A faery-based awareness exercise

The Faery suggest:

Go out into a garden, and take your shoes off. Feel the texture of the ground. Squat down and place your hands in the dirt, if you can. Feel the quality of it. Is it moist? Dry? Hard? Soft? Crumbly? Sticky? What does it smell like? Taste it, if you dare, just a little. Is it sharp? Sweet?

Are there any water features? A pond, a stream, a fountain, a birdbath? Go touch the water. Is it warm? Cool? What does it smell like? Is it moving or still? Is there anything visible living in it?

What plants grow here, in this garden? What shape are the leaves? What are the textures? Are things plump or flat? Are there flowers? What are the scents of the plants, not just the flowers, but the leaves. How do the plants move? What shapes do they grow in? How many of them can you name? What would you guess, if you do not know, their medicinal properties would be?

Take a deep breath. Feel the air filling your lungs. Is it cool? Hot? What does it smell like? What does it taste like? Is it dry or humid? Does it feel sharp or smooth? Is there a breeze? What direction is it coming from? Is it a different temperature than the air?

Are there insects? What kind? What are they doing? Are they moving quickly or slowly? Do they stay close to the ground or fly up high? What sound do they make?

Speaking of sound, what sounds do you hear, out in this garden? Are there man made sounds as well as the sounds of nature? Is there a rhythm or a song to the noise as a whole? Is there bird song? Crickets? Bees? Frogs? Is the sound different when you move versus when you stand still?

Look up at the sky. Are there clouds? Blue sky? Haze or maybe even smog? Where in the sky is the sun? What color is the sky? Can you see the moon as well? Are there birds flying? Can you name them? Are they raptors? Carrion eaters? Birds that eat bugs in trees? Fruit eaters? Birds that go after ground insects? What colors are they? What’s their wingspan? Do they fly together or alone? Do they glide lazily on the currents or head purposely in a direction? Can you feel the sun on your skin, warming you?

This is awareness of the natural world. This is the easiest way to start to heal the disconnect that we have created with our power lines and our concrete and our steel. You should take 5 minutes out of every day to do this, to just be and reconnect with nature. Notice how your body feels when you do this? Do things feel slower or faster for you. Do you move deliberately or do you feel like you need to rush through the process?

Remember that your resistance, your density, is going to try to dissuade you from this process. Make a commitment to stay with the experience, to the best of your ability, despite any internal or external discomfort that arises. Sometimes it helps to imagine that you are breaking through the soles of your feet, releasing any pain or anxiety into the ground. Don’t let your resistance tell you this is a bad idea, that you might poison or otherwise harm the earth – is Nature not the great alchemist, turning carbon dioxide into oxygen, water into clouds, and trash into nutrients for the plants? Surely Nature can transmute your pain and anxiety into something more useful.

If you are interested in more of this, please join my monthly Faery Shamanism workshop on the first Sunday of the month, August through December.

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