Sunday, April 09, 2017

SPIRIT DANCE



This Trance Dance I've been running, I thought I'd change the name to Spirit Dance. And in so doing, present it in a way that is closer to how I see it. So below is the new description.

In a traditional setting, a spirit dance would be an invitation to the spirits to dance with us, through us – even, in some cases, to possess us. It is a ceremony. And the spirits are called in for the benefit of the whole village.

The spirit world is always with us. But most of the time our minds are, by necessity, on the everyday. The spirit world – the sacred – presents itself when we step out of the normal: at night, when we sleep; in the solitude of wild places; at sunrise and sunset; when lightning strikes; indeed, anywhere or anything that jolts us out of the dream of waking existence.
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The next Spirit Dance is on Sunday 23rd April at 2pm,  Jubilee Hall, Chagford. £10. No need to book. (And then on Sun May 21st and June 18th) I'm at BWGoddard1@aol.co.uk Tel 01647 253241
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What I mean by the spirit world needs a broad interpretation. It is whatever appears, whatever comes through us when we step out of the ordinary. And the spirit dance is set up, like any ceremony, to invoke that non-ordinary consciousness.

There is the rhythmic music, the movement, the intention to visit the spirit world, and there is the blindfold. All of these take us away from the linear, rational self and bring us to quite a different place, that is hard to put into words.

But it is where we go to meet ourselves in a bigger sense, and in a closer sense. And we can bring anything we want to the dance. 

In a traditional setting, we’d begin with a sense of gratitude to the natural world for all the good things in our lives. And to the spirits for being present and for nourishing us and for being willing to help us. And we can bring whatever is on our minds: a desire for guidance and clarity; a wish to heal some of those troubled sides that most humans seem to have; help for a physical ailment; and help for others. Above all, perhaps, we bring a desire for a deep connection to Spirit.

And we have fun. The spirit world is not a church. Things are informal, there is humour. And dancing is a good thing to do. There is no-one watching (because of the blindfolds), and no particular way of moving. If you’re moving at all. It’s wherever the music takes you.

Monday, April 03, 2017

RIDING THE TIDAL WAVES OF CHANGE

In mid-May 3 of us - myself, Moira Lake and Kate Hubert - are running a day in Devon on the astrology that's currently shaping world events. The death throes of the old world, a new paradigm. How do we orient ourselves in times like this, how do we ride the collective currents, instead of being swept along with them? 

Below are the details


Riding the Tidal Waves of Change


A day of astrological exploration
For all levels of experience from beginners to professionals

Brexit/Trump and the Uranus-Pluto Square with Barry Goddard
Arguably the biggest political event of our lifetimes, Brexit came as a shock. The UK chart reveals different sides to the national character, shedding light on what happened, both personally and collectively. Brexit can also be explored in the context of the current Uranus- Pluto square that has revealed the dark underbelly of globalisation and is bringing political change across the western world.

Barry Goddard has been using astrology to describe and predict world events since 2003, mainly in his blog at www.astrotabletalk.blogspot.com, as well as in astrology magazines. He has been doing personal astrology readings since 2002, and also runs shamanic trance dances.

Going for Broke with Moira Lake
Let’s follow all the planets through the heavens as they close in for the dramatic multiple conjunction with Saturn and Pluto in January 2020. What is ending or beginning now? What are our choices? Every day counts. Through enacting planetary energies and exploring dialogue between them, we will learn how to work with these influences so that a world may emerge in which we truly want to live.

Moira Lake has been a professional astrologer for over 25 years. She also works as an energy healer and shamanic worker. She practises in Dartington. For more information, visit www.hearthstarhealing.com.

Overthrowing the Tyrant King with Kate Hubert
What Saturn makes, Uranus breaks. Merlin-like, Uranus brings radical change to our awareness of human possibility. We are held in the tension of incarceration and liberation. Using visualisation to attune to these energies, we can begin to identify them in our own experience and in the wider world. This helps us get conscious and engage with the challenges and possibilities of our times.

