WILDWISDOM

Sending down our Roots and remembering the Soul

The Langport Labyrinth

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thumbnailThanks to Penny’s Son, Tom Horne, for this great aerial shot! Drone tech.

The Langport Labyrinth is at Wick Farm, Just outside of Langport, Somerset, UK. It no longer functions as a working farm. The owner, Penny Horne, is very creative with the space, with many creative art projects and gardens. She has recently started to allow the land to Re-wild, taking down barbed wire fencing so that animal, such as the deer, can access easily without injury and leaving the grass to return to meadow. Allowing the land to re-wild re-establishes habitats that have been destroyed and encourages diversity of species. We are currently seeing a mass extinction on the planet, loosing species at an alarming rate. These small Oasis’s on the planet act as ‘landmarks’ and future blueprints for others to follow.

A large hillside runs along the property with a woodland of many native species. Upon first viewing of the site the hillside was a strong prominent feature to the land. Other characteristics were a pond and willow trees behind the suggested area for the site. Penny had suggested a spot but was open to where the labyrinth might wish to be placed. The spot was already being used as a fire pit and had large carved wooden seating around it in a circular shape. To me, this said that the spot had already drawn people to to that area and a sacred space was created around fire. Dowsing confirmed the spot to be suitable, there were no ”sha” lines, (underground water lines of negative energy) and there appeared to be a strong energy ley running along the path right next to it. I’m aware that lines will automatically begin aligning to large stones or places where people are consciously harnessing energy. You can also call in lines with your intention. I recently learnt that dowsers associate labyrinths with attracting water! Most interestingly once the labyrinth was built a dowser detected a really strong underground water source crossing through the entrance of the labyrinth and off up the to the Hill, probably coming down from the hill?

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Hillside behind the labyrinth. Not the best photo to get the impression of the Hillside.

The Hillside, In Geomancy or Feng Shui, would have been known as a Dragon Line, any high points where the Earths plates have risen to form, hills, mountains or ridges there is a masculine yang energy to them. In the evenings I started sitting on top of the Hill, over looking the Mendips, and communed with the land. I had already asked permission on first visit, though I get the sense these labyrinths are already in blue print at these places well before I have any knowledge of it. I asked again for permission from the land to build the labyrinth here and asked the land to be involved and to offer its healing to the people that would walk, as we heal ourselves we also heal the land (or the whole) that we are apart of, remembering there is no separation. The labyrinth is also an offering to the land, the labyrinth is a healing sacred space. Making offerings creates a relationship, a two way flow of communication begins to happen as consciousness speaks to itself. I find the Offering of song via the shruti box the most enjoyable and responsive way to communicate. Herbal traditions across the world say the best offering you can give is your voice. In offering a song from the Shruti the words arose how do you heal? It was aimed at the land, as in how does the land heal itself?

For the next two weeks I couldn’t step outside the caravan I was staying in without seeing a snake! They would hear me or feel me, snakes feel vibrations through their underbelly, before I had any idea they were there and then I’d catch site as they slithered away for the closest cover. The second day I was clearing the site and heard a rustling in the grass, I went over to investigate and found a metre long snake skin freshly shed, still warm, the snake had slithered out of it and in to bushes! (((shudder))). I’m not completely terrified of snakes but I’m also not exactly thrilled by them either. Thankfully these were grass snakes, not poisonous, and they never came towards you and were always quick to get out of your way. I’ve never seen so many snakes! I can only remember seeing an adder once in the wild, the wilds of the Hayling Island Billy cycle track, where you could sometimes catch a glimpse of a sunbathing serpent.

After the initial groundworks were completed it was time to start moving the stone which was situated next to the caravan and behind the compost. Unfortunately we were quite sure that this was where the snakes lair was. haha.. We removed the compost with great care making sure not to harm any snakes, sure enough we counted around 10 large grass snakes along with a cluster of eggs. I didn’t get the best of sleeps that night as I watched two large grass snakes make their way underneath the caravan.

So the Serpent energy carried on coming in.. Whilst laying a section of the wall I received what felt like the answer to the question I’d asked the land, (when I say land, I mean all of nature; the animals, plants, air, water and even us!) The stone began to snake, getting thinner and weaving like a snakes bodily movement, then I could see the ridges or spines of the landscape within in the stone which looked like a dragons back, it echoed the vertebrae of the human spine too.

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It made me think about the primal kundalini energy that travels up our spines, symbolised by two snakes climbing up the spine and then I thought about the symbol for medicine being the caduceus, two snakes climbing up a staff.

