Returning from a family visit I was drawn to take a route through some old woodland which was not along my usually chosen route – and one which meant I would miss all the petrol stations and so not particularly logical given that I was low on fuel. Still I went. Driving through those trees I quickly knew that I had to find a place to pull over and explore.
Finding an appropriate place I parked, well actually skidded through the deep mud. Locked up my car and wondered off into the trees. I let my intuition lead me. What was I looking for, a relaxing walk? Good photos? A little meditative space?
As one walks around woodland, if we look properly we do not just see trees; some of them are perfect and majestically formed, some twisted and bent into almost supernatural shapes, some clustered in little faery circles or entwined, growing old in a shared embrace, some obviously unhealthy or deceased.
I realised that I was seeking out the unhealthy, or what I would actually prefer to call the healers, those that act as a negative energy sink for the life around them. A selfless act of protection, not necessarily of choice, often no more than a misfortune of position; lying on or proximate to lines of energy flow.
Soon I was aware that my direction had changed and that I was now following a roughly west to east line, parallel to the road (but about 300m into the woods). It was along that line that the worst of the marked trees seemed to occur.
As I found them, I stopped with each of them for a while. Engaging. Acknowledging. And in so doing offering compassion. The very act of acknowledging a living force hitherto (or long) ignored is a healing in its own way.
I continued to follow this unmarked path, my trousers and socks being snagged by thorns and fallen branches. As I progressed it seemed that the trees I found were increasing in their marking. Eventually I reached one so deformed it was beast like in its shape.
And then my eyes caught it. Almost hidden by human intervention, beside a small planted clutch of Fir trees. I have read of the community of forest, and of mother trees that watch over and connect to those growing around. Protecting them. The old and wise matriarchs of woodland.
There she stood a skeleton of Elm. Her body a mass of growths and cankers and at ground level an eerie, almost alien, think cluster of shapeless sinuous shoots growing out of her to a height of about 2m.
She stood proud. Baring the scars of energetic touch, her own benevolent intent and the intervention of man. But for all this she was majestic. A singularly unique being in that area of forest.
I approached and asked her permission to engage.
She was willing to accept but only in a healing capacity. I grounded myself beside the great buttressed of her root base and placed my hands against the lattice work of her aging bark and allowed her discomfort and negative energy to be drawn out and through me, to be cleansed and released back to the world, healed as pure white light. Offering back to her throughout, the golden light of the Universe’s love and compassion.
I stopped and asked if she was ok. Her response was positive and she was open to continuing the process.
I returned my hands to her bark and started to draw her energy through me – this time it was a flood – like a dam burst rushing up through my body, I almost fell over. It was intoxicating me. Almost trance inducing in its impact, I knew my body was swaying as the healing process continued. If she had been a horse, at this time there would have been the most enormous yawn of release.
I am not sure how long this continued.
When the healing process drew to a close, my intuition picked up one short phrase: “You are doing it right, you are doing what you should.”
And as I bid her farewell and walked back to try and find my car I felt her caress deep within me. A caress that stayed with me as I drove slowly back to London. A caress that also expressed a gratitude, a gratitude which spoke of the deep and compassionate healing effect that comes from the simple act of acknowledging.
This morning I drew an oracle card for meditation, I drew a tree. Please note there are only three in the selection of 52 images. So I wonder, as I did above, was it really a random act of compassion?
You tell me.
(c) The Mindful Horse
(Silhouette images from “Celtic Oracles”, Rosemarie Anderson, 1998)