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.
The showcase gallery for contributors to the 2020 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.
Spiral of Life © Anne Thomas
Light On the Marsh
© Jaine Rose Tree of Life Celebration © Marie Roberts Ave Luna © Kiara Dixey Dreaming Through the Dark
© Melanie Ward One Day Ends so that Another
May Begin © Casey Jon Smudge Sticks © Sasha Spyrou Harvest © Ali Rabjohns Three of Spells
© Meraylah Allwood Ammonite Spiral © Lucy Pearce Favourite Pathway 2 © Philip Day Keeper of the Woods
© Nita Rao Imbolc © Samantha Symonds Into the Light © Julie Fowkes Grandmother Heron
© Danielle Barlow Start Point, Devon
© Vicky Boase Blackthorn and Moonlight
© Sarah Vivian Mr Badger © Shirelle Young Held in the Arms of Mystery
© Becky Mackeonis Spring Equinox
© Samantha Symonds Unfurling Angels © Ali Walters Summer Evening at the River
© Danielle Barlow Into the Wild Woods © Tamsin Abbott Swallows © Brian Boothby Spring Beech Flower © Eva Martinson Beltain © Samantha Symonds Daisy Glade © Sarah Vivian In the Moonlight © Lisa Green Monsal Dale from Monsal Head
© Ruth Gray Snail and Leaf - In Harmony © Sharon Repton Misty Meadow © Gilly Hopson Sea of Dreams © Donna Taylor Summer Solstice
© Samantha Symonds Early Summer
© Debbie Crooks Make a Wish © Cherry Ferris Pollen © Amala Tipper She Drums © Kamini Gupta Hen Harrier Sky Dance
© Shirelle Young Lammas © Samantha Symonds Advice from a Tree
© Salix Pyrography Tree Love © Sue Wookey Afternoon On the Island
© Jaine Rose Scattering Seeds © Anna Fauzy-Ackroyd Alport Sunset © Ruth Gray An Enchanted Place © Dawn Wakefield Stormy Autumn Sky © Jane Hood Autumn Equinox
© Samantha Symonds Autumn Bounty Spiral
© Lucy Pearce The Tree of Life © Julie Fowkes Foxes and Fall © Salix Pyrography Dormouse Dreaming © Meraylah Allwood Samhain © Samantha Symonds White Wolf Drum © Sharyn Turner The Great Mother and Sun
© Kamini Gupta Mountain Hare Dream © Lisa Green Willow © Glennie Kindred Oak and Owl © Dorrie Joy Illustration from
‘Granny Yule’, Book of Hag
© Carolyn Hillyer Singing to the Winter Moon © Sue Wookey Winter Solstice
© Samantha Symonds Energy Pathways © Nicola Gibbs January © Glennie Kindred February © Glennie Kindred March © Glennie Kindred April © Glennie Kindred May © Glennie Kindred June © Glennie Kindred July © Glennie Kindred August © Glennie Kindred September © Glennie Kindred October © Glennie Kindred November © Glennie Kindred December © Glennie Kindred Seed Star © Amala Tipper Large Bog Oak and Amber
Tree Pendant © Geoff King Fox and Oak Footstep
Mosaic © Susan Latchford The Nestling ©
Dannie Z. Alexander Dashing Hare © Debbie Crooks Golden Autumn © Eva Martinson Rewild (For XR) © Jaine Rose Waves of Bliss © Charlotte Dean Henry © Helen Cowans Hawthorn Tree on an iron-cold winter's day © Jane Hood The Oldest One
© Meraylah Allwood Poppy Fields © Suchin Ee Spring Birch © Sam K Buller Under the Waves © Sarah Price Daisies © Gillian Boissevain Life on the Seashore Brooch © Geoff King The Healing Garden © Julie Fowkes Lady of the Labyrinth © Sharyn Turner Turn of the Wheel © Victoria Parsons Ruby's Magical Stones © Annie b.
Step into the void with gratitude for nothing other than the space to gather your dreams and visions around you like a cloak. Breathe and be still. Take time to turn inwards, to review, and to remember; listen to the guide within, and breathe again. There are no brave new beginnings here, no bold departures, no dramatic finales; it is not a time to push and strive. Yield to the moment; allow the breath of it to touch you in your unknown places, to ease your arms open for the release of that which needs to leave. Observe. Watch what happens when you put down the baton. Meditate. Listen to the quiet voice, the one that is often drowned in the daily grinding of wheels. Review. Fly up, birdlike, into the sky. Take the higher view. What is your perspective now?
Aries ♈︎ - I Am: The fire starter, the energy of spring, the bursting forth of life. Let me rush in, filled with excitement, childlike, exploring a brand new world, eager to conquer, brash and brave. I am the vanquishing soldier, God of War, cloaked in dreams of valorous deeds; but do not for a moment try to tame me, or hold me close, for I would die rather than be suffocated by a placid life.
Taurus ♉︎ - I Possess: The strength and fertility of the budding earth; I am the song of love, the sensuality of life itself. Taste me, touch me, take me, yield to me, and give yourself up to my creative and passionate desires. Through me experience the Goddess of love, the love of life, the love of the Earth, and all that clothes her.
Gemini ♊︎ - I Think: And my thoughts flit out into the air of the world like butterflies in summer. I gather and distribute, collect and share, I link and lace wherever I find, bringing ideas and thoughts together, that would not otherwise find each other. I am mischievous, psycho-pomp, walker between worlds, light and dark. My face is always smiling and I hide my darkness even from myself.
Cancer ♋︎ - I Feel: With every atom of my being, my tides turning with the vagaries of the moon. I nurture and care, my home is my castle, and I protect all that reside there with fierceness and devotion. I am mother, seductress, queen of the sea: from limpid calm to savage storm I can turn, in the break of a wave. Fear not under my command, I am the carer, the source divine.
Leo ♌︎ - I Will: Walk onto life’s stage with extravagance and playfulness, I will be the life and soul of the party! I am generous and giving, I am organised and loyal, I am a leader, I am the king of my domain. Feed me drama and excitement, wonder and glee, but also let us all be united in the desire for warmth, joy and laughter, for my heart is big enough to hold us all within its walls.
Virgo ♍︎ - I Analyse: I sort and sift, searching for meaning, pattern and purpose. I seek practical understanding, and am curious about how best to apply my skills. I am the smooth running of a well-oiled machine, the ordered perfection, the digested meal. My balance is finely tuned,sensitive to what does not belong. Listen to my body awareness, my earthy knowledge, my eternal search for harmony and health.
Libra ♎︎ - I Balance: I harmonise, I seek to reflect beauty and poise. I am the peerless perfection of structure and form; I am the peacemaker, the negotiator, the other side of every coin. In me, everything is weighed and adjusted. I bring justice to all things; I favour none, but speak only from the point of my truth. Seek not to beg favour, for I will always do what is right.
Scorpio ♏︎ - I Desire: to give myself up to the perfect storm of passion and power. I am the yearning hunger of lust, of possession, of revenge, of sorrow and of pain. I am the highest of heights, I am the lowest of lows, all tempests are mine to behold and command. Drink from the peak of my exquisite pain; know both heaven and hell in my arms.
Sagittarius ♐︎ - I Seek: to know all that I can, to experience distant places, in all realms. I am a traveller of far-off lands, which exist in earth, in fire, in air and in water. I learn, I gather, I expand my awareness; I delight in all new experiences. I constantly add to my store of knowledge and experience, bringing back tales of adventure and teaching.
Capricorn ♑︎ - I Achieve: all that I aspire to, slowly and with care and attention. I move cautiously, testing each step, making sure that my footing is secure. I am an upholder of tradition, stable and reliable. Change is not a joy for me, but I honour its necessity, and take my time. I appreciate the process and maturity of life, and I come to laugh at how small I am in the greater scheme.
