Temple of the Tree

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The Path of Peh: A Journey of Devastation and Growth

Posted on November 4, 2017 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (0)

The Path of Peh: A Journey of Devastation and Growth

By Feywer Folevado ~ Temple of the Tree; Dated 17th Octobre, 2017

In my magical explorations of the Tree of Life, the pathworkings performed upon the Sephiroth and their paths led to a barrage of spiritual experiences and profundities that left impressions on my development. It is said that a very person themselves is the Tree of Life; and in that respect every tree is said to grow from its roots. Some magicians follow the concept of the Lightning Flash or Flaming Sword, which instead the Tree is manifested from above “downwards”. However the conceptual representation, it is important that every nook and cranny of these spiritual avenues are explored and insights be made therefrom.

A student naturally begins at the realm of Malkuth, and pathworks upwards. This gradual revelation of experiences are clothed in heavy symbolism which allow for a dynamic process of “give and take” with the sub-/un-conscious through what is seen and what happens subjectively with each participant. Thus there is deep personal attachment and meaning to every instance of the Tree as it is cultivated in the active imagination. Which subsequently (and should) allow for creative personal growth and understanding.

Along the paths which one must travel and experience, is the path named Peh. This Hebrew word means Mouth; “speech can be monologue or dialogue, condemnation or communication, a means of isolating or understanding, a barrier or a bridge.” It is a path that refers to our ability to using our “mouths” to form our thoughts into reality and effect things. Among probable dozens of other contexts in which this path could be seen and applied, here, using the ego to manipulate and change our environment and social surroundings. And that means a lot of learning.

The common theme in the path of Peh is the Tower. In the Tarot this can be visually depicted in symbolic form. More often than not will the image contain figures being thrown violently from the top of a tower, caused by a lightning strike above, the tower collapsing into ruin and rubble. The meaning behind this symbolism is allegorical. Every person themselves is a “tower”, and through the engagement of their egos in their everyday lives they build up their tower, brick by brick. This tower can become too tall, however, and the lightning represents an outside influence which demolishes the tower that has been built up. The lesson learned from this is that the tower can (and is always) built up once again. With careful consideration the tower will never become too tall (or remain too short) but be sturdy and have a good foundation and stable construction.

That which is crystalized is broken to reveal the gelatinous forms of the future.

But in this process of transformation, the journey of building up the tower – the moment when the lightning strikes becomes most critical. It does not matter what the lightning strike “is” if we consider it in a metaphorical sense, but what does matter, then, is the ability to handle the fall, the rubble, and rebuilding again. How one handles that is the test of it all! “Towers” come in all shapes and sizes.

It was a personal revelation for me. The way the tower crashed down was realized in my experiences with pathworking the Tree. After about a year of serious dedication and developments my progresses stagnated once I had reached the path of the Tower. I believed that the true growth of this path is experienced from action and reaction in the physical world which yields a transformation.

Sometimes a person has to break down in order to be rebuilt. And that doesn’t always mean it’s graceful or pretty. To illustrate, a petition to an angel (just as a demon) over fixing one’s life could result in losing a job, one’s current situation in life, a relationship and so on – and it may seem harsh or cruel – but in the end results for the better and indeed fixes something that had been in err. But it had been by reasons which one could not have actively understood or comprehended at the time, by future’s course had revealed their clues and apparent hidden plan.

Further on the Tree it can be seen that the path of Peh, the Tower, further transforms (after a passing through a sephirah) into another path: Nun, meaning Fish – referring to death.

But this death is naught physical. And that path leads to something else. It is a symbolic re-birth into that of equilibrium and harmony. Those dark times reveal a lightness; the jewel hidden in the mud. And it is something that can not merely be discovered in a pathworking meditation one Saturday afternoon; but is revealed conspicuously through the trials and tribulations of our day to day lives. What took months to a year to build up the lower triangle of the Tree, took three to four years to complete the path across it.

