WHAT HAS COLLECTIVE ALCHEMY BEEN FOR ME?
HOW HAS IT BEEN PERMEATING THROUGH MY LIFE?
Welcoming Anna as co-host—a dream come true,
to welcome others behind the scenes,
to deepen the practice, sensing and hosting between calls.
We are celebrating the 3rd birthday of the conception
of Collective Alchemy.
When you are awake to the moment of conception,
it changes everything.
September is harvesting time.
When you intentionally sow a seed,
you know what you intend to reap, and why.
When you walk in the forest, you might stumble upon
edible mushrooms or hazelnuts.
In a hedgerow you might find hawthorn, sloe or blackberry.
There is intentional harvest, and there is unintentional harvest.
Collective Alchemy is an art that we have been practicing
together over time, and so it is not about harvesting something now
but making visible what we have already harvested:
the harvest is in us – indeed, the harvest is us.
We are the fertile soil in which fruitful seeds have been sown.
Explicitly naming what we have harvested brings it more
This is also part of making the harvest ready
and able to serve the future.
Intention and will play an important part:
what do we will for our lives, and what does
Collective Alchemy have to do with that?
An important ingredient is working with the deep will.
There is a mysterious polarity at play
between the deepest will, held by our soul,
and our highest intentions, held by our spirit
and much more accessible to our mind,
while what is stirring in our soul is not.
Just remember all those new year’s resolutions,
that do not survive January…
because our will is not aligned with our intention.
Make no mistake: you cannot will what you will.
So understanding what we will helps us
to align our intentions.
When will and intention are aligned, the arrow
will hit the mark.
When will and intention are not aligned, the arrow
may well fall short, or overshoot.
Once we know what we have harvested,
how do we will that it be brought to bear in our lives?
We do not know how long this harvesting cycle will last.
The cycle is informed by our practice with the tarot:
that makes visible the energetic signatures
operating under the surface.
The Focus of this cycle is the Knight of Stones—the Horse:
double earth, anchoring at depth
in practical, physical action and movement,
as we allow the impetus of the harvesting horse
to lift and carry us.
Our Advice is Balance; XIV in the spirit suit,
the alchemist’s card!
Polaric energies are cycling and spiralling
around a central axis—many strands of power and meaning
are moving through the practice and through us.
The Most Benevolent Outcome is the Blasted Oak (XVI)
a cataclysmic energy that mirrors
what humanity is going through in this Era Shift,
where everything is turned on its head.
Whatever has had its day must be released—
thought forms, habits, responses, patterns of living.
What is breaking open?
We are flooded with the life force,
knocked out of the “way it is”.
What lies beyond (XVII) is the STAR:
Wayfinding, understanding the truth tones,
the constants that allow us to navigate.
Today we remember and honour the moment
when Collective Alchemy came into existence—
without which we would not be here together today.
We express gratitude for all that it has been until this day,
and all that it will become in the future.
WHAT HAS COLLECTIVE ALCHEMY BEEN FOR ME?
HOW HAS IT BEEN PERMEATING THROUGH MY LIFE?
A question has stayed with me, from another time and place:
Who are your people?
This process and this journey have made me understand
that you are my people.
This is the first time I can live
my spiritual connection and sensitivity
the “witch” who knew what I knew
without knowing how.
I’ve hidden behind a strong, armoured identity;
but my armour was destroying me.
My spiritual life returned, touching people
but I kept holding it back.
During these months—the privilege!—
I have this deep sense of belonging.
This morning I woke up like a kid: so happy!!
What can I give into this celebration?
Incense, oracle cards:
* It’s time to let go of the past
* We are the masters of time
* Spirit of the wind, be grateful.
In gratitude, I toast with water from our spring,
infused with joy and love!
Peace and trust—the inner essence
Is there for us and for everyone.
For me, this practice has been
the only constant in the past six months
amidst so much change in my life.
You have been with me in a way
no one else has.
A coat hook: I haven’t missed a call;
bringing whatever and whoever I was.
Such a gift—this group that has been with me
offering structure to my life.
The questions have been guiding this phase,
they have been living in me,
always resonating with what is living in me,
helpful and encouraging.
A dual path guiding me, and a check point,
opening or re-opening doors
to parts of me I haven’t visited for a long time.
Diving deeper, since the outset,
into the sea of tears. It was what was there,
and it felt OK: feeling supported, held,
encouraged to dive.
A coincidence? I doubt it!
The door to creation has re-opened,
bringing paintings, and songs.
Thank you for miraculously appearing in my life!
It’s hard to put into words.
The quality of pleasure, comfort, cosiness.
“Estar a gusto”: here, I am in my element.
Moments of discomfort: what is this,
that I feel, experience, don’t want to let go of?
No need to resist—so freedom! It’s all OK!!
Many moments remind me of the quality of this space.
THAT is what I want in my life!
Express whatever arises—don’t look for answers.
I didn’t know that opening
can also be towards the inside.
The joy of gratitude.
I look at all of you: I know you!
Not only your faces, but your essence!
We’ve all been bringing our essence to these calls—
I would even recognise you from behind!
