The visceral experience of our co-sensing journey
has been particularly intense!
(Fellow travellers for this wave: Wini, Pieter, Louise, Neha, Helen and Sarah)
There is no such thing as lukewarm alchemy!
Our Portal Day lands in the timing of the lunar eclipse:
Scorpio-Taurus on the lunar node axis.
New territory versus old ways of being;
take the safe route or venture into the unknown?
What truly matters to us?
The call to sense into ways for deepening the practice
—an inquiry planned for the near future—
kept creeping into our co-sensing.
As did the image of the revolving door.
These are sobering times,
we are called to make some decisions
which might be irreversible.
There’s no way back through the revolving door.
Our pathways could change in an instant,
with different angles of perception.
We have been in all different ways,
and what is the central axis that we can rely on
that holds the nature of all of it?
What matters is key.
Preparing for these calls, the dilemma was:
how to relate what we’d been in?
The co-sensing is a fractal that opens space for Portal Day.
Given all that we are in, in our lives, in the world,
why does it matter to practice Collective Alchemy?
WHY BOTHER TO PRACTICE COLLECTIVE ALCHEMY
Silence and radiant smile
The ‘why bother?’ has changed over time.
In the beginning I was just lost!
Looking for a herd—tribe.
It was all in me, but I wasn’t expressing it.
I remember being introduced to it
at the time of my coming out.
I wasn’t able to dissociate myself,
distance myself from myself.
It was all wide open,
an open wound.
The coincidence is no coincidence!
Dissociation is a necessary survival mode,
but there is less escape from the intensity now.
My capacity to stay in this intensity
has grown so much.
To stay with ALL OF IT!!
I watched the co-sensing,
it was all of it AT ONCE.
Why bother now?
It was my “go to”,
now I choose
to be in the axis and outside it.
It allows me to be both.
My point in this life is to do both.
That is what truly matters.
As an observer there’s a role of shedding light,
but also, my intensity is in the mix
and it matters.
It allows me to be in and with everything that’s going on
so much more than I’m used to.
I’m forever grateful.
To all of you for doing this every week.
There’s so much capacity here now.
For me, alchemy is an archetype.
Not an energy, because it’s a processual thing,
but, it’s an archetype that reflects the reality that
there is such a thing as truth,
and such a thing as delusion and illusion
and something happens in the human being
when delusion/illusion is unmasked and seen through.
There’s an intensity of involuntary sensation.
It can happen in many ways, but I think there are chemical processes
that are literally unlocked as the penny drops.
And so the archetype also provides a container
in which that can happen.
In the individual, I think it’s the container of consciousness:
our capacity to stay present and witness
that part of ourselves which is melting down.
Without that container there’s just a meltdown.
We act out and create dramas for ourselves in our lives.
The soap opera.
I’ve been binge-watching Downton Abbey for the last couple of weeks,
seeing through the old-fashioned British culture
to what happens when there’s no transparency,
and no awareness.
Moving to the collective,
part of the illusion/delusion is that there’s any such thing
as an individual without a collective;
but also that there’s only such thing as a collective without individuals.
But there’s an intermediate between the Many and the One,
which is the collective: the smaller holding collective of the field of practice
where we agree to focus our attention collectively on something
and to witness what goes on in us individually and collectively,
and to share that as a way of both potentising,
as a fractal of the overall collective of humanity,
just learning to be able to hold each other and ourselves
and be held in a collective where the purpose is transformation,
understanding that if the individuals transform
the collective will transform and vice versa.
And this field of Collective Alchemy, for me very personally,
is also a place where I can practice a number of my arts;
something that I can dedicate myself to that is small enough
to be able to get my head round.
It’s a thread that’s grown from a seed,
which keeps calling me again and again, like a vine creeping
along the ground that grew from a seed that was the question asked by Sarah:
“What is Collective Alchemy?”
