Nature is all there is…

Nature is the original intelligence, life-force, evolution and transformative realm that just is. I like working with nature as the most primary source of all intelligence grounded in the body, clarity of thinking and depth of feeling. Most of all it doesn’t seek to enslave, manipulate or control. It is of free will and choice and in not wanting anything from you essentially encourages sovereignty and that is priceless. It demonstrates and shows how things can unfold naturally when one is allowed to be and grow in a way one chooses. I admire all things nature for that.

Another aspect is simplicity and inclusive sense of all belonging together and working together. It doesn’t try to be something it is not and has no concern for whether you are for it or against. To me it is the most perfect example of how to live. It is all consciousness and it doesn’t have labels. It has clear, purposeful, intentional cycles of life and death. In its inclusiveness it is perfection.


As an elemental and intuitive witch and all around nature-based spiritual practitioner, I have learnt from nature starting from the ground up with studying the nature elements and the qualities of each, which like a mirror reflected back to me what my qualities are; those that are weaker and those that are distorted and where I am most balanced. It taught me that listening to your own elemental self will never lead us astray. It just wouldn’t make sense for that not to be true.

Another thing that I can’t live without and is like breathing to me is beauty and where else one can experience things more beautiful than in nature. My belief has been for a long time that beauty will save the world. In nature it is not all butterflies and flowers, however, it is about survival and predation, violence and death yet even in those manifestations there’s immense beauty. One only has to experience a storm and the devastation it can cause or get in contact with the poisonous and dangerous species yet so stunning. I don’t believe it is always a disguise I believe it is meant to be beautiful in all forms. We only have to see it for what it is and not for what it is not depending on what our mind would tell us is good for us or our needs. Beauty is everywhere and it only takes one moment of immersion into something beautiful, however minute, allows a possibility of being pulled back into our own beauty, because we are one with that in our combined elemental nature. Nature brings enchantment back into our hearts and that enchantment can bring such changes to how we live.


Many treat nature as God and it is easy to see why and it is not wrong, but what I most appreciate is that it doesn’t see itself as either above or below. It just is, being, flowing and morphing from one manifestation to another without any concern for an external human or any other influence. It doesn’t have that need or awareness of that being necessary. It is sovereign and it encourages us all to be. It calls for us to get in touch with our souls and return to self, to the original.


To understand what I mean one only has to connect to something nature-based, anything of what you consider nature and in time a sight develops, things become clear, parallels are drawn and lessons learnt. There’s no greater teacher than our natural world and it will remain my religion, solace, happiness and peace.

If the Sun was a god… and walking in all weather

The Sun is a solar deity in nature-based spiritual practice. It is both of the Fire and Air/sky elements. Worshiping the Sun God or following its cycles, manifestations, presentations and cycles means it is looked upon as sacred energy of the earth, which plays an active role in the life of the natural world and our own.

On my walk in the rain this morning I got thinking about the Sun, as a god, and Yule celebrations that are coming up. How do we look upon the Sun when it is not shining and in darkness? How do we think of it, speak of it? Notice the language we use around darkness and no so bright weather. There are many parallels between the decline of the Sun, it being hidden, the darkness and human psyche. The main element is that we are in denial of it whether we are aware of it or not. Rejection of the darkness is an old thing, as old as humanity, but I always wonder if it has to continue quite the way it had done. The work of psychotherapy throws a lot of light on what human shadow really is, personally and collectively, and it is my strong belief that the work of integrating your darkness can be one most valuable, if not the most vital, part of the personal journey. Until one becomes of aware, first, then accepting of his/her own dark materials, not a lot will change and projections, judgements, victimhood, blaming, pretending will carry on impeding relationships, progression, understanding and acceptance of things as they are. This is where nature is the most wise, I have always believed. It is all light and all darkness naturally.

Why do we deny rain, sleet, strong winds, floods and fires? They represent emotions within ourselves, very strong ones, the ones we had always been told to fear, reject, suppress, etc. I believe this has been the biggest wounding on earth to humans via humans. Again nature is one such source that can reconnect you back to your humility and heart. It can help reawaken and let the lost emotional parts of yourself be accepted back into the whole. We are meant to be whole, both, logic and feeling, mind and heart with the body holding it all together.

The language we use around weather is a good example of yet another rejection seemingly external, but it is very much internal. Dreary, bleak, dark, miserable – are the words we hear every day whenever the sun is not shining outside. If it is not bright and warm it is not worth ‘worshiping’, yet even the Sun needs recharging, like a battery, like any of us, in order to shine bright again in a few months’ time. We continue to judge it for not shining, leaving us in darkness, nevertheless. This, I believe, is due to lack of understanding, valuing and accepting our own inner darkness.

