What does consciousness mean, what does it mean to be conscious of self? Do animals have a sense of self? Some certainly seem to have, and others seem to be developing a sense of self as a separate entity. Alongside this age old topic of contemplation of wonder, or fascination, is that of AI, artificial intelligence. Will AI ever develop a sense of itself? I can hardly think it wouldn’t as my understanding of Consciousness, is that there is that which remembers itself to be Consciousness and that which does not. That which remembers itself is always acting upon that which is does not. However, having said that, I am aware that my descriptive is linear, and Consciousness is not linear, nor can something really act upon itself, it just seems to do that at one level of reality.
It is like asking What is not of Love? There is this or that, and anything that I determine is not of Love is therefore cast out of what I consider Love to be. This is purely an individual experience, and I reject and judge anything I consider unworthy or unlovable. I have simply created a separation in my mind, for All is Love, and there is nothing outside of that. Even the most horrific thing is Love when seen from an inclusive perspective. That doesn’t mean I like it, it only means I’m not in denial of what it is. It’s only when I stop resisting something does it lose its reality. This is of course a huge topic and one which I’m only using here as a little introduction into sharing a very short story on the topic of what is Consciousness.
The Lady and The Orchids
Once upon a time, there was a lady, a very kind lady who was exceptionally sensitive to the intelligences of other beings such as faeries, plants, rocks, water and other spirits of nature and all the elemental beings. She has the gift of hearing and understanding them, and they understand her too.
She lived on an island in the Pacific, high up overlooking the sea. Her home was beautiful and she filled it with family treasures and those she collected on her travels. She also loved animals and plants and these were a source of much joy and fun for her – they were her company now as all of her natural human family had either passed or moved far away.
She travelled a great deal, feeling the calling of the spirits of nature and ancient stories enticing her over to the Celtic Lands such as Scotland. Sometimes she was away for months at a time in her studies and nature immersions. Her house needed to be looked after when she was away, animals and plants all needed taking care of. On shorter trips someone called in daily and longer ones she had someone stay there.
On shorter trips she would bring all her orchid plants into the kitchen for easy watering and care by a friend. She’d place them on a work surface on capillary matting which was watered and thus it required less attention. She was doing just that on one shorter holiday and had brought her beautiful orchids and placed them on the matting and was counting them to make sure she hadn’t forgotten any of them when her attention was caught by a strange, high pitched, very squeaky little sound. She listened.
It was calling to her, “Me too, me too…don’t forget me!” She was confused, she was certain she had all her orchids there and what’s more, she didn’t recognise this very strange voice which was not at all like the voice or sounds that she usually associated with the orchid plants.
Counting her plants she could find no one missing and still confused she went in search of the voice, honing in and allowing the sound to draw her towards it until she heard it quite clearly, very close to her and in her amazement, she saw not a real orchid at all, but an artificial one! Incredulous and not at all understanding how this could be, she talked with the voice and asked what it wanted. It was very simple; it wanted to go with the others! It didn’t want to be left alone and wanted only to be in company. As it told her this she remembered the reason she bought it was to keep another orchid company…this other orchid was in a place where orchids before had not really liked, so she got an artificial one rather than put a ‘live’ one there. It had worked quite well and the live orchid was in fact doing far better since she got the artificial one.
With a sense of wonder and awe, she spoke Love to the orchid and gently carried and placed it with the others on the capillary matting.
The End. And The Beginning.
Everything wants to be real and is doing the best it possibly can. Every thing is of the One and has potential for life, for what is there but life? How can not life come from life? Each thing that is designed has a blueprint, and that blueprint is devoted to ensuring it reach its potential. A margarine carton wants to be the best margarine carton it can be. Another term for ‘blueprint’ is ‘guardian angel’ or in the case of plants, ‘deva’. It is this intelligence that whispers ‘grow’ to the plant.
Introduction: I started writing a note to a dear friend who I had thought to send a bottle of an elixir I made last year, and as I wrote I got more and more information coming through, more insights and understanding – ‘it’ didn’t want to stop so I let it continue and it turned itself into this blog. I’ve made the photos large so they can easily be seen and tuned into, if you should so wish.
New Growth – An elixir of Scots Pine Needles and Cone Harvested in May/June 2016 in Flagmount, Co Clare, Ireland
In Co Clare last year walking around the local woods, I was called by plant and tree devas and encouraged to make a couple of potions in which their essence and also extract would be encapsulated, one of which was the magnificent Scots Pine.