And you can count the seeds in an apple,
but you can’t count the apples in the seed…
the tendrils and the fruits and seeds of this practice over the years
are uncountable and invisible, but not to be underestimated.
I practice Collective Alchemy because it’s fundamental to me.
It provides a space, practice, people
to reveal my own foundation,
to grow my own base
and to help others do the same.
It’s about growing capacity to hold
and about awareness of choice.
It’s a rare place where so many practices come together.
All about sensing into the potential
and what to do with that.
At many levels.
I hadn’t planned to be here this morning,
but there was an inner call: “you can’t miss the Portal Day!”
I read the invitation a few minutes before connecting…
“but why do you need to be there?”
I prepared for the call with joy and expectation
of the moment to come;
but the question is still there:
Is this something I need?
Is it is a secret addiction?
Once you’ve tasted the tincture of alchemy,
there’s something in yourself.
It’s like being part of something bigger than yourself.
You’re not always aware of it,
you don’t always take the time to look at it.
When you don’t do it for a certain time,
it rings you up.
It’s like when it’s time to go to the hairdresser.
Collective Alchemy is like the membrane of a cell
that has grown out of the collective that we somehow create.
There is a communication, like a breathing in and out.
Without Collective Alchemy, something in the movement
of breathing in and breathing out
—would it be lacking if I wasn’t here?
But there is something in the practice and the learning
that has become essential:
without the movement of breathing in and breathing out,
Even if we don’t know,
we have created something
that expands and shrinks.
Sometimes we have availability, we can breathe in,
sometimes we need to release and breathe out.
Part of the joy is that I don’t yet have an answer!
The question confused me:
What on earth is Collective Alchemy?
The question points to a practice
rather than a community.
If I do similar things with another group,
is that Collective Alchemy?
The name Collective Alchemy is closely linked to this group of people
and this community.
So it goes beyond the practice,
and includes a human element.
Why bother practicing it?
For me it is unique, and offers a quality of being together
that I don’t experience in other places in my life.
It creates a huge and generous container of sacredness, stillness,
taking the time to go beyond daily life and into the depths.
Can we hold the intensity of discomfort?
Yes! It’s about that.
And at the same time, I feel challenged sometimes.
And sometimes I’m longing for explicit holding
of anger and fear in compassion.
Going a bit deeper into that.
(written in the chat:)
For the sake of time and our calendar,
I choose to remain silent
and carry the question with me throughout our portal day.
Thank you all for the magic already spoken and shared so far,
our capacity to hold the verticality of life, its depth and abysses.
“Why bother?” has a hint of resignation.
I do it because I have an attraction to
what is evoked from me in the space.
I don’t have a name for what that is.
A sense of coming into a new place,
something already set in place.
Like life itself: coming into a body, into a family,
a need to acclimate in a tribal way for safety.
There’s something about the collective here,
(this is my first time)
the prelude of safety and the new.
Every new place has its own set of values and stickiness
that makes the wildness want to come in
and be safe in the night.
There’s comfort of a culture and a mindset believing in comfort,
and a mindset that’s understandable
isn’t fully alive and curious.
You’ve shown me the parts that I can’t see.
There’s a waking up of the collective
that is the nature of alchemy.
We need that stimulation for the other facets to show themselves,
whether it’s revolving or not!
There’s an irritation:
what do you mean by “bother”?
It’s not a bother!!
Who the hell are we not to?
At a gut level, of course!
This is a responsibility almost,
This is where we are in the universe,
this is what’s required of us!
Nothing to do with brushing your teeth.
This is what we are being drawn to,
this is where the planet’s alignment is,
to be in every way that we are in our bodies and minds,
to be as engaging of each other, collectively
in the unknown and see where it goes.
I cannot not engage.
It doesn’t feel like we are individuals coming together
to practice something.
It feels like the alchemy is already here
and we are simply stepping into it.
The question grabbed me
when I read it yesterday.
