This year begins much as last year began, except that the world has turned throughout hundreds of spins and travelled once around our major light source to measure out a year in its dizzy cycle. Our wavering Moon has ebbed and flowed with the tides over those long months and has lit our path on many occasions. One eveningin Alderley Edge forest we began the new year with a need to be amid the imposing ancient trees and to be bathed in moonlight. Luckily, sister moon is out and doing her best to cast a companion cool light on our foolhardy journey.
As we struggled to remember what clothing or paraphernalia we might need or indeed had actually brought, Kal mentioned that he hadn’t brought a light because he knew I would. I retorted that I hadn’t brought a light either, but I couldn’t remember why. It seemed like I wouldn’t need one when I packed. Kal became anxious and reminded me that his night vision capabilities were the least of his talents and that he didn’t want a repeat experience of the midnight prowl he took in the forest last year. I feared that would be exactly what we were in store for, but insisted that we go in anyway. I could feel his hesitancy.
Once inside the bounds of the woodland, with the white and orange familiar street lighting fading far behind us, I remained buoyant – there seemed to be enough light for us to make safe progress if we stuck to the main paths. Did we ever stick to the main path? Not often, but tonight we might have to! Amid Kal’s consternation and our idle chat I stopped. What had stopped me, I wondered? Years of experience with these things now made me realise I had stopped for a reason. I scanned around in the dim light and recognised the pale white reflections of five or six dog-sized stones, too smooth and regular to be a stone circle made by ancient hands. Indeed, we were stood by the folly stone circle created at the turn of the last century. Older than most parts of America, but young enough for the dog-stones to seem like mere pups compared to the hoary old stones of the bigger and more hidden monuments.
The folly stone circle was a good indicator. It is raised slightly above the main path and catches your eye as you walk along, if you have the right attention because it was very dark in there that evening. We were only seconds away from the elderly beech tree that held the very spirit of the forest in the confines of its branches and roots. Perhaps I had even been stopped in my tracks by sensing the edge of its giant aura? Kal abandoned his cursory dowse of the circle (because there’s little to dowse) and we made our way to stand underneath the gigantic boughs of this majestic patriarch.
Kal gave the tree an affectionate welcome and then wandered off into the lower extremities on a mission of his own devising. For me, I needed to confirm some things that I had learned during the Winter Solstice, but which I found difficult to accept could have been the result of a mystical experience simply because Calgary Airport didn’t feel much like the sort of place that one would expect a mystical moment to occur. I wanted to confirm my findings with a more reliable interlocutor.
Having spent many moments with this tree it was a relatively simple affair to make contact again. Despite his being energetically handicapped by the Winter months I could feel his hidden and dormant depths almost immediately and I approached a connection with humility and respect for his power. He does, after all, hold sway over a very large and ancient forest. It like being able to see the beauty of a woman beneath her winter clothing layers. Some things just shine through despite being buried.
I introduced myself to him again, asking him whether he remembered me and if he could see how far I had come since my last visit there. But I was being hasty and needed to calm down and connect properly before I got a recognisable response. I went quiet and tuned into the forest, letting my attention spread out even as I sent a cycle of energy around me to protect myself from anything in the forest that might be attracted by my expending energy field. You see – I had learned something! Once again I thought back to that small man who had once followed M and me through the forest asking me about magic and warning me that I needed protection in this line of work. At the time I had dismissed his ideas as unnecessary – now I was more experienced.
Once in a quiet state of grace with the tree I asked whether I could confirm something that was on my mind. The tree gave a gentle tug at my energy field as though to invite my question. I projected the thoughts outwards to the tree:-
- Please confirm that it was my current quest to write a book – correct
- I had until February to get a draft written – correct
- The subject of the book should be “service” – correct
Hmmm….better get writing!
I finally asked the tree whether I could be directed to a place in the forest where I could commune with my Spirit Guide to ask her the same questions. The tree seemed to shake oh-so-gently with laughter. I knew he had not taken this as an insult, but rather had seen how unnecessary it was and how insecure I was being. nevertheless he made my head turn to face one part of the forest – it was the direction in which my power centre lay. I asked if that was correct and got a louder rumbling of deep laughter. Always I needed confirmation, he seemed to be saying. ‘Poor child. Come so far, but still so young.’
When Kal returned we set off through the forest going via the main paths towards my power centre. I knew the way in the daylight by the hidden paths, but I only had an inner compass and the guidance of the things of the forest as we ventured off the main paths finally and on towards somewhere I vaguely recognised. Even in the depths of the forest, off the paths, there was a welcome dark blue background that seemed to shed enough light not to get a poke in the eye from a branch, or trip on a tree root or stone. Before we knew it I found us a sensible entrance to the place that had become both a power centre for both of us over the last year (even though we came to it entirely independently at first!).
At the power centre I lit some incense, as did Kal. We stood side by side, together in our own worlds. I connected with the forest and with my spirit guide and went in search of validation. Was i correct in everything I had been told about writing a book? I felt the presence of my spirit guide as i called her. She is my teacher and mentor now, and when she answers my call I do her the courtesy of listening. No questions were needed – she knew what I was asking. Instead she plainly and simply re-iterated all that I had heard before from the tree….but there was something else. She also showed me that the subject matter of the book – service – would become the defining framework within which I would do my best work this year.
Now I understood. I thanked the trees and the forest generally, and disconnected, but kept my protection up. As we walked back towards the car along paths we knew well we chatted about our experiences, and about how comfortable we both felt inside a deep dark forest. How times had changed over the course of a few years and how much we were looking forward to the surprises, the challenges and the rewards that this year might bring. Every year the world gets more interesting!
Gwas. Longing for leaves.