A Dose of Vitriol

Vitriol

On the first day of this Kurukulla shift of 2016, I slipped on a log and fell, banged my head hard and winded myself. This sort of thing has happened before, it used to happen quite often on the first day of a new shift; I’d fall, or cut myself, or get stung by wasps. Bhairavi is my Guardian and She dishes out tough love with a heavy hand, but nothing like this has happened for a while. Was I not paying attention? Had I missed something? The shift was very difficult to read. When I spoke with John about it, he was also finding the shift inscrutable. He said he had the urge to go back to basics and follow the rolling out of the shift according to the Fibonacci sequence.

John and I also discussed ‘Pizzagate’, briefly. We agreed that all the evidence was circumstantial and that no house-hold name is likely to be arrested anytime soon, even though the worldwide pedo network is as active as ever. Nonetheless, I couldn’t stop thinking about the vile mess of ‘spirit-cooking’, ritualistic abuse and the millions of children that go missing each year, with no hard evidence – bodies – ever found. Surely, in this Kurukulla shift, something would break and a course of action would become clear.

I began dreaming about worms and woke up with the distinct smell of sulphur in my nostrils. I always follow my dreams, so Dean and I began taking organic sulphur – MSM. I initially thought this was about parasites, and to some extent it is.

On day eight of the shift, the well-known alchemical image of the Green Lion Devouring the Sun came into my mind and when I looked it up, this was the first version I came to. What jumped out at me was that the two balls on the tail looked like kidneys. On that same day tragedy struck and Nikita, John’s beloved feline companion, died of kidney failure.

Green Lion Devouring the Sun
Green Lion Devouring the Sun
Location of human kidneys
Location of human kidneys

Synchronicitous events cue your attention and what you do with the clues depends on your disposition and motive. I use them as pointers, to explore whatever subject I happen to be most deeply involved with at the time. Sulphur, parasites, kidneys, photosynthesis and the worldwide pedocite network? Connections did not jump out at me. So I printed out the image of the Green Lion to engage the second attention and started reading up on sulphur and the kidneys (first attention). What resulted was not transception, ie pure Dakini Intel, but the kind of human-level illumination that occurs when you observe the practices of Planetary Tantra and apply yourself accordingly.

So in this post is about what I’m learning this shift and, as such, a demonstration of how Planetary Tantra guides my process of discovery.

Sulphur in the Body

Sulphur brings to mind a foul-smelling, yellow powder and school experiments with bunsen burners. I have never considered its nutritional value, or its function as a detoxifier, yet sulphur is the third most abundant mineral in the human body. It is found in every cell in the human body and is involved in a wide range of biochemical functions, such as:

  • Cellular energy production / metabolism.
    Maintaining blood glucose levels.
  • Protects nerve tissue – synthesizes neurotransmitters, improves memory and dampens excessive firing.
  • Antioxidant protection – scavenges or neutralizes free radicals and recycles oxidized antioxidan
  • Blood flow – produces both blood clotting factors as well as anticoagulants.
  • Joint Health – production of glycosaminoglycans (GAGS), chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid.
  • Detoxification – by means of conjugation and chelation.
  • Regulation of DNA replication and transcription.
  • Digestion – production of hydrochloric acid.
  • Supports healthy lipoprotein balance – cholesterol, LDL, and HDL.
  • Adrenal gland support and hormone production – cortisol, aldosterone, testosterone, etc.
  • Proper immune response – enhancing proliferation of lymphocytes, cytotoxic T cells and NK cells.
  • Lungs – protects against mucous formation in lungs.
  • Eyes – decreases cataract development.
  • Formation of skin, hair and nails.

Source: Sulfur Part II: Sulfur and Sulfur Compounds in the Human Body by Mark J. Donohue

Sulphur has been consistently overlooked as an essential nutrient and no one knows how much we need on a daily basis.

“Sulfur, with an atomic number of 16, is known to bond with almost every other mineral.  Sulfur has demonstrated its ability to detoxify heavy metals in conjunction with the transport of oxygen across the cell membrane, thus allowing regeneration.  Sulfur is also the key player as a precursor for the utilization of amino acids, the body’s building blocks.  Of all of the amino acids, some 70 percent are sulfur-based.”

From the Sulfur Study

We do not store sulphur in the body, except for a minute amount in keratin found in hair, nails and cartilage so it must be supplied daily to be effective. Sulphur is passed every 12 hours after being ingested, making our humanure an excellent source of sulphur for the garden! We all need a constant supply of sulphur for cellular regeneration, but we do not know how much we need. One constant is the Sulphur-Nitrogen ratio, which is 1:14 in all mammals, which seems to be very important.  (See this study on the relationship between nitrogen and sulphur for more information.)

Nitrogen constitutes 78% by volume of the earth’s atmosphere, but is not available to humans unless it is ‘fixed’ into a form that can be consumed. We can’t breathe nitrogen, although our bodies need it for the amino acids that make up the protein building blocks for skin, hair, muscles etc. The nucleic acid DNA, which makes up your genes, and RNA, which is involved in protein synthesis contains nitrogen, as do red blood cells. Nitrogen is essential to life, yet too much can be harmful. Nitrogen (with oxygen) naturally transforms into nitrates, and ingested nitrates are transformed into nitrites in the body’s digestive system. These nitrites oxidize iron in the hemoglobin, forming methemoglobin, which can interfere with the blood’s ability to transport oxygen to individual cells.

Most of us are probably starved of oxygen, a major factor in cancer, pain, dementia and other diseases because we get too little sulphur, due to mineral depletion in our soils and food. The sulphur is essential to transport oxygen into cells, where it binds to toxins (conjugates) and clears them out – it literally takes out the trash. Too much nitrogen inhibits the blood’s ability to oxygenate cells and I’m guessing that, for most of us, our bodies are having to work too hard on essential functions to maintain the sulphur nitrogen ratio, leaving no sulphur available for regeneration.

In the three weeks or so that we’ve been taking organic sulphur in water I’ve noticed that my thinking has become much clearer and I have more energy and motivation. Initially I had very bad dreams, non-lucid nightmares, such as I haven’t had since I was a child. I think this was my sleeping mind observing the trash being taken out. I also noticed a few joint aches and a mild headache, which lasted for a few days only. I am also eating less.  One study has connected obesity with sulphur deficiency, as well as heart disease and Alzheimers: Weston A. Price: Sulfur deficiency

Here is a reference to another, large-scale study:

“The Organic Sulfur Study of the Cellular Matrix is studying the effects of reintroducing such a bio- available sulfur, we call Organic Sulfur, back into our diet through the supplement we call Organic Sulfur

At this time there are 70,000 people in 18 countries in the study that have or are taking this bio-avalible form of sulfur, Organic Sulfur, Through the feedback from the study we have documented significant healing sometimes deemed unusual by the medical profession , It is as if the reintroduction of Organic Sulfur back in the cells has kick started the natural regenerative capacities of the body. The information the study receives from its members shows how amazing the regenerative capacities of the body can be.”

Sulphur in Soil and Food

Elemental sulphur is produced by volcanic activity in the atmosphere and organic sulphur is produced by the same volcanic activity in sea water. The salt in sea water allows the sulphur to be released directly into the water, which is the beginning of the sulphur cycle for all living organisms. Sulphur’s bio-availability is effected by temperature and by the ease with which it bonds with most of the other elements. There is a sulfate, sulfite or sulfide of most of the other elements and this is the source of many compounds known as minerals.