Kate Hubert is influenced by esoteric and Jungian astrologies and a love of druidry. Based in Ashburton, she's been a professional astrologer since '99, offering readings, teaching and workshops. www.awenastrology.wordpress.com.


Venue The Hexagon, Park Rd, Dartington Estate, TQ9 6EQ

Saturday 13th May 2017  10.00am – 5.00pm         £50

Booking (concessions available)/Further info: Kate Hubert  kate@spiral7.co.uk 01364 654494


Saturday, April 01, 2017

WARRIORS AND WEEDS

Moira
My friend Moira Lake is running some weekends in Devon soon on plant spirits. My first encounter with her was at a workshop she was running last year, and  I was struck by the passion with which she spoke about the plant world and the spirit world, like she is really connected to something there. She's also been an astrologer forever. Here's what she says about her workshops:

Even in these maddest of times - perhaps especially in these times - I believe it's possible for us to create a world in which all life is honoured and loved. But we can't succeed in this if we treat it as something which humans have to do alone. It can be hard to move beyond this human-centred mindset, because collectively we've forgotten how to stand together with the other-than-human beings of Earth. But these beings are not merely our victims. They have wisdom and power, and even now, they are willing to accept us as their allies. In each of these three workshops, we will include and go beyond personal healing and learning. We will work with plant spirits, as well as the elements, spirits of place, and other beings of the natural world, to remember something new: how to create together the world we long for.

Click to Enlarge
These workshops have been designed to work well as stand-alone events, or to be attended as a series of three. Each will be held in a different beautiful place, we will be working with the very different plants that grow there, as well as other spirits of that place, and new material will be included on each occasion. If you come to all three, your experience will be different each time, and your relationship to the work will deepen as we go on. At the same time, I will make sure that each workshop is self-contained, and accessible to participants without previous experience.
In order to keep costs down, the workshops will be non-residential. There will be plenty of local accommodation options including B&Bs, hotels, Air B&Bs and camping opportunities. Dates, times and fees are on the flyer. Each workshop takes place on Friday afternoon, all day Saturday and Sunday. To reserve a place, a deposit of £50 is needed per workshop, the remainder to be paid one month beforehand, please. 


To book a place or for further information, please email moira@hearthstarhealing.com, or ring 01803 863185.
You can also pay via Paypal on my website, www.hearthstarhealing.com.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Pluto in Aquarius: the Robots are Coming


Aquarius is the sign most associated with Science. Practical, detailed Virgo is good for technology and for fixing computers. But detached, inventive, progressive Aquarius is good for dreaming these things up in the first place.

And it’s that detachment that is also the curse of Aquarius. The Aquarian Age that we are entering is an age of inhumanity in the name of the evolution of humanity. An age of mental brilliance and emotional disconnect.

Aquarians have strong feelings – all signs have strong feelings – but for Aquarius those feelings lag behind, or they are transpersonal: the classic Aquarian who wishes to benefit all humanity, but is absent at home.

Aquarius is the water bearer, and one of their tasks is to get to know that water, to become one with it. And the other task is to incorporate the opposite sign of Leo, the sign of individuality. Aquarians are classically the misfits, and this is often the shadow of Leo, coming out in rebellious form. And they want everyone to have an equal voice, this is one of their passions, but it can also mean everyone becoming the same, the shadow of Leo again.

There is another, shorter Aquarian Age we are entering in 5 years, that of Pluto in Aquarius. And there is a lot in the news about the coming age of automation, the age of the robots, the age of artificial intelligence.

The stereotypical robot sums up Aquarius at its worst. Pure intelligence, without a heart. A kind of pinnacle of human ‘evolution’, where we are replaced by something more intelligent. The masses of humanity, no longer needed, confined to a scrapheap of sameness.

