(Image : “LOTR Fanbook-The Shire”, SG, 2010)
OBOD (Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, UK) is structured in three “grades”, which constitute the essential Training the Order has to offer. All three grades are complete in themselves, so you go in until you feel that you´ve had enough. I would certainly encourage all Members to go through the whole cycle of the three grades, because it´s getting out of the last one as a Druid, that you really get the feeling that…”Now, to begin again! Really do it, this time!” It is the paradox : the Course is a Circle, not a never-ending journey!…Each time you complete the circle (in the next twenty years or so, lol), you will feel more complete: the Journey of a Druid never ends…
Difficulties are obstacles to transcend to be able to go beyond limits (mostly self imposed!), and grow as a person. Gandalf the Grey becomes Gandalf the White becomes…Gandalf! 😉
I have finished the Course, and so, am a Druid “grad” of OBOD. As such, and knowing the Course well for having gone through it all, in much detail, I can help Bards (art,storytelling, writing, etc.), Ovates (ecopsychology, Journey in the Forest) and Druids (psychosynthesis, Pathworking, and other stuff). This is also what we, as a Grove, have to offer.
The two other components of the “Lothlorien-Nemeton Grove”, Mika (my daughter), and Adam Brough (my daughter´s soulmate) are also experiencing the OBOD Course. Mika has finished her training and is a “grad” too,. Adam has finished and awaits his “paper”. We think that by 2011, we will be three OBOD Druid grads, working together, both in the context of a Grove (the Lothlorien Nemeton), and the context of SYNERGY (I am a PS grad, and Mika as well; Adam is still studying. )
All three of us, working as a “triad” or “triangle”- are clear about the function(s) of the Earth Sanctuary, as indicated in the Pages above.
Our main task on the physical level is to maintain this place, which the group that is behind the scene (working with me in the context of SYNERGY). It certainly makes a difference in the general feeling about being “Gaian Druids” to know that you are the guardian of a land that actually belongs to you. As my daughter once said “You cannot breathe imaginary trees”, and she was so right, the Druid Journey has certainly to be translated to physical reality. That was our main effort this last decade: beginning with our (holy) roots, going through the hard process of owning the land we stand on.
(Images : “Lord of the Rings Fanbook”, SG, 2010)
…Revamped an old “Cultures of Middle Earth” round robin book, and created a whole new Lord of the Rings fanbook. My own tribute to Tolkien and P. Jackson. Did I tell you that I´m a huge fan of both ? Yeah. Of course. *grin*
PS.- Not selling anything, this is private art.
(Image : The Sanctuary, soul card, SG, 2005)
…Personally, I think that “Ecopsychology” is another name for Neo-Druidry. Some may not agree of course, and that is OK, they say that among 10 Druids there are 11 opinions! Lol.
In general and very roughly, there are four groups of so-called “Druids”, and I think that it is very useful to learn how to distinguish them, because they show vastly different ways of being in concrete reality, and also vastly different aims.
The Old Ones, of which practically nothing is known. They didn´t write down their teachings,have never built a temple in stone, and have not left a mark in History, apart from some really faint traces that have been handed down the long corridors of Time. I list them because they are the genesis, the origin, true or false, of the other three groups.
The Romantic Ones, which are a re-creation of what a past century felt about the subject, a century in which there was no electricity, no highways, no Internet – and in which nothing was really verified. That´s where you can find the robed Druids and Druidesses who know all about casting spells and calling to the ancient gods, though they often dine at McDonald´s; those are the ones that are traipsing through the new forests, or even public parks sometimes since not so many forests are left, in flimsy fake-medieval robes, and trying very hard to look ancient, though most of them haven’t even got to the ripe age of 50. (No offense meant, it is just a passing remark, that happens to be true.)I think that these people are compensating the harsh reality of modern life, the very hardship of what our society has become, through happy dreams.
The Reconstructionists, who are very serious people who think that intuition is a valid way to perceive History, (particularly “His-Story”, lol), and are very precise about a lot of rather vague stuff,
And then there is a new group, which is still largely a sort of seed-group, which is pushing through the earth, straining towards the Sun, like a very modest plant still, – The Future Druids, the Gaian Druids, or Neo-Druids.
Our Druid Grove is part of this last group. We do believe in intuition, use it a lot, but do not think that it is really a valid way to “re-construct” the past, because such an enterprise as rebuilding an imagined past according to non-verified present beliefs distorts what is happening in the present, and sometimes even veils what should be happening if we are to correct past facts that have brought us to this collective disaster of a present, (yes, a long sentence, read it again, lol); we don´t need robes and wands and staves, but yes, we care about the Future of Earth, and in midst of this preoccupation for the becoming of the human species of which we are a part, absolutely, we understand that humanity needs a new Myth, for “without a Vision the people perish”, so, having gone through a real Druid training (OBOD), we might as well be called “Druids”, OK, Neo-Druids, if you will.
…This Vision that we have been so clearly a-creating in our far away valley these last few years, is that of a Humanity that would finally consciously acknowledge the simple fact that we human beings are Children of Planet Earth. Whatever our nations pretend to be, first and foremost we are Gaians, Earthlings. From all Internet users down to Eskimos and Bushmen.
(Sorry to draw such a scale, I actually do not mean to imply that people who are not Internet users are not human, lol.)
