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" One touch of nature

makes all the world kin "

William Shakespeare

Elegy for a Walnut Tree

August 26th, 2014


Elegy for a Walnut Tree

by W. S. Merwin

Old friend now there is no one alive
who remembers when you were young
it was high summer when I first saw you
in the blaze of day most of my life ago
with the dry grass whispering in your shade
and already you had lived through wars
and echoes of wars around your silence
through days of parting and seasons of absence
with the house emptying as the years went their way
until it was home to bats and swallows
and still when spring climbed toward summer
you opened once more the curled sleeping fingers
of newborn leaves as though nothing had happened
you and the seasons spoke the same language
and all these years I have looked through your limbs
to the river below and the roofs and the night
and you were the way I saw the world

Plant Consciousness London

August 24th, 2014

I was interviewed last week by Davyd Farrell, one of the organisers of the upcoming Plant Consciousness Conference that is being held in London 4-6 October. See more here.

And here’s an interview with another speaker at the event, John Perkins – a fascinating man and a prime mover in the Be the Change movement:

The Art of the Master Builders with Dominique Susani

August 22nd, 2014


Offered for the first time in England, training in the authentic tradition of the European Master Builders; the creators of the great cathedrals.

This workshop will teach the principle method from the tradition which unites the energies of the Sun, Moon and Earth. Specifically it is the alignment of solar geometries, latitude and solstice positions which create powerful energetic mandalas, whose proportions harmonise with the nature of place. This ‘natural geometry’ is combined with geomancy to connect our buildings and ourselves with the Earth’s healing energies. This Earth alchemy is a living expression of the Hermetic tradition.

The weekend will be split between both learning the theory and construction methods of the mandala’s and then creating and interacting with them in the beautiful gardens of the college.

Dominique is a master geomancer and a descendant of the builders. He has a lifetime of experience working with the ancient art of stones, cromlechs, dolmens and labyrinths. An expert in the energetic harmonisation of houses, buildings and environment, Dominique is a well-respected authority on Earth energies and their impact on human beings.

October 4th + 5th 2014
Venue ; Emerson College, Hartfield Road, Forest Row, East Sussex, RH18 5JX
Course cost ; £170.00
Accommodation and vegetarian meals are available at Emerson College for course participants ( for an additional cost ).
Places are limited. To secure a place or obtain further information contact Mark Leib at mrleib72@gmail.com or call 07769 617595

Dominique Susani

Dominique Susani

Dominique, his teachers and colleagues, have collated what is known about earth energies and sacred geometry in Europe and are reviving them as a living practice. This knowledge was suppressed and lost over the last 1,700 years.

The resulting disconnected relationship with the earth then spread to the colonies and the New World, with sad and destructive results for indigenous people who had maintained their reciprocal relationship with land and life.

The revival of this European wisdom tradition comes at a time when we desperately need to repair and recover a collective sense of the relationship with the land that engenders respect and responsibility in caring for our places. ~ Anne Z Parker ~ The Boulder Centre for Master Builders

earth alchemy

The Spiritual Diplomat

August 18th, 2014

One of the responsibilities of an ancient Druid was that of peacemaker. Modern Druids also aim to incorporate this role into their spiritual practice. In this short film, the Canadian diplomat James George, now 94, speaks about how his own spiritual path informed his work. I feel sure many Druids will feel a kinship with James’ approach.

North Kent’s Answer to Stonehenge

August 15th, 2014

SWAT Archaeology Iwade project from Skyspider A.I on Vimeo.

From the Canterbury Times:

REMAINS of a prehistoric monument similar to Stonehenge are being excavated by Faversham experts.

SWAT Archaeology made the discovery while making a preparatory dig ahead of a planned housing development at Iwade Meadows, in Sittingbourne.

They have discovered evidence of two monuments dating back about 6,000 years to the Neolithic period and are being excavated and recorded before building the houses.

The largest monument is 30 metres in diameter and is formed of a pair of ring ditches.

According to SWAT Archaeology’s Dr Paul Wilkinson, the evidence suggests the outer ditch may have originated in the Neolithic period, but was later transformed into a funeral monument with the addition of an inner ring…Read more.


August 14th, 2014

2CELLOS Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser playing their arrangement of Thunderstruck by AC/DC!

Merlin’s Diary

August 12th, 2014

I had an interesting time talking the other day to two guys who run a podcast: ‘Merlin’s Diary’.merlinyn11
Our conversation is up now and you can find it, along with lots of  interviews with other speakers – and Merlin’s Diary – here!

Lancashire Grandmas and Mums Occupy Proposed Fracking Field

August 7th, 2014

BREAKING : PRESS RELEASE 7 August 2014 – 5:05am:

At 5am a team of around 25 grandmothers, mothers and others from the Blackpool area set up a protection camp in a field earmarked for development by shale gas industry operators Cuadrilla. Stating that they had over the past three years, tried all lawful methods available to them to stop ‘fracking’ and it was now a matter of necessity. Cuadrilla has applied for planning permission for access roads on the field off Preston New Road to enable the building of the drilling rig; if Lancashire County Council (LCC) grants permission.

