Author Archives: greenspiritblog

GreenSpirit Spring Walking Break 2017

Around 20 people came together for the GreenSpirit 2017 Spring Walking Break which was at Bridges Youth Hostel in Shropshire.

Bridges Youth Hostel

Our first day’s walk was up the Long Mynd. On the way, we encountered some white ponies on the moor:

There was a time for sharing and talking as we rambled along. We also had some devotional time with body prayers, poems and walking in silence.

On the second day, we walked up to the Stiperstones where we had some amazing views:

As it was spring, flowers were starting to blossom.

And after a hard day’s walking, we were welcomed by a log fire in the hostel.

In the evenings we wrote poems and stories, did art work, sang, shared meditations, circle danced and more. It was a great opportunity to connect with each other and the Earth in a wonderful location.


Review of the Deep Time Walk App

Click here to view the app on itunes (apple store)

Review by Ian Mowll

This is an app, currently on apple devices, but it is soon to be out on android. It is a walk from the formation of the Earth 4.6 billion years ago, through the appearance of life, the evolutionary leap to complex cells and multi-cellular life, through the reign of the dinosaurs, the emergence of mammals and finally the arrival of humans. Each metre of the walk is 1 million years and so the 4.6 billion year journey is 4.6 kilometres.

On turning on the app, you are greeted by the ‘scientist’ and the ‘fool’, both of whom help to guide you through the journey. And it is an amazing journey told so well by the narrators. The clever thing about the app is that it keeps track of your footsteps so it can let you know when you have arrived at various stages. I did the walk in a nearby park and it worked very well, I was able to sit on a park bench when there was a pause on the journey. In all the walk must have taken me a bit under 2 hours although you can, of course, pause the app and take a break.

The good thing abut the app is that the amount of science is about right. Not too much to overwhelm me but enough to engage my interest and to learn new things. For instance, I did not realise that the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere was much less than today for a long period of time.

Anyone who has done a Universe Story Walk will know that the appearance of human life happens at the very end, our existence is but a tiny piece compared to the vast amount of time beforehand. Doing the walk, I truly got the idea of how long it has taken for us to appear, how many challenges and transformations the Earth has had to go through, and how precious our planet is within the vast cosmos.

And, whilst the app is mainly science based, it also occasionally ventures into the mystical including our connection with the Earth. And I remember one sentence about our need to face climate change, otherwise human life may be ‘deselected’. So this app is a great way of inspiring action.

The app is competitively priced and, with all of the great content, is a real bargain. There is also an audio CD and a book of the walk both coming out in due course.

There may be future developments of the app. You can find out all about it and the latest news at or sign-up to their eNewsletter.

This is a really wonderful app and it is a great way to engage with the Universe Story. Thoroughly recommended.


GreenSpirit Annual Gathering 2016

The 2016 GreenSpirit Annual Gathering was held at EarthSpirit near Glastonbury on the weekend of 21st – 23rd October.


Our speaker was Philip Carr-Gomm, Chief of the Order of the Bards, Ovates and Druids. He spoke about Druidry and it’s history. There are 3 schools of Druids: Fraternal, Cultural and Spiritual. Philip is part of the Spiritual Druid tradition which is light on theology and dogma and surrenders to the mystery of the universe. He said that at the heart of everything is love and spirit. With these and other insights, we found that there was much in common between Druidry and our form of green spirituality.

Here is Philip giving his talk:


We had lots of activities during the weekend – a walk, circle dancing, photographing nature workshop, creating a mandala, meditations, a singing workshop, a talk on the medicinal value of nettles, our self-created evening entertainment, a session on sharing our passions the AGM and a closing ritual.
Here is Chris who led the walk on the Saturday afternoon:


Deborah is holding up the Glastonbury Tor:

20161022_145456Here is a detail from the photo:


This mandala was created on the Saturday afternoon:


At the AGM, the chair – June Raymond – reported on the good year that we – GreenSpirit – have had. By the end of the weekend, there were lots of connections made and we look forward to next year’s annual gathering at Holland House (near Worcester) on the 13th – 15th October 2017.


P.E.A. Awards 2016

The P.E.A. Awards (People, Environment, Achievement) – the biggest green awards in the UK – was held in Brighton on the evening of Friday 7th October.

