Raising an indigo

Having an indigo child in the household can be like living with a loose cannon on deck, though compensated for with so many moments of extraordinarily uplifting joy and inspiration, not to mention demonstrations of love that never grow thin. They are far from the perfect all-knowing angels  who should be “teaching us” and us only ever doing their bidding, as they are often depicted in spiritual circles (though they offer many moments like that…) and they need us to set the example when it comes to how to hone their burning passion and wilful self-belief into a form that is world-ready. They can be highly emotive and like a whirlwind of painful sensitivity and super-passionate (and desperately immediate since they don’t like waiting around) desire; a veritable tsunami in the midst of family life and you can feel their energy like a highly charged electricity pylon when they are in full flow. We, the parent, need to be the mast to which they tie themselves, at least for a while, so they don’t self-harm or blast any others and, in the meantime we can feel like we are getting our own feathers repeatedly singed, if we let this happen by sticking grimly to old parenting modalities or even denying that we have such a role to play anymore as parents of children who seem to be born inherently “switched-on”. This is the balancing act that has faced countless modern-day parents whose children are now reaching adulthood; with varying results.

Yet, its true, they do evolve us, too….not always knowingly yet the leaps in consciousness we make, catalysed by them (if we are open to it) are tremendous. As an indigo myself (yes, that is entirely possible;  though rarer in our generation, there are many of us now in our middle-life years) it can be tempting to reach back to an alien “soul aura” (pre indigo) type response to try to control their extremities and, sometimes, anti-social behaviours around the home. Out of desperation, we may find ourselves drawing on behaviours we remember from our own parents and grandparents because, with our minds, we really don’t know what else to do…so, maybe extreme rule-setting and penalties are what it takes to get somewhere, we try telling ourselves. Or…from our own indigo-ness (which never feels comfortable with those old responses, to the point we often tell ourselves, in our most self-doubting moments, that  we “must be bad parents” because we dislike being the authoritarian so much), we take the leap towards the other possible response…

That alternative is the response to parenting that is felt with the whole heart and with a powerful affirmative from the gut instincts, which is that we make a quantum leap –  ourselves – to surpass our own indigo-approach and become more crystalline in our perspectives. This gains us the un-emotive overview and the pristine, un-agendered response that raising these children calls for; and it keeps our own energy un-depleted and intact while theirs runs amok. We learn the ropes (for we have to) when it comes to living with and loving another entity that is the way that it is and yet often clashes with our heartfelt desires and our personal space; so we hone our own conscious responses to this situation in a way that is both firm yet without hostility (those combined skills we most need in our world). We learn to work with energetic boundary setting in such an enhanced way; and how to forgive all at a moment’s notice, for there is (from this place) nothing, ever, to forgive. In other words, we step up another level, to a new version of parenting (and LIFE) that knows no meaningless hierarchy or control-games, demands no rites of gratitude or pay-back, nor does it repeat endless cycles of behaviours that were already outmoded when we were growing up but which, instead, is all about being the recognisable high-frequency energy that these children seek (often in vain from their oh-so frustrating world) from their very moment of arrival on here. So, then, they really have something to work with as a role model because we  have the advantage that we already know all about being here and working with themes that are as tangible as they are now uncomfortable and obsolete; we have the tee-shirt of doing that and we can offer something to them just as they do to us. This collaboration is super-powerful and is exactly what is occurring right here, right now on planet earth as countless young people coming of age and their parents and other adult role-models pitch in together, sharing skill sets in a way that evolves us all, worldwide.

Indigo child.jpgFrom this milestone in a parenting journey, the kind of evolution that is possible between the pair of you knows no limits as each of you catalyses the other towards a new and considerably more evolved, as yet largely unexplored, form of parenting and being the parented one, on brand new and harmonious, collaboratory, mutually beneficial and always expanding terms. The child that receives this kind of parenting will not race to leave forever the nest that they had already (in many ways) outgrown almost on arriving but will continue to use the steadying influence of the parent as a touchstone as they spread their wings into a world they are now able to go into without the kind of erratic self-belief that would make them a liability to themselves. That way, they will go further and faster, influencing and shaping even more than they ever would have in a situation where all their efforts were put into fighting what felt so “off” about their upbringing (as many of our generation spent years, even decades, doing). They can get straight to the point; and that point holds great benefit for us all as their fresh insight comes on board to help change the world.

I speak with the assumption that anyone reading this will have an understanding of what indigo and crystal children are since there is widely available information on these topics and, if the concept is new, I highly recommend books by Anni Senov. Until the mid to late twentieth century, human beings possessed a soul aura, which is when indigo auras started appearing. I have been, at least, a partial indigo all my life; my belief being that (akin to many others of my age-group) I stepped up to becoming full-blown indigo from the 1980s as the effects of the eighth wave began to be felt and am well on the way to becoming crystalline (with some teething issues; hence ongoing health challenges). Children born between the 1990s until, I suspect, the pre-wave to the ninth wave came with an indigo aura intact and, since the ninth wave initiated (is my personal theory), arrive with a crystal aura. At this time, a great many indigos are “coming of age” and we are about to feel the effect in our world!

Without wanting to go into explaining these terms in-depth (my purpose in this article was to briefly share some observations from my own parenting years, as my own daughter comes of age), I refer you to the many other books and articles available on the topic.

For more on the eight and ninth waves refered to, seek out my earlier posts using the term “ninth wave”.


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Perfectly poised on the peak

Have you ever tried to line up a compass with “N” and “S”; say, on a flat surface, minutely tweaking it this way and that to get the needle perfectly locked on? I do this often as I have a device with an inbuilt compass in my house but which gets knocked off course by people using that room. When I turn that compass to realign it, the needle flips this way and that but, when it gets close to mid-point, it does something different. First it quivers and almost resists, sort of bounces on its axis and strobes with resistant energy, so minisculey and fast, that its shakes seem to animate from the inside, making it come to life. At last, on that centre point, it pulls in to the impulse and locks on then surrenders as though it always wanted to be there, settling perfectly on that midpoint…but not without the struggle first.

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Magnetic storm arrival

I realised, on waking this morning, that this scenario happens a great deal, within me. For instance, today, I KNEW before checking that the promised geomagnetic storm arrived in the night. My clues are that I had wildly bizarre yet lucid dreams, I tossed and turned so much my bed was a mess and I was damp with sweat though the room was stone cold, my trigeminal nerve had become super fired-up sending electric sensations and cramps into my neck and face but, mostly, the signs were on the inside of that mental screen. In the still dark room, I was acutely aware that the energy in my brain was swinging back and forth, back and forth and there were lights in my “vision” accompanying that sensation; the same flashing lights that used to accompany the beginnings of a migraine in days before I managed my body sufficiently to avoid them. My stomach was experiencing very similar sensation; no surprise there as the stomach is the second brain and with similar nerve receptors as the frontal lobe, joined via the vagus nerve and prone to reacting to subtle stimuli in much the same way…like a sea anemone in a current. We are told there are no discernible “feelings” in the brain; and, though they are different to those in, say, a finger, I beg to differ. I’ve known this, viscerally, all my life, since as small child I would try to single out and even control the bizarre sensations that were firing off inside my head. These days, I experience the same super-sensitivity in my stomach lining, as though I am intimate with every nerve receptor on my stomach wall, feeling enzymes popping into action and food passing through plus every subtle reaction. Why don’t we all feel that? Maybe the majority of people eat such a diet that they are furred up and desensitised by ingredients that overwhelm then switch off these nerve endings, as I used to do, but now I feel everything, all the subtleties; because I have had to become very “of” the body in order to stay in it when my natural inclination was to want to go back into a state beyond the body where physical body sensations were no longer an incumbrance. To stay here I had to embrace all of it and this meant to know the body intimately or there was no point; I could no longer abuse the body, ignore it or treat it like my servant. The result is that my high-sensitivity – which is not of this body – has been brought INTO the body and I now feel things that many other people don’t register about the body at all…(for those who are waking to it) yet.

bryan-minear-325881And this morning I could feel how the universe had injected this planet with such a strong force over night that the localised geomagnetic polarity was bouncing back and forth, back and forth…and my body was reflecting that. Or it was, until I remembered the compass needle and did what I do with that when I want to settle it quickly, so I set my intention and I focused on the end result of it being settled in the middle point; no force or coercion but just allowing it to realise that middle point by holding it in myself. In my head, I did this so quickly that the “needle point” settled very quickly indeed; the stomach took a little longer to catch up but it got there. Meanwhile, what started as the kind of day when I would once have assumed I was in the beginnings stages of a severe pain episode had morphed into a high-energy day in which I still feel full of vim and vigour not to mention extraordinarily well coordinated between left and right hemispherical tasks. You might call it “being in the zone”.

I share this personal experience because, amongst other things, I am left wondering if electromagnetically sensitive people, of which there are an ever rising number, might also be people who are particularly hemispherically balanced as I am (many tests have confirmed what I already knew on this score). So, why didn’t this catalyse whole-body super-sensitivity earlier in my life? I suspect, because it was happening in my brain but hadn’t yet been rolled out to the rest of my body at that early stage. From birth until about five years ago, I was used to confounding all the most “uncomfortable signals from the universe” (or you could say, self-medicating against their weirdness) by consuming sugar, wheat, alcohol and an array of toxic additives used in food, prescription meds, chemicals in tap water and sprayed on my food, and so on like most people, not to mention furring up my responses with all the toxic attitudes and distorted belief systems with which we tend to surround ourselves. As I’ve done all the clearing-away of that, the rest of my energy body has caught up with this mid-hemispherical thing and I’ve become ever more sensitive to agents of duality in the environment and that includes the magnetic polarity of this planet, which I feel and respond to through my body. Is this so very weird or is this how we are meant to conduct our relationship with Gaia?

I want to borrow a description from a very dear friend of mine who used this yesterday within a different context. She was referring to a birth chart and described these particular areas we all have in our lives, which some people consider to be a “problem area”, which she sees in a far more positive light and prefer to call “the rub”. And “the rub” can be like sandpaper or it can be like butter; but its purpose is to serve your highest evolution. This rub is something you chose when you came here into human form; its why you came at all and what you wanted to experience and look into more deeply. In my mind, it’s the leading point of the evolutionary spiral. And her description of the two types of rub is, I realise, exactly what I have learned about physical pain; and the greatest success I have had with intense pain is to encourage that pain to be more like butter, less like sandpaper.

