Incoming Energy of 2021

At this time of year, I always like to pause and have a look at where we are on the astrological wheel, to see what broader influences might be there pulling at the stings of life.  These are ancient systems developed from looking at the star, planets and the energy of numbers.  I feel they are influences rather than prophetic forecasters.

White Ox

This year on 12th February we are leaving behind the year of the Rat, which is the start of the 12 year astrological cycle and are moving onto the second in the astrological calendar, the Ox.  It is the Silver Ox for this year.  Ox is a gentle yet powerful energy and in Taoist traditions is also associated with the beautiful feminine deity of Quan Yin.  Ox speaks of hard and steady work, there is a sense of; if unwilling to work?  Then don’t eat.  Which comes with Ox.  Ox can be stubborn and opinionated and so needs to temper this with tolerance and letting go to accept change.   Ox energy suggests a gentle and steady strong energy to the year, one where routine and steady work is supported and can bring the most benefits rather than more flash or faster energetic approaches.

The system of 9 Star Ki, brings this year to the year of Six, or Big Metal in Chinese 5 elements.  Metal is all about governance, management, leadership and insight.  In it’s brighter state it is about truth, honesty and integrity.  In it’s more dogmatic state it is about control and rules.  Looking at this in combination with the Silver Ox, it does suggest a year of what could easily become a lot of dogma, toil and rule following.  To lighten this, it is about tuning into the bright truth, integrity and with true insight staying centred and not allowing external influences to do anything other than inform and brighten one’s own knowledge.  There is an invitation to tap into the bright silver energy of the year, to reflect, and gain true insight, while maintaining as balanced a life as possible.

In Numerology 2021 is the year of 5.  This is a dynamic and creative number bringing an energy that is all about change and opportunity.  Perhaps looking at this in light of the current situation (pandemic) and in combination with the Chinese oracle systems it would suggest that it’s about embracing change and acceptance providing it is following a path of truth and integrity.  Opportunities are likely to be of a practical and very grounded nature and sometimes might seem small and insignificant but actually through due diligence and work can reap sound results which will support one in the future.

One phrase comes to mind to sum up.  “Steady as she goes!”

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An Empty Harvest? Take another look.

As I write we are experiencing a heat wave and the nearby fields have long since gone to brown grass and the long grasses have been cut and made into hay bales.   This time of year is of course associated with harvest, throughout August and September was and is all about gathering in the year’s harvests.

On a more ethereal level of course this can equally be applied to our year’s activities, whatever they may be.  Personally, for various reasons, some very obvious, I find my basket looking a little bare this year.  The silent and still, spring and summer is finally showing up in my harvest for the year.

wild flowwers of Fallow Land

This makes me reflect on the fallow land.  The land that is left fallow for year, where it has faithfully every year been used and produced a harvest and finally is set to rest for a season.  Often producing the most wonderful wild flowers and variety of plants that any peace of land could possible be expected to produce.

Of course the more disappointing and in many ways devastating is the land which was planted up and seeded and then failed.  The full on crop failure. Traditional practice is to burn off the stubble of the failed crop to bring new nutrients back into the soil. 

Personally at the moment I am not sure whether my harvest is that of the fallow land or the crop failure. Gladly I can find a few wild flowers that have flourished during this time of stillness and being fallow. The greatest fear is that it will not recover and come back from this. One thing is for sure is that each year produces a very different yield, they are always determined by the quality of the soil and the weather of the year.

You can’t always control the environment in which you find yourself but you can work on the soil in which you plant.  So if you too are looking at a strangely assorted harvest basket this year perhaps it’s time to nurture your soil.

Interaction of Life. Its innate randomness and ability to create change inside and out.

It is said that every person has an effect on someone else or on a course of events.  They may not even know it.  Sometimes it is these that are not deliberate often have the most wide reaching effects, where as those which are deliberate, calculated and pushed, sometimes don’t go as far as the person actually wants them to.  Just look at any campaign, deliberate campaign, how far do they really get?

The biggest changes and influences often come completely left field.  Facebook, Twitter, radio, telephone, mobile phones, printing press, cars, Beatrix Potter’s children’s books, tea, potatoes, tobacco.  The list is endless.

Summer GoddessMost people meet their partners in the most unlikely set of circumstances.  The chances of meeting the person you marry or settle down with, often requires quite a sequence of events.  Moving town, education, job or a series of links between friends and colleagues and then just the right timing to meet in a way, on a day that somehow ignites that passion or interaction that does not just fizzle into nothing but blooms at least for good while into a relationship.  Also, this is the foundation for children.  So in many ways, it adds to the impossibility of even being here.  For example for me to be here on this earth and my parents to meet and have me it took a world war!  Or rather the fact they ended up in the same country was due to the after effects of a world war.  So in that sense, never mind the probability that goes on in the conception process, it really is quite amazing I’m alive at all.  I am of course not alone in this, and no-doubt there are millions of people with even more complex stories and thereby remote and wonderful possibility of being here in the first place.

So one can’t help coming to the question, why am I here?  As in why is any one particular individual here?  Just a fluke.  A chance that mathematically shows someone has to end up here because of how the ecological, evolution process has panned out.  Is it simply a miracle?  Or is it all of these things and more?  Personally I tend to go with the last statement, it is all of the science, the evidence, the mathematical evolution process and a miracle!

Science offers us a chance to intellectually gain understanding of our surrounds and make amazing discoveries and inventions which take us to another intellectual level and different ways of living and existing.  Providing us with more choice or even simply getting us to realise we do have choice.  Often though science data seems to dull the wonder and mystery of life.  Suddenly the fact we can intellectually rationalise something, count it, measure it or predict it, it becomes every day, ordinary.   Often it even becomes something we can take for granted.  Why is this?  Then when a discovery is made it is suddenly owned by science.  It is science that owns it, found it, discovered it.  When actually what it did was measure it or alchemise it.

Surely the original wonder and mystery is still there and should not be lost in our rationalising of it.  It does not matter how well we can measure the distance from the sun to the earth or the orbit of the planets, it is simply awesome that the earth is this one planet in the middle of “bogging” nowhere, circling this enormous star called the sun, balanced by the orbit of the moon to produce a planet that has just the right proportions, size, speed, minerals to have an atmosphere, to support water which is the foundation of life.  No matter how rationally you approach this, how much scientific data one can gather, it is truly amazing!!!

sun and moonWe are off searching for another Earth or life supporting planet.  Why?  I guess we always like to have a spare and we don’t like to feel we are the only ones or alone.  It is part of the human condition.  We still have not found one.  I do sometimes wonder, that will happen if we ever do.  Will it becomes on a planetary scale what we have here on earth.  That where we are is not good enough.  Suddenly we will have to go to Planet Egon 9 Star Galaxy Zogon, to find ourselves?  At the moment, it’s contained to Australia, the Andes, climbing Mount Everest, Himalayas or Thailand.   Ok there is something about moving somewhere which is unfamiliar, new, which tests our ability to survive and adapt.  It also provides the opportunity to learn something different which can broaden our perspective on life and ourselves.  It is exciting, challenging and it helps us to grow as people.  However, there does come a point for all of us in our lives where we have to weigh up whether we are really chasing the “Dragon of our Dreams” or just chasing our tales and actually by stopping and going inward we would actually learn much more about how who we are.

Sometimes it’s actually tougher to stay put and learn from the people and the places we are already residing with.  There are issues, long standing annoyances, clashes, incompatibility.  How much better it would be without her next door or our old ex-partner hanging around? Don’t get me wrong there are definitely times when we have to say good bye to someone or draw a line under a dysfunctional relationship.  However, simply drifting onto the next or running off to Thailand to find a guru, might be part of the solution, but will certainly not be all of it.  Everything that goes “wrong” in life in some part is down to our own actions and reactions.  Taking responsibility for them and relearning new and better ways of being definitely aid to avoid going through the same patterns again and again.  A Guru in the Himalaya’s together with the thin altitude and lighter diet may well help us get a different and better perspective on all this.  However, the test really comes when you return to the ordinary every day life you’d been previously living.  Just like criminals who apparently often feel the need to  eventually to return home, most of us find ourselves at some point having to return to “make a living” or “settle down”.   That is when the real test comes of how much baggage we have shed, how much knowledge we have learnt and how we have really matured.

