The land’s awaiting…

Eagerly anticipated trip to the Isle of Mull, Scotland, where spaciousness and quiet are of the sacred quality. You notice the space through the senses of transpersonal as if your heart expands to beyond possible. It is very quiet there. Each sound is sharp and defined, momentary and fleeting and then silence clear and pure. Each movement of the wind is felt on the skin like it’s meant to be there, like your body knows it, recognises it. A sense of merging with the land takes your breath away and for a moment you can’t imagine ever living apart from it. Intoxicating, yes, incredibly natural, yes like the flow of water whether it’s the sea, a loch or a small brook amidst trees belongs to your blood. It is as one with everything you are and the world beyond its shores seems non-existent. You are unreachable, a place to be wild and raw just like the land. It is free and itself at all times. The land makes one feel like otherworldly thoughts are as part of you as your soul’s calling. It knows you and you know it intimately. The place felt incredibly safe to me from the first sight as the ferry approached its shores and as I stepped on the island again I felt like I arrived. I really arrived and slotted into a comfortable, supportive vessel that I knew would gently lull me into falling in love with it all over again. It is more than love though, trust and faith are possible here, effortless even. Listening and being still is natural here. It is innate.

Scotland is a very spiritual place and in different ways depending on where one goes there. Each area visited brings its own joy, transformations and experiences. The land allows you to explore the whole you by talking the language my soul understands. The land is alive and one can’t help but be touched by it. It is overwhelming and all-consuming, raw and unspoilt that makes you feel like you are born again or rather having lived a life in glory that is achieved through merging with the land. Divinity within is reflected by the divine beauty of the place and how can it be otherwise as in the moment of merging all is revealed and all is possible and the land and I are one entity seeking ecstasy of being. Leaving the land is heartbreaking, truly… every time…

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Energy before Litha

summer solstice 2018

There is a clear, thick, tangible build-up of energy that happens around end of June, as we approach the longest day of the year. The feeling is parallel to gathering our strength and resources ready for a release or a metaphorical battle of some sort. You might notice at this time that feelings of anger can start to manifest all around you and I begin to notice it within myself and others. There is a degree of dissatisfaction and frustration. However, there is a good texture and taste to it. It is not a sort of anger that festers quietly and then explodes, but more of a conscious brewing that is slowly waiting to be released.

When we look at the cycles of nature and the time around Summer Solstice the two kings, Holly and Oak, are about to go into a fight for their reign of power over the season. It is a thing of balance between light and dark and who is going to rule what at what time. This can’t happen without a certain degree of tension, as we can imagine, which is felt all around us during this time, but there is also a degree of understanding and agreement that things must progress the way they always do. I never feel unbalanced before Litha, as I would be in other times of year, e.g. as summer is very grounded in the wisdom and glory of all life and we instinctively know what is going to happen and why. Trust that feeling. It a similar sort of fight, as with Cailleach and Brigit when spring arrives and the old hag finds it difficult to hand over the land to light and warmth, but with spring things are still uncertain, the most wobbly time for me usually. Summer holds a different vibration.

Summer is a Fire element season and as well as the two kings fighting over the throne of the season, the Green man and the Maiden are now in union and she is carrying a seed of harvest within. It is a blessed time and a balance between masculine and feminine is needed. Following the Summer Solstice I normally feel that balance coming into play more prominently. There is always a release after the festival and a clear felt beginning of a new cycle. Things also begin to calm down and inner and outer feels more settled and less turbulent. For now if anger is around and within you, seek to work with it as a tool of transformation. Direct it into assertive, passionate conversations with your loved one or a friend/colleague. Bring things out into the open, something you have always wanted to address, but haven’t yet done so. Put that inner Fire to good use and use the time to start and complete a project. Fire is the element of enthusiasm, dynamic masculine energy and commitment to the cause. It is also a good time for us to commit to a good undertaking and make some promises to ourselves, which we can continue to honour for the rest of the year.

Blessed Solstice!

‘Parent within’ time

lessons for children

When the earth is pregnant and blooming and preparing for the birth of what is earthly bounty to come, my parent within begins to speak. Eleven years ago during this time I was myself in a place of blooming and preparing, scared of the unknown and excited by possibilities. What my parent speaks of today is lessons for our children. This is what I have learnt so far on my journey of growth alongside my child’s life.

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Teach children to seek balance within themselves and see it in the world around them. Teach them integration and acceptance of what is at any given moment and that’s all valid and ok. Teach them while going after pleasure and enjoyment is humanly natural, but not to ignore or by-pass the pain and disappointment that life often brings. Teach them the sacredness of the body and spirit. Show them that emotions are rich and ever-present and not to be made an enemy of but to read them as navigators towards better understanding of yourself and the world.

