June 11, 2019
Growing into Your Wild Roots: A Nature Connection Ritual
By Tonja Reichley
Connecting intimately to the Earth is a threshold to deep magic. Aligning with her seasons and rhythms, we become more aware of our own. Tending to her body, we naturally become more aware of our choices and what is good and right for her. Breathing with the trees and feeling their primal heartbeat eases us into their pace, reminding us that busyness is only a distraction, moving our attention away from what really matters. Making remedies and potions with the wild weeds, the nourishing herbs, we connect with the ancestors and remember the old ways, waiting to be reborn through us.
It is a precious thing to be connected to a piece of land, of real living and breathing Earth. To journey with the land and the children upon it throughout the Wheel of the Year is an ancient practice of presence. Land, Nature and the Elements help us to remember where we are and who we are as we connect to the primal rhythms. As we connect with land, allow it to be through the lens of our own ancestral traditions, weaving in our heritage to the place where we now reside. Honoring the practices of the indigenous people of the land where you live, yet not claiming it as your own. Bring your own practice, offer the gift of that.
I am of Native European descent living on Cheyenne, Arapahoe and Ute land in Denver Colorado part-time and on the west coast of Ireland part time. This is a practice I use both in Denver and in Ireland and is inspired by my Native European roots and my own indigenous Celtic/ Irish traditions.
I invite you to discover your own special Nature place. Make a commitment to visit it often (daily, if possible) to give and, in the giving, to receive. I have included a ritual below to share with that place, to commit yourself to it and to yourself. To rediscover the healing and magic held by land and place.
First, consider where will be your special place? It can be a small patch in your garden, a tree in a close-by urban park, a container garden on your balcony. Ideally your place will have a living, growing being there for you to connect with and grow with and receive its wisdom through the seasons (ie a tree or plant).
Ritual intention: Connecting to Nature: Giving and Receiving
To gather: a gift to leave to your special place. Traditional treats that we leave in Ireland (and in the Celtic spiritual tradition) include: a tiny bit of chocolate, a strand of hair, a splash of whiskey, a special stone, a clootie rag (a natural ribbon or piece of wool yarn infused with your intention, prayer or love), a penny (copper coin only), a kiss.
Air: Sit quietly in your Nature place. Slow your breath and share your breath with this place, the plants, the trees, the Earth. Visualize the dance of breath, the giving of yours to them and the receiving of theirs to you. Commit, verbally or nonverbally, to this place. Commit to presence and nurturing of this place (your presence alone is nurturing!).
Fire: Feel the sun and its nourishment. Feel how the plants convert this solar energy to food. Feel the sun nourishment in your own body. Give gratitude. I like offering gratitude in the words of my Irish ancestors: “Go raibh maith agat” (pronounced go rath ma agat). Say thank you again.
Water: Feel the living waters in your own body (we are 80% water!) connect to the living waters within this place. Visualize the green chlorophyll running through the veins of the plants and inviting that into your own body, connect with the plant spirit through the living waters.
Earth: Leave a gift for this beloved spot of Earth and the beings here. Gift ideas listed above (in To gather). Be mindful not to leave something that may considered rubbish or trash and instead something that will be received by the land and her children, not polluting.
Repeat tomorrow and the next day and the next and next. As the connection with this place grows, notice how you the magic within you grows. Notice how your roots deepen and at the same time grow more wild.