Aquarius ♒︎ - I Know: more than I can explain, for I am in touch with the power of the collective human mind. All thoughts are mine and yet I own none of them. I am the power of the group, the heart of humanity, a child of the world. I speak for all peoples, I am beholden to no-one, I am a wanderer between Heaven and Earth.
Pisces ♓︎ - I Believe: in the power of the unseen. The waters of the womb are my source of inspiration, to surrender to a force that is greater than me, to return to the place where I came from. Through me, all seek to return to that point of bliss, that connection with the divine, that point of creation, that seed of perfect union.
The silver thread of the waxing and waning moon guides us subtly through life’s tides. Attuning yourself with the moon’s phases, especially as they aspect your natal chart, can provide a living meditation, blessing your life with lunar harmony.
New Moon: I am the power of the bursting seed, dancing in the beckoning void, ripe with limitless potentials. A kaleidoscope of outcomes tempts you, but be still in the darkness of the Moon. Sense the power of her black womb, and wait. Trust that in the stillness, I, the right “seed”, will find you, a vision for your soul to nurture.
Crescent Moon: I push against your ingrained habits, your clinging to the past. Your fears do battle with me, for I am the promise of the new and they are the reassurance of the old. I threaten your stability and confront you with your fear of progress. Listen to your intuition; trust your desire to grow.
First Quarter Moon: My power is waxing; I fill you with your future vision. I lay foundations and clear away the structures of the past. I inspire you with potentials, my enthusiasm knows no boundaries. Dreams and visions carry you forwards into an expanding sense of possibilities.
Gibbous Moon: I have shown you my ecstatic fullness, and I must help you to shape your vision. In the growing light of my fullness, you reflect and clarify, become aware of both light and dark. Perfect your dreams, and understand all that is coming to be beneath my silver gaze.
Full Moon: In the glory of my fullness I speak to you, revealing my truth. There are no secrets here: all will be declared. Now it is time to turn away from that which is no longer fulfilling. I empower you to live your authentic self, to be unashamed of your fullness, to embrace your power, to proclaim your true self, without fear.
Disseminating Moon: As I diminish, I send my messengers out into the world, bearing the fruits of my experience. I help you to understand what has happened, how it can add value to your life and to the lives of others. Share my lessons, give my wisdom to others, become a teacher of all that you have learned. Sow seeds, harvested from our union, so that our story may bloom anew in another heart.
Last Quarter Moon: The darkness approaches, I portend the shock of the next phase. I challenge you to embody and LIVE all that you have learned, to re-orientate, to break away from your outworn patterns. As you cut a new path in the growing darkness, I ask you to trust, to accept the unknown with humour, to take the name of “pioneer”.
Balsamic Moon: With the last of my light, commit to your vision of the future. The past is shed, the future is foreshadowed. Now I am seer, I am oracle; release what is past, make room for the new. Give yourself up to this process of passing away and release yourself into the void.
17th February – 20th March ~ I call you back that you may liberate yourself from ties that no longer bind you, that you may free yourself from the entanglements that distract you from your journey home.
18th June – 12th July ~ I call you back that you may recognise the importance of nurturing what is of greatest value to you, to protect it, guard it and gird it against predators, so that it may grow in peace and love.
14th October – 3rd November ~ I call you back that you may recognise that a strong connection to your centre, your unwavering source, is the key to avoiding the slavery of momentary desires.
Retrograde Venus: 13th May – 25th June ~ I ask you to tread softly through the multitude of choices that are available to you, and to follow the quiet voice of your heart. Amid the jostle and confusion, follow the guidance of your soul, allow the persuasions and affairs of others to fall away, to leave what is important standing proud with welcoming arms.
Retrograde Mars: 9th September – 14th November ~ I present you with the challenge to live in the moment, to recognise that passion is a vehicle of creativity, rather than the destination itself. Within this experience I charge you to recognise the equal importance of the masculine & feminine forces within you, and to use them to create a world of your own choosing, a realm that reflects the truth of your heart.
Astrology writing for 2020 © Joanna Grant
As we begin a new decade it is time to begin a fresh direction. We know we need to make the Great Turning to a life-sustaining culture, but we may not know how it is possible. All too often the vision we have seems unattainable, far from our current reality. How can we move in the direction of regeneration at a speed and volume that dramatically halts the global spirals of erosion that we are currently swept up in? This can seem like an enormous task, but a small shift in our trajectory can lead to a big difference in destination. Has there been a time in your life where you have faced a new direction and then found yourself somewhere completely unexpected further down the line? Initially it may seem like not much is happening, but even a shift from automatic pilot and a subtle turn of the head changes the direction we are looking in and the next step we take. When we align cultural values to the ethics of Earth care, people care and fair shares, our patterns of interaction and resource use will follow suit. Let’s look towards the future we wish for ourselves and humanity and make the first step in this new decade.
Small Shift in Direction – Big Shift in Destination © Looby Macnamara 2018
Thank you for your words of courage,
words of truth,
words of encouragement
Thank you for your solidarity,
for lifting us up.
Thank you for breaking ground,
cutting the edge,
standing on that soapbox
with daring and drive,
having the nerve to shout out
what many feel in their hearts
but could not find the words.
Thank you for striving,
for years of graft,
surviving on coffee and solitude,
for making us laugh,
cry, hope and dream.
Thank you for creating new worlds,
from which may spread
the seeds of potential,
to open in this world
and change it for good.
To All You Writers and Poets Out There © Janey Colbourne 2018
Take some time for yourself, go out into the woods
Take some time for yourself, feel the air kissing your face
Take some time for yourself, feel the earth supporting you under your feet
Take some time for yourself, enjoy the beauty surrounding you and acknowledge the beauty within you
Take some time for yourself, let your worries leave your mind and a smile replace them
Take some time for yourself, feel blessed to be walking in nature, thank your body for all that it does
Take some time for yourself, walk wildly and instinctively, let your inner child run free and your spirit fly
Take some time for yourself .....what are you waiting for?
Take Some Time For Yourself © Sky Carver 2018
Permaculture has traditionally focussed on the narrative of practical, positive solutions that aim to reduce carbon footprints, restore biodiversity and relink the bonds of community that our juggernaut culture has fractured or squashed out of existence. We have always been active but perhaps less activist, preferring to create change by our deeds and what we stand for, rather than what we stand against. Yet these are extraordinary times in human history and now we must not only be known by our deeds but also by what we give voice to and protest against. I believe that we have a balancing act to perform within a new narrative: to do all that is ecologically balanced and intelligent in how we live our lives and then go out and be part of a mass movement for collective change, even if it means becoming civilly ‘disobedient’. We need to stand up and become active Earth Protectors as well as being practical permaculturists. The fulcrum point between the two will vary for each of us, yet it is important that we understand why both deserve our encouragement and support.
Being Active and Being Activist! © Maddy Harland 2019
The days are still short, nights long and dark, and yet Earth is awakening after its winter slumber; the first signs of life are apparent. The land stirs with its promise of renewal, with potential. It is time to let go of the past and look to the future. Make plans so that you too can blossom this spring.
Wild Medicine: As the first wild edibles (such as chickweed) appear, sprinkle the fresh leaves over your food and they will act as a mild detox, giving your body a gentle spring clean, letting go of that which no longer serves you, making way for the new. Get outside and walk; notice everything that is returning, thank it for showing up again this year, express your love.
Celebrate: Spring clean your home to complement your personal cleansing. Light a candle and say prayers. Set your intentions for that which you wish to birth this year and the changes you wish to see in the wider world. Setting intentions is weaving magic. Weave well, as intentions well set are the first steps on the path to actualising them. Work towards your dreams, make small changes every day to draw them into reality. This is shape shifting, changing from one thing into another; bring your dreams alive.
