Magical Communion with Nature

Have you ever read the Alchemist?

Yes, that one, by Paulo Coelho. Despite being a book that details some supposedly secretive teachings of the Occult and alchemy, it happens to be the most read book in the world (with the only exception being the Bible, but assuming every Christian family and institution owns at least a few, it is difficult to say which book is actually more well read. Consider also, that there’s many different Bibles, but only one standard version of the Alchemist).

Coelho is an open occultist, even going as far as describing himself as a “magician”. Some Occult circles that take themselves a bit too seriously, and hate books like this because they think it’s all wishy-washy and new agey.

The story of The Alchemist uses symbolism and metaphor to explain spiritual philosophy, and perhaps most people assume that Coelho merely uses fantastical imagery and language to make a point. Similar things are ascribed to Nietzsche, Jung, Watts, McKenna and Peterson.

After all, the Occult and spiritual practices are merely psychosomatic processes, right? It’s all just an elaborate form of visualization and self hypnosis. No one really calls on Angels, influences the weather, summons the dead, heals the sick or makes things spontaneously burn, right?

Oh boy, if only you knew.

Anyway, the reason I’m talking about the Alchemist is because it always struck me how Coleho speaks so frankly and bluntly about certain Occult phenomenon that are considered “crazy” by the modern rational mind. Often, if you pick up ANY book on Occultism written in the past 2 centuries, at least the first 100 pages are dedicated to the author desperately and laboriously trying to justify how magick is compatible with modern science. Even Crowley makes this error, where he desperately dumbs down magick just so that it would fit within the archaic and “materialistic” framework of the early 1920s. Even the Kyballion does this, showing a grave misunderstanding of who is actually reading their book, failing to keep with the so eloquent axiom “Don’t cast pearls before swine”.

I never understood the point of this. Books from the early 20th century, which changed occult philosophy to fit into the science of that period, now inadvertently become pseudo-science, because the scientific knowledge of their period was incomplete and has since advanced quite a lot. In fact, if anything, as Science progresses, more and more aspects of older, seemingly “unscientific” Occult wisdom actually get verified. This also makes me wonder if many of the people writing the Books had any practical experience with Occult phenomenon, or if they simply read the theory and attempted to merge it into the existent world view. Or maybe they were simply trying to avoid becoming outcasts, like pagan Occultist before them who disguised their writings as being Abrahamic.

Books from the East are often a bit more open, because Western materialism never truly took hold in most of the Eastern cultures (no, not even in Japan, Russia and Korea). On the other hand, there’s very, very few modern Occult texts from the East. If anything, most recent books on Eastern occultism are written by Western or Western educated individuals. That’s a different can of worms I’m not keen to spring today.

Whatever your opinion be about The Alchemist, the first thing that struck me is that it isn’t based in any fantasy Universe, but in our world. Yet, despite it’s extremely grounded and realistic stories, there are scenes where the protagonist, Santiago, is able to communicate with the Desert, the Sun and the Wind. There are seers and prophets who can see the future. It always throws you off, and Coelho does not attempt to give any further explanation about how everything has a rational explanation, nor attempt to reduce anything to materialism. It is perhaps this reason why many rationalists scorn the book as childish.

Personally, I couldn’t care less what objections they have. I think it’s futile to try and convince people. I don’t claim to understand the exact scientific process behind magick, and perhaps some day in the future science will discover it. Science isn’t some ideology or philosophy, but merely the process and methodology of discovering new knowledge. If something exists, there simply HAS to be some explanation for it, but that doesn’t mean that explanation must adhere to our current knowledge of science.

So it’s up to you how to take what I write. I won’t pretend to make it reasonable, nor reduce everything to psychological processes. usually, I do this in my blog, when I write about invocations and philosophy, but now the subject matter is so complex and unexplored that this is no longer within my capability. I do not wish to make up an untested pseudo-science to explain it, but nor can I pretend that it isn’t real. Those who feel uncomfortable are free to deny it or build up some logic for it.


The Forces of Nature

Nature comprises of many forces. One common way to categorize this is through the traditional system of four elements: Fire, Water, Air and Earth. The other is by applying the classification system of some particular pagan religion (most often the Hellenic, Japanese or Celtic) to distinguish between different types of spirits.

However, as you’ll see, any method of rigid categorization or classification is bad for communing with the Natural forces. It might work when invoking angels or gods, or even calling on elemental forces, but for the forces of nature, we have to adopt a rather older, folk perspective, rather than some universal and global categorization like the modern individual may be used to doing.

