Most Everyone Is Mad Here

•June 3, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Most everyone’s mad here
Lewis Caroll

The Green Woman offers some advice about how to nurture myself.

Everything had been going so well in the glade. It had been a joy to watch the bears dance and when I made a declaration and actually made a decision, Indi was so pleased that he introduced me to the Green Woman who was sitting nearby.

I was captivated by this beautiful woman wearing a cloak of Ivy and felt a glow of pleasure when, in response to her asking me what I needed to learn, I shared my desire to strengthen my connection with nature spirits and bask in the greening I felt was happening as I explored the Enchanted Forest.

She suggested that I might begin by tuning into the subtle energy of a nearby tree or plant. She suggested that I use my palms and hold the intention of feeling the energy field around it. She said that as I really felt these things I would  gain another sense of them. She also told me that I needed to take notice of how I was feeling and to note any shifts when I became consciously aware of what it was radiating from the tree or plant.

Excited I turned to suitcase to share this and her other suggestion that I safely sunbathe in the sun and take the time to feel nature’s pulse. I told him how she had reminded me that the sun provides Vitamin D – proof again of nature’s healing abilities!

Imagine my surprise when the suitcase looked me up and down and told me that I was very naive to think that everyone, including the Green Woman, was a friend whom I could trust and that it was embarrassed by my Pollyanna optimism.

Once upon a time I would have accepted such a tirade and even agreed that I was being a bit naive but here in the enchanted forest I was incensed by way in which suitcase was, like so many I have known, stripping away any sense of joy.

“Well! I don’t much care for your opinion” I snapped and, stamping my feet like a child I simply said “Be off with you! I don’t need to put up with your snide, carping negativity!”

Council of the Animals

No sooner had I stamped my feet than a Raven appeared carrying a message from non other than the Council of Animals requesting our immediate attendance at a hearing.

As we looked at the message it did occur to me that the Green Woman may have overheard Suitcase and reported both of us but the Raven insisted we come immediately so we dutifully gathered ourselves together and meekly followed the bird.

Now I am not sure how anyone else would respond but I have to say I was, quite literally, shaking in my shoes as we entered the council room and were greeted by this formidable group of forest council members. For his part my suitcase had adopted a subservient pose and was not nudging me, whispering or making any smart comments. Clearly he grasped the gravity of the situation.

After handing me a deck of Forest cards to guide me and assist our capacity to effectively communicate, one by one the members of the Council interrogated me! To learn about what transpired at this meeting you will find my notes here.

It was pretty intense and Suitcase and I have both needed to recover. Seeing me in dire need of restorative time a colony of rabbits offered us sanctuary. So for now Suitcase and I have bunkered down with them, in their warren and, as they used to say back in the 60’s, we are “having a Bex and a lie down”. Well! Actually! I am sure you will be pleased to hear the the rabbits have not resorted to dispensing pharmaceuticals! Being blanketed with love is more than enough at the moment.

Sometimes it seems as if life is passing us by. When we are children, time ambles by, with endless car journeys and summer holidays which seem to last forever. Since lockdown time has passed differently. It feels like we have been in this suspended state for a very long time.

Time has passed in the Warren. Days seem to have blurred and if I am honest I cannot tell you what we have done while we have been here. I know the rabbits have not drugged me but since the Council of the Animals I have felt as though I have been drugged – caught in bright lights. It is a bit like those myths you read where people think they have only been gone for a day and it turns out that they have been away for years. In this case it feels like it has been years when in reality, Suitcase and I have only been in the Warren for a relatively short amount of time.

Anyway, we were eating breakfast in our room when a beautifully groomed young buck came rushing in with an urgent message from non other than the Enchanteur inviting us to come to his home. “Magic is afoot” gasped the buck. “The Enchanteur does not meet with many humans who come into the forest” he added.

“I know” I stuttered, my heart pounding. “It really is a privilege to granted audience with him”. The Enchanteur observes everything that happens and indeed, he influences everything, brings elements together and sets things in motion. He is far seeing when it comes to adventures and there is much I can learn from him.

I was surprised to turn and find Suitcase busily packing up. He was silent and certainly wasn’t dispensing advice about how I should behave. Instead it was very focused, carefully packing things into its many compartments. Clearly this creature knew that we needed to hasten and get ourselves organised pronto.

For my part I took the darning spool that had belonged to the Grandmother I never knew, turned it over and over, invoking her to come and be with me. Reminded of the grounding practices I had been encouraged to use I spent time drawing in deep breaths and rather noisily expelled the air again. Suitcase didn’t seem surprised or annoyed. He just went on quietly packing the things that he felt we’re going to need if we were to stay in this forest for any length of time.

I calmed when I became aware of my grandmother’s presence and knew that someone had my back.

