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.

Advertisements

“Do something different” – 2018 signature

leap of faith to change your life

What seems to be happening this year, of course, as planned always, is more challenges in terms of ‘do things differently from now on’. Its call is deep and it is not messing about. Instead it feels authentic and with a meaningful purpose behind it. The voice of ‘new’ tells me to close my ears to the old, conditioned and ‘the norm’ and look outside of the comfort zone or rather outside of the box we have put ourselves in. Having been in a box for most of our lives makes sense. That’s what everyone had always done and many will continue to do, but what it is about this year that asks us to step up on a different ladder, take a different turn? Just try and see, what have you got to lose, yet we hold on, fear comes over, doubt sets in and we retreat into our shell, which is effectively a self-constructed prison.

The thing is we all know that there is this place within us that now and again calls us to do things differently. It is there nudging us gently, ‘go on, go on’, but we are very good at ignoring that voice, as other voices, e.g. judgement, criticism and doubt are so much louder we are more likely to surrender to those. It is just how things have been created for most of us throughout our lives. At some point we come to a conclusion, or rather convince ourselves, that there is not much point in changing anything, why do it, it is all ok as it is, too much hassle. What it is too much of essentially is fear. We are scared. No one likes what we perceive as failure, how would we recover, oh no, but how do we live without trying and failing, how else would we know what works and what doesn’t? This is not easy and I am right there with you.

This process of un-knowing, un-conditioning, un-becoming seems like, on one hand, an unattainable goal, too hard, potentially filled with pain and disappointment, but, on the other hand, it is exciting, liberating, ‘not giving a damn’ type of brave and all-embracing life just as it is. It is true, essential core living, fully present in life and focused with eyes and heart wide open.

transformation

This is exactly the process I am talking about. Many do take this path and they do fail, but the thing is what we don’t realise is that we have all the potential to get back up again. We’ve all been there, done that, we know we can go through the toughest challenges and survive and all of us have plenty of life examples to support it. It is not a myth, it is real-life experiences that we can draw upon when fear strikes. We can fail again and again, but we would have lived something different, something alive and uncertain and had a chance to shape something into a thing of beauty and confidence. Yes, nothing is easy, but why would we want it to be?

I feel like a young part of me is writing this, the one that had never had a voice and being silent for so long produced internal fire ready to come out. Luckily these days my voice and internal fire are in good balance providing a good foundation for taking a leap into something new and freeing.

Air element has taken over my spring so far, it seems, and I can see why exactly. Whenever we are presented with a challenge or a dilemma one of the defences is to use our head more, fly into the mind and identify with everything it has to say. The mind is not always right, however, and learning to decipher mind messages is a useful thing to learn. It is also important to get to know your mind generally and what it tends to do in various situations. There has been days when I was aware of my mind working overtime it was making me exhausted, but I let it. It had to work things out and not all of it was bad, I must admit, but I had to bring it back into my heart and my body eventually, as we cannot function in the Air, in the mind alone indefinitely. I tried to balance out the mental defence with tapping into the feeling body and align with the Water element and also Fire when I felt some passion was needed to support my ‘good’ thoughts.

The whole thing needs to ground now and this is what I am still working on. I need that Earth and waiting for the moment when I can dig my hands into it again to start planting seeds for real and allowing my whole being to balance out. Waiting for warmth to come in and root me back into the earth. I think that will help greatly. There is still doubt that comes in now and again, but I no longer feel fear. A large part of me is trusting the process and my inner knowing and allowing for the chance to decide and manifest whatever is needed. I know I will be ok whatever happens, as when I hear ‘oh no, you won’t be’, I know this is only my mind talking, which is often supported by what we are conditioned to hear by a society, a family system that is not functioning well or simply fear that is present in the collective on so many levels. It is that prison calling ‘come back, come back’, as it is also scared to be left behind empty and meaningless.

This spring why not start dismantling our prisons brick by brick through engaging with one, two, three new ideas and implementing them, trying them out to see how they feel. Do something different this year. Why wouldn’t we want a different experience, which often is actually more in alignment with our inner calling than we realise. What we are experiencing is a call back home, which is what it is all about. We are called to do that full circle of un-becoming, un-learning and coming back to the way we were born to be.