Yes, we envision a number of people starting to live the Gaian vision, very discreetly at first, inside themselves to begin with, people living with the clear knowledge that some things have to stop, like the desecration of the planet. I´m talking about people who would truly understand, because they have been coolly trained, that things cannot go on like they are, running around in stupid circles, that something must change, and that this “something” is the very structure of the patriarchal ego, which is an extremely limited historical view, even of physical reality: since man walked on the moon (at the very least) and invented quantum physics, we do have a pressing need to get out of the Freudian back alley:
Everything in our lives can be aligned to prosperity, agape *and abundance of intelligence, which is how Nature really works. There is no real necessity to botch human evolution.
We could, yes we could. We could do it, you know. Difficult ? Yes. Impossible ? No. Anyway, what with Climate Change and Peak Oil, we may be forced to change. Change into what, is now The Big Question.
If you find it difficult to accept the idea that our civilization is still barbaric, and that we DO have to evolve as a species, don´t change anything except this basic understanding, which you have to “grok” with your very bones : we are Earthlings, and we will have to deeply acknowledge this fact. Or we will disappear. Easy choice. And a long long process. Do we really have the time?
It all boils down to the fact that all of us are collectively responsible for the welfare of all of humanity, and of the entirety of the planet.
War is a boorish, unrefined, uncultivated, churlish way of facing collective problems. Warriorship as a patriotic demonstration can best be used on an entirely different level : I mean, a mental way of tackling problems, of grappling with reality. I do think that we have enough enlightened brains on this planet to create an entirely new game.
As for us as a group, as a Project, as a Neo-Druid Grove, we have made that choice already. Actually, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, we are deep into the consequences of it. As a group we have touched the brass tacks of what it means. This sense of consciously “being on the side of the woods” (as Tolkien says through Treebeard), is what makes us Neo-Druids. We may even, if the Myth becomes as necessary as bread, sew some nice white robes and dance through our very own woods. We may as well, since we so deeply feel part of the Great Fellowship of Life on this Earth.
In this deep sense, we have the Vision of a huge Rainbow of Consciousness/Energy spanning thousands of years, from the Old Ones right down to us, the Druids in jeans. A new Ark of the Covenant, if you will. Or a new lease on our renting this planet from our great-great-grandchildren.
…Rivendell lives! Long live Rivendell!
PS.- Agape : Christianity. Love as revealed in Jesus, seen as spiritual and selfless and a model for humanity.
- Love that is spiritual, not sexual, in its nature.
- Christianity. In the early Christian Church, the love feast accompanied by Eucharistic celebration.
In the New Testament, the fatherly love of God for humans and their reciprocal love for God. The term extends to the love of one’s fellow humans.
(Image : “Druid Review”, final exam, SG, 2009)
A year or so after receiving the lovely scroll that marks the end of my formal training as a Druid at OBOD (actually you may find out that it never ends!), the final Initiation.
…I was in the kitchen, talking with Mika and Adam (the other two parts of the Earth Sanctuary Project´s coregroup) over coffee one morning, about how hard it is sometimes to maintain this land, and how sometimes we would love to travel or go someplace different, smaller, easier, – and how we couldn´t ever go back to living in a town flat, when a sudden realisation hit my brain.
I, who thought I couldn´t ever live in a town again, had the sudden vision that all the trees of the world were now rooted in my heart, and the mountains, and the rocks, and the little river, and all the animals, deer, fox, squirrels and eagles, and that I could, without batting an eye, pack my suitcase and go…anywhere!
Tears just welled up in my eyes.
All the forests of the world are now rooted in my green heart.
I have become the Grove.
(Image : “Amaterasu”, soul card 145, collage on cardboard, SG, 2010)
…Did you know that for the old Celts the Sun was a female symbol?
Oh how different everything would have been if the warm energy and the smile of the Goddess had not been banished to the night side of the Western psyche!
Amaterasu – omikami, ” the great august kami that shines in the heaven” – is a sun goddess and one of the principal Shinto deities.
(Image : “Use Your Imagination” Journal, recycled paper bags, SG, 2010)
I do declare, earnestly, nay, I avow, I allege, I asseverate, that this feckless tyro, this neophyte, this greenhorn, this factitious filibuster, this facetious sassy tenderfoot, this pesky pugnacious rogue, is causing quite a pother among the class.
…Happy translating, dear BabelFish!
Don´t mind me, it´s just a pretext for uploading a new image!…
(The Lady Dragon laughing, obstreperously, of course!)
(Image : “Use your Imagination” Journal, SG, 2010)
Hehehe…another gem at Dictionary.com :
(Image : Revamped “Use your imagination” Journal, recycled paper bags, SG, 2009)
…Yesterday I counted them : I have created 18 journals in less than two years! Only two of them are completely finished, cover to cover.
I consider them as “works in progress”. Usually I go back and take them up, adding, changing, sometimes quite drastically. Like this one, “Use your imagination”, which I started two years back.
I´m quite happy about the results; these are already a nice legacy to leave behind to my children and grandchidren. They´re proof that I have existed in exactly this way, with a happy colouring and enthusiasm (“enthusiasm” meaning “transported by the gods”), and what a peculiar, odd, quaint and kooky way this is.
