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.
What we are experiencing is a crisis on many levels and what’s at the centre of it is a breakdown of the ‘whole’, a psycho-spiritual crisis of individual and collective. We are facing a long and dark night of the soul. When things no longer make sense, our minds race uncontrollably and feelings overwhelm our every day, fear-based behaviours flare out of control and our safety is compromised. When personal and collective fall away what and how transpersonal can help us get back to ourselves, get back ‘home’.
What are we left with? What else is there?
Transpersonal approach to psycho-spiritual work deals with the idea of human innate potential and bears witness to personal transformations through engaging with or experiencing something beyond ‘self’ when in crisis. Hope reawakens, inner potential begins to shine through and strength previously seemingly inaccessible comes back. As a therapist I have been privileged to be a witness to profound shifts in individuals when working in a transpersonal way. Working with life transitions and crisis is one of my favourite areas due to an openness and beauty of experience that can be had once transformation occurs through awareness, reflection and application. The beauty and resilience of the human spirit is profound. Transpersonal way of working for me, first and foremost, is an interconnectedness and the quality of being with another that holds the key to an effective recovery of all that matters.
When we are faced with crisis we can look at losing something as a way of gaining something else; an opportunity, a ‘welcomed’ surrender without resistance. In breaking down we break through. The crisis becomes a golden opportunity to self-actualise, a path towards what one always wanted to be. Crisis becomes a road ‘home’ towards inner wholeness.
How can transpersonal view help in a time of crisis? Transpersonal psychology ideas were birthed out of humanistic movement of the 1960s and have been widely used in psycho-spiritual work and incorporated in a field of psychotherapy. The actual term ‘transpersonal’ was first used by C Jung in 1917. I see transpersonal approach to healing and life in general as an active, purposeful engagement with ideas such as, hope, meaningful life, human innate potential, divine nature within us all – all of which create a ‘whole’ of life experience. It includes interconnectedness between earthly and spiritual, cognitive and emotional, physical and sensory, person and interpersonal, inner and outer, individual and collective. We have an opportunity to start with ourselves and extend our essential life-force and divine energy outwards. We can do so through nourishing thoughts and meaningful actions, emotional intelligence and awareness, intentional creative life, honouring of the body, practicing enchantment of life and spiritual awareness in a way that makes the most sense to us.
When all structures around us collapse, pillars that held our earthly lives in place, where do we turn for help and containment? What happens to our identity and personal concerns? Through history we have seen individuals, as well as, nations collectively ‘rising from the ashes’ when a surge in consciousness comes forth and personal diminishes. We access our strength, hope and potential in a place beyond personal. We can call it faith, spiritual awareness, experience that has no words, yet its power cannot be denied and transformations are inevitable.
Better knowing your nature one can be more effective in the world and seeing that we are not just one or the other, thoughts or feelings we are the whole experience of life in all its spectrums. In dropping into the dark we discover the light and with light taken away darkness serves as a lesson towards change.
As a result of a crisis what we ultimately look for is:
A path to consciousness through harnessing the unconscious
Inner and outer transformation (individual and collective)
Coming to awareness of the interconnected reality
Joining back in with the individual and collective ‘whole’
Spiritual connection to the divine
What we can do:
Turn within with love, compassion and trust
Have faith in knowing that our potential is limitless. Potential within us all is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. When all the external noise, defences, unconscious actions no longer dominate we can clearly see what really is available to us from within.
Become conscious of your unconscious through paying attention to your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Focus on your personal (with yourself), interpersonal (with others) and extra-personal (transpersonal, spiritual, divine) relationships.
Self-reflect with every step paying attention to words you speak
Be present through the body either through grounded visualizations or other activities that connects you to the physical. I find digging the earth, planting, gardening, walking or running very revelatory, cantering, meditative and often spiritual experiences.
Care-take your insights and implement into life as a way of practicing change, growth and transformation
Know what brings you joy and pleasure; what makes your passion burn; what actions make your life fulfilling and meaningful
“Everything living thrives for wholeness” (C. Jung) and it is wholeness we need to reclaim and rebuild following multiple fractures, isolation, disconnection and loss on a huge scale. Use the crisis to begin the work of rebuilding earthly and spiritual reality based on what matters to you. Spiritual to you might be finding meaning in life or creating a practice that allows you a space where you are most productive, loving, and compassionate. Through individual healing and awareness of the transpersonal, whichever way you choose to access it, use it as a helping hand, a reminder of ‘something more, something better’, we can weave threads of consciousness, however, small at first, as long as there is intention and inner belief in what we can truly do when we commit to healing and recovery.
When all falls apart what’s left is the extraordinary spirit that shines within us all, the innate natural capacities to do things unimaginable that often come force when we are faced with crisis. Through the light of consciousness step-by-step, piece-by-piece we pave the road ‘home’, back to ourselves, a road back to wholeness.
