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.”

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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