Earth Pathways Diary and Wall Calendar 2021

The Earth Pathways Diary and Wall Calendar celebrate the work of contributors and writers who share a deep love for the land and a desire to live with appreciation of and responsibility for this beautiful planet. More than just a diary and calendar, they are a networking resource and inspiration for the growing community of people who are willing to actively create positive change in their lives for the benefit of the Earth.

The 2021 Earth Pathways Diary includes UK sunrise and sunset times, moonrise and moonset times, moon phases and signs and some astrological information. It journeys through the seasonal cycle of the year, with a focus on each of the Earth Festivals. There are week-at-a-view pages, month-at-a-view planners, a year planner and notes pages.

The 2021 Earth Pathways Calendar is a full colour, month-at-a-view wall calendar. It includes the phases of the Moon, a Sun-sign forecast for 2021 and the eight Earth Festival dates, both calendar and lunar.

The Diary is A5 in size and spiral bound, with 146 full-colour pages. View sample pages here.

The Calendar is A4 in size, with 32 full-colour pages. View sample pages here.

They are both available to buy here through our secure web shop.

 

Showcase Gallery

The showcase gallery for contributors to the 2021 Earth Pathways Diary and Calendar is below.

Click on any piece of work (image or text) to open the creator's individual contributor showcase page where you can view more of their work.

The Moon Through the Signs

♈︎ Moon in Aries ~ Action station Aries is full of fiery Mars energy. The beginning of a new cycle offers fresh ideas and energies which kick-start projects and new challenges for the ambitious. What do you believe in so wholeheartedly? Aries energy offers courage to stand in your authenticity and speak your truth.

♉︎ Moon in Taurus ~ Earthy Taurus Moon is grounded in nature. There is something quite special about the patient, generous and sensual energy this Moon offers. There is a flow of practicality, which gets work done efficiently.

♊︎ Moon in Gemini ~ Airy Gemini Moon can have you sway from one person or activity to the next quickly, as Gemini Moons are very sociable, as Gemini adds mental and verbal stimulation to the proceedings. Gemini can be flamboyant, so pay attention to over-expenditure. Remember yourself and take time for self care.

♋︎ Moon in Cancer ~ Watery Cancer Moon is in its own ruling sign and this can only mean heightening of psychic awareness and sensitivity to others. Finding yourself in a position to counsel or offer your surroundings as shelter at this time should be of no surprise, if you are going with the Moon’s flow.

♌︎ Moon in Leo ~ Fixed and fiery Leo sounds his regal roar to all those listening. The need for recognition may be strong but keep the ego in check. That sexy confidence which Leo brings to this Moon can spread affection, joy and happiness. A warning not to fall for empty flattery or you may become shut off from others, rather than sharing your warm heart and generosity.

♍︎ Moon in Virgo ~ Earth mother Virgo adapts and flows with quick instincts. A love of nature thrums through this Moon. An instinct to be of service may present itself, but take care not to overwhelm yourself. This can be a time of finding perfect natural order within your own realms.

♎︎ Moon in Libra ~ Love whispers on the breeze with airy Libra. She brings justice and balance, as the sign of the scales dictates. Connection to the divine mother brings diplomacy at its finest with harmonious collective consciousness at her core. The beauty, pleasure and sophistication of Libra Moon may invite you to be more sociable and sensual.

♏︎ Moon in Scorpio ~ Scorpio Moon is deeply transformative and has the ability to make you face your fears head on. A heightened psychic ability means you can see through false pretences. There is no time for dishonesty or disloyalty. This Moon offers deep desires, intimacy and bonding.

♐︎ Moon in Sagittarius ~ Suddenly we see the bigger picture thanks to Sagittarius Moon. This Moon can help you to take aim and fire those arrows in the direction of your authenticity, so that you walk and talk your own truth with honesty and integrity. But to aim is to have loaded the bow. This means the ideas must first be honed. Possibilities are endless, and this Moon carries with it the luck of Jupiter.

♑︎ Moon in Capricorn ~ Earthy Capricorn Moon brings a sense of responsibility and dependability. Quality over quantity with Capricorn Moon. This Moon helps highlight your true purpose with clarity and makes clear that all good things take time and action to manifest.

♒︎ Moon in Aquarius ~ Progressive ideas flow openly, as does the desire to be of service to the broader spectrum of humanity. It will definitely make you think outside the box to include the rebellious, non-conformist, scientific and intellectual take on the world of global social consciousness. Stand up and be counted is the theme of the day.

♓︎ Moon in Pisces ~ The dreamy essence of Pisces Moon will affect your emotions deeply. It is advisable to go with the flow or risk upsetting yourself on a deep level. You may become acutely aware of others’ emotions. You may feel compassionate and want to be of service, but also take care of your own heart-space.

Phases of the Moon

The Moon holds an immense influence over us as she follows her cycle of birth, life, death, regeneration and rebirth. Each phase either expands her power (waxing) and influence, or slowly withdraws it (waning). Lunar cycles take up to 28 days, during which time the size, strength and shape of the Moon energies and moonlight vary accordingly. In one month the Moon cycles through what the Sun and Earth take a whole year doing. The ebbing and flowing energies of the Moon affect us as well as Earth’s tides. Understanding and working with the phases allows our minds, bodies and spirits to resonate and function on an holistic level. Our absorption of Moon and planetary energies allows us greater understanding of ourselves, our relationships to others and to Mother Earth, gifting us with a much healthier lifestyle and state of mind.

New Moon ~ The New Moon is a time for generating new ideas and planning new projects, new beginnings, for soul searching and discovering your personal truths. This is the Maiden Moon. Make time for new beginnings, to set new intentions, and plant and gestate seeds of hope.

Waxing Crescent ~ The seeds we plant need nurturing to encourage the beginnings of life, bringing to light the intentions set at New Moon. Energy and momentum are on the increase.

First Quarter Moon ~ You have nurtured your intention and now is time for the seed to take root. Channel the flow of lunar energies for optimum growth. This is a good time for drawing in, taking action, finding inner strength and endurance, and finding solutions to problems which arise.

Waxing Gibbous ~ A time of harmonious cultivation and surging growth toward fruition and manifestation. You can now share what you have learned thus far. Gain help and advice from others in the know. This is a time for cultivation and co-creativity.

Full Moon ~ This is the blooming Mother phase, the fullness of the rounded belly of the Moon. You have birthed plans and they come to fruition. The amplified lunar energies enable you to release any negative energies which may have arisen, and be free of them.

Disseminating Moon/Waning Gibbous ~ Harvest time. Share with others what you have gleaned from your experience. Honour yourself, your accomplishments, inner strength and personal growth. Review the changes which need to be made for improvement. Enjoy a time of sharing for the greater good.

Last Quarter Moon ~ Energy is slower and reflective. Give gratitude. Recognise that which has become obsolete to your plans and release it. This is a time of maturity, organisation and learning from hindsight.

Balsamic / Dark Moon / Fallow Moon ~ Darkness has an astounding energy of its own. Some will utilise this energy, others will rest with this Moon. Prepare for the next cycle, maybe with new plans, or maybe preparing improved plans. A time of transition and wisdom of the Crone.

Retrograde Planets

In ancient Greek the word ‘Planet’ means wanderer. Planets have a cycle to their motions, which we refer to as direct, retrograde and stationary. When a planet moves into retrograde it means that by optical illusion, the planet appears to move back through the zodiac sign it had previously been in. The planet will only go direct after it manoeuvres into the next sign. This illusion is created when the Earth’s rotational speed is greater than that of the planet in question. Although illusionary, retrograde planets still hold sway over us humans. Some of us are affected by the slowing of the planet’s presence and aspects. This withdrawal of motion creates a time for reflection and healing.

