I often wander the woods near my home. Its a helpful place to go when I have a dilemma. The woods has lots of useful information to share if you know how to find it,… More
A few months ago , back in the summer , the news was filled with the stories of the fires raging in the Amazon. Considered to be the lungs of the earth.
As more of the earth is being ravaged , we are experiencing alarming rates of species decline and extinction , loss of habitat , a decrease in bio diversity and as a changing climate creates more environmental uncertainty , world leaders feel unmoved to act in any meaningful capacity.
In truth the Amazon was not the only forest burning. There were bush fires raging across the globe due to drought , bad land management and will-full and deliberate slash and burn policies to clear land for agriculture, with no thought for the consequences. The recent bush fires claiming Australia bring the reality of our current crisis into sharp focus.
Our beautiful Earth is ruined. Her losses mount up day by day . The land erosion, the air & water pollution , the species extinction . By disconnecting the indigenous peoples from their lands , their cultures , their position of caretakers of the lands they were once custodians of , a great deal of important knowledge has been ignored. About maintaining balance in our world , about reciprocal relationship and interconnectedness . About taking only what we need and honouring the beings we share this Earth with for what they offer us in order for us to survive.
Capitalism took over and now we are reaping what we have sown . Whilst many cultures in all places this has happened , have been slowly re-building and re-generating their ancient wisdom and piecing together lost knowledge, adapting and seeking new ways to revive the old ways , change is slow to come. As a species , humans have lost their place in the natural world and everything has suffered as a result.
It leaves many of us overwhelmed. Anxious. Afraid for the future of our children and grand children. It leaves us numb and apathetic. It brings some of us waves of hope that we can change our current trajectory , followed by waves of despair when we realise just how much work there is yet to be done . Even if we collectively make a radical shift and did all the things we can possibly do right now to make the changes necessary – there is no guarantee it will make any difference. And I know many people , who have dedicated their lives to the cause of making positive changes to save this precious Earth , are themselves doubtful. We are facing difficult ,turbulent and challenging times ahead.
But there is always hope.
The solution for many is to fall in love again with the Earth. With our connection to each other. To land ,to place, to all the beings we live with; plant , animal , insect, fish, mountain ,river ,stone. What I call Landcestors. To remember them as kin. To re-kin-dle our relationship to life. Even if only to tend to the grieving and honouring of all that’s been lost and all that is dying. Even if only to make the most of what remains and to keep living and keep pushing for change. Because it matters and it might make a difference after all.
It was as I watched the Amazon burn and felt rather helpless to do anything useful to change things , that I felt inspired to find a creative response to share the experience. I was not the only one feeling the grief and the rage of living on a planet where people prioritise profit above life.
I wrote a single line and could write no more. I decided to share it on Facebook and Instagram and invite others to add their own verse. I collated each of them in the order I discovered them on the feeds and the result was a beautiful co -created prayer , an offering to the other than human , an acknowledgement of the situation , a healing balm.
This poem became a ritual for me for several days – each day I would offer a new verse to the world and once all contributions had been made – I went out into a wild place and performed the whole piece to the land. I offered the sorrow and the hopes.
And so here it is. With much appreciation and gratitude to the contributors – D.A.Tarot , Peter Yanowski , Soul Flower Sharon , Sarah Fay Taylor (Roots and Resonance ), Tracey Dean and Sharon Murphy.
Love song to a dying world
Today I’ll walk amongst the trees that aren’t on fire
to feel the presence of natures wisdom
and taste the charred messages
from this ancient kingdom.
Touching one tree
connecting to all
our roots go deep;
holding one another
we feel it all.
They in turn feel our love
and I allow my heart to open
and my healing love to flow
as I hold tightly to a vision
of the world remembering.
With desire to learn
and not witness humanity dissolve.
The forest cries out choked,
as feather meets ash ,fur and flesh
cleaved into the waters burning orange ,
as fire goes into spirit…
A stalking predator,
padding into the Throne Room of The Misguided,
walks beside me.
I will call out to the animals, the birds, the insects,
all the creatures who call to my soul asking… why?
what have we done?
We love you all unconditionally, can you love us this way too ?
