Harvest of Collective Alchemy Practice Circles—25 September 2020



See also the Event invitation for more framing of this calling question:

This is the 13
th cycle:
just beyond the equinox, and we are continuing to deepen our harvest.
This time, there are more cooks in the kitchen:
Molly and Anna have stepped in to sense-make and host.
What does our Tarot companion have to say about 13?
The Journey/Death. We see Raven, picking over a skull.
Death is often feared and misinterpreted,
but it is an inescapable phase in the journey through the cycle
that aligns with the wheel of life.
It is an occasion for celebration of all that has been lived.
In this cycle, we are releasing and celebrating,
leaning into the uncertainty and newness.
What will nourish and sustain us going forward?
What can best fuel the compost?

Check in:

In these turbulent times, where am I on the intensity spectrum, where one extreme is feeling rooted in my own presence, and the other is feeling swept away by overwhelm?

At both ends and in the middle.

Rooted, and that generates more moments of being swept away.

Somewhere between 8 &9 on the rooted side—or I wouldn’t be here!

A lot of both; rootedness with movement going through.
Physical anxiety in my body this week.

What does the mixed metaphor mirror?
There is intensity, even in the space of presence, these days.
I can be in a twister that takes me up off my feet in an instant.

I am a reed: rooted and moving in the powerful winds.

A strong sense of rootedness, amidst the passing storm,
blowing through me—high intensity
without losing my ground.

My hematite helps me ground and heal.
The trees are creaking like floors.
I’ve been very sad—I feel the intensity:
it is in this field!

Rooted and uprooted at the same time—
as long as I can hold on.
I’m trimming tabs, and I’m where I need to be.

Anchored in my body, with the occasional ripple of fear,
if I dip my toe in the water of public discourse around control.
An innocent flower, yanked down into the underworld
by Pluto, in passing. A place of stillness, dark and depth.

Movement—exposing myself to the storm:
back and forth between the roots
and the wild, whipping branches.

A children’s game: a ball on an elastic string, tied to a stone.
I’m rooted AND flying in all directions:
momentary overwhelm before returning to the stone.

Near the rooted end, with awareness of the potent gusts
that can overwhelm. Hunkering down
within presence. Within presence
are the practices of trust, faith in the bigger picture,
and allowance of the emotional flow when the gusts hit.

Closer to the rooted. It takes a lot
of truly sinking in, in almost every moment, to stay there
in this traumatised and overwhelmed world.
I can get caught up in that—these are transitional times.
Rootedness is integral to being of service.

I’ve been practicing equanimity for 4 years
of witnessing something destructive.
Holding to the centre. I see and acknowledge
what I see and feel: including sliding towards overwhelm.
Acknowledging my inside as the outside unfolds.

Feeling overwhelmed—it wasn’t me!
It’s the Zeitgeist that’s overwhelm.
I’m moving away from distraction,
while overwhelm even appears in my dream time.
It’s helpful to acknowledge that I live as a pendulum: it’s inescapable.

I had to be uprooted before I could put down roots.
Unsettling times led me to choose to come to ground.
I can only stay rooted if I’m supported and nurtured.
I am rooted in this circle due to the work of others and the collective.
I am indebted!
I am willing to do better, but witnessing such chaos and destruction
can shake me.

I’m struggling with the word “spectrum”.
Waves of overwhelm flow through; they are to be navigated.
Roots feel dangerous when the waves are so strong.
Rather than defending my position, my place of presence,
I float with the waves.

I was nearly blown off my feet when I stepped outside today.
Now I’m shifting from anchoring energy to wave action:
Waves of overwhelm pass through, whether I’m anchored or not.


I don’t know how—it just did!
No cause & effect, just support for transformation.
I cannot explain Collective Alchemy to someone else—
this is a good sign!
That perceptible something.
I love our imagery, my words fall short.
Recently, with more presence to my true self,
there have been actions of letting go.
People are leaving the global company where I work.
I’m harvesting, and those around me are too.
My presence can support that.

Another practice I can’t explain!
To this place, I can bring
all the practices I have ever done.
It’s the only place that works.
30 years of Sufi presencing, and my shamanic tradition: welcome!
My tantric tradition: welcome!
Each practice offers a community that nourishes certain parts of me.
Here, it’s OK to share—here is a container
that helps me understand.
I’m grateful for the cognitive pieces.
I’m composting stuff I no longer need.
The aftermath of a relationship
is fuelling everything else for me these days.

