WILDWISDOM

Sending down our Roots and remembering the Soul

Entraining with Holly

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I recently took a trip to meet a friend in Minehead and the medieval town of Dunster in West Somerset. Primarily to meet a friend but I thought I’d check out the area to see if there were any interesting Earth energies about the place. After writing a post on the ‘Earth energies, alignments and leys’ facebook page, a couple, whom I’d previously met whilst they were dowsing, got in touch to say they have done a lot of work in the area and suggested checking out Bratton woods. Gordon and Geraldine work with what they call Beacon tree’s, Oak tree’s that are emitting a lot of light energy. Gordon mentioned that he had found one Beacon tree on the East end of the woodland but that there was one more. So we went off to Bratton woods to see if we might locate a Beacon tree.

Driving through Dunster I could see the signs of a slightly more untamed elemental landscape than the other part of Somerset I had come from, the elemental energies were slightly wilder here, possibly being closer to the coast and may be a change in the substrate or just the slightly more pronounced hillsides. We drove through the medieval town of Dunster, well worth a visit, and on to Bratton to locate the woods. A local farmer pointed us to the track which led up to the hillside and woodland, apparently known locally as stinky lane! There was a fire at the entrance on the right which looked like it is regularly used for burning brush and a farm with barn and stone wall directly opposite.  
As we ascended up the path to the top of stinky lane I noticed a change in energy, I dowsed what I thought may be a small energy line about 3 or 4 metres wide and about that same distance again to the top of the track to the gate, crossing the path horizontally. We crossed the line several times, dowsing its outer edges, giving our selves and the rods a warm up. Dowsing is not really my primary tool of use but it gives you quick answers, especially in terms of direction, simply stating what you are looking for and using the rod to point you towards the location is a very hand tool indeed.

Earlier in the week I had an interesting experience with a Holly bush. I was working, driving the tractor, and from a distance of about 100 foot away I felt a strong sensation in my body and my eyes fixated on an area as if I were in its ‘tractor’ beam, the spot that was pulling me in was by a water way, a stream, that runs under the track with an area that is fenced off in a triangular shape. As I got closer my gaze was fixated on a spot and I began to make out this Holly bush, I’d felt the essence of the Holly strongly within my body. I’d never noticed this particular bush before and Holly is also not a tree that I have ever worked closely with, though a very topical tree for this time of year. The actual bush it self is quite inconspicuous amongst other species of plant and you barely notice it, but it pulled me in. I carried on my task and on the way back I stopped and stood in front of the Holly, the energy was again effecting my body, not in bad way, though my heart had a clearing, a slight pointy painful clearing, like you might imagine the leaves to feel like on your skin. I also felt pressure in my head release, it all lasted a few moments then dispersed. I observed a Robin sat on the fence as I asked the Holly if there was a particular message? The Robin flew around the tree and flew off in a westerly direction, I simultaneously heard, ‘Head West’. Over the next few days I’d also had some intense clearing going on, some heat and anger passing through, that lasted a couple of days, I also noted that mass solar flares were happening at the time.

     
This encounter proved poignant on our visit to Bratton woods. As we entered the gate at the top of stinky lane, in to Bratton woods and asked the rods to point in the direction of the Beacon tree, both our rods pointed right, we headed along the path and again our rods began pointing at the same time diagonally left, towards the North West side of the hill. We started heading up ‘North Hill’ path, which is sign posted, and a little way up on the left of the path we were both drawn to a little enclosure, naturally formed by a Holly tree standing with its branches around an Oak,(see picture above). We sat under this natural shelter and played our instruments, a flute and shruti box and sang to the land, noticeable changes in the landscape played along with us, breezes at certain points though the day was still, crows and other birds appeared to call in response and a flock of pigeons emerged in the trees in front of us as we entered the timeless merging of dimensions within nature. It was a gorgeous experience of oneness and connection. Playing not a rehearsed piece but rather reacting to the moment, the lands song emerging through. This entrainment that happens when we sit in nature and use sound as a vehicle of connection and expression is currently what excites me the most. I know of the healing capabilities and adjustments to the body that sitting in nature can have and another very interesting point of this experience was that I had been suffering from quite a bad back injury all week and immediately after the experience and on the way walking back down stinky lane I suddenly realised I had no more pain! though I can not say it is completely better it is significantly better!! and has remained so still today.
Upon returning I sent an email along with the photograph at the top of the page with the Oak and Holly to Gordon, Gordon dowsed the photo and has confirmed he believes it to be the Beacon tree!

