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Archive for April, 2013

hawthorn kenn churchyard1

HAWTHORN

“warm breath
dark cave
summer stars.”

No smell so captures the atmosphere of early summer in Britain than the hawthorn blossom. It has a heavy, sweet, erotic earthiness that seems ideal for the burgeoning of life around the beginning of May when the branch-tops become laden with a layer of white, cream or pink flowers. Hawthorn is a tree long associated with earth spirits – the fairies in particular – and with the Earth Goddess. It is a small tree that never attains a great girth or height, though it suits its habitat of open scrubland, woodland margins and open moorland. It is one of the main hedging plants as it can survive heavy pruning and forms dense thorny barriers of angular branches. The wood is heavy and fine-grained, though not as hard as blackthorn or other fruit woods. It’s often contorted and expressively gnarled form gives each tree a personality and presence less easy to find in other species. Despite its rugged and wild appearance during the winter months, it has an aura of benevolence throughout springtime, summer and autumn when the branches are laden with small, dark red berries. Hawthorn somehow manages to express the epitome of the Threefold Goddess and the sequence of time marked by seasonal change. Herbally and energetically hawthorn benefits the heart by regulating any abnormal activity. Its generosity of expression in flowers and fruit and the guarded protection of its compact form and fierce thorns perfectly characterises the needs of the heart in opening to relationships with love whilst maintaining appropriate boundaries between the self and others. There are many sub-species and types of hawthorn, all of which work alongside the qualities of the heart, love, expression of emotion, personal path, universal consciousness, intimacy, relaxation, expansion, richness of the senses, relaxing into the experience of living.

*****

hawthorn blossom1

HAWTHORN BREATH
Breathing in: upon a constant stream of moving breeze from the distance in a straight line into the centre of the back (at heart level).

Breathing out: upon the stream as it emerges out of the front of the centre of the chest.

TREE TEA
Hawthorn flowers soothe sore throats. The bark is a mild tranquilliser that can help with fevers and malaria. Flowers, leaves and bark all regulate heart function bringing elasticity to blood vessels, reducing palpitations and giddiness.

******

HAWTHORN GODDESS

Attraction of atoms,
Mesmeric swing of electrons,
Neutron heart –
The yearning of gravity.

The constant dance of suns and planets,
The magnetic tide of the years,
Pulling green fire
Furled from rock-bleak branch.

Lying warm in lust nest
Dreaming of you,
Shining one.

Nesting in warm lust,
Weaving dream,
Shining one.

Clasped together
Magnetic dance,
Heart sharp drop.

Star for stone
Blood for thorn
Bud for spring
Attraction, fascination.

Root to soil
Iron to Pole Star
Spiralling inwards
Spiralling outwards.

Dancing hearts
Bud to heaven.


****

A5hawthorn

MIDLAND HAWTHORN

Expansion into heart, growth, direction, awareness, enthusiasm, fractal patterns, inward expansion, thousand-petalled

Inward expansion
Heart mother
Thousand petals.

Expansion inwards
Open fractals
Thousand petals.

Inner expanse
Heart mother
Fractal patterns.

Inner expanse
Heart mother
Fractal petals.


****
Midland Hawthorn Breath:

Breathing in: bring the breath in to the heart.
Breathing out: see the breath expanding out from the heart as a growing sphere. At its furthest, outermost edge, there is a sense of stars.

****
The Hawthorns all work with the energy of the heart. The heart is the centre, the core, of a thing, the place from which everything expands and originates. The first often gets swamped by the second, the third, the succeeding experiences that explore and elaborate in greater and greater complexity and originality. It is easy to get swept along with the new until there is so much to experience simultaneously that we grow tired of having to make choices, decisions, changes. We lose sense of control, sense of perspective and are overwhelmed by possibilities. Yet we have travelled so far away from where we started that it seems impossible to find a way back to a simple, honest, central point. Midland hawthorn helps us to experience a return to the centre, focusing energy and awareness in one place so that we can see the chaotic whole for what it is. Chaos and lack of order is simply looking at things from an inappropriate distance. Getting closer or going further away patterns will begin to emerge that we can recognise and follow.
Within infinity every possible point is the central point, and within that central point everything else is enclosed: expanding inwards, remaining in the centre, patterns unfolding endlessly. A small tree that becomes the universe. A wavy-edged leaf becomes a map directly to one’s goal. The music of the heart beating.

****

midland hawthornA5

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A Little More On DownLoading

This process is very similar to that described in Robert Monroe’s “Far Journeys”. Rather than receiving information as a linear flow of explanation, the unfolding of understanding in linear progression, he describes exchange of information packets he calls a ‘rote’, which can be instantly given and received complete into the mind. This can then be unpackaged, unravelled or revealed in a timescale and situation relevant and convenient to the holder. It has a similarity to the concept of a ‘gestalt’, and to holographic models, where information is complete but enfolded within itself.

