What is forest
The forest is a powerful healing place. The forest is alive, beautiful, responsive. For me, forest medicine means entering the forest respectfully to ask for guidance or help, or to give thanks. It is a “dance” with the forest, infinitely variable with the weather, season, the place, the people, the intent. It has the potential to offer healing and beauty for us humans, but is also a mutual relationship. One where we listen, one where we give what we can in return.
When is it for?
There are some times and some circumstances when working on the physical level is not enough. I know this from my own life. Healing, of the body or the spirit, does not always happen logically. While we are participants in the dance of change, there are many things we can and do not control.
Forest medicine it is for those times when there is no clear answer, or no clear path forward. It is for times when you wish to give thanks and gratitude. It is for times when you want to manifest the miraculous. It is for the times when you must surrender, when only prayer is left. It is for times when you need to let go and courageously walk into a new life.
What will we do?
We will meet and talk about your reason for coming. We will enter the forest together. We will visit one or more places in the forest to offer words, sounds, prayers. I will work with you, the trees, the plants, the animals, the sun, the seasons, the stones, song, and the water to create ceremony to support your intention. You do not need to know, be, or do anything special to participate. If you feel it may be right, come! and I will guide you.
How it began
I grew up surrounded by the forest in the northeastern United States. The forest-hill behind our house was covered in a seemingly endless expanse of birches, hemlocks, grape vines, beech trees, and laurel bushes. As a child I played often in the forest, making winter homes from fallen branches, clearing the tiny waterfalls and spring ponds of leaves, following the old stone wall deep into the interior, and hiding special treasures in hollow trees. The forest was a powerful, alive place: to be respected, to be tended, to be attended to.
Arriving in Sweden in my twenties I found myself living again at the edge of large forest. Entering the forest day by day, season by season, year by year, a conversation began. A conversation with the ferns, the deer, the seldom-seen foxes, the large mossy stones, the spruces, the pines, my human troubles, the birch, the oaks, the waterways, the paths, the mountains, the lilies of the valley, the junipers, the rain, the snow, the dry summer moss.
Over time I began to understand the forest in another way. That it is alive and responsive to human presence, to songs, to our intentions and imaginations. The forest can hold us, reveal things to us, help us, as we also give gifts in return. Places in the forest offer themselves to be worked with in certain ways. The trees, the rocks, the clearings themselves are alive and potent. Like our human lives, the seasons shift and make the forest dynamic with snow, lush with summer ferns, covered with icy river paths.
My work with the forest emerged organically (and continues to unfold). It has no direct source in any book, religion, or tradition. My teacher is the forest itself. Still, it seems that this relationship with the forest, and the alive natural world, is something fundamental. Something indigenous and instinctual to people.
As Mayan-trained shaman Martin Prechtel so beautifully writes, even those of us born in places of deep cultural and spiritual amnesia have the potential to germinate as “seeds” in service to the Holy in nature. Perhaps this is part of that greater work? Have we not always been awed by the forest, sung with the grace and power of water, wanted to receive from and give to the whole? May this work be in service to the people, the forest, and also to this great re-membering.
Women’s well being & vitality, gynecological and reproductive health, acupuncture treatments, Traditional Chinese Medicine consultations, events, workshops, nordic herbs, and forest medicine.
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