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We are looking for people to contribute their information to the blog. Preferably, we would like people to write regularly, but if you have an article that you would like to share, please send a copy to kylaskyemmc@gmail.com


Monday, July 26, 2010

Learning the Land - Part 3

- on a personal note, I hope you'll forgive the late posting, it's been a bit of a busy time of late. Also with thanks to Ellie from Wandering a Lonely Road for the award nomination; I'll be posting about this on my personal blog so I don't clutter the place up here at Working Spirituality. -

And onto our relationship with the land.

This week I'm going to suggest you really throw yourself into your research! The land on which you live has seen and felt so much before you or I came along. Find out all about the history of the place you call home. Does it correlate with any of the feelings and impressions you've been getting while spending time with the spirit of the land?

Use what ever you can get your hands on for this. Local libraries and history books are more than helpful, and access to the county records office will be invaluable (ask for help if you need it because they are usually staffed by wonderful people - note any rules before you go in as often you'll not be allowed to take pencils/pens into these places. However they are usually happy to offer photocopying services for any information you'd like to record). As ever the Internet is your friend with any research such as this. Be careful though, not everything you read comes from a trustworthy source so it's worth cross referencing to check if something is right.

Find out what the main economy of your land has been in the passing ages. Chances are this will have changed as time has gone on. Was your place mainly agricultural, was it the site of factories and mills, or a fishing port etc? How did life change where you are when the Industrial Revolution hit for example? How did people get by during the World Wars where you live? Did many of the men who went to war make it back? What ghost stories abound? Was there once a 'lord of the manor', does a manor house still stand? What religion did the people who lived on this land follow? What festivals did they celebrate? What ancient tribes once inhabited the lands? What happened to them? Where are the natural water sources and how have they been used in the past? Are there any battle sites nearby? All this and more is what you should aim to be discovering because these are the things the land has been witness to. These are the things that have shaped it and helped or hindered its evolution.

This isn't something you can do in just a week of course, this is an on-going project. To know the land you have to be willing to keep learning. Ask the land about the things you find out and see if there's any response. Maybe, maybe not.

Good Luck!

Nellie x

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Magical First Steps - Part Five

Grounding and Centering

You may have noticed that you're feeling a bit tired/headache-y/irritable after practicing raising energy. This isn't uncommon, and it happens to all of us. (Even if we've been practicing for years.)

The best way to counteract this is to "ground" any excess energy. To ground energy means to send any extra energy into the ground, or to pull energy from the earth to replenish your own "stores".

There are many ways to do this, but sitting down on the ground, in a chair with both feet on the ground or standing straight up seem to be the most common methods.

Focus on the energy that you have in your body - but make sure not to accumulate anymore or to concentrate it any more than it already is. If you're feeling jittery or overwhelmed with energy, channel the energy down into the ground. If you're feeling drained, draw some out of the earth and into yourself. The purpose of grounding is to balance out the energy in you to where it should be.

Visualization can help with this; many people visualize roots from their feet into the ground or some other similar imagery. (Personally, I use an anchor, which has significant meaning to me.) Try a few different ways to see what works for you.

Another reason to ground is to bring your mind and body to the present. It helps you focus on what you're doing at the moment, rather than be scatterbrained and all over the place.

Centering is just pulling all of your energy to one place in yourself. It helps you focus. It is usually done when grounding.

When you feel your connection to the Earth, and your energy is all balanced out - focus on whatever the task at hand is. (If you're just grounding to get rid of excess energy and not to focus, you don't really need to do this step.) Set your attention to whatever it is you need to do or want. And that's essentially the gist of it.

Physical methods of grounding are eating something, jumping hard onto the ground, laying down for a couple minutes. Sometimes food and physical rest can be better than going through all the energy work involved in grounding.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Learning the land - Part 2

So once you've identified the places in your locality that might hold the energies of the earth a little closer to the surface so to speak, the next thing you need to do it visit them. Don't set out to do them all in a day - show the spirits of the place your respect by taking your time and not rushing.

Spend some time in each of these places and try to 'feel' them. You might do this by meditating, or you might do this by lowering your energy into the ground, or you might simply open yourself up to the place. Does each place feel different? How easy is it to feel the essence of each place - are some places easier than others? Which places feel special? See what feelings and images come to you in each of these places and slowly start to build up a connection with the land around you.

Once you've done this identify one, or possibly two, places where you think you can work with the energies present. Alternatively if you feel like your relationship with the land is really coming along, or if getting to other special places is difficult, you can start the next step in your own back garden. If you are planning on working your spirituality in your garden this is as good a time as any to start - just make sure you've got the hang of sensing the energy in the Earth first (this is why I have suggested you start off feeling the energy of special sites first - because for a beginner the land's energy is going to be easier to sense in these places).

