I walked by the place where an old red oak had stood for at least 100 years on campus. There was nothing to show where it had been, no stump remained. It’s now just a patch of grass that is a lighter shade of green than the surrounding lawn. But I remember its huge branches making so much shade, and the funny hollow in the base that looked like a perfect home for faeries. I sent a blessing to any of its essence that was still in the ground; tiny adrift root threads and sawdust mulched into the soil.
The campus daily news wrote about the tree removal due to structural issues that made it unsafe. I watched the arborists slowly dismember it over several days. One day I was watching them work from a bench nearby and I felt like it was the day for honorable closure. Groups of crows came and settled in the surrounding trees. I felt the energy of nature spirits circling all around the area, and the hidden folk; faeries, elementals, elves, and dryads in solemn respect for the old oak. As I tuned in, I got the message that the essence of the tree would always remain in some form. It would remain in the decades of composted leaves that had enriched the soil, the acorns that squirrels had stored away and forgotten, the pollen from the flower buds that dusted into the cracks and crevices of nearby buildings and fields. The spirit of the tree was moving on, but the vibration of all it had been is in the energy imprint of the area. The nature spirits knew that. They honored its energy as well as witnessed its transformation. I sent my respect as well. I thanked it for everything it was, grateful that I got to know it, and let it know that I would miss it. I wished it a good journey home. The sadness was there, but the honorable closure gave it a place to settle within me.
I’ve been in a large online study group with shamanic teacher Sandra Ingerman all this year. She has been talking to us a lot about honorable closure as being a way to acknowledge loss and endings. By honoring death, we respect and revere life. It doesn’t mean we can’t grieve. It doesn't mean we don't feel the pain when someone we love dies. But for me there is a comfort in recognizing that the cycle and flow of energy does not disappear or end with the death of the third dimensional form.
This is also a way to honor other things in our lives that pass away; relationships, cars, jobs, ways of being in the world. We can honor them for the experiences; nourishment received, services rendered, and lessons learned, while deeply acknowledging what we are feeling. Simply thanking them for everything they have been and given helps create an ending for our own peace and fertile ground for fresh starts. Honorable closure is a vital part of energy work and shamanic practice. It helps us move forward, and it also sends a beautiful energy out into the world. And we need that now more than ever.
One of my biggest joys this year has been deepening my relationship with Nature Spirits. They have told me to come visit them in out of the way spots, off the beaten path. There are less distractions that way and I can immerse myself in the experience for deeper teaching.
Recently I took a new forest hike on an unmarked trail off a main trail. I was looking for a creek that ran nearby and after a half mile or so I heard it bubbling and singing. The trail was uphill and winding and I kept going, looking for a spot where it met the creek. I rounded a bend and saw that the trail dipped down and the creek crossed it in a beautiful cascade of small steps before it dropped off in a tiny waterfall. Upstream the ferns and bushes grew over a quiet area that looked to be an ideal place for faeries to play. It was incredibly beautiful, and a feeling of magic made my senses light up.
For a moment I thought about continuing to explore what might be around the next bend. I looked up the trail ahead and was startled to see a gnome staring back at me. It was easily seen in the mossy tree stump, and its energy felt a little stern. The first thing that crossed my mind was that it is guarding the trail and I’m not to go any further. I said hello and asked if I could go farther down the trail. I felt the answer as a definite no. I asked if I could stay there at the creek crossing and did not get a no. In my book, that’s a yes. I took off my shoes and put my feet in the creek. I glanced at the gnome every so often, amazed at how strong and animated its energy was.
There is nothing quite like Elementals. Everything that exists on Earth is made up of Elementals, including our bodies. In ordinary realty we think of them as earth, air, fire and water, but they prefer to be called Gnomes, Sylphs, Salamanders and Undines. We can describe their qualities and meet them and engage with them. However, we can’t easily describe what they are because they are in both the physical and non-physical realms.
A gnome is an earth Elemental. It is earth, and it is also the spirit of earth. Great caretakers, they tend soil, plants, stones, minerals and are grounded, methodical and helpful with protection and abundance. I could also sense the undines, the water Elementals, in the creek, but I couldn’t really see them. Elementals choose the level and form of interaction they make with us. I have never had an elemental interact with me in ordinary reality as strongly as this gnome did.