The Tree of Life is not something casually explored. It may take practitioners years or decades to wholly and completely establish their own respective inner Trees. It should be of no concern the advancement of others on their own; as slow progress is still progress! And the enrichment provided through the meaningful cultivation of those symbols a vehicle where our lives can be fully realized and understood in deeper, more profound fashion.

The Magic of Reality

Posted on September 27, 2017 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (0)

The Magic of Reality

A journey into a world of otherworldliness

By Feywer Folevado - 27th Septembre, 2017

My supernatural experiences as a child were numinous and genuine. Throughout my life the interplay of these forces which transcend our seemingly very physical world on my own journey through it have cropped up again and again, over and over. Periods which were dominated by the lack of active occupation of magical interest always seemed to let it creep back in, or somehow make itself apparent therein. This mystery has woven itself so deeply into the rich and lustrous fabric of my own life that I could not ignore it, and therefore included it in my life and everything I do.

The fanciful and story-like, fantasy depictions of magic fail to portray the accuracy of what this mysterious force’s limits are and can be. The one more understands magic from an honest and open perspective – one, that can only be experienced subjectively – the more one comes to understand the nature of reality. Disassociations, neurosis and unhealthy attachments (as well as detachments) lead one all but astray in conjunction with one’s understanding of magic and magical forces. A true grasp of magic is a true grasp of reality. Not an escape or retreat into a mystical otherworld or philosophical realm; there is a magic in reality, which is mimicked or clothed in symbols and fashion but is all too real, and like in my own experiences, could not be ignored.

A tendency to inaccurately align oneself with ideas of what magic is, fails to understand the true nature of its graspability and simplicity, with their overcomplications of understanding. The more magic permeates or trickles into the consciousness of the everyday lives of individuals the more casual it seems, as it becomes a part of their experience of life in itself. Certain things in our lives appear to be caused or as we think rooted in “supernatural” origins, by ways in which we could not understand or by which are beyond our current means of awareness of reality. There exists beyond our scope of senses levels of awareness and reality that we can not actively be made aware of, but by means of instruments such as microscopes we can bring [i]into[/i] our awareness what was once not. Or by means of a radio we can bring frequencies which are beyond our range of hearing into one that we can; and these instruments are ways in which we can come to understand our world in a more accurate or precise sense, as we make of it. To a person of the mediaeval era if we transported them to our current time they would perhaps think of a television as “magic”. But these things are simply beyond their scope of awareness, or conscious understanding of the world around themselves. The jokes goes, that the mediaeval clergy though of a calculator as witchcraft!

But this cannot account for the truly surreal and otherworldy experiences that we are subject to and ourselves experience. Things which affect our own reality but exist beyond it. We ourselves can also effect things which are beyond our own means, and change things. So the belief that we can manipulate reality is not a magical one at all, but one rooted in a very logical standpoint. Despite this, the prevalent encounters with these unexplained beings and worlds provide a glimpse into another reality – one away from our seemingly everyday lives.

Accounts have been had over the years over people who loose touch with themselves or the world around themselves in a psychosis or schizophrenic state. In a magical context this is extremely dangerous. What the magical realm provides in understanding and awareness, can often prove to be a toxic blend with one’s unchecked or unstable mentality. These sad occurrences let us look into the failings and problematic issues of a magical reality: it was not a reality that was anywhere “here”, but thought of as something separate, yet permeating or intruding. This imbalance is a psychological danger. A properly understood experience of an otherworldly force or realm allows for a more complete understanding of our own realities – not a dissociative split between ourselves or our surroundings. The world of magic becomes truly a properly understood reality. Perhaps of ones yet beyond us, but ones that we allow to complete our own worldviews and navigate in and change the world around ourselves.

And that mystery, of magic as reality, allows us to realize that our experiences of magic and the supernatural are very real, and provide us with a more whole view of how the world and our reality operates.

