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" If the world is a tree,

we are the blossoms "

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Drilling Under Homes – the Latest Threat

January 29th, 2014

The latest from Greenpeace: Did you hear? Not only does David Cameron want to bribe our councils to permit fracking, but he’s also trying to change laws which are hundreds of years old in order to drill under our homes – without our permission.

After hitting our local councils with endless budget cuts, Cameron’s now tempting them into dirty fracking deals by offering financial incentives that could be worth millions. He’s also trying to undermine the tens of thousands who’ve said no to fracking under their homes by overhauling ancient trespass laws.

>>Tell Cameron the UK is not for fracking

Planning applications from fracking companies go to local councils for approval. In a move that reeks of desperation, Cameron’s announced they can keep 100% of business taxes from fracking operations rather than 50% as before. If fracking is as great as Cameron claims, why does he need to offer bribes?

Before you despair, there is some good news. There are calls for these dodgy deals to be investigated by the EU. Also, some councils have made public announcements saying they won’t be bribed, including Hampshire, Bath, Somerset, North East Somerset, Herefordshire, the London Borough of Waltham Forest, and Cheshire East in George Osborne’s constituency.

Other councils are likely to follow if we come together to make our voices heard. Nearly 75,000 of us have already signed the petition calling on Cameron to keep the UK frack-free. It’s the biggest anti-fracking petition in the UK, supported by a coalition of environmental groups. But with an election coming up we must make sure this grows even bigger so it becomes impossible to ignore how deeply unpopular this is.

>> Demand Cameron keeps the UK frack free

Work continues at a local level to block individual applications. If you include your postcode in the petition we can let you know about anything planned in your area. In the meantime, we must also pile pressure on at the top, so please sign and share the petition today.

France has banned fracking so Cameron has invited French owned energy company, Total, to frack over here. Tell him what’s not ok in France, is not ok here either.

Beatrice Multhaupt

January 27th, 2014
'Crop Circle Designer' ~ Beatrice Multhaupt

‘Crop Circle Designer’ ~ Beatrice Multhaupt

'Dogrib Woman and Cat' ~ Beatrice Multhaupt

‘Dogrib Woman and Cat’ ~ Beatrice Multhaupt

The key to a good portrait is the artist’s ability to visually communicate something of their subject’s essence through the face. This surfacing of the life and spirit of a person through the texture of skin, the light in the eye, an expression or the deepening lines, is all the more apparent and poignant as we age. Artist Beatrice Multhaupt’s wonderful portraits capture this core ‘something’ beautifully. Through her skill she is able to gift us with images of depth and faces that fascinate and ‘speak’. Here she writes a little of her approach:

‘I trained as a portraitist originally and began noticing the effects
of traditional spiritual practices on people’s facial features. This got me to stop thinking in terms of beautiful/ugly and propelled my life on an
altogether different path. Salvation through the insights gained while drawing portraits, if you will.’

Beatrice went on to study Reiki and many of her faces come to her during healing sessions:

‘I realized that most of the Native artefacts I so admired in museums were illustrations of the very experiences I was having practicing Reiki. Most art historians and anthropologists simply assume that each culture’s spiritual traditions are passed on (or sometime not, at which point they are labeled extinct) and that each culture has a different set of teachings. And yet , here I was, relating to any number of glass-encased artefacts on a visceral, downright physical level.

‘That’s when I returned to figurative painting, attempting, however inadequately, to give form to my own perceptions. These are not visionary paintings because there’s no way on earth that I can depict colors of other- dimensional reality, but the faces that pop up during healing sessions, although I can’t draw them from memory, resemble people I’ve seen on photographs, which I can then alter to reconstruct the original vision.’

'Inuit Shaman' ~ Beatrice Multhaupt

‘Inuit Shaman’ ~ Beatrice Multhaupt

Sweet Darkness

January 23rd, 2014

In the middle of the road of my life, I awoke in a dark wood where the true way was wholly lost. ~ Dante – The Divine Comedy

The previous post was a wonderful poem by David Wagoner entitled Lost. In this excerpt from an interview with the poet David Whyte, he speaks about Wagoner’s poem and about how poetry has the power to act as a spiritual road map when we feel that we have lost our way upon our life-path. For Whyte, poets leave ‘footprints in the snow’; poems record the lessons learned by countless generations about what it means to be human, leaving clues as to how we survive the tough emotional terrain of those encounters with crisis. Whyte’s own poetry seeks to discover belonging in the uncertainty of living – to embrace the darkness and emptiness in order to uncover the gift that lies at its heart. For Whyte, these moments when the path disappears before us are the beginning stages of rediscovering a greater authenticity of self; they are the first steps in learning who we truly are and want we truly need to engage with our lives with depth and meaning.

To end, I leave you with one of Whyte’s own poems, Sweet Darkness from his book of poetry The House of Belonging:

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognise its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb
tonight.

The night will give you a horizon
Further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.

Give up all other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

Lost

January 21st, 2014

sacredgrove

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

~ David Wagoner

Do We Want to Take the Risk?

January 17th, 2014

We should learn from Pennsylvania’s experience. The carrot of tax breaks, jobs and supposedly cheap fuel being used to persuade us that fracking is safe and viable would seem to be a poisonous one.

