I have had the privilege of walking and learning from many esoteric paths during my adulthood journey to understand my place in the world and in developing my personal language of communion with Deity. The expression of devotion and service that continues to call me back time and again is my love and reverence of the Soul of the Land. I am never happier, more centered or feel more complete than when I am in the woods surrounded by trees. For me, it is a feeling of connection on a core cellular level and the one place where I can truly be in the Present.
Our little clan is very blessed to have Land Stewards who have opened their hearts and their properties and allowed us to connect and work with a little corner of paradise in their 50+ acre property. Our space has a lovely small natural stream flowing three quarters of the way around it from the south west and away in the north east. Listening and feeling this flow has brought a depth and resonance for me to every Rite we have observed. We are embraced by some of the biggest oaks, beeches, sweet gums, tulip poplars and birch trees that I have ever had the pleasure to be around. Tree frogs trill happily in the large Beaver made lake just over the ridge. Huge vines as thick as our wrists drape and dangle above us making us feel at night as if we are looking up into the roots of the World Tree when we turn our faces to the sky.
Being somewhat of a “Sonics Devotee” I will often use vibration to synchronize and step into that space where I experience a camaraderie and link to the landscape around me. Singing, chanting, drumming, humming – each can bring a very distinct and immediate message from the collective presence of the landscape. This connection is a Light, born of Song that encircles and illuminates with a sense of Grace. It is what R.J. Stewart wrote of as the “Power in the Land”…the power and majesty of Place.
Working with a staff as an extension of that connection with the trees and our own “trunks” has helped me make yet another visceral connection to the consciousness of our world. Using this tool as a focus has given me much insight into moving my perspective outside of my physical limitations and experience of my surroundings into the “eyes, ears and skin” of the trees themselves. How does this place present itself for them; what is the language of the touch of a bird’s weight or the brush of another tree limb with theirs? What stories will the wind move through their branches and leaves?
Well over ten years ago I made a sacred esoteric pilgrimage to Ireland with another group I had entered into Bhairdic studies with. I still remember the humor that our Druid guide had for me regarding how I always sought the trees to work with, no matter what the particular lesson of that day was.
The path leading to our sacred space was originally a very narrow deer path. We made a point of meditating and asking the land what it did and did not want us to do as we developed our area to work in. It was amazing that we had to do very, very little to make our area a workable space for gathering. The land and animals have always projected a sense of acceptance to our presence. We have had beautiful moments with deer bucks trumpeting to us from the top of the ridge overlooking our circle. I had one young buck (he was sporting about four tines on his antlers) stand and watch me set up our space for ceremony quite calmly for a very long period of time. Deer, fox, reptiles, rabbits and the occasional evidence of what looks like a larger forest feline have made their presence known. We have felt very blessed.
The trees, rocks, water, wind and animal co-walkers offer such a rich gift to us if for no other reason than as a reminder that we are more than what we think we are. We are all Earth Light and the beauty of Deity shines and sings in every part of our world.