Twin Souls

When the psychic gripped her hand and told her about the theory of twin souls it felt like when all the pieces of a puzzle fit together after struggling over it for days. The way she explained it, a twin soul or twin flame as some called it, was when some souls were created they split and became two separate souls but continued to be connected in many ways as they incarnated into the corporeal world much like physical twins. Reincarnation was involved since these souls were on a long journey to get back to each other while at the same time striving for their own unique brand of perfection. Some lifetimes they were together, some apart, but always aware of each other in some part of their psyche.

Then the woman looked across the table still gripping her hand and said, “You have been aware of him most of your life, in dreams mostly. I also sense that you have always felt his absence in your life, a loneliness that sometimes overcomes you.” She let go of her hand and put a finger on her chest, “But he is in here, you feel it, always have, like one of your organs, like one of your bones. His essence flows through your body like blood in your veins.” She closed her eyes then. ” I can see him. He is lonely too.”

Memories skipped through her mind fast like a runaway train. All the times she had begged her mother to tell her the truth; that she had a twin that either died or was given away. She’d made her mother cry a few times over these accusations finally relenting with the questions not wanting to cause her mother any more pain and realizing she must be telling the truth – there was no twin. Then she read about people who had had surgery to remove a tumor and it was found to be a twin their body had absorbed in the womb. For years she thought maybe that was the answer but no tumor ever appeared and in time she gave up on this theory as well. And then there was that constant nagging feeling that she wasn’t complete that something, someone was missing. All the men she had tried to fit into the empty place in her soul, none of them supplying the completeness she was searching for.

Then there were the dreams.

They began when she was ten years old. A little boy would be with her, playing, running, always smiling at her. As she got older so did the boy. They would be together walking, holding hands, talking quietly about things she could never remember when she awoke. Then one night when she was around fourteen he kissed her. She awoke with a start still feeling his warm lips on hers in the dark of her room, his presence in the bed beside her. But when she turned on the light no one was there. She cried for an hour, the aching loneliness eating at her brain. When she fell back to sleep he was there in the dream again just holding her for the rest of the night.

For a while in her twenties she had tried to be rid of this phantom and dated a parade of men to try to fill the place of her dream partner, even married one of them, for a time. But soon it became clear to the man that his wife was looking elsewhere for companionship and he quietly divorced her. She was on her own again and the dreams returned with a vengeance as if they were trying to make up for the years she had pushed them away. They made her feel even more alone so another parade of men entered her life only to reinforce the feeling that something was missing.

Then in her late twenties she began having sex with her dream man. It was the best sex she’d ever had and goodness knows she’d certainly had enough sex to compare it to. He was gentle and creative and she always awoke feeling loved, satisfied, exhausted but still alone in a messy bed. This went on until her early thirties when she told the dream man she’d had enough. It was too lonely living with a phantom. She wanted real and went out to find a new man. This time it lasted a year longer than the last one. But this time he was the one that went looking elsewhere telling her in the end that she was “just not there” with him. She had to admit he was right. No one could compare with her phantom man. No one could make her feel the way he did. The dreams returned.

At thirty-three she went into therapy.

Her therapist told her that she was the man in her dreams. He made her keep a diary of all her dreams and to be as detailed as she could about their content. It was during this process that she began drawing pictures of her phantom. It was then that she realized how beautiful he was. She could describe his clothing – eccentric, the jewelry he wore – a lot, the tattoos he had – many, especially the one of a honey bee on his wrist. Then one night he had a guitar with him and played and sang for her. She hummed the song all the next day. After that she was serenaded often. Her therapist told her she should get a tape recorder and sing the songs into it. She wasn’t especially musical but she could sing well and so the recordings became an acappella rendering of the dream songs. Some of them were ballads, some were love songs and some were wild rock n roll that really didn’t translate well in acappella form. She sang them all exactly as she heard them in her sleep.

Her therapist was amazed at her artistry and her singing voice and suggested that maybe the dreams were telling her that she should pursue some kind of artistic endeavors; maybe her dreams were her way of accessing her hidden talents. So she began writing poetry and trying to turn them into songs. The words came easy but she could never put them to music. But every time she would finish a poem he always came to her in a dream and sang it to her. Her therapist said she was simply collaborating with herself. Many artists relied on their dreams for inspiration.

