Posts Tagged ‘communing’

The Beech of Clumber Park

This is the first of a few posts telling you about my trip to the beautiful county of Nottingham. You may remember that I had dowsed using rods and map to find a location in which I could spend a few days of peace and quiet. The dowsing rods had done me a good turn. Hold on - I must stop saying it’s the rods themselves. The rods are an extension of an interaction between myself and my guiding spirits, with whom I have forged a psychic relationship. There. That’s better. Now you understand how I view this dowsing activity.

Before going to Creswell Crags I decided to have a relaxing walk in a forest that the landlady of my hotel had recommended – Clumber Park. Dowsing had suggested that I should be at Creswell Crags closer to midday, rather than in the morning. Clumber Park was very close by, so it was no bother to go visit it. I found it easily, and it was free to enter and to park when I got there (although there is usually a charge).

Clumber Park is a National Trust estate and so is consequently well organised and well kept. It was my intention simply to wander around for a while to acclimatise to the energies of the place, and to breathe in the warm late Winter fresh air – clear out my lungs and enliven the blood.

Clumber Park in February

The estate is large, and once I had found the car park I began to wander around, feeling for a direction to walk in. The spire of the church nearby pulled me towards it. One of the signs promised peacefulness and this drew me in. The chapel was impressive from the outside – much bigger than you would expect for a chapel that must have served a s very small congregation. Interestingly, its dedication was to “Our Lady“. An indication to me that it was hedging its bets as to whether that was Mary or some other natural female deity.

I couldn’t dowse around inside because the building was closed for Winter refurbishment, but the surrounding trees made me feel welcome anyway, and I wandered off towards the stretched-out lake to watch the swans taking off and landing. The swans’ wings made the oddest rhythmic sound which captivated me for many minutes. Oh, the luxury of time – time enough to let oneself fall into the arms of Nature to feel her heart beating!

The Chapel of Our Lady, Clumber Park

Peach of a Beech

As I wandered away from the lakeside something made itself known to me and I began to walk in the direction of the ‘tug’ – the mental feeling that something was calling to me. Within minutes I was walking up a small mound of shrubs and trees to discover a huge beech tree on the top of the rise. I wasn’t surprised, but instead delighted.

I spent a few minutes in meditation with the tree, and asked how we might interact together. My suggestion was to rebalance my chakras using the tree’s helpful energies, in return for me providing the tree with as much growth energy as I could muster. I set to work generating some energy from a combination of my heart and sacral chakras and provided them to the tree’s roots. In return I felt the tree go to work on my aura, and after it had finished I felt rather good. This might be a useful preparation for things to come later, I thought to myself.

As I said my thanks to the tree, I heard in my mind “Good work, young Druid“. That was a nice touch. Young? Not how I would describe myself, but relative to the tree I suppose I was. And in terms of my druid knowledge – certainly in my youth there.

A majestic beech tree in Clumber Park

I was now feeling balanced and prepared for the day ahead. I seemed to have all the energy I could need. The recovery process was off to a great start. Now it was time to visit the caves at the crags and an unexpected meeting with an Earth Spirit, which I will report in my next post.

Gwas.

Healing through the palms

My Glastonbury pilgrimage is always a major event in my life. Each year it signals a major change in motivation towards achieving something amazing and progression along my spiritual path is always much faster and furious after the pilgrimage. Sometimes the visions that I receive are life-changing. Sometimes they take me in a direction that I didn’t expect. This year they took me in a direction that I did expect – but one which I had been putting off for years. Now I was given a clear sign that I have to become a healer if I wanted to fulfil the role of a druid in modern society. There was simply no getting away from it this time!

In a meditation with the female forces that are commonly identified as simply “The Goddess” she showed me that my healing ability would come firstly through my palms, and that I could use this to heal myself first. Once I had learned that then I would use the power to heal others as repayment for this self-healing. I felt this was a fair exchange, and though I have nothing medically wrong with me I do a lot of physical training that often leads to strains and tired muscles. I am hoping that I will be able to repair the muscles and get back to full fitness quickly if I develop these healing techniques that I am being guided towards.

