This weekend we celebrated the festival of Beltane, the time of the year when the sap of the Earth is rising, bursting with fertility, the Moon is waxing and growth and expansion are in the air. We celebrated at 'Llwynbwch,' in a two day workshop facilitated by Sue Weaver, Rosemary Bell and Alan Bellamy.
This was the last in a series of workshops that I have been attending over the past few years, held at key times in the Celtic calendar, including the equinox, solsitices, Imbolc and now Beltane. The workshops are 'work that reconnects' and are in the Deep Ecology tradition of Joanna Macy.
This weekend the blurb stated,
"We will draw on the energies of this time: of Fire and Earth, of the interweaving of masculine and feminine within and between us, of the natural growth of tree, flowers and grasses, the singing of birds and insects in celebration here on the land at Llwynbwch, asking how to manifest our own dreams and visions within our lives and communities, seeking to empower ourselves for fruitful."
The format of the work is based on a spiral. It started with a ritual cleansing with sage, giving gratitude for all the wonders of the natural world. We drew on magical moments from our childhood and life that had inspired and empowered us. In a truth mandela, we honoured the pain, sadness, anger, grief and emptiness we felt at the human destruction of Gaia- Mother Earth. We went out onto the land trying to see the world with new eyes and asking ourselves the questions,'What am I longing for?' 'What am I capable of?'
After a celebratory meal we gathered around a fire talking about our hopes and aspirations. At the end of the night we jumped the Beltane fire. Well, those of us who weren't wimps and could jump did. I opened my legs and skirted round it with legs like a cowboy who'd been on his horse too long.
The next morning we discussed our dreams from the night before. These workshops often produce rich material that relates to our journeys in re-connecting with the natural world. We identified our strengths and qualities, and the weapons of the Shambala Warriors of compassion and insight which would help us make the next step. Again, out onto the land on an adventure quest facing our demons that could stop us having a life sustaining future.
The weekend was powerful and intense. These workshops have helped me look at the world in a different way, taking a more expansive view of the inter-connectness of all sentient beings and our relationship to all parts of our universe. I am sad they've come to an end. I wish Sue and Alan all the very best in their next step moving to the Isle of Arran. I shall miss them, Llwynbwch and their work, but everything has a time and there is a time for everything. I don't know what my next step will be yet, but here is a Haiku I wrote in response to the weekend:
Her scorched hand screams
Gaia holds on like cling film
Wade in her waters