Birth, Death, and Everything In Between
Welcome to my website.
I believe that life is all about storytelling and I work with tarot, psychotherapy, vision boards and creative writing to help uncover meaning and forge direction.
I have been interested in tarot for most of my adult life. To me, the most powerful aspect is the way the pictures tell a story and I also believe that tarot is most effective as a two-way process. When I work with tarot, I focus less on the prescribed meanings of the cards and more on the themes they represent to me, and to my client, in that moment.
Tarot has a vast and complex history spanning many countries and influences but to most, it’s regarded as a divinatory, or ‘fortune telling’ tool. While open to this possibility when I work with tarot, I prefer to work with the cards as part of a process. I like to think of a reading as ‘counselling with pictures’.
Each deck of cards holds subtly different nuances on the same secrets, symbols and messages and I love to work through the images with a client, pinpointing key themes for the individual and discussing the best ways to overcome obstacles. No two readings are ever the same, and yet it is startling to me how often the same theme repeats in successive cards when there is clearly a topic that requires observation and discussion.
I read in person, in my comfortable sitting room. I do not chant, look into a crystal ball or tell you someone is going to die. I may ask you a question or two, just to kick things off. And we will probably laugh a lot.
I prefer to work face to face but am open to the possibility of online readings: please subscribe to my newsletter to register your interest.
I am open to the possibility of online readings: please email me
For many years I worked with pregnant women as a birth doula and now work with Mothers Uncovered, hearing and sharing stories about the way babies come into the world.
At the other end of life’s spectrum, I wrote a blog, Remembering Romy, and then a book, The Truth Inside, about the death of my youngest daughter, Romy, in 2014. I am a trained healer and reflexologist, and spent a decade working with fertility, pregnancy and birth; travelling the world to train and work with the best in this field.
I am also a hospice volunteer and notice how often we feel the need to tell our stories when life is drawing to a close. I have always been fascinated with the ancient role of the midwife as an accompaniment to birth and death: ‘Womb to Tomb’.
I love to listen to the stories of others. I am now deepening my work with tarot through the study of Gestalt psychotherapy, with the aim of qualifying as a counsellor and psychotherapist.
I love languages and speak Italian, French and German. I have a lifelong passion for flamenco and danced for many years and I live in Brighton, the San Francisco of the U.K., with my husband, three children and three cats.
In my career, I have worked with Public Relations: writing the stories of organisations to highlight important causes; for Battersea Dogs’ and Cats’ Home and The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to name two.
I wrote a blog, Remembering Romy, and then a book, The Truth Inside, about the death of my youngest daughter, Romy, in 2014.
I love to make up stories. I write historical fiction and my work has been longlisted in the Agora Lost the Plot work in progress prize and in the Blue Pencil Agency First Novel Award. It also made the shortlist of the Genesis Emerging Writers Programme in 2021. My short stories on grief were shortlisted for the Cinnamon Pencil Award.
I have contributed to various print and online publications over the years, including Child Bereavement UK, the Mothers Uncovered anthology, The Secret Life of Mothers, Soul Analyse and The Healer magazine.
I have worked with pregnancy and birth for many years and had the privilege of doing so around my own four children. I loved hearing and sharing stories about the way babies come into the world.
From 2003 to 2014, I worked as a reflexologist specialising in fertility, pregnancy and birth, and this lead to birth doula training with world-renowned obstetrician and water birth pioneer, Michel Odent. I was the only student on that training who had not yet given birth herself.
I went on to work in the small private clinic of Dr. Gowri Motha, based at Dr. Yehudi Gordon’s Viveka, and with Janet Balaskas at The Active Birth Centre. In 2008, while pregnant with my first child, I flew to The Farm in Tennessee, USA, to complete immersive training with Ina May Gaskin. I also completed training in Birth Crisis and Trauma with the late, great Sheila Kitzinger.
I currently work with Mothers Uncovered as a facilitator for a monthly birth stories group, where we listen to women who wish to share their experiences of birthing, to help with processing and healing. We use creative writing as a tool in this work.
I am a trained reflexologist of over twenty years’ experience and am currently opening my bookings for a limited period of time.
Reflexology is much more than just a foot massage, and yet it’s also important to state that it’s not curative. Simply put, by applying gentle pressure to a series of reflex points I have studied on the feet and ankles, the body can facilitate a natural process of release, sometimes in very specific areas.
Reflexology is not scientifically proven, but we know that a version of it was used by the ancient Egyptians, and the many thousands of people who enjoy it today will tell you that it can be very effective. I have seen sinuses unblock, digestive knots untangle, painful joints ease and headaches tail off, all following one or several reflexology sessions. Of course, I can’t prove that it was down to the reflexology, but in the many years I have been practising I’ve only ever made one claim: I haven’t yet come across anyone who doesn’t find a reflexology treatment relaxing on some level, and if the body relaxes, healing can happen.
During pregnancy, reflexology can be particularly helpful as it’s non-invasive, you don’t have to remove anything other than shoes and socks, and as pregnancy advances, your feet tend to get overlooked by the pregnant belly, so it can be perfect for relaxation and some of the niggling aches and pains of pregnancy. I love working with mamas to be and have a huge amount of experience in this area.
I work from my home in Brighton and treatments are £50 for a full hour. Please contact me if you would like to enquire about availability.
Following a two year training, I became an accredited healer in 2010 and since then have been privileged to learn from the wonderful Angie Buxton-King at The Sunflower Healing Trust. I am currently training to volunteer with my local hospice in my home town of Brighton, U.K. and hope to go on to work with bereavement counselling once I have completed my training with The Gestalt Centre.
Please see Media to access links to many podcasts and videos where I discuss my work with death, grief, bereavement and spirituality.
The Truth Inside
In 2015, I wrote a memoir, The Truth Inside, about the death of my youngest daughter, Romy, and the experiences that came afterwards which I often couldn’t explain, and which helped me enormously in my grief. I wrote the book in a year, in the one and a half hours a day our new baby son, slept.
You can buy a copy of the book here
You can email using the contact form below.
'Ali’s book radiates her belief of life after life. Her words are a gift to all those who mourn the loss of a loved one whether a child, parent or beloved other.'
Angie Buxton-King, author, The NHS Healer
'Ali Norell writes with heart and soul and her story makes for a healing, comforting and truly inspiring book.'
Theresa Cheung, Sunday Times Top 10 bestselling author
'Authentic and real, this beautiful book of hope touches the heart and opens the mind to a greater reality where love never dies. A wonderful read.'
Claire Broad, bestselling co-author, Answers From Heaven