Without going into detail, the past 24 hours for me has been a trial, to say the absolute least (which is the way I intend to keep it, as it involves highly personal matters). I had found some measure of solace in the woods yesterday, and so I returned to ground and refocus myself, hoping to find some of those same elements. Thankfully, a calm did descend on me once I entered the small wooded area near my house and this time, based on a recommendation by a friend from high school who responded to a call-out for a specific type of connection, I followed some modified version of her suggestions not only because it made sense, but it was the right thing to do.
Unlike yesterday, this is one of those kinds of posts.
As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been suffering from some insomnia, in part situational derived, in much larger part, due to the ongoing issues I’ve been suffering from with respect to depression since about December. She didn’t or ask for details, but felt strongly that I should spend time at that oak in the clearing (although she only saw a picture of it and didn’t know I was drawn to it). She suggested then that I make tobacco offerings to the four winds (based on her experience with the Dakota/Lakota shaman she saw when learning how to deal with her own tragic losses), and place hands on that oak. I modified it slightly, as I didn’t have time to go pick up decent tobacco before my trek back to the woods, and I used an alternate offering of food; namely dried oats.
I did as she bid and found some solace in the rituals — which are not foreign to me at all, having practices with Wiccan, Druid and Lakota groups in the past. I didn’t employ the full language of the ritual, nor was I obvious about it, as this is still a fairly Christian community and, alone, I didn’t want to invite unwelcome attention if someone came around the bend and saw me gesticulating to the air and placing oats on the ground. I think if I went closer to dusk, I’d be mostly uninterrupted, but grounding couldn’t wait until then.
After spending some time in that small ritual, I leaned against the oak with my back, which seemed most natural of the ways I might have touched it. I stayed there for around 10 minutes, just feeling the world around me, the connection with the tree drawing my negative energies down into the earth and my crown up into the bright sun to replace that dark emotional energy with something lighter.
Afterwards, I wandered the woods, following paths that seemed to narrow and end a bit further than I had yesterday, both slowly and with reflection to help draw out all the shit that had been building up in my body since that downward spiral started this winter. I took a few pictures of what I’d seen that I had missed yesterday, including a bit of the “fairy house” setup in a different area entirely that I’d been looking for yesterday. It was disturbed, either by the elements, or by people, so I left it as it had fallen. I took pictures, but they aren’t flattering to the miniature setup, so I skipped it this time around. I also found rocks painted with spiders and a blue bird along the trail.
And then, I looked hard at that lean-to and decided that I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to test to see if sitting in it was a viable thing — I mean, it had a log for a chair and I didn’t have to sit completely on the damp earth; why the hell not?
Amazingly enough, I was able to sit roughly within it’s coverage. Forgive the unruly beard in the photo, I was in no mood to groom it and apply the a cigar-scented balm on it and, having naturally curly hair, it is fairly wild without that stuff.
Other than that, it was an uneventful visit (as intended). My mood improved — I went from being a sour, sleep deprived asshat to being a calmer, sleep-deprived asshat: I almost feel like I might sleep tonight. I’m not sure (there is rarely certainty with respect to my insomnia), but following my friend’s advice did indeed give me better footing for the day. I hadn’t told her I had already planned to do something in the forest today, but it was nice to have someone affirm that my rough plans seemed to be the right thing to do. It’s always nice to get a third-party perspective from someone who is not caught up in whatever biases you might have in a given circumstance. The Gods know I seem to be a terrible judge of my own biases, given my all-around history.
I’ve spent some time in reflection today, made some new rules for myself moving forward about how to approach certain types of events in my life — now we just have to see if I can keep to them. I’m also going to make some changes and involve some of this kind of ritual back into my life to see if it can help me remove the demons that have haunted me since I was young. Part of my query directed towards the people I know elsewhere, was an explicit request to be put in touch with someone experienced in spiritual healing. I think much of my mental anguish has a deeper-seated source and I plan to try and find someone to help be pry it out so I can throw it (them?) away.