Tree spirit transfer

(a re-post from Instagram)

First, a little note on silence. Spiritwork, for me, feels so intimate I often don’t even think about sharing it – but then again we’re all here to share with each other in order to learn so why not.

Last year an important plant spirit ally, Spruce, the guardian of our French home (and ‘husband’ of our Cherry Mama) was – not quite felled by a winter storm but – leaning on the trees behind it.
We tried to push it back up and to fasten it with steel cables, with the help of neighbors, tractor and clever thinking.
We watched its progress with a worried heart for a year, adjusting things when and where needed.

But now he was looking very weary and the ‘fix’ was blown askew by yet another storm.
“Dear Spruce, how are you feeling?”
His answer was exhaustion – he was so very tired of trying to hold on.
My heart squeezed with sadness, knowing the battle is over, gravity had won…But I brought a crystal, and if he liked it, he could go into it and I’d find a new home for him, one that stands strongly rooted in the ground.
I sensed a surprise in his reaction and a slight “I’m sorry”.

The crystal sat snugly in the curve of trunk and branch for 1,5 days. Then I wrapped it in silk and took it with me.

In the Auvergne, France, I knew of a big spruce forest and we went to take a look, but deeper in the forest we discovered it was being cut for timber. Time was up and I took the spirit-crystal with me. Back in the Netherlands I was looking with my inner eye for a suitable new home for the spirit and quite easily arrived at a candidate, but also deciding on a spare location.

I went to take a look. To my surprise, I found this fully grown tree ’empty’, and returned the following morning together with the Spruce spirit in his crystal. Softly pressing the crystal against the trunk of this new tree-home I opened my spirit for observing (trying to explain here that there’s not much use in expecting things to go a certain way) and suggested he’d take a look.

Slowly, with curiosity and astonishment the spirit of the Spruce was stretching along the trunk of his new habitat. I heard him laughing about the thinner branches but he was happy – no, more than that – to feel the tall space, the firm rooting and the new qualities of his surroundings. I showed him telepathically where we are now in relation to where he was before. I explained that this is a park in a village and he’d hear the sounds of village life around him. He is in the far corner of the park, sweetly enjoying this new chance, curious about his tree-neighbors (who ARE at home) and hopefully telling fairytales to curious children who come to lean against his trunk – which is how my own relationship with trees begun.

Thank you for reading, I’m looking forward to possible comments!

 

 

Your Spirit Animal

I recently bumped into a Facebook post (on a shamanistic group page) in which someone was saying that elements of shamanism are being ‘borrowed’ and used to market things, as shamanism is now “hot and sexy”.
Woo-hoo!! Finally I’m doing something hot and sexy :D

No but seriously folks, time is something that passes, and anything that is related to time (like hot and sexy fashion) will pass.

What counts is what do you do with the time that is given to you.

I’d suggest you go for that which resonates with you truly.
Not just entertainment with the upper layers of your Mind/Ego, but stuff that shakes your Soul and makes your Heart skip a beat or flutter faster.

For me that would be the wonderful world of the Spirit, as weird and unconventional it might seem.

An aspect of the (shamanistic) Spirit world is the company and assistance of our Spirit Animal.
“What’s my spirit animal?!” an eager explorer might exclaim.
Hold your horses buddy, first you need to know why you want to know your spirit animal.

A spirit animal is: transport, safety, communication, information, signs. And more.

I’ve made a little document for you to download and print out about it. I hope you enjoy it!

(Just in case you need some guidance in gearing your attention from the busy outside to the different realms of the inside, here’s a little meditation audio to get you going.)

 

 

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Enhancing the chances – part 2 of Nature spirits

nature spirit
my little one, dressed up and naked at the same time – with some Photoshop magic he’s turned into a nature spirit :)

Let’s pretend you’ve warmed up to the thought that nature spirits exist, and you now want to attract them into your surroundings – because you like a touch of magic, enjoy the thrill of a possible encounter, or you want to enhance the energy of nature (any nature!) around you…or all of the above. Nature spirits as neighbors? I like that.

So how does one go about attracting nature spirits into the garden? Or the backyard even?

Anything that beautifies a place, by sound, light or carefully placed natural elements is pleasing for us and for the nature spirits.

Faeries like bells, so a wind chime with bells with a high tone would be appropriate. Wind chimes with bamboo, low bells, shells or stones have their own ‘vibe’ and will attract their own kind of folk.

Water is an attractive thing to nature spirits. A natural stream would be ideal, but a shallow bowl with clean water is also beautiful and effective. You could consider creating a nature altar, with a water element with it.

Spirals, labyrinths, small constructions with natural materials will all work.

Attractive stones, erected or piled on top of another work well as a focal point for nature spirits.

Small caves in rock and hollows in wood are natural altars that one can beautify further as a warm welcome for nature spirits.

