Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Coming Up For Air


The Oracle speaks on behalf of Air:


Can you see me? Can you feel me?
Breathe, B r e a t h e.......
In.
Out.
Can you feel me now?


You're wasting me, you're wasting my breath.
What if I stop?

Stop, stop, stop what you are doing.
Where is my Holy Smoke?
Where are my Temples?


What have you done with me? What have you given me to hold?
See - I hold the morning mist, I hold the songs of birds and bee's hum.
And now the dirt and death and sorrow of millions.


See how I hold Her, how I surround Her, The Earth. I love Her. I touch her, stroke her face. I protect her. And you, I know your every crevice, I know you inside and out. I love you. Feel me, breathe. I breathe you, you breathe me.

B R E A T H E ....this is my gift of love to you.



Watch,
Watch,
Can you see me?
Can you hear me?
Listen.
Do you know me?
Can you do without me?

Were this a mighty Oak I could fell it. Were it a huge tower, I could fell it, were it a civilisation I could completely remove it.
Where is your breath? Where is your breath, without mine?
Where is my temple?
Where is your love for me?
Here,
Here is mine.




Can you see me? Can you see me now? Can you see how I  hold the droplets of water. Can you hear the plane I hold in the sky. Can you see me now? Can you hear me? Can you feel me?
Breathe
In
Out
Can you feel me now?
Breathe.
Can you see me?

Where is my holy smoke? Where are my temples? Can you feel me? Do you need me?
See. See how I hold everything. See how I touch, everywhere. I hold Her, The Earth, in my arms. I am all around Her, I love Her, I protect Her.
Can you see me?
Can you feel me?


From within the experience it seemed very clear that the Temple that Air is asking for is the Temple of our lungs, of our bodies. That we see ourselves as sacred containers within the interconnected web of all things. That our bodies become a holy place, sacred and honouring of The Divine which is all things, which speaks here as Air.

It is also clear that Air would like to be offered the acknowledgement and blessing of holy smoke. So light a beautiful incense and speak out your gratitude.



Heed the North wind's mighty gale;
lock the door and trim the sail. 
When the wind comes from the South, 
love will kiss you on the mouth. 
When the Moor wind blows from the West 
departed spirits have no rest 
When the wind blows from the East, 
expect the new and set the feast. 

From The Wiccan Rede by Doreen Valiente. 






Monday, 14 November 2016

Water Speaks


The Oracle stands at the water's edge, a raven kraaws above her as her soul dives deep within the flow, she merges; and water speaks.




"I am Water,
I was here before you came,
I will be here when you are long gone.
Help me to help you.
I transform,
I flow.
I flow.
I transmute.
I can change
Anything.
Help me to help you."

Water's intention is simply to be water, but she has the power to transmute and to carry intention, to literally wash away our sins.  It is no accident that the names of many of our most ancient Goddesses are the same as the most ancient names of our rivers.


Approximately 71% of our Earth is covered in water - of that about 96.5% is sea water, salty water, the same kind of water that runs in our blood, is our tears, our sweat. Very like the water in which we gestated for nine months and from whence we arrived into this world wriggling and yowling for breath. Water is life.


Water is calling to us, asking us to become a participant in the beauty, the majesty, the power of all that is. Become part of the  healing story - not part of the wounding. Dream a new world into being, speak it into being, give it words.


Words are spells, it is no accident that we call the assembly of letters into words 'spelling', and it is clear that we need to be praying not just FOR water, but TO water.


Water is life. There is no living without her.



Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Ancestors

The Ancient Ones, The Sacred Ones, the ones who were there at the beginning of time, these were wise ancestors and for generations upon generations we listened to them.

But then...... we stopped. And now it seems we are looking in the wrong direction. Our constant harking back to times gone by; the good old days, the ancient magical past, these seem to have so little bearing upon the present and remembering does nothing. Anger and grief achieve nothing if they do not become sacred action. Without that we only loop around and arrive once again at the present.

Those that we need to learn from are young now, these are the future guardians of Earth and the one's to whom this matters most. Theirs (if we have not completely deprived them of the opportunity) is going to be the longest time here, if we start counting from this moment.There are some incredibly inspiring young people out there at the moment, who are saying - with incredible clarity - what needs to be done.

