Love song to a dying world

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

and burn

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

to evolve

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 ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wildness

They asked me how I knew , if no one taught me ?

Simple , I said.

I listened

to the whispers of the wind.

I watched

the flight of birds.

I observed

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

and

I listened.

Copyright The Well of Belonging

Entering the Void – Winter Solstice Rebirth – Initiation Embodied Part 2 .

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

All.

The void of all potential.

The potential of everything.

The potential of nothingness.

Oneness- unity.

Polarity- separation.

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.

Oneness.

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

but infinity.

Stars and atoms ,

Forces,

Pulses,

Impulses….

The stillness of being

All-one….

Conception.

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

Or ….

choose never to exist at all.

(All words copyright The Well of Belonging 2018)

Initiation Embodied

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 shock…..

The fear, the anxiety, the empty spaces where ‘I’ used to be.

The hollows where ‘I’ used to feel .

The absences where ‘I’

once was.

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,

in powerlessness.

Back and forth between body and mind

until….

I can anchor a sense of safety in myself.

until…

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 ,

deeper ,

under the skin.

Into the abyss.

 And enter the void.

(All words and image copyright The Well of Belonging 2018.)

Goddess encounters

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.

The Goddess

Do you see her
There
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
There,
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
There,
Along the shore ?
of ebbing, flowing seas that roar,
As tidal forces kiss the earth.
As life brings forth more life
In birth.

Do you know her
There
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
There
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.
Promises broken.

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
There,
Amongst the trees ?
Her skirts that stir the gentle breeze.
Her light reflected all around .
Her footsteps woven in the ground.

 

The Journey

As those of you who have visited The Well of Belonging will be aware , I have a life long connection to and awareness of  ‘Other’. That which is other than human. Land spirits, plant spirits, animal spirits. I have felt drawn towards exploring and discovering a deeper connection to the beings that co-exist with us on this earth and those that support us and work with us in the other realms.

A path that is  often termed these days as Shamanism. Whilst I would say the way in which I work could be considered shamanic in nature , I do not and would not consider myself by any stretch of the imagination to be ‘A shaman’ .

Striclty speaking a true Shaman is one who is called by the spirits themselves , receives numerous initiations by them and is usually apprenticed to another in their lineage for a number of years before being allowed to call themselves Shaman. The spirits themselves decide if you are up to the job – one which is actually full of pitfalls and dangers and needs to be navigated with the utmost care and with full knowledge of what one is doing.

Shaman means ,one who knows. A shaman is often a well respected member of the community, whose life is dedicated to mediating between the human and spirit realms on behalf of both, to support the wellbeing of the place, the spirits and the people. To maintain harmony and balance for all concerned. You can’t become a shaman in a weekend. But you can utilise some of the practices, such as journeying, to enhance your own connections to your helpers, guides and teachers in spirit.

For a lot of people in Western cultures sadly, our connection to our native spiritual heritage was severed long ago with the advent of Christianity- and those who had the knowledge were either murdered or went into hiding. So we have had to patch together fragments from our oral history and combine them with borrowed practices from other cultures, likely to be similar to our own ancient practices and do our best to reconnect the threads of our spiritual and nature connected heritage .
There aren’t many who are connected to a lineage and most people, like myself are in effect taught through their relationship with their guides.

The majority of people in the modern world who are drawn to shamanism , those that aren’t part of an established tradition or culture, work within what is termed core shamanism- which is a set of practices gathered by western anthropologists studying other tribal cultures , that are utilised to help  dissociated and disconnected westerners re-connect to their own innate capacity for relationship with beings beyond the physical , human realms.

One of the main ways of doing this that is often taught is Journeying. The prescribed method is to lie down , with eyes closed and listen to the repetitive beat of a drum and journey on its sound into the spirit realms of upper, middle and lower world. The concept and knowledge of these 3 realms is shared by all cultures across the globe.

You journey first to a beginning place , somewhere that has a familiar counter part to a place you know well in this realm. Then you ask for a guide to connect with who will be your helper and obviously , guide, around the inner realms. Time is spent forming a relationship with these guides before you are then ready to be taken to the access point for the Lower, Middle and Upper realms. Usually the most common presentation representing these 3 worlds is the World Tree. The roots represent connection to the Lower world. The trunk Middle world  and the branches the Upper World.

Some people connect to this practice very well and very easily – but it requires an ability to be able to both be relaxed in body and mind enough to leave this world behind, whilst remaining conscious of what is happening, so you can bring back the information /healing you need. It is essentially dreaming whilst being awake.

But this isn’t the only way to journey , nor is it the only way to find or strengthen your connection to your own guides, helpers and other realms. Its a method I’ve found quite frustrating and difficult because it doesn’t always happen the way its described.

There is a big emphasis on the visual aspect of the journey and of seeing what is going on – but not everyone sees clear images of what is taking place.Some experience the journey as a purely physical event -with bodily sensations providing the information. Some see only colours or hear messages.

Every one is different and so it makes sense that we will each have our own method.At the end of the day the purpose is to learn to work with your own guides and helpers and not everyone is destined to travel between the realms this way . I spent years wasting time being overly concerned with getting it right , until I eventually gave in and accepted the fact that this way, may not be my way, and my guides and helpers will show me what I need to know , in ways that work for me .

Some people, like me , can’t travel to the sound of a drum beat , its too loud and intrusive for me to be able to relax enough. So I don’t bother with it . The drum beat is there to help you shift your brain waves from one state to another so you enter into a state of consciousness that is between waking and sleeping. But there are many ways of doing this.

Some people can do it at will , some do it with breath, some do it with meditation, some do it with rattles . I find silence and stillness  quite helpful. Singing and chanting is another good way. Dreaming is another way of learning to journey.

One of the ways that works very well for me and no doubt lots of creative types , is though  creating art. I find working with story, a very powerful way of journeying, that brings imagery and language together to bring awareness of what needs to be healed . Creativity using the imagination offers  a way to connect with and bring back information from the spirit realms  to this one. For many people, the creating of the art work is the Journey.

So here, I offer the second of the images from the Journey cards series , as well as a Journey Poem I have been given permission by my guides to share with you.

 

The Journey

Old Mother Raven

came to my door ,

to tell me of wisdom and ancient law.

Dressed in fine feathers, with eyes darkest black,

she cawed to invite me on a journey ,

way back.

To the land of my ancestors,

in story and song,

with magic there,

weaving a place a I belong.

With a sky full of stars

and a moon nearly new,

together through time

the two of us flew.

”The shape of your destiny, is still to be told.

Honour the learning and power you hold.

Dream of a vision the world can behold.

Be daring! Be brave !Be courageous! Be bold!”

frame4ravensglamour13.jpg300dpi2
As Above, So Below- Copyright The Well of Belonging 2018

 

 

 

Re-birth

Woman……
I will mould your body
from the clay of the earth.
Fill out your soft curves
with mosses and lichens.

From branches and leaves
your limbs I’ll create
and Your veins will flow rich with wild belonging.

I will blow the dust of a billion stars into your eyes
and they will shine infinitely bright.
Through your hair I’ll weave golden threads from the sun and the silver of the moonlight.

pexels-photo-920534.jpeg

I will breathe the air of mountains into your lungs.
Sail you on the seas of time across the milkyway
The song of the universe will carry you onwards.

And you will be reborn…….

Into rich, deep pools of love unfolding ,
A Creatrix  in the web of life.
The stuff of legend, myth and magic.
A child of the Earth, bringer of the dawn.

 

 

 

Poem Copyright The Well of Belonging 2018.  Image from WordPress Library.