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

We're in a rare old pickle, I don't need to tell you that. People against planet; the destruction of just about everything we rely upon. People against people; religions fighting, countries fighting, political factions fighting. It's all going to hell in a handcart and 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 our brains, which creates our thoughts, which become our actions.

The following are clearly giant generalisations, but they work for me and I hope they do for you too: Our brain is seen to have 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 are purported to 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 can be a creative space; the downward pointing triangle represents the womb, that most human, most animal, of creative spaces.

When the masculine and the feminine come together within us, when these two symbols merge into one, they become a star, know as Solomon's Seal.  Sol (sun) mon (moon) - union of opposites, specifically these masculine and feminine opposites.  Please don't see a 'Star of David' here and imagine this to be some quasi Judaic call to action, these symbols pre-date our modern religions by aeons.

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 left hand, 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!


Sunday, 13 December 2015

Three Sisters have sat in the Oracle's seat. Three sisters have received the same words from Earth.

"HOW DARE YOU? How dare you take my blood when I would have freely given you what you need?"

Each sister saw that these words referred to the practice of fracking. Each sister saw that many voices speak out against fracking but those who stand to profit from it have money in their ears and cannot hear these voices.

So I have been feeling desolate and despondent: How could I possibly make a difference in the world? What on earth was the point of sitting on a computer hectoring people about fracking, climate change, species and habitat destruction or condemning human greed and thoughtlessness? What would be achieved by badgering them to love the Earth? It wasn't going to work. Surely I was totally wasting my time and energy and simply adding to the problem by burning fossil fuels (although we buy electricity from Good Energy I'm very sure that doesn't mean that every blog page is without sin - of course it isn't).  I came to the conclusion that the best thing I could do would be to stop going on the internet at all and simply walk my talk - be utterly, inconsolably, irrevocably in love with the land. But then as soon as I had decided on that a sense of abandoning my duties to Earth would rear up and round and round I went in unhelpful circles.

I went to see my friend Dee Brodie - an extraordinary life-coach and one of the most effective agents for change I know. She asked me a very simple question - how does it make you feel? The thought of simply being able to be? Ah, it fills me with such joy. immeasurable, pleasurable, heaving, thundering, roaring joy. To simply be. To be on the land, in love with the land, honouring the land, respecting and interacting with the land. Bliss. By land I mean all of nature - the land herself and all who live alongside us upon and within and above the land. My body relaxed and lightened, the constant crease between my brows uncreased.

And I remembered; this is what Earth asked me to do. To transmit love.  No hectoring; no rage, no ranting, no raving, no guilt-trips, no fear. Only love.

And the left hand of love.

Which is grief.

Because when you love Earth - whatever you mean by that - you cannot help but feel grief right now.



Monday, 16 November 2015

This Land is Our Land - Sovreignty and a Gallop Through Feminine Time

Back when God was a boy, back - in fact - when God was a Goddess; juicy, ripe, fecund and overflowing with bounty - the necessities of life were seen as gifts from Earth. Mother Earth, Ma, Madron, Britannia, Rhiannon, Elen, whatever we chose to call her she provided us with everything we needed.  As far as we can tell from this end of history - we were in love with our Earth, we were grateful for her gifts and counted our blessings.  We seem to have viewed Earth as Feminine - it makes sense, women are the one's who give birth. We scratched our gratitude as magical fertility symbols into the soft clay of pots, carved the curve of round bellied women in clay, wood, stone, antler and bone and wove it into the very fabric of life. Our gratitude, our reverence and our constant hope that She would continue to provide.  We were in relationship with the Sacred Feminine.

When farming came along - if you have ever actually tried existing as a hunter-gatherer you will understand with piercing, tummy-aching clarity what the advantages of farming are - these freely given gifts slowly embarked on a journey that ended when they became 'produce'. Clever little beans that we are, as our population increased and we strayed into territories that were not necessarily as fertile as the one's we had left, we found a way to increase the odds of there being any given foodstuff where we wanted it when we wanted it. Sadly over time we have become so disconnected from the original source of all that we fondly imagine that we are completely in control of the process, that as we buy and sell and hoard our 'goods' we are making the world a better place, few of us noticing that it is to the advantage of the few not the many that these things are organised. We have fallen out of relationship with the Mother of All Things.

Farming originated in Sumer around 4,000 years ago and it seems from the records that no sooner did we start to farm we changed from a society with equal rights for everyone to one that started to dis-empower and denigrate the feminine. Agricultural surplus meant that particular landscapes became worth invading and fighting over. War was what made men great and military leaders became more important than the goddesses of the land. There is an often relayed myth that says in early Celtic society land had always been owned by women and passed down through maternal blood lines, there is apparently no written evidence for this assertion but scholars suggest that there may be considerable truth in the 'myth' simply because it has been related as fact so frequently in what was written down. Either way, times clearly changed and even among the Celts the rights of women were eroded, Goddesses were conquered by Gods, women became chattels. Time passed in an increasingly masculine world until according to a book written in 1777 (by that prolific author 'anon') "in Saxon times, the rank and consequence of women appear to have been considerable..... the Norman invasion was fatal to the rights of women." With the Normans came a lineage of brutal Christian kings and the 'Doomsday Book' - a giant list of all the things that these kings had dominion over. It is interesting to note that it was the Church that owned one quarter of all the land in England!