Fire goes through the vagina (if you have one!)
I share practices with others in this field—
some of them are here, even if not spoken.
Like that nature is beautiful and that the landscapes
where we are also heal.
This is the only practice, perhaps, that can serve
the complexity of this Era Shift.
Change in the world is a process and a way.
My body-mind-soul is in its drastic rearrangement.
Almost completed for now.
I’m trusting the workings of the Universe

Today I am visited by images.
I remember our first call:
a lava-stone egg with a crack in it.
I know the crack was there:
I would hide it or try to repair it.
This Collective Alchemy practice has deepened the cracks.
Now the egg has exploded, and its shards
are all over the universe.
I feel naked like a new-born baby,
nothing and everything—pure light.
Being able to change myself.
Achieving stillness allows me to see all around,
and realise how much I need to change myself,
to transform the quality of relationships.
It creates a magnificent process—
it doesn’t take courage, it just happens!
The portal calls allow me to take stock
of my baby steps along the wall
built of all your words and insights
offered along the way.

Fear is a reaction; courage is a choice.
Following the thread of courage to see where it leads.
What takes courage for me, in this practice of Collective Alchemy,
has been trusting in my own truth at any moment,
allowing my actions to come from that place.
My truth seems radically at odds with the understanding of reality
espoused by the people around me.
Hence the old way of doing “reality checks” no longer works for me.
What do I hear in the world that resonates with my truth?
My inner truth won’t change to align with the outer.
This reduces my action choices to: speak or stay silent?
The inner stillpoint is crucial:
to look into the depths of the pond and scry what’s stirring there.
Fear muddies the waters. Return to stillness,
reconnect with the truth of my perception.
And what has changed in the world is my perception.
I sense the popping (think: canning pears!) as people awaken
to their own truth, and realise the dissonance
between what they are seeing in the world and what we’ve always been told.

The courage to prioritise exploration of my inner life.
Paying attention to unattended aspects
allows me to practice on a daily basis:
repeating the same walk hundreds of times,
where I concentrate on aspects of myself.
There aren’t many places where I can express these things.
In moments of conflict…
or with my kids…
I can somehow withdraw from habitual reaction
and respond in a different way.
This week, I am struggling with a feeling:
do I still want to be in this citizen’s group—
where what brought me joy is now a sack of stones?
Standing for what I am
in a political game where there is not honesty…
I can now see I am not attached:
I feel free to leave it behind. It’s time to let it go!
Whatever happens will be OK—I will act from who I am.

Profound internal changes.
The courage to re-imagine my best self
brings the responsibility to embody that,
and offer it to others.
Courage is about steadiness in an unsettled and chaotic world.
When tested, can we be true to what we are?
Humane marking in grade school:
A-B-C-D-NY… No FAIL, just NOT YET!
NOT YET making those changes,
yet believing that through my and our work,
I will have the courage to say YES
to the practice, to myself, to the path.

My attention circled around the words “effect change”.
This practice and relational space has shifted
what I allow exchange with.
The scope of that has expanded vastly
what I am open to being in relationship with;
what I allow in.

I have learned to see life as a gift.
That I am here is a gift.
That I am invited…
My talking piece is a small statue of Lakshmi
that I found washed up on the beach—goddess of giving and receiving.
I feel the belonging, the mutuality, receptivity.
I am reminded of an intense relational alchemy
I once experienced with a former SS officer and his family—
the alchemical process that occurred in that family system
when I changed.
Collective trauma healing in action.
Since stepping into this practice,
I have started an intergenerational zoom group with my son.

For me, its not a popping; it’s a trickling:
fluid and slow.
The stories of separation and interbeing,
staying out of the warring narratives
helps me conserve my love energy,
finding my own essence.
NOT YET… but my awareness is shifting,
and I’m on a roll now. I trust
that this cleansed, renewed energy will ripple.
I struggle with motherhood:
can I abet the deep trauma and bring
the purified love to my children?
Find strength in my own truth,
and let go of what no longer serves?

