Friday, April 15, 2011


Back in ’06 I was spiraling back over to the non traditional side of my attempt s to understand what’s going on inside my head. One of the books I bought was by a self described Wildwood Mystic with Wiccan overtones named Rae Beth. There may be a touch of the shaman in her beliefs, also. She appealed to me because I am a hermit at heart and she has a lot of sympathy for those who work best as solitaries.

Most shamen and wildwood mystics work with familiar spirits who may take the forms of birds, animals or people. Rae Beth wrote of one of her familiars, an old cunning man who lived in Britain over a thousand years ago. He spoke to her of what he called prayers, what we might call mantras. That some prayers are meant to be shared and some are meant to be kept private. That to know a place we must know all the prayers of all that is around us. The dreams of sparrows and gulls, of deer and bears, grass and cattails, of every headland, trickle and glen.

What does water dream of and pray for? Does the water in a tiny brook remember when it was part of a mighty ocean? Does it remember being a snowflake, a glacier, or a tiny drop of rain? Does it remember another tiny rivulet? Flowing from rivulet, to stream, to overflowing river and finally to the sea. Of being caught up by the warmth of the sun only to become a raindrop again. Of the endless fall to earth and another stream.

What does a stone remember? Does it remember when its atoms were part of the primal lava flows? Does it remember further back when the atoms were formed in the death throes of a super nova? Do the atoms remember their lives in a cliff face being ground down by relentless breakers? Does it remember the endless pressure as the sandstone became rock to be thrust again into daylight or carried down into the heart of the earth to become molten lava once more?

Trying to imagine the dreams of a gull or a coyote is difficult enough for a human. But, we normally see water or grass or stone as inanimate, unaware. Trying to imagine their dreams or prayers; that is a mystery.


Lisa :-] said...

I think that what we think of as "prayers" are defined by our fondness for human language. Would the prayer of a rock or a tree have words?

JACKIE said...

I'm not sure it comes in words. I'm re reading that section and he speaks of "plucking" prayers from the natural world around him. This could be part of Cowan's shared souls. Or part of the ideas behind the poems he uses from Amergin and Taliesen. We'd know the prayers a tree would make because we WERE a tree once upon a time. Mind bending when you aren't used to thinking in those terms.

marigolds2 said...

We count way too much on words, on language. The prayers of all the natural world are constantly in the wind around us, the water, the leaf shadows, the bird calls, I hear prayers of pain and suffering in the woods and the mountains every time I head out into them. I pray with the plants in my yard, I rejoice with them when I water them in this horrible drought, and see them drinking in the moisture. Another post to keep me thinking (and praying) for quite some time, Jackie.