Chose your site and find a place within it to leave offerings. I'm not suggesting anything elaborate - infact if your chosen place is the middle of a public park then I suggest that you keep things as simple and unobtrusive as possible. Keep in mind that this is not an alter to a Deity, it is a place to connect to the land and leave the spirits that possess it offerings. Maybe you'll opt for a pretty plate, or a shallow bowl if you're working in your garden, or possibly a wooden tray. Maybe you'll decide to simply draw a circle on the ground, where ever you are. Give it some thought and decide what seems appropriate to you.

As to what to offer? Try some wild bird seed, or a libation of water, some flower petals, or even a strand of your own hair. I prefer to keep things natural, but if you're working in your own garden and you want to offer statues or carvings and such like then that is fine too. The key thing here is that whatever you offer it should be from the heart.

Just let the land get to know you a bit, visit regularly and try to make it known that you are listening.

Nellie x

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Learning the Land - Part 1

I claim to be no expert but I invite you to join me on my own journey in connecting more deeply with the land. For everyone this is an extremely personal journey, and so what is right for me may not feel right for you. So take my suggestions during this series of posts, tweak them, adapt them; do what feels right for you and the land you are living on. I'm going to aim to give you one activity or idea to work with every week in the hope that it gives you time to personalise these ideas/rituals, making them as formal or informal as you like, and giving you time to work through any impressions, dreams, visions, and impressions that might come your way as a result of your work.

There is nothing more important (in my humble opinion!!) than your connection with the land, your mother, your source. The Earth and the spirits that live within the land have so much to teach us - and what could be more fulfilling than learning from the forces of nature rather than spending all your time with your nose in a book? (though I do adore books so please don't ignore them completely)

As with all things worth doing, this is worth taking your time over. Show the land some commitment by taking it one step at a time.

So for your first steps with your land you will need some maps! If you live somewhere you've been born and grown up then you will likely have some resonance within you with the place you live, but if you live hundreds of miles from your birthplace there's no reason at all why you cannot become part of the land too. What you need is love. It comes down to that very simple fact.

So! Start off with a local street map, and an ordinance survey map is handy too (sorry I don't know the equivalent to this outside of the U.K. I'm talking about a very detailed map that you'd likely use should you decide to go rambling in the country side) Look for places that could have held special significance that's been forgotten from days gone by. Old track ways that have somehow survived urbanisation, old park land that holds some remnant of the wildwood; ancient fortifications and earthworks. All these are indications that a place has something special about it. Look as well for old churches that have been there forever - chances are they were built upon earlier sacred sites. Take note of any unusual place/road names that draw you too. Mark all of these places down and then just look at your map for a bit - is there anywhere your eye is drawn to without there being anything obviously special about it? Mark down these places too - your intuition could be giving you a heads up!

Now go do some research on these places you've marked down and see what turns up. When I did my research I found the starting point of an energy ley line which I was very excited about. I also found some old town/parish boundaries that still remained as public footpaths through new housing estates and held a real feeling of the Earth pulsing through them. I found some sites that had histories of various hauntings and the stories that went with them. It was all very illuminating!

So go look for the places around you where the Earths energies are closer to the surface and easier to perceive.

Good luck to everyone who decides to have a go with this. Be sure to let us know how you get on! We're all on similar journeys here and I for one would love to hear what everyone else finds!

Nellie x

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Magical First Steps - Part Four

The fourth step in learning to work magic is raising energy.

Raising energy isn't like drinking an energy drink. It's not the same as feeling energized, but rather a feeling of power - of something that can be put to use in a better way than just physical. It's a deep sensation in the stomach. (For me at least, though I'm sure it can radiate from other places.)

To start with this exercise, figure out which hand it your strongest. It's usually your writing hand, but whichever hand you feel has more ability to send out can work. You can also try this exercise with both hands, or alternate until you learn which one works better, or you prefer. Personally, I use both hands, as they are fairly well balanced for me.

Start out by getting into a fairly meditative state. Make sure that you won't be getting interrupted, keep outside sounds to a minimum. Ask any roommates or family members not to bother you for a while. Take your time.

Once you're nice and relaxed, put your hands out in front of you and shape them like you're cupping a ball. Your hands can be a bit straighter, or nicely curved - whichever is more comfortable for you to keep up for several minutes.

Focus on sensing the energy around you, then narrow down on your own. Pull the energy into your stomach/chest. Then funnel the energy into your hands, then finally the space between your hands. It will pool up and eventually feel like a squishy nerf ball.

You should be able to feel the density of the area.

After trying this, if you're capable of seeing the energy, you can try to change the colors - or you can try to change the temperature or other aspects of the energy.