Mercury Retrograde ~ Possibly the most frequent retrograder of the solar system, Mercury goes retrograde six times over this year, for around 3 weeks at a time. Ruling all forms of communication, travel, electronics, business and personal documentation, Mercury retrograde is not a time to trifle with any of the above in a frivolous fashion. The trick is to rethink, revisit, re-edit, revise, and to think before you act. Dates: 30 Jan; 21 Feb; 29 May; 22 Jun; 27 Sept; 18 Oct.

Venus Retrograde ~ Venus retrogrades only once in every 18 months, for a period of up to 6 weeks. Venus is all about love and money. Avoid making any serious relationship or financial decisions during this time. Dates: 19 Feb.

Void of Course Moon

The Moon takes two and a half days to cruise through each zodiac sign and during this time planetary aspects are formed. Culminating energies resonate through the Moon and the Earth, into our daily lives and activities, adding momentum to our personal energies. During a period with no planetary influences, the Moon’s course enters a void. Moments such as this require rest, self-preservation and self-care.

Astrology 2021 © Sheela Adhar 2019

I am writing this in October 2019, having just returned from the Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests in London. The XR movement has called strongly to me, as at its core is a deep shared love for the Earth and each other. This story kept popping into my head whilst I was there.

There was a wise old man who was greatly respected for his wisdom. There were two young men who determined to catch him out. They trapped a small bird; a tiny, beautiful, fragile creature. One of the young men held it encased in his hands. “We shall ask the old man a question: Is the bird in my hands alive or dead? If he answers ‘Dead’, I will open my hands and let the bird fly away. If he answers ‘Alive’, I will crush it in my hands. That way he will never be right”.

Feeling mightily pleased with their plan they went to visit the old man who greeted them warmly. They posed their question to him. He looked slowly from one to the other with kind eyes and then replied, “The answer is in your hands”.

When this diary is published, we will be another year down the line. What decisions will have been reached? What action will have been taken? The future lies in our hands. We must act.

Our Shared Future © Rachel Murray 2019

Being in a state of Cultural Emergence is a state of mind, a way of viewing the world, and a way of responding.

The first step is observing when things aren’t fixed; when emotions, thinking, finances, weather and politics are in motion.

Fluid circumstances can bring feelings of impatience, confusion and frustration.When we embrace the opportunities for emergence we can overcome and transform these feelings, inviting curiosity, problem-solving, acceptance and flow. The feeling of ‘being on edge’ could be seen as uncomfortable, but we could reframe this to think about what we are on the edge of: is it the edge of our courage, the gateway into a new possibility, an innovative discovery? What wants to come through in this time? Learning to ride the wave of emergence and breathe into it helps us to use it positively and creatively.

Shifting our way of thinking and reframing our interpretations of what we observe is always an available option that creates alternative ways of responding. Differences in response open up new pathways. When we find ourselves in times of change we can bring people-care tools into the situation that encourage fertile, regenerative emergence.

Being in a state of fertile Cultural Emergence can be joyful and fulfilling, allowing for creativity, spontaneity and synchronicity to guide and support us.

Being in a State of Cultural Emergence © Looby Macnamara 2019

Winter is the season of stillness and surrender. All of nature is quietening down. The deciduous trees are bare, berries have been picked off the trees and bushes and nuts stored away. Nature’s energy is deep underground in the earth. It is now a time of retreat, rest and introspection but often of hardship, darkness and of facing our fears as well. Winter is the time of the Crone, the dark moon, associated with death. In nature, death is part of the cycle. Winter teaches us that death is a natural part of life and not something to be feared. The enormity of winter activity happening beneath our feet is astounding. Rain pounds on the earth’s surface, filters down through the mud, and roots drink up the sustaining life force. Movement underground is relentless, rootlets searching for nourishment, stretching out in the dank darkness, feeling their way. Mycelia of fungi carry information and nourishment in a vast underground network of radical connection. Further below is the continuous movement of the tectonic plates. However to the naked eye, the earth is solid, unmoving, a constant companion to which we are bound through gravity.

Winter © Seed Sistas 2019

What if it really mattered what we dream into existence?

I feel very hopeful about the movements aiming to halt climate change and biodiversity loss. But too often I hear the story of “we’re f*cked”. Scientific data has people conclude that we’re facing collapse and extinction. This is the story of the “Great Unravelling”. And it seems to be a story that is waking people up. Good, because the story of “Business as Usual” is simply not an option anymore. It’s been a disaster for the earth and her many life forms for far too long! So isn’t this an opportune time? Many people are waking up and making a stand for systemic change. But what is the vision of a more beautiful world that we are standing for? And do we truly in our hearts believe that we can win? Joanna Macy reminds us of another story: “The Great Turning is the story we hear from those who see the Great Unravelling and don’t want it to have the last word. It involves the emergence of new and creative responses that enable the transition to a life-sustaining society.” The truth is, we don’t know which story will be the outcome. But if I consciously point my arrow of intention, I know which story I’m choosing. If it really mattered what story I dreamed into existence, then how do I cultivate the capacity to imagine the Great Turning?

Do you have a daily practice to dream this beautiful world into being?

Dreaming Existence © Maren Freeland 2019

She is not a mild, supernal saint or winsome Pre-Raphaelite maid.
She is not that, oh no she is not that.
Her visions are not la-la will-o-the-wisps
that evaporate like dew on morning cobwebs.
She has worked them in leather, baked them in her earth oven,
pounded them on the rocks of the visions of her foremothers.
Seer, she has to be warrior to bring spring through the doorway of winter,
Imbolc sky still gelid cold, stinging winds, sheep on the hill.
Poet, she has to be warrior soul to pare back and bare the beauty
of poems pulsating real and raw.
Midwife, mender of the torn, she has to be warrior shield
attuned to the danger of guiding baby from womb.
Brighid, holding a wild swan on her heart,
A lorica, breast plate. Not armour but prayer
to keep her soul open to the flow of creative grace
as she waits for the next thread of molten imagination,
to snake over the hill and strike her cave.

Brighid Poem © Debra Hall 2019

Imbolc

The Wisdom of the Season

Even the tallest tree begins life with the tiniest shoot: “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.” Beginning can be scary, and first shoots can be delicate, but what beauty and strength can grow from even a hesitant and fragile beginning.

Everyday ritual

Challenge yourself to find a flower. Bright yellow winter aconite perhaps, or a snowdrop – everyone’s favourite. (Here’s a tip: look at the trees. Catkins are flowers too.) If not a flower, then a leaf-bud, a shoot, a tuft of grass springing from a crack in the pavement. Celebrate: the wheel of the year is turning again.

Acceptance

Fragility and frailty are within all of us. Fragile can be beautiful: think of the thin, patterned ice crust on a winter puddle. A snowdrop may be delicate, but she withstands the snow and ice and opens the door to spring. Remembering this, accept your own fragility, and accept the hidden strength within it.

Dreaming

Spring is the season of possibility, the home of “what if?”. What if anything were possible? What if you knew that dreams come true? What would you dare to imagine then? Will you allow yourself to believe that what you imagine might be possible – even if you can’t see how? Give your dream a chance to grow a new, green shoot.

Imbolc © Liz Proctor 2019

What will my personal seeds be? New fresh ideas and ways of being,
Moments of beauty, desires for the future? What’s really important to plant right now?

Seeds need a fertile foundation to thrive. It too has to be nourished and looked after;
To be rich, open and well ‘dug’ over, Giving my seeds the right conditions to grow.

Once my ‘base’ is ready the questions come: What type of seeds are right for me now?
What can I do to help them flourish within? How will it be when they grow and develop?

My seeds are to offer love, wisdom and healing, With empathy, compassion and respect.
And, that I understand more of who I truly am Whilst I travel along this amazing path.

