Article Subtle Realms

Across the Creek

This story is focused at Booroola, because that is where the journey began.

Booroola is my home place, the land where I grew up. It’s situated on the eastern side of the Macquarie River on the red and black soil plains of Central West NSW, Australia. Open, flat country that was originally inhabited by the Wiradjuri and the Ngemba Wailwan, or Nyimpaa Weilwan, people.

I’ve repeatedly found myself spread in the land at Booroola, hanging in the air in front of the shed, above a particular tree, over an area of flat or open country. At times it’s difficult to tell the difference between me and the land.

From wandering around the world, it’s my experience that special or energetic sites are everywhere. Each piece of land, each living form has its own spirit, that (when in close proximity) we interact with even if we are completely unconscious of such phenomenon. However, for them and for us, life is better when we are consciously aware of them. It doesn’t matter what nationality we are, it matters that we are alive and willing to listen and respond. An interactive relationship with a place opens us to knowledge and life at all levels of creation, a relationship where the subtle energetic impulses from the land are as important as our own.

It seems that as modern people we are largely locked within the physical and intellectual dimensions, completely missing the multiple dimensions, the multiplicity of life forms that also share our place.

On this journey I’ve used my own consciousness as the measuring tool to explore the subtle energies associated with particular places. What is written is not unusual. Along the way many people have told me they have had similar experiences. I hope this work provides a vehicle for opening, for discussion and sharing.

Through the ages, meditators, teachers and seekers like Plato, Rudolf Steiner and Sri Aurobindo, suggest that what we experience with our five senses are merely the physical emanations of more subtle levels of reality. We are immersed within a multiplicity of emanations emerging from the one Source.

Physical things have subtle energy, a non-physical being-ness that can be experienced through an internalisation of consciousness. Meditation-based techniques allow consciousness to be internalised, turned within to experience more subtle realms. Knowledge of subtle energies can occur with the eyes open or closed. It is an experience like an intuition or a sense of knowing that is beyond the senses. It’s a vision of the mind’s eye.

Artwork by Helen Russ

The watercolour paintings shown here are superimposed on faded photographs of the site where the experience occurred. In spatial terms my physical body may have been walking the land, sitting in my bedroom at the Booroola house, in Sydney or overseas, but my spiritual awareness would be located at a particular spot on the land. Some experiences came in dreams. The photographs show the location where the experience unfolded. The water colour images reveal the things I see or sense with my inner awareness.

The photographs are faded out because my sense is that the physical landscape changes and it is not as important as the energetic landscape. Trees, watercourses, grasses, animals and people come and go but the energetics of a place uphold its life and integrity. Experience suggests that the land has its own energetic ecosystem, with flows, vortexes, rivers of light and life, that existed long before people.

The Women

While I was living in Ireland and in San Francisco, the Women began coming to me during meditation. There would be a feeling of them sitting in a circle, Aboriginal women who have a knowledge and a particular role, one seeming to be more aware of my presence. This time, when I returned home, I tuned into them as I drove across the ramp. They welcomed me. A day later, I took a girlfriend across the creek to see them.

I had travelled all around the world to find what was right here; that these Women held something that I’d longed for, that these Women could teach me all kinds of mysteries that would allow me to experience ‘Life’ in the way it should be.

I always felt that Aboriginal traditions were from a different spiritual line than the western traditions, and there is a sense that these Women embody Divine Femininity, the source of All.

A journey was unfolding through listening to these Women, particularly the main one, who seems more aware of me, although at times the whole lot seem to be laughing at my antics. We are friends and more than friends, sisters. They are my teachers. The main one, is helping me remember things I have forgotten, teaching me new things and she constantly smiles, with a quiet wisdom.

Access granted

I sat in the caravan in the afternoon, with my computer doing research. It was beautiful. Comfortable, warm and the writers block I had been experiencing lifted. I went to sleep excited and wondering. The night was calm and starry. I could see constellations outside the window as I lay down. I was very conscious of where I was, safe and yet with a sense of nervousness.

I gradually realised that I couldn’t sleep. In my half dream space the caravan had large glass doors that I kept trying to close. It felt like everything was open, and the world was blowing through the place. And black faces started morphing through my consciousness.