One response is:
The question pulls us into linear time.
The point is a goal.
While that does seem to be a part of being alive
—to be in linear time —
this process allows me to practice stepping out of linear time.
Holding both of them—simultaneously…
Wait a minute… huh?
It feels to me that what we’re doing is letting go.
It’s not about doing or being something.
That’s why I love the revolving door.
If it’s fast enough you have to let go.
It feels like that’s what we do together:
letting go of all that’s been before,
that’s in our minds.
It’s helpful to me to use things in the environment to let go.
My deep practice was listening to Donald Trump,
to see, hear and… not react.
It feels to me that that’s what it’s really about:
letting go of the ideas, the striving,
to just let go of it all.
Finding something that would be a challenge for me to let go of
is what has helped me over the years
in this letting go.
The revolving doors as the liminal space,
and then the image of whirling dervishes.
When you spin around, everything becomes one.
Alchemy gives us a new way of perceiving, sensing
beyond the five senses
that helps us, childlike, to see the magic around us,
the sacredness and interconnectedness of things.
Why bother? It’s frustrating to be the only crazy one
who sees the magic.
And sharing is the way to create abundance
in this world of polarities.
Collective Alchemy can definitely help!
Just listening to the silence,
we could throw our words into that pool
and be OK.
I need this in my life:
places that feel like rest,
like coming to a fire on the beach.
It supports the rest of my life.
I notice when I’m unable to come,
then I’m at a distance from something
that nurtures me.
How do we open these doors to the world?
I’ve been going through these revolving doors
in all kinds of collective spaces
for quite some time.
It is in the process of deeply experiencing inquiry with others
that reflections come to me.
I have continued to alchemise or purify
the parts of me that aren’t there any more.
Who am I as a being of nature, light and love?
It’s in places like this
where that process can continue,
for each of us as we hear and listen to each other
and sense more deeply in ourselves.
It’s like a mirror:
cleansing, purifying, releasing,
as our world is shifting and changing quite rapidly.
Who am I in that world? What is my role?
And who are we in that together?
These groups are where I long to be.
It comes down to being authentic.
It’s becoming ever more obvious:
the more authentic I can be with everyone…
that would bring us together, all of us.
Keep opening those doors,
in every situation,
as much as each person will allow.
Why bother practicing Collective Alchemy?
Because I realise I feel I need alchemy.
As hard as the process sometimes/often is,
it’s highly unpredictable, what comes out.
You know there’s no escape:
the only way to alchemise is to stay with it.
And I have experienced that this is a process,
or a way of living,
that nourishes my self in such a way that it
is nourishing to people around me,
because I become a different person
and I behave differently to my surroundings.
It’s a way of growing my awareness,
opening my eyes,
changing my perspective.
At the end of the call earlier today,
I realised and saw that I was in a revolving door,
spinning around, but there were no walls.
I was frustrated that I was confined,
but there were no walls. I could get out
any where, at any time, whenever I wanted.
This evening, sharing the experience of two others,
again I felt my irritation at my confinement melt away:
I wasn’t in the small compartment of a revolving door,
but that volume keeps growing in my life.
My task/mission felt and still feels like:
how can I be more of me,
exactly where I am?
That process of magic, simplicity, purity,
and doing that together…
is important to me.
I’m finding this very heartwarming;
just listening to the obviousness of it.
Having been in the depth practice of Collective Alchemy
for however many years it’s been now,
there’s this humdrum layer of consensual reality, shared life
—or at least that’s how I project it and assume that other people experience it:
this everyday life where you make plans and
if you’ve got enough money or resources
you can impose your will on the environment
by building a house or driving a car…
and one spends most of one’s time and energy trying to get the money
in order to impose one’s will on on the environment
and make make blocky, square artificial structures
and feel like one is somebody because one has done it…
and letting the cosmos have its way with me.
That’s what the alchemy feels like.