…Wait a minute! Eighteen in two years, and assuming this won´t slow down too much (given the happy-go-lucky way “the gods” daily transport me!), it means 180 journals in twenty years from now! Woah. They will have to rent a TRUCK to move “The Legacy”! …(Or make one huge bonfire!)
PS.- Not counting the 1.157.822 posts that constitute my group work in the InnerNet!
Bah, maybe the Net will crash, and good bye all good intentions.
(Image : Mandala 46, Anchoring the Light, SG, watercolours)
…Not much more we can do these days, but anchoring the Light as concretely as we possibly can.
(Image : Soul card 126, SG, 2009)
Just found a shiny new one, that I never read before in my long, long journey as a reader : catawampus.
D’ you know what it means ?
Well it means… askew, awry, positioned diagonally.
It´s quite a useful little word, as in : We took a short cut and walked catawampus accross the field.
…Did you ever hear that ?
(Image : “Impending doom”, soul card, collage on cardboard, SG, May 2010.)
“We do not own the Earth, we only borrowed it from our granchildren.”
I think I´ve mentioned this before, I feel very uncomfortable about what is ocurring around the world, and that feeling comes through in my art lately. I see a necessary Change coming, a radical Paradigm Shift, about which some people have been talking for quite a goodly number of years now, myself included.
At the Sanctuary we´re extremely aware of the Peak Oil problem, and how this is going to totally change our lives; we´re aware also of the climate crisis. We are downsizing and re-skilling, learning NOW how to live with less, because when the deep shit hits the final fan, it´s going to hit hard. Be prepared.
Downsizing : These last months we have reduced our plastic trash a whopping 80%, and the rest is selected, organic goes to the chicken. Yes, we have a chickencoop which gives us an average of 6 to 8 eggs a day, and we have a veg patch. That means having learned to manage chicken, and caring for a kitchen garden. We eat less, we eat better, and leave a lot less garbage. Re-skilling : Mika has learned to make bread with about every grain available. We still depend on the supermarket for some products, but are learning to make our own (basics). We are very aware of what we buy, are buying more recicled and ecological stuff, (including second hand furniture), and we´re not going on holiday on a plane. The house is paid for, the car as well. We have an eye on gasoline prices. All this is shorthand for : be cautious, be aware, be prepared.
Forty years back when I told my mother, let´s eat brown rice, – she told me in no uncertain terms that I was crazy. So I got used to being thought of as a bit of a zany bird, what with my eco-ideas. Now these very same ideas are becoming mainstream fast, and Alleluiah, at long last.
But we don´t know if there is much time left, we already live on borrowed time as a civilization, maybe it´s too late for the majority, and the crash will be hard. Another thing that will become very handy indeed is knowing about group processes. Believe me, friends, when the survival of your family depends on your neighbours, you better know how this functions! That´s one thing for which, as a group, we are thoroughly prepared.
When asked what he thought about civilization, Gandhi answered : “It´s a good idea”. The man must have had a dark sense of gallows’ humour.
(Image: The Sanctuary, 2010)
I´m ba-ack, it´s raining. *grin*
People sometimes ask me if we have written books, and what kind of didactic material we work with. Mmm…Good question. (…You mean apart from the OBOD Course? The OBOD Course is the didactic material we are working with, if somebody absolutely insists on the written word.)
Did the Druids of old send off a correspondence course around the planet by plane?
Of course not.
Ah, there is your answer. We teach by example, and our didactic material is that which people are. In other words, we may be of help to certain people who need to decipher their own Mystery, and thus we help them to look into the alive “book” that each one of them is. See what I mean ? Difficult to express through words, lol.
As an example, one hour in the forest is a good teaching tool. Especially if you teach an urbanite who is enthusiastic about “Mother Nature”and wants “to get, you know, closer to Her, the Goddess”, and so insists on taking off her shoes to go into the the woods, which are 80 %…brambles! Hahaha
See what I mean by “alive didactic material” ? Believe me, you won´t do it twice!…
The Druids of old haven´t written books, didn´t leave manuscripts behind when they disappeared, didn´t build temples of stone (no, not even Stonehenge, which actually wasn´t built by “The Druids”, even if it has become a popular “Druid” icon!…). And they must have been silent, very silent. When you are in tune with the world, what is there to say?
And this is also how I teach, if I may say so myself. I just grin through the whole phase of approach, until the student learns his lessons the hard way.
I´m horrible, I know. But you can´t imagine how efficient, too!
Kew kew kew
(The Lady Dragon, chuckling)
(Image : Shadow Warrior, soul card 122, SG, 2010)
…Sometimes when the skies hang low over the valley and it is raining, I need to curl up in my bed, with a nice cup of English tea and a good book. I close the door to the tower I live in (yes, I do live in a tower, lol, it´s not just a metaphor). At the moment I´m reading some historical novel about the period of Henry the VIIIth, for me a fascinating period of History, don´t really know why.
I know that “this too will pass”, so I don´t worry overmuch about the general gloom. I just go with the flow, and let it wash over me…
…Been in a somber mood these last few days, and it reflects in my art.
