Soul land review

In which Soul Land is highly recommended. James Nicol is a well respected member of the druid community and founded an influential contemplative project

BOOK REVIEW: SOUL LAND

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Author copies have arrived

Excited to announce

Out in 2021

Intuitive Magic Practice

by Moon Books

A guide and companion on an individual journey to true self-empowerment through reclaiming the power of intuition, this book celebrates who are you, utilizes intuition, nature principles and elements and puts YOU and your magical practice at the centre. Aimed at beginners, Pagan Portals – Intuitive Magic Practice is easy to follow and will help you discover techniques, methods and practices you can adapt for your own magical practice.

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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

Call back the souls

Does the land call souls back? She does.

Or how else she knows and hears more of its beauty

It seeks souls out who crave home like a mother’s breast, those who carry their hearts ready for surrender

All that souls want is belonging, sacred quiet of the land’s womb forever tied together

And in their belonging they praise, admire and serve the spirit of the land as the creator of them all

Glory to the land that souls worship like ships after a battle flocking back home where all is true and peaceful

Does the land call souls home? She does as that’s how things end for us all including her that only lives and breathes when she’s loved completely, till the end

Druid’s way

Druidry

Druidry is not something in isolation of the whole universal way of being. It is not a prescribed religion with rules and texts, it is a free-flowing way of being in touch with yourself and the world carried in every day through engagement with awen inspiration. It is a spiritual practice, every day engagement with this world and everything in it. It is walking the earth in a way beneficial to the whole and the truth of nature.

These words summarise Druid’s way of living for me:

Honour, truth, integrity, listening and seeing, creativity, inspiration, healing, guiding, nature’s cycles, light and dark, seasons, stories, songs, rituals, everyday engagement, connection, involvement, wonder, enchantment, walking the land, magic in everything, leading, being with darkness, humanity, humility, authenticity, delight, spirit, community, joy, trees, nature deities, celebration, shamanic, otherworldly, sacred groves, ancestors, philosophy, seer, peaceful, humble, being with, voice, simple living, barefoot walking, tree talking, making a difference, understanding, seeing others, looking within, animist, standing stones, energy work, embodying, divine within and without, earthly living, participation, grounding

Having experienced some inner storms this week I looked within for what was needed and once I picked up a book on Druidry I settled into a space of peace and comfort. Another’s words on pages spoke to a part of me that is peaceful, content and in touch with meaning. I felt myself relax and calmed into a way of seeing things for what they are with speaking my truth at the heart of it. I find often I need to continue reading the words of the wise to stay connected with the part of myself that knows, feels and understands the ways of Awen, the inspiration of life with all its joys and struggles. I fall down and rise up again every time even though it always feels impossible, but it comes about just like a rain stops and sunshine graces the land once again.

Last night I was pulled into the stunning rainy landscape. I kicked my shoes off and stepped onto wet grass soft and glorious. Walking the earth connects me to the very essence of myself and to the centre of the whole. It feels containing as if the land is there to listen, understand and be with me. I feel all tension seep through my toes into the earth and on the in-breath I bring a renewed, fresh energy up into my body again. Roses in this garden smell incredible. It reminds me of home, my mother, the land of my birth and for a moment I am lost in a space of spirit so present my heart begins to ache with joy once again.

I am continuing to learn and make a practice for myself that serves the purpose of for myself and the whole. A practice that is authentic and in connection with everything that has meaning to me. I feel grateful once again for being shown a way as my chest relaxes in an outer breath and releasing all tension.

 

My Light is in the Shadow

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This weekend unveiled one of the most profound and life-changing insights I have ever had. It came through a dream, which carried such a wonderful feeling of pure joy, pleasure and happiness.

I walked through an opening between two identical buildings. One I identified with light and another with darkness. I turned left, to the darker side and that is where I found myself walking through thick, virgin, lush snow. It sparkled in the moonlight, as I picked it up with my hands and threw it in the air again and again smiling genuine joy and pleasure. I played and played in the whiteness of the snow experiencing the loveliest feeling of pure content and joy in the centre of my being.

We often associate Shadow with negative material we suppressed and rejected, aspects of ourselves that cause us pain and are hard for us to face. We send it away to the darkest corners of our psyche and leave it there unable to revisit and unprepared to deal with it. Overtime materials that are contained within that place increase and often become a burden and directly affect our lives without us realising, so to speak, as it is unconscious most of the time. We see all of that as negative, however, what about sending positive aspects ourselves into the shadow? This is what my dream is about. My LIGHT is in the shadow. I banished my joy, playfulness, purity and happiness into unconscious dark part of myself due to those parts of myself considered unacceptable and bad. For example, let’s take sensitivity and innocence, which are beautiful qualities in a child, however, when you are repeatedly told not to be so soft, sensitive and given a lot of responsibility at a very early age, a child takes it upon themselves having to change, adopt and introject the message of ‘sensitive and innocent is NOT good’. This is just one example where positive qualities are turned into negative and banished into unconscious shadow.

In my case it transpired that I had taken upon myself to live in pain constantly to the point where pain became a way of being and tasting almost sweet that how familiar it became. I always found hard to connect to what joy and pleasure feels like, however, pain I knew very well throughout my life and related to it as the old friend that accompanied my on a life journey. I developed fascinations with the hardest degree of suffering, e.g. mental health and bereavement, the darkest corners of human emotion. I understood it deeply to a point of over identifying with it I saw no light in the world. Where did the light go? In my SHADOW…

Very polarised and split one would agree, so how one restores balance between the two.

