All things must come to an end

autumn in Scotland, Perthshire

The energy of Mabon is upon us and it feels immensely nourishing. The time is truly reflective of things dying off, competing projects, merging with the earth in a way that goes back to its original state, a state of emptiness and darkness. It is not about dying, but leaving the light behind and withdrawing into the darkness of all things till light returns. All must come to an end. Looking back on the year we can think of what needs to die, what we struggled with that we now must accept as the ultimate release, ending and conclusion.

For me this Mabon I am letting go of something that had proved futile after years of struggling to keep it alive. Acceptance of an end is not easy yet energies are asking me to come to terms with the door that is now closing. In fact it had been locked for many years and this autumn I am finally letting it go. We must turn around and walk away knowing we tried, fought and didn’t win. It is the time for the struggle to end, to release attachments to what is not to be, not now and possibly not ever. This time of year teaches us to come back to ourselves as if we are to be born again, not reliving old scripts, holding on to perceived desires and going against the current.

“Walk away, leave it to die completely,” it says. Release resistance to what must dissipate into dust.

Deep sadness is present during this time yet there is a promise of being free of struggles once I shed what is destined to dissipate into dust. It is important I give gratitude for the experiences that are offered to me daily, some profound and some simple. All of it is wrapped up as one gift of life, learning, pain and joy, all as one sacred experience of life and who we are. Counting your blessings at this time can work as a relief that weary souls are in need of this time of year.

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Winter, anxiety, death…

It has all been rather grey and moody this month as if life stopped at this place of no particular interest, a downward mood yet not particularly depressive. Confusion, uncertainty and anxiety have been at the centre of the feeling of it all although with a clear awareness of everything actually being all right. There has been motion yet it felt dragging. There has been laughter and warmth with odd moments of grief flying in from nowhere. Most peculiar presentation of the season I’d say, however thinking about it there is nothing really surprising about it. Winter and grief go hand and hand and death and anxiety are good old friends.

I have experienced it all it seems in just one month and something in me can’t help but wonder what the next month could possibly bring.

My body has thrown up another mysterious ailment. Usually these happen in spring for me, but this time it came in winter and I believe it is linked to both grief and anxiety. Those two human issues have been present in my life always and I have come to take it for granted and somewhat my body, the wise old vessel that it is, decided to remind me or rather slap me in the face with asking me to revisit what both of those mean to me. Is it actually good for me to be exposed to it all the time or is it time to admit it is not always the best? I realised that I abandon myself over and over again when faced with grief and anxiety and not only that both signatures go right through my body and always manifest in curious things. I am completely disarmed by them, it seems.

This time I was faced with not being able to breathe. That tapped into my death anxiety and having to face that and look underneath of what that presentation meant, not to mention lung being directly linked to grief and death. How vulnerable I am to it all and how clever my body is to jolt me into considering the consequences.

I don’t want to die gasping to air and I don’t want to live my life waiting for the moment when I can’t take another breath and die. I can’t placate my anxiety or avoid it with doing the exact thing that takes my breath away in a sense of killing me. There is so much connection and meaning to it all. All quite sad, dark and paralysing.

What I am trying to say here and learn from is that our body is so wise and knowing if only we listened to it and for sure there will be consequences if we don’t. That much is clear. I know my body for being friendly and always on my side despite a life-long abuse thrown at it. How much it had to put up with yet never left me and when the ultimate function of air in my lungs became compromised suddenly death stepped in with a possibility of taking me. Truly awakening.

What a month it has been so far. Scary, up and down and everything in between yet nothing at all. In the stillness of winter, indeed, we are often faced with the darkest faces of existence. It is stark in my mind the true meaning of the season this year. There’s a certain old and murky wisdom taste to it this year. Perhaps this will only amplify with myself getting old, who knows, but one just never knows what awaits us.

The last wish of nature

What does nature want? Presence, heart, connection. It wants to be and it wants to live. It seeks the same things any human would. It is the ‘original’ life, birth-giving entity that we all come from.

The reality is that one day nature is going to die, piece by piece, tree by tree, species by species and knowing that brings immense sorrow to the hearts of those, who love wild and raw places. Human greed and blindness will inevitably bring death to all corners of the Earth. Deep down we know that and it makes anger rise and tears come at the thought of it, but while there’s life there’s hope. While a forest lives we live with it.