(Images : Spider Woman, The Cailleach, Wild Woman, soul cards, SG, 2009)
“The real meaning of enlightenment is to gaze with undimmed eyes on all darknesses.” (Nicolas Kazantzakis)
OK, I think it´s a good moment to share some of my more “creepy-crawley” soul cards. Not all of my work is bright and shiny. I love what I call my “shadow warrior” cards as well. They give me a good insight into domains that are not at all angelical, and I believe that´s really good for personal integration and psycho-synthesis, lol. Even so, I can´t let beauty out of it…
…Decorators, I am told, have “mood boards”, I have my Art Journals in which I record what happens in my inner life. Thus, I have my Mystical Journal, my Dragon Journal, my Dreams Journal, Angels, Traces (abstract), Druid Diary, Elves, Merlin, Faerie Book, Why Not, Dancing Moon, angry, sad, nostalgic, funny, surrealistic, etc.
I tried written diaries but never went past the cover! So I gave up, haha, and instead of writing the story of my life, which I do not need to share, I just go crazy with watercolours, collage, wax crayons, supermarket tickets, the lot, what not. (Yes, I´ve got a Crazy Book too, and a black-and-white-only Ghost book!)
My journals are all that is not planned, not structured, not thought through, and not surprisingly, they are absolutely chock-full! I love to amaze myself!…
What a legacy to leave behind when I go to the Great Prairies up there in the Sky!…(Or, better said, under a little apple tree in my own gardens!)
(And yes, I did complete a “Nana´s Wisdom Book” as a gift for my grandson.One day he will think “what a crazy old bird my Nana was!” – and that, my friends, is a worthy epitaph for this lady dragon!)
” Sparked by what Gandhi called “soul force” and Martin Luther King “love in action” Ripper spotlights remarkable individuals who are taking action from the heart. The film is the revelation of a new global “movement of movements” of positive, compassionate action. Fierce Light : When Spirit Meets Action illuminates what is possible when human beings are their absolute best …a human sunrise.”
Soul force : in sanscrit, satya graha.
Hooray, this project of ours is not a lone orphan in the human Universe! Watch this DVD, and you´ll get a unique insight about what we, the Earth Sanctuary, are all about! … Oh my goodness I should see the day when the words “Warriors of Shamballa” are pronounced in a mainstream DVD, a balm for sore eyes, and in the correct context at that!…
Fierce Light : When Spirit Meets Action, a film by Velcrow Ripper.
…Don´t know what´s all the hoola-baloo ´bout Spring, gosh, all this activity everywhere, it tires me no end! Hahaha
The bees are busy, as in beez-beez-beez-beez-y, the flowers are all coming out with a celebration, and the plants and the birds are chirping away (…The plants ? chirping?, yeah, can´t you hear them ?) – the river is singin´, and I feel like a handkerchief that was kept too long in the dark of some god-forsaken pocket! I have to…un-FOLD, you understand??…I have to iron myself out!…
Anyway, I´m busy too, actually, with a new journal, in which I will try to record my origins – it´s good to recapitulate one´s life, so as to have a sense of synthesis, coherence and harmony, after all, what with all the ups and downs, and turn-arounds…!
(At my age it´s good to recapitulate, wow, with the mountains that I see in the distance, that I still have to climb, better to know what I got in my knapsack!…). (Anything, but lipstick, lol.)
…I think that I didn´t show you my latest art project : paper beads curtains?
This is the one that I finished yesterday for the entry to my rooms in Merlin´s Tower (something to sweeten old Merlin´s eyesight, LOL).
I think that they rather look like marshmallows, don´t you ?! They´re beads made with old magazines! I also made the round beads, which are of painted clay.
(Images : New ArtDeco Journal, SG ’10)
…In reference to journalling, I have to say that I´m having a ball with covers and backgrounds, splashing and sewing, adding embellishments and wools and what not (even little bells), generally and blissfully covering white pages! But then, to my alarm, I can´t seem to write anything in my journals. Do I have chronic writer´s block ?
I try to wriggle out of this saying that… what a bore writing about things that are living events, isn´t it a little like nailing down butterflies ??? …Anyway, yesterday I sat down with a nice cup of English tea, and prepared myself to finally WRITE words on my pages.
Don´t misunderstand me : I love words. Words such as ……incandescent, exiguous, gregarious, preposterous… to me, they are like so many little squares of loukoum, sugary and perfumed, that roll around the tongue like so many…err…translucent ?… pearls…
So I tried to evoke whole sentences, and strangely enough, they came in French (which is my mother-tongue), entire packages of very well envelopped archetypal thought that my left brain (the reasoning one) threw to the right-hand side (the artistic one). Things like …”Sommes-nous damnés pour toujours à ne pas pouvoir oublier notre enfance?” (Are we forever damned not to be able to forget our childhood?), and… “Je n’ai pas toujours envie de rire” (I don´t always feel like laughing), and the rather scanty… “Mon voyage n’est pas terminé” (My journey is not over), all of which had me rather puzzled, until I wrote them down on a coloured background, and then they suddenly made a lot of sense!…
I think my brainZzzz (two of them, at least, did you know that we have at least four?)are playing tennis over the corpus callosum!…
That was fun. Can´t wait to do it again!…
One of my dear Readers asked for a pic of this author, (…whatever for?), so I thought, what the heck, why not?
So here you are…
…May the Force be with you! …
“I had been complaining about my shoes, until I saw someone without feet.”
