Travel brings expanded perspective and allows for experiences out of the ordinary realm of the routine and usual. My recent trip to Japan blew me away. I was impressed by how the sacred is woven into daily life. Even in a city of tremendous magnitude like Tokyo, there are respites from the hustle and bustle. City parks and green spaces transport visitors into other worlds. The prevalence of shrines and temples abound due to the influence of Shintoism and Buddhism and provide spiritual nourishment without having to travel far from the secular world to find it.
Torii, literally meaning bird abode, is a traditional Japanese gate found at the entrance
Today there are about 160,000 shrines and temples throughout Japan. Shrines are associated with Shinto, a polytheistic religion indigenous to Japan: temples with Buddhism. Shintoism holds that gods or spirits (kami) surround us and reside in natural objects and places. Trees at shrines are found in pairs and considered “married” in sacred union. For me, this is an honoring of the principles of the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine holding court together, equally bestowing their blessings on pilgrims and being revered in return. Visitors to shrines write prayers, gratitudes, and wishes on wooden plaques called ‘ema’ that hang from a wall surrounding the ancient trees. The belief is that Japanese Gods use the trees to travel between worlds.
When we walked the pilgrim’s route on Mt. Kumara-dera, the place where Dr. Mikao Usui received the Reiki symbols and star beings were reported to have landed, it was a misty day shrouded in fog. The mystical energy was palpable. There was a sense that one has crossed a threshold, gone through a portal into the non-ordinary world. I could feel it in my bones. The trees here are majestic Japanese cypress that reach to the heavens. I felt they were a vehicle for the initiations and universal messages to travel down to humanity and be anchored through their roots. I was guided to walk the Path of Tree Roots to ground my own root chakra and consider themes of belonging, tribe, and human family.
Trees are sentinels and guardians of space. My personal work with trees has been expanding over the last year and I have been learning their language in a deeper way of understanding nature more intimately. I am so grateful and in awe of the wisdom the tree devas are willing to share with us, if we get quiet enough to listen and open up to their frequency.
On my trip I experienced an aspect of Japanese culture that lives in reciprocity with the natural world. Lions, dogs, and cats guard and protect the shrines, stones grant wishes. In the countryside,
there are foot baths at train stations, and entire towns whose focal point is the onsen (hot springs ).
Trees are honored and adorned, bowing is a way of life, reverence prevails. We are not separate from the natural world and living in harmony and reciprocity with nature and the elements is conducive to internal harmony and balance. It is essential that we attend to this relationship that many of us have ignored for so long and re-connect with natural cycles and seasons and repair the damage to the environment. The collective health of our species and the health of the Earth are inextricably connected. As above, so below.
On this Gemini new moon, I invite you to stretch yourself and honor all the modes of communication and connection that may not seem obvious or comfortable. Talk to the tree you pass every day and listen for its response. Go back the next day. And again. Be flexible, breathe, be willing to shift and reconsider preconceived ideas. Relationships take time to develop. Spend time with wild flowers, attune to them and be open to hearing their wisdom. Listen to the bird song and your animal companion. It takes time, silence, patience, and receptivity to learn the language of nature, but interspecies communication is beyond rewarding. Perceive with your heart and it will not lead you astray. I am forever grateful for flower essences as they are my gateway into communicating with the natural world.
I invite you to do one thing to welcome natural elements into your life today. Can you place a fountain of flowing water in your living or work space? How would it feel to join a community garden and grow beautiful flowers, edible herbs and medicinal plants. Consider connecting to the beyond by creating an alter to your ancestors and opening up a dialogue. Feed the connections with the invisible world in whatever way speaks to you. We are interconnected and we continue to live as though we are separate from ourselves, each other, our ancestors, our descendants, our environments and the natural world. This is unsustainable. To all our relations, may we all heal as One.
The featured essence to honor my time in Japan while visiting the Kurobe Glacier, is Glacier Water. Timelessness is the keyword for this limited edition environmental formula. It contains a combination of waters collected during travels to glaciers on four continents. Glacial ice crystals carry ancient memories. As the ice melts, ions are released into the air, and their messages and ancestral wisdom become available to us. There is a sense of timelessness to glaciers that invite us to attune to the wisdom of the Old Ones and connect to All that Is.
Spray yourself and any environment to clear stagnation or inertia and experience a fresh flow of energy. Use to cleanse, refresh, replenish, revitalize and tap into Source energy and connection that spans space and time limitations. Mist and call forth the refreshing sparkle of crystal clear water to bring a sense of well being and calm reassurance.
Contains Glacier Water collected from glacial melt on four continents.
Asia: Kurobe Glacier, Japan
Australia: Fox Glacier, New Zealand
North America: Kokanee Glacier, Canada
South America: Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina
This essence is available as a spray formula for external use.
Contains: Glacier Water, and is enhanced with a fabulous blend of essential oils of: Juniper, Lavender, Rosewood, Rosemary, Pine, Cypress, Blue Tansy, and Atlas Cedarwood.
Faery Cross: Calls forth enchantment and awakens insight into hidden matters. Invites cross-species communication and exchange. Made during summer solstice in a sacred garden, this essence is a joyful celebration of sunbeams, flowers, gems, winged creatures, and of course the Faeries.The essence then bathed in the moonlight of a partially eclipsed solstice full moon and under a blanket of cool coastal fog. This combination of the dark and the light, the radiant and the mysterious is a portal to an enchanted realm that is “hidden in plain sight”. This essence is both an invitation and an offering to allies both seen and unseen, an opening for cross-species communication and exchange.
Available in internal dropper formula or external spray formula. The spray is an uplifting and calming blend that includes essential oils of rose otto, rose geranium, palma rosa, bergamot, and clary sage, with subtle notes of fir, vetiver, and sandalwood.
With Infinite love and gratitude,
Slag Buddha 88 by Tsuyoshi Ozawa on Naoshima island.
Claudia is a nature lover, alchemist and dreamer. She lives with her life partner, Ilan and her beloved dog, Osa.