Category Archives: Forest Wisdom

Forest Yurt Retreat Day Three: Walk the Labyrinth

photo

walk the labyrinth photo ©2013 kimcrayton

After a long sleep with some very intensely vivid dreams, I woke up and wrote my dreams down, ate a light breakfast, and headed out for one last walk  before catching the ferry home.

I set out to walk a labyrinth.  The first time I walked a labyrinth was about 11 years ago at a retreat center while participating in a workshop on Touch Drawing through an expressive arts course during my undergrad studies.  Ever since then, any time I have the opportunity to walk a labyrinth, I always do. This one was especially lovely because it is right off a forest path, and you can tell that it is infused and created with loving intention.

After the labyrinth walk, I returned back to the Grand Forest for one more quick hike up and down the trail. This time I took a different route and ran into a beautiful collection of cairns arranged atop a mossy boulder. What a treat!

I’m glad I went back to the trails before leaving the island and heading back home.

photo-6

mossy rock cairns @2013 kimcrayton

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Forest Wisdom, Healing, meditation, Nature, Spirituality

Forest Yurt Retreat Day Two: Listening and Creating Ceremony

After sleeping to the orchestra sounds of croaking frogs all night, I woke up feeling refreshed.

Around mid-morning, I headed out for a meditation walk. Walking meditation is slower than regular walking.  And after all, I had nowhere to be, and was in no hurry to get anywhere.

photo-2

grand forest @2013 kimcrayton

I found some lichen, and slowly walked amongst the swordferns, cedars, and mossy big leaf maples.

lichenhand

lichen in hand @2013 kmcrayton

I went back to the yurt for lunch. After lunch, I went over to the Grand Forest and hiked around (That is what it’s called. Seriously. It’s truly Grand.) It was kind of a surprise. I had not heard of this forest, and I just happened upon this amazing treasure.

photo-4

the tall ones @2013 kimcrayton

While in the forest, I listened to the sounds of the forest floor, the earth and creatures slowly churning and growing. The forest floor is rich with diversity and complexity, it’s where nutrients that sustain the forest are created, so it is very nourishing. In every sound, texture, color and movement, the world at the roots of every tree is teeming with a quiet activity. The spirit of the forest is both exciting, mysterious, and soothing all at once.

After my walk in the forest, I went back to my yurt with the intention to create a ceremony.  Sacred-Ceremony-BookI wanted to create a personal ceremony to release old identities, energies, and beliefs that were not serving me, and to welcome the emergence and expansion of my present-time divine being. I also wanted to mark my dedication to my spiritual path; the path of the mystic. (The second card in my tarot reading for Day Two of this retreat was “Nine of Arrows: Dedication.”)

I gathered some small treasures to add to the altar I had set up with the tarot cards on a small table. All the earth and elemental energies, guides and ancestors were called upon to witness and assit with the ceremony. I used the book “Sacred Ceremony” by Steven Farmer to help with creation of the ceremony.

After the ceremony, I ate some maple smoked salmon, and then fell asleep to the sweet songs of the croaking frog orchestra.

1 Comment

Filed under Forest Wisdom, Healing, meditation, Nature, photography, post, tree

Forest Yurt Retreat Day One: Soaking in Silence

I decided to go on a three day/two night silent yurt retreat. I needed to get in touch with my inner rhythms, ie, eat when hungry, sleep when tired, walk slowly, sleep without earplugs, etc. As an introvert I normally need quite a bit of alone time to recharge. Relationships,work, and the general erratic buzz of living in a city takes their toll over time, so it is essential for me to silent retreat as often as I can.

When I arrived, the silence penetrated my bones. I soaked up silence like a dry sponge, dried out by the constant noise of modern urban living. And I live in a really beautiful, earthy-friendly city. I visit many wise old trees regularly, and wander through some amazing parks. But still, the freeways are all around, humming away at all hours. One wise woman I know always reminds me that at one time, rivers were the freeways and canoes were the cars. I try to think of the freeway as a river, but it’s the vibration of the noise that gets to me.

I really need silence.

In silence, I hear myself. A deep silence allows one to receive messages and information from the earth more clearly. Information can be gathered from anything; from observing a snail move across a log, to a revelation of the oneness and interconnectedness of all beings.

Silence is so very nourishing. It helps rebalance my urbanized system.

