When traversing through wild, uncultivated, or even less trafficked spaces, we human folk can far too easily forget that we are guests in sacred space. While our adventures into the wild may last hours or even days, they are the permanent home to many non-human persons. From animals, birds, fish, and insects- those beings we can easily perceive, to non-human non-corporeal spirits of place and land who are less easy to perceive, the wild world we walk is filled with persons.
One tell-tale sign of presence comes when we stumble across a carved path across the landscape. This is not the same type of path as a human-crafted trail, road, or path- but something quite different; otherworldly even. These paths can easily go unnoticed if we aren’t looking for them. They are the ways carved into the land over seasons and centuries by animal folk and spirit folk alike= and they hum with power.
Ancient tracks connect one place to another. They link dens to watering holes, lookout points to hunting grounds, where one was raised to where one raises their own. Animals of many types use he same paths and seem to intuitively follow along veins of power in the land that help orient them in their mystery traditions. These same paths traveled by deer, fox, hare, and bear can also be follow by hawk in the sky and ant in the dirt. They have a certain gravitas which, not too unlike a highway, draws one into a path of least resistance when getting from one place to another.
But the secrets of these tracks don’t stop here- in fact, this is just the beginning.
Ancient tracks are also used and frequented by the spirits of place- those beings who are without a fleshy form that call this place home. The Fairy of ancient British lore are know to travel these ley lines between their haunts, use them to move camps each season, or work with them in their land-based mystery traditions. One of the most common warnings in British Fairy Faith lore is to never ever impede, destroy, or otherwise block these sacred pathways unless one wishes to incur the wrath of the good folk.
These tracks, then, link physical places together. They also link otherworldly places together and are often the ways in which many spirits pass between one world and the next. They are alive; rivers of power pulsing as crossroads and bridges between this land and the land as it exists in otherness.
I invite you, the next time you find one of these quiet tracks, to place your palms on the earth which has been exposed from their constant use. Drop into the pulse of this great artery of power and trace with your mind’s eye, the great distance this path emerges from and goes toward. Feel this track, as though it were a thread in the great weaving of the cosmos, stretch from our world into the otherworld. Be connected to what you feel, and maybe lay a word or feeling of blessing here in hopes that it might be picked up by the traveling hordes as they pass by.