A creative reverie can envelop a group as it walks with awareness through a landscape, generating poetry, song improvisation, and mandala. Nature herself seems to trigger the senses through strong magnetic pulses, soft sounds, bright colours and flowing organic forms. Going out into ancient hillsides containing imaginal (symbollic) sites used to conjure healing and vision in the old days, evokes a sense of lyrical connection, an unspoken awe, a relaxing reverie, that can empower any dream or vision, soothe away a problem and bond a group at a philosophical level. Our heart’s desire, like a tender bud, is strengthened and reinforced by the magnetism of landscape, tree and river as we pass through.
Improvising with poetry and song at Wistman’s Wood 2012.
In the Gatekeeper Trust programme (www.gatekeeper.org) I offer ‘Healing Altar’s in the Landscape’ in which expressive arts help us explore the ‘Spirit of Place’ or the natural bio-electric magnetism with which trees and growing things surround us. Using heart vision, attunement, sound, and improvised mandala and dance, we re-enact what must have been the way early societies rooted their cultural memories, and achieved psychological bonding through natural reverie.
Mandala in Wistman’s Wood, 2011. The rare dwarf oak trees inspired our improvised poetry and song, as well as a circular ‘mandala’ art form of leaves and sticks in the centre of the group.
Wistman’s Wood 2012.
Satya Singh and Fred Hageneder ** speak of the research at Yale University that proved the bio-electrical field of trees, and this they say is reinforced by ages old practice of ‘tree shrines’ in nature in which people could access healing and expanded consciousness . ‘The charge within the electrical field of trees follows a rhythmical pattern. The voltage is at its lowest in the early morning and at its highest at noon. During the year in the northern hemisphere a tree’s lowest voltage is found in April and its highest in September. The bioelectrical fields of trees react to very subtle changes in light, atmospheric charge and the earth’s magnetic field.’
Kingley Vale, Sussex, 2011. These huge yew trees are over 1,000 years old, and the stillness within the wood almost tangible, as is a sense of protection, wisdom and rootedness in time. This contributes to the ‘Spirit of Place’ and its empowering effect on memory.
**’Because the bio-electrically active layers can be found just under the bark, hugging trees has a deeply vitalising effect on us. The same is true for sitting with your back resting on a tree… the flow of energy going through the tree can directly interact with the spine and energetic processes of the human brain. *
**’Tree Yoga’ by Satya singh and Fred Hageneder, 2007.
Kingley Vale, 2011.
Like an armchair, the old yews cradle you with a thousand years of watchful stillness.
I made this collage before I started a series of events entitled ‘Healing Altars in the Landscape’:
I am a dreaming spirit in the woodland cathedrals of this land. 2010.