Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What I Thought I Knew

Every autumn, I travel to the Berkshire Mountains to attend Twilight Covening, an event created by the EarthSpirit Community. It’s a time to do deep magic of connection with other people, with the lands we live on, with the changing of seasons, and it’s a time where I find a deeper connection to myself. I use the sacred space and rituals to prepare for winter work, for there is always work to be done. Every time I find myself reaching a place I worked towards, I see that the path stretches out further still ahead of me. There is no end to the current. I am the current. There is more to do, more to learn.

This year the work I was doing was around learning tools to replenish yourself when you are depleted. I often ask the question, who cares for the caretakers? We all have someone in our lives we count on to have the answers and to solve the problems (even if it’s ourselves). We can’t care for others if we are not cared for. It doesn’t stop us from trying. Most of us often deflect from our own needs, wants and workings, thinking we are better people for sacrificing them in the wake of the needs of others. What happens when we have exhausted ourselves in caretaking? Who, in turn, cares for us? This weekend, I was given an answer, one that was so simple it should have been obvious.

We worked in the sun of the mountain top to connect to the spirit of tree, water and stone. The spirit of breath, fluid and bone. I thought it would be easy. I thought I understood what that meant. I have spent my life hugging trees, grounding in water and loving the stones of the earth. I forgot the layers of consciousness that are difficult to perceive from this side of the world.

We are one species of the earth’s children and many of us cannot hear its voice anymore. We have to learn to quiet and listen. It wants to teach us what it knows. And when we are depleted of energy down to our core essence and we have exhausted all of our resources in the care of others, we must turn to the natural world, our mother, and *trust* that she will help us, giving us what we need, moving through the world for us while we rest in ourselves and receive those gifts. It’s not the same thing as shutting down emotionally to do what needs to be done. It’s staying connected, and staying present, but being supported.

When we were connecting to stone, we were told to “push beyond the depths of our own silence,” to find stillness. Only I was rocking. I have nerve-damage in my left leg from an accident that is obvious to no one but me. Sitting on the floor for long periods of time causes nerve firings down the length of my leg. In that moment in the pine forest, when I realized I was rocking, I understood it to be something I do to distract myself from the pain, to move that excess energy through my body in a current and grounding it outward so it does not burn.

When I was sitting in my rock, a giant nugget of mountaintop with rough veins of quartz running through it, I didn’t know where to start. I took some deep breaths to my version of stillness and I opened myself to the stone beneath me. I whispered to the earth that I did not know how to find its stillness. I took myself to the edge and told the stone that I could not speak its language through the barrier that was my pain. I asked the mountain, the deep ancestor, the bones of our planet, to teach me to find stillness.

I felt so cold, sinking in until the edges between us blurred. I moved to the very skin of the pain of this body and then I took a deep breath. The stone beneath the pain was waiting for me. In one flash, pushing through the barrier, I experienced the fullness of the pain in a blinding white light like being electrocuted. And then… there was no pain. None. For the first time in ten years, I was sitting in exquisite stillness and silence, aware of the sounds of the world around me, but inside we were at peace, the stone and me. I wept openly for a long time, as our clan time commenced. “Once you know something, you can’t unknow,” my Clan leader said.

That peace lives inside me, and that place without pain does, too. It requires work on our part to find it. It requires that we take the time to build a relationship with those spirits. So to find it again I will build relationship with stone and learn its version of stillness. Anyone who has ever navigated a human relationship… it’s that big. It’s that serious. It requires that level of commitment. And once you open that door, the world opens to you. You just have to get out of your own way and listen.

This walk, this path, this work is opening before me and I accept it though it is frightening. I am opening myself up to something infinitely larger than I can comprehend. I am opening my consciousness up to something that will constantly keep me humbled and in service. But what am I if not a child of this world around me, part of its genetic make-up? What am I if not a daughter of the Earth? What am I if not breath, fluid and bone, if not also tree, water and stone?

Connect to the EarthSpirit Community.


  1. The molecules in our body are the same ones that have been around since the beginning of time. The air we breathe is the air our ancestors breathed, recycled and changed and reborn again as air. We we die, our molecules will go on to be reborn in new life. The only barriers between us and the earth are the ones we build in our minds.

    Thank you for this post, it was beautiful.

  2. My beautiful friend, yes. It's amazing to me how much we can expand our world just by expanding our comprehension, without need to claim or own anything more physical.


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