A Journey to the Heart
By Steph Bradley 3rd September 2015
In 6 weeks, and having walked 300 miles across Wales, storyteller WynnAlice collected the tales she thinks really do show just what is needed to make the Transition to the society we know is just around the corner.
Hear the tale of The Warriors Way at Transition Camp and add your own stories of Inner and Outer journeying to the tale which will be written into a new-old folktale that will appeal to everyone.
To fund the writing of the new book WynnAlice is making the gorgeous limited edition copies of her first book, stories of a 6 month, 2000 mile walk around England’s Transition towns and cities, available on a Gift Economy basis.
It was storytelling at Transition Camp in 2013 that perhaps first sparked the sense in me that what I had to offer was needed and that if I was to be successful in sharing my work more widely then that was down to me, to my own sense of worth, my own willingness to get behind myself and become the warrior that I needed to support me.
Conversations with talented musician and fellow camper Jan Allain opened my eyes to what I had not been seeing; my own lack of confidence, the waiting to be recognised, was what stood between me and getting my work out there.
Now, almost 2 years later, as I prepare to tread once more on Sussex soil, I am a different woman. Encounters with the wisdom of the feminine kept me seeking until last year I set out to explore Wales, on the hunt for more Transition Tales, but this time with no Transition Network identity as a comfort zone, but as myself, as a Tales of Our Times storyteller.
It led, amongst other things, to encounters with three wise women, as all good stories should. The first, the glorious dynamic Fern Smith of Emergence, in Swansea, told of cycling all the way to Bardsey Island to celebrate being 50. The second, at the magical Tir Ysbrydol, gave me my purpose, loud and clear, after listening to my tales of Transition in the Iron Age spirit hut, built by hand, each nail handcrafted from wood by the women as the men hoisted the heavy timbers to create the structure. She told me that after listening to my tales the community, though they had enjoyed them, knew at once what was missing; the inner journey to ourselves, and that my work was to bring these stories to the world. The advice sent shivers through my body and I knew I had been given something precious; the reason for my being.
The third wise woman, in the Peak District as I revisited Transition Belper, was the formidable and courageous Marion MacCartney of Dream the Future who told me that as I was about to turn 50 in 2015 I really should take 50 days of that year to celebrate my life.
It was enough. A plan began to form, maps were perused and by the spring of this year I had my route all mapped out; to walk to Bardsey island connecting centres of Inner Transition. Hardly had I finished plotting the places than I came across the legend of Merlin carrying the 13 treasures of Britain to Bardsey Island; by the very route I had planned. Divine guidance was clearly at play.
And so it was that this summer I walked from Caerleon in the south, up the river Wye to its source, journeyed west to Machynlleth and then followed the coastline to Bardsey Island, collecting treasures as I went. The 13th treasure was found in Pwllheli, the day before embarking on the little yellow ferry boat that would take me to the island across the treacherous waters of the Sound pilgrims have walked to for thousands of years.
I had visited Transition towns, centres of refuge and respite, ancient Iron Age settlements, met a diversity of people and learnt the true meaning of the word Merlin…from a woman, of course.
What I learnt most about was myself. I had learnt the true meaning of health in the symbol of the caduceus …and this is the tale I would like to share with you at Wowo this autumn.
Copies of my first book of tales will be available on a Gift Economy basis. Gift or offer what you feel is right. Any monies donated will be put towards the publication of “The Warriors Way – A Journey to the Heart”.
Stephanie Bradley, aka storyteller WynnAlice, spent 3 years working for the Transition Network, before setting out to walk 2000 miles all around England to collect the tales of Transitioners. These tales were published as “Tales of Our Times” in 2013. Nowadays she is still to be found walking and collecting tales, with a strong leaning towards Inner Transition. Her vision is to create a new-old pilgrims’ route for those in search of their inner warrior (the sleeping warriors of legend) across Wales, linking and spreading news of centres of inspiration ancient and modern and those yet to come.