Volume 11, Winter
Winter Solstice, 2014
Blessings to you during this season of dark dreaming when the plants lay resting and the rains return or turn to crystalline splendor. What a special time when the light returns and the days begin to get longer and times are spent with family and friends feeling the fullness in our hearts. It is also a time to turn to those in need who may be without a home or food or those who may be in need because their health and well being is compromised. There is one such dear one in our midst that I want to tell you about.
Many of you know herbalist, healer and ethnobotanist, Rocio Alarcon of Ecuador. To some she may be someone you’ve heard about or an inspiring teacher whose class you took and to other’s she is a dear friend, sister, mentor and wise woman healer. Rocio recently had emergency surgery for a brain aneurysm. She is in Ecuador beginning the long journey to complete recovery – the road that leads to restoring balance and well being.
In many traditional cultures to be a true healer, one had to have a near death experience, to visit the ‘other realms', and return with the powers from those 'other worlds'. There were many ways that healers experienced this, sometimes through sacred plant medicine, sometimes through illness or accidents, but the journey was always uncertain and beset with challenges, and one was never certain if they would return, but if they did their lives were changed forever. For Rocio this was perhaps another deep initiation into her powerful healing work. And now part of this very dynamic path she walks is about receiving. It is time for Rocio to be washed with our prayers for healing and perhaps your prayers might be accompanied by a red lighted candle with healing herbs and water on your altar as you pray.
Some of us who have been studying with Rocio have created the
So, Dear Ones, we ask your hearts, hands and courageous generous selves to financially support Rocio’s care. You can make a donation of any amount via Paypal that will go into a special account.
We here at Partner Earth Education Center strive to provide high quality education in a sacred sanctuary setting while creating a container where healing for Gaia and all her beings can take place. We are not ones to make this available to the chosen few but to everyone from all walks of life and economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. In order to do this we have created the Be Love Scholarship Fund to help fund those who may not have the resources to attend classes. When one person wakes up and raises their consciousness just a little bit it affects us all and it acts like a pebble in the pond. It ripples out and touches so many people, places and life-giving elements. And so if you are wondering what to do with that extra 10, 20 or 100 dollars during this holiday season you can donate to help another have a deeply profound learning experience. We will send you an Earth Pledge poster and we will let a student know that it was because of you they are learning how to help heal people and Gaia. Thank you in advance for your generosity in giving.
Now on to classes that you may want to take; we have a NEW class coming up this next year titled Becoming the Hollow Bone. This class is focused on working with energy hygiene to clear ones’ energy body in order to become a hollow bone so that healing source energy can channel through you. This is a great complementary class that would be a good prerequisite for any of the Plant Communication classes. The next level is the Plant Initiations which focus on going deeply with one plant in a ceremonial and sacred way. There will also be offerings in the UK for those of you across the big water. Check out The Essentials of Plant Communication and Plant Spirit Healing and also the Hawthorn Plant Initiation. For those of you with a yoga practice you don’t want to miss The Yoga of Plants. This is a new twist (or posture) on how to bring plant spirits into your yoga practice.
In Gratitude, the Plant Spirit Healing Apprenticeship is now full for 2015 but you can look forward to Pam teaching her apprenticeship in California in 2016 and maybe in the UK. Stay tuned for more info about these courses.
Cultural Seeds of Remembrance by Mark Carlin
Last Sunday we visited close friends for the purpose of again exploring ideas for the annual solstice ceremony, an event held regularly for 20+ years. It's such a beautiful thing to observe winter solstice in a warm home with community, holding a meditation in the dark until the timeless nudge to strike a match and light a single candle enters the room and invites some form of collective sharing, some form of altar feeding that serves the Spinners of this great Wheel of Time and helps us remember, and we feel blessed to offer our input and helping hands in preparation.
While talking in circle thoughts came of dreams and seeds. Ideas were verbalized such as "dreaming the seeds" or "seeding the dream". We talked of the gifting power of darkness, the resting and incubating quality of this season, the relative stillness within this north-country earth, and the nature and power of seeds and of "seeded beings". We talked about the darkening on the earth, the extinctions of cultures and species and landscapes. We elected, for our upcoming solstice ceremonial celebration, to invite people to bring some seeds to create an altar.
In The Unlikely Peace Of Cuchumaquic, The Parallel Lives of People as Plants: Keeping the Seeds Alive, Martin Prechtel writes with an eloquence beyond compare as he speaks of his experience of leaving his over-run Guatemalan village, entrusted with ancient sacred corn seeds that his teacher instructed him to go and reseed in another time and another place, carrying a huge and lonely responsibility of keeping them alive. These following excerpts come from Part 4, Chapter 18, Our Ancient Seed Jar. With immense indebtedness to his big heart and fierce love for the Divine in Nature, we offer his knowledge in addressing the subject of people and seeds and cultures, and weep with beauty as he speaks of our original intact ancestors living within a modernly forgotten Agreement with the Holy in Nature, and of speaking what is possible.