And they do like friendly attention. Leaving a self-made gift, a flower-gift or some food and drink are thoughtful tokens of attention, and will be appreciated.

You can also walk/dance/meditate in your garden and call to the different wind directions:”Spirits, you’re welcome! Come, come!”… ringing bells, rattling rattles, drumming or playing a flute as you do it.

(I found this last option ‘a bit too much’ until very recently – but then I experienced it myself in a shamanic ceremony and found it magical and mighty powerful, so yes, do what you need to do!)

Below you can find some visual inspiration, harvested for your creative impulses from Pinterest. Enjoy!

 

Pan playing flute to the animals (artist unkown)
Japanese buddhist shrine
altar in garden
Inga Hunter; Four Amulets
Milli Vedder; Balance

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Nature spirits

Nature spirits, do they exist? Or is it just a fairy-tale, told to children to grab their attention? If they do exist, why don’t we see them or hear from them?

Elves, gnomes, nymphs and their kin do exist, but we don’t see them because they’ve withdrawn to another dimension that is parallel with ours (vibrating at a higher level than ours) since we humans stopped believing in them – we’re not interacting with them nor showing respect to their presence and homes.

You can read about a meeting with a water nymph here.

If you want to see (or sense) nature spirits, you need to tune in with your attention to the place you’re at – it’s a bit like turning the dial on a radio. Our everyday activity-driven mind is too noisy, fast and skipping on the surface of things in order to notice these subtle beings.

But when you quiet yourself down, open your senses to your surroundings and approach the natural world and/or old buildings with a gentle curiosity you just might find a world that has been unseen for the most of us for some time…the length of that time depends on your cultural back ground, I guess.

I can imagine there are people who want to know why one would connect with nature spirits – why bother?
Because they’re a part of the web of life, just as we are – and the rest of the organic World; the plants, animals, stones and stars.
We can communicate with nature spirits in order to help them, to ask them to help us or to consult them before we do modifications in their living habitat, and to enhance a natural space energetically.
And so, in connecting with nature spirits, we strengthen the bond between the human race and the rest of  the natural world, and help healing us and Gaia, our home planet.

So, do go out there and find your spot of faeries (most likely to be found around hawthorn and elder), water nymphs (you might see them even when you don’t see water since underground wells are invisible to us!), gnomes, tree dryads, elves of specific pieces of land (guarding a garden or a meadow for instance), air sylphs and so on. But stay away from trolls and neck since they are up to no good for us human folk.

You can read more about nature spirits in this book.

As always with spirit-work, protect yourself first, be curious but not foolish and stay away from trouble.

And if you need any help, I’m available for interspecies communication – also with nature spirits!

 

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Our food

miniharvest

Sometimes I get on a thought-train that lasts for days.

It all started at Instagram, when I was commenting on a post by @earthcarekitchen.
She was inspiring us, the readers, to cook with what we already have in our kitchen, with the idea that limitations boost creativity (as they do). She also posed a question: what goes well with brown rice?

I’m (almost) always cooking with ‘what the kitchen holds at this moment’ and enjoyed the familiar setting. Sparked by the question, I commented by sharing my tried and tested culinary path of brown rice: in my opinion rustic stuff rhymes well with brown rice – eggs, spinach, nettles and…here it comes…bacon.
I hesitated as I was typing it. I hesitated as I was sending it. And I kept on thinking about it.

I used to be vegetarian – for a short while even vegan – until I got pregnant. Since then meat has been a fairly frequent ingredient on my plate, but for the last 1,5 years I’m having increasing difficulties in justifying my choice to myself.

“But I only buy biological meat.” is what my reasoning begins with, which is sort of fine for my physical body, but not for the animal.

I’m into homesteading, and was daydreaming about a time in the future when we’d raise our own animals in happiness and harmony, also for the meat (whoever thought Mother Nature is only hatching chicken and birthing female goats has to re-think their logic).
But then the reality-check struck: our three chicken ‘retired’, they stopped laying eggs.
Last spring I was determined to bring them to a kind butcher (?) in the next village.
I had my plan ready, only needed to check with the butcher and put the chicken in a transport box when…Martha, the oldest of them, looked me deep in the eyes and communicated: ” You filthy betraying human you! We’ve served you for years and now that we aren’t producing eggs anymore you want to end our lives!” I was surprised, shocked and ashamed. I instantly replied with my heartfelt apologies and promised (yes, promised) they’d have a sweet retirement and wouldn’t have to worry about me being dangerous to them ever again. Since then we’ve been good friends again.

So, back to the kitchen then. Milling over this ethical problem, I finally came to my present conclusion that the only way eating meat would be OK is if our bodies are signalling that we really need it, and we pray to the spirit of the family of a species (say, the Deer Spirit, or the Rabbit Spirit) and then go hunting and wait until an animal of that species presents itself as prey. And we then end its life skillfully, painlessly, quick and full of prayer and gratitude. But I’m not a forest-dwelling hunter-gatherer. The conclusion is therefore, for me, a philosophical one.