This description of “the rub” fits perfectly with what I described in my last post in which I talked about situations going all the way to childhood (even in the womb) where, for a lifetime, I have paired each circumstantial trauma with an emotion…each of these  forming the two sides, brought together, of a hard “rub” that, in the longer run, has served my highest evolution. Only by coming together from both the emotional and the circumstantial side, to form a whole, was I able to identify that rub sufficiently to work with it in a deeply personal, powerful and (ultimately) transformational way. At the time, these “rubs” can feel like a pebble in your shoe, and you can limp around with this thing in situ for years or even whole lifetimes; until the day you are sensitive enough to realise “oh, there’s a small piece of grit in my shoe and its been causing me to limp” and so you make the time to take off your shoe and remove this thing. There may be an after-pain, you may even have learned to walk in a very distorted way to avoiding putting pressure on the pebble but that can still be corrected with effort and patience. Soon enough, the body catches up with the consciousness and you are able to walk tall and straight as though that rub had never been there, though you will always be more grateful for the new state because of experiencing what came before.

If this whole anecdote sounds like hyper-personal nonsense, let me point out that I am noticing this kind of super-sensitivity surfacing in other people now. My husband, for instance, laments almost daily that he is becoming ever more electro-sensitive “like me” and especially to geomagnetic events which, sometimes, he flags up even before I do. Jokingly, he blames me like I infected him with this “curse” but I believe the real reason is this. In the last half decade, he has completely transformed his inner and outer realities while his body has lost significant weight and been honed into a new shape through a regular practice of yoga; which is the most powerful equaliser of hemispheres throughout the whole physical body that I know of. The more he has attuned to his own centre point, the more he has “felt things” which, in the beginning, don’t necessarily feel desirable since they add to the overwhelm point of how much over-stimulus we are already subjected to in our world by our media and our circumstances. But what if it is necessary and inevitable to feel more through our subtle senses? What if this is exactly how we come to discern our own middle point, our “rub” or our evolutionary spiral tip within the physical human body (not just as some spiritual ideal)? What if it’s a no pain no gain thing, though I prefer “temporary discomfort” as we learn to navigate by this thing and then find the middle point as our permanent dwelling place. What if this is the way that we get to dump all those defunct old belief systems that currently dictate which way we go so that we get to navigate according to an innate inner compass that leads us back “home” to ourselves? What if we were always going to have to make this more visceral, more manifest in the physical realm (yes, uncomfortable at first), making it practical and real in our daily lives, not just this state of inner calm achieved on a meditation mat? How were we ever going to roll this thing out into the world if we didn’t know what “the rub” felt like at the most personal level, where it affects each of us the same because there is no hierarchy, no power game to be played where we we feel its effects with our physical senses? This kind of experience is the great leveler; it strips us of all our trappings, our masks and our ulterior motives and leave us all wanting, pretty much, the same things.

Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 11.35.42So, what if what we are seeing all over our news is the evidence of “the rub” being reaching by the entirety of mankind as the evolutionary growing pains of a planet whose compass needle is bouncing and tremoring and seeming to flip around all of its own accord…just before it settles? What if it has to look this messy, this extreme, this unlikely to become still or to line up with what feels balanced, before it finds the middle point? What if our roles is to find it (and hold it), first, within ourselves and then to hold what that feels like steadily in our mind’s eye and with our intention until it becomes physical reality? Is this how we reinvigorate ourselves with life’s passion – which has a tendency to arrive on the coat-tails of finding a sense of direction – instead of folding beneath the overwhelm of far too many things tugging us this way or that way and no idea how to discern between them? Is this when we notice how those nearest a breakthrough will feel more and even, perhaps, hurt more before that breakthrough of light happens and that this is why we must keep going and not give up in despair, supporting those who feel it as pain; allowing and encouraging it to be more like butter than sandpaper? Is this when everything in our experience falls into place and feels “true”; like the true aim of an arrow tip clearly pointing the way although there is no beginning or end to this arrow since it becomes steadiest in “the now”? In other words, our fixation must be upon achieving what we can now, in this moment, not on some end goal or where we have been. This is how we join up all the elements of ourselves and find a centre point where these all correspond; even patiently awaiting those aspects which haven’t yet caught up, holding space for great healing to take place when they arrive. Perhaps this is when we get to realise our greatest truth in physical form as well as know it as an idea; which is, after all, why we came.

Hawk 1Shortly after writing this post, I set off for my morning walk, still feeling bizarrely “joined up” in all my senses. Just as I parked, a reminder that we are at the Ninth Wave peak popped up on my phone (if you still don’t know what I am referring to here, search “ninth wave” across my blog). A minute later, I spotted this sparrowhawk in the distance. Fixed on what it wanted below, it hovered there in the broody sky…perfectly poised, balanced, unwaveringly set on its own compass point of intention like it had locked-on to it and remained there for many many minutes. Other birds seem to try and disrupt it, coming from right and left and almost flying into it but nothing threw it off its poise until it had dived down on what it had set its mind on. interesting juxtaposition; far too timely not to include.

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Dispelling negative associations

Do super-potent unions between emotion (yin) and event (yang) really take place and form hard nuggets that serve as unshiftable obstacles at the subplot of human exstence; the stumbling blocks of our highest evolution? Do they become solid yet bizarely intangible forms for, though we can sense them there, we struggle to acknowledge them well enough to transmute them, as though we do not have the right kind of vision to see them for what they are (though perhaps we are evolving such visionary skills now)? For, like an invisible elephant taking up space in the room of our best negotiation attempts, they always seem to turn us back towards the same doom-laden outcomes as before; manifesting as our most stubborn health issues, the sticking points in our recovery, the very thing that keeps returning us back to the beginning of a game we can’t seem to thrive in. I can hear those deeply caught up in old perspectives poopoo-ing it even before I type these words but I believe it is more than possible.

As the synesthete that I am, whose experience of the world already leans towards interchangeability of data so that, for instance, I see numbers as colours or emotions as objects (and many other such exhangeable languages of experience) I know that I am entirely capable of making a formidible association of an emotion with a physical circumstance. I do it all the time with music and clothing, places, smells and people – so that a whole box of memory can open up when a chance juxtaposition occurs. So why not with those things that, to my health-challenged body, present as toxic triggers? What if, without the negative emotional associations, these things could be returned back to neutral? What if many more of us are prone to this kind of synesthesia than we realise, which makes it such a key area of study as an approach to healing deep trauma; and has everything to do with finding that formidible meeting point in the human psyche where left and right hemispheres are trying so hard to collaborate and yet sometimes do so in such a way (or at such a lowered frequency) that it does not help us to thrive but has the opposite effect; after all, formidible is formidible…it knows no “right” or “wrong” way to manifest. Once we start to understand how this occurs at the deeply personal level, we can quickly use the same mechanism of irresistable attraction between the two hemispheres to collaborate on far healthier outcomes where positive emotions are encouraged to collaborate with circumstances (yes, even the more challenging ones…) until those, too, start to soften into the neutrality required to allow a quantum healing to take place; for, once neutral, we get to choose what to create next instead of being dicated to by what came before. We focus the laser-light of our highest perspective on the source wound until we can allow it to dissolve into a pool of higher understanding. “Hard” circumstance quickly becomes less rigid or non-negotiable once this happens since the higher-emotional response can overturn what was once thought to be so black and white or “factual” about a hurtful or distorted experience. When we do this using the power of immense positivity in all of our approaches to old wounds, we allow old negative patterns to stop repeating themselves and for completely new outcomes to rise out of the rubble of what once felt so intractable.

jeremy-bishop-409039I realise that it is not that these deeply problematic issues affecting my quality of life have been growing “worse”, the rift between perspectives growing wider (the same could be observed about world at large…) but that, as I have been healing and clearing myself of other, old emotional, debris that obscured these root causes, they have been coming up for my attention more and more; which was inevitable. By surfacing, they invite me to be honest about my past and to forgive everything that I have ever been through and the same applies to all of us, as a collective. Though they can newly bring up feelings of being the little child, I regard this as a valuable opportunity to remind myself that I am all grown up now and that I get to choose my own reactions. Though avoiding some of my triggers as far as is practical (for now) creates a space that supports healing, I don’t feel this avoidance is the last word on any of the experiences that I wish didn’t trigger me since a life of reaction or avoidance is not what I choose as my most liberated experience, at any level. I hold that I am capable of healing any reactionary behaviour in myself just as soon as I can plunge into its source and recognise what it is all about and how it contributed to my overall experience of life and this gratitude-fuelled approach is key to defusing it. Love and appreciation of all the players in this long-running game is where the true and sustained healing lies.

Extract from Dispelling negative associations in which a journey through the experiences of my body led me to some more universal truths…

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The wide open garden of the heart


The garden beyond the cathedral cloisters…where feminine and masculine come together?

When I found I was going to be in Canterbury on 11/11, I knew straightaway where I wanted to spend 11am on that morning. There’s a garden just the other side of the cloisters of the abbey, where we spent a memorable late-afternoon-into-evening watching bees in the lavender and a very self-possessed cat laboriously grooming herself on a stone pillar earlier this year. This was to the accompaniment of pupils from the neighbouring school delivering Shakespeare sonnets to a tiny audience in the round (a fortunate coincidence that only added to the evening ambience), though we were there on a more passing errand…an exploration of a cathedral I had only ever been to twice before, and never inside (I still haven’t managed that; the cloisters and garden always seem to distract me). A hallowed hour or so passed in that gentle sanctuary in July and I loved it so much that it was, without hesitation, where I thought I wanted to be for my 11/11/11 moment, at the hub of a ley convergence that has delivered pilgrims to its portal for hundreds if not thousands of years. I had to smile as the GPS showed exactly 111 miles to destination when we set off early that morning. Everything felt perfectly aligned.

But then I wasn’t banking on a head-on collision with the church establishment barring our access to “the garden within” because, it turned out, it was a ticket-only entry to the cathedral complex during the day. On both of my previous visits (come to think of it) I had always gone there towards the end of the day, when the portcullis-type archway to the cathedral stood open and unmanned. This time I was told, at the red barriered sentry point, that yes we could come in; yes, even with our dog…but at the cost of £24, the ticket price for two of us to gain entry to the cathedral. “But I only want to go straight to the little garden…for just ten minutes, maybe twenty in time for 11 o’clock” I told him. It mattered not; there was a ticket to be bought or the garden wasn’t mine to sit in…and so we turned away disappointed. We could have paid, of course, but apart from feeling like this was such an inflated amount for what we intended to do, the venue just didn’t feel right anymore. My sacred sanctum had almost been “sold” to me and that really wasn’t what I was here for today.