We started the evening off being entertained by 3 musicians – some people joined in with dancing.


We then went onto the BAi360 – a circular ‘cable car’ which lifted us up 450 feet to give a bird’s eye view of Brighton.


And then onto the awards themselves. You can see the short list of entrants here:

Jarvis Smith, the founder of the P.E.A. Awards said: “Our award categories represent the pillars required by a functional society. When they’re done well, we won’t just survive – we’ll thrive. We used four criteria: Innovation, Inspiration, Success and Scalability.”

There was a wonderful collection of individuals, groups and organisations all committed to making the world a better place. You can see the winners here:

And here are just 3 of them to give you a taste:

The Arts, Fashion, Film, Music Award had 2 winners, one of whom was Nessie Reid who lived with two cows for five days in a temporary ‘Milking Parlour’ in Bristol, to explore the current state of farming and its environmental impact.


In the category of Britain’s Greenest family, the prize went to Justin and Chanel Cornelius of the 918 Coffee Company, the family business designed and built a roaster powered by the energy in used coffee grounds, turning a waste product into an asset.


The Transport Award went to Big Lemon’s buses and coaches, which run on biodiesel made from waste cooking oil collected from local restaurants, chip shops and hotels.


And on the theme of being different to make a difference, during a break, we had a performance artist making ethereal sounds – wonderful!


The whole evening was like a hearty vegetarian stew where we were nourished with all of the positive stories we heard and it was spiced up with good entertainment. I had a great time and came away feeling encouraged that so many good things are happening in the UK.

And the future? Nominations are already open for 2017:

Why not nominate someone, a group or organisation you know who is helping to make the world a better place?


Ian Mowll
October 2016

Plant Consciousness – 2016


This was a wonderful event full of speakers, experiential activities and stalls. You can find out all about it at:

And a list of the speakers/performers at:

Each person will have a list of their favourites or who ‘spoke’ to them most. Here are mine:

Robin Harford – Contemplating Plants: Coming to Your Senses


Robin calls himself an “ethnobotonist” and he runs foraging courses but my sense was that he is someone who cannot be put into an explanatory box. He spoke about his connection with plants and how he would spend a long time just looking at a plant to get a sense of its true nature. He spoke about how we categorise and classify so much in our culture that we can lose the essence of the plant.

He touched on his own journey from pain to finding Buddhism in Thailand and then to connecting with plants in the UK and their healing energy. Through this, he found out about listening which is part of creating a compassionate relationship. And from all of this, he talked about how plants can help us to connect, to feel, to become aware and to heal.

His authenticity and passion touched me and I feel drawn to know more about the healing presence of plants. You can find out more about him and his courses here:


Kay Haw – Eco-psychology and Conservation: To Give is to Receive


Kay works with the Woodland Trust which looks after 1,200 woods across the UK. She spoke about the transformation of woodland in the UK particularly since the second world war with the over planting of conifers and how precious the ancient forests are in terms of biodiversity.

More and more studies show how important nature is for psychological well-being. For instance, one academic thinks that intelligence is declining and maybe this is because of our disconnect with nature. Kids are becoming addicted to screens and get depressed. Another interesting point was that when an animal is stressed, the DNA restricts and finds it hard to replicate;  it is also likely to mutate.

She spoke with inspiration about her passion for connecting with nature and how it has helped her on her personal spiritual journey.

She had a wonderful set of slides too – here is just one of them:



Judy McAllister – The Voice of the Forest


Judy has been at Findhorn for about 30 years and she  knew all of the founders. (Eileen Caddy, Dorothy Maclean and Peter Caddy) although she spoke about her connection with Dorothy Maclean the most.

It was through her explanation of Dorothy’s outlook that I started to get an inkling of the ideas behind Findhorn. One of these being that if we can connect with the seed of an idea that is contained in the web of life, then we connect with the potential of the universe. This is the same place that holds the seed of the possibility of a tree, a plant or an animal. The door to connection with this sacred space is love and respect.  In this way, we can work with the intelligence of nature.  It’s not that nature tells her what to do but nature provides a presence where she can connect with the sacred.

She also talked about her personal experience of being on the Atlantic side of the Amazon rainforest (now much depleted). She had a mystical experience where she felt she was walking in a living prayer. This experience had a profound effect on her and her connection with nature. It’s one thing to know about forest intellectually, it is quite another to experience it.


