The 2023 Earth Pathways Diary celebrates the work of artists and writers who share a deep love for the land and a desire to live with appreciation and responsibility for this beautiful planet. More than just a diary, it is 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 2023 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-to-view pages, month-to-view planners, a year planner and notes pages.
The Diary is A5 in size and spiral bound, with 142 full-colour pages. Printed on Arctic Matt Carbon-Balanced FSC paper with vegetable inks. View sample pages here.
The 2023 Earth Pathways Wall Calendar is full of magical words and images inspired by a deep love for the Earth and positive environmental change. Hopeful, heart-led and celebratory, our 2023 edition not only looks good on the outside, it will make you feel good inside too!
The 2023 Earth Pathways Wall Calendar is a full-colour, month-to-view wall calendar. It includes the Phases of the Moon, an astrological Sun sign forecast for 2023 and the calendar and lunar dates for the eight Earth Festivals.
The Wall Calendar is A4 in size, opening fully to A3. Printed on Arctic Matt Carbon Balanced FSC paper with vegetable inks. View sample pages here.
The showcase gallery for contributors to the 2023 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.
Images from the Diary and Calendar are displayed at the top, writing is displayed below the images.
© Cherry Ferris Goldcrest © Suzy Parker Blessing © Mark Duffin Love's Sanctuary © Faith Nolton Transition Tree © Flora IkiGaia Green Heart Healing Mandala
© Jenny Sutton Cosmic Earth © Nicola Gibbs The Last Flower © Wigglo Trelloy Forest Portal © Maria Silmon Owl Spirit © Annie b Phoenix - Release All and Rise In Love © Rachel Shiamh Safe Harbour, Ancient Trees © Sarah Vivian Roughtor, Bodmin Moor
© Jo Baker The Glimpse
© Brian Boothby Imbolc © The Moon and the Furrow The Feast © Tracy Dovey Bee Dreaming
© Melanie Ward Courting Amongst
© Salix Pyrography Offering Goddess
© Anne Thomas Cellular Memory © Rachel Shiamh Heading Home © Sherin Shefik Ostara © The Moon and the Furrow Blackthorn Mandala © Danielle Barlow At The Wood's Edge © Sue Wookey The White Hart
© Victoria Parsons Flowering Happiness © Susan Latchford The Green Man © Marie Roberts Beltane © The Moon and the Furrow Bluebell Walk,
© Kate Bedell Bee For Life © Wayne A Pilling River Teign © Danielle Barlow Temperance © Linda Hill Swallow Woman © Lucy Tipper Sunset © Emma Cox Litha © The Moon and the Furrow Expansion © Rachel Shiamh Dreaming in the Moonlight
© Kamini Gupta Dragonfly Tree © Faith Nolton Big Skies © Ela Rogers Return to the Garden © Faith Nolton Lughnasadh © The Moon and the Furrow Birth (From Darkness
© Becky Mackeonis Sink or Swim © Nita Rao Sewing the Wild Seeds of
Hope © Janet Hammerton Sea Dreaming © Helena Zabko Watching the Sunset at Cape
Cornwall © Sarah Vivian Connecting with
Stratton-Pandina Mabon © The Moon and the Furrow Forest Floor © Jacqui de Rose Art Roots and Trees are Three
© Sophie Strevens-Robinson Golden Green Apples
© Angie Rooke Autumn Moon © Mark Duffin Free Your Mind © Kamini Gupta Samhain © The Moon and the Furrow Creatrix © Rosalie Kohler The Secret Garden © Philip Tonkyn The Fox of Mutters Moore
© Fariewood Art by Cherry Ferris Purple Lake © Debbie Crooks Tree Greet © Alice Thomas Grace - The Crone Moon
Goddess © Jacqui de Rose Art Winter Solstice
© The Moon and the Furrow Winters Wisdom © Sue Wookey Leaves and Seeds
© Amala Tipper Oak Life Sphere
© Andy Levy Wood Sculpture Newt © Vikki Rose Leaping Wisdom © Susan Latchford Oneness - 108 Sunflower Circle © Rachel Shiamh Stars Falling into a Silver Sea, Sennen Harbour,
West Penwith © Sarah Vivian Snowdrops © Janet Hammerton Lanyon Quoit © Alex Coppock-Bunce Returning
© Meraylah Allwood The Golden Hour © Emma Cox Dawn Star © Faith Nolton Offering © Melanie Ward Stepping In Light © Rebecca Bush Golden Sunflower © Kate Bedell Moonflower Fox
© Cherry Ferris Covenant © Mark Duffin Winters Sleep
© Kelly Cracknell Kite Flying
© Victoria Parsons Wood Wide Web
© Kate Monkman Sea World © Vicky Boase Wood Anemone © Janet Hammerton
The Moon's journey through the signs takes just under 28 days and it defines our original calendar month. It's a journey like that of the Earth through the signs, which defines the calendar year. But of course it's much more frequent and so it brings different opportunities to learn about cycles of change and growth.
Moon in Aries ♈︎ - Aries' ruler Mars brings impetus to vision and to plant the seed. The need for clarity of thought at the start of things is highlighted. Confucius taught that it's vital to pay close attention to thought at the beginning of undertakings and at their ending.
Moon in Taurus ♉︎ - What has been seeded must spread roots and it’s desire that draws us outwards. This phase is ruled by Venus, whose Latin name comes from the ancient Vanas – desire. We look for a nurturing environment to expand into. Venus is also the Goddess of fecundity and prosperity: we desire to grow.
Moon in Gemini ♊︎ - Sprouting its first leaves, the plant breaks into the sunlight, the wind and the rain. Mercury rules this phase and it's about expanding and communicating beyond one's immediate environs. The image is of a winged messenger: it is time to articulate your thoughts.
Moon in Cancer ♋︎ - With sunlight bringing energy to leaves, roots can now be deepened. Moon in Cancer is about deepening growth and it's naturally associated with home and family. The Moon is ruler here, which points to a special opportunity for awareness in any Moon cycle.
Moon in Leo ♌︎ - The flowering. What was begun with the Moon in Aries, now reaches fulfilment. The individual, the idea, the project has achieved individuality. We can take our cue from the centredness and generosity of the life-giving Sun in this phase.
Moon in Virgo ♍︎ - The flowering of Leo produces seeds. Now the individual or project begins to be aware of the idea of service to a greater whole. The ruler is again Mercury, this time as a bringer of the power of discernment.
Moon in Libra ♎︎ - The gathering in, the harvest. There is at this stage balancing, weighing, but not judgement. We can now be aware of the harvest; of all the consequences of what we have seeded. Venus rules again, because we now meet the offspring of our desires.
Moon in Scorpio ♏︎ - Achieving balance in Libra leads to being able to make choices in Scorpio about what we wish to carry forward. Now is the time to make choices: all fruits, all ideas, all habits, will propagate if we empower them. But which will we choose? Pluto, its ruler, is the planet of deep transformation.
Moon in Sagittarius ♐︎ - We can now project those seeds we have chosen into the future with clarity of thought. Sagittarius' ruler Jupiter brings expansiveness, generosity, vision, desire to grow further and to learn and explore.
Moon in Capricorn ♑︎ - The visions of Sagittarius will require work to be realised. The Moon in Capricorn brings us down to Earth to prepare the ground again for the next cycle of growth. Its ruler Saturn brings learning through effort, limitations and boundaries.
Moon in Aquarius ♒︎ - Having prepared the ground, we realise that water will be essential to the new growth we are working towards. It's a time to remember the other powers and life forces that surround us and to ask for help. Aquarius' ruler Uranus brings lightning bolts of insight into our true purpose.
Moon in Pisces ♓︎ - The ending of a cycle. A time when the magical transformation occurs; the death of the individual seed and the birth of the new plant. Pisces' ruler is Neptune – a symbol of our oceanic connectedness to all things: we are both the old and the new.