Imbolc/Candlemass © Rachel Corby 2018
The day was the shade of a collared dove’s wing, early showers having broken the intermittent light. I made my way to where the silver willows dust the moon with their branches, their bark cracked and weeping in the pale light. The mud and the water oozed, soaking my boots with the memory of sudden snow showers. My feet became wet and I felt a kinship to the pale egret as she wades the river’s edge, eyes sharp to the auguries hidden within those watery depths. In amongst those tired weavings of dock and mugwort bleached and faded by the east wind, the first snowdrops danced, bright sisters, a cheer to a winter-weary heart! A crown fit for spring’s return, a lantern under a full moon. How the river whispered! Voices and mutterings in the swollen waters, enchantments swept along, old words for this bright land, deep remembering within my bones, a sense of deep self, a feeling of gladness and peace.
Quickening © Laura Bos 2018
If you walk barefoot on the grass
If you surrender, just for a moment
to the pull of the great orb which lies beneath your feet like some
You will know, sooner or later, even fleetingtly,
the way your body and mine thrum with universal notes
of longing for what is.
And all the while
the insatiable sky
holds open its blue throat
to draw us all in
And all the while
these small birds here
conversations are the
important ones to have,
the only ones.
Start here – look at me
and into my eyes and see
that like the birds,
we are simply here
and that can only
Thema Mundi © Jenny Barton 2018
Emergence occurs when things come together and something unexpected arises. We are surrounded by emergence – LIFE is emergence. We take it for granted though that if there is sunshine during a rainstorm there will be a rainbow somewhere, or that the bees visiting the flowers are making honey, but we would not be able to guess this just from looking at the bees and flowers, or the sun and rain. The parts do not give away the emergent properties that arise from their combination and interaction. The ingredients of a cake do not hint at the treat to follow, and it is actually one of the smallest ingredients, the baking powder, that literally gives rise to the cake. What is the recipe of people, skills, motivation, tools and knowledge that will give us the unexpected nudge or leap towards regenerative, visionary, life- sustaining cultures? Whenever we feel overwhelmed by the world’s problems we can remember that perhaps WE could be the ‘baking powder’; our gifts and talents might be the magic ingredient that the world needs right now. Emergence is magic and gives us hope.
The Magic of Emergence © Looby Macnamara 2018
The easterly howls through me
as I stand,
rooted in amongst long-bladed green.
Storm-wet ground gives under my toes,
moulding Herself to my shape and story,
Her initial cold greeting mellowing
into warm companionship.
My soles lean into the dark, damp invitation,
as if desiring to squirrel their way
into moist oblivion,
and I ponder whether ‘tis their pull
that calls me, or Hers.
For a time I fancy I surrender,
but She knows I have not.
Though Her siren song
rises through this vessel
as sure as tree-sap.
Siren Song © Becky Mackeonis 2017
My roots are in this land.
I dig and plant and weed and breathe.
The energy of the earth flows through me.
I hear those who came before me,
The wise women who walked this path,
Gathering herbs, mixing berries.
I learn about the medicines and feasts the land provides.
I know the land I live on and I know myself.
Coming home to this place in the universe,
I am part of the unfolding of the earth.
I plant seeds with my children, teach them to water and weed.
Their roots are in this land.
Roots © Claire Arnold 2018
It’s said salmon-tailed merfolk once wintered on the silt-strewn banks of Glasgow’s River Clyde. They could take on legged form, wandering the Earth, but often found human folk aggressive and loud. As the focus of man’s attentions became money and manufacture they began to drift to deeper water ‘til only one Merrow woman remained in the Clyde’s tidal flow. Watching as her treasured green place turned to dirt and greed, ‘til folks could no longer hear her sing. Industry gained momentum, tenements, back to back, dark and damp, covered the meadows.
Shipyards called for the river to be dredged. Banks were clawed, forests burnt. People living foreshortened lives.
Nowhere could be found the iron-rich greens which brought riches to the body. Now only iron-filled yards brought riches to the few. The mermaid sensed a world in which she was no longer welcome, leaving this heat- arced world she muttered ‘if they ate Nettles in March and Mugworts in May not so many good maidens would have gone to the clay.’ Her words floating downriver, tide washing in, drifting out, moon pulling water away. As we gather Nettles in our dock-covered hands inhaling Mugwort’s bitter aroma as Spring arrives, we hope she swims well- nourished amidst Kelp beds, waiting for a time to return as the meadows start moving back into the abandoned ship-yards.
Mermaid of the Clyde © Amanda Edmiston 2018
At this time of year, light and dark are in perfect balance. From this brief moment of balance comes growth, expansion and inspiration. The future is fresh, clear and bright. Days begin to out-lengthen nights; the sun is truly returning. Fresh green shoots are poking up all around. As sap is rising, so are energy levels.
Wild Medicine: Create balance internally with wild food. Take a handful of cleavers each evening and infuse overnight in cold water, drink on waking to cleanse and refresh your lymphatic system. Feel their energy work through you as your commitment to making your dreams reality builds and your tenacity grows. Eat primrose flowers, scatter them over every meal, invite in the joy and excitement of this time of year.
Celebrate: Nurture and encourage new growth around you in your garden, allotment or lo cal park by planting seed. Water and feed those seeds so that they grow strong and true. Remember to do the same internally; nurture and feed the seed you planted internally at Imbolc. Take time to think about what you are seeding into the wilder world. If you are not sure, go and ask. Wait for a sunny day and sit outside, face raised to the sun’s warming rays and ask for help to direct you in what you can do to help our Earth.
Spring Equinox © Rachel Corby 2018
A retreat to invoke the spirit of Robin Hood has given me not only powerful and unforgettable experiences, but also a new word, a new concept, which I believe we desperately need in these critical times. As well as seeing ‘Hood’ as one man’s surname I suddenly became aware of the number of words ending in ‘hood’, indicating a condition, state of mind or something one might choose to join. For example we pass through childhood into adulthood, perhaps choosing parenthood, and living in a neighbourhood. So what, I wondered, would ‘Robinhood’ be like?
For me it combines the red and the green: a passion for social, global and ecological justice with love of the outdoors, particularly the greenwood, and a commitment to being out at what I call ‘wild times’, the hours around dawn and dusk. The 21st century Robinhood welcomes diversity, new archetypes: the newcomer from a foreign land, the minstrel- musician, the wily and/or wise elder, the person with a disability, the person with a foot in both camps, to name but a few. Whilst Robin Hood is a heroic individual, Robinhood invites us all to be part of a heroic band, one which also recognises the vital importance of being merry. For if you hear and respond to the call of Robinhood you will be sure of the very best companions in the most vital work. So listen...
Robinhood © Marion McCartney
At the edge of the woods I stand still and quiet. Looking down at the ground I spy a tiny shoot with a couple of leaves. Would I have noticed that unless I was stood still and consciously looking? How much do I miss while walking and allowing my mind to be filled with distracting thoughts? We continue our walk, noticing the different bark textures and colours, spotting trees with marks on their trunks that resemble ancient symbols, fungi that look like a fairy staircase winding around the trunk. We glimpse bright blue sky through the tree tops, smell damp earth, rotting leaves. The air cools as we enter denser areas, the light fades slightly. Birds sing, each with their own song. We spot deer tracks. In the distance we hear the waterfall flowing under the fairy bridge which is adorned with moss. Listen, can you hear the waterfall’s song? A rush of water over stone, a burble, a drip drip. We admire the moss, its many shades of green, dark, light, vivid, with different textures. Lush. Soft to touch. We move on and admire the beauty of the silver birches silhouetted against the bright blue sky as we emerge into the clearing, the smoke from the yurt’s chimney promising warmth from the wood burner inside. The kettle whistles on the stove. Today I became still and listened and I heard the universe hum. I felt humbled and blessed.
