"LAND SPIRITS SPEAK TO HER"
By Rachel Grace Toussaint
EXETER - Late Wednesday morning, as the sun did its dance with the clouds, Pat Trotter walked the land of Raynes Farm.
As Trotter walked toward a cluster of trees, the wind whispered to the grass, speaking its own language - one many can’t hear. But Trotter has a heightened sense of hearing, seeing and feeling. She tunes in to what many tune out in the name of nonsense.
"There’s a lot of pain over there," said Trotter, pointing to the trees as she walked back to her seat - an open patch of dirt and sorrel.
Trotter is an earth spirit messenger. In other words, she says, "I can hear the story that the land has to tell." And she has, for the past two years, built a business around her abilities.
The Lee resident has and will do readings on land for local conservation and open space commissions free of charge. She says she can read toxicity in a body of water or help figure out problems within a land.
Trotter also does readings on a private level - for those about to purchase a home, or others having difficulties with a land or home they already own. Personal requests take about two hours on site, but four to five hours total, as, many times, she has to "journey back" to the land on a non-physical level. She does charge a fee for personal requests. However, unlike most businesses, she doesn’t advertise.
"To be frank," she said, "many people do not fully embrace the concept of such a gift."
Yet, many people do.
"People from far distances will send me pictures, maps or even just a town name," said Trotter. "From those things, I can read what’s going on around the area, and what a particular problem may be."
Reading the Land
Trotter spoke of a reading she did for a farm in Maine. The family, she said, had brand new farming equipment that worked in the store and, when they brought it home, it didn’t work.
"They brought in repair people, who fixed it, and the equipment worked right after and then it didn’t for no reason," said Trotter. "I went up there, and one of first things I asked was, ‘Did you ask permission of the land to farm it?’ The woman said, ‘No,’ and I told her, ‘Go out one day and ask the land if you can farm it, and tell it what you want to do.’ She called me and said she did just that, and the machines worked fine."
As part of her interview, Trotter agreed to perform a reading on Raynes Farm located on Newfields Road. The Exeter Conservation Commission purchased the land from John Raynes last year to preserve the 48 acres as open space.
To begin the process of communicating with the land, Trotter performed a ceremony, asking permission of the "land spirits communication for the highest good of space and time."
She sat on a small sit-upon, of sorts, made of antelope skin, which she said has to do with vision and sacrifice. Then, she anointed herself with oils and took out a small black bowl and ignited white sage - or tried to. The wind was very talkative that day.
Trotter asked the wind to stop and give her a minute. It did. The smoldering, white sage emitted smoke. She held the bowl up, as if offering it to the sky, then cupped her hand around the smoke and directed it over her head, then into her chest.
Trotter, also an herbalist, explained that white sage "is used in many ceremonies for the effect of cleansing space, or energies that I may have introduced to the space. It is like a gentle honoring of asking for presence."
Sounds of Sorrow
Next, Trotter walked the land. She disappeared for a half-hour. When she returned, she said she felt overwhelmed with sadness. A man, she said, had presented himself to her, given her a tour of the land.
"A name, Charles, comes through," she said. "The sorrow that I felt earlier was from his time and left an imprint upon the land. (This sadness) came in the form of a message to him while he was in the field. He was called to a message of some occurrence. I sensed a death or something like that, which affected his desire to continue to farm."
The land, indeed, has a rich history. According to Barbara Rimkunas, curator of the Exeter Historical Society, the farm was built circa 1695, as a wedding gift to Jeremiah Gilman and wife Mary Wiggin. The farm eventually passed into ownership of Joshua Wiggin who, in 1795, married a woman named Comfort.
Together, they had seven children - one named Charles. Charles, according to Rimkunas, was born in 1813 and was married in 1840 to Rebecca Hadaway. He was described as a successful businessman and a large-hearted philanthropist during his time. The couple did suffer several losses. Their first child, Mary R., died in infancy. Second child Jeremiah T. died young. Three of their children did live, however. Rimkunas pointed out that, in a short period of time, Charles suffered the loss of his father (who died in 1840) and two children.
"But I have no way of knowing if he was living in Exeter or not, or if he owned the farm or not," Rimkunas said.
Trotter said that sadness wasn’t the only feeling she was receiving. The land was happy that the town had recently purchased it for conservation. But at the same time, "it really wants to be used again," she said.
The land’s Diva (the overriding spirit of the property) - a boulder that prefers to be known as "the land’s shoulder" - told her, "Harvest us still to feed the animals." She was then told, "Allow this space to be healed with the healing of the barn. Bring those souls who love the land and animals to once again allow us to breath."
As part of the Conservation Commission’s plan for the space, the fields will be maintained, and drainage work and replacement of rotting sills will stabilize the 100-foot-long barn.
In Tune With Her Instincts
Trotter, also a Reiki master, said she believes that all living things (animals, plant beings, trees and the earth) have a consciousness, a unique, individual energy. This sensation has been with her ever since she was a child.
"I followed tracks of animals and had really good friends in animals. We had conversations, and, to me, that was a natural thing." But as she journeyed into adulthood, she decided to pursue a degree in more traditional medicine: nursing. She spent her time as a respiratory and burn victim specialist.
"I was going along and I was so focused in medicine, and then I took an herbalist apprenticeship and, through that, realized there is a difference," she said. "After the apprenticeship, my communion with the earth was even deeper."
Of course, there are some who sit on a much different fence, who think the kind of connection that Trotter speaks of is crazy, made-up. And Trotter says that’s fine; she’s not out to sway anyone’s opinion.
"I cannot put energy into those who won’t open up to the fact that, because it’s not scientifically proven, it’s not true," said Trotter. She said she believes that even the most skeptical person has a deeply rooted instinct within. But that person, she said, has squashed his or her inner voice, and the technological advances of the modern world have assisted with that squashing.
"The bottom line is belief in themselves," Trotter said. "They might say that what is channeled through me is just imagination. But who’s to say where imagination comes from?"
Those interested in receiving services from Pat Trotter may contact her via email.