The Wisdom of Crab Apple

 

Crab Apple Tree in Flower

Crab Apple Tree in Flower

I did a shamanic journey to the Spirit of Crab Apple to ask what wisdom and what qualities it has, and to ask if it has any message for humankind?

Crab Apple Blossom

Crab Apple Blossom

I sit with my back resting against an ancient gnarly crab apple tree. It is vast and abundantly covered with scented blossom. The sweet heady scent of the blossom saturates my nostrils. The buzzing of the bees that attend it is almost deafening. It has been struck by lightning and one of its limbs lies charred on the ground. Another limb has cracked and fallen to rest partly on the ground but still lives. I am very aware of the presence of the tree. I call to the Spirit of Crab Apple to come. Immediately my vision is filled with pink and white crab apple blossom. I ask Crab Apple what messages it has. This is what she tells me…
‘I am cleansing. I am loving, nurturing, nourishing, uplifting. My blossom and my fruit connect you with the earth. The tart, sourness of the apples cleanse the liver in a gentle nourishing way. Make my fruit into jelly, to cleanse and nourish you and connect you with the earth, in a gentle, sweet, loving way. I am the epitome of love. My blossom is the epitome of love. The sweet scent of my blossom surrounds you in love. I enfold you in love.
I ask you not to pick my blossoms, but to use photographs, paintings or drawings of me. Use them on your altar. Place them on your heart when you are meditating, if you need to feel surrounded by love. If you are feeling unloved, connect with me – I am the epitome of love. Warm, sweet, tender, I enfold you and I uplift you.’
I see myself lying on a bed of apple blossom, being uplifted under a blue, bright sky in warm gentle weather.
Crab Apple continues, ‘I am gentle. I teach you to be gentle with yourself. Gently care for yourself. Know that you are loved. Love yourself. It is the only way for you to be more loving to others. This is the way forward for humankind – to be gentle and loving with themselves, that they may be in this way, gentle and loving to others. You humans, you put so many demands on yourselves and then you have such high expectations of others. This is where judgement, resentment and bitterness comes from. Be gentle with yourself, that you may be gentle and loving, giving and compassionate to others.
I epitomise youth and beauty. My fruit can help keep youth and beauty. For those finding it difficult to conceive, my fruit can cleanse away negative thoughts and stagnation – stagnation of the liver that is holding back your fertility and your ability to move forward in life. I cleanse away stagnation and help you move forward in life. Apples can do this in a sweet, loving way. The scent of my blossom can also do this. Eating the fruit of the apple is good for this. Move with the seasons. Use the scent of apple blossom at this time of year to do this. Using the preserve, crab apple jelly, can do this when the blossom is over. You can have it on toast or as a relish for example with pork. Tune into me.
I have a connection with the element of air. I am like a keen wind that blows through you, that helps to cleanse. It cuts into the liver and moves stagnation. It blows away the cobwebs. I help you to cleanse what is no longer needed, what is no longer serving you in your life, in a loving and compassionate – not in a brutal way where you have to go on a big detox where you suffer from headaches and feel like you’ve lost the will to live. I can do this to help you in an uplifting way, so that the toxins are gently lifted and released and allowed to leave. Meditate on the colour of my petals to do this – gentle, pale pinky-white and green. These colours help lift stagnant things out of your aura and move them on.
The star which you find at the equator of my fruit, the star that starts to form as my blossom starts to set into fruit, is important. I connect you to the stars, to the ancient ones that come from the stars, to the gods and goddesses, as you knew them, to the magical realms. I can assist you on your soul’s journey. Through contemplating my star, I can connect you with the stars and with the star beings – the angels, as some of you know them.’
As Crab Apple says this, I see a winged being with white feathered wings, standing next to the crab apple tree.
Crab Apple continues, ‘My message to humans who don’t feel connected to these beings who have come to help this planet, is that I can help them to connect. Contemplate the star at the centre of my blossom, and at the end of an apple or at the centre of the apple. This will connect you with the magical beings of the angelic realms. I want you to know that you are not alone. There is so much help for you. Come often to visit me and I will help you to feel loved and supported.’