So, by nurturing and cultivating these seeds, Sharing and learning from others along the way,
My heartfelt gratitude is sent to the Universe, As I expand, evolve and unfurl with love.

Seeds to be Sown © Judith L Cobby 2018

Stanton Moor, is a sacred landscape on a plateau above Matlock in Derbyshire. At its heart is a stone circle known as the Nine Ladies. We can never know for certain what the people of the past did at the stone circles and to me that doesn’t matter. What if the stone circles are offering their help at this critical time? We could view them as portals opening up time, and that by entering the circle we step into a place that goes beyond time. It’s important to work with the energy that’s there, in order to keep them open. It might be helpful to see them as having once been part of a global system, a grid or network that allowed people to tap into power in a different kind of way from how we generally do today. Nevertheless when we step into that timeless place we can tap into those energies.

We are being called both to do practical political work around healing our relationship with the Earth and preventing damage, and also to work on a different level to make it more effective. It’s important to repair the crystalline energy grid because it’s like doing acupuncture to the Earth. Let’s revive and enrich our relationships with ancient circles like the Nine Ladies – or should I say Women? – as well as creating new ones for the 21st century.

A Message from the Stones © Marion McCartney

Peace descends as I step into the woods, like a softly laid blanket. The air is still sharp, although the sun and birdsong hint at spring soon to come. I slow down, all senses open, fully present. Two magpies dart away to either side of the path. I silently greet them, and smile to myself. In such moments I find inner meaning from the signs of nature, not signs placed especially for me, but the latent language of nature, there for all to read if they so choose, if their eyes are open to see. Whatever strikes the eye may have some inner significance. Like the language of dreams, we can find our own meaning, while simultaneously tapping into the deep language of universal unconscious. I cannot walk in the woods without the feeling of stepping into a dream-like world, a magical realm. A world that speaks to me.

The Magical Realm © Janey Colbourne 2018

Early March, and the trees are lean,
the thin air whipping through
naked poles of neglected coppice.
I hear a distant roar of crashing seas
but know it is the wind torn by treetops,
and the clattering of rigging against lolling masts
is but the skeletal fingertips of dormant trees
finding each other – clattering, tapping and swaying,
thicker trunks rolling on the swell of heavy gusts
groaning and creaking on their static voyage.
As I stand, closed-eyed amongst these living decks
I feel the lift of the waves beneath me.
When I return, my gaze falls upon the
sunlit rain of hazel catkins,
celandine and bluebell shoots
and my thoughts are filled with
the promise of softer breezes.

At Sea © Rebecca Lehmann

This body like a tree
Still standing through countless seasons
Autumn leaves falling red and golden
burnished burnt or rotten
Stories composted or forgotten
shoots of hopes fulfilled or broken
So rich, so ancient, so unspoken.

This body, this tree
scarred and gnarled through wearying winds
weeps sweet sap and wounds too easily
yet still returns abundant, blossoming
never felled withheld from fatal falling

This body, this tree
is held through storms of icy winters
always returning to bud and fruit
and shed the old
Sap rising renewed
with the greening of Spring.

This Body – This Tree © Cathy Lotus Whitefield 2019

Spring Equinox/Oestre

The Wisdom of the Season

The gleam of the moon, the gentle morning light, the start of spring. All these speak of promises kept, (winter is ending, dawn is breaking) and promises for the future: good things will grow. As winter ends and spring begins, there is always, always room for hope.

Everyday ritual

Now is the time to begin. Without thinking too hard about it, make a start on something. Large or small, it doesn’t matter; the magic is in taking the first step. Begin the thing you’ve been putting off, the thing that scares you, the thing that you desperately want to do but don’t know how to complete. Don’t think, don’t plan, don’t worry about the next step – just start. There will be magic and momentum and the next steps will become clearer.

Acceptance

Spring is Nature’s busy time. It seems she never stops growing, changing, reproducing. She knows her time of rest will come. It will be easier to accept your own busyness if you know that rest will follow. Accept today’s reality, and accept your responsibility to ensure that you can rest and be renewed tomorrow.

Dreaming

Light and dark are in balance at the Equinox: day and night are equal length. What would balance look and feel like to you? What might need to change to take you there? Dare to dream – and take – a tiny step 34 towards feeling balanced in your own life.

Spring Equinox/Oestre © Liz Proctor 2019

Since Parkinson’s disease stole much of my mobility I’ve had the choice of either hiding myself away at home or launching myself into the situations which call me, and, as I describe it, ‘crowd surfing life’. In doing so I generate a multiplicity of opportunities for acts of kindness. These weave together, forming part of a web of human kindness that benefits all involved. However brief the encounter is, we feel warmed by it, parting with thanks and smiles. However if I reject offers in the name of independence, the web becomes unraveled.

Part of the success of our species has been due to our tendency towards altruism, looking after every member of the tribe. Rejecting other people weakens us all. In gracefully making and accepting offers of help, we are strengthening connections, contributing to a ripple effect which will help us to find creative ways of facing the challenges ahead. Let’s value independence but let’s choose the much richer idea of inter-dependence to take us forward.

Help © Marion McCartney 2019

I plunge my hands and feet into the black soil.
They elongate, bifurcate: thicken and swell,
reaching ever deeper into the moist and musty
sweet rotting bark and leaves
through worm casts, past beetle shells,
fungal fibres, moles’ whiskers...
further down, finding warmth,
clawing for comfort,
sensing Mother’s heartbeat
and the gentle swell of her breast
as Selene swings past again:
the lunar pull across Earth’s crust.

I am tree: instrument of life
liminal, inter-elemental
dryad and hollow oak
steadfast but impermanent
source and dependent
breath and breathing
food and feeding.
I am air, earth, fire and water,
touching the sky and
holding the ground.
I am filled with light;
I am music and midnight silence.

Essential, integral, strong and expressive
I’ve humus in my nail beds
and leaves in my hair
My sap is rising now:
I must prepare...

Roots © Rebecca Lehmann 2019

Intimately
I awake with gratitude
Lovingly
I sleep with with gratitude

Let us be the urban warriors
We are meant to be
Dare To care
To listen
To respond

To the heartbeat of the universe
Calling
To one another
Then
Gratitude will surely
Arise!

Gratitude © Treasa Cassidy

The miraculous regeneration that occurs every spring never ceases to astound and enchant me. As the season unfolds, each succeeding leaf and flower opening is a cause for celebration - and an affectionate reunion with dear friends. Perhaps my all time favourite combination of wild-flowers, is that of Bluebells, Red Campion and Greater Stitchwort, especially alongside the spiralling bracken fronds. This year, a pair of blackbirds nested right outside my studio door, so their coming and going wove into my artwork, along with Wren and a gorgeous grandmother frog who frequented the tiny pond in our polytunnel, leaving a legacy of tadpoles. Beneath the plants and animals of this painting, is an infrastructure of hexagonal geometry known as the ‘Flower of Life’ - an ancient patterning describing all life as an inter-dependent, inter-connected whole. In these uncertain times, a poignant offshoot of ‘waking up’ to all we stand to lose, is a sharper appreciation of all we truly value; bringing the things that matter in life into clearer focus. Gratitude leads to a much more attentive presence, making it easier to live in right relationship with ourselves and all our plant, animal and mineral relations; returning us to wholeness, belonging, peace.

A Symphony of Spring: Unfurling with Song-sweet Delight into Fragrant, Heartfelt Optimism © Anne Thomas 2019

Our wild nature is unpredictable, yet robust and reliable. We need to tend to it, to keep coming back and faithfully following our feminine flow. We have way more wisdom than we know within us. This inner- knowing thing takes time, takes space; takes us setting down the mind and settling into the uncomfortable unknown, trusting that we don’t have to force it or figure it out. It may take longer than we would like, yet we all have a wild, wise one within us. We can trust that we will be led, given good guidance, pushed, promoted or prodded when the time comes. Clear guidance feels good: strong, still, sometimes epic and often strangely simple. Our inner wild one, our embodied intuition, is immensely intelligent. Ideally we will learn to listen, to heed what we hear; and then to be brave enough to follow that good guidance going forwards: wild and wise and wonder-filled, in service of the greater good...

