Posts Tagged ‘fairies’

When Invisibles Become Visible

July 5, 2014

I’m going to take a risk here. Many a skeptic, rationalist and psychologist would be instantly dismissive, maybe even concerned, about these little accounts. I have a life full of them, and I generally keep them well under my hat, but for some reason these two stories just pressed forward to say, “Tell me. Go ahead. Just do it.” So I’m gonna. Maybe I need to show up, come out of the closet slightly more than I have been willing to.

Since I was a little girl I felt quite sure that fairies, gnomes, leprechauns and the like are real. I never outgrew sensing them. I always “saw” in the eye of my imagination their little kingdoms under the leaves and bushes and branches, all through the forests, and out on banks of the Mississippi where I grew up. When I was in my 20’s the woman who was my spiritual teacher visited my home and said there was quite a colony of fairies living in my back yard. She told me “One day you will be able to see them.” I always wanted that to be true, and frankly felt the truth of it, as if I had always known it would be so. And so I have waited. Never turning skeptical about their existence just outside the edges of our perceptual capabilities, I have wondered when, if or how that expected vision would arrive for me.

Well, it happened one day in June. I was sitting on my front porch with a visiting friend having coffee that morning, chatting away, thoughts of such magical visions far from my mind. Suddenly, a little ball of light, maybe two-inches in diameter, otherworldly but clearly visible with my physical eyes, flew in an erratic pattern across the top of the bushes directly in front of me. A little figure was slightly visible inside the glow but the sight was mostly light. I jumped from my chair to see if I could follow where it went but the vision was gone. It took a moment to register what in the world this could have been, but suddenly I knew beyond any doubt that I had just seen a fairy. I saw one! I have questioned myself a number of times since then and simply can’t deny it. It happened!

I wasn’t sure if or when I might make this report in a more public forum. But just now I ran into a little quote by Doreen Virtue that says, “Helpful strangers who appear suddenly and disappear without a trace are often angels in human form.” I had an experience a few months ago where I thought this had just happened to me. It has stayed with me, and seemed more and more as though I could believe it. When I read this quote I felt something like angel wings flutter all over my skin and inside my right ear with the memory of that encounter flooding in, seeming to affirm my perception of it and whisk away any doubt. I was sitting at my computer so I decided to write both of these tales right now in this blog.

This event happened at the gym, of all places. I had been trained on using the weights on all of those many machines, but was finding it hard to remember how to adjust all of the several knobs on each piece of equipment. It felt beyond me. Suddenly a fellow came up to me to show me how to adjust one I simply couldn’t remember. He stood and watched quietly as I fiddled with some of the others, and showed me a thing or two more. As I moved on to other machines, he seemed to appear and show me whatever it was I couldn’t figure out, just as I couldn’t figure it out. After the second or third time I wondered, “Is this a weird dude that follows women around the gym?” But his energy felt very clean, his demeanor quite soft, and his manner seemed only to be helpful. He showed up a few more times as I made my way through the hour-long workout. I thanked him kindly. I thought, “I think that guy is an angel.” But I didn’t give the thought too much power. I did realize afterward that between the moments of his arrival to help me I did not notice him sweating it out on the equipment anywhere else in the gym.

Over weeks at the gym the various characters who come and go start to become familiar. I enjoy the familiarity. But I had never seen that guy before, nor have I seen him since. As I now adjust the machines I remember him standing there teaching me, and have thought each time, “I think he was an angel.” The thought just comes in, it never changes.

Just now I saw the quote about helpful strangers who appear suddenly in human form often being angels. When the sensation of wings moved all around me I decided to tell these stories. There it is. Angels and fairies. I have thought I needed to protect an academic reputation as the good Doctor of Psychology. Even though dream analysis is my specialty, and maybe even especially because of that, I have not wanted to sully my credibility as a rational person with a clear mind. There you go. Sullied. My gay daughter once told me, when I was fiddling with the wording on my brochure trying to maintain respectability in spite of my activities around the margins of things, “Mom, you have to come out of the closet.” She knew whereof she speaks, and her courage emboldened me.

I’m out.

