Wild Wisdom School One - Day 1

Written by Beth.

"Held by the Great Mother"

A new year, a new group, a new beginning...

Our beginning in time is right at the beginning of the Universe; before heaven and earth, before light and dark, before day and night, and a long long time before man and woman.

Our beginning in this moment is in silence, and in a union of sung voices, singing together a chant from the One Spirit Interfaith Foundation (each line sung three times);
Into Her Presence, will I enter now.
Into His Presence, will I enter now.
Into The Present, will I enter now.
Into Our Presence, will I enter now.

We gather as a group of seeking and inquisitive individuals, gathering together in a circle of shared wisdom, gathering to form community and companionship on a journey into the deep roots of our spiritual heritage. 

What is our spiritual heritage? In today’s culture I feel it is split. For those who are drawn to our native traditions, it seems to me that the choice is predominantly either Christian or Pagan, the names of which sound apposing of each other. I’d like to let go of these names which have been ascribed in hindsight, and enter instead into the life of the Spirit beyond category, honouring its multiplicity of expression. What riches can be found by stepping into the fluid waters of our spiritual story, swimming in the flow of the river underneath our own feet, resurfacing the stories of our ancestors, and following our own personal relationship to the divine in the world around us? And importantly, can we rediscover the sacred relationship between masculine and feminine; reuniting Priest with Priestess, God with Goddess, History with Herstory…

This is the journey of Wild Wisdom School; it is a journey of integration, of healing wounds and of making whole. 

On this beginning day, we explode with the big bang and journey through the story of the Universe (using Carl Sagan’s ‘Cosmic Calendar’ http://palaeos.com/time/cosmic_calendar.html ), landing in the initial pages of the human story, where man and woman roam these lands as nomadic hunter-gatherers. Guided by a story created and told by Sam, we enter the imaginal world and become a salmon swimming up the River Dart, from the sea at Dartmouth to the source pool, where life begins and ends. Salmon becomes human, and as Grandmother (whose tribe’s winter camp site is located on the land surrounding the River Dart), we feel the darkness of the cave calling us unto our human death, calling us back into the womb of our Mother Earth. I was deeply moved by the mutuality of Grandmother and Grandmother Salmon; the shared but different relationship to home and to life and death, and the continuing cycles of life. This is a story based in the Mesolithic/Middle Stone Age period somewhere between 13,000 and 6,000 BCE, sculpted by Sam through imaginative and meditative methods while drawing upon local archaeological findings including cave art, settlements and burial sites. By meeting local prehistory/herstory through the imagination, I feel a more direct relationship to our past in a way that only the imagination is capable of. What’s more, the cultures we are looking at were oral cultures, so the very act of sitting together with a storyteller provides a tangible relationship to our ancient ancestors as a continuation of this tradition.

With our hearts and imaginations enlivened, we entered more deeply into the archaeology of the local land and the scientific understanding of the Universe story. Fact entered into dialogue with imagination, and a lively discussion ensued, flowing into a discussion filled lunch. In our ‘digestion period’ after lunch, all that had been conjured up in our hearts and minds guided us on individual wanderings and wonderings, following our hunter-gatherer senses to wherever we were drawn. Some were led to create (a video journey into deep time called ‘Peels Through Time’); some to gather (a garden salad of 20 different species foraged from just outside the window); some to wandering around the local area, some to wandering through books and some to wondering in the imagination.

We ended with a co-creative and collaborative ceremony, integrating the whole day into a stunning array of offerings, poetry and choral music, and ending as we begun in a union of voices around our centrally created altar. “Blessed be our voices”, as one of us beautifully said, and blessed be our first steps together in fellowship, into the deep soil that holds and feeds the roots of souls.


Post a Comment