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Nature Spirits

1 INTRODUCTION In the wild Welsh hills, and the craggy clifftops of the highlands, the splendour of nature cries out for all to hear. In such places it is easy to sense the spirits of stone, river and tree. Explorers of the otherworld know that the shadowed ravines and panoramic heights are populated with beings so different to humans that they can be terrifying, yet also so near and familiar to the stirrings of our souls that they can be almost touchable, a hairsbreadth away from our mortal fingertips, unseen and yet more real than the modern world. Cultures across the earth testify to the existence of spirits, and every spiritual path has its collection of accompanying supernatural intelligences. Angels, ghosts, daemons and devas all affect our lives both subtly and dramatically. Traditionally, distinctions between otherworldly beings are often blurred, as they are in a continuous flow of evolution to and from the very source of existence itself. This is illustrated by the symbol of the World Tree, divided in the Celtic system into three realms Annwn, the world below the living roots, Abred, the physical world the trunk and Gwynfed the white life, the heavens in the branches. Everything is nature. Nature spirits remind us, their distant cousins, of a time when we were close, and understood our connection to the natural world, not merely tourists holding ourselves apart, sewing shut our eyes and ears with our endless need to consume and own the Earth from which we are birthed. In the wild the truth of this is tangible, but it also remains true in factory, flat and office block nature and spirit are one, and we are one with them, inseparable and whole, forever.
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