The current emotional state I find myself in is anything but Firy. It is the Water element that has taken hold in its distorted state manifesting in moodiness, lack of motivation and inability to settle. This is how depressive state begins when focus is almost impossible and apathy sets in. There is no drive, energy or enthusiasm. Fire sparks up now and again, but again in its distorted state in ways of angry outbursts and frustration, dissatisfaction, which is often projected onto the world, weather, other people. Not great way to be and I don’t like it one bit.
Things in the house are literary losing their ‘spark’ and breaking down, particularly electrical things like iron, microwave, heating and boiler. One thing after another. It feels deflating and cold. What is there to do, I ask? The Goddess reassures me she’s around for guidance yet I move away from her unable to listen. My body is devoid of heat and energy and I wonder aimlessly about my days.
Outside it’s raining and mild when it should be winter. I never thought I would feel lethargic for the absence of real winter yet it is snow and cold that I crave so I can settle properly into the season. Instead it’s raining and I find myself yearning for the snowy mountains and freezing winds, sparkling cover on the ground and winter Sun. I try to fly away to lands where winter is present but again unable to project myself very far. Stifling…
Today I decided to drive to the woods away from home to seek some peace and answers. It is raining but I don’t mind as feel the need to be with whatever it is that slows me down. I get out of the car and walk into the forest. It feels pleasing straight away, the smell of wet ground and fresh air surrounds me. In silence I stand and turn to my right to a sight of deer very close by. My spirit is sparked for that moment where we stand and look at each other. I smile and feel gratitude. Things get better as I walk deeper into the forest. I discover Fire in the palm of my right hand, which I hold open and the rain stops. It’s amusing to play with it putting my hand away and taking it out again to show to the forest. I ask for the rain to stop and it does. My hand does the magic. I feel my spirits lifting slightly yet the fire in my hand also slips away eventually. It is calm, no rain and again I see the deer in the bush next to me. I smile. I feel better.
What also comes to me is the fact that I have been focusing on the Water element too much making an error in understanding what’s needed. At first a couple of weeks ago when I became aware of the absence of fire I welcomed water into my days and solidified and intensified my focus on it. I placed water items on my altar and what occurred was the opposite, I went too much into it. I understand it now. Now I know I need to shift things towards the fire intentionally. I need to work on it and make it spark again so changing my altar set up once again to see things shift.
Magic is a work of awareness, attention, focus and really listening. It is also not always about accuracy of messages but an ability to shift with changes in awareness. It is about adapting to what gets presented and reading the messages that one sees, hears or feels.
It is a strange period of time, however I remain open to observations and changes that might come in the next few days. I hope. Staying with myself no matter what and however hard it might be.
Anxiety and panic attacks struck me like an unexpected dark storm and my ground began to slide from under my feet. I found myself in a ball of terror unable to go out and without a voice. I was scared to cry, my chest was constricted and tight. There was fear in the whole of my being.
I felt sadness and grief, but no ability to express it, which is directly linked for me with past trauma. I seem to be hooking into this position for a few years running now about this time of year where such energy becomes dense and concentrated and just strikes me motionless and paralyses all life within me. This is also linked to freedom, family obligations, which in no way align with what I believe in and grief and death, which again don’t really belong to me. In this darkness I seem to be unable to find that light, which contradicts the season and what I should be doing.
I guess what I am describing is a sort of hijacking of my ‘light’ and feeling imprisoned by all things irrelevant and hurtful to me. I am beginning of think that changes must occur and, perhaps, this is going to be the biggest challenge yet for me to transform this insight into a reality where I feel contained and safe. I sure don’t want to experience this again come next year. There is work to do.
We are approaching Yule and I have always loved this festival and I love the darkness but in a different way, in a way of needing to go deeper willingly, not being hijacked by stuff irrelevant, and in that sense being stopped from going deeper on my own terms, in my own time, I suppose. This stuff seems to want to keep me on the surface, on a level filled with fear and immobility devoid of heart feeling. My darkness understanding is the opposite yet I can’t seem to get there for I have to deal with stuff that hits me in the face and demands not just my attention but it demands me being in prison and silenced.
Yesterday I was unable to leave my bed after a sleepless night filled with episodes of anxious unrest and fear. My chest felt like a stone, stuck within a place where it felt like my heart would stop beating any minute. Love was draining out of me and anger was present, tears wouldn’t come and breath was barely present. Trapped.
Lying under my blanket I was desperate for a solution, for some hope I would be ok again. I must mention that these attacks are recent phenomenon, even though they began a few years back, they don’t come often, but in recent years becoming frequent and that is how I am able to recognise it now well. I plugged into music (below) and began my journey. I always remember one thing with trauma is a finding a safe place and I began my search allowing surrender to come in.
