Magic - The Essence of the Forest
All to often, it is thought that "magic" is something that a witch does to manifest one's desires. While that be be a 'small' part of what magic is, there is much more to it.
Magic in an of itself is it's own essence. It is void of dualities such as positive and negative, black and white, etc. it is the raw supernatural essence that permeates, and emanates from all that is in existence.
With this being the case, a "witch" does not have to always gather his or her tools of the trade and stand in a compass round, calling and directing energy to manifest the means of a specific goal. Instead, this raw magical essence can be found in the most natural of places-the forest.
The forest is imbued with this magical essence, just waiting for those with the extraordinary, or what I would even call ordinary, communication skills to sense its message.
Saturday morning was a beautiful morning. I decided I would go and explore an area of the forest in which was unfamiliar with and see what I could learn. As always when it is warm enough, I prefer earthing myself - the process of taking your shoes off and walking barefoot upon the raw earth, and connecting with the natural energies of the earth. In doing so, we become attuned to her electrical frequencies and with an open mind, begin to walk not only into the forest, but into a whole new realm - which I call the Greenwood.
As I take my first step, the magical essence of the forest begins to open my senses to the spirit of the forest. I am quickly reminded that each step must be made consciously, with mindful awareness as to where I will place my foot before taking the next step. It becomes a form of meditation, a type of trance that opens me up to the lessons I am about to receive.
Putting my foot in the wrong place could be painful. Each step is symbolic of the choices we make. I am quickly reminded that along our journey in life, the choices we make may at times hurt. This pain is not always a bad thing however, it often is a cue that we need to make changes before we make the next step. It could also mean that perhaps we need to tread a bit more gently.
As I progress along the unfamiliar path set before me I notice that as I take each calculated step, I lose my balance at times, to which I must reposition myself to gain sturdy footing. Lesson number two ushers forth. The spirits of nature reveal that no matter what math you walk, there must be balance. For without balance comes the fall. Yet, when you lose balance in your life, you reposition your step (make better choices) that will place you back into balance. Balance is the key to any journey whether it be relationships, happiness, health, etc. one must have balance in order for them to function correctly.
Roughly 3 miles into the trance like walk, I stumble across a hidden circle, full of green grass, yet completely encased by thorns and horse chestnut shells as if to ward off potential trespassers into this sacred space. It had a strong pull, so I entered this space of energy.
I spent time walking the perimeter of the sacred circle. I found fresh deer scat as it was surely feeding upon the lush greenery within the borders of this circle. I thought of a stag, and I was reminded of the Spirit known to me as "He of the Forest Deep" - whom is often known as the "Horned god", "Pan", and even the "Green Man" to those who's witchcraft is steeped in gods and goddesses. But to those of us who walk a path of provenance witchcraft, this Spirit is known as "He of the Forest Deep". He is the anima-loci, the very Soul of the forest itself.
The energy of this circle was great, so I decided to sit in the middle of the sacred space and meditate a while. I felt called to renew my covenant with the spirits of the land. With permission, I harvested a single thorn from which protected the boundary of the circle. I returned to the middle of the circle and pricked my finger, squeezing out three drops of blood onto the land as an token of my commitment to the covenant I have made with the anima-loci, genius-loci, spirits of the plants, familiars, and the natural path I have been called to walk. I then poured out some water from my bottle as a libation to those who have served me well. I left the circle feeling renewed and continued on my path.
As I walked, I began to continuously see the sproutings of a single 'redbud' like plant - dark purple merlot color mix, heart shaped leaf in random - yet not so random- places along the way. I immediately felt the appreciation that the spirits of the forest had for the renewed covenant with them. The dark color reminded me of why "black" is such a prominent color in witchcraft. Black keeps hidden all that it contains, protecting the sacred within from being profaned. It is for this reason that the night is so powerful for those of us who walk this crooked yet natural path.
A half mile or so into the continuation of my meditative walk into the Greenwood, I am lead to a tree that is tall, stands firm, yet has a clear hole straight through it. The spirit of this tree begins to speak. It tells me that "the key to accessing the Unseen World is through nature itself." For the tree's foundation was sprung forth from the depths of the dark earth (symbolic of the Unseen World), it's existence progressing harmoniously in nature, not rushing anything, but allowing nature to simply "be", it sprouted into this world, growing tall, wise, and old, all the while maintaining roots deep into the dark earth. It now exists in the Seen World (above-it's trunk and branches) and the Unseen World (below -roots) simultaneously. Without being rooted below, it would lack the nutrients and minerals it needs to live. Without reaching into the world above, it would lack the the sun, water, and air that it needs to live. the Tree tells me "To truly live, one must feed (gain knowledge) on that which is seen, and unseen" - the material realm, and non material realm.
As I stare through this hole, it reminds me of the birth canal. I am given a vision of my own birth. While in the womb, I did nothing of my own accord to progress the stages of my birth. I was living in complete harmony with my environment. I was given all that I needed to ensure my existence. Somewhere along the way, we as humans decided that we can take the wheel, and push nature aside, severing this organic union of relationship. in doing so, we cause ourselves to live in desolate space, void of the spiritual nourishment we were once naturally provided.
The spirit of the tree tells me that if humanity would return to this natural relationship between the material realm and the non material realm that our primal ancestors maintained - the very relationship we are all conceived with, we could once again thrive in organic knowledge in union with the Unseen World, void of the need of synthetic knowledge through technological advances, and societal programming. We can then return to "the knowing".
It seems as though I was only standing there for minutes however I look at my watch, realizing that over an hour has passed in this communication process. I thank the tree for its lessons, leave and offering, and make my way to my return destination.
On the way back, I am in awe at all that I have learned on this day. For the magic in the air was thick. I felt it with every inhale I made. I was rejuvenated, spirits lifted, much accomplished, all without tools, chants, herbs, incense, etc. For He of the Deep Forest provided all that and more, without me even asking!