Last week, we delved deeply into a critical aspect of land healing with two related concepts; thinking about the world in terms of (eco) systems and the interconnectivity of those ecosystems for all life. Last week was practical, full of discussions, definitions, and how you might design land regeneration projects with ecosystems and interconnectivity in […]
I had a recent conversation with a friend who lives in the town where I work (and where I used to rent a house). I had commented on how “nice” her lawn looked, as it was growing tall full of clover, dandelions, all heal, and so many other blooming plants; it was wild and beautiful. She laughed and said that she wished her neighbor felt the same way! She said that her lawn would have to be mowed that very day, and if she didn’t do so, her neighbor had already threatened her with calling the township due to the 6″ grass ordinance. Even though my friend isn’t a druid, this prompted a deep conversation about nature, ecology, and ecosystems. We started talking about the broader ecosystem, and the connectivity of all life–how she wanted to support insect life, bees, and larger life in her small patch of…
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As a druid, someone who connects to the local landscape spiritually, I’ve gotten my fair share questions about cultural appropriation and druidry’s relationship to indigenous practices, particularly traditions indigenous to the USA. The conversation may go something like this, “So druidry, is that like Native American?” My response is, “Druids and Native Americans both honor and respect the land, and see spiritual significance in nature. However, Druidry comes from a different cultural tradition (the British Isles, particularly Wales) and our relationship with the land, spiritual practices, and celebrations are completely different than indigenous peoples in North America” Another thing that happens with some frequency is that I describe something on this blog, like land healing, building sacred spaces, or other such spiritual work. And someone who has never commented before leaves a comment that says something like “You don’t have a right to do that, this land belongs…
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by The Druid’s Garden
Everything changes in this wild place. The ebb and flow of the tides drives the ecology on this rocky shore. The landscape abruptly changes its appearance based on proximity to the sea and elevation. Firs and spruces dominate along with a groundcover of laurel and blueberry. Even old friends, like birch, maple, and beech, take on new skin. The mountain peaks offer a desert-like climate where air and fire dominate. I am in this wild place, letting it seep into my bones, into my breath, into my spirit. Desipte the books on ecology I’ve purchased, I really have no idea what I’m seeing, no real knowledge of the deeper mystery of this land and shore. Books cannot teach that kind of wisdom, only time and experience can. My eyes physically see, but I am seeing without any real understanding of what it is that is…
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The easiest way to drive me nuts is to litter in front of me, on any given day, but especially on Earth Day. I can’t stand it, I have to pick the trash up and snidely say to the offender “How about I put this in the garbage for you?!!”
And the people who pick up their dog’s poop in a bag, but then toss that bag on the ground and leave it??? @#$%!!! Who ARE those people?!!!!!!
Seriously, how low is that level of consciousness?
While, given all that’s going on in the world, some may say that littering is the least of offenses in comparison, I’m inclined to disagree. It’s the meaning of the action that I find particularly disturbing: If someone literally walked over you and dropped trash on your face, how would you feel? Disrespected. De-valued. Violated. Hurt. Demeaned?
What is it saying about a person’s relationship to the Earth when they do that? To the land they currently occupy. To that which gives and sustains life?
It makes me reflect on my own relationship to the Earth, to the land upon which I stand. When was the last time I actually looked at it, connected with it, realized that I was in a partnership with it?
I’m a gardener, I love to garden, and I have plants all throughout my home, but how often do I pause during my day to recognize the consciousness in the plant beings around me? The symbiotic energy relationship that forms whether I’m aware of it or not?
This is important, because it is healing.
If there are two major things we, as human beings, have pinpointed as powerfully healing and restorative forces in our lives, it’s mindfulness (or presence), and being in nature.
We have to consciously choose to return to these two things because of the draining nature of the world we have created around, and within, ourselves.
Every plant has a spirit. Every element has a spirit. Every tree has a spirit. Every crystal has a spirit. The the land upon which you stand or occupy has spirits that represent it. The Earth herself has a consciousness, her own divine spirit.
To cultivate a stronger awareness of and relationship to these spirits is healing. It’s like finally recognizing a child or friend who’s been waiting around for you to notice them, to care about them, and becoming in tune with your own need to be a part of them.
Over time and throughout history, a huge rift has been formed between large sections of humanity and nature. A relationship that was once revered has now been abused, forgotten, neglected, and in some sad cases destroyed.
The miracle is that it can be repaired.
I don’t know if we can heal the deleterious effects we’ve had on our planet, but I KNOW FOR SURE that we can heal our relationship to Her, and this goes well beyond clean ups and conservation efforts.
To truly heal the relationship, we have to make an effort to rejoin it, and that means consciously cultivating our relationships to the spirits of the land and nature that surround us.