Here is a view from the yurt. It was pretty misty when I arrived:

photo-3

view from yurt @2013 kimcrayton

photo-5I also pulled a few cards and did a mini-reading for the retreat. Each card was for each day, so Day one is card one, Ace of Vessels.  Such a serene image with everything in harmony with nature, and such beauty and abundance.  Day one of my retreat was about simply enjoying a lovely, soul-nourishing silence, and reacquainting myself with stillness.

2 Comments

Filed under Forest Wisdom, Healing, Nature, post

Mountain Song

After camping for a few nights, on Friday we headed up to a hut outside of Winthrop to meet a group of great friends. Most folks were going mountain biking. Since i am more of a lay-on-the-earth and soak in the sun kind of gal, I stayed around the hut and absorbed some great grounding mountain energy while cloud watching, contemplating and catching up with a few other mellow mystic friends.
Here was the view from the hut:

20130530-094801.jpg
The combination of great friends, delicious food (freshly gathered morels!!!) and amazing beauty of the mountains was healing and energizing. I left the happy hut feeling refreshed and renewed. Here’s another pic of the view:

20130531-085253.jpg
And here is a picture of a river in the area:

20130531-085551.jpg

3 Comments

Filed under Forest Wisdom, Nature, photography, tree

Aspen Eyes

These trees are watching us. They have eyes.”

20130530-083011.jpg
Some of the eyes looked like owl eyes:

20130530-083145.jpg</a

20130530-083759.jpg
It was a real blessing to be surrounded and watched over by these beautiful trees. I kept wandering behind the tent area into the deep aspen forest grove to listen to the sound of gently quaking leaves in the breeze.

4 Comments

Filed under Forest Wisdom, Nature, photography, tree

Connect to Springtime Energy

light plant spirits @2011 kimcrayton

light plant spirit self @2011 kimcrayton

As much as I love the blooming flowers and the beautiful transformation into springtime, the surge in springtime energy is challenging for me.  The increase in light can become disorienting, as I wake up earlier and fall asleep later, and become very allured by all the warm invigorating sunshine.  I have to ground myself with earth energy to align my personal energy with the land.  I connect with my healing master, and give myself healings daily and listen to my body.   The urge to go out, be active, and connect with friends and kindreds is strong, and my energy gets very accelerated.  The plant beings call me outdoors all the time! There is such joy in the songs of flowers!

In tarot, this year is my “Sun/Wheel/Magician” year, so there is more outward and connecting activity going on this year so far than all of last year! In the Wildwood deck, the 1 card is The Shaman.  Although the transition from this year from last year (The Hermit year) is a bit bumpy, I definitely feel aligned with these.  The Shaman card is very relevant, since this spring I have focused on healings as a daily practice, using healing tools that I have gathered.  As an empath and intuitive, healings are essential for me to call my own energy back into my body, and it feels really good!

My Tarot Year 2013

If you would like to figure out your tarot year cards, as well as personality and soul cards, read Mary K Greer’s “Tarot for Your Self.”  I constantly go back to this book as a reference for really soulful readings for myself and others.

1 Comment

Filed under Forest Wisdom, Healing, Nature, photography, Spirituality, Tarot

The Fall of Freddie the Leaf

I’m not sure what made me think of this book today.

Perhaps it’s the frost on the trees this morning.  Seattle has been cold and clear these past few days.  The sky and lake are beautiful, colored in pastel blues and pinks. The clouds above the Olympics dust the mountains with glowing white sugar snow.

After gazing in the distance, I looked at Cedar (the tree next to my bedroom window) and asked “How are you today?”

Cedar said, “Cold, but good.”

After I asked Cedar this question, I thought of trees in general and all the seasons they endure in the same spot.  I tried to remember the first time I was exposed to a tree with consciousness, other than my own direct experiences as a child.

51EKy2gE2iL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_

Then I remembered when I was read the book “The Fall of Freddie the Leaf.” It must have been after my great-grandfather died that this book showed up in our family.  I think I was 5 or 6 years old. This is a wonderful book on life cycles, death and dying, and the seasons of life, through the eyes of a leaf.

Here is the whole book read aloud, split between four lovely videos from youtube.  If you are not familiar with it, then I highly recommend listening to Freddie’s story. It is truly beautiful.

