Events

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Events 2023


LIVING LAND – Aligning with planetary being.

A Power Point Presentation

By Stuart France

Sunday 3rd September 14.00 – 15.00

MYSTERIOUS EARTH CONFERENCE

  YMCA, ST ALBANS RD, LYTHAM ST ANNES, LANCASHIRE, FY8 1XD


Events 2022


Yorkshire, Ilkley Moor, September 14th 2022…

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A mixture of administrative mishap and impromptu decision making found us once again in the beer garden of the Cow & Calf Hotel on the lip of Ilkley Moor to mark what would have been Sue’s sixty-fourth birthday… * Needless to say, we were greeted by the sight of a red kite soaring on the thermals in the sky overhead. * We watched for a time as the kite defended its air-space from an encroaching buzzard. * …It was a fitting enough place to be as Sue had nurtured a life-long love of the moor and we had developed what became the Landscape Weekend Workshops over the course of a number of exciting sojourns here. * This time I was determined to get a comparable photograph of what we had come to call, The Sleeping Giant, the monument which Sue discovered on the fringes of her beloved childhood haunt…

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Sue’s original photograph.

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This, though, was not going to be easy… * A similar mission in April, earlier this year, had ended in abject failure… And on the journey down here, this time, my thoughts turned to why that should have been the case.

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The monument, seemingly, only reveals itself from a precise spot, and angle, on the moor and on the morning of its first discovery we also had the boon of a heavy mist to dampen any accompanying distractions to its cunningly arranged form.

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On the day, the closest we got to Sue’s original ‘shot’. Wrong angle, wrong height, too close… other than that!

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Although the early autumn sun was a welcome surprise and added an unexpected dimension to our day out, it was unlikely to aid the successful completion of the mission in hand, in fact it was more than likely to hinder such an outcome. * The unusually good summer too, it transpired, was also conspiring to render any hopes of a comparable image futile. * The bracken when we got onto the moor, and in range of the monument, was still running… well, rampant, actually, and its wild growth was obscuring most of what could be seen of our prostrate giant.

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‘Bugger!’ as Sue would have said…

and then, ‘Not to worry, we get what we get…’

* What we, in fact, got was yet another, potentially, mind blowing revelation…

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Head, arm, fulsome breast, protruding belly, and lower limbs…

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From this angle the monument looks like nothing less than a recumbent, feminine form, and if that is, indeed, what it is, it might mean that our sleeping giant, is in fact, slumbering within the womb of a goddess?… * And that, my friends, means that this monument could be regarded as illustrating at least two-thirds of the birth/death/re-birth process…

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Cool, huh?

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I dare say, Sue might well have thought so…

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Set in Stone – remembering Sue Vincent on her birthday.

The Living Land Workshop Weekends were born from a mad-cap day on Ilkley Moor and a number of subsequent events up there. Join us on Sue Vincent’s birthday (14th September) for lunch and a short walk to one of Ilkley Moor’s ancient monuments as we remember our former colleague in the landscape she regarded as her home. Meet: Noon at The Cow and Calf hotel and restaurant on Wednesday, 14th September 2022.

SET IN STONE

14th September 2022


The Hero’s journey, Sunday, 8th May, 2022…

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She carries their gifts… the dead ones, their souls in hers, more than memory.

– Giants Dance

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Take the pouch of seed-stones and hold them close to your heart centre… Close your eyes… And place into the seed stones your loving intent for growth… And completion… And a link to attune with them at will… And then open your eyes, turn and plant some seed stones close to the standing stone or stones with which you have felt resonance… After you have done this leave your blessing on the stone or stones… And then walk to the centre of the circle…

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After the gestural keys of the Chariot and Lovers our adventurers are given time alone with the ancestors…

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Let us open the doorway through which all may pass and join together to weave the Web of Light.

At this time, when our word is in turmoil, when the bounty of our planet is being stretched beyond endurance and so many of its creatures face extinction, let us add our voice to the Web that is being woven by Seekers of Light across the earth.

Alone, we can do little, but when hearts come together to work in harmony, we can change the world.

Wherever the sacredness of the earth is remembered, wherever the ancient places are revered, wherever a single heart turns away from fear and hatred to Love, a point of Light is added to the Web.

 

Let this Circle be a point of Light within the Web.

Close your eyes. Find a place of peace within your hearts… and prepare for meditation.

Let us weave the Web of Light together…

 

Feel your body, rooted in earth.

Feel the air as you breathe, in… and out… filling your body with its gift.

Your body is a creature of earth.

Your soul is not of the earth.

Your soul is of a finer substance, your life no more than a chapter in its story.