Then it happened; she saw him in a YouTube video singing and playing in a band. She almost fell off her chair. When she finally closed her gaping mouth and let her eyebrows relax she watched it a second time then added the channel to her library. Then she read the short description about the video.

         “Los Angeles band brings grunge back with a vengeance and Vengeance is their name.”

There was only one video and it had been uploaded the day before but she continued to check it every day and within a week another video appeared. This time there was a close up of her dream man and she could see that her drawings had captured him exactly. But he was so far away from New York, so out of her reach.

Her next therapy session was very interesting.

After showing the videos to the therapist the room went quiet for about a minute then he recovered. “You must have seen the video at some time while looking around and the image attached itself to your memory. You needed a face to fill the place of the man in your dreams so…”

She interrupted him while pushing the phone into his view and pointing at the date of the upload.

Once again the room went silent. They stared at the walls behind each other for about five minutes when he looked at his watch and announced the session over for the day.

The next day she went to see the psychic.

When the woman finally let go of her hand signaling the end of the reading she pulled out her phone and showed the video to the psychic. The woman leaned forward, looked at the phone then up into the face of her client, eyes wide, “This is him; this is the man!” 

“I know.” Then she opened her sketch book and showed the drawings. “I’ve been drawing him for months now.”

She told of the dreams of music and all the crazy assumptions the therapist had come up with which made the psychic laugh. “They think they have it all wrapped up in a nice neat package but what they don’t know is that we are not just bodies with brains. We are spirits, souls living in bodies for a time in order to experience the wonders of physical life.” She sat back in her chair, closed her eyes and continued, “You will meet him soon. He will come to you without you having to do anything but keep dreaming and drawing and singing his songs.” She opened her eyes. “He is dreaming of you too. When you are together in the dreams you are actually together in the spirit.”

The woman took her hand once more, “Go home and wait. It will not be long.”

She never returned to the therapist.

A few weeks went by as she continued doing what the psychic had advised her. The drawings now turned into paintings. They littered her small apartment, leaned up against the walls, tucked into her closet, shoved under the bed. She went through her days at work thinking about her next poem, writing little snippets on napkins or the palms of her hands until she could get to a piece of paper and do them proper justice. Then one night in a dream she found herself reading one of them to him. He smiled and started singing it to her as he picked out cords that complemented the words.

The Vengeance videos increased in number. It was comforting to be able to watch him on a screen, so much clearer than in a dream. But in order to feel him sleep was required and dreams were essential so she found she was sleeping much more. The dreams of him became so frequent that she hardly ever dreamed of anything else any more. The weekends were spent napping, painting and writing poetry. Sometimes she wondered if she were going crazy. Then she would visit the psychic and was reassured that the time was getting closer. He would come to her within the year. It was September; there wasn’t much time left. Hope became her constant companion.

There were now fifty Vengeance videos on YouTube and a Face Book page as well. His band had reached a following of over ten thousand and they announced that they had been invited to play at a New York City club for New Year’s Eve. She read the words over at least ten times before she could muster up the courage to believe them. The club was in her state. He was coming to her state! Then reality hit. New York was a big state and she was so far north from the big city that it might as well be in Europe especially on a waitress’s salary. There was no way she could go to his concert. Depression hit like a wrecking ball on her heart.

The next week she dragged herself to the psychic who was fast becoming her best friend.

“Oh honey, don’t worry. He will come to you, remember?”

“But how?” She was sobbing into her tea and her friend wrapped her arms around her, “I don’t know the how. I just know that you are not going to go to him. He is going to find you. Somehow, he is going to find you.”

She was invited to a New Year’s Eve party by one of the other waitresses and tried to decline but the girl was so sweet and so insistent that she finally relented. The party lasted all night and she got drunker than she had since she was a teenager. She slept nearly all of New Year’s Day dreaming that she was riding in a bus with her lover. She watched the road ahead as they traveled through towns and woods and past barren winter fields dusted with snow. When she finally woke up and realized it was a new year and her lover had not found her she sat down on her bed and cried for a half hour.

