Flower power : Healing with the land

The beauty of nature for me comes in the medicine, food and materials it offers us , selflessly, so we can survive, thrive, grow and know our place as guardians and custodians of the earth.

Its in the healing trees, flowers and plants we term “weeds” that until fairly recently in our social history, were known for their medicinal and healing properties. Not in a far off exotic land , but here in these blessed isles of what we now call Britain.

In the not so distant past , as recently as the 1940’s and 50’s we still had local wise men and women who held the knowledge of herb craft and plant wisdom. They knew what preparations could support the communities health and well being long before we created the NHS .

Whilst there may have been con artists and quacks selling ineffective concoctions for profit ( there still is ) most communities had at least one person, often one with knowledge passed down generation to generation, whose purpose was to tend the wellbeing of the community. We might call that person the wise woman, the cunning man , a witch, a healer , a shaman , one who knows.

They were the midwives, GP’s, nurses , social workers , care workers , counsellors and advisors others turned to in times of need. They lived and worked with local plants and herbs to alleviate and stave off dis-ease and sickness amongst their local population.

As industrialisation increased, as more towns and cities developed as more and more people were sent to work endless shifts in dirty , dangerous conditions that were frequently deleterious to their health and increasingly removed them from their previously close contact with the natural world around them.

Resources that were once common- belonging to all – the commoners – became owned and only available if sold in exchange for money.

As everything increased in price and cost nature became devalued. It became not our abundant store of food and materials but a commodity and as this spread more and more our capacity to care for the land and support it to grow and thrive diminished.

We orphaned ourselves from that which nurtured and sustained us and we set off down the path of careless destruction and disconnection from our true place in the world.

I believe plants and flowers have never stopped trying to call us back home. To mend the severed ties, to ground us back in belonging to the earth. I have the pleasure of many wild weeds , flowers , medicine on the land I am now custodian and guardian.

As a flower essence and shamanic practitioner and wild therapist who has travelled the healing path all my life , been attuned to the nature kingdom since early childhood , who has never forgotten the presence of the other world or the ways in which it speaks to us I find the most profound healing has come through the use of flower essences.

Flowers are one of natures most gentle and potent , powerful healers .

Their capacity to energetically support our soul healing and bring our mental physical and emotional bodies back into balance should not be underestimated.

When people think of plant medicine they often think of Mother teacher plants like , Peyote , San Pedro , Psilocybin mushrooms and other psychotropic plants that often shift consciousness and awareness rapidly and often quite forcefully needing lots of time for us to integrate their medicine and healing.

People don’t often consider that every plant and flower possesses healing medicine , that is just as profound and brings just as much insight , awareness and healing. Albeit at a much gentler pace and speed . Enabling integration to take place more easily and with less of a shock to our system and psychic senses.

Having had the psychic shock and trauma of psychoactive substances taken too young – the very gentle flower essences have been the most effective remedy for re-balancing , repairing and mending the after effects of opening up too much , too soon , when unknowingly too traumatised to properly integrate the experience.

Flower essences have supported me to repair my energy field, clear ancestral and familial patterning , unblock stuck and repressed emotions, ground and centre my energy back into my physical body , clear my chakra system , stabilise the mental and emotional bodies and lots more besides.

If you find yourself drawn again and again to a particular plant or flower it’s probably trying to get your attention. It has medicine for you . It has energy it wishes to share with you . On some level your being needs it .

Sit with it a while . Notice its colour. Its scent . What comes to mind when you spend time with it. What feelings/ memories arise ? How does your body feel in its presence ?

What is it trying to tell you ?

(All words and photos copyright © Alexa Sargeant /Space for Nature 2021)

Dream into being

I have had a dream for a long , long time . A dream many others have of having access to land . Land I can get to know and work with . Land that I can practice my Wild Therapy , flower essences and shamanic work from .

Since setting up 3 years ago I have had various trials tribulations set backs and difficulties that often brought me to the “ should i just give up and let go of this” stage – was I just chasing a pipe dream ?

Was Space for nature ever going to find a place ? A home ? A base ? I have dreamed for years of a woodland space of my own – a little yurt , wildflower and herb beds – a place the tired and world weary can come to reset , recharge and relax with no expectations and no pressure. The place I needed all those years of struggling.

Not inside , not around too many people, in touch with the ground , plants , birds and animals. Somewhere i could offer my time to others in a healing capacity, a listening ear , a cup of tea .

It appears the world was listening and answered my call . I took a gamble on my dreams at the end of last year. I followed my heart with only a rough plan and some wild ideas to carry me and this week I got the keys to this beautiful space.

Sunset view of the pennines
Wild woodland

An unusable old allotment, disused for 19 years , over grown with Ivy and brambles and who knows what else!!

