Tag Archive for: Audiobook

Stardisc Banner - Stardisc at Sunset - Awakening alchemy


On the Salisbury Plain, lies the ancient monument of Stonehenge. Not that very far away at all, in Stoney Wood, Wirksworth, Derbyshire, lies a 21st Century galactic monument that is the StarDisc.

Stardisc at Sunset-AwakeningAlchemy

Photo Credit: Jim Bell

StarDisc is a stone circle and celestial amphitheatre that was the brainchild of Aidan Shingler. Carved into the black granite stone circle is a star chart that mirrors the Northern Hemisphere night sky. Measuring 12 Metres in diameter, the surface of the stone circle is inscribed with the constellations, their names, and a depiction of the Milky Way Galaxy. The perimeter of StarDisc is made from silver granite and contains 12 granite seats that denote the months of the year. StarDisc is illuminated at night and in gloomy weather, by solar power. I discovered this incredible site when one of my reader’s got in contact: He loved my book which opens with a message to all StarSeeds and he thought that I’d love StarDisc, of course Chris was right, and I planned my visit on the Winter Solstice, 20.12.2019.

What Inspired StarDisc?

In Aidan Shingler’s own words:

“Throughout my life I have been enchanted by the mystery and magic of the stars. My interest in the stars lies with our emotional response to them – their power to ignite our imagination and sense of wonder. The inspiration for StarDisc stems from a vision to create environments where people from all walks of life can gather, contemplate, and connect with whatever resides beyond the sphere of our world. I describe StarDisc as a temple without walls.”

Aidan Shingler 2011

StarDisc’s Opening:

Crowds at the Openiong of StarDisc - Awakening Alchemy

StarDisc Opening

StarDisc was officially opened on September 10th 2011, by BBC’s The Sky at Night presenter, Peter Lawrence. It had taken six years from Aidan’s conception to completion. More than a thousand people participated in the opening celebration, which included an outdoor screening of Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Supported by world-renowned astronomer and television presenter, Sir Patrick Moore, Sir Patrick was moved to comment:

StarDisc is intended to inspire, entertain, engage and educate; that too has been my intention during the 55 years I have presented The Sky at Night. To study the stars is to study life.; the more we understand the stars, the more we understand ourselves… Congratulations to all who have made StarDisc a reality.”

Sir Patrick Moore 1923 – 2012

Since it’s opening in 2011, tens of thousands of visitors have flocked to the StarDisc and numerous events have been staged there. It is free to visit and open to anyone, 24 hours a day, all year round.

StarDisc Array:

StarDisdc at Night Lit up by Solar lights - Awakening Alchemy

Photo Credit: Rod Kirkpatrick

It is the dream of Aidan Shingler and others to establish a StarDisc Array, of similar monuments all over Britain. This array would form a series of linked visionary, interactive, artistic creations that would encourage public participation and provide social, economic and community benefits to the areas in which they are established. Each StarDisc will celebrate diversity, creativity, promote inclusion, and nurture cohesion in communities.

One of the visions of Aidan Shingler is to create a monument that will both fascinate and intrigue archaeologists in the future as they try to piece together civilisation at the dawn of 21th Century. He sees StarDisc as a torch bearer for the union of art, science and spirituality.

Anna Clyne, fundraiser, puts it this way:

StarDisc is a special and magical place and I firmly believe that more locations across the UK through the StarDisc Array would be of great benefit to many communities.”

Anna Clyne

Allied to the creation of a StarDisc Array is the idea of the creation of a Star Seekers Way. This is envisaged as a mapped route, a stellar trail that will help develop astro-tourism, encouraging visitors to embark on a journey of self-discovery to each separate StarDisc.

What an awesome idea? This can be seen as contributing to the nation’s creative and artistic heritage and leaving an enduring cultural legacy for all humanity.

Who is Aidan Shingler?