As music played I began slowly connecting with my Warrior self. I realised how grounding, Fire energy type music taps into some strength and reassurance within me. I step outside of my body and witness myself out there. It is like looking into a mirror to see yourself from an aspect, which is most needed. This links closely to the personality model of the elements and this one is a Fire side of me, which is in a balanced and healthy state. I notice my breathing changing and I become more engaged with surroundings.
I see myself on the shores of Loch Drummond, exactly here (images below) looking over the view from above and breathing the air deeply into my lungs. The music connected me to the beating of my own heart and I feel myself collecting my senses into a form that is closer to whole.
In the next scene I am on my knees on the shore of Loch Tay praying to the element of water, which is so powerful I am in awe of the scenery and my heart beats more and more love into myself and out into the lake.
On the shores of Lake Laggan as I stand up to my knees in the water tears come and music changes into this MUSIC I connect with Water element of emotions looking deep within dark waters of the lake.
I cry and sob and feel myself finally coming into my body as I become aware of my chest rising and falling with each tear and moan within me. It feels good and releasing.
With emotion also comes that deepest yearning for the land within me that I know so well. In this case it became unbearable, which helped the tears come in outbursts of screams and sobs as if my body needed to be ‘scolded’ from inside out. Intensity of emotion opened up my heart and in that deep love of the land within me healing came, release came. I merged with the aspect of myself that is pure, grounded, simple and peaceful. It is that spirit of the land within me that held my hand reassuring my being for I am ok, I will be. I came to my safe place, to the land where my spirit unchanged and untouched lives always and forever. This journey meant so much to me and it was so powerful I am deeply touched by my own inner spirit and wisdom that can guide me out of the darkness whatever happens.
On reflection I can truly say that nothing ever worked as well as the above did in reawakening my heart back to life.
Relaxing Nordic/Viking Music – Ótroðinn (Adrian von Ziegler)
The Mermaids Tears (Jeff Victor)
Photos copyright: taken by Raw Pagan (Natalia Clarke)
Header image: http://crianlarich-hotel.co.uk/
The quality of softness is beautifully warm, healing, lightening and transforming. I first heard of it from my parents many years ago in the context of the quality being very positive and admirable particularly in a woman. A girl or a young lady with a quality of softness was approved of and considered pleasant and easy to relate to and live with, however, this can be explained due to the nature of patriarchal society in which ‘soft’ otherwise called timid and agreeable woman was considered exactly what was expected. I often felt saddened as a child and then as a young woman as I was not considered soft. I was criticised for not being soft enough. I, however, always felt soft on the inside, but that’s for another post.
Here I want to look at the quality from a perspective of being soft without abandoning or diminishing any of the other qualities and remaining in balance. What I mean is that with the presence of softness, i.e. Water element quality, robustness and grit of Fire element is not missing or Air quality of intellect is absent.
Softness is a spirit quality, it is pure, it is aethentic and intoxicatingly beautiful. I experience it in a similar way I would sense a soft skin of a young child or the 5th dimansional being in a form of a young Goddess or a delicate bird or a stunning small flower amidst a storm. I can think of many archetypes from different cultures, which carry that quality well.
I have heard references to a ‘softer’ perspective on many occasions since I first came across it as a young woman. When something is presented to us, which feels jarring and hard, be it a person’s manner or a conversation that results in us being hurt, we feel wounded, lost and under threat. I feel it strongly when someone is being unfair or harsh or aggressive in an exchange for whatever reason. Natural reaction mostly for many is to react, scream in pain and project all the pain we feel on to the other. Some circumstances might require that, but what if instead we took a ‘softer’ stance. This can be done in various ways. Firstly one needs to know what the quality of softness feels like to them and what it means. Once that signature is found and integrated one can always access it whenever needed. It can be done with other things like ‘inner peace signature’ or a ‘productive fire energy signature’ to name a few. These are like environments we step into, suits or hats we can choose to wear in any given moment when it’s needed. It is a dance between the elements if you like. We employ certain qualities to balance something out or help us move forward from a certain position.
Today softness signature was the one I decided to choose. I was hurt by a conversation with someone harsh and ego-centric, inflexible and cold. I found myself crambling under yet another attack and felt it was enough. I expressed my hurt and in order to discharge that imbalance within me I called upon ‘softness’ before letting my pain consume me. These days I choose not to. An image of a woman flashed before me as I sat down. She had a delicate face, pure white skin and soft expression in her eyes. This is who I want to embody in that moment. She reminded me of the healing potential of stepping into softness.
I sat with it, let it wash over you. Choosing softness is neutralising and calming and puts you in touch with goodness. Softness when understood and used in the right context is a good quality, it is void of extremes and very grounding. More than that it produces forgiveness and compassion for the other persons. When merging into a softer way of being, not only you can express your hurt and choose not to spill into unnecessary projections you can also open the heart towards another who needs it even more than you do, perhaps, in that moment.
Every time the hurt came back I thought ‘softness’ again and again until I felt my body lightning and my focus returning.