(Image : Angel 1, Working with the angels of colour, SG, 2009)
Luxury is really relative. For someone who hasn´t even got water, a running faucet is a miracle. For someone who hasn´t got a car, whatever has a motor and you can be seated and go somewhere is luxury.
I´m in art heaven : today I could buy a new box of watercolors!…
…OK, so I am being 150% partial, it´s my first grandson after all. But doesn´t he just look as if he was doing Yoga?
(Pic taken by his Mom, my daughter, who, of course, is entirely partial too!)
…After all, I´m not really sure that I want to separate my Art blog from my Druid blog! Doesn´t make much sense since my art is weaved into my daily life in such an intimate way that it doesn´t really need a different space.
For example, I´ve started creating Spirit Books What are they ? Well, they are books with a story that is invisible to the physical eyes. Besides, every reader of the “book” changes the story. Some turn the empty pages quickly and seem to understand what the book is about; some need more time until the story of the book, which is, of course, a Spirit story, occurs to them. Some like the object itself, just to look at, because they feel that “the medium is the message”!
And some would love to use it as a “book of shadows”, a book where Bards, Ovates and Druids alike record their visions, recipes, rituals, intuitions…and understandings.(But I won´t sell them.)
Anyway, this is my first try!
See if you like it,OK?
(Image : Mika´s wholegrain bread)
It´s been a month and a half since we last bought bread! Look at the pic, that is Mika´s work. She also makes yoghurt now. What with nuts and vegetables from the garden, herbs and fruit, and eggs from our very own chicken coop, olive oil and meat from the village, we now have the basics to survive. Not that the diet wouldn´t become boring rather quickly, but as for basics, we don´t depend on supermarkets. OK, OK, we still need the grain and the milk, but one step at a time…We still have reduced our plastic waste by 80%, and shopping at the supermarket by 70 %. A very nice result as we see it.
And psychologically, a very interesting experience…
We´re going deeper into transition.
(Image : Soul card, SG, 2009)
“The real meaning of enlightenment is to gaze with undimmed eyes on all darknesses.” (N. Kazantzakis)
“God has no religion.” (Mahatma Gandhi)
…I had several deep mystical experiences from the age of 8 to the age of 30, “peak moments” as they came to be called in Humanistic Psychology; all of them, each one of them, changed my life in a profound way.
I´m over 60 now, so it took me at least 30 years to completely integrate what happened when I was younger.
The first difficulty, as one can imagine, is how to remain rooted in reality when one just had the realization with all one´s senses and with absolute certainty that one is a conscious part of what other people have been calling “God”. I never ever said that I was “God”, but I said that I was an awakened part of what people call “God”, the same as us all. You really get to have to make sense of what you´re saying, and that wasn´t easy. Fortunately for me the contents of the experiences and the Vision that I slowly acquired also showed me that there were ways to say what happened without offending anyone! My experiences never inflated the ego, as they so often do. The heart of the mystical experience is too beautiful to be mistaken for something that an ego could produce, that much was clear from the start.
After that, after having been shown the interconnectedness of all, of the Great Chain of LIFE, of which I was now a conscious link, I really studied hard to get a sense of normalcy again. Except for a certain dancing light in my eyes, I functioned in the most normal way. Having mystical experiences is no guarantee for being a balanced human being. And it is so, point-blank. Hard work on oneself does that. I understood that very early on. And I did work hard on the person that I also was.
The sense of awe and the certainty that “all-is-Light” never left me. But I came to understand what the experience meant in contrast to what we are being fed through “education”. I studied hard then to be, one day, able to help others out of the dark tunnel of ignorance.
I also learned – sometimes quite painfully – that not everyone wants to hear the good news.
All in all, and with all, my life was changed forever and the more I understood, the more my view of the human plight changed, became more precise, more defined. The process of enlightenment is a gradual one, a continuous one, though the experience itself is more like a flash, out of time. If you think that it is a “wambam thank you m´am!” (lol)type of thing and you´re done, no, that´s not it at all. It is a long process of becoming more and more able to contain the Light, and to reflect it in a safe way. Progressively all functions align to the inner Light, until you are completely “normal” again, and seen as normal by others. The difference is just that you are being awake where most people seem to be fast asleep. This sleep being an illusion, as I learned going through the process of becoming a guide.
The Light that we are, my dears, is the basis of the normal human state of affairs, so you can measure how far we have strayed, as a species, from Home.
(Image : Biosphere 2030, MDG, 2009)
…Do you know about peak oil ? No? Well, you had better Google Wikipedia for it, otherwise it could be a rude awakening if you don´t!…
Do you know about the Transition Movement ? No? Same thing. (Have a look at Wikipedia, there are lots of Spanish websites, too).
We know about all that jazz, have been into it for a good number of years now, and are slowly changing the basic gears of our community to “go into transition” (=post peak-oil mode). Yes, we have been recycling for quite some time , but hey! it could become worse, and it´s later than we think.
The Sanctuary is quite litterally carbon-neutral (two cars and one van for 100 acres of woodland), which means that our trees give us more breathing space than what we waste with the cars. This last week we made the experiment of consciously writing down all the plastic stuff that comes out after shopping in a supermarket, and I mean all, well, my dears, just becoming totally conscious about this (and actually writing down every bit of plastic that we throw away, then thinking about alternatives), we have been able to spare 80 % of plastic trash in one week!
