Announcement – Nature Spirit Walks Tarot

I am happy to announce the release of the latest project in collaboration with Cortney Cameron, whose wonderful idea and beautifully designed images materialised in this invaluable resource. It has been my absolute pleasure contributing to this project. Enjoy!

ORDER HERE

36683001_10156486054636873_1715129128765620224_n

 

Advertisements

Summer overwhelm

Hazy_Forest_5_001

As summer begins to spread her warm embrace throughout the land for me achieving a balanced state of mind becomes challenging. I begin to feel enclosed with everything blooming into thick foliage and undergrowth. As winter is a time of spaciousness and openness for me, summer is overwhelming to my senses. It makes me withdraw slowly with each day inwards, as woodlands become overgrown and noisy with life and potential. I do welcome early mornings and late evenings gladly in summer, as during that time magic is all around. It feels like an undiscovered time and space for many and energies during that time is vibrationally very different to a summer day time. I crave cool and open spaces of the northern mountains and lakes where I feel I can stretch not just my physical body and ingest the land in its majesty, but allow my mind fly high above where there are no enclosures. My walks become infrequent, if any at all, during summer unless I get up early or go out late into the fresh and fragrant air of a day anew. Summer can be a difficult time of emotional overwhelm for me just as vegetation of the land spreads its thick green coat over everything and bursts into colour and vibrant noise of wild life. I want to be still, hidden, in-doors just like it happens for many in winter. Summer demands engagement, participation and joy. It heats up the land so many would come out to play, but not me. I feel that pull strongly yet choose to remain in a position of my choice.

This year is all about new and different yet with each day I do feel the contraction of my physical and emotional into a space of hidden safety within my home and psyche. That has not changed. Previousl I would drop into a deepd depression as heat of the land rose with each day and what made it difficult is my resistance to it, my own judgement on the season of ‘too much’. What is new this year is my outlook on ‘what is’. Resistance is less and acceptance is more, which allows further self-compassion towards my way of being without having to do anything different or throwing judgement into it. It is how it is and my awareness keeps me grounded in what each season teaches me about myself. That is invaluable.

Another post of the subject

Another year, another joyful experience

31180041_10156308014081873_1347207962308902912_n

One of the most magical sights of the whole year – bluebell woods, a time when deep blue, purplish coloured flowers cover the ground of ancient woods and it is magnificent. Not only it is delightful to the eye it is reviving to all senses, as bluebell fragrance is fresh and beautiful.

The forest is very pleased with itself wearing the spirit colours of green and purple. I wish I could bottle a sense of freshness and a delicate scent that spreads in the air and on the jewelled forest floor. Birds delight in spring so much so it makes me want to open my wings up and fly towards the tops of virgin foliage. Spring fills me with such joy I can’t stop smiling and breathing in the air. If I was not to be here tomorrow this is the scene I will take with me in my memories and dreams. I am grateful for having witnessed a spring bluebell forest once again, for another year…

Getting lost in a forest

27867145_10156117794681873_4730182720692914976_n

Getting lost in a forest evokes fear that is tangible and real, but it also brings a sense of freedom, potential for adventure and exploration. It brings in hope into being that the right path will be found sooner or later. We all need to get lost sometimes and to find ourselves again.

Today was such a day when I got lost in a forest for the very first time. I couldn’t help but wonder whether that was exactly what was needed. Experience mimicked my state at the time precisely when I felt a bit lost within and struggled to obtain guidance with my inner compass in a bit of a shutdown mode. I don’t think my navigation wanted to work in that moment, come to think of it. It stayed shut down on purpose to let me get lost in order to find something.

Trees all around me spoke of potential today as I entered this particular grove. It called me this morning and without hesitation I went, as I always do. I stood amongst trees delighting in the fresh air and bird song overheard. I felt that love, connection and peace that nature brings and solitude that is so sweet to my soul. I walked off the path, like always do and it was when I had to make a ‘crossing’ that I realised I was getting lost yet that particular road I had to cross. I walked intuitively and intentionally away from places where people could be. I needed to feel through a place, its colours and textures. I needed to hear mud under my feet and feel moisture of tree bark against my face. Most of all I needed to be alone to hear my own heart beating and feelings surfacing as natural as water coming to shore and retreating back into the ocean again. I needed to walk in rhythm with my own breathing, undisturbed and aware. Never before had I got lost, but today I did, however it sprung a door open within me, the awareness of fear, doubt, worry and all those emotions that take us away from ourselves yet connect us to ourselves and inner resources at the same time.

27867077_10156117794736873_8941143160066444122_n

It was all good, all useful to feel and experience. As I spoke to myself trying to find a way back I carried the inner knowing that all would be good at the end. I had my own back, I was with myself and that was enough. It was good enough, I was good enough. Trust, faith and understanding of what something means or trying to tell us is awareness. It is all in connection all of the time. That road, trees, my feet, body, voice and emotions worked as one, inseparable, in one motion of being on one afternoon. Collaboratively it all leads to something, which is neither good nor bad, but rather both and it is all ok.