Although many foods contain sulphur most of us are deficient because modern farming destroyed the sulphur cycle. Oil-based fertilizers used world wide, that were developed by Prescott Bush and Nelson Rockefeller, destroy sulphur through heat treatment and the free sulphur in rainwater binds to the other minerals in the fertilizer so that it is not available to plants either. Since 1954, when chemical fertilizers were mandated in the US, epidemiological studies show an increase in cancer and related diseases of up to 4,000%. In contrast with Finland, where chemical fertilizers were banned in 1985, due to concerns about the cadmium content, disease has now fallen back to 10% of the 1985 levels and is still dropping. (Finland also has the best education system in the world, because a healthy society values educating its children.) Icelanders’ low rates of depression, obesity, diabetes and heart disease is also attributed to the high sulphur content of their volcanic soil.

Sulphur content of soil is not generally measured, sulphur levels in food are not studied and sulphur deficiency is not generally considered as a contributing factor to disease by the medical profession.

This is not limited to the US. I found a reference to this study in the UK:

“The survey, which began in 2014 across farms in Shropshire and Herefordshire, showed only 13 per cent of all crops sampled had a result in the normal range, all others were low or slightly low.

The 2015 samples collected showed 55 per cent of crops had low sulphur levels, triggering a high nitrogen: sulphur ratio content of 16: 1 or above.

Andrew Goodinson, of Hutchinsons, says: “A reading of 18:1 would mean a low sulphur status and the need for sulphur treatment for the next crop.”

Sulphur depletion is largely down to reduced atmospheric deposition, however, last season, high yielding crops are likely to have depleted soil resources even further.”

https://www.fginsight.com/news/soil-sulphur-levels-continue-to-fall-10345

Alchemical Sulphur

In the next synchronicitous event of this shift, I opened John’s Great Work, A Recreation of the Alchemical Mystery, to where I’d left off reading previously and came to this in the very next section:

The image below is called the Key of Basil Valentine, that reveals a secret in its seven sections:

Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultim Lapidem

= VITRIOL

VISIT THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH AND THERE BY PURIFICATION YOU WILL DISCOVER THE OCCULT STONE

VITRIOL
VITRIOL

“So, what is Vitriol? The riddle suggests that it’s nothing other than the Stone, but the Secret Stone, Occult Stone (Occultum Lapidem), no less. This reminds us of the paradox of the Stone we encountered in Part One of the Course, the Formation Stage of the Work. There we learned how the Stone is used from the outset, even though it is considered to be the goal of the Work; and how it is found everywhere though disfavoured, ridiculed and abused by all………But this Stone, as illustrated in Maier’s Atalanta Fugiens 1617 [illustration depicted in the Course], cannot be the hidden Stone of the Key. No, the Stone at the beginning of the Work is one thing, but the secret of Vitriol refers to something only to be discovered at the conclusion of the Work. Something to be found in the innermost regions of the Earth, Terra. Certainly, we cannot discount the possibility that the actual core of the planet may be meant here – but this interpretation can be left aside for a more symbolic one, consistent with one of our main themes. We know that the alchemists as physicists in their own right, saw how the transformation of the Earth depends upon the catalytic power of the human mass, the unique materiality condensed within our skins; namely our Essense. So this reference to the interior of Terra can be taken to mean the innermost region of the Human Essense, the dose of terrestrial materiality we each incarnate.

What, then, is the innermost part of our Essense (Interiora Terrae)? No mystery about this, really, though we have not had occasion to examine it until now. Within your skin is your interior mass and within this embedded in it, is your skeleton. In the bone structure within your Essense you have the evidence of the penetration of Satanic forces in your being. Traditionally the skeleton is the symbol of Death. Likewise, Ahriman or Satan, the Mythical Being who wastes and consumes the Human Essense, is the Grim Reaper of the Tarot. The bone-structure is that part of your Essense that has already been claimed by Ahriman, the evidence of the infiltration of the Satanic into your constitution.

True enough, but it does not stop there, for with the skeleton you are still not at the innermost region. Within your Essense is your skeleton and within your skeleton is your marrow. The marrow is the innermost. The marrow is the Vitriol.

To conventional, literal-minded science, “vitriol” is nothing but an archaic name for sulphur, which happens to be the Satanic substance par excellence. Where Satan is, you smell burning sulphur. Every genuine alchemist will sometime along the way have the uncanny experience of smelling sulphur without being able to tell where the smell comes from: this indicates a definite, irreversible breakthrough in the Work. It is a maddening, but auspicious event.”

John Lamb Lash, A Recreation of the Alchemical Mystery, 1982-84

I mentioned my investigations to John and he commented as follows:

The usual translation of the VITRIOL anagram in the sigil of Basil Valentine is “Visit the interior of the earth and there you will find the hidden stone.” But this translation appears to disregard the central term, at the apex of the design, RECTIFICANDO: “I correct” in Latin.”

So, now I have an additional reading of the sigil, that goes like this:

I correct. (To) discover the occult stone, visit the interior of the earth.”

When John first created the Course in Alchemy, in the late 70s and early 80s, he had not yet compiled the Fallen Goddess Scenario, or begun writing Not in His Image.  At that time he translated ‘rectificando’ as ‘purification’, which made contextual sense then. With the compilation of the more detailed map of Correction, the literal translation of ‘rectificando’ has new relevance and the acronym VITRIOL reveals a multi-leveled meaning. The vitriol of our marrow creates stem cells, the biological source of our life and regenerative capacities, but we have been conditioned into demonizing its corrective charge.  The DNA in stem cells is essentially fluid, in a pre-responsive state to epigenetic stimuli.  Is undifferentiated DNA the ‘occult stone’?

But are we talking here about the interior of the earth, or the interior of the human body? Since our telestic session in November 2015, in which we gave the command to activate the extinction protocols for A10, it has become increasingly clear that the lines of personal and transpersonal experience have converged; every experience is simultaneously personal and transpersonal. This feels like a massive realignment in accordance with the Hermetic principle: As above, so below; as below so above. As I write this, there is renewed interest in the Antarctic region and what lies at the centre of the earth. I’ve been dreaming about Antartica too, although I have to put aside any investigation on that for a later date. My point here is that I have been taking organic sulphur since the beginning of this shift and my perception of BOTH what is happening in the interior of my body AND the interior of the earth is heightened. Everything is material.

As I look into the interior of my body, I remember an unexpected experience from my past. One day, as a child of 9 or 10, I had a ‘school dinner’ for some reason. This wasn’t usual. We lived only a five minute walk from my primary school and I usually went home for lunch, but on this rare occasion I didn’t. I can’t remember what the main course was, but the dessert was semolina pudding and I hate semolina. I told the teacher on dinner duty that I hated semolina and didn’t want to eat it and she said that I had to eat it and if I didn’t I couldn’t go out to play. I remember hating the semolina, hating the teacher and forcing it down. I took my plate back to the serving area when finished, as we were required to do and walked back down the aisle past the teachers table to go out and play. Just as I got to the teacher’s table the hate welled up in me and I threw up my semolina pudding and my lunch right at their feet. Now why would that memory come back to me as I focus on sulphur? The body never lies. I think that the mineral analog to hate is sulphur; everything is material, after all.

Hate has been demonized, literally and now it is being outlawed. There is nothing wrong, nasty, satanic or negative about hate. It is simply the purest expression of your Essense that expects absolutely nothing of anyone else. Hate is crystalline, non-negotiable and squeezed out, from the deepest part of you, the marrow in your bones; ex-PRESSED through your very bones into the world. It sets your personal boundaries. Was I immoral or hateful because I expressed my hate for semolina pudding as a child? I don’t think so, but my body took it literally and purged me of what I hated. Am I hateful now, because I hate pedos, cruelty, anyone who tells me how to live my life and especially people who hide their cowardice behind fake love and semolina pudding (still)? Perhaps. But I’m also playful, joyful, bountiful and many other things besides.

