Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Herons In Winter

Monday, December 22nd, 2014


by Mary Oliver

All winter
two blue herons
hunkered in the frozen marsh,
like two columns of blue smoke.

What they ate
I can’t imagine,
unless it was the small laces
of snow that settled

in the ruckus of the cattails,
or the glazed windows of ice
under the tired
pitchforks of their feet—

so the answer is
they ate nothing,
and nothing good could come of that.
They were mired in nature, and starving.

Still, every morning
they shrugged the rime from their shoulders,
and all day they
stood to attention

in the stubbled desolation.
I was filled with admiration,
and, of course, empathy.

It called for a miracle.
Finally the marsh softened,
and their wings cranked open
revealing the old blue light,

so that I thought: how could this possibly be
the blunt, dark finish?
First one, then the other, vanished
into the ditches and upheavals.

All spring, I watched the rising blue-green grass,
above its gleaming and substantial shadows,
toss in the breeze,
like wings.

Gothic Image Sacred Scotland Tour

Friday, December 19th, 2014

From the 10-12 July 2015, Stephanie and I will be joining Jamie George and Linda Marson on the Gothic Image Sacred Scotland Tour. Here is some information about the Tour, links to the itinerary and registration pages, and a couple of short films to whet your appetite! Gothic Image have also published a book by Marianna Lines entitled The Travellers Guide to Sacred Scotland: A Guide to Scotland’s Ancient Sites and Sacred Places.

SacredScotlandBook-154x300“The roads and waterways I’ve travelled over the past two weeks can be traced on a map of Scotland. But there is no map of the inner landscape of memories, images and emotions that poured forth as the spirit of place in this timeless land led me home, ” says Linda Marson.

“I saw the remains of sacred sites, followed streams and waterfalls through fairy glens, lay atop a magic mountain and soaked up the sun and the breeze of a fairytale landscape. No guide to this inner journey is needed, you simply live in the moment and trust what you see and feel.”

Linda, a tarot author and teacher, returns as special guest on the 2015 Scotland to help you use the tarot to interpret your inner landscape as you travel the magical outer landscape of this timeless land.

Anyone who’s been on a Gothic Image tour through Scotland will tell you it’s not only good for the soul but good fun! You travel in a small group of like-minded people with tour leader, Jamie George, himself a Scotsman who loves to share the secrets of his homeland with you.

Tour highlights include:
15th century Rosslyn Chapel with its ornate, arcane carvings, including many depictions of the pagan Green Man
The enchanted fairy glen at Rosemarkie
 Islands of Orkney with their wealth of pre-historic sites – the 3000BC village of Skara Brae, the Neolithic stone circles of Stennes and Ring of Brodgar and the burial chamber of Maes Howe.
 Joining the tour on Orkney in 2015 will be Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm from the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. Their knowledge of the Druid tradition will add a fascinating dimension to the sites we visit in Orkney and other locations.
The Callanish complex of megalithic sites on the island of Lewis
 The stunning fairytale landscape on the island of Skye
 The beautiful island of Iona which radiates a special energy that brings peace to your soul.

Click here to download the full itinerary. If you have any questions about what to expect on the tour, please email Linda Marson –

Click here to register online.


Glowing with Happiness

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

13-21664-large-b12e81ec59ec77bd24c6abc7cf6a221346ed3bdd-s40-c85Love makes us warm all over, and now scientists are creating body maps to prove it.

A team of scientists in Finland has used a topographical self-reported method to reveal the effects that different emotional states have on bodily sensations. After five experiments and over 700 participants from Finland, Sweden and Taiwan, who reported where on their bodies they felt different emotions, the scientists discovered surprising consistencies. Their research findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read more

Mathematics and Sex

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

A fascinating and funny Ted Talk from Mathematician Dr Clio Cresswell…

A Frack-Free Christmas Stocking Filler!

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

frack free sussexA Press Release from Frack-Free Sussex!

What do the singer of a No 1 smash hit club anthem and the world famous composer of ‘The Snowman’ have in common?  ANSWER: THEY ARE HELPING US!!!

Hello Everyone! The festive season is approaching and we are very excited to announce the launch of our big musical fund raiser for 2015……

Nearly 100 musicians, mostly Sussex based, contributed to the 20 tracks which feature on this eclectic and spirited album. The beautiful CD booklet contains quotes from all the artists about why they contributed their music and why they are against ever more dangerous methods of fossil fuel extraction…

Perhaps the best and most original stocking filler you can give someone!? We think so! Because it has been made with love and passion, for the sake of our air, water and health!