Inner-tuition © Tess Howell 2019

Beltane

The Wisdom of the Season

Beltane is raw physical power, rising in sap and root and shoot. At Beltane, go deep into your body, for there lies truth and wisdom. Feel.

Everyday ritual

Seek out the delight of physical tiredness. Walk, work in the garden, dance, run – whatever makes you feel your body working. Whatever your physical limits – even if standing or raising your hands is as much as you can do – move your body. Feel it stretch and sweat. Feel how amazing it is.

Acceptance

Change is everywhere. All is growing, moving, becoming. Leaves unfurl, flowers open, bare soil is covered with green. Change is constant throughout the seasons and never more so than at the fertile festival of Beltane. Accept that change can be beautiful, embrace the possibilities it brings.

Dreaming

If you could harness the glowing power of the Beltane fire, what would you do with that limitless energy? What might burst forth? How will you find and make positive use of this season’s strength and warmth?

Beltane © Liz Proctor 2019

Today after the rain
I saw spring yellow butterflies
with wings fringed blue
reflecting azure skies...
Like me, they emerged
from the cocoon of winter
to suck new dew-drenched nectar
and splash the stark dark hills with colour
And so I paused to breathe
and hear a blackbird’s song
to taste the sweet washed air
and gaze at blood red poppies rare,
in a sea of green.
And then, musing on
our impossible, probable futures
I meandered home
with my little blind dog
who still wags her tail
amidst the darkness.

After The Rain © Cathy Lotus Whitefield 2019

Breathing out
I feel
My body softening
Surrendering
Engaging
With the earth beneath me

Supported
Energised
I feel
My body spreading roots
Deep down into the earth
Nourishing every part of me
Feeding the spirit
Replenishing all that is thirsty

Breathing in
I feel
The inner landscape of the body opening out
Abundant
Fertile
Earthy and moist
A place to plant seeds
A heartfelt wish
A place to nurture
Harvest
Wholesome food for the body
Vital
And
Still

The Earth Nourishes Me © Treasa Cassidy

I walk, stretching limbs across legs of land,
Feeling the bright burn in muscle, sinew and lung.
I climb, pounding self up and over rutted hill
Needing to move, to find rhythm with the earth.

I lunge, grabbing branches that loop air to water,
Tasting the dank sweetness of fallen rain.
I expand, spanning hands under squalling clouds,
Wanting to be swept up, pummelled, made new.

I lie, clutching grass and moss and mulch,
Finding solace in the forgiving mother’s woodland womb.
I sleep, breathing safely in the velvet den,
Exhaling an ancient grief; inhaling in peace.

The Walk © Fiona Botham

Remember always,
A piece of time for peace, in this hectic world,
And from our own busyness
Make time to make time
To be still and alone.
Stop the mindless murmurings
Of the mind
For a piece of time
And peace of mind,
Leaving a space
From this crazy pace
To find our own peaceful serenity,
For only then is there time
To forge the changes
Inwards and outwards
That we need
To transform
this place in time.

In Time © Vicki Smith 2019

Looking after ourselves requires attention to our emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. Self-care is multifaceted. Self-care extends all the way from meeting our basic needs to becoming our full selves. Self-care can involve any activity that makes us happy and improves or regulates our mood. It can involve letting go of limiting beliefs and patterns that no longer serve us. Self-care involves valuing and appreciating ourselves, and ensuring we have kind self-talk. This self-appreciation provides a springboard into self-evolution and development.

The importance of self-care is not to be underestimated. In the same way the deeper the roots on a tree the more growth above the surface; the deeper our inner self-care the greater our ability to expand our care for others outwards. Often we think that we need to find these precious moments during the day when no one is around when we can fit in some self-care. This can become frustrating if our lives are centred around caring for others. Reframing this and finding ways we can practise self- care with others can unlock many opportunities.

Looking after ourselves is a way to walk our talk, and is a potent demonstration of our values of care and connection. The more we bring ourselves into alignment, the more effective and influential the ripples will be.

Self-Care © Looby Macnamara 2019

She says: I am the World dancer, the igniter,
Snake Goddess, Great Goddess, womb of all becoming,
the skins I shed are epochs, millennia.
I am Pachamama, Universal Mother,
holding the soul of the Earth I gave birth to, safe.
I am the fertile void looking out from the eyes
of every sentient being.
I am the eternal flow of giving and receiving.
I am Matrix, Creatrix, Generatrix.
I am the unified field of consciousness everything shares.
I am Vision and Invocation,
Seer, Shaman and Soul-maker.
The womb is my drum, the moon is my drum,
the sun and earth and stars are my drum.
I am also woman, this woman
dancing on a patch of earth in my garden.
Dancing so my soul can experience a thousand inscapes,
dancing so my spirit can be penetrated by hope,
dancing for my next step forward.
I am the answer to the call to live everything.
I am the life of life, Love itself, the ground.

World Dancer © Debra Hall 2019

May I taste the wisdom of the stars,
And be reborn in the heart of the fire,
May I dance like the flames...
May the roaming winds cup my ancestors’ words to my ears
And may I find a mother’s love in the salty embrace of the ocean.
May I act with integrity,
May love be the root of all my communications,
Even when I am offered something other.
May I know every encounter is soul sanctioned/blessed/approved
And contains a gift so I may learn and grow.
May I remember this as often as I can
And may I be gentle with myself when I forget.
May I remember it only ever takes a heartbeat to return,
to change course, to transform.

Extract from: Love (A Summer Solstice Blessing) © Nell Aurelia 2016

Summer Solstice

The Wisdom of the Season

Solstice is pause. Solstice is breathing. Solstice is the sun standing still. As the sun stops, so can we.

Everyday ritual

Today, step outside and stand barefoot in the grass. Breathe. Feel your feet, your connection to Earth. Barefoot in the grass, we pause and breathe. Barefoot in the grass, soaking in warmth, rooting in Earth. Barefoot on the grass, we are a bridge between Earth and Sky.

Acceptance

If you find – as surely you must in this season – that the Outside finds its way inside in the form of soil, grass clippings, sand, insects and the sound of a lawnmower, welcome it as you welcome the blue sky and sunshine. Let the Outside in and take yourself outside.

Dreaming

Turn inward. Remember, the sun stops. We can stop. The sun shines, and so can we. What, in this season of the sun, is shining in the silence of your heart? Allow yourself to wonder: what does your heart need? How might you find it in this pause?

Summer Solstice © Liz Proctor 2019

I have come to understand that when I arrive in a new place I only truly arrive when I remove my shoes and stand barefoot, eyes closed and consciously meet the land. I have heard shoes described as sensory deprivation chambers, for that is what they are. Through the bare soles of my feet I make contact with the plant life, the soil micro- organisms, the bedrock beneath. I feel my feet being held as they in turn hold the Earth.

If I get the chance I expand this outwards, walking and eating the land. Not the soil itself of course, but the odd leaf, flower, or berry. Through eating the edible plants that live here, I am also eating the soil and the bedrock, the local weather, the land. As I walk and eat, I notice the undulations beneath my feet. I notice the sticks and stones. And I greet the place, each plant, animal and insect that I come across in this arrival ceremony.

It doesn’t need to take long, just a few moments. No one else notices what I am doing, just that I am looking round their garden perhaps. And yet, through this practice I find myself being tied in ever more deeply, until I know I have truly arrived, that I am home.