There are three natural cycles that give us a sense of time and of change on Earth. Two of these cycles – the diurnal cycle (day and night) and the seasonal year - depend on the relation of the Earth to the Sun.
The third cycle – the phases of the Moon – depends on the relationship of three bodies: Earth, Moon and Sun. The magical number three brings the possibility of a more subtle realisation and integration. The Moon makes change visible to us and offers the opportunity to develop greater awareness of our relationship to change. There remains much mystery in this ageless cycle: we don't understand it fully, but we can see that its tidal pull affects many levels of life on Earth and an awareness of the Moon phase can help us navigate the many currents of our lives.
The Phases of the Moon can be understood by looking at the key points in the seasonal year. The eight stages of the Moon cycle correspond to the eight major festivals of the year and if you use this model, you can bring your own interpretations to this based on your unique journeys through the seasons and your own sense of the changes that each stage brings. Here are the correspondences with a few keywords.
New Moon ~ The Winter Solstice. Birth of the Light. New Beginnings. The seeding of a new cycle.
Crescent Moon ~ Imbolc. Candlemas. Awakening. First Flowering. A time to nurture the new.
First Quarter ~ Spring Equinox. Balance. A crisis point in the growth cycle where bonds with the old may need to be broken.
Gibbous Moon ~ Beltane. May Day. The Sacred Marriage. Growth accelerates; it can be celebrated and strengthened.
Full Moon ~ Summer Solstice. Fulfilment. The height of the growth and light. All is visible.
Disseminating Moon ~ Lammas. First Harvest. The time to give what we have grown, to bring it to others for the benefit of the whole.
Last Quarter ~ Autumn Equinox. Balance. Harvest. Here we can become more aware of the results of our creativity.
Balsamic Moon ~ Samhain/ Halloween. A last sliver of light now in the sky and time for deep transformation.
When a planet appears to move in reverse along the zodiac in relation to the Earth, it's said to be retrograde. Retrograde motion brings the opportunity to work more inwardly, more deeply in the sphere of activity indicated by that planet and sign. It's habitually associated with things being 'difficult' and seen as a bad time to attempt progress; actually it is a call to shift perspective and bring attention to the inner aspects of a situation. The progress made by such a shift is no less real and it prepares the ground for the growth that will resume when the planet turns direct. A retrograde planet passes three times over any spot on the zodiac: once forwards, once retrograde and then a final 'direct' pass. These three passes can be seen as three opportunities or initiations into the learning offered by the planet and sign. We get a first lesson (first pass), then a challenge to really internalise the lesson (the retrograde pass) and then a final pass. This last pass will be experienced in one of two ways: one has either embraced the lesson and internalised the change on offer – in which case things go smoothly – or one has resisted the learning, in which case the necessary change will be experienced as external and apparently random 'misfortunes'.
Mercury ☿ ~ 29th December 2022 retrograde, 18th January 2023 direct. 21st April retrograde, 15th May direct. 23rd August retrograde, 15th September direct. 13th December retrograde, 2nd January 2024 direct.
VENUS ♀︎ ~ 23rd July retrograde, 4th September direct.
MARS ♂︎ ~ 30th October 2022 retrograde, 12th January 2023 direct.
Within each monthly cycle of the Moon, there are 12 short periods of time when the Moon has completed all the aspects that it will form with other planetary bodies while in a particular sign of the zodiac and has not yet entered the next sign. During this lull, the Moon is said to be Void of Course. This period can last anything from a few minutes or hours (common) to a couple of days (rare). Think of it as a lull between waves – or maybe the pause between roller coaster rides. It is possible at these times to gather oneself if one has become scattered and to take a moment for reflection and for deeper work.
Astrology for 2023 © Chris Ellis
The year 2023 creates a 7 vibration, which calls us to use and develop the conscious use of the mind, and the sensitive and psychic parts of ourselves. Analyse, contemplate and look beyond the everyday. Be alert to what you draw towards yourself. Remember that the words we use and the things we say have power, and help influence what happens next. Our positive beliefs and thinking will benefit our own wellbeing, create cycles of healing for our Earth, and will help unite humanity. Acts of Loving Kindness reciprocate joy and lasting beneficial change. There is a desire rising in us to trust, develop and follow our intuition and inner knowing, as a valuable part of our whole selves. This is helped by spending time in peaceful surroundings, in wild Nature, and by learning how to still the chatter in our minds so that we make space to receive and listen to our generous hearts. This year is a completion of a 7-year cycle that began in 2016. It therefore heralds a letting go of the old and an opportunity to consciously begin a new cycle. It is time to gather towards ourselves the lessons that have been learnt. At this great moment of systemic change, become the philosopher, idealist and visionary that the world needs. For out of these new understandings and insights, new benevolent pathways are forged.
Numerology for 2023 © Glennie Kindred 2022
Pluto's retrograde period in 2023 is the first of two that herald its entry into Aquarius, and the completion of its societal transformations (in Capricorn). Aquarius is the over-guiding sign of the New Age, in which we will learn a higher way of cooperation with our fellow life forms on Earth. Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2008, bringing its deep energy of change to structures of global society. In politics – mainstream and alternative – the ground has been shifting; old habits of thought and organisation have lost their energy. We are seeing both the collapse of old systems and at the same time a tenacious last-ditch defence of them by those that are attached. This is the background to the world politics of the last 15 years – whether family, tribal, group, national or international.
So, we face a flick of the tail from the dying beast of the old order. What is our response? Aquarius provides the answer: conscious action. We are not alone and if we work with higher energies, then we will be enabling the new, and not focusing on destroying the old. If challenges relating to groups emerge at this time, the retrograde reminds us to work consciously on the inner and to remember the two great inexhaustible streams of Aquarius: Life and Love.
A Shift in the Deeper Currents © Chris Ellis 2021
May you rise like the phoenix from the ashes.
Reignite your precious embers.
Break from your constraints to dance on air.
Rise like the swelling tide, the harvest moon.
Rise like you will dare.
Rise like you’re awakened from a hundred year sleep.
Rise and keep on rising
like a mountain heaving, growing, peaking,
endlessly replenishing from deep within.
Rise above the mist, to see the early morning sun.
Rise like tender seedlings bravely pierce the frost.
Rise and mend your heart,
as your breath caressed becomes your words let loose.
Arise and say your piece, in truth.
Arise from fear, to be here now, alive,
more alive than you have ever been.
Rise and you are seen. Rise and lift each other up.
Rise. For freedom.
Rise © Janey Colbourne 2020
I made my way out the door and along the front of the house, where I turned to face out to the harbour. It was dark, sloe-black and starless. The outline of the valley loomed above, blacker than the sky, and the distant lights of the cottages glinted unnaturally on its vast sides. It was the wind that snared my attention, stopping my thoughts in their usual tracks. I opened my hands and stretched out my fingers. Roaring over the harbour walls I was miniscule in its path and yet it was soft and caressing on my palms. It played games with my hair and nipped at my ears, then engulfed me. For an infinite moment I was the wind, I had dissolved into atoms, and sea-salt-drenched, run with it over the cliffs, trailing invisible fingers through Heather and Sea Pinks as we sped onwards, racing a hare, swaying gulls in flight, plucking loose leaves, rattling roof tiles and whispering to trees. I was incandescently insignificant yet part of everything, part of the whole. And then it passed as quickly as it had come and my skin was once again feeling the biting cold and longing for the warm fireside I had left only moments ago.
Stepping Outside © Tamsyn Ball 2018
These times of frost and ice
when winter’s silent breath
has cast the world in stillness
and a creature sleep
on the shores of dreams
in drifts of hibernation ...
Here let me rest
as fallen leaves or silent seeds
like a hedgehog
amidst the roots of trees
beyond the scurrying summer days
to find the source of sustenance within.