In completion with Kurukulla it is clear to me that it’s time to break the taboo on hate. If you don’t hate something, many things about the world at large, you are either already brain dead or you probably need to take more sulphur. At the most basic physiological level, sulphur helps your body clear out accumulated toxins so you can function better and see the world more clearly, it helps you regenerate with with the clear pure hate of the Luminous Child that you can experience once again without guilt.  Sulphur makes your cell membranes supple and slippery so that the parasites can’t get their hooks into you, literally.

Princess Nikita
Princess Nikita

 

Post script: I have more to add regarding the kidney-vitriol connection, which will be covered in another post.

 

The Endtime Tribe of Galicia

The Endtime Tribes

“Mixing and mingling with the endtime tribes is a strange lot of free-lance wizards on whom one hardly dares to put a name. Shamans, they are. But shamans of another order, whose lineage extends from the future as much as from the past. These wizards have an imaginative flair, the gift for magical realism (more below). They can be elusive, but they are strangely, disarmingly direct when it comes to imparting the initiatory secrets of their trade. Exhibiting a paradoxical mix of arrogance and humility, they are fine teachers, although they do not belong to any tradition, school, or educational program. They are generous and ruthless, but also capricious. And in social and spiritual style, they are occasionally brutal.”

John Lamb Lash, The Party of Xolotl

The story of the Endtime Tribe of Galicia begins around 77,500 years ago (nearly three days of Gaian time) as much of Europe went into a deep freeze and the people migrated south. In our practice of Planetary Tantra, we are looking back into the past to pick up the threads that were dropped, so that we can bring them forward into our lives today. I am discovering factual snippets from the past, echoes of lives that show where the threads got dropped, filling in the gaps through the gift of imagination and bringing the themes forward to guide us in our lives today. This is the process of weaving the thread of our lives into the fabric of the universe, to make it more robust and beautiful.

Imagine our ancient ancestors, traveling in small bands and family groups, following familiar landscapes, guided by the trees and animals of their homeland. Today, we might map their route to a south-westerly journey through what has been labelled the Euro-Siberian zone.

Euro-siberian zone

 

Image from Terpsichores.

These people were attuned to the land and knew how to find water, track game and the seasons of fruits and wild vegetables in the forests and meadows. They were naturally nomadic, which accounts for the similar DNA markers across the region that scientists have recently discovered. Their animal instincts were keen, but they were also guided by the proto-shaman amongst them; the men and women who were especially sensitive to the rhythms of nature. These folk would have observed the shortening, cooler summers and the longer, drier winters and they would have urged their clans to head south and follow the sun for food and warmth. Hunter-gatherers depended on their shaman for survival.  It was a hard life and when these foragers found themselves at the end of the world, Finisterra, they settled in the forests of Galicia, because they must have looked so familiar to them.

Gaia’s Dreaming comes to us through the land. This is one of the insights that came through very clearly at out Beltane Retreat in 2015. She has different dreams for different places, which are all in continuous, contemporaneous streaming, sending out tendrils that catch the eye of any human dreamer who is ready to respond. She designates specific areas of the planet to specific tribes and these are the indigenous people of that region. That doesn’t mean that we can’t move around, we are not trees after all, but that we will flourish more easily in the areas She intends for us. I am an indigenous European; I might even have biological ancestors from this specific  area, but the key point is that I responded to Her call and am making this place my home. We thrive in the regions Gaia intends for us and this has never been more important than in these turbulent times.

I didn’t know this when we moved here, of course. We just came here on holiday and the beauty of the place captured me. Exploring the history of the area and finding threads from the distant past that we want to weave into our lives is part of the process of rooting ourselves here and making it our home. It gives me pleasure to discover facts about the past that feel as though they are fractally encoded into my DNA, like a key that opens up a new chapter of possibility in my life.

The threads I’m teasing out, come through the pagan roots of the people who lived here long before the Church of Rome took over. Even the famous Camino de Santiago was known as a route for pagan travelers at least 1,000 years before Christianity. Cave paintings in Altamira on the coast in Asturias from 35,000 years ago, together with artifacts found in the Terra de Lemos from 12,000 years ago when the ice finally retreated, show that this valley was a home and meeting place and for over 200,000 people. This valley was once a strategic location between the hinterland and the coasts. The gentle, undulating land is made moist and lush by the Sil and Cabe rivers and has always been several degrees warmer than the surrounding areas, making it a fertile sanctuary. That is very good to know as some scientists think that reduced solar activity might be heralding a new ice age within decades.

Altamira bison

One of the cave paintings in Altamira, Asturias.

 

Paleolithic Monforte routes

Agriculture was thought to have emerged out of the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East around 10,000 years ago, but more recent research showed that it emerged in several places at once. There is no record of when farming became established in Galicia, but if there were 200,000 people living in this valley 11-12,000 years ago, they cannot all have been foragers. They would not have survived without some sort of farming. This is another thread to pick up. The farming industry today is an abomination; food for profit is a failed experiment and we have to find another way.

Timeframes are sketchy when we look back into prehistory, but it is possible to find a significant overlap between the Celts, the Gnostics and farming, all of which seem to have emerged in the same area and epoch. This begs an interesting question: the Celts were pagans and fearsome warriors and they lived in the same place and time as the Gnostics; why didn’t they defend the Mysteries?

I think that the Celts and the Gnostics embodied the male and female polarities of our white European ancestors. There are many similarities between the two tribes to explore but to answer my own question, I think the Celts loved the battle too much. Farming allowed them to settle and forge weapons and practice the art of war. Knowing that their women and children were relatively safe and had enough food afforded them the freedom to go and fight in other places. The Celts (also known as Gauls) fought as mercenaries for the Romans, Greeks, Egyptians and anyone else who would pay them.

“The kings of the east then carried on no wars without a mercenary army of Gauls; nor, if they were driven from their thrones, did they seek protection with any other people than the Gauls. Such indeed was the terror of the Gallic name, and the unvaried good fortune of their arms, that princes thought they could neither maintain their power in security, nor recover it if lost, without the assistance of Gallic valour”.

Marcus Junianus Justinus. Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus XXV, 2, circa 3AD

Celtic bands of mercenaries have been documented from as early as 347BC and after generations of fighting, drunk on morbido, they forgot what they were fighting for. The Gnostics, guardians of the Mysteries, and their own women and children were engulfed by the wave of paternalism that swept across the land, morphing into Christianity along the way. Paganism became punishable by death, the connection to our Mother, the Aeon Sophia, was severed and we got very lost.

Fast forward to today and what has changed? Gangsters plunder our land and wealth and the people are enslaved to the gods of profit. And where are our warriors? All our armed forces are bought and paid for by corporate interests and the Jew World Order; they are mercenaries fighting for foreign powers. It is the same theme playing out until the end of Kali Yuga. What do we do about it?

This brings us to today and the role of the Endtime Tribe of Galicia. We need to pick up the threads that got dropped here in Galicia, because this is where we now live. These are the threads we are picking up in our tribe.  This is our mission:

Healing the Gender Rift
Gender politics has gone rogue all over the world and there’s not much we can do about that. Our role is to bring morbido the masculine polarity back into the embrace of the feminine libido. This is a big part of our unlearning and learning.

According to John Lash, morbido is the instinct to kill, which has gone rogue in our society and needs to be harnessed:

“I’m proposing that the morbido is a death dealing force, an instinct to kill, predominately, but not exclusively, operating in the male of the human species. And this instinct to kill, this drive, is actually the weapon provided in human nature to oppose and defeat the spoilers and merchants of death……”
John Lamb Lash NB95 Concerning Morbido

Libido is the instinctual drive for the full expression of our animal natures, including the hedonic and sexual drives.

