The Backpacker’s Guide to the New Spirituality 2014, is now published

cover BPG 2014My new book, The Backpacker’s Guide to the New Spirituality 2014, is now published – with many wonderful linked Worldwide Distance Learning Courses on Spiritual, Healing and Counselling Modalities. ‘Ideal for the genuine spiritual seeker who wants to find their own individual beauty, power, spark, inspiration and connection’

This is the mid-monthly November Starwheel Newsletter from Michael Conneely. It also contains two book reviews, and news of my forthcoming novel Druid.

But also look out for my usual Astrology-focussed start of the month Newsletter, the next coming up is December: ‘Sagittarius Individuals: Can they be too dogmatic and ride rough-shod over feelings?’


I would like to start by sharing some testimonials to my work that I have received from kind clients and course attenders in the last week:

‘Your blogs are fantastic, spoken with the true wisdom that is you!’

‘People will always be drawn to your energy as it is so high, you are a light shining in the dark!’

‘I am excited to be able to eventually bring such healing to others too.’

‘It was a joyful experience for me and thank you kindly for your time in doing the reading for me yesterday along with the tarot spread.’

Back to the New Book: The Backpacker’s Guide to the New Spirituality 2014:

This information-packed and wisdom-packed book is an unusually informative and practical Guide Book to the great Spiritual Pathways, Healing Modalities and Counselling Methods of our Time, with Linked Certificated Distance Courses and Healings. It’s available through Amazon in paperback and Kindle).

The aim of the book is to build bridges between the pathways and avoid barriers, cults of personality and straight-jacketing organisations. It is ideal for the genuine spiritual seeker who wants always to walk and be supported in their own authenticity and genuine power.

The Chapters and Linked courses/healings/counselling modalities include: Munay Ki Shamanism, Energy Healing, Shamanic Healing, Wicca, Druidry, Past Life Regression, Relationship Counselling, Vision Quest, The Ogham, The Runes, Western and Vedic Astrology, Vision Quest, Sacred Sweat Lodge Ceremony, Bereavement Counselling, Hinduism and Buddhism … 

The linked website which guides you to the distance courses and healings is:

The three contributors:

Michael pic smile 300 dpiMichael Conneely: Since 1994 I have practised as both a highly trained astrologer (unusually combining both western and Vedic astrology) and also as a Munay Ki initiator and shamanic healer. I follow a Druid Path and have completed a five-year University-based anthropological field study of spiritual forms new to the west encompassing Hinduism, Buddhism, Paganism, Shamanism and Utopian Community. I offer regular workshops and distance learning courses in the Ogham, the Runes, Shamanic Development and Tarot, plus Festival celebration, Sacred Sweat Lodge Ceremony and vision quest. I have written four visionary Earth Spirituality novels: Rune Magic, Sacred Earth, Vision Holder Munay Ki and Munay Ki Protection, all available in paperback and on Amazon Kindle, and am now writing furiously my forthcoming fifth novel ‘Druid’. I have a BA and an MA from Oxford University and post-graduate qualifications in counselling and teaching. My websites are, and

Maggie Pic MAINMaggie Pashley has worked as a healing practitioner and workshop facilitator since 1985, and brings to her work Munay Ki initiation and quite exceptionally wide ranging healing modalities in the field of intuitively-based energy healing. Her training includes Body Code and Emotion Code Healing, the clearing of Heart-walls, Metamorphic Technique, hypnotherapy and shamanic healing and kinesiology. Maggie is a practitioner of the prestigious international Institute for the Psychology of Eating and also has a background as a teacher of languages in French and German as well as English. Maggie’s websites are and Our specialist website for Munay Ki initiations and courses is:

Munay Ki Group Photo 2Carol Michael (second from left) has written three lovely chapters in this book: Bereavement Counselling, Past Life Regression and Relationship Counselling. The love and healing wisdom that pervades Carol’s work is such food for the soul. Check the website for the dates when Carol is available for distance counselling.