Teach them the balance between hard work, relaxation and active rest. Show them that when things happen one doesn’t have to fall apart but to be with what is real and present. Show them graceful and integrated survival and reparation when things get touch. Be with them unconditionally. Show them that personal intimate connections heal, relationships based on love and respect transform. There is nothing that can’t be resolved and/or changed or looked upon with a new perspective in one way or another. Teach them that what is meant to be for them specifically will come about and if our desires do not match to outcomes then that is ok to change a course of action and re-evaluate. It is ok to go with the flow and flex with life as it goes.

For me an instant cure for constant disappointment came about through my mother’s teaching, who said to me one day in my early twenties ‘if something wasn’t for you, it is best it didn’t happen. It also might mean there is something better out there waiting to manifest’. It took me a few years to really understand the meaning of it, but subsequently my life became a lot easier having integrated that perspective into my way of living. I will forever be grateful for that to my mother.

What my son and I often say, which, perhaps, is another side of the same coin is ‘it is not the end of the world’. It is not to say that we shrug everything off and remain unaffected, no, what it means that we feel what we need to feel, accept it within ourselves, give ourselves whatever we need and move on with the knowledge that this is just one roadblock amidst many others that will come throughout life, but there is nothing to fear essentially and there is no reason to think things won’t change or we won’t recover or survive.

Teach them to differentiate and sort through what is essential vs non-essential. This will apply to all aspects of their developing lives and the way they see the world. Talk to them about what they find the most enjoyable and what hurts them the most. Listen. Get to know them as a whole. Teach them that the world is full of pain and suffering, but it is also filled with such beauty and divinity that no words would never be enough to describe it. Teach them to feel like through the heart, not just the head. Teach them that being kind to yourself and others can be a way of living and that giving and receiving are equally important. Teach them connections to themselves and others and that emotional bonds can last a life-time.

Teach them that magic is real and that magic is within them. There is nothing they can’t do and the inner power and divinity is just as vital and alive within them as their thinking mind and emotions. Teach them to see themselves and other as a whole, unique, beautiful and worthy of all the wonderful things world has to offer. Teach them sacredness of nature and its powerful lessons. Show them that relating to plants, animals and nature cycles strengthens compassion and helps navigate everyday.

Most importantly show them they are loved and valued just the way they are. Show them there is nothing and could never be anything wrong with them and that choices are there for them to take for as long as they remain open in their heart and curious in their mind.

Much love and many blessings!

Summer – the time for wilderness, the time for releasing your beast

Anger, physicality, sensate expression of instincts, body merging with the earth in its full expression – that’s what June is all about as we are building up to Litha. Swimming, walking barefoot, lying on mountain tops, communing with wildlife, beasts, bugs and plants alike are all the activities that feed the body and awake the soul.

There’s danger, however, when summer is fully alive in its wilderness. Night and day both carry life within and it can feel unsafe. This resonate with my overwhelm of the forest and feeling apprehensive about venturing out during the explosion of life in the land during summer. I tend to withdraw, hence I like the quietness and sleepiness of winter. It is safer. However, by withdrawing a part of me remains enclosed, hidden and that’s what needs to change this year.

Wild-self calls and roars pushing boundaries of a self-created seclusion. It needs expressing and breathing with the rhythms of the season.

A safe place for wild spirit for me is the Highlands of Scotland. There my wild-self is contented, it is allowed to be in its full majesty. It scares me always yet I thirst for it at the same time. There my whole aligns with the wild nature around me. I eagerly drink it into my cells, I merge with it like it is home and my spirit sours into endless skies daily and consumes my whole being with a sense of raw, complete, real and natural. It often manifests with anger, emotional cries and outward expression of raw things. It is unable to hide and sit still. It needs to run, fly, crawl and swim all at the same time. It can feel and look scary and crazy uncontainable and vicious, but it all makes sense and, perhaps, in embracing and allowing that for myself a bit more will also relax others in joining me and not being afraid of a strong bite and a loud screech that it often comes with.

Summer is truly a time for letting go and letting be. It is a time to fly higher and swimming further. Last summer I remember wanting to go on the water in a kayak and the fear that gripped me was so irrational yet it immobilized me. Someone said to me ‘go for it, we only live once, might as well’ and so I did. The freedom of releasing the urge to glide through vast waters released the excitement I had ever felt before. With each push across the lake I went further and further and with each minute I wanted to do more and more.

When I am faced with the mountains of the Highlands I can hear the scream within me telling me to run, scream, be in its fullest. The impulse in me to merge with the land is so strong that I know if I don’t I could easily just stagnate and die through my own fear and a loss of the potentially ecstatic experience. It is like choosing to drink poison and staying in a position of never knowing what it’s like to live fully. When I step on that mountain trail my heart and spirit sour, I want to run and cry and scream, the feeling I have of being as one with the land, a place I never want to leave for as long as I live.

