Recently, I found a fantastic book on the Kindle Store called "A Witch Alone (Thirteen Moons to Master Natural Magic)", by Marian Green.
The description explains that the book is designed to be a "practical manual of instruction for those who choose the solo path of study and particularly stresses the importance of being in tune with nature." - which was already enough to earn it a place in my Amazon basket.
Reading on: "the book is divided into 13 parts. Each section is aimed at lasting from the new moon to the dark to make the student fully aware of the changing power in the tides of the sea and the tides of the self. The moon-long sections deal with a variety of traditional arts, skills and mental exercises which enables the aspiring witch to discover the inner world of magic inside him/herself. ".
Later that evening I sat down on the sofa, journal in hand, ready to make some notes on what I thought was going to be a really interesting read. Little did I know that the first chapter of this book would inspire me to get up at the crack of dawn the next day, eager to delve into my local museum and hunt down a Woolly Mammoth jaw!
I was out of the house the very next morning, fiance in tow, ready to soak up as much knowledge as I could about the earth beneath my feet.
I live in Essex, England - a city infamous for its role in the Essex Witch Trials, which took place during the 17th century. Before reading Marian's book I knew where, when and why the trials occurred but had never looked in depth into where the poor victims lived or how the energy of the earth had been affected by the City's rich history.
While walking around Chelmsford Museum, I began to picture what it was like to walk on this exact same piece of land 400 years ago, when innocent men and women were hunted, tortured and executed for being branded a witch. Going back further in time, through exhibitions of roman battles and burials that took place, I thought about the vast pools of blood that have soaked into the ground; the bones and flesh that decayed under my feet; the billions of footsteps that have trodden on the same path I walk every day; the giant Woolly Mammoths that used to graze near what is now the town centre... It's overwhelming to think about how much has happened on this tiny little piece of the planet over the millenia.
Before I left the museum grounds I took a moment to stand still in the surrounding park, connecting with the energy of the earth now that I knew it's history and what had influenced the way it vibrates.
Under my feet sits layer upon layer of earth, rock and sediment. Amongst these minerals are fossils and bones from those who have lived and died on the land, as well as nutrients from the herbs that have both thrived in the wild and been introduced by human hands. All the energy of the past makes up my environment and it flows through me everyday in the locally grown food I eat, the water I drink and the air I breathe.
If past events hadn't occurred, I wondered if it would feel different? If I'd still get goosebumps when I visited my favourite spots, or if the sacred spaces in my hometown would still feel a little haunted?
When the new moon arrives I'll be moving on to chapter two of A Witch Alone which, if it's anything like the first, will be utterly mind-blowing.