A man walked along a deserted beach when he came upon a cave. He heard many stories told that the greatest gift of all lied inside it. With confidence he walked up to the entrance when suddenly the door slammed shut right in front of him and a face appeared in the stone covering the entrance.
The face spoke, ‘To gain entry you must have wisdom of the sea, land and sky’ and it disappeared. The man stood confused. ‘What does that all mean? I don’t like water, woods scare me and flying is impossible’ he pondered on what the face said.
The face appeared once more, ‘What you are thinking are obstacles your mind puts in your way, you are out of touch with your body and emotions. Within you lie treasures of courage, vision, curiosity and intuition. Go on your way and once you obtain the wisdom of the sea, land and sky, you can enter the cave.’
The man walked towards the ocean and sat down on the shore in deep thought. Suddenly a seal came up to the surface and said, ‘I feel myself breathe when I swim in the water. It is invigorating, freeing and soothing. When I swim I hold faith that my body is so intelligent it will not only carry me through it, it will also open up the sea world beyond. With breathing you can feel deep within your body, which is a precious vessel of your soul’.
‘My soul? said the man. How do I know I have one?’
‘By breathing and feeling the water, as you glide through its surface and depths, by merging with the ocean as one and tuning into the feeling of being in the body, alive and flowing. You have not been present with yourself for a long time and lost touch with what it feels like to be free flowing with emotions.’
‘That sounds beautifully simple’, the man thought. Walking into the ocean he began to swim experiencing what the seal described to him. ‘I feel my soul’, the man screamed in delight.
The man sat on the shore when a bird few by and stopped to tell him a story of its experience in the air and how when it surrendered to the wind and allowed for it to carry it the bird’s heart expanded in freedom and joy. ‘We birds have skills and much experience in flying high and low, but without allowing and being one with the elements control threatens to take the wonderful feeling of freedom away’.
‘What if I fall? said the man
‘What if you don’t fall? said the bird. Fear, control and lack of faith is what holds you back from feeling fully alive’.
The man reflected on what the bird said and became overwhelmed by a feeling of wanting to fly with the wind and to look over the world from above. At that moment a mole popped its head from underneath the earth and began describing what it was like for him to be in touch with the soil he lived in. ‘But it is dark underneath’, the man quickly started to protest.
The mole said, ‘When you get accustomed to being in the dark you begin to see the light, a special kind of light, a light that feels homely, peaceful and glorious’.
The man suddenly felt deeply sad and alone for he had not experienced any of the things animals talked about for a long time. So, he decided to become each creature for a day to live through their experiences and learn to breath, feel, surrender and being comfortable in the dark. He decided it was time he learnt the wisdom of the sea, land and sky and when he was done, he was transformed. Many years had passed and the man undertook many more trials and challenges to obtain the wisdom the face on the cave spoke about. And when one day he was passing by the cave again the entrance was wide open for him to walk through. There was light streaming from within. The man recognised it as that special kind of light the mole told him about many years before.
There was a creature inside sitting against a beautiful lush tree with birds singing all round and water running off the rocks as clear as crystal and things growing in all splendour of colours and shapes. The creature smiled warmly at the man and said, ‘Welcome to your inner self. You have come far by learning the wisdom of the sea, land and sky. The greatest gift of all is your own inner beauty. You are home now.’
The man cried tears of joy and his heart filled up with love and gratitude. He felt in a state of belonging with everything and everyone. He felt whole.
When I leaned against the oak in the woods all birds suddenly awakened in harmonies and the tree let me into its heart vibration, which felt like a privilege. It was subtle and soft, different from a heartbeat of a human. It is duller and more distant and if it was a colour I would describe it as pale white.
Its leaves offered me yet another comfort as usually touching greenery of trees refreshes and reassures me. This offering appears often in my hour of need I found over the years.
I decided to practice my newly found wisdom of asking a question when in despair, confusion or feeling down and negative. What is Essential and what is Non-essential. I asked it as I merged with the heartbeat of the oak and the answer came. Breath is essential and Anger is not when it is in defence. It also encouraged me to let the arms of masculine to comfort me, asked me to allow myself lean on him, share with him, let him wipe my tears and carry me to a place of safety. This felt wonderfully grounding and reassuring. I noticed my vision clearing and my focus returning.
The energy that spread all around was neither a father, brother or husband like. And quickly I realised I was encountering the so far elusive figure of a Green man. It is something non-attached and non-identifiable in any way only in terms of energy he offers. I identify him as a male hence using he and him, but it is not like a father, lover or a partner. He is whatever you want him to be and I love that within this spirituality where however you want to relate to a given deity it offers itself to you freely as long as there is respect and gratitude offered in return.
Here’s a picture of the Green man, which my eyes were immediately drawn to once I listened to my heartbeat and my inner voice renewed and strengthened by the heartbeat of the oak tree.