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Mary Magdalene tower – the church was demolished to embellish another church.

It took just a moment to recover because our next intended step, anyway, had been to go for a coffee at the Vegetable Box vegetarian cafe, with its cheery lime-green outdoor seating and its gluten free carrot cake. Directly opposite that, almost touching the adjacent whole-food shop that sells “our kind of food”, stands a solitary tower, once part of a church that was demolished almost 150 years ago, its stone plundered to embellish the nearby Saint George’s church (good old George does so love to “pop the balloon” of the feminine dragon energy) though, ironically, that church was badly bomb damaged during the Blitz. The tower I refer to here once belonged to the church of Mary Magdalene; the spot where the church once stood now opened-up to become a tiny postage-stamp of green with wooden benches to pass the quiet time. I knew I had found my spot for 11/11/11.

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Mary Magdelene garden where the church once stood, now opened out as a garden that anyone can access.

The few minutes we spent in silent reverie on our bench in the garden of Mary Magdalene as the clocks of the city struck 11 put on a fascinating pantomime of almost cliché feminine followed by masculine qualities (as we have come to know them…). A bell near the Magdalene struck first; quiet and unassuming…and in the next few moments an array of colourfully dressed women passed up and down the street that we overlooked; no males except for the following two. The first was an example of the (thankfully, ever more commonplace) type of man prepared to take his small children out without his partner, pushing a baby and a toddler in a double pram, chatting merrily to them as they progressed along the street. The second was a homeless man, one of life’s misfits, dressed in a feathered Native American headdress and colourful shirt who, chattering away to himself, came to stand next to his makeshift cardboard bed right behind where we were sitting in the garden. I had to smil as I noticed, from the gaggle of female shoppers coming out of it, that the name of the shop opposite was “Fired Earth”; such a potent reminder of Gaia, our Earth mother. Then the sonorous bells of the cathedral rang out and suddenly the street was completely empty and quiet, apart from a youth with his hood pulled almost over his eyes, headphones clamped on, and after a while a couple of hard-faced older males, both deeply preoccupied and looking fixedly ahead. The moment passed; the spell was broken and we were back on a bench in an unassuming city-garden, our coffees still warm and our backsides just a little damp from the wooden bench…so we reclaimed our table at the cafe opposite and continued to pass the morning.

Oriental plane tree

Astonishingly large oriental plane tree in another garden by the river which was once, they say, fully encircled by by a metal bench but which it has now completely absorbed inside its own trunk as its grown.

It wasn’t the first time that this particular street had felt like my own, personal “quarter” of Canterbury; my kind of eating venue, my kind of shop and a far slower pace compared to the rest of the city with its endless tidal wave of shoppers and tourists. The girl with the bright pink hair serving in the cafe told me that she thought there was another way to slip into the cathedral garden if we followed the walls around to the back but we never found it; maybe we weren’t meant to on this occasion. At least I know that it exists in there…the soft feminine heart within the hard forbidding walls of the masculine. Having experienced it before, I find I can quickly drop into my remembrance of it whenever I want to, a tender memory from that hallowed evening we spent in there during the summer. Perhaps the appropriate counter-poise to the heavy, masculine, war-associated flavour we have given to “remembrance day” was to sit in a goddess garden that is no longer held-in or made exclusive by surrounding it with bricks and mortar; an open-access sacred spot that spills its heart open for all to come into. Our day had only just started…and continued to be littered with signs of the feminine rising and overspilling her bonds, wherever we went. As ever, the elements of unexpectedness and synchronicity only added to the perfection of our day and had their own important messages to convey, of which I was the truly grateful recipient.



(20)17 the year the twin dragons come back into union?

Christianity was brought to England via Canterbury and the cathedral at Canterbury still holds a formidable energy; it truly dominates the city and yet there are clues to another layer of deeper, more feminine, history asserting beneath the surface. Mary Magdalene church (she is so often the mascot of the hidden feminine) was built in the twelfth century yet there is a good chance a previous church existed on the site in Burgate, which is one of the two most ancient parts of the city. A sacred spring or well is adjacent to it; a pilgrim stop-off associated with a “cult” of Saint Thomas and now built over as Saint Thomas’s Roman Catholic church, completed after the Magdalene church was demolished, which is so close to the garden of the Magdalene tower that its walls mark its perimeter. However, the association with Thomas presumably came along much later than when the spring was first revered since Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury and previous chancellor to the king, was martyred when he was cut down by four of the king’s knights at the altar of Canterbury Cathedral (it was a typical 6th wave political move…a power game) on 29 December 1170. In other words, a sacred spring may well have meant a sacred feminine site of significance in this place long, long before the Cathedral walls rose up to utterly dominate the city and as a potent symbol of all those things (money, religion, power) that the church became synonymous with as the centre of the Church of England. As the church grew, the masculine and feminine aspects parted ways and went in ever more contrary directions and its as though the geophysical landmarks of Canterbury tell that story. I suspect the presence of a dragon leyline with a female branch feeding the Magdalene site with its broken church and little garden…and a male energy branch flowing at the cathedral. Perhaps they cross over and collaborate at that other tranquil garden beyond the cloisters with its broken pillars, its cats, bees and lavander.

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Markers showing where the ancient track known as Watlington Street lies beneath the surface of modern-day Canterbury

On our walk along the river Stour, we stepped over markers for Watlington Street, the Roman road that once ran from the English Channel through London to the Irish Sea and with a northern branch to Chester and on to Scotland. Really, this route is far more ancient than its Roman claimants; considered to be thousands of years old as a “broad grassy trackway”(Wiki) and main route across country joining people with a very different agenda to that of the Roman invaders. Queen Boudicca and the Britons are said to have been defeated by the invading Romans at Watlington Street, though the exact location is vague. Boudicca’s army consisted of female as well as male warriors in equal part, shoulder to shoulder, so you can sense how a whole way of life ended with her defeat and females forces to play to very different expectations. “We British are used to women commanders in war; I am descended from mighty men! But I am not fighting for my kingdom and my wealth now. I am fighting as an ordinary citizen for my lost freedom, my bruised body and my outraged daughters…Consider how many of you are fighting and why! Then you will win this battle or perish. That is what I, a woman, plan to do, let the men live in slavery if they will.” (Boudicca according to Roman historian Tacitus). Her “fight” continues unabated where lost freedoms, bruised bodies and outraged daughters continue to exist and feel this imbalance keenly through all their experiences.

You can feel as though you are standing on the very cusp of a meeting place between impulses that have tugged and pulled at one another for thousands of years of human history when you go to this Canterbury (which played out through many themes observed throughout our day; one of which mightily outraged my daughter!) Potentially, this means there is even more opportunity for feelings of gender and priority conflict to be softened, resolved and then rolled-out to the world at large, there, than in most, especially as such a power-node in the energetic grid of the world. Perhaps its time to see beyond the cathedral walls and feel deeper into Canterbury the place; which is how I tend to approach every place I go to – and perhaps why I have yet to visit those “must sees” dictated by its guidebooks, though I feel I have come to know it pretty well all the same. Rather, by letting the place itself guide my feet, I have been taken on a very different tour; you could say, a tour of the heart.



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The feminine is becoming hardy

I love to take signs and clues from my everyday environment…so when the sweet peas that, all my life, have only ever flowered midsummer are still coming in my garden in November(!), I take that as a very good sign. Through wind, rain, low temperatures and frost, they just keep coming…though, in previous years, I’ve considered myself very fortunate indeed when they’ve bloomed for just two or three weeks in July.

My father grew them abundantly, up his shed wall, right where I used to like to play…and small jamjars of them sometimes made their way to my bedside. Synonymous with summer holidays and “all good things” to me; the very scent of happiest childhood at the time of year when school finished and I was free at last, I take this as yet another clue. Not only are these qualities asserting themselves to me, in spite of the harsher season, through this symbolic act of determination playing out in my garden but I see it as a clue that the much-needed feminine aspect in our world is becoming hardier. Not that she wasn’t hardy before (She has been through so very much…) but She is doing it outwardly now and blatantly, for all to see. She is sustaining and holding herself tall and yet tender (still being herself…) in the face of all the elements that might throw themselves at her, making the frosted mornings her own to become part of an unfamiliar season; a new paradigm, if you will. Her fragility has become her very strength in a garden where even the leaves of the trees have long-since given up and withdrawn; and so she and her companions make me smile at their eager encouragement each day that I open the shutters to find that they are still out there.

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A message from the valley…

The other day, I was talking to someone about the Ninth Wave, the unity consciousness wave of evolution (see footnote if you don’t know what this is)…describing, not some textbook idea but, how I experience it. I was trying to describe its 36 day undulations, how they manifest for me in my direct experience.

Well, there’s this part in its wave-rhythm that we are in right now…and you might otherwise dread it, if you read about it in a book…where the daytime phase turns suddenly to night (early last week) and stays there for 18 days. Viscerally, for me after a little turbulence (as I had a few days ago!), it can be like sucking through a threshold and finding its all gone suddenly dark (not in a “bad” way…), like when your car hits the tunnel on a motorway and the sky is sudden gone from view, the signal on your GPS or radio lost and, no denying, everything abruptly changes yet you know its just something you are passing through. There is always light at the end of its tunnel and, even when you can’t see it yet, you already know the feel of approximately how many heartbeats it will take to get you to the other side; for that’s how quickly the ninth wave transitions – relatively speaking, its pretty darn quick. As I said, it takes just 18 days to get through a night phase (not eons or centuries, not even years or months) and then you are there on the other side again. When you get to know the feeling…and I do now…its not alarming or even to be resisted; just different.

