“Stay calm. Don’t panic. Focus.” he said. “It is vital now, as vital as life herself.”
It was my Power Ash that spoke. Each ash on my land intones differently. One grants healing. One emits peace. One brushes the roof of my cabaña like an old friend. I’ve always known the Power Ash was the energetic centre of the land. He is a manifester, and when I form a vision beneath his sylvan crown, anything can happen.
Sometimes I refer to this ash as a he. Sometimes as a she. But the Power Ash is pangender. He embodies that alchemical fusion of male and female, of spirit and earth that makes the unbelievable materialise.
It was under this tree that I sat before I bought this land. That biting winters’ day two years ago, sunlight carving new worlds out of the landscape, the ash nudged me to put in a final offer. I ran my hand over the magical lattice on his trunk, and inhaled the potential. Half an hour later in the town below, I bumped into the owner of this land, who then oddly accepted my proposal.
It is the Power Ash that I sit with every time I build. And he always says the same thing. “You are power. You can have whatever you want. Make it happen.” Then he whispers the next one or two steps to me. And I follow them. When I do it’s easy. Thus I create a new world.
So naturally it was the Power Ash I ran to when I watched the forests burning. The beautiful creatures burning. Because suddenly I was burning too. There is only so much horror a human can hold before she bursts. And late one night I ripped at the seams. Hence, in pyjamas and hat, I climbed out of my hut and onto my land. Gasping at the freezing air, I stumbled past the barn, through the nettles and grasses, down to the rocks and the ash. The moon was exactly yin yang, casting enough light for me to make out the mountain ridges, but enough darkness to sequester the crevasses.
His boughs were held aloft invoking the sky, while his roots dug deep to the source. “Stay calm, as though your life depends on it,” The Power Ash said. “Panic and anguish will destroy you. Focus on your reality, not someone else’s. Your power is here and now, not there or then.”
The moon held my world in her gaze, and I felt myself stretch into the dirt. “Keep your vision clear. Listen. Take the next step. Then envision and listen again.”
The air thickened gently about me, the darkness pulled so taut you could break it just by tapping on it. An owl warbled from the hazel wood next door, and I felt it. The land turning toward me. All eyes were on me now. “We are power,” the ash said. “And Earth is calling on you to express it.”
The word Rune is derived from the root - run or runa meaning whisper or secret. In linguistic terms, runes are the symbolic letters of ancient Germanic alphabets, or even short Norse poems. Runes can be stones inscribed with magical symbols or 'spells too. Welcome to my runes. Are they symbols? Are they poems? Or are they spells? I'll leave it up to you.
Atulya K Bingham is an author, natural builder and lone off-gridder now lost in the hills of northern Spain.
"I consider myself a person who is connected to nature, somebody who respects the earth; this book has me walking through the world with all my senses opened." Emma Blas, editor Her Heart Poetry