My Magical Magnolia Owl Tree

“Have you ever looked at the bud of a magnolia flower? It’s a tight little pod that stays closed up for a long time on the end of its branch until one day, out of nowhere, it finally bursts open into this gigantic, gorgeous, fragrant flower that’s ten times bigger than the bud itself. It’s impossible to imagine that such a big beautiful thing could pop out of that tiny little bud. But it does.” 
~  Joanna Gaines

We have a magnolia tree here at the farm that sits on a little mound of moss and soft grass in the back garden.

The tree is small, and right now it is covered in tiny furry buds that will open up to dinner-plate sized flowers that are so impossibly fragrant that I swoon for days over their beauty.

This magnolia is also a favourite night-time perch for owl visitors. I have never understood why they prefer this tree to others, except that the tree and the area around it have amazing energy and maybe the owls sense that too.

Right now I’m charging up a crystal grid under the magnolia. The stones have been there since January, soaking up the full moons and the lunar eclipse, the starlight and thunderstorms, the raging sun and the peaceful rain. They are almost buried in the soft thick grass now and scattered with leaves and fallen flowers.

Two more weeks and I’ll break the grid down, taking out some of the stones for the participants on my two retreats this year.

I know these stones will hold the energy of our farm, of the owls and the magpies and crows and fairy wrens and finches who have perched above or hopped through the stones too.

Our magnolia is also festooned with a harmonic wind-chime, and hand-crafted wooden owls and hearts – all gifts from dear and precious friends.

I’m feeling very peaceful this morning as I tend to the grid. I hope you can feel some of that peace too. Go gently today, and look after yourselves and each other,

All my love, Nicole  xx

 

The Tawny Family Shows Off Baby!

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“She had blue skin,
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through,
Then passed right by-
And never knew.”
~ Shel Silverstein

 

We have a family of Tawny Frogmouths that nest in the teak tree outside our kitchen window every year. They are nocturnal creatures, and seldom seen, so I always delight in having them in plain view.

During the day Tawny Frogmouths camouflage themselves by lifting their heads, staying very still, and trying to pretend that they are part of a branch.

After a big storm about a month ago they abandoned their nest, and in the unseasonal heat that followed the youngest fledgling baby was unable to make it back up to the tree where the family was roosting and took up a position in the shade of one of our machinery sheds, pretending to be part of a wheelbarrow. (Great info here on what to do if you find a fledgling Tawny out of the nest.)

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Very cute, don’t you think? We kept an eye on her, and Mum and Dad came down to feed her each night until she was ready to fly back to a higher position.

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After another big storm here at the farm (that knocked out our power and internet for almost a day) we went for a walk and found Mum, Dad and the eldest baby perched on fence posts in the deep shade of the coolest corner of the house paddock. The oldest fledgling was up above, in one of the trees and I couldn’t get a good picture of them!

The baby has gone from a little white ball of fluff to something that very closely resembles her adult plumage colours. She’s still adorably fluffy though, and I keep finding her soft downy feathers on the ground, which I’m keeping to make another talisman.

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Mum looks so cross with me for getting close, and I still kept my distance so as not to frighten them. That expression in her eye! They are a fine family, don’t you think?

Apologies that the pictures are not especially crisp. They are taken on my iPhone from a distance, and my dodgy eyes are still not all that crisp themselves, making photography a little more of a challenge than usual. Still, I am making great progress with restoring my vision, and I’m hopeful that my sight will continue to improve.

Sending hugs, love and a cuppa your way, Nicole <3 xoxo

(PS – in case you’re not sure, a cuppa is a good cup of tea!)

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All The Pretty Lights

Image from www.torange.us

Image from www.torange.us

“The wisdom of bridges comes from the fact that they know the both sides, they know the both shores!”
~ Mehmet Murat ildan

 

I’m still in the city just now, tending loved ones. Driving home from a friend’s last night, I was startled to see an owl in this suburban landscape. It was sitting right in the middle of the road, and it took wing as I drove toward it, disappearing off into the blackening sky beyond the reach of my headlights.

I should have known that the owl would mean something. You see, I went flying later that night. One moment I was sitting on my bedroom floor meditating, holding space for my next retreat group and sending healing to loved ones and friends. The next I was up in the night sky, looking down, with my Aboriginal Auntie at my elbow.

Auntie does not meet me in cities. Usually. The spirit that is Auntie comes to me when I am at my farm, when I am in the outback, when I am close to nature. But last night we were in Brisbane. We flew across a cityscape of streetlights and soul lights.

Dat lady there, helpful to you, she pointed out, showing me a bright light in one darkened house. Dat one too.

