Axladitsa – under the sign of Our Lady of the Tortoise

So here we are again in Axladitsa, this beautiful place of burgeoning abundance and verdant beauty.

Land of verdant beauty

And here we are, in the opening days of Europe’s first season of deep, resonant renewal since… when?

As we gather here on the perfumed and musical land (the insects all sing around a dominant note, but I don’t know which…) in preparation for Apprenticing to the Earth, notes of joy and grief, birth and death, hope and fear, sadness and love rise and fall within our intimate constellation of souls, and filter into our field from the outside world – whispers of what’s happening in Spain (my heart swells with a fierce joy), intimations that it might be spreading to Greece (a call out from a friend in Rhodes, later confirmed as a call to gather in the central squares of all towns)…

I said it in January: 2011 ROCKS. There’s an energy about this time that’s pregnant to bursting with transformation. That which we have kept hidden, still and quiet for so many years in obedience to our social and economic conditioning is now ready to burst forth – our humanity, our hunger for depth and authenticity, for real connection with each other and our birthright, which is our belonging in nature, on this planet, our groping towards wholeness, together.

Someone on the Art of Hosting email list asks: why isn’t the mainstream media picking up what’s happening in Spain? Yes, I wonder, why not? And my mind goes skittering off after conspiracy theories about big money and politics… And yet, what if..? What if it needs to happen under the radar, to allow this collective learning to unfold at its own pace, without the pressure of projected expectations that something big has to happen soon or the world will just look away and our chance will be lost?

Yesterday, for the first time, I finally walked the path (the monopati) to the beach. We walked in silence, nine of us, and as usual, I dawdled with my camera, framing and imprinting the beauty meeting my eye – and because the way is wild and long, care-taking Steve stayed with me, pointing the way forward and stewarding my progress. What a blessing.

The path always pulls you forward – into the next living tunnel of vegetation, down the next rocky gulley – and there’s always light at the end, waiting to greet you as the way opens up into another astonishing and different vista. The energy is different in each narrow space, and each wide open one.

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At the heart of the path, unexpected and breathtakingly powerful, lies the spring. Framed and guided forth by human making, the water gushes out, cold and clear, into a stone basin. I notice there are two empty niches in the rock above the outlet, and I wonder what belongs there? A stone effigy depicting something pre-hellenic, I think – something feminine.

And around the spring, in the enshrining, entempling space that dampens the sounds and thickens the air – a presence of ancientness and power. An entity dwells here that is pivotal to this place, impaling this spot on Gaia’s surface right through to her heart, crying I am here and I endure! This place reverberates through my marrow and leaves my aura all a-shiver. Not fearful, but ancient, primal, intense, deep and soooooooo slow….

I meet its eye and time stops...

Quite a bit further along the path, we come across Sarah, the local wood nymph, squatting beside an object on the ground. My heart stops. It’s a tortoise. An old one. Immobile, head peeking from its shell. As the others move on, I stoop to photograph the creature and I meet its eye. Time stops and I am riveted to the spot, caught in an embracing wave of that power – the same immanent presence I felt at the spring. These two beings are connected.

Later, at the beach and over dinner at Nikos’s place in Platania, I listen to Maria talk about the challenges of any kind of activism – even something as seemingly simple and natural as inviting into conversation – in this place. Everything must move at the pace of the culture, and at the pace of the land. At the pace of the possible, and at the pace of the authentic flow of life. What if it’s easy?

And there it comes again – the echo at the macro level: What if this global movement for real democracy needs time for things be nurtured and grow – allowing what can emerge at this time to emerge when it’s strong. We know that we can’t use the old structures, and the new patterns take time to unfold.

We are working with the field. Every moment it’s thickening. Every thought and intent that aligns with it adds to it – irrespective of where it originates in the world. The field is non-local and alive.

This morning, it was Janell’s birthday. As the 11 of us checked in around the earthly remains of breakfast, we co-created a poem from what we held in our hearts in honour of the birthday girl:

What’s in our Hearts on the day of Janell’s birthday

Gathering by the Aegean Sea

A constellation of beloved sourcers, magicians and…

Breaking the past by breaking plates,

Using the broken plates to express creativity with style and flair,

Weaving together a beautiful walk.

My heart quickens in anticipation of more hearts joining us.

A present is each day we are given as opportunity to be present

And we sink slowly into the sweetness of mystery,

Creating the intention of wild wonder and unbridled curiosity,

Seeds willing to break open in the soil of wholeness and love.

In the lap of this ancient land which is held by our sacred lady of the tortoise,

Creatures offering their bodies in service of parea and celebration.

Janell, Maria, Nici, Meni, Vanessa, Steve, Filiz, Penny, Kamyar, Helen, Sarah

About iyeshe

Woman returning to the wild. Cunning linguist, mother of twins, witch, host, harvester, spaceholder for the dawning Aquarian age, evolutionary wooden-spoon wielder, self-mitigating carbon footprint, wannabe holon in the forthcoming collective buddha...
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2 Responses to Axladitsa – under the sign of Our Lady of the Tortoise

  1. Μaria ~~~ says:

    Dearest Helen and dear Apprentices,

    The field is also local. Listen deeply… You will hear it…
    If it wasn’t also local ~ why are you there now?…

    With love & deep appreciation for this sharing and the connection,

    The friend from Rhodes

    • iyeshe says:

      Thank you Maria! Yes, the field is most definitely all the way up and all the way down – we have been embraced by the local field and are listening to it in our rich diversity of ways. I’ll be writing more about this in the days to come. Thanks for accompanying us on our journey. We are also thinking of you!

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