Both of these drives have been intentionally suppressed in all of us and we cannot enjoy life as fully bonded couples, in a sane society, without the full and correct expression of these drives. Our role here isn’t to go out fighting injustice but to recognize that as women we must bring out the hero our men, so that they can experience the sweet surrender of sexual passion with us. This is what the Celts forgot.

Gaian Gardening: Permaculture and Alchemy
Somewhere along the line, the way we found food and water went rogue too.  We don’t want to go back to the stone age, but how do we grow food in a way that supports us, serves Nature and does not cause suffering to other animals?

“… Animal agriculture is arguably the most environmentally damaging industry in the world. Animal Agriculture takes up 45% of the entire world’s land-space and is alone responsible for 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, 80-90% of US water consumption, and 91% of Amazon destruction. It is also the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction in the world, and this is only a small fraction of the statistics.” –Patrick Haize

These days we have a sense of defiance about learning how to live in harmony with nature.  False authorities and corporate entities are making it more and more difficult for people to become self-sufficient.  It is not yet illegal to collect rainwater here, but it is a game of hide-and-seek regarding many restrictions that are not in place to benefit people or nature.  Natural living is the new protest movement and we need to begin the process of remembering the skills of our hunter-gatherer ancestors that were destroyed with the advent of agriculture.  This is a long path home and we don’t know whether we will find a resolution to the eternal conflict on the way, or not.

“The key event in prehistory is undoubtedly the introduction of agriculture. At least one cultural historian (Jared Diamond) has argued that agriculture is the single greatest mistake in the life of our species. A similar view is developed by Daniel Quinn, an author who presents metahistorical issues in fictional form. In Ishmael a gorilla plays guru to an anthropologist, enlightening him about how humanity became split into two camps, Takers and Leavers, represented by Cain and Abel in the Bible. The Leavers are hunter-gatherers who live off nature and leave it intact, but the Takers are agriculturalists who take more than they need, thus devastating nature and infecting themselves with envy and competition. Here again, the crux of Eternal Conflict in the human realm seems to involve lack of self-regulation.”

John Lash,  Eternal Conflict

We draw strength from the fact that our activities are fractally embedded in the full spectrum of nature, to include the supernatural and the practical mystical. Every step we take is a step for the whole of humanity. Gaian Alchemy is the process of learning how we contribute to the creation of the biosphere through our biological processes. We are learning this through the process of co-creating food forest, as we observe the weather and the seasons and how we interact. Thus we draw the threads back to our ancestral shaman and their journeys through the land.

Our land is Gaia’s laboratory and it will provide most of our medicine as well as our food.  We are growing organically and with minimal digging and weeding and using different companion plant combinations.  It is a delightful experiment!

The Vision Quest
The Endtime Tribe of Galicia is engaged in a planetary vision quest, the practice of Planetary Tantra.

“Knowing Gaia is not a matter of belief: it is a vision quest for the entire human species.
The challenge of this quest is to realize how we can live interactively with the immediate source of all life, rather than remaining blindly, passively dependent upon it. The first step in meeting this challenge is to learn and practice the vision story of the divine presence of the earth, Gaia-Sophia.”

John Lamb Lash, Sacred Ecology

It is hard for us here now to acknowledge that most of humanity will not choose a visionary path; many are environmentally conscious, without recognizing that we are intimately involved in the co-creation of a living planet. Others are socially conscious, while choosing to ignore the fact that we cannot have social justice without eliminating the predators of humanity. Others are waiting to be saved and many more are the walking dead. It is too painful to be around such people.

I want to say something about the sacred here. All of life is sacred, but we do not see ourselves as sacred within that process and, most importantly, we do not live that way and we fail to take action against others who violate the sanctity of life. Numbing down through meditation is no better than anaesthesia via drugs or alcohol. To hold life as sacred means to live it fully without reservation as a continuous process of participation. The currency, the means by which life becomes a journey of ever-increasing awe and wonder, is Gnosis.

“GNOSIS. The word means simply “knowledge”, but of a special kind. It derives from the root gno-, “to know, cognize, discern”. This Greek verb-root matches the Sanskrit jna-, which carries the same meaning. In Buddhism prajna is the “supreme discernment” of the true nature of reality. Likewise, Gnosis is the knowing of what is true and real in the ultimate sense. Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1965) gives: “immediate knowledge of spiritual truth”, contrasted to mere belief, unquestioning faith, and blind acceptance of doctrines prescribed by authorities. In short, Gnostic spirituality is an anti-authoritarian path based on first-hand experience of Divinity. It encourages an intuitive, i.e., direct, experiential, approach to God. It assumes the possibility of revelations from beyond the human realm, but it requires cognitive training to assess these revelations. Gnosis is the yoga of intellect that unifies far-seeing mental-mystical vision with the wisdom of the body.”

John Lamb Lash GNOSIS

We are recovering the telestic practice of receiving instruction by the Organic Light.

“The ancient mystics of the Mysteries had a dual mission: to maintain their visionary practice of gnosis, and transmit their method to future generations. Transmission depended on conferring the core experience, instruction by the Light, upon neophytes who would in turn become telestai, “those who are aimed,” i.e., guided by the wisdom of the earth goddess, Sophia.The rite of instruction (mathesis, also called theoria, “beholding”), the most deeply guarded secret of Pagan initiation, was never openly declared—until now.”

John Lamb Lash, Spiritual Warrior

We are sharing our discovery in retreats and gatherings, to help other endtime tribes and practising ourselves, just for the pleasure and beauty; drawing from a vision of the yuga to come.

“If the human species does not survive, it will ultimately be due to failure to observe Beauty.”

John Lamb Lash, Gaia Responds to the Panic

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wasp Attack

A couple of weeks ago, I disturbed a wasp nest.  Wasps attack immediately when they feel threatened and I was stung 10-15 times on my arm, hand and leg.  I couldn’t get away because of the long grass and brambles.  It didn’t hurt much initially, so I carried on working.  Then I started to feel a ferocious itching and burning in my groin, which I knew was lymph and I decided to head back to the cabin.  Before I got back my scalp, palms and the soles of my feet were on fire.  Within minutes my whole body was covered in a painful red rash and I jumped in the shower and turned on the cold water to try and give myself an adrenaline boost.  It didn’t seem to work.

Dean found an anti-histamine, which I was reluctant to take, but I could see he was worried.  By this time, my face was really swollen and the pain was intense.  I put me feet in a bucket of cold water and had Dean rub me all over with St John’s Wort oil to try and cool me down.  Then my throat started to close and Dean wanted to know if we needed to go to the hospital.  I had a moment of fear and thought: take me now or make this go away and the swelling in my throat began to ease and the pain became more bearable.  I was still nicely swollen two hours later when Claudius and Michelle showed up, but managed to get out of bed a bit later so we could go out to dinner.  It took several days for all the swelling to go completely.

Since then I’ve been wondering why I had such a strong reaction and why did I not want to take the anti-histamine?  I don’t like pharmaceuticals and consider them to be more harmful than beneficial in most cases, excepting emergencies; and this was an emergency.  I don’t think Sophia set up this experiment with the intention that we should succumb so easily to insect stings either, although poisons definitely have their place.  However, histamine is not a poison, it is a neurotransmitter, so why do we need to shut it off?

