“We began our search for the wild, whether as girlchildren or as adult women, because in the midst of some wildish endeavor we felt that a wild and supportive presence was near.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estes
I began my search for the wild as a girl, growing up in a remote hamlet on the west coast of Scotland that looked out to the Atlantic ocean in the west and soft hills in the east.
Here, between hill and sea sprawled wild woodland where you could hide and dream, explore and play. When I cast my memory back through my childhood it seems that I pretty much lived in those mossy woods, making dens in upturned tree trunks, climbing trees and burying the stray cats who got killed on the road. This is where I would hide on Sunday afternoons until I knew it was too late to go to Sunday school, and later this is where I tasted my first kisses. But my first love was the woodland itself. Lush, alive and steady in the way that only nature is.
When we moved here three years ago, it was the woodland behind our house that called me home. The spirits of birch and oak and hazel and holly and rowan – those same trees who were my companions when I was a little girl were inviting me back to the heart of the woods again, where I belong. A different woodland, but the same feelings of belonging, wildness and magic.
There’s something about woodland that reawakens the parts of us that have been tamed and silenced by everyday life.
To venture into woodland is to leave ordinary reality behind and travel into the wild unknown of our innermost selves.
Woodland reintroduces us once again to that ancient part of us that knows, even when our minds do not.
When we voyage into the wild woods, we taste our own wildness and remember exactly who we are and what we need.
In fairy stories, woodland represents the unchartered terrain of the unconscious. It can be hiding place or sanctuary, but more often it’s the place of transformation where the protagonist faces their fears and emerges stronger and wiser.
Woodland symbolises mystery, freedom and the deep knowing of the authentic self. When we enter woodland, we surrender what we think we know and open up to a wilder wisdom. In that place of the unknown, important things happen.
We re-enter the world again afterwards, with more certainty and clarity.
Woodland nourishes us deeply, loves us fiercely and soothes us gently.
I wish I could show you the wild woods behind our house. We’d step onto the path where fox comes to visit and you would choose whether your heart leads you to the right or the left. We would walk together, sure-footed through the leaf mulch listening to the crows that circle above us as we step into the magic and the mystery of this ancient place. We would walk slowly, listening and listening. It’s rare to find somewhere so very wild, existing this close to civilisation.
But I know that time and distance and all sorts of practicalities may mean that’s not possible for you, so instead I’m offering you the next best thing.
A meditation to take you by the hand into the wild woods for deep rest and woodland magic.
Storytelling meets healing. Best listened to in the dark of winter, and especially around full moon.
‘Come to the wild woods’, the moon whispers. ‘We’re waiting for you’.
Begin by creating sacred space. Light some candles. Get cosy and make sure you won’t be interrupted. This is my personal favourite of all the meditations I’ve created. I hope you love it too. Let me know in the comments if you receive any insights or guidance you want to share!
Download the 20 minute meditation by right clicking or control clicking on the download link below and selecting ‘save link as’