New Beginnings …. 2019….

Many found 2018 very challenging and as the year drew to an end there seemed to be a lot of voices adding to the chorus; “thank goodness that year is over”.  Personally and thankfully the year had been, while in places challenging, full of growth, new adventures and as a result some great memories.  In the summer, I seemed to have a number of things finally come to conclusion or fruition that I had been waiting for, for a longtime.  This I have to say brought a sense of great relief in many ways.

However, by the Autumn and with the change of season, suddenly this shifted gear and I found many things either becoming very clear or ending or simply no longer working.  The Autumn, as those who follow the seasonal gestures know, is always about the harvest, and has much to do with the death cycle.  This can seem very depressing to many, even scarey.  Of course it does not always come sugar coated, the one profound thing that is always necessary though, through such a cycle is to remember that it is a clear out and it does mean there will be space for something new, providing as individuals we can come through the change, or clear out safely.  This of course does not mean necessarily unchanged.  2018 Was also a fire year within the 9 Star Ki Astrology, fire years while warming and joyous can also mean a lot of transforming energy or influences.

Personally I am always very grateful for the Winter Solstice and make as much as possible of using the dark nights to stay warm and rest up and even dream a little.

Of course now we find ourselves in the New Year.  Yippee we all cry – Happy New Year!!  …and of course it is the chance of a fresh start, or a renewing of commitments or a shift in gear.  Funny part is, it is still middle of winter and we all creek a bit in the dark and cold.  Again I turn to the seasonal gestures and associated elements….. in every beginning, there is a waiting, a planting, a dreaming, a renewal.  This allows for the stretch, the yawn, the warm up, the meditation, the freshening and preparation for the doing.

P1020061

So along with a Happy New Year …. I wish you a gentle easing into this new year of 2019.  It might also at this point be worth mentioning in the 9 Star Ki astrology in February we will be welcoming in the energy of an 8 Mountain year.  So definitely worth preparing a bit before rushing up that one!

March comes in with an Artic Lion’s Roar!

snowlionPinch punch first of the month!  With this March in the UK coming in with an Artic Lion no less, BRRR!  With this ‘Beast of the East’ it feels appropriate to take another look at the 9 start ki  elemental energies for this year.  Last month we welcomed in the year of the Earth Dog in the Chinese oracle, I also mentioned the Fire year of the 9 Start Ki or Flying Stars.    See table below.  For those of you who are not familiar with this system, every year the elements take a tour around the Bagua, this year they are in this formation.  The Bagua is orientated with the cardinal directions, so water is in the North and Fire in the South.  This means the mountain energy is in the North East and for this year the element of wood is orientated in this area, or Thunder, as shown in the table.  So what do you get when there is Thunder in the Mountains?  Storms, wind and most of all change.  The control element for this March is 4 Wood or also known as Wind and as you can see from the table, again we have a mountain influence in Wood Wind this year.  We certainly are welcoming  this month and the spring in with the cold mountain winds of the North East with spectacular stormy, wintery and windy conditions too.

4 – Wood Wind

Colour Green

8 – MOUNTAIN

 

 

9- Fire

Direction South

4 – WOOD

2 – Earth

6 – METAL 

3 – Thunder – Direction East

7 – MARSH

 

 

 

 

5- Tai Chi

9 – FIRE

7– Marsh

Direction West

2 – EARTH

 

8 – Mountain

3 – THUNDER

 

 

 

 

 

1 – Water

Direction North

5 – TAI CHI

6 – Metal

1 – WATER

 

 

So what is this telling us about the elemental influences of this year and this spring? 

These elements speak of change, the wind has a long association with spirit and listening to spirit, while mountain brings the stillness, the clarity of enlightenment and the challenge.  Mountain and Thunder in the IChing provide the hexigrams of ‘A Little Excess’ and ‘The Jaws’.  The message of these two are about finding the middle road and adopting the classic moto of ‘less is more’; while ‘The Jaws’  are open waiting to be filled which brings the danger of being devoured as well as the need for nourishment. The key here is about good nourishment which also takes effort rather than greedy guzzling or expecting things just to come to one without proper approach.

Question is, as this Fire year is being announced so clearly by this Artic Lion of March, what does it suggest about the quality of the Fire for the year ahead?

This suggests, the need to listen well to spirit, your own and divine. Changes are both needed and are coming, but when making them do not do them to excess, take the ‘middle road’ to ensure steady and sustainable change and when it comes to consuming, ensure it is what is needed, that it is nourishing and not greedily devoured, otherwise you may just find yourself in the jaws of something much larger.  Fire energy is warming, joyous but can also be destructive and erratic.  So just as the Thunder on the Mountain, while there may be times for a lot of noise, joyous or otherwise, watch out if it becomes excessive.  Always return to connect with the cool and enlightened centre of fire, which is in that deep centre of all of us, if we stop, breath and listen, which of course is the lessons of Wind and Mountain, we may avert disaster.

To help ride the waves of the seasons, I am building a seasonal selection of meditation available on line, Equinox to Follow soon, here is link to the Spring Stirrings Meditation. https://www.facebook.com/Pathwayfinder/videos/1146848008784284/

…and for those who wonder if there is such a thing as an Artic Lion there once was link to Artic Lion

Honesty and Grace go hand in hand

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThese are two, Honesty and Grace are very old and timeless friends and ones that we all grapple with at times.  For some they are total strangers, for some they are the best buddies they could ever wish for in their lives and for others a challenge or even sparing partners.  For all of us they can be the oil in the wheels or in their absence a whole in the heart.

In this age of science, and the need for law and order, often it is the truth that is sort and of course you cannot have truth without honesty.  Although, in the search for truth honesty is often over looked in the very pointed charge for truth or proof or the absolute.

While we often seek honesty from those around us and the world around us, it is sometimes even harder to find it within ourselves, often blinded to our own habits or unseeing of our own blind spots.  When t

candle flame

hese are revealed to us sometimes it can be quite painful or make us feel very vulnerable.  However, if we check them carefully and accept them, these can be some of the greatest growth moments in our lives.  There is of course one caveat; what is the truth to one person is only a part truth to another and we have to be honest about where the gap in the different perspective may be.

There is a beautiful old saying “Diplomacy is the better part of Valour”.  Question is when is diplomacy just a sop for hiding the truth or not being honest with someone and when is it really serving a truly altruistic and noble purpose which can be called valour?

Personally this is where I feel grace is a far better guide.  Grace walks with love, with light, with compassion and is a far more humble companion for honesty than any of the ones mentioned so far.  The search for truth can make us have tunnel vision.  Diplomacy can leave us open to basically never really facing things or understanding what is truly going on.  Perhaps even being more blindsided than we might already be.  Undertaking things for noble causes and valour leaves us open to simply being motivated to be proud, great and opens the doors to ego and pomp.

 

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAHonesty is always the best policy, but it can be at times painful and sharp.  It’s delivery, it’s reception needs the companion of Grace for all, to just ease in the light and enable the discoveries, making what is revealed digestible, meaningful, and hold the bright truth that can only sparkle with humbleness rather than becoming a sharp instrument to prove a point and to allow time for all to reshape themselves around this new bright potential of having clarity following the revelation of honesty.

 

Why have these to companions in your life?  They can require considerable work, they cherub2are not necessarily easy friends to have around.  Because, without them, you get lost in a fog, the world you build for yourself and others becomes dis-honest and often brutal causing further injury to oneself and others.  They are truly good friends to invite into your life and heart.

Manifesting, Procreation, Competition and Co-creation

chinese-coinsRecently I’ve found myself thinking a lot about the dynamic of Co-Creation.  We are, after all at that incredible time of year Imbolc, stirrings and spring, fertility.  Everything is beginning to stir and that energy to move forward and manifest one’s dreams, goals or passions is once again rising.  Ever since shifting out of the corporate career world and finding myself developing a spiritual / healing practice, it has been a constant learning curve of how to develop my own skills, follow a more spiritual way of life, while still meeting the material needs of a physical life.