Seventh Wave – Echoes of the Ancient Forest Soundscape Journey


Nigel Shaw and Carolyn Hillyer provided some truly beautiful and evocative music. One of the highlights for me was when Carolyn sung in a language that pre-Celtic – spoken by the ancestors of this land. Towards the end, we danced and chanted and I felt transported into the mystery of the universe.

You can find out more about their music here:


John Perkins – How the Plants are Guiding us to a New Consciousness


John gave a coherent (and rapid!) story of his life’s journey – from an economic hit-man to a near death experience in the amazonian rainforest where he was healed by a shaman and then onto his campaigning for a sustainable world.

The part I will always remember is that when John asked the shaman who had healed him how he could help, the shaman said that it was the dream of the western world that needs to change. And this was the start of John’s amazing journey where he became one of the founders of the Pachamama Alliance.

His wide ranging knowledge and experiences, for me, gave a depth to his talk. He has really journeyed – both physically and spiritually – and this has given him a vantage point to help show the way.


And Also

There were other speakers too – you can see them at:

The event ended with lots of claps, laughter and connections. I came away on a real high – knowing that I had learnt so much, experienced so much and connected with others on this amazing journey on our planet. Wonderful!

And finally, a huge thank you to Davyd and Emma Farrell for putting on this amazing event. Here they are:


Ian Mowll
October 2016


The Shamanic Lands – June 2016


This event was held in London over the weekend of 11th and 12th June 2016. With an impressive array of speakers, we were taken on a journey from the Druidic Tradition of England, through the ice and snow of the North, through the winds of many directions, through Shamanic journeying to the lower, middle and upper worlds as well as other adventures. We finally we had an Irish ‘home coming’ to help us to connect with our true selves. The weekend had an abundance of both ideas and experiential exercises.

Below are my highlights. I know that other people had different highlights so this is my personal response. To see the full programme of all of the speakers go to:–schedule.html


Philp Carr-Gomm


Whilst we may count ourselves as “Earth citizens” which is an evolutionary step on the human journey, paradoxically we often want to develop roots to connect ourselves with our own land. We live in a magical landscape and we can learn to connect with the energies around us. He spoke of 3 groves:

  • Grove of the Bard. This is a place where we can come back to our centre and learn. When we do a shamanic journey, we don’t only ‘go there and come back’, we are also inviting other beings and things (land, trees, animals, plants etc) into our world. In this grove we are learning how to reach our potential and to sing our own unique song.
  • Grove of the Druid. Here there is ceremony, initiation and cultivating wisdom. We need to be open so that we can absorb new things.
  • Grove of the Ovates. Behind the solidity of natural world, there is a whole world of energies. We can go there if we are sufficiently grounded in the natural world. When we go on a physical journey we need a map, and so when we go into the other world, we need help and mentorship too.

Philip then led us on a shamanic journey, helping each of us to find our own sacred place.

01-PhilipCarr-Gomm-SingerShamanSagePicture of the talk drawn by Yannick Dubois.


Caitlin Matthews


Caitlin spoke about winds and how they affect us. She spoke of a 12 wind system which is used across Europe: North, South, East and West and points in-between each of these directions. Each wind has its own way of behaving and can have a different effect and meaning in different geographical locations. So, a North wind in England may have a different effect and meaning from a North wind in Spain.

Caitlin led us through an experiential exercise to help us to connect with the wind of our birth. She spoke of the need to harmonise our souls, to listen to the winds within us and to call on their power. I found the exercise quite moving as I made steps to enter into my own power.


Picture of the talk drawn by Yannick Dubois.


Carolyn Hillyer

Carolyn lives in Dartmoor and she spoke of connecting with our ancestors. She then took us on a journey (based on her experience) to meet the Nenets people of northern arctic Russia. She did not deliver a talk so much but used storytelling, mythology and song to help transport us into the icy world of the north and learn from its wisdom. Afterwards, I felt connected with this world of the north and its transformative effects.

She also spoke of the effects of climate change on the indigenous Nenets people; where due to changing conditions, the reindeer could not feed properly and have died so that the local people have no food source.