Thereafter I hope to be able to heal others, but I have a long way to go to get to that point. I seem to have a natural affinity for identifying people’s aches and pains, but I’m less skilled in resolving them. However, I do a form of acupressure that seems to have spontaneously emerged several years ago and which I suspect will be my starting point for what I am about to learn.

The History of the Palms

Let’s stay away from the obvious Christian associations with the palms – the crucification of the great bearded one, for example – and focus on how the palms are represented in traditional healing folklore. Healing hands have long been the province of the witch or cunning person of the village before the establishment of certified medicinal practises. In eastern philosophies the palms form an obscurer but no less important part of the chakra system of power points on the human energy field that interact with the divine energies of the surrounding world, and the palms have been seen as a means to be attract and transmit healing energies.

Learning to develop and channel healing energies

I am finding my own way – as usual – with the help of the wilderness voices. I am going into meditation in Nature and listening to the advice of trees and other guiding entities who wish to reveal to me the methods and powers with which I can begin to develop this healing practice for myself, and for the benefit of others. Of course, being an avid book collector I am also seeking out sources of written information to suggest techniques or areas into which I could develop, providing that these techniques that I read about are endorsed or confirm the techniques that I am discovering through communing and meditation. Nature is my teacher – the rest of confirmation or expansion.

I am trying out some of the meditation techniques from The Well of Light by R.J.Stewart. Actually, they are incredibly similar to ones that I already worked out for myself, or went through by accident. Funny how this all works the same way, no matter how you come to the information! If I find them successful I will write about them soon so that you can see how they are constructed, and consider how they might be similar of different from your own visionary work.

To get some more information about this topic I went to a favourite grove of mine that I haven’t visited at all this year. I was welcomed back and it was nice to be “home” in this ring of trees only a few miles from my house. Whilst there I was free to commune fully with the teacher beech tree that is the master of the grove and he led me to some thoughts about healing through the palms. The beech tree guided me to work on my five chakras to develop a circulating energy flow that went clockwise – in through my left palm, round my body, and back out again from my right palm. To enable this I had to hold my palms opposite each other in front of me, and to hold them at the height that corresponded to one of the five chakra points on my body. Bu doing this I was able to circulate my own body’s energy flows through my palms.

However, this was not all. I knew I couldn’t just use my own energy to heal - what if I needed more energy than I could muster to do the healing, or my own energy was not the right kind for the healing work? How could I channel energy from elsewhere? More meditation, and the tree suggested two sources for me. In the daylight hours I could draw light energy from the sun’s rays through my left palm and give them out through my right palm. At night I could use the energy of the moon. At any time I could use the energy of living things, particularly trees, to assist me in channelling energy into a healing form through this chakra meditation technique. Brilliant!

The Season of the Sources

These techniques for drawing energy from other sources are similar but different to those taught by the Reiki attunement levels, it seems. From my limited understanding of the Reiki system I believe that practitioners are taught to draw from a generalised universal life force. In my case I have been given specific sources to draw from to suit particular times of the day or night, and of course for particular times of the month and year too. For me, the sources and strengths of the life force to be drawn from will wax and wane with the day, with the phase of the moon, and with the seasons.

I expect the most abundant sun energy to be available at noon on a sunny day at the summer solstice, whereas the most abundant moon energy will be on a clear night at a full Winter moon when the moon is closest to the planet (the apogee). The other factor involved will be the strength of the trees that are nearby, and their levels of power and co-operation. Quite different from the simpler Reiki approach, I feel.

Some associated resources:-

  1. Woodland Wellness
  2. Reiki
  3. Tonohira Ryoji – Reiki palm healing
  4. Pranic healing
  5. Using your palms for healing
  6. Palm qigong
  7. Hand Chakra awakening meditation video

Gwas.

