Saturday was Hawthorn Day, well it was for some of us! Bracken arranged a workshop with a lovely lady called Sue in Hebdon Bridge and we spent the day with some friends in the Ovate Grade, exploring Hawthorn. Sue has trained in Plant Spirit Medicine with Eliot Cowan.
After a cup of tea and an introductory talk, we walked in silence up and out of the valley to a field that held a beautiful mature hawthorn tree, and scattered in the fields around it, seven or eight little babies. I suppose I ought to call them saplings, but I always visualise saplings as whippy little things and these were rather solid and stocky. After greeting the mother tree we each chose a hawthorn to connect with. I was drawn to one in the next field.
When I bent down to look at it I noticed it had an oak leaf caught in it’s trunk which I took to be a good sign. It had been through the mill a bit, as it showed quite a few old scars on it’s bark and there was a clump of wilted branches on the ground under it which had been knocked off recently. Sue had given us little packets of barley to take as an offering, Eliot Cowan had revealed that the plant spirits told him that barley or wheat was a traditional offering in Britain (as opposed to tobacco in the States) which I found interesting as I have been using them for a few years in the form of bird seed!
The tree was on a slope and beneath it there was a small hollow, which was just the right shape for sitting in sideways and curling up into a ball with your head under the little canopy. This gave me the wonderful view above. It was so peaceful up there, you could hear skylarks! What joy!
I had a wonderful sensation of being held in the earth, I could feel the rocks below the surface of the soil like bones, and when the tree decided to prick me, the throbbing in my finger echoed my heartbeat and that of the Earth itself.
When the drum called us, we gave our thanks to the trees and headed back in silence. Once we were settled, we journeyed to meet the Spirit of Hawthorn, with the intention of asking for a teaching and also to ask what it was that they would like us to do in return. There were some really interesting experiences! After that it was time to grab a late lunch while we all inwardly digested the information we’d received and then a final session to tie it all together.
It was a fantastic day and so lovely to see everybody. After a few horrible days at work it was like balm to the soul. I could feel the tension seeping out of me and into the earth. Unfortunately as is often the way with me, on the way home I proceeded to cultivate a stonking headache and I have been feeling lousy ever since. It’s the weekend stress headache again!