Harvest of Collective Alchemy circles — 22 October 2021


What’s present is the fragility of plans,
A weather front came through bringing a windfall of 15kg of quince to process;
a 2-day migraine resulted in a fridge full of uneaten food.
Circumstances wash through our plans,
leaving us to deal with what is present.
How often what is present is not knowing
what is going on!
Not knowing what’s going on inside,
not knowing what’s going on outside,
not knowing who or what to believe,
who or what to trust, where to go…
Not knowing what we want.
There’s so much not knowing,
while we are conditioned to want to know,
to need to understand,
to hold on to some kind of certainty, some explanation,
some image…
The gift of these times is the disruption of all that.

The metaphoric imagery that arose during our co-sensing:
firstly, the fire coming through and incinerating everything that was there before,
making way for the new, which has been waiting to come in
but unable to because the space was consumed by the old.
Secondly, the pulse of life: the tension followed by release;
the heart pumping, the contractions pushing the baby out of the womb,
our muscles as they move us.
In the mean time, it’s intense!
Many of us have learned to cope with the intensity by numbing ourselves,
finding ways of absenting ourselves, dissociating.
Intense reactions are experienced as threatening
by those around us, just as we are often frightened
by intense reactions from those around us.
We have often been traumatised from an early age
by experiencing an intensity that we couldn’t hold,
when there was no one there to hold us in that.
That experience invests the body and can leave us automatically dissociating
whenever intensity shows up.
And yet, this is not the way we want to live,
and it’s not a way we can live together well
in times when so much is at stake,
in terms of seeding the present with the future we want to live in
rather than one we don’t.
So there’s an opportunity, in our collective alchemical practice,
for a holding, a containment, that can allow us to feel the intensity
without falling to pieces or self-destructing,
so we can take the risk of being in the fire, of feeling the full squeeze.
The other thing which can help us with the intensity
is having some kind of bigger picture, some vaster perspective
that allows us a little more equanimity in the intensity of the moment.
Understanding that we’re in an era shift is a contextualising perspective
that can help us understand why we don’t understand what’s going on,
why we can’t find any navigates and points of reference:
we’re in a place we’ve never been before, collectively.
These are ways of framing the sensing we’ve been in during this past week,
and to frame the question which has emerged for us:


Early call

An orange glow inside me
—the oranges of the season, of the fruit, of the fire
that is de-icing the trauma—integrating,
I’ve been sick with the virus:
I contracted COVID.
I had been in a story of illness, weak immunity;
a story of failure.
But what if it’s my body upgrading?
What is my contract with COVID?
Lying in bed with my feverish child,
feeling the fire of her hot body,
as she stroked my hand and I cried.
The de-icing of a life’s trauma,
a beautiful moment that will stay in me;
not a story, but a frequency that now lives in my body.
I wouldn’t have been aware of that
were it not for these months of circling up with you all.
I wouldn’t have been able to capture the essence
of that moment.
Something that will get me through:
this oneness.
Now I know it’s there – I’ve tasted it.
I feel you. We feel each other.
There’s a part of you in me, and a part of me in you;
that’s how we connect.
If there’s a disconnect, then we’re not truly living
That’s the only experience that has mattered in the last weeks.

I’m experiencing a softening of my edges.
Like how hard substances are softened by a continuous flow of water.
In that softening of the concreteness
it is important to feel more part of the world,
more present, remembering how much else is going on at all times.
The softening and the cracks
will allow me to find better circulation
of air: breath
of water: blood.
A lot is happening through rest,
an almost anaesthetised state.
In the harshness of my image of my edges and the boundaries
of my being and my body,
how huge, how continuously aligned, how tremendous the cosmos is!
With glaciers, forests, rocks
with movement.
It is all so centred in this memory of now.
This softening is a recall of overwhelm.
It is beyond what the mind can conceive, articulate, portray.
I have tried to capture it, understand it, hold it
in my consciousness, in its surface expression.
Hence the overwhelm.
Experiencing in my body the discomfort
the intensity, anxiety, confusion,
as a way to bring me to a subtler layer.
A re-call, a reminder
of the vastness, the expansiveness, the immensity, the indescribability of it all.
A sedated state, like I can dream only when I’m asleep.
When I’m sedated, rested, in the body
is the only time this remembrance can come to the surface.
I feel the need to loosen up the knots,
the cemented edges, boundaries, rocks,
so I don’t hold things.
So that the flow can be continuous, unblocked.
To be porous, permeable.
I’ve been struggling to stay with the present,
feeling disheartened, disappointed, losing faith.
What’s emerging is way beyond the need of faith.
It really doesn’t matter what story I tell myself.
The strength of what’s emerging is so immediate to experiences
that preconceptions, stories, beliefs,
there’s no space for them: they’re not needed.
It’s hard to let go of them.