This is incredible—the courage, the vulnerability.
Now I see what all this is.
I toast with cinnamon and cacao in my coffee,
to reflect the exotic, aphrodisiacal quality
of these calls.
I have been trying to prioritise this call,
even with no wifi or electricity.
This practice has been working in and through me unconsciously.
I cannot grasp how it has been influencing me.
Something to hold on to—a safe place
where we can be ourselves.
A place to practice vulnerability and authenticity.
Connecting with you, with the collective,
with what’s happening in the world.
Relating things to each other—not able to grasp—
in the intangible realm.
Honouring the place where I’m at,
I’ve left the alchemy to do its work there,
beyond my ability to access.
So much transition, amidst a world in crisis,
a moment to stand still and reflect.
And there’s so much more yet to explore!!
A precious container—a safe space
of a quality seldom experienced.
Where I can attend to layers of life not usually attended to.
I’m grateful for those words:
‘the story of separation’ and ‘the story of interbeing’.
The latter is quite new for me;
I’m a beginner, a fledgling explorer.
I’m so happy to find places to practice with others.
The habitual way of being is strong
and pulls me back.
It takes me a while to sink in,
to dive through the crust of my resistance.
So often, those words are spoken that I need to hear.
In triad, each time there is something I take with me
that keeps working in my choices and actions.
Abet. Intensity. Taking a bath in what happens.
It’s OK to be in a difficult place.
This is a place where I can let it all unravel!
I can see in myself a resistance to theory—
reading about alchemy…
But I’ve probably been an alchemist for 25 years!
Doing the impossible when you’re facing the wall:
I’m curious what will unfold.
I feel as if I’ve been with you for much longer than I have.
At the mycelium gathering in November, I felt the connection.
An signposted me to Collective Alchemy in late August.
It connects me to my roots—brings a strong tailbone.
Art becomes the only sensible mode of expression
of beauty and impact.
How can I filter out Collective Alchemy from everything else,
when it resides in the story of interbeing?
First I encountered the Art of Hosting—I remember crying!—
then it all went on pause.
Before the summer, it opened up again.
I remember thinking: “I’m not smart enough for these people!”
I’ll have nothing to say..
until I entered the field and understood:
that’s all nonsense! There’s no levelling,
I can let go of all these diminishing thoughts.
It is a field that spreads beyond a space—it’s not boxed in.
It has brought a deeper level of sense-making,
moving me out of my head, leaning in.
The beauty is not cementing it into words,
but letting it flow beyond the cognitive.
Something else can point, in another
organic way of seeing life,
when being in structured systems
makes me sick.
How can I inject this fluidity
into my story of separation,
so it starts to resolve
into one beautiful, fluid field?
Thank you for making me aware of this space.
I could go on all day!
For me, it all began with an invitation from Sarah.
How powerful is this invitation into practice.
Indeed, one of the greatest gifts
is to be able to invite others into this field.
To host us all here is a joy, and I get to swim
more or less constantly in this soup.
We have been in intense practice for years now
and it just seems to get more intensive!
There must always be a next date in the calendar…
The continual, enduring practice of being with what is true
in the moment—I’ve been apprenticing to Sarah in that department!
Learning to pay attention to the subtle signals;
the layers of life I haven’t been attending to.
No need for mastery, just for community:
together we are more deeply rooted into the reality
of the whole universe.
The metaphor of alchemy has helped me in my embodiment—
anchoring my mind in my body.
The gift of every other Friday morning… opening up the Zoom Room
and HERE YOU ALL ARE!!!
The delicious flowering of love: a gusto! Goesting!
Alchemy was courting me for years before conception.
Rooting into, and rooting out
what no longer serves,
has been the deep thread in this journey.
tempering is when we are forged,
being hammered, yielding to become stronger;
trial by fire and by water,
I’m continually being forged.
Tuning into the field,
this practice has demanded everything.
It’s called for precision and intent.
To whom much is given, from them much is required.
That is the call from Collective Alchemy:
we are in a time when much is required from us.
This practice hones my capacity to stay
with what’s difficult.
It is an essential practice for these times.
Six decades of teaching: what was that all about?
I couldn’t have loved my students more.
For me, the essence is being with people
who want to be in this circle.
Our deepest “will”—I would use the word “desire”,
meaning: of the stars.
The desire to be part of Collective Alchemy
is what I want to place in the cauldron.
I bring the gold instruments created on Orkney.
FLOW and allowance, contributing
to a vibrational field where it is recognised
that everything is part of the whole.
That’s truly an essence for me of Collective Alchemy:
a strong sense of flow and allowance,
a receiving, community, sharing.
Receiving the reality. Thought provoking.
Feeling strongly drawn to the practice: it’s been a relief
to be in a circle of people
who all want to be here,
thinking about these things,
willing to show up in their momentary truth.
The interweaving of the dual path
opens up a huge field of possibility
in the way it’s received and harvested.
In all coming together in this space of love and kindness,
I acknowledge all that has gone into creating this.
The drawing of the cards—I’d missed that!
It catalyses something, offering another layer and level.