I have found myself having to look closer and closer at the dynamic of what is often termed a “Spiritual Business”.  The two terms for many, including myself, hold that diametrically opposed charge.  After all being Spiritual broadly means coming from a place of love, giving and altruism; guided by some form higher vibration, consciousness, presence or heart centre;  while business means just making money.  Whatever you do, however, you do it – you make money.  This requires goals, drive, marketing, selling and some kind of persuasion to purchase.   Here comes the rub, if you are operating from a truly altruistic place, guided by spirit alone you cannot be driven by predetermined goals or inappropriately persuading people to purchase something that they either do not need or is inappropriate for them just to meet a sales target.

makingFunnily enough this is only a “rub” if you are operating from a place where there is some level of ok-ness about being unethical because it’s just business.  Which is probably something we have got so used to in our daily lives, we now assume this is part of business. It does not have to be and frankly if you are operating an ethical business, marketing is much more about communicating well what you are offering in terms of your products or services.  You sell to those who actually will benefit from your products or services and seek to source from ethical suppliers.  All business have their plans, goals and targets, however, if a market is under producing you look into why, not force them to simply work harder.  An honest look into it, may reveal important information about where the business actually needs to be going, either new areas to be developed or old ones that have run their course and need to be dropped for a while.  This means that rather than going down the route of hard sell, squeeze out the competitor, you are rather widening the offering to the consumer.

When we are working from a place of spiritual guidance or altruism there is always the intension to provide the best regardless of profit.  Often if you are listening to this, although sometimes what happens moment to moment might seem to make “poor business sense” it is actually providing the “best customer service possible”.  It is coming from a place of really listening to what the “customer is seeking” and being totally honest whether they are going to find it with you or not.  This guidance and decision is made from a place that is free from the constraints of goals and profits and to be truly spiritual must remain so.

The beauty is that when something is done from a place of joy and love and with expert insight, the product or service is then unique, high quality and ever evolving.  This energy charge obeys or rather echos the principles of laws of attraction and positive creativity.  It does though mean working with a certain light of foot and hand, while being always true to high level of intent and integrity not completely tied by formular or routine.  Plus what it actually does; rather than business making things “un-spiritual”, it potentially challenges business to operate more ethically.

So where does competition fit into all of this?  In life we all go through certain training and while we come out with our own take on it, there is still a point where we overlap or work in the same industry or offer similar services or products as another.  So often we are taught to compete, to be better than another or take the competition out.  In other words engage in a very aggressive approach.  This approach has lead to so much damage and under valuing of natural resources and of human lives all in the name of productivity and market share.  What if actually this was not what competition was about?  What if it was actually about a much more subtle form of betterment and creativity?

Geoff Mulgan writes about it in his book “The Locust and the Bee”, where he explores the different dynamics of Capitalism, how it has the potential to create a free creative market rather than an aggressive consuming monster.  This also came out during a one day workshop I recently attended about running a Spiritual Business.  What’s become clear to me is that it is a choice we all have to face within ourselves as creatives, consumers, and business owners or even employees, do we work from a place of co-creation or aggressive competition?

Co-creation takes certain qualities which often makes us feel vulnerable – we have to be, to a certain extent open and honest and from this there is immediately the requirement of a certain level of trust and faith with those that we are working with.  It also often leaves us open to criticism, ridicule, and exposure of the very areas we are “not very good at”.  Thing is it’s also a very brave place to operate from.  The areas “we are not very good at” otherwise lurk in the dark corners, almost haunting us, forcing us to act from a place fear and defense.  Surely that is just as painful as risking a certain level of trust and faith in another.  Another we can choose whether we open up to or not.  Don’t forget those who betray us, it is not about us being naïve, it is rather about their own inability to be trusted that is exposed.

The definition of Co-creation is “a management initiative, or form of economic strategy, that brings different parties together (for instance, a company and a group of customers), in order to jointly produce a mutually valued outcome.[1]

Co-created value arises in the form of personalized, unique experiences for the customer (value-in-use) and ongoing revenue, learning and enhanced market performance drivers for the firm (loyalty, relationships, customer word of mouth). Value is co-created with customers if and when a customer is able to personalize his or her experience using a firm’s product-service proposition – in the lifetime of its use – to a level that is best suited to get his or her job(s) or tasks done and which allows the firm to derive greater value from its product-service investment in the form of new knowledge, higher revenues/profitability and/or superior brand value/loyalty.[2]”  Wikipedia.

co-creatingJust imagine for one moment a world where business operates from a place of integrity, good intention and co-creation?  Wow!  The Ego-Macho pasturing of the likes of the ‘Trumps’ of this world would be given little space, as they rely on setting one off against the other and therefore would find no place at a table where genuine Sustainable Co-creation was manifesting.

 

Whose Dream is it anyway? What is your Dream?

Seeing the new Star Trek film coming out, celebrating 50 years of Star Trek reminded me of oldtechsifithose cyber space and sci-fi films of the 1960s – 1970s, used to watch as a kid.  Have to say I preferred their ingeniousness to some of the smash and battle of many of the other films that have emerged since.  They were all totally obsessed with gismos and technology and this was all just as our current digital age was frankly being born.  Growing up through the 1970’s and 80’s really we saw the birth of the digital age, where we moved from an age of mechanics and electronics into digital technology.  Computers became common place and now we don’t just grab our keys and wallet before leaving the house, it is also the mobile phone.  It too is now a key part of our functioning in the outside world, or feeling safe.

Looking back at these old films where technology and gismos were the dream of tomorrow,  it’s clear that in many ways we are now living that tomorrow, to a lesser or greater extent.  The interesting part is that in many ways this wasn’t the desire or the dream of many, yet it has now shaped many of our lives and how we live in our society on a daily basis.  Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing can be frankly debated for a very long time and that’s not really what this short article is about.  Like most things in life and certainly true of any tool or power, it just is, it’s what one does with it that matters.

oldtechOne thing it does demonstrate beautifully, is that everything we have starts with an idea, an intent, a point of inception.  Somethings then work and somethings don’t; as the techno graveyard of failed gismos are testament to.  Asking these questions opens up another angle, which is how much do we actually end up living a life that is actually founded on or shaped by someone else’s dream?  There are many people out there that don’t like or are fearful of technology, or have sensitivity to the electromagnetic smog.  We still don’t really know what the effect of all of this “stuff” actually has on us or the planet, yet we continue to jump to the shout of “PROGRESS” as we seem to progress further and further away from a people served society to self-serving techno machine society.  Is this really where we want to progress to?  Is this what you want?  Who dreamed up this type of society anyway?  It’s certainly convenient that many tasks and jobs are done by machines, as we constantly get told humans are open to making mistakes.  Well computers and technology are open to malfunctions, anomalies, hacking, etc, too.  Yet in modern society we are seemingly dragged further and further down the path of barcoding, swipe, pat, touch screen, auto phone through and on-line registration for issue resolution.  It’s like a techno bubble is being built between the customer or service user and the business or service provider.  Whether this is your dream of an ideal society or not – you’re in it (if you live in the industrialised part of the world).

Our lives are dreamed into being, right from when we are small, we have our dreams, or our parents hadreamscapeve dreams for us, or our communities have dreams about who we are or the roles we should take up.  In all of this as an individual it’s quite a job to work out for oneself what it is that you’re actually here to do and then how to go about it.  At this point, this is where your own dream comes into play.
Question is how much though is that dream already shaped by your own experiences and aspirations that have been fed to you since you were tiny?  Answer;  Probably quite a bit.  Is there any surprise then when people get disillusioned or frustrated or dulled by what they actually find themselves doing?  Perhaps part of this is not because of the individuals failings or the faults of society or that they weren’t given a break;  perhaps it’s simply because they are not really living their own dream but one that’s been carefully crafted and shaped for them that they can conveniently fit into.  Or not, as some find.

This is where meditation and plant consciousness and dream work is so beautiful, because it can enable an individual to peel back these layers and rediscover their own authentic self so that they can find where they fit, what their true passion is, what is their divine link and place in this lifetime.  To quote Mandy Hale;

“Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong”.