Earthly and Spiritual

spiritual and earthly

There is something very sobering about the earthy when it comes about. It puts you in your place, it shakes you out of your imaginary outcome. It is dry, unsympathetic and often ruthless. It is a pallet of dull mud brown and dirty grey. It lacks vibrancy. It is needed sometimes and when it’s needed, it can be very grounding like putting us in front of what we are truly meant to be focusing on at a certain time. Earthly is solid, inflexible, it is how it is. Earthly let you know that choices are limited, it is either this or that and that’s it. There is not much room for manoeuvre or space for negotiating. We often find it hard to deal with, which more often than not causes us stress, anxiety, depression and disappointment. However, it is not always a bad thing. It can also be containing and reassuring when it is needed, when our imagination might have run away with us and we lost touch with the ground, so to speak. Pulling us down can serve a providing a level of safety. Earthly is about what we do and how we do it.

 

Spiritual is about limitless choices, but not necessarily about what we do, but how we are being, feeling, flowing with life. It is full of pure whites, bright purples and emerald greens. It is about feelings we choose to engage with when faced with certain situations, earthly situation, and even when we make a certain earthy choice or given one where we don’t have a say it is that spiritual choice of being a certain way with it that can become our light and saviour in such times.

 

Both earthly and spiritual have their functions and it is often a challenge for a human being to be able to see, be and engage with both if and when needed. Having both running in parallel is not easy all of the time and there is a certain push and pull motion that frequently occurs. It can be confusing, but it teaches are awareness about what we do, how we think, how we react, being and what we feel.

Both can become distorted and go ‘wrong’.

Just as earthly can restrict us whether necessary or not in a way that will serve us, so can spiritual become an illusion. Attachment to a certain spiritual idea or a construct can lead to disillusionment and even a loss of faith. I have touched upon that recently and came close to seeing how and why that might happen. I could understand why people turn away from faith and find it difficult to reconnect. When an idea we attach to, e.g. ‘How can God allow this’ or ‘universe is always on my side’ gets crumbled we get disillusioned. These sorts of ideas, I suspect, get crushed often and everywhere. The reason for that is that ideas, as above, are limited, constructed and do not allow for flexibility, so they become a sort of fantasy with not much bases. Those ideas are not expanded further or looked at from various angles. I experienced the crumbling of ‘it will be fine, the universe is always on my side’ idea recently and it was painful. I found myself questioning a lot of things and it took a couple of days of unpacking through my emotional body and feeling through what was coming up before I again began to see clearly. I can see how, if one allows to surrender to that disillusionment without processing the whole thing, human being can lose their faith in the spiritual. What became clear was the need to redefine of ‘the universe is always on my side’. Do you see how limited that is? Of course it is on your side, but it might not feel like that when certain concrete earthly elements come into play. It can be about an error somewhere along the way, or it can be that some things can only be one way or another. Examples of such earthly ways and they are often inevitable regardless of whether universe is on your side or not (do you see how irrelevant that spiritual construct is here?) are typically when dealing with death, illness, government rules, schools, regulations and law. All of these are very concrete earthly positions where spiritual may not hold much weight when we are faced with it.

Spiritual is a bird’s-eye view, general overall feeling, a flow of energy. It is about lessons we learn as a result of our earthly choices or their lack of. Taking spiritual to heart in difficult times eases the pain and restores the flow. Spiritual helps us keeping our spirit and soul light at times of difficulties. It is hopeful and free. It speaks of things beyond the physical and that earthly is not the whole picture. There’s a bigger and wider view available. It expands the awareness and helps keep hope and resilience in us alive. That is the function of the spiritual, much more expansive and it is felt through the body and seen through a hidden eye available to us all in times of hardship.

The balance of both, therefore, is necessary and cultivation of that unity and collaborative work is a life-long commitment. It is, indeed, possible to navigate life with the heart completely open, soul shining while engaging with all things earthly. The alternative is being either one or the other, which lacks balance and doesn’t promote the wholeness of human experience.

