Westacre Newsletter issue #16

## In this issue
– Westacre’s latest
– Ritual of manifestation
– Gregory Bateson and the Ecology of Mind
– What you can do

## Westacre’s latest

Did you know you can eat beech leaves? Our beech hedge has finally exchanged its wintry brown for fresh, vibrant green, and we are enjoying adding it to our daily salads. We’re eating all sorts of things that we’ve never considered eating before. From dandelion leaves to hawthorn flower buds. We’re letting the green feed us.

That vibrant aliveness feeds us in different ways as well. We’re beginning to finally make some real progress on the renovation project – at least progress that feels real to me. The lighter, longer days are definitely helping with that.

Our next objective is to insulate the foundations of the house. To do that, we need to dig a trench all around the house and fill it with a space-age type of foam that comes in two canisters.

The digging goes beyond the trench, though. We are making a path all around the house to keep plants away from the rather fragile external wall insulation that will be covering the house. The path will also serve as hard standing for the scaffolding we need when that insulation goes up.

While we’re digging we also have to think about new waste pipes that need to go in, and foundations for the balcony that we’ll eventually be building. It’s easier to just keep digging now than to have to move gravel out of the way again at a later stage.

So digging is the order of the day. Hopefully the weather will co-operate.

What I know for sure is that the time of year is ideal for manifesting your dreams. The ritual in this newsletter will help you use that abundant growth to do just that.

Blessings of the bright green world,

## Ritual: The Fires of Manifestation

This ritual centres around a burning flame in the centre of your circle. If you are working indoors, a candle will suffice. But an actual open fire outside in your garden would be ideal.

To start with, take some time to contemplate the things you would like to see grow in your life. Don’t just look at your own personal ambitions but include things in your community and the wider world as well. You may want to meditate on this, or do some journalling. Choose one thing, perhaps two or three but no more, that you want to give your energy to at this time of strong growth.

When you have decided on one or more projects, gather the elements of your ritual.

You will need:

- a container for your fire: something you can safely burn wood in and keep it under control.

- fuel for your fire: this stands for the things that support you as you give your energy to the world.

- a flame: the spark of inspiration that will get your creativity going.

- a candle for each of your projects. It will help if they are distinct from each other – a different colour for example.

When you are ready to start, gather all your materials in the place where you want to work. Greet the spirits of the place that are present with you there. Take some time to settle. Place your fire bowl or candles at the centre of your working space.

Open your ritual any way you feel is right. This can be as simple as marking the edges of a circle with grass clippings or thread, or as complicated as a full ritual opening with circle consecration and elemental invocations. All you need is a circular space that feels like it’s yours for the duration of the ritual.

Go and sit with your fire at the centre of the circle. Meditate for a while with the fuel for your fire. Whether candle wax or wood, sit with it and remember all the things that give you strength and perseverance. Then, with thanksgiving, build your wood pile or place your candle.

Next, sit with the spark that will light this fire. Remember the things that have inspired you for the projects you want to grow at this time. Remember as far back as you can, to the first spark, the first flame of enthusiasm. When you have found it, light your fire.

Sit with your flame for a while. If you have built a wood fire, it will take some time for it to burn well. Be patient. Give it more fuel if it needs it. Blow on it if it threatens to go out. As you tend the flame, think about what you need to do to tend the flame of your own creativity.

When you are ready, pick up your candle. Think of the project you want to see grow. When it feels right, light it from the central fire. Then carry your flame to the edge of your circle and begin to walk with it, with your project held in your heart. At some point, you will sense the right place to put your candle.

You may have to walk your circle more than once before you find the right place. Again, be patient with the process. When you have found the place, put down your candle and sit with it. Where are you in your circle? Do you know what direction you are facing? North, East, South or West? Or are you somewhere in between? Does that part of the circle have resonances with you? Or are you facing a particular object or plant that speaks to you?

Your candle might be in the North, which may stand for practical effort. Or it may be facing South East, the place of partnership and fertility. Or it may be close to a patch of forget-me-not flowers. What does that say to you? Take your time to listen deeply for any guidance.

When you are ready, decide what commitment you can make to your project. Speak it out loud. How will you continue to give your energy to this project?

If you have any more candles, repeat the process. Take them around the circle and receive your guidance. Make your commitments.

When you have done this, go back to your central fire. Feed it some more, if you like. Celebrate your own creative power. Stay there for as long as you like.

End your ritual, reversing the way you started it. Make sure your fire is safe before you leave it. Light your candle or candles for a while every evening, remembering the flame of your creativity and the commitment you made.

And watch your projects grow and flourish.

## Gregory Bateson and the Ecology of Mind

I can’t remember how I first came across Gregory Bateson. A video about him popped up on the internet somewhere. And for the first time I realised that this philosophy of unity that I steer my life by exists beyond the Pagan and Druid community.

Bateson was an academic of the middle of the 20th Century, a time when academics still had a lot of freedom to follow their inspiration to wherever it led them. His search took him from psychology through biology and anthropology, and as he travelled he came to the realisation that we are made of relationship. He was on his own adventure in connected living.

We don’t end at the surface of our skin, and Mind is not the exclusive possession of humankind. Moment by moment, we are made by our relationship with everything that surrounds us. The hole great pattern of existence is filled with Mind, and we are a part of that.

If you’d like to find out more about Gregory Bateson and his work, this article is a great introduction:


## What you can do

You can keep in touch with all of Westacre’s news and progress on Facebook and Twitter.

We are about to start insulating the foundations of the house, which requires a lot of digging. Should you fancy getting stuck in, or doing some weeding or lawn mowing, we could always do with an extra pair of hands.

You can find all our contact details at http://www.westacre.org.uk/contact/

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