Help me find my way again,
I’m lost and am afraid.
Take my hand Earth Mother,
My confusion now will fade.
Spirit Guides surround me,
Nature’s heartbeat lead.
Show me now the good right path,
Your lessons I will heed.
Water, Fire, Air and Earth
Revive in me your power.
Create in my heart a grand rebirth.
Come to me this hour.
Wolf, teach me where to turn.
Crow, show me how to fly.
Lord and Lady show your peace to me.
Joy, now over take me, no reason now to cry.
Combined with my intention, three times three…
As I will, so mote it be
It is no secret that I love the woods. I love the smell, the feeling of the trees wrapping around you like a wonderful hug by the earth mother. I love hearing the rustle of the leaves and sticks and dirt under my feet. I love the sense of security and peace that I find in the woods.
This morning, really early, Friz and I made our way to those woods that have become like a second home to us. We walked into the opening that has become like the arms of an old friend. For some reason, Friz seemed particularly energetic this morning. He bounced and pranced through the leaves and debris on the floor of the woods. I laughed and watched him….right past our normal spot. I laughed and danced along side of him as we went farther into the woods. I didn’t even notice the change in the path or the trees or the fact that the woods seemed more dense.
When I finally looked around, I realized one thing. I had no idea where we were. We were completely lost in the woods that had become more than a friend to me. Friz put his nose to the ground…smells of things that weren’t familiar to him either. We were lost.
Just to be honest, I am not the bravest person in the world…and Friz is kind of a big chicken himself. Needless to say, every little noise spooked us. We would hear sticks crack or rustling in the canape of leaves above us and we would go into defensive mode. Friz would make half-hearted bark sounds and I would tense up. Something seemed to whir through my head….from deepest crevices of my brain. When I was a kid, my grandma would tell me that if I ever got lost, to just sit down where I was and someone or something would find me or the spirits of nature would tell me which direction to move in. So I sat down.
Friz was glued to my side. I unpacked my backpack. I pulled out my candles, my wolf skull and bones, my crow skull, my Palo Santo wood (a type of incense I got at a Pagan Market…smells a lot like sage with less smoke), and my newest addition, a cat’s skull. I had brought the cat’s skull into the woods to cleanse it. It had been found in the side yard of a friend’s house when he was doing some digging. He sent it to me because he knew that I loved working with animal spirits and that it would be treated with respect.
As I opened the door and welcomed in the directions, the elements, my guides, the Lord and Lady…a spitting of rain began working its way through the woods. I brought my cloak over my face and set Friz in my lap and covered him. I was surprised that the candles stayed lit. I moved the smoking Palo Santo stick around the cat skull offering prayers for the spirit of the animal….that, if it was tormented in life or had a harsh death, it’s spirit would peacefully cross over into the summerlands.
I closed my eyes, the smell of the burning incense wood wafting through my nostrils, and I waited. I waited for nature to speak to me. I waited for someone or something to come find me and lead me back onto my familiar and comfortable path. I listened.
In those next moments, I heard a familiar old cackle. I looked above me and there perched Mama Crow. She was comfortable. There seemed to be no distress or rush for her to move. I took my cue from her. I continued to cleanse the cat skull. I place her carefully between wolf and crow. I thanked the directions and elements. I blew out the candles and packed everything carefully away. I stood and watched as Mama Crow flew from tree to tree….Listen to nature…hmmm. I followed her direction. It was not a way I was familiar with.
I picked Friz up. I could tell he was tired of walking. I felt another energy with us. It shouldn’t surprise me that Wolf joined us. Normally, wherever there is Crow, there is Wolf. I could feel Wolf imparting new knowledge to me as we walked. “Though the path we walk may not be familiar…it is not necessarily the wrong path. We may end up somewhere that we need to be instead of somewhere we want to be. Just because you don’t know where you are, doesn’t mean you are lost. It just means you needed direction…something new…something fresh. Stop. Breathe in the Magick. Become acquainted with the newness of the magick around you. It is ever-changing and always moving. Sometimes humans just have to stop trying so hard to catch up.”
I looked up and saw that the trees were thinning. I was coming upon the edge of the woods. Where did I end up? How far out of my way did I go? I laughed out loud as I realized that I had come in behind the condo complex….actually even closer to home. I had not traveled the wrong path at all….just one not so familiar…but one that brought me even closer to where I needed to be all along.
I remember a phrase my grandma used to use quite a bit. “He went around his elbow to get to his nose.” This morning I realized that sometimes you need to take that longer path. Wisdom and understanding may just be waiting for you on that path.