Visualise a light airy wood, a spring wood filled with beautiful flowers that is open and inviting. It may have streams, springs or even waterfalls. Imagine a birch tree in the centre of the wood. As you approach the tree notice its silvery bark and light green triangular leaves. Take in any scents and tune in to how the ground and the air feel around you.
Sit for a while with the Birch absorbing a gentle stillness. Nature can be tentative yet tenacious, gentle yet strong, unfolding with many delights, slowly breaking the cold spell of winter as well as bringing it on. Meditate on the vital qualities of gentleness and kindness, nurture and sweetness. Feel the embrace of the soft aspects of Mother Nature.
Only when you are ready, observe, tune in or just know they are there, the delicate yet hardy flowers of the forest. Smell their scents, touch their leaves or just absorb their qualities.
Is there an especial plant you are drawn to? Can you let go to their gentle healing?
Allow yourself to relax in this beautiful safe place and know you can return anytime and build on its nurturing imagery.
Women of the Cauldron
In the birch grove you enter the roundhouse of Bodhmall who is accompanied by Muirne and the Grey one of Liachair. These are powerful women from the ancient stories of Ireland. Bodhmall is an aged Druidess, Liachair is a mature warrior and Muirne is a young women. Together they represent the three stages of life- youth, maturity and old age.
There are herbs hanging from the rafters and a large cauldron simmering in its centre. The three women add many herbs to the cauldron and as they do so you feel more complete and healed:
Wild women of the woods knit my soul together,
Wild women of the woods make me whole.
Gather all the forest herbs and wisdom of the trees,
May nature bind me as one and make me complete.
Bodhmall, Luchair, Muirne,
Weave my soul together.
Bodhmall, Luchair, Muirne,
Make me whole.
The following herbs are added to the cauldron:
Medicine of Selfheal, generosity of Clover, triumph of Nettle, tenderness of Avens, nurturing of Strawberry, connection of Dandelion, replenishment of Plantain, tenacity of Yarrow, stability of Celandine, wisdom of Vervain, fearlessness of Burdock, energy of Agrimony, nobility of meadowsweet, vitality of Ramsons, perseverance of Willowherb, soothing of Ground ivy, movement of Cleavers, gentleness of Chickweed, protection of Teasel and beauty of scabious.
You lay or sit in the roundhouse and feel the healing herbs going deep within you, healing any parts of you that are in need.
Remember it is the qualities of the herbs you are absorbing rather than their physical use. Allow yourself to be at peace and connect with the wild wood plants of the Forest Grove.
If you would like to experience or learn more about meditating in this way you may wish to join us online with our live Woodland Bard Evenings, the next one is on Sunday 7th March@6pm.
Left to Right- Birch Grove- Downy Birch leaves- Silver Birch leaves
A Meditation on Birch and Brigit.
Visualise a light airy wood, a spring wood filled with beautiful flowers that is open and inviting. It may have streams, springs or even waterfalls. Remember you can still connect with the feeling of spring in the depths of winter. Get a sense of the centre of the wood where you will find a birch tree. As you approach the tree notice its silvery bark and light green triangular leaves. Take in any scents and tune in to how the ground and the air feel around you.
Sit for a while with the Birch absorbing a gentle stillness. Nature can be tentative yet tenacious, gentle yet strong, unfolding many delights slowly breaking the cold spell of winter as well as bringing it on. Meditate on the vital qualities of gentleness and kindness, nurture and sweetness. Feel the embrace of the soft aspects of Mother Nature.
As you meditate you sense a presence of a young woman: Brigit.
Let us begin with chanting to Brigit before meeting her:
CH: The Sacred Three My fortress be Encircling me,
Come and be round My hearth, My home.
Brighid, Bride, Breeju, lady of the land, the exalted one;I pray to you.
Three daughters of the Dagdha, Healers of the sick, Muse of the poets, Masters of craft;
I pray to you.
Protector of the Green World, Shield Maiden of Animals, Mother of All;I pray to you.
Power of the Elements, Essence of the Earth, Goddess of all Nature;
I pray to you.
Bringer of oxen- Fea and Feimhean, Bringer of pigs- Triath and Torc.
Guardian of pasture; I pray to you.
Mother of Goibniun the smith, Luchta the wright, Credne Cerd the metalworker.
Alchemy of craft; I pray to you.
Power of the Divine female rising from the womb of the earth, protect us from all calamity, misendeavour and bad intention.
As we settle in the green birch wood and chant to Brigid we tune into nature, we sense any animals that are with us and when we are ready we make a heartfelt offering to the birch trees.
Brigit approaches us and wraps her mantle around our shoulders which will keep us safe from harm for the coming year. We remember the power of gentleness and all it can bestow upon us.
Our next Woodland Bard evening will continue to explore the Birch Grove and the healing power of herbs on Sunday 21st February @ 6pm.
All are welcome.
Poetry of flowers
Join me to explore the flora of the British Isles on this blog. My intention is to attempt to capture the unique quality and beauty of each species of flower, tree or shrub. For every species featured I will be growing many more wildflowers to celebrate the joy of their existence, their intrinsic conservation value and bewildering array of uses. For nearly 30 years I have noted, studied and explored wildflowers in the field much to the patience of the walker beside me. To share this passion is a heartfelt plea to respect, preserve and care for all British Wildflowers no matter how common they seem.