Westacre Newsletter issue #17

In this issue

  • Westacre’s latest
  • Interview with Cilla Conway – a chance to win The Devas of Creation
  • Featured link: Alliance for Wild Ethics
  • What you can do

Westacre’s latest

We’re still digging. Digging out old pipes and reconfiguring them. Digging trenches and holes for new pipes and inspection chambers. And filling it all back in again with gravel and soil.

It can be quite back breaking, but there is nothing like sitting down at the end of a day’s work and feeling happy with what you’ve achieved.

We’re mostly finished with the complicated bits now. The rest of the digging is straightforward by comparison. That’s why we’ve called on our friends to come and help us dig out the foundations ready for their foam insulation. We’re having a digging party this Saturday, 31st May.

You’re very welcome to come and join us, if a day of communal digging appeals to you. The weather forecast for Saturday is very promising. You can find the details here: You can find the details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/653990894691786/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

The other landmark this week is that I’ve finally managed to make the next episode in the Westacre video blog. It’s been a long time coming, but finally you can see some before and after pictures of Roger’s bungalow, with his comments. Episode 7 is here: http://youtu.be/QW11Zy31YLw

I’m also very proud to include in this Newsletter an interview with Cilla Conway about her relationship with the Devas of Creation and the publication of her divination deck. Cilla is offering a free deck exclusively to readers of this Newsletter.

I hope you enjoy this issue.

Blessings of birdsong,


Interview: Cilla Conway and the Devas of Creation

Cilla has been a dear friend of mine for over a decade now. We met as members of OBOD, have shared bits of our life journey, and have taught courses about the Tarot together.

When we first met, Cilla had started a daily practice of working on paintings representing the forces that underlie creation. She met them and got to know them through painting them. She calls them the Devas of Creation.

This week, she received delivery of her self-published deck based on these paintings. The images are powerful and speak directly to the reader’s deepest self. In this interview, Cilla tells us more about them.

Who are the beings you depict in the Deva cards?

The beings depicted on the Deva cards are the invisible energy patterns of the universe, multi-dimensional beings that hold the blueprints for every aspect of existence, from the smallest sub-atomic particles to the universe itself.

Why did you start painting them? And what kept you going for 72 images?

I started painting the images because, very unusually for me, I went to a talk on angels in November 2002. The man giving the talk was lovely, very inspiring, and at the end of it I had a brief chat with him, saying that it was a pity he only had Doreen Virtue cards there, as I felt there should be a deck that depicted the angelics as they really were – powerful and awe-inspiring, but never sweet. I had already painted a couple of decks of tarot and (thinking aloud), said, ‘Maybe I should paint one.’ ‘Go for it’, he said.

When I woke the next morning I realised that everything I had painted up till then depicted some sort of Otherworldly being – not angelic, but energetic, vibrational. I thought of them as the eldils (from C.S. Lewis), or the Devas. Many years back when I was still in Zimbabwe (I was brought up in Africa), a friend had been to Findhorn in north Scotland, and told us about these these beings: multi-dimensional beings that were the blueprints of everything in the universe (in Vedic lore, the Devas are the Shining Ones).

So I started painting – no plan, just went into it. As I painted, I was startled to find some immensely powerful angelic images appear. That makes it sound as if I wasn’t the one painting, and indeed that’s how it felt. I would find a piece of card and more or less see what came down my arm onto the card. It was an amazing process.

After a while, I realised the images were falling into patterns – there were the angelics, then energies that were numinous but not angelic, a few much darker energies and then images of the natural world (spring, summer, mountain). I love the hermetic saying ‘as above, so below’, and saw that the ‘earth, below’ images could reflect the ‘upper, above’ images, so I began to work with that underlying structure.

Towards the end it became a bit difficult as I had to make a decision about whether to have 64 cards (8 x 8, which felt very symmetric) or 72 (8 x 9, which would allow me to keep the planets in the deck). I decided to keep them, and by a bit of judicious juggling the Devas – as depicted in the deck – have 36 depictions of pure energy, ad 36 that reflect that energy in manifested forms.

Would you say that the process of painting put you in touch with the Devas themselves? Are there other ways you communicate with them?

Yes, I would definitely say that the process of painting put me in touch with the Devas. When I began, I could never have imagined their scope – I had a vague idea from previous artworks, and of course from Findhorn Foundation, but most writers and people working with Devas concentrated on communication with the natural world – plants, vegetables, and animals. Being able to communicate with moles, for instance, i.e. asking them to go and dig in an field rather than a vegetable or flower garden, was something people found useful.

But as I went on painting the breadth and depth of the Devas’ remit became much clearer – these were the creative energies that underpinned and co-created the different levels of existence – the multiuniverse, as some call it now.

Communicating with the Devas is more about awareness than anything else – long before I started the deck, I realised that the wind responded to questions and thoughts, especially when spoken aloud. Wind, rain, the sun and moon – all these are highly responsive (I guess the stars would be too, if I knew anything about them but unfortunately I’m woefully ignorant about astronomy and astrology).

The Devas will also answer questions – usually through synchronicity although I have known them to take direct action if they don’t agree with something. They have a pretty active sense of humour, too (you remember the saying ‘be careful what you ask for, you just might get it’? Well, the Devas are great at supplying things that you’ve asked for – to the letter – and as you gaze at whatever it is in rueful amazement, you can often hear the echo of devic amusement.)

I have to admit I’m not aware enough to communicate or connect with the Devas 24/7 – I wish I were – but I know they’re there all the time, watching over us with impartial compassion, even as they test or chuckle at us.

You are a professional Tarot reader, and you also use your Deva cards in your readings. What do you use each type of card for? What different information do you get from them?

I use the tarot as a basis for most consultations, reading intuitively (I hardly ever refer to the book meanings apart from when I read for myself!). The tarot reflect the day-to-day realities of the client’s life, and the Major Arcana indicate when there are big changes round the corner.

The Devas look at the energy around the client, and indicate the higher-level information the client can access in the future. I also work through some of the archangels in the deck (Raphael, Worlds, and Mikhael) to offer healing, help, and/or a reboot where appropriate!

Having said that, though, I’m aware that these are beings whose remit is the universe, not only humanity; they can and will ignore requests if they don’t feel that the question is in the best interests of all. The lessons and interventions aren’t always gentle, but they are true.

The tarot can be quite ambivalent at times – particularly when I want a specific answer. It can be infuriating. But it is an oracle, and woolly, ambivalent answers are what oracles do best. The Devas, however, are not oracles, they are sentient beings with their own universal remit. So their answers can be much more specific, completely unambiguous and surprisingly down to earth.

They often repeat specifically what the tarot has said – for instance, a woman was asking about her son who has Aspergers. She wanted to know if he would ever be able to manage on his own. As the answer, the tarot gave The Moon, which is often about walking in the shadow realms, and not being able to return to normality. I then asked the Devas, and the Devic Moon appeared there as well. It was such a clear emphasis, like an underscore, that I realised her son had chosen this path and wouldn’t come back until and unless he wished to.

Do you work with the Devas for your own spiritual development? If so, how do you do that?

I wish I could say yes, I work with the Devas every day. Unfortunately I have been very lax recently (a house renovation and the design of my new tarot have been taking all my attention the last few months). However, a new garden room with transparent ceiling and patio door (which is now my studio), is a wonderful means of checking in – the celebration in birdsong that greets me every morning reminds me of the Devas, and I say good morning and check out whether there’s anything they want me to do. Also, of course, I connect with them through every tarot reading, so I have a certain amount of on-going communication.

So in the next few weeks, when I can get back to doing my own spiritual development with the Devas, it will focus on remembering, listening, and watching – about developing what Arnie Mindell calls ‘secondary attention’. This is not just about being present, it’s about becoming aware of what is going on around you in the widest sense (in your peripheral vision, within your body and in the energies around you, picking up the synchronicities and communications that go on constantly).

Most of us wander around half asleep, and I became aware of my own lack of wakefulness a few years ago. So my work with the Devas is to keep as present as possible, and to listen and watch for their communications. Buddha said that the difference between himself and other people is that he was fully awake, and that wakefulness is not just about normal life, it is about secondary attention, because that’s where the Devas will be present.

What’s the theme of your new Tarot and when can we expect it?

The theme of my new Tarot is very different from both the Intuitive Tarot (my first deck), and the Devas (which is very abstract). This one is the Byzantine Tarot, and is (perhaps unsurprisingly) about the Byzantine Empire. Based on original imagery, it’s full of very fine detail and has lots of gold. It will be published in 2015, and if you want to check it out, there is an image on my website (http://www.cillaconway.com) and on my Facebook page.

Cilla is giving away a deck of The Devas of Creation exclusively to Westacre Newsletter subscribers. To win a deck, send an e-mail, before midnight on Sunday, 8th June, to competition@westacre.org.uk with an answer to the following question:

How would you connect to the Devas of Creation in your own, very individual way?

em>The deck will go to the person who gave the most interesting answer – by Cilla’s standards. The winner will get a reply to their e-mail.

Good luck!

Featured link: Alliance for Wild Ethics

In their own words:

The Alliance for Wild Ethics (AWE) is a consortium of individuals and organizations working to ease the spreading devastation of the animate earth through a rapid transformation of culture. We employ the arts, often in tandem with the natural sciences, to provoke deeply felt shifts in the human experience of nature. Motivated by a love for the more-than-human collective of life, and for human life as an integral part of that wider collective, we work to revitalize local, face-to-face community – and to integrate our communities perceptually, practically, and imaginatively into the earthly bioregions that surround and support them.”

If you read my most recent blog post (http://cauldron.firetree.net/journey/682/), you’ll know why this resonates with me at the moment. I’m particularly enjoying the articles on the site by founder member David Abram. They speak so eloquently of the communities we need to build to ensure our future.

By co-incidence I also recently ordered Abram’s book The Spell of the Sensuous. If it’s as good as the articles, there will be a review in one of the future newsletters.

Meanwhile, go and read about AWE: http://www.wildethics.com/the_alliance.html

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. Come and join the Westacre Digging Party on Saturday 31st May!

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

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