A walk in an Enchanted Forest

 

fairy_forest_by_phatpuppyart-d4ptggw

The earth has music for those who listen. George Santayana

When life winds me up, oh so tense and tight, and I need to gently unfurl, this is where I go. To the prettiest place by the sea, which I have gone to forever. As a child, I loved to explore the myriad pathways through forests of ti-tree, gnarly and enchanted, to climb trees and survey the world from majestic heights, to play in the sand and sea, as a mighty warrior mer-queen.

And to be honest, as an adult, not much has changed.[prtsea enhanced

So I drove down to my special place, knowing it would be all mine, not just the house, but the whole beach. Being Wintertime most people opt to sip lattes and eat wood-fired pizza by warm open fires instead, leaving the beach deserted and wild.

I love the beach in Winter. The ocean broods: all dark greys, deep greens, and murky depths. Chiaroscuro skies shift from dark into light in an instant. And this tree, in Winter on one side and Summer on the other – as if the tree itself is between two worlds.

I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world. Walt Whitman

Indulging in long walks, reliving carefree childhood days, meandering through archways of entwined trees into grottos hidden in sea caves.

As a child I spent hours in ‘my tree’. I forget what kind of tree it was, except that it had those leaves that, folded in half and blown, could whistle really loud.

Atop that tree I had a cosy place to sit, to survey my surrounds, all the while, completely hidden from everyone by its dense foliage. Whenever I picture sanctuary, I think of how safe that tree made me feel.

Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers “Grow, grow.” The Talmud

The Chakradance experience has led to a gentle unfolding of my psyche, featuring a powerful connection with trees. The tree concept has appeared in many of my Chakradance visions, from the tree roots sinking into the earth as a metaphor for Muladhara/root chakra, to the connection of earth and sky in Anahata/the heart and Vissudha/throat chakras. Reading up about the Celtic Ogham tradition –  which uses symbolic representations of particular trees as an intricate aspect of spiritual practice – has ignited in me a fully-fledged tree obsession. A fetish I indulged this weekend, by exploring, experiencing, and photographing hundreds of trees.

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. John Muir

sea3It is somewhat of a self-imposed tradition for me to go swimming in the Winter sea. So I donned my togs and in I went, quite fearlessly, I thought. The water was beyond freezing – and I have no desire to get literal on this point unless you try it yourself – I only lasted a few minutes each time – and yes, there was more than one!

On the last day I dived in and submerged my whole body in water – there is something so cleansing about ice-cold seawater.

Most of the the weekend was spent barefoot in the grass, sitting against a tree, or in the sand, and sea. Or chakradancing under the trees and stars by the light of the full moon. Fully immersed in the elements I felt so vitalised and connected to the natural world.

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter. Rachel Carson

Barely speaking to another human, I had my trusty dog, and plenty of magpies, ravens, kookaburras, rosellas, pink cockatoos, chatting away to me. Walking along the beach, pausing to sit and watch the ocean, the seagulls and an old albatross do their fishing, and the thought struck me that they don’t groan about life – well, possibly the seagull does – they just make the most out of it.

Under a blue, brilliant blue, sky, with the sounds of the sea and its birds around me, I wrote about the journey into the throat chakra – or Vissudha in sanskrit, meaning purification.

Vissudha has enlivened me to sound. This enhanced sensitivity was almost painful in the noise of the city, but away in nature it is blissful. Blue is the colour associated with this chakra, so I relished the wide open sky as a metaphor for the expansive, etheric nature of this energy centre.

How is it possible that a being with such sensitive jewels as the eyes, such enchanted musical instruments as the ears, and such fabulous arabesque of nerves as the brain can experience itself anything less than a god. Alan Watts

Vissudha is where you make the transition from the elements of form into the realm of ether, where Jung claimed the celestial chorus of angels could be heard.

During the focus on this chakra, I found myself humming a lot – a great way to balance Vissudha –  and reciting random lines from lyrical poetry like Coleridge’s ‘Kubla Khan’ or Tennyson’s ‘Lady of Shallott’.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea. Samuel Taylor Coleridge

This chakra governs your relationship with vibrations and resonance. It is from the throat centre that you produce sound through vibration. As such it is incredibly susceptible to vibrational energy, and responsive to resonance of all kinds. Music and sound can be used extremely effectively to balance this chakra.

The throat chakra carries the energies of truth, integrity, honesty, and communication. It also governs the ability to listen, both to the words of others and your own internal dialogue within your body. Paramount to Vissudha, is the expression of self through speech and creativity.

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. Maya Angelou

Abundance is my fifth intention, married to this fifth chakra. Observing nature in action, provided me with somewhat of an epiphany about abundance.

The natural law is to only take what you need to live on a daily basis, trusting that there is an abundance of what you need for tomorrow. Indigenous societies have lived in this wisdom for millennia.