When you approach this phase viscerally, not with the mind, and though it can be a little turbulent…yes… it’s not so very frightening; not when you get to know its rhythms. For its “darkness” is more akin to what it must feel like as the seed gets tugged under the soil. No point being a seed lying around on the surface in the sunlight…you know that and so you really want to go under, go deep, to where the mulch of broken things provides peaty sustenance. The darkness down there is your friend for it feeds you, protecting you until you are ready for your next new growth spurt. Its fecund moistness and broken-down, deconstructed potential is the very tool-kit you are working with, for you identify with its potential and with all those rich opportunities to reconstitute old constructs into different forms that are more resonant with where you are and WHO you are now. The apparent lack of assertive or convincing structure in the night phase (these are often the phase when I question almost everything that makes up the substance of my familiar world) is what makes it so easy to process through all the dirge; to see what is already broken down, obsolete, predigested into molecular building blocks with flavours and themes which, you realise, you are already more-than familiar with since they are the substance of many lifetimes. This familiarity is handy since it means you can quickly sense what you want to keep and what you are ready to let-go of (in fact you get quicker and slicker at carrying out this clear-out of what is no longer meaningful or important to you with each ninth wave valley).  The sifting and sorting you do in this phase is the master clear-out of many lifetimes and what gets selected is much more authentically representative of you; it’s what you would choose if all things were laid out for you to choose from…and they are.

Down, down, down you feel yourself being tugged until you reach the cusp of the ninth wave night-phase and suddenly you hit a rock bottom of sorts…and there will be something waiting down there or that you recognise you have been working towards though, perhaps, avoiding; some age-old issue made yours that becomes the latest thing you realise you are here to work on or deconstruct, only it’s not at the global nor the political nor the ecological level. This thing is made deeply personal, it draws you to the very centre of yourself, the apex of who you are and the cutting edge – you could say breakthrough edge – of your consciousness. That conscious breakthrough then becomes the leading edge of what you are about to become, for it uses its sharpness (and yes, it can be very sharp) to cut through the very seed of you, breaking through your previous, tightly held, boundaries to become the shoot that starts to make its way back again through the dark peaty earth, back to the surface of the ninth wave day phase and the awaiting light that will warm its first leaves. By the mid-point of the night, you can already sense that turning point rumbling its fanfare through the very depths of whatever it is that you feel like you are heavily “working” on through your everyday themes. For that’s one of the wonderful things about the ninth wave; you know, by now, that you aren’t there to languish or to wallow as its momentum moves far too quickly for that kind of stagnation to occur. That new pinprick of optimism shining through the dark, though hardly visible at first, is the feminine torch bearer that is here to show you the way out of the dark cave of the masculine, by awakening all your most forgotten instincts. If you are prepared to listen to Her (and she is really just an under-used aspect of You), trusting Her guidance (for She is more than familiar with the task of finding her way in this sensorily deprived place) then, before you know it, you are on the threshold of a new day.

Even that transition into day can feel like turbulence or a shock of bright light (when will we cease being so alarmed by the way that what we most want often arrives with the kind of “bang” that sometimes startles us away in fear, if we let it). Yet you know you want it so you, hopefully, overcome that, preparing to climb the hill of a whole different vibe with no expectations left over from the cycle before. Once you break the soil of that new day, it is the very “broken down” theme of the thing you have just been through in the dark that becomes the material of your next new growth spurt and so you reinvigorate your way to a crescendo of creation; which will be to do with whatever your life happens to be focusing on right now. This is the domain of playing with the very best of masculine qualities for you long to construct things…new things, ideas…with all the inspired materials you have just acquired from your root-around in the dark and this is, after all, the male specialism – building things. At last, you can turn His hands (and he is really just a once distorted aspect of You) to the construction of substance that feels truly light filled and authentic, not the turgid repetition of the way things have always been done before. Inevitably, this is often more of a “doing” phase as your projects take flight; a period of acting on all you have just processed (and, again, I speak at the personal level…none of this needs to be world-scale stuff; though it might have more wide-reaching repercussions than you can imagine).

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The useful ninth wave calculator – view here

Of course, all this doing can have its own pitfall, being exhaustion or a sort-of burn out at the top…and yet; each new ninth wave peak, looking back, appears like a series of hills, each with a different, colourful, flag of achievement at its pinnacle. In just a few months, you realise, you have achieved more personal growth, more breakthroughs, more dizzying heights of perspective and more newly expansive breadths of understanding than you did in a matter of years before the ninth wave got started…and you’re right. Because in each and every 36 day cycle you are achieving what it once took you two years to complete and, before that (if you’re old enough to remember the early nineties, eighties and beyond) might have been taking decades. This is how we move now; all of us (once we tune and synchronise to it; stop fearing it, embrace its rhythms). This is the speed at which the so-called linearity of our lives progresses through phases, up-cycling what was once old and stuck about our experience and evolving us towards a completely different kind of reality, in just one lifetime, compared to the numerous or even countless lifetimes it would have taken to achieve such a sense of progression before. We, literally, might not recognise ourselves from a year or even months ago…that’s how quickly this momentum gets going, once we get on its ride.

Once we stop identifying with the contrast between night and day, stop investing in the inevitable darkness of some of the themes that come up (as the depths are plundered to become our next newest building blocks) or with ideas we are so entrained to apply to our circumstances (such as about “set-backs” occurring, things being inherently “bad” or always predicting “the worst” based on previous outcomes) we allow ourselves to soften to its rhythms and work with their power. Don’t engage with what comes up, don’t make it “ours”, is the key. Ideas such as “set-back” or “failure” are outmoded now; as is the idea of ever arriving at a particular destination. Our progress is concurrent with where we have already been; its all mixed up and we define ourselves as we choose what is still relevant, what resonates NOW…again and again in each moment, without fixing our choices to become the next ivory tower blocking our view of something more expansive just the other side. When we surrender to the inevitable flip back-and-forth from daytime to night and quickly back again…like a breath in, a breath out…we stop reacting so much; and we co-create a whole lot more with all the immense potential placed at our feet, harnessing the very best of our feminine and masculine qualities in equal proportion.

This is the new phase we are already well into now; so I encourage you to notice it more and to work with it. See where it allows you to get to, very quickly, once you recognise its swift undulations and whether life stops feeling like this harsh thing forcing itself onto you to become, rather, a beautifully and necessarily diverse thing that outwardly reflects all the immense potential and possibility, light and shade, that you embody as a conscious creator-being. When you work with the night phases…knowingly, without alarm…the unity aspects of projects close to your heart will be enhanced and develop wings during the daytime phases; this is how the ninth seems to operate. It’s all about you…all of it; and when you start to get these rhythms, working with them as the unified embodiment of yin and yang balance that YOU are, the rest of the world will fall into place, through resonance. The more of us that are doing this; the quicker our world gets to evolve…this is how the ninth wave gets rolled out to become a shared reality and a far more unified world.

These are just a few words sent to you from the depths of the ninth wave’s 68th night phase which reaches its cusp tomorrow.

Fig-8.1-copy.jpgThe ninth wave of creation is an evolutionary impulse that was set into motion in 2011 and we are now in its 68th cycle. The 8 previous waves correspond with the history of our evolution as a species on this planet; yet no other wave has undulated with the swiftness of this one, taking just 36 days to complete a full cycle of day phase followed by night phase (up and down). By comparison, the eighth wave took almost two years to complete such a rhythm, the seventh took almost 40 years, the sixth wave had a full wave length of about 800 years…and so on; yes, they have been getting faster and faster. If, like many people, you feel as though time seems to have speeded up lately well, in a sense, it has and is a sign that you are tuning in.

For a wonderful and very though explanation of the Nine Waves of Creation by the author of the book of the same title, Carl Johan Calleman PhD, I recommend this wonderful interview in which he not only explains what the nine waves are but how this quantum-hollographic perspective of the world is completely relevant to YOU and to all of us. It is my firm belief that working consciously with it holds the potential to enhance your life like nothing else I have ever encountered before.




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Being the rainbow bridge

My urge to gorge upon classic films made primarily in the late 80s and early 90s seems to have continued this week; an era when a whole glut of movies that continue to engage and catalyse my thinking seems to have been made – and no coincidence, I feel for reasons given below. The latest is “Howard’s End”, one of those Merchant Ivory pictures that (to quote my daughter, watching over my shoulder) seem to suit my particular aesthetic…the colours, that special light they have, the themes, that whole nostalgic English-garden-y way of life that is flirted with in them. It had been years since I had seen it; even longer since I read the book yet, as with the film of “Orlando” which I wrote about just the other day, it never felt more timely for me to go back into it.

Howards endWe tend to remember those Merchant Ivory films for Helena Bonham Carter’s hair and soft focus meadows, people in period dress milling around together in drawing rooms and gardens like a chocolate-box world of trivial crises and frowned-upon romantic trysts but there was always something much deeper going on for me. Like with “Orlando”, I found in E. M.Forster’s novels (which I knew well even before the films) something profoundly observational and prophetic about the times in which we live (yes, these times…for we are in them still, on the broader scale of things); even, a warning yet to be heeded. Beneath all the fabric and flowers of that era lies caution sterner than we are yet prepared to listen to; for he was painting a world on the cusp of a knife’s blade, about to plunge down into a left-hemispherical obsession that would abandon the right-sided perspective until it was rather too late to lament its demise. Did we live out the worst of his nightmares or do we still hold the balance in our hands? Howard’s End felt as current as anything when I revisited it last night.

I made a kind of specialism of these novels when I studied them for my English Literature degree, all those years ago; yet I hardly guessed how important or still-relevant what they had to say really was (that has come with hindsight) or how they would become the very theme of my life. The fact Forster’s themes appealed to me so strongly back then, even before becoming the subject of all those Merchant Ivory films, these two factors together pushing them into the spotlight of my attention with a late twentieth-century urgency that seemed to say “look, take note…this is still happening, we are still in this very plot-line and we can still rewrite the ending…” is no accident to me given what I now know about the pre-wave of the eighth wave of human evolution getting underway at that time (see footnote below). An impulse was starting to assert itself, a quarter of a century ago, urging us to look (not nostalgically but purposefully) to the right-hemisphere and notice how it was being subjugated to the detriment of all balance in our human affairs yet an attempt to redress that balance with a simple swing-back towards the opposite values was not appropriate either, as Forster already knew. Even as he wrote these plot-lines in a time before two world wars or the invention of the computer, he urged us not take hemispherical sides but to harmonise them both TOGETHER into a whole new paradigm. Look beyond the period dress and these messages are still there; in fact, I find them so current it startles me.