A neurotransmitter is a chemical that is released by neurons in the nervous system and crosses the synaptic gap between neurons, to be received by another neuron in order to generate a specific reaction. The constant stimulation of neurons causes reactions in the body which are specific to the type of neurotransmitter that is passed.  Histamine’s role is to produce an immediate inflammatory response as part of the immune system that comes into action when your body is under attack.  Histamine causes the blood vessels to swell, so that white cells can get to the problem area quickly, that sounds like a good thing.  Over-reaction, like mine, is considered to be the result of histamine intolerance, due to the body not being able to break down histamine properly.  We always have a small amount of histamine circulating in the body and when I was stung, more was released at the site of the the wasp stings, flooding my body.

The exact composition of wasp venom is unknown.  From the wasp’s perspective, it stings to paralyse other insects that it wants to eat, or to warn off larger animals like me.  Wasps have been around for longer than humans and they are very effective predators, see Wasp Warriors.  However, it is not the poison that causes the allergic reaction.  Wasp venom contains a protein enzyme called hyaluronidase, which speeds up the dispersion through the body of any injected substance, by reducing the viscosity of hyaluronic acid that cushions the cells and increasing tissue permeability.  (Yes, hyaluronidase is used to break down hyaluronic acid based cosmetic fillers after people have had too much of it pumped into their faces to make them look younger!)  My allergic reaction was caused by the combination of hyaluronidase and histamine, which generated a systemic inflammatory response and the anti-histamine probably helped in this situation.  Adrenaline also stops the production of histamine, which is why people who know they are highly allergic carry Epipens.

But why do I have too much histamine in my body?  There are many  foods that contain histamine (and these foods are often involved in food allergies) but my intolerance most likely stems from the fact that I was on Zantac for 25 years, because of a stomach ulcer.  Zantac/Ranitidene, like its cousins Tagamet and Pepcid is a histamine blocker.  It targets the H2 histamine receptors, which are found in the stomach lining, heart, uterus, vascular smooth muscle cells and white blood cells.  It stops these cells responding to histamine, so that there is no inflammatory response from food or drink that would normally cause irritation.  The body naturally responds by producing more histamine, causing a permanent overload.  In addition these drugs, and others, actually deplete the levels of diamine oxidase in the body, which is primarily responsible fro breaking down histamine in the digestive tract.  I weaned myself off Zantac in 2010 and have had no pain or bleeds since and I’m able to eat and drink more liberally than I ever was while on Zantac.  I now need to look into how to reduce my baseline histamine levels – more on that in another post.

Apparently, most people who get an allergic reaction to wasp stings do not get it for bee stings, or vice versa.  It’s one or the other, so that’s a relief!

 

Planetary Tantra Beltane Retreat 2015

Beltane is a magical time.  The veil between the worlds is as thin as on Samhain night, but we are celebrating the return of the light rather than darkness.  The Earth is blooming and it is a time of fertility, creativity and a little danger – the crops are still tender and a late frost or heavy rain could destroy our food for the year.  Without this risk there would be no magic.  It is the perfect time to launch the very first Planetary Tantra Retreat and to celebrate bringing in the May.

Planetary Tantra is:

“Rapturous immersion through desire and imagination in the dreaming power of the earth. It is the most intimate way of bonding with the planetary animal mother, Gaia.”  John Lash

The practices are deceptively simple and drawn from the Terma of Gaia Awakening.  You do not need to have any special skills or go on a three-year course to learn Planetary Tantra.  There are no secret rituals and it is freely open and available to anyone who feels called to what is essentially experimental mysticism or interactive magic with Gaia, Gaian ecosorcery if you prefer.  This is the only practice, that I am aware of, that is grounded in the Sophianic mythos.  We are focused on recovering the indigenous shamanic senses of our European ancestors, telestic shamanism, and learning the practical skills that we need in order to be able to take care of ourselves and each other.

However, not everyone will choose this practice; it is simple, but also rigorous.  There are two self-determined conditions for entry into the practice. The first is that you hold an “ardent wish to experience love for the earth as deeply as you love your own body”.  The second is to know your Highest Desire.  This is extremely challenging because most of us are unable to define and articulate our Highest Desire.  Nonetheless, “You cannot proceed to interactivity with [the Gaian Dakinis] unless you know what your highest desire is.”

These retreats are intended for people who want to explore and develop Planetary Tantra as a group in a beautiful, natural setting.  The way out of our collective nightmare is through our individual awakening within Gaia’s lucid dream.

The Planetary Tantra Beltane Retreat  runs from the evening of 1st May to the morning of 8th May and John Lash will be joining us for many of the sessions throughout the week.  Price €500 pp including all meals and pick-up and drop off at our local station.

Fully booked – you can find out more and the dates of our other retreats for 2015 here.

If you’d like more information, please get in touch using the contact form below.

 

 

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Pineal Regeneration

If we want to recover our full animal instincts and our unique human genius, we need a fully functioning pineal gland. We have all heard how the pineal gland is ‘the key’ to our spiritual evolution, but what does that mean?  Why do our pineal glands need regeneration?

 “The pineal gland secretes a single hormone—melatonin (not to be confused with the pigment melanin). This simple hormone is special because its secretion is dictated by light. Researchers have determined that melatonin has two primary functions in humans—to help control your circadian (or biological) rhythm and regulate certain reproductive hormones.”

http://www.endocrineweb.com/endocrinology/overview-pineal-gland

In other words, melatonin’s key function is to entrain us directly to the diurnal cycle of the Earth. The pineal gland performs the physical task of bringing our bodily functions into harmony with the 24 hour cycle of our Planetary Animal Mother.

It does this by stopping the secretion of gonadatrophins in the pituitary gland. Gonadotrophins are hormones that regulate growth, sexual development and reproduction in both men and women. Much of our daytime energy goes into these activities, but it’s not needed at night when we need to recover and repair.

Human pineal glands are calibrated to release melatonin primarily according to the circadian or diurnal, rhythm, so we can breed at anytime throughout the year. In other mammals, their pineal glands work in harmony with seasonal cycles as well, to give them the best chance for survival of their young. When you consider the breeding cycles of temperate climate mammals you can see how Gaia-Sophia co-ordinates breeding seasons amongst different species, in order to manage food and resources. For example, sheep, goats and deer are short-day breeders and horses are long-day breeders. Melatonin also regulates hibernation cycles for animals where there is no food for them in winter. Interestingly, human birth rates are higher in the long summers in the far north of Finland, so perhaps we are more seasonally calibrated than we realise. It is clear that the pineal gland doesn’t just control our circadian cycle, it entrains us to the cycles of Mother Earth.

Is that just for survival?  Or is there more to it than that?

According to the Hindu tradition, when the pineal and pituitary glands vibrate in harmony the 3rd eye, 6th chakra or Ajna chakra opens. This has long been associated with psychic awareness, intuition and the ‘eye of the soul’. The pineal gland is even light sensitive. Although it is situated in the geometric centre of the skull, where no light enters, it has retinal tissue composed of rods and cones (photoreceptors) inside its interior lining, just like the eye. It is even connected directly to the visual cortex in the brain.

The gland itself, although no bigger than a pea, is shaped like a pine cone and draws its name from “pinea”, Latin for “pinecone”. And just why is there a huge bronze pine cone statue from ancient Rome, flanked by two peacocks, sitting in a courtyard of the Vatican? (Peacocks are the alchemical code for psychic awareness.) ‘Spiritual’ means religious to many, people, but if we swap “spiritual’ for ‘transpersonal’, we get closer to something more useful. An open ‘third eye’ enables us to ‘see’ more of reality all around us and to communicate telepathically with each other and other animals.

