What It’s Like to Receive Messages from The Land

Close-up photo of beech bark

Hey Fen,

Do you mind me asking about your process for receiving messages from your land?

Sincerely,

Couple-a folks

Dear couple-a folks,

Not only do I not mind, it is my joy to talk about it. And now I am going to talk about it! At length! Buckle in!

From a “how it works” standpoint, my understanding (which is imperfect at best, words over a sense of a thing that is actually probably fairly far beyond the capability of full human comprehension) is that the land and, especially, the trees upon the land, are connected with the deep wisdom and knowing of “all that is.”

When I carry your names to the land, whether I know you personally or not, whether I have a full name or simply a sense of who you are, the land knows. Because of my connection and attunement to the land, I’m able to share the person’s “signature” or “energy imprint” (words, so imprecise) with the land, and the land then connects me into the “wood-wide web” or network of “all that is,” which then allows me to tap into the exact message you need to hear at that time.

I don’t know exactly how it works, only that it does. Your response to the messages I receive is a continuously jaw-dropping validation of that. When I bring them to you, I often have only a general sense of their meaning. Sometimes, on the surface, they sound like a generic bit of good advice, couched in some pretty, nature-based imagery. And then you receive them and say, “OMG HOLY COW HOW DID YOU KNOW I WAS STRUGGLING WITH EXACTLY THIS ISSUE.”

Or, sometimes, I receive an image of a person or even part of a name, and I bring it to you and you say, “Oh, yeah, that person knew me when I was little.”

Or I get a series of images that mean almost NOTHING to me but when I bring them to you, YOU know exactly what they mean.

So, I don’t know HOW IT WORKS, exactly, just that it seems to actually work.

Now, as to the mechanics of what *I* experience and how I engage in the communication that results in the messages you receive.

The first time I did this, it was in answer to the prompting of the land. The land said that she wanted to speak with you (you being anyone who wanted to listen).

So I made the offer and took your names with me. I began with a ceremony, calling in the seven directions, your and my ancestors, guides and allies, and any gods who specifically wanted to work with you, accessing the energy of my land and the trees there to strengthen the connection.

I first received, at that time, a general message for everyone, which I have shared previously. Then I felt called to walk the land, and as I walked, I began to see images and feel feelings and experience thoughts, which I later wrote down and shared with you.

I have found that as I do this, however, the elaborate ceremony has become unnecessary. It’s like tuning a radio. The first few times, you have to fiddle with it a good bit to get it just right. But after a while, your body just KNOWS where that sweet spot is, and you can tune to it quickly when you’re ready.

I have just aged myself. Yes, I remember analog radio tuning.

It’s the same with the land. The more I communicate and give and receive, the faster I can tune in and the stronger and clearer the messages become.

Now, my process goes something like this:

I write your names down.

I take the list with me when I go to the mountains.

I let the land know, upon my arrival, that I have requests for messages.

At some point, the land lets me know that it’s time. Until that time, I simply go about my business, building, fixing, waterproofing, hiking, cleaning, etc.

When the land is ready, it prompts me. I don’t know how to describe what this feels like. It’s just a knowing. I just know it’s time.

This last time, to be honest, I got a little antsy because the prompting didn’t come until this morning, and I was worried I would be late getting home for a commitment. But it was all in good time. The land knew what she was doing.

This time, I had just completed reading aloud the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address that I shared earlier. I believe it operated (unintentionally, on my part) like a tuning-in. By offering gratitude to all the catalog of riches that the earth and All Our Relations offer, I also called in their energy to assist in the reception of messages.

Other times, I may feel the prompting and conduct a little ceremony to prepare myself and come into a receptive state. It may be as simple as meditating for a few minutes quietly, or as complex as a full-blown seven-directions, ancestors, guides, guardians, allies, and gods ritual with drumming and chanting. Usually closer to the former than the latter.

I suppose the lack of elaborate ceremony has a lot to do with the fact that the land is choosing the moment and the means, and I just … show up.

It has to do with the strength of a connection developed over the course of several years and with a lot of deep, mutual love.

At any rate, when the prompting comes, I grab a pen and paper and I go where I am prompted.

In this case, I was prompted first to the base of I Watch, my beloved guardian mother beech tree who watches over the entrance to the land and also over my treehouse.

I sit or stand or walk, according to my prompting. I look at my list. In some cases, the land will let me know it wants to start with a particular name. Again, it’s hard to describe what this is like. It’s just a knowing. The name sort of just stands out for me. In these cases, I start there. Other times, I simply start at the top of the list. This time I started at the top, though it happens that the land was clear that the name at the top was also specifically where she wanted to start, even if it had not been the first name on the list.

When a name has been chosen, I sit quietly and breathe and wait. I enter a state of calm attentiveness, a sort of light trance in which I am fully aware of my surroundings and deeply attuned to them on both a physical and a spiritual level.

Around me are all the sights and sounds of the land. Birdsong, water, wind, sunlight, insects, everything. I take all of it in deeply, attentively, without attachment, and I wait.

What am I waiting for?

Again, words are so inadequate. I don’t know how to tell you. But at some point something will “click” and I will feel it, a tug that says: There. That. That is it.

It may be a sound or a sight or a smell or a thought. Sometimes it is a feeling inside my body or a vision that pops into my brain.

Whatever it is, I’ll just… Know. That it’s the beginning of the message.

And when I get that feeling, I feel into it for a few moments. I feel into the edges of it. What does it mean? What are the words associated with the meaning?

I don’t want you to think that I am THINKING very hard at this point. In fact, if I get to thinking, it stops the flow and makes things very awkward indeed, because I begin inserting my OPINION of what ought to be said and it gets very uncomfortable and is just absolutely no good.

No thinking.

Just observing. Feeling the flow of the message.

At some point as I’m feeling into the observation that marks the beginning of the message, I begin to know what it is about and what words form the beginning of the message. I get out my pen and paper, and I begin writing.

Generally, from this point the words simply flow out onto the paper. I may hear and feel more images, sensations, etc. Or the words may flow from the initial prompt with no further input. Sometimes I stop and listen before continuing. Sometimes the messages take an unexpected turn and I must turn off my surprised response so that I can simply flow with it and keep going.

I have learned that the more I get my conscious brain out of the way, the easier, faster, and more beautifully it goes.

When I am done, there is another sort of “click” of recognition that we are done. I don’t generally know that this moment is coming until it’s there. Just a general sense of completion.

Maybe one way to understand it is how, in conversation, you may just sort of *know* that the other person has completed their thought. They don’t have to say, “And that’s the end of what I have to say.” You just know they’re done.

(Unless you’re in conversation with me because I am notorious for simply trailing off 😂, sometimes finishing with a preposition or conjunction even…)

When that happens, I stop writing. I close the book and put the pen away. If there are more names and I feel that the land is ready to continue, I sit quietly and wait again.

I repeat until the list is complete or until I or the land wish for a break.

And that is what it is like for me.

Thank you for asking.

Warmly,

Fen