“I’m aware… of a recent change of attitude in myself, and at once not only my old stories have come to look different to me, but life itself looks different. I could not write my old stories again, or any more like them; and not because I do not see the same details as before, but because somehow or other the pattern is different. The old details now make another pattern”
– Katherine Mansfield
Days yield unto the night and the hours in which golden shards lay upon the land dwindle. Bright red berries lay stark against the background of Regnenses, muted by broad watercolour strokes, like droplets of blood. Mud thick and rich beneath booted foot, reminds me of just how sure footed I am upon this land. Long shadows are chased by unceasing rain, and sharp gales rush down from the Downs. Voices howl within, and once I would have been able to easily distinguish the messages sent upon them. However, I have not been listening. I have been playing deaf. As mists creep and crawl low to the ground, my thoughts are turned to what lays beneath. Beneath all things. The third and final harvest of Samhuinn is fast approaching and I have felt not only my soul soar, but also a keen need to let my past fall away, or be cut away, and join the cavalcade of russet and bronze.
Here, I stand at a crossroads once more, and find myself deciding where to turn next. I feel the ties to my past heavily at this time but know I am no longer as I was before, and there isn’t any benefit in pretending that I can relive my old stories as I once did, and neither do I want to. The cycle breaks here. I know that, even though I may have been deaf to them recently, that the Spirits that I have forged relationships with in the past and have stood beside me, stand beside me still, but their words, should I let my ears listen, will guide me a-new. It’s been a while since I’ve written anything of note that I have felt the need to share. Even with starting this blog back up, I knew that I wouldn’t be as prolific as I once was, I had entered a period of introspection, which it seems I am still caught within. I have fought against it, I’ve tried to plough my way out, but what I have realised very recently is that I have not been listening, not truly.
I was told a long while ago, back when I was writing my blog before the last, that I wrote about my Spirits too much and was steered away from mentioning Them, having my spirituality and connection ridiculed and put down. I became as quiet as I could on this front, only sharing certain things with certain people. As for my writing and the sharing of my experiences in detail on my blog, I went rather silent and in turn favoured the overly verbose weaving of words I had fallen into – in order to mask truths behind them. I used my words in an abstract art form to convey the emotions felt, rather than give too much detail of what lay behind them. I rather enjoy this way of writing, and I have found I’m rather good at it, but something was missing and I found that without addressing all parts of myself I have been very reluctant to write anything. I also found the silence in my writing has affected me deeper than I care to admit. A recent Bone Reading from the lovely Lady Althaea did a wonderful job of kicking my ass into gear. So, I have split this website down into distinctive areas in order to be able to feel freer about what I write – I will explain the groupings further in a future post, as some still may be added, however today I am posting my first blog to “The Nemeton” – Dedicated to my forsaken spiritual side.
A big part of this internal change was brought to the fore after my move from London to the South Downs. Whilst it has been something I have dreamt about for a long time (those of you who have been following along all these years know my soul ties to this place), I did not realise quite how it would affect me internally, especially my spirituality. After moving, I found myself removed from my usual places of worship, and those special places I had woven my personal mythology around – I did not realise just how import this Local Cultus I had carved out for myself within my locale was. I have been feeling torn recently as to where my path now lays, I have taken some long winding perambulations away from the Crooked Path I once walked and while I have learnt a lot and grown in ways I never thought possible, I have once again spiralled back and find myself on familiar ground, however altogether brand new.
I’ve realised that by wanting to gain back my old spiritual practices that I have cut myself off from further growth and become stagnant. However, I see now that stagnation was needed to make me realise I had been ignoring those Spirits around me which are not tied to a certain location and not listening fully to those that have tried to make their presence known since moving. This stagnation has been part of my journey, my inner alchemy, and now with a fire raging in my soul, I open myself up to new possibilities. I return now my source, not to relive my past, as my feet need to take a different path, but to start piecing together a new spiritual practice that best serves my needs and where I am going next…
Text and Photography: Sarah-Jayne Farrer