You can find out about Gordons work here – https://artisttreedowser.com/

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Sara Domingo’s Danish Labyrinth

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I mentioned in the last newsletter that I had been doing a consultation for a friend to build a labyrinth in Denmark, I asked Sara if she would write a post about her process. Sara Domingo’s grammar is even worse than mine! haha, however, English is not her first or even her second language! She gave me permission to make any grammatical changes or to change any parts of the write up but I’ve only made the odd adjustment for translation purposes so as to keep it as close to her expression as possible. 

I am sure you will agree that it is a gorgeous story and an absolutely lovely process of connection and communication that Sara went through. Clearly, Sara already has a strong connection and ability to listen and hear nature, but wow! I so enjoyed reading about her exchange and experiences of the elements that were involved in this labyrinth’s creation, The dog Rose in the centre, the magnetism of the stones.. the communication and deep insights that were gained when the simple process of listening is engaged with. I wasn’t jealous but this would have been a lovely labyrinth to build as the Hecate labyrinth as it is known or by some the Chakra-Vyuha.. funnily enough it was this labyrinth that I wanted to build next, so in I was very happy to suggest this design after Sara told me of her connection to the spiral and the trinity, The Hecate labyrinth is related to the triple spiral ((((( may be include link to hecate labyrinth post))))))

I’ve sited the following with links at the bottom of the article. Hecate Labyrinth

Building the Hecate labyrinth. By Sara Domingo

PART 1

‘’Being like a Rose bud’’ 

I did not have any plans of ending up in the coast lands of Djurdsland, Denmark, neither was my idea to build a labyrinth.

 But like the Universe often do, it likes to play hide and seek, and it likes when life is a game of changing directions at least thats how i have experience the great Universe of things to be with me. 

Now I’m here, not doing my farming course as I signed up for, instead, I’m building a labyrinth and finding all the wonders of the stone people. 

I didn’t do a great research and I did not know much about labyrinths, when I wake up one day and the idea had seeded in my head. I had met Mark about 3 years ago in South Spain and he was, I would say, the first person who ever told me about what a labyrinth is, so of course I wrote him that same day. It was exciting to feel his support and guidance from the beginning. 

First I read Marks book “Re-wilding with the labyrinth” and tried to draw some different labyrinth patterns. Quickly I resonated with the 5 ringed Hecate labyrinth, I have always felt more comfortable with the trinity and the number 3. So I took a quick decision. I had asked the farm near from where I was staying if I could build a stone labyrinth on their land. Funnily, the farm was called Stone farm so I thought that could only be a good sign. Soon they accepted my offer and I began to work with the piece of land they had allowed me to use. 

It was perfect! I thought it is was almost like someone has arranged it all to build a labyrinth here. There was a flat sandy surface covered in moss and lots of plantain with a beautiful Wild Rose in the middle right next to the ocean and 100 meters away from a big mound of stones. 

I didn’t have to meditate long to feel the land was waiting for this to happen. I decided to integrate the Rose bush in the centre of the labyrinth. After meditating and sitting on the land I made a deal with the Rose bush that I was only allowed to do the labyrinth in silence or singing, so from that moment I knew I could not use any electric tools.