Alongside continuing with journeying, meditation, and Reiki including Reiki drumming; this year I was introduced to Mugwort which is an ancient medicinal plant known for it’s cleansing, midwifery, protective and dream qualities.  It is a beautiful wild plant which is grounding, protective, clearing, re-aligning, aiding digestion, great for all sorts of “female” issue problems including PMS (NOT to be used during pregnancymugwort;  known use for birth inducing), as well helping sleep and dream states.  It also has a great quality, when invited, to help one see through falseness and illusion to reinstate honest and loving relationships with oneself and others.

So as we progress forwards with this digital age, perhaps it is worth stopping and turning
to the oldest and wisest of our teachers here on Earth – Nature herself, to seek out as an individual what our genuine dream and loving truth is.  Often we have to go deeper to find our own truth, and that requires us going deeper than what is on offer on the surface or what we have been told.  After all it would be a shame to be dragged into living a dream that wasn’t your own and was thereby just someone else’s illusion.

What the Fractal is that about?

Summer 2016! What the ‘Fractal’ is that about?

Ok so last Newsletter (May), I wrote about the incredible healing link between plants, land and music, following my own adventures into these subjects and wonderful travels in the Emerald Isle in May.

The plant theme continued for me through June with Mugwort and some beautiful Dreamwork and I had said I’d share some of this in the subsequent Newsletter.  However, sadly this process for me, got somewhat brutally interrupted by external events in the UK, hence I’ve decided to postpone writing about the wonders of Mugwort and the Dream work just for now.  As always there are always other themes that come to the fore and for me this has been one of Water and Fractals.  The link between this, mid-summer  and wellbeing might seem slightly strange but there is one, promise!

Firstly on Midsummer Day I had the great joy of undertaking a Solstice “Medicine Walk” with a dear friend in some local and ancient woods.  As some of you might remember it was a particularly wet Summer Solstice.

However, this did not stop us and the rain in the woods actually felt fresh, clean, nor were the woods water logged.  Far from it, their greens were vibrant and almost palpable in their celebration of the water as much as the Solar apex.  This felt totally in tune with the rather unusual Summer Solstice which combined the full solar apex with the full moon(this combination only occurs once in around 70 years or so).

The warmth and rains felt like a totally balanced mirror of this day celebrating in many ways the fullness of solar / male and the lunar / feminine aspects.  So at the height of this fast flowing, busy Monkey Year; the heat of the Summer Solstice was softened and balanced with the full moon and refreshing summer rain on that day.

Since Summer Solstice there has been a lot written about how this is another very transformative period and actually, unlike the last few years which seemed to be much more about internal changes, this one seems to be perhaps far more tangible changes ones which show up far more in the physical and in the open.

These times can be very healing, cathartic but also a little scary.  It’s easy to say don’t be fearful, but when things get rocked to the core on a personal level, this statement can sound quite frankly, crass.

Recently I was reminded, during a healing session oddly enough of Fractals.  For me these were simply beautiful patterns that appear in nature and then computer generated art  – they made great posters during my student days and the early days of the ‘Techno Dance’ movement.  (I’m sure some of you will remember these of the early 1990’s!) Beyond this personally, I hadn’t given them much if any thought since those heady days.

Given the recent themes of water patterning, song-lines, plant consciousness, my interest was spiked so I decided to have another little look at what actually are Fractals?

Well I have to confess clearly as I’m not a mathematic genius my explanation is likely to be rather ley,  however,  I turned up a few interesting facts about these curious wonders…….

A Fractal is:
“……a curve or geometrical figure, each part of which has the same statistical character as the whole. They are useful in modelling structures (such as snowflakes) in which similar patterns recur at progressively smaller scales, and in describing partly random or chaotic phenomena such as crystal growth and galaxy formation.”

A fractal is:
”….a never-ending pattern. Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales. They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop. Driven by recursion, fractals are images of dynamic systems – the pictures of Chaos. Geometrically, they exist in between our familiar dimensions. Fractal patterns are extremely familiar, since nature is full of fractals. For instance: trees, rivers, coastlines, mountains, clouds, seashells, hurricanes, etc. Abstract fractals – such as the Mandelbrot Set – can be generated by a computer calculating a simple equation over and over. “  fractalfoundation.org/resources/what-are-fractals/It is in many ways the mathematic mapping of shapes and natural or repetitive structures.  These repetitive structures are in many ways what gives stability and form to many physical and wave forms. www.fractal.org/Bewustzijns-Besturings-Model/Fractals-Useful-Beauty.htm

So what are they used for? 

Well since their discovery in 1975, it’s given birth to a whole new understanding of form, chaos, markets, science, design and even music.

Mandelbrot famously wrote: “Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line.”www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-11564766

So my question and reason for writing about it is – In this time of apparent ‘chaos’ or ‘transformation’, how can fractals help one now?     

Well they are being used in modern medicine and for the more etheric and easy access medicine of Fractals, here is a lovely summary and insight into their healing uses……… ………….www.fraktalneenergije.com/en/energy.html.

It is purely through their shape, vibration, colours and energy that they can have profound effect on a space, a person’s well-being and energy levels.  It is almost as thought, while describing the ‘chaos’ or ‘randomness’, they bring a rhythm and a sense of calm or order to it.  So no wonder, they made their presence known during a recent healing session.

Mindfulness – what is all this fuss about?

It’s been really interesting watching the explosion of Mindfulness over the last few years, I don’t know about Mindfulness it’s been almost mind dazzling!   it’s gone from the book on the self-help bookshelf and week-end workshop, to the workplace, the school, even into mainstream health care including the NHS and Parliament.

So what is it?  It is, according to a recent report by the BBC, defined as the following  –

The word “mindfulness” seems to be everywhere. Parliament has even started using it. But what is it?

To many people, mindfulness just means “the state or quality of being mindful”. That’s the first definition the Oxford English Dictionary lists.

But the second meaning of the word, taken from Buddhist philosophies, is proliferating rapidly. Search Amazon’s book section and you’ll see many titles about mindfulness and how to get it. A quick search of a database of British newspapers shows that in April 2004 it was mentioned just twice. In April this year, the figure was 150.

This other definition of mindfulness is “with reference to yoga philosophy and Buddhism: the meditative state of being both fully aware of the moment and of being self-conscious of and attentive to this awareness; a state of intense concentration on one’s own thought processes; self-awareness”.

A part of BBC News Magazine, Who, What, Why? aims to answer questions behind the headlines But the dictionary also notes that the term is “in weakened use”. It’s been diluted from its origins to now encompass all manner of meditation techniques, treatments for daily stress, even ways to lose weight. The word is everywhere. An all-party parliamentary group on mindfulness will be launched on 7 May, city workers are said to be adopting it and even theNHS offers information about how to practise it.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-27299696

candle flameI first came across Mindfulness in my teenage years through some simple Yoga introductory practice, but honestly didn’t know it as such back then.  I then came across it through some basic “Learn how to meditate” classes in the 1990’s when I was living in Cambridge and then explored it more deeply as part of my Shamanic Training, which to be fair was based a lot on the Toaist philosophies and traditions.  I have to say at this point just to be clear, I have always remained rather on the Spiritual as opposed to the Religious path.  For further clarity it is important to also note that Mindfulness as it is generally written about and taught in the west for use in the workplace, schools and health system is totally stripped of any religious biased and is totally about simply centring the mind and body to relieve stress and to become present in the moment.

More recently I’ve found myself giving short talks and exercises as part of evening workshops or groups.  For me it is the heart and the tip of the iceberg of meditation.  It is the place of being and learning to be present.  It is the place to let go, to stop, to ground, to be and to centre.  In our seemingly frenetic modern lifestyles it is becoming more and more essential to embrace this practice.

I was shown to me by life and frankly quite brutally, that when we are not centred, when we don’t stop, when we aren’t present or cannot just be, we cannot then do, discern, choose, stand firm or act.  It is one of these amazing dynamics of life that if we are not still at times then our movement becomes unbalanced.  It is in many ways our night to our day, our inner to our outer.