I share an image of Sycamore Gap in Hadrian’s wall
that separates Scotland from England.
Last I visited there, I asked the tree for connection
to places of power: Delphi, Teotihuacan, Jacob’s Well…
What do I need to hear?
Be willing to engage.
Be willing to be moved.
Be willing to be transformed
in service of what is being asked of me in this time.
Becoming my best self.
We are utterly interwoven and interconnected.
Thanks to this practice
I am stronger, fitter, my endurance is greater.
The intensity keeps me constantly on my edge.
I can stand more strongly in a truer space within myself,
because I have learned to dwell in the fire.
I can withstand greater intensity for longer.
Portal Day is a space where I can deepen and widen
for a longer stretch of time.
Not only the peaks and troughs,
but also the bandwidth of intensity has increased.
We become stronger for the hammering.


I’m having trouble relating to the question:
based on the assumption this practice has increased my courage,
which is not the case.
For me, this practice is travel between cultures.
I find here a different way of being and relating
than what I find comfortable.
It is a practice of releasing my triggering,
and opening my heart to listen.
I don’t see myself as an alchemical practitioner—nor do I want to be one!
I do appreciate the opportunity to practice softening and listening,
beyond the temptations to other and judge.
I feel that is certainly needed in the world.

More and more of my base matter reveals itself.
I wouldn’t have the courage to deal with it,
were it not for a good friend, whose holding is a gift to me.
In terms of the world, I’m less in the way of my star,
that higher part of me.
Learning to follow my desire: being a teacher.
How do I bring that into my interactions?
The ways are there, when I’m not in the way.

What effect has this practice had on me?
Allowance and acceptance of being Self.
The greatest gift an of us can be—
bringing through our own unique expression of source.
I have been helped in that process,
both finding courage and burning the blockages.
It’s restored my faith in humanity—
all of us showing up as ourselves,
and being accepted.
Your nuggets change the course of my thinking and feeling.
I receive courage to show up like this in ALL of my life.
A sense of letting go of the ‘healing paradigm’
as the defining structure of my life and work.
It opens up a different space: my healing is now done—
it need no longer define me.
So where does my radical self-responsibility lie?
As to our Collective Alchemy purpose:
Where is our responsibility? How far can we intend
an effect on the whole species?
Do we accept that whatever we do has an effect on the whole?
When there’s an intention, there’s an imposition.
We must be a clear channel if we won’t impose our state on others.
What stage of the process are we in as a group?
In the silence, what popped up was “the virome”:
viruses are the agent of evolution:
what a relief to hear that!
Being open to change, allowing of change within.
The relationship is with ourselves: we canno change
anything outside ourselves.
Sovereignty—we are holographically universal beings.
There is a choice of reality and world view.
My trust and knowledge that all is well:
We can welcome this virus—it’s an agent we’re in need of.
The human species is the catalyst for the 6th extinction
and the virus is helping with evolution beyond that horizon.
Things aren’t static. The question shifts as the world changes.
We create our own reality.
When I look at the reaction, response and resistance
to what is happening,
I don’t see that as my reality.
I release fear of bodily death
and receive support from the natural world
which is in balance with itself.
I’m starting to connect with others in my physical community
who are getting on with life,
in growing harmony with the Earth.

I want to echo your experience with mine
of the crux of everything, to me, is choice.
It’s choosing my reality.
Choosing to spend my time
—as an alchemical practice I have learned in this field
(with a noticeable molecular effect)—
standing in the integrity of my own truth,
in those moments looking out at what I have always
taken for granted as the way the world is,
and I see a travesty. Such a blatant violation
of the essential goodness of humans.
Wiped from the board as if it’s not there.
Fear is a reaction, courage is a choice.
We are hard-wired to ‘go with the flow’ of mainstream discourse
because it’s the human community that feeds us, shelters us,
keeps us alive…
without our sense of belonging we can’t really survive.
So recognising that’s true, AND knowing that I don’t have to separate myself from humanity
in order to hold onto my truth—
I just need to understand that there is ‘content’—thought forms—
and then there’s everything else!
Our stuckness lies in our thought forms, our stories—the fact that we identify with those.
(Identity is also a thought form)
Identifying as a human being because I have thought forms…
If that’s true, then I’m reverting to the animal, vegetable and mineral realms!
I’m DONE with this social narrative.
It has no redeeming qualities in my eyes any more.
It’s good that here’s a circle where I can say that safely
without being expelled or ejected.