Wintering © Cathy Lotus 2020
A breeze strokes
as gently as hands
takes sorrows like fallen leaves
and carries them off
A shaky breath
out and curls away
between the trees
The sky wraps around my shoulders
like a blanket
A home I can return to
wherever I am
A Cure for All Heartbreaks © Estelle Garstang 2021
The first stirrings of new life arise, tender and fresh. Lambs take their first wobbly steps, and the spring flowers emerge, bright from dark earth. Earth energy is still strong, while we awake, blinking, to the gently growing light outside. We may feel a call to move, to be outside more, stretching and finding spring’s strength in our bodies. Listen for the growing sound of birdsong as the birds get busy with building nests for their young.
Dreaming Rises - Feel your winter-dreaming unfurl. What dreaming have you cradled through winter’s darkness that now seeks air and space, and a tender hatching into the clear new light?
Plant Spirit Medicine - The first snowdrops nod their heads. Winter aconite and crocuses show up too. After winter’s muted colours, gaze at the brightness of early spring flowers. Let it gladden your heart, as all of your senses gently awaken.
Gratitude - Take a sketch pad and a comfortable mat or cushion. Let yourself be drawn to a plant or tree, and go to sit quietly with it. Observing it, offer your gratitude for its life, and for any gifts of food or medicine it might give you and your community. Introduce yourself – treat this plant as a new friend you’d like to get to know. Now sketch it in detail, noting how it grows – with others? Alone? In light or shade? What do you notice?
Imbolc © Catherine Pawson
Your song is timeless,
and you will be heard,
your voice amplified by those gone before,
never will you be silenced.
Your blood is river born,
from the great source
it courses through your being
ebbing and flowing on the moon
tides holding your power.
Your story is her story,
his story and their stories
spun and woven into the fabric of life,
threads stretch backwards and forwards,
spiralling, circling, ever unbroken.
Threads © Denise Bristow 2021
Your footprints upon the earth and the space your body and energy take up mark your place; only you can fill that space and that is where you belong. You take that belonging wherever you go, it is right there where your feet touch the Earth.
You are important, valid, needed. Your unique self brings something that only you can to that Earth space. Know that all you need to do right now is be you, in that space. That is enough. This is where you belong, a beautiful soul on Earth.
Belonging Blessing © Stephanie Drane 2020
outside my window
the owl sang through the
quiet light of the new moon.
Calming my spirit,
I rose up into the night,
as its soft feathers spun an
airy cocoon of light.
Lifting me up,
and my soul, free of care,
rejoiced in the beauty.
The Owl © Michelle Bernard 2020
It’s not quite dawn, but there’s enough light to see that dense mist hides the fields in the valley. It looks like carded, unspun sheep’s fleece, spread over today’s light frost. The cows must be huddled in their barn. I huddle my mug into my jumper, sipping hot tea down to cold toes, bridging mittened hands and full heart. Full of awe and thanks for this moment. Only empty hedges and spidery trees defy the thickest mist, their coal- black forms jumping out of the smudgy-white as if someone drew them on it in charcoal. Steam from my drink rises, dances, dissipates, perhaps eventually entwining with the wisps climbing the hills. Muted colours show through it here and there: mossy green on the nearest slopes, greyish lilac on the ones beyond, soft smokey blue of the sky. They’re gentle on my eyes, like watching a slow and lovely dream. A dream of a dreaming land, with a promise of crops and flowers that are tucked under soil tucked under frost tucked under mist. Awaited and expected – with love.
Hidden © Mo Kendall
A tiny seed of life
Placed on a soft layer
Waiting to be covered
to be watered
A daily task to nurture growth
for a sign of life
to peek through the darkness
into the light.
Tiny Seed © Sue Barry 2021
We are all Creators, Artists and Makers of Magic.
We sing, we dance, we play, we inspire, we create, we gather, we make!
We each march to our own beat and together we create a creative collective rhythm.
We are all on our own creative odyssey, navigating the sometimes daunting abyss of the imagination, but just take that first step, it could be the beginning of something beautiful.
Each piece is an extension of ourselves for the world to see, vulnerable, passionate, inspired and real, and every day has the potential to start a new spark in the universe, so go create.
The world would be a dull place without you, the wonderful unique you, who brings their own magic to this planet.
Makers of Magic © Fern Spray
The element of earth gives way to air, as we reach the balance of light and darkness at the equinox. March winds blow our winter cobwebs away, and we notice colours of spring green, daffodil yellow, blackthorn white. Mark where the sun rises at dawn – this is due east. Invite your soul to rest in the balance, to feel the tipping point as winter’s slumber drops away and new energy bubbles up.
Dreaming Opens - Feel your dreaming unfurl now, as the light draws your spirit up and out. Look at what you’ve brought out from the womb of winter. What needs clarifying, clearing? Where is the strongest pulse of growth in your soul?
Plant Spirit Medicine - The flowers of some native British trees including alder, grey willow and blackthorn, rely on wind rather than insect pollination. The delicate blooms are often hidden by emerging leaves. Sit with a flowering tree and seek to know its blossoming energy.
Gratitude - Take some deep breaths, outside in the air where spring is stirring. Offer thanks for the simple miracle of breath. We breathe each other, we breathe plant-breath and ancestor-breath. We offer our breath in prayer and song. Air is the medium which bathes and infuses our bodies. Take a feather, and using the smoke from a herb such as sage, mugwort or lavender, clear the space around your home, making way for prayers as you speak or sing.
Spring Equinox © Catherine Pawson
Honeybees come from an ancient lineage of cavity-nesting bees that arrived from Asia around 300,000 years ago and rapidly spread across Europe and Africa. They therefore have hundreds of thousands of years of experience in adaptation. Bees teach me many things: the power of community, organisation, precision (wax) engineering, the capacity to adapt quickly to changing circumstances, to cluster, conserve energy and resources (and be reflective) when the environment demands, to cleanse and gather nectar at any opportunity... They are collectively adaptable, intelligent creatures and seem to know the vagaries of changing weather long before I do.
Life throws us all many difficult, painful and challenging experiences. The capacity and power of adaptation will only become more vital, forcing us to dig deep into our inner resources and creativity to solve problems. Bees teach me to appreciate natural intelligence, see the whole rather than the parts, how to bend and flow with change, and to adapt rather than to stay the same when changing circumstances can no longer support what has been.
The Power of Adaptation © Maddy Harland
Lightning breaks the horizon as thunder rumbles and the ancient dance of earth and sky commences. The wind she gathers blossom petals of cherry and pear, casting them down as an offering to spring upon the earth, as the blackbird tries in vain to raise his voice above the song of the storm. Thus the fresh growth of spring reaches to catch the rain. Leaves supple and rich with sap, bright against the untamed sky. Thunder stirs the wild within, calling us to step outside and dance in the showers barefoot to the chant of the rain, while storm clouds race like wild ponies across the quickening sky. Breathe in the storm, taste this wild medicine and let it soothe those frayed edges that are our woundings. Smell the scent of rain-soaked earth as it nourishes and enlivens. Let a little of this magic touch your soul. Raise your palms to the sky and remember you are part of this too. You can be changeable as the season, blessed by firelight and full moon. Take all this within you and fashion forth a talisman to carry when the streets are tame and footsteps are the only utterings to be heard.
Healing Storm © Laura Bos
We are being triggered from deep within; to reach out and reach in;
To find ever deeper levels of connection
To each other and to the natural world around us.
We are reaching out with our hearts... Alive to possibilities, and
Open to levels of communication with trees, plants, and animals
That we had previously thought impossible.
Worlds within Worlds... Connections ripple... Energy shifts...
Our hearts open and we bow our heads in deep respect.
A heart that is filled with gratitude sends healing energy
To giver and receiver alike.
We are waking up and responding to a deep internal call
To change our relationship with Nature;
To give something back; to stop demanding of the Earth,
And to say thank you.