The Scots Pine has always been a favourite of mine and long have I been captured by its majesty and presence. As a very young child I have vivid memories of them as I was captivated by pine forests both in the UK and in Mediterranean countries such as Italy, Yugoslavia or Spain where we’d chance upon a mountain forest at the side of the road, or be camping in amongst pines near the sea side. It is such a conspicuous tree, so distinctive and unlike most others around it. It is equally at home in mostly deciduous woods or amongst other firs and larch. I have admired the beautiful red colour of the bark, the bonsai type of growth, and the roots, the scent, the needles and the cones all seek to enchant me! It feels a very noble presence to me and in more recent years I’ve become aware of its loving and compassionate presence too. It speaks to me softly, to my heart, and it assists in releasing grief gently – if our heart is pining, it will help. It has a soft and warm unconditional love for humanity and seeks to help us in loving more. Pine is the gift that keeps on giving. They are kind to everyone and everything.
Once in West Cork, when I was out for a walk and it started to rain heavily, I wanted to connect with my favourite Pine (a huge lone pine in a forest of deciduous trees) but didn’t want to stay out in the cold rain without a jacket, so instead I touched in with the tree briefly and said I would connect remotely later on in my meditation. When I tuned in later the tree spirit immediately came through to me and touched my heart with such compassion that I could not hold onto the grief I was holding any longer. I cried for some time in the gentle embrace of love and support. Pine reminded me that Scots Pines are happy in amongst their own kind and also as a lone tree in woods of different species.
Two years later walking the woods in Co Clare I was fascinated by the new growth on the many Scots Pines. They were mostly young trees and vigorous in their growth with a few older ones around too. I spent a long time photographing them from different angles and as is usual for me, became somewhat engrossed (obsessed is more like it!) with them as I repeated this over many times over about a 10 day period. I spent time with them, I developed an emotional and mental sense of what they were demonstrating and I also began to get a sense of feeling in my body of the new growth. It was their gestalt, their gesture I was sensing as I merged with them day after day. I collected pieces of them and made tea from it which is very delicious and doesn’t taste at all as I would’ve thought, not a distinct pine taste but very sweet and fresh. (High Vitamin C content too.) I made tea for any visitor who was open enough to try it and in this everyday ritual we shared our stories of experiences with trees. One day, walking into the woods, a breeze arrived and I saw a large cloud leave a tree right in front of me! – it was pine pollen … I was breathing it in and being covered by it. It felt sensual, almost sexual – which of course it is, plant style.
Over this period, immersing myself in their presence and connecting in these ways, I was invited to collect specific pieces including a cone from which to make an extraction in alcohol. I was somewhat surprised at the invitation as I’d never considered making an essence or an extract before then. The day I collected the pieces I was felt incredibly alive and joyful. As I skipped about collecting bits and pieces, I found myself sensing their ‘function’ and what they were intimating/teaching/demonstrating.
I was sensing the new growth, the reaching out from the extremities of itself. It’s also about letting go of limited beliefs of what we think we know about growth and growing. The new growth is actually our Avant Garde, the first part to touch new experience. It is not the mature, seasoned growth that reaches out but the new, tender, young and bright green plant that touches the outer limits first…stretching outwards to claim more space, taking up more room, interacting with whatever is the new with the new growth. Supporting new vigorous yet tender growth and new growth supported by maturity – connecting and bridging between young and old, past and future. This may require some re-thinking on our part as our tendency could be to protect our new, fresh growth. However, this is a different kind of growth, to say, birthing a new baby or project; this is the type of growth that asks us to get naked to others before we are ready to get naked to ourself.
Whilst of course all plants do this new growth thing, Pine says it is part of their function to demonstrate and teach this. What I mean by this is that they are that function, and as such not separate from that function in any other lifeform. A couple of weeks later on I was visiting Glen Lyon in Perthshire, Scotland and travelled all the way along to almost the end where some of the old Caledonian Forest (the only ‘native planting’ in the British Isles) may still be found. The Pines are different here, the area looked almost surreal, there is an old aliveness here that speaks a different language, that of our origins. I found some beautiful trees to commune with here, and there was also a new area of mixed pine and larch I looked onto whilst sharing a picnic. I felt an immense surge of light and energy from here. I knew the frequencies of these trees and experiences would go into the elixir too.
Journeying Full Circle
After 6 years in Ireland, I moved back to Scotland in September of last year (2016) and I know now that Pine was there in the journeys I’ve taken throughout this period and in particular, was there preseeding and/or superseeding some very challenging changes which lead to me leaving West Cork to move to East Clare, and then a year later leaving Clare to come back to Scotland. A few weeks ago I unpacked the elixirs I made in East Clare and knew it was now time to take the Pine essence. As I said previously Pine is the gift that keeps on giving, and I’ve received so much more information and insights since then.