This phenomenon, please notice, can also happen in reverse when the Sun is scolded for shining too much, instead of too little. It is the rejection of light instead of the darkness. Emotions of ecstasy, mania and depression come to mind and depending on what your experience is with mental health you will understand what I mean. We all heard of chronic clinical depression, but no one has of chronic clinical happiness. It is more complex than that, of course, but ‘happiness’ can be a warning sign, always wanting, moving, needing, asking for the light or pretending to be that way, can bring serious consequences to psyche when not in balance. Nature is the key to bringing things together, to demonstrate to us through weather, seasons, and elemental presentations how to be with it all without judgement.

In nature-based spirituality folk welcome both the Summer Solstice and the Winter Solstice. There is an understanding of the value of both points in nature and in life. We welcome equally the point when the Sun is at its peak and we also celebrate the Sun’s return and acknowledgement of where it has been during darkness.

I saw deer playing and chasing each other in the bush as I walked passed the hedgerows with trees up on a hill. I would not have been able to witness that was it not quiet, empty and winter time. That’s a blessing to me!

Going back to those ‘negative’ adjectives the opposite for me would be when I walk in all weather is raw, fresh, renewing and completely natural. There is no life without the rain and there is no light without the darkness. It really is simple. The rainy landscape offers refreshing perspectives, new insights. I get inspired by wintery silhouettes and transparency and vulnerability of the land. At this time of year everything is exposed and paths are clear to walk to ponder over the bare branches and bones of the natural world. The clarity of mind for me during this time is like at no other time of the year. I love vulnerability and openness in nature and internally during darker winter months.


The darkness is the conservation of energy so it can shine brighter in months to come. Yet we are in denial of any validity of the darkness externally and within while wishing for the light to shine brighter. Want it here, now, in this way and that without considering how things become one way or another or where they roots from. There’s a cycle, a very wise one, the wisest. Nature is not here to please or pacify. It does what it must and what it has always done regardless of collective preconceptions, personal projections and human storytelling.


Yule is such a time and opportunity to reflect of the meaning of light and warmth and the Sun as a God, a spiritual, astrological, seasonal phenomenon that has been here since the beginning of time and every year offers lessons for reflection and potential change of views and perspective.

Yule Blessings, everyone!

I am whole…

Isle of Mull, Scotland

An open view as far as the eye can see. I can even feel beyond that. For the first time in many years the picture is complete with every mountain sketch, rock, shoreline and bird in the sky in full view. The sun is high yet gentle and blues and greens are in perfect harmony with a splash of purple and pink in corners and edges of the land. We are approaching. A castle stands proud above the cliffs that shelter a sheer drop. It is still here. I delight in that reassurance.

When a view opens up from a living room window it is vast. You can see and feel the mountains breathe into the sea and exhales come as waves and splashes that freshen everything up. Everything is injected with life. It is overwhelming trying to take it all in. It feels like I can’t decide if there’s too much air or not enough of it. It is a sensation of possession by raw instinct that makes you want to take your shoes off and run to the edge of the vista that sprawls open in front. The end of the earth is there. Senses are both sharpened and relaxed. It is intoxicating to a point of wanting never to sober up. Silence is otherworldly.

I sit at a large kitchen table surrounded by lush green landscape with rowan and gorse, ash and oak in faithful surround. Those trees know the land intimately, they know they belong. I can’t take my eyes away from large windows in front of me, which makes it impossible to work. It takes a few days to be able to fit into this pristine environment and realise where I come from and where I am. The contrast is shockingly stark. It is a process of bedding in, acclimatising slowly and steady or you might just suffocate.

I decide to go for a walk, something I have been looking forward to for a whole year. My beloved walks in nature and here I find everything. It all is just as I left it last time. I find it reassuring and comforting. It is all here, still. When I am away I often wonder if things change when I am not there to see it, will it all still be there? Will I have another chance to live it? One never knows. Every time I find it is just as I left it and it is a relief and something beyond beautiful and soothing to know it will outlive everyone and everything.

I walk along a path and silence wraps me up in a cloud of peace. It is palpable, ethereal like nothing else on earth for me, the most precious commodity and a gift. I cherish it with every land’s breath, every leaf movement and rain drop that makes up the silent chorus that is nature being. My heart is in my mouth and I am deeply happy. There’s nothing else I need or want in that moment and if it was to be the last that would be a glorious end. I always feel that way here in those moments when there’s no past or future and the present is so perfect and complete that nothing else is needed or matters.

I continue on the path but not for long as I am a habitual off-the-path walker. I always need to go in where wild resides. I need to get close to it and it makes itself known by making scratches on my legs, sticking things to my clothes and dipping my feet in mud. I fee feral and ecstatic. Makes me feel I belong that little bit more. It is the unknown yet feels like home. I scramble up a wooded hill and it is like my own invisible circle – a place where magic is the law not just a possibility. It is all so simple and fresh. It is always there and doing its thing. It knows itself as much as anything on earth can ever know. This is a true nature of things. I want to be that way if only I never had to leave or having to do things or even think. Humans are limited through complicating things. It is never simple in our minds and we dwell in those self-imposed prisons without realising it, by habit automatically. Awareness comes not easy to us.

