Sunday, 17 January 2010

Acknowledging Ones Roots

I blogged some time ago about the importance of roots and this is something that has been with me again the past week or so. Truly knowing that sense of connection with Earth. I don’t mean this is a simple, fluffy visualisation sense, but in a true and dynamic sense of genuine and dynamic connection – a connection of power.

I have become increasingly aware of how this aspect of my spiritual path is frowned upon, not just by the Christian world but also by some parts of the magical community. Christians often view talk of connection with Earth, and our roots being firmly planted in our Mother as evil and wrong, and some people who follow a magical tradition have said to me that they consider such a practice to be ‘fluffy’ and without true foundation. I can the latter comment when one considers how trivialised such pathworking has become over the years, by some. But this is by no means the case for all. I think one has to delve deeply beneath the surface to find the true reality and it is important to avoid judging every book by its cover.

I have become convinced in recent weeks and months that the importance of connection with the spirit of place cannot be over emphasised. This is about truly connecting with ancestral wisdom, and this can be accessed through connection with the landscape, through tradition, as laid down in songs, myths and legends; and mystical connection with those who have gone before. To my mind this is both a valid and crucial aspect of spiritual practice.

Over the years I have allowed this apparent division between those who embrace Earth based spiritual practice and those who pursue a more Hermetic tradition to confuse and muddle my spiritual progress. I had allowed myself to get boxed into a pattern of thinking that was simply a case of ‘either or’ and that there was little, if any, room for a combination of both. Now I am starting to understand that one informs the other and the two can rest comfortably side by side as both are required for true spiritual development.

I cannot dismiss the wisdom of my ancestors. I see and sense a very real dovetailing of the Otherworld and the very real sense of the God-self. The two are not mutually exclusive. I know and understand and have experienced the power and majesty of the ‘spirit of place’ and know that what I see with my physical eyes is an expression of deity, of the Unseen. I think it is the dilution of this into commercial off the shelf packages of spirituality that has caused the damage for those who have truly experienced a powerful and real Earth based connection and celebrate deity in this way.

Ones roots cannot be dismissed. How can my branches reach to and celebrate and glory in the wonder of the heavens if I am cut off at the roots? How can I produce fruit that feeds and nourishes my fellow travellers if I have no way of drawing up rich and life giving energy? How can my spiritual self exist if it is separated from that wonderful and rich source of ancestral memory?

I am really beginning to see and understand not just the validity, but the crucial importance of connecting with what has been described to me recently as the ‘folk soul’. This speaks to me of that immeasurable and profound spiritual reservoir that is full of ancestral knowledge, wisdom, experience and power; a rich and dynamic spiritual energy source.

What I am not speaking about here, however, is a slavish adherence to the past that expresses itself through some kind of nationalistic spiritual expression of the past. To my mind the person who walks between the worlds today brings back ancient wisdom that meets the needs of human kind today. Our path has to be relevant to today and whilst we know and experience our connection with ancient consciousness, we bring the power of this into the world that we find ourselves in now.

That’s not to water it down, that’s not to pretend, but rather to bring ancient wisdom and knowledge to our current situation through a moving on from our roots rather than an attempt to remain stuck.

This is the challenge for me as I take my next faltering steps on my spiritual journey. My intention is to connect with my guides and forebears and to truly understand and experience the wonder and power of their connection with the One Diviner Life and bring this into my experience in the Now. This is not about living my spiritual life vicariously through them, but rather to fully and dynamically appreciate the foundation upon which my spiritual path and experience is based. I want to truly value and appreciate the wonder of my forebears experience and to fully appreciate the roots that sustain me and the energy that springs from these roots that in turn spurs me on to new experiences and growth.


Yewtree said...

Hi Andy,

Nice one. I agree that roots are important, and find that my spirituality is rooted in place (less so in ancestors, though, personally).

You might like The Art of Conversation with the Genius Loci by Barry Patterson - it has loads of helpful suggestions for connecting with the spirit of place.

Andy said...

Thanks so much Yewtree. I love the way you talk of the spirit of place and feel this compliments where I am at the moment. I will certainly look for a copy of the book you mention . . . that's for the recommendation!

Nicole said...

This is a very interesting post. It is a brave step you are taking, going in a new direction for yourself. We can learn so much from our ancestors. But what I connected with more was connecting with the land on which we live. We all land in our place in the world because of Need - whether our own, or the need of the actual city or town. Personally, I feel that the town I live in needs assistance with healing & moving on from its' past.

Good luck with your ancestral journey! I hope you find what you need.

Cloudia said...

Your hard earned (yet gracious!) wisdom shines brightly. Thank you for sharing, Andy.

Aloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Andy said...

Good to hear from you again Nicole!

It's interesting, as both you and Yewtree have separated ancestors from the spirit of place, whereas I see a connection between the two. Perhaps I am at fault for not making things clear enough in my blog. I feel the wisdom and knowledge of my ancestors lives in the very cells of my body, how can it not? I also feel the land they walked was sacred then and is sacred now and I can connect with deity at these special places.

It's all part of this exciting journey! I don't see this as a new path for me, simply a natural evolution of the path I have been on all my life.

Exciting times!

Thanks for your comments Cloudia - but I really don't see myself as that wise!

shamrockwitch said...

Andy as always- you make such sense- ofcourse- heed the ancestors- feel the spirit of place- but it is how this all relates to us in the now. We are all spiritually connected- past, present, future- but its about what we do now with this, where we all choose to go with this wonderful journey.

Von said...

Our journey is our own, for no-one to judge or dismiss or tell us how to.Good wishes.

Josef said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Andy said...

Sorry to have to delete your post, Josef, but this blog is my spiritual journal and it really isn’t a place where people can preach the Christian gospel. I actually find that disrespectful and dishonouring to me, my path and my calling. I respect your right to follow your own path and I wish you blessings on your journey. I simply ask that you afford me the same respect.

Andy said...

Shamrockwitch - I love your words! This sense of connection is something that is growing within me all the time, I really do feel it, but with all things. Feeling ones place within all this is quite incredible.

And yes Von, we each walk our own path - and no one can dictate the path we walk.

aquabluewater said...

I love this posting of yours. It is truly that time of year where we are reaching for our roots. I happened across your blog today and I must say, you express the need for roots quite clearly. Thank you.