Don’t Let Them Drill in The South Downs

January 15th, 2014

This week has seen the Government accused of bribing local authorities to grant planning permission that would allow exploration for possible fracking sites. On top of this depressing news, GreenPeace announced today that the South Downs National Park is under threat from fracking: Celtique Energy – who recently applied to drill at Wisborough Green in West Sussex – have also set their sights on Fernhurst, which lies within the borders of the park. Green Peace express their concern:

‘Drilling for hard to reach fossil Fuels in the South Downs National Park is madness for the climate, local environment and Sussex communities. It also undermines the growth of the UK’s clean energy industries, which are vital in our fight against climate change.

The iconic white cliffs of the South Downs set it apart from any other national parks in Britain. The South Downs National Park Authority are responsible for its care, and on their website promise to act in the “interests of the people who live and work within it”. Let’s ensure that they do that, by saying no to fracking.’

Please lend your voice to the growing number of people who oppose these applications.

 

This recent push by the government to support shale gas comes at a point when there are concerns about new figures that the UK’s shale gas regulator has only six full-time staff dedicated to fracking.  This week The Independent expressed concern that,

‘…the shale gas industry could be allowed to balloon without proper scrutiny… in only a fortnight, the regulator will be required to issue new fracking permits within two weeks, compared to the current 13-week wait.

…The change in business rates comes as Environment Agency – which regulates fracking as part of a much broader remit – prepares to cut about 15 per cent of its staff. An agency spokesman declined to comment on whether any of its fracking staff would be made redundant in the cuts.

“Rather than being rewarded for protecting the natural environment, councils are getting their bonuses for letting fracking take place”. said Harry Huyton, the RSPB’s head of energy policy.

“The Environment Agency is already dealing with severe budget cuts and increasing demands on its flood defence resources, raising concerns that they may not be able to properly manage the environmental impact of fracking,” he added.

“This is a new industry and is going to cover much of the country and the Environment Agency are operating with tiny resources that are only going to shrink. I don’t see how that is compatible with the promise of one of the most stringent regimes in the world,” Mr Huyton said.’  

To read the entire article click here.

Anna the Animal Communicator

January 14th, 2014

In Druidry, nature is perceived to be infused with awareness and intelligence, and so, animals, trees, rocks, water  etc,  are understood to possess their own unique voice and consciousness – just as humans do. Part of building a deeper relationship with nature is by communicating with it: sending out heartfelt messages and using our intuition to listen to any response. In doing so, we feel ourselves a part of a wider family of existence.

In this short film, Anna Breytenbach, illustrates her own gift for communicating with animals. On her website here 
she writes about her approach:

Human and animal communication creates a valuable bridge between human and non-human animals. By connecting with our intuition, we can engage in meaningful dialogue and remember how to hear the subtle messages from those whose space we share in our lives and our natural environment. Coming from a place of respect and reverence for all life, we can learn to understand our wilder relatives, honour their truths and live in greater harmony.

Interspecies communication is a unique opportunity for learning, clarity and healing. Through direct two-way information exchange, we increase mutual understanding and can work towards resolution of issues in our relationships with other beings. Psychic animal communication is natural; everyone can talk with animals! Most of us have simply forgotten how, but can recall instances from childhood or other times in our lives when we’ve been connected to our intuitive abilities and perceived things in a non-physical manner. We can all remember how to listen and perceive the true nature and essence of an animal’s unique personality and soul. The universal language of telepathy allows us to use our natural intuition and abilities to communicate with other species.

Will Worthington and the Marsden Imbolc Fire Festival

January 10th, 2014

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There will be a wonderful opportunity to view some of Will Worthington’s fabulous artwork at a gallery in Marsden in West Yorkshire. The gallery will be displaying a selection of his paintings open to the public every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, beginning this weekend and on through Imbolc. The exhibition coincides with the Marsden Imbolc Fire Festival. Here the organisers explain a little of the festival‘s history:

Marsden Imbolc Fire festival takes place on the 1st Saturday in February, following weeks of workshops. It is a community celebration based around the celtic ‘Imbolc’ marking the time when the earth begins to wake up after its winter sleep. This festival was started by Kirklees Countryside Volunteers 20 years ago, primarily for the people of Marsden to come together at a quiet time of the year, to explore the environment around them and to share an awareness of the turning of the seasonal cycle. MIFF has evolved over the years and now draws from a larger, more diverse community in terms of performers, participants and audience.

The festival involves a fiery procession with ‘druid’ type characters, Mr Fox fire dancers, mixed bands, stilt walkers and people carrying fire lanterns made at the workshops. It terminates at Standedge Visitors Centre (Tunnel End), where Jack Frost and the Green Man battle for the spring. We welcome in the sun with a firework finale.’  

There will be a ‘meet the artist’ day or evening (yet to be arranged) but Will lives in the village and is very happy to chat to visitors about his work. The gallery is situated in Peel Street, the main road in the village.

So, if you want to celebrate the inspirational energy of Imbolc with some inspirational artwork and join in the Marsden Festivies, you could combine both in what would be a magical experience.

To visit Will’s website click here

For more information about the Marsden festival click here   

 

Life After Life

January 8th, 2014

Do you ever feel that you have lived before? Perhaps you have vivid memories of other lives? You are not alone. A large percentage of the earth’s population expresses a belief in Reincarnation. Both believers and non-believers have intriguing experiences that point to a possibility that the circle of life is actually a spiral. A fascinating aspect of this subject is when small children claim to remember a previous life in vivid detail, sometimes even recalling their own death. Here is a interesting short film that explores this and the search to find if such memories can be traced to real people and events.

Mindful

January 3rd, 2014

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Everyday
I see or hear
something
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for —
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world —
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant —
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these —
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean’s shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

~ Mary Oliver