The linearity of physical experience and the linearity of language is a constraint of living within time and space (these two concepts are one thing: time being simply the duration between spaces, the time it takes to get from A to B). Outside of physical experience, in the non-physical mind, for example, time and space do not dictate experience in the same way. We experience this all the time in dreaming where linear narrations can be overlain by loops, jumps and parallel views. We can go over the same scenario again, or from different viewpoints, or follow imagery that makes internal sense that can be very confusing when remembered from the waking state.

Thought is not a linear thing. One does not have a single stream of thought or language. As we learn language we use it to pick out some of the easily recongisable threads and weave them into a ‘hard’ thought.

Downloading allows exchange of information packets instantaneously because it occurs outside of that framework of linear time and space. New ideas and information can then naturally filter into conscious awareness over time, often feeling like a flow of inspiration, ideas or viewpoints.

It is not really important whether we believe in communication with sentient spirit energies or not. The ultimate source of inspiration cannot easily be uncovered. “All in the imagination” is as meaningless as “channelled from a Higher Entity”. We will, no doubt, have a preference or an opinion, but the value of the download is its usefulness to our life, its practical, emotional and spiritual value.

Localised pockets of sentience sending messages to each other is one scenario for existence, like stars sending out light to other stars distanced by millions of light years. Another model could present a field of fluctauting sentience underlying all physical manifestations that is received or amplified by localised receiving minds-brains-patterned subfields. In this hypothesis thought and awareness do not belong to any one being, but is a quality of the whole, accessible to all those parts that naturally or temporarily choose to align to a certain band of resonant frequencies.

Where there is an emotional attachment to a location, place or tree (positive or otherwise), then that is a good indication of a valuable resonant field. Such a place would be ideal to ask for an information/teaching download.

You will already be absorbing the underlying patterns that are present ( or else you would not be feeling any change of mood or perception).

All that is necessary ( or helpful, or polite,) is to acknowledge this resonant effect and ask that if there is any helpful or specific information/healing/teaching able to be given. Ask that it is downloaded as a package into your deep mind so that you will be able to work with it at convenient times.

Then simply stay quiet and alert for a little while. It is not necessary to be aware of any input. You may or may not feel a change of state. Perhaps, anyway, nothing is being ‘given’ or ‘transferred’ at all. It may be that a pre-existing connection or link is being strengthened or set up that will enable you to return to this same energetic environment when you later turn your mind back to it.

Usually information is unfolded as a new set of ideas or as a stream of thought that arises by itself over the next few hours or days. But maybe the download will flavour a much longer period of time.

The connection made need not even be experienced as a teaching or information that is new to us in some way. It might be experienced simply as an increased stability or state of being, a quietness or an attitude of flexibility.

Very often a download is a tendency to follow certain clues, to investigate and follow, to be attracted towards, to be led, to find solutions, to forget about solutions. Downloads are a change of perception, or allow the possibility of a different viewpoint. They can provide an instant of clarity or years of research. They can be denied or ignored but their presence, like any other memory, is always accessible, and colours everything from that moment on.

*****

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Downloading

hazel coppice

The message
of the great trees
is communicated from within
and by means of
their great silence.

If you have a wish
To communicate with
The spirits of trees
Then go with a willing
Quietness.

Take time
Just to be
In the presence
And receive packets of information
For later unravelling and
Investigation.

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silver birch2a copy

Birch Breath

“Bone white
birth reveals
all in beauty.”

The birch is amongst the most graceful of trees. Its white bark and long elegant boughs, often with down-swept branches, make it easy to see from a distance wherever it might be growing. Birch is a pioneer tree inhabiting the poor, rocky soils of heath land and lower mountainside. Living on the edges of the inhabited world of man it is easy to associate the tree with the spirits of the wild, particularly female lunar and fertility deities. In keeping with its character as a liminal dweller on thresholds the birch carries associations that appear contradictory but elucidate its significant role and symbolism.

The ghostly white bark represents both light and life- the power of life to conquer and regenerate, to give birth and flourish – and also of the cold, lifeless bones of the dead, the dwellers of the Otherworld and the ancestors. In the Scottish Highlands the birch is sometimes seen as a benevolent female spirit, a dangerous, devouring witch or a home for the spirits of dead girls. This symbolism may well reflect an ancient association with the Great Goddess, whose aspects included the nurturing fertile Mother at the same time as the ravening destructive force of War and Destruction. She is the Mother who goes to all lengths to protect her offspring from harm.

The name ‘birch’ derives from the same Indo-European root words as ‘light’, ‘shining’, ‘bright’. But birch also shows that all beauty is balance, for the white purity of the bark splits to reveal black underneath. There is no birth without death, no light without darkness, no beginning that is not also an ending. We cannot rest our eyes on true beauty until we accept the whole interaction of life with death, until we stop favouring, stop judging, stop comparing. The oldest traditions of the Great Mother are uncompromising in their clarity. All aspects of human experience, good and bad, are manifest in Her forms and faces. There is no possibility of compromise with human frailties or wishful thinking if we want to attain a true state of clear, birch-like awareness.

