Story planet

Posted on Jul 12, 2017 in Book reviews, Healing, Spiritual living

Story planetI’ve written before about my early days of spirituality, when I really didn’t want to be grounded in my body. It felt too heavy and dense, too problematic and painful for this being who just wanted to float and fly in the light without the perceived weight of physicality and form. As a child, one of my main “escapes” was books – I loved and read widely and avidly, with a special passion for history, myth, legend and fantasy-based stories.

What I know now, as a much older, wiser and happily-earthed adult, is that there was deep wisdom in this reading that I didn’t fully understand at the time. Today, I’m a huge fan of writers like Martin Shaw and Sharon Blackie who speak so eloquently of connecting to the land through the myths and folklore associated with the area where you live, to enhance and inform your own deep dive into personal encounters with the natural world around you.

As a child I must have known the truth of this on a soul level, because recently I had one of those moments of crystal clear realisation that in my youth I had always been attempting to connect to the earth in this way. My Higher Self knew that story and myth could help me find my own place and occupy comfortably my own space in an earthly landscape.

I was lucky as a child that my parents always took us on a two week annual holiday, and we visited some beautiful places around the UK. Wales was a frequent favourite, the Lake District, Cornwall….it’s easy to see how these early experiences have influenced my current lifestyle choices! I remember my Mum and I had a tradition of seeking out a novel to read (or preferably a series that would keep insatiable readers satisfied through the whole two weeks) that was set in the place where we were holidaying. Our choices were almost always historical, with fictional stories woven imaginatively around a foundation of real events and situations. They featured glorious descriptions of the local landmarks and geographical features, which added to our joy and interest when we visited them in reality ourselves – almost like greeting an old friend.

I continued this reading habit into my adult wanderings too, expanding my explorations into local legend, myth and folklore, as I felt instinctively it attuned me to the frequency of a place and the people who lived there both now and in the past. Ultimately, I know that these stories helped me to find my own belonging to the earth, and to be comfortable with that after years of wanting to escape into the lighter realms of spirit. Fairy tale and folklore, of course, speak of the proximity and interconnectedness of the other realms with the everyday world, and advise being fully awake to and honouring the natural kingdom and landscape around us so that we can cross back and forth between these realms – to their mutual benefit. Myth and story roots enchantment and magic into the land for us, or is it that the land germinates myth and story in our consciousness? Either way, and I feel it’s both, they encouraged and enabled me to make that spiritual link with the natural, physical world and my present incarnation. It was a godsend, literally, for this starseed soul who needed a sympathetic stepping stone to fully ground into form and physicality.

Anthropologist Keith Basso spent years studying the Western Apache people of North America, which led to him writing the book Wisdom Sits in Places. He says, “The past lies embedded in features of the earth … which together endow their lands with multiple forms of significance that reach into their lives and shape the ways they think. Knowledge of places is therefore closely linked to knowledge of the self, to grasping one’s position in the larger scheme of things, including one’s own community, and to securing a confident sense of who one is as a person.”

This has certainly been my experience, and confirms my tried and tested belief that we cannot separate ourselves from our natural environment if we wish to live a healthy and balanced life. The key to our continued existence and ascent is to see and know the earth and ourselves as one body, engaged in a continual exchange of love, power and wisdom. In her Pleiadian series, Barbara Marciniak refers to the earth as a living library. That resonates and appeals to the book-loving child that is still strong in me. So I would encourage you to renew your library card, venture among the stunning, knowledge-laden shelves of Gaia and start borrowing!

Here’s a list of some of my travel reads through youth and adulthood, that contributed to weaving me into the web of life wherever I was. Perhaps they can inspire you to do the same:

Cornwall: the Poldark series by Winston Graham (now with the added advantage of picturing Aidan Turner as you read!)
The Lake District: The Herries Chronicles by Hugh Walpole
Wales: Sharon Penman’s Here Be Dragons (first in a trilogy of Llewellyn novels), The Mabinogion translated by Charlotte Guest
Dorset: All the Thomas Hardy novels
Lancashire: Mist Over Pendle by Robert Neill
Ireland: Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry by W.B.Yeats
Brittany: Folk Tales of Brittany by Elsie Masson
Wiltshire: The epic novel Sarum by Edward Rutherford

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Semele Xerri

© Semele Xerri is a psychic intuitive guide, healer, animal communicator, and Reiki Master Teacher. To find out more about her and her services, go to her Work with me page.

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