*     AMARANTH Vol. 1, No. 37: A Pagan APAzine by  Larry Cornett        *
* 9/24/'88  9527 Blake Lane, # 102, Fairfax, VA  22031   (703)352-3791  * 

                       NATURE SPIRIT MAGIC


Each plant, animal, rock, and other entity has a spirit
(consciousness resonance matrix).  These spirits can join
together, in a hive-mind, as a spirit of an area.  Nature spirits
include real biological intelligences, are psychically powerful,
and are much less abstract and controllable than the Elementals
that many magical people who perform all of their rituals indoors
are familiar with.  They can be extremely powerful allies.  It is
possible to sense nature spirits, to determine if they are
receptive to a ritual planned, and to have them actively
participate in magical workings if they are.


Spectacular physical manifestations can happen when working with
nature spirits in the wild.  I have personally seen actual
foxfire mark the boundaries of a magic circle at a location that
was identified as a receptive power spot and attuned to a
planned ritual the day before.  I have seen more than one site
attuned for ritual be dry and comfortable, with a round hole in
the clouds overhead, on days that were cold and rainy at other
nearby locations.  Birds have joined in rituals, flying around
the circle when energy was being raised; and insects, birds and
animals have joined in chants.  In addition, the wind often
responds to invocations.  Generally, these spectacular
manifestations happen unexpectedly.  

With or without such manifestations, nature spirits often will
channel tremendous amounts of power into the magic being
performed.  It is suggested that you do not consciously try for
specific manifestations.  Let Nature channel her power into the
magic in her own way.  If approached with respect, nature may
give you many pleasant surprises.

Spectacular physical manifestations are not a necessary sign of
success.  If you need a spectacular manifestation and nature
spirits know this, you will get it.  The best success in magic is
on the inner planes and more subtle than such manifestations. 
This success involves beneficial changes in consciousness that
last and helpful chains of synchronicity.  In addition, working
with Nature Spirits can also bring a deep sense of partnership
with Nature, and bring new levels of attunement.

To get the best results, perform nature spirit attunement
several hours to several days before the main ritual.  The
purposes of such attunement are to find suitable power spots and
to get the help of friendly nature spirits.  This timing gives
Nature time to gather her children and to prepare to actively
participate in the main ritual.


If nature spirits are approached with disrespect by attempting
to command them rather than listening to them and inviting them
to work with you, nature spirits may flee, rebel, or attack.  I
once attended a ritual by some pseudo-Crowleyites who attempted
to perform the "Ritual of the Barbarous Names" at a power spot in
a forest and then to extend the circle several hundred yards in
all directions.  

While the forest in general had loud insect and frog noises, the
area at which the ritual took place got quiet immediately when
the main ritualist declared that all spirits were subject unto
him.  The vibes from nature could best be characterized as "Oh
yea, Mother...!"  One participant was quickly possessed by an
angry spirit and kept repeating "You killed my children, your
children will never live in peace."  When the priestess stepped
out of the boundaries of the original circle, she was attacked by
bees; and bees covered the Book of the Law.  Magicians should
know better than to attempt to command spirits whose true names
they do not know!


To make the most out of working magical ritual in the wild, one
should find power spots where nature spirits are receptive to the
ritual planned and approach the spirits with respect, as equals. 
In my experience, the most effective power spots for working with
the living intelligences of nature are located in wild areas with
diverse, active ecologies.  

When entering a wild area to find a site for a ritual, find a
place that feels good.  Then do the following, either
individually or, if in a group, as a guided meditation:

o Relax, while standing upright, and focus on your breathing. 
  Breathe deep breaths from the diaphragm.  Breathe together if
  in a group.
  - Feel the wind, and let it relax you and awaken your spirit
    within, as your deep breathing takes you into non-ordinary
  - Picture, in your mind's eye, a light inside you.  As you
    breathe, feel the light expand, purify and energize you  - as
    it expands to fill your aura.  
  - Feel yourself glowing, balanced, purified, and full of power.
  - Connect with your inner self (your higher self), and feel
    your intuitive self operating.

o Feel yourself as:
  - The wind, full of life and intelligence, communicating with
    all round.
  - The Sunlight, warm, alive, channeling the power to
    communicate with nature and energizing all around.
  - Water, emotional, intuitive, refreshing, and connected with
  - The Earth, and note how your physical body is able to wander
    while remaining part of Mother Earth.

o Focus on your spiritual self, and:
  - Note the light within and feel it as love, 
  - Expand the light and love beyond the immediate aura of your
    body to the surrounding area - where you will go to find a
    power spot and contact nature spirits.

o Telepathically (by thinking while channeling the love and light
  energy) send out signals to nature spirits to emerge and be
  aware of your presence.  
  - Say why you have come, and invite them to join in sharing,
    mutual celebration, and  the work you intend.
  - Visualize the light and love energy you are channeling
    extending out and merging with the light from distant places.
  - Feel the power of the Earth flowing up through your body and
  - Feel the power from the sky, and channel this power also to
    further energize the carrier signal of light and love for
    communicating with nature.
  - Visualize the light expanding and merging.  
  - Continue to send out telepathic signals.