I felt overwhelmed by the loving generous nature of the crab apple tree. It nourished and uplifted me. I have been back many times to visit this tree and it always makes me feel good. I made some hedgerow jelly using apples from this tree mixed with hawthorn, rosehip, elderberry and blackberry. I have it on toast or with meat such as venison. It’s delicious and it makes me feel connected to the seasons. I’d love to hear about anyone else’s experiences with crab apple. Has anyone else made crab apple jelly?

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A Visit to Cae Thomas’ Holy Well, Llanveynoe, Olchon Valley, Black Mountains

Cae Thomas well

Cae Thomas Holy Well

Yesterday, Phoebe and I set off on an adventure. Our quest was to find Cae Thomas’ Holy Well near Llanveynoe. Rumour had it that this beautiful natural spring was to be found somewhere in the mystical Olchon Valley of the Black Mountains on the border between Herefordshire and Wales. So far no-one we knew had been able to find it. Local folklore has it that the water has special healing properties and is particularly good for rheumatism and strengthening weak eyes and this was good enough incentive for me. Perhaps it would be good for my gammy hip and maybe I’d even be able to read the small print on labels after a draft of the elusive water.

So, armed with an OS map and a sketchy description from on elderly guide book on the Holy Wells of Herefordshire, we set off. Phoebe was as excited as me and had prepared a bag of provisions – a bottle to put some water in, some extra strong mints and a bag of jelly babies – excellent emergency rations!

We drove off up Long Lane in the direction that leads away from civilisation and into the mountains. I love this route – turn right at Bob Shop, through Michaelchurch Escley and then dipping down into the valley of the River Monnow. The verges of the narrow lanes spilled over with wildflowers – purple vetch, the magenta of rosebay willow herb and the frothy cream flowers of meadowsweet, to name but a few. Amongst these, waved the golden fronds of tall grasses bleached by the August sunshine. We passed quaint cottages with flower filled gardens, tumbled down stone ruins, glossy red post boxes set into garden walls, each turn in the road unveiling a scene more beautiful than the last. Rounding a bend, the imposing ridge of Black Darren reared up in front of us. Round another bend we were treated to a lovely view of the craggy end of the Cat’s Back Mountain, also known as the Black Hill, made famous in Bruce Chatwin’s novel.

Now entering the Olchon Valley and crossing the Olchon Brook, we kept a beady eye out for anything that might resemble the description in the book.

‘Ooh, hang on, that tiny little gate might be promising. It’s not big enough to get a tractor through and why else would you have a gate only big enough for pedestrians going into a field?’ I asked Phoebe. She thought it looked like a good bet too. I squeezed the car off the narrow lane into another gateway, hoping that we wouldn’t meet an irate farmer wondering what we were up to. But I needn’t have worried – there was not another soul about. We went through the little gate and hearing the sound of running water, thought that we must be onto something. Going through another small gate, we found ourselves at a beautiful waterfall flowing into a pool. We sat and enjoyed this lovely place for a few minutes. Phoebe was keen to fill her water bottle, but I was sure that we hadn’t found the right place. So near and yet so far. How frustrating.

We started making our way back towards the car to try again further along the road. I pondered about the little gate and then something made me stop and turn around. This time I noticed another gate off to our left. Not a small gate this time, a full size farm gate, but it was propped across a gap that again wasn’t big enough for vehicles. Phoebe got really excited by this and ran back ahead of me. I heard a shout as she disappeared round the corner.

‘This is it Mum. I can see the enamel cup hanging from the tree with the initials carved into it, just like it said in the book!’ We had found it at last. I negotiated the broken wooden gate and immediately, the atmosphere changed completely. It was serene, peaceful and welcoming. The vegetation was somehow different here too – short neat grass, soft moss and shamrocks, gave the impression of a magical garden. A three-limbed ash tree grew out of a rock above a little pool, into which the spring was merrily gurgling. The water in the pool was crystal clear and very inviting. The ancient enamelled cup hung from this tree, left there by some thoughtful person who would like others to enjoy the spring. With great reverence, we took it in turns to have a drink from the cup, and to bathe our eyes and feet. The water from the spring was the sweetest and freshest I’ve ever tasted. We stayed and enjoyed the atmosphere of the Cae Thomas’ Well for a while before saying a little prayer of thanks for such a lovely place and hoping that it always stays as unspoilt as this.

We returned to the car, feeling refreshed, soothed and very satisfied that we had accomplished our mission to visit such a beautiful and magical place.