In these islands the dis-empowerment and denigration of the feminine reached it's height during the 'witch trials' of the 15th, 16th and 17th Centuries. Christianity had arrived here in dribs and drabs with the Romans in the first century AD but really gained a hold in 597 with the arrival of Augustine. Much of Europe and small patches of what is now the United Kingdom were not officially Christianised until as late as the 11th Century but churches were built upon sacred places, local Goddesses were turned into Christian Saints and the feminine became not sacred, not even just a little bit less good than the masculine - but the very embodiment of Evil. Christianity is a masculine religion, it speaks of the Father of All Things, not The Mother. The followers of this father and his son took it upon themselves to root out belief systems that did not concur with their own. Before Christianity the majority of healers were women; among the healing wisdoms of such women were the herbs, charms, positions and potions required to bring a child safely to birth - they were honoured and respected until the Inquisition announced that no-one did more harm to the Catholic faith than midwives. A new law was passed saying that anyone who was 'curing' without having studied at a university was a witch and must die. Since most women were barred from university this was a guarantee that women's healing powers and relationship with the healing properties of plants, spirits and intention would have to either end or hide.

As women's power was taken away from her so was the land taken away from the people - and vice versa. The first enclosures of common land that we know of here in Britain happened in the 12th Century. Enclosure meant farming that was undertaken by the many became to the advantage of the few. Vast swathes of common land and 'open fields' were enclosed and access to common land severely restricted. Access therefore to free food and medicine and engagement with the land as Sacred Ground became made smaller and smaller as the rights of 'owners' became more and more violently enforced. Rebellion was frequently followed by charges of witchcraft and something in the order of 2,000 women were killed in 300 years. The global figure is thought to be more like 9 million, we actually got of very lightly here. Torture was not a legal way to extort confession and being tried as a witch in The British Isles was not necessarily a death sentence - only about 25% of those tried were actually killed. The story is not the same elsewhere in Europe and America where horrific tortures were endured and death was the almost certain outcome of an accusation of witchcraft. We get the expression 'the third degree' from these times - people, mostly women, were tortured in ways that every part of me cringes away from, I cannot even write about it. Many confessed having been tortured once, most confessed having been tortured twice, everyone either confessed or died having been tortured three times.

It is no co-incidence that one of the most powerful symbols of 'witchcraft' is the cauldron. What is a cauldron if not a creative container - a wombic space? It is the creative nature of Woman and her connection to the Earth and the Cosmic Womb that the masculine has sought to limit. We have been persecuted for our authentic power; for living our creativity, our sensuality, our intuition and our wildness. Throughout our history (subsequent to the advent of farming) the masculine has sought to dis-empower the feminine and attain 'power over' because he does not have 'power of'. Our history has been moulded by misogynists and as it is always written by the winners we have suffered grievously at it's hands. The Malleus Maleficarum (a handbook for witch-hunting and identification) was written in 1486 by two monks at the instigation of Pope Innocent the 8th and it singled out women as the primary practitioners of witchcraft. This one book was responsible for generations of children watching as their mothers, sisters and aunts burned at the stake throughout Europe and the New World. Between 1486 when it was written and 1736 when the Witchcraft Act was repealed paganism became devil worship and what little remained of our 'folk' customs (for which read living relationship with the Spirits of the land) became heresy.

The enclosure of our common resources; from land and forests to the inhabitants of the oceans and the water itself, is still happening now. All things are increasingly creeping into 'private' ownership. Our sacred relationship to the land is our power, but more than that we ARE the land; we are sovereignty. By 'we' I do not exclusively mean women, I mean the feminine in all of us. This may well sound like a polemic against men but I assure you it is not. It is not even a polemic against the masculine or indeed one against Christianity. We are all of us a balance (or an imbalance) between masculine and feminine energies. Typically but not exclusively the feminine will be most powerfully expressed by a feminine body. But the land belongs to all of us, she has given birth to all of us, she is our most ancient ancestor. The de-humanisation and subjugation of half of the population is the de-humanisation and subjugation of half of all of us. The feminine has been dis-empowered, or at least our connection to her deep authentic wildness has. The common ground of our humanity has been fenced. We and our land are being abused; we know this in our bones, in the very beating of our hearts. Bones and a heart that are made out of the same stuff exactly as all the rest of creation.

HOWEVER - In actual fact, women in the west have more rights at this moment in history than at any time in the last 4,000ish years. There are women in positions of power from Germany's chancellor to Canada's 50% female government. I beleive that this is 100% connected to the land. When survival was an issue the feminine was honoured -  when we invented farming survival was not an issue in the same way, it didn't feel necessary to acknowledge the power of the land, of Earth, of the feminine, so we stopped. We forgot our lives depended on Her. Now, our survival is once again in question. Humanity has brought Earth to the brink of collapse. Species are being wiped out at a rate of dozens every day as a result of our treatment of our home, the biosphere is clearly unstable, global warming is quite possibly out of control and it might be too late. Self interest is reviving our connection to the Divine Feminine, we've remembered we need her. What's needed now is for us to move beyond patriarchy and beyond feminism to the place where the feminine and the masculine are honoured in all of us and exist not in warring polarity but in balance. Only then will we start to be able to create a world where respect and tolerance are the norms and where 'all that is' can exist peacefully. Everything is made up of the same stuff, everything has spirit, everything IS an emanation of The Divine. Perhaps if we can bring ourselves back into balance then we can bring our world back into balance. If we can re-empower the feminine, love, honour and obey Mother Earth and remember that we are all of us responsible for patriarchy then we can change the outcome. Or, even if it is the End of Days, let those days at least be days of beauty.