The darkness outside was interrupted by giant flakes of snow drifting past her window as she stood leaning her forehead on the icy glass watching them pile up on the sleeping lawn. She could feel her hope being buried under the feet of snow that was accumulating before her eyes. By the second day of the year three feet of snow had fallen and her world came to a standstill as the blizzard raged outside. Her boss called and said not to come in to work that the restaurant was closed until the plows got around to digging it out.

The day dragged on like a dull nightmare filled with fog and tombstones and crying wind. She spent most of the day in bed trying and failing to sleep. The next day her boss called and said if she could get out he would appreciate it if she would come to work since everyone else had called in. The poor man sounded desperate so since the landlord had plowed the driveway that morning, like a zombie she dressed and drove to work.

There were a few regulars scattered around the dining room when she arrived but it looked like it was going to be a slow and boring day. She took orders, made coffee and waited. The lunch rush consisted of two people who ordered sandwiches to go. The day dragged on snail-like until at five-thirty her boss told her she could go home. She was putting her coat on when the door opened and a group of guys blew in on the cold wind and seated themselves at the farthest table in the dining room. She took her coat back off, grabbed some menus and headed over to the table. As she distributed the menus one of the guys looked up at her and uttered something guttural like he was about to choke. She looked down at him and froze.

It was him!

They stared at each other for what seemed like hours but in reality was only a few seconds when one of the other guys blurted out, “Holy shit, man, that’s the girl you’ve been painting for the past two years!”

Her dream man stood up then and looked down into her eyes. She audibly gasped as he took her hand in his and answered his buddy, “Yes, it is.” She could feel him trembling as he pulled her to him in an embrace that took her breath away.

Just then she heard the door bang open and a familiar voice call out, “He’s here! He’s here right now – I had a vision!” The psychic ran to the only occupied table and slammed to a halt. “Oh!” she panted trying to catch her breath as she took in the scene before her. All eyes were on her now and she looked around at them. “Yup,” she wheezed, “That’s what I saw.”

He kissed her then and the laughter and cheers ringing through the restaurant began to fade into the ether like the dreams she never had to fall asleep again to experience.

The Essentials of Witch Wood

There is a quote I read somewhere that says ‘a tree does not a forest make’. Well, I disagree with that statement. In this increasingly overpopulated world we live in it is becoming harder and harder to find what our ancestors would call a woods let alone what they would refer to as a forest. Deep within the heart of every tree there lives the potential for a forest. Each year as my single Norway Maple drops its leaves I am reminded of that. By the time it is finished they carpet the ground with the promise of a thousand trees. The promise of the Witch Wood.

I am on a spiritual journey with the trees. I have been talking to them since I was a child and for the past few years they have been talking back. It was a very large tree that showed me that she is indeed a forest in her own right. I have always had the extreme luxury of being able to enter the sanctuary of a large woods or forest but I realize that a lot of people don’t have that. And the trees also realize that. They want people to know that all it takes to enter the woods is to simply sit with a tree. Touch it, talk to it either out loud or in your head. It will hear you and if you listen with your heart you may hear it talk back. When you have experienced this connection you have entered the Witch Wood. It is a magical place where other worldly creatures dance and play with the earthly ones. It is a place where peace resides, a place you can go when life gets too hectic and you just need a little break from it.

All it takes is one tree and a few minutes of your time. The Witch Wood is calling. Will you answer?

Avenger of Trees

Johnny Depp and The Bees

Johnny Depp and the Honey Bees

I don’t know him, but I do. Maybe it’s a past life thing, maybe it’s a brown eyed thing (we both have them). Or maybe it’s just a thing but I dreamed of him last night. He told me there was eccentric and then there was me; he said I was just crazy. Then he smiled. I said, ”That’s what everyone says about you, you know.” Then he laughed, said us crazy people have to stick together. We made love then he fixed breakfast while I attempted to fold the sheets. It was fun.

Dreams… Huh. I have my theories but first about the bees.