Pine cone in the Vatican
Pine cone in the Vatican

Our pineal glands help us participate in the lucid dreaming of the Goddess. Pineal regeneration is something we can do to help us co-evolve our experience beyond the limits of personal identity, with the Earth and all Her life forms. This is the point where ancient traditions and modern life meet. The ‘opening of the third eye’ is not a reference to a mystical state that can only be achieved in meditation; it is the state of consciousness that can be reached and maintained when a healthy pineal and pituitary gland are resonating at the same frequency. This is our optimal state of consciousness, which enables us to access psychic faculties, such as telepathy and remote viewing. We all possess these faculties, but in most of us they are dormant through lack of use.

In springtime, the energy of Beltane is about regeneration and renewal, as well as love, sexuality and prosperity. It is the key time in the year for pineal regeneration because the pine trees release their pollen at this time. There isn’t much information available about pine pollen and the pineal gland specifically, but there are numerous other benefits.

Pine pollen is a superfood for all the plants and animals at this time of year. As an androgenic adaptogen it is a supreme tonic medicine which targets all areas of stress or imbalance in the body. It is the most the most potent plant source of testosterone known. Many of us, men and women, are hormonally imbalanced due to excessive estrogen in our system from environmental xenoestrogens, synthetic estrogens and phthalates that inhibit natural testosterone production. Pine Pollen has the potential to increase immune and endocrine function, reduce sensitivity to pain, lower cholesterol, stimulate liver regeneration; it is an anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, and anti-tumour. It provides us with more vitality and long-term use helps slow down the aging process – all of which help bring the pituitary and pineal glands into vibrational harmony.

Collecting pine pollen
Collecting pine pollen

There are three phases or pineal regeneration, or pineal hygiene if you prefer:

  • Clearing
  • Activation
  • Exercise

Clearing is in two stages: Elimination and Detoxification.  Eliminate fluoride, chlorine and mercury containing foods as much as possible. These are the biggest causes of calcification, as the pineal gland sits outside the blood-brain barrier and attracts these substances, especially fluoride, like a magnet.

Detoxification is a multi-level process.  On the physical level we need to focus on diet, whole foods, vegetarian as much as possible because most meat has been poisoned with drugs and stress hormones.  There are many herbs and plants that help detoxify the body and the pineal gland in particular and I’ll be focusing on these later – local is always better, especially if you can work with Gaia to grow your own.  Mindfulness meditation helps improve awareness, as we need to be aware of your thought processes in order to change them . ‘Spiritual’ detoxification focuses on identifying belief systems, dogma and mind-control programmes that prevent us from being present to our life experience as it unfolds.

It is especially important to reduce light and electromagnetic pollution. The pineal gland needs darkness and no electromagnetic interference in order to produce melatonin.  It is a simple matter of pineal hygiene to switch off routers and mobile phones and do not sleep with any electronic devices close to your head.

The Activation stage continues the Detoxification process.  Chanting is wonderfully energising and liberating and helps harmonise the vibration between the pituitary and the pineal glands.  Sun-gazing at dawn and sunset for even just a few seconds, when the changes in solar radiation have the greatest effect on the pineal gland is also effective. Activation meditation focuses on raising the kundalini. In alchemical terms this is the distillation process in which the ego is surrendered to the guiding power of Mother Earth.  This isn’t something you can force and many kundalini experiences are probably only imagined.

The pineal gland needs Exercise, just as if you are learning a new sport or how to play a musical instrument.  Try practising telepathy, remote viewing and animal communication with a friend or partner. You’ll be amazed at what is possible.

 

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Regeneration and the Equinox

“Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking. By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind one sees the path that never will be trod again. Wanderer, there is no road; just wakes on the sea.”

“Caminante, son tus huellas el camino, y nada más; caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar. Al andar se hace camino, y al volver la vista atrás se ve la senda que nunca se ha de volver a pisar. Caminante, no hay camino, sino estelas en la mar.”

 Antonio Machado

The theme of our Autumn Equinox 2014 was regeneration.  In Autumn the unpicked fruits of summer lay rotting on the ground so that the seeds can be released.  The leaves fall and cover the seeds, protecting them from the chill of winter until the vibrant energy of spring stirs them into life.

We find it hard to observe this pattern in our own lives, as attached as we are to our personal identities. Yet, the smell of rotting flesh creeps into our unconscious minds and we associate Autumn with death.  The energy that flows through us and gives us life never dies; it continues in an eternal cycle, through the seasons and greater tides of time.  Our lives are never our own.

Within this context we prepared for winter and the coming spring.  We did lots of hay rolling to cover the terraces for the food forest and made plans for next year’s retreats.

On the Eve of the Equinox we planned an all-night vigil in the tipi.  At sunrise we buried the ashes from the fire that had burned all night in the tipi as Tony read the above quote from Antonio Machado.  Returning to the Earth the ashes of the old season’s wood for regeneration.

 

 

Autumn Equinox Retreat 2014

At the Autumn Equinox we experience a moment of perfect balance when day and night are of equal length. This is the Earth’s Stillpoint, a moment of super-potentiality before the nights begin to get longer and the days shorter as we move into Winter.  Our ancestors recognised the potential in this moment and built huge temples with astronomical precision to mark the Equinox sunrise.  Why is that? Their wisdom is lost to us; we can only guess at the meaning behind their efforts.

Today, we mark the seasons with school terms and public holidays.  We have wandered so far from the wilderness that we have forgotten our animal natures and have created false selves because we are afraid of the dark.  At some point on this long journey the Autumn Equinox, signifying the onset of the long dark nights of winter, came to be associated with death, the inner journey and preparation for spiritual rebirth at the Winter Solstice.

However, it is only the illusory veil of the ego that separates us from all that is real and traps us in the physical world, where life and matter meet.  In the Hindu tradition, the Divine Mother Goddess is the feminine aspect of each person’s own spiritual being.  At the Autumn Equinox, She leads us into the Mystery of Life as Kali, who fights alongside the mystic and destroys their egos to allow for their transformation. Kali is said to inhabit the cremation ground, the place where egos are killed and destroyed in the alchemical fire.

Is this why the Great Pyramid, Mnajdra or Chichen Itza were built?  Or is there something else?

To find the answers we need to take ourselves back to the wilderness, to the temple of Nature, and witness the Equinox sunrise for ourselves.

Our Equinox Retreat for 2014 is about transformation through realigning ourselves with the song of the Earth.  This is a meditative retreat to immerse ourselves in Nature and rediscover ourselves as part of Her great symphony as a prelude to the regeneration of Winter.

Mother of the Universe

O blissful Kali,
accept my congratulations.
You have enthralled the universe entirely
with your countless transformations.
Your ultimate magic feat is to throw every being
a sacred black stone, your very essence,
so that realization of mystic identity
will be its final destiny

You are so adept in magic, Ma Kali,
that you even draw the Father God,
who is all-transcending knowledge,
into your sweet madness,
your play of indivisible love.
As timeless awareness, you remain uninvolved,
producing the magic theater, divine creativity,
from the interplay of inertia, balance and activity.
This avid worshipper of Mother is shocked
that even supremely wise Lord Shiva
cannot realize Kali’s true nature.

O supremely foolish poet,
how can you hope to grasp her dancing feat
that elude even Shiva’s comprehension?
She has clearly driven you mad as well
with the magic of her Love.

Ramprasad Sen, Mother of the Universe, Visions of the Goddess and Tantric Hymns of Enlightenment

Activities:

  • Mindfulness and Meditation with the sounds of Nature
  • Qigong
  • Principles of Energy Healing and how to make them work in your life
  • Making natural shampoo, toothpaste and non-toxic household products that work
  • Nature walks
  • Mandala making
  • Night vigil for the Equinox Sunrise

This is an outdoor retreat. The experience of sitting outside, eating outside and even showering outside (with hot water) brings us out of our heads and into our bodies, so we can feel ourselves within the web of life. This helps us feel more content and strong and able to deal with whatever life throws at us more effectively.