"...... the seeds I was trying to keep viable were no longer "my" seeds or the Seeds of Tzutujil spirituality, but the seeds that every citizen of the Earth has somewhere tucked inside themselves, or outside in their lives, or somewhere in the ground, or lurking around the family baggage, or hidden in their bodies, in dreams or inexplicable proclivities, but always somewhere they never look or know anything about. These seeds were the seeds of that very precious thing we all have that contains embryonic caches of possible understandings of how to live ritually and intactly with an indigenous mind, seeds that have been bequeathed to us all from our own more intactly earth-rooted ancestral origins from millennia previous.”
"Most of us everywhere descend several thousand years from people of great and amazing qualities, qualities no longer understood, or valued, much less recognized in this present citified world, but qualities of our ancestral past still encoded in our spiritual bones in which we know ourselves as they did to be the direct descendants of not only Holy animals but more so of plants. People who in some remote long-running era of our distant past before there was a Chinese empire, an Egyptian empire, a Sumerian empire, before there was ever a Europe, in eras of small, amazing, agrarian cultures in which our ancestors still knew how to proceed as humans are meant to, on an earth they would not simply mine or harness, pollute or domesticate without great consideration, people whose everyday existence was not dedicated to a fear of not surviving, and therefore not dedicated to production, paranoiac defense, scarcity, or milk drying the world, but to a spirituality that knew how to feed the beauty of their human ingenuity, art, language, and physical presence to the natural world just as they would feed a suckling mother.”
"In some forgotten part of us there yet towers the roofless ruins of a neatly made, tiny earth-and-timber palace of unconscious memory in whose thick walls these amazing ancestors have left for us to find a pot of precious seeds, indigenous seeds of still viable knowledge and living vitality, seeds that could resprout into view the organic articles of the original treaty we humans promised long ago to uphold between ourselves and the wild natural world at the time we first began to manipulate the earth, her plants, and animals through agriculture and pastoral herding.”
"Muddled into these forgotten ramparts of our Indigenous Souls, these seeds of how humans are meant to live have been passed down unnoticed like recessive spiritual genes in our souls from grandparent to grandchild for millennia, waiting for each generation to consciously rediscover them, replant them into welcoming ground, and once again cultivate into view a real, livable mythic origins and a small, viable array of ritual seed cultures worth descending from.”
"But how can we find our seeds if they are hidden in a place we know nothing about, a place we cannot see or touch without the indigenous ancestral mind?”
"The truth is, the seeds do not need to be found because they are already found. We are the ones who need to be found, for the seeds are wherever we go.”
"Like victims of an ancient cultural shipwreck we have been adrift………but no matter how far we've drifted, the spirits of our last happy intact indigenous ancestors from before we began to drift are effortlessly coursing right along with us. Having merged with the vastness of the natural wild tossing sea we so fear to drown in, they follow each of us like a pod of giant sea turtles, their big sweet scaly heads thumping up under us, trying their best to get our attention and tow us home to our real selves, knocking on the lifeboat of today's assumed culture, while we drift along figuring that the anxiety of civilization's never-ending feeling of emergency is normal.”
"The seeds are here with us wherever we are, but we are never where we are, but always heading elsewhere to escape that feeling of never being where we are. We are never at home.”
"To find our seeds to plant new culture, we have to find a way to be quiet and feel welcome at home on earth. When we can find ways of being at home, our ancient seeds will be there with us and will have a place to resprout.”
"So first we have to stop drifting away from what home really means and learn to be indigenously at home right in the lost place where we have drifted to and try to reseed and reflower with culture and food plants the odd, alienated condition of the present.”
"These herds of thumping spirits on the big powerful sweet natural forces of vitality of our unkillable Indigenous Souls- they are grand and they are diverse…..Somewhere on behalf of every ecologically shattered centimeter of our overworked ground, every forgotten scrap of enslaved matter, every caste of work-wounded laborers, every genetically manipulated species and seed, this vital indigenous force lay ready to ambush the folly of humans pretending to live life from the distance of an arm chair and computer screen, with the real touch of life on the hoof.”
"This innate vital force is involved in a never-ending revolution that doesn't topple but is armed only with Beauty, to struggle for Beauty, and to make the Holy in Nature live.”
"Could cultures that refound their seeds actually begin to appear in North American cities, the sold electric lightbulb of Europe, or Asia's bursting seam?……..If they could, the seeds themselves seemed to say, these cultures could not be designed by humans using the present mind. These cultures, like all real things, had to grow naturally from the ground, organically stretching into the world from the old seed, at the direction of the spiritual DNA of the mind of the Holy in Nature…."This meant," the seeds said, "that any worthy culture has to sprout right out of the slag heap of the world's present condition, that love would have to manifest in hell for heaven to begin.“
"Most of these ways come from the lives of the old Tzutujil Maya, no longer alive among these people either, but they might begin to help restore and redevelop to some small degree the necessary senses for families and individuals to begin to re-member their grief-cobbled way toward their own palaces of indigenous memory wherein lies stored the majesty of your people's forgotten version of the Agreement with the Wild in Nature and then onto the seeds…………."seeds" from my own "pot" given freely as a gift and stimulus of hope for at least some part of the suffering world to resprout itself, to sing itself back from the bottomless cliffs of modern cynicism of the present, and to cause all of us to become real humans in our attempt to jump up like sprouts trying to lick the face of the sky and live again."
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