So I have been waiting for the honey bees to return. I had a couple of hives a few years ago but anyone that keeps up with environmental news knows that it’s getting really hard to keep them alive. So, of course, they died. But I’ve never given up. I have two trap boxes set out for them, one between my garden and a large field and one at the edge of my woods. They have been there for three years and have not seen any activity. In fact, during that time I have not seen any honey bees in my garden. There are plenty of native pollinators but no honey bees.

This morning after that dream I wandered through my garden like I do every morning. I went to check on the progress of my small pumpkin patch and found twenty or more big, bright yellow pumpkin flowers, their faces open like smiles toward the sun. The familiar buzzing of insects surrounded them sounding like a miniature chorus. Closing my eyes I let their symphony soothe my dream addled mind when I realized there was a new yet familiar song being sung around the pumpkin blossoms. My eyes popped open, wide, as I realized there were dozens of honey bees busy gathering nectar and pollen from my humble little pumpkin patch. Tears gathered at the corners of my eyes as the gratitude unleashed its self. I watched in awe as my old friends worked happily in my garden once more, their droning song filling the morning air. It filled me with hope, something that has been sorely lacking in my life of late.

Then I trekked out to check my trap boxes, put in some fresh lure – just in case.

So, what, you might ask, has the dream to do with the bees? It could, of course, be just the typical birds and bees symbolism, a very viable option. Or just a simple escaping the ordinary dream. Another viable option. My dream dictionary says that sex in a dream can be a symbol of two energies joining together and with a stranger can portray joining with one’s own anima or animus. In other words, he could simply be a projection of my inner self attempting to bring me some comfort. Well, all I know is both the dream and the bees made me feel – well – joyful! Both gave me much happiness and hope that life can still be good, fun – exciting, even. Feelings many of us have been thinking of late could be lost forever.

There is also the theory that sometimes when we dream our spirits travel, wandering through this world or others in search of adventure. So I will be forever curious. Did he wake up this morning and wonder, who was that crazy old woman I made love to in my dreams last night? Then maybe he shook the cob webs from his dream addled mind and heard some bees outside his window.

Dreams… Huh. You just never know.

 

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Faerie Food

I love mushrooms. I love looking at them, painting them, searching for them in wild places. To me they are the symbol of all things Faerie.
Today I was planting some bulbs and came upon a familiar mushroom, two, in fact. The Wood Blewit is one of the prettiest mushrooms you’ll ever encounter. It comes in shades of purple and lavender and best of all, it’s edible. So I carefully picked these two little mushrooms and set them on my kitchen counter. Later in the day I set about cleaning them, gently brushing dirt from them, sometimes blowing dirt off that was stuck in their tiny gills. When they were sufficiently cleaned I set them down on a cutting board and turned to grab an onion when a flash caught my eye coming from one of the mushrooms. I picked it up to examine it and noticed a fleck of glitter on its cap. Then I noticed another and another and realized the entire cap of the mushroom was sprinkled with the tiniest specks of glitter I’ve ever seen, so tiny that I had missed them during the cleaning process. The strangest part about this was that they were very hard to rub off. I had to scrape them off with my knife.
Now, I probably don’t have to tell you that glitter is not a natural occurrence on any mushroom. Loads of scenarios flickered through my thoughts. I have been known to brush off my glitter laden clothes just outside my door where I enjoy the sparkle on my doorstep for months after. But the area I found the mushrooms in is nowhere near my door, not even near my house. I live in the middle of eleven acres of woods in the country so the idea that someone tossed glitter on my property wasn’t a viable one. Then there was the fact that of the two mushrooms standing within a few inches of each other only one of them was glittered.
My logical mind wants to find a practical answer to this conundrum.
My spirit knows the answer.
Nature spirits, which I choose to call Faeries, took glitter which they found somewhere – perhaps on my doorstep – and carried it possibly on the wind, possibly by bribing some insect to carry it on her back, then deposited it onto this one mushroom. Then they set about leading me to that place knowing I had flower bulbs to plant that would give them beautiful flowers to play with in the Spring. In my heart I feel they rewarded me for planting those flowers by giving me not only something to eat but a sign from them that they really are there.
So – does that make my mushroom Faerie Food? We all know we have been cautioned not to eat faerie’s food or we will be lost in their world for a long time, maybe even forever. Well I live with one foot in their world already.
Maybe it’s time to jump right in.