“Howard’s End” is a plot-line of three sets of people interwoven around the setting of a house in the country, called…you’ve guessed it….Howard’s End. That name is because the house imagined by Forster is based upon one where he grew up which was sometimes refered to as Howard’s. I can’t help thinking that the subtle change of that name, which makes it sound like tthe name of a man and his “ending”, is no accident; as though to make more overt that the whole fate of mankind (or, perhaps “the masculine”) is what is really being scrutinised and held in the balance by the novel’s oh-so domestic-seeming plot. The three groups of people in the story are the Schlegel’s (a cultural and fairly bohemian pair of sisters and their academic brother), the Wilcoxes who are a self-made middle class family driven along entirely by ideas such as empire-building and of scientific and materialistic “progress” (such seventh wave themes) and the Basts who are a lower class couple who have come upon hard times as a result of some casually given (and misguided) financial advice doled out by Mr Wilcox. In fact, the Wilcox family’s complete disregard for those of a lower social standing is a theme peppered liberally throughout the novel for, though they have climbed the social ladder themselves, they believe that their hard-earned successes make them, as it were, gods of their own making and the rightful inheritors of all good things, including the fortune they clasp so tightly to their chests. Thus they despise all those who haven’t yet learned how to successfully “play” the great machine of the modern world with equal finesse or reward and happily avert their eyes or leave them to stew in their own juices when things go wrong for them, even when catalysed by their own behaviour.

The one exception is Mrs Ruth Wescott who is like an earth-mother of sorts; the last in the line of the Howard family who had farmed at Howard’s End for generations but of which all the males have already died out (you could say, their land-rooted ilk of masculinity had become extinct). Deeply connected to Howard’s End, she seems to lose all strength when she is taken away from its rural setting and brought to the city to be with her increasingly city-based family. Just before she dies, frail and, sadly, a long-time without revisiting her beloved home, she scribbles on a piece of paper that she wants to leave Howard’s End to Margaret, the elder Miss Schlegel, in whom she recognises a kindred spirit and worthy heir, not only to the house but everything she, and it, stand for (“feminine values” in connection with the earth). Mr Wilcox, in collaboration with his greedy family, resolves to destroy the note so they can keep the house for themselves, even though none of them appear to want to live there. Ever disparaging of its irregular country qualities (they all seem to suffer from hayfever when they go there) they much prefer city-living and all the trappings of modern life including motor cars and fragmented communications via telegrams and postcards in place of meaningful connections face-to-face (which could easily be our modern-day fixation upon text messages). Mr Wilcox lives in a house with ceilings so high that the naturally warm, vibrant and effusive Margaret Schlegel…who he soon asks to marry him…seems to shrink and deplete beneath the weight of so many chandeliers and vast spaces. Even without ever having been there, she seems to long to go to Howard’s End as though she already knows the place (you could say, she subconsciously recognises its feminine vibe), from the very first time she hears it being described by Ruth Wilcox. Likewise, the housekeeper there seems to welcome and “know” her like someone returning home, recognising her as its rightful occupant, even down to the fact that her belongings (which are now being kept in storage there) “fit” perfectly, even the rug (feminine) and the family heirloom sword (masculine). Howard’s End is like a haven, and a mascot for, the “lost” feminine qualities that are being trodden underfoot by the ever-growing “splurge” of London, where the Schlegel’s former home is about to be demolished to make room for new flats. It represents a world in the balance; one that is almost gone as the number of meadows extending from the house to the edge of the growing stain of iron red brick extending out from the growing city shrinks a little more, day by day.

howards-end-bluebellsMeanwhile Helen, the younger Miss Schlegel, makes a project of sorts of rescuing Leonard Bas from the misfortune triggered by Mr Wilcox’s careless financial advice to leave his job in a secure bank. Her indignation only increases when she learns of Mr Wilcox’s part in the downfall of Mrs Bas, who had lived as a prostitute since Wilcox had a causal affair with her ten years before when she was only sixteen until she met her husband, who married her out of pity. The careless use, by one class, of those from another is a theme which may sound dated and as trite as something from Dickens but which feels as current as anything as you allow the plot to unfold. The dubious banking advice doled out by Mr Wilcox causing the abject poverty of another family unit (yet he seems to want no part in making amends when beseeched to do so by the Schlegels) could be a story thread taken from any of the newspaper subplots arising from the financial crashes of the last decade. Helen sees in Leonard Bas a romantic figure of sorts; a fragment of a type of male that appears to be missing from the modern world. The”grandson to the shepherd or ploughboy whom civilization had sucked into the town; as one of the thousands who have lost the life of the body and failed to reach the life of the spirit”, he seeks some lost aspect of himself…you could call it a connection with the earth…through books while he spends his days as an out-of-work bank clerk. Helen is beguiled by his obvious sensitivity (sadly lacking in men of her own class!) paired with the pathos of his situation and its as though she makes herself mad with a desire to reinstate him where he belongs; that is, in a more sensitive and natural way of life reconnected to a world full of beautiful things. When she becomes pregnant with his baby, she exiles herself to Germany, returning only to visit an aunt and collect her books from Howard’s End, where they are being stored. When the Wilcoxes find out Helen is pregnant out-of-wedlock, they run around in a frenzy of outrage and much-desired retribution, though they care nothing about Helen but only for wounded family pride. Heavily pregnant Helen asks to spend the night at Howard’s End (for no logical reason since she has never been there before; its as though she senses it is some sort of feminine hub calling her to be there prior to birthing something important into the world – a child that bridges two worlds) yet Margaret has to fight with her husband for the right for them both to sleep there for just one night; ironic given the former Mrs Wilcox intended the house to go to Margaret anyway. This ends badly when Wilcox’s son Charles (having driven to Howard’s End to turn the two women out the next morning) comes upon the starving and sickly Bas at Howard’s End, where hs has come to seek out Helen, and acting on the misguided masculine ideals of duty, slighted honour and retribution that rule his class, repeatedly strikes him with the blunt side of the family sword until (with tragic irony) a heavily laden book-case tips on the bookish Bas, killing him outright as “books fell over him in a shower” due to his weak heart.

Yet it is the breaking of the Wilcox spirit…which you could take, by now, to be representative of the distorted masculine persona of our times (Charles is sent to prison for three years for his act of manslaughter and his father is bowed down in shame, shock and grief at all these turn of events, including that his wife Margaret now threatens to leave him) that is the making of the situation. Wilcox’s “fortress gave way” at that point and, at last, he spends time revisiting all his behaviour to date and becomes softer and more humane as a result. His wife Margaret stays with him, as does Helen and her illegitimate child and they all live together at Howard’s End (which is now modernised somewhat to make it more habitable; a case of best of both worlds), the boy growing up fast-friends with a local farm boy; circumstances that would have been quite unimaginable at the beginning of the tale. Pride and ridiculous social mores are thrown to the wind and a whole other spirit seems to descend upon this new phase of Wilcox’s life; its as though he find the missing inner life that was previously absent from his version of masculinity.

The family are put straight on how Howard’s End is to be left to Margaret and then her nephew after Wilcox’s death and this turn of events delivers a much broader, deeply symbolic, feeling of the world being set straight on its axis at last as Ruth’s wishes are carried out. You sense that, in that place (tucked away from the sprawling city) Wilcox finally heals a life-time of denied emotions, a life made up of material trappings filled with only “panic and empiness”, and becomes a far more rounded person. The warning lies, I suppose, in Charles and his many offspring who continue along the path of very different ideals; you just know that, released from jail, he will become even more bitter and ingrained with ideals of money and power, leaving this small haven at Howard’s End the exception rather than the rule in a twentieth century increasingly obsessed with money and power as the only widely recognised drivers of our collective fate. I’m reminded, by Howard’s End the place, of the bohemian idyll created by the Bloomsbury group at Charleston Farmhouse (subject of my post Leading me up the garden path) where a collective of artistic people with very different priorities and ideals than the rest of the modern world (Forster was amongst them) lived out their rather chaotic and “interesting” lifestyle, tucked away from the rest of the twentieth century and its materialistic left-brained impulses.

This divisive world made up of two distinct perspectives is where we have been for the last century and is where are, still, now….two worlds living separately; one of them considerably larger and more assertive than the other. While havens are sometimes cultivated and preserved by those who are the exception rather than the rule to society at large, the over-riding impulse of the western vision of life has run roughshod over nearly everything and it is very hard to escape it, wherever you go. I watch my own version of the creeping concrete ink-blot chasing me out of my own village and leaving me almost nothing of the kind of place I once chose to live in and it can feel wearying to the soul…like all the spaces will run out soon and people like me (artistic and sensitive types who want to connect with the earth more so than with technology and possessions) will be left nowhere that we can be ourselves. Yet maybe Forster foresaw another way; one where it wasn’t a case of one world living separate from the other but where those two halves mingle together, cohabiting to the advantage of both. In Margaret Wilcox and her husband, I see the model for that being realised in an idyl representative of two ways of being, meeting together as one “end” – Howard’s End.

If Howard’s End is an ideal destination then Margaret is its proponent in the same way that I regard myself to be one such. It’s not that she wants to “ditch” the modern world and all its trapping; going back to the way we were before all that rather useful innovation. Rather, throughout the novel, she tries to serve as a bridge between two worlds, the peacemaker and source of harmony, seeing both sides in as favourable light as she can. As she says to Helen:

“If Wilcoxes hadn’t worked and died in England for thousands of years, you and I couldn’t sit here without having our throats cut. There would be no trains, no ships to carry us literary people about in, no fields even. Just savagery. No—perhaps not even that. Without their spirit, life might never have moved out of protoplasm. More and more do I refuse to draw my income and sneer at those who guarantee it.”

This is much how I tend to think when I consider a world without all the trappings that enable my world to run smoothly and comfortably, just the way I like it, including being able to tap out this post on a computer that sends it to a place where you can be sitting there reading it within moments of me pressing that “publish” button. I don’t long to turn myself so rustic that I have to spend my hours making my own clothes or growing my own food from scratch, my daylight subject to the seasons or a candle, my transport slow or negligible. The very thought of a makeshift life such as my ancestors might have led fills me with abject horror, yet the runaway train of a world hell-bent on materialism fills me with equal terrors and I have long since made the struggle to knit the best of these two perspectives together the life’s work and priority of my life. I like very much the phrase used in Howard’s End describing Margaret wanting to build a “rainbow bridge” between the prose and the passion of life since this isn’t the first time I have played with this idea of rainbows arching or bridging across from one version of reality to another (see my 2016 post At times like these). As my own version of such a bridge, I dream of a world in which men (and those following a “male-type” lifestyle…) get back in touch with their inner world and experience what it is to live without everything being about technology or possessions, in close contact with the earth and their own feelings, getting their most romantic experiences out of life (not just books or perhaps…these days…television) throughout the whole course of their life, not just hot-pursuing such “experiences” as more objects to possess, dressed up as holidays or escapes from what they regard as real life. I look forward to a universally available lifestyle incorporating these factors becoming the norm and being regarded as important enough to build our very world around as a very different set of priorities to those we operate according to at present.

