ANNABEL DU BOULAY
Like many women, I juggle multiple roles. As Founder & CEO of Belashka Ltd, I’m an Entrepreneur, Author, Artist, Gnostic Priestess, Transpersonal Therapist, Workshop & Retreat Facilitator, Speaker, Campaigner and Mother.
I invite you to read my story and see how I can best serve you
THE SEED: THE FEMININE DIVINE & WOMEN’S RIGHTS
♥ In 1991, whilst studying for my BA degree in English and exploring feminism, I asked the question “Why is God male?”
♥ From 1993 to 1996, I spent my summers in a rural village in Southern Italy where I became fascinated by the quasi Pagan-Catholic veneration of the Virgin Mary and Black Madonna.
♥ In 1995, as a freelance journalist living in Cusco, Peru, I interviewed a female factory owner who told me how her female workers were beaten by their unemployed, alcoholic husbands when she was a day late paying their wages.
♥ As a voluntary aid worker, I also learned about the negative social impact of the RCC’s influence on the government’s contraceptive ban which led to a rise in maternal mortality, backstreet abortions, AIDs, poverty and street children.
♥ At the time, I was living in the house of a shaman and travelled with him throughout Peru, from the Andes to the Amazon, whilst he taught me about the Inca goddess Pachamama, Mother Earth spirituality and shamanic ritual.
At the Festival of the Madonna
Caserta, Southern Italy 1993
Dancing with a Tribe in the Amazon
after an Ayahuasca Ceremony 1995
Riding the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
with my Quechua Guide 1995
THE SHOOT: SURVIVOR & SCHOLAR
♥ Back in London, from 1996 to 1999, I struggled with suicidal depression, self-harm and alcohol dependency, triggered largely by the abuse I had suffered. As a young woman, I felt worthless, fearful, ashamed and lost in a patriarchal society that sexualised and denigrated women on all societal levels.
♥ I embarked on an 8 year therapeutic journey of weekly Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with a Professor of Psychology at City, University of London, which resulted in me gaining an in-depth understanding of the psyche and ability to analyse psychological issues.
♥ During this time, I also completed my MSc degree at LSE in the Sociology of Religion from a feminist perspective, comparing the role of women and the Feminine Divine within Western Esotericism (including Paganism, Shamanism, Gnosticism, Alchemy and the Kabbalah) and Christianity, looking at how patriarchal religion appropriated and manipulated pagan and Gnostic mythology in order to control women in society.
♥ My ensuing MPhil/PhD research, inspired by my experience in Peru, focused on the reproductive rights of women in the developing world with reference to the Holy See’s Permanent Observer State status at the United Nations.
My daughter Sophia Mary fighting
for her life in intensive care 1999
Priestess of Avalon & Speaker
Goddess Conference since 2002
With my daughter Jasmine Tara
Goddess Conference 2003
THE FLOWER: MOTHER, AUTHOR, PRIESTESS
♥ In 1999, my postgraduate studies were cut short by the birth of my daughter Sophia Mary who was born with a rare, life-threatening syndrome and multiple disabilities, requiring life-saving surgery at birth and 11 further operations.
♥ In the years that I nursed her, I continued to study Gnosticism and the archetype of Sophia, Black Goddess of Wisdom, whilst my own daughter Sophia took me repeatedly on the Gnostic descent and rebirth of the Soul.
♥ As a creative coping mechanism during those years, I combined my knowledge and experience into the writing of my allegorical and historical novel The Serpent’s Tale, based in 16th century Italy at the time of the witch-burnings.
♥ In 2001, I began my Priestess of Avalon training with the Glastonbury Goddess Temple, completing 4 years of training, as well as working at the annual Glastonbury Goddess Conference from 2002 until now, including 3 years as 1 of the 9 Ceremonialists
♥ Since then, I have created and held numerous ceremonies in the UK and abroad, from Sacred Fire rituals to intimate Baby Naming ceremonies to a Bride-To-Be ceremony in Stonehenge Inner Circle to large Handfastings to Conferences with hundreds of participants. If you’re interested in me creating and holding a ceremony for you, please email me.
♥ I also trained as a Spiritual Healer, completing my Reiki I (2002), Reiki II (2006) and the National Federation of Spiritual Healing (NFSH) training (2006), and give Chakra Healing & Psychic Reading sessions to private clients in Glastonbury.
♥ In 2003, I gave birth to my daughter Jasmine Tara, but the gift of mothering a healthy, non-disabled child was short-lived as I was plunged back into post-natal depression and self-medicating with alcohol.
♥ This time, my journey of recovery took me even deeper as I embarked on 6 years of Transpersonal Psychotherapy with Carolyn Proctor, who was trained by Dr Christine Page, author of the Return of the Great Mother and the Handbook of Women’s Mysteries.