Breath:
Breathing in through the solar plexus.
Breathing out, imagining the breath swirling around the inner walls of the body(as liquid swirls around a vessel).

Tea: All parts are useful, including the rising sap in early spring which can be tapped to make an excellent wine. The bark is diuretic and laxative. The leaves are high in potassium so taken together with the bark can prevent the sodium-potassium imbalance that can occur when taking other diuretics. Both the leaves and the sap are anti-inflammatory and are useful for arthritic conditions and skin irritations like psoriasis. The buds can be used in cases of cystitis (the alkalising effects of potassium helpful here as well).

birch boughs

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horse chestnut
Horse Chestnut (White Chestnut)

Agitation, harmonising flow, contrast, difference, clarity, intuition, peace, dissipates excess energy, steady, frictionless, super-conductor, frictionless flow, seamless, silk, candle in a cave, constant flame, smooth flame, wordless place, silk flame, windless place, seamless time.

” silk flame
Still cave
Seamless time”

Like a candle burning in a still cave, the awareness is not disturbed by any outside influences. There is a smooth, seamless flow of energies with no friction or irritation. When there is no resistance, all energies can be harmonised. When we become aware of great contrast it can be difficult to reconcile the difference. This sets up a conflict, an annoyance, an intolerance. Rather than needing to move away to find a more peaceful place, the spirit of horse chestnut resolves the differences within ourselves so that we can be at peace wherever we may be. With an easy flow of energy it becomes easier to avoid setting up repetitive patterns and other symptoms of blocked or resisted energy. One moment flows into another with no neurotic repetition. Thoughts are smooth and reflect deeper perceptions of mind. The body is less agitated and can remain at peace. Excess energy is able to drain away. What is not needed is released. What is not helpful is not absorbed.

Tree Breath Meditation:

Breathe in: as you breathe in, imagine you are pulling air up through the base of the spine in an upward moving, anticlockwise spiral that tightens inwards toward the axis of the body.
Breathe out: relax and brathe out, imagining the breath leaving the body downwards through the armpits.

Mantra:

The mantra to link to this tree spirit is:

GAASH…T’HAAASH. DAA. R. NAA. Y

repeat this to yourself out loud until familiar with the sound of it, then take it inside your mind and let it float there for a while.

The tree itself exhibits a contrast of tense and relaxed, rough and smooth. As it matures the bole of the trunk begins to spiral to the right, though the crown opens out and spreads with heavy boughs. The leaves are large, rough fingers held relaxedly downwards on long, smooth stems. The white, candle flowers appear in late spring and ripen into heavy, spiky fruits that fall in autumn to reveal shiny brown chestnuts.
Rich in tannins, these fruits are used in many cosmetic skin products as they ‘tone’ and tighten the skin. Internally, horse chestnut restores tone and flexibility to blood vessels and is used to prevent varicose veins and reduce haemorrhoids.

This tree is now a familiar and welcome sight in many parks and public spaces of the world, but before the end of the 16th century it was unknown. At this time it was found in a small mountainous area between Greece and Albania and was soon introduced to stately homes throughout Europe.

**
horse chestnut2 copy

the image is of the Tree Spirit Key for the Horse Chestnut.It can be used as a focus for healing or for meditative work.

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THREE QUESTIONS: THREE TRIADS

What is tree spirit healing?
A reminder of wholeness.
A reminder of belonging.
A movement towards balance.

What are the tools of tree spirit healing?
The five senses, the quiet mind,
The open heart of natural stillness.

What are the methods of tree spirit healing?
Walking towards opening doors,
Looking through other windows,
Paying attention.

(Triads are traditional mnenomic method of the British Celts (Welsh). Similar to Hindu and Buddhist sutras, they act as reminders to teachings and evoke deep unconscious responses. They can be obvious, or gnomic and obscure. Triads often come in the form of question and response.)

***

dawn redwood1

(dawn redwood trunk)

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Tree at the Earth’s Core.

If you have worries or concerns, particularly with things that are larger than your own influence, offer then up to the heart of the planet with this exercise. A solution or answer may surface in your mind.

Sit comfortably and relax into the weight and gravity of your physical body.

Allow your awareness to sink downwards into the ground and to extend as searching roots.

At the same time as establishing a web of roots spreading in a downwards and outwards direction, visualise and feel a vigorous taproot of your consciousness diving strong and straight, down towards the very centre of the planet.

As your root system becomes strong and established, really begin to focus on that deep thrusting taproot.

It dives through soil, subsoil and rock. It is sure and strong of the pull of the earth’s core. As you attend to this energy picture you may be aware also of many different levels of all sorts of possible scenes, landscapes and matter as your awareness dives towards the heart of the planet.

When you reach that central point of energy, allow as much as you need to flow into your body. You are of the Earth’s body, made of its energy. Be aware of this unbreakable bond with this planet. Allow your awareness to settle and take comfort from belonging.

When ready, allow the imagery to fade and return to the here and now.

***
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