 

Meeting the Hawk of May

I had been out on a walk along the Cheshire Landscape Figure of the Hawk on a previous evening and had seen the sun set below the crags near to the Sandstone Trail at the village of Willington in Cheshire. It was a walk that I remember doing in part when I first moved to Cheshire, but I had never been able to find the path again (although I had not really tried that hard). This time I stumbled across it again, and remembered how nice it was.

I noticed that there was a path marked on the map that followed the Cheshire Hawk’s outline exactly. On my first attempt to find it – let’s call the first outing a “scouting” episode - I was scouting the landscape, feeling for what I should do to further my quest, and knowing only that the outline of the Hawk of May in the Cheshire landscape was part of that work. On that first scouting journey it was going dark when I found the crag-side path, and I was literally stopped in my tracks by the appearance of a badger at a fork in the path that evening. Not wanting to scare the badger I was forced to take the lower path back down to the road. I vowed to return and to walk the path all the way along the crags at a time when Nature gave me the right signs.

A badger makes me change my path

I went back one cool but dry evening in early June. I was properly equipped this time with crystals, incense and the right intention – to meet The Hawk of May (Gwalchmai). I knew I had to get this completed before my Summer Solstice pilgrimage, and I wanted the “decks cleared” and this quest completed before then. Solstice is always an amazing but wholly engaging experience, so it was important for me not to have any residual side-quests going on.

Just a reminder, my Beltane quest had developed through the use of Tarot card that had been giften to me by a friend who is very intuitively connected, shall we say? The cards (see previous post) had told me three useful things:-

  1. I would meet the Hawk of May in the Underworld
  2. I would need to provide him with an intuitively-selected gift
  3. The result would metaphorically to be able to “control the winds” and take on “the power of lightening”.

All very mystical, unlikely, but exciting as a prospect, and certainly a challenge to my abilities. It also held the promise of an enhancement to my abilities – just like the last quest for Spring Equinox. I’m all for that! So now this brings me to the part where I went to meet The Hawk of May.

The Way Is Easy When It Is Right

I walked along the hidden path that hugged the crag above Willington and found that it was carpeted with soft small pine needles> The soft feel of the path made me hanker for walking un-shod again, so I took my shoes and socks off and walked barefoot along the path in the setting sun light.

Bountiful rhododendron bushes at Willington in Cheshire

As I walked along I set my mind to finding the first of my challenges: an “intuitive gift”. I found a rhododendron bush that had shed most of its flowers and which was so pretty with purple petals at the base of the bush that I asked if I might use these as my gift to the Hawk. When permission was granted from the bush I picked up a dozen or so of the velvery star-trumpet flower heads and pocketed them for later.

As I walked further I began to concern myself with finding a suitable place for a meeting of minds with the Hawk of May. I assured myself that I would know the spot when I found it, but after walking almost the whole length of the path I had not found a place that felt right, so I resorted to my dowsing rods. I asked the rods to find a spot where I could meditate to reach the Hawk of May and I found one – a small mossy clearing with a small oak tree next to it which was bathed in evening sunlight and smelt of rhododendrons and pine. The spot was half way down the crag’s edge just aside from a junction of paths and felt…right. I got to work with my preparations.

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Alderley Edge – consternation and confirmation

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.

Consternation

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.

Confirmation

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.

The Spirit of Alderley Edge

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:-

  1. Please confirm that it was my current quest to write a book – correct
  2. I had until February to get a draft written – correct
  3. 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.’

Keeping dry at Alderley Edge

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.

Toss of a coin

Gwas and I have often discussed and experimented with what kind of questions that it is feasible to ask of the dowsing rods.

Toss of a coin

Of course one can ask any kind of question and indeed if memory serves I even read of someone dowsing to ask who the next president of the United States was going to be – I think they got it right.