It is time to listen not to our ancestors - look where that got us - but to our inheritors. Many of these young ones are truly listening to the Earth and listening to their hearts. Theirs should be the rule of law.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Interdependent

We are interdependent and interconnected, there is no clearer example of the Global nature of the modern world at the moment than the internet, and perhaps the contents of your average supermarket are a close second. Yet consider this.. among our ancestors, any time up until the industrial revolution, our food was almost exclusively grown within a few miles of our own front door, and within those same few miles of our own front door we probably knew, by name, every living being. Not just Arthur the ploughman and Annie the dairymaid but Chamomile flower for calming the stomach and Yarrow for a fever.

Now the situations are the very opposite of this, our food comes from far and wide and many of us cannot name our neighbours, never mind the plants in the hedgerows - if we're lucky enough to even have hedgerows.  This, I would suggest, is a poor state of affairs, and one that we should seek to change.

So I set you a challenge.... every time you leave your house, see how far you can get before you set your eyes upon a thing that you cannot name. And when you have found that thing that you cannot name, find out what it is called.

This is the way that communities are made, among the human and the non human world. And communities are good; communities foster co-operation, collaboration, compassion, connection.


Friday, 26 August 2016

We Are The World

So, if our ancient Shamanic Ancestors and modern Quantum theorists are right, if everything is connected and everything is made up of the same stuff, then as I look around, I am looking at my brothers and sisters, my aunts and cousins. There is a beautiful Lakota blessing or perhaps it's a prayer, which says 'All My Relations' - when they say this they mean the human and the more than human world, it takes into consideration the way all things are connected and interdependent in one very beautiful phrase. I have no desire to culturally appropriate that expression, but I believe that in the West we desperately need to nourish this awareness of our interdependence, our indivisibility from our Earth. It is clear from the way we behave that we don't remember our connection, we don't remember our relations. Could you battery farm chickens if you remembered that you and they were made of the same stuff? Could you chop down entire rain forests for a quick buck on palm oil - if you remembered that without those trees we cannot breathe? And that they are literally our grandparents. The plants were here, on earth, making the planet habitable, long before any animals arrived.

Devon is a breathtakingly beautiful county - we have many farms, businesses, makers and artists. We are, most of us, I believe, what  the wonderful writer Wallace Stegner calls 'Stickers' - we are people who love our land, who are quite content to be here and want for nothing more. Sadly our county is run by what he calls 'Boomers' - those who are motivated by greed, money and power. They want to make a killing and run.  I believe that it's time to look around us and really acknowledge our connection to all things, and to feel our gratitude for the world exactly as it is. We are not a voiceless part of some superior species of Boomers, we are part of the all and the everything. As Stickers we, and everything that we love, is indivisibly part of Nature, with a capital N, and she needs protecting, WE need protecting, from the ravages of a world that has forgotten that we ARE the world. We are falling in line with our own destruction and we have fallen out of relationship.






Thursday, 25 August 2016

Blessings and Blights

Today I have a question for you. How will Earth remember you? As a blessing or as a blight?  If the Earth is alive, if everything is made up of the same stuff and everything is connected then what has your imput been?

There is a saying, a teaching, from within the ancient wisdom that is shamanism which goes like this..."The way you do something, is the way you do everything."  So if you are a follower of clothing fashion, for example, and buy  the newest look every season, then there's every chance that you also frequently replace your sofa and your table cloth and your bed linen. Not because there's anything wrong with the old ones, they are just no longer the fashion. Whereas if you are a person who is aware that the fashion industry and our behaviour around our clothing generally is one of the ways in which individual humans contribute to the pollution of their environment the most, then you don't replace clothes that still fit and haven't fallen to bits, and you don't replace furniture that is still comfortable, and you might well buy organic food, and quite possibly organic cosmetics etc etc etc because you have joined the dots.  EVERYTHING is CONNECTED!! This incredibly ancient teaching - that everything is connected and everything is made up of the same stuff is not just some woo woo spiritual waffle, it's a fact. If I buy apples from a supermarket that have been imported from far away then I'm encouraging the spraying of pesticides (because I'm happy to buy a product that has been sprayed), I'm contributing to air miles (because I'm buying a product that has been flown half way round the word), and I'm encouraging a heartless corporation who clearly puts profit over any other consideration to carry on doing just that - because I'm in there shopping. The pennies in our pockets are one of the most powerful tools we have to create change, we basically fund whatever we buy. So, living in a county with the highest number of organic farms and farmers markets in the UK, let's get local. Let's get connected and  join the dots between what we spend our money on and the world we want to create. Blessing or Blight - it's your choice.