The first day I took down a big wheel barrow with lots of tools to work the land where the I would build the labyrinth; A Scythe, Spade, Pruning Scissors… But, quickly it became disorganised in my head, I did not have any plan and lots of questions appeared that made me do nothing. How big would it be? Where should the entrance go? Should I take out the high plantain first? and how flat should the ground be..?? I required a plan.. which I did not have, perhaps it is in my character to avoid plans but in this moment I sat by the Rose and I observed its buds, the fruits of the Autumn. I thought about its journey being a bud then a rose then a bud again. At this moment I decided not to plan, not to mark the labyrinth, not to think so much about why I do it and what my intention would be, or which labyrinth to make. I would start with no preparation only with this connection to the Rose knowing that she would be the centre point and that she would birth the labyrinth like she gives birth to her flowers. She had all the answers to our labyrinth journey. I imagine the labyrinth at that point being a stone but that is opening and would becoming a full stone flower of the Earth, the excitement of a birthing flower, reminded me of my background as a Birth Doula and the supporting of a Mother in the birth of their child, the unknown is part of their excitement but is also a fear, embracing the unknown means to be pregnant, surrender is the birth. 

I concentrated on the centre on the rose and started working from the inside out. I pruned the Rose bush and gathered some of her buds in exchange, I buried some of my hair with the prayer that it would grow back strong. With the buds I made a tincture that I know has a special medicine and gift from the Rose bush. After that I made a ring of stone around her to mark the centre, to mark the bud and/or the pregnant belly. It felt so satisfying having begun this journey, working with the land which also gave me some grounding in this new phase of my life, where my soul is searching to ground, to find my own centre, and be able to re-connect with my roots here in Denmark.

Stone Love

After marking my centre I started building the seed pattern, I followed my first feeling and began to make the Hecate seed pattern.

 https://labyrinthsociety.org/labyrinth-types/3642-the-chakra-vyuha-labyrinth-aka-hecate-labyrinth – Here you can view the Hecate seed pattern and how to draw it on the labyrinth society website. 

Placing the stones I quickly realised that some stones just seem to easily touch each other and others, no matter how hard I tried, would not stay together, like two magnets with the same pole, there was a force that made them pull away. I thought this must be the different magnetism of the stones. 

Instinctively I was trying to find stones that had the plus and the minus so they would stick together. I thought also that the stones would prefer it like this.. there was a sensation of harmony and love when the stones touched each other in an easy way that wasn’t forced. 

This simplification of Love really stayed with me. The way stones love came to a matter of polarities of energy. I was thinking this must be the same with people, we just make it so much more complex since we have this menacing mind that questions and thinks and creates strategies, it wants to find the perfect match that not just feels good but also fits into our plans and dreams. 

I keep observing and noticing this magnetism, I wonder if it is what the stones are made of or where they come from that defines their magnetism. Most of the stones were collected from the field. As I mention before this field is 300 metres from the ocean so the stones are of different minerals probably rolled from different parts of the land, there were stones of different colours, Red, Green, even some had blue in them. They were of different shapes some round, some sharp, some were flint and even some had little quartz crystal in them.. with all this variations of stones it was very hard to find and answer of what defines their magnetism.. but wondering over this I wondered also what my magnetism was? as I reflected upon my life, as if I was a stone rolling in the bottom of the ocean being shaped from the force of the waves heating me against other rock , stones, pebbles, sand.. Am I still a stone in the ocean? or am i a stone of the land? Am I a stone in the deep warmth and fire of the Earth? or a stone on the top of a windy mountain? Every stone is in a constant shapeshifting by the great forces of nature, they are in a constant travel and probably it is the combination of it all that make them who they are. I do not have a clear conclusion and these days have only opened why..an intrigue in to the wonder of stone magnetism… 

This day I observed how most stones they fitted perfectly with each other despite their many differences they accepted each other, they were supporting one another and it seemed like they were happy to share some stories of their long life journey, but also I observed how a few stood out and were hard to integrate, I doubted it they at all wanted to be part of the labyrinth at all so I kept them out for now. 

Today I felt how the stones are alive, how they, like us, have a personality that is shaping and shifting and energy that they seem to be very aware of and over all I learnt today how love is much more simple when you are or dare to be like a stone 🙂 

End of part 1: This is currently where Sara has got up to. The pile of stones she is using has run low. So she is looking at locating another source of stones locally before finishing the labyrinth. Stay tuned for part 2. If you are interested in building your own labyrinth I offer consultation.

