I’ve just been reading other people’s blogs from Ireland and how they describe the land and how it feels to them. This quote in particular by arignagardener evoked such a feeling of longing:

 The shortest day is thankfully behind us but we must wait awhile before the evenings start to lenghten. The weather is windy and wet. Here in Arigna we are still in Christmas holiday mood. I go into semi-hibernation at this time of year, I just love it. Cold wet and windy outside and we are indoors, the stove is pumping out the heat, friends calling, bit of cooking, drinking and eating.

I remember that feeling so well. I loved it!!! It is one of the feelings I miss most about being here in Egypt, where everything is bone dry and dusty. I don’t find it an easy place to be, I never have, but I know that it is where I have to be.

Mountains on The West Bank. Taken from Malkata, the palace of Amenhotep lll.

But its not just the landscape differences which make it difficult. The land in Ireland and the UK  is so lush and green. There is growth everywhere you look. There is a magic in the landscape which is missing here. There are always issues no matter what country one lives in, I know that. And I can remember growing up in Ireland and feeling constantly irritated that there were field boundaries! In my ‘world’ I didn’t live in Modern Ireland but in pre-Christian Ireland and I felt strongly that I should be able to ride a horse (?) from the North coast of Ireland to the South Coast without having to jump across a single wall or hedge. Thinking about that now it probably wasn’t even possible then!!!!

Slieve Ban, Co. Kilkenny.

When I moved back to Ireland in 2007  for a year I was flabbergasted at how much Ireland had changed. Growing up there I was sensitive to all the energies there, both in the landscape and in the collective unconscious but I couldn’t ‘name’ them. I just lived in them and they felt all wrong. I didn’t understand what I felt. I couldn’t separate out the layers of myself, the landscape and the people around me. It was like a a great big tangled ball of wool. But returning there after being  a landscape healer and counsellor for 13 years allowed me to understand the feelings. I still had that weird feeling of things not being right though. But now I could unravel them.

It felt to me that the ancient layer of Ireland, its root was still in the ground but it was so far buried that it was no longer accessible. Modern Ireland was somehow floating above an empty space, ungrounded and rootless. To me it felt like there was a huge, important layer missing. Like a seed which is planted where there is not enough light. It grows long and spindly trying to reach that light but loses its strength to hold itself up and eventually flounders and dies. Too weak to grow.   ‘Irishness’ was disappearing and being replaced by something superficial and plastic that could never last. And it didn’t. The year we left Ireland was when the Celtic Tiger lost its bite! Ireland was being forced to re-root itself in something more lasting and more sustainable, environmentally and culturally.

Micheldever Woods in Spring.

Since the 60’s there has been a great movement by certain segments of Society who were tapping into this same feeling of  dissonance. They went back to the Land and re-rooted themselves. They recognised what was happening and were the forerunners of the new Ireland, an Ireland which is slowly, slowly evolving. After all, someone has to start the ball rolling and it eventually influences everyone. When everything starts to fall apart these are the ones who are the example to others in how to live well on the land and to recognise its abundance and fertility…and it’s Sacredness.

Griffin Stone in Nine-Stones circle, near maiden castle.

Which brings me back to Egypt. Dry, dusty and brown, mainly! The only green is on either side of the Nile, but this is slowly being eaten up in city expansion and commercial agriculture.  On the surface it is all about money. Buildings are flying up at an alarming rate, mainly to accommodate the tourist industry. Look what happened to Spain!!!  Everyone wants to get rich quick and most people don’t really care how they do it. Wealth is everything. But this newer Egyptian way is not in harmony with older beliefs here. Upper Egypt is very different to Lower Egypt. Poverty is rife here and is very much the norm. Life is chaotic, like Ireland was, and totally dysfunctional. If Egypt was a person she would be a dis-empowered, abused woman.

A Mother and her daughters carrying pots of Nile water back to their homes!

Just as I experienced in Ireland, living in the layers of collective human energy here is very challenging. I wish I wasn’t so sensitive to it. Before I moved here last year I had come to do energy work a number of times with my friend and colleague Chris, accompanied on half of those trips by my daughter Hana. She too is very sensitive to underlying unconscious energies and struggled as much as I did. In fact she was angry most of the time, especially when we went outside! The constant hassle, the men  and the chaos would send her off into brilliant swearing ‘ fests’ where she declared that she hated Egypt and really hated the men!!! There is a huge layer of dishonesty here and corruption is the norm. I thought that only tourists were ripped off but no, Egyptians get ripped off unmercifully too!!