From there, made compassionate by humility, we ask the Earth
“What can I do for you?”
Between The Worlds © Glennie Kindred 2021
There is magic under the trees.
The Earth holds her breath
Waiting for gentle footfall,
Before revealing treasures unbound.
Pause, hasty traveller, and notice.
The deep, dark earth
Time pressed in every fold.
Under the trees
Of ages past and seconds ago
And buds not yet born.
A voice calling for us to sit,
Spine to trunk, To hear her tales.
To wrap our hands in grasses
And let our toes grow roots,
Watch leaves spring from our shoulders...
There is magic under the trees.
Magic Underfoot © Ciara - Shadowsfall Scribblings 2019
There was a man standing in the wood.
He stood for hours.
He stood for days.
Almost as if he was a tree himself.
And his clothes turned rusty grey,
the colour of old branches,
and his skin a furze of green
as the moss spread all about him.
And he stood.
And he waited.
And he saw the birds come and go,
trailing the wind in their tails.
And the insects crawling
through the labyrinth of leaves.
And smelt the wild joy of the sky
singing high above him.
And his boots they took root
as he stood.
And he knew he could never go home.
There Was A Man © David Greygoose 2020
Now we can really feel the energy growing, as trees burst into blossom and the glorious bright green of new growth sprouts along hedges, in woodlands and gardens. All of a sudden, May fairs and festivals are here, inviting us out to sing, dance and gather with our communities. You may be lucky enough to live in a place where you can dance around the maypole, or watch Morris dancers welcome in the dawn.
Dreaming Sparks - Winter’s dreaming may feel far behind you, yet you carry it as a growing seed, rooted in the belly of those darker days. Where does your dreaming need energy and will, to draw it into form and action in the world?
Plant Spirit Medicine - An old folk tradition invites you to bathe your face with the dew from the hawthorn blossom, May blossom. Many is the tale of those waylaid by the faery folk, met under a hawthorn tree. What magic does the blossom offer you, early on Beltane morning?
Gratitude - Offer thanks to the sunshine. Go out early to hear the dawn chorus. Dance to the sound of nature – no need for recorded music. Listen for the flow and spark and song of the sap in the trees, the chorus of the birds. Let your body respond, offering a gesture, or a dance back to nature around you as a prayer of gratitude.
Beltane © Catherine Pawson
I have always loved the fringes of the land; the places land users have forgotten, laid aside or given over to wind-breaking treelines. These places are not akin to city fringes where abandoned concrete, steel and brick rot in silent no-man-land fear. No, these rural places hold the silence of ancient soil where chiselled toothless stones sink into the ground, returning to their womb. These are the places where trees grow, break, rot, root anew. These are the places where sheep rest, where birds nest and wind blows unceasingly. Here may be an abandoned farm road, a disused rail track, a crumbling crofter’s cottage, a shelter-belt to blunt the wind. Here bright tearing gorse, brittle purple heather, soft blue scabious, yielding green moss and shy blaeberries cover the earth. Shy creatures travel and rest in this wild highway. There is invitation here. Even in the car driving by, I feel it. There is an aspect, a combination of trunk, grass, stone that says – here, here I am. Among the twisting grey pathways of the combustion engine, clustered along ridge, dyke or hidden valley, something grave and natural calls – stop, listen, rest. Here I sense deep calm patience. Here I hear the voice of the wind. Here crows craw, wrens peep and sometimes, water runs clear. Here, I find connection.
Fringes © Lorraine Goodison 2020
In Stanmer Park near Brighton there is a poly tunnel that belongs to Wild Flower Conservation Society, Brighton and Beyond. On Tuesday mornings we volunteers prick out and pot on small wild flower seedlings which are grown on to become semi mature plants sold to the general public, local wild life groups and local councils. John Gapper aka the Green Man of Sussex has had a love of wild flowers for the past 45 years and started the project in the council nursery nearby. In 2018 this nursery was turned into a garden centre with no space for wild flowers. However our local ranger, Sally, rescued the project, sought funding from Southdowns National Country Park plus land donated from Brighton & Hove Co. Council in order to start off WFCS and our chair person, Linda, successfully applied for charitable status. We happily give our time to this work as we know we’re slowly beginning to enhance and increase the tiny amount of wild flowers (15%) that have been saved from damaging agricultural methods and habitat loss. Many of the plants such as Horseshoe vetch provide nectar and food for some rare and endangered species of butterflies and their caterpillars such as the Adonis and Chalk hill blues found on the Southdowns. The work is both vital and rewarding as we work to knit together and enlarge the little patches of wild flowers in and around the towns along the South coast of West and East Sussex and beyond.
Wild flowers © Lindy Brooke Tweed 2021
I woke up this morning with
Leaves in my bed
The dreams of the night
Mud on my toes
Snags in my hair
Wafting my nose
With colours of Earth
Planting the seeds
Of dreams to birth
My senses igniting
My flesh and my bones
And the places unseen.....
Leaves in My Bed © ChaNan Bonser 2021
Find your tribe,
the people to sit around the fire with as you are,
nodding at your stories because they know
And you in turn, honouring their words
with your heart’s warmth.
Thread beads with these folk
on sturdy twine; garland yourself
to ward away any doubt you belong.
They’re yours, this clan,
this grounding ring.
Break bread and whittle the shared intent.
They know the direction of the winds.
They’re kin, this tribe
And as your dance comes
they’ll open their palms receiving your soul-
song under the stars.
Find Your Tribe © Ali Davenport 2021
I have taken deep into my DNA that in order to receive, we must first give our thanks in any situation to make room for future abundance. It is easy to be grateful for good things – though sometimes we are remiss and do not remember this – it is more difficult to ‘give praise’ for what causes us pain and suffering. The art is to find the lessons within that darker cycle. By acknowledging and understanding our wounding, we not only enable growth, we free ourselves from what makes us suffer. What we let go of in gratitude can often be our greatest teacher.
Gratitude and respect are a way of dissolving the barrier that keeps us feeling separate from Nature. I feel gratitude every time I see a bird of prey, a hornet, a deer browsing at the edge of the woodland, a flock of long-tailed tits, the chattering of the house sparrows in a hedgerow... I do not hunt down these encounters, but when they happen they lift my spirits and remind me of the beauty and preciousness of all life. Thus the reciprocity of the cycle of gratitude is made.
The Deep Reciprocity of Gratitude © Maddy Harland
Bare feet pressed against the greenery beneath us
Soaking up the frequency of the earth
We breathe, allowing our roots to unfold
As we create space so sacred
And hold one another in the infinite space in our hearts
Harmony decorates the air
Like the embers that rise from the communal fire
Music echoes in the ears of the owl
As together we howl to the stars and moon
Through the night air
Mother nature breathes a sigh of relief
At the sight of strangers bumping shoulders and exchanging smiles
Stepping out of the rat race
And disappearing into the wild.
Wild © Claire Stackhouse 2021
The element of fire rides high, with the longest hours of daylight drawing us out to bask in sunshine and wide skies. If the weather is kind to us, we can enjoy walking barefoot on warm soil, or plunging into rivers and seas and drying off in the sun. Nature is in full flood of growth, in leaf and blossom.
Dreaming Full Flow - There may be little time to withdraw into darkness and quiet. Fairs, festivals and fetes draw us into community, celebration. Grown in darkness, tended in growing light, share your dreaming, celebrate it and allow it to blossom.
Plant Spirit Medicine - The little spurs of golden St John’s Wort come into bloom at Solstice – it is named for old Midsummer day, St John’s Day on 24th, and used for cleansing, healing and divination. How does this plant speak to your heart? What medicine does it bring?
Gratitude - The night is shortest now. Can you keep an all-night vigil from dusk to dawn? Gather with friends to stay up and tell stories, sing songs through the night. Cook on a campfire. Or simply keep a candle burning through the night. How does sunlight reach you through wood or wax burning? Leaves gather light, bees gather nectar from summer blossoms, and through them an alchemy takes place. Offer thanks to the gift of fire, and how it nourishes you.