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Ad Break: I offer skype astrology readings (£60 full reading, £40 for an update). Contact: BWGoddard1(at)aol.co.uk
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Pluto empowers the sign that he is in. We see the best and worst of that sign. At present, Pluto is in the sign of Capricorn – the empowerment of big business and of government (hidden surveillance – Pluto), and what looks like a return to protectionism, the walls of Capricorn. And, at the start of this transit in 2008, the return of a sense of proportion and of balancing the books to the financial system.

Under Pluto in Aquarius, everything is pointing to an empowerment of automation. Pluto was last in Aquarius in the late 1700s, as the Industrial Revolution was beginning. That revolution was characterised by greater productivity through the use of machines, operated by people doing repetitive work.
It had an alienating effect on the workers. The coming age of Pluto in Aquarius will see that process taken a step further, with a step change in the type of work that machines can do, eg driving trucks, the most common job in the US. The service industries, to which we have retreated, will also be increasingly taken over. Insurance, for example, will be quoted for and arranged automatically. Accountants and solicitors are also under threat.

In the past, new jobs have arisen as machines have taken over the old. This may no longer be the case, such is the pace of ‘progress’. The sign of Aquarius, perhaps more than any other sign, considers the question of what it is to be human. Humanity, in an age (in the West, at any rate) where people are increasingly unemployed, will have to invent new – or old – ways of making life meaningful.

Some people will feel they have been consigned to the scrapheap, without useful work, and without value to society. Others may feel that society is becoming liberated from work as an end in itself. But then how do you control (Pluto) the masses (Aquarius), no longer kept docile by work? So big questions.

Human workers will be needed less and less, while wealth creation and ownership will increasingly be in the hands of a few people: the greater inequality we have seen in recent times will continue to grow as Pluto finishes his time in hierarchical Capricorn. But there is likely to be rebellion under egalitarian Pluto in Aquarius.

And then there is the very big question, which is already being asked, but which is likely to become for real: can machines become intelligent in the way that we are, can they exponentially surpass us and make us redundant? The 'technological singularity'. Robots have always been futuristic: Pluto in Aquarius is the time when we start to catch up with the future.

The current head of Microsoft said we do not need to fear AI. Bill Gates promptly stepped in and said we do. I don’t think anyone really knows yet. But again, it will become clearer under Pluto in Aquarius.

Will our machines become conscious? There are already within academia discussions on the ethics of how we treat robots. In a traditional, pre-science sense, everything is conscious. It changes our relationship to the world, and how we see it, it changes everything, if we treat the world as alive. And it responds in kind. Maybe our dark imaginings about robots are rooted in the (unfounded) belief that the world is a ‘thing’, indifferent to us and dead. A hideous demonization of the universe. And maybe if we remember it is alive, and treat robots accordingly, they will respond in kind.

But what is this drive to create artificial intelligence? It seems to me to be a strange thing to want to do, and to define the whole future of humanity according to its realisation. Isn’t our own intelligence enough? Isn’t addressing our own stupidity difficult enough? It’s as though we are trying to fill a hole in ourselves, a hole that wasn’t there before we narrowed ourselves down, as we became distanced from the natural world.

Humans are splendid beings, and Aquarius stands for that human splendour. Can’t we learn to appreciate that, become that, instead? Again, Aquarius is both: human and inhuman, this polarity.

And it’s not just humans and robots. People are beginning to be implanted with technology, and no doubt biological elements will be introduced into machines. The dividing line between humans and their machines will begin to blur, and we will see so-called enhanced human beings arise, enhanced both mentally and physically. And it will again raise the Aquarian issue of what it means to be human. And an answer to this Aquarian question is, I think, to be found in the opposite sign of Leo, which rules the heart. Aquarius can think it is our brilliant minds that make us human, but it is not that, it is our hearts.

Prometheus is an Aquarian figure. He stole fire from the gods, against Zeus' wishes, and suffered eternal torment for it. He was benevolent but hubristic. It is the perennial message of human hubris, thinking in our brilliance that we are gods, that we know what is what, and we forget how to listen, and everything goes tits up.