I have moments where my discursive mind
questions my sanity
because the the narrative that is keeping me sane
is so far beyond anything that is accepted by “people like us”,
they might be…
It’s a narrative which has been given to me from an outside source
that simply says:
trust your inner source!
So it’s a very alchemical ‘as-without-so-within’ kind of injunction.
While I assume that it’s something which lives in every being,
yet I can only speak from my own experience:
there’s a deep inner knowing that says YES
to being actively engaged in bringing forth an embodiment of the world
that is love and connexion
—I’ve never met anybody who doesn’t long for that.
And yet with the insanity that is unfolding in the world,
all the polarisation and mayhem can only get worse,
because this is the impending fire:
it’s burning but it hasn’t yet consumed all that needs to be consumed
in order for that other world to come forth.
Understanding that I feed what I fight,
inner source is telling me just to hold my frequency,
not get sucked into the fear.
I’m held by a place which allows me to do that;
to live a simple and emergent life (which is paradise for me)
close to the land,
without busyness, without projects.
There’s a little voice in me that says:
what if this isn’t the era shift?
What if this is actually just going to become a totalitarian nightmare?
What if it’s not going to be burned away?
What if I’m just fantasising about being saved by my cosmic narrative?
And then sometimes I wake up in the night
so engulfed by the incandescence my own living presence presence
that I realise:
what else is there to do than live utterly free?
Free to have plans, or not.
Free to experience the fullness of every moment.
I realise that ultimately it comes down to a choice.
I choose to live within a narrative which allows me
maximum space to experience embodied Love.
That orange glow.

For me, it seems to be attachment
that stands in the way.
An unwillingness to accept the necessity of loss.
Instead, wanting ALL,
with ALL being some true delusional idea inside me
about a world without loss.
But the fire has to burn to make space for the new,
and in the end we don’t know.
My sense is that it will never consume
as much as needs to be consumed.
Unless some giant asteroid strikes the planet…
and then what have we got?
I woke up in the night
because of the connection.
I have a friend who is in the process of dying.
She’s three days older than I am
and she was my first crush (aged 5).
She brought me here to you folks, and I’m glad for that.
I hold her here as I struggle
with my inability to properly process loss
while it’s happening.
That’s my narrative…
Maybe she will miraculously hold on,
but I don’t think so.
I’m finally realising
that it is possible to sit with the intensity
and not turn away,
even when it’s completely overwhelming;
what’s too much?
Insanity is not feeling too much,
insanity is trying to deny and turn away.
The more narratives I can let go of, the better I will be.
But I don’t think I’ll ever stop making plans
or taking on projects…
It is what it is!

Late call

Spaces like this,
where collective attention is a squeezing mechanism
that concentrates me into a thicker space of vastness.
It feels like a squeezing,
I’m being forced into a space
that feels familiar.
The respite comes in the release from that space.
The contrast between where I’ve been
and the respite, that shows
it’s contours,
so that when I come out of it,
words may come.

I don’t now if the baby knows what it’s doing,
but the sense of: OK, now!
Now we’re going to turn upside down,
this is what’s next.
Oh, it’s getting tighter…
Just the process of knowing
what I’m meant to do.
Not knowing why.
Just knowing this is right,
as the baby finding my way out
into the new space.
It’s just different!

There’s something here
for me about being
a multidimensional human.
Then there’s the squeezing in—
like in the moments before this call,
interactions with the landlady,
like a bolt of lightning.
There’s something about the old world,
caught in the vibrations of that,
while in that moment I began to hold
a different space,
of tenderness and pure love.
Part of it is navigating these interludes
where I can be pulled back in
—to step back and hold that space—
whether I’m the mother or the baby.
Holding a wider perspective and stance
of all that’s at work here,
in this realm and beyond,
in this incredible time.
Noticing how we are all impacted
in different, unique ways.
It feels right to learn to be with
those places and people,
across all time and space.
Feeling the squeeze and the expansion
of what’s possible for me and us?

