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Finding the center of the center

Experiencing a connection with "Nature" as a way to mirror our mental processes and emotional entanglement, can provide a deep and clear reflection that is always profoundly healing. Often it allows us to soften our bodies and allow the most painful experiences of life to be held in a broader (wiser) container.

The traditional ways of connection were first through a way of life that was/is intimately recognizing and honoring our interdependence with the living systems around us. A recognition that life itself has an innate wisdom and that reflecting our limited views with the multi-faceted views of the natural world helps us gather missing pieces in our understanding of who we are.

Across the world, humans have nurtured that connection for millennia until "outside Gods" were imposed and deprived us of that direct experience of connection. Rite of passages, ceremonies, dietas, plant medicines, rituals, were (or are still) present in every culture. They gave birth to teachers, mystics, seers, visionaries, poets, herbalists, witches, wizards, druids, shamans, alchemists what we can call "medicine people" able to connect with the natural world and unseen world and bring that knowledge back to the community for healing and wisdom.

Plant diets (dieta) are one very ancient ways to heal, learn and transform our understanding of self. There are many forms of them in many traditions but often it consists to eat, pray and commune in silence with a specific plant, reducing the noises of the outside world, so the specific voice of that plant can be heard, felt, and integrated.

One of the elements I really honor in that specific work is that it invites often plants that are "less loud" at first than the commonly known entheogenic/psychoactive plants. In a world overwhelmed by information and opinions, sitting in a silent space with a plant for days or weeks, attune us to the settle yet profound visions any plant is willing to offer when honored, respected, and understood.

I also find it an antidote to the constant thirst for intense visionary and loud experiences in spiritual practices that are only here to match the loud world or feed our wounds that we are not gifted, that we cannot hear plants / spirit, or that special skills are required to do so. It is also an antidote to seek working with far away plants and invites us to return to our garden, our land, our forest, to meet the beings that live right there and are as powerful as any others.

In fact, I find those more gentle ways radically transformative because they are a counter-culture to the colonized world, a more feminine way to access wisdom, and require a true humbling of self with no access to "escape" nor the possibility to fight our way out. We have to sit, in silence, and dive so deeply into our bodies that nothing buried there is left unseen, but yet we are doing it without giving our power away to another "loud external force" that mimics the more patriarchal ways we are used to.

We are recovering our own power. Our capacity to be in our bodies. Our capacity to sit with the internal turmoil and discomfort. Our listening capacity naturally arises. And our remembering of those ancient/native/pagan ways of direct experience of Nature and the living Spirit it carries, we carry.

I rarely share about my experiences or learning in those sacred spaces as I consider that what we receive is most often for our own ears and learning. Yet sometimes some wisdom seems to whisper its desire to be shared. It might resonate for some. Not for others.

I recently did a few weeks' diet and one of the plant/tree I worked with was the Oak tree that I sat with, in that ceremonial process for a full week. Little sleep, fasting, and silence for a week.

Oak came to me the 2nd night. He appeared in a "daydream" state as an old druid. Sitting on the land. He was very old, and yet his energy was sparkling, strong, calm, and grounded. And he said...

"I am the old Druid of the Forest. They (plants, animals, people) come to me for wisdom. I have seen so much in my life. I am deeply grounded, rooted in the Earth. My branches reach into the sky and connect to the star beings. Even in my old age, I am can give in abundance, without ever depleting my energy, as I do not give "from me" but through me.".

I could understand why he only gives acorns on some big years and not every year. Why he was revered as such a sacred tree. And how he connects to his wisdom, why he is the elder of the forest.

I had no idea at the time of the origin of the word "Druid". The name "Druid" is a combination of the Greek word "Drus" and the Phoenician word "vid". "Drus" meaning "of the Oak", "vid" meaning one who "sees" (as in "seeing" the Future).

That is how wisdom is remembered, heard, and seen. The Oak was teaching me what sage knew and had heard 1000s of years ago.

So I will hopefully leave you here inspired or at least intrigued and curious, to explore those practices, and to soften the Heart to be able to receive them. And share with you a poem that the Oak gifted me that week. May it connect to the center of your center.

"Finding the Center of the Center"

Finding the center of the center

Where God and all creation lives

Beyond right or wrong, beyond light or dark

No more pull into the past, nostalgia, or remorse

No more pull into the future, expectations, or fears

Finding the center of the center

Where God and all creation lives

In the trunk of the tree, between roots and branches

In the essence of me where river flow and stars shine

That pause between the breaths

Finding the center of the center

Where God and all creation lives

Beyond knowing or not knowing

Beyond transcendence or enlightenment

No more masculine or feminine

No more doing or being

Finding the center of the center

Where God and all creation lives

With gratitude,

Angell Deer

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