The Druid's Garden

Spiritual Journeys in Tending the Land, Permaculture, Wildcrafting, and Regenerative Living

Druidry for the 21st Century: Psychopomping the Anthropocene February 24, 2019

As an animist druid, I recognize the spirit of all beings.  I honor and interact with the spirits in the land, in the trees, in the animals and birds, in the insects, in the rivers, in the mountains. Animals die, plants die, insects die. Their spirits live on.  In the Anthropocene, even mountains die, they are removed for mining activities all along the Appalachians and in many other places.  Rivers die, and have been dying for centuries as we fill them with refuse. In the Anthropocene, many things die. What happens to that mountain’s spirit when the mountain is gone? What is happening now to the millions of non-human lives that are dying because of human activity? That’s the question we focus on today–as part of my druidry for the 21st century series.  Earlier posts in this series include Druidry for the 21st Century and Druidry in the age of the Anthropocene.

 

As I shared in last week’s post, non-human life is dying at an incredibly alarming rate at this very moment–with almost 50% of all animal life dying in the last 50 years. One article discusses that while extinction is a natural process, extinction rates and die off rates are currently between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher. I think a good resource for this is to look at IUCN’s red list and see the 26,500 species threatened with extinction–these are species regularly losing regular numbers. Unfortunately, humanity’s actions continue to cause the death of so many species and so many individual lives, and given models and projections, it is expected to get much worse in the next decades. The mass amounts of death and extinction of non-human lives are not “natural”; they are directly the result of human activity.  This makes humans, collectively and individually, responsible.  Not just for the actions that cause such death, but also, I would argue, for what happens to those spirits when they die.

 

The journey into spirit

The journey into spirit

Death is an inevitable part of life. Death is another journey, and some of us are called or choose to help spirits along that journey.  This work has many names, one of the most common being called “psychopomp” work. Psychopomp derives from the from Greek words “pompos” which means “guide  or “connector” and psyche which can be translated as “mind soul, life, or breath.” A psychopomp, then, is a guide of souls. Other names I have heard for this work include death midwifery, soul midwifery, deathwalking, death shamanism, to name a few.  Regardless of the term, this work has been a regular part of the healing, magical, and spiritual arts in nearly all cultures across the ages.  Many cultures recognize that humans with certain sets of skills do this work (such as a shaman or other religious leader), as do non-humans (deities, animal spirits, angels, and other such beings). In fact, it is very likely that this was work done by the Ovates in the time of the ancient druids, for they were described by various classical writers as working with spirits and the dead, along with herbalism, divination, and other kinds of healing arts.  They were also described by classical writes as “mastering the language of nature” which I believe comes into play into this kind of present 21st century ovate work.

 

This sacred practice of helping spirits pass is largely forgotten in mainstream consumerist life, however, it is still quietly practiced in many earth-centered, pagan, and new age spiritual traditions. Every person I have ever met who does this work does it for human souls. Human souls, of course, may often (but not always) need help crossing over. Humans are complicated, and when we die, our deaths may be complicated too. Many human get lost on their way across the veil. They may get stuck, they may die unexpectedly and need to process their death, they may have unfinished business that prevents them from leaving, and/or they often need assistance to find their path. Psychopomps are the shining beacons in that confusion, helping a wayward soul find his or her path to the next part of their journey.

 

But today, I’m not here to talk about human souls. You can learn about that kind of psychopomp work from many other sources. Today, I’m here to talk about non-human souls and the work we can do given this time, this age, and the present conditions.  I will also note that the rest of this post is entirely from my own experience, from the many years I’ve been quietly doing this work.  You can agree, disagree, or share your own experience–and I hope this blog can be a space for us to talk about it.

 

The cycle of life and death of animals, plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, etc, has been going on as long as life in some form has existed on this planet.  Spirits of the land know how to handle their own deaths, and human psycopomps would not typically interact in that way in regular circumstances.  Think about a death in a forest: if an animal or plant dies, within a few days (or in the case of a tree, a few years) those nutrients are completely cycled back into the ecosystem.  I have always gotten the sense that this same process takes place on the level of spirit as well—the land cycls her own.

 

However, because we are in another extinction-level event, where the whole world is threatened, whatever happens typically to non-human souls is simply not enough. In the last few decades in particular, and with increasing frequency, a much larger number of souls began departing, with some of them being the very last of their kind.  Some non-human souls who pass are exhibiting many of the same characteristics that human souls who pass often exhibit: anger, confusion, being lost, being stuck, not wanting to go.  I don’t get the sense that this is “normal”, but rather, this is a product of the anthropocene. If a typical cycle of life and death is a gentle forest stream, right now, the stream is massively flooded well beyond its banks, causing erosion and destruction, and this spillage needs some attention. I think another way of framing what is happening is that spirits of these various species are experiencing new phenomena, a phenomena that their own natural paths and natural cycles are not adapted to. Anything can adapt over a long period of time; that is the nature of evolution.  But it is hard to adapt–for any species or spirit–to such frequent and intense change, the kinds of changes driven by relentless human activity in the Anthropocene.  And that is where the trouble seems to lie.