Its huge ! Its wild , its going to take a lot of work but I am determined to create a Space for nature – a community space on land that has been essentially abandoned and uncared for the past 19 years .

I feel a new beginning arising . A bloody big challenge but I can’t say I ever shied away from the improbable or the difficult.

I will need many generous , earth loving souls to support me . Many who will allow me through their support to realise an ambitious vision. People who have my back and wish to see me succeed .

Bluebells in the glade

I have land, I have a dream and I intend to gift it back to my local community so they will always have a beautiful place not far away they can feel they belong to. Where their dreams can have space to evolve and grow. In their own time . Where they can receive healing from connection to nature , to the wild , to each other .

I feel fairly grounded and certain I can do this . One tiny step at a time . In no rush. first is to go meet the land and get to know it . Work WITH it .

Strangely I don’t feel overwhelmed by it.

I’m going to start in one corner and take it a day at a time .

Earth Medicine

I’ve just returned from a beautifully nurturing, nourishing and wonderfully held Wild Therapy taster weekend .

It was lovely to connect in the flesh with real people during what has been an often difficult and isolating period.

My main role was fire tending and water keeping – keeping people warm and with brews and holding the observer position, part of the group,yet just outside of it. Noticing.

I often take sometime to commune with the land and the space and often receive poems to share during these times. This one was the one that came during this weekend. These experiences often rekindle a deep connection to the wilderness and the other than human that many people find deeply connecting and sustaining. They remember something. They make time for stillness, pause and reflection. And the wild works its medicine through all of them.

Medicine.

Listen to the voices of the wind..
Its medicine,
You need that

Listen to the voices of the water
Its medicine
You need that

Listen to the voices of the fire
Its medicine
You need that

Listen to the voices of the land
Its medicine
You need that !

Go to the forrest and speak to them
They are longing for your company

That tree you love so much ?
Its medicine

That plant you are being drawn to
That rock , that stone, that feather , its medicine,
You need that !

The beetle longs to tell you the secret of its shell ,
The butterfly, the squirrel, the hazel tree, the crow
All are waiting for you …

Your medicine,
They need that .

Coming home to nature

Spending time in nature is not only good for our mental and physical wellbeing , its good for our soul. We were created to live in harmony with the natural world not to be seperated from it.

When you reconnect to this earth you belong too , you reconnect to a lost part of your own being.

Regular time spent engaging with the wildness of nature , observing its cycles , noting the effects of the weather , learning the cycles of growth and decay – puts you in touch with a much wider circle of life – it brings a greater understanding of our own innate being.

It allows you to become aquatinted with other. That which is other than human and to see how we are deeply interconnected to a wider web of living and life .

You begin to notice the similarities and differences in being and realise how diverse this marvellous creation called Earth, really is.

Thats why I trained as a Wild Therapist.

For me there is something that happens when we take healing connection outside and allow nature to become part of the process. Something profound takes place. Sometimes obvious , sometimes much more subtle – but things always move and shift.

Perspectives change. However temporarily. Room gets made for new connections. Space is created for exploration and enquiry , curiosity and playfulness.

We allow ourselves to drop deeper , tensions abate , breathing deepens , even in our raw edges and painful places we feel held by an invisible love.

A love we may not know yet. A love we may find hard to bare. But it is there.

The love from nature. Silently waiting for us to reach out to it .

Patiently waiting for us all to come home.

If you would like to explore this healing connection with nature in a therapeutic capacity contact Alexa at spacefornature@outlook.com or look at the Wild Wisdom page for more information.

Beginning at the end

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.

Letting go.

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

Alexa 💗

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

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.)

The Centre

Having had a short break from the computer to gather myself in and do some inner work to bring myself back to centre , I thought I’d share another of the artworks I created as part of the Journey cards.

This one , as the name suggests, holds the energy of the centre of the Sacred space, the place where all things meet in balance ,where all is connected and held in love awaiting the right time for its potential to become manifest . It is the space between the spaces, where all things come from and to which all is returned. In the medicine wheel it represents the element of ether , the place of spirit. A place of stillness and paradoxically  movement from within.

I often visualise it as a cauldron with all the other elements combining to create a potent potion , the brew of inspiration  that will bring forth new ideas and  new perspectives  or offer a space to  drink of the healing medicine contained within it. A medicine that takes us on a journey, to a timeless place of limitless possibilities and allows us to glimpse the threads of the web we are weaving our lives upon. Where we enter the void of beginning  and ending, dying and being reborn , in each moment , over and over again.

This is one of my favourite images, I find it very powerful and evocative for a number of reasons , non of which I am able to share.

Some of what we are shown and taught by our guides is not for others to know. Its is for us to keep and work with as we reclaim our inner power . To tell all abroad to others is at times to diminish the energy and medicine of what one has learned. Its called The Sacred Mystery for a reason xx