Apparently its the Rod of Asclepius,emr_emergency_medical_response_logoa single rod with single snake, which is used for the symbol of medicine but the caduceus symbol is often used as well. The Rod of Asclepius is still used today for the ambulance service and many medical organisations. The Rod of Asclepius takes the name of a Greek Deity associated with Healing and the medicinal arts.  The snake symbolises many things but to me it was talking most strongly of Death and Rebirth, the shedding of the skin, Primal Energy, Healing and Transformation. This primal energy is the energy of consciousness that is running through it all! This is how the land heals. It is the coiled serpent which sits at the base of our spines which when ready climbs our vertebrae igniting our chakras. It is the serpent lines, ley lines, energy lines that are the Earths meridians. An Earth grid tapestry which snakes around the globe. When these lines are healthy and flowing the Earths energy body is well, just like in the traditional Chinese practice of acupuncture, it is the energetics that are primary to the physical health and well being.

I’d felt that this labyrinth was somehow connected to the first labyrinth at The Hermitage but there were no solid threads on this. Whilst building the Hermitage labyrinth I felt there would be another labyrinth somewhere that was connected. So when Penny turned up one day on a foraging course and said she wanted a labyrinth I thought Ohhh right…I’m going to build it. However no threads appeared and no logical connections were formed to say the two were connected. Nothing synchronistically flowed to encourage this idea. I wrote to the dowser and labyrinth master Sig Longren who shared that they were already connected as everything is connected but to enhance the connection you could place two stones at either labyrinth which pointed in the direction of the other. I was keen at the time to hold simultaneous walks with the same theme at the same time to create a communication between the both but I feel it is best to go with the flow and that doesn’t appear to be flowing right now, perhaps in the future. It would make an interesting experiment.

For now my self and Julie Wood are planning for one day Plant spirit Immersion workshops using the labyrinth at the Hermitage and I hope to run a retreat at the Langport Labyrinth next year.

If you are interested do get in touch and I can add you to the mailing list for future courses and workshops.

The Langport Labyrinth can be visited by appointment by getting in contact with Penny through the labyrinth locator – https://labyrinthlocator.com/locate-a-labyrinth?labyrinth_id=&action=locate&organization=&lastname=&city=&state=&postalcode=&country=&radius=&availability=&situation=&material=&type=&designer=&builder=Mark+Willenbruch&submit=Search.

I hope to upload a short film soon that was made during the build by Base Gamble. Below are some images through the stages of the project.

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marking out the labyrinth, after the digging out and landscaping. The centre stone is a large Staddle stone which were used to lift granaries off of the floor. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staddle_stones

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This amazing fossil was found within the stone. Predicted to be 200 million years old by Labyrinth historian Jeff Saward. http://www.labyrinthos.net

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The theme, inspired by the serpent, on the opening night was Transformation. Walkers wrote something they wished to let go of and transform in their lives and then placed them in the huge Tibetan Tara gong and (((gonged))). We then burnt them.

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Evening Primrose Medicine

 

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Last year someone had suggested they would like a workshop on Evening Primrose. This sounded like a grand idea as there were many Evening Primroses at Emerson College, so after watching them open in the evening we could walk a candle lit labyrinth. Perfect timing I thought.

From initial conversations with Evening Primrose I felt a soothing coolness, a white soft enveloping light. Relaxing, nourishing, revitalising. It spoke to its connection to the moon and the feminine yet at the same time seemed connected to the solar plexus, suggesting sun and warmth, its stems and seed pods have a red tinge of fire to them. Some see this plants element as being most associated with Earth, yet I felt a strong connection with the solar plexus suggesting fire as well as an even stronger opposing yin character. Plants, like ourselves, contain all the elements to varying degrees and Evening Primrose seemed to be voicing a balancing of both the yin and yang. Male and female aspects.

The uncommon activity of the flowers opening during the evening and in to the night suggested of its ability to shine its light in to the darkness, expressing itself in fullness. I felt a plant for working on the subconscious aspects of ourselves, shining the light of our conscious awareness on to the shadow parts of ourselves and in doing so releasing bound up energy, unlocking creative life force, opening to our individual power through the solar plexus helping us to express more of our true essential nature.

I think this was all absolutely valid but my journey with Evening Primrose hasn’t stopped there. Looking back now, I can see the deep work that I was just stepping into which carried on revealing itself as the unconscious patterns of my own childhood arise in to the light of my awareness. Evening Primrose was helping me in this process of uncovering those wounded parts of myself. I now know she does this through encouraging us to relax. In feeling relaxed, at ease and safe we are able to feel in to the parts of us that have not felt heard, the wounded parts that are afraid. These parts can influence our relationships, our decisions, every aspect of our lives. We carry them as unconscious thought patterns, story lines, underlying fears, feelings and emotions that got stuck frozen in time. It is not that we need to fix them, change them, even ‘heal’ them as such, but simply bringing them in to awareness and letting them know they are now heard and acknowledged.

Ways to work with these aspects.

We might say, ”I see you”, or, I prefer ”I hear you”, when we feel these parts or stories coming up in the moment. Each time, simply returning to our breath and conscious moment awareness. If doing deeper work, we can sit and feel in to these parts, acknowledging them, telling them that it’s ok to be here and that you hear them now.

