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This is actually a reprint from my old blog which can be found at Sasquatch Jones. I am sharing here to participate in the Strategic Sorcery Blog Hop about magic of place. I no longer live here, but the lessons learned will stay with me a lifetime and have established a template for further work with the spirits of place. Enjoy.
I ask again, the answer is the same.
I have lived on this land for eight years now, but it only began to speak to me about two and a half years ago. This place, is only my interpretation of the vibratory sensation that pulses through me from the ground. The first time it spoke to me I was naïve enough to believe that I understood. Days later I went to talk to the land again, but at first I thought I misunderstood.
This time the tone was different, yet still familiar. At last I thought I understood, I was in a different place so that would account for the difference. I could have not been more wrong. The next weekend I returned to my original spot and began again to speak with this place, again it was different but somehow the same . Over a period of months I came to realize some very special things about this place.
First lesson I learned was about temporal relationships. This came to light after conversations at different times of day. Time is as intrinsic as space to this place, time and space are not separate. This place was as much a time specific event as it was a space specific event. This wisdom has lead to major shifts in all of my relationships. Just as this place and all that inhabit it, including me, are corporeal and spiritual in nature, so too is all of Creation.
I began to discern two distinct vibratory sensations; like a sound that you hear with your bones. The low background drone that is always there I have come to call the spirit of the land. The tonal variations and differing energy frequencies I have begun to think of as the spirit of place. This place is both two distinct aspects, each unique in itself, yet completely inseparable. This undifferentiated duality encompassing the whole relates directly to the shamanic and Taoist worldview, there is no true “other”. We are all here together. This profound truth continues to reshape my vision of Universe.
“Yes, the long memory is the most radical idea in this country. It is the loss of that long memory which deprives our people of that connective flow of thoughts and events that clarifies our vision, not of where we’re going, but where we want to go.” Bruce “Utah” Phillips 1935 – 2008
There are things that have been long forgotten, and they live on, in the land . The land does not forget, it remembers all that is, and how that shapes all that is becoming. The land has a long memory. Learning to speak to the land and more importantly to listen to the land will give one access to that long memory. This knowledge will open more doors than all the libraries in the world. I personally believe this due to the physical nature of this practice. You must actually go out into the world and interact with it to gain entry to this vault of knowledge.
There are places that sing with power and crowds flock to them. This is all well and good, but I know secret places, places that only those who know This Place can enter. There are many such places, but to find them one must develop a relationship with the land they belong to. When This Place first opened up and let me enter the imaginal realms, I was immediately cognizant of the similarities and differences between this realm and descriptions I had read of Fey realms.
Geography affects relation to spirit as much as time, whereas the Realm of Fey is universal it’s manifestation is definitely local. My wife has told me several times about the Sasquatch that live here. I will not go into a lengthy discussion about the physicality of these guardian spirits, I will simply say they are real in the same sense that all Faerie are. The first one I met resembled a bear in build, but its face was clearly Sasquatch, and it had horns like a goat. There are others here, hobs and gobs, but not quite like the ones you find in European lore. More earthy, and bony, like armadillos.Buffalo, and Bear, long gone are remembered and live on. Many of the people who once lived here, are still represented by their spirit, the land, like the body, never forgets.
There are others here too, angels, for lack of a better term. The form that appears to me most often, and seems to be THE Guardian Angel of this place, resembles a black-jaguar headed man, with enormous wings of rainbow colored flame. His presence is fiery and fierce like midsummer sun. He likes meat, and rainwater. This is a wild spirit, we never meet indoors. He belongs to the land. Others come and go, like Shadow Rabbit, and the Sun Sprites. None of this will make sense unless you have been to This Place, but the place you find will be different because it is not This Place.
The majority of my work over the last few years has been with the spirits of This Place and the land itself. When I said that I had spent a year and a day in the Earth, in many ways that was quite literal. My work could not happen and would be incomplete without this relationship. Everything is connected from the most mundane to the most fantastic. Here there are realms within realms all overlap and informing one another Holoarchically. This Place exists in many times and spaces and they are all This Place. This Place has a very long memory.
I have been lazy in the most productive way. My garden has lain fallow for two years now, I only garden in containers. My yard is a garden in the most magical of ways, wild edible, useful and magical plants have sprung up all over my yard. I have entered into a relationship with the land. I have studied its micro-biomes and it has given me instruction on how to be a better steward. A forest garden is my next major project with this land. I will mimic the natural processes at work at This Place and restore the land and garden it at the same time.
This land was once cleared for cattle grazing, for the last 30 years there has been a community here and people have reintroduced trees to the environment. This lead me to idea of working with land to create an environment that was managed and yet followed the natural variations and rhythms of This Place.The initial step involves letting the high side of the property return to woodland. The squirrels have been remarkably helpful, I now have a small forest of oaks, mesquite, and pecan, covering the front of the property. This transitions into grassland as the land slope towards an arroyo seco. It is important to keep this open because of flash floods.
More long range projects include improving the drainage in arroyo to minimize erosion. Farther down the line, a retention pond is in the works. The retention pond would be unnecessary if my neighbors had not filled the arroyo’s course through their property. It has created a far worse flooding problem. No worries, studying the lay of the land form my roof in winter I have discerned the natural water course and how to counteract my neighbors stupidity. Added bonus, more biodiversity, more complexity to This Place. We evolve together This Place. Much as the Basque is identified by his etxe, so to does This Place inform who I am. This Place and I work towards the same goals, and we both benefit from the relationship. This did not happen because I asked the land to bend to my will, no this happened because I asked the land what it willed and how I could help.
It is where I call home, and where home calls me.