The Electric Universe, Hieroglyphs, Venus and Plasma Plants
Honesty seed case heiroglyph - Autumn creeps closer
We are almost back to full speed in the world of Eco Shamanism. As we slip out of August and into September we bring you an Eco Shamanism newsletter featuring writings about the Electric Universe from Mandy, weather spells and land hieroglyphs from Jane and an autumnal offering about connection from Freya. Despite the noticeable quietude that always accompanies August time has slipped past as if it were a river. But a lazy summer river's surface hides depths and the underwater currents are beginning to eddy the waters. Read on.
The Electric Universe Paradigm
news from Mandy
As September approaches I have been contemplating my summers activities. One in particular has had me scratching my head. I attended an Electric Universe Symposium in Somerset in July with Jane and we got our Venus labyrinth out for people to walk not knowing the synchronicity of this until later. Before I explain what this is all about I wanted to remind you of the last newsletter in which I wrote of my encounter with gastroenteritis and how it had appeared in a vision during my illness as a beautiful starcluster-like being. I didn't understand why this had happened at the time of writing back then but I think I do now. My illness happened just before the Symposium and at the event I was still lacking energy. Following the event I was almost immediately struck down with food poisoning. I was very surprised to have another illness so quickly after the previous one, and for it to involve my gut again. In that last newsletter I said that when I have these types of illnesses my body, or spirit, is learning something but my mind hasn't quite caught up. Well it just woke up and has rapidly been catching up with my body seven weeks later.
What is the Electric Universe? Very basically it is a theory that the driving force in the universe is not gravity but electricity, that electrically charged plasma in our universe can explain most of the standard cosmological theories that have been 'made up' to help explain standard theories eg: black holes, yes there is no scientific evidence for them yet and if you follow the Electric Universe there won't be any either. It also relates to mythology and how the symbols of ancient civilisations show a different night sky to the one we experience now, because of plasma physics although those civilisations may well have called it something else! What attracts me to the Electric Universe is that it connects our Earth, our Sun and all our solar system into a model where we are not alone in the vastness of space but connected by electrical energy. Current cosmologies tend to make us feel alone in the universe and very far from anything else that we consider might be lifelike. This is a very very brief account of my understanding of the Electric Universe, synchronously it's anagram is EU which seems fitting considering our current relationship with Europe . . . if you want to know more then there is a YouTube video called 'Thunderbolts of the Gods' - click on the title to watch it (WARNING - it is an hour long and you need to be very awake and open minded before tackling it).
I still struggle with the Electric Universe paradigm but I find that this is the case with new paradigms, especially when your current paradigm conditions you to think within it. However, it is exciting and revolutionary - and therefore gets dismissed left right and centre by the standard physicists, especially cosmologists, after all, when your whole way of thinking and possibly your reason for being is challenged then your own paradigm will defend itself.
The Venus labyrinth . . . this photo helps it look 3D, as if it were a planet all of it's own
What my mind has woken up to is that the Electric Universe is a new paradigm and a new paradigm means a change in perception and perspective, these being cornerstones of Eco Shamanism. A month after the Symposium I found myself at the Green Gathering having been invited to give a talk on Eco Shamanism and, with Jane, hold a gathering on Dreams, Consciousness and the Void and getting the Venus labyrinth out for people to walk. We presented our work in the Voices of Gaia dome where the EU was talked of some more. I have very recently realised that Venus, according to those in the EU (and some mythologists) and explained in the video, was considered to be a comet (or have cometary aspects) and comets, in EU jargon, are examples of cosmic phenomena that show themselves as discharging electric plasma . . . so our Venus labyrinth made it's presence felt, without I or Jane realising the significance of it's presence. It is was almost as if Venus was egging us on, showing us the connection of her electrical status in the very place where humans were deeply involved in discussing how plasma currents explain a model of the universe that even I could understand. This realisation has positively electrified me (excuse the pun) . . . and helps me to trust that the flow of spirit through the universe will compliment us if we trust in it's force.
So what's next? Well Jane has been asked to exhibit paintings on the theme of Venus with her local art group so we decided that it was high time we ran another Venus event (again we decided this before the earlier Venus revelation). It is called 'Dreaming with Venus' and is a 24 hour workshop where we will work with our dreams and walk the Venus labyrinth - how could we not? It will take place In Somerset from 8pm Friday 26th to 8pm Saturday 27th October in a private house and the village hall which is a stones throw away - needless to say we will be setting dream intentions around Venus and maybe electricity too! If you're interested in coming along you can click here and go straight to the website for more details. I'd like to add that as I write Venus is in Libra (the astrological sign of balance and harmony) which it rules. And two people have sent me emails about the Venus labyrinth and event as I have been writing.
That's enough from me. There are writings below from Jane and Freya and the usual list of events - a quick reminder that Shamanic Sundays restarts this coming Sunday 2nd September and for anyone wanting to find out more about Eco Shamanism there's an introductory day and two tasters (Landscape, Language and Rivers with Jane and Plants with Freya) in Bristol the following weekend of 8th & 9th September.