Before it is gone it invites us more than ever to spend time with it now. Every day to live in the sacred connection, in love and appreciation. There’s no great teacher than nature or a more loving mother to us all and we owe it to her to be present at every opportunity.

The process resembles a mourning of someone we love deeply that is terminally ill. What nature wants in its counted hours is to have loved ones around, acceptance, love and understanding, silence, warm embrace and loyalty. The death will come at the hands of its children and it is up to us to revel in the beauty, comfort and peace it offers despite the knowing it will one day end.

Watching a girl cry over cut down forest logs today and a stark nakedness of land where forest once stood broke my heart today. Yet, this is so very real and something that happens every day in the world.

I intend to stay with forests, lakes, mountains and peace of it all for as long as it is there as both nature and us all know one day it will end.

We can’t stop the destruction of the cold hand of human greed that will never ever have enough, but what we can stop is joining the ranks of so called ‘progress’, becoming detached, cold, despondent and without hope. We can continue carry love for wild places within us and cultivate gardens all around be it a plot of land or simply a plant on a window seal that one loves dearly.

When I lie on my death bed I will remember the smell of bluebells in spring and wet moss on the forest floor of emerald green and nature breathing and beating in unison with my heart.

Stay connected, remain present and continue loving the dying nature. Every moment counts! Act from the heart!

Walking with ancestors

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This morning was one of those mornings when I felt my time was well spent. I was called to visit woods, a particular place I know well. Whenever I am called like this I always follow and I got in my car this morning open to what messages awaited me.

A smell of pines surrounded me on the way to the woods and a field of associations opened up in my awareness. Pines connect me to home, a land I was born in and another place where that association is often activated in is Scotland. I love pine trees and I am so familiar with the smell. While driving I craved to see them and realised that was one reason I was called to this particular wood and not any other. This is the only place where I can find pines in a particular corner of that forest I knew well and worked in before.

 

As I walked into the woods with confidence and anticipation I came across a broken pine branch straight away. I picked it up and put it against my face. The smell at this point was constantly around me and I breathed it in deeply feeling connected. I also felt not alone. It took me back to the days when I was young and mushroom picking with my parents and grandparents. I also remembered my encounters with pines in Scotland and Wales, thick, furry canopy in dark green against the purest blue of the sky. Soft carpet of fallen needles underneath my feet and that crunch of dry foliage and sticks that is so familiar to my ears.

And then there it was, a squirrel. It sat still at the foot of a pine tree and I felt energy going through me and tears coming to my eyes. Grandmother. Memories flooded in. My grandmother loved squirrels. She even had a couple of stuffed ones in her flat. I remember them vividly sitting on top of a television. I watched the squirrel and it watched me. I never before witnessed a squirrel be so still for quite some time. It didn’t run or turn just watched me before starting to climb a tree but slowly with shaking her tail in an interesting sort of way. I felt my grandmother near me as she often is. I the sat down on a stump and my granddad came to mine. I didn’t know him too well but I was around him a lot and have so many memories of him painting and care taking his wounded foot. It needed bandages changed every day and he would do it in this tiny stool, looked like a tree stump. I felt him around too.
In a distance I perceived a deer, vulnerable, soft and gentle, innocent and pure. My sister, I thought, and with a fresh breeze I observed a silver beech swaying her long green sleeves in a wind dance. The birch is a maiden tree to me and also strongly associated with my home land. My sister died young and was the sweetest soul.

Pine smell continued to be around me and it felt comforting. My relatives are buried in a pine woodland cemetery far away in Russia, Siberia. Three graves together amidst pines with rows singing their demands and moans into the wind. Don’t you think crows often sound like that they are dissatisfied with it all. I love them, very characterful and unashamed of their nature. My sense of smell took me to that cemetery once again, a place I remember well. I also had an awareness of my father currently being there and perhaps in the actual cemetery as I sat on a tree stump in England communing with ancestors in nature. I created an intuitive ‘grave’ collage on the ground and while in that space it felt like I was in the actual place.