Summer Solstice © Catherine Pawson
I am in transition to a better self,
To a being of love and bright light.
I will it,
So be it.
I am a being of love.
I am a being of light.
I will it.
I live it.
Mantra for these times © I P Lynn 2021
When the air breathes stillness
And the earth silence,
Bright stars puncture the ink black sky.
The orange glow of Mars,
Shines like a beacon,
As a hunter;
Stealth on the wing,
Casts a silent moon shadow.
When the Air Breathes Stillness © Sarah Charters 2018
I have lived in my little cottage beneath some of the loveliest hills of Exmoor for over thirty years but had never once seen fireflies in all that time until July. I had taken the dogs up the lane as night was falling and noticed tiny points of bright yellowish light coming from a small area of tall grasses beneath a stone wall. I thought I was looking into the eyes of a neighbourhood cat but my dogs showed no interest. I shone my torch into the scrub thinking that perhaps the lights might be bouncing off a discarded tin can but I couldn’t find anything at all in the long grass.
The next morning I searched for what might have created those tiny points of light and found nothing. But that evening the lights were there again, and leaning in closer I saw the little striped bodies of three fireflies. How beautiful they were. Glow-worms are the only species of fireflies to be found in Britain and seem to be on the decline, although no real research has apparently been undertaken. They live for two years and sadly the females cannot fly, so it takes a tremendous effort to become established in a new area. To me they are a sign of real hope.
Exmoor Fireflies © Thea Holly 2021
A few stones stand between me and the vertical drop to my left. My legs shake but do not buckle as I stare down into the fields that unroll like a patchwork quilt. A few months ago, my balance would have faltered, my nerves collapsed, as I gazed down at the flight patterns of birds.
The dragon sleeps beneath me as my poles guide me across its limestone scales; a grass wave, forever on the verge of breaking. This creature is not a thing to be conquered, but adored by small footprints.
Slowness is key, there is no shame in this. No shame in tiptoeing across skyline, balancing my way across landscape. I was not born acrobat, nor tightrope walker, nor climber. Yet here I am, forever disproving my own theories, creating new myths.
The dragon will remain in slumber long after I am gone. And there will be others, so many others that think, they too, cannot withstand the climb, and, like me, will fear to slip upon descent. They will also learn how to control their pulse, discover that they are part of the view.
“Take your time,” my friend says. So, I grasp it, hold it close to my chest, as the two of us rise and fall like a breath.
The Edge of the Dragon’s Back © Sophie Sparham 2020
Often prayer and ceremony come with smudge, purifying smoke. When I was first introduced to smudge it was by an elder in New Mexico. The plant we smudged with was White Sage. Around ten years ago, I began to hear whispers that White Sage was becoming endangered in the wild due to over-harvesting, due to people like me flying her across the planet to benefit from her rich and generous smoke. Around the same time, someone gifted me a stick of Palo Santo. However I soon discovered that Palo Santo too is being over-harvested to meet the demand of distant admirers of the fragrant and cleansing smoke. So I began to think more deeply. I realised that the plants I use for smudge need to grow locally. I have been experimenting ever since.
Any plant high in volatile oils, once dried, will smoulder with luxuriant smoke. I gather sprigs of Mugwort, Rosemary, Lavender, Juniper, Yarrow, Thyme and Wormwood each year. I bundle them together when freshly harvested, bind them to form smudge sticks and hang them to dry.
I have found that by making smudge from the bodies of the plants I know, love and nurture, I can build deep and lasting relationships with them, which adds an extra dimension to the smudging ritual.
Making My Own Smudge © Rachel Corby 2021
Light lies full and golden across fields of ripening grain, while poppies nod red heads and hedgerow plants have been setting plump seeds. Bellies and hearts are full with the fruits of the land, with the celebrations of holiday season, gathering with friends and family during the long days of summer. Traditionally, it’s a time for community games to celebrate the harvest.
Dreaming Gathers In - As the tide of full summer ebbs, our dreaming is infused with its sweetness. Turning to look over the last months of light and life in full flow, where has your winter-born dream seeded, flowered and fruited? Where might you tend your wild dreaming, with care and intent, now?
Plant Spirit Medicine - Yarrow’s white flowers grow in bright clumps at this time. This plant can take over two years to become established, but once settled in she grows as a perennial wildflower, withstanding neglect and harsh conditions. Long known for healing and protection in our old myths, what does she gift you?
Gratitude - Taking a handful of grain like barley, or oats or wheat, grind it in a pestle and mortar or a small mill, giving thanks for all the elements, for the bees who pollinate, for the farmer who grows. Follow the storyline of the grain back from harvest to seed. Bake the grain into bread or cakes and share with loved ones in a harvest celebration.
Lughnasadh © Catherine Pawson
We can learn to honour the little voice of knowing inside each of us. To tend to it so that it burns bright. We can come to know that we have good guidance within us - to learn to trust in ourselves and our connection with the world around us. Maybe even to know that there is some thread behind it all that we can follow.
May we know that we can forage for faith in the wild and nature- filled places of the world. That time there can fill us up. To know that when we are lost there are places we can go to and practices that we can do to get found.
Knowing is found in the body. It is a felt thing - not a thought thing. The more we are body-based, in touch with ourselves, the more we know. Seek out the things that sustain you: the solo walks in the wild where intuition may get a chance to speak; or maybe the rainy day by the sea where sorrow and clear-seeing of the next steps may both blow through; or the late night baking time - where innate wisdom may arise along with the cake- mix. Know what works for you - where you find faith - follow that thread - keep listening in to the good guidance that you have within you...
On Knowing © Tess Howell 2021
If I speak my words spill out to fall like scattered seeds
Will my words grow into trees or simply into weeds?
For we all make waves
No-one can be innocent
We all make waves
If I move my actions send a ripple into life
Should I make my movements dance or make them crash and collide?
For we all make waves
True we are not omniscient
But we all make waves
What did I plant in the world today,
did I add to its colour or help it turn grey?
Everything matters, including little me,
even if I believe that no-one will see
For we all make waves
The waves that shape our destiny
We all make waves
No-one can be innocent
We all make waves
True we are not omniscient
But we all make waves
The waves that shape our destiny
We all make waves
Waves (song lyrics) © John Dickinson
For a while recently I lost my creativity, my words, my mojo. I kept going but was running on empty, no fire in my belly. Lacking passion and drive I all but abandoned my allotment, the land that for 20 years I held between my fingers as I nurtured and meditated, as I received wisdom. In danger of being thrown off that land for good, I returned one sunny afternoon to clear space, to give the impression that it was at least being partially cultivated. As I cleared I found the seeds I had planted in spring and left to their own devices had matured and were offering a banquet of fresh organic food; potatoes, sweetcorn, lettuce, squash, rocket, chicory. Medicines I had been elsewhere to gather were also waiting to greet me; dandelion, plantain, calendula and so many more. In those moments, kneeling humbly, I received not just food and medicine for body but food and medicine for soul. Something returned to me. Contact with the sweet, moist earth, rich with earthworms, relit my internal fire, reminded me why I am here, who I am. And with that, my creativity, passion and words have returned.
Tending My Allotment Is Tending My Soul © Rachel Corby 2021
The same song that trembles mountains
shudders between goddess thighs and coaxes drops
of forest dew along gentle curves of leaf. Rising,
falling, cresting waves of harmony catch and spill
sunlight across the waters of the earth.
In this one, conclusive bubble, I abide.
Each breath becomes a sweet refrain with which my blood dances
and my bones blaze, streamed with light.
How blessed am I to have the undertones of gravity?