For some reason this stillness and this being and this inner work has been something that has if not actively then certainly steadily been discouraged from our western societies for a long-time.  Too much focus placed on the outer world and its appearances, our outward achievements and standing.  This imbalance in many ways has caused a lot of stress, destruction and misuse of resources and in some cases caused illness. So perhaps it’s not so surprising that now the balance has to be restored and this simple, not to be confused with easy, practice of Mindfulness is becoming so popular.

As with everything that becomes popular or a household term there are always those for whom it does not work or has caused difficulties, this is natural as we are all unique.  There have been accounts about how Mindfulness where it has been apparently detrimental or has actually caused people to become unstable in someway.  There have been reports were people have found they have begun to feel too zoned out, suffered panic attacks, depression or traumatic memories from their childhood return following a Mindfulness course or session.

Speaking from personal experience, it is true that these practices open us up to ourselves and sometimes the effects can be traumatic and life changing.  It is essential that if this happens, the process is held and what is coming up is embraced and understood rather than run from or shut down.  It is importantly to understand that it is not necessarily the meditation itself that is at fault but it is actually simply allowing space for what was already stored within us to surface.  If it hadn’t come out in this way, then it would surely come out in some other way in that person’s life.  In many ways by having these issues, whatever they are come to the surface in this way it is an opportunity for the person to fully face them and move beyond them.

None of us ever choose to be ill, or at least we don’t choose it consciously.  So when either illness comes or uncomfortable emotions are stirred we are unlikely to welcome them and we are even less likely to want to make time for them; or have to change our way of life for them.  However, if you ever find yourself as the “unfortunate few” where this does occur for you, here are some basic pointers you may find helpful;

  • Firstly ground – feel your body, feel your breath, be very present about where you are. Perhaps eat something nutritious, go for a walk in nature, even if this is just a pocket park or tree lined boulevard for the city dwellers among us.
  • If you are likely to feel spaced out when meditating, only do it for a short while a day. 10 mins a day rather than leaping into an intensive workshop or week-ender.  In many ways this is about you growing your internal muscles, just like going down to the gym, you don’t do a 10 miler on the first day!
  • Keep well hydrated. De-hydration can make us feel spaced out and when we are stressed we don’t always realise how de-hydrated we are.
  • Simplify your life. Start to live and think more simply.
  • If you wish to keep up a meditation practice, up your vitamin, mineral and nutrition intake, if you are taking in rubbish, when you stop and listen to yourself inside you are likely to find rubbish!
  • What-ever has surfaced needs facing and transmuting. Depending on what’s coming up for you, it might be time to get some counselling, and learn some techniques on how to face and transmute and let go of those bad feelings or memories.
  • You might find a physical meditation practice is better for you – tai chi, qigong, yoga or even simple activities like gardening, walking or cycling. Or a creative one; drawing, writing, or cooking.   Or if it’s anger or confidence issues try a martial art class, to focus and transmute the energy into a punch bag rather than into a person or your life!  You can be Mindful in how you do all or any of these activities.

Mindfulness is all about being present, centred and in the body.  If any of us is struggling with that, it is because there is something getting in the way, that something needs to be understood and then it can be let go of or addressed.  We can shift from habitual reacting to pro-active living. IMG_1834

“Breathing in I establish myself in the present moment.  Breathing out I know that this is a wonderful moment”.  Thich Nhat Hanh.

Thich Nhat Hanh, writes beautifully about the power of the present moment, for this is all we truly have at any one time, in his book “The Power of Now”.

Above all, be gentle and kind with yourself, but don’t run and hide.  Be honest and be courageous, this is about you getting to know you, to centre in being you and can help you let go of the internal “rubbish”, so you can be a clearer and brighter you!

 

Our Useful friends who deserve our Respect and Care.

 

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Trees lining a river

Recently I have sadly been the witness to a good many trees being felled.  These trees were not diseased or getting in the way of development or undermining existing housing.  They were trees which had stood for a good many years, approximately 60-80 years in some cases, in the same place with the same housing and gardens around them.  They provided many things, interest to an otherwise boring boundary, shade in the summer, screening, scenic and seasonal variety (as a number of them were indigenous deciduous species).  However, they were all in that bracket of “oh it’s just a tree”.   It’s just an ash, it’s just a poplar, it’s just a beech, it’s just a pine, it’s just a willow.  Or in the  bracket of “Ooooh you don’t want to encourage them, they are likely to take over.”  Frankly as we are talking about mature trees they had already “taken over”, they had done their territorial conquering and been enjoyed by many for a good many season.

Some of them provided boundary screening, some of them provided shoring up of banks, some of them provided water absorbency.  All of them provided oxygen, all of them provided homes to birds, insects, mosses and other ecologies, all of them helped ground stability and water management.

A couple of years ago there was a huge protest to a local development which involved a number of mature and valued trees being felled and disruption to what had been long standing park and pond areas.  Just recently with the heavy rainfall gardens which have never been known to flood are now flooding.  All because these ancient and valued species didn’t fit with the bottom of the developer’s balance sheet.

http://www.barnet-today.co.uk/article.cfm?id=108580&headline=Residents%20say%20%27I%20told%20you%20so%27%20over%20Cat%20Hill%20flooding&sectionIs=news&searchyear=2016

The loss of these seemingly “ordinary” species becomes even more sad when one delves deeper into what trees are about and realise what mighty living beings they truly are, what they do for us, the ecology and how much we need them to keep our environment in balance.  Yet there still seems to be a casualty to removing them, cutting them down.  To me trees are like friends.  I truely  understand that sometimes they need and even thrive by being coppiced or having professional surgery carried out.  Sometimes they are simply too old, too big, too dangerous, too diseased to stay.  After all we all come to the end of our lives, we all have our season.

What I don’t get is that too often there is an automatic default to, cut it out, get rid of it, it’s in the way.

They take time to grow, and fast growing replacements, often don’t have the same ecological or esthetical value, so you can’t replace as fast as it’s been removed.

Then there is a deeper level of the value of the tree, the medicinal one, even spiritual one.  Every tree has it’s own medicine, be it from bark, leaf, nut or blossom – they all carry their own medicine, in the form of tincture, oil, pulse or even active ingredients for a modern drug medication.

They are known to have a profound effect on our psyches, enabling better relaxation, destressing, grounding and even ideal space for meditation.  They have been the muses for poets, writers and artists.  For those who are sensitive enough to access the plant consciousness world they are truly living beings with their own spirits and guardians.  In many indigenous traditions they are our elders and teachers.  In Native American traditions they were the Standing People, with their roots deep in the ground, trunk bodies and limbs high into the skies, they form the connection between earth and sky and are in many ways our living breathing oxygen tent.

Eigg Trees

Community of trees,  Isle of Eigg

In our world of wastage, toxins and diseases, they are the true teachers in 0 waste product cycle.  They form their own seeds, support eco systems while alive, and return to the ground as mulch or fire wood at the end.  There service from sapling to mulch is faultless.

With this millennia of service, surely they can expect and should receive significantly more respect and care from us humans, than they generally appear to get in our day to day life.

The Wind in the Trees on the Isle of Eigg

In August I had the great joy of enjoying a few days on the Isle of Eigg in Hebrides and took of the 3 healers, silence, solitude and stillness.  Saying in a simply Boffy which was half in the woods, the native hazel woods, one day this just flowed out.  So here it is in time for a poetic offering for Autumn Equinox.

Community of trees

Hazel the wise,

Ash of the Grove,

We move with the wind,

We move and grow with spirit,

Spirit is in the wind.

It shapes and forms us and how we grow,

We bend and bow, gnarl and know,

We breathe and sigh,

This is not our lot,

From seed to fruit to log,

We serve, we are we give and we grow.

Oh tussled network below,

Tangled branches do play,

We stand tall, short, bent or gnarled,

However, best it is for us to grow.

Beneath our branches much does grow,

Between our toes much does flow,

We are between earth and air,

And are the cycle for these two.

Water feed us and makes us grow,

More for light and air we transmute

For all to breathe and grow with joy.