But what do I mean by the forces of Nature? Exactly what it sounds like. The winds and the rain, the spirit of the desert, trees and mountains, rivers spirits or plants, fungi or perhaps a specific rock, animals or even rice. Did you know that the Japanese believed there are seven gods living in each grain of rice? ha. (This was apparently the justification given for why rice should be properly chewed. The Occult is often science not yet understood)

Communicating with these forces is possible, but a ritualistic or religious approach is difficult to work with, since these forces are……let’s say “simple”, or “ancient”. Before organised religions and the worship of cosmic forces in the form of idols and symbols, people revered mountains, sacred trees or holy animals. It is a very intuitive and basic process, and varies from situation to situation.

You have to connect to such forces personally, however feels right to you. This is why, when the protagonist of The Alchemist simply gazes upon the Desert and “talks” to it, we feel disturbed or out of our depth. Usually, you would expect some sort of elaborate invocation, some ritual to call on some specific deity that merely resides in the desert, but it’s a lot harder to envision speaking to the “desert” itself.

We as humans have an evolutionary tendency to anthropomorphize things, and for this reason we feel more comfortable with Gods and demons, angels and spirits, fairies and elves. For things like nature, oceans and winds, we often do not worship them directly, but some deities that preside over them. For example, instead of communing with the Rain, we may seek communion with Zeus or Indra.

I do not want to drag this on, so I’ll just say this: communion with the Forces of nature is distinct from communion with Deities presiding overt them, or any particular spirits that dwell over them. They inhabit the material plane.

To anyone who has read anything about evolution, it is extremely obvious that the sentient hominid races are out of place on Earth. Our bodies may have evolved with everything else, but our minds and souls are at odds with everything else, even from a totally materialistic point of view. In a way, if humanity really is a group of beings that have been sent to the Earthly plane to learn certain lessons and achieve certain things, then you could say that that the things we find in nature are the original inhabitants of this plane. That’s why we are the only thing on Earth, and in fact in the entire material Universe, that is not in harmony with Natural law, because it makes us suffer, to the point where the single most recognized motif on our planet, signifies physical suffering.


Communicating with Nature

Communicating with animals is widely accepted, but some would say communicating with plants is not truly possible as they aren’t sentient. Further, it can be said that communication with rocks, rivers, the winds or the land is impossible as these aren’t even living.

And then, you have the people of the Amazon, who somehow figured out how to take two plants that grow totally apart from each other (one containing DMT and the other having an MAO inhibitor), and figured out how to cook them in a very specific manner to produce Ayahuasca, a potent psychedelic substance used for shamanic rituals. If you were ask them how they were able to learn this, they give you ever eloquent answer “the plants told us”.

Update (2020): If you click the link, it’ll take you to Soul Herbs, who have sponsored me on this post. On their website, you can learn more about Ayahuasca, it’s ingredients, legality, as well as purchase some Ayahuasca tea.

They have a Soul, and a consciousness. They have the same life force as us. Perhaps we cannot communicate on a material level, but maybe on some higher plane our soul can touch theirs. Or perhaps we are simply projecting our own internal psyche onto them, but that could be said for any and all interactions, including those with humans.

The ancient Greeks believed in a concept called the noosphere, similar to the atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. The Noosphere was said to be the sphere containing all human thoughts and memories, which would later be fleshed out by Carl Jung as the “Collective Unconscious”. maybe such a concept applies to different forces of Nature too, and everything in the end is part of the Great Collective, which is the Universe, the Brahman, the World Soul.

The most powerful form of communication, with both other humans, and with Nature, is through symbols. These are used everywhere, from marketing to mythology, as they resonate with our subconscious, whcih of course, if the gateway to the Unconscious. Therefore, good communication involves the subconscious, and the same is true for natural forces. You must communicate through symbols, visualization and emotion (similar to a magick Ritual)


How this Communion Is Achieved

A few things are important in order to commune with any force of nature. First, meditation and the ability to enter a trance at will. This isn’t actually hard and will become second nature after some time of daily meditative practice. Through meditation upon any object, that object becomes a medium to enter the World Soul. In more technical terms, when the conscious mind becomes quiet, the subconscious directly.

The second thing, perhaps most important, is emotional clarity. Thoughts belong to the Conscious Mind, the Ego, the Ruach, while Emotions belong to the Subconscious mind, the Animal Self, the Nephesch. Women are naturally more in tune with the subconscious (while men are with the conscious), and this may be the reason why most witches and those who commune with nature end up being women. Of course, it is fairly easy for a man to achieve this same communion if he can be in touch with his emotions.

