M.W.: I met Anais in my local cafe, she is a priestess, a powerful woman, so peaceful and strong, always sat on her own, but recognisably open and friendly. It took us a while to spark a conversation, but one day she came over and asked what I was up to. I explained about my project, “Wake up screaming” and she told me about a book she was writing about her travels and life experiences.
She went on to explain how she had titled one of the chapters in her book with the very same phrase: Wake up screaming. This led to further conversation and eventually, she asked me to illustrate the cover for her book, a work in progress is featured here. Glastonbury synchronicities!
Anais has kindly answered some questions about that project and the work she does in Glastonbury. And in typical Glastonbury fashion, she was the connection point between me and Billy the Bard of Glastonbury which led to the interview and later my initiation to the Bardic Circle.
Introducing Anais, one of my favourite Glastonbury people, and named after the Author Anais Nin, one of my favourite writers.
Who are you?
My name is Anaïs Theyskens and I’m a pilgrim of the earth. This means I approach my whole life as an ongoing journey to the self, a process of transformation uncovering my essence and on this journey, the entire earth is a source of teachings and wisdom.
What are you doing?
I’m a modern priestess and a healer. I remind people to honour the natural cycles in life by organising rituals at the turning points of the Celtic wheel of the year, I aid in awakening the path of the sacred feminine by organising women’s retreats and connection circles and I teach courses in the healing techniques and ancestral wisdom that I practice and received from my spiritual guides. These transmissions involve colour, smell, vibration, sacred geometry, etc.
What brought you to Glastonbury?
I felt called to come to Glastonbury. I knew very little about this place just a few years ago, when I received a channelled message that I would live there one day. That’s why I always put off coming here, I was quite happy travelling and living a nomadic life and I was afraid this lifestyle would come to an end. But of course, we can’t plan life, and the universe finally conspired to make me come here a long time before I planned to do so. I arrived for the first time in 2015, around the time of Samhain, it was a full moon night and I drove into the High Street at midnight exactly. I knew I had come home.
What is special to you about this place?
Glastonbury is a peculiar micro-cosmos. On any given day you can meet Vikings, witches, goddesses, unicorns and much more, just by going grocery shopping. It’s a friendly town, diversity is accepted and even celebrated. But beyond that, it is the energy of the place that is out of the ordinary. To me, it truly is one of the most sacred and magical places on earth. I feel that the unique frequency of Glastonbury aligns people to their soul, as if they enter into their own heart chakra when they come here. They inevitably get a wake-up call, reminding them to live from the heart, to live authentically. I see the town as one of the ancient mystery temples, still active, a place of deep alchemical transformation.
What are you currently working on?
Currently, I am finishing my first book “laying down the arms” which explores how we can live in peace in a world that is rife with chaos. The book draws on my own experiences travelling to the sacred sites of this earth and the initiations I received in those places. One of those places being Glastonbury of course!
How does your work relate to the theme “In My Town”? (if at all)
Glastonbury is an important part of my work and life. It is my magnetic pole, my zero point. I still travel and go to other places to collect experiences and wisdom, but I always come back to Glastonbury to distil all those elements into the finished creations. I wrote my book in Glastonbury and I write out all of my course material here. I am very passionate about sharing the gifts of this town with other people and I regularly host retreats here. The energy of the place just adds so much more depth to the transformational work I offer.
You have an interest in alchemy, how does this inform your life/work?
Alchemy is very present in my life. First of all because the work I do has a very strong connection to Egypt, the birthplace of alchemy. Much of the healing work I practice originates in Egypt and I received much of the inspiration for the Elixirs (spiritual blends of essential oils) I made during my travels there. These Elixirs that my husband I co-created with an Egyptian alchemist, are intended to help people transform themselves and align their material lives with their spiritual presence. Secondly, I apply the basic principles of alchemy in everything I do, in the way I approach life. One of the most important principles being the balance between masculine and feminine energy. I truly believe that this is the key to healing mankind, bringing these energies back into balance.
Can you comment on how alchemy and creativity are related?
I think any truly inspired creative work is a work of alchemy. All artists or creatives experience moments of transcendence, moments of true inspiration when the muse is flowing freely and abundantly. These are moments of complete alignment between our heart and our soul, allowing us to channel the divine directly. To translate this inspiration into a creation and bring it into the material world is pure alchemy.
Whatever we create when we are in this state of being has the potential to transform the people that connect to our work.
Find out more about Anais and her husband Jean-Baptiste, here: anais-jeanbaptiste.com