Each plant, animal, rock, or other entity has a spirit (consciousness resonance matrix). These spirits can join together in a hive-mind as a spirit of an area. Nature spirits include real biological intelligences, are psychically powerful, and much less abstract and controllable than the Elementals that many magical people who perform all of their rituals indoors are familiar with. They can be extremely powerful allies. It is possible to sense nature spirits, to determine if they are receptive to a ritual planned, and to have them actively participate in magical workings, if they are.
Some Effects of Working With Nature Spirits
Spectacular physical manifestations can happen when working with nature spirits in the wild. I have personally seen actual foxfire mark the boundaries of a magic circle at a location that was identified as a receptive power spot and attuned to a planned ritual the day before. I have seen more than one site attuned for ritual be dry and comfortable, with a round hole in the clouds overhead, on days that were cold and rainy at other locations. Birds have joined in rituals, flying around the circle when energy is being raised; and insects, birds and animals have also joined in chants. In addition, the wind may respond to invocations. Generally these spectacular manifestations happen unexpectedly.
With or without such manifestations, nature spirits often will channel tremendous amounts of power into the magic being performed. It is suggested that you do not consciously try for specific manifestations. Let Nature channel her power into the magic in her own way. If approached with respect, nature may give you many pleasant surprises.
Spectacular physical manifestations are not a necessary sign of success. If you need a spectacular manifestation and nature spirits know this, you will get it. The best success in magic is on the inner plane and more subtle than such manifestations. This success involves beneficial transformations in consciousness that last and helpful chains of synchronicity in your life. In addition, working with Nature Spirits can also bring a deep sense of partnership with Nature, and bring new levels of attunement.
Nature spirit attunement to find suitable power spots and to get the help of friendly nature spirits that are performed several hours to several days before the main ritual get the best results. This gives Nature time to gather her children and to prepare to actively participate in the main ritual.
What NOT To Do
If nature spirits are approached with disrespect, by attempting to command rather than listening to them and inviting them to work with you, nature spirits may flee, rebel, or attack. I once attended a ritual by some pseudo-Crowleyites who attempted to perform the "Ritual of the Barbarous Names" at a power spot in a forest and then to extend the circle several hundred yards in all directions.
While the forest in general had loud insect and frog noises, the area at which the ritual took place got quiet immediately when the main ritualist declared that all spirits were subject unto him. The vibes from nature could best be characterized as "Oh yea, Mother...!" One participant was quickly possessed by an angry spirit and kept repeating "You killed my children, your children will never live in peace." When the priestess stepped out of the boundaries of the original circle, she was attacked by bees; and bees covered the Book of the Law. Magicians should know better than to attempt to command spirits whose true names they do not know!
Calling Nature Spirits
To make the most out of working magical ritual in the wild, one should find power spots where nature spirits are receptive to the ritual planned and approach the spirits with respect, as equals. In my experience, the most effective power spots for working with the living intelligences of nature are located in wild areas with diverse active ecologies.
When entering a wild area to find a site for a ritual, find a place that feels good. Then do the following, either individually or, if in a group, as a guided meditation:
- Relax while standing upright and focus on your breathing. Breathe deep breaths from the diaphragm. Breathe together if in a group.
- Feel the wind and let it relax you and awaken your spirit within, as your deep breathing takes you into non-ordinary reality.
- Picture in your mind's eye a light inside you. As you breathe, feel the light expand, purify and energize you as it expands to fill your aura.
- Feel yourself glowing, balanced, purified and full of power.
- Connect with your inner self (your higher self) and feel your intuitive self operating.
- Feel yourself as:
- The wind, full of life and intelligence, communicating with all round.
- The Sunlight, warm, alive, channeling the power to communicate with nature and energizing all around.
- Water, emotional, intuitive, refreshing and connected with nature.
- The Earth, and note how your physical body is able to wander while remaining part of Mother Earth.
- Focus on your spiritual self, and
- Note the light within and feel it as love,
- Expand the light and love beyond the immediate aura of your body to the surrounding area - where you will go to find a power spot.
- Telepathically (by thinking while channeling the love and light energy) send out signals to nature spirits to emerge and be aware of your presence.
- Say why you have come and invite them to join in sharing, mutual celebration, and the work you intend.
