“Our early were much more fortunate than we are. Their camps were very close to the great silver birch which stands at the very centre of the universe and holds up the sky; whose roots lead down to all the halls of the underworld and whose branches stretch up to all the seven heavens. Since it was but a short walk to the Tree, it was a simple matter for anyone and everyone to climb to the heavens or follow its roots to the realms below. The marvels of heaven and the underworld weren't hidden from our ancestors. Compared to us, they were like gods.
One day , however, a terrible thing happened. A man vowed to cut down the Tree. Perhaps he wanted to prove that he was as powerful as the gods. Perhaps he had learned something in his travels up and down the Tree which had turned him against the gods. No one can quite remember,· it was a very long time ago. Anyway, he took his axe, and, summoning up all his strength, struck a great blow at the base of the Tree.
At this blow, the entire universe shook, and all the inhabitants of all the different worlds were thrown into consternation. At the second blow, a tiny crack appeared in the Tree, and the gods called an emergency council. The chief of the gods declared that man had been given too much power and was now threatening the very order of the universe. If the Tree were to be saved, it would have to be veiled from human sight and sense. So the mighty gods combined their wills and, uttering spells of great power, they removed the Tree from the circles of the world. Even the paths that led to the Tree were hidden.
Since that time, only the dead and the shamans can find the paths that lead to the Tree.”
The Decadence of the Shamans [Alan Cohen]
This is perhaps allegory but also it is literal as well, I do believe it was easier for all our ancestors once and so yes they were fortunate. And the axe that was used by man to cut the tree was Ego and the veil the gods used was to trick man into believing he is separate from everything and master of all was the over rational mind and its belief that we are separate. (form everything.)
BUT the skills the shaman uses are still available to us, on a physical level I choose live very close to pristine forests, rivers, mountains & caves. Here I am able to commune with spirit. I am also able to access the Mythic World Tree to visit the very heavens and the Underworld! How? By the archaic arts of shamanism, by the use of the shamanic drum to altar my consciousness, so as my helping spirits may guide me “there”. The shamanic drum is also called the spirit horse. The beat on which one rides into these realms, riding the sonic push of repetitive rhythm, quieting and subduing the rational mind, opening the spirit to allow one to climb and descend. Giving access to other ways of perceiving our varied worlds, opening the sacred gates to the multiverse.
If you would like to learn these methods, I can arrange to teach you. Anthony Ashworth
nature, shamanism, spiritwalks, world tree
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What is at the root of this word. Nature.
Many shamans and spiritual luminaries I have studied with, look to Etymology for clues to spiritual truths. The famous African shaman Credo Mutwa, brought this to my attention, when spending days sitting humbly with him, soaking up & receiving his Afrikan wisdom.
Etymology is the study of the origin of words and the way in which their meanings have changed throughout history. A chronological account of the birth and development of a particular word or element of a word, often delineating its spread from one language to another and its evolving changes in form and meaning.
The word “nature” originates from the Egyptian word for deity, the formative spirits or elementals, and the other than earthy realms.
Neter means Nature , simply put that before vowels(the corruption) existed it was Ntr . So The Neter Gods , Nature Gods The ancient Egyptian word “netjer,” sometimes also spelled “netcher” and, somewhat astray, “neter.” It is transliterated as nTr, where the “T” represents a prepalatal stop usually rendered in Western speech as a “ch” sound.
Nature and being in nature is inexorably linked with spirituality, shamans have know this for tens of thousands of years before the Egyptians.
Wallis Budge, the great Egyptologist, recognized something fundamental about the word natura: "Another definition of the word [NTR], given by Brugsch, means 'active energy that produces and creates things regular recurrence; which gives them new life and gives them back their youthful vigor.
Schwaller de Lubicz explains that in the ancient temple civilization of Egypt, our most ancient form of symbol, did not simply designate quantities but instead were considered to be concrete definitions of energetic formative principles of nature. The Egyptians called these energetic principles Neters, a word which is conventionally rendered as "gods.
The symbol or hieroglyph for this nTr was a banner or flag like character which was based on the banners placed outside the temples.
Being in nature may return us to our own true nature, show us the nature of things
Return us to our natural state, so being close to nature, brings us close to spirit, close to deity, spirituality and our own true spirit
Nature Spirits and the Spirit of Nature, seems ever more a fitting descriptor for my little FaceBook page.
healing., nature, naturespirits, shamanism, spirits
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"In mythology, nature spirits, or deities are composed of etheric matter. Their job is to build and maintain the plant kingdom while working in conjunction with the devas and elementals. ... Adherents may literally consider such deities to be divine beings that control particular natural phenomena."
Photo by Anthony Ashworth. taken on a Spirit Walk
That's a definition I found online, and here directly links to deities as well, which is a little odd in my view. I think they mean Deva's, which are Vedic angel-like beings, responsible for creation amongst other roles.
But the word Deva's is now used to describe bigger landscape nature spirits? Nature Spirits are much broader than just being associated with plants, they are associated with all nature from plants to rivers to rocks, to crystals mountains and caves, forests & entire complex landscapes. Plants tend to be more readily relatively accessible, but I'm sure many of us have felt the spirit of a river or waterfall haunt our consciousness.
Nature spirits are also be named fairies, and gnomes and sliths and the like. Shamans and our ancestors have taught us we can connect and learn from these Nature beings, big or small complex or simple, and who reside in a world that is ours but just outside ours at the same time.