Meeting the Land © Rachel Corby 2019

Red is my blood, green is your sap,
yet below the skin, we are kin,
complementary, breathing each other in,
mutually nourishing, eternally flourishing.

The iron that dwells in the heart of her,
the iron that flows in my veins, are one and the same.
The heart of suns in the wood and the cell.
I am ocean but for a membrane.

When I die, and the ocean leaves my body,
my spirit returns to the sea.
The part of me that is earth, my bones, I will leave behind.
Under the skin, we are all kin.

Below The Skin © Janey Colbourne 2017

You wait 64 years for a poplar hawk moth, then two turn up together.

Personally, I’ve always been a butterfly man. Moths are of the body: intensely physical, zombie-eyed at night, they flap and batter about, devoid of finer feeling. Butterflies are of the soul: delicate, sun-powered, their effete demeanour is literally flighty, balletic, other-worldly.

So I was shocked to discover this pair of poplar hawk moths in my garden.

For a start, I had no idea this species existed. And to subsequently learn that it is probably our most common hawk moth only served to remind me how deeply ignorance can persist into old age.

And then, just look at them: the delicate mimicry of dry dead leaves, the crinkled, brittle-looking fragility of their wings. These moths are decidedly of the soul. They’ve been made up by Roger Dean for an old Yes album cover. Their wings are sails made of leaf-cloth to carry their barkish bodies over oceans of adventure to the grail of.....er.....well, poplar trees, I suppose.

I am and shall remain, basically, a butterfly man. But the poplar hawk moth has prompted me to re-examine my prejudices more than a little.

Tales from Poplar- Graphic Oceans © Ric Cheyney 2017

Grandmother Elder and Hawthorn Sage,
an arched dance through the year
of branch and leaf,
flower and berry;
deep listening and winged messengers,
creating sculptured silhouettes
against the open sky -
a marvel of wave formation,
and at the centre of this ancient tongue,
a hole, encompassing the whole!
A circular window,
a portal, if you will,
to the Otherworld.
But only if you see without eyes,
only if you come as humble apprentice,
only if you leave your comfortable stories behind,
and are willing
to peel back your civilised skin,
allowing the Wild
you have always been to step forth.

Grandmother Elder and Hawthorn Sage © Becky Mackeonis 2018

What would it be to live in a world without trees? What would it be to miss the graceful sway of fresh green leaves, the strength and solidity of their faithful presence? What would it be to live without their example of unconditional generosity, mutuality, sharing and provision for all?

I cannot live in a world without trees, and yet we have taken them for granted for so long, removed countless forests without consent or apology. Now, everywhere on Earth, disease and pathogens are decimating our immune-compromised trees. They are leaving our world, in every country, on every continent.

What if we could strengthen our trees’ immunity with our love? What if the people that came before us who tended these trees, did ceremony with these trees, sang to these trees, and lived in conscious relationship with these trees, were also strengtheners of the health and vitality of those trees?

I have a prayer, as so many species are leaving us, that we consciously sing them on their way, or that we ask them how to help them to stay; that we do not take one single tree for granted; that we protect them with all that we have; that we let them know how cherished they are; that we go to them, and pray with them, and add the nutrient of our love into the forest floor of unconditional generosity.

We do what is needed to stay living in a world of trees.

Embodying Tree © Clare Dubois, founder of Tree Sisters 2019

Lammas (Lughnasadh)

The Wisdom of the Season

Every ending is also a beginning. This is traditionally the start of the harvest season: grains are ripening, fruits are forming. This harvest is the culmination – the end – that nature has been working towards, and yet every fruit and every grain contains the potential for new life and new beginnings.

Everyday ritual

The Celtic god Lugh, who gives his name to this festival, is a sun god. His day is a time of feasting and celebration. In our time, it’s also holiday season for many. Whether you’re on home soil or in foreign lands, take a few minutes to stand and absorb the sun’s rays on your skin. (Morning and evening are safest, and a few minutes is plenty.) Feel its warmth and strength. Recognise that all life – including yours – depends on its heat and light, all year round.

Acceptance

Today contains the fruits of your yesterdays and the seeds of your tomorrows. Accepting that, what harvest might you begin to work towards?

Dreaming

What if there were no plans to be made, no list of jobs to complete? What if, like the birds, your busy time was over and your responsibilities had fledged and flown? Even if just for a moment, can you step into the slow, sleepy sunshine and sink into this moment? Can you carry that feeling through your day? Can you imagine doing the same tomorrow?

Lammas (Lughnasadh) © Liz Proctor 2019

The heat in the garden is searing and as I step into the shade of the Willow Bower the air is different – cool, sweet, energising.

Shadows from the leaves dapple the ground as a slight breeze stirs them. I feel held by the circle and comforted by the familiar shrines in their directions.

Air; Fire; Water; Earth.

I lie down in the centre and look up into the leafy canopy. Small birds, foraging for aphids hop from twig to branch. The song of a thrush drifts through the hot air outside.

I feel a deep connection with the Earth under me – the layers of flint, chalk – the bones of my ancestors.

I have a sense of how precious this land is, supporting a myriad of life for millions of years.

Shady Bower, Breathing Space © Lindy Brook Tweed 2019

In less than two weeks time I will be heading out into the wilds. For four days and four nights I will sit with no human comforts beyond my sleeping and bivvy bags, and a supply of water. I will sit and I will pray. I will ask for guidance, for the next step on my path to be revealed. I will be separate from other humans, but I will not be alone. I will be companioned by the trees, and plants, and fungi; the insects, and birds, and mammals. The unknown.

As I prepare myself for this quest, I can feel myself going into hermit mode. I find myself dropping everything of the outside world, in preparation for this deep journey within. I have made an agreement, to stop giving myself a hard time about what I “should” be doing. To leave it all alone and honour myself. For now, as this time of inward searching draws close, I must retreat from the human world. In the space this creates, my more-than- human relatives will rise up to meet me and guide me. This I know.

The Hermit © Rachel Corby 2019

In October 2019 Extinction Rebellion once again took to the streets of London; in the very heart of Westminster we Rebels planted ourselves like trees across the road, proudly holding our banners. As soon as we stopped the traffic, sounds like birdsong, human voices and bicycle bells suddenly became audible. Bright coloured tents popped up in the road all around, gazebos sprang up offering workshops. Bunting was draped over the railings, bright flags flapped in the breeze. All around, leaflets were being offered, and conversations taking place. While blocking most of the road we left a lane for cyclists, many of whom waved and thanked us, delighted to have freedom from the car dominance that generally reigns in our cities. Food and tea arrived on trolleys, all brought by volunteers. A chamber quartet played to us. Samba bands, dancers in costumes like birds, the eerily dramatic Red People all processed by us, connecting us psychically with other Rebellion sites. Journalists arrived to interview us, and memorably one, when asked what she felt about the climate emergency, broke into tears of grief. We Rebels gathered each morning in circle under the traffic lights to make our decisions collectively. We forged and deepened friendships, sharing our love for the Earth, as well as singing songs of Heart and Rebellion. All too soon police came a-wrecking, but not before each one of us took with us that seed of knowing; we could co-create loving community again elsewhere, anytime.

Love on the Streets © Rosemary Blenkinsop 2019

When we create cultures of personal leadership, collective intelligence and planetary care we are emerging truly regenerative cultures. We are creating systems of growth and renewal, systems that are rejuvenating, healthy and productive.

