3. Plant indigenous trees, wild flowers & honour the Rock Beings.
I love the Scottish organization Trees For Life. They are all about planting indigenous trees upon the land. The land recognizes its roots. We are a forest people our ancestors lived in forests that provided a canopy over the land. As Trees For Life share on their website ‘we once had the equivalent of a UK rainforest throughout Alba and the rest of the Isles’. They are dedicated to reweaving with the land to help our forests thrive and to reintroduce wildlife to our shores. How beautiful will it be to one day have wild boar, wolves, lynx and beaver roaming the land once more. I would also love to see bears added to that list.
The simplest way to explain the importance of being in the roots of indigenous medicine is to look at the Bees and the Caterpillars. Our insect population in general is challenged by the use of pesticides, which also have a damaging effect on the fae. However it is in the planting of non- native plants that shows us the importance of honouring the roots of our medicine ways. Quite simply put native plants are better than non-native plants when it come to pollinators. Caterpillars are better fed on native plants and bees look for native plants to feed their young. Many of the modified hybrids and non-native species either have no pollen to offer and/or are disrupting the normal function of the ecosystem.
Honey is one of the gifts in the underworld, it is said to drip from the trees of the forest. Looking after our Bee population is a direct way of honouring and supporting the world of the fae. For those who work with the invisible realms you will know that the chaos and disruption that happens in our world has a direct impact on the world of the fae. It is why rituals like the Wild Hunt are so important. Each year at Samhain when the veil is at its thinnest we gather to sweep clean the worlds and sing home the lost souls of the dead. I am grateful to be weaving the Wild Hunt for the 18th time in Scotland this year with gatherings also planned in Canada. In 2016 we will take this work to Cornwall. I will Wild Hunt until the day I die and I know others will then Wild Hunt me home!
One of my favourite walks in Cornwall used to be a wild walk through a faerie glen. The green world was thriving in this nemeton. Recently the guardians of the land decided to clear parts to presumably widen the pathway and make it easier for those hiking through. It is still a wonderful walk and yet the clearing has shifted the energy of the place. More perturbing for me was the introduction of bamboo along the trail. Not only is bamboo foreign to these lands it is incredibly invasive.
An extract from my book the First Santa shares;
‘Dad taught me that each flower has a faerie….. They tend and love the earth, air and waters that we so often take for granted.’
This is something that my Partner Joyce is always advocating. It is an important piece to consider in our hearts. We live in a world where so many people want to own and possess things, people and nature. We parcel up the land and sell it off to the highest bidder. On a large scale we see corporations and governments drill into the earth and rape her and on a small scale we collect and forage for her treasures. Each of us has a responsibility to tend and love the land. I know that flowers are pretty and rocks call to be picked up and explored. However every time we pick a flower we tear it away from beings that come and tend it. The bees, the faeries and a host of other beings including people like me will thank you for leaving the flower to radiate its beauty for those of us who come across its path.
As for rocks, please honour these beings. It is one thing to ask a rock whether it would like to take a journey with you; it is another to let it know the details. Just as we humans like certain climates and terrains so do rocks. Some are water beings; some love the heat of the sun, some like to be in the woods. Becoming dust collectors and having the ignominy of the person forgetting where the rock is from would be cause for resounding ‘no’s’ to be shouted on the wind when asked if they want to travel with you.
This photo is of the Faerie Well that is part of an outdoor medicine circle that we Wild Hunt in in Aberdeenshire. Every Stone was invited to be part of this Faerie Well. All of the stones here happily agreed and were lovingly placed in the wall of the well. Inside is a cow horn that is filled with offerings to honour all beings seen and unseen.
For the budding photographers out there I offer this thought. Please ask permission before snapping away. Some days I do not want to be photographed, Joyce is rarely photographed, so if we humans are asking for consideration then it makes sense that other beings love to be afforded the same respect. I have led pilgrimages in the British Isles and Ireland since 1999 and I have traveled with professional photographers as well as the enthusiastic amateur. I know the joy people have at looking at their snap shots and I respect that this is an art in itself. I always advocate the following: When arriving at a place that is calling you to take photographs please be patient. Put your heart on the land, smell her and ask to taste her. If at a stone circle walk around the circle 3 times to connect with each stone being. Make offerings and be in relationship with the land. Once you have made a deep connection go ahead and ask to take photographs. Now instead of trying to capture the place and the beings that live there you are inviting them to show themselves and come out to play with you.
Here are the links to other sites that may be of interest to you.
I hope you have enjoyed part 1 and 2 of this blog. Part 3 will follow soon.
Thanks to Bob Dougherty for the use of the featured photo at the top of the page.