Today is the 19th anniversary of 9/11:
a cataclysmic portal day. How could we work with this?
The process of alchemising, blasting open:
ARE YOU AWAKE?!
Do you SEE, HEAR, FEEL what is happening?
Western US is on fire. Smoke.
Sunlight dimmed by ash.
Forests, animals, life, people, homes. All gone.
The planet is speaking to us: WAKE UP!!
The time is NOW!
There is more to this than just sitting in circle.
What is that? Watching, waiting?
What action I can take
will be with others.
When there isn’t resonance, that’s even better:
I am challenged!
What in me needs to burn to ash?
My spine is aching.
There is dissonance, spilling into my heart.
What you name has been in my meandering today.
We ARE the Blasted Oak.
I am reminded of the Orkney journey—Pain in the spine and sacrum.
Yellowstone was going to blow…
This practice is calling me to account:
what must be seen, named and known?
Our recent calls have been activating. Awakening.
We all have a calamity in our back yard.
Journeying over time, creating gravity together,
an energy field that is spilling over the edges.
Synergy, coherence, being on call to support
any one of us, to alchemise what is occurring.
To whom much is given, from them much is required.
The depth of our gifts as practitioners
is tuning our spiritual buoyancy
as well as our presence
amidst these vibrant energies.
Collective Alchemy was born for these times.
The heat has often been over my edge…
Can I shift the element that’s required?
We need all the elements.
Something in this field supports each of us
in our unique service for these times.
I, too, remember 9/11 today.
Collective Alchemy is about personal change and transformation,
and making choices.
I have been on a journey of self-discovery,
needing a formalised structure
where others can provide me with their experience, energies, insights, wisdom
to help me unfold my own potential.
And how would I explain what I’m doing, to someone who knows nothing about this?
I know it’s important because I am with this group
at other times than when I’m formally with the group—
the plenary and the triad.
My father used to say:
“Before you plant the flowers, you must pull the weeds.”
Maybe that, too, is what this Alchemy is about:
The The Via Positiva is the bridge of practice that we trust will carry us forward into an ever deeper and stronger capacity to live in Integral consciousness. This path takes the form of collective inquiry, mostly using the foundational practice of Collective Presencing, to lean into more transpersonal questions—matters of concern to the human collective, and eventually even beyond the personal level of the psyche, and beyond mundane worldly events. is easier for me
than discarding what holds me back from my life’s work.
I never saw that as part of the self-improvement journey:
In this circle I gain energy, enrichment, wisdom.
To me this place of practice is a challenge—it’s not an easy place to be.
I’m not a joiner.
I’m not an alchemist.
The challenge is going into a place with an open heart.
For me, it’s just another good circle
where people listen to each other.
It’s a microcosm: how to go into difficult places
and continue to open.
Why do I keep coming back?
It’s where I need to continue practicing.
I experience beyond words and mind.
That Presence that comes through to me in this group,
even on zoom. I didn’t know that was possible.
We are in the journey of de-education;
de-colonisation of our minds.
I love the circle for the presence,
imbibing through the space beyond words.
A safe but challenging haven
outside the turmoil.
Alchemy isn’t soft and cushy.
Circle time has become more a part of my life;
sorting the wheat from the chaff.
These calls have been a choice of self-care.
A lot has happened in these months:
the passing of my grandmother,
returning home, sharing this circle with my mom.
I dreamed of being in an alchemy class (they were mostly men!)
distracted by rainbow bubbles.
The weaving of worlds: birth, death.
Soap, liquid, colour.
Lavendar: a colour, a herb, a scent, a calming.
I have been seeing both sides: morning and evening calls.
The time is right to dive deeper.
In the morning, my sisters and brothers—fellow practitioners.
In the evenings, a council of Elders,
bringing more gravity, stability.
I experience the wholeness of both sides of the portal;
the power of the full day.
We are more people than I had realised.
I feel as held as I need to feel,
to find the courage to look for, to live, to speak
And no, I’m not crazy: you’re all doing it too!
It’s what’s needed.
I’m encouraged to know that you’re here.
This is a sacred journey—It’s time for me to pay attention
to so many things.
To lean into the joy and the pain.
It’s a great place to do some soul work.
WHAT IS THE ESSENCE WE ARE TAKING WITH US INTO OUR DAY OR OUR NIGHT?
Value, gratitude, calm,
touched, joyfully hammered, healing
my force, inspiration
sense-making with the senses
a space of belonging for outliers
the weird ones: a safe space to speak heresy
channelling, truth, simmering, truth,
groundedness, heart-felt gratitude,
silent knowing, trust, belonging
attention, not knowing.
Who showed up
Marie-José d’Aprile, Wini Condic Begov, Ellen Decoodt, Anna Brunain, Pieter De Ceuninck, Daniela Tablado, Brigitte Kupfer, Patricia Hunt Perry, Madeline Snow, Laurie Lynch, Marina Lynch, Louise Carpenter, Judy Wallace, Madeleine Schwab, Molly Whiteley, Steve Ryman, Judy Wallace, Sarah Whiteley, Helen Titchen Beeth.