Sometimes I fall into the very Western cultural trap of thinking abundance means ‘more (and more and more) of the good stuff’ – and forget the simple practice of saying thank you for what I have.

Realising that a little doubt and negativity, a little grasping and hoarding, had crept back into my thinking – an anathema to manifesting abundance – I made the intention to eliminate negative thinking, just for three days to start with. The additional bonus, according to Pam Grout, author of E-Squared, is that blessing everything, including your food, with positive energy is the key to weight loss. Stay tuned on that one!

As an affirmation of positive thinking, I love this prayer by Chris Cade:

Thank you for the wind and rain…

Thank you for the sun.

Thank you for what I have now…

And all the good things to come.

Every morning when I wake…

Before I start my day.

I think of all the good things…

That will come my way.

Nature inspires me, and immersed in her energies, my mind and body settle into the creative flow. As such I wrote 5000 words of my novel sitting by the sea for a couple of hours. Enlivened, vibrant, invigorated, creative, and blissfully happy – what’s not to love about communing with nature, of the expansion of mind and spirit, as vast as the sky.

One touch of nature, makes the whole world kin. William Shakespeare

Nature, like the chakras, contains the colours, and corresponding energy and vibration, of the full spectrum of light. Verdant green trees, infinite blue sky, vast indigo sea. Red, orange, yellow, flowers, sand, stones, earth. The variety of sensations of the different elements: the density of earth itself, and the flowers and trees that spring from it, the way trees become lighter and less dense as they move from trunk to leaves, reaching out into the air, swaying in the wind, a bridge between earth and sky. The ethereal blue of the daytime sky, and the vastness of the night sky, interspersed with light and matter, of stars and moon, and planets.

ophelia-by-imagine-http://womboflight.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/ophelia-by-imagine-studio.jpg

The Vissudha chakradance was a place of contemplation, calm, peace, divinity, and deep reverence for me. The dance involves repeating a sound or mantra, and allowing the body to move with this harmony from within. As reciting the mantra became more and more powerful, I reached a state where the resonance from within me and the movement of the dance just flowed in effortless accord, and I was transported into the etheric state of sound vibration.

In my mind’s eye, there were angels singing celestial songs, and the tree of life reaching its branches to the blue sky. Visualising myself in white robes, near three sacred pillars: a priestess with a powerful energy for the world.

Later that day I was looking at documentaries on the Celts and I saw those exact columns! I was a little disappointed to see they were modern, but built in recognition of a Viking king in Norway from the 9th Century.

The lesson from the dance is to go within, to uncover my truth. It was a very calm, but also sacred space, which I am being told to honour. I need to communicate from my truth, not as a reaction to how others ‘make’ me feel.

The shadow archetype of the throat chakra is the Silent Child. This archetype represses its feelings and does not show hurt, pain or anger. The lesson of the Silent Child  archetype is to make herself heard and to feel that what she says has value.

The archetype of Vissudha in balance, is the Communicator. This archetype is dependant on clear and direct communication, including artistic creativity and expression. Speaking its heart and mind openly and responsibly.

I previously wrote about the throat chakra here. It was a melancholy post after a dear friend died. She loved angels too, I think she would enjoy this one.

He looked at his own Soul with a telescope. What seemed all irregular, he saw and showed to be beautiful constellations, and he added to the consciousness hidden worlds within worlds. Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Growing up with an Irish mother, my fairy tales were Irish folklore, stories of fairies, forest sprites, leprechauns, banshees and the like. As such, I still cannot look at a tree or forest without thinking there are little beings scurrying out of sight at the sound of my big human footfalls.

Piling the sheaves in furrows airy,
Beneath the moon, the reaper weary
Listening whispers, ‘ ‘Tis the fairy,
Lady of Shalott.’ Alfred Lord Tennyson

My interest in Irish folklore has rekindled and I was astonished to find the work of Dr Jenny Butler, who has a PhD in folklore, how cool is that? Her work on paganism and the fairy faith in Ireland is fascinating.

In Australia, outside of indigenous communities, talking about these kinds of beings will wind you up in the loony bin, but in Europe and in indigenous cultures the world over, there is a long tradition of belief in elemental beings.

Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame. William Butler Yeats

After four days of dancing under the moonlight and stars, and cavorting with trees, it was not surprising to me that, on the walk back from the little cove I discovered, as I took yet more photos of trees, a beautiful angelic light spread across the screen.

Check out the photo – isn’t it something? Now, I know you skeptics will talk to me of prisms of light, and that’s fine for you. I call it angelic, because to my mind, fairies are of the earth and angels are of the air. And that’s all there is to it.

Fairies are invisible and inaudible like angels. But their magic sparkles in nature. Lynn Holland

With an imagination like mine, primed since early childhood, angels not a stretch for me. I have been reading Doreen Virtue’s book Angel Therapy Handbook. This is a result of following strong intuitive guidance, even when my intellect questions my thinking.