I’ve just been watching the Christmas episode of Downton Abbey
where the staff are playing with a ouija board…
In a way alchemical “sensing from the present” is exactly like that:
“Is there anyone there?” (spoken in a sonorous, theatrical voice :-))
We never know what’s going to show up!
I keep coming back for more because “somethings gonna show up!”
…and it’s always uncomfortable,
it’s always frustrating,
it’s always disappointing and not what I expected…
so it’s always constantly me, being confronted by:
can I be present with what is, and open to it
and not impose my will on it or try and make it something else
but move with what is there to align myself with it?
To join in the design of life and not try to design life!
It doesn’t matter how many times we do this,
something happens that we’re not expecting
and that nobody brought into the room.
Every time we do this,
magic and mystery happens.
To be able to stay with that magic and mystery,
all of that habitual conditioning and patterning and those ego defence mechanisms…
all of that stuff just keeps getting burned away.
Whatever shows up is always exactly what I needed in that moment
to rub my nose in the next thing that’s holding me back
from seeing the magic.
playing freely like a leaf on the wind
or like a starling in a murmuration.
So I would say that I bother practising Collective Alchemy
because I find it liberating.
And it’s not just about my own freedom;
it’s about being able to live more and more of my life
directly engaging with an enchanted and ensouled universe.
Why do I need places in my life where I can feel rest and life and fire,
when it’s out of synch with our culture
that’s grown facile, impotent, passive?
It’s either polarity or passivity!
Maybe the drama in the world is a kickback against the passivity we’re in,
feeling disempowered, disenchanted.
Even the certainty denotes sameness, safety, hunkering down.
It’s a death before death,
but an unconscious death.
So what is it about all of us
that makes us say:
“GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!”
No matter what it’s like,
I want more LIFE!!
I’m getting some echos
from the gathering I went to
that was a forging agent for Collective Alchemy
“Wisdom and Co-Creating civilisation.”
The forging ground: we’re in forging times.
Alchemically, that feels essential practice:
to be able to withstand intensity and intensification.
At gathering, the caller invoked
the fierce urgency of now.
I perceived that as a call to action, to be present.
The urgency felt more from a doing stance
(“It’s all going to hell unless we do something”)
And I have a different energy around
the fierce urgency of now
being the potential that we have.
It connects with the shift we have made in our journey:
rather than seeking the dross, it’s an abiding in the gold.
As a result the shedding occurs.
I feel it here: “Souls on deck, shine like gold in dark times.”
Can we allow ourselves to be fully here and who we are
without all the stuff that has gotten in the way?
When we framed the calling question for this day,
that resignation energy was part of what was in motion.
It’s part of the calling into clarity:
being fiercely intentional,
fiercely joyful, fiercely alive.
This practice calls me to account.
You can’t go around it, you have to go through,
and it’s the going together
that keeps this continuing journey
on the edge of its aliveness.
That’s not always present in the day-to-day.
Can we flow into the energy of alchemy
that is forever present?
It is the nature of the universe.
I keep asking: is the fire hot enough?
Relinquish and keep showing up in the newness.
This is a practice ground
for that day-to-day life.
It might feel familiar but it isn’t safe.
I feel I’m being asked to find new ways
of doing things in the day-to-day
with that fierce aliveness and the call to be authentic,
to reside in the gold and let the clearing happen as it does.
Focusing on that is building capacity to do that
in daily life.
Being able to find others in the local vicinity
to do that with.
We can’t do it on our own.
Who showed up:
Neha Chaturvedi, An van Damme, Marie-José d’Aprile, Wini Condic Begov, Georgios Kastrinos, Susan Morales, Judy Wallace, Justin Frank, Ron ??, Patricia Hunt Perry, Louise Carpenter, Kim Maynard, Abhinav Aggarwal, Lyn McDonal, Marianne Spitzform, Pieter Deceuninck, Sarah Whiteley, Helen Titchen Beeth.