ORDER NOW to get it in time for CHRISTMAS!
(We also have lovely stickers and badges available at our new online store!)

PLEASE forward this on to all of your friends and family and help keep Sussex FRACK FREE!

All proceeds will be used to help Frack Free Sussex continue campaigning, educating and informing the public of the issues surrounding the development of an onshore unconventional oil and gas industry in the UK.

WE NEED VOLUNTEERS! CAN YOU DO SOMETHING TO HELP FFS THIS MONTH? The campaign to prevent Fracking (or any kind of unconventional drilling) ruining our county is made up of an ever growing number of people LIKE YOU! We are fighting against multi-national corporations with millions of pounds to spend on PR so we need you, whatever your skills and expertise.

Event organisers, letter-writers, video-makers, photographers, website builders, persuasive talkers, sign-makers, cake-bakers, tea servers, leaflet handers, media observers, database builders, film showers, nature-lovers, lorry-blockers, T-shirt designers, scientists, economists, environmentalists, musicians, artists, graphic designers….you name it! Please do not hesitate to contact us if you can help… Please make a DONATION if you are able….

See you at a Sussex event soon!


Creating A Forest Garden

Monday, December 15th, 2014


Martin Crawford is the author of Creating a Forest Garden: Working with Nature to Grow Edible Crops. Martin has created a wonderful forest garden in Devon which you can see in the following short video – it illustrates not only the practical benefits of this permaculture technique but also just how beautiful a forest garden can be as a space. Martin’s book is available from Green Books, a fantastic independent publisher that has some interesting titles in its catalogue with subjects that range from Eco-philosophy and Green Living to Literature and Art. Here is a biography about the author and some information about his book form the website:

Forest gardening is a novel way of growing edible crops – with nature doing most of the work for you. A forest garden is modelled on young natural woodland, with a wide range of crops grown in different vertical layers. Unlike in a conventional garden, there is little need for digging, weeding or pest control. Species are carefully chosen for their beneficial effects on each other, creating a healthy system that maintains its own fertility.

Creating a Forest Garden tells you everything you need to know, whether you want to plant a small area in your back garden or develop a larger plot. It includes advice on planning, design (using permaculture principles), planting and maintenance, and a detailed directory of over 500 trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, annuals, root crops and climbers – almost all of them edible and many very unusual.

As well as more familiar plants you can grow your own chokeberries, goji berries, yams, heartnuts, bamboo shoots and buffalo currants – while creating a beautiful space that has great environmental benefits. In the light of our changing climate it is important that we find new ways of growing food sustainably, without compromising soil health, food quality or biodiversity. Forest gardening offers an exciting solution to the challenge.

Martin started his working life a computer programmer but his passion for organic gardening quickly led to a change in career. He has had broad and varied horticultural/agricultural experience over the last 25 years – he has worked for the Yarner Trust in North Devon, teaching small-scale organic agriculture; grown food for a small hotel on the Isle of Iona; restored the walled gardens of a manor house in mid-Devon; and run his own organic market garden and tree nursery in South Devon.

His experience led him to the concept of forest gardening as a sustainable system that can flourish in our changing climate conditions, and it was this that led to the founding of the Agroforestry Research Trust in 1992, a non-profit-making charity that researches into temperate agroforestry and all aspects of plant cropping and uses, with a focus on tree, shrub and perennial crops. At his 2-acre forest garden in Dartington, Devon, planted 15 years ago, Martin systematically researches plant interactions and unusual crops. He also runs a commercial tree nursery specialising in unusual trees and shrubs, and has an 8-acre trial site, researching fruit and nut trees.

Martin teaches courses on Forest Gardening and Growing Nut Crops, writes books and edits a quarterly journal, Agroforestry News. His book Creating a Forest Garden – the forest gardening ‘bible’ – was published in 2010. His other books include Cherries: Production and Culture, Directory of Apple Cultivars, Directory of Pear Cultivars, Peaches and Apricots, Plums: Production, Culture and Cultivar Directory, Currants and Gooseberries, Blackberries and Raspberries, Chestnuts: Production and Culture, Hazelnuts: Production and Culture, Walnuts: Production and Culture, Bamboos, Ground Cover Plants, Nitrogen-fixing Plants for Temperate Climates, Timber Trees for Temperate Climates, Edible Plants for Temperate Climates,Useful Plants for Temperate Climates, Plants for Hedging, Plants for Basketry, Bee Plants and Dye Plants. His latest book, How to Grow Perennial Vegetables, was published in 2012.