It is eternal… your body a temporary garment that it wears.

Let it fly free…

In your mind’s eye, see the body of the Circle where we stand…

Your Companions are with you, their bodies too relaxed and resting…

Now see the soul of the Circle.

It too is other than its body.

Its stones are a grove of standing pillars in a vast space filled with Light.

Its shape mirrors the universe…

The Circle beyond represents the evolution of your soul… Above the central point imagine a single, brilliant flame that reaches up into the sky.

Follow the path lit by the flame and rise, higher and higher… passing through the sky and out into the darkness of space.

Look back; you can still see your body, perfectly safe and relaxed within this hallowed space and the single point of light that is the sacred flame…

 

…Turn now and rise higher… higher still.

Around you, the stars wheel in the heavens, bright points of dancing light against the indigo sky.

The land spreads out beneath you, a living shadow that reaches as far as you can see and beyond…

From the central light, silver flame spreads, pulsing, across the earth in a great web of light.

Where the threads cross, you know that stones have been set, groves, mounds and pools… places of worship…sacred centres like our own, harmonising the flow of cosmic Life and Light.

You are part of that web, part of its warp and weft.

You are a tender of the Flame.

Feel the life of the earth coursing through its strands… and through you.

Give yourself to its glory.

See the web blaze bright and clean… burning away all shadows, healing all rifts and lighting the land.

Within you, the flame also burns…

Its essence is a steady point of brilliance in your heart, small as a seed, but vast as the universe.

 

You are its guardian.

Now slowly, gently, return to the Sanctuary of our Circle, carrying the vision of light within.

Return to your body… meld with it once more…

Allow yourself to feel… your chest, rising and falling as you breathe… your feet on the earth…

And then… When you are ready… Open your eyes… And this guided visualisation… Is over.

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‘From a towering ego to the magic and hidden strength of starlight balancing the soul in love.’

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The Hero’s Journey – Saturday, 7th May, 2022…

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Long Meg and her shadow – The situation of Long Meg predates that of her Daughters because it is clear that her shadow path helped determine the construction points for their circle.

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Between the years 3500 and 2500 BC it was possible to see Deneb, the central star of the constellation Cygnus (the Swan), and the Dark Rift, setting on the horizon from Long Meg… The axis of the stone circle at Avebury, was aligned with the setting of Deneb in 2600 BC… Wayland Smithy, constructed circa 3500 BC was also aligned with this star.

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Local folk lore refers to Long Meg and her Daughters as a Meg Meldon, a local wise-woman, and her coven of witches who were turned to stone by the wizard Michael Scott because they danced on the Sabbath. Scott allegedly put magic on the site by ensuring that it was impossible to gain an accurate count of the stones. Over seventy stones were said to have comprised the circle before Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Lacy dynamited some of them in 1725. Work on the destruction of the site, however, was halted when a storm of such intensity blew in that the labourers, tasked with the job, fled for their lives. Lacy later turned his energies to reconstructing and preserving the site and was responsible for carving out the grotto of caves nearby on the River Eden, now known as Lacy’s Caves…

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Folklore is another of those traditional arts which is apt to confuse the narrative following denizens of the modern world. The trope of dancing humans turned to stones whose number is then unfathomable, is recounted at many a circle and, may point to nothing more, or less, than ancestral communion. In this case the fact that two magical personages, one feminine and one masculine, are involved aligns with the observable fact that male and female energy lines cross in the centre of the circle. Colonel Lacy’s involvement may point to the original locale for Long Meg herself. His caves being hewn from sandstone, the very fabric of the giant ‘gnomonic’ outlier. It is highly unlikely that dynamite was originally used!

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The River Eden is one of the few in the world stretching north-south with its waters flowing north. The ancient and aboriginal cultures believe that such rivers are sacred and reflect the Milky Way, seen by them as a road to the stars, because north flowing waters likewise take departed souls to the realm of the Great Spirit, the abode of the ancestors… The Ancient Egyptians sailed their dead in boats to the after-life on the Nile, another north-south stretching river whose waters flow north!

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After being given the gestural keys to Strength, and the Star, by the Magician, and the Hermit, our intrepid adventurers made their way to the caves to meet with Colonel Lacy…

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‘The Dark Arch’

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The Hero’s Journey – Friday, May 6th, 2022…

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Castlerigg Stone Circle

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“…Will you forge the straight track for us, old friend?” Merlin asked the giant. Ogmios’ eyes gleamed in the starlight.