Finally we were ready to follow the young buck along winding pathways that wended their way deep into the forest. Both Suitcase and I were aware that many eyes were watching us. As we entered a clearing and saw the humble cabin in the distance I mentally planned that when asked where I was from I would simply say that I had come from Australia which has been in lockdown for a couple of months.

It was Suitcase who pointed towards a nearby glade and signalled that the Enchanteur was waiting for me to follow. I may not be the brightest light in the chandelier and not always so quick on the uptake but even I knew that this magical being had changed shape and was beckoning me to follow.

After sprinkling us both with invisibility dust the White Stag led me to a nearby home and we peered through the window. He asked quite simply “Is this what you have been searching for?”


When I Get Home I Will Write A Book

•June 3, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Before I could scratch my nose, let alone scratch the surface and gauge how this witch would react to my presence, the quiet mood of the forest shifted, subtly at first and then with increasing tension. It sounded like a goods train was approaching. The sound of the wind dancing in nearby treetops grew louder and louder and before I could blink the suitcase and I found ourselves being carried off by the Faery wind. As we swirled and flew across the treetops it reminded me of a hot air balloon ride I had in Cappadocia back in 2010. But my reverie was jolted as we landed by a seemingly abandoned home. I cannot deny that this was not the kind of virtual retreat I had in mind when I set out, and my suitcase was frantically rattling and shaking its wheels, eager to find a way to somewhere or someone more welcoming.

I was about to speak sternly and tell my suitcase to get a grip when it flew open and, with all the ceremony of a dramatic actor, produced a red cape and told me I needed to put it on now. My suitcase went on to wax lyrical and tell me the story of a young girl who, of her own volition, walked into a vast and fearsome forest wearing a crimson cloak to make herself visible.

I cannot deny that I was more than a little stunned by my suitcase’s capacity to draw on old fairy stories but complied and put on the cape. Moreover, I doubt that I need to tell you that I was  beyond astonished when I realised that a great wolf had been watching us and that, given that I am seventy this year, I was now wearing a white dress and had clearly assumed the appearance of a young maiden. The wolf came over, gently licked my hand and whispered that he would never betray my trust. I assured him that just as I have never tried to tame my beloved Finnish Lapphaunds, I would love him for his wild self and learn more about my wilder self. My trip might have ended here and the magical wolf and I might have lived out our lives, together, but thanks to the witch who had actually orchestrated all of this, we both knew that my journey was just beginning.

They might be easing lockdown in order to fire up the economy again, but the witch who I first met, the suitcase and I all knew we were not going back to the so called normal life in any hurry. I needed to keep moving on. As I bid farewell to the wolf my suitcase drew my attention to the fact that a parliament of owls were zooming in towards us, giving a whole new meaning to the notion of ‘zooming’. It is well known, at least in some circles, that Owls do not carry trivial messages so we both jumped to attention. Things are certainly speeding up around here and I couldn’t help but wonder who has sent these tawny creatures. Suitcase pokes me and shoves a crystal in my hand to gift the leader and show my gratitude. I do not recall packing crystals but decide that this is not the time to interrogate my suitcase about his sources.

Clearly the suitcase is a quick thinker who knows about protocols in this part of the world. The leader of the Owls accepts my gift and curtseys as if greeting a royal figure. He passes me a note from the Council of Animals inviting me to join their annual festivities in a nearby sacred glade. Suitcase and I look at one another in disbelief. “We would be honoured” I stutter touched that I am being welcomed to attend such a private ceremony. Over the years I have been privileged to be in the audience and watch ceremonial dances in a number of countries but, after being isolated for so long nothing compares to sitting amid a gathering of forest folk watching the bears dance. It is a joyful experience and I am overwhelmed with emotion. Suitcase observes tears welling and whips out a lace handkerchief for me but nothing can halt the flow of tears and my whole body convulses with emotion that I have so carefully controlled over recent months.

When I get home I will write a book about this place! Lewis Carol

There I was thinking I was working with just one Tarot Deck and then the Faeries Oracle muscled itself out of the suitcase and insisted on having a voice. “Forest! Fey folk! Of course I am supposed to be here” it declared, sounding decidedly miffed that I had not thought to bring it with me.

Seriously! When I get home again I really am going to have to write a book about being here in this Enchanted Forest. There I was, wiping tears away and gaining a modicum of self control when I became aware that a very odd fey spirit was sitting on my shoulder, rather noisily dithering, trying to decide whether to commit and connect with me. “But what if ….? he muttered rather loudly. “What if you don’t hear me? Should I? What if I don’t say something and you make the wrong decision? Oh bother! I do hate making decisions.”