To interface with nature, you must sit in meditative and passive state of mind, ideally around or at least in view of what you want to communicate with. Then, slowly, open yourself up. Imagine you are interacting with another person. You know how you sometimes converse with the voice in your head? Do that, but don’t make the voice speak. Instead, call forth the thing you want to communicate with, and allow it’s mind into you, and your mind into it. This might take sometime, and might have to be repeated over days. Usually, it’s good to do it with something you already know and recognize, and are familiar with, like pets or house plants. Meditate on the thing, and eventually it shall ‘speak’.

You don’t have to force it, or ‘try’ to do something. In the Alchemist, the protagonist is a shepherd from the mountainous region of Andulas. He travels to Egypt, and spends many days in the desert, slowly learning it’s ways, it’s laws and it’s mentality, and becoming immersed. He could, of course, have done the same to the mountains back home, but maybe he was so busy with his routine he never had the chance to pay attention. He begins to understand that the Desert itself is an entity, a thing that functions according to certain mechanisms (very similar, in fact, to most “living” biological organisms).

At one point, he is captured by tribesmen, and manages to escape by transforming himself into the Wind, which he achieves by spending three entire days staring at the Desert, until it speaks to him. Much more could be said here, but not today.

It is our obsession with our mundane life which stops us from noticing the phenomenon taking place around us. You will recall hat, for our ancestors, who had much more free time, to notice supernatural occurrences (not having immediate access to entertainment all the time, they simply payed attention.

The most reliable force of nature that one can commune with is the fungal intelligence of the Earth, and this is done through the consumption of psychedelics. To some degree, it can also facilitate communication with plants. However, this isn’t a post about that, so we won’t discuss it further. Through the meditative methods described here, one can access the fungal intelligence without psychadelics too.

Once, in a lucid state, I communed with the fungal network of mycellium that spreads across the entire planet. It was incredibly profound, but when it was over I could no longer recall exactly what I felt. Only a sense of enormity and humility remained.

Most forces of nature will grant wisdom or insight, or just a general look into their world. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you can do the things that are spoken off in ancient tradition; stories of great Masters who could cause the wind to blow, the rain to fall, water to freeze, who could see the future and the mechanisms moving the celestial bodies.

These are not to be thought of as “powers”. You are not controlling nature. Rather, you have been graced by the presence of something greater and it’s important to remain humble and thankful when this happens. Generally, you don’t ask for such things for personal benefit, but with pure intent. A magician may bring about rainfall, not because he wishes to affirm his status or test his power, but because he wants relief for the land and it’s inhabitants from the burning heat of Summer. Sometimes, it may occur when he is doing a ritual, and he will see it as some sort of Divine acknowledgement.

Also, eliminate doubt from your mind. any doubt, or conceptions of egotistical grandeur, or even any pretense of being better than you are, will stop the process.


A Simple Exercise

Do this. Go to a plant, preferably one at your house that you water daily. if you don’t have one, find out outside or get one. For a couple of days, when you take a break from daily work, go and sit with the plant/s and relax. Calm yourself, and meditate. Pay attention to the plants, and focus on their many intricacies, mannerisms, and imagine what life must be like for them.

Do this daily, maybe for 10-15 minutes. When you feel a level of comfort and normalcy, try to initiate a dialogue. Touch the plant if you have to, and call on it to speak with you. If you can go deep enough into the subconscious, you will hear their voice. Through such a connection, there’s a huge amount of wisdom to be gained. Trust me, it’s very real. It’s a distinctive state of consciousness to enter into the collective unconscious of plants (which can occur through invitation, after repeated communion is achieved). You begin to understand their point of view, and they may also understand yours. Remember, they are not absolute or holy. Take everything as it is, and converse like you would with a friend.

Honestly, they have a bit of animosity towards humanity, because they cannot understand our worry and obsession with life, but it won’t be directed at you. Besides, “hatred” is a very human emotion.

Got that? Good, now go ahead and try it.Eventually you should be able to call upon higher forces, like the land, the winds, rain, the clouds, the storms.

These are not things that I can “instruct” you in through the written word, mainly because I can’t describe it myself. I can point the way, but beyond that it’s all personal development.


Remember to follow this blog for more content. You can also follow me on Instagram @WhiteRavenMagus

Until next time
~White Raven

One thought on “Magical Communion with Nature

  1. Very insighful commentary.
    Yes, Earth herself is the holistic organism.
    All ‘Nature’ are aspect of Her.
    Such communion mirrors the psyxhe of
    the naturalist, never is She inherenfly hostile
    to humanity.
    Gratitude 🙂

    Like

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