Be Still and Listen. A Mindful Walk at Springwood Mindfulness Sanctuary © Catherine Smith 2018
To venture into woodland is to leave ordinary reality behind and travel into the wild unknown of our innermost selves. Woodland reawakens the parts of us that have been tamed and silenced by domestic life. In fairy stories, woodland represents the uncharted terrain of the unconscious. It can be hiding place or sanctuary, but more often it’s the place of transformation where the protagonist faces their fears and emerges stronger and wiser. Woodland takes us on a journey into the unknown to discover the deep knowing of the untamed self. When we venture into woodland, we are invited to unhook from our over-active minds and open our senses to a wilder wisdom instead. Woodland teaches us to walk more slowly, listen more deeply, feel more keenly, and sense more subtly, so we can taste the extraordinary magic in each ordinary moment. Our innate sense of magic, mystery and wonder is restored, because woodland reawakens the ancient wisdom that lives deep in our souls. After time in woodland, we re-enter the world again, changed. Because now we have leaves in our hair, a new light in our eyes, and wildness has been restored to our souls.
Come to the Wild Woods © Jackie Stewart 2018
These days, I search
the clean light upon the water
and the deep space under the trees . . . . . . . . . . .
But nothing will be right, ‘til they come
Already buds line the twigs,
hedges twitch with life,
and winter flies north,
but winter won’t be gone, ‘til they come
And there’s so much to do
clearing out the old, channelling the new . . . . . . .
old engines started and oiled,
none of it worthwhile, if they don’t come
These days I search . . . . . . . .
Look there . . . . . . .in the clean light over the water
through that deep space under the trees,
those flickering perfect arrows of blue
suddenly unlock summer’s flood . . . . . . . . . . . .
Swallows are here
These days I watch
the clean light over the water
the deep space under the trees
Swallows are here.
Swallow Song (song lyric from Firegazing) © Brian Boothby
I am opening, expanding
past all horizons; all
limits dissolve and vanish, as the
Great Ocean of Forever
breaks Her wave in my heart.
I am connected with love
across the world, and through
time and space and into
the pure presence of this moment.
My heart is beating, birds
are taking flight, and song and possibility
is growing in me.
Online I read: ‘This day assists humanity
to rise out of the illusion of lack
and into the total trust in the Creator,
divine love from the Source of all,’ and I am glad.
We are all in this together,
and as we grow and change and open
to the power that we are, and live this
new awareness, as we breathe the new, the world
will surely change.
I am connected in Love © Bryony Rogers 2017
Finally we have arrived at the beginning of summer. This is a time to celebrate sensuality, passion, joy, vitality and fertility. It is the time to bring the ideas, hopes and dreams seeded earlier in the year into reality.
Wild Medicine: Stand outside barefoot at dawn, close your eyes and listen to the dawn chorus. Then proceed, walking barefoot, as you gather the abundant wild foods of this season: wild garlic, dandelion, hedge garlic, tricorn leek, beech leaves, hawthorn leaves; the list is almost endless. Communicate as you gather, ask before picking and take only the amount you need. Plants are your relatives; never forget to tell them how much you love them and to thank them for sacrificing their bodies that you may eat. Collect spring water. Talk directly to the water as you imagine the thousands of shape-shifts it has made to reach you – through cloud and snow, rain and river, sea and glacier, tears and dew. Submerge fresh nettle tops in cold water overnight and drink first thing, to give you energy and strength, to feed your wood element which allows for clear vision and growth.
Celebrate: Renew promises made to self, friends, your partner and Earth that you will be faithful and passionate. Leap a blazing bonfire, naked if you dare, for fertility in all things and to purify and cleanse yourself.
Beltane © Rachel Corby 2018
There are three Hawthorn trees behind my house that constantly call to me. They have what you might call ‘presence’ and are certainly older than the house. Twilight is a special time to be out in the garden and I’m often drawn to sit with the old Hawthorns at the end of the day. A great calmness descends on me as I sit here and watch the colour and light fade, listen to the calls of the birds finishing their day, the tawny owls hooting to each other across the trees. There is so much to see and hear once you become still and nature accepts your presence. To be out in nature in the dark unlocks a part of me that has become neglected in our well-lit modern world and restores something of my basic humanity. I am brought back to ground zero, and to a humility and smallness that only sitting out under the night sky can bring. At the base of each tree I have created two small shrines. Here I make focused intentions to help the Earth and especially the trees, and send love, kindness and compassion out to where their healing energy is needed. Sometimes I tie a ribbon on to their branches as a focus for my intentions. Always I give thanks to the wild spirit of these beautiful Hawthorns and sometimes to the wild spirit in me, bravely exploring the edge-lands of my soul’s inner knowing. I feel very blessed to have them in my life.
Extract from Walking with Trees © Glennie Kindred 2018
Do you accept yourself? Wrap those arms of fire around you as the tears they flow? Stand with bare feet upon the earth, feeling the sharpness of night raw against your soles? Know within the chambers of your heart that under this sky of a million stars, at this point, at this time, all that counts is the stillness. Do you go within when all around you is noise? When the media soaks the pavements and echoes of materialism shout from every page? Do you drift? Slip quietly away to weave between the bramble patches, to seek your brethren of feather and fur? Sit quietly with the nettle and watch the speckled butterfly dance court with the noonday sun. Does the etching of this good earth turn your worn palms into the maps of that which makes your soul sing? Does the chance encounter on your homeward journey with the pale-winged barn owl cause shivers of recognition to dance over your skin? And what of the new moon crescent? Does she call to you to step out from behind closed doors?
Take up the mantle of moss, the hidden in this busy world. Step onto the path, twine your fingers through clinging ivy and taste the wild upon your tongue. Be bold, carry the passion within your heart. Take the journey, with blessings and an open and giving mind.
Being © Laura Bos 2018
There is life in your feet when you walk on the greenway
You can dance up the flowers and regrow the trees
And the pulse of the soil feels the beat of your dancing
And the flows of the earth feel the warmth of your feet
There is life in your hands when you walk on the greenway
At your touch feel the stirring of sap in the stones
Feel the trees pulling free to peer over your shoulder
And the fields of the air spreading widening wings
For someone is emerging when you walk on the greenway
A widening smile ripples into the air
Feel the tingle of shoots reaching out from your fingers
Unfurling of delicate leaves in your hair
For the changes begin when you walk on the greenway
The roots reconnect with the sky and the stars
And your heart is the ear that is tuned to the earth’s way
And you are the song she is listening for
Will you walk on the greenway, walk on the greenway,
Walk on the greenway with me?
The Greenway (song lyric) © Jehanne Mehta
There are still some days so rushed and frantic that I don’t get outside for a walk. By the end of those days I am impoverished. My well runs dry, and something inside me feels shrivelled. My moods veer wildly, untethered and tetchy.
I’ve learnt that to create time for that walk is no indulgent whim. It’s essential medicine. My soul flowers in myriad conversations. Birds, breezes, rivers, conkers whisper to me. This is as ordinary as my morning cuppa. This is our birthright, to daily hold this sacred exchange with nature all around us. It’s a mutual sharing of stories, of sensual impressions.
On the days when I walk, my body feasts on images, feelings, nuances. In the evening, when I relax into the arms of my beloved, he becomes the oak root holding me. When I drink my favourite herbal brew, I feel the rush of the river revitalising me. When I breathe deeply, the scent of the forest floor fills my nose again, though I may be standing in the kitchen late at night.
On the days when I make that simple pilgrimage, I am anchored, deeply held. An abiding sense of peace within nourishes me through the many small storms of daily life.
Nature Nourishment © Catherine Pawson 2018
Each plant contains multitudes. Messages to be discovered, conversations to be had, qualities they embody and reawaken within us. Each plant extends an invitation from its heart to yours so you can experience its essence and hear its wisdom. We are here on this beautiful planet at the time of the Great Remembering, when our unconscious connections with plants are coming into our consciousness once again for deep knowing, wild medicine, and soul-affirming integration. There was a time when we intuitively knew how to connect with plants to receive healing, wisdom, emotional and spiritual nourishment. Now the time has come to remember and reawaken our inner knowing. Now is the time to rediscover the depth of our connection with the plant realm. Now is the time to make our unconscious connections with the green world conscious once again. As we deepen our connection with Nature to absorb its messages and medicine, we inhabit our bodies and our souls more fully. This is how we become integrated and whole. This is how we find our way home. We are being invited to reawaken our ability to become a bridge between plant consciousness and human consciousness to experience the wild magic of the world. This is ancient knowledge, seeded deep in your bones – ready to be reawakened through the gateway of your heart.