One person would show themselves, clear, open, fully present and within a second, another and another. Eye contact. Presence to presence. More real than real. Beautiful, full of life, expression, full of nuance. As each face appeared, liquid dark eyes, saw me. We ‘saw’ each other. They were young and old, spiritual and not, happy and sad, angry and joyful

There was a sense that I had asked for access and it had been granted. I was seeing the hundreds and perhaps thousands of people who had lived at this site. There was no judgment and no malice. They were just here, showing themselves, morphing through my psyche.

In subtle realms time is more fluid so you can experience something from the past as if it’s occurring in the ‘now’. Subtle energies can merge and morph, so it’s not unusual to find one’s consciousness merged and spread out across the land, with other people or other energies.

Our subtle energies are not limited by our physical bodies, which means we can spread out and become as vast as a few thousand acres, we can move up or down a vertical axis to experience exalted states or deep mysteries.

When I talk about the Women I am referring to the energetic group of four or five Aboriginal women that are holding a particular energetic node across the creek from the Booroola house. Within modern culture we do not have a language or cosmology to help us name their nature or their role. However, they appear to be custodians of an energetic point within the land that could possibly be compared to a chakra within the body. They are conscious of us and of other levels of reality. They are connected to a greater wisdom and they are able to communicate with us if we listen.

Since awakening to this group of women I have found similar energetic nodes all around the country. Such as just outside White Cliffs NSW, Billabulla and Gooyong Park at Warren, in Bellevue Hill in Sydney, near Gundagai and on the stock route near Tenandra. There are also all kinds of energetic structures, similar to meridians within the body. For example there are energetic flows that look like ley lines, energy wells, men’s sites, women’s sites, camping places and the spirit of trees. There are beings associated with places.

Physically, these sites are unremarkable. They have no artifacts, no special characteristics that can be seen physically. What is significant is energetic, it’s how they feel.

A note of caution. Subtle energies are alive. They have their own life, their own story.

When experiencing subtle realms, whatever happens, the direction is to hold a gentle open awareness. Feel the experience with an intention of revealing the subtle reality behind the physical facade. It is about looking for the subtle essence or source of what we see or feel.

Oliver Wendell Holmes suggests that, Every man is an omnibus in which his ancestors ride, and my Mum adds, and sometimes one of them takes a look out the window. 

Sourcing, turning our awareness to the inner realms of consciousness, allows us to release and presence deeply held traumas and beliefs that at times are the dysfunctional corner stone of our current mental and emotional constructs. By seeing the source, the construct is released and a new way of seeing the world emerges, and perhaps more importantly the heart opens and the way is open to join in the greater flow.

There are esoteric teachings that suggest that when a Christian reports on a near death experience, they feel that they saw God or Jesus. When a Buddhist approaches death they may experience being one with the enlightened mind of Buddha. Perhaps what I have seen is a deep mystery reflected in a way my mind can comprehend. Land energies in Ireland for example have a different appearance. I suspect that some of what we see reflected as land energies is shaped by the people who have actively engaged with them.

What is clear to me is that the land has its own life, beyond us, beyond now. I understand that what I have presented may be difficult for some to relate to. I am sharing it because throughout this journey the Women have continually prompted me to do so. It would seem that the Women want their story told. They want us to remember our relationship with all life.

As Above, so Below

Adapted from the Book: Across the Creek – Land energy experiences in the home paddock, available from the author.

About Helen Russ

Helen Russ, Ph.D, grew up in Central Western NSW Australia between the Macquarie and Castlereagh Rivers on a dryland farming property. It is here that she developed a relationship with land and the subtle energies of place.

Helen has an undergraduate degree in Systems Agriculture, majoring in environmental management. Following ten years in the Landcare movement, Helen began to question the efficacy of the environmental action when the dysfunction appeared to be within people. So in 1999 she began to study and practice the techniques of a meditation school exploring the inner landscape of consciousness within the western esoteric tradition.

Helen has a a Ph.D in the spirit of organizations. She has two published books, ‘Experiences of Grace‘ which shares experiences of meditation and transformation, and ‘Across the Creek, land energy experiences in the home paddock‘. It shares the journey exploring the spirit of place at her home property, Booroola.

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