Between Spontaneousness and Deliberation in Magic

Posted on June 10, 2017 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Between Spontaneousness and Deliberation in Magic

By Feywer Folevado - 9th June, 2017

Magic spells and workings often bring up mental images of the magician in his robes, with elaborately-drawn circles, complex symbols, mysterious implements and strange conjurations. This picture of the High Magician stands in stark contrast from the sympathetic, emotional-based workings of the local common people. While the differences between "High" and "Low" magic have been already discussed about in length (ad infinitum) in other various places, there doesn't seem to be much talk about how those small, simple workings often hold the most bang for your buck!

In other words - those workings of magic which are rooted in almost spur-of-the-moment decisions have quite a kick. Why is this? The magician in his temple has to whip up an emotional state and direct it very specifically, after having done his preliminary and lengthy operations. Everything is very methodical, symbolic and complex. On the other hand, the common person might be in a fury or in love, and so decide to fashion a spell while in that state. Both generally would have the same outcomes; but the High Magician must exercise careful control over his Will, making sure his emotions brought up are specific and directed, while the angry or infatuated peasant might just be livid or burning with desire and simply does.

I can remember one time I was very angry at an individual and I did the Lemon and Pins spell with black pins, and the spell worked marvelously. Other times, when I've performed more or less the same sort of spell while in a more "rigid" setting - the emotions are just harder to bring back to the surface again. There is something to be said when an emotional state takes hold of a person, when contrasted to a more methodical approach to the same end.

Self control is something highly desired for many in the magical path. It is the central aim and focus for many, and the 'desire' to have self-mastery and control plays out with the ritual magician. The magician has to be very aware of what he is doing, how he is doing it, what his thoughts are and how they tend to train, what mental space he is in, to put his mind into a certain place, and more; but the sympathetic and passionately-fueled magics of the common people are rooted in a simple but sharply directive - and effective - rule, that of unbridled emotions.

But this can have its detriments. Both may be aware of what they are doing or wish to acquire in aim, but the former has careful diligence while the latter is blunt with force. The all too well-known phrase "backfire" in magic should be a bell ringer. In both cases it matters not the methods of their operations, but how much they are themselves able to, or not able to, direct that force to its aim.

To be swept up in an emotional state - is to be swept away from the grounds of stability and clear thinking. This strange and irrational force is powerful, but if no care is given and pure emotion is the launch-pad, there is more apt for failure. However on the other end if there is too much rigidity then one becomes too firmly put, and has more resistance when it's time to direct magical/emotional force.

And they are not water-tight. The magician is not a robot incapable of emotion and the common person is no idiot unable to learn complex things - but these two distinct ways of acting, in casting - show just how much magic is 'accessible', how spontaneousness can have more force that deliberate act - but also how acting in emotion with no thought is just as useless as a thoughtful methodical act, with no emotion.

Ignorance and Understanding

Posted on April 17, 2017 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Ignorance and Understanding

By Feywer Folevado - 17th April, 2017

Man can only know what is interpreted through his senses. Thus, at a certain point tools are utilized in order to bring into consciousness what is beyond our grasp of conscious tangibility. A microscope or binoculars may be used to allow us to gaze beyond our measure, and radios to bring into frequency wavelengths beyond our hearing. There are beyond our limited awareness of the universe things which we can only bring to and appear within our level of consciousness or understanding.

This is the same principle with “enlightenment” or “illumination” with the phrase “levels of consciousness”. They are levels of awareness and understanding, that unfold from the prior more ignorant level of conscious awareness. Verily to simply be aware of that which is beyond our range of conscious awareness - that which occupies the universe which is beyond our senses - is enough allow the super-natural other-ness to slowly permeate into our conscious awareness, and too become real. To have realization.

To limit oneself to the word of the senses has no detriment - but unto himself only who does. To be aware of one’s own ignorance is an illumination all in itself. To be aware of the ways in which one is ignorant allows them to open their own mind. Ignorance then is shed like the skin of a snake. Or like the bark of a tree.

“The urge to transcend self-consciousness.. is a principal appetite of the soul” (Huxley, The Doors of Perception 1974)

Reason, Intelligence, and Understanding are not ends for accumulation, only to being shackled by them with ignorance. But tools for exploration and consideration with the Soul and the inner nature of Man himself. Carrying him along his journey in the lessons he may learn in his life and beyond to the next.

