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 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 (www.pachamama.org) 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 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.