I break my heart every time I have to leave the wilderness behind, because it means my wild-self has to go back into a safe enclosure of my other life, which is managed, contained and often unexciting.

The ‘shadow’ Fire of summer

Fire element in distortion

I am exploring the wounded, sensitive point in my psyche that comes up in June, before Summer Equinox. It produced feelings of depression last year, which lasted all the way to Samhain – a long time. This year I am determined to un-tangled and look at what is going on with an aim to acknowledge, heal and integrate. It is the 3rd June and I have been feeling the now familiar energy rising within already. This feels very hard and resistance is overbearing. The defence is always distorted Fire, which is cruel, ugly, merciless, the kind that burns everything to ash without any hope of new growth or so it seems at the time. This Fire is very different to a healthy Fire, which I would normally tap into during winter, post Yule and that energizes me to a degree of high productivity, enthusiasm, high energy and success.

Fire element in its distorted state prevents life from flowing, yet a healthy manifestation offers a chance for a re-birth. Fire is a glorious element, as it is transformative. We often have to burn, be in pain in order for something else to manifest through it. Calcinatio operation in the alchemical process.

This Fire stops a part of me being seen, it blocks any possibility of reconciliation within the psyche and ‘burns’ everything in my physical reality. Yet, we do come back from it every year and every time I look back on it with bewilderment and gratitude for having survived the ‘war’. It often feels like it. Sometimes it goes on for a month or two, other times it lasts longer and it can be exhausting.

I am writing this in hope that it might resonate with many and to explore/explain what happens when we reject, suppress parts of ourselves we are not willing to bring back, integrate and look at. One might refer to it as the material, which resides deep within our psyche and now and again pops out to say hello and we are in no way thrilled to welcome them back. Then a battle commences to avoid, resist, push it back and not having to deal with whatever it is that is asking to come back.

In my case this is my inner child – an extremely sensitive, delicate, vulnerable self that to the rest of me is so overwhelming I get thrown off-balance every time I feel her approaching. In order to defend I tap into my anger self and take a position of a distorted Fire, which is the only way I know how to send my ‘vulnerable self’ back to where it came from. My desire to project becomes almost unbearable, which tells us how difficult it feels for me to contain feelings of that inner child that comes into full view. When previously attempting to heal this I always resorted to giving it away to someone else, who is better equipped to look after it. It had worked for some time, but this time it seems that it wants me to take her in. It wants to come back from exile.

In dreams this part of me comes as one particular person, which I have come to recognise. It always appears a gentle, good part of me that everyone loves, apart from myself. In dreams as it wants to get close to me (not others even though they are more than happy to take her in) I begin my process of avoiding and running away from it. Last night I had such a dream and reflecting back I do recognise having been doing the ‘rejecting’, but on another level wanting to get close to it also and that’s where the clue lies towards integration. Not all is lost. In the dream last night the soft part of me also decided to reject me and that really hurt. It jumped on a ‘runaway’ train seeking separation from me and expressing its disappointment. That hurt. It is not that I don’t want to, but more I can’t bring myself, don’t know how to deal with it. I reject before it rejects. This plays out in my physical reality in a way of projecting exactly that. What I am projecting is the anger with myself and seeming inability to deal with the vulnerable self. Anger is also laced in disappointment, shame, self-punishment, etc., which also manifests in real life and is projected outwards when the angry self becomes shaming of others, expressing disappointment openly and emotional eating, e.g.

These insights are the first steps towards the ultimate goal of integration. My dreams and being aware of my emotions as I awake every day have been invaluable to me in reaching a position of clarity of what is happening within my psyche and physical body, a key to my conscious and unconscious material. Post-insight comes an even clearer awareness and links are made with the day-to-day manifestation of wounds and conditions, i.e. what one does in their physical reality, relationships, work, etc. that manifests that behaviour. Once awareness is established then come choices, processes we put in place to attempt to heal, trial an error, if you like, but nevertheless there are choices. There are opportunities to put things in place in order to move forward. Healing comes from acceptance and a successful implementation of all of the above and integrating day by day, learning a new way of relating to yourself first and foremost before it becomes harmonious on outside with relationships with others.

Insight – Awareness – Choices – Acceptance – Healing – Integration

I am going on a journey with this part of my process actively this month. It is a challenging time, as we build up towards the ultimate Fire festival and Sun in its full power in nature. My aim is not to get hooked and blow it out to a point of losing control completely. This year it is going to be different and what is not present as much I feel, which is a blessing and new, is fear to engage with difficult stuff. This time I know deep down that if we fear ourselves we fear our potential at the same time and fearing potential is a limiting outlook, which simply doesn’t help us progress. The aim is to put things into a healthy flow, into an energy of progressing with purpose without resistance.

Have a good week.