Gwas and I have discovered there is no rule to this – nothing “literally” slaps you if you ask an inappropriate question. and you do get yes and no answers too. For example the lottery numbers where dowsed and 6 numbers where got and a ticket duly bought. Thus we are writing these blog posts from our yacht, Not!

So if we are obviously getting “wrong” results from certain questions, what is going on?And, not to let ourselves of the hook, how do we know that the “other questions” have right answers?

Let me illustrate…Finding the lottery numbers gave an incorrect result. Finding a power center? How do we know that that was a right result?

There are a couple of ways in which we can persue this rabbit. The first is to look at it from the perspective of “who” is answering the questions and what knowledge can we attribute to “the answerer”. The second way is to look at the question and ask whether such a question is indeed answerable. For instance the “lottery” question assumes that the future is readable.

Exploring this rather convoluted topic leads to, what is essentially, a matter of belief. With that in mind I can give you “my beliefs” on it. Gwas may add his at a later date.

In the specific case of dowsing (and not communing) I feel that I am getting an answer from a deeper (higher, whatever) part of me. My understanding is that the consciousness that is me is just the tip of the iceberg and (taking this analogy further) below the water there is a tremendous amount of “stuff”. For me dowsing provides a conduit through which I have access to a deeper me.

Lotto

For sure, that “deeper” me isn’t omniscient or indeed prescient. Thus it can only provide from what it has in store. But here is the strangeness of it. I feel that there is a rule, and that rule simply states that “all questions must be answered.”

However the “bind” with this rule is that the questions do not have to be “truthfully” answered. Thus, asking if some one is in love with you, or the lottery, or the winning horse will be answered – as per the rule. But they may not be the correct answer since the “deeper” part of you may not know it.

Both Gwas and I have used dowsing for finding our path when lost, when looking for things and when seeking energies. I (we) have enough experience in such matters to trust that what we are shown is the truth of it. We have also had enough “slaps” (credit is often given to The Trickster for these – but with a tongue in cheek acknowledgement that we ourselves may very well be the Trickster!) to acknowledge that our deeper self has no knowledge of certain matters.

trickster

Of course all of this is only true for me (and again I stress this applies to dowsing only NOT communing) – Gwas’s notion may differ.

Ok, fair dues! But why the ‘eck are you writing about this? Well, quite recently I started up a sister site to do with wand making. However this was causing me to wonder how many blogs can I post on!! So I was considering consolidating that blog and putting it on here as a ever-growing page. And in fact I did start doing that. But then I decided to dowse to see what the rods (my deeper self, remember) would think on the matter.

In the real world there are advantages and disadvantages to either way, I may as well toss a coin and decide right? And this is where the nub of the matter comes in.

One of the most beneficial features of dowsing is that it “creates meaning” where before there were only cold hard “advantages and disadvantages”. At one time, it was evenly balanced as to what to do, leave it as a blog or not. A toss of a coin would have added more “meaninglessness” to the decision. However with the rods I added more “meaning” to the choice.

The only thing that remains, is to ask ourselves whether the response came because “all questions must be answered” or because “my deeper self knew something”? This, my dear friends, is where wisdom is born.

Fin,

Kal

Ps – please note the lack of a Wand Making page – courtesy of my deeper self

Review of the Year 2009 : Part 3 – Tree Spirits, Elementals and Death Energies

Section 3. Tree Spirits, Elementals and Death Energies

This is such an important set of topics that I feel I have to provide some context and background information on them. How, exactly, did we get from the position of not believing in spirits of any kind at all, to having contact with tree, elemental and death spirits, all within a year? Well, it was something of an experiment that wasn’t supposed to work that worked, and which then caused a complete reversal in our understanding and belief system involving the world of energy.