The Book of Azarak - by Baron & Baronessa Araignee: Book Review!

Posted on April 10, 2017 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (1)

The Book of Azarak - by Araginee - https://www.araigneearcaneservices.org/

Araignee’s Arcane Services, maintained by a wonderful necromantic couple living and based in South Africa, are well known on Occult Forums, maintain a website for their services, and have together even written several books on occultism and magic. A match made in heaven - or the hells themselves.

They are lovely people, and sent me a copy of their latest book “The Book of Azarak”. I had in honest no idea what to expect during shipping - and to receive this lovely offering makes for an interesting read with even more interesting and fascinating material. I read half of it in one sitting - I was enthralled by it :-)

The Book of Azarak may at first seem to the lay person as belonging to a darker current of magic practice. But that is not true. It enlightened me on various things that I had no knowledge about, and even for having a nicely rounded “smore” of information packed into that small little book - there are things that someone, even for your “seasoned occultists” - did not know!

It contains a good variety of both helpful and harmful spells, or moreso, beneficial and baneful work. It gives an interesting primer and has great articles about methods in which the book may be used, and discusses that in conjunction with fascinating history.

Within it’s pages a good chunk of it deals with familiar spirits, all are helpful, and all obscure but powerful! They are of wondrous use for the practitioner. It contains theremore, tables and charts and diagrams; which add to the layers of understanding just weaved into its pages.

Dreams - divination - spellwork (not to mention, ‘magic contraptions and bottles and jars - oh my!’) - familiar spirits - knot magic - theory and practice: The Book of Azarak is a complete little system all in itself, and gives a great look at what Witchcraft is all about.

It doesn’t tell you “this is how you must do it”, but tells you about how you can. It can be picked up and added into someone’s pre-existing practices, or entirely as it is. I really enjoyed this book. It well deserves its place among the shelves of any occultist who wants a seemingly sinister (but very magical) compendium of classic Witchcraft, and Magic :-)

Spiritually Cleansing the Home and Body

Posted on February 3, 2017 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Spiritually cleansing the home and body is nothing but beneficial. It’s taking that magic broom in hand and sweeping out the cobwebs, dust and debris that has accumulated in your being and in your home energetically or psychically.


There are many ways throughout many cultures and traditions to go about with these very basic but useful procedures. It may help to consider one in which you feel comfortable or can align with. If you are a moslem, christian, jew or hindu - those systems can provide satisfactory methods.


A classic method employed by modern magical practitioners is the limpia egg cleansing rite, which basically involves using an egg to transfer the negative energy away from the target and into the egg, generally accomplished by rubbing or passing the egg over or on the body, which is either then (in some cases) divined or in most, discarded - away from the dwelling and/or persons.


Another classic method is smudging or fumigation. Ranging in use from the native american tribes to the church and practically everywhere in between - it is a common and popular choice for many today. The most familiar herb for smudging is sage (salvia officinalis), but other plants and dried herbs have been used. Good choices that can be found in many household kitchens for this purpose are, if one does not have access to proper sage: Juniper, Cedar, Rosemary or Lavender.


Classically, one account of a fumigation in a familial house involved closing up the windows and shutters, every door to the outside and stopping up every crack in the dwelling in which things could get in or escape; and large swaths of branches were burned (not recommended by today’s standards!) with orations and prayers before then the windows, doors and all were flung open wide to let all the smoke (and the nasty energy it then contains) - out!


Magical baths are also powerful allies for spiritual cleansing. One prepares the tub of water at the desired temperature, and special herbs, fumigants and other materials are added, which when combined provide a powerful remedy for their chosen inclusions. One literally cleans themselves of the energy undesired, and imbues in themselves the properties of the materials.


Sealing of the aura and body psychically is something that is overlooked or completely missed by many in the magical arena. Grounding releases excess energy, Cleansing removes undesired or excess energy - while sealing prevents any from entering or escaping.