- Visualize the light and love energy you are channeling extending out and merging with the light from distant places.
- Feel the power of the Earth flowing up through your body and feet.
- Feel the power from the sky, and channel this power also to further energize the carrier signal of light and love for communicating with nature.
- Visualize the light expanding and merging.
- Continue to send out telepathic signals.
- Now go deeper.
- Close your eyes, sit on the Earth, and feel your connection while you channel more light and love.
- Continue modulating the light and love with your thoughts—inviting receptive spirits to join with you and make themselves known.
- If in a group, someone should start playing a drum at a rate of about one beat per second, and you should listen to the drum and let the drum take you deeper.
- Affirm that you are a nature magician, a medicine person, who knows and communicates with nature. Let this part of yourself emerge to full consciousness. Let the drum and the connection to your inner self awaken that part of yourself that naturally communicates with other life forms. Let it awake.
- Continue sending telepathic signals to nature.
- When you feel ready and an inner urge to begin, open your eyes a crack and look around while continuing to channel love and light and telepathically calling for a response.
- You may see light coming from certain areas that are receptive. You may get other signals, such as a feeling of power or love returning in a certain direction. Perhaps the type of response to this work will be unexpected; follow your intuition in interpreting it.
- You may test your connection by communicating (mentally) instructions for signals for yes/no responses (such as light getting brighter for less and darker for no) and then mentally ask questions and observe the responses.
- When you have found an areas that seems to be responsive and receptive, begin walking to the area, while beaming love energy. Extend your aura to the area and sense the energy.
Entering a Power Spot
- Before entering a power spot, ask permission to enter. If the response is good, enter; if not, locate another more receptive area.
- When entering the power spot, look around. Perhaps the responsive energy will be concentrated around some singularity (a bush, a tree, a specific branch, a moss covered rock, or other entity that stands out). Perhaps the energy will be more general. Use your intuition and feedback from the spirits to guide your actions.
- If it feels right, send out a signal that you would like to touch the singularity (or the ground) for better communication. If the response is good, approach beaming love energy, touch or hug the singularity (or the ground).
- Treat the spirits as you would other Pagans you meet for the first time - be sensitive, open, and listen.
Deepening Communication With Nature Spirits
- Now that you have made contact with spirits that seem receptive, deepen the communication.
- Breathe deep breaths from the diaphragm, and with each breath, feel more refreshed.
- Now imagine that your spine is the trunk of a tree; and, from its base, roots extend deep into the Earth. Deep into the rich moist Earth.
- With every breath, feel the roots extending deeper, - Feel the energy deep within the Earth and within the waters of the Earth. Feel your roots absorbing nourishment from the Earth and from its waters.
- Now feel the energy rising. Feel the moist, warm energy rising.
- Feel it bursting up from the Earth and rising up your spine, like sap rises in a tree.
- Now imagine that you have branches, branches that sweep up and then bend down towards the Earth, like the limbs of a willow.
- Feel the branches extending and interweaving with your surroundings.
- Feel the warm, moist energy of the Earth flowing through your branches. As it flows, feel your mind being purified, centered, and connected to the Earth.
- Feel the power from the Earth flowing through your branches and then down back to the Earth, like a fountain.
- Note how your branches absorb energy from the air. Also, feel them receiving light (fire) from the sky.
- Feel the energy from above penetrating deep through your body into the Earth.
- Feel the warmth of the Earth rising also.
- Feel the energy circulating.
- Notice how your branches intertwine with the branches and energy fields of your surroundings.
- Notice how your roots also intertwine.
- Feel the energy dancing between you and your surroundings.
- Notice how you and the life around you are rooted in the same Earth, breathing the same air, receiving the same fire, drinking the same water, sharing the same underlying essence. You are one with the magical grove.
- Telepathically mention the time in the past when nature spirits and people communicated regularly and the need to establish such communication now.
- Test your connection by asking questions and observing the responses.
Working With Nature Spirits
- Explain to the spirits the purpose of your coming to them and the nature of the ritual you plan.
- If the spirits you contacted are receptive:
- Explain to them the details of the ritual and invite them to provide ideas.
- Listen, you may receive suggestions on how to improve the ritual. Such suggestions may come in the form of hunches, visions, or answers to yes/no questions using pre arranged signals, or in other ways.