It has became apparent to me that while I have been very open about my experiences with the chakras and my passion for chakradance, I have been very quiet on the subject of my other passion and intuitive source of inspiration, angels.

Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven,
Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The motivation for this is obvious, intellectual pride. The chakras, although not universally accepted, are kind of cool and based on a long tradition that informs many respected fields of holistic medicine.

Angels, on the other hand, sound either Christian or New Age, both of which have an image problem for me.

However, I made this blog about intentions, with the intention that I would put it ALL out there. So suppressing this aspect of my journey seems dishonest. And to be honest, if I have to choose between intellectual pride and healing, well that’s a no brainer.

I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now? John Lennon

Plus, I really have reached an age where I care a lot less about how I appear and a lot more about how I am. The fact is I have loved Doreen’s writing ever since I read her book about Indigo Children when my son was diagnosed with autism.

It’s not surprising that when faced with the complete powerlessness over a condition affecting your child, you become very open-minded.

Faërie contains many things besides elves and fays, and besides dwarfs, witches, trolls, giants, or dragons; it holds the seas, the sun, the moon, the sky; and the earth, and all things that are in it: tree and bird, water and stone, wine and bread, and ourselves, mortal men, when we are enchanted. J.R.R. Tolkien

That said the experience with my son showed me he responded miraculously to various kinds of energy healings. And I spent many evenings praying to Archangel Michael to clear him of negative energy, fill him with light and love, and allow him to sleep after particularly upsetting emotional meltdowns. This certainly calmed me down, which would have helped him, but that fact that he now asks for angelic help himself, suggests to me that he feels some direct benefit from this too.

So all this is just a long-winded explanation for me coming out as a believer in angels, and faeries. Now I don’t mean I see things flying round with wings, although that would be cool, rather that I intuitively feel their energy around me.

We call them faerie. We don’t believe in them. Our loss. Charles de Lint

Jung would probably say that angels are my perception of the collective unconscious. I am happy to accept that there is a degree of archetypal wisdom at work here that I don’t fully understand.

I do know that all my life I have been called ‘angel’ by various people, or described as ‘sparkly’ and ‘ethereal’. My first perfume was ‘Angel’ by Thierry Mugler. And I loved wearing angel wings when dressing up. I have had an imaginary friend called Rosie, who I don’t see and hear as I did as a child, but I feel the presence of a warm, soothing force around me at times. If my son had been a girl the names I would have given him were Angelica or Angelina.forestfairies

These things may sound trivial, but Caroline Myss talks about listening to the things we say about ourselves, and others say about us, and to observe the patterns in our lives, as these are the way our archetypes illuminate themselves to us.

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. Michelangelo

Reading Doreen’s book, she talked about her reticence to come out with her angelic guidance. She was a professional counselor and yet she knew she couldn’t grow in her abilities to help people if she kept it hidden.

So I made the same decision, I don’t understand this stuff, but I want to, and keeping it locked away is not the way to do that. Besides, if angelic guidance is what inspires me, I intend to listen whole-heartedly!

It takes courage to walk this path and not retreat in fear from the unknown. Courage comes from the french word ‘coeur’ meaning heart. My heart tells me I am being true to myself. That the only world that could ever hold vision and depth for me is one that allows a myriad of existence beyond that experienced by the skeptical eye.

The throat chakra ideally communicates the true message of the heart, these two chakras, as all the chakras, are intricately connected. To suppress one, is to create disorder throughout the energy system. I’m done with suppressing and repressing!

So I am putting my angelic intentions out there!

I think that people who can’t believe in fairies aren’t worth knowing. Tori Amos

Try this beautiful meditation to connect with your angelic guides:

 

And try this beautiful throat chakra sound meditation – you’ll be transported…

Affirmations for vissudha by Chakra Anatomy:

I am open, clear, and honest in my communication.
I have a right to speak my truth.
I communicate my feelings with ease.
I express myself creatively through speech, writing, or art.
I have a strong will that lets me resolve my challenges.
I nourish my spirit through creativity.
I live an authentic life.
I have integrity.
I love to share my experiences and wisdom.
I know when it is time to listen.
I express my gratitude towards life.
I listen to my body and my feelings to know what my truth is.
I take good care of my physical body.
I am at peace.

Bless!

 

Check out this site for great info on the chakras and their related archetypes

http://www.askclaudia.com/throat-chakra.htm

Check out this great blog for more information  on healing the throat chakra

http://kaymayoga.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/vissudha-the-throat/

You can find Dr Jenny Butler here and listen to an interview about Faerie research in Ireland here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnDlZLkralU

 

Images:

Title: Forest fairies 

Ophelia by imagine studios

Fairy Forest by Phatpuppyart

Deep Forest Fairy Tale

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