To seal the body and it’s energy-field, one should have holy water, or any other consecrated-water - the witches’ salt and water mixture will do just fine. One strips themselves naked and preferably in a private room such as a bathroom. With the consecrated holy water, dip the index and forefinger into it and anoint each of the bodily openings, in turn, while saying something along the lines of, [i]“Be thou sealed against all evil”[/i] - there is no set formula.


Strongly visualize the seals you are creating In males there are: the eyes, nostrils, ears, mouth, nipples, belly-button, penis and the anus; in females there are: the eyes, nostrils, ears, mouth, nipples, belly-button, vagina, urethra and anus. Twelve in all for men and thirteen for women. Any kind of still-unhealed would or injury on the body should also be sealed. When the sealing is felt to be sufficient, clothes may be replaced.


Some basic methods of psychic self-defense for the home involve drawing lines across boundaries or window-sills, or the lot. Salt may be envisioned as the ideal powder to use, however salt [i]absorbs[/i], and thus requires constant replacing. Red brick-powder is a great boundary-powder. Cascarilla or powdered egg-shells make an excellent available choice. There are many alternatives and options, ones which you may have not even considered!


Even another option are Talismans. They can be devised from the magic squares or [i]kameas[/i], composed free-form, or even found pre-existing in magical manuscripts or such books. Talismans can act as powerful wards that, when charged with intent, can often be sufficient, and portable devices of protection. Also, small amulets and trinkets of religious or significant value in which protection is seen to be imbued can be powerful above all others, for their personal significance resonates at an incredible depth.


Whatever methods one decides to employ, it is much easier to protect oneself using basic psychic self-defense techniques than may previously had thought or realized. I may have even missed some techniques but I feel these are majorly sufficient for most people and problems. More incredible occurrences do not happen so often and as such I’m only covering basic techniques. I hope this review of spiritual cleansing and protection methods can be useful.

Spirit Shrine - Update

Posted on November 19, 2016 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)

So in my lengthy article about shrines, I got into depth about local spirits and their losses of localised places in which contact was made with them. Having not found any spirit shrines to more primitive or local spirits I decided to create my own. I made one on the banks of a local creek situated beneath an old dead tree that overlooked the watershed from the cliffside, arranging large rocks from the creekbed below in a circular-shaped enclosure at the base of the trunk. I had constructed also a figure to represent the spirit of the area; fashioned out of creek mud and stones.

Now this was all fine and dandy, but I knew that since the creek is frequented by local teenagers and high-schoolers, that it was bound to be tampered with. I had left a note, and I feel like if not for that it would have seen far quicker ruin. However, the figure inside the stone enclosure was found dismantled and strewn beside the path one time, so I created another - but that disappeared. So when exploring the creek I had found a [plastic] bull statue, so I decided to place that in the shrine instead, and that has seemed to stay. The note has dissolved into the earth of the shrine on account of the rains that we've been having, and the grass grown up around the shrine makes it look more of a part of the landscape.

The path that leads up to the shrine appears more trodden - and not just by me - so people have been visiting it. Even if they aren't sure what "it" is. The spirits are always around all the time. It pleases them to have interaction at this place - and it feels different, too. Friendlier.

Humans and Plants: A Connection in Magic

Posted on September 16, 2016 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Humans and Plants: A Connection in Magic

All life on earth is dependent on plants at some stage or another for their survival. The "web of life" perfectly illustrates the delicate manner in which all things are indeed reliant upon each other in a complex but fragile system. When an animal eats a plant, two things are gained from this: the physical matter (or food-substance) of the plant-body is "accumulated" into the form of the animal, and energy-potential (or chemically bound energy) is released from the plant, in the forms of sugars and starches &etc, through which the animal may utilize for activities. These two functions obtained by the animal through the plant is a connection between them, for the latter is reliant upon the former for sustenance. However, plants do not necessarily require interaction on the part of humans or animals, although many particular species do use animals as a vessel for transference, plants can reproduce and populate without animals and are not verily dependent upon them for their own survival.