A few hours later some 5000 objection letters to the planning application were handed into the council offices in Preston by others from the Frack Free Lancashire coalition of local anti-fracking groups. A spokesperson said a further 10,000 would be delivered over the coming weeks.

Today’s action comes exactly one week before another event by national group ‘Reclaim the Power’ who plan to bring over 1000 people to camp somewhere (not yet confirmed) in the Blackpool area in order to support local groups. The Reclaim the Power camp will run 14-20 August, holding workshops and training as well as a day of direct action targeting Cuadrilla and its partners.

A spokesperson from the group said: “There has been massive growth in resistance here in Lancashire as well as across the UK and despite this, our government continues to push for fracking. We have done our research, spoken to those living in places across the world where fracking has already caused untold harm and come to the conclusion that this is an industry we will not have near our families. We don’t do this lightly, it is an awful thing to have to do but it is now a matter of self-defence.”

When asked how long they intended to stay, the spokesperson said: “We wanted to be sure that whilst LCC considers the Cuadrilla request, that they consider what we want too, as mothers and grandmothers who worry for the safety of the next generations as well as our own. We will have a week to further raise awareness and will be offering tea and cake to visitors as well as a wealth of important and honest information about what living in a shale gas area would be like. Then we will join with the Reclaim the Power camp in their actions. We have no defined end-date and are using a ‘Section 6’ to hold the space we have taken (as security guards have done on behalf of Cuadrilla just a few fields away – setting the precedent) as well as a ‘144 Disclaimer’ to ensure we continue to act within the law.”

Others in the group include those from Garstang Against Fracking, Frack Free Fylde, Fleetwood Folk Say No To Fracking, Residents’ Action on Fylde Fracking, Longridge Against Fracking, Keep East Lancashire Frack Free, Thornton Unites against Fylde Fracking, Frack Free Blackpool, Frack Free Creators – Knitting Nannas Lancashire as well as residents from nearby the proposed site.

Some of those participating had this to say when asked what led them to being a part of this action:

Karen a Fylde resident:

“I was excited by the thought of jobs and prosperity coming to Blackpool until I learned about the short-term nature of shale gas and I came to see we were being sold a con about “lower energy prices”, “energy security”, “long-term employment”. We are being sold a brief boom and bust, with nasty long-term consequences. We need permanent solutions to our energy supply and use, not this get-rich-quick then get-the-hell-out industry.”

Tina of Residents’ Action on Fylde Fracking:

“The shale gas industry and Cuadrilla in particular have not acted honestly in their dealings with our community and are not to be trusted with the health and well-being of our children. We do not want them here and so are gathering to make sure we are heard and we are calling others to help us amplify this. As air and water do not recognize county boundaries, the defence is for everybody in the UK.”

Anjie of Fleetwood Folk Say No Fracking:

“This isn’t the wide open planes of anywhere, it’s heavily populated Lancashire; this industry has been banned in many places across the world including Europe – what do they know that our government isn’t listening to?”

Ros of Fleetwood Folk Say No to Fracking:

“I feel very strongly about the health impacts and that they’re wanting to pump toxic chemicals into the earth and bring up radioactive matter. I do not want to live in an industrial wasteland where air and water are at risk.”

Ginette of Fleetwood Folk Say No Fracking:

“I vividly remember the earthquake of 2011 that I thought was an explosion. Since then I have found out the real reason it happened and it needs to be stopped.”

Hilary of Keep East Lancashire Frack Free:

“There’s a lot of reasons to be here and do this. Basically we’ve taken this situation for too long and enough is enough. We need to protect our communities and they are being misled by this industry and the government.”

Janice of Longridge Against Fracking:

“I’d like to quote Socrates: ‘When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the user’ – we’ve seen that happen in the media, from the authorities, from the government and the industry; now our backs are against the wall and we’re claiming self defence.”

Becky of Frack Free Creators – Knitting Nannas Lancashire:

“My family alerted me to the proposed shale industry coming to Blackpool. Having done my own research and attending some public meetings, I feel there are better alternatives for our future.”

Julie of Residents’ Action on Fylde Fracking:

“I learned that 1 well in every 6 fails on installation and that 50% fail in 5 years and over time, all wells fail so I get the distinct feeling that we could be sitting on a time bomb.”

Gayzer of Frack Free Fylde:

“I’ll do what it takes to protect our kids. Ask yourself this question: Can something that turns fresh water into toxic waste be a good thing?”

Cheryl of Fleetwood Folk Say No Fracking:

“I want to see my children and future grandchildren enjoying a safe and clean environment. I feel even more strongly about it as my daughter Mica is also actively involved in researching and opposing this; I am proud of her.”

Mica (Cheryl’s daughter) from Fleetwood:

“I teach English in China and have first-hand experience of industrialization and the devastating effects it has. I don’t want England to get like China is where you can’t get water from the tap and have to buy bottled water.”

Bex of Fleetwood Folk Say No Fracking:

“I grew up here on the Fylde Coast, my children grew up here and no-one is listening – I need my grandchildren to now be able to grow up in a clean, safe environment. This is my obligation as a grandmother.”

Mark of Garstang Against Fracking:

“Nobody asked our opinion on this industry. Councillors and Government are acting without the consensus of the groundswell of public opinion here Lancashire.”