This time 10 years ago, the most extraordinary shaman soul was about to initiate me into depths I thought I had already ventured to and could not even begin to fathom.

Tonight, I sat in Wells Cathedral on my son Zac’s 10th birthday, attending my daughter Jasmine’s carol concert and listening to my eldest daughter Sophia sing with the school choir once more, just as I had done 10 years ago.

Except then I had a knife twisting in my heart and womb, as instead of proudly holding my newborn son in my arms, I had to leave him fighting for his life in intensive care in Bristol whilst I tried to support his young sisters who were equally as devastated.

All around me were images of the Divine Mother and Child, of the newborn King, rubbing salt into a wound that ran so deep, I didn’t think I would ever experience joy again.

We were told he wouldn’t survive, that he was blind, developmentally delayed, would never speak, eat orally, smile or go to mainstream school.

I watched him choke, stop breathing and turn blue so many hundreds of times that I stopped experiencing any emotional response.

When they told me he would never be able to suckle from my breasts, despite having expressed my milk every 3 hours for 5 months in the desperate hope that one day he would be strong enough to feed from me, it was unbearably painful to let my milk dry up.

When they told me his face was paralysed and I would never see him smile, all I could see were healthy babies smiling up at their mothers, whilst another knife sank into my heart.

10 years later, due to my shaman son’s courage and determination, as well as all the support he has received from his loved ones, health professionals and the wider community, he is alive, able to see (with glasses), bright, speaking, eating orally, attending mainstream school (with his carer) and now able to pull his paralysed face up into a smile.

Tonight, Zac accompanied me to Wells Cathedral on his 10th birthday, and the enormity of what he has survived and what we have survived as a family moved me to tears as the lights went out, the priest spoke about the power of our shadow experiences, and my daughters sang by candlelight.

On this New Moon, the 26 November, the exact midway point between Samhain and the Winter Solstice, when the first flicker of Sophia’s light returns in the depths of the darkness, I give such gratitude for my son Zac, and for all the deep teachings that his shaman soul has brought us.

Happy 10th Birthday, darling Zac! You not only made it but you proved everyone wrong!
Blessed be
Annabel Du Boulay ?♥️?
Rose Priestess of Sophia-Magdalene
Priestess of Avalon

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