I left a small offering in gratitude for the beauty of the place and the meeting with the nature spirits and Elementals. I took a few pictures and headed back to the main trail. On my hike out, I thought about why the gnome had stopped me from going on down the trail. Maybe it was being protective of other beings that lived back farther in the forest. Or maybe it was being protective of me. I wondered if there was a cougar den back there, as sightings happened in the area a few times a year.
Later I looked at the pictures I took and almost fell over. In the very first one a trick of the sunlight and shadow had formed a detailed image of a cat next to the gnome. I had a strong feeling then that the gnome was guarding me from disturbing a cougar. Or guarding the cougar from being disturbed by me.
Gratitude filled me. This was a powerful lesson about trusting my second attention, and the messages I receive. The experience also solidly brought home the truth that as we open to knowing nature as beings instead of objects, we can communicate in remarkable ways. But it requires offering respect and a receptive heart instead of projecting the outward force of mental logic. That can be difficult for humans to do sometimes. It is fortunate that nature is patient.
For the past seven weeks I’ve been taking a wonderful workshop with Sandra Ingerman about connecting to Nature Spirits. We’ve journeyed to many animal, plant, elemental and other ancient beings. One of the journeys we did in class was to connect with a mountain. In my journey I asked if I could visit the deva of Mary’s Peak, which is part of the Coast Range that watches over the town of Corvallis from the west. I’ve wanted to connect with the deva since reading Grandma’s Song of Healing, by local author Harry MacCormack. In it he says that the local indigenous people of the area knew that the mountain has the power to attract spiritually aware people to the area. When I read that it resonated as truth within me.
I feel I was called specifically to Corvallis four years ago. Spirit (my general word for spirit guides, helpers and the universal Source of All That Is) arranged my journey here very precisely, and directed me to this exact place, though originally my plans were to move south of here to Eugene. I have met so many other spiritual practitioners, healers and lightworkers who got the same call to come to Corvallis within the past several years. It’s quite remarkable, as I truly had no idea I would be moving here until a few months before I got here. Others I meet say the same was true for them.
In the journey as the drumming began, I reached out to Mary’s Peak. It rose up out of the landscape as a deep green being with vortexes of red, purple, pink and gold moving within it. I asked her if she brought me here. She said yes, and I thanked her, as I love it here. She told me she has brought many others. Her vortexes are fractals, she extends them out across time and space to interact with our fractals in our soul/energy fields and helps to draw us here. We in turn connect to others' fractal lines as we interact with each other. She called it “Fractal Destiny.”
She showed me that she is on ley lines in the Willamette valley that she likens to energetic acupressure points on the earth. Activation occurs on the lines from many things, but us being here on them and having our circles, ceremonies, songs and dances really affects them. In turn, our personal intention to do our work, shine our light, connect with nature and helping spirits and one another has an amplified effect due to the location of these energy lines and points. That is one reason she calls us here. That and the fractal destiny we have with one another as we swirl through interactions we have with each other and our community.
I’ve been thinking a lot about fractal destiny since then, and about how we all get to where we need to go in our lives. When Spirit nudges or pushes us strongly toward an area and we experience remarkable synchronicities and events supporting that, we can trust the message. The ease and flow with which it happens are signs that we are fully supported. Of course we have free will and we can choose to stay where we are, but we shouldn’t be surprised if the opportunity comes around again. Spirit has many ways of getting us to where we need to be!
To help you tend to soul issues that may manifest in physical, emotional, mental or spiritual aspects of your life, and to give you tools to empower your path to harmony and well-being.
-There are so many kindred spirits doing the work out there. I include these links to help our community connect with one another.
SACRED HOOP Magazine Guide to Shamanism Compilation- http://www.sacredhoop.org/Pages/FreeGuide.html
Kitzie's podcasts include interviews with artists and kirtan music. I love attending her weekly Satsang group and the New World Kirtan Band concerts -
Energy Intuitive and Nature Communicator - Cheri Melton's work with Devas and Nature Spirits is profound. So happy to have her as a friend and mentor -