We flew along a bit more until we were out over the bay. It reminded me of my grandparents, who had spent so much time in their boat exploring these waters, and taking us with them on school holidays. I felt viscerally connected to them, although they too have passed.

Dat owl, she said to me as we flew. Dat owl know someting. Soon, you know someting too.

I wanted to ask why. But I didn’t, although I was busting to. Instead I said ‘okay, good’.

You ready now, Auntie said eventually.

Ready for what? I wanted to ask. But I didn’t. I ask too many questions. Just the day before I was speaking with a young Aboriginal woman who explained to me that, in her culture, elders won’t always answer your ‘why’ questions. Sometimes you’re not ready for the answer. Sometimes what is needed is your curiosity and observation, so that you can find the answer for yourself. Thanks, Mundanara – your timely wisdom was so helpful!

So here I am. Curious. Observant.

Hoping that my wait won’t be too long and that I will figure it out soon, or be shown.

What a strange and wonderful adventure it is to be me!

Dumbi Owl by Donny Woolagoodja

Dumbi Owl by Donny Woolagoodja

 

Helping The Great Mother

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the Earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” ~  Rachel Carson
“In a moment the ashes are made, but a forest is a long time growing.” ~ Seneca

 

One of the most vivid dreams in my night of owl dreaming was one in which I flew over the quiet, dark earth with Auntie and my Grandmothers.

There is something about a ‘psychic dream’ or a ‘spiritual dream’ (however you want to call it, I know you’ll know what I mean) which makes it quite different to an ordinary run-of-the-mill ‘subconscious making sense or nonsense of the day’s happenings’ kind of a dream.

Dreams in which you receive a spiritual message or have a metaphysical experience have a heightened quality to them. They are more vivid, more textured, more real. It’s as if you have shrugged off your sleeping form and stepped into another dimension. Which, of course, you probably have.

This is how it was in this particular dream. Auntie, my old and wise Aboriginal mentor, flew on one side of me. Beside her were Little Auntie and Granny. Two of my ancient grandmothers in their strange heavy coats, fur-lined boots and braided long grey plaits, flanked me on the other. We rose up into the sky above my home, and I watched my slumbering form lying in the bed next to my husband, Bert the dog curled up behind my legs, and Harry at Ben’s feet. Harry tilted an ear towards me as though he had heard something, wriggled and then settled down again.

Where were the owls?

We were the owls, of course.

Off we went into the dark sky. The city lights fell behind us, the night was bright and clear, and soon we were over inland Australia. None of us spoke, but I could hear the voices of the other women in my head. They each spoke their own tongues, but still, somehow, I understood them.

‘No good, no good dat water,’ said Auntie as we flew over a wide brown river, and then a parched landscape. There was water deep beneath the ground here. I could feel its flow.

“Lost its sweetness,’ said one of my ancient grandmothers, adding her voice of concern to Auntie’s. She pressed her hand into mine and then I tasted it. An acrid chemical burn in the back of my throat. I knew it was the taste of the water below us.

‘No good,’ Auntie said again, shaking her head.

Gaia Shield by Duncan Eagleson

Gaia Shield by Duncan Eagleson

We swooped down, amid bats and fat cicadas and nightsky traffic. The air was thick and hot, and it smelled of dust and nectar.

‘Dem plants flower too soon. Too hot. All dem flowers dry up. Fall off. Wrong time for dem,’ Granny said.

On we went, over the heart of the country and onwards until we were over the ocean. Still the old women whispered to me, pointing out wonders and things of interest, but more weightily, voicing their concerns. All the animals and plants that had already died out, all of the ones now threatened and endangered. Places polluted and sullied. Air dirty. Water dirty.

‘Dis land our Mother,’ said Auntie sadly.

‘Our Great Mother,’ said my ancient grandmother.

‘She need help,’ Little Auntie said.

All of the women nodded gravely.

I knew they were looking at me. ‘What can I do?’ I asked.

‘Tell dem,’ Auntie said. “Tell dem dat Great Mother need dem. Needs help. Needs love. She a true good mother, but now her children need to show her some kindness. Okay?’

I woke from that dream with tears streaming down my cheeks.

 

 

Meditation for Sharing Energy with the Great Mother

Auntie once taught me a technique for increasing energy within the body. Let me show you how to use it to share energy with the Great Mother.

Image from babosaart

Image from babosaart

Stand outside with your feet on the bare earth if at all possible. If not, that’s okay, but do try. Now focus on either the sun, the moon or the stars. You must be able to physically see whatever you connect into. If you are ill, and bed-bound, it is fine for it to be the view outside your window.