- Ask what the best place to perform the ritual is.
- You may see light or get other psychic signals leading you to other sites, or you may be at one of them.
- Before you leave the power spot, tell the spirit you have contacted when you plan to return to do the ritual (visualizing the associated lunar and solar aspects can help with this communication).
- Invite them to join in the ritual when you return and to bring their friends.
- Ask if it would be best to return silently, with drums, with chanting, or with some other form of approach.
- You can also ask the spirits to provide guidance for working in balance and to provide a teacher to provide further guidance.
- Before you leave the power spot,
- Thank the spirits,
- Channel love energy,
- Trigger your memory of the experience, and
- If it feels right, leave an offering of tobacco, or beer and honey poured on the ground (or other suitable material).
- Leave in peace and love.
- Proceed to other sites that were indicated by the spirits, doing similar meditations at each site.
- If you need something, like a staff, a Maypole, or a wand, you can also ask where you can find it and follow the guidance you receive (not slavishly, but as you would guidance from another Pagan).
- Before leaving the general area in which you found power spots and contacted nature spirits,
- Channel love energy towards the receptive sites you found,
- Thank the spirits of the land,
- Pull back your roots and branches,
- Ground any excess energy into the Earth (placing ones hands on the Earth, breathing in any excess energy and channeling the energy down your arms, while visualizing and feeling the energy going into the Earth), and
- Leave in peace and love.
- Naturally, you should leave the area at least as clean, and preferably cleaner, than you found it.
- If you work with techniques of Wicca or Ceremonial Magic, you may find that by casting a circle, calling the Elements, the Goddess, the Gods, and the local nature spirits while you are at receptive sites, you may be able to greatly increase communication.
- Through the use of drums and other power raising techniques, it is even possible to energize receptive nature spirits. The results can be very interesting. If with a coven, such circles can be done as part of a group attunement to a power spot you have located.
- If you do not get good feelings in response to your explanation of the ritual and are unable to come up with a ritual that gives good responses, do not try to force a good response. You would only be fooling yourself.
- Thank the spirits for their attention.
- Ask them why they are not receptive (if they are communicative).
- Trigger your memory.
- Pull back your "roots and branches," return any excess energy you feel into the Earth.
- If it feels appropriate, leave an offering of tobacco or other appropriate material, out of respect for the spirits.
- Move to a more receptive site.
- If it is hard to find a site that is really receptive, you should also:
- Consider any impressions you got of why the nature spirits weren't receptive in the area you were in, and re-think your plans for a ritual, as necessary and appropriate.
- It may also be appropriate to look for another general area in which to find a suitable power site that is receptive to the work planned.
What to do When Returning
It can be very powerful to purify and center yourself and to attune to the spirits of the land using the technique previously described for calling nature spirits immediately upon returning to the site.
Then approach the site ritually using the previously arranged technique. You should have the details worked out with the Spirits of the land. A procession through or past receptive power spots, inviting nature spirits to join and proceeding to the central power spot for the main ritual, can be especially effective.
Be sure to invoke the nature spirits, to ask them for their help during the ritual, and to thank them at the end.
When consecrating space in the wild, or casting a circle, do not set up the perimeter as a barrier to all outside forces; it should be a beacon to attract friendly nature spirits, a container for holding magical power, and a barrier to spirits who it isn't right to be with.
One thing that is fun and worthwhile in nature is to bring instruments, such as a rattle, a flute and/or a drum, to tune into nature's sounds, and to make music in time to nature's sounds. You may be able to get some very interesting back and fourth exchanges of music going with selected creatures of the wild, and get into an amazing jam session.
There are other ways of working with nature spirits. This is one approach. The author thanks Selena Fox for teaching the basic guided meditation technique for locating and contacting nature spirits at a tranceworking session sponsored by the Chameleon Club (part of the Association for Consciousness Exploration) in 1981, Isaac Bonewits for the outline of the expanded tree meditation, and Carlos Castenada, Black Eagle, Pasha, the Goddess, the Gods, and various nature spirits for teaching the rest of the good methods.
Most of this article is an expansion of an article by the author titled, "Finding a Sacred Grove for Druid Initiation" by Larry Cornett, published in The Druid's Progress and in Amaranth Anthology.
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