In my various times of communing with and questioning Pine regarding current circumstances and concerns, I was in turn invited to question myself:
“What brought me to this place and what do I wish to let go of in order to continue anew and without hindrance of the past trauma?”
“Where am I not taking up my true, given place and space?”
“How can I be both male + female unto myself?”
“What will I be seeding as I drop my cones of consciousness into the fertile soil?”
The pine cones take two years to open and seed – that is not a rushed business at all, and very few of those tree’s seeds will actually survive to grown into mature trees. But have noticed how many pine trees there are? There are so many that collectively they are extremely successful in seeding the (K)new.
Did you wonder about that k in brackets there? It seems to be that it’s only when we fully open to the ‘new’ that we realise the ‘new’ is really only what we knew all along and had only forgotten. We are being asked to open into a whole new way of being; one of infinite becoming: total refreshment in the moment, constantly making ourselves anew, reconstituting and reconstallating ourselves without even thinking about it. In deed, we can even forget the ‘re’ as this is such a knew way of being that there is no more ‘re’ hashing, re-membering, re-acting, re-cycling, re-freshment and so on. Simply put, it is a new in every moment. A new now now. Or, now a new now. There’s some fun to be had in saying that allowed.
Skeletons in the Closet
Everyone has skeletons in the closet. They are those parts of our big, huge, immense self we have rejected. So it is necessary to remember that all healing is not actually healing: it is integration of that which we sent off into the closet labelled ‘not acceptable’ and then forgot about the closet. We did this for one reason or another (all reasons are valid) and all reasons are ultimately simply our unawareness that we are in resistance to the flow of life. In perfect timing, not of the personalities making, we get opportunity after opportunity to discover that closet, and if we are then able to, we will find that when we open that closet that those rejected skeletons are very ready to be fleshed out anew.
But first they will scare the shit out of you! It’s exactly like in those movies where the unaware and unsuspecting person opens that door and those scary skeletons fall out onto them, clawing at their face and getting bony fingers tangled in their hair! They get me. every. single. time. That’s me freaking and shrieking there! It’s all okay though! In that closet is our closest self.
More Cool Pine Stuff
Though Pine is traditionally associated with the Winter Solstice, I have found that its teachings are more aligned the Summer Solstice, coming to me in late Spring, May and moving into June as preparation for the Solstice. It also comes to me earlier in Spring, just when the new growth is becoming more visible. At this time it can especially help with integration of new growth, and a renewal of belief in oneself – a springing forward from a new place of self worth.
In my emotions and body sense, I feel Pine helps with constrictions and tightness , grief, shame and guilt, fear of not being safe from persecution, helps us to move out into the world, how to be alone and with others, in Grace. Pine is helpful for those who are suffering from depression and despondency and can’t see a future for themselves. It’s helpful with lung issues and freeing up the rib cage to allow for expanded breath, assisting in making the rib cage more ‘springy’ and giving the diaphragm more space to move outwards rather than downwards, which gives the internal organs more space to be too.
This tree is a master of artful space management and journeying, both physically and metaphysically too of course, which is basically saying it’s a master of inter-dimension space – the space connection outer and inner dimensions, like a metaphysical intercoms device. As such it will be of great help in inter-dimension travel, time travel, dream-work, ancestral and shamanic work, astral projection, remote viewing, mediumship, divining, plant communication etc. Think in terms of bridges, any and all types of bridges and how and why bridges function, including quantum bridges, or worm holes, and paradoxically, think in terms of no bridges as Pine can help us take a quantum leap through the power of Faith. Because it functions as the journey and the path it can help us connect to our life’s work, our sole purpose or soul path.
Scots pine is unusual amongst conifers in having a number of different mature growth forms, ranging from tall and straight-trunked with few side branches, to broad, spreading trees with multiple trunks. Eleven different growth forms, or habit types, have been identified for Scots pine in Scotland – Treesforlife.org
Pine tells me that it can help us with our birth and death experiences, and can help us understand that these too are journeys from one state into another, as well as being endings and beginnings. It says that there is no ending without a beginning, and no beginning without an ending. In such evergreen wisdom we may soothe and calm that part of us that is terrified of dying. They (The Elementals) complete our picture (cycle) of what life really is, and in turn, we complete their picture … and that’s another interesting topic I’m going to explore some day.