Here is a picture of the Earthwalking Archway – symbolic commitment to entering the Earthwalking cycle. There are still a couple of places left on the next cycle – do any of you reading this feel that you could step through the willow into the space beyond?
We all had a lovely time together on Sunday at the Earthwalking introductory day. Numbers gradually grew throughout the day and as the weather improved, by the middle of the afternoon we were able to move outside into the hot sunshine.
The morning began with lots of grey cloud, damp and cool, as we tramped around part of the land and I was able to point out the stream, (which provides our water), the willow bower where on hot days we sometimes retreat into the shade while we journey or hold discussions. We also walked around the ritual grove area where the embryonic circles of oak saplings are flourishing and past the willow labyrinth with its four interconnected spirals and on to the tiny island of apples… the water channel around it being mightily overgrown at present but bursting with wildlife.
We also took time to connect to the four elements, to spend time with and savour them. People sat besides the lively stream who’s waters were swollen by the recent rain and bowls were individually drawn from it, peaty brown and stirred from the depths of the Earth herself. Tiny fires were carefully built and lit upon the bank of the stream and time spent entering into the dancing flames and appreciating their warm… their cleansing and transformative abilities… their potentially destructive power. Hands were muddied from digging out the earth and cheeks were cooled by the presence of the gusty wind.
Coffee and mint tea (picked fresh from the herb beds) were brewed and home made flapjack passed around before we went on to discuss why it might be necessary to regularly cleanse oneself psychically/spiritually; some of the ways to go about it and the best times to do it.
By one o’clock we were all ready for lunch – thick farmhouse tomato soup, cobs of brown, crusty bread studded with crisp seeds, blocks of cheese and piles of fruit followed by pieces of moist lemon drizzle and sticky chocolate cakes. By this time we had been joined by our youngest visitor to Earthwalking ever – a very small little lady who only celebrates her first birthday at the end of this month. She was absolutely charming and impeccably behaved and quite stole all our hearts!
The afternoon was spent looking at the Celtic Spirit Wheel which is in fact a creation of my own interpreting cycles, events and wisdom from various sources. It is quite a complex shape containing two interconnected triangles, the six-armed cross and an outer circle and represents the various phases of life, whether that be the course of a human life or the seasonal cycle of a year… and what it all might mean to us.
Lastly, everyone tried their hand at constructing a wheel of their own from living willow which involved a lot of leaves, twigs, bits of green string and laughter – and some beautifully made results!
It was a happy fluid day with people arriving and leaving at various times. By 4.30.pm. there were just the three of us left to come together outside in the sunshine and give thanks to the land and each other for helping to create such a happy, insightful and interesting day.
I had originally thought to begin the new cycle of Earthwalking in September, but one of my new Earthwalkers cannot attend then, so the start has been put back until early November. During the seven weekend gatherings we shall be covering a wide range of topics: how to reconnect to the natural world and work with elemental energy to heal the planet; getting to know one’s ancestors and healing family karma; healing properties we can access from the natural world – aka herbal medicine… how to identify and prepare your own treatments, soul fragmentation and retrieval and past lives… a lot of healing, but then, if we do not work at becoming as whole and well as we can be, how can we truly progress onto all the other marvellous experiences awaiting us? We shall also be looking at self assessment, stress, anger and fear, then power of thought and of the spoken word, dying and how to make a good death, gratitude and kindness, and what it means to work honestly and diligently. All this – and more – through the mediums of discussion, self-assessment, guided shamanic-type journeys, vision quests, reading and self-discipline.
One thing I can promise; whoever joins us on our next adventure will not be the same person when they walk out from under the Earthwalking Archway in a year’s time! Care to join us?