Sandstorm, view from my window.

It is a difficult place to be. If you are oblivious to all the energies here then you will have no problem, apart from the usual feelings when living in a country which is not as organised as the UK! On my last visit I barely left the room, preferring instead to read and write. The only time I left was if we had to go some place to do energy-work. I didn’t go out if I didn’t have a good reason to. I didn’t understand that what I was experiencing was the impact of the thought-forms and emotional energy of Egypt!! Most unpleasant. 

Palm Trees along the Nile.

When we were leaving on that trip, which was the last time we visited before I moved here permanently last year, my guides (upstairs) said that I didn’t resonate with this energy but that I would resonate with the ‘Heart of Egypt’. Oh I see!!! I thought they meant that I didn’t resonate with Luxor. Which I really didn’t! But they didn’t mean the place, they meant the Layer! The Layer of the Heart! The Mother’s heart!  It took me another year to figure that out! The heart layer is the layer which is still tangible in The UK and in the West of Ireland. It is comfort, peace and love, a love of the earth and its abundance.  A layer which is very much asleep here.  Egypt is too damaged to feel that love and needs to be healed before it can experience it. That could take generations but at least they are starting.

Micheldever Woods in Autumn.

So I try to find that connection here, but it is so difficult. In the UK when I felt lousy I could get in my car and drive to the woods and walk in the trees, exploring the ancient settlements hidden there. Here I am unable to do that. I feel too visible. Every time I step outside the door everyone sees me. I can’t go for a walk by myself as everyone stops me, the kids stop me for baksheesh or pens, the men stop me to ask why I am out without my husband and then offer to take me home or offer to sell me something. There is no privacy. And in the summer it is just too hot. So I don’t go out. I stay at home. Sometimes I don’t even want to go into the garden either because as soon as I do I have the company of the kids. The need for ‘aloneness’ is not understood here. Being on your own is seen as a terrible thing, so they keep you company.

Sometimes all I want to do is stretch out on full, cool green grass and sleep.

I’m going to have to see if I can find that palm tree woods downriver and take a walk there…when it cools down a little…or buy a boat and spend all day on the river, away from the madding crowd.

8 responses to “Dissonance

  1. When we came to Ireland 12 years ago, it was Ireland that found us not the other way round, the Celtic Tiger was just purring then. We saw the grotesqueness of what money can do to people through the years. Luckily we went down the path of sustainable living so it hasn’t affected us in the way we feel about Ireland. We probably feel more connected to this earth than alot of people.

    • I think that’s what its about! Taking that path is the connected path so thankfully there are people like you and Cath and Bridget, and many others who have done the same. For me you are all the ones who create new foundations. In some ways I feel like that here as I know the next ten years are not going to be easy for Egypt and people are doing the same here as they did in Ireland. The land here is just for making money but it no longer honoured and worked with in a sustainable way. When I finally get my farm I am going to try and blend permaculture with traditional Egyptian techniques. Hopefully we will be here when this way is needed, to ground others when the money and petrol run out!!!

  2. That is how I felt like before I moved here! I stayed in my house and garden and only went to town once a month to get household stuff. It felt to me like I was living more in the medieval period where people didn’t travel much from their homes, only to go to market once a month. Even in the 50’s here they were doing that!!! I just didn’t want to go out!
    That’s what I find so hard here. I have no garden of my own. I tried to have an input into my husband’s family garden but it was pointless. Their habits are so ingrained that introducing new ones proved to be totally frustrating! So I will have to wait until I have my own farm!!!! In the meantime I am growing my stuff on the balcony and seeing what actually grows in this heat!!! AND my chickens are now in our very large spare room which has been modified with sandy floors, fresh growing plants and a chicken coop!!! Completely nuts! But they have the benefit of the balcony, worms from the garden, and an overhead fan!!!

  3. I agree with Bridget. This recession has brought people to realise there is more to life than money and technology. I now live for my garden, I don’t go out only to buy groceries and can’t wait to get back outside in my garden.

  4. You are so right about the changes that happened in Ireland during the so-called Celtic Tiger. Even here in the west there were unwanted housing developments that still lie empty. People lost their connection with the Earth and Nature, they were so busy and thinking only of money. Thankfully the recession has brought people down to earth with a bang. There is a huge resurgence in growing your own fruit and veg. I for one am thankful for the recession. Things are coming full circle again…for some people anyway.

    • I feel exactly the same. Sometime only a disaster can make people think about what they doing and why! Dealing with recession and becoming grounded again is well worth the difficulty!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s