How many of us can say that we are intimately connected to the place we live in?
How often do we stop to engage with the delicate movements of a nearby tree?
When did we last notice a certain intangible feeling coming towards us from the hill across our road?
From the cycles of tides to the sinusoidal flow of a river, from the diurnal beat of light and dark to the annual input of the seasons, the Earth Speaks to us in rhythms and patterns that entice us into a relationship with our environment. Soil types, minerals, native plants and animals, all in their own unique way, contribute to the weaving of a sense of place. By cultivating an awareness of these sensual queues, we come into sacred communication with the creative forces that make up the places we inhabit. Participation in this ever flowing flux is a creative act, that asks us to slow down, pay attention, listen and respond.
Shamans have always understood that nature is the visible face of spirit, that shamanic work is about opening portals between the eternal realm of the sacred and the earthbound world of everyday reality, that material reality is maintained and revitalised in close cooperation with beings and processes in other realms. Perceptions of these subtle layers of a place are best conveyed through the metaphor and emotion that these natural phenomena evoke. It is a language that our natural senses speak fluently, and we would be wise to remember that we are part of the earth's ongoing conversation, taking part in her multiple forms of expression. When we look 'with our eyes closed', 'stepping outside space and time’ we may well catch a glimpse of archetypal stories active in the landscape.
Cultivating this kind of attention, will help draw into our own thinking the wisdom, trust and cooperation that exist in the natural world.
With my background in modern geomancy and shamanism, I became interested in how human beings shape the places they inhabit and how in turn the land shapes their culture. This reciprocal relationship is further enhanced when we entertain the idea that we play a part in the world's imagination, the Anima Mundi. If you would like to experience and explore some of these concepts, I offer a variety of place related courses and journeys / click on the links to learn more:
Life in the Middle East - An online biographical storytelling course exploring life in the middle East. Open to people from all Middle Eastern countries, or others who have a special relationship to it.
The Poetics of Craft - A journey to meet Amazigh weavers in Sefrou, Morrocco, and learn about their stories and craft.
Personal mentoring - online one on one sessions where storytellers, artists and creative activists working with any medium can engage with me and receive mentoring to unlock stories, explore their work in relation to place and creative placemaking. Book a free 15 minute session to talk your ideas over and explore how we can work together.