The following are just samples of the types of things that fall under the realm of the forest and plains: these are the thing that concern us in our daily lives; love, work career, politics, health.
Spells, Charms, Potions.
Spells, Scrying and Rituals......Forest Arts.
The forest is where one works on the spells and charms, potions and healings that are the practical aspect of ocult art. Here our worldly ambitions, the need to get ahead, to get along, are played out. Our family lives and our work lives are lived in the forest, or on the plains, and here we must hunt, and gather and live . Traditional irish Witchcraft is not a purely esoteric nor is it at all a religious practice. It does not seek to provide one with eternal life, redemption, forgiveness nor does it denegrate the physical, present, natural world in favour of the otherworlds. If we would live well, we must live well in the real world, not withdraw into an ivory tower of mental or spiritual aloofness. We don't seek to become enlightened by disengaging with our feelings or desires.
Rather, we seek to find balence, between material and spiritual, life and death, taking and giving. SO in the real world, in the forest and plains of our lives, we pursue fully and wholeheartedly the ambitioins, hopes, and dreams which make up our daily life.
Many of the most commonly known and longest surviving traces of folk magic in mundane life are drawn from these very desires. For example: the various means of seeing a potential lover!
Every "wish" spell, eg for prosperity, love, etc falls under this area, as do tarot, water srcying, dowsing, plus all activities of physical healing.
In addition, certain aspects we might
associate with soul flight or Imramma also fall in fact into the
realm of the Forest and Plains. While it is true that in general
communning with the dead, ancestors, deities and astral
projection are mainly associated with the sacred Isles and
Shores, the practical aplication of these esoteric arts to ones
lives falls into this realm also.
In other words, if one uses any of these things more to gain a practical result, eg specific advice on a family situation from an ancestor, or a specific favour from a deity, rather than in a spirit of pure spiritual growth, in many ways one can consider it more a concern of the Forest than the Sacred Isles. If one tends to use the Imramma or soul journey around the sacred Isles for spiritual exploration and wander among the forests and plains, for practical advice/results, this seems to suit most people best.
The Forest is also a place to honour diety, energy, life force, elementals, local spirits etc. Many of the otherwordly creatures can come to us in the forest to offer their help / advice. they are creatures of great power, and in the forestone can access this power, and learn from and communicate with these entities, in comparative safety. Once they are approached in friendship and respect they are likely to deal with you in their lighter, nerrier aspects. Often the same elements, encountered on the seas, or isles, can appear far more ambiguous and far more dangerous: this is often because their roles as teachers on the Imramma is more serious, more difficult and their lessons are less easy to pigeon hole.
This brings us back to the question of balance. Those who dabble in the forest arts, think they know the creatures they encounter and then are often surprised to find that these are more powerful and dangerous than they guessed. This is one reason why it is important to develop and strenghten the spiritual side of your art, and the practical, the ability to soul journey, to explore the difficult issues raised on the isles, to meet the challenges the Imramma presents, and to communicate with the great entities, be they spirit, god or elemental.
Only by this combined and balanced approach can we attain true power in the occults arts.
Festivals also fall into the realm of the Forest and Plains: the great fire festivals of Beltane, Lughnass, Samhain and Imbolg are part of the rhythm of the natural world, part of the ongoing need for fertility and prosperity, birth death and rebirth: on these seminal occasions, the other world leans towards our own, the spirits and gods, elementals and ancestors closer to us than at any other time. They come to us to share in our joy of life, our hope for the future, our resiliant hope. We welcome them, as they have welcomed us on our Imramma.
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