This connection between plants and animals is even more complex and intrinsically blurred when we reach the microscopic organisms, because many among them resemble animals as much as they do plants. And many of the processes in plants and animals are very similar or even practically identical - "if they are limited to certain fundamental functions."[1]


One plant is not the same as another, as there are different species. But insomuch as an orange tree and an apple tree are trees, they offer up different fruits, and it is these differences that are called the "spirit" or "personality" of the plant. For what makes them different, and separates them from each other? Humans have anciently sought to understand the Why?, before they understood the How?. What an herbal remedy provided to the sick for the ancient peoples must have seemed divine in origin. And in the domain of plants where they and humans had to coexist for thousands of years, we have an almost inexhaustible stock of stories and lore based upon their origins, and individual characters, throughout many cultures.


We must understand both the intimate and cellular - internal - workings of the plant, and the casual, every-day relationship with the plants, to have a full and rich appreciation for the plant-life. The magic and lore surrounding many plants, herbs and roots distinct the plant and gives it it's own character, and it only makes the scientific understanding of the organism more enjoyable and interesting.


In the ancient world as well as the modern, plants are the sources of many industries and are indispensable if not highly desirable for human civilization. We manufacture textiles from plant fibres, build our houses using wood, paper products allowed us increase in communication and knowledge, even many of our beverages and medicines contain plant derivatives. We use and rely on plants just as much as we do today as we did in the ancient world., and our dependence upon them has never wained.


However removed man may think himself from the seemingly inanimate world of plants he depends on them in ways which are more crucial and real than may be realized. The place of man (and animals) in this cycle of interaction and interconnection with plants gives a deep and spiritual sense of profundity. The precarious nature of plants in general shows the activity that happens between them and the external ecosystem around them. In many cases, as in a garden - without man there to water the plants, they would die - and so they rely on humans in that way; which makes the connection more concrete.


There are many ways to come to realize the importance of plants: from the regular every-day life of humans to the mental-sphere of mystery - understanding one compliments the other, and should not be held to be in water-tight compartments, so to speak. Appreciating the life around you comes in many forms! Through plants the beautiful but fragile nature of life can be pondered more deeply, as well as learning and expanding one's ever-growing knowledge base.


[1]p.6; Transeau, Sampson & Tiffany

Paganism and Spirit Shrines

Posted on September 7, 2016 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Paganism and Spirit Shrines

"Just to awaken in the night from a drowsy slumber, to gaze out through the window upon the glorious rounded full moon. Silently flying and all is still outside, for a moment awake I sit transfixed by that serenity, almost captured within by those moon beams, and the lustrous magnificence of that disc that rules the night."


Even without those rituals, being in the experience directly is oh such the more powerful. As a child my spiritual and supernatural experiences were dynamic. Much was /play/. But a lot came naturally, the way of interaction with these other forces and realms was almost child-like; meaning that there was no hindrance in the activity, and as a child one is pure of cognitive filler, so it comes easily. Not having the long drawn and complex ceremonial procedures, by having that child-like direct experience or contact, with that divine entity leaves an impressionable memory upon the individual that strengthens the bond therewith, and leaves the gate open wide for further dynamic, creative rapport and experiences, even say, in hallowed places where the nous may be dreadful and terrifying rather than kind and benevolent.


As a child I was having these very real, direct experiences with supernatural forces of nature by doing simple child-like things, or ways of interacting with them. I believe paganism could be related to this way, in that matter. There were no rules or order on how to approach any such spirit or thing, so it was all very real and subjective, and fluid. There were many different beings, not even any sort of hierarchy. I all thought of it as very "together", that is, all very on the same plane. It wasn't very hard for me to understand as a child, because a lot of what I was doing were things a child could understand. I didn't need (or have) any system that I interpreted these things through, so it was all very personal, and the way I had gone about things was direct and there were many ways of having these interactions. Incidentally which is a reason why I believe paganism is "child-like" - not in the regard of not being developed or any such manner - but because there are no restrictions upon spirituality, the supernatural is very much dynamic, and many-faced. Such are the ways of paganism.