I’ve been experimenting with cognitive overwhelm.
Looking out at the window,
outdoors looked like an underwater scene,
with the wind moving through the trees
so they waved like forests of kelp.
It was disorienting until I recognised
the way the air and the water behave
according to the same algorithms and patterns.
On the outside, I was witnessing the complexity
of movement born from how the different shapes of leaves
and configurations of branches on the trees
behaved differently in response to the impetus of the wind,
which was also being tempered by the resistance that it was meeting
from these differently shaped entities
with differing degrees of flexibility and strength and altitude…
On the inside, there was a cascading insight born of overwhelm:
a representation of the complex currents of humanity on planet earth;
the way we’re trying to govern ourselves,
and the algorithms that we forced ourselves into,
even down to our standardised system of measurement,
and the way they reify and concretise social injustice…
There’s just no way we’re going to rethink all of that!
The squeeze of panic relaxes into the knowing
that indeed the baby knows what to do.
It’s the baby that triggers the birth pangs to begin with.
This contraction of trying to get my head round something
—that old habit of trying to understand—
and then just releasing into: it’s all right!
The cosmos has got this down.
I don’t have to model this weather system,
I just have to weather this wind.
When I open up to that,
there’s just sheer joy at the awesomeness of it all,
and the fact that sometimes my mind gets a glimpse
of even a tiny little fractal fragment of the awesomeness of it all.
I’m learning to identify with and experience
the embodiment of my multi-dimensional self,
which is not in any hurry.
I don’t have to get through some bucket list
of wanted experiences in this lifetime…
I’ve got all of eternity.
Earlier today we were talking about how gravity creates time,
and photons are eternal.
We are matter and light; we are we are gravity and eternity;
we’re all of that!
How limiting it would be to have to choose!

What is respite?
I don’t think I want it!
Respite feels like a pre-decision
that something has something
that I need to get away from for a bit.
I don’t think there’s anything like that for me.
This morning, coming down the mountain,
a tiny bit of the awareness I could choose,
the old or the new?
Do I want to dwell on what is embedded in habits
that no longer serve?
Or this new that feels free and unencumbered.
There’s a play of where to put my attention.
A sense of generosity.
I’ve never met any of you,
and I have no idea!
The era around us that might be collective,
and what is my immediate experience?
What is your immediate experience?
And the feeling of alchemy!
Feeling the in-rush of this chemical with each sharing
washing over me… it’s lovely!
There’s no place to go!
It’s already here!
That baby is going to go into a new experience,
and it’s just different
The old paradigm: there’s bad stuff out there, to get rid of…
Is that what this alchemical shift is saying?
There’s a different way of being in it,
that has a generosity about it.
Something quite different!
Life goes on as the trees change colour.

I’m noticing that
—like breathing in and out—
there is this experience of focusing and letting go
that happens in all sorts of frequency ranges.
The respite and perspective both show up in the letting go,
that I feel as expansive and greater awareness…
and without the focused attention
I wouldn’t get there.
The two have to go together.

The squeeze that I experience from time to time
seems to happen when I’m entangled
with what is leaving and being transmuted within me.
It brings me to the absolute place of knowing myself
as a quantum being,
in that what I do
—regardless of all of the structures and habits
that come piling in—
is creating reality in that moment.
I’m finding that that quantum awareness
is intensifying.
And so I’m relying more and more
on what feels light in the body,
and building my capacity to trust that,
so that I can actually change
and move into ways of being
that are different to how they have been.
The areas where that’s challenging
is with those whom I am close to,
who are carrying on their day-to-day lives
without an awareness of just how much is changing,
potentially falling away from under our feet.
There is that sense of disengagement
from all the old systems and structures
that we know are on the way out.
Discovering just how deep they go,
and how much of that focused attention is required
to disengage from them in all areas of life
and allow something different to rise up
and meet our feet as we step out.
It often feels like I’m stepping into a void!
There’s an unknowing of how things will play out,
on a personal and a collective level.
But when I do manage to catch the
mental realm as it kicks in and let it go,
then it opens up the ‘dreaming space’
that is an arising of an energy
or a vision (not deliberate) that I find uplifting,
and I can direct energy into that.
In terms of the squeezing and respite,
what comes to me is how complex and paradoxical it is
that there is this streamlining and fine-tuning of self going on
that feels like a squeeze,
but it’s bringing me closer and closer
to knowing myself as infinite,
at the same time as that infinite being is
shifting as well!
There are so many layers going on.
Out in the garden this morning,
I was light-headed. I had to sit.
As if I was not really there, in the physical.
An unfamiliar experience, not unpleasant…
But if I stayed in that state,
I wasn’t going to get much done!
I needed the contact with the physical.
I, too, am finding that the ‘normal’ ways of communication
no longer work for me.
I often find myself not knowing what to say,
so the capacity to be in silence
with that expansion in the moment
shifts things
—for myself and others in the space.
A lot of intense feelings passing through.

Few are able to rise above the ideas of the time”.
The collective focused attention of culture
is hard to extract yourself from.
And there are moments when the culture shifts
and the sensitive ones become aware of the
letting go of the culture’s focused attention
and the shift of what’s in the foreground
to the background.

