Elen – The Wild Spirit

This is a reblog from my channel at SageWoman. Photo credit: Keeper of the Forest, by Rania Maria

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She is with me – I can feel Her as soon as I step out the door.  She calls to me, she pulls me further away from the houses of humanity, deeper into the wilds; the windswept heath, the dark forest, the bright birch glades.  I smile and answer her call with a song in my heart, my footsteps getting lighter and lighter as I head out to meet Her. I walk taller, with more grace, my body flowing and moving without the restrictions that are usually placed upon it.  I feel an almost eldritch tingling in my blood – the awen is awakened.

My sense of self fades away, sloughing off in evanescent shades flowing behind me to melt into nothingness.  I blend in with my surroundings – wearing faded greens and browns but also my personal space, my nemeton, dissolving into the land around me. This dissolution, this immersion in the landscape brings me closer to Her.

Each step is a sacred prayer.  Gentle, aware, heel rolling to toe, I feel the earth beneath my feet.  This land is holy ground.  The air is sweet, tinged with scents of Spring and I see it reflected in the budding narcissus, the already blooming crocus.  The birds have changed their songs to those that speak of warmth and sunshine, soft rains and the greening.

My joy in Her flows out of me and back inwards in an endless cycle.  That joy is a quiet joy – there is no need to shout, no need for a fuss.  It is pure, it is simple. It is utter awareness of the present moment, and the present moment is all that there is.

I look into the shadows beneath a stand of low pines, and there they are – her children.  A small herd, of about a dozen, lie beneath the darkened canopy where no footpaths lie.  Here they can rest undisturbed.  I greet them ever so softly with my mind – I do not enter into myself to do this – it is merely an honouring and acknowledgement of their beauty without breaking the immersion in the present moment.

I continue on, blessed by the gift of seeing her children.  I know that I will see more.  I know too that I am of Her, related to Her, to her children.  She is within me and I am within her. The deer are within me and I am within them.  I only have to open my awareness to this to see the brilliance of this blessed gift. So simple, so easy.

The sunlight is warm upon my skin, the breeze is cool, playing with my hair and scarves, making them dance in the wind.  I come to a very special place, and there they are – a herd seventy strong.  They see me and wait – I wait also, allowing them the first move.  The leaders are then startled by something, and they run across the open grassland from forest cover to the cover of brush, all in a line, along a sacred trackway that they have made over hundreds of years.  This is Her trackway, and I watch with soaring spirit as they follow the flow of spirit across the heath.

I go to the birch trees to offer my greetings and leave a gift – a brilliant white egg-shaped stone I found amongst the heather.  I then make my way back across the heath, coming across the trackway that cuts the green sward in half.  I can still feel their energy – their silent, swift energy running towards the pine trees and dried bracken.  As I cross that line, I feel it moving through me, and I swirl it through my soul before letting it run free again along the deer path.  I am filled with golden light.

I can feel Her eyes upon me, watching from the forest edge.  Her antlered head is thrown back with laughter, Her green eyes dancing even as my soul dances.  Silently she shares in my joy and I in Hers, and then she disappears.

I make my way back towards home – there are a couple of deer hidden among the brush near to one of the paths I wish to take. I do not want to startle them – I choose another path.  Moving along the forest edge I look up, and see the large herd again, this time ghosting through the trees, running silently and swiftly between the beech trunks, flashes of light and darkness.  I bend down where I stand and bring my hands to the rich mossy ground.  Looking down, my pale skin shines silver-white in the light against the vibrant green of the soft carpet, as if moonlight, not sunlight shone upon them.  I close my eyes and breathe deep into the earth, giving of myself to Her.

Making my way homewards, I am always loathe to leave Her sacred ground.  She is always within my heart, and always within my spirit – a sense of wildness, of laughter and play, of wariness and strength.  She is muted when indoors, but She is there, deep within my soul even as I greet my Lady of Sanctuary upon entering the home. She smiles and reaches out to her Sister, Nemetona, the Lady of the Sacred Grove.

She is Elen, the wild goddess.  I honour Her with all that I am.

To find out more about my writing, please visit my author page at Amazon, where you will details on the No.1 bestseller, The Awen Alone: Walking the Path of the Solitary Druid, as well as new releases such as Zen for Druids and my upcoming book, The Crane Bag: A Druid’s Guide to Ritual Tools and Practices available July 2017.

Introducing Elen, Wild Goddess

ElenShe is the Lady of the Wildwood.

Hidden in the shadows of the trees, she watches you with eyes millennia old. You may catch a brief glimpse of her, and then she is gone, flitting silent as ghost amidst the snowy boughs, disappearing in a heartbeat.

She is the heartbeat of the wood, of the wild places, of heathland and moorland. She dances under the moon in star-filled skies, her dance exhilarating and free. And in the blink of an eye she is gone, lost in the mist that slowly curls over the land in eloquent drifts.

She is called Elen. Not much is known about her – she seems to have escaped the history books and academia of the human race. She knows this, and it pleases her greatly. You cannot know her without seeking her out, in the wild places, in the darkness and in the light, in the heat and in the cold. She is to be experienced, not to be read about.

She is an antlered goddess, her antlers showing her free nature spirit. Her hair is long and red, often with twigs and leaves entangled – sometimes plaited back in a long braid down her slim back. Her limbs are white – they glow in the shadows and shine in the moonlight. Her green eyes, full of mischief, hold the secret of the Ways.

She is Elen of the Ways, of the trackways and paths that cross both nature and the human soul. She is a physical deity – you must put one foot in front of the other if you are ever to know her. If you are lucky, you can find the ancient pathways she had trod, leaving her energy behind, enticing you further, deeper into the heart of the wood, where the mysteries lie.

Follow the footprints – in the snow, in the mud, in the sand. The cloven hoof of the deer will lead you to her. They are her children, they are Her. Like the deer, she is grace and strength, she is trusting and wary, she is capable of great stillness and explosive action. She is curious and wise, and she will beckon you further in if your heart is open.

Not much is known about Elen, a patron goddess of mine. I seem to be attracted to deities who have little written knowledge about them – Nemetona, goddess of sanctuary, is the other to whom I have given my heart and soul. Nemetona is a holding deity – she creates a space where we can simply be – Elen is a wild deity, running naked over the heather in wild abandon.

I’ve always known Elen, though I did not have a name for her. I’ve always known and felt her spirit with me, deep in the woods, wherever I am in the world, eyes watching me. She is strongest here, but I am sure that she is strong elsewhere in Europe – so many countries to visit and learn about. But here, in the east of England, where her children, the deer, run free is where I have found her. This is where I have come home, literally and figuratively.

More and more people are finding out about Elen – a friend of mine does an Immerse in Elen Retreat once a year, which is gaining ever increasing popularity, as well as a Reunion for previous attendees.
The group on Facebook for Elen of the Ways has 360 people and counting – more and more she is becoming known. But she is a deity that must be experienced – not talked or read about.

And so I would encourage you – if you feel your soul spreading out, your nemeton relaxing when deep in the heart of the wood, or out among the wild places where the deer roam, that is where you can seek and, if you are lucky, find Elen. Look for the flash in the shadows at sunset, the glimpse of an antler. When you have found Elen, you will know it, and be forever changed.

Photo from http://raniamaria.eu/blog/tag/antler/

To find out more about my writing, please visit my author page at Amazon, where you will details on the No.1 bestseller, The Awen Alone: Walking the Path of the Solitary Druid, as well as new releases such as Zen for Druids and my upcoming book, The Crane Bag: A Druid’s Guide to Ritual Tools and Practices available July 2017.