In the same way, we have been able to save 70% of supermarket shopping. We do not buy new furniture (what´s wrong about good second-hand?), are not travelling on planes, and haven´t had a real “holiday” for years. Why go to the Bahamas, or to the Seychelles, when we can have a “holy day” every single day just by going down to the vegetable garden ? (We bought this property as a group, as an investment for a sustainable future, and have gone through a long and sometimes painful process to really make this project a healthy alternative.)
OK, and we are now into Trash Art, recycling stuff into Artwork (like paper beads to make curtains made out of old magazines), baking our own bread (very symbolic), and planting our own vegetables. And we are planning to buy a good wood stove, as soon as possible.
We have wood in abundance for the fireplace, and lots of water (our own, fortunately).
All symbolic gestures and not much more than that, I know – but at least we are concretely and above all psychologically “processing” the hard truths of our times!…
I would encourage you to start doing the same. Who knows? We might yet survive…(Not funny, I know).
PS.- Plus, we do have the methodology of the Psychology of Change, elaborated over two decades of group processing too (see Pages right-hand corner up the post), so at long last, we might even come in handy, seeing the sorry circumstances… If we want to survive the long night, lol, we will have to learn how to live together, after all.
Two must-see DVDs (At Amazon, no problem):
– The Age of Stupid, Why Didn´t we save ourselves when we had the chance, “Think “An Inconvenient Truth” but with a personality” (lol),
– A Crude Awakening, The Oil Crash, Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack, “We´re running out…and we don´t have a plan”.(Gulp.)
Both are eye-openers!…(Gulp again.)
Have fun, if you can.
(Image : Alex Little, one year old, MDG, 2010)
…If there ever was a First Law in the form of education, actually homeschooling, that I applied with my kids it is… The Art of Becoming a Remarkable Person.
I happen to think that all human beings from the President of any state to the last Pygmee in the African forest are remarkable persons. Have you ever thought about the value of a human life ?
The differences are “soil and circumstances”, but the “prime matter” is of the finest.
Isn´t it high enough time that we should apply this First Law to each other ? Over borders and continents?
(Image : The Book of Vivian and the Book of Merlin, OBOD, Druid Grade, SG 2008)
…How ever many projections you send out, seeing fairies and gnomes everywhere, elementals and whatnot, dryads and stuff, one thing is as sure as death (pun intended), and it is that when you are out there in the woods, the trees are not looking at you!
That is what is so wonderful about nature. Nature doesn´t judge, doesn´t plan, doesn´t really care about the human species, only if we get to be much of a nuisance (the case now!), in which case we will probably be swept from the planetary map at some time in the future, along with dinosaurs and the dodo! One day, there will be nobody to even notice the beauty (that is our task, ours, the human pest, lol). Indifferent to all our great schemings, Nature will go on and rebuild itself.
When you are seated at the foot of a tree, don´t ever think that the tree is looking at you. That is what is so restful about it all. No camera, no sly evaluation. Just a great peace, and a vibration that comes and goes and breathes from your relaxed heart.
(Image : A snowy day at the Sanctuary, MDG)
…I am re-reading The Dancing Wu Li Masters, by Gary Zukav – a little gem of a book about the New Physics.
Read this : (…)” The neutral K meson decays into a positive pi meson and a negative pi meson. The lambda particle, and this is the interesting part, decays into the original two particles (a negative pi meson and a proton!). It is as if we smash two toy automobiles together and instead of shattering into bits, they come apart into more toy automobiles, some of which are as large as the originals.
Subatomic particles forever partake of this unceasing dance of annihilation and creation. In fact subatomic particles are (author´s emphasis) this unceasing dance of annihilation and creation. This twentieth-century discovery, with all its psychedelic implications, is not a new concept. In fact, it is very similar to the way that much of the earth´s population, including the Hindus and the Buddhists, view their reality.
Hindu mythology is virtually a large-scale projection into the psychological realm of microscopic scientific discoveries. Hindu deities such as Shiva and Vishnu continually dance the creation and destruction of universes while the Buddhist image of the wheel of life symbolizes the unending process of birth, death, and rebirth which is a part of the world of form, which is emptiness, which is form.”
“…form is emptiness, emptiness is form.” (Prajaparamita Sutra, The Heart Sutra, Mahayana Buddhism).
Other extremely interesting books in the same line :
– The Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra
– The Quantum self, Dana Zohar
– The Physics of Consciousness, Evan Harris Walker.
PS.- Every time the wind blows hard up at the Sanctuary, the lights go out, power lines go too, so no computer, no DVD, no warm water (the heater has gone too!), no nothing, lol, and I´m reduced to reading a book, in my bed (for warmth!) in the light of candles!… For others a nuisance, for me…heaven!
(Image : New Art Journal, SG 2010)
Well, we got there, it´s 2010!…
A year of challenges for all, no doubt about that.
One of my New Year resolutions is to dedicate more time and energy to my artwork. So I created a new blog under the name of “Art as Metanoia: The Magickal Art Room”, which is where you will find me more often from now on.
In this blog I´ve said pretty much what I needed and wanted to say in 2009, so I´ll just let it float.