Water is the earth’s blood

And we are her lungs

The atmosphere her aura

Stones are her bones

Magnetism is her nervous system,

as she lives and breathes.

Every creature, every species

Dances and plays bring joy, movement,

Nourishment, illumination to her mighty body

‘Tis after all heaven on Earth!

Eigg sunset

The Creativity of Now!

The numerological number for this year is 8, while the 9 Star Ki number is 3 and with these numbers comes a particularly strong energy for manifestation and change. That being the case, it’s actually a great time to act on your dreams and bring them into fruition, whether that is making a start on them through taking a course or working on them on a part-time basis or even commiting fully to a new line of work or way of life. I find this interesting especially as there has been in recent years so much about The power of Attraction and Mindfullness. These two things have really become very dominant throughout the world of wellbeing, personal development and now they are the buzz words even in business. However, much which is written and sold around the subject of “The power of Attraction” in the mainstream still seems very focussed on money and material possessions rather than actual personal or society growth and healing which is required for it to really be transformative. Yet whenever the question is asked of people what do you truly want to see in the world? More often than not the answers will come back of; love, kindness, healing, peace, clean and healthy environment. I witnessed this first hand just recently at a short open workshop held at “Peace in the Park”, hosted by The Brahma Kumaris World Spirtitual University

peaceIt was an open day with people from all walks of life and beliefs, thereby bringing quite a diverse audience together. The workshop subject was about “Imagining the world”, we were taken through some short and gentle writing exercises to see what would emerge from the sub-concious about the world we want to live in. It was amazing to hear how little there was about money and possessions and how much there was about simply living together and in harmony with the planet. Of course you could argue that such views are bound to be held by people who are attending such an event. However, I witnessed something very similar a few years ago at a Sustainable Building Fair and that audience was attending that event generally to seek out business ideas and opportunities. On that occasion during a session about “Sustainable Thinking” when a free thought exercise was facilitated with the audience, they were asked: What kind of qualities might a Sustainable World have? The words that stood out at that time were once again words like: kindness, acceptance, compassion, love, care, respect, harmony with nature. Sometimes this seems a very long way away from what is often witnessed in the world today through the news and the state of environmental degradation. However, as I sat the other day with this diverse group attending a short and simple workshop, it was plain to see that the capacity for just such a world exists, here and now today. It heartened me and deepened the sense that clearly each and everyone of us have the innate capacity to enable such a world if we choose to do so.

This is of course where Mindfullness and the “Power of Now”, really comes into it’s own. By centering in our trueselves and Summer Dreamingletting go of the noise of the external, we can once again connect with our own heart centered stillness and peace. Eckhart Tolle writes about this beautifully in his book “The Power of Now”. What happens though if what we see manifesting in our own lives is not what we wanted or what we thought we had intended? Well usually there’s a lesson in there, a chance to grow, or there’s something we have not let go of, or we have been asking questions which have lead us down a different path or reaffirming the very things we didn’t want. It is important when using affirmations to use positive language, what you really are requesting and letting go of language such as: not, won’t, should, could. Apparently our brains have a tendancy to skip over the “not” and go straight to issue, and thereby we often end up reaffirming the very things we would like to be free of. I have to say that this recently has got me to wonder what might happen if sayings such as “Money rules the world”, “The money talks” were dropped from our vocabluary and were rather replaced with ones such as “A little kindness costs nothing and goes a long way”, “kindess and compassion are the oil in the wheels of daily life”, “time and quality go hand in hand”, or some such affirmations that speak to your inner heart. Perhaps, give it a go, see what happens, see how it shifts priorities and the focus of things.

bluemoonFriday we welcome our Blue Moon of 2015, with it, it rides on a beautiful wave of Aquarius, Venus and Uranus energy . It is full of loving, transformative and manifesting energy. Enjoy bathing in her clear silvery light to gain inner clarity.

“Everything in moderation!” so our grandmothers would tell us, is it still relevant today?

I was interested to find out more, about the rise in eczema and allergies at the February Neal’s Yard Organic Team Meet.  Did you know that there has been a 42% rise in Eczema between 2001 and 2005?  Did you know that by 2005 one in nine people were suffering from the condition?  The Eczema Society states “Atopic Eczema effects 15-20% of school children and 2 – 10% of adults its incidence has increased significantly in recent years.”

One of the singular reasons for this has been the increased use in chemicals.  Dr Ballie-Hamilton states “In the last 25 years, individuals are being exposed to unprecedented levels of synthetic chemicals, such as organochlorides, organophosphates, carbamates, toxic metals, solvents and plastics” in 2005 book “Stop the 21st Century Killing You.”

There are many ways that exposure can be reduced, such as drinking filter water, using eco friendly cleaning products, reducing the amount of chemicals used on and in our bodies though health, beauty products and in what we eat.

eczema-0Of course NYR Organic can help substantially with regards the health and beauty products and has some remarkable products to help with the more serious complaints such as Eczema, which not only can help eleviate the condition but also reduce the number of chemicals being introduced into the body through treatment, see info and link below.

NYR ORGANIC/Tanya

The discussion got me once again reflecting that there is an apparent theme running through all areas of life at the moment, whether it’s health, work stress, land and resource requirements, food industry.  In the bid to have plenty we have headed down a track that constantly requires more chemicals, almost a battle with nature often resulting in increased drug or chemical use which in turn causes more problems in terms of environmental impact as well as on our own health and needs, producing results which are often actually counter productive in the long term.   It seems like a potentially ever decreasing circle.  Yet we are constantly bombarded in the media with how much we need stuff, or how we need to get the lastest, the fastest, biggest.  As a result not only is our relationship with our world based on supply and demand, it becomes a supply and demand based on wants as much as genuine need. Underlying it there is a genuine fear of scarcity, and a world where the 1980’s concept of the “Alpha Male” is calling the shots, addicted to competition and adrenaline, attempting to push the system along with everyone and everything in it to its max.  It really does feel like it’s time to disconnect from that ever decreasing cycle and return to something which takes a more respectful and more rounded view on things.

It is so far removed from the relationship our ancestors had with their environment.  Nothing brings this home more to me than the Native American story of the Antelope where Antelope teaches the people who are faced with cold climates and cannot rely on fruits and vegetables alone that they have to turn to meat for their food to survive, but also how to survive with grace and with nature.  Antelope teaches of practicality of using its meat for food as well as every part of the animal is to be used; the bones for needles and glue; the skin for clothes and coverings and most of all that its to spirit remain free on the plains.  The message of this animal was about appropriate action, quick decision and never letting things go to waste and never to use more than one needs.

drum-0This teaching story was particularly upper most in my consciousness as I made my Stag Drum in January with Heron Shamanic Drums www.herondrums.co.uk who ran the work shop and enabled the birthing.  Johnathan Weekes, gave us some of the history of where the stag and horse skins come from.  These particular hides came from Scotland, where they are the result of on going wildlife preservation in the highlands, but the animals are also sometimes culled; the meat often finds its way into the venison trade, yet the skins are still today, often left to rot, with no onward sale or market for them.  So it was fantastic to not only have the chance to make my own drum, in ceremony, but also be part of actually completing the use and life cycle of the materials from this noble animal.  There was a real sense of reconnecting once more with the eternal life cycle, through this powerful and creative process.

So yes we need things, yes the economics we have got ourselves into over the last 200 years plus are not just going change overnight and yes currently at times we need chemicals and drugs, however, perhaps our grandmothers had it right “everything in moderation” and as long as we aim for extremes and obscene profits and satisfying all wants – not even needs – we are more likely to experience imbalances in our bodies, societies and our environment.  There is a better way, and it is apparent our ancestors and nature can teach us a lot in that regard.

Time to Wassail but what’s the point?

Just in case you think the only thing to do in January is to put your feet up and sleep for winter, or are feeling glum that there’s no more celebrating to be had until Spring, well you might be glad to hear that’s not really true.  It’s time to get out there and Wassail!  Wassailing is an ancient tradition, which has been performed through-out the centuries and kept alive particularly among cider growers.  Primary purpose of Wassailing is to hail and wake up the fruit trees from their winter slumber to get ready for spring and prepare for the time of fruiting.

