Return to the Earth by Elaine Ní Chiardha
Guest Post by Elaine Ní Chiardha
All native spiritualities, including Celtic and pre-Celtic Irish traditions, teach the interconnection between all beings - between humans and the beings of nature, and indeed the spirit world. To return to and remember this awareness, which is innate to us all, is to heal. To heal ourselves, our relationship to one another and to the world. It is true, the old adage - nature is the greatest healer.
I teach a practice called Singing the Land. It was given me as part of my own healing journey - a simple practice of singing to connect with nature, whether a tree, a garden, a sacred site or the land. It does not require any musical training or singing experience. It does not require you to think you can sing or have a good voice. It requires simply that you tune in with nature, breathe in, and let out a sound on the out breath. It is extraordinarily simple, and very powerful.
In fact this practice can be done with any form of expression, it does not have to be voice. It can be a movement, a silent prayer, drumming, a poem or a drawing. The point is to tune in with the spirits of nature and connect. In that interaction there is an amazing gift shared. We gift our honouring and acknowledgement, and we receive the gifts of connection, inspiration and healing. I have found the nature spirits extremely receptive to any gesture of connection and love, and generous in their offerings. And I find again and again that this is my greatest medicine - to simply go outside in nature and connect. It is such a simple thing, and yet offers something so greatly called for in our world - connection, healing and love.
So, I invite you to step outside, wherever you are, to leave your computer or phone aside for a moment now. Connect with and observe the sky, the land, the plants and animals around you, whatever the weather is doing. Take in a deep breath, and sing. Just a note, any note. Or a song you know, or a single word. Hum. Make it up, play with it, have fun. Laugh! And with your intention to connect, notice how you come into relationship with the great community of beings we are all part of, and into greater balance and wellbeing within yourself. And give thanks.
Of course this practice is greatly amplified on a sacred site such as the Hill of Tara, near where I live, or any nature place that you have a strong connection with. In fact, you'll find if you continue this practice that you'll discover your own special places in nature that you return to again and again. I encourage you to find your own sacred and power places and through this practice to reconsecrate your relationship to the natural world.
I'd love to hear about your experiences with this and similar practices, and how you connect with nature. If you are visiting, or live in, Ireland and would like to explore these and other sacred and nature connection practices with me, I am available for workshops and sacred tours of the Hill of Tara and I would love to hear from you.
I am a musician, voiceworker and shamanic therapist based in County Meath, Ireland, near the sacred Hill of Tara. I offer sacred chanting and outdoor Singing the Land workshops, offerings of sacred Earth-inspired music, and sacred tours of the Hill of Tara. I am also available for shamanic healing work in Navan, County Meath. Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org, or see my facebook page: facebook.com/singingtheland.