In this ground-breaking book, the paths and healings of our time come alive. This is not just a passive ‘academic style’ review of them. It is a practical demonstration of how you can use and combine these paths, healings and counselling approaches – combine them in an authentic and genuine way, that is right for you, a way that is untrammelled by straightjacketing groups, centres or orders etcetera, a way that is freed from the ego-trips and the control dramas that can so often disempower you in those places. This wonderful body of information is offered to you, so that you can chart your own chosen pathway across the new spiritual landscape, and make that journey in a way that will enable you to become the special and unique luminous being you actually incarnated to be.

And the book’s aim is to show how the different pathways and healings are actually all connected, and how each can in fact contribute and inform the other. This is because the most powerful of the spiritual and healing forms are all linked to the ‘Vastness’. The most powerful healings and readings all come from the highest form of ‘Connection’. They are not separate; they are linked.

This book is therefore the ideal guide for the sincere spiritual seeker who wants to study the Chapters with an intelligent open mind. It is the ideal guide for the seeker who wants to follow the linked Courses and Healings or Counselling sessions: who wants to follow them and be supported in a way that is careful to honour all spiritual paths. This way, you can be sure your quest that is supported by us, is authentic: authentic to your own very special essence, able to always walk in your own authentic power and light.

The biggest truth we discovered is that if love is missing from any spiritual path, then do not follow it. If you feel love is missing from any spiritual teacher, then do not follow him or her. But a word or two also about Power: the need for you to follow the spiritual or healing path that will allow you to come into your own power, to be in your own power. A problem is that contemporary spirituality is mainly transmitted through groups and centres or organisations, even cults. This is one of the main reasons why I have set up this program, because it allows you independent and authentic learning and authentic growth and healing that is connected to Source. It allows you to find your own way. So often the alternative is depthless instant identity, or rigid hierarchy, or inauthentic rigid models of practice. Or it’s the feuding, gossiping hurtful groups

The foundation stone of this book is a five-year social-anthropological field study I completed, an Ethnography: a study of spiritual forms new to the modern West.  I therefore spent periods of time over five years at Skanda Vale, the Hindu ashram that is the centre for the UK Tamil community. I attended two Buddhist Dharma centres and lived in a couple of Tibetan Buddhist Gompas. I joined a Wiccan Coven. I attended shamanic training by John and Caitlin Matthews. I belonged to a shamanic journeying group and a Druid ‘hearth’ within a Druid Order. I also did a vision quest and trained in sacred Sweat Lodge ceremony. I developed my own lovely and wonderful organisation called Glastonbury Ritual Tours and I undertook a historical study of the ways in which Glastonbury had been seen as a sacred land over the centuries.

Three ‘power animals’ can be called on to conclude this review of the book are Eagle, Serpent and Phoenix: Eagle because of the book’s great gift of ‘Big Picture Vision’; Serpent, because Serpent sheds his skin, just as we have to shed the past: the past that we have to let go of; Phoenix because of our need for discriminating rebirth. It is through relinquishing our past and our limiting scripts that we can achieve and walk in our true power and beauty, and this is the best way of helping others.

MercuryNow for an Astrology Snippet

Did you realise that according to Vedic Astrology rules, the ‘Mercury Retrograde effect’ does not actually end until Mercury regains its pre-retrogradation position? It does not end just at the moment the planet Mercury ceases to have retrograde motion. It ends when Mercury arrives back at the position where it started to go retrograde. So, a western definition of the most recent Mercury Retrograde is: 21st October 2013 to 11th November 2013 in the western astrology sign of Scorpio. But according to Vedic Astrology, the Retrograde effect will still be offering us its divine learning until 27th November 2013. And of course Mercury was caught up in the two recent eclipses on October 18th and November 3rd, so there has been really big Mercury learning offered to our consciousnesses. Mercury Retrograde time is really good learning for us on communication issues and good use of speech, so this will of course make you pleased! We often have to learn through hard challenges in life. During Mercury Retrograde periods, letters go astray, accounts get snarled up and people say twisted horrible things to us. But all this can be good solid learning for us if we perceive the phenomena in the right way!

