An extract from ‘Middle Earth Wisdom,’ by Caroline Carey
The new Middle Earth exists in this modern world, where mystery and dreaming are being brought back into the arena of our daily living. The old middle earth became neglected and misunderstood in the past and disbelieved, it became inconvenient to believe in such folly and in many cases people lost their lives because of such beliefs. Women and men were murdered because of their medicine ways, their stories and healing’s, what they believed in and what they spoke about.
Now we listen to story’s of old, the fantasies and myths acting out some of those stories in the great play of life, watching in awe on our T.V. screens and looking afresh at how we might gather and learn within community. We are thirsty and hungry for this kind of fantasy and intrigue, of magic and mystery in our culture where technology and science has failed us. For sure they have their benefits, but they cannot possibly give us that sense of magic that we hunger for, not the personal magic that happens inside us. We have created so many wonderful objects, technically advancing our world beyond measure, yet somewhere deep in our psyche there is a knowing that we are leaving something fundamental behind, advancing ourselves out of a culture that believes in the deeper dream of humanity, that understands there is so much more to our existence than performance, results, financial wealth and marketing.
Tolkien gave us the inspirational journey of Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings, and J.R. Rowling’s gave the magical experiences of Harry Potter. Those wonderful tales that inspire and remind us of our own imaginations, some of them waking us up to that part of our psyche that has been put too easily to sleep.
We might also recognize that the ways of our imagination are being ‘given’ to us by outside forces and we are no longer able to manifest this part of us for ourselves, depending on cinema, film, and images thrown at us from the media.
Our own world of using the imagination and of animism is often left as something to be provided for us by others. The ability to use simple ‘tools’ to encourage and practice this art has been, in some places, forgotten.
Back in the so-called dark ages, or Middle Ages, our own imagination was relied upon. Story-tellers were some of the most important people in the village, children and adults depended upon them, as they wove magical stories of history, fable and myth opening up the minds of those who listened allowing them to create their own pictures and forms, landscapes and imagery that nourished their minds and fulfilled a need to lessen the hunger of the imagination. From these stories we sourced great wisdom and understanding of myth and fairy tale, of history and peoples lives.
It was a way of education, with much to learn about and much to inspire us with.
It is possible to reignite some of these old ways through our own cultures rituals and ceremonies, to begin yet again to awaken the dreamer and learn to trust our dreams, to believe in them and not judge them for something ‘not real.’ Our imagination is key to our own ability to see more, to find the pictures of who we are and to project our desires into the future so that we can manifest from a personal place rather than from what others feel we should know or bring to the world, to pay attention to those moments of Spirit, to those ‘God moments’ in our lives, those synchronicities that make us pay attention a little more to our natural abilities of clairvoyance and ‘seeing.’
Empowering our own imagination gives us the freedom to integrate our innocence and curiosity into a functional practice that is as ancient as the rocks of our landscapes. We become the Seer; being able to see clearly, even predict our own futures and journeys. The imagination is recognized as a portal to the spirit worlds and very much needed in order to follow our shamanic heritage.
In the time of the ‘Old Britons,’ from which I sense my own calling is connected to in my lineage of feminine wise women, healers and medicine people, peoples belief in nature as their gods and goddesses was very clear. They lived their lives with a deep sense of honoring all that was around them, in the forests among the trees, the meadow flowers, the elements and clouds in the sky. They believed in what they could see and touch. They lived in buildings that were close to nature, not that they could not afford or had not invented other ways, but because they did not want to live separately to nature. They did not want to block the spirit of the land from their homes; they needed to literally live amongst nature. This was their spirituality. When the Romans came and built huge houses and mansions with all their décor and what the Anglo Saxons saw as ‘false gods’ to deck their halls with they shut out the very forces that the people of these lands understood to be necessary for their daily survival and were not interested in divorcing themselves from what was so important to them. Spirits, dragons, mythical and fairy folk, were all part of the daily spiritual beliefs and practices and a way to ensure that their lives were in connection with this, thus supporting their way of life, and their future way of inhabiting the world. Many rituals were performed, offerings made and songs and prayers spoken. Their way depended on it.
We still build constructions that keep us very much separate to the forces of nature, protecting ourselves from the winds and the rain, turning on our central heating whenever it suits us and not thinking about the consumption of energy we use. We build our walls thicker with more substance in order to shut out the great outdoors, use air conditioning systems and chop down tress because they spoil our view. What we are doing in our seeking for creature comforts, is shutting out the very spirits that can give us so much more if we would just listen. Instead we search for something material to give us satisfaction and keep our imaginative world and our fantasy world glued to a box in the living room, replacing the fires hearth and the visions that are all around us.
In our own day and age now, many people are wishing to go back to the land, to live a more natural life with animals, growing their own food and being closer to the elemental forces. It is being recognized as a ‘need’ in our culture to live in more harmony with Mother Earth and to once again honor her and all of her inhabitants. We gravitate to indigenous peoples of other lands and countries, some how putting them on a pedestal, thinking they have got it all right. And in many ways they have, but lack some of the sophistication we have mastered in our own psyches particularly around personal development. There is no ‘right’ way and we cannot judge ourselves too harshly for wanting to evolve, it is the nature of mankind. But we can find ways to allow the indigenous of our own culture filter back through our psyches and learn once more to live in harmony with its laws and principles.
We cannot go back to these old times, unless it is enforced upon us, we must live the way we do and try our best to live with integrity to what we have become and what we do upon this planet. But if we do not learn from our mistakes and we do not at least try to keep some of our heritage alive and honor the traditions of earlier times, then it will be our loss, and not just our loss, but also the loss of our beautiful landscapes, its animals and plant life and the innocence of the human nature. When we reach into our hearts, connecting to the children that are yet to be born, can we not feel a touch of dread for their souls, if we do not at least attempt as individuals to pave a better way and instill a way for them to develop their own imagination through their own minds eye, resourcing them with the ability to connect better with the spirit world, to learn to listen to the callings of nature and create an opportunity for belief in something much greater than some one elses fantasy?
I feel our ancestors calling to be remembered and for the old ways to have a voice and for us to reignite a sense of spirit in our own homes.
from ‘Middle Earth Wisdom,’ by Caroline Carey to be published with its medicine cards 2018.
More books by Caroline http://www.middleearthmedicine.com/written-work/
www.middleearthmedicine.com for rituals and story telling, shamanic understandings and Middle Earth reconnections