3 Comments

Filed under Forest Wisdom, Healing, Nature, Spirituality, tree

The Spirit of a Tree

photo-8I have been visiting this specific tree regularly for over a year now.
Yesterday, I went to visit this tree.  I asked if it would help me feel more relaxed and centered.  I stood with my back fully against it, and placed all my body weight onto the trunk.  I stood with this tree for about 20 minutes.  This tree was very kind to take my excess energy (ie anxiety) I was carrying, and bring it into the earth.
Once this tree asked me to bring it water during the drought season in September; it was really dry, as were other conifers around it.   I also bring it songs, as a gift of gratitude.
I think this tree is really beautiful.
It possesses a generous spirit I have experienced during many of my visits. I don’t have accurate words to describe how I experience the tree’s spirit, which I do sense, however, “generous” is the first word that comes to mind.
It makes me think of this exercise by William Bloom on how to sense a spirit of a tree:

Sensing the Spirit of a Tree

Stand close to a tree and let your awareness go down into the root system where it absorbs nutrients from the earth. Follow the flow up into the trunk, the branches and then the leaves. The leaves are open to receive the light of the sun. Hold your awareness of the whole tree and then expand your focus slightly to be aware of the whole energy body of the tree. Stay quietly with this sense of the whole tree, and its spirit may become quite clear to you.

-from Working With Angels, Fairies And Nature Spirits (p. 59)

2 Comments

January 1, 2013 · 6:47 pm

Gratitude and Love for 2012: Many Thanks, Many Blessings

On New Year’s Eve, I am reflecting on the past year in awe and wonder.  It has been a beautiful, gentle year, with a lot of my time spent on intuitive work and quiet listening of nature and spirit.

2012cards

My 2012 tarot year card was 18 “The Moon,” and my personality card for 2012 was 9 “The Hermit.”

The Moon Over Water (named in The Wildwood deck) speaks to my delving into my intuitive development. I prioritized my dreamwork, reiki healing, and shamanic journeying, strengthened my relationship with tarot, listened deeply to messages in nature, and cultivated relationships with some very wise trees.  You could say the moon and I were very close in 2012.

I am grateful to have experienced such stillness in my “hermitage” (and those who have seen my latest home know it has space for peaceful retreat!)  I call my hermit space “up in my nest,” as an owl’s nest of intuitive work.  I was indeed “The Hooded (wo)Man,” but at the same time, had time to take part in joyful gathering in celebration throughout the year.

I also had my first close encounter with an owl this year! A barred owl dropped out of a tree and landed on the grass in front of me.  I sat with that owl for about 40 minutes, and watched it and another owl up in the tree communicate with each other and just be owls.  As an amateur birder, this was so awesome.  I also visited wolves at Wolf Haven, and saw my first wolves, and heard them howl.  That was a sound I will never forget.

My two tarot cards for 2012 could not have been more accurate to my experience of 2012.  I experienced many quiet walks, a lot of grounding meditation, reading, and energy work.  I tuned in deeply to stillness, and I am so grateful for this year of rest and quiet moments.

 

I am truly grateful for the beauty revealed to me this year from spirit guides, nature, tree beings, wise human beings and angels. Thank you. I am blessed.

I wish many blessing to all in 2013.

Leave a comment

December 31, 2012 · 6:31 pm

Hugging More Trees in 2013

Placing the heart against a tree is a humbling experience.

I love this Gaia Oracle card “Intuitive Communication,” illustrated by intuitive artist Toni Carmine Salerno. Notice thephoto-4 tree has a heart radiating.  I love the choice of heart centered, intuitive communication, because it realizes the relationship we can have with trees, plants, and other beings if we just open our hearts and listen.  The woman in this illustration can sense the tree’s radiating heart, with her eyes closed. This card resonates deeply with me and my calling for 2013.

As the new year approaches, I reflect on the trees that have touched me during the 2012.  All the wisdom I have received from the trees I have immense gratitude.  Thank you trees!

Looking towards 2013, I am being called to bring more tree people to the trees and practice intuitive listening with trees and in nature.   This is a purely heart-centered act that I am guided to facilitate in the next year, and beyond.

There are so many ways we can connect to the earth and at the same time, to our wisdom and intuitive guidance.  Starting with a heart centered practice is a way to ensure that future actions are centered in the heart, with intentions of loving and peaceful connections.

2 Comments

Filed under Forest Wisdom, Healing, meditation, Nature, Spirituality, Tarot, tree