There are things that can only be known in the forest. You have to initiate the walk, let your body take you there and pause at the edge, because that is where things start happening.
Always pause at the edge.
Even if you do not hear or see anything, be certain that it is there, what you seek, even if you have no idea what it looks like. It is there all around, beneath your feet and above your head: the beginning of things that transfer and transmute, the long-ago dance of what is becoming.
I knew a forest once, I was her familiar and she invited me to walk within her. It took some time before I found an old stonewall, like a treasure amongst the changing colors of leaves and bark, and I followed its serpentine journey through the trees and shrubs, the stones still standing, covered with moss and memories. Centuries of standing in the woods - I was envious. When the sun came high in the noon sky, I sat against a tree facing the stonewall and contemplated its uneven form, the smooth stones and the protruding ones, the diversity of shapes that made the whole much stronger and impossible to define in less than five words.
Guardians of Memories.
Stones have no roots.
They stand in their basaltic sovereignty, century after century, eon after eon, and nothing but their density grounds them to the soil. They are nourished in other ways: with songs and whispers, with the caress of a rough hand, with golden and crimson leaves falling on them like a blessing. They are fed by the wind that circles them, the river that shapes their edges and the rain that baptizes their presence again and again, making them new and full like a chubby little toddler scooting across the hardwood floor.
And they are impenetrable.
You can not see what is in the inside, you can not cut them and count the rings of their age, like an abacus of death to figure our the length of a life. But if you stay long enough, if you let your skin be touched by their stone-body, you will hear something that can not be rendered into words and images of the known people.
The inside of a stone is like the inside of an old animal, so ancient it could have been painted on the walls of caves millennia after it had already disappeared from the surface of this earth. Born in the darkest dark of this blue planet when fire and constant metamorphism were all that existed.
We are the molten beings, we were there before the first molecule of oxygen and before water, we know how to conserve heat and how to conserve secrets from what is above and what is below. We only know depth. We come from Archean age, holding a kind of knowledge that can be heard through your body: the part of you that contains a part of us, millions of years later - our mineral connection.
Keepers of Secrets.
Friends with the Gorgons.
Beings from What Was There Before.
Ask the snakes how to stay warm and they will lead you to the stones. Maybe because they move full-bellied on the earth, they can sense the fire within, they can perceive the gift from The Great Beginning that is kept in the rocks’ innate structure: a circle of glowing embers cracked in the 5 directions.
A path to the East, toward the birth of your own spirit and the celebration of your incarnation, a road to the South and the creativity in your hands, to sustain the vision of your own fire within; a step to the West and the flowing tears of grief, reverence for your deads and flowers on the altar of you own life until you, too, can cross the threshold between the worlds. An alley to the North, down, down, down, in the direction of the Earth where everything lays in order to regenerate. And a route to the fifth direction: the direction of your presence and the air you breathe right now, in the unique and internal compass of your being.
A pentagram inside each stone, a reminder for each of us that we will also be molten and reshaped, we will crack and recrystallize, our heart becoming a constellation of shiny zircon crystals or a heavy hematite. Our center always glowing.
Talismans for The Great Alchemical Return.
- Ace of Pentacles card from The Wild Unknown tarot deck, by Kim Krans.
All stories link to our own golden threads, a source of understanding, insights, comprehension, and a portal to our own Mundus Imaginalis (world of the imaginary).Take time to sit with the story, let it unravel within you, feed it space and time.
Feel free to travel with one or all the exploratory questions below, or follow your own path if one appears clearly.
Where are you in this story? What image, smell, taste, sensation has a particular resonance for you - stay there, do not try to interpret or make it something else, just observe your own presence in that place.
Which of the 5 directions of the pentacle calls you?
Is there one that brings confusion or unclear feelings?
Observe the presence of stones in your life - are they natural stones from your landscape, from your environment, are they from a place you have visited or lived in, or do they come from a far-away land?
Ritual For Release:
Go for a walk with the intention of finding a stone for release - walk in the woods, in a park, on the sidewalk, or plunge your hand in a creek and find one. Observe its shape and markings, color and texture.
You can bring it home, or do your ritual right there.
Hold the rock in your hands and center yourself by breathing simply, bringing some space inside your mouth, feeling the ease in your throat and the contact of your feet with the ground. Whisper what is on your heart into the stone, something you wish to release: any expression of anger, resentment or sorrow, shame, guilt or inadequacy, something that does not feel yours to carry anymore, a repetitive pattern that does not help you, anything that you wish to transform for yourself and/or your lineage.
Let your words and your breath be carried into the stone, and ask the stone to take them back into the natural world for transmutation.
Thank the stone for doing this for you, and give something back: a song, a prayer, a hair, your breath, some dried flowers or seeds... something simple gifted with gratitude.
Back home, you can imagine a thread of connection between you and the stone, reinforce your release ritual, and keep sending gratitude at night before going to sleep.