Consultation costs £25 or a donation and consists of advice, information and guidance on your project before, during and after via phone calls, email or zoom.

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Self Heal, Prunella Vulgaris

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I decided to make a sun infused oil from Self Heal today… Bare with this post as we’ll be easing in to Self Heal later on, we’ll get there don’t worry! just need to meander our way in to it – We need to talk about John, St John of course. I have been waiting to make an oil with St Johns Wort, Hypericum perforatum and now is the perfect time but it just doesn’t grow that well here! annoyingly its brothers and sisters from the Hypericum family genus seem to love growing here but they reputedly don’t have a medicinal effect. At least apparently not on the pharmacological level.

I’ve used St Johns Wort oil for quite a few years now, its brilliant bright red colour is a beauty to behold and says something of its medicinal value for treating sun burn, burns, rashes and skin related issues. I would use it in a sort of male grooming fashion for dry skin on the old boat (face) but have wondered whether basting my precious face in this oil and then spending the day in the sun was wise..? I have heard of cases in cattle that have eaten quantities of St johns Wort getting badly sun burnt. It is known to increase people’s photo sensitivity to UV sun light, it really is a plant of the Sun! The light bearer! Though in saying this, St Johns Wort is a great oil to use on the skin at the end of the day and particularly if you have had sun exposure, it was using it in the morning and then spending all day long in the sun that had me questioning my use of it. To be honest any oil on the skin and prolonged exposure to the sun is probably not such a good idea, best practice is to cover up, limit your exposure, get a hat and put a medicinal oil on your skin in the evening.

Self Heal, Prunella Vulgaris

Here we go..

With this in mind I had started to wonder what other plants might work well as an oil. I’d considered Self Heal as it grows abundantly on the lawns here, looking rather magnificent, (as you can see from above). Then I had a cue from a visitor, as she walked the labyrinth she stopped to pick some Self Heal growing out from under the stones on her way round, she mentioned it made a lovely oil. Self Heal is an interesting plant as it has fallen out of favour in our modern day herbal use. Traditionally Self Heal, also known as; All-heal, touch and heal, wound wort, Hercules’ Woundwort, pay testament to how high a regard this plant was seen in times gone by. It has a long history as a wound healer in Europe and as a general tonic. In china it is used for fevers and ‘firey’ liver conditions. Flu’s and hot flushes. There’s more but I’ll leave it for you to look up if you are interested in its medicinal uses, as an oil it has been shown to protect the skin from UV damage! Bingo!

Soon to be Sun infused Self heal oil.

To say a word or two on working with the spirit of this plant..It feels to hold a strong grounding element yet its ultra violet colours of Blue and Purple hold a key to higher vibrations. Its name is indeed apt to working with a plant at the level of spirit as we self heal. When working with plant spirit we are tuning in to the bodies ability to heal itself. When we sit with a plant, our body has the opportunity to match its resonance. Our bodies have the ability for self healing and sitting with plants or in nature there is a DNA coding which happens, our bodies speak and get spoken to by the electromagnetic etheric cords that undulate throughout our landscape. We have contorted our selves, restricting life’s flow and intelligence and as we free ourselves up and connect again with something that is whole (plants in this case) we then begin to re-cognise, the cogs turn and we re-align. It is almost as if Self Heal does not want to be put in to categorisation, He/she, like all plants are much more than the sum of their constituent parts.

I don’t know to what message these two were giving me but they weren’t there the first time I looked. Amor’e

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Anxiety, Depression and Mental Health

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I am writing this post today in response to a having just lost a very close and loved friend. Every single one of us struggles with some form of mental health, anxiety or depression in varying degrees and in different forms. Life isn’t supposed to be simply bliss but we can learn very simple natural ways to change body chemistry and ‘body’ energy that have very real effects on our health and well being which can help us to better cope with life’s tough and darker aspects.