 

 

Coming back to the heart… always

solitary witch

It saddens me to become more and more aware of the dissonance within a community that, perhaps, I saw different somehow or wanted to see different, although my own perceptions got me into trouble here. People operate on a level of collective where unconscious shadow material has been playing out in the world on a large scale over the last few years and always had done really when we think about it. It is no wonder to see it spreading into all sorts of groups whether consciously or unconsciously. What is important for me is to stay aware in that energy of what is really happening and what is ultimately important, essential to me. Troubled exchanges I have witnessed within a community reminded me strongly of other communities many others identify with. A need to belong gets us into trouble too very often when taken to an extreme. Luckily for me that is not an area I struggle with, but nevertheless one can see it happening every day and it is not wrong in and of itself it is extremities of any kind that creates a space of non-safety for many paradoxically and unconsciously. I have been a witness and stayed away from strong, open identifications yet what recent experiences reaffirmed to me is that the decision to be a solitary practitioner is what works for me. I came in as a solitary and I leave as a solitary and that is the most neutral and comfortable for me. That much has always been clear, but I did allow myself to explore and experiment mainly to test out my own choosing. It exposed the reason why I am solitary even more due to my feeling the energy rising from within the collective and witnessing it on one hand for what it is, but at the same time not wishing to add that particular pallet to my overall painting, which is my own spiritual practice. There is sadness and within that a sense of hopelessness for the overall whole yet what I can only do is to commit further to my own walking the earth with what feels aligned with my integrity and heart.

It has become apparent to me this morning I want to change names on my pages and my website not so much to dis-indentify from something, but to reaffirm something for myself and my practice. However, I also know I don’t like labels. I feel labels do not serve the heart and have an unconscious attachment to what is not always the right thing for you and the right thing for me is what it is all about as far as my practice, awareness and development goes. Coming back to the heart centre, strength point, power cup, essential space of your being or whatever you choose to call that point of safety, knowing and honour for yourself, is all that matters. It re-grounds us in our beliefs and practices and re-balances any uncertainties that naturally would come in and out of our experiences. There is no judgement on yourself or others there is only acceptance of things for what they are and how they are. Compassionate understanding for others and your own choices is all that is important.

And into the woods I go, on my own, just as it should be, and just what is needed for myself and the universe at large. My path is of the solitary Elemental witch and it is so for a reason and I hold it dear and let nature guide me as always towards my heart.

Healing Earth

Today I took my sobbing heart to dig some earth
With each forward motion I felt my pain release into her rich and warm body
I played and felt and digged and squashed the black softness of her flesh in my hands
I caught myself smiling as I lifted some carrots off the earth bed and like orange lanterns they shone bright straight into my heart
The smell of nourishment entered my senses
I bowed all the way touching her in gratitude to the release of pain
As I was leaving my heart weighed less with sorrow and more with content

Magic awakens

autumn magic, Samhain

The wind is tangled in my hair and my bones are injected with the last sap of warm sunny days. I buzz with energy once again as we go deeper into autumn and Samhain gets nearer. I can feel myself touching other realms with my senses and ancient talk fills my ears. Communication with ancestors is made easier through a very sharp and clear mind and vision that allows me to see past the veil. I am surrounded by whispering energies and tingling sensations in my hands tell me magic is back. Magic is waking up from within me and ready to express itself in wild musings, deep ritual and spell work that makes everything in my life alive with energy and knowing. I cook, I walk, I dance and sing and read into the late hours of the morning. I am hungry for living and content with what it and who I am. This time of year is always grounding, safe, protective and wise. Autumn is an Earth element season for me and an open invitation to go deeper into my roots and into the layers of the underworld where darkness holds gold for me to treasure.

Image: Waterhouse, The Magic circle (one of my favourite paintings) 

Autumn’s breath

eb420f3c14ce528a3ca9c53b5416a782

Air fills with chilling promise of glorious explosion of moist spider webs in the morning and vibrant colours of the land. Its breath is fresh, slightly biting to the skin, similar to that in early spring, the time my soul also adores. Autumn is an Earth element season for me. It is the time when I feel profoundly grateful for all the bounty and abundance the earth provided us with. Its delicious produce carries a reminiscent flavour of hot summer days, in which fruit, berries and vegetables busked in ripening to their fullest. It reminds me that we sowed and we reaped, we sorted through the waste and abundance and took stock of what we are to carry forward with us into the darker part of the year. I feel autumn is the beginning of an introspection journey, incubation and cooking in the cauldron of psychic material and shadow work. I look forward to darkness, to me it is comforting. Cold air is not just refreshing to my senses it puts me in touch with my body and how freely and much more easily it can breathe with less sun.

I begin to burn oils carrying scents of cinnamon, frankincense and orange. It is woody, smoky and rich scents that take my preference at this time of the year. Candles are lit more frequently and my time at my altar increases, as my enthusiasm for life returns to my soul and body.