 

Trees

Trees

Before I get into some of the specific practices I’m going to suggest today for actual psychopomp work, I want to start by saying that each person has different spiritual gifts (a topic I explored before in this blog) and not everyone has the gift of spirit communication (although you can learn to do this over time).  The work I describe below is fairly advanced.  It requires you to have extremely good protection, practiced ways of spiritually cleansing yourself, a solid mental state (do not try this if you are mentally unbalanced, depressed, etc), and excellent self-cares trategies. It also requires you to have basic plant spirit communication and journeying skills.  Finally, it requires inner contacts (guides, deities, spirits, plant spirits, animal spirits, etc) who will partner with you for this work; it is very necessary to have individuals on both sides.  This is a list of some of the many deities and guides that do this work; it might be that you are already connected to someone. Some people find themselves drawn to this work intuitively, and for others, they may seek out training, books, teachers and other such resources.  I think like anything else, it is a skill you can learn to do, and do well, if you dedicate yourself to it. There are plenty of options out there to learn, and I can share some of the best.  I can also direct you to some of the basic skills that you need to do this work: spirit communication and journeying skills being most central. This page provides a good list of books for more information, for those who want to read more and understand.  I also want to stress that this work is not for everyone: there are many other kinds of work we can do in the Anthropocene. I think each of us should do something, but that something should be tied to our gifts and own journey.

 

So to get into the psychopomp work, I’m going to share a few examples to help illustrate some of what I understand to be the basic principles. Again, these are my own experiences; yours may be very different (and if you feel led to share, please do so in the comments–sharing is important at this stage, as we can build our knowledge and help the land in this way).

 

I remember the year the Christmas trees came.  Thousands of them, just after the holiday rush was over. They waited for me, patiently, planting themselves all over my property. I went out and walked among them. They wanted to understand why they had been cut and left to die. These trees, I realized, had never found themselves in the center of the family home and hearth adorned with gifts. Or if they had, once their use was over, they were unceremoniously thrown on the curb without so much as a thanks. They wanted to understand, needed to understand, what had happened and why.  Their whole lives–and deaths–were wrapped up in a cycle they did not understand, and they had to understand it in order to pass. I thought it was a fair question.  And so I showed them; I talked to them about humans and human life today. I invited representatives to join me for a few days in the world, to see how humans think and what they do, and I shared a human perspective. The representatives asked questions, and eventually, they were satisfied. They understood, after seeing me interact with humans and with my translation and explanations, that humans didn’t realize they had spirits. That humans didn’t realize that they were anything other than objects.  I apologized on behalf of all humans who did not understand. This seemed to appease them. When I felt the time was right, about two weeks after they arrived, I opened up a sacred grove in my outdoor grove.  I built a fire and, with the aid of my own spirit guides, helped open a gateway for them to pass. They went through it, one at a time.  It took a very, very long time.  Finally, they were all through.  Afterwards, I got the sense that that work was done, and now, others could pass.  Not through that specific gateway, which we closed at the end of the ceremony, but through their own means. Afterwards, I also did extensive cleansing and self-care; as the energies of the dead are not to be worked with lightly.

 

I’ve always been connected deeply with trees, and have long done this kind of work for forests who were logged. One forest, however, in particular stands out. It was a section of forest that I had spent time in; it was a wild place that, when I was a child, I would often go into with my parents. Maybe eight years ago now, the township decided that their industrial park was going right in the middle of that beautiful forest. They cleared giant swaths of it, put in infrastructure, and there, it sat.  Empty. I drove through it soon after it happened, and I felt such incredible sorrow, such loss, such anger and frustration. The spirits of the trees, of that land, of the animals who died, of insects whose lives were over, crowded up around me and demanded to understand why this had been done. Again, I asked them to choose a representative, which ended up being a spirit of a red maple. First, I sat in the forest for a long time, observing, singing to them, simply honoring them and letting them know that I was there, I was not alone (I describe many such practices in my earlier land healing series in the work of witnessing and apology). I walked along that recently cut land, and I found a piece of wood that had been cut, part of a stump.  I took it with me, along with some other materials, and made them into a piece of art honoring that forest. The artwork and use of the wood in a spiritual way seemed to appease the spirits. But, they still had questions.  Their representative went with me, learned what he needed to learn, and then we returned together to that place.  I did a ceremony for them (similar to the one I described above) and helped them move on.  After that, when I passed other logged sites near there, I got the sense that the spirits were once again taking care of their own work in those kinds of cases.  I was welcome to help, but I wasn’t necessary for me to do the deep work I did with this forest.

 

Former life....

Former life….

On one otherwise ordinary work day when I was working from home, I suddenly sensed a very angry presence. Opening up my spiritual eyes, I saw an entire tribe of lions.  They were angry, they were thrashing about. They could see me, and I could see them.  As their eyes bored into me, I felt almost like prey.  They demanded answers, and they were going to get them. I set my work aside, and told them I would speak with them, but only if they backed off and calmed down.  They left, and I thought that was that, that since I wasn’t feeding into their anger, they were going to go somewhere else.  But, a few hours later, they were back. I asked them about who they were, where they had come from.  They had been poached, they were the last of their tribe in any land as far as they were aware.  I simply listened,  acknowledged their hurt, and apologized for their suffering and deaths. As is the way of things, I invited a representative to come with me for a few days, to better understand the way that humans lived. To see. To understand.  In time, they were satisfied.  I did a similar ceremony to those I had done before: opening up a sacred grove, making an offering, inviting any final conversation, working with my guides to open up a gateway, inviting the spirits to pass through the gateway, and then carefully closing the gateway and space.  Again, afterwards, I did lots of spiritual self care, cleansing.