Our Project goes into the “Transition Movement” now, that is we are preparing as much as we possibly can for self-sufficiency and self-reliance in a culture that will at some time close become “post peak-oil”. For us that means a return to our concrete roots : live with the land, and as much as possible, off the land. It means preparing gardens, restore old ones, and re-skill : learn to make bread and preserves and all that our grand-mothers knew and that we forgot! First step, to buy a wood cooking stove! (And learn to use it.)
And be less in the Internet (good idea, ¿no?)
So I´m wishing you a very cool 2010, Dear Readers, I´ll be back some time around Imbolc to tell you all that we have realized re/Transition. Meanwhile, I´ll be uploading pics of my artwork at the other blog.
And a very cosy X-mas Season. Be warm, be safe.
I´ll be on holiday (here, at home, lol) for two weeks now.
(Image : Freedom, soul card 135, SG, 2009)
(Real Druids, my favourite topic!…)
People seem to think that being a Druid is some sort of a joke.
I´ll have you know that I studied a total of four intense years, on top of 22 years of learning about the management of big groups, and that these years were not only about academic subjects, but also about the state of the world and about my own inner spiritual Journey.
The Celtic part I had to learn afresh, that much is true, I had to learn many things like the Celtic names of the Wheel of the Year, Solstices & Equinoxes, lol, and a long etc. of Celtic concepts, among them the concept of the Anam Cara (soul friend) and the Ogham (a tree alphabet), for example. All the rest, apart from learning the Celtic name of a lot of things, lol, has been one big roller-coaster of experiences, inner and outer, one heck of an eco-psychological journey, since I investigated in depth about the psychological relationship of the human species (to which I belong, lol) to the natural world, (or rather its NON-relationship since it seems that we are destroying the world bit by bit), and about the why and the wherefore of things; the center of my investigation (why we destroy the world that sustains us) has been a wonderfully chaotic “learning curve”!
Besides, I need to state this again and again, I´m not “a Druid” (=a fantasy character), I´m a graduate of OBOD, (Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, UK and worldwide), and OBOD, in my humble opinion, is a most serious matter. I have not been studying “Druidry” (no real Druids left, so everything is invented OR re-created, I agree with that, no problem!), I have been creating my own brand of Neo-Druidry, in the context of OBOD – which has more to do with ecology and psychology (transpersonal psychology) than with Celtic “g.o.d.s” and role-playing fantasies.
I´m not holding that OBOD is entirely free of fantasy, but I am saying that you certainly can create your own Path within the context of the Course, you are actually invited to do just that! What you bring to the Course is what you get in the end, and I certainly brought a lot of previous experiences to it when I started in 2004.
At this point I am creating a working synthesis between ecology (our group here maintains 108 acres of woods and four houses) and psychology (most concretely, psychosynthesis). My objective is to create a School, because I think that this is the Path of the Future, for many generations to come.
(There are three generations active and working together at the Earth Sanctuary).
Not bad, for a beginning. (A beginning after 30 years of studies should be something quite interesting, lol.)
(Image : The Coming World, collage on paper, SG 2004)
Whoah. Mika showed me two articles that jolted me awake!
I want to share them, they contain so much information about what we are really about, that I simply had to come back:
Theodore Roszak (Ecology : Eight Principles)
The Forsaken Garden (Nancy Riley, a must-read)
The Lady Dragon turns about in her lair, and turns and turns around and around, and settles down again, back to her winter snooze (…not guaranteed not to be interrupted again!)
(Image : Lord Lugh and Mrs Moon, spirit dolls, SG, 2005)
Had a bout of flu and kept to my bed for two days, a nice way to have a holiday of sorts!…And free time for exercising the brain!
This blog is now a year old, and I feel that it´s time for the Wizard to do something else. So I´ll let the blog float in cyberspace for the moment, just as it is. In snoozing mode.
It´s been a great year blogging-wise, and I want to thank all my readers.
You´ve made my day…every day!
Blessings from a Green Space,
The Lady Dragon, about to have a nice winter catnap…
(Image : Soul card 44, SG, 2007)
(I have taken this post out of the dungeons, sorry if you already read it, a year ago. Thought it might help some people.)
There is a constant ringing in my ears.
It is a medical condition known as tinnitus, or acufens. So, what is tinnitus ? (…)”Tinnitus can be perceived in one or both ears or in the head. It is usually described as a ringing noise, but in some patients it takes the form of a buzzing, hissing, humming, or whistling sound; or as ticking, clicking, roaring, “crickets,” tunes, songs, or beeping. It has also been described as a “whooshing” sound, as of wind or waves.” (Wikipedia).
I have the “refrigerator” kind of beeping sound, going on 24/7, even when I sleep. The first time it happened, I remember I was on my bed, and Ziiiiiiiiiiiiing!
It never stopped. That was twelve years ago.
The first month I thought I would go crazy, I wanted to get that thing OUT of my ears! I wanted the blessed silence again. I was not resigned AT ALL. I hated that noise with a frenzy! So I went to my lady medic, who told me in no uncertain terms : “You can´t cure it, you know. You will have to learn to live with it.” ….WHOT??? And then she added (smiling at my reaction), “Do you want me to recommend a psychotherapist?” Very funny. I am a psychotherapist, THANK you.