With a culture of personal leadership we have responsibility, agency and power. Personal leadership involves recognising that we have freedom of choice and can be proactive in making changes and moving away from automatic pilot. We need to take responsibility for our own personal culture: examining it, questioning it and changing it. Our goal is for our activities and behaviours to come into alignment with our values. Emerging a culture of collective intelligence requires us to create conditions for imagination and creativity that encourage individual and collective genius to shine. New narratives, ideas and designs are woven through the sharing of stories, life experiences and skills. Our very DNA holds the collective intelligence of thousands of generations of people: there is vast wisdom to tap into. A culture of planetary care would prioritise the care of Earth in all decision-making. When this care is placed at the centre of our culture then we will no longer be able to act contrary to this, and pollute, harm and destroy eco-systems. We will proactively be caring for the fundamental resources of life: water, trees, soil and biodiversity. Care will extend to all beings and for future generations of all species.

Building Regenerative Cultures © Looby Macnamara 2019

The river ripples away at my feet, carrying dead leaves and broken twigs with it around the bend. The soft “plop” of a fish jumping permeates the surface, reminding me of all the life within these waters. I crouch down and dip a hand in, swirling my fingers around the mossy stones near the bank. It feels icy.

I had awoken early, with just a few slivers of light creeping out through the clouds and across the sky. The air that greeted my sleepy face when I had flung open the window smelt of bracken, gorse and the wildness of the moors, coaxing me out for an adventure. I had dressed quickly, made a flask of hot coffee and stuffed it into my bag along with a large slice of parkin (the best adventure food).

Now I am here, at the river, with the morning light showing the orange leaves of the woodland in all their joyful glory. I slip out of my warm clothes and into the water. It’s cold. But I feel more alive than I have for days. Kicking off from the bank I swim upriver. I am free.

Autumn is for Adventures © Ash Moon 2019

I sit, letting my jumper fall past my shoulders, exposing my flesh to the kiss of the sun. Moss is growing under me. I rejoice as I become part of that growth, nourished by Earth and the thoughts in my mind swept in by the wind that is spinning through the leaves of trees in the distance. A leaf falls near me, and I’m reminded of Autumn coming. Already the branches of the apple trees are bowed under the promises of juice, and cider, and crumbles. A swamp of bracken stirs to my left. I stir myself, pick up my wooden bowl, and carry on with my wandering path to gather wineberries. I end up with the fresh sharp tingle of nettles running up my arms and down my legs, hands sticky, and my bowl full of sweet berries. I consider myself falling out of place from the City I just came from, leaning into the twists and rhythms and steady pulsing of connection with the Nature surrounding me.

Resurfacing Connectivity © Shanti Macnamara 2019

Autumn Equinox

The Wisdom of the Season

Poised and perfect. Ripe and ready. Balanced at the peak. The haze of golden, slanted light says it all: take what is readily and freely given. Enjoy the fruits of the year so far. Celebrate! Make the most of every drop of sunlight and every juicy morsel. Earth is generous.

Everyday ritual

Your hands were made to gather. So gather something. An edible harvest if you can: rosehips or the last of the blackberries; apples from an orchard or crab apples from the hedgerow; pull a carrot from a garden if you’re lucky. Savour the embodied sunshine as you eat. And if you live far from an edible harvest, gather pebbles to paint, twigs to use as decoration, or better yet – harvest litter and recycle or bin it. Your landscape will thank you and your hands will remember their purpose: gathering and generous giving.

Acceptance

You are worthy of life’s gifts. Accept goodness, sweetness and possibility with gratitude for what is freely given. Don’t reject positivity because you feel you don’t deserve it. Accept your own worth, accept your gifts. (And if you still doubt your own worth, pretend you don’t. Act as if you’re worthy. You may just start to believe it.)

Dreaming

Autumn is magical, wild and alive with glowing light and roaring energy. What if you, too, are magical, wild and alive? What spells will you cast, what magic will you weave? What power will you unleash? Dare to dream your own magic.

Autumn Equinox © Liz Proctor 2019

I went down to the sea at dusk, and it seemed to be saying farewell.
I followed the curving road, winding my way up and down hills, the blue
horizon dipping and hiding before me;
Running, skipping, hair trailing in the wind,
twirling my scarf like a little girl,
searching for the last blackberries in the thickets

Autumn will be here soon.
I trip forwards in the last rays of the sun
as though when I reach the water I will carry on walking,
through the blue and into the clouds
and ride with the sun over the rim
to a land of endless summer

The Last Day of Summer © Estelle Garstang 2017

It is suddenly upon us,
the days darker, the night deeper,
bringing its gifts.

The allotment shows end-fruits;
sunflowers raised high,
yellowed marrows, tomatoes loaded on vines.

The air feels damp.
Red glints on the hawthorn in the shadows.
A wanderer tells of a moor valley lit by rowan berries.

Afternoon turns twilight, the shift is upon us,
the pull is inward, to dreams, renewal.
Stargazing later, wrap up warm.

The Autumn Shift © Rose Cook

Recently I have been feeling rather hopeless. It is being fuelled by what we are now calling eco-anxiety. It is overwhelming: the pain, the destruction, the ticking time limits for radical and far-flung societal change.

The only thing that feeds me while I am in this space is being outdoors. Walking, tending my allotment, breathing the fresh autumn air, watching the leaves turn and fall, listening to the birds and the buzzes of insects on ivy.

To gather this vital food, I spend ten minutes outside, barefoot, each morning. Observing, greeting, noticing, being. This practice grounds me. When ten minutes standing is not enough, I surrender to the Earth; I lie down and give the ground beneath me a full body hug. And I just rest there a while. It feels nourishing, nurturing, energising and inspiring.

Isn’t it funny that the natural world, which I am so anxious we are destroying, is the place where I find hope, where I find sanity and reassurance? It reminds me that we are not alone in this. Our non-human relations are with us. They remind me of what I can do, how what I do does matter, and that there is still hope.

Eco-Anxiety and Me © Rachel Corby 2019

Samhain is the time to honour and remember all that we have lost: grieving the dead and feeding the memory of our ancestors. This relationship between the living and the dead, the seen and unseen, is what enables the Great River to keep on flowing. With our prayers, songs, stories, tears, offerings and creations, we can tend to the sacred fire around which our ancestors are fed and warmed. We can enliven and deepen our relationship with all our relations during this sacred time: stitching a glistening thread that weaves back and forth, honouring the Great Spiral. With this thread we can access a whole realm of unseen support, love, inspiration and grace in our lives. Through our giving, we receive, and balance is preserved.

Feast of Remembrance © Isla Macleod 2019

Samhain

The Wisdom of the Season

Less, stripping away, laying bare. Less, less, always less, so we see the clear reality beneath. Not always comfortable, but always necessary and freeing. Leaves fall, but branches stay strong and clear.

Everyday ritual

Tidy, sort, give away. Strip out the broken, the “might need it someday”, the “don’t know why I still have this”, the “never liked it anyway”. Purge, lighten the load. Pare back and you may catch a glimpse of those few things that really are essential.

Acceptance

Emptiness. How unnerving emptiness can be when we see it as a lack. Empty time, empty space: our instinct is to fill them. Accepting emptiness, resting in it, we can see that emptiness is just another word for potential. In an empty place, there is room for growth. The first step is to accept the emptiness, just as it is.

Dreaming

As leaves fall and flowers finally fade, trunks and branches stay firm and strong, and roots hold fast. What keeps you strong and true? What will you hold on to even as you let go of what’s no longer needed?

Samhain © Liz Proctor 2019

Let’s light a candle
To those who went before,
Who broke new ground,
Who thought they knew better,
Until they came to realise the wisdom
Of those who came before.

Let’s say a prayer
For those who’re yet to come,
Who’ll break new ground,
Who’ll think they know better,
Until they come to realise the wisdom
Of those who came before.

Samhain Chain © Chris Auger 2019

Do what you can each day. Then rest, let go, let it be. Social media and mass media bombard us with the messages of trying harder, making it, making it better, making it bigger, being more, doing more, mastering it all. These insidious marketing messages of “Life, you can control it – if you just tried a bit harder...”