There’s still meat in our fridge. I’m still arguing with myself. But week by week, month by month, we’re eating meat less frequently, and vegetables take its place in abundance.

I guess everyone has to go through this thinking battle for themselves.
It is my personal conclusion that eating meat is not good for our energy bodies. Animals are our brothers and sisters, fellow beings on this beautiful planet – why would we eat them?? And every now and then I’m wondering if plants suffer when we harvest them for nourishment.
As long as we humans haven’t evolved to the level that we can live straight from sunlight and air, we need to eat (plants) and drink.
The plants are very kindly specialized in transforming sunlight, air, water and soil into nutrients that we animals – humans included – can digest and use to revitalize our bodies.

I suggest we start paying close attention to what’s on our plate, contemplating in gratitude every bite we chew and swallow… Your food is your medicine, it’s building and balancing (healing) your body.

What is your connection to your food – where does it come from? How natural is it? How nourishing is it? How do you express gratitude to it?

Just by taking a minute before cooking to connect with the needs of your family, then selecting the ingredients and preparing them mindfully is already a simple act of service and respect. My soul sister Kristiina recites this poem before her family begins their meal:

“Maasta versonnut on vilja tämä,
armaan aurinkoisen kypsyttämä.
Rakas aurinko ja rakas maa,
teitä emme tahdo unhoittaa.”

which is Finnish and translates roughly to

“This grain has sprouted from the ground,
ripened by the dear sun
beloved sun and beloved earth
we don’t want to forget you.”

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The small steps count

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It is the flow of water that forms the river. My daily choices affect my body. The small steps add up, and form reality.

In an increasingly polarized world it is easy to feel powerless, alienated and discouraged. “What can I do?” is the question on many lips these days.

And the answer is right there, in the question. You can choose – every day, every minute – to think, feel and act in a way that reflects your idea of a better world. Since everything is energy, shifting your energy from the passive to the positive and active shifts the energy of our planet, one sparkle at a time (or, nowadays, perhaps hundreds at a time!).

I came to this subject via a side-track. I was thinking about animal communication, and about my practicing of it.
Immediately my mind jumps into complicated scenarios with large, wild animals in sight and me having a connection with them, followed by the slight disappointment when it is not so (right now). Smiling at my personal traits that I know to be somewhat idealistic and impatient, I ask myself the more useful question: what can I do now?

And I turn my attention softly to my diva-ish cat, who has been like a protesting teenager lately, doing everything in her might to attract attention, mostly negative, with her antics. She first doesn’t even notice, perhaps she’s so used to my mind chattering along. But when she does, she melts… her attitude changes from diva to the soft, gentle openness that she truly is.

I walk with the same curiosity about their well-being to my chicken. And instead of running away, startled, they calmly stay put, doing their thing, looking to my eye every now and then, hanging around.

It’s such a small thing, but with a huge impact. Protect yourself, by all means, with true Light energy fields, but then: walk in this world softly. Meet the other beings – trees and stones included – gently. Be curious about the unseen.

Wishing you a magical holiday and change of the year.

 

 

 

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Holding space, being still

bookwrapper
Eight years ago I envisioned this – it’s an embroidered wrapper for a book of visualisation. The deep etched dream of a healing garden has sprouted, and is now growing into reality.

 

I don’t particularly like late autumn or winter. To be quite honest, I’d prefer to hibernate as soon as the first frost has gone over the land, only to awaken with new growth in spring time. (There are more aspects of a bear in me.)

These mornings, when skies are dark and gray and the trees are raining leaves, I get up with a slight sigh and mumble to myself “all right, here we go again…”. But I’m not just stumbling through my days. These days, I’m listening deeply. I’m holding space for the Universe, with all senses on Nature, inner nature and the nature outside, as I go about my everyday Life. And Life responds.

What does it say? A few, recent examples:

A master healer, whose talent and wisdom I deeply respect, watched at me practicing in class, and after a while, said: “You’ve got good hands”. Thank you, I know, and I’ll carry your words in my Heart.

An appointment to meet with friends got cancelled and I had time to listen to an audio course. Grinning from ear to ear, I marveled at the lesson – the content but even, the voice; with the tiniest amount of imagination I found myself in what I thought might have been a lesson of Minerva McGonagall at Hogwarts (school of magic in Harry Potter) again. For you see, quantum logic and magic are one and the same.