 

After a number of these experiences, I realized I needed a permanent space on my land where I could properly honor these spirits.  So I did that–creating a shrine that I used to “honor the fallen” and as any spirit interacted with me in this way, I would put a representation of them on the shrine.  When I moved to new land, I took a stone with me from that shrine and took the rest deep into the woods, to lay at peace.  The stone is now the start of my new shrine on our new land here.  I do not photograph these shrines out of respect for the dead, but they are like many others I’ve talked about on this blog: full of natural things and regularly honored. This shrine helps me honor them, to hold them in my memory.  I wrote about them, researched them, and told them that while I lived, they would not be forgotten.  With these words I write, this holds even more true, because they now live in more than just me, they live in you.

 

The Ovate Psychopomp

These examples are fairly consistent with my larger practices surrounding what I now understand to be some of the Ovate work of the Anthropocene, at least from my own perspective and experience.  So what is the nature of this work? We’ll now explore it from two perspectives: first, what I call “prerequisites”, i.e. the things you need to bring to the table to do the work.  And second, the things you do surrounding the work itself.

Prerequisites

The first prerequisite is being open to working in this way.  You have to be willing to see, be willing to acknowledge, and spend the necessary time and energy to do this work. If you aren’t open to it, they are never going to come to you, or you aren’t going to do them justice.  Some people probably read this and know this work isn’t for them, and to that I say, good!  I’m sure some other work is out there that is better well suited for you–like physically regenerating the land, teaching humans to honor nature, fighting to protect forests, fighting for environmental rights, etc.

 

Second, as I mentioned above, it requires some advanced gifts and skills: spirit communication, spirit sight, and solid practices surrounding protection and self-care.  It might be that you aren’t ready to do this till you’ve been walking the path for a number of years–and that’s ok.  I don’t recommend that any new person take this on.

 

Third, you must have guides, spirits, and/or deities working with you.  You need to have those you can trust in the spirit world for this kind of work; both for your own safety but also because this work seems to require it as a balance.  You are helping a spirit move from corporeal life to non-corporeal life, and that requires both someone who is corporeal and someone who is not to do it properly.

 

 

Cultivating connection

Cultivating connection

Fourth, you have to find balance and practice good self care and spiritual cleansing. This is true for everything we do, but especially true for this kind of deep work.  The energies of the dead are not good for the living long term (and if you’ve ever tended a dying person, you’ll know exactly what I mean).  I don’t do this work every day; I do it as necessary, and as individuals or groups of spirits come to me.  I can always refuse to do it if I don’t think I’m in the right state of mind–which I have done more than once.  Don’t let the dead stay near you for long periods of time.  They must pass, and you must find your way into self care and balance and embrace the energies of life.

 

Fifth, you will always have the gratitude of the spirits who pass, however, understand that this is quiet work.  Its work you do on your own, that you don’t typically talk about, and other humans have no idea.  That’s ok, the work isn’t for them.  But if you are someone who needs regular validation from human others, this is probably not for you.  This work is never about you.

 

Finally, a lot of people who I’ve spoken with who have gotten into this work one way or another had almost had some close experience with death, some way that helps them better understand it.  These experiences may have been having a very special person (human or otherwise) die, tending a dying relative, having a brush with death themselves.  Its not always the case, but does seem to be something that a lot of folks have.  I think that experience opens up something within you that then can be used to help others.

 

The Work Itself

Given the above, we now turn to some of the core aspects of psychopomping in the Anthropocene, as I understand it.  They are:

 

One, being open.  If you are doing this work regularly, somehow, the spirits sense it, and somehow they know. Its like you have an “open for business” sign up on the astral plane. Even if it’s just a self acknowledgement that you are willing to do this work, they will come once you are open.

 

Second, being ready to do the work of apology. Humans all over this planet are doing awful things and are causing the genocide of many, many lives and species. Why would these spirits of the recently departed trust a human?  Because you are acknowledging what is happening, you are compassionate, you can offer them perspective, and most of all–you can offer them a true and heartfelt apology.  Acknowledgement and an apology is all that many need to move on.

 

Third, being ready to explain things from a human perspective. This seems to be very, very helpful for many spirits who are dying in the age of the Anthropocene. They want to know why things are happening, and their minds cannot understand human behavior without your help.  And so my basic strategy is to let them tag along for a few days as I’m out and about in the world, explaining to them what they see, answering their questions. This has always led to success, at least in those I’ve interacted with.

 

Fourth, ritually helping them move on, if they need you to (often, I offer, and not all of them accept or need me to help).  I have my specific techniques, which I have shared above through stories, and which I do in the context of druidry.  Some of my techniques are unique to me, some of them would likely work for others. I would suggest learning what will work for you directly from a spirit, guide, or deity that you work with who is on the other side.  For me, I use music, fire, natural gateways, and other such things to help them pass.  These techniques were all taught to me by spirit, so I don’t know how translatable they are to others.

 

Finally, practicing extreme self care. This is not easy work; it can be rewarding but also very draining.  You have to take care of yourself, you can’t do too much of it, and you need to make sure to spiritually cleanse carefully after doing anything like this.  I like to do a herbal vinegar bath: I take a few tablespoons of infused herbal vinegar and add it to my bath and scrub myself all over.  I infuse it with plants that are significant to me personally and that are personal plant allies.  For a general blend, I would suggest sage, mugwort, rosemary, bay, lemon balm, and/or hawthorn.  You can simply throw handfuls of dried herbs into a quart jar, fill it with vinegar, and then have it available when you need a cleansing bath.  In addition to the bath, make sure you take time to do what fulfills you most–and let nature heal you!  For me, spending a lot of time gardening (working with the energies of life), being in healed and whole natural places, and working in my art studio are the ways I heal from this work.