WassailTraditionally, a group of “Wassaillers” will go out play music, bang pans, hang offerings (often toast and ribbons) on the “King” fruit tree of the orchard.  Homage is paid to the trees and the tree spirits by reciting poetry and singing songs to the trees.  It’s great fun and a great way to get out and about on a grey January day and becoming once more quite popular.  Also provides some with an excuse for a small tipple of Cider!  So is there anything in it except for anything other than a strange and eccentric old tradition?

The tradition obviously is a throw back to Pagan times and a time when there was a closer relationship, even a courtship between humans and nature.

It’s an age old question, do trees, nature, plants respond to sound, talking, music, nurturing or is it just mumbo jumbo?

We cannot deny that plants and trees are alive, they are living organisms and as any living organism they respond to weather, ecology and changes in the atmosphere.  However, since the 1970’s there has been a growing body of scientific investigation into the response reactions of plants and trees to pain, noise, even music.  It seems that now thanks to more sensitive computer technology, what we instinctively knew hundreds of years ago can now be graphically demonstrated and tracked by computers. Evidence is showing that plants, although devoid of a “nervous” system as such, do have electrical impulses as living beings, which respond to not just changes in weather but to noise, music and particularly the noise of predators chewing on leaves.  This activity can cause the plant to start to product chemicals which are natural pesticides against known predators.

This small selection of articles expand a bit more in detail on this, including scientific research in America and Germany.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGLABm7jJ-Y

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/can-plants-hear-study-finds-that-vibrations-prompt-some-to-boost-their-defenses/2014/07/06/8b2455ca-02e8-11e4-8fd0-3a663dfa68ac_story.html

http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/mythbusters-database/talking-to-plants/

http://www.viewzone.com/plants.html

Crystals, have also been found to aid the growth and protection of plants with their steady natural energy pulse.

In light of this, perhaps there is more to Wassailing than just a quaint old tradition.  So if you decide to indulge in a bit of Wassailing this January, make it joyous and tuneful you never know you might just wake up that tree, stimulate it’s immune system and help get those juicey fruits to grow this summer!   The word Wassail is an ancient term meaning “be you healthy!”

If you’re stuck for some verse, here are a couple of traditional ones to get you started!  …  and WASSAIL!!

“Old Apple tree, old apple tree;
We’ve come to wassail thee;
To bear and to bow apples enow;
Hats full, caps full, three bushel bags full;
Barn floors full and a little heap under the stairs.

 

“Wassail! wassail! all over the town,

Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown;

Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree;

With the wassailing bowl, we’ll drink to thee.”

What does Achieving Goals, Manifesting Dreams and Sycamore Trees have in common?

Last year it seemed at the end of summer, there were masses and masses of acorns as if the oak trees had gone into extra production in light of the tree diseases which had been particularly virulent.  As anyone knows who works with or is an observer of nature, she adapts and shifts every year to retain balance, often resulting in certain plants, fruits or species having a particularly abundant year or a particularly sparse year.

This year, locally at least, we have been swamped with Sycamore seeds – they are everywhere!  Some days the car has been so covered in them we’ve actually had to brush them off the windows before driving.

Every plant and tree has it’s own “medicine”.  This can be through it’s chemical make up, through it’s gesture or legend and energy that it holds, but every one has something to teach us on some on some level.  To the Native American people the trees are “The Standing People” and the sycamore trees lesson was and is:

“…of how to reach our goals and make our dreams come true.”

So perhaps the Sycamore is telling us that 2014 is a great year to dream that dream,  plant those desires and help you reach your goal.  Below is a Sycamore Meditation to help you with that process.

Sit comfortably, turn off the phone, tv, pc, ipod, ipad, tablet etc….. go somewhere where you can be comfortable and relaxed for a good 15 – 30 minutes.  Perhaps light a candle, put on some soft music, burn some oil or incense what ever makes you feel most comfortable, safe and relaxed, making sure your back is well supported and feet with on the floor or sit cross-legged on the floor.

Breathing deeply, take some cleansing breaths – always breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.  Focus on your breath, easing out aches, pains, stresses, stiffness from you body and letting any thoughts go, just enjoying this space and time to listen to your breathing and your inner self.

When you are ready, visualise walking along a country path that brings you to a clearing and a large sycamore tree.  Allow yourself to enjoy this tree, taking in it’s branches and leaves, the bark and trunk.  When you are ready feel yourself sit down beneath it.  In front of where you have sat is a leaf and some sycamore seeds.  Take a moment to study the leaf with it’s 3 prominent points, how this echoes – the 3 – mind, body and spirit.  Take a moment to feel into your body giving thanks for all it does for you each day, take a moment to quiet the mind and enjoy that space, take a moment to center in your heart and let it speak.

sycamore

Let your heart speak of what you need to let go of and let it speak of what makes it sing with loving joy.  As these become clear to you become aware of the leaves on the tree turning brown and falling to the ground and as they fall and blow away and rot, turn to compost disintegrate and be transmuted by the earth.  Let the things you need to let go of or the hurts that have held you back go with each leaf to die off, to be transmuted by the earth.

Let your heart speak of your joys and desires and now allow each of these to take the shape of a sycamore seed, allow the wind to blow these seeds far and wide to fall on fertile ground.  The sycamore seed is shaped so that it is easily picked up by the breeze and blown far and wide.  Observe the twisting and spinning of the seeds as they are released by the wind, carrying with them your desires to be planted and to take root in fertile ground.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

You can revisit these seeds again and see how they are taking root and growing at a later date, to reconnect with growing your dreams.

When you are sure you have released what needed to be released for now and asked for your dreams to be carried by the seeds for planting, rise up from under the tree, return along the country path becoming aware of your breathing and your body.  Gently move your feet, hands, shoulders, ground or seat beneath you, be aware of the space you are in and open your eyes.

Don’t forget, sycamores have deep roots, they can grow to 65 feet tall if its a London Plane Tree variety of 100 feet tall it’s the one of the ones in US.  They can live up to 200 years old.  So just imagine how high and how far your dreams might travel!

The sycamore is also one of Biblical trees famous at the tree Zaccheus the tax collector climbed up to see Jesus preach when he came to Jericho.  Zaccheus was a short man so climbed a sycamore to be able to see above the crowds.  See link below if you would like to know more about that particular repentant tax collector!

Read more: http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/catholicbychoice/2011/02/living-our-lives-in-the-sycamore-tree-lessons-learned-from-zaccheus.html#ixzz3IJhTAYRs

The Wonder of Carnac and Celtic France

I love the word Awesome, but sometimes feel it gets used too much.  However, I have to use it in relation to the amaizing, ancient, and enormous site of standing stones at Carnac in France.  They are just Awesome!  The Alignments as they are referred to, are estimated to have been here since around 3,300 BC some even before 4,500 BC.  There estimated to be over 3,000 standing stones with numerous tumuli in the surrounding area.  Again they are of a similar blue stone to the stones at Stonehenge.

Mid section Carnac Western End of Carnac

To start off with they seem quite small, and curious all standing in lines, more or less following an east -west alignment.  Almost an anti-climax after such a long journey to see them.  Slowly though, as one walks along one begins to see how varied they are, how over time the weather has shaped each one individually till each one has their own character.  Some are almost cuddly and others certainly are not but together they certainly demand respect.

We were lucky that on one of the week-end days we were there the usually gated areas were opened.  During high season (April – October) the areas are generally gated off to reduce damage to ecoloday and stones.

Carnac biggy It was really once we were able to walk between the stones you begin to feel the very different scale of this site, how big, how ancient and how long this stone procession really is.

Carnac looking east Carnac mid section Carnac small clearing

 

There is much speculation about what they were for and what they were about.  For a long while they were lost to separate farm steads.  Much folk lore speculation had built up over time, including they were pagans turned to stone by St Cornelius who was a Christian missionary and established the Church in Carnac around 400AD or were the grave stones of the ancients.  Each site was steady reclaimed at the end of the 19th Century and beginning of 20th Century, and in some cases re siting some of the tumbled stones.  There is little doubt they, like most stone circles and megalithic sites, are orientated to mark out seasons, the solstices.  However, there is some evidence they also have a moon and Luna connection – however, our short visit and poor French could not quite get to the bottom of this.  One thing there certainly seems to be less information on this site about it’s ceremonial and society use than on sites such as Stonehenge or Avebury, even though it is just as large and of just as much significance as these sites in terms of age and construction.