Wednesday, 24 August 2016

This Earth Is My Sister



DH Lawrence wrote 'Oh what a catastrophe for man when he cut himself off from the rhythm of the year, from his unison with the sun and the earth. Oh what a catastrophe, what a maiming of love when it was made a personal, merely personal feeling, taken away from the rising and setting of the sun, and cut off from the magic connection of the solstice and equinox. This is what is the matter with us. We are bleeding at the roots, because we are cut off from the earth and sun and stars, and love is a grinning mockery, because, poor blossom, we plucked it from its stem on the tree of Life, and expected it to keep on blossoming in our civilised vase on the table.'


To me, this speaks very eloquently of the disconnect we have from our earth, it's clearly not something new, I believe it probably crept upon us fairly slowly and it probably started around about five thousand years ago, when the first person planted the first seed as a deliberate act - and we transitioned from hunter gatherers to farmers. In this single act it seems that people stopped seeing the earth as First Mother - giver all of all bounties, of every breath, every mouthful and every thirst quenching slurp and started instead to see her as a resource, something to be used. Slowly over time we then transitioned from farmers - all of us still aware of where our food came from, still with some connection to our total reliance on earth's bounties - to business men and women who see themselves, ourselves as somehow separate. Above. Not dependant upon the whims of rain fall and sunshine to provide us with our food, no longer dependant on that chance that made the seed fall on fertile ground. I'm not for one moment suggesting that we should go back to being hunter gatherers, but I would like to suggest, most respectfully, that we are as dependent on Mother Earth to provide us with absolutely everything we are, everything we have, everything we need today, as we were when Eve ate the apple.


I'd like to leave you with another piece of writing, written well over a hundred years after the first piece. It's by Susan Griffin from her book 'Women and Nature' and among many other pieces of beautiful poetry and prose is perhaps and indication that as a society we are starting to unlearn our terrible disconnect.


"This earth is my sister: I love her daily grace, her silent daring, and how loved I am, how we admire this strength in each other, all that we have lost, all that we have suffered, all that we know: we are stunned by this beauty, and I do not forget: what she is to me, what I am to her."


Let's not forget.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Dear Old Science

So - dear old science; if you believe a quick trawl through the inter-web it's becoming more and more of a hippy as it gets older, certainly it's catching up with the truths that ancient wisdom traditions have been stating since before it existed... that everything is made of the same stuff and that there is a consciousness throughout the constantly moving web of energy flashing in and out of existence that informs 'what is'.

On one level it blows my Newtonian educated mind on a daily basis, and on another I know it to be true with every fibre of my being and every second of my experience.  So the question is, what difference does it make? Why does it matter that we live in a world made up entirely of vibrating energy?

It matters because it's entirely made up of vibrating energy. Everything is made up of the same stuff. The land, the water, the trees, the birds, the air, you, me, even two-faced politicians and fracking executives. We are all part of a shared energy field, a unified living being we call Earth. We share the same breath and we all affect the field.

Oneness is not an idea, it is a reality.  We are the world and therefore we are what is wrong with the world and what is right with it. So BE what you love. Be generous, kind, compassionate, caring, funny, authentic, passionate, nurturing. Be original, creative, brave, peaceful, joyful, wise and be full of gratitude. Protest the bad stuff, make practical attempts to change what is not serving the good of all, but remember that if we do that from a place of anger and fear then we are creating anger and fear, and if we do it from a place of love and gratitude then the miraculous, seemingly ludicrously unlikely nature of our universe    can place us in a world full of just that.

So may it be.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Listen To Your World

We are part of a culture that has separated itself from nature, from creation. We have been being living in a story that tells us that we have 'dominion' over nature, not that we are part of it and that we are interdependent and indivisible.  We seem to have completely forgotten that we are a human ANIMAL, that we need the sun on our skin, the earth under our feet, time to watch sunsets and laze with those we love.

We have clearly stopped listening, which is strange when there are so many things to we could be listening to: to the wind, to water, to the ancient hills. To the birds at dawn or the foxes at dusk. It seems to me that they are all calling for the same thing; asking for us to pay attention to the same thing. Over and over we are being called to remember our essential, instinctual nature; to wake up to ourselves as part of nature, not separate from it.

Our most fundamental relationship is our relationship to the Earth. We are her, she is us, literally and metaphorically. Everything is made up of the same stuff, Shamanic Elders have been telling us this for thousands of years and Quantum Theorists agree; we are microcosm of the macrocosm and all that we are is writ large in our world.

So consider this - how are you today? How is your inner world: your mind, your body, your spirit? How are you taking care of that world? Listen.

How are your hills?

Your valleys?

Your waters?