 

There’s a lot here to process, and I hope it is of use to some of you who feel led to do this work.  I never thought I would write this post or talk about this in such a public way, but spirit said otherwise! If you are doing this work, please share if you are willing; I’d very much want to hear others’ experiences.  If you aren’t doing this yet but would like to, feel free to reach out!

 

60 Responses to “Druidry for the 21st Century: Psychopomping the Anthropocene”

  1. Eliza Ayres Says:

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal.

  2. Kieron Says:

    “They want to know why things are happening, and their minds cannot understand human behavior without your help.” Do you find yourself at a loss to explain something that defies explanation? To my mind, human action (or inaction) is mostly incomprehensible. I can’t explain it to another human without becoming enraged or tearful, let alone a representative from the other beings who share this world. Therefore I haven’t even tried.

    • Dana Says:

      I think a lot of things can be explained quite directly and are rooted in people’s lack of connection to nature, the myth of progress and some of the other underlying mindsets that are at work in present culture–the same ones that have led us to where we are now. I use that basic framework to talk about it, as much as I am able, and to not hedge my words or hide anything. Not all of the conversations are the same, but many of them do take a kind of similar path. I usually don’t always put it in words, but let them simply see humanity and their typical lives. First, I simply let them come with me and see the world of humans. I answer their questions, explain things. They usually ask about animals, about nature, about why people are so obsessed with technology. What the phones are, why people stare at them constantly, etc. In time, it is usually the understanding that humans think they are the only ones that have souls, and they view the world as being at the pinnacle, and that they can “make use” of what they perceive of as lesser beings. Or, that they are just so radically disconnected. Some of the past spirits grow angry at all this, but a surprising number of them find it really sad and unfortunate. One once said to me, “And won’t it be wonderful when all the humans find their way back into nature’s arms” Sometimes these conversations unfold over days or even weeks. I’ve gotten good at steering them….you learn as you go. You learn to be open, compassionate, and certainly, to listen well. I hope that helps.

  3. Katherine Gekas Says:

    hi Dana,

    This is the most influential blog post I’ve read by you. I’m not ready yet, because you just introduced me to the concept, but your blog made me reflect on things I’ve done intuitively in the past when I know deceased spirits (humans) have been sticking around me because they know that I know. It’s not a comfortable feeling, and I’ve just started to learn how to bath regularly (in herbs, in the last few years), smudge before meditating (I’m realizing now after reading this, part of it is because they arrive then).

    I need to get better at self-protection and not talking/sharing so much, but I also know an herbalist I’m going to forward this blog to, because I’m starting to feel like eventually, as a team, I/we could do it. She’s the one who has “warned” me that spirits know when someone is open and they’ll keep coming.

    I’ve moved into the woods in NH, and feel like your blog is just opening something up. For now, it’s just curiosity. But yesterday, I also saw a post with a symbol (Christian Brunner’s post) showing how to protect a forest, and I realized I should practice drawing this, for when i’m hiking and feel stuff. This, to me, is a baby step.

    Meanwhile, I’ll study some OBOD stuff. The stuff I keep saying I’ll study….And prepare my terraced gardens I want to do….

    Thanks for your blogs…..and thanks for this one.

    Katherine Gekas 207-664-9200

    >

  4. wulfworks Says:

    Thank you for this post!!! I have been doing this work with trees for a long time, but did not have a name for it. So happy to hear that there are others out there who are doing similar work. With individual trees, the spirits usually ask me to help them connect with, or move to, other trees of their species. Sometimes they hang out with me for awhile, before moving on. For clear cut forests it is more about healing the whole land area that has been traumatized and there is usually a lot more confusion and discordant energy to clear. – I really appreciate your work and the way you have shared it here.

    • Dana Says:

      Wulfworks, glad to hear you are doing this work too. Does anything in my experience differ from your own? I’d like to hear more about your experiences, if you are willing to share!

  5. Anima Monday Says:

    Great post. Thank you for underlining this key idea “This work is never about you.”

  6. Alice Says:

    I don’t believe i’m called to do this, but i’m glad you shared it. There is land near me that was a field growing into a forest. It was beautiful to me, but afraid. Clearing was in the planning stage and has since been carried out: the young, frightened trees are gone, the land is flattened. Some of my tree friends are still there silently watching over the land. I remember standing there in the fall, looking out over waving goldenrod and peaceful bees – so many beautiful bees. It smelled as good as anything I’ve ever smelled. I blessed and prayed for the land and honored its beauty and peace. Now it’s all gone. I wish i’d known how to help. Those trees knew. They were very young.

  7. Alice Says:

    Also it’s striking to me that you have a post related to psychopomp just days after I had that word ringing through my head (not knowing the definition, just an interesting-sounding word). I usually start thinking about your blog quite a lot a day or two before you post. I’m not quite used to synchrony!! But i learn a lot from your blog & appreciate that you aren’t dogmatic about your experiences but gently educational. 🙂 Thanks for your blog! It’s been a resource to me in a time of change and growth.