You could visualise a child in the corner of a room, head bowed down, crying. How would you react to this child? What would you say to this child? The way in which you interact with this child may be the way in which you engage with these parts of yourself. There is no need to fix them but as they feel more heard they may completely transform, they may shrink or they may remain but as life goes on we grow in peace. We grow in awareness of ourselves as we fully flower into the light of our true essential nature, bringing all aspects of ourselves together, the darkness included.

I recently found this information on evening primrose essence which echoed the very work I have been doing on child hood wounds. We all have childhood wounds, this does not mean we had a rough childhood or were abused. The act of simply being born is traumatic. We may even be carrying wounds from the womb, prior to birth, as we soaked up the emotions or situations that were presenting in our environment. I believe the very essence of life is to experience it in its full gory, sorry glory. The pain and the pleasure, the bliss and the heartbreak, the joy and the sorrow. As we navigate life through living in self awareness.

I was amazed to read this description of evening primrose essence as it echoed alot of what has currently come to light with my own healing. Support was already informing my life prior to me even being aware of the deeper work I was about to engage with. Plants, indeed life, is supporting and informing our growth in ways we have no idea of. https://www.spiritoftransformation.com/Essencedescriptions/eveningprimrose.pdf

 

Evening Primrose

Nature connection / communication.

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When we begin connecting to nature and experience the intelligence that is permeating and penetrating every inch, of every thing, in all that there is. We can begin to form a reciprocal relationship with this greater part of us. There seems to be a natural tendency towards expressing our inner questions, our pain, our troubles, in order to find answers, guidance and healing. At least that is the way in which I have felt compelled to work and guided in relationship to our natural world.

At this time it is essential that we re-establish our connection, particularly in Britain where we have largely forgotten this connection, but in which now a growing calling is being heard by many to re-member our ancestral lands. For a long time we have been going to other cultures to find our spiritual connection, nothing wrong with this, but we are now being asked to connect with the plants, tree’s and spirits of this land. I am not bashing our choices and callings to other lands and traditions, I feel very drawn to the Aboriginal culture of Australia and feel they hold vital keys in aiding in our remembering how it is to live in harmony, reverence and true relationship with our Earth. The point I’m making is that we possess the ability to go directly to the plants, tree’s and nature of our homeland in order to heal, not only ourselves and others but our relationship to our Earth and our collective consciousness.

In asking for help we open a dialogue with the greater source of intelligence that is streaming through us and everything else. There is no shame in asking for guidance and help. Once we realise we don’t have to figure it all out ourselves and that we have support all around us, we can move in to a place of humbly asking for help. A vital principle in this relationship is in offering something in return, I struggled with this concept for ages as my culture and my head would say, ”whats the point in that”, what will a tree gain from my giving a gesture of thanks? It took me a while to develop a way in which it felt right. The modern day culture with which I grew up in saw trees as inanimate lifeforms, though I knew this not to be true, the programming was still there and frankly it seemed kind of pointless to me. Initially I would simply smile and give thanks, just as you would a friend who had helped you out. My teacher, Pam Montgomery, would say to make gifts from our hands, as trees do not possess hands and we have the ability to create with our hands, our hands are extensions of our hearts. I’ll often offer beads that I have coloured but what has emerged to be the most rewarding, enjoyable and effective gift, is to sing. Again my cultural conditioned mind will sometimes mock my vocal offerings. Feelings of shyness, feeling odd to be singing, toning or making guttural sounds if somebody is to walk past is no doubt my own childhood inadequacies of not feeling heard or being able to fully express my self.

Nature will often respond to tone and vibration in elaborate, meaningful ways. I believe that at the atomic level, the atoms connecting the fabric of space, reverberate, sending powerful healing tones out in to the environment of which get reflected back to you.

Asking questions and receiving answers. I felt drawn to working in the following way. In this process we are reclaiming our connection with the spirit of the land, plants, trees, animals and become a part of our own healing journey.

This is specifically referring to a way of healing with the aid of nature but this communication and relationship forming is ongoing. An individual can then carry on building upon this relationship on their own.

A further aspect to this reciprocal relationship is that we may also then begin asking what nature is asking of us, in what ways may we serve. What are we humans being asked to do at this time of great healing.

The process might look something like this;

Whilst out in nature, You ask a question..

Without looking for the answer with your mind, you simply become present, creating a space inside of you where the intelligence of nature can be heard.