Remember you are one of us ?
You don’t have to go far to look for the medicine you need, its often right on your door step ,or in your garden. Its in those flowers that keep catching your eye and those trees you keep being drawn to sit beneath .
It’s in those plants in fields you dismiss as weeds and in the energy of the woodland or moorland you are drawn to visit .
I have always had a connection with trees and plants long before I trained as an essence practitioner , learning to tune into the needs of others to discern the essences that can best support them come back to balance .
I’m often suddenly drawn on a whim ( though not by accident ! ) to create an essence that helps address a particular state I happen to be experiencing. I’ll have got stuck usually and be lost as to how I can move forward so I turn to the nature kingdom and my guides and ask if there is an essence I can take to help . Sometimes the reply will be to make one as the one I need doesn’t exist .
Last Autumn Equinox I was guided to make an essence from the energy of this time of transition, in my own garden. The process actually started two days before the equinox itself but it was part of the alchemy of the essence .
It was a windy tempestuous day full of sun then rain and wind and hail and cloud then blue skies . I was given a process to follow and I did . I wasn’t even sure at first what it was for or if it would “work”, but those intentions became clear as the making unfolded.
The next day was so still even the clouds didn’t move . No leaves moved . No breeze blew.No sounds in the space at all . All the chaos of the day before had dropped into absolute calm. And I sat hearing the traffic around me ,the turbulence of the world out side my garden and marvelled at the stillness , presence and calm within it .
As time passed and I noted the subtle signs of the environment around me , the messages of the energy of the space and it became clear the essence is to support us find calm in chaos , balance in turbulent times , our center when we are scattered.
It’s medicine from the Earth. She has all you need to heal .
I have used this essence numerous times when things seem to be moving too fast or become too hectic. It helps to settle and bring inner calm and a centred space , clearing confusion and helping bring clarity. Its supportive during seasonal transitions or when there is a shift into rapid movement that can overwhelm or disorient us.
We can learn so much from our world if we take time to listen and follow our inner prompts .
Sometimes in the process of change we hit the floor.
That’s not a euphemism, I mean sometimes we actually end up lying in a shaking , quivering heap on the floor unable to stop crying, unable to catch our breath , all alone and wondering how the fuck we get back up again .
How many more times do we have to fall to bits? How long till the next wave hits and wrecks our ship?
In recent times , I expect many have had this happen in seemingly endless waves , as more and more is being confronted . As more and more is being addressed personally and collectively.
We thought we’d seen the end of it – but one last bastard thing tried to kill us ,we thought we had had enough of this shit already , but apparently not .
Life had other plans for us .
And before the stuff we knew we needed could be let in – everything that we knew we didn’t need had to go .
Whether we liked it or not we either jumped in or we were pushed to face what we had been putting off.
What kept us so scared and frightened of doing it? what kept us clinging in fear? Our own fear of change .
But let go we did and….
Once we made it to the other side we saw it was actually not the awful, terrible thing we thought it was going to be.
What did we wait so long for ? Why did we struggle so much ? Why did we keep resisting what we knew needed to happen?
We waited because we needed to feel aligned with-in with what we were bringing out. We needed time to check in, make sure, double check , cover old ground , weed out the last bits and properly clear the ground.
We needed to grieve our losses and take comfort in our gains and in what remains.
Its been tough for lots of us one way or another.
Turns out this year has been a massive clear out of old baggage for the last time . A clean sweep. The loss of all that we really do not need anymore . Friendships , jobs , relationships . If it wasn’t helping it was hindering and won’t be coming back.
Big Karma has been clearing if you like. Its been a chance to say ‘nope, not doing that anymore , I want something different” and the cosmic back drop has been assisting us collectively to do this.
Dare we dream a new life into being collectively? Dare we rewrite the narrative , tear up the old and try something radically different ?
Dare we create a future where we survive and thrive in a more co-operative and mutually respectful society ?
Something better is coming our way – something new. Something needed. Something necessary for our future survival . Something new for Earth.
It is possible – the end of the old is coming – there will be a shift – a paradigm shift – it will take place . It is already happening.
What comes after that though is up to us – its dependant on the foundations we choose to lay . Do we take the opportunity to learn from the past and do it differently this time ?