Much of my immediate experience
of this call has been a memory of
residing and moving through a cave system
I used to know.
To dive deep enough to find the openings to move through,
you have to blow the air out of your lungs.
Traversing the ‘cheese press’
you had to breathe out
and move with real precision
—like the baby.
Part of the guiding in those moments
was calming the group enough
so that was the appropriate thing to do!
Part of the challenge we’re in
it’s not just a one-way street,
it’s a confluence,
a conflicting landscape,
a critical meeting point of different ways,
where there is no place to pass.
The baby’s got to come out
or it endangers the mother and child.
There’s something in the timing,
in the awareness of the critical junctures.
Something unknown is vibrating the node of ‘respite’.
There’s a time lag in the event of heavy rains:
sections of cave can be submerged.
You batten down the hatches
when you know a storm is coming,
not just as it arrives.
We are collectively on watch,
collectively scanning:
what are we picking up,
that one of us alone might miss?
It’s not just what we’re in, it’s the precognition,
understanding the patterns,
intuiting the aftermath,
and the openings these create.
How to bring our collective knowing
and experiential understanding
to conditions we have not seen before?

Breathing out enough to drop deep enough,
the air realm is so often equated with the mental realm:
how deeply embedded we are in the mental realm as a norm.
It struck me as an invitation to be even more vigilant
about where thoughts are snagging me
as I squeeze through the cheese press.

This phenomenon of “dreaming”
framed as a generative, co-creative way of living with life.
It’s neither what is called manifesting nor positive visualisation.
I sense it clearly in my relationship with the place where I live,
and how that all came into being.
My mother tells me I first spoke of this ‘dream’ at the age of eight:
how when I grew up I would live on the land, self-sufficient and natural.
I never spoke of it again (or even consciously thought of it)
until the cascade of events leading to the place was triggered
just before I turned 50.
Just the way a female foetus already holds inside her all the eggs
she will ovulate during her life
—so I was inside my grandmother’s body,
just as my daughter was inside my mother—
it seems we come into existence carrying certain imprints or images
that can then guide us from the inside out.
There was a calibration of knowing in my body,
some kind of kinaesthetic image
that I carried in my body that landed me
in the right place at the right time.
The quality of felt sense on first encountering the place
was of a dream come true.
There’s a kind of suspension
in between the breathing out and the breathing in,
in between the expansion and the contraction,
that’s like a ‘zero point’, a moment where you can turn reality inside out.
It seems to me that that’s the space
in which these seed dreams can be accessed,
and manifest in an instant.
So it seems important to learn to discern and recognise
the felt sense, the resonant imprint of those images
that spring from the eternity deep inside,
in those moments of suspension in between two moments.
There’s a potency there,
and I wonder: what are the the eggs that humanity is carrying?
Ultimately we know how we want to live.
We know what social justice looks like.
We know what pure love feels like.
We know, but perhaps things have to get to that point of so much squeeze
that we collapse inside-out into the future we dream of.

The eternal, the infinite
and the NOW.
When I’m fully present
my awareness is heightened.
I notice what I might not have before,
and that potential is infinite.
It is carried in me,
and in an instant it’s there
and it materialises.

I am grateful for your presence, all of you,
throughout co-sensing and today’s calls
– and I am offering my silence today –
much aware of the exhaling
and how it creates space within and around myself.

About exhaling, breathing out…
people I know who carry a lot of trauma in their bodies
share a very particular pattern of breathing
where they spend most of their time holding their breath
with the occasional explosive exhale
followed by a very rapid inhale and new holding.
They spend an awful lot of time bathing in impoverished oxygen and pent-up-ness.
How much of humanity is stressed and traumatised
to the extent that they cannot even choose how to breathe.
They cannot necessarily choose to exhale and trust
that the next breath will be there,
because of the nature of the old that is leaving.
I’m with the awareness of how many souls
will probably leave with the old as it goes down.
There’s something extremely poignant about that:
I want to savour what is still here while it is still here,
like savouring the music of the violins even while the deck of the Titanic is tilting…

I am contemplating that we use terms
with the assumption that everybody understands what they are:
‘era shift’, ‘collective attention’, ‘trauma’.
There seems to be a collective assumption
that we understand what these terms mean on these calls.
It disconnects me.
That’s where I’ve been.

Who showed up:

Neha Chaturvedi, Georgios Kastrinos, Wini Condic Begov, Charlie Derr, Marie-José d’Aprile, Louise Carpenter, Justin Frank, Madeline Snow, Judy Wallace, Kim Maynard, Pieter Deceuninck, Sarah Whiteley, Helen Titchen Beeth

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Invitation Page

Collective Alchemy portal day, Friday 22 October 2021

  Greetings fellow Alchemists! ARE YOU FEELING IT? Our co-sensing for this portal waveThe two weeks between twice-monthly Collective Alchemy Portal Days (when open practice calls take place), when co-sensing and preparation takes place for the next Portal Day. More (your co-sensors for this wave have been Georgios, Pieter, Louise, Sarah and Helen) has been intense and disorienting. Just as we are navigating the era shift as it plays out in our world, so the

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