Sandra Corcoran

Sandra studied with First Nation’s people for over 10 years and learnt from their Shamanic traditions. She led us through a process to help us to connect with our own dream world.

As part of a dream exercise, we were invited to enter into an awakened dream where we could be taken to either the lower world (Jung called this the sub conscious) where the dream animal we meet is the snake. We could go into the middle world (Jung called this the conscious) where we meet the jaguar. Or into the upper world (Jung called this the super conscious) where we meet the hummingbird, condor or eagle.

Sandra knew her mythology very well and helped interpret people’s images and dreams as they came up. She was also very well grounded and experienced in shamanistic traditions which gave me confidence in her work.

This was very useful in helping me to reimagine myself and draw from my inner imaginative wisdom. In my experience, this kind of work is generally missing in mainstream spiritual traditions and so it can be important in helping people to connect with untapped inner resources.


John Cantwell


John comes from Ireland and he spoke about the healing work that he does. He spoke of our need for myths – reminding us of Joseph Campbell’s words that we need soul stories.

He said that we need to experience our own indigenous nature so that we can came ‘come home’ to our true selves. He reminded us that we need to go beyond our ‘stuck stories’ and that which has broken us. Sometimes we need new stories to help us to heal.

He used storytelling in an experiential exercise to help us to ‘come home to ourselves’. All of his delivery was done with humour, understanding, warm-heartedness and humility which helped me to relax and open my heart to the work he was doing. Wonderful.



I came away from the weekend having gone on my own journey of healing. And being with likeminded people is always helpful in knowing that I am not alone in my quest.

GreenSpirit-stallIan Mowll at the GreenSpirit Stall at the event.

I am looking forward to future Shamanic Lands events. If you want to be put on the eNewsletter to hear about them, go to or sign-up for the GreenSpirit eNewsletter at

Ian Mowll

Shamanic Lands Event – 2015


The Shamanic Lands event was held on 6th and 7th June 2015 at Conway Hall, Central London – full details here:

This event had a wonderful collection of shamans, healers, teachers, musicians and more. The best part was that each speaker/presenter gave a talk and also facilitated an experiential session such as a shamanic journey. And so the event was full of personal engagement – which, for me, bought the two days to life.

Each person will have taken away different gems from the event, and every speaker had something to offer, I learnt from them all. But here are some of my personal highlights:


Barbara Meiklejohn-Free
Barbara started off the event with a very upbeat opening ritual; full of drums, rattles and invocations. It was her singing at the very end of the first day that I found most powerful. All of the visuals and the music, done with such vigour and energy, transported me to another realm and I felt uplifted.

Martin Duffy
Martin has been a mental health care practitioner for many years as well as a counsellor. But it is his work in Shamanism that is so exciting. He sees beyond the western medical model of psychiatric illness and uses Shamanic forms of connection and healing. Having worked in mental health myself in the past and having talked to many patients, I know how limited the western approach to mental health is – and so it was refreshing to hear Martin’s journey and his important contribution to the much misunderstood area of mental health.

Carole Guyett
Carole has a deep knowledge of plants, both the science behind them and their healing potential. She particularly talked about the spiritual connection we can have with plants and how this can inspire us to protect plants and all of nature. In her talk, she focussed on the dandelion – and my eyes were opened to the wonders of this amazing plant.

Brooke Medicine Eagle
Brooke is one of those rare people who has a gift as a spiritual teacher. When she spoke, I was completely drawn in, I was listening to her every word. I remember her life story, words of affirmation and the simple rituals that she did. But most of all, I felt a kind of ‘coming home’ that gave me spiritual nourishment.

Itzhak Beery
Itzhak talked about the Eagle of the North (masculine energy) and the Condor of the South (feminine energy) and that now is the time for the West to welcome the Condor energy so that we can change the dream of our society from capitalism to one that is in harmony with the Earth.

He also talked about Ayahuasca and how it is being used to help people to have spiritual dreams and visions. He talked, in a grounded way, about the benefits and pitfalls of using this plant. Also, how it can be used for the benefit of individuals by using it sparingly, giving individuals time to integrate and ground the dreams and messages they have received.


There was also music, rituals, Shamans from South America giving their thoughts (through a translator), chants, time to connect with others and to browse the various stalls.