Invigorated by the experience I settled into my car with a spark in my heart and I felt complete and grateful. I felt looked after by myself and by the forest around me. A feeling of potential spread all through my body and I inhaled deeply the feeling of spring coming. New hope, growth and planting the seed of what’s to come.

27972051_10156117794686873_5089584232270797825_n

 

Walking into spring

Imbolc, meditation walk in nature

I went outside and was met with a cold wind on my skin and a bright sun reflected in my hair. I squinted towards the light and took in the wind’s cold embrace into my face with pleasure. I exhaled all I no longer wished to carry.

When I walk in nature I always find I begin to breathe properly, deeply, slower, more aware of each inner and outer breath. I stop, close my eyes and feel into my body, as nature surrounds me. Birds’ wild swooping above my head and a distant calling of their comrade wakes me up into my walk again. I begin slowly and steadily on my path, through some farm fields and into a wooded area. I become aware of a chant, as I carefully watch my steps and feel pressure against the earth with delight and embodied knowing. The chant becomes louder mud, sticks, stones and trees; mud, sticks, stones and trees. As I repeat the words I am completely and fully aware of where I am, who I am, what I am doing and my breath has never been more profoundly present. I close my eyes again and stand still for a minute continuing reciting the words again and again and with each in-breath I feel full of life. I also become aware of my body in a way that it carries me every day. I am grateful for my legs and feet that allow me to be in nature whenever I feel like it. A grounded walk is all I ever need to come back to myself.

It’s just passed Imbolc and the air is filled with hope and anticipation. Everything around us is waking up, yet everything is still, about to move, about to sprout, but not just yet. It is pure joy and excitement. I love early spring and begin to crave some warmth and softness of soil in my hands, as I begin to plant seeds in my garden. Every year with the arrival of copper topped trees that unveil in the landscape I see Brigit with her red hair. She is singing and calling in the birds for a dance. Young, free and beautiful she plays amidst trees in pure knowledge of her own divine force and power to bring creativity into our new spring and support us as this new cycle begins. Soon everything will explode in ecstasy of spring and with a fragrant fresh air we are reminded there will be light, warmth, harvest and bounty to be had in months to come. She stands in the middle of the woodland grove in white and green clothing cupping a white candle. She sings and bows to trees, then sits down to play a tune on her flute and writes a poem with a goose feather wand. I observe in reverence and silence and my own heart is filled with immense gratitude, peace and authentic energy of myself being here and now, in this moment and that is all there is and it is utterly beautiful. A blessing, indeed!

Memories in the snow

25151930_10155924478831873_7054492740821527453_n

I woke up from a dream of being back in my Siberian land. Dreams that take me there are always set in winter. Most of my childhood and youth’s significant events happened in winter and amidst snow and remain the most memorable to this day. Sledging with friends in freezing temperatures when we couldn’t feel our faces, hands and feet, yet incredibly happy and full of joys of childhood. My first kiss, awkward, yet warm and sweet. The day I let him go also took place in the middle of winter with me crying in the bright light of street lamps and snow sparkling all around us. I remember my blue mascara running down my cheek as if it was yesterday and the smell of his winter coat as he pulled me close to his chest. I remember his heart beat as we said good-bye.

I recall ice-skating with my father and falling into the deep snow, up to my waist, in the wilderness forest. We laughed a lot. Another kiss takes me back to a sacred place where memories stand still and not just my own, but for the whole nation. Wearing white hat and mittens in a cream coloured coat I was deeply in love.

As I walked to the window this morning I was greeted with a snow-covered garden and land beyond. Beautiful. It continued to snow all morning and I decided to go into the forest for some nature and elements communion. I always feel it is such a raw, spiritual and necessary experience to immerse yourself in the elements be it rain, snow, sunshine or wind. Each element awakens something within, touches upon places that need to be visited to remind us of what is essential and where we are in life. Crunchy under my feet I found snow and pure white landscape stretching ahead taking me further into my memories and on a journey of seeing and feeling things I hold dear to my heart. Memories flooded in like a bitter-sweet river and looking around me I smiled also feeling a smidge of sadness in my heart. He is long gone, but what he left is a place within me that is unconditional love and to this day I carry it inside and always will. Forest was noisy with splats and swooshing sounds of snow falling off branches. Many trees were bent down under the snow weight touching the ground. I stopped and breathed it all in. I miss him still and I remember everything like it was yesterday. Sadness filled my heart, but it is no longer grief or longing, it is settled and contained, warm and alive. It is love, forever.

Walking with ancestors

image.jpg

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.

image

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.