Lowing cycles of the earth glide under soaring whirls of spirit,
shuddering thunder upward,
cracking open that ragged belly of sky with throated roar
to loose droplets, bursting with magic,
letting them spill upon a land so lightning-burnt, skin-taut and weary.
So easy it would be in this moment
to fly along the chords of sunset
and disappear into the richest vast of night.
Universal Notes © A. G. Parker
Sitting, it becomes clear
we are all, after all, only water
breathing out over life worn down
by our breathing in
The rhythm of the sea’s breath
on the shoreline recollects our own
deeper rhythms, in tune with our selves
singing a universal song
The patterns left as the shingle shifts
after each conscious intake of breath
are different mandalas every time,
gifts like driftwood and life
The purpose of the sea pulse
is not questioned, just adhered to,
unless threatened by man’s ignorance
for as long as the depths have resources...
Sitting, it becomes clear
we are all, after all, only water
breathing in over life worn down
by our breathing out
Sea Pulse © Julian Nangle
The chill of the wind and rain drew us close, and as the evening danced on we formed an ever-tighter circle. That night fifty of us huddled together in the dark at Arbor Low stone circle in Derbyshire; familiar faces and new strangers created the perfect community for our Earth Balancing Ceremony. Our whole intention was leading up to that perfect point of balance at the Autumn Equinox, as together we created a vision of how we can live in harmony with our Earth and all of life. We shared a picnic, welcomed in the Elements of life, sang, danced, drummed, reflected and shared. At the moment of equilibrium, we joined hands, and in our minds created a World where forests run on and on forever, where all water flows clear. A World with no borders, and where lines of people hold hands in unity together. A World where creativity is celebrated as the true wealth. Such a rich vision, and it is moments like this, shared in community, that fill me with such hope.
Equinox Visions © Nicola Smalley
We find a sacred pause again, here where the hours of light and darkness balance. Where sun sets now, on your horizon, is due west. The sweetness of summer may still be here in warm sunlit days, yet there is a chill in the air bringing a new season’s threshold.
Dreaming Full - The dream of the year is drawing to full circle. You have journeyed from quiet winter days, through the opening and flowering of summer. Now you are gifted a stillpoint, to review how you have shaped your dreaming, before carrying its gifts into the dark half of the year to sustain you with sweetness.
Plant Spirit Medicine - With berries and nuts bursting, it’s time to lay in stores for winter. Forage for berries and nuts, or take part in community apple-pressing days. Take a moment to bless this autumn bounty, and to offer a prayer or a song to the plants you harvest. What nourishment do they offer your body and soul?
Gratitude - At such an abundant time of year, give thanks for peace and make prayers for those who live in lands where war makes harvests impossible. Gather some water from your local river, spring or sea. Bless it with love and a prayer for peace across all lands. Release the water back into the land and imagine it carrying your prayers as it travels across our Earth in many forms.
Autumn Equinox © Catherine Pawson
The forest dances bold in its Autumning, twirling its rich-coloured leaves, showing off its shiny hips, gaudy haws and fat blackberries. The busy squirrels tell me, the sumptuous mushrooms tell me, the acorns fallen in the now-paler sunlight tell me: “Here is Autumn!”. My heart applauds, wanting to see more. The forest tells me how it is drying now, and ageing, through the crunchings and rustlings of its crisp carpet: the leaves that would have twirled down last week. The twigs tell me this too, filling the air with sharp snapping under my boots. My youngest son appears, hands full of forest treasures. He sets out a few beech nuts on a stump for squirrels or fairies to feast upon, stuffing the rest of his finds into my pockets. At home they fill our nature table, reminding us of all the things falling to the ground in this beautiful season. Some conkers get given cocktail-stick spokes; white yarn is wrapped around these to look like spiders’ webs. We hang them up, my sons remembering that they are specifically orb webs, as opposed to other types. Some pinecones, upside- down, get wooden beads pushed onto their little stalks, a flared-open beechnut case glued on top of it for a hat, sycamore helicopter wings: a family of autumn fairies. We are busy with gathering and treasuring.
Treasures © Mo Kendall
I am held and safe,
As I am filled with wisdom,
I am me,
As I love openly,
I express my truth,
As I trust my intuition,
I am connected – always.
Held & Connected © Kate Parker 2021
In the stillness of the dawn, we breathe
and we are peace -
the struck gong
echoes in the heart of the mountains,
where the rock sings out
and the earth opens
to this new
our hearts reverberate with this new day,
as we are made and remade -
as we become ourselves,
in this new dawn.
Becoming Peace, Becoming Light © Bryony Rogers 2021
The crack of the dawn
Celebrates the life blood in me
The water in me
The dance in me
Crystalline mycelium of earth
Reflected in the skies above
Star dust falling
Between me and my ancestors
Their blood in me
My footsteps in theirs
Earth and me
We are the same.
Extract: We are Fruiting Bodies © ChaNan Bonser 2021
Cave of wild women,
Deep and dark, strong and bright,
Soul bearers, song singers, story weavers.
Women of fire;
Sparks in the smoke,
Feet in the Earth.
Dancing life with Wisdom,
to our rhythm.
Carried you in our belly,
Nourished you at our breast,
We walk within you still,
We are the fire that inspires you.
We are the water within you,
pulled by the moon.
We can be heard in your song,
Our beat pulses in your dance,
Our rhythm is in your blood.
The dust of our bones is your ground,
plant yourself there
The Foremothers Song © Stephanie Drane 2017
Earth energy gathers as the blessing of darkness cloaks our days. Our own energy draws inwards as hearthfires beckon. We may hear a call to slow down, finding moments of stillness even as we fill our baskets with the last seasonal colours. The land seems to flush with richness as the sun’s rays slant low over hills and through trees. It is time to plant bulbs for spring colour, or nuts for future trees.
Dream Visioning - The veils between this world and the otherworld are thin at this time. Call in dreaming visions – ask ancestors for medicine dreams for your soul.
Plant Spirit Medicine - Mushrooms are plant alchemists, transforming dead matter into life. Connecting to them can bring us the medicine of Earth’s mysteries. In myth, apples are connected to immortality, and have been found ritually buried with the dead. Even today many people apple- bob, in an echo of old divination rites. Apple medicine can bring us closer to the mystery of the cycles of death and rebirth.
Gratitude - Acknowledging both honey and sting of the medicine gifted you by your ancestors, create an altar that honours your blood and spirit ancestry. Who has left inspiration in their wake, for you to gather into your own life? Offer gratitude for the stories they have left you, the gifts that sing in your own life.
Samhain © Catherine Pawson
We are tired, the Earth and I. She drops her leaves and welcomes the approaching winter as I roll myself in her embrace and try to slow my breath. Wrapped in the soft green of her hills, snug underneath the cape of her velvet sky, I dream of a future that is easier, with space to rest and breathe. I press my ear to the trees she nurtures and hear her pulse driving through them. I hear her sigh in the wind, and in my own voice. Her tales of a time before us and her whispered dreams of a world to come are encased in the rustle of the leaves, the songs of birds and the blades of grass we walk upon. The early morning mist hangs low over her fields and the fresh chill shivers through me. I bathe in the sea that is her lifeblood and feel her heartbeat rolling through me; I feel myself dissolving into her and we are one.
This is our autumn, our future’s uncertain, fatigue slows me down and human impact is choking her slowly, sending her into a spin. Her endurance is tested but she is a survivor. The sirens sound for change and she will endure.
Sometimes it seems we are the same, but the grass will grow over me and she will go on.
Autumn © Claire Arnold 2021
This morning I am nature-nurtured, land-loved, woods-woken, my first breath wind-swept, first words bird-spoken.
My face bathed in air and mist,
my hair twig-tugged, bramble-brushed, leaf-kissed.
dragging me down
into this body, onto this ground,
into this honey-dappled, river-rushed, mind-hushed now.
And so I arrive in this pin-tingling skin -
Nettles can sting even through jeans -
And my whole body sings and the whole world replies:
I am alive!
