The washing machine of change

I’m having a washing machine kind of time. You know, when lots of impressions and ideas and thoughts and plans just churn around and are jumbled together like clothes in a washing machine. It feels quite unsettling. It’s all to do with trying to get some traction for the Westacre Spiritual Centre as a business. I [...]

Rooted in trust – five easy steps

At the Autumn Equinox, I committed to creating and nurturing community in my life. I strongly believe that remembering our communality with each other and the natural world is what will make all the difference as old certainties crumble. Back then, I promised before my gods: “I commit to taking the steps that will grow my [...]

Making magical connections

We all need more magical connections. By connection I mean any link or relationship you have with the world around you. With other people, of course, but also with the other living beings and objects around you. All these connections keep you alive and make you the person you are. These connections become magical when you feel [...]

Harvesting the strength of community

What a year it has been. As I contemplate my year’s harvest at the Autumn Equinox, I give thanks for what Alex and I have achieved. For the fact that the weather has mostly been very kind. For the continued health of our bodies and our relationship. But the thing that strikes me most is how [...]

A safe space for dangerous emotions

“Ritual. It’s an interesting word. It has a certain flavour to it, heady and dangerous.” - from Ritual Toolkit Our culture, and as a consequence most of us, are a bit funny about emotions. We don’t quite know what to do with them. We are afraid of them, scared that they will get someone hurt. So [...]

Calling peace in unsettled times

I have been out of sorts, in more ways than one. As I was committing more of my time to the renovation project, my spiritual practice slipped. And when that happens, trouble is usually soon to follow. It’s not always obvious though, when things start slipping. I have been very busy working away and feeling very [...]

A meditation for personal healing

It was a beautiful day yesterday. In the morning I was out early, climbing our scaffolding tower to get to the upstairs windows. At the level of the trees’ canopies, I was applying filler to the gap between the new windows and the wall. The wind made the trees speak to me as I worked. In [...]

Weaving ritual for a new world

Slowly, slowly, we are weaving a new world in the cracks of the old. Everywhere, people are coming together to make communities closely connected to the land. Last week, I had the honour of speaking at the Rainbow Druid Camp, where hundreds of people came together to celebrate and find inspiration. At the same time, [...]

Westacre Newsletter #19 – A Midsummer Meditation

In this issue

Westacre’s latest
Meditation: the flow of green power
Featured link: the Great Story
What you can do

Westacre’s latest

The greens of Westacre have matured and darkened. Little green apples and damsons are swelling on the trees. We’re watching our first raspberries grow on the canes we planted just this spring. Life is full of promise.

The next couple of months promise to be very busy. We are about to start implementing the centre piece of our eco-renovation: the external wall insulation.

Alex has carefully calculated how many boards of insulation we will need. And how many rolls of mesh and pots of render. On Monday a man came to do a test to determine the length of fastenings we will need to fix the boards to the wall. And we have finally decided exactly what colour our house is going to be. We have quotes for scaffolding and the materials are ordered. Everything is ready to go!

With 15 cm of polystyrene added to the outside of our house, we hope to be able to live all but the coldest days of the year without additional heating. That will save a lot of carbon dioxide, especially if we manage to heat all our water with solar panels as well.

Just as well we have these long summer days to do all the work. We are not really morning people, so it is good that the sun is still out into the evening as we carry on working right up to dinner time.

The long days draw the fullness of life out of the trees and plants, making them flourish towards their life’s purpose. What is the power of the Sun drawing out of you at the moment? The meditation below will help you align with that seasonal flourishing.

Blessings of the summer days,

Hilde
Meditation:

Less than a week ago, we passed the point of greatest light at the Summer Solstice. From this point, the days start to shorten and we begin our journey into the darkness of Winter.

But for now, Summer is here and warm days will be with us for a few months yet. At this time of year, the natural world fulfils its purpose. Animals rear their young and plants ripen their fruits and seeds. They use all the energy they receive from sun, soil and rain to reach their highest potential.

This mediation can be done anywhere, but it is great to work with the energy of the Sun directly. Do please be sensible, though. The Sun is very powerful at this time of the year. Depending on your skin type, you may choose to sit in the dappled shade of a tree. Do your meditation in the first few hours after sunrise, when the Sun hasn’t reached its full power yet. Drink plenty of water before and after your meditation.