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Vampire of Trees

Many years ago I did a ceremony to become one with trees. The first phase of the ceremony involved going deep within the woods and listening to the wind in the trees to discern which one was to be my sire. I found her, a maple, near a stream, standing alone on a moss covered berm, the wind whispering a soft serenade through her branches.
I set my pouch down that was filled with the tools I would need to accomplish the ceremony and then I undressed. In order to become like a tree one must cast off all the encumbrances of the human body. I was first to become naked as a tree, my skin becoming my bark.
The next step was to gather some of her fallen branches that proved easy since there was one leaning against her trunk. I broke it into tiny pieces making a little stack of them within reach of the tree. Then I dug a hole at her base with a knife from my pouch just large enough for my feet to fit into, stepped into it and placed my arms around her in a hug. We stayed like that until I could feel her life force and she mine. I curled my toes into the soft earth at her feet. I felt a hum of life emanating through her bark, entering my heart, climbing up through my feet, a slow steady hymn of life and love as I asked her permission to become one with her spirit. A breeze sauntered through her branches, I looked up, she nodded her assent and a trickle of affection joined her hum of life entering my body. I thanked her, stepped out of the hole and knelt at her feet to begin the final phase of the ceremony.
Into the hole I placed a drop of my blood and the tiniest pieces of her fallen branch, lit them with a match – the only fuel allowed in the ceremony – and fanned them with my breath until the flames took hold. Then I began feeding the fire while humming a tune, whatever came into my mind, a love song to this beautiful tree person. All of the wood I had piled up was fed to the fire and burned to ash. Then I stood and stepped back into the hole while it was still warm from the fire. The ashes from her spent and burned body covered my feet, squeezed between my toes and I felt the warmth of them like the caress of a lover. I put my arms around her again and we stood there, a single entity bound by blood and fire, standing together between Earth and Sky.
Since that day my love and connection to trees has grown to nearly obsessive proportions. At the time of the ceremony I lived in town with a few trees in my yard. Now I live in the woods surrounded by them. I hug at least one tree daily, talk to them as often as possible and plant more of them yearly. But the most interesting thing that happened to me after the ceremony was the overwhelming desire in the spring to drink the sap of the maple tree. The desire is so strong I have begun to feel like the vampire that is in need of the life blood of another human being in order to continue living. But in this case it is the craving of a human who has become part tree by ceremonial transmission needing a yearly transfusion in order for that element to stay alive in her. When the craving first started a neighbor was tapping trees in his yard to make maple syrup and would share some sap with me. Now I have my own trees.
I tapped two trees a couple days ago, with their permission, of course, and today I collected two gallons of clear, sweet liquid, the blood of the maple tree, my friend, sister, lover. She freely gives me her life blood so that I may continue to nurture my tree self. I drink and feel renewed.
I am sure a psychoanalyst could have a field day with this situation but I know what I am. I know that one day a long time ago a tree sired me and made me one of Them and now I am a tree vampire. I can’t help myself, I must feed to stay alive, to continue being one with the trees.

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Winter Solstice Chant

Solstice fire

burning bright

Give us back

the sun’s pure light

Smoke and ashes

taking flight

Turn the wheel

and make it right

Yuletide blessing

flames of might

Dance with us

this Solstice night.fire 1

 

Seeds

Seeds. Those wonderful tiny creatures that have the ability to pull my tired old bones up and out the door each spring to start life anew.

The Wheel of the Year has finally turned again and I bid the death of winter goodbye and welcome the rebirth of spring. Every year around this time I get into a manic state about growing things. I dig through containers that I’ve saved that seem ideal seed starting receptacles, fill them with soil and begin tenderly dropping all manor of seeds onto their surfaces. My house becomes a greenhouse and I become giddy with anticipation.