So much of what is playing out in our world right now, especially in relation to areas of gender friction, feels like an air-punching cry for retribution, a sort of witch-hunt going after one side to making amends to the other, especially women hunting the male-oriented world down for some sort of collective apology or moment of shame. Before that (and continuing for many women) a trait has been for some women to try and protect or heal those more sensitive men in whom they detect traits of more “feminine qualities” and whom they perceive as broken-down victims of a heavily male-oriented world; as does Helen Schlegel in her attempts to champion Mr Bas. In this model, the female sacrifices her own life and preferences to make the male’s life “better” and “more comfortable” and this is a trait I have witnessed in countless women’s lives, including my mother’s and even my own, in my first marriage. Forster, even a hundred years ago, seems to have suggested another model…one in which forgiveness and understanding play a very-key part. We know – don’t we? – that the masculine is broken, as was Mr Wilcox….yet when we reach out our arms and embrace that broken aspect (as did Margaret Schlegel) we bring it home to ourselves and the feminine values that are so needed by this world in order for us to move on, intermingled as the best of both masculine and feminine qualities, as one unit. When we do this, we allow the masculine to dare to come home to the ever present embrace of the feminine, not to build up its walls of resistance even stronger against it. It is sad, yes, that so often the masculine has to be broken before it will come home in this way; but let it be broken only because of its own doings, not because the feminine contributed to that (which is not what the feminine is about anyway; seeking retribution is such a male trait, after all). An ending – such as Howard’s End is the metaphor for – awaits all of us that open our arms and our hearts thus, in however small a way we can manage to achieve it (I have made my own peace with the broken masculine many times over in my personal life…and my reward is a home where no evidence of such masculine wounding is perpetuated because the masculine and feminine aspects dare to meet in a whole new way; not least, within ourselves, whatever gender we may be). As such, we all get to be the full bow of the multifaceted rainbow rather than chasing down the prize at its mythical ending. This is something I pondered just a few days ago as I was travelling home along a road arched by a rainbow, wondering which end the pot of gold was meant to be at; surely when we realise it is to be found at both ends, the whole of its bridge, joining one place to another, becomes a prize even better than that long sought-after gold. When we are the rainbow, rather than seeking it external to the self, we incorporate the best of both worlds; which makes the quality that Howard’s End represents less of a destination than a state we get to be in, all of the time.

Rainbows endDoes a century-old novel (which more people know as a film or, now, a more recent BBC adaptation than a book) really hold any significance in this day and age? Maybe it holds even more than something more current for the fact it preserves something tenuous and almost completely obscured from our twenty-first century perspective. We used to listen to writers of great fiction, hang off their words, seek their insight and guidance; what happened to that and when did it stop? Its part of the very “problem” played with by Forster; we have subjugated the arts to a position where they are reduced to being a mere entertainment, not deliverers of truth. Then, so much of what is picked to put out there as story-telling these days is facile; we don’t even seem to have a Merchant Ivory* production-line or equivalent to spotlight these gems in the cinema any more. More, we don’t regard literature as part of our lives or as something inviting us to take part in its perspective by picking up one of the potential endings that we are led to in our own lives, as a choice we just made having been presented with the options. Yes, collectively, we still hold that “Howard’s End” plot-ending in our hands and we can write it the way it worked out for the Schlegel’s or (sadly) the other way that it might have gone at our say so; in light of which I feel that Forster’s hundred and seven year-old story never had so much relevance, like it is a parable meant for our times.

Notable quotations from Howard’s End:

“And month by month the roads smelt more strongly of petrol, and were more difficult to cross, and human beings heard each other speak with greater difficulty, breathed less of the air, and saw less of the sky. Nature withdrew: the leaves were falling by midsummer; the sun shone through dirt with an admired obscurity.”

“All the same, London’s creeping.”  She pointed over the meadow—over eight or nine meadows, but at the end of them was a red rust. . . .  And London is only part of something else, I’m afraid.  Life’s going to be melted down, all over the world.”

“She would only point out the salvation that was latent in his own soul, and in the soul of every man. Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect, and the beast and the monk, robbed of the isolation that is life to either, will die.”

“I am sure that if the mothers of various nations could meet, there would be no more wars.”

“You have not been yourself all day,” said Henry, and rose from his seat with face unmoved. Margaret rushed at him and seized both his hands. She was transfigured.
“Not any more of this!” she cried. “You shall see the connection if it kills you, Henry! You have had a mistress—I forgave you. My sister has a lover—you drive her from the house. Do you see the connection? Stupid, hypocritical, cruel—oh, contemptible!—a man who insults his wife when she’s alive and cants with her memory when she’s dead. A man who ruins a woman for his pleasure, and casts her off to ruin other men. And gives bad financial advice, and then says he is not responsible. These men are you. You can’t recognise them, because you cannot connect. I’ve had enough of your unneeded kindness. I’ve spoilt you long enough. All your life you have been spoiled. Mrs. Wilcox spoiled you. No one has ever told what you are—muddled, criminally muddled. Men like you use repentance as a blind, so don’t repent. Only say to yourself, ‘What Helen has done, I’ve done.”

“It is the starved imagination, not the well-nourished, that is afraid.”

“Actual life is full of false clues and sign-posts that lead nowhere. With infinite effort we nerve ourselves for a crisis that never comes. The most successful career must show a waste of strength that might have removed mountains, and the most unsuccessful is not that of the man who is taken unprepared, but of him who has prepared and is never taken.”

“London was beginning to illuminate herself against the night. Electric lights sizzled and jagged in the main thoroughfares, gas-lamps in the side streets glimmered a canary gold or green. The sky was a crimson battlefield of spring, but London was not afraid. Her smoke mitigated the splendour, and the clouds down Oxford Street were a delicately painted ceiling, which adorned while it did not distract.”

“We are reverting to the civilization of luggage, and historians of the future will note how the middle classes accreted possessions without taking root in the earth, and may find in this the secret of their imaginative poverty.”

“Mature as he was, she might yet be able to help him to the building of the rainbow bridge that should connect the prose in us with the passion. Without it we are meaningless fragments, half monks, half beasts, unconnected arches that have never joined into a man.”

“But man is an odd, sad creature as yet, intent on pilfering the earth, and heedless of the growths within himself. He cannot be bored about psychology. He leaves it to the specialist, which is as if he should leave his dinner to be eaten by a steam-engine. He cannot be bothered to digest his own soul.”

“Because a thing is going strong now, it need not go strong for ever,’ she said. ‘This craze for motion has only set in during the last hundred years. It may be followed by a civilization that won’t be a movement, because it will rest on the earth. All the signs are against it now, but I can’t help hoping.”

“Had he lived some centuries ago, in the brightly coloured civilizations of the past, he would have had a definite status, his rank and his income would have corresponded. But in his day the angel of Democracy had arisen, enshadowing the classes with leathern wings, and proclaiming, “All men are equal–all men, that is to say, who possess umbrellas…”

“With the first jolt he was in daylight; they had left the gateways of King’s Cross, and were under blue sky. Tunnels followed, and after each the sky grew bluer, and from the embankment at Finsbury Park he had his first sight of the sun. It rolled along behind the eastern smokes — a wheel, whose fellow was the descending moon — and as yet it seemed the servant of the blue sky, not its lord. He dozed again. Over Tewin Water it was day. To the left fell the shadow of the embankment and its arches; to the right Leonard saw up into the Tewin Woods and towards the church, with its wild legend of immortality. Six forest trees — that is a fact — grow out of one of the graves in Tewin churchyard. The grave’s occupant — that is the legend — is an atheist, who declared that if God existed, six forest trees would grow out of her grave. These things in Hertfordshire; and farther afield lay the house of a hermit — Mrs. Wilcox had known him — who barred himself up, and wrote prophecies, and gave all he had to the poor. While, powdered in between, were the villas of business men, who saw life more steadily, though with the steadiness of the half-closed eye. Over all the sun was streaming, to all the birds were singing, to all the primroses were yellow, and the speedwell blue, and the country, however they interpreted her, was uttering her cry of “now. ” She did not free Leonard yet, and the knife plunged deeper into his heart as the train drew up at Hilton. But remorse had become beautiful.”

“It was English, and the wych-elm that she saw from the window was an English tree. No report had prepared her for its peculiar glory. It was neither warrior, nor lover, nor god; in none of these roles do the English excel. It was a comrade, bending over the house, strength and adventure in its roots, but in its utmost fingers tenderness, and the girth, that a dozen men could not have spanned, became in the end evanescent, till pale bud clusters seemed to float in the air.”

“England was alive, throbbing through all her estuaries, crying for joy through the mouths of all her gulls, and the north wind, with contrary motion, blew stronger against her rising seas. What did it mean? For what end are her fair complexities, her changes of soil, her sinuous coast? Does she belong to those who have moulded her and made her feared by other lands, or to those who have added nothing to her power, but have somehow seen her, seen the whole island at once, lying as a jewel in a silver sea, sailing as a ship of souls, with all the brave world’s fleet accompanying her towards eternity?”

“But they to him were denizens of Romance, who must keep to the corner he had assigned them, pictures that must not walk out of their frames.”

“What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?”

“It is the vice of a vulgar mind to be thrilled by bigness, to think that a thousand square miles are a thousand times more wonderful than one square mile . . . That is not imagination. No, it kills it. . . . Your universities? Oh, yes, you have learned men who collect . . . facts, and facts, and empires of facts. But which of them will rekindle the light within?”

*I find this quote from Ismail Merchant interesting in the context of the east and west hemispheres of the global mind and their meeting point along the twelfth longitude east (Germany is on this line) given how he describes the three-part partnership which, effectively, ended when Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, who scripted many of the films, died in 2013: “It is a strange marriage we have at Merchant Ivory… I am an Indian Muslim, Ruth is a German Jew, and Jim is a Protestant American. Someone once described us as a three-headed god. Maybe they should have called us a three-headed monster!”(The Times, 26 May 2005). Perhaps they were actually a rainbow of unity consciousness!