Person Meditating at Sunset on Top of StarDisc - Awakening Alchemy

Photo Credit: Jim Bell

London born, Aidan, now lives in Derbyshire with his dancer, writer, wife, Tricia Durdey. For almost four decades now he has worked tirelessly as an artist, writer, and activist. He conceived of and organised the Kissit XX Campaign; a series of national protests to expose human rights violations in the psychiatric system. He is the co-author of On the Receiving End, a book that highlights the impacts of psychiatric assault and calls for radical reform in the mental health system. His art is intended to question and challenge the ruling paradigms of thought and culture, inviting participants to “look at the world, anew”.

In one of his many talks Aidan raises the question: Schizophrenia, Insanity or Enlightenment?

If we consider the altered states of those who have achieved states of Enlightenment through meditation such as Buddhists, Hindu’s, New Agers (Ekhert Toll) trance mediums, to mention but a few, it is clear that in order to achieve higher levels of insight it is necessary to by bass the Ego, and that is to say, to vault over all the many limiting beliefs and constructs to reach altered states of consciousness. Society is quick to label people with a different experience of life, and the knee jerk reaction is to shame and silence them. Yet, consider this; we are societies who fail to value the Earth that gives us nourishment and often lose the thread of the kindness, and compassion that connects us to the soul that is at ONE with the Universal Mind. So perhaps they are simply more sensitive and have greater access to more profound truths?

StarDisc Illuminated by the Rising Sun - Awakening Alchemy

Photo Credit: George Peck

Aidan discusses this in his beautiful book, “Psyche,” published by Thorntree where he mentions receiving information via an auditory transmission about a future encounter with Star People. Later he opened a chocolate Kinder Egg which contained a small figurine Asterix, which means star!

Do visit the StarDisc Website and check out how to get there and all the news:

StarDisc and 9/11:

What is the link between StarDisc and the worst terrorist act on American soil, in history, you may ask?

Many Planes on Gander Airport's Runway after 9/11 - Awakening alchemy

Planes Line Up at Gander after 9/11

Well, when all of those planes were ordered out of the air following the attacks on the twin towers on 9/11/2001, they had to go somewhere and many of them ended up in the small Newfoundland town of Gander, in Canada. This small town opened up its hearts to the 6,700 passengers and crew from 96 countries who suddenly ended up on their doorsteps. Wirksworth resident, Chris Spencer, bound for New York on a Lufthansa flight was one of those 6,700 passengers who ended up in Gander.

Chris always wanted to find a way to thank the people of Gander for their warmth and compassion on that horrible day and when he suggested to Aidan Shingler that he would like to raise funds to gift the town of Gander, a StarDisc, Aidan was thrilled to jump on board.

Chris has said:

“I am just one of the many who received and witnessed the compassion and generosity of the islanders. Although I am agnostic, this extraordinary experience made me understand why people have faith in God, and I now know for sure the existence of angels… they are the gracious people of Gander, Newfoundland, who welcomed us with open arms and provided shelter from the storm… for this, I and fellow stranded passengers and crew have reason to thank our lucky stars and remain forever grateful.”

Chris Spencer

Chris aims to raise £200,000, which will be used to:

  • Lineup of many airlines at Gander Terminal after 9/11 - Awakening Alchemy

    Lineup of Many Airlines at Gander after 9/11

    Commission, ship, construct and launch a StarDisc in Gander for 9/11/2021 (the 20th Anniversary of 9/11)

  • Give thanks to the town and recognise the incredible compassionate humanity of its citizens.
  • Establish a permanent memorial of 9/11
  • Enrich the town’s cultural activities.
  • Support the local economy.
  • Celebrate universal inclusion.

The hope is to raise enough for a full-scale 40ft StarDisc but if funding falls short, either a 21ft, 14ft, or 7ft Micro StarDisc will be sent. A site has already been set aside, by the local council, in Cobb’s Pond Rotary Park.