Along the alignment there are Tumulie the most important now has St Michael’s Chapel on top of it to the south of the Alignments and to the north of Carnac town, and when excavated it revealed many treasures including an ornate blue crystal stone necklace which marked out it’s own are as someone of significant spiritual authority at the time.  The stones look almost like Turquoise but are thought to be a gemstone from Portugal, showing that this area has been liven in and trading far and wide for many millennia.  There is a burial site in the middle of the alignments situated towards the eastern part of the alignments:

Burial Chamber

 

But nothing quite compared to the Burial Chamber almost stumbled across to the south of the Alignments, in the forests, at Kercado.  Dated to before 4,500 this mega burial site for the chief of the time is on top of the highest ground of the area, although it’s prominence is not obvious being in the forest, marked out with a stone to the west beside it and a stone on top to the east, giving a definite feeling of the birth, life, death, rebirth progression.  The whole site was once surround with it’s own stone circle, some of the stones still in place.

Kercado

 

These alignments are not just about weather and death though there is a definite sense that it was just as much about life and a place for people to gather, perhaps even debate the issues of the time at the Quadrangle and marked out by the Grand Manio

Quadrangle Grand Manio

 

 

The Alignments stretch West to East for about 4 – 5 Km, which is easily walked in less than a day but to get to know them will take much, much longer!

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Are you Joining the Party or Procrastinating?

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA As summer is upon us and after what has felt like a very steep and fast run through the spring and into the early summer, I am well ready for the natural flow, of sitting and observing the harvest ripen off as the full crescendo of summer softens. Summer holidays are of course a great opportunity to do just this.

Personally for me it will be time to take a moment to pause within and reconnect with what is going to take me forward and through the Autumn and Winter. To release anything that has not worked out so well, or to change my approach to some things, so that energy can flow more easily for me. This is with the intention that through the dark winter months there is a continued sense of nurturing, building energy to facilitate whatever needs to be done or spring forth year.

 

Of course for others summer is the time to really get out there and be seen and be heard, to join in the “Summer Party”! That’s great if you want to be there, but what if there is something holding you back from joining “the Summer Party”?

Recently just as I was pondering this dynamic of summer, I noticed tiny apples on our lawn (basically our neighbours had, had some necessary work done in their garden, but it had resulted in shaking some of the apples off a very large old apple tree, too soon in the growing season). Interestingly, this coincided with some conversations I had recently been having with a number of people around the subject of recognising when we are procrastinating and if we should just push on forwards. What these tiny apples got me to think about was that perhaps there is another dynamic to this subject which gets over looked in our “ever forward pushing” world and that is; what if, sometimes “The Apple” is simply not fully formed yet?KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Generally we currently seem to live in a competitive society, where bigger, faster, newer, flashier, louder gets the market, gets sold, gets the dosh, gets the kudos. Therefore we are pushed in our various ways to do just that – to deliver! To achieve. To succeed. Over the last few months I’ve found myself at a number of events or gatherings where the topic of procrastination was discussed. Apparently it’s not just about addressing our fears of doing something but it is also about us over coming our tendencies to procrastination. True – we do have to face our fears, and let them go, that’s called personal growth and procrastination can be another very subtle way of concealing our underlying fears.

Or, perhaps, what these tiny apples seemed to be getting me to question is; is procrastination actually a way or process in which we are actually facing our fears, so as to come to terms with them and finally release them. What if procrastination is actually, for many, the time “The Apple” needs on the branch to grow?

The definition of procrastinate is “to postpone action, to be dilatory”. Dilatory is “slow in doing something, not prompt. Designed to cause delay.”

So if you find you are deemed to be “procrastinating”; of course the obvious question to ask is “Why?”. “Why am I delaying a, b, or c?”. Treat the answers with kindness and compassion and watch them melt away, until you are left with the ones that are justified to still stand in the way. If they are there for sound and good reasons, don’t give up, just listen to the lessons within the answers. Be assured this is simply about letting your “Apple” grow on the branch. As, with some understanding, in time these too will melt away. After all if fruit are shaken or are picked too soon, you’ll never get to enjoy the full fruitiness of the fruit, be assured it will let you know when it is ready. If you doubt this, just remember our friend, Sir Isaac Newton.

appletree

 

Astrological Observation

left rainbow

 

We have had our second full rainbow in the last 3 days.

Though today’s followed one of the loudest claps of thunder I have ever heard.  When it struck the ceiling light in my upstairs room glowed for just a moment.  Wow!

So I couldn’t help having a look at the symbolism of thunder in the Celtic and mythological traditions.

Out popped, straight away this little beauty on Wikepedia –

 

“A thunderbolt or lightning bolt is a symbolic representation of lightning when accompanied by a loud thunderclap. In ancient Hellenic and Roman religious traditions, the thunderbolt representsZeus or Jupiter (etymologically “Right Father”), thence the origin and ordaining pattern of the universe, as expressed in Heraclitus‘ fragment describing “the Thunderbolt that steers the course of all things”.

So it’s interesting given we have a meteor shower around the 5th May and the Planetary Cross where Pluto and Jupiter were at opposites, in a square formation with Mars and Uranus in April.   This alignment is something of a planetary biggy – in astrology among other things, symbolizing the pulls of structure and creativity translating into something of a watershed time for people, in which they may find they need to determine how to move forward and balance competing and at timright rainbowe opposing demands as they find their way.

I can’t help feeling the appearance of large rainbows and dramatic thunder claps are the “trio” in this period of big statement cosmology.

Personally I take it as a good reminder to have a good look at what’s to be continued and for is for keeps and what’s to be discarded and released.

Happy Earth Day

Goldfinch_x

 

A few days ago I was greeted by a couple of these lovely birds on my short walk to town through the fields.  I have to admit to not having anything near a good bird spotting knowledge, so finally today I got to looking up what they might have been.  Yes – doh! They were Goldfinches.  A lovely spritely pair of Goldfinches making their nest for the summer.

In my search Chicago Radio http://blogs.wfmt.com/offmic/

Goldfinch

used this little fella to symbolize the music choice of the day reminding us it was Earth Day and linking it to classical music of the past:

“One only has to hear Vivaldi’s Goldfinch Concerto from 1728, or selections from John Dowland’s 16th century songbooks to know that the celebration of nature is nothing new; of course it has been central to peoples throughout the world for thousands of years. Perhaps Earth Day is best described as a return to contemplating nature.”

I also decided to have a look into what they might symbolize in power animal or totem animal terms and came across this:

“Goldfinch

It may be time to bring some attention to yourself. Make yourself available to others today. They need your wisdom!
-Goldfinch

If Goldfinch has flown across your path;

It is a sure sign of exuberance, liveliness and enthusiasm in your current world. They are here to remind you to enjoy life and savor each moment for the joy that is in it. Perhaps its simply time to celebrate who you are, your accomplishments or just for the sheer fun of it. You are reminded that life is for living – and that each moment you waste on  sending forth negative emotions such as fear, hatred and anger are moments that are forever lost. Find joy in the now.”  http://spirit-animals.com/goldfinch/

This all seemed a very timely reminder, given the fact today is Earth Day, and at the core of the movement is the call back to living with the earth instead just off it; a need to reduce pollution; listen to the earth and really taking joy in the wonders of the natural world, which provides so much diversity.  Recognising that it provides everything, from what we eat, our clothes to our shelter and even the materials for our technology.  Sometimes at what cost too!

So how does this link with Goldfinch?  Well living from a place of joy and thankfulness rather than a place of greed or anger; changes how we are towards ourselves, our neighbours and our environment.  We can make different choices that bring more joy than destruction it can surely only be a good thing.

So to the words of one far wiser than me:

http://www.culturecollective.org/message-chief-arvol-lookinghorse-earth-day/