Learning from the Wheel of the Year

unnamed (1)

Mabon Blessings to everyone on this beautiful early autumnal morning!

The air today is ever so slightly chilly and I wholeheartedly welcome it. It speaks to me of the time we start  our slow descent into the misty, chilly and dark. Land, weather and personal transformations are beginning. I love the darker part of the year and my functioning is the most optimum between October and April, however, this year things have been different in a way of transforming the last remaining sticking points as far as summer is concerned. I feel I did well and managed to extract a multitude of useful lessons about myself, the world at large, the idea of life-purpose and where and how things fit in.

The Wheel has turned once again and today is Mabon, the time for harvesting, re-evaluating and giving thanks for all the blessings we have experienced this summer. The summer has been hot, prolonged, dry and often trying. It taught me about withstanding hardships and remaining centred on the heart and present in my life more. I was faced with a quality of tolerance within, which had been invaluable. Just as we wait patiently for the seed to germinate, push through and grow towards its most potential, the summer reflected that to me and I was rewarded with early harvest. Planting happened later this year due to snow and frost in early and late spring, yet things caught up and the heat accelerated growth and made me face things sooner rather than later. I didn’t plant much either consciously, as this year for me is about simplifying and focusing on a few things only, clearing the space for emotional, cognitive and spiritual processing. Bounty came in the summer in small quantities and it felt so good. The message of ‘just enough’ re-enforced the work I start doing back in winter. Another aspect of having enough and sharing with those around you in pleasure and gratitude has always been a blessing. The heat burnt my potatoes, however, earlier in the summer and very quickly dry plants disappeared amidst the blanket of thick weeds, so I had to go on a hunt for produce. That taught me about challenges and things often changing very quickly and being ok with what is presented right in front of us. It is ok to just observe and continue with what we have without necessarily spiralling into judgement, regret and giving up. That clear representation of the quality of observation with tolerance and potential hardship taught me ‘to be with’ yet again and be completely grateful for what we do have rather than focusing on what we think we don’t have. Sensation of that I found very pleasant, releasing and freeing.

I suffered with pain in my legs and back from early spring and found it challenging, however, I also knew that in order for new transformations to occur this year I had to have something to work with and this was one of those things where I had to look at living with physical pain. I wrote about it earlier this year. Through the summer pain continued and so did my life and that was the lesson of things continuing, moving on, changing, the Wheel turning no matter what and we can either fight and resist it or accept and move with it. The release of my associations with pain transformed hugely this summer and just as looking at dead and not ‘very healthy’ crops amidst the summer heat and as I begin to dig them out with love and attention I began giving myself the same. I aimed to understand, accept things as they are without judgement and wanting anything to be different.

At the end my harvest was complete pretty much at beginning of August in terms of produce or so I thought… On my return to the plot in September I discovered a few more gems waiting for me and my heart delighted in it. Seeds were hanging ripe on dry stalks representing bounty and potential in the future and underneath dry and covered with weeds stalks there were plump bulbs of goodness. Again, the idea of ‘just enough’ was clearly present and again it felt profoundly satisfying.

I am yet to dig all my small, but perfectly clean and tasty potatoes out of a patch of land covered with all sorts (treasure hunt-like) and I am taking my time with it applying patience and joy when working on the land. I appreciate everything about it and tend to continue nourishing and nurturing it for years to come. It holds immense lessons for me as seasons change and the Wheel turns every time. Things come and go, start and end and start again and so does our life with all its highs and lows and everything in between. I very much look forward to what the season brings.

unnamed (2)

unnamed (1)

Advertisements

In waiting…

Feel unrooted, between places, between worlds. A sense of keen belonging is yet to land, for now I feel suspended in anticipation. Can’t say I like it.

Uncertainty, expectation, increased longing for what I don’t know yet. Feeling without a home is not a pleasant one. I have one yet out there there’s another one that sticks itself into my skin like a thorn every year. I am faced with a choice, on one hand wanting to abandon my current position but yet to attach to another. I feel ungrounded and in that space I do lose myself a little. Restlessness within is not a smooth flow but rather jagged projection on to everything and everyone. There is also an element of not being in control and that’s unsettling too. Waiting is another vibration that can present challenges. Waiting for what? Knowing I am waiting for something but what I don’t know and in that waiting I detach from one but yet to attach to that unknown and will I want to? Like losing ground from under my feet without knowing if whatever it is I am waiting for would catch up. Patience in that state becomes difficult and impatience sats in, which again manifests in rough outbursts of emotions and cold energy projection. It can be a dark place to be even amidst the sunshine, it is also lonely as difficult to convey the feeling that goes with it. I find myself wishing the sun away and wanting rain but it doesn’t feel rational or logical or even intuitively right. Confusing, searching, lost…

I recognise that every year this occurs as I prepare to leave my home in search of a home yet to be.

Comparing lands’ signatures and emotional healing

North Wales, Snowdonia. So peaceful here. The land lulls you gently into comfort and quiet, soothingly singing a gentle tune. The land’s signature is of a simple life, uncomplicated by any depth of emotion or tragedy, I feel. It is an old land with ancient roots, no doubt, steeped in tradition, but it feels like whatever conflict there might have been it is resolved and the land enjoys a life of simple pleasures. Spirit here is pure and gentle of a colour white. It is felt all around, but ever so slightly. It is in the background and not at all overwhelming. Mostly in the mountains and rocks one would meet the land’s spirits and they are all of a vibration of support and nurture. They continuously tell a story, always talking and if you sit quietly you can clearly hear a narration, which again, like a lullaby, sends you to a place of peace and comfort.

In contrast Scotland’s spirit is rich and troubled, one might say. It carries the land’s history through its glens, mountains and lakes and the strength and power of it can’t be denied. It is in your face penetrating through skin. I am deeply affected emotionally and get sensory overwhelm every time I am in the land. It taps into my shadow signature of violence, loss, grief and bloodshed. Even madness, I’d say, is present in the mixture of what is the land’s spiritual heritage. It stands proudly in its stunning beauty, very protective and wary of strangers. It is anything, but peaceful.

Perhaps, I sometimes reflect it is not a place I ought to be as I align with my past pain addiction when there. I get thirsty for the sensation of attachment to all that the land’s spirit represents. Over the years I certainly understood why I feel the way I do when I am there and why my spiritual awakening had to occur in Scotland. I remember it vividly when all my senses shut down and a strange mixture of deep grief and pure ecstasy entered my awareness all at the same time. I was then given a task to start working it all out and an incredible process of awakening began.

Amidst Snowdonian mountains and forests I feel good. I always had in a way I never do when in Scotland. That place is hard to describe even now, it simply goes beyond me. There I don’t feel safe necessarily, well, perhaps only when on an Isle away from the main land (recent discovery). I feel on guard and bereft but also so incredibly touched and moved in a way I can’t put into words. I feel like my heart breaks when I am there and when I am away from it, both. You can read my other posts about my feelings for the land and my difficulties staying away from it.

Perhaps, I thought this time round while in Snowdonia is that I am aligning more and more these days with the signature of light and peace without needing or wanting to be anywhere else emotionally or spiritually. Perhaps, my light is no longer in the shadow and I have found and settled into the oasis that I had always sought – inner peace.

I can see myself returning to Wales over and over again just to be what I am when I am there, living in the moment with no rush of any kind and a slower way of being in peace and tranquility.

Perhaps, Scotland will remain a mystery for a little while longer and the role of it in my life will become clearer as I continue my exploration and relationship with the land…

 

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…

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!

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.

“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.