If you would like to help in the Crowdfunding of the Gander StarDisc please visit: and do watch this video on YouTube:

My Visit to StarDisc:

Jill Hughes Standing Overlooking StarDisc - Awakening Alchemy

The Author at StartDisc

As I mentioned earlier, I went to visit Aidan and StarDisc on 20th December 2019 in celebration of the Winter Solstice. I went up the steep narrow road leaving the village far behind, where Aidan and his tri-pawed, hound dog Benny were waiting for me at the top. The spectacular site is through the silver “Gateway to the Stars” next to a quarry with a wooden viewing gallery and a sign saying “Where Earth meets Sky”. Aidan explained more about the star constellations and I was, as ever, drawn to Sirius (the Dog Star) and was intrigued to see the alignment between Cannis Major. It was fitting that Benny hopped over and had a paw on that one! The Disc itself is magnificent, and Aidan was a most gracious host. He has an incredible knowledge about star systems and constellations in our Northern Hemisphere, and as a StarSeed myself, I was delighted to learn how well his plans were progressing. Aidan appreciated the roses that I had brought as a thank you; both person and place have a wonderful calm and benevolent energy – I urge you to visit. After all, where else can you walk on the stars as opposed to looking at them?

Aidan Shingler and Dog Benny Standiong on StarDisc - Awakening Alchemy

Aidan Shingler and Benny

Following on from my visit to StarDisc I was inspired to go to London’s West End to watch the musical “Come From Away,’’ which tells the story of the diverse mix of 9/11 ‘refugees’ both humans and the animals in the plane’s holds, who ended up in Gander – Chris was one of course – and it features a prayer:

“Make us a channel of your peace. Where there’s despair in life let me bring hope. Where there is darkness, only light. And where there is sadness, ever joy.’’

Indeed, and this amazing play honours – what was lost, but also we commemorate what was ‘found’……………

‘Somewhere, in the middle of nowhere, you found your heart but left a part of you behind.’

An incredible sentiment in these dark and troubled times, and I can think of no finer tribute to this than a StarDisc for Gander, so please help Aidan and Chris deliver this. Please find a moment to be moved and to contribute to something that is bigger and overarching, and of noble emotions, actions and deeds which unite humanity.

If you enjoyed this Blog and would like to read more spiritual and metaphysical issues, plus lots more besides, please share it with your friends and family, or do join our website and you’ll receive a notice whenever a new blog is posted. We will never spam you though. You can join here:

If you liked what you read here, please do check out our previous blogs. The last four can be found here:

Prosperity Report Cover: Chinese Hanging Lanterns: Awakening AlchemyYou may also wish to avail yourself of our fantastic FREE report: 3 Proven Ways to Pull More Prosperity to You in 30 Days. You can grab your copy of this here:

Maybe check out Jill Hughes: Author pages on my website: which highlight my No.1 Best-selling, Visionary Fiction, “whodunit” crime mystery, Spirit of Prophecy, and download the First Chapter for FREE.Spirit of Prophecy Cover with Readers' Favorite 5-Star Award - Awakening Alchemy

Spirit of Prophecy AudioBook Cover With Awards Displayed - Awakening AlchemyFinally, today, please do pop on over to the SHOP: where you can download the Award winning Audiobook at an amazing price. There a Soundcloud taster so you can try before you buy, and bag a big discount!

The novel incorporates many of the ideas and philosophies discussed in my blogs, into a fast-paced, fictional thriller with a spiritual under-current: prepare to be swept away.

Till Next Time I’m Sending: Love, Phire, and the Violet Flame of Peace


Free Tiger on a Power Animals Banner - Awakening Alchemy

Graphic Showing Twisted Universe - Awakening Alchemy As you know, this blog series is broadly titled Awakening Alchemy. It is our hope that some of the topics we cover in this blog may awaken the inherent spiritual side that resides in all of us. Our goal is to open your mind to the incredible possibilities that are happening all around us, right now, on planet Earth. The old, tired paradigms are being swept away, as science and especially quantum physics, begins to illuminate the true nature of matter, of consciousness and of spirit. Many of the old philosophies, and beliefs are again coming to the fore, as science begins to show us there is much more to this Universe than that which we can see, feel and touch. We are celestial beings that harbor greatness inside of each and every one of us. It is my dharma to spark some of that interest, excitement and questioning nature within the readers of this blog.

Today we will be exploring an old, traditional, tribal belief of Shamanic origin, known as “Power Animals”

What Are Power Animals:

Broadly speaking a power animal is a concept that has come down to us from Shamanistic teachings and worship. Shamanism is a practice that evolved in Asia, especially Mongolia and Siberia and over time spread to North and South America, as well as parts of Africa. Shamanism involves reaching an altered state of consciousness (often using natural hallucinogens, meditation, and ritual chanting) that allows the Shaman to interact with the spirit world and then channel these spirits and energies into the physical world.