THE main tool for this starts with breathing, breathing in the ”right” way has such a massive impact on our physical, mental, emotional health, it will literally change you. Physically, When we breathe in to the lower abdomen, more commonly known as your belly, we increase oxygen intake. The lungs fill down as well as out when we breathe in to the belly. A common trait in anxiety sufferers is that they breathe shallowly from the chest actually creating tension and stress in the body. Breathing from the belly relaxes the body, alleviates tension, lowering the stress hormone cortisol, it oxygenates the blood, increasing blood flow to the organs and brain, reduces heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It is even detoxifying as it helps shift toxins out of the body through the lymphatic system. It helps aid in good restful sleep and perhaps most importantly it rebalances the autonomic nervous system.

You can practice abdominal breathing anywhere at anytime. It can be done as a stand alone exercise to help reduce stress and anxiety or you can retrain yourself to breathe this way constantly. It will take time and will feel strange at first yet it has long lasting health effects and is our optimal natural way of breathing, if you watch animals or babies they breath from their gut. I believe its due to the build up of various trauma’s, shocks and stress throughout life that we begin breathing from the upper chest which only adds to tension and anxiety.

The answers lay in nature…

We evolved with a nervous system to keep us alive in the wild. It geared us up for running, fighting or some other adrenalised action or for resting and rejuvenating and sensing. Our nervous system comprises of two parts, The sympathetic and the para sympathetic. The sympathetic is our flight or fight response and para sympathetic is the rest and digest mode. Today we live far more often than perhaps we should do in the para sympathetic state, hard wired, constantly on the move, direct focus, push, push, push, our nervous systems are strung out. Without a need to run away from a Bear we get triggered by an anxious situation of some sort and then we don’t switch back in to the resting place of the para sympathetic. This is compounded by our urban environments, our fast paced lifestyle of screens, work and over consumption of inflammatory foods, caffeine, drugs and alcohol. Simple body awareness and breathing techniques which mirror that of our hunter gatherer ancestors help create an inner environment that is still, calm, receptive, peaceful and content, yet fully aware and alert. This is what the work with the labyrinth can help with as we entrain our bodies and minds to slow down by simply being rather than doing. Allowing the body to calibrate in to a state of balance, being in nature naturally helps restore our bodies in to balance.

Another aspect that needs to be addressed is talking to someone. This is particularly true of men, apparently suicide is the biggest cause of death in men under the age of 45. If you are struggling then talk to someone. We don’t realise how open and ready friends, family and people are to listening and helping. Though my friend wore his heart on his sleeve and would talk openly to some people about his problems, no one knew the extent to which he was suffering. The one thing that everyone wishes he had done was to have just spoken to somebody before making the choice he made. Though it may not feel like it, things can be worked through, everything is in consistent change.

I am now offering one to one’s which you can follow the link to for more information. In light of this topic the one to ones offer a space with which you can talk, they can be done via skype, phone or soon from the land at Earth Heart, in the middle of the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire where nature therapy will also be undertaken. Another element to the one to one is coaching or mentoring, that can be mentoring through your issue by learning the techniques and ways of being in nature that I am trained in. These techniques build resilience, purpose, relationship to nature and above all a greater understanding of yourself in order to better equip you with the tools to not only cope but flourish in life.

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Children, Dragons and Labyrinths.

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This Autumn I found my self on a last-minute trip to visit a friend in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Southern Spain. My plan was to be in Wales for the month of October but life decided a different mountain range was on the cards. A day or so after my plans had fallen through, my good friend Nick phoned from Spain for a chat, we had previously talked of a visit in Autumn so now seemed like the perfect timing.

I’d arrived at a difficult time for Nick and his family. Rather tragically Nicks baby daughter, Freya, had been taken in to hospital since our phone call. I traveled to the hospital with Nicks partner, Anne’s, Father to see them after staying in their mud hut for a couple of days with a field full of student midwives…more on that later.