We can even partner with them as I do during Space Clearings, land healing & shamanic healing, to help harness energies and bring forth balance. Part of what I do on Spirit walks is connect people in with these invisible realms and beings. Also, see my blog post of the root of the word "nature".
nature, shamanism, space clearing, spirtis, spirtwalks
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Nurturing your own spirit & self with Nature medicine.
I woke up feeling a little down, having gone to bed over thinking and worrying about concerns and problems in my life. I got up and sat in my mediation nest, a beautiful, nurturing soft place of cushions and a warm, quiet blanket.
During my mediation I realised I had fallen back in the human condition of allowing my mind to focus and dance with my problems - allowing it to take me to places of worry and negative emotions, rather than appreciating all the really great things I also have in my life.
My glass was fast becoming half empty, rather than half full.
I felt into my heart and I felt it was shutting down, by perceived hurt, criticism, sorrow. We all have times in our lives that seem hard. Grief can kick in and whilst it’s good to feel into these times & honor them, we can also allow them to take us over.
So I decided I needed that which I know best helps me:
to reopen my heart to seeing the sunshine rather then focusing on the shade.
I needed some Nature Medicine.
I needed to take myself on a little Spirit walk for my soul.
I grabbed the car keys, my wooden flute and my little dog. Five minutes later we were walking amongst the gum trees between deep, red earth wombat holes, along the river toward the wetlands.
I felt myself wanting healing. I so wanted to feel better. “I’m in Nature, I should be feeling good, I should be connecting,” but No, my monkey mind had come on the walk with me, poo.
So I relaxed and stopped trying to connect, stopped trying to feel better. I just started to really look at what was around me, smell what was there, hear what was present. I grabbed a hand full of tea tree leaves, crushed them between my palms and inhaled deeply. Aunty Wendy an indigenous elder, says this stuff is bush medicine for her aboriginal mob for when they are feeling anxious. I smiled and was reassured by this memory. Even traditional indigenous peoples got anxious sometimes. I tend to Romanticise the life of our indigenous ancestors, as they lived so closely connected to the land, in apparent paradise. However they, like me had things on their minds: “I’m worried the wife feels I have not brought back enough meat that last hunt. What of that other tribe and what they may be planning. “
My dreamy mind was brought back into the now, as I stumbled on a gum tree root and I looked up at a shining blue black Raven cawing loudly overhead.
When Raven shows up I know things will happen.
Walking helps to move me and moves my emotions, but I also know that sitting still in Nature is a very powerful practice.
So I found a warm spot, with a beautiful view down over the lake and the water bird infested, shrubby islands. I settled the dog, warmed my wooden flute in my hands and played a Pan like drone, softly to the wind, to the water and to me.
I had stopped.
The harmonic music soothed me, as I felt connected to other than me, and that resonated back into my heart. The birds listened and then sang along. The wind played the trees and a wire fence breezily hummed. I closed my eyes for a while and went deeply inward.
As I opened my eyes, two huge ancient birds floated in from the blue sky, to plane down upon the water with giant webbed feet.
The Pelican. An old wise friend, one I had not seen for a while. They can disappear into the great, blue beyond, seemingly for years at a time, as can our hearts.
I recalled the alchemical myth of Pelican. Seen higher in esteem, even than the majestic Eagle. Pelican is the greatest of flyers. It takes a huge amount of energy for them to get off of the water, but once in flight they soar upon the unseen up-currents for hours & days, able to traverse continents, almost without effort. With this ability to fly into the stratosphere endlessly and effortlessly, they are a symbol of Great Spirit.
A symbol to aspire to: Effortlessness.
And yet the Pelican is also depicted in the alchemical diagrams as having multiple chicks. The chicks, being symbols of our many aspects of spiritual self. She is compelled to peck at her very own breast, making herself bleed and pour blood from her own heart in order to feed her fledgling chicks - an ancient shamanic and profound wisdom symbol.
Even the very greatest adept of effortless flight, needs to sacrifice to self, in a painful symbol, of self love, giving of self to self and in order to nourish our spirit selves, our own inner growing children.
Here I was, in the bush by the waters, being reminded, nurtured by nature herself, sacrificing my time, my busy day, my sorrowful bleeding heart in order to feed & nourish my soul.
It completely astounds me that almost without exception, when I consciously go out into nature for healing and connection as opposed to just going for a walk in the bush, nature, great spirit, provides me with the nutrients I need. To see Self or some aspect of myself, reflected back to me, coloured by verdant wisdom and earthy grounded insights.
Nurturing one’s self, one’s spirit, as the Pelican mythically does, in order that we may fly more effortlessly through life, is important. Making time for Nature to nurture us, as a mother nurtures her children, is an art lost to most.
An old aboriginal Uncle, unfortunately I don’t recall who, but I think that’s OK, as in my mind he’s become archetypal wisdom & represents all indigenous people. When asked, “What is the most important thing you can do to help white fellas understand the deep connection to country that aboriginal peoples feel” he replied:
“Sit down on the ground in’da bush, for 2 hours. Shut up, be quiet.”
This answer was so profoundly simple. It left an indelible mark on me.
Remember to honour yourself & nurture your own spirit. No one else can like our own ancient mother, Nature.
Anthony Ashworth is a Shaman and House Whisperer. He takes people into pristine nature on what he calls Spirit walks and guides people with shamanic techniques, to easily reconnect with nature and with themselves. click for information on Spirit Walks
meditation, nature, shamanism, spirit walk
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