I am alive!
We are alive!
Woods-woken © Melanie Ward 2019
The lone figure on the hilltop. Seldom seen. Rarely known.
Mist-cloaked, edges blurred. Flashing eyes, alight with clarity.
What am I when I’m the Hermit?
Who am I when I slip into darkness, rustle in the moonlit grasses?
Where am I when my bones mesh to the rock of the mountain?
I welcome the delicious invisibility, anonymity.
Amid the quiet trees I devote myself. I am alone, aware, connected.
Uninterrupted, I craft on their behalf.
I digest the cud of wisdom. Long masticated; ideas transform from youthful shoots to exhausted sinews. Green knowledge floods my tongue. I mould this nutritious manna, shaping and expanding, until the time comes. The seekers’ call that beckons me forth.
Then, like flame from ember, my other self will rise. She will unfurl into the light, go back to her people, bearing sustenance to sate their soul hunger.
But for now, with weaving hands and whispered words, alone in the fertile dark I dwell.
Hermit © Ciara – Shadowsfall Scribblings 2019
A path rising into darkness
Revealed itself and beckoned,
Guiding her into the unknown.
Carried on winds with excited breath,
In the call of generations before her
She’d heard the voices of unseen faces.
As steady tabor her footsteps trod
The tree-lined track till at the top,
Toward the dome of distant dreams.
She knew this place! It graced her soul
Where the world spoke words of wisdom
Whispered quietly within.
Suspended between Earth and cosmic canopy
In this moment there was eternity,
And all known yet unknown.
The Known Unknown © Anabela CP 2021
When your heart is raw, stand with trees.
Lean on Oak; his strength is kind, his roots deep.
Ask Hazel to feed your soul, Willow for the grace to bend.
Beg Ash to keep you warm and Birch to show you beauty.
Feel their connection hum beneath the soil.
They will bring you to earth, ground your heart,
give your spirit roots and sing you home.
Stand with Trees © Liz Proctor 2021
In a time before time, when the Mother needed them, the women of the Land would gather in a special place, light the ceremonial fire and speak the sacred words and all would be well.
Over time, the call of the Mother was heeded less. The women no longer heard it; divided and bound they no longer recognised Her call. Some women heard and, although they no longer knew the place, they lit the fire and said the sacred words and all was well. They tried to tell the other women but were silenced.
Over time, when the call came, just one woman answered it. She’d forgotten the place and how to light the fire but remembered the words and all was well. She told her daughters but they could not hear.
Over time, the Mother called again and again but the women could no longer hear. Her calls became louder and louder. The women began to hear them with their hearts. They began to talk to each other and to remember a feeling of connection to the Mother deep within their souls.
Over time, the women heeded Her calls. They gathered all over the Land in special places and they lit the ceremonial fires and they spoke the sacred words from their hearts and they knew all would be well.
The Call of the Mother © Suzanne Arnold 2021
Earth energy is strong as the longest hours of darkness arrive. A stillness reigns over the land, as it sleeps and dreams, and it is there in the long liminal spaces of twilight. We are between the inbreath and the outbreath of the year, as the earth tilts her furthest away from the light and heat of the sun.
Dream Lies Deep - It is time to withdraw to our hearths, cradling our deepest dreaming in the silence and potency of darkness. The unwoven fibres of our dreams call us to stillness, to listen to their whispering.
Plant Spirit Medicine - The evergreens represent the bright thread of life always present. Ivy flowers provide bees with a late bounty of nectar and pollen and provide shelter for small creatures. Mistletoe symbolises the hidden current of fertility of this time of year, while holly’s scarlet berries bring to mind the vibrancy of blood, carrier of life, next to its glossy green leaves.
Gratitude - Practise staying open to the gift of darkness and cold, allowing it to embrace you. If you can, make a pilgrimage to a cave or burial mound to take your dreaming into the earth. If not, make a cairn of rocks in a garden, on a beach, in the woods or on your altar. Write or draw your dreaming on birch bark or leaf or stone and bury it inside.
Winter Solstice © Catherine Pawson
Once upon a time, time was humane. Sane, spacious. Time was the phases of the moon, the Earth’s tilt towards and away from the epicurean sun. It was the patterns of the stars. It was whole, a measure of soul. It engendered balance and wonder. Four thousand years later time is linear, a mind-made bully. ‘Alarm’ clocks keep our nervous systems in a state of fight or flight, and our immune systems inflamed.
Slowing down to organise our lives around the seasons and cycles is not a luxury extra. It is a radical necessity. The global climate crisis cannot be solved by external solutions, artificial intelligence or new technologies. Solutions need to be led by the Earth on her terms. The festival days are our soul’s watering holes where we ritually recalibrate. They are how we bring in all the tender ways of the sacred. They infuse our energy with joy and gratitude, making us more effective.
On the festival days themselves we leave our homes as if on paws, on the wing for a feast of noticing what advice the ancestors want to tell us through which herbs, birds, animals, stones, trees. The indigenous Grandmothers of all communities know this. It is how they become the Earth and the Earth becomes them, why we must seek them out and listen.
The Earth’s Time © Debra Hall
In these uncertain times,
trust the roundel of the day;
that earth turns & dawn comes after night.
Trust the year’s ring;
spring green & bursting seed,
swelling into summer robes
before the letting go.
Be sure that life beats underground
The wheel shifts. There’ll be rebirth.
Trust the wax and wane,
as your ancestors did. They’re in your bones.
You walk on ground where they drummed,
silvered by the same moon.
We’re all in this great round of life.
Trust & be blessed.
Trust the Round © Ali Davenport 2021
Find the door in your mind to begin
the journey from disempowerment and isolation
to a new inspiration and direction,
the bliss of creative expression.
All transitions in life are the portals:
painful to open and push through
but so worthwhile once you are there.
Imagination is deeper than mere escape:
As you map your inner landscape you make
transformations, connections, creations,
a breakthrough, revelation.
I'm familiar with limitations, living with disability,
but my mind is free, grown comfortable with liminality.
You can see what you want to see
if you are open-hearted. In here is still uncharted territory.
Sometimes we can’t see the wood for the trees,
blindsided and parted from family,
until we recall we can forge for ourselves
an inner place of peace,
this ever-present sanctuary,
a universe in this space.
Elevation © Janey Colbourne 2021
Inspired by a seed of thought,
touched lightly by memory of land,
I take myself out, seeking
There must be heather,
the give and take of dank peat soil,
the rough solitude of moorland.
This is the essence of the call.
My spirit says yes – this and this and
the gentle spring sun are what I need.
And when I find it,
I shall drum.
I Shall Drum © Lorraine Goodison 2019
Calling in pillars of light,
Singers of ancient songs, writers of new verses,
Knowers, seers, feelers, wise, strong, free,
Fire of passion in our bellies,
Fire of love in our hearts,
Fire of healing in our hands,
Fire of compassion in our eyes,
Fire of wisdom in our minds,
Earth at our feet, the universe at our fingertips,
Magick in our souls,
Moonlight in our dancing and sunlight in our laughter,
We are beautiful souls on an earthbound journey,
Let’s gather to recharge and reconnect with nature,
to nurture our bodies, minds and souls
and remember how glorious we are.
There is room for us all to shine.
Let's raise each other up.
Calling In © Stephanie Drane 2018
Air to breathe
The energy shifts
We simplify ourselves
Just each other
In Green © Vici Hoban Read 2021
It’s an invisible path
by the next
Invisible Path © Treasa Cassidy 2021
It's the tiny things,
The seemingly insignificant things
That sparkle and shine through everything,
The butterfly on your nose,
The morning dew as you arose
The seemingly small things,
The vibrations that run through everything:
They are what make the most difference.
The Tiny Things © M.L Adams 2021
As I walk, I try to tread so softly
nature thinks I am a part of it.
