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" Friendship is a sheltering tree "

Coleridge

We May Well be Turned to Stone

March 5th, 2009

TRANSITION TALES: Storytelling to Reconnect us to Ourselves, Each Other and the Earth with Ashley Ramsden
Monday 23 March – Friday 27 March 2009

We are living in a time of massive upheaval: the earth is in crisis, financial markets are collapsing, and many communities are in conflict.  Unless we start finding some new stories to live by we may well be turned to stone, or find ourselves consumed by the dragons of our own making.  As storytellers we have the power to create new worlds, to explore with our imagination fresh possibilities, to tell a different story – one that can break the spell we have been under.

This workshop will equip you with stories that herald the kind of consciousness and community that we so desperately need.  We will share and discuss our ideals and help one another to manifest practically their content.
Tuition £285
contact Emerson College 01342 822238, or email Rebecca at Emerson at her email address above or see www.emerson.org.uk

Swami Yogananda and the Druids

March 5th, 2009

Swami Yogananda

In England, Master [Yogananda] went to England with two boys – one of them was my son – and he went to Stonehenge, which is outside of London.  I’ve forgotten just the town – Salisbury that’s it – and he was telling my son, he says, “You know, one of my incarnations was here,” where the Druids were.  They have the great Stonehenge, those great stones which are arranged in a certain way.  And I know my son wrote back, and he said, “You know, Dad, Paramhansaji said here, this was one of his incarnations was here about 4500 years ago.”

From a talk on Reincarnation given by Dr. M.W. Lewis
San Diego Church, 9/13/59

Margate Beckons

March 5th, 2009

You thought you’d done it all. You’ve been to Peru, Egypt and China. You’ve meditated on hill-tops, fasted with gurus and listened to binaurally-balanced hemi-sync meditation CDs in the bath.

But you haven’t been to Margate. There you will find the mysterious Snake Grotto or Shell Grotto as it’s known to the uninitiated.

From the grotto’s official website:

The Grotto’s discovery in 1835 came as a complete surprise to the people of Margate; it had never been marked on any map and there had been no tales of its construction told around the town. But James Newlove could clearly see the commercial potential of his find and he immediately set about preparations to open the Grotto up to the public.
The first paying customers descended the chalk stairway in 1837 and debate has raged about the Grotto’s origins ever since: for every expert who believes it to be an ancient temple, there’s someone else convinced it was the meeting place for a secret sect; for every ardent pagan, there’s a Regency folly-monger ready to spoil their fun. At first glance the Grotto’s design only adds to the confusion, with humble cockles, whelks, mussels and oysters creating a swirling profusion of patterns and symbols. There are trees of life, phalluses, gods, goddesses and something that looks very like an altar.
The most recent findings point to the Grotto functioning as a sun temple, the sun entering the Dome (which extends up to ground level, with a small circular opening) just before the Spring Equinox, forming a dramatic alignment at midday on the Summer Solstice and departing just after the Autumn Equinox, thus indicating the fertile season. The research continues!
However, there’s only one fact about the Grotto that is indisputable: that it is a unique work of art that should be valued and preserved, whatever its age or origins.

A blogger who has visited it says it is: visually stunning and this overlayed by their fantastic line in mythography; suggesting at the same time that the mystical symbolism rendered on the walls in the grotto links it to everything from a pagan worship site, a masonic temple and even drags Dan Brown’s weary Knights Templar into the picture (damn busy chaps they were). Their descriptions of the lavish shell patterns on the wall are lush and stunning – “…we see Phallic signs, a Fountain, ears of wheat, a palm branch, the ram’s horns, the snake panel, various winged solar discs, many flowers and other signs” [The Shell Grotto of Margate – An ancient underground shell Temple (no date)]

See beautiful photos of the caves here.

I’m packing my suitcase as I write this…