I came away with my feet planted ever more deeply on the Earth and my spirit flying up with the clouds.

Davyd and Emma Farrell must be thanked for putting on such an amazing two days.

Ian Mowll
June 2015

The Grassy Bank

Much appears to be wrong with our banking system today. Money is created by creating debt, it accumulates and aggregates in hugely unequal shares and doesn’t actually go towards financing useful activities and production.

I felt a new leaf needed to be turned for banks and so I decided to create my own in Ealing where I live.

I wanted my neighbours to benefit as well as myself and so I restrict deposits to my closest neighbours. I invest the deposits locally, developing these investments into derivatives and in turn, re-investing these. The fruits of these investments I then return to my depositors as dividends and interest.

The ‘currency’ invested is grass cuttings, which would otherwise likely leave the locality and be invested offshore(ish) or wasted. I invest them into my compost heaps and then invest the resultant compost into the soil of my allotment plot. Dividends do vary and returns go up as well as down, but include a wide range of beneficial fruit & veg.

Grassy Bank depository

Grass currency

An added bonus is that the newly minted dividends (which can actually include mint) cannot be accumulated for long and need to be re-invested as fine food. Thus wealth inequality is avoided. However, wealth is created and apparent in terms of connection, gratitude, relationships, reciprocity, general good humour, and much more.

Customer dividendThe dividend

Although I have no plans for expansion, I believe that branches of the Grassy Bank could easily appear on every street corner with the added boon that many more people could become useful self-styled bankers.

Trevor Sharman
Governor of the Bank of Ealing

Plant Consciousness – October 2014

This event was run over the 4th/5th October weekend in London.

The speakers on the Saturday were:

  • Sir Julian Rose – The Path to True Organic Awareness
  • John Perkins – Sacred Plants, Shapeshifting and The Consciousness Revolution
  • Tigrilla Yvette Soler – The Music of Plants. Damanhur; 40 Years of Research and Communication
  • Simon G Powell – Green and Ultra-Smart: The Role of Botanical Intelligence On Board Spaceship Earth
  • Pam Montgomery – Our Symbiotic Relationship with Plants
  • Philip Carr-Gomm – Working with the Sacred Plants of the Druid Tradition
  • Stefan Ball – Everything in Nature is Simple



There were so many gems and that it is not possible to write an accessible and comprehensive blog – so here are just a very few of my personal highlights and reflections on the days’ rich content.

Julian Rose – The Path to True Organic Awareness

We need time to observe the state of the world. We need time to get away from the stresses of life and read, listen and reflect on what is happening to the world. Our Western socio-economic system means that many people are stuck with mortgages, family pressures and jobs that make it hard or impossible to reflect on what is happening and to make changes. I resonate particularly with this as, having an identical twin brother, I can see the difference that, at least in part, the stresses of the modern world make on our capacity to reflect and respond.

Julian has done a lot of work in Poland – which, soon after the collapse of the Communist state, had a lot more biodiversity than Western European countries. He worked with the Polish people to protect their biodiversity against the pressures of Supermarkets and other Corporations. Sadly, he says it was the American Embassy that was the biggest proponent of GM crops.

He suggested that we have made a lot of progress since the book “Small is Beautiful” by Schumacher in the 1970’s. The ideas are still there – we need to continue to implement them.

John Perkins

John did a presentation on the Saturday as well as a full day workshop on the Sunday. These notes are taken from both of these days.

His key point – taken from South American Shamans – is that the world turns out as you dream it. It is our mindset in the Western World that is causing the environmental devastation in the world. So, we need to change our dream – unless we do that, we are finished. This inspired him and others to setup the Pachamama Alliance ( which in turn inspired the Be the Change Initiative in the UK.

He said that we have the opportunity to move into a new paradigm to produce a new world. There are lots of possibilities. He conveyed a lot of hope and optimism – not only in his words but in his demeanour – I could really feel his passion for a better world. This came through in his work with individuals on the personal issues that they faced on the Sunday (through rituals and dialogue), as well as talking about the collective issues that we face on a global scale.

He also said that this is first time in human history that, if we want a better world for future generations, it has to be a global effort – no one country can save the world. An Earth based spirituality offers this as we see ourselves as part of one Planet.