In meditation I felt the supportive hands of my ancestors on my shoulders, and later in the day got the urge to go for a walk in the woods. Leaning my back on a magnificent tree, I rested, first with eyes closed, then looking around. Next to my feet, a very young sapling of the common dogwood smiled at me, beaming with joy (how can a plant smile, it hasn’t got a mouth? It’s energy, my dear, energy). And it dawned to me – at last! – this is the plant I should work with in my living structure-project I’ve been thinking about!
I explained my plan to the sapling (it already knew) and carefully I pulled it up and carried it home. Now it’s happily sitting in a pot, waiting for the journey and re-planting.

I intentionally try to organize my life so that it is not busy. So that I have time – for holding space, being still – for deep listening. Life is full of support, when you’re open to it. Tune in to flow, synchronicity and co-creation!

 

 

 

 

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Talismans for trees

talismansfortrees

Gratitude. I am thankful for my plant allies and want to express it with yet another batch of talismans. So I dive into my creative cabinet and return to the table with boxes and tins filled with treasures.

Taking one specific plant into mind, I assemble a little handmade trinket, a talisman, a thank you-gift. One by one I create them for the fig, the grapevine and the apple tree.
My husband walks by and I explain:”I’m making gifts for the trees!” “Oh yes, of course…” is his amused answer.

Expressing gratitude towards another living being is an art form that I have neglected too often. Now that the heart-to-heart, soul-to-soul connection is so powerful that it is almost tangible to me, I experience the connection – and communication – between me and my plant friends as that of good human friends: warm, respectful, and of loving service.

 

 

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The Human link

field

Finding my way in the Natural world has raised the question: what is our role as human in the ecosystem and spiritual community of Nature?

In comparison: animals have their instinctively driven tasks of animal/plant control through feeding on other living things, they fertilize the ground with droppings  and increase the dynamics of any given space by their movements. In doing so, they are a vital caretaker of their habitat.

Plants absorb nutrients from the soil into their own bodies and produce oxygen and cooling shadow as well (talk about amazing!). They also enrich the soil with their waste material – fallen leaves and other dead plant parts, from roots to top.

Nature spirits and elementals have a harmonizing and enlivening effect. Wherever they’re present, there is beauty and magic, vitality and joy. I’m not quite sure how they do it, but they seem to bring enhanced Life energy to wherever they dwell.

And us humans? I’m not going to go into all the things we’re doing wrong at the moment, but instead I want to jump straight into what we could do right.

We, humans, have the wonderful capability of making things. We can form our surroundings – clear space, build a shelter, dig a waterway, plant trees, introduce animals into a habitat and so on.

My own approach to working with Nature – in my case in the ‘ordinary’ sense: I’m gardening – has been coloured by the permaculture movement: watch Nature, copy Nature and learn from Nature. This was always ‘head-work’ to me, my mind in action.
Now I’ve woken up to realize that there is a deeper level to working with Nature – interspecies communication.

In order to work with Nature effectively, I’ve got to open my senses to the other players in the field – the plants, animals and nature spirits.
Together we can form a Natural space that provides food and shelter for all of us, works as a dynamic ecosystem and is charged with high energy and beauty. A source of health and happiness!

With the human mind, creativity and technical ability, we can create forms and solutions that Nature alone can’t make.
When we listen to the other players in the Nature-game and co-create we can heal the Planet.

I find it challenging to be the loving gardener of two gardens – when I’m present in one, I’m absent from the other. So I forged ‘a deal’ with the nature spirits of both places: when I’m away, they run the place.

A short time ago I took a look with my spiritual eye at the spiritual life in our place ‘out there’, since the vibration is clearly rising in the garden ‘in here’. To my shock I saw that the nature spirits were sleeping in the earth, in the trees and stones. They weren’t dancing around and being merry as I had seen in a vision about the future. Upon asking how this could be, the answer was a somewhat blunt and matter-of-fact statement: “If you are not active, we are not active. It takes two to tango.”

I’ve been planting trees, bushes and other plants in order to create a foodforest and healing gardens. We’ve been mowing paths and cutting back brambles, moving stones around and building stairs and terraces. But all this shaping and preparing, while it’s positive and useful, is not the same thing as hanging out with your place. Just sitting around, listening to what it is saying, singing, wishing and needing. For a small degree we’ve been listening, as in listening to intuition for where certain plants should go, or how a path might curve. But building up a friendship with your place…is something deeper, more meaningful and in spiritual/energetic terms more powerful.

I’m curious to see what the coming season will bring. I will bring my gifts. And I’m looking forward to lots of sitting and listening to the land, conversations with the local nature spirits and human neighbors :) , taking into account the wishes of the flora and fauna whose home it already is. To be continued.

(I offer interspecies communication as a service, but I also have to remind you that anyone can learn it and use it in their own situation. It’s a bit like the choice between learning a language and hiring a translator. Anyone can learn the language, and it’s useful, but if you don’t think it’s worth the effort for you in your personal situation, you hire someone. As simple as that.)