I’m living now with more courage than ever before.
The key is engaging in collective sensing and inquiry.
The courage to make choices is really up
in this collectively traumatic time.
There’s an awareness that comes like a jolt.
RGB’s passing—an outpouring of love,
with shouts of “vote him out” as the president paid his respects.
YES!!! was my visceral response…
There’s something addictive
about engaging in polarised environments.
What must I let go of to disengage?
What in me still wants that?
I see it reflected in the people around me
as I engage in different groups.

Understanding how the world works… includes me!!
I must be willing: courage, choice, decision.
I must be willing to be uncomfortable.
To try, fail and try again.
I must hush the fears that get in the way
and trust my inner voice that says what’s “right”;
acknowledging what’s not productive for me.
I feel the difference from this morning.
I see the importance of staying in the moment.
You have spoken my mind.

When speaking my truth,
subtle discernment is required:
Is there readiness to receive it?
I must be grounded in each moment
to sense what’s needed.

I feel some process going on that cannot yet be articulated.
I’m distracted, preoccupied… it has to do with death.
Interpreting the Journey card: this change may seem destructive,
but old crops must be cleared for new growth to thrive.
This practice is a culmination of many others—
they are all in the mix,
evolving as more alchemists are drawn into co-sensing.
A swirling of multidimensional effects.
This practice has transformed my way of being in the world.
The Forest Lovers advised us to stay in the harvesting cycle.
Staying in relationship with the practice is essential.
How to open the space and be present as things are dying?
“Inner transformation for outer change.”
I’m in constant alchemical transformation:
it’s part of my moving in the world.


Check Out
This is where I utter my spoken commitment
to carry my learnings into my life, until we meet again.
What energy do I take from the circle to continue on my journey?

Being part of something bigger

Courage as an action:
a healing of ancient grief of my inner child.

In this village where everyone knows everyone,
I have additional clarity that I am living in a learning lab
as an alchemist.

Belonging with you together.
Dancing on the flying carpet
along the edge of evolution.

Tears, yawning, settling my nervous system.

Silence, solemnity.
Today I let go of my cat.
I have known her pain for months.
Your presence will help me to allow this to pass.

Playful, kind energy—almost soft.
Our willingness is playful and light
because it’s a choice.

Trust, even when I’m overwhelmed:
I can find my ground again.

Lightness of letting go.
Gratitude for all that’s been shared.

Believing I can change, and I will.

I place my stake in the ground of a world
where disclosing our deepest and most tender truth
requires neither trust nor courage:
it is simply the truth of our humanity.

The energy from everyone’s participation!
We hold an unsettled field,
as we get closer to the bone in the death space.
What is really needing to die now,
for something else to be born?

The energy of real community,
where everybody is accepted and equally valued—
being part of that.

The beauty of what is offered from and by the community;
the presence of Being transmitted from this group.

I trust that an energy will show up as needed,
and an appreciation.

Gratitude for the stories and encouragement
I have received, to continue on my journey.

Something is working on/in/through me
that I cannot fathom. What lies at the root
of overwhelm? What is overwhelm rooted within?
Gratitude for being in practice,
in a space of this quality as I struggle
with a discomfort that holds information.
Structure-breaking weather—I can feel a tectonic turning:
I am being taken somewhere in and under,
into a dark night of the spirit for humanity.

Who showed up

Ellen Decoodt, Marie-José d’Aprile, Wini Condic Begov, An Van Damme, Pieter De Ceuninck, Jenny Hegland, Ursula Hillbrand, Brigitte Kupfer, Patricia Hunt Perry, Louise Carpenter, Judy Wallace, Madeleine Schwab, Molly Whiteley, Steve Ryman, Judy Wallace, Anna Brunain, Sarah Whiteley, Helen Titchen Beeth.


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Invitation Page

Invitation to Practice

Our invitation to practice Collective Alchemy continues 25 September 2020

IN THIS TIME OF INTENSIFYING ERA SHIFT, HOW HAS IMMERSION IN THE PRACTICE CIRCLE OF COLLECTIVE ALCHEMY GIVEN ME THE COURAGE TO EFFECT CHANGES IN MYSELF?HOW ARE THOSE CHANGES REFLECTED IN THE WORLD?   Autumn is almost here! And harvesting season is still with us in the field of Collective Alchemy. As Collective Alchemy enters its fourth year, we invite you to lean in with us and explore where our practice wants to take us.

Read More »


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