Communicating with the Land

I've always communicating with the genius loci or the spirits of the land. Communication with the land is not something verbal, so much as kinisthetic. It is a feeling, but it is even more than that. It's a relationship. Communicating with the land also differs from place to place. In my recent trip to Seattle, I was reminded of why I dislike living there, and indeed why I needed to move from there. The connection I have with the land in Seattle is a connection where that land speaks of how unhappy it is. The entire state of Washington is always a place that prompts a negative reaction on my part. I know when I've left Oregon, because I can feel a shift in my connection with the land. Communicating with the land in that sate and/or city is a communication that speaks to what the land is feeling and how it is shaped and is shaping what lives on it. Oregon, as a contrast, feels like home. There's something about the land that fits me, that fits together with who I am. Whenever I leave this state and go somewhere else, I feel a shift. I know I am not home.

I have no doubt that for people who live in Washington and/or Seattle, that those places are just as much home for them and that there is a connection that is fundamentally as deep for them as Oregon is for me. I know some people have told me that in Oregon they don't feel comfortable. It makes sense to me that the relationship any person has with the land is going to be unique to some degree, shaped in part by personality and in part by the land itself, and how it fits that person.

My connection to the land is an elemental connection. I do a lot of work with elemental spirits and bonding with the land has always been part of my work. The exchange of essence is an exchange of trust, and an acceptance of a close relationship with the land. I don't think of the land as a place or thing, but as something living, with its own input and feedback. It may not communicate that message through means most of us are aware of, but the land speaks, if you know how to hear and feel it.


Connecting with the land

I'm visiting the Black Hills in South Dakota with Kat. We drove through Montana, Idaho, Washington and Wyoming to get here and for the last couple of days we've been exploring this area, seeing Mt. Rushmore and Mt. Crazy Horse, the needles, the lakes and the wildlife here. Something which is really important to me, and always has been, is the connection I have with the land. I love Portland and Oregon because of how the land's energy and my own mesh. I could also feel a resonance with the energy in Montana and in the Black Hills. That kind of resonance is important for me. To be really comfortable, I need to connect with the energy of the land. That's why Seattle didn't work for me. The energy of the land and my energy didn't mesh well. Connecting with land isn't as simple as deciding it feels right to you. The land needs to tell you if you feel right to it, if you belong there. And if you don't belong, it will tell you. The land doesn't belong to you. You belong to the land. It's something where the land basically says, "You fit with this land, so I call you as one of mine." I've felt that feeling in a few places in my life, where I've known there was this acceptance from the land and an equal acceptance from myself.

I think of the land as alive, and myself as just one microorganism among many that effect the land, either for good or ill. While a land can accept you, there's still something to be said for making an offering to it. An offering of your sweat, tears, and blood, of your effort, of going into a place, and blending with it, letting it speak to you and through you.

Anytime I feel such a connection I am reminded of how small I really am, how important it is to respect the connection and respect, and how much it matters to me, to feel this intangible connection that speaks so loudly to me and reminds me that I am not over or on top, but really just a part of something much more powerful, much more beautiful, much more significant than myself.