    • Dana Says:

      Thank you, Alice! I don’t really think there’s much of a place for dogma in druidry. I just try to share my experiences, and if they are useful to others, great. And if not, that’s great too :). Thank you for reading!

  8. Leah K Walsh Says:

    Gratitude. Thank you, Dana. I found my heart beating strongly throughout the post. I’ve done this work since I was a child in some way or another, but have talked about it with few people. I’ve always been close to the land of the dead and guidance has come over time on how to honor myself and this work in a world that doesn’t often “get it.” I have slowly taken time to create boundaries and clear communication with my guides, including knowing when to take down my “open for business” sign when I am navigating big changes in my own life and have little bandwidth for anything else. There is so much I do not know. I feel supported and encouraged by your wisdom and reminder to find support and community when needed. And the herbal vinegar bath is a great idea! I usually go for soaking salts and essential oils. Thanks for listening and sharing with us. Again, gratitude.

    • Dana Says:

      Leah, thank you for sharing your experiences. Your discussion of boundary setting, taking down your “open for business sign” when you are going through your own life changes, etc, are all so important. And yes, I do think its important that many of us start talking about this work and supporting each other, in addition to doing it!

  9. Higher Heart Says:

    Dana, your ability to verbalize these concepts is so incredible to me, it is such a gift you share with us all – much gratitude. You say so much that resonates deeply, experiences I have in journey work and in regular consciousness, but still have a hard time sharing. Your fearlessness in putting it out there is so inspiring. Many thanks & well wishes!

    • Dana Says:

      This work is quiet work, still work, silent work….I haven’t spoken of this stuff for so long, but then I was encouraged by spirit to speak of it, so I did. I’m glad it is resonating with you!

  10. Reblogged this on Good Witches Homestead and commented:
    The cycle of life and death of animals, plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish, etc, has been going on as long as life in some form has existed on this planet. Spirits of the land know how to handle their own deaths, and human psycopomps would not typically interact in that way in regular circumstances. Think about a death in a forest: if an animal or plant dies, within a few days (or in the case of a tree, a few years) those nutrients are completely cycled back into the ecosystem. I have always gotten the sense that this same process takes place on the level of spirit as well—the land cycls her own.

  11. Peter J Watson Says:

    Thank you, on behalf of all living, for the attentive protection you project to the remaining species surviving the misguidance of mankind’s unwitting intrusion in God’s Eden. It is not by accident that original man, male and female, were called “The Crowning Creation”. The purpose of man, at that time as well as now, was and is to provide a focus for life on Earth.
    Due to a disruption of astronomical proportions, caused by a rogue comet, life on Earth was compromised, a protective layer of her atmosphere was lost, and Luna’s light was extinguished; many delicate species perished. The hardier ones that survived turned wild in fear of remaining mankind that had turned hunter-gatherers in order to stay alive. At the time of the disruption, the global population was stricken with terror; this is well-recorded in the writings of the ancients, although nowadays taken as myth. However, since discovering PTSD (post-traumatic-stress-disorder), it can now be more easily understood why mankind is still in a semi-conscious comatose state (with no recollection of where we come from or why), and is still functioning more-or-less the same as those who survived and endured the caveman stage.
    The greatest impact, though, from the near collision of Earth with rogue comets – which initiated Mars-worship and Venus-worship; whereas they are now no more than rusty pin-heads in the night-sky, hardly provoking any attention and least-of-all worship – was to the collective emotional realm of mankind. Where love no longer prevailed in the emotional realm, fear lingered, and the light-of-Life was virtually extinguished, and has remained so for many millennia.
    Fortunately, fear cannot prevail where love belongs, or at worst can trespass only temporarily, for fear is but an absence of love, although, if it is allowed to linger, it eventually and inevitably brings death; a self-fulfilling prophesy. Virtually everybody expects to die; they believe more in death than in life, although it has never been a first-hand experience. But because the human race is death-oriented, all the kingdoms below man – because man is created to have dominion on Earth; God’s dominion — are subjected to what is in the heart-realm of mankind.
    We are not born to die. What would be the sense in that? Life does not die. In fact, man, male and female, has not died (yet), because the purpose of man has not been fulfilled. Because of the fear of death – even as a background vibrational disturbance – the collective emotional realm of mankind has not matured and its natural growth-to-maturity has been compromised, or arrested, during the vulnerable years of early childhood – and remains so. And will remain so unless someone(s), like you, are willing to be open-minded in this matter, and share the good common-sense of logic-and-reason. I trust this is so and look forward to sharing more of life’s understanding enlightenment together.

    • Dana Says:

      Hi Peter, thanks for your comment and thoughts. From my perspective, I’m less concerned about asteroids as I am about human-driven climate change (and the lack of action on it). Thank you for reading!

