In Medicine for the Earth, shaman Sandra Ingerman says:
To heal the [E]arth . . . you must connect with the elements, the plants, the animals, and all forces of nature. You must reestablish your connection with the web of life, seeing that you are not separate from the rest of life, and you must see the beauty in all things.
. . .
Intention You must set a strong intention to return to living in accordance with the laws of nature, remembering [that] you are part of the web of life and are ruled by, and a part of, the cycles of nature. You must set an intention to open the lines of communiation with the spirit that lives in all things.
Love As you open to the wisdom of the trees, the plants, the animals, the insects, the sun, the moon, the stars, and the elements, you learn that all life thrives on love, and love is a key to creating harmony.
Harmony If you return harmony to yourself by aligning yourself with the river of life, the river of life will bring harmony back to you and the planet.
Union When you remember your connection to the web of life, and the spirit that lives in all things, you are once again in union with yourself, the rest of life, and the divine.
Focus You must focus on your intention to open the lines of communication with the spirits of nature.
Concentration You must concentrate on intentionally changing your way of life to once again return to harmony with yourself and the natural world.
Imagination You must be able to imagine the spirits and forces of nature that live around you, the forces of nature that live in you, and a world in harmony and balance again. You must be able to use your imagination to see the beauty in all things.
In comments to my post this week on living in relationship with nature, Literata says, inter alia:
I think this concept of relationship with the land is the idea some people are oversimplifying when they talk about grounding with a local tree or observing the seasons.
. . .
I just about jumped up and down when I saw the photo [used to illustrate the post] - I recognize that area, because my personal connection is with Teddy Roosevelt Island. Building my relationship with the land there is based on observing the seasons, but not just as an abstraction: it's about noticing what's going on, what the changes reflect, what the spirit of the place feels like and how that changes. It's a deep kind of knowing, and I think the idea of relationship captures it better than anything else I've seen. Being in love takes effort - but it has the most rewarding results.
I think that Literata is right. Some people imagine that, if they sit next to a tree and ground, they've done it all. Of course, sitting and grounding with a tree is a great way to begin a relationship with that tree. And, if it's all that you ever do, that's still about a thousand times better than not doing it. But it's only a start. Similarly, if you want to get to know someone, meeting them for coffee and a chat can be a great way to start, but it's not the same as having a deep and abiding relationship with them. As Literata notes, being in love takes work. And, as Ingerman says:
You must focus on your intention to open the lines of communication with the spirits of nature. . . . You must concentrate on intentionally changing your way of life to once again return to harmony with yourself and the natural world.
I think that the daily practice of being in relationship with The Land is as important as the daily practice we do when we sit at our altars and meditate, vision, do spiritual practices, make magic. Both are necessary, but alone, it's difficult for me to see how either is sufficient. And I find that, in order to be a Witch, I need to be in relationship with a specific and particular landbase, specific trees and plants, specific running waters, a specific fox, a specific bossy cardinal. Otherwise, it's like someone who "loves humanity," but doesn't really know or care for any specific people. And while it's certainly a good thing to "love humanity," it's difficult for that sort of relationship to translate into the sort of medicine that Ingerman references. And, IMHO, that sort of medicine is partly what Witches are for.
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