It´s been over ten years. And you know what, I actually learned to live with it! What a learning curve that was!… At first, I tried everything, white noise, music (walking around with earphones), yoga, meditation (which I was doing anyway). Then suddenly one day… I realized that I hadn´t really heard the ringing for several hours, though it was still there. And that gave me the key to my own sort of healing with the matter (though I now know that it is true that it cannot be cured) : I don´t listen to the noise anymore. It is just there, as a part of my daily symphony, with images, thoughts, the rushing of the blood, all that stuff that is happening in the body, every single second of the day. You CAN live with tinnitus, you know. Though that seems impossible at first. You won´t cure the damn thing, but you can flow WITH it.
Now every time I become conscious of the wooshing/buzzing/ticking “refrigerator”, I think of it as my own personal *Alleluiah” in celebration of LIFE. And then, blessedly, I forget about it. People do not even need to know, it doesn´t show at all. And yes, I DO sleep well, thank you. …
And so, what prompted me to write this entry ? What prompted me to “come out of the closet”, lol? Well, my daughter´s English boy-friend, Adam, who is living with us here in Spain, has an accent that I do not quite understand sometimes (He´s from Kent). So I have to make an extra effort to listen, and besides, the wooshing sometimes just drowns his words, and I find myself saying… “Sorry? Can you repeat that, please?” more than I would like. The young man, being extremely polite, doesnt seem to mind too much, – but…I feel a bit uncomfortable, so I wanted him to know “my secret” (The Alleluiah In My Ears, lol)…
To my fellow tinnitus sufferers, I really want to extend hope. You can and you will, someday, integrate this particularity, as you have integrated a few extra pounds or the wart on your nose. Doesn´t mean anything, and it certainly won´t keep you from enjoying your life.
The Lady in Lothlórien.
Have been doing other things, out of the virtual world, because I have had problems with my computer.
Last week, it was Wuthering Heights-time again up our mountain, the autumn winds were howling through the house, and I could have knit socks for my daughter´s baby just waiting for the comp to click from one page to the other! (Actually, in-between pages I´m reading a Medieval thriller, Sovereign, by C.J. Sansom, it´s a fun and fascinating view on the Tudor times). I have been jumping out of my patient self quite a few times now, so we called a technician, and I´ll just take the week-end off to calm down. Hooray.
(I still don´t get it, though, they tell me (“they”,you know, the computer geniuses I have around me!)… “Oh, it must be the connection! It´s awfully windy outside!…” What connection ? What has the wind outside to do with the computer ? Aren´t the cables safe or…even worse, are they leaking? Are the cables leaking words ? Hahaha. ¿Or? Lol.)
Anyway, I´ll switch it off now, and let the professionals have a go at it…;-)
Ciao, see you on Monday, then..
Be well, be safe, be content.
…The office of the Sanctuary has received a rather nasty e-mail, asking why I would stoop so low, as a spiritual coach, as to use Tarot and Druidry as my tools in my work with people. The mail ended on the note of… “and since you are a so-called Druid, here I leave you playing with your potions and your enchantments!”… (Suspensive space).Wow. Really nasty.
I didn´t like the tone of the e-mail, but I must say that it started me thinking, both about my use of Tarot (I use Caitlin Matthew´s Arthurian Tarot deck) and my use of Druidry, and found that I have a few things to clear up for certain people I have known in the past. And maybe, at the same time, for certain new and current friends.
I am definitely not using Druidry as a role-playing PlayStation, and I´m not a fantasy druid, not “a” Druid, I am a Druid Graduate of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, UK. I don´t claim any superior or mysterious knowledge or powers, but I do stand for having finished said Course (OBOD), and that has been four years of very intense innner Journeying. I am most definitely not using Tarot as do the mercantile channelers and seers that you find in some magazines. (If that was the meaning of the e-mail.)
Tarot is a very old tool for self-knowledge, and its archetypes most useful in any personal journey, when you want to know your place in the grand scheme of things (in our western civilization, since it is mostly a tool in Western esotericism). Astrology would be another, for example, though I do not agree that stars can have a psychological effect on the human soul. (That´s just my opinion, please respect it for whatever it is worth).
I use Tarot in my personal journey, but have never, ever, used it for another person (not even family), since I think that our Quest for our very own personal Dharma (the Path of Individuation, as Jung described it), can only be that : personal. I do not believe in seers, and I do not believe that anyone except oneself is responsible for their destiny. I wouldn´t dare intervene between a person and their soul journey. Not my business, at all.
As for Druidry, I think that I explained elsewhere, that I am not much for rituals (except private ones), that I am not in any collective group except my heart family, and that my Druidry has a clear ecopsychological flavour: I am most concerned about the well-being of our planet, and about the well-being of all its inhabitants. So. No white robes, no mistletoe at midnight. No weird magic wands waving at full moons, either.
I might have, certainly, talked about “potions and enchantments” somewhere in this blog, and it must have been as a hearty joke about people who see “Druids” as “super-power Merlins”, who – of course, do not exist in real life. My use of the image of Goscinny´s Panoramix – a few blogs below – was due to my sense of humour, as well as the frog right above. Hope I won´t be blamed for that.
Hope all is clear.
Haven´t been here for a while…:-) The blog is floating, at its own rythm.
My very best wishes for 2015!