We are in a beautiful rural location, over-looking the Courel mountains, about 10 miles from the nearest town of Monforte de Lemos, in Galica, Northwest Spain.  The location is very secluded without neighbours.  See How to Find Us.

Our aim is to provide an experience that is within Nature, but comfortable and a delight for the senses.  We have two double-skinned Norwegian accommodation tents, that are used for disaster relief situations, with normal headroom, a closing door, proper beds and bedding.  Each one sleeps four people comfortably. We have several smaller, camping tents, or you can bring your own.  We have an outside shower with plenty of hot water and tree bogs.  You will need to bring your own towels.

Retreat Dates: Evening of 20th September – evening of 24th September 2014
Price £250 per person
All meals are included and pick up and drop off from Monforte de Lemos.
10 places only.
Get in touch using the contact form below for more info or booking.
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Gaian Healing

All healing is Gaian healing. Healing has far less to do with you than you think it does. Most likely you, or the “you” you think you are, is responsible for creating whatever it is that needs healing. But the healing process itself has very little to do with you!

“What?” you might say, “How can that be? It’s my body after all.”

Is that so?

Try holding your breath for three minutes. Or why not try breathing underwater? Or how about making that niggling pain you’ve had for ages go away? Or how about returning your body to the physique you had in your twenties? Or can you stop a cut from healing? It’s your body after all.

Now you want to ‘get realistic’. But what does that mean? Are you thinking about consensus reality, what is considered to be ‘normal’? That is a limited reality and experience of life. It has been narrowly defined by scientists who focus on what they can see and measure with their instruments and programmed into you from childhood by parents and teachers trying to make you conform. It is predictable and mechanical, but real life isn’t like that, is it?

If you cut your finger with your sharpest knife in the kitchen, it hurts and you feel a sudden shock at the red blood splattered on the counter. You rush to the sink, heart pounding, afraid to look at the damage, so much blood against the white porcelain. You wrap it in a tea towel and empty the bathroom cabinet looking for Band-Aids. Eventually, you get it strapped up and you hold it gingerly for the rest of the day and hope for the best.

In scientific medical terms you have had a laceration and your healing will go through a four-stage process:

  1. Hemostasis – in which the damaged blood vessels in the wound are sealed off. This occurs within minutes
  2. Inflammation – this is the clean-up phase in which debris and bacteria are cleaned out, often resulting in pus. This lasts up to four days after the injury.
  3. Proliferation – this is the regeneration of new cells, which lasts 4-21 days.
  4. Remodelling – this last stage can last up to two years as the strength and flexibility is gradually restored to the wound site and scarring reduced as much as possible.

Which scenario feels more real to you?

Probably the first, because most likely you have had a similar experience and you instantly bring together memory, feeling and the visual image of the blood on the counter and in the sink. In that moment, as you see that image in your mind, you are no longer present in your everyday or ‘normal’ consciousness. You have slipped into a dream-like state and you do it many times a day without even realising it.

Our lived experience is based on feeling and imagination much more than it is observation. We are actually far better at it than we are at observation

However, this is the definition derived from laboratory conditions and experiments on animals. In real life healing is rarely this linear or timely, because it depends on what is going on in your life. Suddenly, we have introduced a new variable, the context, or more specifically the scenario in which you exist at that time. This includes your environment.

Way back in 1984 a landmark study ‘discovered’ that post-operative patients with a view through a window over a park recovered more quickly than those looking at a wall. Since then many studies have ‘proven’ that the visual presence of plants has a statistically measureable benefit on physical and mental health. Yet more studies have gone on to identify which health conditions benefit most, what kinds of nature exposure have what effect, how much exposure is needed and even where the benefit might come from, such as humidity, air quality and even safety. (Absence of plant life might suggest that the area is somehow unsafe, which causes stress.)

All of these studies are fundamentally flawed. They assume that ‘we’ are somehow separate from the environment in which we exist, when we can never be anything other than another player in a continually changing scenario. They assume that there is only limited intelligence in this ‘backdrop’ to our personal dramas. They fail to consider feeling as a factor, despite the science of psychoneuroimmunology and the growing recognition of the interdependence of mental and physical health. They insist on a model in which our bodies are bound to breakdown and need experts to fix them. The entire paradigm of medial science is redundant, as determined by science itself! We do not exist in a mechanical, Newtonian Universe.

How do we encourage healing then?

Yes, you have to feel it to heal it, but what is the “it” in this question? It isn’t just the pain or the problem; that doesn’t quite work because that tends to get you more involved in your problem. The “it” is everything, especially Nature.

Every thing has a secret feeling; it’s individual essence, or secret kinesis, that is not apparent until we really look at it and connect with it. This connection joins us in a relationship and it changes both ourselves and all that we observe. These changes are subtle, but deep and always aligned to our highest potential. We exist in a sea of intelligent life in which every vibration wants to harmonise with every other vibration. In Gaian healing we learn to hear the hidden song of every living being, not via our ears and physical senses (although we use them too) but through the secret kinesis of how another being feels and what that means to us.

Anyone who begins to focus on their own healing discovers the plant healers sooner or later, swiftly followed by that overwhelming sensation of too much to learn. However, to learn for yourself does not take that much. You do not need to become an herbalist to support your own healing. If you spend time in Nature, barefoot if possible, Gaia will give you personally exactly what you need at that specific time, you just have to pay attention.

“Mother Earth was the first physician and healer.  Some day, everyone will realize that she alone owns the true pharmacy in medicine, for all drugs are made from Her garden, or a chemical substitute that replicates the effects and benefits Her plants.”

Alma Hutchens

Our healing and the healing of the Earth are deeply intertwined, we cannot have one without the other and we need this to be the way we live our lives – not just something we do when we are sick.  Our disconnection from Nature and the illusion of our separation is the source of our disease and re-immersion is the elixir we seek.

“When all is said and done, the faith that informs the often chimerical art of alchemy comes down to one notion: we can achieve rejuvenation by deep participation in the processes of the biosphere. In short, immortality within Gaia-Sophia. The “Delectable Stone” is the Elixir of Life.”

John Lamb Lash 2006

 

Mandala in the woods
Mandala in the woods

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Medicine, Alchemy and Cooking

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”   Hippocrates 431 B.C

Food as medicine doesn’t sound that appetising does it? The usual diet for many westerners is neither food nor medicine; it’s just chemicals pretending to be food. Likewise, our “medicine” is chemicals designed to mask symptoms; not medicine at all. Food as medicine was the norm for thousands of years and still is in other systems.

In the Ayurvedic system, one of the oldest and longest standing in the world, herbalism and nutrition are a single science, and no healing can be truly successful that disregards one or the other. Specific foods are prescribed therapeutically as herbs, or in combination with herbs. Eating correctly, according to your body type, is the most important aspect of Ayervedic healing.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, which is rooted in the Ayurvedic system, food is regarded as indispensible in regaining the yin-yang balance and healing. Traditional Chinese Medicine designates four uses for food: diet, medicine, tonic, and abstention.

Doctors are not required to advise on nutrition in the UK, it is covered in just a few hours in the first year of study. Their job is to diagnose, prescribe and refer. It doesn’t really have a lot to do with healing. Hippocrates turns over in his grave one more time.

Hippocrates was considered the “father of medicine”. He is well-known for rejecting primitive medicine and its superstitions and magic in favour of a scientific and rational approach. He is also famous for establishing a code of ethics, doctor/patient confidentiality, note-taking and patient record management. It is less well-known that he insisted his students study astrology, saying, “He who does not understand astrology is not a doctor but a fool.”

