Getting lost in a forest

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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.

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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.

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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.

Nature and the present moment

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It is raining… It is not ‘it will clear in a few hours’ or ‘yesterday it was sunny’, it is raining here and now, nothing else is happening. Nature is expressing herself through the element of water in this very moment and it is just how it is. It is not that it is wrong or should be something else, it is what it is right now. Our minds create stories about ideal situations and conditions in every moment of the day. Mind perceives things often not as they are, but how they should be, what would be more favourable and wishing for something else, for a change from what is currently. When do we notice the rain that is happening right now? The mind invites us to avoid, to close eyes and let it pass, but not only that wishing for it to pass and fast, the sooner the better. This is suffering and how it is created in the mind. Imagine the freedom of allowing the rain wash over you literary through your senses of vision, touch and sound and allow your body to be in contact with it, that’s even better. I bet it will be somewhat of a shock to realise what rain feels like and the resistance that one would experience from being in that moment. That’s how powerful the mind is and how difficult it is to detach from its constant instructions and interpretations of reality around us.

It is like rain on a wedding day, which was mine, e.g. It rained like I never experienced in my life before with days previously and the day after being glorious warm and sunny. I despaired, I suffered in the mind’s realisation it is actually raining heavily on my wedding day. “Why, or why, it is not fair, how is this even possible, it shouldn’t be this way”, etc. This is the voice that my mind used with me. It was all about me in that moment (we are terribly self-centred creatures, humans). It was not about anything or anyone else, but about me being upset with the rain for ruining my day, but was it ruined? A wise woman pulled me out of my mind’s cruel narrative and brought me back to a moment of ‘nothing is different, nothing is affecting anything, but my mind’. I was still going to marry a man I loved, the intention was still there, all guests were still there, everything prepared and ready, why would rain take that away from me. It wasn’t rain, it was my own mind that was trying to convince me that ‘it should not rain on a wedding day’.

Nature does what it does in every moment, it is changing all the time. It lives, it blooms and it dies without attachments or regrets. It is just how things are. I am yet to find a greater teacher than what is all around us all year round. It is there, in front of us manifesting lessons in every moment and if observant on a daily basis we can take those teachings into our daily lives and drop the struggle, which is not what we ultimately want, yet mind creates scenarios for us to attach and hold on to. This is why a simple breath meditation is so useful when one simply observes their breath and notices how, when and where their mind drifts off to. Simply noticing what the mind does in any given moment, acknowledge it and let it go and come back to the breath.

Memories in the snow

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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.

Beauty will save the world

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Can you remain unchanged once you lay eyes on a sunset over the ocean
Can you go back to the place of murkey greyness when you witness the storm
Off the shore of wild and beautiful land
Can you not carry with you the spiritual splendour of green mountains leaning over purple lands
Can you live unchanged once you walked barefoot through a fur forest of fragrant giants filled with sounds only comparable to haven’s voice

Raw Pagan

“Beauty will save the world” F. Dostoevsky

 

Holly tree releasing spell

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This morning a familiar energy called me into the woods. I woke up feeling whole, balanced and knowing I will be doing some restorative magic. After having a heart-felt conversation with a friend the call of the forest increased and armed with a small white candle and my charged palms (my hands buzz before doing a spell) I stepped on a path familiar on my way to the sacred grove.

At a distance very clearly as I approached I saw a face of a maiden (beautiful she was) outlined at the entrance to the woods, which then changed to a crone’s face. It made me smile and I bowed as I always do entering the forest.

I sat on a familiar Holly tree and created a place for my energies to be sent into a simple white candle with dry leaves around it representing release (a word also inscribed on my candle). Holly tree is very of the season and to me it spoke of unconditional love, resilience and protection. I invited all the elements to assist me with this work. Fire to transform, Air to clarify, Earth to neutralise and Water to cleanse. It felt just right as I recalled names of people who are in need of a release from a soul turmoil right now. Two people in particular. As I released the energy from my palms to all four directions I saw and heard the last remaining leaves falling off trees all around me and I saw a deer just a few meters away from me. We looked and acknowledged each other for a few minutes before he walked off. Deer is sacred to me and they symbolise tender heart, purity, divine energy and sensitive nature. I thought of both, my friend and my sister, both in need of reminding of their prime qualities. I asked for peace in the world and a release of all that is no longer in service to us. It is waning moon right now and the right time to let things go.

As the candle was about to burn out I picked up a couple of leaves surrounding the candle circle and burnt them in the flame and once done I collected it all together and buried it under the tree in rich, most soil. It is one my of my favourite spells, which can be adopted depending on what’s needed. It always feels great afterwards.

I exited the grove and the woods with a bow and on my return I engaged with the water element by taking a shower to reinvigorate my energy back.

Sending blessings to everyone!

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