The Invitation From the Plants © Jackie Stewart 2018
Last night we welcomed in the solstice at our now familiar spot on the Salt Way, an ancient trading track which travels from the coast at Whitstable to Canterbury. As usual it was pretty chilly up there on the hill; we could see our breath, but the little fire warmed us. The wind blew through the leaves in the poplar trees, sounding like running water, and seagulls quietly flew overhead towards their evening roosts.
In creating a midsummer ritual of processing, with others, up to that same location year after year we are choosing to mark time and make our own magic. Being there in nature, sitting high up between two busy roads we are able to just be, becoming human beings once again.
This year I took a little handmade pot up with me, to the same spot we have sat and celebrated on for the last five years. I placed it onto the fire and filled it with some seawater I had gathered the previous evening after a wonderful swim in the sea. As the fire burned the water evaporated and it is only now when I look at the photo that I see salt forming on the top edge and inside the pot!
What a discovery! We had inadvertently made salt in a ritual fire on the Summer Solstice on the ancient Salt Way. That certainly has made me realise that I need to be more observant and keep enjoying and creating ‘awe-some’ events for myself and others to connect ‘people-to-place.’
Welcoming in the Solstice © Clare Jackson 2018
The longest day, the shortest night. A time for manifestation, for flowering. A time characterised by strength and empowerment. A time to express gratitude. This is such a positive and abundant time of year, with so many daylight hours in which to achieve your potential.
Wild Medicine: Add a sprig of elderflower to a glass or bottle of water and drink throughout the day. The delicate flowery flavour will rapidly infuse into your drink, while the medicine of elder will aid transformation, change and renewal: perfect at this time, as the long days will soon start to shorten once more. Let your naked flesh be fed by the warmth of the sun and the cool waters of sea and river. Find a spot for a night of tent-free wild camping and immerse yourself in the richness of summer. This is a true celebration of life.
Celebrate: Wear flower garlands in your hair, a simple daisy chain is perfect, not forgetting to ask the flowers before you gather them. Stay up all night watching the sky. As you do so, sit by a fire with friends, laugh and joke, tell stories, make music. Greet the dawn by facing the sun while standing barefoot. As the sun appears over the horizon offer your gratitude for the sun and everything that it brings.
Summer Solstice © Rachel Corby 2018
We walk, my friend and I, to connect to our beautiful planet home and we walk to connect with each other. Over four years we have walked into our friendship, weaving intimate ties with each other and the Earth. We are passionate lovers of the more-than-human world, delighting in all our senses, from the dipping flight of Woodpecker to the primal screech of Raven, the purple shock of Orchid to the enticing green of the Hart’s Tongue path, from the giddy scent of Elderflower to the Banded Demoiselles, iridescent marvels above the murmuring stream.
Season into season we walk, eating the wild as we go. Crossing the stream in the rain and singing to Wild Garlic as we delicately pick each leaf, nibbling Hawthorn leaves straight from the tree, picking Nettle seeds that might shock our mouth or gathering Blackberries under the big bright blue.
The thrill of a rare glimpse of Monkshood, or the shock of cold water as we take a dip, our bodies vibrant and thrumming.
And this year we guided our first Wild Earth Walk, to share our joy of walking and hoping to inspire others to notice the magic all around and our intimate connection to the whole Web of Life.
And we walk to find the wild inside.
Wild Earth Walking © Amanda Griffiths 2017
It was once thought impossible to fly, to end slavery and apartheid. But these things have all come to reality. Is it possible to end poverty, malnutrition and sexual abuse – to feed the world and for every citizen to live in safety? Is it possible to reverse ecosystem destruction and climate change? What dreams do we hold for ourselves personally? What visions are hiding behind the smokescreen of ‘I can’t’, ‘it will never happen’, and ‘it’s not possible’?
Allowing for the possibility of the seemingly impossible invites us to ask why not? What’s stopping us? Can we look beyond the glass ceilings, subtle barriers and limiting beliefs? We are encouraged to let go of the ‘impossible’ box, and the assumptions we hold about what is or isn’t possible. We can give voice to what our hearts truly desire, giving our visions space to breathe, expand, become more detailed and open to their full potential.
Holding the belief that something is possible, that we can solve a problem, will keep us engaged in looking for solutions, trying new combinations and experimenting. We remain observant for shifts and openings and opportunities to co-operate with others. We can connect with a bigger vision of possibility for ourselves and humanity. Our visions will motivate the genius inside of us, engaging our creativity and activating our gifts.
Allowing the Possibility of the Seemingly Impossible © Looby Macnamara
We need at least a lifetime to get to know and understand bees. Even then some aspects of their fascinating lives remain a mystery. For example, no one really understands exactly why the chemical constituents of Royal Jelly create Queen cells or how a hive communicates the location of nectar flows through the waggle dance. Bees are fundamentally mysterious.
When a Queen cell is allowed to hatch, she takes a maiden flight into the mysterious ‘drone congregation area’ to mate. This place is where drones (male bees) from various neighbouring colonies congregate and wait for Queens. It is about 100m in diameter and from 5m to 30m in the air. These areas are often near the edges of tree lines towards the horizon. The drones like a breeze too. It helps them chase after the Queen to mate! Allowing nature to take its course and enabling bees to swarm and mate freely, we ensure the genes of the new colony are mixed and thus more likely to be healthy and resilient to bee diseases.
The Mysterious World of Bees © Maddy Harland 2018
River, you are
banks barely holding you.
Grey-blue and white, a fury unfolding
A headlong tumble to a faraway sea.
River, you are
lazily wandering, slow downstream.
Silken flow against summer skin
A gift of refreshment as we jump in.
River, you are
Home to so many,
Teeming abundance of silver and green.
I call you kin, I sing to your waters
Life-giver, ever-changing, I give you my thanks.
River You Are © Catherine Pawson 2018
The collective wound us humans are now ready to heal is the old story that we are not good enough. I believe that when we heal this wound, capitalism will crumble and the new world we dream of will be born. Feeling that we’re not good enough is so deeply ingrained that we spend a vast majority of our time trying to prove that we are. It secretly drives us to push, strive and succeed. We try to do more and achieve more, even in our leisure time. We need to keep busy to feel successful; we have to prove ourselves over and over. But that old story is fuelling an outdated paradigm that no longer fits the new world we’re here to co-create.
When I was sitting up on the rock opposite our house, watching the birds ride the thermals with freedom and joy, I felt a rising certainty that we change the world every time we rebel against playing the game of busy. We will finally release our impulse to keep busy when we truly believe that we are already perfect and loveable, instead of trying to prove that we are. Realising that we’re already good enough is an act of creative rebellion in a success-motivated capitalist world. This is how we co-create a new paradigm that thrives on self-acceptance instead.
An Unexpected Act of Creative Rebellion © Jackie Stewart 2018
The days are noticeably shortening and the nights are responding by stretching out to take their place. Harvest season is beginning; this is a time of true abundance. Fruits in the hedgerows, vegetables in your garden, and your own personal projects are ripening. Results are beginning to be seen and felt as you begin to reap the rewards of all the hard work you have put in so far this year.
Wild Medicine: Go for a wild walk and find some blackberries; introduce yourself and ask if you may gather a few. Nibble as you go. Eating wild foods is eating the land you are standing on – the soil and all its minerals, the rain and the sun; it is eating in the world around you, helping you become more part of the landscape and less separate from it.
Celebrate: Take some time alone to find a flower meadow, lie in the long grass and drink in the late summer sunshine. Take a moment to reflect on all that is good in the world and send love and gratitude. Review the intentions you planted earlier in the year: notice how they are coming along, how they are ripening. Gather with friends for a bring-and- share meal to celebrate the seasonal harvest and abundance. Watch the sunset together and warm yourself with stories of summer.