In the last two months I have found my new ‘spiritual’, ‘other than’ space through writing. I have loved every second of my passion and particularly how it feels when engaged in it. It feels otherworldly and like nothing else. For that I am immensely grateful and feel joyful knowing I can step into that ‘dimension’, yes, it feels like another sphere all together, when I want to. It is not, of course, as simple as just sitting down and write, but I love that complexity, a challenge, which stretches me intellectually, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
As Yule is approaching I can feel my energy shifting into 2020 goal setting, or a visual and sensory plan I like to envisage. I usually go about this by tuning into my energy and how I feel, which is around, rather than purely looking at physical needs and demands of the outside world, so to speak. What I am discovering is that I feel I would like to step more into my Fire energy. Again, this is not unusual for me with the season of winter, but I think I have forgotten how much I missed it having spent a lot of 2019 in a place that explored more soft, sensitive, quiet ‘me’. You see with writing both are required and I love that. In terms of going forward I would like to step into the Fire of my own inner qualities and run joyfully with that. In the last few days I have had a pep talk with myself, got angry with myself (in a good way) and said ‘enough is enough’ in relation to many things in my life. It felt like an existential shift where I have come to more acceptance of belonging to this earthly world, whether I want to or not, and that I don’t always have choices and neither I should have. There is less discussion, introspection and analysis needed for me at this time and more being present in the physical that I need to manifest. Winter is the perfect time for me to do that, as every year my energy escalates, my mind clears and I become very productive and active. I love it.
In terms of my spiritual practice I would like to implement the elements I am referring to above, e.g. creating more of a routine, consistency and commitment to things I need to be doing. Arriving at what that might be will, of course, be done intuitively, as it is my most natural way of discerning things. The rest will be done in a clean, precise, organised manner. At least I would like to try. Many things have sort of disappeared into the background in terms of practice and I would like raise my awareness more and bring things back into practice, but with a new vigour, in a new way.
My plans are a lot about writing in 2020. That includes literary fiction and poetry and non-fiction on subjects related to earth-based spirituality. I feel excited to have a few projects in the pipe-line. My poetry book ‘Soul Land’ is coming out next year and I am extremely touched and passionate about that collection and in awe of how it came about all together. It was meant to be, the only way I can describe it.
My first step on the way to reawakening traditions will be searching for my Yule log and decorating it for the 21st December celebrations. I love Yule and I love darkness, which always feels super nourishing and comforting to my soul and my body adores cold temperatures. I hope you all have a wonderful time celebrating Nature and all her beautiful gifts.
Sometimes what once was the centre of your world becomes exhausting, murky and isolating. This year I have opened my eyes to others’ perspectives on that very important thing I had only looked at from my own heart’s perspective. It can be hard to separate heart and mind when the love one feels is all consuming. It is very true what they say about love being blind. Grateful I am for insights and clarity on a picture, which had only ever had one presentation, nothing else compared and something I fiercely and unconditionally protected shutting eyes and ears to anything else in the process. It nearly cost me dearly and took me away in a direction I knew nothing about however much I convinced myself that I did.
Today I looked at that same picture and saw a gloomy, lonely, unwell landscape what before seemed like haven on earth, the only place to live and die. Strikingly it looked back at me as there we both were as if seeing each other for the first time. What an eye-opening experience this summer. I finally admitted and accepted that suffering does not equate eternal bliss, they are polar opposites, yet my attachment to pain, an old pattern, slowly sneaked up into this experience. Being blind was part of the game, part of the lure into a place dark and lonely. Love is a funny thing and that, I understand, relates to all sorts of love, be it for a person, behaviour, place or a certain feeling. We often get blind-sided by what we are not willing to see for the sake of preserving what we think will ultimately bring us joy. When we get out of our heads and step away from this one perspective we can see all the blind spots. The words of others would ring in our ears all at once and suddenly, for the first time, we hear their voices and see their perspective. Being trapped in a love that is projected, idealised can be dangerous, I know it now, as that kind of love will ask you to give up many things and people, who are actually meant to be in your life. Others are like mirrors into our experience, they are there to point out where we are going wrong and take us back into their arms no matter how far we might have strayed. This is a blessing, as what would happen if there was no way back, no one there to welcome us back to a safe shore?
It has been a difficult summer in particular. I found my allies in places I didn’t expect and returning to a home I long forgot provided me with much needed foundation to start rebuilding my experience, anew, in a different way, more kind and compassionate to the whole of myself, not just an isolated part.
Relationships, however, weak, strong, distant or unnoticed are valuable for us all and should be cultivated and cherished even if only for a while, but the most important thing is to notice, to hear, to allow for that hand of help stretch towards us when we don’t know what is good for us. Living in the earthly is fundamental for the spiritual to feel safe – that much is clear. One without the other is limited and it is also the most difficult integration and manifestation there is, the hardest lesson to learn while we remain in this time space reality.