 

They live within us and their ash fertilising our souls and make us grow with each breath and memory of that connection.
I have always associated deep sadness with the land of my birth, yet today I don’t feel it. They have moved on a long time ago and I have known about it for sometime. They are together, but also go on travels of their own to be with their own essence. It is a forever kind of connection like water or air that couldn’t separate itself from one another’s being. Even with letting go the memory is stamped forever on a canvas of their experience. They might become strangers over cycles yet there will always be a certain recognition on every encounter and there are many encounters throughout a life time, I believe.

As I was leaving I came across these three crosses amidst trees. They looked significant and made sense to me.

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This Litha I am incorporating my ancestors’ altar into my main one for the first time. It feels right to perform a ritual in their honour around this time in June, around anniversary dates and what today’s walk taught me was that remembering my blood lines is to be included in my spiritual practice and something that is natural and within me.

Life and death as one

life and death

Not taking risks, avoiding what we perceive as ‘risky’ implies that there’s no freedom in our choices only a stagnant, familiar and constrained. Life imprisoned is like constant death anxiety. Surely the more death is feared the more we should embrace life yet we ignore it as if death is not present in life but something of a distant abstract idea, concept that is never to materialise.

Being free in life means being free in death, not afraid of taking a turn unconventional, perhaps, but something that calls us in the moment. Mistake, you say? That’s an instant regret about choosing freedom. That’s beating yourself up about having courage to live in the moment. There are no mistakes only a decision taken in the moment, a choice. How we take that turn is up to us. Will be go for it unconditionally and without attachment to an outcome, or cautiously with a degree of fear in the background. Both are valid to some extent and both are possible.

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When death comes…

Mystic-foggy-evening

When death comes I will not shudder before its cold stare
For I have witnessed bluebell woods at spring time
I will not turn my face away from its shadowy presence as my soul remembers the smell of hawthorn flowers
Embrace of a child as sweet as honey is in my skin’s memory, so death’s empty hands can perform its ritual
I will surrender my body. Take it. It’s ready. It has been a precious carrier of love, loss, tragedy and ecstasy, it knew it all, but
I will keep my soul’s essence, as I am led through the darkness into the light of myself
For I know the joy I felt in my life and I have seen the sunset with my sweetheart as the most sacred moment
I touched the earth with my bare feet and felt the sweet song of a morning breeze
I won’t turn away as I know myself just as death knows me who’s always walked
Alongside me
We will walk together hand in hand towards the next adventure with no regrets and only peace for eternal company

Raw Nature Spirit

Death and rebirth in dreams

death and rebirth in dreams

Dreams are lately filled with things dying, bodies falling apart and fresh blood. There are recognisable themes of death and rebirth and the need to step into the new, which is a signature of this year. This is time to be reborn into a new identity, into the ‘now’ identity. Blood in dreams signifies new life, new beginnings. It is life-giving and our base line and indication we are living and breathing. It has a lovely vibration for me in my dreams and I welcome ‘bleeding’ dreams. I also got to know well that scenes of death, bodies, funerals and all things associated with the ultimate end are ways of showing me that parts of myself, as they are, need to ‘die’, renew, rebirth. In alchemy this process is called Motificatio

Following death dreams there is always an appearance of things transforming and for me it is always associated with love and alchemical marriage of the feminine and masculine. These are my absolute favourite dreams, because of how they feel. Incredible unconditional love surges through my body and all senses as I sleep in deep enjoyment of that experience. Those dreams are often difficult to explain or even express what they felt like as they are beyond words beautiful, other worldly. They are truly an embodied experience of love so huge, which we are part of.

After that stage of there is the birth of the new identity where I make choices in what to wear, what to put in my bag, which route to take and saying no to things that don’t feel right to me. These dreams lately are changing into presenting parts of myself as more assertive, confident and knowing. There is more fire and intuitive associated with them and it feels reassuring and deeply grounding on waking.

We all go through mini-cycles like this again and again, as we constantly renew depending on where we are in life and what is calling to be manifesting. For new to come in something needs to go. Through tracking dreams it can put us in touch with our inner processes on a deep level and images presented to us in dreams can become navigational tools we can engage with on our journeys through cycles.