Lammas / Lughnasagh © Rachel Corby 2018
I’m learning to live at a different pace,
I’m learning to live from a different place,
A place that is gentle, connected & Strong
Like the roots of this Oak tree, singing its song.
No rush, no fuss, I am solid and Here.
Grounded. Unbounded. No room for fear.
This is the new way, the Warrior’s tune
Give - LOVE - but Strong & True.
I slow myself down, there is no shame
In taking time to tend myself.
I garden my Soul - like I garden the Soil...
Softly, but surely - with my own bare hands.
Extract from: Soul Gardening © Bob Hillary 2018
I’m learning that the timeless still moment of listening with love
Has far greater value than being the one who is ‘right’.
And, in that, I’m slowly putting to bed the deep old fear of my little self
That I will not be acknowledged, that my rights, my feelings
Are worthless; layer by layer I feel that ages-old lie crumbling away...
I am chrysalis emerging, a bold beautiful break in the pattern.
I have spun golden self-worth from the straw blades of generations of pain
And I will fly, I will belong to boundless skies of joy, of possibility
To best respect all their steps of what they could manage.
My own grief has left wells, deep chasms
Of a broken open stretched and expanded heart,
Moon by moon they are slow-filling with the honey gold light
Of getting to know and trust my own self
From choosing to walk a labyrinth that never pretended
The path would be without pain.
And I’m learning the clear medicine of ‘No’,
When it is more truthful to all concerned
Than comfort, than ease, than a social-emotional plaster kit.
When ‘No’ is the kindest offering in my altar of everyday.
The Kindest Offering in my Altar of Everyday © Nell Aurelia 2017
I shall stomp like a brown bear to strengthen my boundaries. Put hands in the dirt, spit and rub well. Salt and loom. Palms upheld to the strong bright crescent, a root settling within the chambers of my heart.
I shall fashion a cloth, to wear on my hips. Collect trinkets from those wild places, some bright pieces sharp as a weasel’s eye, other faded fragments held together with sea-washed findings. A twine of autumn, bitter winter thorn, swallow feather and amber sunlight.
As the hedgerow settles and mutters, and dusk gathers from beneath a jackdaw’s wing, so the wind becomes cutting, sharp as plough tine, cold as hoar frost, howling like a wolf spirit across the open heath. It makes me restless, sets me prowling, pacing.
I’m seeing a familiar land with fresh new eyes, cool beneath my feet, senses primed, heightened. We take each other in, breathing deep, scent of soil and clay, scent of soot and smoke. All becomes part of the story, the narrative. New myths are forming as we step out onto the land, as we defend her and give of our voice and let our actions cause a stirring that others might follow, and let this stirring become imprinted upon the ether.
Fierce © Laura Bos 2018
gold slips from the harvest sky
wends its way ‘round leaf and bough
skips with brushing lips across the waves
and burrows – shoots! – in leaps and bounds
from roots to grain
tripping its laughing path
skimming the earth,
making the whole land and mirroring waters
a sphere of butter-yellows
and all the refractions of the sun
swept up and round again.
Everything We See Is Sunlight © Amara George Parker 2018
Step outside. Breathe. Listen. Feel.
A wild joy breathes just below the surface, even in this cultivated land.
Beauty is soil-deep, soul-deep.
A Wild Joy © Liz Proctor 2018
I went into the woods to lose my mind,
and find my soul.
Little did I know that it would not
be me hunting.
Didn’t someone say
‘What you seek is seeking you’?
The mothers stood tall,
patient, loving, wise.
They opened their arms in welcome,
and enfolded me in greens
and golds and browns.
Feathered offerings cushioned my feet,
dawn light washed my face,
and a blissful chorus,
sang me into being.
Raven cawed, as if conducting
I was helpless,
caught in a magical web of my own choosing.
I had never been so lost,
and never so found.
Into The Woods © Becky Mackeonis 2017
Shed summer skins and add them to the cobwebs
that cocoon your stone walls.
Let autumn leaves preside over thatching,
laying crimsons and golds against its cheek,
keeping the warmth in,
the cold out.
Gather colours from the ground and trees and sky
for soon there will be none,
so lost will the world be in monochromes and frozen silhouettes.
Tuck those colours in,
nestle amongst them,
fill your belly with sunlight,
for soon wild winds will roar and tumble
and churn it all,
and into their chaos
we can step from our door and bellow
and retreat once more.
Settle In © Amara George Parker 2018
Another fleeting moment of perfect balance, before we shift once more into a time of greater darkness than light, longer night than day. Harvest begins to slow. Fruits ripen and fall, their sweetness exploding while they are pecked, plucked and nibbled. The fruits let go of their flesh to release the secret they hold inside, the seeds of the next generation, all the potential and possibilities that lie therein.
Wild Medicine: Gather hawthorn berries (haws) and make a tea by simmering them gently for 20 minutes. Drink to nurture your heart and keep the circulation going as you slow down into autumn.
Celebrate: Take a walk and gather the hedgerow harvest of berries and nuts as you go. Notice the changing colours of the leaves and enjoy them; see how easily the trees release them. Take stock of your personal harvest, the garden harvest and the planetary harvest. Consider what worked and bore fruit, what seeds you will take forth ready to sow next year, what lessons you learned, and what perhaps will require a different approach. If you are having trouble letting go, ask a tree to share its wisdom; sit under it and ask how you can let go more easily. Feast once more with friends in gratitude for the abundance that this life brings, and warm yourself at the fireside as you celebrate through the evening.
Autumn Equinox © Rachel Corby 2018
I am standing at the doorway between light and dark: the time when death becomes a visible, tangible and necessary part of life. The land is dressed in decaying leaves, fading berries, fields of stubble and orchards of fallen fruits. Is it any wonder I feel close to both life and death in this moment?
I rejoice in all we have, the endless beauty and the blessed abundance. I celebrate our achievements and our privilege, and I pray for enough, again and always. But I will also remember those creatures and places that are suffering from lack; for whom abundance – be it in food, in beauty or in biodiversity – is a fading thing and who may be edging closer to the darkness than any of us would like to be. And I know that the shadow of such things can draw over any of us, at any moment, without warning.
So yes, I am thankful and joyful at Harvest time! At the same time, I embrace the uncertainty of the darkness and let it drive me towards acts of compassion and generosity of spirit. Then whenever the darkness does come to call I know I will be able to meet it with a torch of love beside me to light the way ahead.
Balance © Keli Tomlin 2018
Deep listening is an art that Nature invites us to reclaim so we can live with greater presence, compassion, respect and belonging upon our animate Earth.
We practise deep listening by slowing down and using all our senses when we are in Nature. Deep listening increases our capacity to hear our inner wisdom and guidance, and inspires us to act in ways that respect and honour Nature.
There is an inherent call and response between us and the rest of Nature which gets activated when we practise the art of deep listening. We are in living conversation with the Earth, so listening with all our senses means we can be true allies.
What attracts our attention in Nature is inviting us to pay heed because it has resonance, meaning, messages or healing impulses for us to act upon in service to the Soul of the Earth.
By cultivating the art of deep listening when we are in Nature, we become more present, awake and available to all of Life. And we, in turn, become more fully alive.
The Art of Deep Listening © Jackie Stewart 2018
let these be nights of howling moon
and silent hare
let sage-smoked skin slip
under night’s cloak of ink
and seek tongues tangled
let wild ones walk the land
and their bare feet crush
from autumn’s scattered spoils
and spill their scents
in blustering night winds
let the quiet rage of inner hearths burn on
wrapped in bones
and autumn’s song
let there be gentle
let autumn’s lunacy dance on
Autumnal Rites © Amara George Parker 2018
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
Dark cold days are closing in. Breath becomes visible. Frost and mist decorate our landscapes and highlight the presence and beauty of intricately woven spider webs. This is a time to rest, to reflect, to remember. As darkness descends and expands, the veil between worlds thins. This is a traditional time to honour our ancestors.
