Drawing Strength from Nature: by CJ Blackwood

Drawing Strength from Nature: by CJ Blackwood August 23, 2014

This is the last piece of the three-part collaborative series by the Staff of Asclepius contributors.

One day, six months after making the choice to follow an eclectic Wiccan path, I found myself standing outside as a storm rolled in. There was an odd thought running through my head. I knew I could reach up and pull energy from that storm. So I did!

I instantly felt pretty incredible. It was like downing a large coke (hold the ice) without the jitters. Or like someone had just walked up and handed me a thousand bucks, no strings.

The other thing that instantly, or almost instantly, happened is a very large bolt of lightening split the clouds, went literally right over the house, and connected with the ground where the back yards met between our house and the one behind us. Holy cats! I think my reaction was something along the lines of: oops. And then uncontrollable laughter.

I had always sensed storms as a little girl, and when it would make me excited, it seemed to exasperate my parents, like they thought I was full of it. That was probably the case. As my home life fell apart around age eleven, that stopped happening. I started, almost unknowingly, to experiment with magic when I was fifteen, attempting to use a Scottish terrier carved in soap my aunt had given me to heal cancer in my dog, an actual Scottie named Jack. And then there was the year of studying, mainly out of curiosity, psychic development, as well as other religions besides Catholicism, before I found Wicca. Within months, actually pretty much with the arrival of the following summer, that storm sensitivity returned.

My sensitivity and connection to storms has never lessened since then. They give me a giddy sort of joy, a feeling of total awareness, and a sense, to use a cliche, of being able to bend steel with my bare hands. In other words, like I could win any fight I found myself in, not only defeating life’s challenges but smashing them into little pieces.
I am hypoglycemic. There was an incident, only a couple of weeks ago, in which I hadn’t slept for over twenty-four hours. I also had not eaten much. I had multiple errands to run, and a lot of bus riding in between stops. My muscles were cramping, I was slightly nauseous, I was anxious, and my thoughts were fuzzy.

There were at least two storms that rolled over Champaign-Urbana that day, one of which generated a funnel cloud that I caught a psychic flash of as the bus passed through an area of Urbana I assume it must have passed over. Despite the pain and the anxiety trying to rear its head, I stayed in a surprisingly good mood. Normally everyone and everything around me would have made me want to scream with aggravation. That didn’t happen this time. I felt like collapsing and napping where I stood, but it didn’t happen. I was able to work my way to a coffee place, get a snack and a drink, and sit down. My wonderful boyfriend at the time met me at the grocery store with a couple of burgers, because protein helps keep those carbs burning. I remember, while stopped at the mall, where I had to change buses to get to the grocery store, I kept having an urge to step out into the pouring rain, despite the cannon-like cracks of thunder overhead. I guess my body was telling me what it needed in more ways than one. The storm helped me as much as the rice crispy treat and frozen mint mocha did. I could feel the anxiety backing off. The aches and pains were dealt with by fresh calories. And the mental fog cleared.

Sometimes, when a storm rolls in, I will take my wand and walk out my front door, raise it, and draw the energy to me. I can usually tell the strength of the storm by the strength of an emotional surge I get. If I’m looking for a real boost, the kind only a severe storm produces, and that energy is not there, it always seems to follow the storm blows over us, or doesn’t do much beyond make the tree branches sway a little.

Something else I draw from, which is much more subtle and long-term, is earth. I’m not talking about the energy from your ordinary grounding exercise. I’m not even talking about the energy of the molten core I tap into with a different grounding I came up with. I am talking about a need to walk barefoot on soil, touch the base of an ancient tree, meditate while sprawled out in the grass. I need to feel in touch with the bones of the mother. When I don’t, because where I live doesn’t allow me easy access to the woods, or because it’s winter and too cold to do those things, it slowly starts to feel as if I am spiritually dehydrated. My spells seem a little weaker. I don’t do as well with divination. And generally I want to sleep more, but my sleep becomes less rejuvenating. To that end I have plans to begin gathering, from places I love, small amounts of soil in exchange for an offering, to have in a collection jar on my nightstand. A small amount of that energy in my home, always at hand. Another thought is to grow some flowers in a flower box, though I’m not sure what is safe to have the cat around.

I didn’t discover this need for “earthing” as it can be scientifically called until recently. When I still practiced Wicca, the group I was in spent a few weekends per year at a state park in Leroy, Illinois. Rituals there were energizing. I had an innate connection to woodland spirits, I found. And overtime, I noticed that as the camping trip became something of greater distance in the past, I felt a little more tired, a little more depressed. This is a diagnosis I have, mild depression. For me, it manifests in aches and pains, long periods of sleep, and a great deal of anger and sadness at what I see in the world around me. I feel some of that anger and sadness is justifiable, but that is beside the point. It’s as if the presence of raw earth, soil and tree bark and leaves, eases all of that, puts it at a distance.

I think it is crucial for a witch, or any Earth-spiritual person to acknowledge, accept, and work with the sources of their natural strength. It can only make your life better.

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