Sit down in your chosen place and get yourself comfortable. When you feel settled, turn your attention to your breath. Just allow it to do its own thing. Simply notice its rhythm, flowing in and out of your body.

Take your attention deeper inward. Become aware of the area around your heart. Stay with the sensations you feel there. Don’t judge or try to change anything. Just notice what your heart feels like.

Notice now, that a small light is burning in your heart. A tiny light in the darkness. Watch it for a while. Stay with the light at your core.

When you feel ready, shift your awareness to your whole body. Feel the warmth of the Sun on your skin. Enjoy the light and the heat. Be with the Sun.

Then take your awareness out a bit further, to the edge of your aura. Can you feel where your awareness ends? How far do you reach outside your skin? Try to get a sense of that. When you do, feel where your aura touches the light and warmth of the Sun. Notice how the two interact. Is there any resistance? Is the healing power of the Sun flowing in freely? Just notice how that is.

Only you can judge if your aura is too tight, too resistant to the Sun. If you feel it is, try consciously making it a bit more transparent. If you feel overwhelmed by the power of the sunlight, you may want to make it a little denser, so you have a little spiritual shade. Have a play around with this until you and the Sun are comfortable with each other.

Then begin to breathe the Sun into your body. Gently breathe the golden light in through your skin. Let its warmth and light slowly, gradually fill you.

Eventually, the light of the Sun you are breathing in will meet with the tiny light of your heart. Notice what happens when it does. Your experience will be unique and all your own. There may be another area of protection around your heart. If you feel that, just notice it and let the Sun touch it. Play with making it more or less transparent.

Let your heartlight and the sunlight talk to each other for as long as you like. You may only want to stay there for a few moments, or you may want to let the Sun light you up for a long time. Don’t judge yourself or your experience. Just let it be as it is.

When you feel ready, become aware again of your heartlight as separate from the light of the Sun. Feel your body, strengthened by the radiant light, as your own body again. Feel the edge of your aura, still dancing with the Sun but clearly there as your edge.

Now ask your heart what it would most love to do next. Just let that question drop into your heart space and listen for an answer.

When you hear the answer, give thanks and commit to your heart to follow its advice. Our deepest heart’s desires are the way Spirit shows us the way to our fullest potential.

Now let any excess energy flow into the Earth. It is pure sunlight refracted by your own unique self. It will go to feed and heal the beings that live around you.

When you are complete, gently start moving. Do drink and eat something to ground yourself. And do something practical and tangible towards your heart’s desire.

May you flourish in the warm light of the Sun.
Featured link: The Great Story

The links I feature here are usually ones I have stumbled across while surfing the internet for things that interest me. They speak to my world view and hold a seed of a new culture taking seed in the cracks of the old. I hope you find them interesting too.

This week I have learned about The Great Story. It is the story of the origin and evolution of our Universe told as a myth that gives meaning to our human lives. In the telling of the story, we emerge as stardust come alive, able to reflect on the beauty of the world we have inherited.

The Great Story stands in contrast to the Judeo-Christion creation story where humans are made in the image of a god who is outside and separate from his creation. We are given dominion over the Earth, able to use it as we please.

It has become abundantly clear that this vision of ourselves as separate and superior isn’t doing us and our brother and sister creatures any good. It is time to tell a new story about ourselves. One where we stand together with each other and the more-than-human-world as beings emerging from the same origin, sharing the same world.

The Great Story isn’t over. It is still telling itself, and as humans we are responsible for how it will continue here on Earth. It is a story that can be told by people who have faith in the Divine and those who put their faith in science. It is a great epic that we are part of and continuing to write together.

For more about the Great Story and ways to use it in education and the growing of the culture in the cracks, go here: http://www.thegreatstory.org/what_is.html
What you can do

Take some time to listen to what your Sun-empowered heart asks of you. We are following our own hearts’ desire at Westacre. We continue to tell the story on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Westacreproject), Twitter (https://twitter.com/HildeWestacre), and our blog (http://www.westacre.org.uk/category/project/).

You can find all our contact details at http://www.westacre.org.uk/contact/

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Making community with the natural world: a first step

So where do we start? We are in this predicament where millennia of seeing ourselves as separate has brought us to the brink of disaster. We need to create a new way of seeing ourselves in relation to the natural world. In the past week or two, there has been some controversy among my friends on [...]