EARTH COSMOS PSYCHE
I believe that underlying our current ecological crisis is the loss of a sense of spiritual connection as well as a relationship, both physical and of the heart, to the earth and other species, coupled with an absence of a sense of deep meaning in our culture with its failures of imagination. In these times of bleak materialism and environmental destruction, I notice how many people who come on my courses are looking for a restoration of something more profound and relational, more soul-oriented.
Way back in 1993 I wrote at the end of my first book Riding the Dragon – myth & the inner journey that we need new stories: stories about cherishing the earth and other species, relating differently to each other, restoring the lost feminine and soul to the world, rejoining ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’, celebrating the fact of being alive; green stories, stories of enchantment, connectedness, wonder and healing. I wrote something similar again in my Writing the Bright Moment – inspiration & guidance for writers (2005).
I’m still banging on about it all. Nothing is more important, it seems to me, than re-visioning our place in this delicate web that holds us all. The closest I can get is to speak of rediscovering a relationship of reciprocity and affinity between us and the rapidly-declining other species that share this web of life. (In the time since I began writing about it, this movement has grown immeasurably; not, I add, that I’m claiming responsibility for that!)
Bringing inner and outer worlds together seems to be key. All the work I do, offered via my programme of courses and my writings, is designed to help re-establish a heartful, sustainable and strong relationship with the natural world, as well as with our own imagination and the lost, forgotten or hidden parts of our inner lives.
Rooted in an earth-centred spirituality, the courses help restore reconnectedness through hands-on outdoor experience. Along the way, the animals, birds, plants, trees, rocks, seasonal changes, the earth’s turning points, and weather patterns co-create or help shape our experience. We listen to the land, pay attention to Other and remember how to be fully alert with all our senses, including the non-physical ones.
At the same time, we explore dimensions of our inner world and the life of the soul through the imagination – story, poetry, myth, bardic and native British pre-Christian spiritual teachings, land art, archetypes, plant- tree- and animal-lore, and eco-writing. We attempt to use our attention with full mindfulness. And we remember how to play.
Something of the liminal glides into such depth work; when we are immersed in profound connection in this way and the rational mind has stepped back a little from its usual dominance, the Otherworld seems close – the more especially since I often work in what are known as ‘thin veil’ places, and where animal, tree and plant spirit medicine (not ingested, by the way) step forward to help guide us.
Out of all this, new stories can grow, and we can live them.
Consistent feedback is that this work catalyses change. (You have been warned!)
You can read more about the what, how, why and where here.
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My commitment to animal welfare and the environment for 2016 was to create a vegan website. If this interests you, even only tentatively, please visit, and contribute if you wish: http://57billion.org (2019: I’m now writing a vegan cookbook+)
You may have read George Monbiot’s recent important article on the true cost of eating meat and dairy (9th August 2019, The Guardian). If not, read it here.
The material on this website, the sister website Fire in the Head, my blog and the contents and titles of my courses are my own work, developed over decades. You can see more on their origins here and my professional history here.
The last few years material – concepts and ideas, titles and contents, even phrasings – from my courses, websites, blogs, articles, conversations and books (starting with Riding the Dragon – myth & the inner journey, Element Books 1994) has been ‘borrowed’ by the author of a recent book and associated websites. My permission was not asked and neither I nor the sources credited. I’m aware that we all borrow from each other, often without realising (in that it’s often subconscious), but this has been liberal, frequent and continuing.
This of course is plagiarism, and apart from being an (illegal) infringement of my rights it has also been distressing, and has affected my ability to make a living, difficult enough in this field as a freelance even after 28 years. As you can imagine, I now feel strongly about copyright.
© Roselle Angwin, 1991 – 2019