The “global mind” and the “eighth wave” refer to concepts outlined by Carl Johan Calleman PhD in his book “The Nine Waves of Creation: Quantum Physics, Holographic Evolution, and the Destiny of Humanity (as discussed in my numerous posts on this topic tagged “nine waves”).





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Still coming

With accidental timeliness, the out-of-the-blue impulse of nostalgia that had been prompting me to watch the Sally Potter film “Orlando” (1992) for some time led me to finally sit down and watch it tonight, at the peak of the ninth wave (the unity wave). Last seen when it first came out in the cinemas all those years ago, all I had left of it, like a crumpled old bus ticket in the pocket of an old coat, was a scanty recollection of what was once one of my favourite soundtrack albums, with Jimmy Somerville’s distinct falsetto voice the highlight, and flashes in my mind’s eye of an Elizabethan river procession and of ice skating on the Thames during the great freeze of 1608. And, of course, Tilda Swinton’s fine featured face as both man and then woman (same lifetime) across four hundred years of history. So, a period piece…but with a difference.

Its been an even longer time still since I read Virginia Woolf’s novel on which the film was based. In hindsight, perhaps something about that book’s feeling felt so right to be made into a film just as the eighth wave (the feminine wave) got started in the nineties. Woolf’s elaborate biography is a love-letter to her lover Vita Sackville-West (a relationship I talked about in my post Up the garden path last year) and the character of Orlando is so obviously based upon her. So, just a 1920s meets nineties exploration or androgyny, a mascot for the gay community? Or is this a much more profound and broad-reaching commentary on the Divine Feminine (nothing whatever to do with gender); how weary She is, how much She has been through across many different guises, how confused She remains and all the many conflicts of perspective that still grab onto Her coat-tails, confounding Her about almost everything going on in the world as it is currently set it up (we see her running through a labyrinth of time)?

The narrative takes us through both genders; the ever-romantic Orlando switching from male to female when a crisis of masculine identity is reached during a battle yet things prove even less plain-sailing when, as a woman, she is confronted with all the ridiculous social and legal infringements upon that gender’s liberty over the next two centuries. So where is she now, as she sits under a modern-day tree with her daughter by her side  (back to the Sally Potter version) looking straight into the camera, a fixed knowing-gaze of such optimism it jolts you inside though a tear tries to form (hers and yours)? The soundtrack finale “Coming” in Somerville’s incredible voice (I had forgotten he floats like a helium-balloon angel in the sky as the credits start to roll) say it all:

I am coming! I am coming!
I am coming through!
Coming across the divide to you
In this moment of unity
Feeling an ecstasy
To be here, to be now
At last I am free
Yes at last, at last
To be free of the past
And the future that beckons me

I am coming! I am coming!
Here I am!
Neither a woman, nor a man
We are joined, we are one
With the human face
We are joined, we are one
With the human face
I am on earth
And I am in outer space
I’m being born and I am dying

Looking back at when that film first hit me between the eyes, I was ripe for a wake-up call, many of us were; 1992 was a seminal year for me, one that got my ball rolling. Revisiting it now, I find a whole other layer waiting for me, making sense only in hindsight. The film feels nothing short of prophetic; it gives me goosebumps to look back at it and recall where I was then, where we all were, how far we have come, where it feels like we are going. Should I say, we are coming…as one.

In case you haven’t seen it ever (or for a very long time) below is a clip from the film where Orlando wakes to find she is now a woman and, to follow, some quotes from the original novel. Forward thinking and out-of-her time Woolf always was (I loved her for it but it drove her mad); yet its as though she was writing for an age such as this. I hope she knows that and feels herself click into place now, out of her time yet part of the rich tapestry of it all where time is just an idea.

You can listen to the eerie and atmospheric soundtrack here. I smile to remember, though I had forgotten ’til now, how I used part of it during my first wedding ceremony; through that, I revisit what my high intentions were (though that union didn’t meet my expectations). It took me almost two more decades to fully realise how we find the ultimate union of man and woman within ourselves.

From Virginia Woolf’s Orlando (1928):

“And as all Orlando’s loves had been women, now, through the culpable laggardry of the human frame to adapt itself to convention, though she herself was a woman, it was still a woman she loved; and if the consciousness of being of the same sex had any effect at all, it was to quicken and deepen those feelings which she had had as a man. For now a thousand hints and mysteries became plain to her that were then dark. Now, the obscurity, which divides the sexes and lets linger innumerable impurities in its gloom, was removed, and if there is anything in what the poet says about truth and beauty, this affection gained in beauty what it lost in falsity. At last, she cried, she knew Sasha as she was, and in the ardour of this discovery, and in the pursuit of all those treasures which were now revealed, she was so rapt and enchanted that it was as if a cannon ball had exploded at her ear…”

“Different though the sexes are, they intermix. In every human being a vacillation from one sex to the other takes place, and often it is only the clothes that keep the male or female likeness, while underneath the sex is the very opposite of what it is above.”

“For she had a great variety of selves to call upon, far more than we have been able to find room for, since a biography is considered complete if it merely accounts for six or seven selves, whereas a person may have many thousand…and these selves of which we are built up, one on top of the other, as plates are piled on a waiter’s hand, have attachments elsewhere, sympathies, little constitutions and rights of their own… so that one will only come if it is raining, another in a room with green curtains, another when Mrs. Jones is not there… and some are too wildly ridiculous to be mentioned in print at all.”

“But if sleep it was, of what nature, we can scarcely refrain from asking, are such sleeps as these? Are they remedial measures—trances in which the most galling memories, events that seem likely to cripple life for ever, are brushed with a dark wing which rubs their harshness off and gilds them, even the ugliest, and basest, with a lustre, an incandescence? Has the finger of death to be laid on the tumult of life from time to time lest it rend us asunder? Are we so made that we have to take death in small doses daily or we could not go on with the business of living? And then what strange powers are these that penetrate our most secret ways and change our most treasured possessions without our willing it? Had Orlando, worn out by the extremity of his suffering, died for a week, and then come to life again? And if so, of what nature is death and of what nature life?”

“Thus the British Empire came into existence; and thus – for there is no stopping damp; it gets into the inkpot as it gets into the woodwork – sentences swelled, adjectives multiplied, lyrics became epics, and little trifles that had been essays a column long were now encyclopaedias in ten or twenty volumes.”

“She had, it seems, no difficulty in sustaining the different parts, for her sex changed so far more frequently than those who have worn only one set of clothing can conceive; nor can there be any doubt that she reaped a twofold harvest by this device; the pleasure of life were increased and its experiences multiplied.”

“Memory is the seamstress, and a capricious one at that. Memory runs her needle in and out, up and down, hither and thither. We know not what comes next, or what follows after.”

“…Sometimes this constraint would be felt by the whole tribe, numbering some dozens of grown men and women. It sprang from the sense they had (and their senses are very sharp and much in advance of their vocabulary) that whatever they were doing crumbled like ashes in their hands. An old woman making a basket, a boy skinning a sheep, would be singing or crooning contentedly at their work, when Orlando would come into the camp, fling herself down by the fire and gaze into the flames. She need not even look at them, and yet they felt, here is someone who doubts; (we make a rough-and-ready translation from the gipsy language) here is someone who does not do the thing for the sake of doing; nor looks for looking’s sake; here is someone who believes neither in sheep-skin nor basket; but sees (here they looked apprehensively about the tent) something else. Then a vague but most unpleasant feeling would begin to work in the boy and in the old woman. They broke their withys; they cut their fingers. A great rage filled them. They wished Orlando would leave the tent and never come near them again.”

“Sometimes he woke with a brain like lead; at others it was as if a thousand wax tapers were alight and people were throwing fireworks inside him.”

“And here it would seem from some ambiguity in her terms that she was censuring both sexes equally, as if she belonged to neither; and indeed, for the time being she seemed to vacillate; she was man; she was woman; she knew the secrets, shared the weaknesses of each. It was a most bewildering and whirligig state of mind to be in. The comforts of ignorance seemed utterly denied her. She was a feather blown on the gale. Thus it is no great wonder if, as she pitted one sex against the other, and found each alternately full of the most deplorable infirmities, and was not sure to which she belonged….”

“And why not enjoy [life] this very moment?’ The thought struck him like a bullet. Ambition dropped like a plummet. Rid of the heart-burn of rejected love, and of vanity rebuked, and all the other stings and pricks which the nettle-bed of life had burnt upon him when ambitious of fame, but could no longer inflict upon one careless of glory, he opened his eyes…”

Well said!


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Pearls of wisdom

I’ve just had my sister staying with me for a few days and it was a remarkable, wonderful time; I find I want to say, it was quietly transformational. There is nothing like spending time with “kin” to feel more completely comfortable and honest than in any other company and, when those relatives are female and share that sense of rootedness in a particular heritage, it can catalyse seriously powerful stuff. In my case, I don’t know when I last spent a few days with my sister like this…three uninterupted days of being solidly in each other’s company; probably not since I was an adolescent visiting her first marital home and we certainly didn’t bond like this then! Decades on, time spent living 150 miles apart, we find we have reached remarkably similar places in our perspective and our aspirations; only hers are much more grounded than mine (and you know how important I think that is for the goddess of our times) so she came bearing gifts for me that I was over-ripe to receive. I am in a place of needing to re-learn the skills that, I realise, my extremely grounded family has in spadefuls. Fingers in the earth, needles in the hands, practical support offered freely to those who needed it in the community; this was my family when I was growing up. We absorbed these skills from a very young age; in my father’s shed, where he carved wood, made everything and did marquetry or observing my mother’s needle and baking craft, along with the way she went out somewhere, every day, to help elderly neighbours while my father handed out veg and flowers from our garden. Never without knitting needles in her hands, my mother could put the world to rights and do at least one other thing while her needles were flying…and they always were. It’s a gene I have in me and yet I always directed it at grander aspirations; reaching towards higher projects like “lets change the world” or “be a world class painter”…never contented and, yes, wearing myself thin with the relentless need to strive at these ambitions.