This year we have gone into areas that we never thought we would need to delve into. Kal became embroiled in an interesting spiritual life choice: to become a “Spirit Walker”, or to choose the life of an ordinary person. By making this choice to become a Spirit Walker (as he terms it – i.e. one who walks with the presence of spirits) he has chosen a path that he would not have carved out for himself, as it involves becoming used to the energy formations of death. Even though his choice is made, I know he is reluctant to accept this. Nevertheless, it is an area that we now are engaged with to some degree. I will leave him to summarise this in the final summary post of the year, as it has been exclusively his work.

Kal’s other development this year has been to finally overcome his inability to communicate with trees. Now he has become their friend, to the point where his first contact at an ancient site if usually with any nearby tree. I have also retained this connection, but have not sought to develop it much further yet. It has been enough for me that I have overcome my reluctance to speak to Yew trees, for fear of what they might reveal, being associated with death, rebirth and transformation, as they are.

walkers

Influential book

My greatest development this year has undoubtedly been in the area of elemental spirits. Kal has a tentative relationship with his death spirits - I have developed a relationship with earth, air, water, fire and aether spirits. Obviously, I don’t say that kind of thing lightly. One doesn’t simply come out one day saying “Today I recognise the existence of spirits.” Such a development has been a progression from my work with the spirits of trees. Once I understood how to communicate with trees I could attempt to contact other sentient entities. During my researches I had read of the possibility in the book “Walker Between The Worlds”. I invited any sentient spirits in the area of a benevolent nature to enter into my wooden staff that I leave perched against an apple tree in my garden. I forgot about having made this request for several weeks, then one day I just really noticed the staff – standing against the tree – making itself known to me. I grabbed my dowsing rods and began to ask questions. The result was my first encounter with a spirit of the elements,(although she insisted that she was not a being known as an ‘elemental’, she was a spirit who had command of the air element – altogether different, apparently).

Having made an initial contact I went on to contact three other elemental spirits, and now my ambition is to foster and work with those relationships in the next year to see what can be achieved for both my ambitions and theirs. One spirit, however, was different. It dowsed as an aether spirit, and came about in a different way. Again, prompted by the Walker Between The Worlds book, I attempted to initiate contact with my “spirit guide”. Another concept I had great difficulty in accepting, and was highly sceptical of, but I was curious too, and eager to learn what did and didn’t work in this magical world of spirit. One deep meditation later I had made contact with an entity in a dark cloak who would never show her face. I dowsed the alphabet to determine her name, and since then she has been my constant companion in my magical journeys and at sacred sites.

So, this year, both Kal and myself have done a volte-face on such topics. We still deplore the sensationalisation of many of the so-called proponents in this sphere of magical working (you all know such people – Derek Akorah and his ilk, who prefer to be ‘entertainers’ rather than researchers), but we have had to come to terms with the presence and guidance of some sentient entities that we had previously dismissed and deplored ourselves. What a curious world this is!

Here are some things we have learned about spirits and spirit energies of all kinds:-

3-1. Guide Spirits: I have obtained the assistance of five spirits: four elementally-based spirits, and one that is what can only be described as “an ascended master”. They can be contained in a set of crystals chosen for the purpose, and invoked during natural magic to assist with elemental-based energy work, or with vision quests and guidance on the path. These spirits operate in a hierarchy of sentient energies, despite my protestation to the contrary. I now have to retract that. I have used dowsing rods and tarot cards to determine this, but have not continued the investigation beyond determining that there IS a hierarchy.

3-2. Connecting with trees: both Kal and I are able to connect with trees, to retrieve stored history, have questions answered, and to receive empathic responses in answer t our enquiries. Sometime we are shown visions, or given emotions that correspond to affirmative or negative responses to our questions or intentions. When deep connections have been sought then the presence of a voice can emerge through our thoughts, and internal dialogues begin, sometimes in our own voices, often in voices that are quite definitely not ours. Knowledge of things unknowable to us otherwise can result from these interactions – and this in particular is some kind of confirmation that it is not all thought-play or invention. Facts that are testable are often delivered to us, and we can then check them. They always turn out to be true. This is, clearly to us, some form of more wide-ranging and more ancient knowledge source. The trees are very wise and know many things that we don’t. Their counsel is balanced and meaningful.

merlin

3-3. Healing trees: Kal and I can also heal trees that have diminished auras, using techniques similar to those we learned to re-attune geopathic stress in houses or at sacred sites. We have re-established auras (nemeton fields of living energy) by clearing blockages much like the process of acupuncture.

3-4. Cloud sylphs: Never thought that the unusual cloud formations sometimes seen were anything other than unusual cloud formations – then I had a face loom out at me from the sky when I was communing with Nature under an old pear tree one day, and it blew me away. Since then this has happened several times, and each time it is incredibly overwhelming. They are there if you choose to look for them and to recognise them. I notice this has only happened since I got in touch with an Air Spirit, though.

3-5. The spirit of ancient mythical figures can be contacted through visits to the sites associated with them. For example, Dinas Emrys, long associated with Merlin, produced contact with an eagle that dowsed as being the spirit of Merlin. I will be trying this out at other associated sites in the near future to check it again.

3-6. Yew treescan be communed with to learn lessons concerning rebirth and transformation processes in your life. I have contacted several different yews over the course of the year, and each one was able to show me the potential for a transformation. The actual process of transformation always seemed to be something that I had to create and make happen, though. Despite their proverbial connotations of death and morbidity, I have found my connections with yew trees to be nothing other than profoundly moving and rewarding. I have come away from the experience feeling entirely relaxed and peaceful. For me, the yew tree represents peace, and they are not the fearful monsters that I expected. Quite the opposite.

3-7. Site guardians: Communing with some ancient sites involves asking the permission of the genius loci – the site guardian. Not all sites have one that is accessible to me, but where I have felt their presence and have dowsed for their permission, I was often able to obtain it (not always at the first attempt, though). Once permission is obtained an interesting experience is guaranteed. I found that the site guardians, when worked with appropriately, guided my experience through intuitive suggestion, and if I responded appropriately then a chain of such intuitive responses could be followed leading to a rewarding experience spiritually or intellectually.

This year has been the year for contacting and communing with spirits of all kinds for both myself and Kal. We have gone from neither of us having any belief whatsoever in any form of spirit, to a healthy relationship with spirits of all sorts. Let me qualify that a little – I think that by November, 2008, I was beginning to think that trees as living entities may be contacted in some way, but that was the start of it, I would say, and not much was done after that until 2009.

I would not say that we have opened the floodgates wide to these things. Instead we have been measured, and have trodden very cautiously and with a great deal of preparation before we attempted to open ourselves up to such an experience. Caution is still our watch-word, and we still analyse the experiences carefully to ensure that we have not just been fantasizing. The line between creative mental thought-forms and an interaction with nature spirits can be a difficult balance to strike, and we do not always get it right, I am sure. However, every experience we have is scrutinised for similarities, methods, structure, pathways and known psychological phenomenon to try to clear out the genuine encounter from a daydream, as far as that is credible to do so.

Gwas.

Alone in the Dark: Pt.2

Tale Man tell me what’s wrong with my life, am I only here to question? No, sir, you are undoubtedly here to cajole and make suggestions.” {Julian Cope – “These Things I Know” – ‘Black Sheep’ album)

At least the rain had stopped. I parked outside my new favourite wood, whose location, if you don’t mind, I won’t reveal by name. It’s one of the most beautiful places I know, so it seemed the most receptive to the kind of work I intended to do. Tonight, close to midnight, I wanted to commune with the wood after conquering my inevitable fear of being alone in the dark. “Fear?” I hear you scoff. Oh, really? Please be my guest to go and try it in a wood near you! Anyway – take my word for it – at the very least its a proposition to make your hackles react.

