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Being held by the Land

Sometimes the land holds you, and sometimes it does not. No matter how beautiful a place is or how magical other people find it to be, some places simply don’t sing to our souls. I think it was Martin Shaw who said something like ‘not all landscapes are for you’ and I truly believe that. I also believe this to be a good and healthy thing. Not all people are for us, so why would the land be any different? Some land seems to draw energy from us and some places are indifferent to us no matter how hard we do or do not try to connect. Some require hard work and dedication, and other landscapes and their spirits are wild teachers who guide us through initiations for a part of or all our lives. And then some lands just feel like home. Those are the deep places of rest and re-enchantment that sing to our souls. We perhaps don’t realise how disenchanted or disconnected we are until we find land that sings to us, that sings us home. I’ve been super excited about visiting certain places, only to find when I get there that the connection isn’t there, and sometimes, when my soul is feeling ragged and thin I can stumble into a land that unexpectedly scoops me up into its care. I think that feeling is like falling in love, knowing that, or hoping that something special is occurring with you and the spirits of that place.

When we feel that connection (or lack of) with the land, we are also, consciously or unconsciously, connecting with the fae, and the spirits of the land, known as the Landvættir in the Old Nordic religions. There are countless types of land spirits, who have inspired folklore and faerie tales all over the world for millennia. For the most part, our ancestors knew that the key to maintaining a healthy relationship with the land was to honour and respect these spirits. This was often done by offering food, observing particular agreements/taboos with the land spirits and respecting places sacred to the fae. I've visited some places that were used to human contact and offerings, but are now abandoned or forgotten. This severance of connection can create sadness in the land, and perhaps some of us feel called to work toward healing that rift.

In some places, the fae and the land spirits simply cry out to play and to meet you, until your spiritual and life path becomes magically entwined with theirs. In my Faerie Awakening course, we will be deep-diving into how to build connection with the spirits of the land, but my first guidance would be to follow your heart. Feel into the places where you feel held, excited, in love, or inspired. Speak to the trees, sing with the rivers, and walk regularly in places that nurture your body and soul. Find a tree or rock that feels to be a guardian of the space. Research local folklore and history alongside the wildlife, flowers and fauna. Tend the land with kindness, as you would tend a relationship, and know that these days the fae can be a little shyer or reluctant to show themselves. But, if you turn up, and approach the land with a joyful singing heart, one day you may hear them singing back to you...

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