I find myself even now interested greatly in the local and wayside shrines and spiritual and hallowed places. It seems as if many of these beings that reside at these places had their origins in some small local deity of supernatural figure, which through time concreted and into the form which it is venerated today. Perhaps many of these figures had their origins within the brains of that child-like paganism, manifesting from the endless ways that nature mysteriously does, and nothing is homogenous because of it. So we see hundreds or even thousands of these very specific, highly individualised spirits and beings.


These local and very personalised entities preoccupy the world with the living. They are given physical images and forms, vehicles or vessels of manifestation. And regardless if an individual does not believe in these entities themselves, they still exist regardless, in their forms or concepts.


I made an effort to seek out some of these local shrines and spirit-enclosures. Of course, as one would probably suspect, living in 2016 in California, you aren't going to find many places. Beyond the Temples and Sanctuaries for the religions of the non-abrahamic kind where one could usually find shrines and spirit houses, I could not locate a single one. Wayside memorials are a kind of shrine, but it is not in my interest to visit every roadside accident! Even though I do pay my respects to them if I happen to pass.


I was interested in those strange and country-located spirits. The small altars and places where local divinities or forms happen to be located. Much of the population here in this area is devoted Christian or Catholic. And considering that my particular town has over seven churches in it's 3 mile radius, there aren't many people who would keep up these shrines or so publicly admit to where they are. So I was off on my quest.


I was led into the rich history of my local area. I learned about the local indigenous tribes and their cultures. I even wrote to one but elicited no response. From my own research I had discovered that sacred places were seen as numerous, before the arrival of the colonists and white settlers; apparently there were many springs, and lush vallies, etc. - many places of unusual configuration deemed sacred. But the emproachment of the foreigners and the forced conversion of their peoples quickly wiped out much of the surrounding lore.

What does exist is fragmentary.


I started to ask around from people I knew. Some said they knew not a clue, others recommended haunted houses or other-such-locations. But I was not interested in communing with the ghosts. I had researched about my particular county and discovered that there were many former settlements in the area which are no longer on modern maps and are no longer maintained by the county. But there was little to no information either save for the place-names and locations.


In lieu of having little to no avail in my search for the more mysterious spiritual shrines, I decided to construct one, myself. On the banks of Stony Creek at the base of an old dead tree is a small enclosure made of loosely stacked stones taken from the creek bed, into a circular shape, with a gap as the 'entrance' and only standing maybe 8 inches tall off the earth. Inside the little enclosure sits a red jasper stone (a 'heart') on which is a small figure fashioned of creek mud and rocks, representing the spiritual force or presence of the area. It gives the spirits in the area a place to localise and humans a way to interact with them.

The small shrine at the base of an old dead tree.

I'm observing the status of the shrine as time progresses. If anything is amiss, I replace it properly, and patiently. So far nothing has been strewn or destroyed, about a week later. The note I had left remains, and the small footpath leading up to the shrine seemed more tread, as if people had stopped to see the curious feature. I have yet to see others leave offerings or votives.


When the more "popular" and well-known spirits, saints and entities have their due shrines and places of veneration, but those almost primal - natural, and primitive - spirits don't have a chance - why not give them their own respective shrine? Distinct from the the new age 'nature-shrines' - creative arrangements using natural objects, which are more of spiritual expression rather than contact with a local nous - in a place where perhaps these spirits have never had shrines or places of veneration themselves, it is curious to see that innovation - giving the spirits a voice themselves, will go in an area where it has never been.

Another view of the shrine.


Truly, I believe this very creative process of making a proper shrine to a local spirit, is the very fabric of what paganism is, or can be; it is the fluid and dynamic development of spiritual forces and entities, the act of giving manifestation to these natural presences. It allows for an intimate, deeper and profound connection with the forces of nature and the local "feeling" of a place. Without rigidity, or structure, this very direct connection with the spiritual force of an area gives a different dimension of understanding and the relationship one has between themselves and that place more intimately, and more broadly the forces of nature.

The creek-spirit's form.