A heron amidst a bed of reeds
hides its head,
begging silently to be left to its own devices,
spotted only because mine is tucked away in a pocket.
I walk, noting which of the steep brambled banks
will be full of berries in a handful of months,
spilling plump reds and purples onto
the tufts of grass by the riverbank.
Coots pick their way through the borage and nettles,
their yellow-green legs lifted and raised
in awkward motion
and I want to say to them,
Yes, that is how I feel when I walk along the city streets.
Awkward. Missing an element.
As I near home, a tumble of spices drift
along the river with the wind,
reminding me to step softly,
and to tread some of my journey back into my city life.
Quiet Steps © A. G. Parker
This is not our home, this hectic scurry of a life.
This fast-lane pace, switching, speeding, spinning.
We were made to dwell in the slow unfurling of a rose,
or at the point where the seed breaks open
to send forth the first wakening root tip.
We are breath and the slow tide of earth’s
reaching for the bright moon.
We remember how to break open to beauty,
to stand weeping in our own magnificence
even through the grief of it all,
to breathe and to cry and to split
our whole being in one smile.
This is how redemption looks.
This is how the slow healing begins,
at the place where we choose the roads that lead us
deep into our own singing cells,
and how they answer to the stars.
Redemption © Catherine Pawson 2021
Transfixed by beauty
of autumnal sun
Shining low across the earth
Creating long shadows
Of hypnotic atmosphere.
Transfixed by this autumnal light
Bouncing off the golden leaves
Enhancing hues of russet red
Glimmering colours of mystery.
Transfixed by silky spiders’ webs
Linked across the gates and rails
Hanging bright with glistening dew
Shining little pearls of light.
Transfixed by call of season’s change
Gratitude for harvest gifts
Nurturing with warming soups
Hibernation within our souls.
Transfixed © Suzanna Magic 2021
November – on this earth
each leaf a memory
gone to ground
streams always finding their course
branches reaching up
as if the answers are in the sky
the light softer now
like tiny footsteps on broken bark
shadows rest like ink smudged on skin
if you only knew how easy it is
to grow one day at a time
I was once a promise in a nutshell
I was once as small
as that dream you hold.
The Trees Said © Polly Hall
I'm there in the sweet breath of snow,
in the quiet footprint of hare, in the curl of covers.
I'm there in the first trill of lark, in unfolding willow leaves, in the wake-up of fresh nettle tea.
I'm there in star blooms of jasmine, in the play of young foxes,
in sunlit rivers refreshing hot skin.
I'm there in the tumble of apples, in squirrel's cracking nut,
in the tingle of chill on the breeze.
I'm there in icicle rainbows, in deer's breath in snow,
in the bare eyes of trees.
In each turn of the seasons, in each changing light,
I'm there, always there, for you.
Nature’s Gift © Giulietta M. Spudich 2021
These notes can be read for the cycle of the Sun through the year, the Moon through its monthly cycle or for any of the planets on their longer cycles through the signs. The evolutionary wheel describes archetypal stages of development of any individual life, group, or even a nation. Understanding the stages that the signs represent can help us to align with possibilities for right action at any given time.
Aries: Ruled by Mars ~ The Power of Intention
The seed, the architect visioning the design. The lesson of Aries is the right use of mind. Aries' ruler Mars gives power to assert and to begin and the challenge is clarity of intention: our thoughts are more powerful than we realise. The divas holding the order of forms in the plant kingdom are a good image for the beauty that perfect clarity of thought can achieve.
Taurus: Ruled by Venus ~ Nurture
The seedling begins to spread roots and to seek the nutrients it needs. The challenge of Taurus is to find a nurturing environment for our growth. Its ruler is Venus – representing the love with which we hold any young and tender thing if we wish it to thrive. Taurus teaches us to make a nurturing space on the material level - and also a nurturing environment within ourselves.
Gemini: Ruled by Mercury ~ Communication
The seedling breaks through the soil, spreading its first twin leaves, receiving for the first time the rays of the sun and feeling the wind and the rain. It's a scene involving all four elements and it gives a good sense of the Gemini phase: the urge to connect and communicate with things that transcend our immediate physical boundaries. A time to communicate.
Cancer: Ruled by the Moon ~ Deepening Roots
In Cancer, the self deepens roots in order to support future growth; plants seek deeper groundwater that will ensure long-term sustainability. Associated with family and home, Cancer brings the urge to grow our roots into the soil of our deeper selves - and further, into the deep underground springs of our culture's traditions and knowledge.
Leo: Ruled by the Sun ~ Flowering, Leadership
Here, the self is fully grown. The plant, drawing on its deepened roots, flowers. Ruled by the Sun - the planet of centredness - the true leadership of Leo stems from the successful growth of an independent will: only a healthy self can have the courage to stand up and to serve something greater. The vital importance and generosity of flowers in nature shows us how important it is to allow flowering in ourselves.
Virgo: Ruled by Mercury ~ Discernment, Service
Flowers have a purpose: the birth of seeds. At this stage the newly grown individual begins to be aware of the call to serve something greater. Virgo is associated with service and dedication to the greater good. Here we meet Mercury for the second time in the wheel and this time the Mercurial spirit brings the power of discernment, sorting the wheat from the chaff.
The six signs that follow represent the growth of the self into increasing awareness of the communal and the transpersonal. The inner work that this demands is highlighted by the fact that the natural processes of nature in autumn and winter become increasingly invisible to the human eye. In describing these stages, it's useful to reach for imagery from the associated myths to better visualise the learning they offer.
Libra: Ruled by Venus ~ Relationship, Balance
A point of balance in the year. Here the seeds germinated in Aries are gathered and we see the fruits of our actions. It is a harvest of relatedness and a time for conscious recognition of what we have created. Libra's ruler Venus guides us not to judge and live in polarities, but to find the still point at the centre and learn to 'walk between the two great lines of force'.
Scorpio: Ruled by Pluto ~ Transformation
Having balance, we can choose dispassionately between good and bad: which seeds of self do we wish to grow? Scorpio brings a choice between the deeper self and the ego. In the myth, the hero(ine) initially attacks the Hydra (ego). The Hydra grows many new heads for every one cut off. It's defeated by lifting it up off the ground: raising awareness is the answer here, not aggression.
Sagittarius: Ruled by Jupiter ~ Clarity of Intention, Growth
Sagittarius the archer looses the arrow of clear intention into the future. For a second time we meet the need for mastery over thought in order to progress. At this stage of the year the chosen seed is projected into the future spring. Jupiter is the planet of growth, aspiration, idealism. Here we have the opportunity to become one-pointed and clear in our intentions.
Capricorn: Ruled by Saturn ~ Work, Initiation
Now we have a vision, we need to prepare the ground. The earth of Capricorn follows the fire of Sagittarius. We learn here that the archer’s vision – those chosen seeds - will not germinate without work and effort. The myth connected with Capricorn is the freeing of Prometheus from the underworld: we are reminded that we live on the Earth and our work is here - and now.
Aquarius: Ruled by Uranus ~ Group Work, Transpersonal Energy
A planted seed is nothing without water. Aquarius the water bearer stands for transpersonal energy. We learn here that we are not alone and we need the water of life. In the Labours of Hercules, a seemingly impossible task of cleansing is accomplished by the diverting of two rivers; it's a beautiful Aquarian image of the inexhaustible energy that we may call upon if we choose to.
Pisces: Ruled by Neptune ~ Holism, Surrender
In Pisces the cycle reaches its end. A time of deep surrender, Pisces invites us to be in the birth of the new through losing the old. In order to germinate, the seeds must now be released. Are we attached to them? If we travel the Piscean journey from our ego's perspective, we will experience death; if we surrender to our deeper selves, we will experience new life. Compassion and connectedness are the gifts of this sign.
The Evolutionary Wheel of the Year © Chris Ellis