A Ritual for Bonding with Place

August 4, 2013

When I purchased my home in Asheville 3 months ago, along with a darling little cottage came an acre of beautiful gardens on the slope behind my house, complete with a gorgeous waterfall created by the previous owners. It was impossible not to fall in love with this place.  Hook, line and sinker, I was a goner. Where do I sign? The sale went quickly.

I hadn’t been here but a couple of weeks, however, before the shadow of this great grace began to present. Few people would be as naive as I was about what is entailed in caring for these gardens. In negotiation for the purchase, a for sale by owner property, I explained to them that I know nothing about gardening. I was married to a landscape contractor for 20 years who for the length of our time together had his crew come in and take care of everything. During those years I was working two jobs and raising children, and happy not to have to even think about that part of the responsibility in home ownership. When I moved to the mountain I took care of my 6 1/2 acres, but those weren’t gardens – it was wild land. I bought a tractor and mowed it myself, and otherwise had only a tiny bed for herbs, tomatoes and a few flowers.

The owner told me that this garden is low maintenance; it really only requires that you put down mulch every couple of years. She probably easily assumed that anyone’s mind would be able to fill in the blanks – that hours and hours of weeding, pruning, dead-heading, thinning the overgrowth, and on and on would also be included. Sadly that was not the case for me. I thought, “Ok, mulch every couple of years and I get to live in Disneyland, garden-wise.”

Oops. I moved in at the end of April. Summer hadn’t even started. With all the rain we have had it wasn’t long before the weed population threatened to take over everything. And every other undone garden thing began glaring at me – as if to say, you idiot! I was a deer in the headlights. I couldn’t sleep for a month. I thought I had made a huge mistake, and felt very down on myself about it. How could anyone be that naive? If I were in a better situation financially I could just hire someone to do it all, but that is not my circumstance at the moment. There is so much to learn I feel a little like a pre-schooler suddenly thrust into a Ph.D. program. Sitting to just enjoy the property became barely possible.

And so, rather than sell the place, cut and run, or continue to wallow in fear and despair, I decided I had to do the only thing I DO know how to do. Create a ritual. Ritual calls in the great powers; it is the language that connects mere humans with the caring and wise invisible resources who are just waiting for us to engage with them so that they can assist. Ask and you shall receive. Knock and the door will open. Those principles are at work in ritual well conceived.

I did not feel bonded to this place. Like a newborn who is not bonding with mother, it is a dangerous situation. I felt alien. I didn’t know how to engage. I truly believe that there is a spirit to every place, and spirits that inhabit it – devas, plant spirits, elementals, angels, fairies and the like – but I didn’t feel remotely conversant with them. How do I open myself to the conversation, introduce myself to them, tell them my situation and ask to become an active part of this community of life? I need desperately to bond, to feel a sense of belonging, to care for the land and let it care for me.

The idea came in a flash; begin a 40-day ritual. 40-day rituals are spoken of in nearly every spiritual tradition. Jesus was in the desert for 40 days before he began his ministry. All scriptures are rife with such stories. Indigenous people say, “You must feed the holy;” make food offerings to the land, spirits and the ancestors. So I decided to go out in ritual mode every day for 40 days and make offerings, pray to know and be known by those who live with me in this place, and then look about and see what comes for me to do. Try not to think about the never-endingness of what there is to do, and how little I know about it all, but just do something, whatever shows itself.

The first day I was shoveling dirt that had fallen down the hill in the torrential rain. The next I was cutting back plants that had already bloomed, someone had pointed out to me which ones needed that. The next it was another thing, the next another. Each act is a prayer. One day I sat with the big tree in front, planted a crystal under its root, and just hung out with it. Another I got a blanket and lay on the land and watched the life buzzing all over it – wild turkeys, bunnies, butterflies, birds, bugs. Some days treasures are delivered – the gorgeous shell of a turtle who died, the luminous body of an expired butterfly, beautiful feathers.

We’re bonding. It is happening. I don’t know what is ahead or how it will all get done, but I’m not going to let the worry and anxiety that was threatening my sanity to intrude on this ritual. It’s a beginning. Adventure is ahead, and I am readier to embark. Ritual is good. I am grateful.