Being present within our bodies and feeling in to our, ‘Gut brain’ and ‘Heart brain’, centres, helps us to bypass the conditioned thinking mind. You simply remain in this space of bodily awareness, aware of the presence you feel inside of you. You may feel pulled in a certain direction or you may notice changes in your outer environment, a sudden change in weather, a breeze that kicks up, an animal that crosses your path, a plant that calls to you or the sun piercing a cloud touching its radiance upon your face. Don’t try to ‘logicalize’- (its a new word, I’ve just made up) Don’t, ‘logicalize’ your experience, instead stay present, you may receive an instant knowing or clarity from the answers but simply remain present to the unfolding. It is also possible that the answers will not come in your desired time frame, yet later on you receive the answers in your life circumstances. Asking questions opens up a relational interplay where life/ spirit starts to unfold through you, you are signalling that you are ready to live the answers you are looking for. It may be a longer or shorter process, depending upon the nature of your question.

I will shortly be offering one to one sessions supporting and guiding in this process as well as plant spirit treatments which will soon be up under the plant spirit Healing heading.

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Re-wilding with the Labyrinth book

For the last two years I’ve been writing, on and off, a short book on my journey with the Labyrinth and the unfolding of its message about its ability to facilitate states of awareness that are conducive to communicating with the plant world. This way of being is rooted in an awareness of our bodies, in particular our Heart and Gut. Our ancestors, indigenous peoples and people living closely to the land tend to live in this state of awareness, simply moving through the natural landscape tends to ‘activate’ this more natural state within us.

This year I’ve had the pleasure of getting to the stage of handwriting and illustrating the book. Its been such a fun and enjoyable process. I’ve loved getting back in to drawing again… Cup of tea, some lush music and the zoning in or out of worlds that bring deep peace, tranquility or excitement. It’s a form of meditation and a way for the soul to say what its ‘feeling’. Another creative outlet in more recent years has been singing! which has come as a bit of surprise! Its helped me in expressing my self vocally but also it appears to be a natural response in the human when connecting with nature. I found it would come in involuntary vocal tones at first. I’d sometimes connect with a plant and a tone would arise from my chest. Looking at other cultures such as the Australian Aborigines and Amazonian tribes they sing directly from the plants and the land. I think there is a natural synthesis that happens when people work closely to the spirit of the land that evokes within us the response to sing or make harmonic noises. Its very primal, it feels amazing and creates an energy as the elements around you dance and celebrate. Watching a recent documentary on the Aborigines I loved the way they creatively expressed their connection to the land and spirit. Everything they seemed to do was an expression and an honouring of that through their art, dance, ritual, song, ceremony. It seems to me that is our true place within the web – As hunter gatherer, expressing our gratitude and celebration with the creation through our own creations, what a beautiful way to live!

Here’s a taster page from the book…23131927_10155820858807640_7602955459804799100_n

If you wish you can connect here on FB – https://www.facebook.com/Wild-Wisdom-172830619533379/

and a new Instagram page – https://www.instagram.com/_wildwisdom_/

 

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Testimonial from the Working with plant Spirit workshop, 21.3.17, Rose Moore. Although I have always been a lover of nature, my conventional scientific education made me somewhat sceptical about the concepts around plant communication on an intuitive level. However I had no difficulty in quickly recognising my plant ally and enjoying her gifts. Little did I realise that I was about to experience unexpected insight and some deep healing of grief associated with the destruction of a beloved place. The beautiful candle lit labyrinth was the culmination of a very special day and I am grateful to Mark for this introduction to Wild Wisdom work.


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Re-Wilding with the Labyrinth Workshop

 

 

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Just wanted to add some photo’s from the day and a little write up of how it went. As usual with these sorts of events / workshops when a group of like minded individuals get together it makes for a really special time and this was no exception. There were 8 of us in total including myself and Julie who were facilitating the day.

We started off with a short physical and breathing exercise to get us in to our bodies. Bringing our awareness down from the head space and in to the body. We learnt of how we are able to experience our connection to the natural world we are a part of through being aware of our senses at a deeper level.

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I shared the journey that has taken 2 1/2 years from my initial meeting with a Labyrinth in Ireland at Carraig Dulra Permaculture Farm to the finishing of the Herb Labyrinth at Tuppenny Barn. The process has been one of intention, communication and deep listening then allowing and facilitating for the co- creation to emerge, an organic unfolding if you like.

Just before lunch we walked the Labyrinth testing out some of the body awareness techniques.

We shared one of the most exuberant banquets I’ve ever had pleasure to be a part of, it makes for such a heart warming occasion when everyone brings something to share for a feast, creates a real sense of community. 13565385_10154169135616469_165269228_n

In the afternoon Julie led a meditation/communication exercise with St Johns Wort, the plant which was the focus of the day. Its always magical how people’s experience matches that of the plants characteristics. Everyone had such beautiful experiences to share and I will update this post with one or two of those. St Johns Wort really shone giving us all personal insights to take home and digest.

We walked the Labyrinth for the second and final time but this walk was to pay homage to St Johns Wort, to give thanks and ground our experience of the day.20160626_145136_resized