The insight is the first step where unconscious becomes conscious and one realises this dynamic can and, in many cases, should be changed if one is to live a more vibrant and conscious life. At that point it is also important to take your power back and welcome all the unique and positive qualities into your life paying attention to each and every one, excavating your soul, so to speak, or parts of it with an aim to integrate back into the whole. In this case I am focusing on that innocence and joy of a young child, which was squashed and tainted way too early. I am spending time with that being playing in the snow without a care in the world full of pure joy and freedom of expression. As I write I can feel the satisfaction of that state sipping through back into my being. It is unfamiliar and I am apprehensive and the point is to familiarise myself with that part, which had long been forgotten.

Having said then when my spiritual awakening happened I remember experiencing the feeling of pure love that would bring tears to my eyes. I would hold my breath in disbelief that such a feeling is possible on outside let alone within me. That is connection to spirit of all things. I have experienced that again and again since the beginning of my awakening process and today have an easy access to that space of wonder, glory, unconditional love, immensely vibrant inner power and joy. I can only describe it as being drunk and floating through a space where everything is possible. It is like a veil, which is above everything else and it is bigger than anything else. In that space everything else falls away and there is a sense of expansion and awe, which is limitless. I follow my path of nature based spirituality because the SPIRIT is in NATURE for me. Nature was and remains the catalyst for my reconnection to spirit and awakening of universal consciousness. In nature I feel the balance between light and dark, I have access to both. It is the only place where I feel I belong, I experience my own power and I am familiar with all aspects of myself as a whole. There are no splits or polarities, it is all accepting. It is a place where I experience the biggest joy and wonder as well as deeply understand and see dark places, I understand the contrast and the purpose of it all is crystal clear to me. I feel whole in nature, there is no separation or rejection of anything. Both, shadow and light exist in perfect harmony.

To have received such an insight that ‘the LIGHT is in the shadow’ and has been for many years feels immensely important for the next stage of my evolution for the good of myself and the universal consciousness on the whole. My work continues and the time of this transition is just perfect.

The image to come with this insight is the white bird with black wings.

Let your pain be the wings that carry you towards the light!

I wish you all blessed transformations and a joy of knowing you are powerful beings!

Much love

banked-turn

 

The gift of the land/soul home

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Glencoe, Scotland

Do not be fooled by the beauty and majesty of the land, as it hides its scars well and keeps its secrets deep under her Earthy blankets. The land doesn’t wait, protect or care for anyone or anything in a sense it just IS. You either blend with it and submit in many ways and embrace its ways or you leave. It doesn’t care for keeping you or entertain you, it has no interest in what you think and feel it is just there. It sounds rejecting, right, well, it is not. It is everlasting and just there and if one wants to merge with it the land is fine with that too as long as there is respect and deep understanding of its wounds, joys, past. Yes, the land more than anything carries past within her streams, trees, mossy hills and eternal rocks. There is nothing on Earth that I have ever come across that speaks of the past and ancestral doings more than the land we stand on, walk on. It knows it all, it seen a lot hence its wisdom is unquestionable. It is fierce and it is gentle, it has it all. It is not all beauty and majesty, it is bloody murders and deaths, it is tears of sorrow and it is gentleness of a sunrise through the trees in the forest. Its majesty lies in its knowing, diversity, multidimensional way of being and embracing it all. It loves and it fights, it gives birth and it kills, it nourishes and it starves and the cycle goes on and on and is never ending. One that will never end, it will continue to go on long after we are gone. That’s the majesty, the way of being that just IS.

Deep understanding of nature can bring peace and turmoil into our souls, as processed are parallel within nature and our psyche and if we tune into its rhythms we risk deeper understanding of ourselves. It mirrors life perfectly to us, all we have to do is see and feel deeply. Nature is the perfect gift to humanity and we don’t know it, but we are threatened by it through destroying it, through turning away from natural ways, through mocking and rejecting the ways of the old. We are scared, that’s what it is, that is all that it is – fear of that power that lied deep in the woods and amongst the rocks and up in the sky. We cannot surrender, we resist and we project and we reject and curse the power that we know we want to get to know, but fear stops us. Nature does favour the brave though, I would say, it shows more to those who are willing to merge with it and enter the forest with an open heart full of love and ready to learn and explore. It favours creative types, curious types unafraid of getting it wrong and stumbling over logs and cutting themselves on bramble and falling off a rock and getting wet on the greenness of the moss. It lifts you up it pushes you down, but as long as you get up and continue on a journey it helps you along yes with more tests, yes, with more challenges, but it also applauds you in recognition of your bravery and willingness to know nature, know yourself…

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Loch Ness, Scotland

It can lead you to your home, to your spirit source if you keep eyes, ears and heart open whenever you go listen to the calls of the land, feel the pulls of your heart. What are you drawn to? Rivers, mountains, forests, the sea. Where is it that you feel the most unbearable ache that wouldn’t go away when you are away from the land. What is the place that enters your mind every day and you burst into tears instantly. Where is it you feel the joy of immense light when you are as one with the land. That’s your ‘soul home’. You just know it and the land knows it too as your evolution is a progression towards worship and protection of the land. It becomes a sacred relationship. The land can’t not appreciate it, it does, although it does not attach itself to you as much as you attach yourself to it. It continues to be with allowing for you to be with it. You become living in service to that land, you walk with pride over its hills and fall in love with its winds and summer sunsets. You become as one and all that your heart wants is to be forever there, to be always with it, as one living and breathing and following the cycles of the land forever and ever till the spirit shines so bright and is so near your soul returns to it in peace and beauty.

“This is the place. I was certain. For the heart knows its home when it finds it, and on finding it, stays there.” Corrag, Susan Fletcher 

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Perthshire, Scotland