Now for two Book Reviews: the work of US Druid, Ellen Evert Hoffman:

I read Ellen’s novel `Priestess’ of the Forest which is Part 1 of a Trilogy, and then her ‘Druid Isle’ which is Part 2, while I was in Ireland a month ago. I look forward to getting round to read Part 3: Priestess of the Fire Temple.

EEH Priestess of the Forest‘Priestess of the Forest’ is such a valuable and learned novel. It describes the life of an early Irish Priestess and Healer born at the time of the rise of Christianity in Ireland: a Druidess called Ethne. Ethne’s progress and her spiritual path is movingly and very humanly presented. The reader can’t help but be drawn into the spiritual worldview of the Druids, its connections to the Earth and to the spirit realm. And I have to pay tribute to Ellen Hopman’s erudition about Irish Society. It is impressive, fascinating and invaluable, woven as it is throughout every strand of the book. But more than that, Ellen Hopman is herself a master herbalist and healer, and this sensibility breathes through every line of the novel. At the outset of the story, Eithne has brought to her for healing, a gravely wounded Irish warrior, Ruadh. Part of the healing is a moving chant: `In the name of Brighid; bone to bone, Flesh to Flesh, sinew to sinew, vein to vein,’ sung as she bathes his forehead and chest with cool water, and their love grows as the spread of Christianity begins remorselessly to replace the whole spiritual basis of ancient Druid path in Ireland.  Michael Conneely

‘The Druid Isle’ is a fascinating and wisdom-provoking study of the lives of two young people living when Christianity and the Roman Empire are conquering the North of Britain. They grow up apart in two utterly different cultures, but are destined to meet. Aife is the adopted daughter of Ethne, the heroine of Part 1; she grows up in the wisdom and healing serenity and spiritual connection of the Druid Forest School. Lucius, by contrast, grows up in the flesh-denying inauthenticity of a new Christian monastic school. However Lucius finds by chance – or by destiny –  the ritualistic beauty and reverence for life, of the ‘Festival of Summer’ of the local pagan people – only for this to be shattered by the Roman slavers, but he ends up finding his destiny and the truth of his birth, on the Druid Isle. Lucius is prepared for the dangerous journey by sea to the Druid Isle by the mystery, peace and joy of a ritual in the fogo of the Mamm an Byss. There, in the most supremely beautiful passage in the book, Lucius is granted a vision of the Sky and Water Mother who has protected him since the day he was born which connects him to his essence and prepares him as the preserver of the Druid wisdom.

Past Life Skills – and my new upcoming novel, DRUID:

Lastly an interesting point about the Vedic astrology of past lives and past life skills and the writing of my 5th novel ‘Druid’ which I am furiously focussing on at present:

As a background to this, note that when Saturn transits over the South Node of the Moon called Ketu in your Vedic Birth Chart, this can be associated with the arising and activation of past lives and past life skills. Saturn does this once every 29yrs on its slow orbit round the Sun.

This activation is because the Nodes of the Moon are the indicator in our Vedic birth chart of our Incarnational Destiny in this life. Ketu, the South Node of the Moon is the indicator of our past, where we are coming from and what must often dissolve. Its energy is sharp and unpredictable. Rahu the North Node of the Moon always opposite Ketu is the indicator of our future: the indicator of what we will be obsessionally drawn to try to become. Its energy is ambitious and full of torsion, but in learning to handle our spiritual future direction in this life, we have the opportunity to make needed spiritual perception and growth.

The Western astrology of the Nodes of the Moon is desperately poor by comparison to their interpretation in Vedic Astrology, this is partly because so much was lost to western astrology’s methods and wisdom due to two thousand years of church persecution, and partly because of Western astrology’s use of the tropical zodiac which is sun-sign and ‘egoic’ rather than the surer sidereal zodiac of Vedic Astrology.

So western astrology usually uses an astrology of ‘connections/associations’ for interpretation of the Nodes of the Moon, although Martin Schulman’s Nodal interpretation goes far beyond that, albeit vitiated by his use of the  tropical zodiac.