      • Peter J Watson Says:

        Thank you for mentioning your perspective – it is precisely that perspective that needs to expand adequately to encompass our global condition, warts-and-all, in order to discern at what point humanly-driven activity compromised our environment, and continues to do so in the form of rapidly accelerating climate-change. The reason for this being the immaturity of self-centredness that is the basic motivation of humanity, which, at the same time, prevents humanity from coming to an understanding of the way life works, and the meaningful role human beings are designed to play in participation with furthering eternal creation.
        Consider – with an open mind – the one law of cause-and-effect; they are inseparable as are heaven and Earth. However, without a heavenly perspective, less than half the picture is discernible. Consequently, well-intentioned people are trying their best to correct the obvious problems arising from mismanagement of Earth’s environment.
        I’m not concerned either with long-ago asteroids here, but with offering an expanded perspective so that cause can come into focus, as it should, because that is the ultimate responsibility of humanity, and when that order is re-established, then the realm of effects will naturally reflect right cause instead of self-centred cause. I trust I make myself clear enough by saying that it’s too late to get the genie back in the bottle, by playing around with the realm of effects, while remaining oblivious to what needs to come to focus at the level of cause.

  12. Alice Says:

    I feel I need to share something I do and believe is healing for the land, although normally I would talk about it through a more private venue, I feel like I’m supposed to say something. (You can always delete if this isn’t the place.)

    In the last couple of years, I’ve started doing more natural things for my period, which means there are times when there is blood collected that must either be washed down a drain, or poured out into nature. When I can, I choose to pour it by a tree or plant, as there’s nourishment there that can return to nature. A simple act, but somehow powerful. This one thing more than any other has brought me to an intuitive feeling that my period is sacred, not a shameful or bad thing to be endured.

    I feel that it’s brought me even closer to my land, and I’m already rather close to my land! There’s something sacred and powerful here for land healing. Perhaps it’s something you’re already aware of or do yourself, but I’m supposed to tell you about this: period blood to heal the land.

    Someone once said, this is the only blood that doesn’t come from violence. That resonates with me. Many of the people who work to heal the land actually aren’t able to create this, by gender or age, so I guess I feel those of us who naturally do as part of where we are in our life cycle have something special going on, an extra chance, a sacred use for fertility that doesn’t involve having children. It somehow isn’t a waste.

    I know that you do so much already, of course. take care & blessings

  13. Adele Marie Says:

    Oh, I cried buckets when reading this post. I have felt the energy of trees who have been cut down, the sheer panic of those saplings left alone. It is overwhelmingly tragic. Goddess bless you for the work you do.

    • Dana Says:

      Yes–for those of us who are attuned…it is difficult work. But necessary, and connective, and….hard to put in words. Thank you for reading, Adele.

      • Adele Marie Says:

        You’re very welcome. x

        • Peter Says:

          TwelveStringPete@gmail.com
          Yes, gardening and veggy-hosting can be a labour-of-love, because our planet’s atmosphere is severely compromised; making growing conditions difficult due to oxygen-deficiency, nasty temperature variations, and irregularly intermittent harsh irrigation (storms, hail, acid-rain and unfiltered sunlight), for both plant-life and people.
          However, it does make the otherwise hard labour-of-love more bearable and joyful to know how and why we’ve inherited a compromised environment, and to understand that like everything unnatural, it has a temporary shelf-life, and will pass away as the larger Universal Cycles move from Age one to Age two. For more information and a brief history of the Creative Days since the beginning (just over Twelve Ages ago), I’d be happy to share an accurate update at the return email address.

          • Dana Says:

            I think your comments are important. We have inherited a compromised environment. I have found Carol Deppe’s Resilient Gardener to be very useful to think about gardening with climate change and an uncertain climate. Thanks for your comments, Peter!

            • Peter Says:

              Thank you Dana – I too feel it is an important matter in order to sustain a resilient appreciation for the part Mother Nature plays in balancing what we inherit, and add to, due to the way we all need to build shelters, and some people treat our environment like a builders merchant’s that can be sourced ad-infinitum without a rebalancing replenishment of all resources, particularly including mined ores and materials. If a few more thought of our planet as a damaged life-support space-Ark, instead of ‘the third rock’, a duty-of-care would soon permeate human consciousness enough to ensure facilitation of the next critical stage of the restoration. And there is a reason for it all, that occurred in the not-too-distant past, considering larger time cycles still hazily remembered by indigenous peoples, and those perceptive to the messages, vibrational, representing the cries of the earth and her kingdoms.
              For me, understanding why the Earth has a wobble, and an ovoid orbit, which were not part of the original design of a perfect 360 degree annual cycle, when Earth was known as Eden, has enabled me to bring my mind and emotions to a balanced state of equilibrium. This is not merely a personal state of complacency, in which one imagines Climate Change and Global Warming are beyond our control, but an essential factor of loving dominion for which everyone – or at least a sufficient number of discerning ones – has a responsibility, if our planet is to be restored to a balanced state of symmetry and stability, and with no shortage of habitable land for everybody.
              I’m greatly encouraged by the in-depth thoughtfulness of your observations, and the cycles of caring consideration they initiate with your readers, and most appreciative of the positive responses that complete these unfolding creative cycles by your readers.

          • Adele Marie Says:

            okay thanks Peter, my email is firefly__@live.co.uk

            • Peter Says:

              Thank you Adele Marie – your name and email address are an inspiration in the making!
              Is there any place you’d like to start? I’m thinking the mineral kingdom is the perfect setting for the plant kingdom, but then what comes before the mineral kingdom is of primary importance. Heaven is its spiritual name, but that alas has been hijacked by religion, back along the way, and means many different things to people of earthly orientation.
              A firefly is a wonderful symbol of heavenly radiance, which shines without burning, and is at home in its environment in the air above the earth. What inspired you to choose it?
              I look forward to some explorations with you in the element of the firefly’s home, in the realm of spirit, where truth flows freely and nourishes all of life with heavenly light.

