Nature-based spirituality and the transpersonal

The Pagan Path and Psychotherapy

 

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‘Get back on that road’ Nature said…

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Following on from my post on 2017 signature this is my experience, as reflected back to me by nature perfectly. This is an aspect of my spirituality, which is deeply rooted in knowing that nature always gets where I am, where I need and want to be and where I should be in any given moment. It is non-directional in a traditional sense and neutral, however once I learnt to hear its unique voice I learnt to understand what it means by its often very subtle pointers. She does speak through trees, ground under my feet, through bird song and rustle in bushes. It always speaks and there is always something worth listening to especially when I come for guidance and advice.

The woods this morning stood uninviting. Saying it out loud sounds somewhat strange, which, to me, means there is mystery to be discovered. Things are not always what they seem, I learnt that a long time ago. I hear bird song and follow its music into the woods, yet in the next moment it is drowned by the sound of traffic and air noise followed by loud dog barking and figures walking close by. I can’t settle and I am walking on the paved path unlike my usual choice of places to walk. I notice that. I want to see and smell pines. I know that’s what I seek and I turn off the paved path. I come towards green fluffiness of pines standing beautiful in the rain. I pick a branch from the forest floor to smell it yet it is missing the fragrance I expect. It is dull, it is not felt and I begin to feel like the forest pushes me out, back to the paved path.
The noise of traffic and air doesn’t subside, it is constant and the bird song is no longer present. I look beneath my feet, it is muddy and soggy. It is cold. I feel disjointed and my vision is very obscured by irritating fog in my eyes. I sense anger and disappointment and decide  to walk back to my car.
What was that about? What does it say about where I am right now? Drowned by noise, people, traffic. Chaotic. I feel the woods pushing me towards what is in the moment. I must be amidst it, trees say, not in solitude walking in the rain but in connection with human, mundane and noisy. This is not the first time I hear this message and I recognise it as s lesson of not trying to escape something but fully staying with what is. It is about the Earthly, grounded dimension being rather than spiritual and detached when not in connection with the earthly. This is actually the most important lesson of the spiritual, which I am reminded of again and again. I start the car and as I drive back home I feel anticipation in my heart growing to see my boys and get stuck in my life again. I feel renewed, seen and understood yet again.

When great trees fall…

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When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.

Our memory, suddenly sharpened, examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.

Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of
dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

~ Maya Angelou

Naming Trees

Sharing some wonderful pictures taken by tree lovers in the UK 

  
Mystique encounters 

  
Medusa

  
Young brothers 

  
Midsummer Fairytale 

  
Emerald depths

  
The Oak and the Birch – the sacred marriage 

  
Standing tall 

The Silver Birch – the queen of trees

Silver birth speaks to me as the triple goddess, a maiden, mother and a crone ever present throughout seasons. 

She’s a delicate being yet sturdy and oh so full of wisdom. She wears various outfits through spring, summer, autumn and winter and never disappoints in her appearance.

Elegant, soft, flexible, flowing with long hair and stretching limbs I have always felt her as divine feminine in a tree form.

In spring many folk drink birch sap or juice. My parents did it, my grandparents did it and anscestors before them. It is known as a rejuvenating clean sweet liquid containing many vitamins and minerals. 

This beauty caught my eye as I was driving on the eve of Ostara. She’s simply magnificent! 

  

Tree talk 

 I adore trees. Each and everyone of them, I believe, has a personality, voice, either male or female divine within. They are fascinating entities full of energy and wisdom. 

  

    
    
 

Imbolc 2016 – Crone/Maiden exchange

Today is Imbolc. Celebration of light, poetry, creativity, home, feminine energy, first signs of spring. Nature is beautiful when the Earth is beginning to move around yet it is still sleepy and stretching covered with seasonal blankets. Imbolc is the festival that I FEEL most of all. It is a feeling more than anything else for me.

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Maiden Goddess waking up – Imbolc

I saw the Crone and the Maiden today, both energies flowing through me interchanging and communicating with each other. I take on one and then the other as I begin my journey towards the woodland. I was called to visit a different place and I listen carefully in which direction I need to go. A small village comes to my awareness and fond memories come back to me of that place, which I used to really love and every time driving past I wished I could live there one day. It came back today and the woods surrounding the village called me. Without hesitation I took off in that direction feeling rather mischievous and playful. Driving I began to sing out loud some Celtic songs feeling very young within myself. Maiden energy very present.

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My woodland walk this morning was full of energy. I felt my hair going wild with receiving so much around me and I was unable to sit still and meditate. There were so many things trying to talk to me, birds, tress, Earth – very busy. Life is definitely coming back into the sacred woods. It is cold or fresh, as I like to call it, which is invigorating to all the senses. I am aware of how much I love the chill in the air and wind on my face and in my hair. I take a few deep breaths and continue off the path deeper into the woods. 

My grandmother comes to me first and I am instantly taken back to when I was a young lady growing up in Siberia taking walks in the woods in very cold mid-winter weather with razor sharp winds for company and frost on my eyelashes. I was taken into that space and time, as if it happened only yesterday. Not only it connected me to my grandmother, who lived nearby, but to the fact that I took these walks for a long time now whenever I needed to connect to the Earth, connect to myself. It is a beautiful synchronicity that these woods welcomed me with pine trees mirroring perfectly that time in a place I was born. Pines are very soft to me, they are strong, calm and gentle. I feel very much at peace with myself and protected when in the pine forest and of course, its wonderful smell, which I love.

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As I continue my ‘feminine’ feeling increases and I walk into the ‘Army of Ladies’ – whoa. This is the only description I can give this spot. It is strong, but vulnerable, a little scared and cautious and almost prepared to fight should anyone threaten its safety. I never came across anything like this and had to stop for some time holding on to one of the Ladies to see what comes. As I stand still I feel a bit uneasy with rather over protective sort of grip this place has and then the Sun comes in – the male energy, and its warmth brings reassurance and balance to the place. It makes me think just how necessary elemental balance really is in our lives, in our surroundings/environment and how different a place may feel when one or more elements are missing. It always makes me think of a desert, which is the most unpleasant landscape to my senses as it is so unbalanced elementally to me. Constant heat is suffocating to me.

I literally felt the tree relaxing in my embrace and stretching towards the Sun calling on her sisters to do the same.  Beautiful experience.

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Female Army

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The Sun comes in

The Lady/Goddess archetype remains strong with me for the rest of my very ‘female/Goddess’ walk and I am feeling very much again in my Maiden energy, but aware of the Crone not far behind. She appears irritated, grumpy even one minute and the next she sends out energy of protection and a close relationship to the Maiden. The Crone watches over her, but she tolerates no foolishness, or too much of it anyway. I feel, as I collect pine branches and cones and go off the path even more into hidden places in the depth of pines, The Crone’s steps are getting heavier, as she tries to follow me with a grumpy sort of posture and annoyance in her voice. The next thing I know I am slapped in the face with a branch and ouch… On reflection it makes me laugh and embrace the Crone with her holding me tight. Oh, I love her wisdom, warmth and necessary harshness sometimes. She literally ‘slapped’ me into action, into focusing on what I need to do, on ‘waking’ up and going steady on the path on guiding the Earth, as she continues to stir into growth. Oh, we laughed and laughed and left the woods together. The Crone handed over to the Maiden and the Wheel turns again.

Blessed Imbolc!

baba yaga and vasilisa the beautiful
Baba Yaga and Vasilisa The Crone and the Maiden