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Freya had an operation on her stomach and had been in intensive care, though upon seeing her you wouldn’t have guessed. I’m not one for babies to be honest, they’re alright, I’d rather have a dog. Freya on the other hand was delightful, I’ve never met such a content child, I kept telling Nick she had a great temperament…

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So Nick and Ann’e met while Ann’e was studying at the Da A Luz midwifery school – https://daaluzoasis.com/ – Here’s a snippet from their webpage.. quite amazing work I think you’ll agree – We will take studies back to a basic wisdom. Living on the land, nurtured and inspired students and teachers will flourish from the earth up. We have gathered the sharpest, most passionate minds in midwifery to create a centre of wisdom away from modern medicine, protocol and insurance issues which stop true midwifery from flourishing as a profession. Rather than fighting a non functioning system, we are creating a new paradigm…….. Starting afresh.

Since then Nick has bought the piece of land where the student midwives stay each year and where Ann’e had built their off grid house/hut. Living in community with both temporary and permanent residents. There’s between 10 -15 tents, trucks, caravans and huts on the land, with the main purpose being accommodation for the students. There is a communal library / come kitchen (old truck) a tool shed (old van), compost loo, playing field, vegetable growing field and lots of olive tree’s and herbs growing in and around the field along the river bank. Washing is done in the river and spring water is collected for drinking. Life is rewarding yet tough.

The first day of my arrival I was invited to the ‘El Rastro’, a hippy flea market in the small Town of Orgiva. Myself and two of the student midwives had set off walking along the river. As we strolled along chatting I asked how they were finding the midwifery school and what they were doing, Esther, announced that she was going to be doing her final project on the labyrinth!!! Of course you are I thought… Nick had told me there was an overgrown labyrinth next to the midwifery School a while ago and I had heard of labyrinths being used in the process of childbirth for meditation and as a tool during labor, but still… It never ceases to amaze me, the way in which the labyrinth persistently turns up.

Below: The amazing book by Pam England on using the labyrinth in childbirth.bty

I thoroughly recommend it for all labyrinth enthusiasts. It has some beautiful illustrations and some epic wisdom on ways of using the labyrinth in the journey of pregnancy and labor. I love the way the labyrinth winds its way in to so many areas of life.

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Above: A couple of cool illustrations from the book, its filled with these wonderful pen and ink examples.

There is a fascinating account in the book on midwives using labyrinths 500 years ago in Cornwall, UK for healing. It says that English midwives and healers in Cornwall used labyrinths to guide them in their healing work. When people came to them with questions about life or in search of healing, the midwife would hold the persons question in mind, and hum whilst tracing their finger around a labyrinth etched in slate. Tracing the labyrinth drew the midwife in to a receptive state of mind where she could see what was needed. When the midwife died, it was customary for her to hand her labyrinth down to her apprentice or to bury it with her.

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Above : A beautiful double Rainbow appeared over Dragon Mountain.

The Mountain at the end of the valley in Cigarrones is known as Dragon Mountain. As many of you may know mountain ranges are known as dragon lines, I wasn’t surprised to be hearing tales of Dragons not before long. It started one day when a couple of us were sat having coffee in Town, our topic of Dragons was simultaneously being shared behind us when we overheard a couple talking of their experiences in the surrounding mountains, the lady informed us that she had been working with the Dragon energy for a while here and the mountains were full of them! I view dragons in a couple of ways, I see them as energy, energy from the magnetic fields of the Earth and the fire which has formed the high peaks, mountain ranges and hillsides as the Earths plates have risen with tremendous force. Magnetic fields as well as other energy forms are given off from water ways and magma flows within the earth. Also as a type of elemental being, the two are the same thing I guess. The elemental ‘being’, being a part of the whole, in the same way that when we work with a plant spirit, we are working with the collective whole of the plant and the elementals are a part of the plant. I think we are perceiving spirit through our bodies filters, so for us we may perceive a dragon shape for that particular being of energy. Interesting to note that the image of a Dragon is clearly depicted very similarly all around the world, from China to Britain and in the creation myth stories of indigenous cultures across the globe.