Until the next newsletter, Mandy
The Breaking of Weather Spells
news from Jane Embleton
I am writing this on the Bank Holiday weekend that for me is the cusp between summer and autumn. The weather has been wet and I have been working with my threshold spaces - the porch, hallways and corridors in preparation for winter. In the summer I spend lots of time outside and the house gets ragged so I have been really enjoying the process. It has uncovered a few treasures, things that I had lost are now found.
What an amazing summer, a month ago we were in blazing heat, I found myself saying things like I am looking forward to this spell of weather breaking, and indeed it did feel as if we were in some sort of spell, it knocked me out of myself somehow. However the garden thrived once I sorted out watering and looks magnificent and it has been like gardening in another country, seeds germinating almost overnight, few weeds or slugs, no grass to cut. I think this has much to do with the fact that I have been using a no dig system and mulch instead.
My garden was watered, I hardly wasted a drop, using washing up water on the gooseberry bushes while they were fruiting, but the land around was not and the farmers and livestock were stressed by the heat as the fields even in Somerset became brown and parched. Something rather wonferful happened during this window though, ancient human settelments and sacred spaces were revealed and seen from above. One photograph from near St Ives in Corwall resembles a childs drawing with circles, squares and triangles all over the fields and another near Milton Keynes with a strange elongated lozenge known as a curcus. Newgrange in Ireland (a sacred site akin to Stonehenge) was seen to be on a much larger scale than had previously been thought. They look a little like hieroglyphs as does the Honesty seed head at the beginning of the newsletter. All this has really got me thinking.
Jane's garden in Somerset
In the Bronze age the climate in Europe was much warmer and drier. In Britain the climate would have been similar to that in Italy now, a little like the weather we had this summer. Iron had not yet been used to till the fields and cut down the trees and we know that nature spirits and the soil do not respond well to iron. In Ireland the Sidhe (fairy folk) retreated as time passed and had less interaction with humans but had once worked very colaboratively to ensure the fertility of the land and all who lived on it. Sacred spaces and ceremonies were created as places where the two could meet. Threshold spaces in time and place, a little like my porch and hallways.
Iron interferes with the soil too and is why I have started to use copper tools in the garden, and maybe why I have less slugs as they don't like the electrical charge that copper produces. For humanity iron created more effective weapons too, more blood was spilled onto our earth, land was fought over, something that continues today, only the weapons have changed. Interestingly I am talking of iron which is the metal of the planet Mars which went direct on Monday after having been retrograde for 2 months whilst Mandy is talking of Venus whose metal is copper, a good conductor of electricity . . .
It is a playful outside culture in Italy with courtyards and loggias, threshold spaces between the inside and outside, how interesting that I am thinking these thoughts when working on my own threshold spaces. How interseting too that ancient dwellings and sacred spaces have been uncovered this summer to remind us how our ancestors lived worked and played. Maybe this is a threshold time for us reminding us that we can use sacred spaces and plants and co-create with the land and nature spirits. Use less iron, dig less and conserve water, and stop fighting over land for it really belongs to no one. Many of the things that we explore within the field of Eco Shamanism.
The spell has now broken and I feel different from being within it, at the time it was challenging but I am already seeing that it has left me many treasures.
On the Goldcliff coast - next Usk pilgrimage on Sunday 23rd September at the time of the Autumn Equinox
Autumn is coming, harvest is here
news from Freya Davies
After the heat of the summer the shift to autumn is coming with more speed than is usual. By mid August I had harvested blackberries, elderberries, fennel seed and nettle seed and the apple harvest has begun.
Whilst out walking I am drawn to the abundance of red, orange, purple and blue fruit on offer in the hedgerows and the rattle of beautiful seed heads. Whatever the season has been like, the cycles of life go on. I am also struck by the generosity of plants in their gifts at this time and how many creatures are gathering their harvest and storing it away.
This is a good time to take stock of what we have gathered through the year so far, to release everything that is done with and to select the treasures we want to look after and take forward. The plants are releasing fruit, seeds, nuts, and later many will shed their leaves. This is the autumn harvest with which plants are so generous; we can use the stored energy they give us through the winter months to help us dream and vision for the next year. We are reliant on plants for food and oxygen, harnessing the force of our Sun which, in it's turn, is connected with the electrical forces in the universe. Focusing our attention on plants helps us connect to the land and takes us on a journey of becoming one with our Earth. If you've been touched by plants or felt their presence in your life this year and would like to seed a deepening connection with plants come along to one of the introduction workshops/tasters in Bristol or Worcester in September (click for more information).
The shifts between seasons are special times so take time to sense the shift in your body and observe how the trees and plants are changing over the next month. Harvest berries for cordials and vinegars, dry apple rings to nibble through the winter, gather hazelnuts if you can find them before the squirrels do; and give thanks.
Clockwise from top: Fennel - herb of Mercury ruler of Gemini and Virgo; bee harvesting Teasel - associated with Venus, planet of copper; Nettle seed - associated with Mars, planet of iron
Events, workshops, tasters, courses etc
in date order
What's happening this year and next - anything in blue and underlined is a weblink.
Any questions or enquiries please get in touch.