The way you do something is the way you do everything - so if you are taking care of the world that is you (harmoniously, organically, carefully, lovingly) then you are both directly and indirectly taking care of the world that is all of us.





Sunday, 21 August 2016

What is Shamanism?

As far as we can tell, Shamanism is the oldest form of spiritual practice known to human kind. It looks like people have been practicing shamanism for at least 75 thousand years, maybe even more like 300 thousand years.

It's not any sort of a religion, it's more a way of seeing the world: It takes as it's most basic premise the notion that there are two kinds of reality; this one, known as Ordinary Reality, the physical reality where things have bodies, and Non Ordinary Reality, or the reality of Spirit, where anything and everything is possible. It is clear that Shamanism was practiced all around the world and throughout time - and that our shamanic ancestors have been saying two really important things; that everything is connected and that everything is made up of the same stuff. Quantum physicists announced their findings of the very same thing some years ago and as modern science catches up with ancient teachings we are seeing a resurgence in people's interest in Shamanism.

So if everything is connected and everything is made up of the same stuff then it seems to me that immediately we need to think in a different way about our world. If you and I are made of the very same stuff as the beautiful Oak that I passed on my way here, or the wheat that made the bread that made the toast that I had for breakfast then clearly there are some implications that I certainly was not raised to consider - I obviously can't speak for you

If I am the same as every tree, leaf, blade of grass, bend in the river, sheep and blackbird on this earth, If I am the same as Earth and rain and wind and the granite of Dartmoor, then every single one of these things deserves the same rights to life, respect and freedom of expression that I do.







Thursday, 21 July 2016

Balance

Are these the days that will be known as the end of days? They are strange days indeed. People against planet; the destruction of just about everything we rely upon - air, water, land, food, community. People against people; religions fighting, countries fighting, political factions fighting. What I see is this.... that every one of the battles currently raging in our world is an expression of imbalance and that fundamentally that imbalance is in the way we do our thinking - our thoughts, which become our actions.

The following are clearly giant generalisations, but for me they are useful stories which hopefully create a pathway to understanding a way that might help us to unite our thinking, our being, our interior and exterior landscapes: In the west we tend to view mind as being something that is contained within our brain and thinking as something that is done by mind which is interior. I don't believe that is true (and hugely encourage you to read 'Becoming Animal' by David Abram if you are prepared to entertain the thought that it might not be true) but for the purposes of clarity of narrative let us pretend for a moment that it is true - for I believe that the interior and the exterior, the as above and the so below, are indivisibly interwoven; and so just as the outer landscape affects the inner landscape so can the inner landscape affect the outer. Our brain is seen as having two halves, generally in the west we attribute the masculine to the left side of the brain and the feminine to the right, these two sides of the brain direct the opposite sides of the body, so the left brain controls the right hand and vice versa. The left brain, the masculine side of the brain, is described as linear, logical, capable of focused thought, the part of the mind that seeks to control, that governs language, maths, science, the place from which action arises. It carries the energy of the sun. The right brain is the feminine side, this is the part which generates creative, holistic thought, artistic endeavours, the awareness of patterns, intuition, empathy, compassion. It is nurturing, emotional and lunar. It is the opposite of active, it is receptive.  Each and every one of us has both of these sides in our brain.

One of the troubles that is surfacing for me in these troubling times is that we in the west are currently naming the opposite of active as passive. And to a degree this is how we are behaving... if we are not dominated by left brain thinking, by the outward, striving, potentially aggressive, go-get-it-if-you-want-it colonising potential of the left brain then we are instead sitting in a place of willing subject, powerless pawn, "it's-all-meant-to-be" passivity.

I have learned from The Spirits that a useful symbol for the masculine is this -
Image result for the chalice and the blade symbols open source
This is an ancient teaching; many traditions see the sign for the masculine as an upward pointing triangle and many of them call this sign The Blade. Amongst other things this is representative of the phallus.

The most useful symbol for the feminine, I am told, is this -
Image result for the chalice and the blade symbols open source
The downward pointing triangle, referred to as The Chalice.

There is nothing passive about a Chalice; it is a receptacle, a container - receptive. It is a creative space; the downward pointing triangle represents the womb, that most human, most animal, of creative spaces.

When the active and the receptive truly come together within us, when these two symbols merge into one, Hieros Gamos takes place - the Sacred Marriage. This alchemical union of these two polarising forces generates a star, know as Solomon's Seal.  Sol (sun) mon (moon) - union of opposites, specifically these masculine and feminine opposites.  Within this symbol, where the two triangles have merged, is the Hex - symbolic representation of the womb, that most generative of places. The place that brings forth creation once masculine and feminine have united. There are many, many layers to this story, but for now let us continue with thought.

