First of all, I want my readers to know that I am going to be taking a short sabbatical for the next couple of weeks and will be returning to my regularly scheduled blog on 8 July. I have the opportunity to go to Japan and I am seizing the day with hopes, amongst other things, of returning with some interesting blog material and, if I am feeling really daring, I may actually try to post some pictures.
As preparation for my journey, I have been reading on Shinto but I have also been taking a good look at Orion Foxwood’s The Tree of Enchantment: Ancient Wisdom and Magical Practices of the Faery Tradition. I am about halfway through the book at this writing and have stopped for some time to begin incorporating some of the exercises into my daily practice. I am already seeing results from this change – something I may discuss more at a later date.
One of my favorite quotes from the book so far is:
The distinctive qualities of Faery Seership are grounded in an understanding that being spiritual is about seeking your place and role in the spirit world.
Orion Foxwood. Tree of Enchantment: Ancient Wisdom and Magic Practices of the Faery Tradition (Kindle Locations 474-475). Kindle Edition.
I have been struggling for some time to actually articulate this thought in my own life. For many moons, I had thought of spirituality as something “out there” that I had to seek and which slipped through my fingers like an ephemeral mist that I just could not quite get a handle on. I thought that if I could just attach myself to the right Power I would begin to feel that sense of connection that the shaman and mages and mystics talked about. While I have always been sensitive to the spirit world, what I often call the Other World in these musings, it had never occurred to me that spirituality actually began with spirits. I thought of the beings that appeared to me either as nuisances (or worse, in some cases) or sources of information and/or power.
I was making the classic mistake of a human being raised in the Western Judeo-Christian paradigm or even in the scientist/materialist paradigms. In both ways of thinking, a human being is a separate entity, either a spirit striving to overcome its body and rise to heaven or a meat puppet whose consciousness arises simply as a byproduct of neuro-chemical processes. While I had experienced moments of connection with something Other, I had continued to think in terms of being a separate entity trying to tune in or establish a relationship with this Other World.
Reading Foxwood, I have finally found a model of the human soul complex that makes sense to me and is helping, slowly but surely, to erase that sense of separateness which has limited my spiritual quest for so long. In the Faery tradition as Mr. Foxwood interprets it, we have a spirit that is a part of the Creator (however that looks to the person) and a soul complex that he calls walkers. Those parts of our soul actually live in the three realms of the tradition and it is through attuning ourselves to the walkers and using those walkers as vehicles of transport and communication in the three worlds that we come into communion with the multitudinous beings in those states of being.
It is through this communication and the building of relationships in the three realms that we come into closer attunement with the Sacred Land on which we live and begin to understand our place in this realms. This approach to spirituality is probably not going to work well for everyone but it seems to be working quite well for me and I urge anyone interested in earth based spiritual practice to take a hard look at The Tree of Enchantment and, as a prelude, Mr. Foxwood’s other book The Faery Teachings. I can honestly say that I have learned more about establishing an earth based spiritual practice from these two books than I have from a host of other tomes I have read in the past.
I’ll stop here and pick up on the other side on 08 July. May everyone have a joyous Summer Solstice and, for my readers in the US and Canada, enjoy your respective independence celebrations. Take care all and “see” you soon.