o Now go deeper:
  - Close your eyes, sit on the Earth, and feel your connection
    while you channel more light and love.  
  - Continue modulating the light and love with your thoughts -
    inviting receptive spirits to join with you and to make
    themselves known.
  - If in a group, someone should start playing a drum at a rate
    of about one beat per second; and you should listen to the
    drum and let the drum take you deeper.
  - Affirm that you are a nature magician, a medicine person, who
    knows and communicates with nature.  Let this part of
    yourself emerge to full consciousness.  Let the drum and the
    connection to your inner self awaken that part of yourself
    that naturally communicates with other life forms.  Let it
    awaken your telepathic senses.
  - Continue sending telepathic signals to nature.  
  - When you feel ready and an inner urge to begin, open your
    eyes a crack and look around, while continuing to channel
    love and light and telepathically calling for a response.  
  - You may see light coming from certain areas that are
    receptive.  You may get other signals, such as a feeling of
    power or love returning in a certain direction.  Perhaps the
    type of response to this work will be unexpected; follow your
    intuition in interpreting it.
  - You may test your connection by communicating (mentally)
    instructions for signals for yes/no responses (such as light
    getting brighter for less and darker for no) and then
    mentally ask questions and observe the responses.

o When you have found an areas that seems to be responsive and
  receptive, begin walking to the area, while beaming love
  energy.  Extend your aura to the area and sense the energy. 


o Before entering a power spot, ask permission to enter.  If the
  response is good, enter; if not, locate another more receptive

o When entering the power spot, look around.  Perhaps the
  responsive energy will be concentrated around some singularity
  (a bush, a tree, a specific branch, a moss covered rock, or
  other entity that stands out).  Perhaps the energy will be more
  general.  Use your intuition and feedback from the spirits to
  guide your actions.

o If it feels right, send out a signal that you would like to
  touch the singularity (or the ground) for better communication. 
  If the response is good, approach beaming love energy, and then
  touch or hug the singularity (or the ground).  

o Treat the spirits as you would other Pagans you meet for the
  first time - be sensitive, open, and listen.


o Now that you have made contact with spirits that seem
  receptive, deepen the communication:
  - Breathe deep breaths from the diaphragm, and with each
    breath, feel more refreshed.  
  - Now imagine that your spine is the trunk of a tree; and, from
    its base, roots extend deep into the Earth.  Deep into the
    rich moist Earth.  
  - With every breath, feel the roots extending deeper,
  - Feel the energy deep within the Earth and within the waters
    of the Earth.  Feel your roots absorbing nourishment from the
    Earth and from its waters.  
  - Feel the moist, warm energy rising.  
  - Feel it bursting up from the Earth and rising up your spine,
    like sap rises in a tree.  
  - Feel the energy rise to your crown chakra (at the top of your
  - Now imagine that you have branches, branches that sweep up
    and then bend down towards the Earth, like the limbs of a
  - Feel the branches extending and interweaving with your
  - Feel the warm, moist energy of the Earth flowing through your
    branches.  As it flows, feel yourself being purified,
    centered, and connected to the Earth.  
  - Feel the power from the Earth flowing through your branches
    and then down back to the Earth, like a fountain.
  - Note how your branches absorb energy from the air.  Also,
    feel them receiving light (fire) from the sky.  
  - Feel the energy from above penetrating deep through your body
    into the Earth.
  - Feel the warmth of the Earth rising also.  
  - Feel the energy circulating.

o Notice how your branches intertwine with the branches of energy
  surrounding you.  
  - Feel the energy dancing among your branches and the branches
    around you.
  - Notice how your roots also intertwine with underground energy
  - Feel the energy dancing between your roots and the 
    surrounding energy patterns. 
  - Notice how you and the life around you are rooted in the
    same Earth, breathing the same air, receiving the same fire,
    drinking the same water,  sharing the same underlying
    essence.  You are one with the magical grove.

o Telepathically mention the time in the past when nature spirits
  and people communicated regularly and the need to establish
  such communication now. 

o Test your connection by asking questions and observing the


o Explain to the spirits the purpose of your coming to them and
  the nature of the ritual you plan.  

o If the spirits you contacted are receptive:
  - Explain to them the details of the ritual and invite them to
    provide ideas.
  - Listen, you may receive suggestions on how to improve the
    ritual.  Such suggestions may come in the form of hunches,
    visions, answers to yes/no questions using pre-arranged
    signals, or in other ways.
  - Explain what type of space is needed and ask what the best
    place to perform the ritual is. 
  - You may see light or get other psychic signals leading you
    to other sites, or you may be at one of them.  
  - You may also ask what the best places for other aspects of
    the planned work are (picnicking, individual vision quests,
  - If preparation of the site is needed (removing briars,
    preparing a fire circle, etc.) ask permission of the spirits
    before proceeding with such action.
  - Before you leave the power spot, tell the spirits you have
    contacted when you plan to return to do the ritual
    (visualizing the associated lunar and solar aspects can help
    with this communication).
  - Invite them to join in the ritual when you return and to
    bring their friends.  
  - Ask if it would be best to return silently, with drums, with
    chanting, or with some other form of approach.
  - You can also ask the spirits to provide guidance for working
    in balance and to provide a teacher to provide further

o Before you leave the power spot:
  - Thank the spirits, 
  - Channel love energy, 
  - Trigger your memory of the experience, and
  - If it feels right, leave an offering of tobacco, or beer and
    honey poured on the ground (or other suitable material).

