This is a reblog from my post at Druid Heart, at SageWoman’s channel on Witches and Pagans.
Sometimes one has to retreat from the world, in order to better understand it. Finding sanctuary, a sacred space where we can open our souls without fear, where we can simply be, is a glorious experience. It happens a lot less than we need in our lives, in my opinion.
A goddess of sanctuary, Nemetona is an elusive deity. Not much is written or recorded about her in Classical texts or history. Just the barest hints and place names, some tribe names and a couple of inscriptions. Who is this goddess to whom we can bare our souls, in complete soul truth, knowing that we are held?
In our modern day world, so often we feel we have to close ourselves off in order not to be overwhelmed – by people, media, technology. For sensitive souls, it sometimes is pure hell. We need to allow our soul truths to emerge, otherwise as caged birds we function behind bars, never truly spreading our wings and knowing what it means to fly. We feel we have to be careful not to be too open, too emotive, too sensitive to what people are saying or what is happening in the world around us. We are not allowed to be offended, we are not allowed to speak out without fear of being shot down a lot of the time. We are told that we shouldn’t be so sensitive. Our souls grow smaller with each experience of shutting down, never letting anyone or anything in.
That physical space around us, where we feel uncomfortable if someone we do not trust enters, is a valuable space. It is our personal nemeton, a space where our energy exists outside of our bodies. Many liken it to your aura. Some nemetons are strong and radiant, some wounded with gaping holes, others barricaded with steel. What we have to learn, or relearn, is how to open this space in love and trust – that is what Nemetona provides, often in a world wherein we feel no other human is able to provide this for us…
To read the full post, click HERE.
Such true and insightful words, Jo. It is hard to trust and let go and allow oneself the freedom to feel and in turn be felt by the energies that surround us. Nemetona is a powerful presence and a goddess, as you say, who is there but does not mollycoddle. She is one who, in my experience, is defender of sacred space, a preserver of personal space/energy, but it can be subtle. A hint, a nudge, as much as a shout if where you are or what is going on is not ‘right’ somehow. She is always here, with me, in my space. I am trying to figure out a way to honour her at my front door, to be able to reverence her when I enter and when I leave. I will let you know when I figure out exactly how that honouring shapes itself.
Brilliant! I simply touch the door frame and whisper a prayer to her upon entering – twice a year I also draw a symbol of Her upon the doorframe in patchouli, sandalwood and cedarwood oil. x
I love learning new aspects of the Goddesses and Paganism everyday. This was something I needed very badly at the prefect moment in my life. Thank you so much for sharing. Also thank you for the comments so I can continue to learn. I have trouble leaving my home, unless it’s early in the morning and I take my dogs off to the woods for a walk and spend some time with Mother Earth. I live in a city but only 2 blocks to the state park and Niagara Falls itself so I’m able to get there quite quickly. I also have places but I must drive to them. Those are the times I bring my kids but my mornings when tourists aren’t everywhere and things are beautiful and quiet. That’s my favorite time of day.
Hi Amy – so close to Niagra Falls – how lovely! x
It’s a shame that those of us that live near the Niagara Falls rarely visit them. I actually worked in the parking lot in my teens and went down there one time that whole summer. Silly but many of us don’t realize the beauty that we are surround by because our lives are busy or the problems we’re faced with but I’ve had to do some serious soul searching these past few days and I’ve realized that I cannot let life pass me by. I must live in the now, enjoy today, not live in the past and own, process and accept the parts I played and let it go and move on. I have to literally stop and smell the roses. I touch the trees, I thank them for the oxygen they’re giving me, I breath it in deep, I pick a leaf up off the ground and carry it, meditate with it, feel it, follow all its little leafy veins and their symmetrical patterns. It’s truly helped me with my anxiety and slowed my racing thoughts and helped me with my fears. so yes, I am very fortunate to live so close to the Niagara Falls in the city of Niagara Falls, NY but it’s a not so nice city. I am lucky that I’m very close to the park and able to get there quickly without walking through the city cuz I live almost on the edge of the city you could say, just a few blocks from the upper Niagara river which lead me right to Goat Island, the woods and the falls, it’s beautiful and wonderful as long as you go early before all the tourists swamp it! I know all the secret places though hehehehe!
We’ve all got our little sanctuaries – you’ve just got to get out there and find them! x
Happy birthday and wishes for a great new year. I am reading your book, Dancing with Nemetona, half way through. It rings so true to my non scholarly explorations. I really want to thank you for making the book so accessible to wanderers like me. I really love it, it’s so simply satisfying. After I retired I spent six years wandering, bushwhacking through the forest and I felt of what you write. I find your writing so uplifting and fills me with reverence. I plan on going through the book, following in detail the exercises and meditations. I’ve made a circle in the woods and it’s my been my personal sanctuary. I read things in your book and I totally know and it’s been really great how you put it into words. I get following the deer trails, I love things that I did not know but felt. Your book is really helping me understand what I feel and how to delve deeper. I just wanted to thank you.
Hiya – wow, thank you so much for your kind words! All the best to you and your loved ones, and awen blessings on your journey deeper into the forest. xoxo