Wild Medicine: Gather fallen leaves from paths, leaving those that lie beneath trees as they become food for those trees as they mulch down. Store the leaves you have gathered in big black bags for two years, while the leaves decay. When two years are up, your bag will be full of rich dark composted leaf mould, heavily populated with worms; scatter it well around the roots of hungry plants.
Celebrate: Go for a walk by the light of the full moon. Don’t use a torch: instead give your eyes time to adjust and bathe in the moon light, enjoying the rich darkness and the moon shadows. Go alone or with friends, but ensure that you take time to be quiet, to feel the night-time stillness, feel it flowing through you, settling you, calming you. Assemble a collection of photos of your ancestors and those you have lost: light a candle for them. Honour those that have gone before by speaking their name out loud and saying something that you loved about them; remember your love for them.
Samhain © Rachel Corby 2018
I think it is this we came for:
not the grief, it’s the connection in our grief,
the sharing in the vast, aching cycles of change;
not the loss. no:
the tender witness we can be in loss.
I think it is this we came for:
not the sadness, not the confusion,
when the unthinkable happens and all is plunged into darkness,
it’s the reaching out and holding tight to each others hands
in that darkness, if and when it comes;
not the despair, the deep, sharp, bone scattering despair,
but the tenderness of mourning together,
of not turning aside, if and when it comes.
I think it is this that we came for:
to be broken open and still find beauty;
to face death and still know love;
to rediscover our complete connection;
to experience fully grief and joy
and that nothing before or ahead can be lost
in these golden fields of spirit
that cradle us all.
I think it is this that we came for.
I Think It Is This That We Came For © Nell Aurelia 2016
Come you spirits of the Earth
And show us how to work with you
That the Earth may be healed
Come you spirits of the waters
And show us how to work with you
That the waters may flow with life
Come you spirits of the air
And show us how to work with you
That the air may reverberate with the sound of the word
Come you spirits of the light and of the fire
And show us how to work with you
That in the light may be born the flame of love
And come all you spirits of those who have died
And show us how to work with you
That the Earth may be transformed
Through the power of that love.
Invocation to the Elemental Beings © Jehanne Mehta
Listen! She is calling you!
In the leap of your heart
at the sight of a star-filled sky,
in your thirst for darkness and silence.
In the deep longing that causes you
to reach out your arms and try and touch
the full moon with your heart.
She speaks to you
through whispering trees
and half-remembered dreams,
through bird-song and wolf-howl.
She wants you to know that you are
as wild and alive and as beautiful
as the whole of Her creation.
She wants you to know that you are loved,
that you are love.
She longs for the truth of all that you are
just as you long for Her...
Listen! She is calling you home
Listen! © Melanie Ward 2014
the earth says,
offer me your last breath
I shall give you another
Offerings © Amara George Parker
It starts with silence; a silence that is rich with wind song and bird call. Sounds that our ears have been hearing since the evolution of our species, calling to a place deep inside that recognises the harmony of breath in the spaces between. As the song grows with the daylight – sheep stirring, cockerels crowing, geese gathering and the occasional car humming – it maintains that harmonious quality, cradled by the bowl of the valley in which I rest. The light is more natural than electric here. Over the garden wall I witness the change from night to day and back again and this is entertainment as I have never known it. Drawn into the endless dance with an interest that is instinctive and ancient, not empty and escapist; the steady beat of cyclical time calls my heartbeat into rhythm. Sinking into myself, to where I can hear my spirit speaking, is becoming as natural as breathing. There is no need to force connection here. Where once I would strive with incense and music, tools and images, now I have no need. The Web of Life wraps around me in a patchwork of habitats, creatures, and humans combined and I am warmed by it. It is little effort to step out onto footpaths or up the garden path and all lead back to spirit in the end.
This Place © Keli Tomlin
...Then that spiky hag of midwinter lifted her hand from the trolley basket and drew our mother deep into her embrace. The rest of us stood there uncertain, until we saw that our mother was glancing back over her shoulder and, with her eyes, beckoning us towards the Granny. Of course we did as she asked, for our mother looked happy and we trusted her completely. We snuggled close, wrapping our arms around our mother, all of us folded inside the soft musky warmth of Granny Yule’s huge coat. As her coat closed around us we each felt entirely alone, not lost and lonely, but whole and content, held inside a winter landscape that somehow we had always known. An intense blend of images and sounds and aromas whirled around us; our skin was vibrant from the touch of ice and wind. Sometimes reindeer moved in close, their breath hot upon our faces. Sometimes unseen creatures howled across a frozen lake, which sent tingles coursing up and down our spines. Sometimes we heard the hiss of fires burning on snow and the clink of bones being played on wood. Sometimes our brows and lashes felt stiffened by frost, and shards of stars tumbled past our eyes. Throughout it all we could hear the Granny singing, low and growly, and our mother’s voice flying in sweet harmonies above. Then we understood the true gift that Granny Yule carried: the oldest memories of winter, an ancient recipe of fire and ice and silent darkness, the deep and dangerous promise of wild forests, all stored and guarded safe inside her yuletide coat...
Extract and illustration from ‘Granny Yule’, Book of Hag © Carolyn Hillyer
I sit beside the wood-burning stove in the yurt, watching the flames dance, lulled almost to sleep by the crack and pop of the wood, breathing in the scent of dried bay and lavender. I hear voices approaching. Laughter. I open the door to the yurt, shivering slightly in the crisp air. Welcome. Come in and get warm. Wellies and coats discarded, mugs of tea clasped in chilly hands. Warm blankets draped over legs and feet. The day unfolds, stories are shared, thought-provoking and humbling stories of battling illness, seeking peace, hoping for a fresh start. I feel humbled at the support freely offered to each as they share their story, compassion and understanding. Rooting for you. All too soon the daylight fades and the day draws to a close. I am left with memories of roaring fires, homemade soup bubbling on the stove, locally baked sourdough bread, fennel tea, card readings, wreath making, tree hugging, romping through the woods, sitting around the fire pit, letting go and inviting in. Warmth. Lovely people with a beautiful gentle energy, candle light, darkness, making our way back through the woods to the cars by torchlight. Cast into the firepit that day were all that no longer served us, followed by our hopes and dreams for the coming year. We supported and chanted. We willed those hopes and dreams to come true. I often wonder if they did. I hope so.
Celebrating Winter Solstice at Springwood Mindfulness Sanctuary © Catherine Smith 2017
The shortest day, the longest night, the darkest point of the year. Within this moment of stillness, of time between time, is embedded the promise that the sun will return. This is a time for renewal. Time to dream a new dream. Time to breathe deep and trust as the days begin to lengthen once more.
Wild Medicine: Eat any nuts left over from your autumn foraging walks. The healthy fats will give you energy at this time of near hibernation, while giving your brain food with which to dream up what comes next.
Celebrate: Find a spot to watch sunset on the shortest day and take some quiet time for final deep reflections on the year that was, so that you can start to birth new ideas, new dreams, new seeds to love, feed and nurture in the year to come. And not just for yourself, for your garden and for the Earth too, remembering that all the change you wish to see in the world must begin with you. You are your own medicine, you are Earth medicine, you are sacred, you are nature. Watch sunrise with friends as the light returns, then take a walk and gather greenery; holly, ivy, mistletoe and yew, as the hedgerows provide. Decorate your home with it: bring the outside and its winter magic into your home as well as into your heart.
Winter Solstice © Rachel Corby 2018
A thousand million stars
Line the horizon, without ever
Asking where you’re going, or
If you know
You’re homeward bound. It is a great sea
We’re sailing, this life,
And this current wave
Is all you know. A silent seabird
Flies low, brushing your face
With his wing; later it will brush the sky
Opening an answer in between the stars.
Without holding onto anything.
Without Holding onto Anything © Bryony Rogers 2018
Aries - Up until the Summer Solstice, you are a full on spiritual warrior, ready to heal the world with your dynamic and powerful energy. The dark half of the year is more inwardly focused and may feel challenging at times. All spiritual warriors know that the inner battles are just as important as the outer trials!