“What the ….” I stopped myself and refrained from finishing with a inappropriate expletive and looked to my suitcase for some advice. But suitcase wasn’t having any of it either. “All up to you” was all he said, as if he had not been actively involved in decision making since our arrival. Clearly I am going to have to be decisive, make up my mind and commit to this adventure. So I promptly pulled out my iPhone, which still has wifi here and messaged another Tarot Traveller suggesting I publish her work. I do want to immerse myself in this world. Suitcase and Indi spontaneously clapped and within moments all the Forest Folk were applauding loudly. “It really would be nice if something made sense for a change”

Encounter with a Shapeshifting Wizard

•June 3, 2020 • Leave a Comment

We waited and waited and waited some more. You could have literally blown me over with a feather when a witch came home after casting her power spells deep in the forest. She took one look at me and my suitcase and said “Hah! A refugee from planet earth”!

Now you have to understand, I have read the Baba Yaga story and I know to tread carefully when you meet people like this – especially when dusk is settling over the forest and you are sitting on a suitcase outside their house.

I figured that initially I would let my suitcase advise me about how best to introduce myself. Being a born comic the suitcase reminded me of the Gruen segment about ‘what would Putin do”? I gave the suitcase a withering look, but then a lightbulb flashed and I understood. I will whip out my deck and ask one of the Tarot cards to step up and offer some advice.

Challenging circumstances such as sitting on a strangers doorstep can be great teachers. It would be all too easy to make assumptions about this woman. There’s a whole complex world happening under surfaces, and if I am not wise I might not get a glimpse into what is on offer here. Perhaps if I scratch below the surface I will see more.

It was hard to keep my eyeballs in place when the Keeper of Visions, a shapeshifting wizard embodying ancient salmon wisdom responded. He understood my plight but only said “look below the surface” before vanishing again.

Challenging circumstances such as sitting on a strangers doorstep can be great teachers. It would be all too easy to make assumptions about this woman. There’s a whole complex world happening under surfaces, and if I am not wise I might not get a glimpse into what is on offer here. Perhaps if I scratch below the surface I will see more.

Arriving in the Forest

•June 3, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Deck Used:
‘Your Path Through the Enchanted Forest’ by Lunaea Weatherstone:
Art by Meraylah Allwood

When my suitcase and I slipped through the portal, into the Forest of Enchantments, we found ourselves in a glade and low and behold, there was a gingerbread house. Now I don’t know about you but I am too old a crone to fall for eating any of this house or going inside, uninvited. So I perched myself on the suitcase, who groaned and moaned a lot about my weight, and decided to wait till the occupant returned.
We waited and waited and waited some more. You could have literally blown me over with a feather when a witch came home after casting her power spells deep in the forest. She took one look at me and my suitcase and said “Hah! A refugee from planet earth”!

The White Hart Beckons Me

•December 2, 2019 • Leave a Comment

I couldn’t contrive this if I tried. As I stepped through the portal, after spending time revisioning this blog, a blog that has lain idle for so many years, I shuffled my deck and out popped the White Hart. Freaking unbelievable!

Weatherstone says that ‘when you see a pure white deer, you are being called to follow it, and only the foolish would ignore such a beckoning’. There is no way that I can ignore this glorious creature who is looking at me in the way my Finnish Lapphaund looks at me when he is wanting to go for a walk.

This White Hart is opening a portal into the wild and my wild heart, the heart that led travellers on journeys in the magical and mysterious Lemuria all those years ago, responds immediately.

I am more than willing to trust this creature and step through the swirling mist into a realm of apple, oak, ash, fir, willow, holly and hazel. Indeed, I have my Celtic Tree Oracle packed in my bag because I know that it will help translate the whisperings of the trees that I encounter. I am also carrying  Brian Froud’s Faeries Oracles, the Wild Wood Tarot and my beloved copies of Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree series. As a child, I adored the Magic Faraway Tree and I credit Enid Blyton with nurturing my inner world.

When we travelled into Lemuria there were plenty of companions and we met some very interesting characters. I am ready to encounter whoever comes to welcome or challenge me.

A Travel Journal – In The Enchanted Forest

•December 2, 2019 • Leave a Comment

In the guidebook to Your Path Through the Enchanted Forest, Lunea Weatherstone offers a spread entitled Your Day in the Forest. This is a one card spread which involves drawing a daily card. Weatherstone says that many experienced Tarot Readers make this a daily practice. She goes on to suggest that you look carefully at the card either when you pick it up or later in the day and says that this facilitates different ways of seeing and understanding the card.

However, it was her suggestion of keeping a kind of ‘travel journal’ which captured my imagination. Between 2000 and 2010 I led travellers through the portal into the world of Lemuria. It was a magical time which changed all our lives. The Soul Food Cafe, which was the portal into this world is archived now but our journeys are preserved thanks to the Way Back Machine.

This time, my inner child and I are travelling with the faithful donkey and raven, two companions who have been by my side for many years. I have Lunea Weatherstone’s Tarot, along with Brian Froud’s Faerie Oracle cards and the Wild Wood Tarot packed in my bag to help interpret messages and provide guidance as we travel.