Like a bare tree she stands in her naked beauty
Mixed in with the elements raw
Slapped by the wind and washed by the rain
With sunshine warming her bones
She is rooted despite
She is rooted regardless
She lives, loves and breathes for as long as her roots hold her
For as long as nature calls her a daughter, a mother, a crone
Women regenerate often and hard because they have to
In order to sustain life and bare witness to their eternal belonging to
Land and life
Love and loss
Surrender and sorrow
She stands like a bare tree beaten, shaped and twisted by the natural flow of things
But she lives and will bloom over and over because she wants to
Because she is the keeper of it all…the world, nature, land forever and ever
A new release for December 2021 from Moon Books
A unique perspective on working with Baba Yaga, Slavic Earth Goddess of mystery, intrigue and ambiguity, through apprenticing into her magic.
In this introductory work Baba Yaga is re-defined outside of the dogmatic portrayals and becomes one of the most powerful and influential figures in an individual spiritual practice. An accessible guide to building a devotional practice, Pagan Portals – Baba Yaga is a journey of discovery and collaboration with deity, written to aid your own psycho-spiritual progression and offer a unique presentation of how we might work with the Goddess, psychologically and spiritually.
“I’ve felt for a long time that there must be more in the call to Baba Yaga’s cottage than the fairy tales tell us. Natalia Clarke has drawn on her Siberian heritage and personal insights to show us how we might approach this powerful Goddess. This is a book for anyone drawn to dark Goddesses and Crone Goddesses. It’s also the first map I’ve seen that explores the forests in search of wild Gods who will not make themselves comfortable in our homes or on our altars. It’s ground breaking stuff.” Nimue Brown
“A truly fascinating book that opens up our understanding and knowledge of this perhaps misunderstood Goddess. Natalia Clarke shares personal experiences mixed with folklore and practical information to guide seekers to find their own connection with Baba Yaga.” Rachel Patterson – author of Pagan Portals The Cailleach, The Triple Goddess and the Kitchen Witchcraft series
This is an impressive work, clearly written, exploring Baba Yaga as Earth Goddess and laying out what an apprenticeship with her might look like. In a culture that tends to categorise everything – emotions, actions, people – as either wholly good or wholly bad, this book brings some much needed nuance and an exploration of a healthy darkness through this fantastic, visceral deity. Meredith Debonnaire
I am missing the forest of North Wales this week so much. Re-blogging my experience one spring – unforgettable. What I would not give right now!
There’s a place in North Wales where forest is like no other. Gentle yet imposing, soothing yet dark. It never fails to stir the soul within me. The air is so fresh it speaks of the deepest, most nourishing sturdiness and wisdom and compares only to the most delightful embrace where I bury myself utterly in bliss. Forest bathing is by far my favourite spiritual practice where my body comes alive completely and I feel home.
One such experience earlier this spring reaffirmed my love for the forest yet again and spoke to me loudly of a place of belonging. As I walked deeper into the pine kingdom covered in emerald moss I felt myself coming alive in every cell. Both my skin and soul screamed for exposure, immersion into what I can only describe as the light of spirit, ancient and completely perfect.
Its welcoming voice whooshed through tree…
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Primordial land is the monument to eternity. Jagged, raw, windswept into position of timelessness. Wild grasses and flowers scatter across the cliff tops and the land and sea are like the oldest companions of all elemental beauty. It doesn’t just tag at your heart and takes your breath away it consumes your soul.
With a single breath one transports into a place of deep belonging to the times long gone yet still running through your blood. It is a sort of remembrance for me. I know who I am there instantly. There are no barriers or limits, only recognition between the primal in me and the land. There’s no feeling like it.
I describe that feeling as merging with the core of something so familiar. Rocks are like tough thick lizard-like skin and breathe of the sea and mountains is like cells weaving together to form a being that can not be described, only felt from within.
It is a shape shifting experience one might say that is effortless there. It feels like wings and claws can grow out of the body and an animal-self comes home. Otherworldly place yet deeply grounding, which makes it a true manifestation of spirit on Earth type of experience. Heavenly, surreal yet so physically felt with all senses in perfect alignment that can be overwhelming. But the land holds you tight in its casing of rocks, plants and roaring water that you can’t help but become it.
Since I was a child I was aware of this something, a feeling that spoke to me of things that were about to happen. I felt the feelings and watched events unfold. Like an invisible friend it hanged on to me like a familiar dress, a comfort. Sometimes I struggled to carry it or understand its messages yet I was always aware of it being there. Its name was Intuition.
Later through the traumas of the world and life my friend became subdued and I with it. It remained quiet for longer and I felt lonelier than ever. Loneliness happened to me very early on due to being seen as different, hard to reach, difficult to read, emotional and sensitive and later on too deep or too dark. Loneliness followed me into my adulthood. By that point my Intuition was gagged, tied up and hidden in the darkest place of my psyche by demands of life and the world of adults my heart felt was wrong, but could not change. I became too much, too feeling and my body followed into a black hole of mysterious ailments and I lost my inner voice. Only music revived me temporarily. When I touched the piano keys and lost myself in music I found something else, a place where everything just was being, feeling, flowing. I was not allowed none of that outside of music, outside of myself.
Many years had passed and I began to feel a rising of something within me. In truth it slammed into my life like a hurricane, like the loudest noise that had been dying to expel its roar for many years. There was fury and confusion but peace followed, a deep knowing kind. I was being put together again, the way I was when I was a child, but bigger, stronger and with my friend returning to me, wiser.
This time I understood its messages clearly and I vowed never to let go of it again. Intuition became a way of life for me. It was mine and only mine, on my terms, for my own good and restoration of myself, others and the planet. I began to follow it without doubt, hesitation or fear. Intuition was one thing I trusted. I let the magic back in, my own kind, intuitive one and along with nature as my God and inspiration everything changed. I was no longer watching things unfold, but began participating in life in a way of discernment of what’s good and not and so including myself in everything for the first time. I was no longer standing witness to the needs and wants of others; attending from the side lines to everyone’s feelings and recovery. I began to live my life fully and unconditionally and what allowed me to do that was my inner companion, my now fully visible or rather felt friend under the name of Intuition. One true gift of yourself to yourself.
We all possess the gift that is vital to our thriving and protection. Like our body who the intuition is in partnership with, it is always on our side and if we hear the voice, understand its language and learn to follow its advice life becomes a different way of engagement. It is a way to finding joy, strengthening boundaries, avoiding pointless mistakes and honouring our feelings at all times. Feelings are another ally of intuition.
My book Pagan Portals Intuitive Magic Practice explores the subject of intuition and how with its integration and help one can create a magical practice unique to you. It is about reclaiming and restoration of your inner voice. The message aims to be inspiring, empowering and the book provide real-life examples and practical steps towards using intuition as you craft your spells and include magic in your life. If you remain curious and enchanted, it can be a life-changing first step. The book offers self-affirming concepts and principles that will connect you back to yourself.
If you ever wondered about that inner knowing that dwells within you; a powerful navigation system you know you were born with, but forgot how to use it or ignored its value due to life’s conditioning, now IS the time to rediscover that value again and go back to being guided by your own inner wisdom.