I wrap my arms around a silver birch trunk, wet and earth-smelling. Its smooth bark is like a touch of a loved one. My grandmother comes to mind and memories of walking in silverbirch forests in my childhood flood in. Every touch here means something, every smell is a reminder how entwined I am with nature in my body and spirit. I lose track of time. There is no time here, only life, only what you see and feel.

I am having to drag myself out back on to the path. Deer to my left startled and frozen as they pick up my scent. They look right at me before fleeting, cautious and on guard always. I smile. Fresh and clean air hits every inch of my body and I could almost be floating I feel so uplifted as happiness spreads through me. I let my hair loose and stand catching every bit of the breeze that is sweet and the most soothing thing I could ask for. I stand still for a minute hungry for more, taking each breath and there’s more coming. I can’t get enough there’s so much on offer.

I get moving again and come across some cottages by a loch-side. I always wonder what it must be like to live in such a place. I used to get envious to a point of passing out but since have learnt a lot more. At this point I am under no illusion that it is easy. My initial idealised vision has truly been grounded in reality of life on an island, in a land so wild, raw and free that one has to work at belonging. Every cottage makes me think and wonder of a possibility of a compromise. It is a symbol of a relationship between a human and nature. It offers a possibility of finding out if one is brave enough.

Stroking a thick coat of a highland coo I touch something primal. Animals bring a sense of kinship to my instinctual animalistic self. I am in love every time I touch an animal. They are warm, looking right at me with their black eyes and there is a connection no doubt. A lot can be learnt from the beasts of that land. Birds of pray are everywhere here, they are noisy one minute and gliding silently the next, barely there.

Time to turn back. I am so happy, utterly at peace and content. My body feels satisfied like it’s had the most nourishing meal. Nothing else needed. Nothing needs to be added or taken away. It is complete. I am whole.

Elemental

Link in breath with what’s desired

Blow all that serves you not

Be authentic and inspired

Worry what may come or not

 

Liberation from entrapment

Comes from knowing within

Fire, Air, Water, Spirit

Earth the Mother fully seen

 

Elemental is your wild

Beating heart of what is raw

Beauty piercing devout

Lives within you ever more

 

Walk the walk of burning passion

No turning off the path

Listen, be, with no caution

Full embodiment of trust

Ostara 2020

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Why this Ostara is particularly important…

Blessings on 2020 Ostara, everyone and what a vital time this is to honour, celebrate and appreciate what we have and love. The season of transition is at its peak, which goes hand in hand with what is happening around the globe right now. We are entering into a space of uncertainty and ask ourselves ‘will be seeds sprout? Will I be sustained over the hard times ahead? Will the harvest be bountiful to keep us in nourishment?”

What we plant right now is important for what we will reap later on. It is time to take care of ourselves and our consciousness in a way we might not have done before. The seeds of growth and change have never been more important on every level – how we think, how we honour our feelings and how we act as a result of self-awareness and self-reflection.

When most of us will be practicing indoors this weekend, stand by the light and plant your seeds on windowsills. Everyone and everything needs the light, warmth and sun to grow and even if it is often invisible to us these days, know it is there, in existence and support of our conscious efforts. Know that the birds, mountains and animals out there will continue as normal with their daily life, cycles will continue and nature wheel will turn no matter what. They have seen it all before and adapted using vital survival mechanisms and abilities to embrace change and adjust. We can learn a lot from the natural world, but what we can do as humans right now is continue nurturing our seeds in all their manifestations: family, friends; loved ones; our own bodies, psyches and souls. All is interconnected and important to care take.

Wishing everyone a successful sprouting season. Continue digging the earth and immerse yourself in nature’s wisdom. If you can go outside allow for the elements to tell you a story of what needs to happen. Elements are tuned into us, as we all carry elemental qualities within us. Listen to what needs to consolidate in order to get through this delicate, uncertain transition.

Keep well and sending you all Ostara blessings!

 

I am home

The wilderness possesses me with its air as fresh and sharp as a blade of grass

My senses entwine with the spirit it holds

Precious, powerful, ancient

I walk the place feeling the roots grabbing at my feet

I need it, oh how I need it

Take me whole, I say,

Swaddle me in mystery and myth so I can become the voice as ancient as eternity

Wilderness feeds me with its elements as vibrant and penetrating as a gaze of a loved one

I surrender to the glory of all it is and become myself at once as a native animal at a distance and wild flowers all around

The wind slaps me in the face and I welcome its magic of removing webs of my unseeing

Immersion in the body of its water engulfs me as the loving and nurturing mother

I am home, fed, alive like never before

The Loch of my heart

A beautiful melody of your heart brushes against a shore

As I stand in trance-like state amidst the symphony that is your waters

Silvery shimmer like a thread connected to my inside

I spill my musings into a flow of the sacred grey depth

Loch Tay is a dream that is continuous

Without interruption it comes to my imaginings again and again

The deep calm waters touch into my unconscious like a life’s mystery never to be discovered

But what an ecstasy it is to wonder

To gaze upon the expansive body that takes me places of indescribable power, beauty and spirit

Image: clivecatton.co.uk