I had been watching TV whilst eating my tea – more staring at it than watching it, really. On screen was a beautiful cedar tree which had been mutilated by a cowboy who dared to call himself “tree surgeon”. In the same show was the tale of a wood-chipping firm in Essex who pulped tree remains. Messages and hints were starting to appear, but I was even more determined now to go and make contact, if only to apologise for the horrific atrocities that our kind inflicts upon those they don’t appreciate!

Anyway – soon I walked to the main entrance to the wood and stopped. I knew there was a well-trodden path there somewhere but I couldn’t see it! I couldn’t see more than five feet ahead while my eyes were trying desperately to adjust from light to darkness. I felt a wave of fear…”what was that noise?”, “what’s that dark shape?”. My brain went into panic mode and I wrestled with it, assuring my rational grumblings that I had a purpose to this, and it would just have to shut up and go with it. Easier said than done, however!

I had a trick up my sleeve though – a shaman’s trick for when the rush of the psychedelics overtakes reason and engenders fear. All evening I had been listening to Julian Cope’s new album “Black Sheep” which contains a good few memorable ditties with amusing lyrics. Just the job to rally my intention on a damp, dark and uncertain night in a forest! I started singing in my head and humming gently too.

These things I know: sometimes we must leave the city. These things I know: your verse may lie if your chorus is pretty.” {Julian Cope – “These Things I Know” – ‘Black Sheep’ album)

I stepped into the blackness slowly with a half-smile and oozing pleasant vibes. As I hummed I chatted in my head about my reasons for disturbing the trees that night. I replayed the thought about wanting to gain knowledge, to become comfortable in the company of tress at all times and seasons, and just because I enjoyed their company. I started to develop an air of pleasance when light shapes began to crowd my peripheral vision. “What was that?” “Is someone there?” I flinched.

I picked my way slowly along the path, one slow step after another until I came to a point where the trees opened out to reveal the night sky. I stopped to look at the stars and to calm down. I tried to ‘zone out’ the rustlings, the drippings and the swooshing noises. “That is all part of the night and the trees.” I told myself. My reason was beginning to give up this senseless fight to flee the wood.

I waited until I could feel my eyes swim a little. Good, I was relaxing now! Geeeerrrrraaaaarrrrrrggghhhh – a plane was descending overhead on its way to Liverpool Airport. I felt the trees “bristle” with annoyance, and listened to them shake their branches at this buzzing wasp, splattering raindrops all around, including one on the back of my head – right on the top! I laughed. “Yes, it’s our doing, but with the current recession they may not be as frequent soon.” I proferred as condolence.

I felt more comfortable now and my eyes were getting accustomed to the lack of light and were compensating to brighten everything up. I could make out the path now, so began to walk on. Why not? All around were only small trees, and I wanted to speak to a larger one. Five paces later I was standing ten feet in front of a very tall but slender oak tree. Yes, I’ve been practising my tree recognition, and could tell even in the dark. “I-Spy” points for me! I lit a small roll-up cigarette while contemplating my next move – dare I go on? Dare I approach? What if I get nothing – nothing at all? How will I feel then? What if…shhhhhh. Inhale! Relax. Aaargh – the light from my lighter nearly blinded me!

I had had several “knock backs” from large oak trees in the past, but I wanted to try again. I walked slowly forwards asking to find the edge of the tree’s nemeton with my hands. I felt it in my stomach first though, and retreated a few steps to make sure I was right. Yep – here it was – the outer moat, if you will, the ‘motte’. I stopped and paid my respects, again going through my intentions and purpose, and asking as nicely as I could for a chance to commune. “May I enter your space?” I asked. A slight push back against me. I hesitated in moving forward, so I asked again. Same response.

It was the cigarette! It didn’t like it being close. I felt that was the situation, so I retreated back down the path and ditched it before returning to try again. A little chastened I approached again feeling for the outer nemeton. This time when I asked I got admittance straight away and stepped towards the tree. I was two paces away from the trunk when my stomach hit a brick wall and knotted! There was an inner nemeton! And I had not been admitted to this part yet. I stopped and thought of how to continue. I re-stated my intentions of seeking knowledge, paid some compliments to the tree, suggested we could both benefit from an exchange, and put out some good vibes to the tree as a ‘taster’, if you like, of what I meant.