Swords of Destiny

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The straight tracks, a term which Alfred Watkins introduced to the world in his seminal work, The Old Straight Track, are now better known as leys. When last we ventured to Castlerigg for a workshop we were considering the Belinus-Elen line which runs along the spine of the country from Dragon Hill in Old Wiltshire, and passes through a number of sites in Cumbria, which once formed a part of Old Scotland. Although we ended our workshop at Castlerigg we were acutely aware that it did not form a part of that ley. As it turned out Castlerigg is on what is known as The Ogmios Line, along with Callanish, on the Outer Hebridean Isle of Lewis, which we have recently visited, and Maiden Castle, the gigantic earth-worked hill-fort which formed the end point of our Dorset workshop in the summer of 2018. Given that the tracks which Watkins studied were primarily concerned with travel on land, The Ogmios Line, which now passes over sea, must be very old indeed. In Irish mythology Ogmios is also known as Ogma-Sun-Face and he was credited with the invention of the Ogham letters of the druidic tree alphabet. As a god of eloquence Ogmios was often depicted as an aged figure with a line of acolytes literally hanging from his every word. Their ears being linked, by golden chains, to his tongue!

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The 3D brass representation of Castlerigg and her surrounding hills

which, once but sadly, no longer adorns the precincts of the circle.

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After directing our Companions to the sanctuary of the ego (Devil) the call to adventure came as an invitation to cross the threshold into their subconscious (Magician) and then into the hidden other world (Hermit) by performing two gestural keys drawn from the tarot images… With the thresholds successfully breached our Adventurers were now free to seek the boons they sought in the world of spirit (Fool)…

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Calanais Stone Circle – A golden chain-of-stones

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… “Whither goest thou, Priest of the Sun?” “I go hence to the High Place for the soul is in need.” “What is that need?” “The need is Light.” “And what will you give for the passage?” “I will give my Self.”

– Heart of Albion

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The labyrinthine-like walls of Maiden Castle


‘The Hero’s Journey’


Photograph – courtesy, the estate of Sue Vincent

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‘…For three days Gwythyr-the-Bright journeyed

in the gullet of the Black Salmon of the Lake of Light.’

– Crucible of the Sun

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In his book, ‘The Hero with a Thousand Faces’,  Joseph Campbell used knowledge of philosophy and psychology to describe how many human myths share a common fundamental structure, which he called the Monomyth. What does the Mono-Myth describe? What relevance does it have to seekers of light in the 21st Century? How are the Ancient Sacred Sites of all lands linked to these questions? And what techniques can we bring to bear when departing the ordinary world and embarking on adventures in the sacred realms of the Supernatural Order? Join the Silent Eye on this magical landscape workshop in the Cumbrian Hills of the Lake District, UK which takes place over the weekend of  May 6th-8th, 2022.

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Events 2021


Hidden Avebury: Seeking the Unseen

Avebury, Wiltshire

11th – 13th June, 2021

Almost everyone knows of Avebury, the great stone circle within which a village was built. A World Heritage site and one of the most incredible sacred complexes of prehistory, it is justly famous for its beauty and mystery. The site attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year but while most simply walk in awe amongst the majestic standing stones of the Circle and Avenue, there is far more to discover for those who will walk the paths less travelled. Join us in June, 2020, as we explore some of the hidden corners of this amazing landscape, ranging beyond the boundaries of the Circle to seek a deeper understanding of what our ancestors hoped to touch by building this earthly temple to the stars. Based in the landscape around Avebury and beyond, this weekend will entail some relatively easy walking. There will be time during the weekend to explore Avebury and its stones. The weekend runs from Friday afternoon to early Sunday afternoon, and costs £75 per person. Meals and accommodation are not included in the price and should be booked separately by all attendees. Meals are often taken together at a local pub or café. For those arriving by public transport, we are able to offer a limited number of places in shared vehicles; please let us know if this would be required.

The Quest for a Quest: The Initiate’s Story

Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire

10-12 September 2021

There are mysteries just beyond the doorstep, sacred places and hidden stories in every landscape. From the five thousand year old track that once crossed the country to the enigma of the secret orders that have hidden their true purposes behind sanctity or debauchery, the landscape of rural Buckinghamshire abounds in unsolved riddles. Join us as we ask why a medieval church was built upon the site of a prehistoric settlement… Why Sir Francis Dashwood and the Hellfire Club met beneath a sacred hill… and how the landscape beyond your threshold can open the door to adventure. The weekend will be based around Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, and runs from Friday afternoon to early Sunday afternoon, and costs £75 per person. There will be a moderate amount of walking across field paths. Meals and accommodation are not included in the price and should be booked separately by all attendees. Meals are often taken together at a local pub or café. For those arriving by public transport, we are able to offer a limited number of places in shared vehicles; please let us know if this would be required.