Hmm –it is so not so my beauties! There is a place to let go, and let goodness do its own part. The random Russian-roulette game of life will do what it will! We can only do our best. We’ve got to learn to let go. Sometimes we will need to surrender – be that sweetly or resentfully or tearfully – eventually reality will rock us and force us to roll with it!

Sometimes flow just doesn’t flow. It’s exhausting pushing against the grain. We can show up great and still not get what we want. Sometimes life isn’t fair and we somehow have to find a good way through this truth – with heart open – to still see the good, show up, shine, give and make amazing alchemy out of it all. All that falls will rise again. We have circles and cycles. We will indeed get to the “good bit” again. Life continues... fertile, fecund, fulfilling itself in its own mysterious ways... keep the faith my love....

Let it Go and Let it Be © Tess Howell 2019

When I am at one with all around me, I feel a deep inner peace,
a calmness, a connection,
an inner knowing right in my core, the centre of my being.........
I am more than body, flesh and bones.... I AM
I am alive, I am expansive, I am beyond the depth of my breath.
I see with a clarity so vivid, the intensity of which blows my mind.
I feel the surging energy of the plants around, flowering in perfect brilliance.
I feel the heartbeat of the earth and know
with an unshakeable knowing that we are connected,
that my part counts, that my higher resonance has a profound effect on all beings
and on the continuous evolving of the universe.
I feel my power and I claim my power
and in these moments, I absolutely know all things are possible.

One © Jules Burrell

I am woman, I am child, I am me,
I am nowhere, I am everywhere
I am past, present and future
I don’t know who I am
I am no one and everyone
I am ancestor and great grandchild
I am air, water, fire and earth
I am Mother Earth,
I am singer, dancer, writer, healer, mover, shaker,
I am one of humanity
I am body, mind and spirit
I am thoughts, emotions, feelings and I am none of these
I am a window through which I see the world
I am a womb where ideas can grow
I am a boat to travel the cosmos
I am a spiral of connections
I am energy in one place
I am stars exploding, I am dreams flying
I am movement, muscles and breath
I am the pattern and the detail
I am the question and the answer
I am the vastness and the minuscule
I am the oneness, the everything and the nothingness
I am the universe and the atom
I am a strand of infinity
I am eternity, and I am now.

Who Am I? © Looby Macnamara

I saw the steep mountain pass in the distance
and knew that summit
required me to discard unwanted things.
I would need more gravity

I left things that shone draped like wintry ornaments
on fingers of gorse and soul-fire heather
In return, I gathered courage amongst those sharp tongues and dirt-clad sinews

on the ground, I laid swathing fabrics and skinned myself to vulnerability.
When the dust cleared, my heart filled the dusk ahead with light

I spat embittered expectations and allowed tears of all that might have been to fall into twilight,
it licked at the wounds and spun me a peace-lined cloak to drench my fevered need and, sated, I left that behind too.

next I shook out my bones,
left them to splinter on the ground under following soles

those that built me were left as an offering by the roadside

when I reached the peak I saw all I’d released, strewn and consumed
by the elements
and earthfire
and all that remained of me yawned and swelled and hung itself out over the cosmos,
creating the universe
atom by atom.

Intuit © Amara George Parker

Stripped bare,
Like the trees in the garden,
Golden soft and dreaming,
Leaves half-on, half-off,
Gleaming.
Now all my leaves are gone,
And I rest in slumber deep,
Mulch forming beneath my feet.
My roots go down deep,
Into the earth beneath.
I slumber until spring,
Ready to grow anew,
Out of the rich compost of forgiveness.
All gone now, all forgiven,
And all in perfect peace and love and light.

Stripped Bare © Helen Rachel Deadman

Solstice still morning skies. Time to rest, nest, digest.
To let this snowshaker of self just settle.
Maybe to let our lives lie still for more than a micro-moment...
To let the year behind be just what it was and just what it wasn’t.
Not to prod it, process it, or poke around with it in order to make it more profound,
Or diligently squeeze some last drops of reflective productiveness from this still, shedding time.
Not meddling with it in the mind
in order to learn/love/live out something else/more/diligently different
out there, elsewhere in the future...
Just to let it land and lie still and let it all be...
And trust in life’s shifts and sheddings and turns
and to know that all is already seen /sorted/sweet (despite whatever weird way it may be looking).
To let it all (and us all) lie still and soft, seen and held
Here, in the heart.

Winter Solstice - Let the Snow-Shaker of Self Settle © Tess Howell

Winter Solstice

The Wisdom of the Season

Drawing in. Drawing to a close. Resting and retreating. Slumber. All these things are as necessary as breathing. As the Earth sleeps, she dreams. As you rest, dreams may find you too.

Everyday ritual

Go to the window. As you open the curtains in the morning, welcome the daylight, however faint and grey. In the evening, as the light outside fades, draw the curtains closed and honour the nurturing darkness, for darkness brings rest and renewal. Live with the rhythm of the season.

Acceptance

Darkness. Fallow times. Even sadness. We cannot live always in the glare of the sun. Accept even the dark, and you will find its beauty and magic.

Dreaming

Even now, deep in the soil and within seemingly dead twigs, life pulses. What secrets pulse within you? Do you need to let them go, decompose to fertilise new dreams, or is there a spark of life in your buried secret that’s gathering its energy, preparing for its time to come?

Winter Solstice © Liz Proctor 2019

sit
be still.

the wind will whisper secrets
through rushing boughs,
roots will imbue murmured wisdom
humming soft thrums
through the soles of your feet.

if you wait, abide,
the earth will tremble sweet refrains
through veins of leaf,
and the husky truths of bark
will croon sweet against your spine.

sit
be still
this land has hidden
journeys to carve
into your skin

Inspiration © Amara George Parker

How hard it is, in one season, to imagine another. In summer, cold is an impossibility. In winter, the sun will never shine again. Autumn’s rain is eternal.

Or maybe it’s the opposite: we long for change. Whatever we want, it isn’t this. In sunshine, we long for shade; in snow, our bones cry out for warmth. In a dry spell, we thirst for rain.

Yet there’s no need to project forward, to imagine a new season into being. This season, the one in which we find ourselves today, is abundant and wonder-full. We need only live in it, absorb it, taste it, to learn from it how to be in this season. Tomorrow will bring lessons and wonder of its own – when it comes. And it will come in its own time.

This Season © Liz Proctor 2019

There is no hurry to the surface,
One must first root, to emerge.
Encouraged by the shadows it casts on the walls,
This flame will feed on earthen darkness,
Until potential overflows into roaring furnace
and spring sunshine.
Into possibility, new life
and creativity.
Emboldened,
the forge prepares to create anew.

Light the Forge © Keli Tomlin

Our world transforms as we transform ourselves. Whilst fear beckons us in the face of so much loss and instability, the path of the heart calls more and more loudly. Love is the ultimate solution now. Love that chooses not to look away in the face of mass extinction, social injustice and climate change. Fierce love that seeks to embrace and include, to feel what is asking to be felt, to reach out to those in need and to ask, 'What more can I do now to serve this wild and precious life?'

Because what and who do we love? Everything we have, need and love comes out of the Earth that we have been taught to take so utterly for granted. This profound lie of separation has become a numbed-out norm that severs us from levels of intimacy and belonging that we crave, that are our birthright, that show us who we are and awakens us to the sacred in all her forms. Everything that you have, need and love is sacred, because it is all of this world and our world is sacred. Nature has given us everything. Nature IS our everything.

Daring to Love Deeply © Clare Dubois - Founder of TreeSisters

What if
Our earth needs bare feet,
Like trees need birdsong to thrive?
Where soul and soil meet.