This is the second time working on the land that Dragons have come up this year. The first time was during the labyrinth build in Langport . After sitting on the hillside and asking the land the question of how it heals? the serpent energy was the main response that came through loud and clear. I wonder whether the sleeping Dragons are waking up within the land?

Upon asking the river and land if there was a message to be received? or something it needed? the following situation arose which began with the talk of Dragons in the Cafe.. The next day Nick and I decided the labyrinth could do with some TLC, it was built by a lady named Tess Jennings who created it along with helpers during one of the Dragon Festivals a few years ago. I’ve not met Tess but I had heard of a woman who used to go around Festivals building Labyrinths, I’m pretty sure it will be the same Tess.

Nick and I didn’t want to use a strimmer on the labyrinth and we were gifted a Scythe by a friend of Nicks who we had called in on before knocking on the door of Andy, who owned the land where the labyrinth lay. Upon asking Andy if it was ok to ‘tidy’ up the labyrinth he said yes but as long as we didn’t use a strimmer, just hand tools, we told him we were already on it. I understand the need for practicality when using machine tools especially on larger jobs but I’m becoming increasingly more aware this year that it is jarring for the living environment. I guess it is the equivalent of somebody cutting your hair considerately with scissors or someone roughly hacking away at it with clippers.

Top: Labyrinth before.   Middle: Nick with the shears.   Bottom: After a trimbty

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Unfortunately the photo’s of the candle lit labyrinth walk didn’t come out. A couple of mornings before the walk I’d woken up with the idea of collecting stones from the river bed for people to carry in to the middle of the labyrinth, each of us could place a stone in the centre as an offering to the land and create an image which perhaps held some meaning? On the evening of the walk a large crowd from the community gathered, kids were busy running and playing in the labyrinth, ultra enthusiastic to help light the candles, I didn’t have to light a single one! Speaking to Andy before the walk I told him of the idea to honour the land and place a stone in the centre and he told me that a couple of ”Shaman” had visited the land and had said that the labyrinth needed to be re-assigned a new identity, they decided to realign the labyrinth to the land and the community, By asking the land / river and Mountain that day what was wanted or needed I believe that this was the outcome. There were many gorgeous personal experiences during the walk; Nick’s friend Sebastien, the Scythe owner, had missed the end of the introduction and had stepped on to the labyrinth without taking a stone, I followed on after him, I wouldn’t usually walk if I was holding the event but felt compelled to in this instance, I followed after him and considered telling him to take a stone but decided to leave it be, as we rounded the corner next to the bucket of stones a young girl, Aluna, who I’d estimate is about 2 years old, was coming round the corner with her Mother, she stopped at the corner and we all stood there ushering her past us, calling her and gesturing her to move on but she just stood there looking at us and saying something we couldn’t hear, then she took a stone from the bucket and gave it to Sebastien!

After we finished a couple of people shared that they felt the presence of people who had passed that were connected to the place, we then realised it was a day after ‘The day of the Dead’ celebration in Spain. People felt very close to their friends and felt them there alongside them.

I felt really thankful for the opportunity to participate and help create that evening with such a strong spirit and lovely community.

After returning to the UK I went to a talk by Mac Macartney, founder of Embercombe, who has just released a book called ‘The Children’s Fire’, about his pilgrimage to Anglesey from his birth place in England. The Children’s Fire is a teaching of the elders of ancient America. They made a pledge to the welfare of unborn children, both human and non-human: No law, no decision, no action of any kind shall be taken that will harm the children seven generations hence. Very poignant at a time when thousands of people are on the streets of London for the demonstration of Extinction rebellion.

Below is the image that was created in the centre by everyone that walked, no mention was made as to any theme, just to add your stone to the centre, an interesting image I’m sure you’ll agree. Some people likened it to a womb and ovaries which I feel was very apt. It made me consider the symbolism of child birth perhaps to take as a symbol of what we are birthing in to the future, for the children of tomorrow.

below : Image created in the centre of the labyrinth.bty

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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

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