Reblog: Nemetona and Sanctuary

This is a reblog from my post at Druid Heart, at SageWoman’s channel on Witches and Pagans.

524734_640754085941583_54399955_nSometimes 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.

New book contract accepted! Dancing With Nemetona

Have just accepted my third book contract with Moon Books, another in their Pagan Portals series, entitled Dancing With Nemetona – A Druid’s exploration of sanctuary and sacred space.  This work will focus on sanctuary and sacred spaces, exploring the Goddess of the Sacred Grove, Nemetona.  Check out the Moon Books website here, and see their latest releases…

Here’s a little taster…

It had been a long and challenging day at work. I drive home, the windows open and the radio off, fully immersing myself in the act of driving, leaving behind what happened at work and becoming entirely aware of the present moment.  I feel the sandy roads beneath the wheels, the smell of the newly ploughed fields lifting my heart and filling my nostrils with that sweet earthy scent.  The village finally comes into view, the 30 mile an hour speed restriction delineating the edges of this space that I call home, and I slow down, driving under the speed limit through the little street past the village shop and post office, turning into my road.   

The tires crunch the rocks in my driveway, and I park the car, switching off the engine.  I take a deep breath, and look at my home, smiling.  Mindfully, I open the car door and grab my handbag, closing the door shut behind me and walking towards the front door, focusing on each and every step that brings me closer to Her.  I take my keys out and with intent, turn the key in the lock and enter the porch, softly closing the door behind me.  I take off my shoes and hang up my coat and then open the main door to the house. 

My soul opens of its own accord, my own nemeton relaxing and expanding so that it merges with the physical space of the house itself, with Her.  I place my hand on the door lintel and whisper a prayer, “Thank you My Lady for this sacred place, this haven of four walls and for providing me with a home.  I am truly honoured.”  I feel the acceptance and smile, entering the home fully, saying hello to the cats and dropping my keys in the bowl.   

Our homes are often places of comfort and rest, if we feel inspired by Her to make them so and if we are attuned with Her energy.  We must first have some sort of idea of who we are, in order to express ourselves and Her in our homes in order to create a sense of calm, well-being and a nurturing environment.  We cannot simply emulate what we think looks nice in a book or a magazine, but we must feel it in our body, in our blood and in our mind that this is a reflection of what our vision of hearth and home is for us.

It will be different for each person.  Everyone has different views on aesthetics, décor, and arrangement.  Everyone has different budgets and limitations.  Everyone has different energies and inspirations and abilities to make these things manifest.  What we must try to do is to do is to create that sense of welcoming when we walk in the door, to connect with Nemetona in our homes and to honour her for all that she provides.