Born in 1948, Cynthia Beadman was characterised from an early age by family and friends as an otherworldly dreamer who spent much of her time ‘away with the fairies’. Yet it would be just such personality traits that would later fuel her unique creativity (and open doors for her) during her successful career as an artist, fashion designer, healer and author.
The daughter of a gamekeeper, Cindy’s life has been peppered with dramatic elements that often shape and influence the life of successful creatives such as herself, but which are suited only to the darkest of Grimm’s fairy tales; impoverishment, violence and emotional abuse, marriage at a young age and eventual divorce, and a diagnosis of ME at the age of just 35. However, Cindy’s dedication to her own spiritual transformation, her acceptance of both death and rebirth as essential to the development of her life and sense of self, and a deep compassion for humanity have enabled her to surmount life’s greatest challenges. This openness and determination has enabled Cindy to develop into a true polymath. Crucially, it has allowed her to both share her knowledge with and inspire a far-reaching audience through her multitudinous talents, most recently through her children’s books, The Dark Secret of Cold Coffinswell and The Story of Sunny The Flower Fairy, as well as her books on healing and alchemy, The Sleeping Giant and The Waking Giant.
Cindy began her career as a multidisciplinary artist and designer after studying for a BA in Fashion at Hornsey College of Art in the 1960s. After leaving college to marry her very own Prince Charming, over the next decade Cindy dedicated her energy to painting, interior design, writing fairy stories, creating bespoke fashion garments and raising three children. Designing and building a house using columns from Derry and Toms, later known as Biba, is among one of her fondest memories from this period.
In 1976 her life changed dramatically as she was catapulted onto the international fashion scene quite literally overnight. Having put together her first fashion collection, Cindy made an appointment with the then doyenne of the London fashion scene, Lucienne Phillips of Knightsbridge. That day Cindy returned home with a full order book and soon had London’s most exclusive shops, including Dickens and Jones and Liberty’s, clamouring for her designs.
To meet the rising demand for her work, Cindy went on to establish a successful workshop in Torquay. Staffed by exceptionally skilled seamstresses, it was based upon the principle of dedication to expertise in the production of complex designs. A true leader and pioneer, some pieces required techniques of intricate stitchwork and dyeing that she developed herself, and which she then had to teach to others. Drawing heavily from nature, one her greatest sources of inspiration, she created a variety of innovative edgings that resembled raindrops, snowflakes and shells. In her constant negotiation with the delicacy of parachute silk she also invented methods for giving the silk body and substance, including ruching, bubbling, ribboning and weaving. Rising to the challenge in such a way, Cindy was the first designer to employ fabric three-dimensionally, thus rendering her creations not simply clothes but works of art in themselves. Fittingly, The Times described her as, ‘Disarming British individuality, Cindy is a leader not a follower.’
This novel and experimental approach to fashion has brought Cindy Beadman international acclaim, culminating in her opening a shop in South Kensington. Designs from her Butterfly Collection can be found in the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art, with further pieces belonging to high-profile Museums such as the Munich Museum of Modern Art, Bath Museum of Costume, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. One particular ensemble from her Fairy Tale Collection, bought by Anita Harris for presentation to the Queen, was displayed in the Victoria and Albert’s major inaugural exhibition, Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950. At the height of her fashion career Cindy showed two collections a year at the London Designer Collections and sold to exclusive outlets world wide, such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Gunn Trigère, Beverley Hills. High-profile owners of her designs include celebrities such as Farah Fawcett and Olivia Newton-John, as well as royalty.
In 1983 Cindy was diagnosed with ME and in 1985 was forced to give up her successful fashion career. Inspired by this period of personal entombment and not one to be defeated, it was at this time that she turned to the study of alternative healing and transpersonal psychology. She took up painting once more and began to record her life and experiences in a diary, using both stories and pictures, just a she had done during childhood. Here the alchemy of writing one’s own story acted as a form of self-therapy and led to an improvement in her health. With meditation becoming second nature, Cindy also found personal enlightenment through primal hermetic philosophy during this period. Consequently, such a proactive and engaging attitude towards this apparently tragic turn of events in her life resulted in a fertile new career trajectory.
Cindy went on to graduate from the College of Healing in 1990, which led to her running workshops and practicing healing and counselling at Bath Natural Health Clinic as well as working with Dr. Mike Weir at the Cancer Self-Help Centre in Bristol. Her tireless energy returned, in 1993 she built a healing grotto in the vaults of the Royal Crescent to work with more challenging and disadvantaged patients and children. Her work and experience in the fields of healing and alchemy eventually lead to her to write two books The Sleeping Giant and The Waking Giant.
Following a strong sense of intuition, Cindy decided to take her books to Prague in 2010. In a synchronous event emblematic of many significant occurrences in her life, it was here that Cindy met Vladislav Zodrobilec, world famous alchemist, dissident and publisher. Zodrobilec was so impressed by her work as well as having undertaken an authentic hermetic journey without a teacher that he immediately endorsed The Sleeping Giant and The Waking Giant with a view to publication. Other supporters of the work include the renowned mathematician and physicist Professor Christopher Clarke, who has written to her in support of her visionary work at the interface of science and religion, ‘I was enthralled by your weaving of the cosmos and this infinity that you so wonderfully describe.’
Having become well respected in the field, Cindy convened talks at Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution titled ‘Isaac Newton, the Ultimate Magus’ and ‘Science, Religion, and the Relief of Man’s Estate’ on the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society. She is also a member of both the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution and the Scientific Medical Network, and has appeared on numerous television programmes in her capacity as a healer and designer, including BBC1’s Boxing Day show Angels and Channel 4’s Innovation Interiors.
Among her greatest influences Cindy lists an eclectic mix of contemporary and historical heavyweights: Clarissa Pinkola Estés, in particular her book Women Who Run with Wolves and the archetypal nature of the story presented in both this book and Cindy’s own life; Albert Einstein and his Theory of Relativity, which encapsulates the elemental magic of nature and quantum physics; Carl Jung, most notably his works on synchronicity, a phenomenon that has consistently shaped Cindy’s personal path; Roberto Assagioli, the Italian psychiatrist, pioneer of humanistic and transpersonal psychology and founder of the psychological movement known as Psychosynthesis; and the famous alchemist Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim. Books that have made a profound impact on Cindy and aided her in her hermetic journey include the Emerald Tablet, Hermes Trismegistus and Intimate Death, by Marie de Hennezel who began the hospice movement in Paris. But perhaps most poignantly, it is the folktale of a young girl named Josephine whose own story most beautifully encapsulates the magic pervading Cindy Beadman’s life. Read avidly by Cindy in the only book she owned as a child, Josephine’s story quite enchantingly mirrors Cindy’s own life in an inspiring metaphor of entombment, determination and eventual liberation. Imprisoned in a deep well for having forgotten to say her prayers, Josephine had to surrender to the darkness in order to climb into the sun once more. Just as Cindy too has had to do on her remarkable journey of spiritual and personal transformation as one by one she has overcome the shattered illusions of her early life to achieve a full state of consciousness and, indeed, complete her very own fairy tale.
Cindy Beadman is working on a new publication around her interest in transformation. In 2013 Cindy was invited, as a modern-day mystic, to contribute to an article by mathematical physicist, Professor Chris Clarke, for the journal of ‘The Scientific and Medical Network’ – a worldwide professional community of scientists, philosophers, doctors and health practitioners, dedicated to exploring themes that builds bridges between science, spirituality and consciousness and promoting a shift in our understanding of reality and human consciousness beyond the limits imposed by exclusively materialistic and reductionist approaches. You can view the article in