Summer always feels unsafe to me with its unforgiving, merciless sun and the overwhelm of all senses with dense, unpenetrable forests’ paths. I get lost, confused and on edge all of the time, which makes me vulnerable to all sorts of experiences. They hit all at once, relentless dreams, mental states confusion, anxiety, body shutting down its communication. I don’t feel healthy or well during summer and by the end of it I am always exhausted and in a break-down mode in every way. Now with autumn coming, I am finally coming back to myself., back to safety. Relieved I can begin to breathe again. A process of recovery and reconstruction starts all over again, as it does every year. I am yet to figure out a way of working with summer, something, I suspect, is meant to be that exact way, although difficult to tolerate.
There are many sides to each and every one of you. Very often we get stuck in the earthly and conditioning so much that we had not been able to see or know who we truly are. That always comes from such messages as ‘you should be this… or this is not acceptable… or this is a good thing to do… are you sure you know what you are doing…’, imposed expectations and conditions from the external environment, family dynamics and ancestral roots. We grow up hearing, seeing and internalising those messages and voices of the external and with that what we truly are gets simply left behind, rejected or forgotten.
In my work I am primarily concerned with and interested in who a person connecting with me in sacred work is. Who is a person without the pain, without the burden of obligation or duty? Who are you? This is exciting and fundamental work for a personal transformation and a fulfilling life. Through intuitive work/intuitive reading you can discover and connect to your sacred parts of the whole. The work goes in cycles and with each cycle a person goes deeper into their layers and discovering more of themselves. This is transformational work I feel very passionate about. As long as we don’t force to be one way or another, put ourselves in a box, trying to either be it all at once or just one as a dominant force, exactly like it has been done to us from the external before, through this work we can reach the depth of inner knowing that will propel us into life in a completely different way. True parts of you cannot be rushed or told what to do. They will come when they are most needed and what’s expected of us is to get to know each of them intimately and know when to call upon one energy/archetype or another. They are a team working together within your psyche and have your best interest at heart only if you give them full understanding, acceptance and unconditional regard and love. They want to be allowed to be and this is very important.
I will share with you examples from my own journey. There are several parts that I know well within me and have built or am building a relationship with. Seasons of the year, the wheel of the year and four seasons of the soul have played a huge part in my journey and you can connect a lot of it with what is going on in nature. My intuitive practice and spell casting are interlinked closely with working in nature. This is part of who I am, something I was born with that can never be lost.
The Nature Spirit – this is my biggest, all-inclusive part that includes The Inner Mother, The Goddess (a few of them depending on where we are in the wheel of the year), The Healer (working with plants predominantly), The Magician (solitary practitioner that seeks solitude and quiet to bring about a change), The Green man (a position masculine energy), The Five Elements, fairy folk, spirits of the woods and many more archetypes. It is the most alive and vibrant energy within me, something I feel I knew even before I was born and is inseparable from the core of who I am.
The Witch – this part is the most connected to underworld/unconscious/the Moon/darkness. It usually comes forth several times a year and the way I recognise it or know it comes into my body is through my hands. Magic energy starts pulsating and buzzing in my hands and goes into my fingers that I can feel it very clearly. What I do with that depends on what intuition tells me at the time and what is going on around me or within me at the time. It can be nothing, just being with it, or doing some creative spell casting (more on that in another post) or change an altar. I always follow my intuition as an Intuitive practitioner. My magic practice is also intuitive rather than ritualistic, mainstream or fixed. The Witch is unsuprisingly fond of autumn time and comes up close to Samhain, and my own birthday time.
Land Guardian – this part is the most connected to my soul, but different from a Nature spirit. This one is all about a deep sacred relationship with the land. It is an expression of the most beautiful love that I know. It is a source of my inspiration, my deepest emotions. This part of me reads various locations naturally, it picks up on land signatures and knows what needs to be healed or how we can be healed by relating to the land.
Wolf – this part is connected to the body. Leezil is a female wolf. It is wild and instinctual and a source of sexual energy. This one feels incredibly freeing and empowering when it is present and makes me feel invincible. It also has the most profound quality of honour and loyalty – my primary life values.
Intuitive self – this part of me is connected to Spirit. It receives messages from the Source for myself or others and it is the most knowing part of me that taught me a lot about living a fully intuitive life. Nowadays I don’t know any other way to live.
Inner child – this part is connected to freedom and joy. I have been working on this part for many years (my inner child was lost for what felt like an eternity and was not reachable for many years. It took a long time and effort to bring it back. I am still working on it discovering more with each inner work cycle. The most recent discovery earlier this year was that there are, in fact, two inner children within me.
These are just some parts and there are many more, of what I see as many parts of the whole and when I sit with a client, who had been ‘in a box’ for many years, it is always the most hopeful thing for them to hear that they are not just THAT, they are many beautiful manifestations of the Spirit. The journey of discovery of these lost parts of yourself that need to be called home and collected into one whole piece is the most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed within myself and in working with other people. It is a true privilege to see someone arrive where they had always meant to be.