I already had the burgeoning feeling that I wanted to go back to my crafty roots; to days gone by when wool, of all things, was my best friend and chosen medium. Long before painting or photography became my methods of choice, I salivated over textiles such as wool and silk, collecting them even when I had no reason to. I started needlepoint, or “tapestry” as we call it in the UK, when I was just 7 or 8 and continued it almost without pause until my daughter was born in my early thirties. Unfinished projects still languish in my big cupboard yet I never feel right about returning to them for we stitch ourselves into our canvases…and I have come such a long way since then. I even flirted with doing a textile degree when I was eighteen but the best course was in my hometown and my burning urge was to move away from there; yet I’ve often wondered how things might have been different if I had gone that route. I’ve even spun wool, many years ago; and the feeling of lanolin rich fleece between finger and thumb as my foot works the peddle still haunts me at times, as though it was only yesterday (not well over thirty years ago…) that I last did this. In fact, the very first time I sat at a wheel, my instructor told me (didn’t ask) “you’ve done this before” and when I said no I hadn’t she insisted “oh yes you have” and I knew very deep down that she was right. I still pick up wool caught on gateposts on my walks and find myself fingering it in my pocket as I walk my dog, knowing that I know its sensation very well. Lately, that too has haunted me, like something pressing upon me “do something with this, act on the feeling” and, at these times, I catch glimpses of myself dying wool using natural pigments and making things with it…though I am never quite sure what (and that is where my left-brain trips me up with all of its so-called “practical” ideas trying to make a thing of it until I shrug the thoughts away and get on with my life).

My sister, newly retired (somewhat earlier than expected) came brimful of enthusiasm for all her pursuits in textiles that she has reignited in the last year. Now running the quilting group that she initially joined as a novice, she is doing that and many more stitchery-based hobbies, including knitting at least one garment a fortnight, drafting up embroidery designs of her own making and feverish with excitement about what to tackle next. More than that, the group of other women that she is now part of has spawned friendships and conversations, a never-ending experience of like-heartedness and support that has brought light to her eyes and colour to her cheeks; she has never looked more relaxed or at home in herself. All those years of work and of wedging herself into routines (and so much career stress) that were never really “hers” have been shed like scales to the floor and she has come out of them shining with new-found passion for life. When I imagine her now, I imagine colour and playful expression; a rich tapestry of a life where once she seemed heckled by it.

I too have become drab and grey lately, I feel it and I see it when I look in the mirror. Painting used to bring colour to my life but I seem to have lost my way with that; my recent attempts felt like going backwards and there’s more that I still long to explore; threads as yet unfollowed. The longing to return to textiles had been biting at my heels…I knew it was there; but something told me it wasn’t enough…wasn’t big enough or important enough, it feels domestic and mundane to play around with wools when there is a world to save. Yes, I hear myself say this and I laugh outloud…but it was always there, this stumbling block around an idea of scale that had me stopping myself from going where my heart led, thinking that it was laughable to try and change the world one stitch at a time.

Knitting circle

My mother with her friend and my grandma knitting together 1955…it was just something they all did together.

The book I have been reading “If women rose rooted” (by Sharon Blackie), I know, has been seeping deeply into my encrusted ground-soil like a healing shower of rain, allowing the brittle cracks to swell into a new kind of looseness. I can feel where it has been tickling my roots with ideas of opting out of all that feels pressured and contrived, forced, or achievement driven (yes, even projects to save the world!) and allowing that a simpler life, even a life on a small holding or in the anonymity of the Outer Hebrides, though I know I don’t need to go that far, can be just as powerful and transformational for all women-kind. Such a feminine-inspired life of deep connection with the earth, with its richness, its colours, its textures without needing to roll this out as a product or a plan, is our version of doing our bit, just as much as doing what some of my friends do travelling the world and pow-wowing with elders and change agents or starting charities in Africa, running coaching programs and altering the way businesses operate and so on. “But how?” I hear myself wail, knowing I want to do none of these things (for all I applaud them). Because I know just how much we are all connected at the root and how any version of finding our true essence and allowing it to be grounded in whatever soil feels, to us, like home is playing our part. We are singing the song of the feminine, demonstrating what it is to have roots again, giving ourselves and others permission to do likewise and being that agent of change at the level where it really happens…at the grassroots of the extremely ordinary. And if we happen to inspire others along the way then good…but its not, directly, why we do it. That is the whole point; our focus is stepped away from that terribly masculine urge to roll everything our like it is some sort of strategy or means to an end. We hold space for doing what is already complete “as it is”; for it brings us such profound joy in connection with where we are in this moment. Nothing disperses anxiety or fear more quickly than spending time in such a place; and this ripples out to our families, our communities and so the world at large.

When women get together doing what they love for no other reason than they relish doing it, the “accidental” results catalysed by this can be incredibly powerful. My sister, who is not prone to hyperbole or flights of fancy, described how it feels like they are sat around a fireplace in times of old when they get into the flow of stitchery and chatting, the conversation weaving freely around their circle like the threads on a spider’s web. In my mind’s eye, when I hear this kind of women’s pow-wow in full flow, it is like they are unwittingly casting a spell…and, in a way, they are; for they make realities shift. I know for myself how some of the conversations I have ignited at the hairdressers (one of the few collectively female places I ever go in my extremely solitary life) have taken on legs of their own and made serious indents in people’s lives as changes and new perspectives have been sparked around the room. Once, I returned for my trim and received an unexpected hug for all the positive changes I had instigated on my previous visit and I am told that I am looked forward to in the diary. Knowing this brings back such warm glow to the embers in my heart and it reminds me that a woman’s life lived in solitary confinement can be, in many ways, a wasted life for we all feed off one another (and written words are not always as powerful as when eyes or hands meet across a table; an admission I am newly taking to heart). We often thrive most in community for that is what we once knew before; and is what we are modelling again in this fragmented world of collectively separate beings.

Women the world over gather this way over crafts and cups of whatever they happen to drink; these are the real crucibles of change, their origin going all the way back to when men used to seek women-wisdom before making any decisions that might impact communal life. Well, we are there again, needing just that very thing; and we spark the process off when we gather in the collective on equal footing (no egos here) and pool our energies at the same time as bringing our individual skills and projects to the table. We inspire and we catalyse though we meant only to sit where we had company; in fact, we simply can’t help ourselves and it is that unexpected, undirected and “accidental” kind of inspiration that is more potent than we can sometimes find words for.  I find I feel almost envious with longing for such a gathering to join in with…and that I am no longer assuming that such a collective has to be “spiritual” or anything to do with any of the topics I write about in this space; in fact, the more ordinary its focus the better, I am now prepared to admit. My eyes are newly opened to find such a community to tag onto.

Meanwhile, I am back to playing with my wool…two projects birthed in the twenty-four hours since my sister left on her train; both a knitting project (the steady rhythm of knit one, pearl one a sustained meditation of sorts) and a brand-new tapestry from one of my own ambitious designs onto canvas so, maybe there is a new direction there; yet I have never been less focused on the commercial potential or becoming a specialist. Like with all avenues that seem to be converging as my life right now, I find I just want to bring it all together…all the skills, the aspirations, the colours and textures, the mediums, the very diverse activities that amount to who I am and what gets me feeling excited and see where it all leads me. A phrase came to mind as I drove to the craft shop (where I was greeted by a friendly woman who poured over my design with such relish, helping me select just the right shades of wool…and who offered to teach me to knit if I struggled with my pattern): Grass Roots Goddess. That’s what I feel I am longing to be and am best equipped for at that; a grass-roots change maker, putting the world to rights through accidental encounters with everyday women over everyday projects that bring colour to all of our cheeks and laughter to our eyes. Real life encounters, every-day-domestic things that get new thinking out there or remembered from the rich heritage of our hearts…for we all have it in there, we just need to spin and weave and embellish it with our free-flowing thoughts as our flying fingers provide the wind beneath our wings.


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Wanting more

There’s a fire rising higher and higher in me and it speaks of discontentment; tells me I want so much more. It’s the hot tongue of that pitta flame I invoked, to make me stronger in my doshas, yet it can’t switch on without the wanting of more…which is what drives it onwards, upwards, stretching, reaching-out to a place beyond. A place half-glimpsed through the mists that I know I want to be, so one without the other…not possible, which means I know I need this want, but it rattles my vata bones, makes my dryness react like irritated skin on a very hot day. So we ebb and flow back and forth; yet I’ve never felt more like going with the forward motion of wanting, hurt though it does. My own discontentment seems to eat me, eat at my life; there’s no settling any more, frustration bites at my heels. Like a cat on a hot tin roof, I hop from foot to foot, barely knowing what I want but wanting something.

This thing was always there, I realise; only it was holed up in a prison cell of sorts, like a wild animal in a cage in my dungeon. So all the time I was telling myself that I’m being ever-so humble, grateful and contented I was really wanting more than I ever said. For many women, it comes up like a guilty secret to start with and then you realise that all the little things were only ever attached to the bigger things; wanting more for the planet, for its people, for it all…especially the earth, that love of your life.

julia-caesar-24934.jpgHow many females do this thing, caging up the lioness of wanting, only ever letting it appear as want for others or for trivia, meaningless fripperies and the distraction of sparkly things on the journey of life when really we carry this BIG want, this mighty universal want for everything in creation. How many dress it up in religious or pseudo-spiritual terms when we say we want for nothing, are grateful for everything we have. It’s not wrong, that gratitude; it grew us more of what we wanted efficiently if slowly. But by keeping wanting so spiritually out of vogue we only kept our power under lock and key and then self-guarded what was rightfully ours to express; how ironic. We did the work of those who would keep us smaller and we jumped at every sign of an escape.

Is this why women react so at that immense fiery heat of the middle years; why we round it up and pillion the first signs of our first fire-awakening, suppressing and fighting it with a male-devised arsenal of drugs and therapies, making it so wrong. I long-ago reconciled that this woman-heat is far from wrong but, rather, the heat of transformation, the fire to my phoenix but did I really think it came without longing, without this upwards strive that feels as though you might punch through whatever stands in your way and whatever feels most unfair or destructive in this world. Not literally punch but by unleashing the cataclysm of woman-rage, the kind that had us labelled as dragons and pierced to the ground by men with long swords who claimed to rescue the demure and swooning maiden in us; saved from ourselves, they said. “Swoon no more” my inner goddess screams through the wild-eyed flames of my kundalini rising as I stick out my tongue and roar my way to the start of another feisty, fiery day. “Smoulder no more”, my body says as it shakes off the simmering un-health that keeps inverse heat trapped in my base. And so I fan my own flames, not yet knowing what it is that I really want but owning that I am open to finding out. Its this unleashed wanting of women that is set to transform this world.

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Posted in Consciousness & evolution, Divine feminine, Health & wellbeing, Life choices, Menu, Personal Development, Recovery chronic illness, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments