“Trust” They Say: When Nature Speaks

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Image: Oak Tree, River Llugwy, Betws y Coed, Jan Malique

This post has been languishing on my computer for a while. There are have been numerous attempts at starting it, only to be discarded minutes later. I haven’t been in the mood to write much these past few weeks, due to a variety of reasons, illness being one. Health issues have been ongoing for months, draining my energy and enthusiasm. My doctor’s prescribed a whole variety of medicines to deal with gastro-intestinal problems, eliminating one cause after another. I’ve taken more medication in several months than in the past few years, and it isn’t really making me feel any better. Some symptoms have been alleviated, but long-term medication isn’t the way to go if there are other ways of resolving the issue. I don’t plan on increasing the profits of pharmaceutical companies if at all possible. An appointment has been arranged to see a specialist in several weeks time, let’s see what they say. That’s where I am at the moment. I’m not usually quite so open about personal issues in my posts but a time comes when it becomes necessary.

Change is Knocking on the Door

I know there are many other people experiencing stress and difficulties in their lives. There appears to be a mass of chaotic energy sweeping through the planet at this time, making people feel destabilised and fearful. It’s contagious and quite hard at times to shield yourself against. My challenge is to remain calm and not give in to provocation, and there’s plenty of it going on around me in both personal and professional spheres. Challenges serve to reveal the true nature of your spirit. Mine’s currently sitting in a chair with a warm blanket covering her knees, and thinking wtf is going on with the dysfunctional inmates around her. Apologies for my language but it needed to be said. My nature needs to be less judgmental admittedly, but rude behaviour is unnecessary and being such a “sensitive little soul” it pains me to the core.

It feels good to get that off my chest. All is not bad in the Shed though as there is light filtering through the rainy gloom and lighting up the shadows. I got up one morning a couple of weeks ago and aimed to have a good day. A weight lifted off my shoulders and Hope emerged to give a thumbs up. This was looking positive. The day went well. I finally admitted that a change of work environment was necessary, and steps needed to be taken to find positive people, experiences and opportunities. Change can be difficult but I implore you not to put up with crap if it’s taking a toll on health and wellbeing. Be true to yourself and your heart, self-sacrifice yields little in the way of either spiritual or material gain.

Who Answers?

So, the scene has been set for this strange little journey of mine. What comes next? The drama started in mid-September, we were en route to work and my partner was giving me a lift to the railway station. It was my first week back at work after our holiday and I wasn’t in the most enthusiastic of moods, just tired. My thoughts cried out to the greater Universe for clarity and guidance. An answer was needed, anything that would help me see through the fog of uncertainty. There was a distinct lack of trust in my ability to navigate the waters of life. Then the words “Trust” and “Duir” fell like pebbles into a pool. Duir is the Irish/Gaelic word for Oak (meaning door), a tree that has been revered for centuries by many cultures. Duir and Druid have their roots in the Sanskrit dru, meaning wood, tree and vid, meaning to know.

 The Oak Comes Forth

Those two words kept repeating in my head for a reason. Synchronicity dear readers, a word that appears when things are afoot, when guidance is being offered by otherworldly (or other) sources. We’d visited Betws y Coed in the Snowdonia National Park several weeks ago. Our walk took us along the banks of the River Llugwy. The majority of trees there were deciduous, with a large number of oak trees being present. Great numbers of acorns littered the footpath and river bank. The rocks and trees were also adorned in moss. The atmosphere was filled with a sense of ‘otherness’ and felt old.

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Image: Old Green Beard, Betws y Coed, David K Almond

I love trees and have always regarded them as wise and powerful sentient beings. Trees hold memories and knowledge of times past in their bodies, they’ve been revered as beings worthy of respect and considered great teachers. Numerous cultures speak of the World Tree existing at the centre of the cosmos, whose roots go deep into the underworld and canopy stretches into the heavens. So they are rather important entities, whose existence we depend on to oxygenate our atmosphere, create habitats for a huge number of species and also enrich our Souls and Spirit. Trees rock! For a former city kid my spirit is surprisingly receptive to the land and its spirit. Does that sound arrogant? Perhaps this is one of the meanings of Life, not to forget our deep and eternal relationship with Nature.

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Image: Tree of Life by William Morris, Jan Malique

As for the Oak tree, I can see why it came forward. Situations appear clearer with hindsight!

Oak appears in many places in our home, on the frame of a mirror, on furniture and our garden gate. There are oak trees across the road from us as well. The answer was all around me and I’d been too preoccupied to notice. What of some of the symbolism associated with this king of the forest?

Associations with Deities:

Arianrhod, Balder, Blodeuwedd, Brigid, Cerunnos, Cerridwen, Cybele, Dagda, Dryads, Herne, Indra, Janus, Jupiter, Jehovah, Llyr, Odin, Pan, Rhea, Taran, Thor, Vishnu, Zeus.

 Correspondences:

Planetary Ruler – Jupiter
Element of Fire
Male
Totem Bird – Wren, Eagle, Swallow, Woodpecker
Totem animal – Bull

Folk Lore

Associated with sky and thunder gods and deities of fertility and fire. The Oak is said to confer courage, health, inner strength and protection. The ancient Romans considered the tree to be the ancestor of humankind and the Arcadian Greeks thought of themselves as being Eggenoi Dryos (Sons of the Oak). Oak was associated with prophecy, a means by which gods communicated with their worshippers. Meetings were held under it and oak groves were places of ritual and worship.

Due to its deep roots the Oak can help with the good health of our feet in aiding stability, connecting to the solidity of the earth/Earth. It is thought to be one World Tree, connecting the three realms and a doorway into the Otherworld. Oak also represents the Lord of the Forest, in the glory of his strength, protection and virility. Oaks that had mistletoe growing on them were especially revered, as the berries were considered semen of the Sun God. In ancient times the plant was known as druad-lus (druid’s plant). It represented rebirth and peace,  with the ancient Celts refraining from battle when the mistletoes was being cut at the Solstice. The Druid’s god Esus was thought to reside in the tree.

As a physical doorway it is incredibly strong and resilient, and as a spiritual doorway it can give us access to primeval worlds. Places in which we can gather courage and strength to overcome adversity. The tree’s bark, leaves and acorns can be used to produce healing remedies to revitalise the physical and spiritual levels. As a Bach Flower remedy, Oak helps with despair, despondency and limitations of illness. It supports the person by helping them persevere and has a calming influence. It therefore has much to teach us.

There is much more connected with the Oak but that is something for me to explore in greater depth. This is only a brief overview of a vast subject concerning tree lore. The best way of experiencing the majesty and wisdom of trees is obviously in nature. I’m not a Druid, just someone who feels great affection for these mighty beings. I asked a question and it was answered in the most appropriate way regarding my circumstances. The next step is to buy the Oak Bach Flower remedy and start making a list of “to dos”.

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Image: Moss shrouded glade, Jan Malique

 

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Dreams and Prophecies

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Image: Sibylla Delphica, Edward Burne-Jones, WikiArt

I love the works of Edward Burne-Jones and this portrayal of the oracle at Delphi evokes strong emotions in this blogger’s heart. It’s a place I yearn to visit, in fact have visited in dreams. The hope is that some of my cremated remains will eventually find a resting place in that hallowed place. The other places are the Ganges and the site of Ptah’s temple in Egypt. One might say that the influence of these three great civilisations have run through my life like veins of gold in rock, precious and incorruptible. The Soul answers to many calls and why not? Our travels through this Universe can be likened to pilgrimages, with the pilgrim carrying much in the form of hopes, dreams and longings. What they take away may be renewed faith and vision of something greater in the here and now and beyond.

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Pythia – Deep #writephoto

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Image: Sue Vincent

My offering for Sue’s Thursday Photo Prompt Deep #writephoto is a return journey to the Oracle at Delphi. A place mysterious, awe-some and a little terrifying. The answers being sought are always couched in unclear and misleading language. To give the true answer would change destinies and the mouth piece of the Goddess cannot interfere in human matters. Or so we are given to believe… Continue reading

Secrets revealed, Secrets concealed

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I’m sitting at my kitchen table again looking out at the sun bathed garden. The best seat in the house folks. It’s been nearly a week since I took to my sick-bed with a particularly stubborn cold. The kind that leaves you feeling like a zombie crossed with Stig of the Dump. Not a pretty sight. Not totally recovered but at least I feel ready to face the world again due in part to the desire to write, write and write. The words were waiting to be released and they were, in a torrent. The torrent also washed a way a lot that was redundant. I feel a longish ramble coming on and can’t possibly deny the urge to let it take its course. The White Rabbit made his appearance on a couple of occasions as did the spirit of His Nibs. The result being the birth of two new blogs. Hurrah!  It means I’ll need to ensure my notes are legible and meet all standards of decency. Also avoid getting the posts mixed up. Illness focusses the mind keenly towards the inner. If you’re immobile and in a weakened state there is nowhere else to go but where the spirit leads. In my case I’m not sure where I’m being lead, not yet anyway. It appears there are secrets yet to be revealed. Continue reading

Hidden Pathways

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(This version was published in Axis Mundi online magazine Issue 58 in 2014, the original version “Merlin” was published in 2006)

This story emerged from meditations undertaken many, many years ago. It was a strange time, the energies surrounding my life were a little challenging it has to be said! Such are the cycles of life and the Universe. He, I refer to Merlin of course, was a shadowy figure peering out from the depths of my subconscious. I was seeking answers. From the Old Ones, from the land, from ancient totems. I needed healing and the solution was to enter the magical landscape of Snowdonia, seeking the mage in his natural element. I also had in my possession the wonderful “The Druid Animal Oracle” and  “The Complete Merlin Tarot.”  Potent gateways into the Otherworld.

I was able to weave a fantastical tale from my meditations. The words flowed like a fast flowing stream, carrying me onwards into unknown territory. This story had been waiting a long time to emerge. Ancient Egyptian priestesses, dragons and the great Merlin himself. What more could I ask for? These are symbolic landscapes for those who like to view them as such. For others, well, we know different…

Shall we proceed through the doorway and into the waiting landscape?

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Seers and Storytellers: Journey to Delphi

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My posts on this blog tend to be intermittent, admittedly due to procrastination and trying to earn a crust in the madness that is the working life. You could say my alter ego as a writer was a sanctuary, an activity that replenished my energies and spirit. Not much replenishing has occurred over the past few weeks though, just exhaustion of mind and body. Much time had been spent contemplating my navel and the only thing I’d found was fluff. Not a realisation a self-confessed, angst ridden writer likes to admit to, had my Muses abandoned me?

What’s been happening in the interior landscape then? Forgive me for baring a part of my soul, or Soul. For me the creative process involves a deep and intimate relationship with that mysterious country – the subconscious mind. It’s a place where I communicate with my Muses and seek counsel of the Old Gods of the Collective Unconscious. Bless you Dr Jung for revealing so much of the mystery that is the inner and outer Universes! No harm in a little dramatic flourish my lovelies. It seems I’ve reached a stage in life whereby another pruning was needed to allow the living tissue to flourish. Talking in riddles again. You get my meaning?…The dead wood isn’t going to waste though, it will provide fuel for the pot bellied stove that warms my Soul. Fire is a great transformative agent, in the alchemical process it heats, quickens and illuminates. Anyway, I digress.

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