I believe we will. We will sow the seeds in the ashes of whats left and something new will come . A new time of redressing the balance.
As the old celtic year threshold has been crossed and we walk through the veil between the old and the new year to come – we are in a place of either letting go and dying to the old or in a process of transforming and potentising whatever it is we wish to bring forth.
Can you feel it ?
Potent is definitely the energy of this time of year for me. Its a cauldron of energies mingling , mixing under the heat of the fire – distilling , condensing , brewing , alchemising .
I can feel the power of it as it bubbles away – waiting. Waiting for the perfect moment for it to be done. For the elixir to be ready to bring forth new beginnings, new life , new projects , new ventures.
Its been brewing for aeons. We have had to be patient. To wait. To stir and sit and test and taste the potion we have been concocting.
Tapping into a primordial , timeless space of creation – we begin at what appears to be the end . In a void . In darkness.
In the deep womb like cauldron of potential the sparks of atoms combining into form , take shape.
What are you alchemising? Transforming? Watching and waiting patiently to bring into being ?
What will you choose to create in the New Year to come ? what spark of light will you bring forth from the darkness to light up the world at the time of Winter Solstice – to carry through the next cycle of the seasonal year?
Its a time of deep resting , going within , travelling inward to receive and retrieve your dreams and visions.
Enjoy some stillness, slow down a little and allow yourself the opportunity to just be .
Enjoy the dark. Enjoy the quiet. Enjoy the pause. Enjoy the deep exhale as life breathes out and lets go before the next breath in.
In the darkness , life is dreaming with you.
Dream big. Bring forth a dream worthy of your power. Worthy of your best efforts. Worthy of the transformational shifts from what was to what will be.
For the benefit of all.
A new story for the earth is waiting to be dreamed into being . What thread will you bring to this Great Reweaving ?
What will you choose to be ? To do? To become ?
Take your time. Go gently.
Take care x
They asked me how I knew , if no one taught me ?
Simple , I said.
to the whispers of the wind.
the flight of birds.
the patterns of the weather
And the seasons.
I followed the rivers flow.
I noticed how the animals moved.
I paid attention to the trees.
I felt the changes
in the air
and the earth
Beneath my feet.
I remembered my dreams
And took notice of my visions .
I spoke to the landscape, to the old ones of the forests and wild spaces.
I heard the world
speaking to me
in a thousand different voices
Copyright The Well of Belonging
This is part 2 of my Poem Initiation Embodied.
Where the first part of this journey took place after Samhain – this second part followed naturally from it , aligned with the theme of the winter solstice – that of returning from the dissolution of death to conception – to the first spark of light and life after experiencing the transformation of ‘death’ – as I journeyed through the layers that keep me from deeply embodied presence, until I reached the ‘void’ – a timeless place where all is , and all is yet to be . In the ‘before’ state of becoming.
Becoming – Initiation part 2
Entering the void ,
The darkness of becoming.
The stillness of being
The void of all potential.
The potential of everything.
The potential of nothingness.
Duality- all are both paradox.
The threshold takes me
into the realm of the dark-mother.
The realm of initiation by death,
The death of becoming,
The death of being ,
The death of separation
and through into
The initiation of unity.
The all that is before it becomes.
I approach the threshold of re-birth,
the light of conception.
All that is forming before we become,
Forming into matter but not yet matter.
I am not … yet,
But I am beginning…
In this space , this vastness
In the womb of the mother,
I know nothing
Stars and atoms ,
The stillness of being
I am about to become…….
The me that is ‘I’ has no consciousness,
and yet ,
I am aware.
Distilling essential wisdom
From universal truths.
I am creation , creator and created.
I must fathom a form
from infinite possibilities
choose never to exist at all.
(All words copyright The Well of Belonging 2018)
Embodiment requires you to drop out of the head space ,the place of thinking and judging, observing and questioning, answering and processing external stimuli.
It requires you to drop down from the mind space and in to the physical space of the body you inhabit, the space of feeling and sensing. We can often believe we are in this place as it feels impossible to conceive that we are in fact existing outside of ourselves , in our thinking , in our heads , separated from our bodies by our minds.