People all over the world are waking up to the global environmental situation. I was struck how his American approach was enthusiastic with an optimistic and a ‘can-do’ attitude. He said how positive the young Chinese people are – that they feel that they can create a sustainable miracle – as China have come so far so quickly in the last 30 years or so. I contrast all of this with the attitude I sometimes feel and hear in the UK – I remember listening to a couple of high profile UK environmental speakers a couple of years ago who were suggesting that “maybe the game is lost” – as not enough change is being made quickly enough.

Each ‘story’ – whether American, Chinese or one from the UK is valid – none of them are right or wrong – they all have something to teach us. But I am struck how deeply we are informed by our cultural setting. Spirituality (when applied well) can help us to move beyond our cultural setting and to see the bigger picture.

Philip Carr-Gomm


Philip is the leader of the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids. The word Druid – derives from words that mean “Oak wisdom” – or this could be interpreted as “Forest wisdom”. He said that spirituality is an integral part of us. Spirituality is not like a hierarchy – with one form being better than another form – but each form is just different. In ritual, we enter an altered state of consciousness which is healing – it taps into deep wells of understanding/knowledge/healing/inspiration.

Our shared history

Several of the speakers – particularly Pam Montgomery – spoke about our evolutionary past –  how we evolved from plants or, at least, we have a common ancestry with them. We need to remind ourselves where we came from and connect with the amazing intelligence of the plant world. One speaker – Simon G Powell – said that we need more research into the amazing intelligence of the plant world, compared to the research into Extra-Terrestrials – as there is so much for us to learn from on Planet Earth.

Stalls and More

There were stalls from several other organisations as well as artists. Here is the GreenSpirit stall…


Overall this day was a fantastic blend of plant wisdom, spirituality, science and activism as well as the chance to connect with others and other groups. This was a truly wonderful event I have come away deeply inspired.

Ian Mowll



GreenSpirit Wild Week in Wales – August 2014

A group of GreenSpiriters met at Cae Mabon in Snowdonia, North Wales for a week of connecting, and living in conscious connection with the natural world.

Here is the Celtic roundhouse where we had evenings of chanting, storytelling, drumming, music and more….

1 - roundhouse

We stayed in all sorts of eco-structures. Here is one we called the ‘hobbit house’.

2 - hobbit-house

One day, Roger ran a willow weaving workshop:

3 - willow-weaving

Here are the finished baskets:

4 - finished-baskets

We had various conversations including our response to the ever changing world:

5 - discussion

Walks included the trip into Llanberis – here is the view along the way:

6 - lake

5 of us made it to the top of Snowdon which is not far from Cae Mabon. We had this…umm…..view? from the top of the mountain:

7 - snowdon

And here is a late night music session. In the background, you can see a ‘god’s eye’ which was made in a workshop on the first full day:

8 - late-night-music

Added to this ritual, talking stick sessions, cooking vegetarian food, games, relaxing in the hot tub under the stars and swimming in the lake and we had all of the ingredients for a wonderful week of connection.




A week of living close to each other and capturing the meaning of GreenSpirit: living in a loving consciousness of the interconnected world. We enjoy being in and celebrating our natural surroundings together, go walking, sing and tell stories around the fire in the round house and relax in the hot tub under the oak trees and stars. This holiday is like a retreat from our busy lives and is always nurturing. People who attend are invited to bring something they can share, like a workshop, stories, songs, favourite recipes, musical instruments… – See more at:
A week of living close to each other and capturing the meaning of GreenSpirit: living in a loving consciousness of the interconnected world. We enjoy being in and celebrating our natural surroundings together, go walking, sing and tell stories around the fire in the round house and relax in the hot tub under the oak trees and stars. This holiday is like a retreat from our busy lives and is always nurturing. People who attend are invited to bring something they can share, like a workshop, stories, songs, favourite recipes, musical instruments… – See more at:
A week of living close to each other and capturing the meaning of GreenSpirit: living in a loving consciousness of the interconnected world. We enjoy being in and celebrating our natural surroundings together, go walking, sing and tell stories around the fire in the round house and relax in the hot tub under the oak trees and stars. This holiday is like a retreat from our busy lives and is always nurturing. People who attend are invited to bring something they can share, like a workshop, stories, songs, favourite recipes, musical instruments… – See more at: