Walking in the rain with my dog Mel, I rounded the curve and there it was: a large, wet, juicy mud puddle right in the middle of the path. Releasing his leash, I took a running start and laughingly jumped into the middle, spraying dirty water everywhere and scattering a few surprised earthworms in the process. Mel looked at me with his tongue hanging out and a bemused look on his face as if to say Yeah, I get it. We continued our walk, me with a pleasant squish every step and Mel trotting beside me surrounded by the soft sound of raindrops.
Being out in Nature, whether gardening, walking or jumping into mud puddles fosters our connection to a wider world than what’s inside our heads. It demands using all our senses and can be a gateway to the magic that surrounds us if you know how to let it in.
Hogworts School of Magic
When younger, my children devoured the Harry Potter series and longed for a Hogworts School of Magic to attend and be taught The Arts. But think on this: there IS magic all around us, we’re just not attuned. There are so many small universes comprising this Earth and we’re just learning how to speak some of their languages. Part of the training at Hogworts required self- discipline and practice – good skills to learn for everything.
Trees are magical. They communicate, nourish and protect members, but not in the way WE do. Their timeline for living is on a longer and slower scale than ours. They use chemicals and the mycorrhizal community as part of their operating system. Grass is magical. The world is covered in it and yet all we know how to do is plow it, kill it or shave it. Did you know that grasses also have their communication system that is both underground and via the air?
Cultivating Our Ability to See Magic
What if we could access the knowledge of these beings? Imagine what their perspective of things would be like. Wouldn’t that constitute magic? Many cultures had people who knew how to talk with the trees, plants and wind and used this knowledge to help their people. Some of these were shamans but there were also cultures where it was considered part of their life skills to be able to access this knowledge.
How can we attune ourselves to the magic surrounding us? By being out in nature on a regular basis, taking time to just explore (i.e. walk without a destination in mind) and slowing down (physically) to actually “smell the roses” and allowing yourself to tune into what is going on around you using all 5 senses.
5-minute Earth Grounding Exercise to BE Magical
When I work with people who have anxiety and don’t have access to or time to go out on a walk in Nature, I suggest the 5 Minute Earth Grounding exercise:
- Go outside and stand barefoot on the Earth. Take a few deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Imagine a tube extending from the crown of your head down into the Earth.
- Imagine all your thoughts, feelings, concerns, worries etc. being poured down this tube and discharged into the Earth through your feet. Think of it as discharging excess energy and grounding it into the Earth.
- After you have “cleaned house”, imagine new Earth energy rise through your feet all the way to the top of your head.
- Once it reaches the top, let it spill over your head and run down your spine back to the Earth. Repeat this several times.
- When you feel done, stand quietly for a few minutes and open your senses to your surroundings. Take a few deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Observe any changes, thoughts or messages you receive.
The List of 100 Things: Teaching Magic to Children
The state of Colorado has a program called Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) whose goal is to promote children connecting with Nature. They’re funded by state lottery money and support various activities throughout Colorado. They’ve created The List of 100 Things You Absolutely Have to Do Before You’re 12 as a guide for parents to help get children more involved in the outdoors. After reading it, I think adults can benefit from their suggestions. Click here to access The List and let this be a starting point for your exploration of magic!