Now, in my Vedic Birth chart, Ketu, the South Node of the Moon is in Libra in the 4th House of my Vedic Birth Chart, and the 4th House is to do with ‘mother (and consciousness arising therefrom), home and roots’. Whereas Rahu the North node of the Moon is in Aries in the 10th house of career and standing in the world in my Vedic Birth Chart.

This is often interpreted as ‘due to mother not valuing him, he will seek illusory sense of value through career’, though with its customary declarative sureness, the Vedic astrologer will also say: ‘will be denied his maternal heritage and birthright’ (and it can also mean at one of the other levels, ‘the home that is riddled with damp &/or full of holy pictures’, by the way).

My birth mother is Irish and she was blackmailed to put me in an orphanage and give me up for adoption exactly in the manner of the films ‘The Magdalene Sisters’ Laundry’, and the new film on the Irish Catholic Church’s Convent Orphanages’ child-stealing  just out: Philomena.

Now, what has arisen for me, as Saturn has been making his slow transit over my natal Ketu the South Node of the Moon, since before last Christmas in 2012, was first that I started teaching a lot of Ogham then, the Celtic Druid Tree Alphabet, but also I did a lot of teaching of the Runes at this time which I had been offering for a long time.  Ogham and the Runes were of course anciently used in the land of my blood: Ireland.

But then I found myself very much caught up in understanding the impact of St Patrick on Ireland, and I feel I have developed a really deep understanding of the man. But what he did was to wrench Ireland from its heroic spirituality of the Druids and impose on it by methods very interesting to learn about, the flesh-denying, earth-denying and hierarchical one-size-fits-all Roman Catholic Church that was, in 5th Century Europe filling the power vacuum left by Alaric the Goth’s destruction of the City of Roman and therefore its Empire on August 24th 410AD.

And by strange means I learned so much about St Patrick’s fight with the ‘she-demon’ Corra on the top of Croagh Patrick Mountain a few miles from my family’s farm, and how he felt she engulfed him in her jaws and so he bested her and consigned her to lough na Corra at the foot fo the mountain. But she was the Goddess of that Land: the spirit of that Sacred Earth. And Croagh Patrick is sacred to the Sun God Llugh and on two days a year at the beginning and the end of the harvest sequence, the Sun does not set behind the mountain but rolls down its side, unifying with its energies, when seen from the Druid’s ‘Bohea Stone’ which is four miles distance from the summit and carved with 250 mysterious Petroglyphs. here is a photo:


And when I was in Ireland last month, I was blessed to receive visions about what St Patrick’s trashing of Corra means, and what can be done to restore the sacred feminine to Ireland. I saw into St Patrick’s heart: how his life was haunted by fear of the discovery of the ‘Sin of His Youth’ committed in the space of only one hour when he was aged fifteen – the revelation of which finally discredited him 29 years later (the orbital period of Saturn!). I saw how he fitted into the power-seizing dogmatic and episcopal developments in the Catholic Church at that time.

And of course, there is also the personal interest: my own mother was given the penance of climbing Croagh Patrick the ultimate rough Mountain summit, for giving birth to me outside marriage, and I was devalued, and so the fate I was born to understand and vanquish was set in place!

But for more about this and for deep understanding of the effect of Christianity on Ireland and its men and women over the last 1,600 years, and the wisdom of the Druids, and much, much more: look out for my visionary love story novel, due out as soon as I can: ‘Druid’.

For more details of my readings, healings, courses and novels, please visit my websites:,, and


My email is:   Tel: 07799296821 (add code if phoning from outside UK)

Read my vastly informative Blog at:


There are fascinating YouTube Videos about Munay Ki and my astrology readings and courses. Also:

There’s a YouTube on Sacred Sweat Lodge Ceremony:

And a YouTube about the recent Durga Puja On:

And here’s a YouTube showing Penitents climbing Croagh Patrick barefoot this year in search of absolution for their sins: