On Collective Alchemy portal days, we always notice a subtle but palpable difference in atmosphere between the morning and evening call. Like the difference between the freshness of spring and the mellow ripeness of late summer.

There tend to be fewer people on the morning call, for one. The average age is lower, too, and we are more ‘Euro-centric’ (with an antipodean flavour), compared to the powerful presence of the North American field in the evening.

Fewer people in the morning call allows us to occasionally venture into ground we cannot cover in the evening calls. In the morning call on Friday 14 August we invited some metaphors and images of our individual connections to the practice field of Collective Alchemy, and some deliciousness came through:

Long threads of spider silk—strong, subtle and far-reaching. From the threads to the web: weaving a meshwork together as multiple spiders, we end up with a complex of many nested webs. These webs offer supple flexibility and incredible strength, and yet they are all but invisible, until illuminated by the dew or the rain: glistening droplets caught in the web, sparkling in the sun… There we are!

The magnet—magnetised to the morning call (even if it means getting up at 3am to join!) and magnetised by the others who show up on the morning calls. The pull of the magnet is the attraction to the life force of the practice!

The ocean—bobbing up and down together in the waves, being scattered, getting swept apart, lost, but always able to re-congregate around this circle of fluorescent buoys. A steadiness in the wildness!

And on that ocean, a catamaran! Twin hulls joined by a web-like trampoline, with that elastic strength that can hold a group. This metaphor allows for different relationships to the field: as skipper/navigator/sailor (host/steward/practitioner). On the catamaran we find stillness, deep stretch, and anchoring. We are stable and swift for moving at speed!

Raindrops falling onto a lake—we are like drops of sweet water dropping into a vast body of the same substance. Who am I when I have been the drop? 100 000 drops falling in a rhythm creates a staccato, whispering music, intermingling ripples on the surface of the lake and tiny rebounding droplets around each entry point. What a way to go!

And what about a pond full of water lillies! The horizontal spread of the leave across the surface, and the vertical conveyance of nourishment between all of the elements: up from the roots in depths of the mud, up through the stems in the water to the leaves breathing in oxygen at the surface, catching the light from the fire of the sun to photosynthesis into sugars to feed the roots and new leaves that grow up through the water… So productive of aliveness!

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