o  Leave in peace and love.

o Proceed to other sites that were indicated by the spirits,
  doing similar meditations at each site.  

o If you need something, like a staff, a Maypole, or a wand, you
  can also ask where you can find it and follow the guidance you
  receive (not slavishly, but as you would guidance from another

o Before leaving the general area in which you found power spots
  and contacted nature spirits:
  - Channel love energy towards the receptive sites you found,
  - Thank the spirits of the land, 
  - Pull back your roots and branches, 
  - Ground any excess energy into the Earth (placing your hands
    on the Earth, breathe in any excess energy, and channel the
    energy down your arms, while visualizing and feeling the
    energy going into the Earth), and 
  - Leave in peace and love.  

o Naturally, you should leave the area at least as clean, and
  preferably cleaner, than you found it. 

o If you work with techniques of Wicca or Ceremonial Magic, you
  may find that by casting a circle, calling the Elements, the
  Goddess, the Gods, and the local nature spirits while you are
  at receptive sites, you may be able to greatly increase

o Through the use of drums and other power raising techniques, it
  is even possible to energize receptive nature spirits.  The
  results can be very interesting.  If with a coven, such circles
  can be done as part of a group attunement to a power spot you
  have located.

o If you do not get good feelings in response to your explanation
  of the ritual and are unable to come up with a ritual that
  gives good responses, do not try to force a good response.  You
  would only be fooling yourself.  
  - Thank the spirits for their attention.
  - Ask them why they are not receptive (if it feels right and
    they are communicative).
  - Trigger your memory. 
  - Pull back your "roots and branches," return any excess
    energy you feel into the Earth.
 -  If it feels appropriate, leave an offering of tobacco or
    other appropriate material, out of respect for the spirits.
  - Move to a more receptive site.  
o If it is hard to find a site that is really receptive, you
  - Consider any impressions you got of why the nature spirits
    weren't receptive in the area you were in, and re-think your
    plans for a ritual, as necessary and appropriate.
  - It may also be appropriate to look for another general area
    in which to find a suitable power site that is receptive to
    the work planned.


It can be very powerful to purify and center yourself and to
attune to the spirits of the land using the techniques previously
described for calling nature spirits immediately upon returning
to the site.  

Often, individuals may have found small specific power spots to
which they have a special attunement, where the spirits are
interested in participating; but where the site is too small, has
too much vegetation, or is otherwise unsuitable for the main
ritual.  Individual attunement to the spirits in such areas and
inviting them to participate in the main ritual can be

Then approach the main ritual site using the previously arranged
technique.  You should have the details worked out with the
spirits of the land.  An exceptionally powerful technique
involves doing a procession through or past receptive power
spots, inviting nature spirits to join as you pass each power
spot, and then moving to the central power spot for the main
ritual.  If participants are at individual power spots, they can
join the procession as it passes nearby.

When consecrating space in the wild, or casting a circle, do not
set up the perimeter as a barrier to all outside forces; it
should be a beacon to attract friendly nature spirits, a
container for holding magical power, and a barrier to spirits
who it isn't right to be with.  

One thing that is fun and worthwhile in nature is to bring
instruments, such as a rattle, a flute and/or a drum, to tune in
to nature's sounds, and to make music in time to nature's
sounds.  You may be able to get some very interesting back and
forth exchanges of music going with selected creatures of the
wild, and get into an amazing jam session.

After the work is complete, be sure to thank the spirits for
their participation.  Libations and other offerings may also be
left for the spirits during and/or after the ritual.


There are other ways of working with nature spirits.  This is one
approach.  The author thanks Selena Fox for teaching the basic
guided meditation technique for locating and contacting nature
spirits at a tranceworking session sponsored by the Chameleon
Club (part of the Association for Consciousness Exploration) in
1981, Vicky Smith for editorial review of this article, Isaac
Bonewitz for the outline of the expanded tree meditation, and
Carlos Castenada, Black Eagle, Pasha, the Goddess, the Gods, and
various nature spirits for teaching the rest of the good methods. 

Most of this article is an expansion of an article by the author
titled "Finding a Sacred Grove for Druid Initiation" by Larry
Cornett, published in The Druid's Progress and in Amaranth


This article is written by Larry Cornett.  It is copyrighted
l988; and it is hereby placed by the author in the public domain,
providing it is not modified without the explicit permission of
the author and providing the author is acknowledged.  It may
therefore be distributed freely to any BBS or other Electronic
Forum or copied and handed out for free.  Permission to reprint
it in a publication for sale may be requested from the author,
and will generally be granted in exchange for a copy of the
publication containing the article.  This copyright takes
precedence over any copyright expressed or implied by any BBS or
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