  14. Adele Marie Says:

    Reblogged this on The Sisters of the Fey and commented:
    A very poignant post about our world today and how many non-humans need help from those attuned, to pass over. This is a post that needs reading, sisters. ❤

  15. Peter Says:

    Thank you Alice — yes, we are here to be a blessing and replenish the Earth, rather than cursing it by seeing good and evil as contestants. The realm-of-judgement is not our domain, and sound purpose and reason forbade us from indulging in judgement. Therefore we refrain from gorging on it, or even tasting it, lest we die.

  16. Peter Says:

    Thank you again Alice (you wish you’d known how to help) – for your honesty in recognising we seldom know anything about how Life works until after things happen, and then wondering – perhaps in frustration – what we could have done to be of greater service to Mother Nature.
    Thinking on this point you make, it’s plain to see that humanity has no visible Oracle-of-Wisdom to turn to for deeper (or higher) understanding. Among the Prophets, Jesus and John would jump out as recent ones with higher understanding and spontaneous solutions to the ailments of humanity. But since they are long-gone, it’s a bit of wishful-thinking to imagine “What would Jesus do?” – Instead of “What should I do?”
    If this is so for you, as it was for me a few short decades ago, the answer does come if one asks the question in honest humility, and without expectations. I say ‘without expectations’, just in case the answer does not conform to any of the concepts we’ve been led to believe in during our vulnerable childhood years; such as “We’re all born to die.”
    Since Life has eyes and ears in just about every nook-and-cranny all over this planet – in the air, beneath the seas, and on the dry land – it would seem to make sense to consult with Life as to how the planet should be treated in the best interests of the planet, as well as all her inhabitants.
    With respect to a living presence, Life is more up-to-date and aware than even the BIG Internet, including all the thousands of dark subsidiaries deep below the surface. Besides up-to-the-minute geographical awareness, Life is also the most correctly informed historian; before we were here, Life was there and creatively present, just as it is now.
    Life is the common denominator, through its conscious presence, of all living forms, including the planet we inhabit. As such, communication is present and available, just as it is between most of life’s species where the disruptive influence of mankind has not caused traumatic stress.
    As a possible point of common interest, I may well use these comments to collate a reference-study to furthering understanding (my own included) in the way Life works, our role and purpose in life’s ascension process, and a greater awareness of where we come from now.

    • Alice Says:

      If you were referring to my comments, Peter, I would prefer not to have them quoted in any sort of teaching material. I was crying as I typed them up from the bottom of my heart, some pretty personal stuff about the land near me, and I honestly meant the words to be read by Dana (and the readers of this blog) for the purpose of connecting with truths I want to be open to, but not to go elsewhere. It was pretty personal to me.

      Anything I comment here is for not for other use. It’s interesting to ponder others’ experiences and feelings and share our thoughts, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity. Please don’t quote my direct words for sharing or distribution elsewhere, though.

      You had some interesting thoughts, and I really don’t like that feeling of looking back and saying ‘If only I’d known.’ It’s definitely part of being human at times…not a fun part!

      • Peter Says:

        Well of course I was referring to the part of your comment that I quoted Alice. Why else would you be saying things if you don’t want them read or shared?
        Your closing sentence about being human is revealing of how separate so many people have unwittingly become from their being, and the rest of Life’s integrated community of ascending kingdoms. We are not merely human; if we were then we’d be human remains.
        Consider instead the ‘being’ you truly are, incarnating in your unique human form, yes, but don’t identify only with your form level, otherwise you seriously compromise your expression and potential to be a blessing on Earth.
        The kingdoms below us, for which we are responsible, need understanding, and compassion, from the kingdom in which we belong as beings in human form. The last thing they need is sympathy. Sympathy simply takes our potential vibrational encompassment down to their level of suffering, and is not in the least helpful to anyone or anything. What they do need is a reconnection through the life-line that Man, male and female, is ordained to provide.
        For this to happen, so that life has a clear energy-flow support-system – right from heaven down through to the mineral kingdom, which is also crying due to human abuse – is a untroubled heart, and that is the responsibility of a discerning mind; “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”, for if you do, you plunge the lower kingdom into sadness and separation too.
        God is not willing that any should suffer, or be in pain, but for that to happen we need to be in agreement with God, rather than in protest, or sympathy, with the wrongness prevailing (temporarily, I assure you) in the world of mankind. Let your light shine, be a blessing, and let love radiate without concern for results; that is all Mother Nature needs for her to play her part in this on-going process of restoration.

        • Dana Says:

          Hi Peter, the subject of this week’s post is a very tough one. I’ve let this comment go through–but to be clear, you cannot quote others’ experiences elsewhere or for any study purposes–they are shared here, on this site, and are not meant to be shared elsewhere. Further, research studies that involve human participants are governed by law in the US and require ethical review. Collecting people’s experiences without their explicit consent is a violation of US federal law. https://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/regulations/common-rule/index.html

          Feel free to discuss and share here, but under no circumstances, collect data from this site’s writings, comments, or anything else for research purposes.

          Further, I will not allow any more comments with an aggressive tone to go through on this blog. This topic is hard enough. Writing in a condescending tone is completely inappropriate.

  17. Swimmer Says:

    Very interesting perspective!

    (before my question I just want to give a positive data point: I live in the taiga of northern Europe, nearby a small river that has much richer aquatic life now than 30 years ago, due to much less acid rain and levels of toxins in the environment).