The Greeks had medicine long before Hippocrates. Their medicine originated Egypt, the home of alchemy. The historical and cultural links between alchemy and medicine have been systematically destroyed over many generations, but the memory still remains in the endo-psyche of our species. What does that mean? It means that if you sit quietly in nature, or look into the fire and pay attention to your body you will experience specific sensations and feelings and these will direct you to exactly what you need. It never fails, but it does take practice and this is how we get to cooking.

Alchemy can be arcane and complicated or as simple as bringing together a container, a substance and a catalyst. Purists might argue that cooking isn’t alchemy, as the substance that is cooked is not transmuted; a carrot is never transformed into ice cream, no matter how skilled the cook.  However, carrots protect you from heart disease and cancer, are anti-inflammatory, can improve your eyesight and support your brain and liver. I don’t go along with the notion that everything works exactly the same way for everyone all the time. Sometimes I want a carrot and that’s exactly when I need it.

Cooking as alchemy needs to be outside with a real fire. The first stage of alchemy is called the nigredo, blackness, suffering; the medieval manuscripts are full of references to putrefaction and death. In psychological terms it is about depression and the dark night of the soul, but in cooking as alchemy we are not talking about anything that intense. But wait until you are hungry before you start the process. Feel your hunger. If you have a health issue or are stressed about anything, feel that too and don’t push anything away. Then look at the flames for a while.

Flames have a wonderful way of quietening the mind and gradually begin to think about what you would like to eat. Of course, you will have had an idea before you start and you will have certain food available, but make sure you have a good supply of different ingredients and spices to hand. Notice the flavours, spices and textures that appeal to you. As you allow the recipe to emerge notice how you feel about different ingredients as they come to mind – the White Queen is always present in the feeling.

This process of feeling your responses to different ingredients corresponds to the albedo, or purification stage of alchemy. The purification is in the process of identifying and selecting the ingredients that make you feel good when you think about them. This is how you free the spirit from the physical matter of the food. It’s not about following a fixed recipe, this food is perfectly tailored to your needs at the time you are making it. If a new combination comes to you go with it. The Red King guides you to discover something new, or a different combination. The cooking corresponds to the rubedo or reddening stage. In this stage the spirit is reunited with the food, through heat, and a new “wholeness” is achieved through the combination of the ingredients and the intent brought into the process.

This is something to play with and is fun to do in a group. The alchemical marriage takes place in the merging of the ingredients to create something new. And where is the Philosopher’s Stone? Perhaps in the way you feel when you eat food prepared in this way.   With time and practice you will find yourself guided to the foods that support your healing.

Cooking is just one aspect of the practical alchemy of healing that we enjoy here. We work with the local healing plants, grow much of our own food and make most of our household and personal care items. It’s all alchemy!

Our next retreat is at Lammas and runs from 31July-4th August 2014.

Yolanda

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Lammas Alchemy Retreat in Galicia 2014

Lammas Alchemy Retreat in Galicia 2014

Lammas is midway between the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox; the turning point of the seasons, where the waning summer element of Fire meets the Autumn element of Water. The Great Work of alchemy is the union of opposites and this transmutation creates a third entity, the Child of the Conjunction, or the Philosopher’s Stone.    All alchemy is rooted in nature, as it is through interacting with the elements and developing our awareness of existence beyond ourselves that we find our true selves.  This is the theme of our alchemy retreat in beautiful, unspoilt Galicia.

Lammas is the festival of the grain. The name Lammas is said to come from “Loaf Mass,” the celebration of the bread made from the first wheat sheaf of the harvest and shared amongst the community. In Ireland it is known as Lughnasa, after the Celtic Sun King Lugh, who created the tradition of feasting and games at the request of his foster mother Tailtiu, “The Great One of the Earth” and she was a goddess of sovereignty, looking after the harvest.

The origins of Lammas/Lughnasa are unknown, but any occasion celebrating grain and harvest leads us back to the Eleusinian Mysteries, and the reimagining of the story of Demeter the Goddess of Grain, Harvest and Fertility and her beautiful, innocent daughter, Persephone. Persephone was abducted and raped by Hades, the Lord of the Underworld and in her grief and rage Demeter caused nothing to grow while she searched for her daughter. Eventually she found her and Hades agreed to her release. However, Persephone had eaten some pomegranate seeds while in the Land of the Dead and this meant that she was obliged to return there for a third of the year as Hades’ Queen. Demeter refuses to let anything grow and we have winter until Persephone returns, bringing spring with her.

This is the time to celebrate the power of the Sun and Fire and to be grateful to the Earth for the harvest to come that will feed us through the winter. It is the time to recognise our personal harvest; what have we achieved? What have we learned? What do we have to share with each other? The visible fruits of the land, how the Sun and rain have turned the seed in the Earth into grain remind us of the processes at work in our day-to-day lives. Now is the time to think about the inward journey. For us the alchemy of Lammas lies in the transmutation of fire and water, the Yang and the Yin, heart energy and kidney energy.   What do we need to dissolve to encourage this process?

There will be plenty of time for contemplation, reflection and discussion on this alchemy retreat.  The area is so peaceful and beautiful.  We’ve planned workshops and activities that allow us to work together and develop skills that are practical and useful, that also strengthen our connection to the Earth, from which our sovereignty derives.  Fear and stress dissolve when we spend time outside and learn how to take care of ourselves and the Earth. These are skills that fall under the permaculture umbrella, enlightened with mindfulness and flavoured with alchemy!  Transformation here does not involve hard work, just allowing the experience of living a more natural lifestyle.

Workshops/Activities:

  • Introducing Mindfulness and Meditation
  • Qigong
  • Principles of Gaian Healing and how to make them work in your life
  • Making natural shampoo, toothpaste and non-toxic household products that work
  • Introduction to Effective Micro-organisms and how to use them to enhance productivity in the garden
  • Introducing muscle-testing and how to work with your bodies innate intelligence
  • Introducing the Gaian First Aid Kit and making an essential salve and tincture from weeds.
  • Stargazing
  • Nature walks
  • Cooking outside (basic alchemy)

This is an outdoor retreat. Most of us don’t spend enough time outside; we’ve lost our connection with the Earth and we need the resonance of the Earth to function at our best and be healthy. The experience of sitting outside, eating outside and even showering outside (with hot water) makes us feel content and strong and able to deal with whatever life throws at us more effectively. It’s why we go camping after all!

“As the sun transforms the seeds within the harvest, I too am able to transform my experiences into new seeds for the future. Lammas assessment helps me to gather the seeds of new directions that I will take with me into the dark of the year. This is the alchemy of Lammas.”

Glennie Kindred “The Alchemists Journey”

It’s hot here in August, but the nights are cooler. We have a tipi in case it gets too hot, or it rains. We have beds and bedding, but you need to bring your own towels. All meals (vegetarian) are included from Thursday evening onwards and we have an honour bar for beer and wine. We’ll pick you up and drop you off at Monforte de Lemos, but you’ll need to make your own way there from the airport. There is a direct train at around 6pm or buses throughout the day, with a change at Lugo. See How to find us for more information.

The price is £250 per person. (12 places maximum – 10 booked.) £100 on booking and £150 by 25th July 2014.   Arriving on the evening of Thursday 31st July and leaving on the morning of Monday 4th August 2014.

Use the contact form below for enquiries and we’ll send you the payment details via email. We are contactable by phone, but the reception is unreliable, so please leave a message if you don’t get through and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

UK mobile: +44 788 768 1706     Spain mobile: + 34 616 247 355

  • Rio Cabe in summer

 

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