been gestating for a long time called Birthing with the Goddess.
[01:02:49] Charlotte Pointeaux: And I’m really excited about your app as well because I tried so many and I just can’t get one that encapsulates all of the seasons and the cycles in that way that you teach. And I just know that it’s going to be incredible. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
[01:03:07] Jane Hardwicke Collings: Soon. It’s nearly Born, crowning – ring of fire.
[01:03:20] Charlotte Pointeaux: Amazing. So, Jane, you’re calling in the witches, call them in. Where can people find you? And you’ve shared. You’ve got so many offerings with something for everybody who wants to explore, whether it’s pregnancy, whether it’s cycle work, whether it’s menopause work, or this deeper Shamanic work as well. Where can we find you?
[01:03:44] Jane Hardwicke Collings: So I have a website, www.Janehardwickecollings.com, and I’ve written lots of little articles on there. So type in a keyword and see what comes up. And on my website are also my e courses that I’ve created and the books that I’ve written. And there’s the School of Shamanic Womancraft that we’ve been talking about. She’s got her own website, School of Shemanicwormcraft.com, and that’s a place where women can have private sessions with teachers as well about all this, using the modality of Shamanic Woman craft. And I’m very active on social media. I give a lot of information on social media. And so Instagram and Facebook. I’m not on any of the others. TikTok is the most ridiculous place I’ve ever visited. I tried, but the amount of terrible things that people said to me was so bad. Anyway, so social media on Instagram and Facebook as Jane Hardwicke Collings.
[01:04:51] Charlotte Pointeaux: Thank you. I’ll pop all them in the show notes along with you mentioned earlier her story so people can read that a book and really understand what I’m saying about how do we get to where we are. It’s a powerful read. So yeah, I’ll put that in as well. Thank you so much, Jane. Just so grateful for your time to be here with us and to share with us. And I’m personally really excited to see you again in a couple of months. It sort of can’t come soon enough. I’m ready. Ready to vision quest. Thank you.
[01:05:27] Jane Hardwicke Collings: Thank you so much for inviting me here.
Thank you so much for listening in. If you’re loving this podcast and you’d love to help me spread the wisdom shared, please leave a review or rating or share this with somebody who you think would love to listen in. I’m really passionate about creating ripples of change and getting this information to more women, girls and people with a cycle so that they can reclaim their cyclic natures too. And if you’d love to dive in deeper with learning more about how to connect with your cycle and mites of passages, come and join our free Wild Flow Circle community. Or choose a course and learn with me on my online learning hub. All the links are in the Show Notes. And until next time, be well and go with the flow of your cyclic nature.
You can have a better period, with Le’Nise Brothers
My guest on the new episode of Wild Flow podcast is Le’Nise Brothers a yoga teacher and registered nutritionist, mBANT, mCNHC, specialising in women’s health, hormones and the menstrual cycle. Le’Nise works with women through their menstruating years, perimenopause, menopause and beyond. She set up her private nutrition practice Eat Love Move to help empower and educate women to understand their bodies, advocate for better healthcare and heal. If you’re struggling with period problems, you might be wondering why some women love their period and menstrual cycle, and you might be questioning whether you too, can have a better period.
Nature, Culture and The Sacred: Reimagining Leadership For Women, with Nina Simons
My guest on the new episode of Wild Flow podcast is Nina Simons, Co-founder and Chief Relationship Officer at Bioneers, a nonprofit that features and connects practical and visionary solutions for transforming how we relate to ourselves, each other and the Earth. Nina is recipient of the Goi Peace Award, and throughout her career, she has worked with over a thousand women leaders who are diverse across disciplines, race, class, age and orientation to create conditions for mutual learning, trust and leadership development. She produces and speaks at large-scale events to work intimately to help small, diverse groups of women leaders knit together to strengthen each other’s work pursuing intersectional healing and ecological justice.
Circles As Ancient Medicine For Modern Times with Mitlé Southey
It’s safe to say that sacred women’s circles are making a big come back. No longer lost ancient forms of gathering in community, circles are now becoming increasingly available around the world as an opportunity to gather with shared intention, possibly to meet new friends, devote time to spiritual practice, to experience particular ceremony. Whatever happens and whoever you meet, you are sure to come home to yourself. The way of the circle offers us a very different form of connection and community in which we can come to understand ourselves and each other- and to find the magick and medicine we need at the time.
Circles are an ancient way of life, but are now being held in towns everywhere, in schools, board rooms, and online, and they have the potential to support healing and transformation of communities on many levels. I believe that when you attend your first Circle, you awaken to a new way of relating and being, and its addictive.
My first ever circle was with today’s guest Mitlé Southey in 2018, when I attended her 3 day circle facilitator training, and that immersive experience changed me deeply, and revealed a deeper path forward for me personally in my own healing, as well as in my work that I do. I’m overjoyed to welcome MItlé to the podcast, and to share with you a delicious conversation about:
What circles are, and what may happen in a circle,
Our first circle experiences, and how they shaped our lives,
How circles are medicinal, transformative experiences that can set deep healing in motion,
Why receiving guidance and training in how to hold circles is an important consideration as space holders,
How circles are available for all people, and how the circle process can be imbued into our work, lives, and relationships,
The role circles can play in rites of passage processes for all people, and how Mitlé is hosting Mother-Son circles, and I am host Mother-Daughter circles particularly. Listen in to Episode 60 of Wild Flow, and share with us 3 words that encapsulate your first ever circle experience! xxx