    First question: Have you had any conversations with drained lakes (i.e. lakes which are completely dried up due to ditching)? If so what did they tell you? Do they have a general message? Personally I have felt a very strong immaterial presence (spirit?) at several of the dried up lakes in my area. It is not a sound but similar to a strong vibration (in my mind).

    Second question: I have tried a tree-meditation recommended by John Michael Greer and felt the benefits. But what about lakes? Could it be dangerous to get more involved talking with lakes, and especially drained lakes? My message to the wounded lakes would be something like “I’m trying to help already, but even if I fail, there is a good chance that the monster-machine looses its grip of humanity quite soon (at least with your time-frame) and that the human beings then will let you live again — and even care for you as they did before”.

    Footnote: I value the statement “Be the change you want to see..”. Still, it is not easy to be a human being in a world ruled by a “monster machine”. Sometimes my actions just leads to less harm even if my goal is real restoration (i.e. a permaculture perspective). Moreover, my mind is not yet well tuned in to the spiritual realm, so there is clearly a risk of doing wrong, feeling ashamed and getting blamed (…and all of us who reads this is feeding the monster-machine…).

    • Dana Says:

      Hi Swimmer!

      I’ve met only one drained lake–a very intense experience. The lake was temporarily drained, though, and the dam was being repaired. Life was *not* happy there because so much had died in the process of being drained. I haven’t gotten any general message though, as this was just one occurrence. More frequently, I talk to dammed rivers…..they aren’t happy either.

      I think its important to practice good self protection for any communication, particularly with damaged or harmed places. If I were doing such work, I’d probably start not with communication, but with offerings: music, physical offerings, etc. Be present for a while, then attempt to communicate. I don’t know if the tree meditation that Greer recommends (which is essentially an energy exchange) would be appropriate in this case!

      I hope this is helpful to you!

  18. Beith Says:

    Thank you for writing this. It is very necessary work, indeed… And if I may, I would like to add one of my own (channeled) experiences with a dying tree to this, to give a bit of perspective from their side: https://animamonday.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/on-the-death-of-a-tree-ii

  19. Hello Dana, Rosemary from New Zealand here. I have only recently found your blog and you seem to be able to put into words exactly what I, and probably a lot of other people are thinking so thankyou for that.
    My Spirit Tree is/was the Douglas Fir or Oregon Pine. There were 29 of them along our road side and I knew every one. They were just ‘babies’ at 70 years old but two years ago the local golf course decided they were too ‘messy’ as they self prune and decided to cut them all down. As you can imagine I was devastated, frustrated and very, very angry. Going to the meetings to try and stop it happening was futile as there were only 4 people opposed, I couldn’t understand the apathy of the community and felt like screaming.
    A week before their demise, at dawn, I visited each one and tried to explain what was about to happen and asked for a gift of bark, cone or leaf. All except one gave me that gift and I didn’t know until I read your post why I did this. They stayed on my ritual table for a year and finally I felt it was time for them to move on and for me to let go. A year to the day they were cut down I buried them in my garden, all still together as they had been in life.
    After reading your post I felt perhaps I could do this work, but what happened with my trees tore me up so much that I feel I would always get too emotional. Thankyou for putting a name to the process I went through and hopefully won’t have to do it again.

    • Dana Says:

      Hello Rosemary, thanks for reading and commenting. Managing our own emotions is a huge part of this work–I probably should have written more about it. I think there are a few aspects here. One is just dealing with the feelings of a particular experience–one like you’ve described. It is not easy to do this in the midst of such suffering. But I think there’s also managing and ackowledging the broader emotions that this world, this situation, brings within us. I love Joanna Macy’s work for this– I talked a bit about her work in my newest blog post. Her work focuses on helping us emotionally process what is happening so that we can move from feeling overwhelmed and into action. I think we can use the same tools for this kind of spirit work. Blessings!

    • selkiewife Says:

      Hi Rosemary – so sorry to hear about your loss….. it’s hard losing these friends….. I have felt it too with close trees. I’m about to lose some in the garden owing to pruning by electric company….. so sad – but heartened that Dana has shared a way to help. We had s storm last night and I was rather hoping they may fall naturally as I’d told them they were to be felled….. but they stood strong….. At least now I can honour them. BB

  20. selkiewife Says:

    I’m a rather blessed Druid – I live in a woodland area under wild hills West Coast Scotland. Reading your blog brought tears to my eyes; I have felt quite helpless at times as my empathy with the natural and spiritual world around me has been so strong and I half felt overwhelmed with grief…… Red in Tooth and claw…..that’s nature – death is everywhere – and I can accept the natural order. But particularly when trees are damaged or cut down I weep….
    I do as a matter of course say a few words of blessing or tie a clooties…. but I’m really taken with how you work. For goodness sake…. I worked as a midwife….. to humans…… no wonder I feel this connection….. I do feel drawn to working in a deeper way as you do….. so….. what to do next?
    Fabulous article… thanks

    • Dana Says:

      Red in tooth and claw is a very good way to describe what is happening now. And yes, I think for me, the “feeling” aspect of it, and finding ways of taking care of myself while I’m feeling, and not shutting down while I’m feeling all of this–that’s a critical part. Selkiewife, feel free to contact me anytime to talk more about these issues privately and more in-depth. Blessings on your journey.


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