Focus on the sun, or moon, or stars. Make a connection in your mind between you and it. Make a connection in your heart between you and the sun, or the moon, or the stars. Feel the energy of the sun, moon or stars. Feel your energy.

When you have that energetic bond, ask for help. Ask the sun, moon or stars to add to your energy. Ask to be strengthened.

Now imagine the light of the sun, moon or stars flowing to you. Flow that light into your body. Into your veins. Feel the energy and power of sun, moon or stars fill you up. Feel the connection between you. Feel the vast watchfulness, the age, the wisdom of this energy. Feel how strong that life-force is as it enters you. Feel how it cleanses and energises every cell in your body. Feel how it purifies you.

Image from thespiritscience.net

Image from thespiritscience.net

When the energy has built an intensity inside you, become a conduit. Let that energy of the sun or moon or stars run from your feet (or your hands or your heart) out into the earth, into the Great Mother. Feel it energising her, cleansing and purifying her, strengthening and healing her. As it heals and strengthens you, it is also healing and strengthening the Great Mother.

When you are done, give thanks. Give thanks to the sun, the moon or the stars. Give thanks to the Great Mother. Disconnect from those energies. Feel the difference in your own body, and give thanks for that too.

After the rain 1

Of course, there is always more that we can do. Be a voice for the Great Mother. Make choices that are sustainable and healing for our planet – our home. Flow love and gratitude to the natural world that sustains us and provides for us. Support the people and technologies that make our world a cleaner, greener, kinder place.

We are all connected. We are all one. What we do to the Great Mother is also done to ourselves. It is time for love and kindness, for wisdom and awareness. It is time for change.

Thank you.

Much love to you and a really big hug, Nicole xx

Image from emilysquotes.com

Image from emilysquotes.com

Last night I Dreamed of Owls

Image by James W Beck

Image by James W Beck

“I love the silent hour of night,
For blissful dreams may then arise,
Revealing to my charmed sight
What may not bless my waking eyes.”
~ Anne Brontë, Best Poems of the Brontë Sisters

 

Last night my dreams were all of owls.

The night sky was filled with them.

They watched me from every tree.

They followed me wherever I went.

I was not frightened of the owls. Instead I felt that finally I belonged. Their watchful observation made me feel safe.

Dream after dream, there they were. Eventually I flew up into the night sky with the owls. Auntie was there. My old Grandmothers too.

We flew through the dark night, watching the world below us. It seemed the most natural thing in the world.

Image copyright - David Tipling

Image copyright – David Tipling

I woke briefly, feeling happy.

My last dream was not of owls but Wandjinas – the great spirit beings of the Kimberley. I cannot remember how it ended. Only how it began.

This morning I can feel a shift inside me. I have a sense of waiting, of anticipation. There’s no hurry, but I know with every cell in my body that something is coming.

That’s okay.

I’m ready.

Random Magical Things

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“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
~ Roald Dahl

 

Here’s a collection of random magical things, because it’s Friday, and magic seems appropriate today, don’t you think…

The feather above is from a Powerful Owl who comes to sit in the giant old teak tree outside my window, watching me as I write.

Here is a big chunk of Australian green chrysoprase I found on the side of a newly graded road, just outside Kalgoolie. It’s one of my favourite stones for Heart Chakra meditations.

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These are some small sacred treasures given to me by an Aboriginal woman, one magical day…

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I found these seagull tracks in the sand on an early morning beach walk.

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Bonfires at dusk evoke their own kind of magic, flames all a crackle and dancing merrily.

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Waking to a sparkly winter wonderland when my farm frosts is always a magical feeling.

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Secret fairy messages scribbled on the fallen gum tree bark.

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The first newborn spring calf!

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And cupcakes, because what is life without a little cupcake love now and again?

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And Then It Was Done…

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“When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live.”Greg Anderson

 

Since early this year I’ve been hammering away at a memoir. I started writing it because you, dear readers, suggested that it was the thing you most wanted me to write. It’s all about my time in the Kimberley, and how that has shaped me.

‘How easy could it be?’ I thought, when I first started writing. I truly imagined I’d just throw a few words onto the page, and then a few more, and then it would be done. I did not expect that in writing about myself I’d have to face so many demons, drag up so many unwanted memories, or need to do so much self-reflection.

Easy? It’s the hardest thing I ever wrote. Dripping those words onto the page has been excruciating. And it has slowly taken over my life, these past few months.

But now I’m done.

I finished it yesterday afternoon. Hooray. I hope that one day soon it shall be a proper book, and that you will be able to hold that small part of my life in your hands.

Thank you. Without your encouragement, this manuscript would never have come into existence.

Much love and hugs, from a very tired but happy Nicole xoxo