Shaman Dancing Around Fire - Awakening Alchemy For most of us westerners, the idea of Shamanism is perhaps that which we have had portrayed to us on the silver screen, as the idea of “medicine men”, especially as it relates to the early Native American tribes. Essentially this is true, and shamanism is still practiced routinely, and ritually in many places, especially in the Northern Asian areas of Mongolia and Siberia.

The concept of the power animal is one that is Universal across many cultures. You can perhaps think of power animals as being spirit guides that help protect us as individuals but also our ancestral lineage and that which is still to come, as well as nations, as a whole.  

To the Shaman, everything is alive and connected to us. Everything contains a unique wisdom, power and virtue. Power Animals are said to embody our individual qualities of character, morality, and our most personal inner thoughts and being. We all have experienced the love and bonding that we can create and nurture with living animals (see last week’s blog on Animal Communication: )

What shamanism teaches us is that we can have the same deep love, bonding and respect, on a higher consciousness level, with our power animals. Shamanism contends that every person has a power animal(s) inside of them. They act as protectors to us and guard us against illness as well as imparting some of their inherent skills and wisdom to us. For example, the Hawk spirit will lend you some of the skills and wisdom of the hawk.

Different Types of Power Animals:

Frontal Picture of Owl on Branch - Awakening Alchemy There are absolutely no set rules as to what animals can be power animals. They certainly don’t have to be mammals and can just as easily be reptiles, insects, birds, or sea creatures. If it lives, then it can be a power animal. In this vein, even plants and trees can serve as spirit guides. One thing to note, however, domesticated animals are generally not considered to be power animals because they are already acting in service to mankind. What the experts say is that you should always keep an open mind when looking at power animals. Try not to associate or “lock in” certain characteristics to an animal e.g. Lion is fierce and courageous. All animals have attributes that we, as humans, may not even be aware of until we bond, communicate and share with them.

What is truly important is that we honour and value our power animals. In the Western-Judaic culture we have been taught that animals were put here for our exclusive use and that we have dominion over them. This is an attitude we must let go of. Animals are at least our equals, add greatly to our lives and the world around us, have gifts to offer us and are deserving of gratitude, love and respect. Think of it this way – your power animal is giving up his/her independence and mobility to spend its time with you. It is a selfless act and by your honouring and valuing that act, the connection you have with your power animal can only deepen and grow.

China Collectible Leopard Knick Knack - Awakening Alchemy A couple of ways of honouring your power animal are to regularly thank him/her for being there and to have objects (knick-knacks) where you can see them every day that represent your power animal. This all shows that you care and can only deepen the bond. As in shamanic practice we need to get into the habit of honouring and valuing all things in our life – they all have something to teach us and power animals, especially, have a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to impart to us.

How Do I Discover My Power Animal(s)

The most important thing to bear in mind in the process is: You don’t choose your power animal – it chooses you!

  • One way to do this is to consult a Shaman, but for the vast majority of us that would be difficult, time-consuming and possibly expensive (if you had to travel).
  • The best way to discover your power animal is to receive the information in a dream. See what happens! Go to sleep thinking about your power animals and you never know what you will dream about.
  • Woamn Meditating Outside on a Rock - Awakening Alchemy Meditate to discover what your power animal is. If you don’t practice meditation, check out my previous blog on Meditation to learn how to get started: 
  • Journey deep into the forest, the ocean, the desert, in your mind. Sit in a quiet place, breathe deeply in and out an observe the animals that come your way – one of them will almost certainly become more apparent to you than the others and will choose you.
  • Ask, out loud, for your power animal to show itself. If you suddenly begin seeing one particular animal more frequently than others that could be a sign. As an example, let’s say you are flipping through TV channels and you consistently come across documentaries on Lions; you see a sign advertising the local Lions club chapter; your friend invites you around to watch the Lion’s rugby team playing on TV. By using repetition, the power animal is drawing your attention to him/her.
  • Search the internet for surveys and quizzes that can help pinpoint your power animal. There are a host of resources available on the internet for this purpose. Just type in: “how do I discover my power animal?” and you’ll be amazed at what pops up.