Transpersonal Therapist & Priestess
Shamanic Workshops since 2006
With my son Zac fighting for
his life in intensive care 2009
Hecate – Mother of Loss – Earth
The Healing Womb Installation 2012
THE FRUIT: THERAPIST & ARTIST
♥ Impressed by the powerfully transformative effect of the transpersonal model, I then trained with Carolyn as a Transpersonal Therapist (DipTRT), Self-Development Workshop Tutor (DipSDT) and Guided Meditation Teacher (DipGM), gaining the General Qualification in Hypnotherapy Practice (GQHP) from the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council and membership with the General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR Reg).
♥ Since qualifying in 2006, I have worked extensively in private practice and in the corporate & voluntary sectors, providing 1:1 therapy and coaching as well as writing and running self-development workshops, courses and retreats.
♥ From 2006-2012, I worked for the UK’s leading mental health charity, supporting sufferers of severe and enduring mental health difficulties, many of whom were victims of abuse or domestic violence.
♥ As an expert in mythology, archetypes and symbols, I combined my academic knowledge with my spiritual and transpersonal trainings to create an unique and highly effective way of helping clients to work deeply with their psyche, interpreting their meditations using a technique Carl Jung termed ‘amplification’.
♥ Then in 2009, I gave birth to my son Zac, who was also born with a life-threatening syndrome and multiple disabilities including facial and oral paralysis, rendering him unable to breathe, feed, speak or smile.
♥ I am the only known mother in the world to have a child with VACTERL syndrome and a child with MOEBIUS syndrome, who together I have nursed through 18 operations. My chances were literally 7.6 billion to 1, or, as I believe, my 3 children came to me as my greatest teachers and healers.
♥ As a creative way of coming to terms with the very challenging years nursing my son, including resuscitating him several times a day, I spent 9 months painting The Healing Womb art installation, which had its debut in 2012 and in which I hold workshops for women who are struggling with child loss, childlessness and mothering special needs children.
Women’s Co-operative, Morocco
Annabel Du Boulay Shop 2014
Women’s Co-operative, Cusco
Annabel Du Boulay Shop 2015
Women’s Co-operative, Sinai
Annabel Du Boulay Shop 2017
THE SEED: ENTREPRENEUR, CAMPAIGNER & CREATRIX
♥ Like all life cycles, I find myself back at the beginning where I started 25 years ago, but now with the strength, wisdom and compassion from surviving life’s challenges to be able to support and empower other women.
♥ In 2014, inspired by my experience with the Quechua women in Peru, I opened my Annabel Du Boulay Shop in Glastonbury, specialising in the sale of indigenous art, crafts and shamanic tools, sourced from women’s co-operatives in Peru (Quechua), Morocco (Berber) and the Sinai Peninsular (Bedouin), as well as the Native American pueblo tribes of New Mexico.
♥ We are committed to fair and ethical trade, supporting women’s co-operatives and low-income artisans, and sharing their wisdom, traditions & rituals through the shop as well as my workshops & retreats.
♥ I remain passionate about campaigning on women’s rights through my book, talks and blogs, especially in relation to patriarchal religion, as well as challenging the stigma associated with mental health difficulties and special needs.
♥ As a Gnostic and Priestess of Sophia, I’m an expert in Western Esotericism, including the Gnostic Journey of the Soul, Alchemy, the Kabbalah and the Tarot, as well as Carl Jung’s process of Individuation.
♥ My Soul has taken me on a journey repeatedly into the dark cave of Sophia, Black Goddess of Wisdom, rebirthing me out of the darkness of pain, fear and anger, into the light of greater wisdom, strength, courage and compassion.
♥ My Soul’s purpose it to use all the gifts that I have gained from these experiences to help others on their journey from darkness to light.
♥ My Philosophia Wheel Soul-Development Programme of online courses will be launching soon, in which I am drawing on the last 25 years of knowledge and experience to guide other women on a profound, therapeutic journey to heal their wounds, come fully into their power and shine their light in the world.
♥ I’ll also be holding more Wisewoman-Warrior and Healing Womb shamanic workshops this year Online and In Person for women to gather in circle and journey together in a deeply transformative way
♥ Find out more and sign up HERE to be notified when my new Membership Programme & Online Courses launch and applications for my Shamanic Workshops open
♥ In the meantime, please join me on a Self-Growth Journey inspired by the Mythic Cycle of the Year (links below), buy my book The Serpent’s Tale or book a Transpersonal Therapy or Chakra Healing session with me to experience how I can best serve you.
With my love and blessings
Women’s Workshops & Retreats
Transformational Healing Journeys
Gnostic Priestess of Sophia
Healing, Prayer & Ceremonies
The Healing Womb Workshops
for Women with Womb Wounding
The Serpent’s Tale explores the wisdom of the Gnostic Goddess Sophia, known as Philosophia. This is at the core of all my work so reading my book is a great introduction to working with me.
You can also join me on my Philosophia Wheel Self-Growth journey below
I look forward to helping you to shine your light
THE PHILOSOPHIA WHEEL SELF-GROWTH JOURNEY
Weekly Self-Development Posts & Exercises Inspired by the Mythic Cycle of the Year