He is a director of ‘Gaia’, a Trust formed by James Lovelock to further his work. He lives in Dartington with his wife and two children.

See  for more information.

The Strange Relationship Between Memory and Truth

Friday, December 12th, 2014

There is a quote from Stephen Covey that advises, ‘Live out of your imagination not your history’. The following Ted Talk by Judith Claybourne explores this idea further. My thanks to Barry Winbolt at Single Session Therapy  for posting this:

For The Love

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Ra Paulette’s has spent 25 years carving out the most extraordinary caverns in the sandstone hills of New Mexico. They are not only stunning works of art but are also sanctuaries that reflect the sacred. Paulette has chiselled these amazing caves entirely on his own and says that the driving force, for him, is the joy of creating. It says a great deal about our modern society that Paulette’s structures are becoming prime real estate but Paulette’s own approach to his work remains inspiring. He expresses little interest in making money out of his work; he creates for the love. It is a breath-taking achievement as this short video testifies…

You Are Part Of It

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

stag at sunrise








Beyond the cackling of the birds
and all the fighting, and all the noise-
What else is there?

The oak tree’s heart, which says:
Glory is. Wholeness is.
And unavoidably, my dear, you are part of it.

Problemlessness. I know – you couldn’t hear it before,
but I’m asking you now – to go inside the oak,
and wait-

till your heart is wrenched by its love
and you see no need for language

till your hands are cupped receiving
and everything comes to you baked in lovesilence

There is no name for what enters you then.
Everything is a red sun rising
and everywhere an infinite grace before you

Then there is no name for what you become-
like love, like the mountain.”

~Tara Sophia Mohr from Your Other Names: Poems by Tara Sophia Mohr

La Loba

Monday, December 8th, 2014

cailleach2A great quote from Clarissa Pinkola Estes about what she calls the ‘Life/Death/Life Mother ‘ and her healing powers of transformation; of how she can be found in the stories and myths of cultures across the planet. ‘La Loba’ is the Wolf Woman who gathers the bones and sings over them to bring them back to life – literally re-membering them with her magical song – a powerful image of the Crone as not only the midwife of souls but she is who is the catalyst for renewal and rebirth.

There is an old woman who lives in a hidden place that everyone knows in their souls but few have ever seen. As in the fairy tales of Eastern Europe, she seems to wait for lost or wandering people and seekers to come to her place.

…She calls herself many names: ‘La Huesera’, Bone Woman; ‘La Trapera’, The Gatherer; and ‘La Loba’, Wolf Woman.

…The sole work of La Loba is the collecting of bones. She collects and preserves that which is in danger of being lost to the world.

…La Labo parallels world myths in which the dead are brought back to life. In Egyptian mythos, Isis accomplishes this service for her dead brother Osiris, who is dismembered by his evil brother, Set, every night. Isis works from dusk to dawn each night to piece her brother back together again before morning, else the sun will not rise. The Christ raised Lazarus, who had been dead so long he ‘stinketh’. Demeter calls forth her pale daughter Persephone from the Land of the Dead once a year. And La Loba sings over the bones.

…When La Loba sings, she sings from the knowing of ‘los ovarios’, a knowing deep within the body, deep within the mind, deep within the soul. The symbols of seed and bone are very similar. If one has the root stock, the basis, the original part, if one has the seed of corn, any havoc can be repaired, devastations can be resewn, fields can be rested, hard seed can be soaked to soften it, to help it break open and thrive.

To have the seed means to have the key to life. To be with the cycle of the seed means to dance with life, dance with death, dance into life again. This embodies the Life and Death Goddess in her most ancient and principled form. Because she turns in these constant cycles, I call her the Life/Death/Life Mother.

If something has been lost, it is she to whom one must appeal, speak with, listen to. Her psychic advice is sometimes harsh or difficult to put into practice but always transformative and restorative.

…La Loba. the old one in the desert, is a collector of bones. In archetypal symbology, bones represent the indestructible force. They do not lend themselves to easy reduction. They are by their structure hard to burn, nearly impossible to pulverize. In myth and story they represent the indestructible soul-spirit. We know the soul-spirit can be injured, even maimed, but it is nearly impossible to kill.

You can dent the soul and bend it. You can hurt it and scar it. You can leave the marks of illness upon it, and the scorch marks of fear. But it does not die, for it is protected by La Loba in the underworld. She is both the finder and the incubator of bones.

~ ‘Women Who Run with the Wolves’.