 Some Common Power Animals and their Attributes:

  1. Deer: Deer are symbolic of love and harmony within oneself. They are also incredibly timid creatures and may signal the need for your protection from predators.
  2. Spider: The spider is very representative of the feminine side of us and the power of feminine energy. Their intricate webs and patience tell us how our lives are interweaved with others. Spiders are also very common power animals for creative people, as evidenced by the beauty and intricacy of their webs. They remind us that everything takes time and it is the journey that is magical, not the result.
  3. Black and White Butterfly - Awakening AlchemyButterfly: A butterfly symbolises more than any other creature the idea of profound change and transformation. As you are moving through different cycles of your life, especially “making a fresh start” the butterfly is the perfect spirit guide / power animal for you. Another intrinsic characteristic of the butterfly is its lightness and its ability to transcend the earth and the more prosaic things of life.
  4. Horse: The horse represents the driving force of life, the ability to run free, wild and untamed. In the same way, horses can be domesticated, restrained and stopped from their complete enjoyment of life – just like us.
  5. Crow: The crow is a double-edged sword, offering both positive and negative characteristics. Whilst on the one hand, it symbolizes the magic of life, intelligence and fearlessness, it can also represent a trickster, a manipulator, or those of a mischievous nature.
  6. Hawk: Hawks represent courage, truth, perspective and self-awareness. They offer the ability to see things from a higher perspective and to recognise truth. It also represents intuition and inner wisdom. Having a hawk as your power animal is an indication that it is time to re-evaluate your life, to look at the broader picture, from a higher perspective. Use the hawk’s keen vision to view your life and then its intuition and inner wisdom to guide you.
  7. Lion: The Lion is the symbol of extreme strength, self-assertiveness and power. They bring you strength, courage, authority and assertiveness, while still pointing out dangers and weak spots in your life.
  8. Closeup Photo of a Grasshopper - Awakening AlchemyGrasshopper: Grasshoppers symbolise that it is time to take a leap of faith. They are innovative and never miss an opportunity to move forward in life. They’re also considered to be good luck and a good omen. If you’re struggling with a decision that needs to be made, the grasshopper is a good animal to have by your side.  

Well, there are just a few of the possible power animals you could have in your life. Remember a couple of points. Firstly, you can have as many power animals in your life as you need, at any particular time, and secondly your power animal can change over time, as your circumstances and needs also change.

Coyote in the Snow - Awakening Alchemy I hope I’ve piqued your interest in this topic. If you have any questions at all, or you’d like recommendations on where to research further, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment here on the blog or contact me via the website. I’d love to hear from you.

We will be continuing this particular theme for the month of August, so do keep reading. If you enjoyed this Blog and would like to read more spiritual and metaphysical issues, plus lots more besides, please share it with your friends and family, or do join our website and you will receive a notice whenever a new blog is posted. We will never spam you though. You can join here:

If you liked what you read here, please do check out our previous blogs. The last four can be found here:

Cover For Prosperity Report: Chinese Lanterns - Awakening Alchemy You may also wish to avail yourself of our fantastic FREE report: 3 Proven Ways to Pull More Prosperity to You in 30 Days. You can grab your copy of this here:



Spirit of Prophecy Cover: Silver Death Mask - Awakening Alchemy Maybe check out Jill Hughes: Author pages on my website which highlight my No1 Best-selling Visionary Fiction “whodunit” crime mystery, Spirit of Prophecy, and download the First Chapter for FREE.





AudioBook Cover of Spirit of Prophecy - Awakening AlchemyFinally, today, please do pop on over to the SHOP  where you can download the Award winning Audiobook at an amazing price. There a Soundcloud taster so you can try before you buy.

The novel incorporates many of the ideas and philosophies discussed in my blogs, into a fast-paced, fictional thriller with a spiritual under current: prepare to be swept away.

Till Next Time I’m Sending: Love, Fire, and the Violet Flame of Peace