Image result for Star of David symbols open source

The qualities of the masculine; linear thought, calculating (maths), evaluating (science), gives us the intellect, but they do not give us intelligence. Only when the intellect is combined with the qualities of the feminine; intuition, holistic awareness, the perception of pattern, creativity, do we get intelligence. Inteli (intellect) gence (from the Latin genere - to create).

At the moment the most harmful way in which our culture is stuck in the 'masculine' is the way in which we act from a place of judgement based of information received by only listening to the masculine half of the brain. We desperately need to  move to a place where we are listening to the receptive; listening to our intuition, to our sympathy and our empathy, listening to our emotional responses and adding them in equal measure to those things that are taken into consideration before a judgement is made and an action is taken.



Those same symbols for the left and the right, the masculine and the feminine can be used in an almost infinite number of ways to express polarities within our bodies and within our world. They can just as easily be the above and the below, and in this way we can use them to mean the brain and the heart. Again - we desperately need to find balance between the two, to move them together to a place where the down ward pointing heart and the upward pointing mind merge to create the star. This then becomes the place of activation and connection and it is our connections (to ourselves, to each other, to the tribe, to the land) that we need to find, just as urgently and desperately as we need to find balance.



Monday, 29 February 2016

Bad Dreams

Last night I dreamed, and I dreamed that suddenly the earth opened up before me, granite steps went down deep into the earth. I followed them down.


Far inside the heart of Earth I came to a huge stone door. As I stood in front of it looking up at it's enormity it opened just a crack.


From within the crack a whooosh, a sigh of something escaped. The whoosh, the sigh, was a warning.




Today I bumped into a friend in town, and he told me about this.....

https://www.superstation95.com/index.php/world/950

There are unprecedented levels of carbon monoxide currently all over the west coast of America. According to geophysicist Ramesh Sing, Earth emits a burst of carbon monoxide a few days before an earthquake. He and co-workers from France and the United States discovered that this gas coulc be used as one of the precursor signals for an earthquake early warning system. They found the connection between carbon monoxide emission and earthquake activity by analysing satellite remote sensing data collected around the time when a 7.6 magnitude earthquake shook Gujarat in Western India nine years ago killing about 20,000 people and making thousands more homeless.

If you live on the West Coast of America I strongly recommend that you consider going somewhere else for a few weeks. Whilst there is no reason for me to dream about America, there are people I love there, so there is no reason for me not to dream about America.

I suppose I have my head deeply in the sand... perhaps the warning is for me here?

------------------------------

Subsequent to posting this I had another dream - the whole of the dream consisted of the image of the moon mostly obscuring the sun in a black sky. The flare of the sun could be seen around the circular black disc of the moon.  Apparently there is a lunar eclipse on Wednesday 9th of March. The more my dreams stack up the more I feel that actually the warning is for here in the UK, even though we won't be able to see the eclipse. But wherever you are, please take care on the evening/night of Wednesday 9th March. The safest place in the event of earthquake - as far as I understand it - is on the ground floor of a single or double story building in a room with a big strong table in it. Make sure your mobile phone is charged and hide under the table when the rumbling begins and stay there until it's finished. I feel like a total nutter writing this, but I would never be able to forgive myself if we did have an earthquake on Wednesday and I hadn't said anything. I'd rather viewed as stupid or raving than be full of remorse for the lives I might have saved but didn't.



UPDATE.................

No rubble!  It was a strange old day; as it turned out there were actually many earthquakes - in the Mariana Islands where there was a magnitude 5 earthquake, in Crete where there was a magnitude 4.1 on that day and in Chile a magnitude 5.  But none of them were 'my' earthquake.  

My lovely friend Jane said I may have saved her from having a car accident.... she'd read the blog and was having a day of "discombobulation," something else that sounded very unnerving which I now can't remember and "rushing".  Most of the drivers on the road that day seemed to be having a similar or worse day and if she hadn't been being extra careful (watching out for earthquakes) one of their erratic manoeuvres might have got her! She's very kind.

I had a weird angsty day - doubtless entirely self created - but nothing in it constituted an earthquake. So I'm left with the knowledge that I joined dots between two dreams that should not have been there (learning, always learning) and the feeling that there is still an earthquake to come. My hope is that it will turn out to be a personal one not a planetary one. I'll let you know!