Taurus - This is your year to expect the unexpected and to practise embracing change, especially if it's not what you planned. There may be some surprises or even shocks along the way. Cultivating a sense of awareness and a connection to your higher mind will help to ensure that they you can meet them with equanimity.
Gemini - You are spreading your wings this year and may end the year in a very different place to where you began. Your web of connections is growing and strengthening and the people you meet, especially in the latter half of the year, may have a profound influence on your growth and even your sense of destiny.
Cancer - You are being pulled out of your comfort zone and it may not always feel easy. You will be making new connections, on every level, especially in the first half of the year. Cultivate a sense of belonging and the emotional bonds you forge with places as well as people will keep you grounded.
Leo - Drama and excitement may be on the back burner this year. It's a time for consolidating new projects and connections, for the hard work of bringing dreams into reality. Make space for others to shine and you'll find that you receive just as much support as you give, especially if you cultivate a devotion to a greater good.
Virgo - Whilst giving service in practical ways is what comes most naturally to you, there may be times this year when you feel a pull towards something more mysterious. You may have a yearning for a greater vision or a sense of purpose. Finding a balance between using the resources you have and seeking something new will serve you best.
Libra - To be fully in balance this year you need to find ways to assert your own needs as well as building relationships. Openness and honesty bring the greatest rewards, although at times they may also bring the greatest challenges. You may be challenged to climb down from your ivory tower and bring abstract ideas into tangible reality.
Scorpio - This has the potential to be a year of deep shifts and transformations, although they may only be visible to those who know you well. If you feel that you are turning your energy too much in on yourself, find a cause that you believe in and devote your powers to creating real change in the world.
Sagittarius - You are working hard this year and there may be some challenges which leave you questioning the world and your place in it. You may be travelling into your past to build your future. Your natural optimism will take you so far, but ultimately the confidence born of experience is what brings you strength.
Capricorn - You are shedding skins over and over this year and may seem that every obstacle you face reveals a new layer of your being. You are on a deeply transformative journey which is likely to move you right out of your comfort zone. Don't forget that all your experience so far is a useful resource.
Aquarius - This year may feel like the calm before the storm, with hints of future innovation and change seeming tantalisingly close. Rather than grasping for what is not ready to be born yet, enjoy the process of gestation. Release what no longer serves you or your life purpose and make space for new growth.
Pisces - If you are faced with more cold hard reality than you are comfortable with this year, remembering that you are in service of a greater mystery will help. You may be called to put your beliefs into practice. The knowledge that you are making a genuine difference in the world brings a renewed sense of confidence.
Annual Sign by Sign Forecast © Lisa Stockley
I will stand as a tree,
feet deep in the Earth: rooted.
Arms up to Heaven: divine.
I will be as a rock, silent in the storm: peaceful.
Warm in the sun: radiant.
Earth, Heaven, Heart as one.
Trees must fall,
rocks must crumble,
I will remain.
Being © Sue Latchford 2010
Hard brings forth tender
Spring green from bark’s tough roughness
Birthing Tender © Debbie Collins
April mist transforms the valley
From lush green cattle-grazed slopes
To an opaque wall of grey-white smoke.
Brief muffled sounds pierce the hush
Then float gently upwards, seeking the sky.
In the foreground,
inter-bare trees stand sentinel
Holding back the mist.
Haibun © Chris Auger 2018
There is a hill
which is sacred
There are people
There is a question
as to why
Sacred Earth © Sally Ann Wardroper 2018
Ocean deep and deeper
Magma deep and deeper
Mother of all things
Daughter of the sun
Veined with gold
And flowing silver waters
Body of magic
Blue-green star-child © Uther Miraiam
Scarlet splashes into pale yellow,
forming a mellow rose-golden glow
over a glimmer of green.
Soft sea of blue
reddens to a purple hue
like a field of violets.
Sunlight shines through
droplets of rain, reflecting
the painters palette
onto a grim, grey sky.
Rainbow © Mary Chapman 2018
hunkered low on rocks
a scurrying tribe
winkle shelled youngsters
hung under rocks
come to life
with rising waters
tufted salty wet
writhing and wrestling
careless in their play
snuggle beneath weed
fleas of the shoreline
Life on the Seashore © Geoff King
Over the length of many back-breaking, sun-baked days, the wild patch (infested with nettles, brambles, and convulvulus) is lifted, turned, searched for roots, stones and ancient buried treasures, enriched with leaf mould, and placed in planters ready for sowing. Each tract of soil an encapsulation of potential, a promise for the future.
Dark, crumbly tilth sits
Waiting to bring forth new life
Holding itself ready.
Turning the soil © Chris Auger 2018
The woman stares back from the mirror
She looks familiar
And yet I do not recognise her
For she has leaves tangled in her hair
And her face is smudged with earth
Her eyes are fierce
They hold a thousand stars
The wild night is her backdrop
Not this room
I know that when I turn away
She will run to the dark forest
Follow silver streams and
The whispered call of old gods
Find her path through trees and bracken
To the centre of truth
For that is where her heart lies
Mirror © Izzy Robertson 2018
The blazing sun disappears behind the trees, lighting them up as if they are on fire, sinking without a trace, leaving a darkening sky behind. The air is cooling, making the hairs on my arms stand up, I breathe out and can see my breath on the air. The light is fading quickly, but I have no fear of the dark, not while I am in the middle of a field. The only sounds are the distant hum of traffic and an occasional owl hoot, the birds have retired for the night and the night dwellers have yet to stir. In the distance the stables are lit up, the golden light beckoning, suggesting warmth and shelter. The horses and donkeys are being fed, jostling with each other to clean the buckets, to get the last scrapings, their instinct in synch with the changing season, urging them to put down fat stores for the winter ahead. The daylight has gone now, it is dark when the lights are turned off. We make our way carefully across the field to the car park. I drive home, headlights on full beam on the country road, street lights providing guidance on the main roads. Arriving home, in darkness, it feels like I should go straight to bed. It is only 8pm but feels much later. Merlin the cat is eager to go out and hunt for moths.
Autumn evening at Springwood © Catherine Smith 2017
Rain falls gently from the sky
Kissing the starlight
As a full round moon hangs ghostly quiet
Above a sea as dark as ink
Then, as the moon slowly descends
The sky seems hollow
There’s a hush
As if Time is waiting
Waiting to begin
To tick the hours of day on to afternoon
And then to night again
So turning the Cycle of Life
The Cycle of Life © Amanda Woollven
Human pride is always riding for a fall. We have called ourselves the Crown Of Creation, the dominant species, the top of the food chain, but life-forms ranging from microscopic viruses to planet-hugging mushrooms could challenge that perceived supremacy. And sometimes Mother Earth herself steps in to remind us that she will be around long after she has buried every boast.
If a category-five storm tours your neighbourhood slowly enough, you will acquire true humility. The sea, as any lifeboat volunteer will tell you, does not even know your name. And the powers that keep everything spinning, well, they cannot be properly imagined.
The tsunami that wrecked the Fukushima nuclear power plant was triggered by an earthquake that knocked our home planet four inches off her own axis. It shortened the distance between Japan and the USA by eight whole feet.
She is Mother Earth. Don’t mess with her. Instead, get out there, grab a lungful of clean fresh air, give humble thanks, and marvel at her magnificence.
Hubris and Humility © Ric Cheyney
I dream in dragonflies, hot summer sun,
All red and green and flashing golden lace
And clockwork wings that rattle, click and chime.
I dream in dragonflies, a secret race.
I dream of hidden growth beneath the surface,
As slender threads are knotted one by one,
To fashion folded hope of future flying,
A silver gauze for hope to rest upon.
I dream of metamorphosis, hard skin
That cracks and ruptures, tearing up the past.
The mist that kisses silent waiting water
Enfolds the naiad taking breath at last.
Dragonfly Dreaming © Liz Proctor