I recently found a space , over a weekend , to be completely still for a prolonged period of time and in this time I journeyed inwards. It was a spontaneous decision that arose from wondering ‘what happens if I choose to do absolutely nothing ?’ So I followed the impulse.
I lay down and did nothing but consciously bring myself and my attention into my body. For several hours I came back into myself .
For the first time in nearly 2 decades I experienced a profound sense of contentment , a long forgotten yet familiar experience of oneness with myself and my environment. An echo of a memory of womblike safety and comfort . Nothing required of me , except to be . A blissfully euphoric experience.
I encountered many profound realisations in this place that I continued to process for several days afterwards – most notably my desire to return to that state and live within it permanently – followed by another realisation that it is not a state we can inhabit all the time in this world . There is too much going on. But it is a place we can visit and restore ourselves in from time to time .
On the one hand this was a very easy journey to make in and of itself , however its been years of work to arrive at a point where it became possible. The conditions just happened to be the right ones .
So I share with you here my journey , my Embodied Initiation. The poem is in 2 parts . The second part, Entering The Void will follow in my next blog .
Initiation Embodied- part 1
I drop down , down from the mind space ,
down ,down, down ,into the body space
and meet the numb indifference,
the pain, the anger, the sadness, the rage,
The fear, the anxiety, the empty spaces where ‘I’ used to be.
The hollows where ‘I’ used to feel .
The absences where ‘I’
I sense the breaks , the fractures, the rips in the fabric of my being and
I follow the painful and uncomfortable sensations;
The awkwardness, the restlessness,
the bruising and the stitches.
The aching and the cramping,
the heaviness and the stiffness.
The conflicting need to run and be motionless,
petrification and endless turmoil; flowing in,
only to be catapulted out again in fear,
in anxiety , in shock.
In shame , in guilt, in bitterness,
Back and forth between body and mind
I can anchor a sense of safety in myself.
I can find the part of me that is always standing strong .
Unshakable and present.
Until I trust this part is here for me.
Until it has proven itself to me a thousand times
and never let me down.
I keep coming back to myself , until all is well
and then I drop down.
Down , down ,down into the body
that I used to know;
that I used to feel;
That I used to love,
before it was broken.
And I drop down deeper ,
under the skin.
Into the abyss.
And enter the void.
(All words and image copyright The Well of Belonging 2018.)
I haven’t felt compelled to write a blog post for quite a while as I’ve been focusing my energy else where , but with the season shifting to Autumn and the approach of Samhain , a time when the veils between worlds thins and we connect in with our ancestors I felt it time to offer another poem and my newest Otherworldly Art creation.
I’m reminded of my connection to the earth , her cycles and seasons , her elements and her nature regularly. The Goddess comes in many forms and many guises to many people . I often wonder who else out there is aware of her presence in their daily lives – who else catches her out of the corner of their eye when walking the woods or strolling along the hills. Who else feels her presence within them and around them in times of need . Who else hears her calling.
Do you see her
Amongst the trees ?
Her skirts that stir the gentle breeze.
Her light reflected all around.
Her footsteps woven in the ground.
Do you hear her
Upon the hill?
In whispers, when the mind is still,
The calling forth of voice in song,
That speaks of where the heart belongs .
Do you feel her
Along the shore ?
of ebbing, flowing seas that roar,
As tidal forces kiss the earth.
As life brings forth more life
Do you know her
Amongst the flames ?
Of hearth fires lit
And ashes claimed
Of light in darkness,
The pathway shown,
Within the embers gentle glow .
Do you see her
In your own eyes?
In winter boughs
And summer skies .
In autumn leaf,
And springs frost thawed.
In things that fly and swim and crawl.
In loves great loss
And deaths embrace,
In cruel moments snatched by fate.
In tempers frayed and words miss spoken.
In homes abandoned.
In half seen glimpses
of time to come.
In words of grace
And welcomes home.
In starlit black
And blinding sun.
In deaths rebirth as life’s begun.
Do you see her
Amongst the trees ?
Her skirts that stir the gentle breeze.
Her light reflected all around .
Her footsteps woven in the ground.