My wise assistant, Chris Fielding was explaining to me that bamboo seeds do not grow quickly. It takes years of daily care and nurturing in order to see the very first tiny bud of the bamboo. During the five to seven years of its early life, you may have no evidence of the plant taking root and the ground above the seed is unchanged, save for your tending. But when bamboo begins to sprout, its growth is striking. Certain species can grow over three feet in less than 24 hours, quickly reaching nearly 40 feet in height.
The seeds of our dreams and futures, planted and nurtured without any signs of growth, are exactly the same. We often don’t even know what ideas we’ve planted within ourselves, and others, that will come to fruition. But many of us know the feeling when those seeds appear and suddenly begin to grow very large, very quickly. It is the feeling we call magical.
Overnight, seemingly while we slept bathed int the moon’s mysterious light, the seeds within shatter their protective casings. The mystery of rebirth asserts its regenerative, soul restoring power. It can feel overwhelming, especially since it can come with little or no warning that the seeds have finally begun to sprout. And the pace of growth can outstrip our old notions of our competence, courage and capacity. Where does the audacity to believe in the once-impossible, the strength to make great changes happen, the energy to sustain the effort all come from?
Look to the Earth, look within to the soul’s self-regenerating magic, they are One. I know because several years ago, while making an offering in a labyrinth within an initiatory circle in Italy, I felt the seeds of a vision planted in my heart and mind. I tended those seeds, cultivating and deepening my understanding of the Earth’s wise and holy principles. Searching and re-searching led me to re-visit the ideas I had already written about to dig deeper and uncover more of the essential, embodied Truth of life on this sacred planet. I wanted to know where I was, and who I was and why I was here, why we are here.
I spent many years wandering, mostly alone, in the wasteland we humans have created, and then in the wilderness of Mother Earth. Slowly, I grew and came to understand the power of wildness, of life exists in my garden, the bays, farms, small woods, the morning sunrise and evening moonset, the first bird songs, the water I drink, the breath I receive and return, in the voices of those I love.
I finally realized that Nature resided everywhere that I rested my attention. And everywhere I rested, my soul was nourished. And the hidden seeds sprouted. I the past year I’ve returned to writing for Hay House UK, and the little book which will introduce readers to my approach to Wicca as shamanism is a return to beginner’s mind with deepened insights and refined power. Working with this new publisher has been a growth spurt as rapid and unsettling as the growth of a bamboo grove. I now have an assistant, a new website design (www.phylliscurott.com), a social media presence (@PhyllisCurott), the 20th anniversary re-print of Book of Shadows coming in October, and the new book, Wicca Made Easy, Awaken the Divine Magic Within, (the Made Easy is the important series name of introductions to various spiritualities by leading experts and practitioners). Expanding the fertile ground of Shamanic Wiccan spirituality to a new and welcoming audience, I hope it will help not only newcomers but also long time practitioners nourish the rapid growth of their own spirituality, re-connecting them to the Divine energy within themselves and in Mother Earth which is so abundantly and generously offered to us. It’s the first harvest of the seeds planted so long ago.
Lughnasadh or Lammas is traditionally the Wiccan Sabbat of the First Harvest, a time to see what has been growing in the gardens of our hearts, and to also look toward future growth; toward those sprouts we are beginning to see appearing above the surface of our slumber, uncertainties and doubts about our own capacities and those of the cultures in which we are immersed. In the midst of the wasteland, I’m optimistic. Looking through my future fields, I see more writing on divination, a Tarot Deck, a memoir about my encounters with the Green Man, and a small book sharing the spiritual principles embodied by Mother Earth that have been the nourishment of my soul through it’s dark night, an online course devoted to shamanic Wicca for Hay House, more workshops and appearances, and a flourishing of ideas and possibilities.
I did not see any of this when the seeds were first planted. I had a vision, and then let that take me on my journey. That journey has not been comfortable or easy, but it is the journey that we must all take to feel the growth of ourselves. It is the journey that we are all on, and the seeds have already been planted. Nourish them well, trust the Mystery that sustains us all, and may your sprouting be joyous and your harvest rich.