What if
Our naked feet need
Soil’s caress, like birds need trees?
Without it, souls bleed.

What if
Earth’s body needs ours?
No shoes to crush tiny plants -
Barefoot dancing flowers.

What If © Debbie Collins 2019

May I return always to my birthright of joy.
May I know I am love,
May all beings know they are too.
May we return to knowing oneness,
To rising, diving, spiralling in unity.
May the sun light our hearts
And may our dreams be true.
May we know simply:
We are love
And anything is possible.

Extract from: Love, A Summer Solstice Blessing © Nell Aurelia 2016

The movement towards caring for our unique and astoundingly beautiful Earth grows every day, and this gives me hope for the future. I know that I am just one of many people making this journey, and I align myself, my kinship and my heart with all the people who love the Earth as I do, who are redefining themselves as one of many interconnected complex intelligent life-forms sharing the Earth’s resources; who are filled with a deep desire to help the Earth restore and heal the damage we have done. Each one of us has our own strengths and parts to play as we collectively do what we can to bring about intelligent compassionate change. Together, our many actions, both overt and subtle, are creating the great transformation of our time.

Expanding Into Interconnectivity © Glennie Kindred 2018

As a child I used to be naturally at home with our alive earth. I believed in magic, and the universe responded. I unashamedly gave of myself – imaginative play, laughter and song. I talked to plants, animals and danced with the unseen. Growing up in a culture that treats the world around us as inanimate, my beliefs calcified and crumbled away. To see the earth as alive is naïve, to make meaning of signs in nature is superstitious, even dangerous – it can send you mad! I didn’t want to be ridiculed by peers; after all, a well-adjusted person thinks rationally and scientifically. But how lonely one becomes when surrounded by a non-animate world! So now I venture out, introducing myself, baring my soul to nature first. What am I giving to the beings of this land? Do I approach with openness? Am I making myself available? When I notice the magic, I’m remembering to come home.

Remembering to Come Home © Maren Freeland 2019

Oh... how I love these hot-cold days of autumn,
as sun and wind merrily compete, and
long shadows and gossamer clouds
bow and curtsey to each other!
How I love the softer light of these days!
No longer the harsh, no-place-to-hide light of summer,
nor yet the sorrowful, weeping light of winter,
but a gentler light,
of mystical clarity,
and deep longing.
And how I love the mellow colours of this time!
The deep greens and royal golds
that clothe the juicy body of the Earth
sensually and voluptuously,
bejewelled with the lush fruits of harvest.
How I love the melancholic bliss of these days,
the abundance
ushering in the turning season.
A call to presence.

Autumn Joy © Becky Mackeonis 2018

“You were wild once – don’t let them tame you” dancer Isadora Duncan said. So what is the wild thing that lives deep within us and how might we find our way back to it? Maybe we hear it whispering to us occasionally on the wind- calling us back to the core of things... Maybe we can cultivate a sense of being moved by the mystery on a day-to-day basis. It’s the urge that draws us to the sea-shore, to dance deep, make art and love, seek moments of meaning, feeling - fully - amidst all of the day to day duties. We must seek out what sustains our soul day to day. Life can get full and we get fraught! We must tend to our own dear wild and tender heart amidst all we care for and are cultivating. We must bring life into our lives. May we remember that we are human, animal, matter, mystery, made of nature; not separate and superior from the animate and animal world around us....

Wild Ones © Tess Howell 2019

Breath of life animates me
Flame of creation inspires me
The circle of life holds me
The four directions point me
Spirit ancestors surround me
Earth Mother feeds me
Quiet peace flows through me
In the magic of existence

Life Chant © Susan Latchford 2016

We are the ones who tend the fire
Keeping the glow of hope alight
Like the scarlet berries the Holly bears
Rich food for the birds at Midwinter’s height.
When skies are grey and the world awash
With conflicts and wars and lack of trust,
We are the ones in our deepest hearts
Who burn with the love the Earth awaits.
We are the ones we are waiting for.

We Are the Ones © Jehanne Mehta 2019

Astrology For 2021

At the point of the Winter Solstice in December 2020, there comes to pass a ‘great conjunction’, the meeting of Jupiter and Saturn in the skies, something that only happens every 20 years. Occurring in the sign of Aquarius, it ends a two hundred year epoch of these two planets uniting in Earth Signs. Whilst we have focused on materialism and the exploitation of the earth during these last two centuries, 2021 marks the beginning of the era of Air. This change of element will bring disruption and dramatic change to collective ideas and the way we communicate, empowered further by a square aspect with Uranus in Taurus, which has the potential to bring down the outdated societal structures of the Earth era. On a personal level, we will all be challenged to release embedded myths that no longer serve us, from some area of our lives, ready to take on the dawning of a different and changing world to the one that we inherited.

♈︎ Aries: Fortunate associations mark this year, with lucky associations or benefactors helping to offset any sudden changes that may occur in income or material assets. The focus will be close to home this year, rather than travel abroad, and healing comes through self awareness and attending to your physical health.

♉︎ Taurus: This year, change occurs in the way that you are seen by the public and professional life, heralding the start of a new cycle in this area. Matters close to your local area keep you occupied, and the year will be fortunate in terms of friendships and communications of all kinds. Healing comes through making peace with all that you keep hidden from view.

♊︎ Gemini: This year focuses your attention on matters further afield, and unexpected events could well prompt a journey that takes you away from your usual stamping ground. The spotlight is on you this year though, rather than attending to others, so take good advice when it comes your way. Healing comes through your supportive friendships.

♋︎ Cancer: A year marked by endings can leave you feeling disconnected from your social network, and less likely to feel supported. This situation however, urges you to look deeper into the dynamics at play and to recognise that it may be time to focus on nurturing your own wellbeing, rather than always caring for others. Healing comes through your career, or through the maternal line.

♌︎ Leo: Personal relationships are on the agenda this year, with a major change in the way that you “do” relating. New arenas of activity bring different connections, opening communications to a wider world. Healing comes through further education or travel overseas.

♍︎ Virgo: A year to take your health seriously and to start that new regime, something that may require you to pursue further education or a new spiritual path. Making new connections through your career opens new pathways, and healing comes through accepting loss as a precursor to change.

♎︎ Libra: Recreation, pleasure, creativity and childrenare highlighted this year, widening your horizons, and enriching your social connections. Unexpected losses bring the preciousness of enjoyment into sharp focus and healing comes through the depth of your one-to-one personal relationships.

♏︎ Scorpio: Matters related to your family of origin, and unexpected events concerning personal relationshipsurge you to look back at what came before. Information concerning those who have passed could shed light on situations that concern you now, and healing comes through understanding how repeating emotional patterns can influence the health of the physical body.

♐︎ Sagittarius: Siblings and neighbours could take centre stage this year, with life filled with day-to-day activities and the demands of others. Running yourself ragged is ill-advised and it would be unwise to let stress undermine your health. Healing comes through making time available for doing what you love the best.

♑︎ Capricorn: A new start in the area of possessions this year is possible, through letting go of material goods that are no longer needed. You see now that your social connections are far more valuable than physical things, and often less heavy! Healthy disruption comes from the influence of children, and healing arrives through revisiting your ancestral inheritance.

♒︎ Aquarius: Life takes on a whole new dimension this year, and a change of location could be a part of this. Although change can be difficult, the new connections that you make will compensate for the loss of your day-to-day routine, with healing coming from the knowledge that close friends and family are only a text away.

♓︎ Pisces: It’s business as usual Pisces, whose challenge this year is to unearth hidden treasure, revealing a new understanding of what is really important in life. Sudden changes in your daily schedule, or upset in your relationships with siblings urge a deeper consideration of your values, whilst healing comes through developing a greater understanding of your true worth.

Astrology For 2021 © Joanna Grant 2020