The nemeton barrier dissolved and I was able to walk up to the oak’s trunk. As I arrived I was welcomed and told to sit. I sat, and noticed that the place I had chosen in the dark was perfectly shaped to seat me, and I was very comfortable sat with my back against the tree and leaning me head back onto it’s mossy trunk.

Rapidly I slipped into a meditative state – a very deep and powerful one that came on like a dizzy spell, but which was very pleasant too. I ventured a question, “May I ask you a question, lovely tree?” I cleared my mind for a response. A voice now projected into my empty thought stream, “What do you want to know?” I reeled a little from that. It gets me every time! It’s a joyous experience, but I kind of still don’t expect a response and it always startles me. Ha ha.

I thought for a second. Don’t blow your chance, I told myself. Think of something! I focused, “What is the nature of the energy that trees connect to sacred sites – what is its purpose and how does it work?” Phew – where did all THAT come from? I didn’t have time to wonder because I needed to relax the chatter.

The response came, as it sometimes does, audibly first for me. I’m a musician (of sorts) and I love music. This often means that Nature responds to me first in “my own language”. A sharp wind rustled the branches to my left and raindrops sprayed the floor of the wood for a few seconds. Aha! Water?? What about water? I didn’t understand. Another image was projected into my third eye cinema: it was a picture of the “Water Cycle” that we all get taught in school.

The Water Cycle

The Water Cycle

A question followed in my own voice, but not initiated from me; “What is the nature of that image?“. The question was being rebounded on me in my own terms! Cute. I fumbled for the answer…”Er…system of flows….er,…..circulation?” Fireworks went off in my head and the voice repeated, “Circulation. Circulation. Circulation.” It knew me well! I have an idiosynchratic memory and important things need to be drummed in. Here the tree was insisting I at least keep that one concept in memory!

When the tree felt I had got it the image began to be embellished. I saw a picture of trees drawing down energy from the sun, the moon and stars through their foliage, then working together under the direction and intent of the larger trees to corral and circulate the energy captured and re-worked. The energy generated is pushed out into the landscape down meridians to invigorate and seep into the landscape, promoting growth of new or young trees and plants.

My brain was straining to take in this living picture of the whole system working together in a huge cycle of energy flows involving all aspects of nature. I had a question, though, “What about stone circles where there aren’t any nearby trees?”. Again, an answer followed before I could think further – “Trees work at many levels. Shrubs like the gorse, the heather, even grass are fed by energy flows from trees, just at a smaller scale. We can move energies great distances when we all work together. These smaller plants in turn feed the landscape with energy and keep the flows circulating.” “Think fractal.” I saw in one moment a living flowing picture of the way it all worked together, and was stunned by its intricacy and ‘togetherness’ – a co-operation of purpose between species and levels to maintain energy flows to promote growth and life.

I couldn’t take any more. My head was full of wonder and amazement. At that moment another plan flew over head and I began to awaken from my reverie. Everything came back into focus again. Before I disconnected I pulsed waves of emotion into the tree – waves of gratitude, joy, and sheer pleasure. I invited the tree to make use of any of this energy for as long as it wanted to, and I felt the palpable stream of my energy being drawn as though with magnets upwards and into the tree as I glowed with joy and wonder.

I stood up and turned to thank the tree again for the experience. Then I walked back with none of the hesitation that I had when I first approached the wood that night. I felt no cold, and my head was full of thought of “circulation, circulation” as I left the confines of the trees to step back into reality.

The flowers, the trees, the beasts, the people receive peace until the morning, when it all starts again.” (Julian Cope, “Psychedelic Odin”, ‘Black Sheep’ album)

Gwas

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