This year is a little different in that it is my first spring in a new place surrounded by woods instead of streets and houses. The fallow land encircling me calls me to fill it with herbs, flowers, vegetables and fruit. My mind is reeling with the possibilities around me! This little piece of earth I’ve been granted has become my new canvas, fresh, clean and empty, waiting to be filled. The seeds in those containers waiting to push their way up through the dark earth have become the paint that my hands, the brushes, will use to create a lush exhibition for the woodland spectators around me. New earthy faerie acquaintances have been slowly manifesting themselves to me and seem eager to discover what this mortal will help to give birth to on this land they have nurtured. In a way this is a new beginning for them as well as myself. I will introduce them to new plants with colors and textures they may never have seen before as well as the new faerie beings that most definitely will accompany the new residents. It will be a delicate state of affairs as the old native inhabitants strive to welcome the new teaching them the ways of the woodland as they are teaching me as well.

Now that the seeds are all nestled in their dark beds and I wait to see their tiny heads pop out of the earth I am reminded of the metaphor of the seed that speaks of the circle of life and new beginnings. Just as death is not the end of life so the seed that dropped off the dead plant was not its end. This tiny bit of life, the essence of the plant, holds the life force that now is pushing up through the darkness, going toward the light, knowing that when it reaches it a new life will begin.

One day I will be that seed…again.

 

faerie - For Her Wand - light

 

The Well Traveled Road

Grief is a road we all must travel during our stay on this earth plane. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your position in the world is, you will know this heavy grey cloud that sits upon your chest trying to steal the air from it. I am walking that path at the moment. I have been on this road many times in my life and each time I learn something new about its trail of sorrow. Each time I grow a little closer to understanding how to cope with it.

My first venture onto this road was when I was 12 years old and my maternal grandfather died. I wasn’t allowed to go to the funeral because my parents thought I was too young and they didn’t want me to remember him that way. What I do remember was being very upset and crying more than I probably would have had I been allowed to go. My memories of that time are mostly of the sorrow my mother was experiencing for what seemed like years, a sorrow that I felt as well, being a young empath, something I would not know anything about until I was much older.

The road did not call to me again for many years but when it finally did it exploded into my life with four deaths within three years. I walked into the deepest parts of the forest of grief with no one to hold my hand. The path was winding, dark and fog covered. I tripped on many holes and got snagged by twisted vines that reached up and grabbed my ankles. The sound of this grief was like a tornado rushing above the trees in a deafening roar threatening to suck me up into its empty vortex. There were times when I feared I would never find my way out. It was during this walk that I was made aware of the powers that come from those who have passed through the veil of death. I discovered that they can ease our pain if we will let them. It was during this time that I also discovered I was a medium although I never called it that until much later. To me it was just simply me talking to them and them talking back. They showed me the way out of that darkest part of the forest into a clearing where the road became straighter and smoother and although it would take quite a few years before the end could be reached, I never felt alone after that.

Good planning always makes for a better journey. So when it was clearly obvious that my dad was nearing the end of his stay here on the physical plane, I began preparing for another sojourn into that forest upon the road of grief. My past experiences were such that I had felt shoved forcefully onto it. This time I wanted to step softly onto it of my own free will. My ancestors and Fae guides from the other side helped by giving me signs and staying close enough that I knew it was imminent. All my preparations were put to the test a week ago when my sweet father finally stepped into the other world.

This time I stepped onto the road of my own volition knowing full well that what lay ahead of me was still just as uncertain as it ever was but at least this time I am somewhat prepared. My backpack is filled with loving friends, family and guides, long walks by the lake and reams of poetry written in the dark of night by candlelight. My hands are being held by the spirit guides I have grown to love and depend on and the faeries are scouting ahead to warn of any holes and or vines in the path ahead. The heavy grey cloud is still sitting on my chest but I have learned a different way of breathing through this grief so that its power to steal my breath has greatly diminished. And as an empath I have learned how to put the proper shields up so that I don’t have to feel everyone else’s grief as well as my own during this time of family mourning.

I know that the path ahead is long and may wind into places yet unknown but I also know that there is an end. One day I will awake to find the sky a little brighter, the breeze a little softer and my mind a little lighter. I know because I have walked this road before and shall walk it again but I will never walk it alone. My guides and ancestors, including my dad, walk with me.

faerie - Contemplation