Our invitation to practice Collective Alchemy continues 23 October 2020

Friday October 23, 2020


As the Era Shift deepens and complexifies, so does our Collective Alchemy practice. On our 15th portal day, we invite you to lean in with us and explore where our practice wants to take us.

Orienting the next Portal Day calls on the arc of the journey so far:

With the closing of our harvesting cycle, we sense ourselves in a liminal space of transition. We have internalised the dual path we had been walking in our previous calls and find ourselves now on a different kind of path. Our practice is deepening and evolving and we have again leaned into the archetypal wisdom of the Wildwood tarot deck to guide our steps onward. As our 15th Portal Day dawns, we see a coherent arc of trajectory spanning from the 13th to the 16th portal days, as portrayed in the spirit-level cards bearing those numbers. We sense that the energies held in all four cards are active at this time, and so we offer them here by way of orientation.

13 is the Journey (Death in other decks), also the advice for our current portal wave (the 2 weeks between our last portal day and this one).

14 is Balance, the sign of the Alchemist (also the most benevolent outcome of the 14th portal wave). This card invites us to live in the balance of polarity—light and dark, masculine and feminine, head and heart—rather than the constant misalignments of duality (good or bad, right or wrong) that plague the rational mind.

Our 15th portal day dawns under the auspices of The Guardian at the threshold: that which we most fear. This is an invitation to relinquish all in our lives and our way of being that does not resonate with our most essential nature. It is also an opportunity to move through into the journey beyond.

And what lies beyond is 16, the Blasted Oak—the signature of our next portal wave. (24 October to 6 November—it seems portentous that the US presidential election falls during this time). The energy of the shock wave, the lightning strike out of the blue, which knocks us out of our sense of stability and connection, spilling us down into the unknown; when everything that no longer serves will be brought to ground, whether we have relinquished it or not. What is also liberated, as the obsolete structures and energies are blasted away, is the power of the raw life force coursing through us.

Turning to the cards for this portal wave:

As one Portal Day ends and we begin preparation for the next, our first act is always to draw the cards: What is the essence of our focus for the next Portal Day and the wave leading up to it? A piece of advice on how to proceed. The most benevolent outcome that might manifest. As each portal wave progresses, we always find ourselves living into these cards in very unexpected yet evocative ways.

Focus: The hawk (Knight of arrows) – This shows the dynamic interplay between the high vantage point and wide expansive perspective of the bigger picture, and the zoom-in focus on what is pertinent to the self. The suit of arrows connects us back to the last portal wave, where we focused more specifically on the dissolution or bringing to rest of our thinking and mental energy. This card, by contrast, invites us to hold our thought-forms in a more dynamic movement. Our perception is key to the journey we are in.

Advice: 13 The Journey (death in other decks): a profound letting go is called for. The card depicts another winged one – Raven – picking over the bones of that which has had its day. It invites us to move to essence level, releasing all that is past, to be able to see what lies beyond. The card beyond is 14, which was the both the signature and the most benevolent outcome of our last Portal Day. This was the connection which showed us the arc of the journey described above.

Most Benevolent Outcome: 6 of Arrows, Transition. Another card in the mental plane. It shows the energy of a boat moving across still waters, a movement beyond the boundaries of seeing. A hooded figure stands at the prow of the boat, which is being moved forward by the wind, suggesting that our movement is being powered by the etheric realm. There is no helmsman holding the tiller. The six arrows are all pointing to a centre, evocative of a rich and varied palette of metaphor and sensation (your sensing team had a lot of fun with this!) In our most benevolent outcome, then, we will be seeing and sensing into these more archetypal energies.

We sense an interesting liminal bridge between the cards in both the series described above. What does it take to bridge from the energy of the Hawk to the energy of the Journey? And how do we move from that into the card of Transition?


Framing the calling question:



In the co-sensing circle for this portal wave, Sarah and Helen were joined by Marie-José, Sam and Hugo. Our collective process of sensing into the invitation and question for this Portal Day took us on a rich, deep dive into the archetypal realm, spinning and weaving threads of imagery and sensation, language and atmosphere. Eventually we recognised that the call is to invite you all to weave yourselves into this experiential journey with us so we can move forward as a collective, enriching our collective practice as we go.

Moving into the archetypal realm resonates with our intuition that Collective Alchemy practice can support the quickening of Integral Consciousness in us as practitioners. The archetypes dawned in the field of human consciousness during the epochs of the Mythical consciousness structure. Re-learning how to navigate that realm is part of what will help us to extricate ourselves from a debilitating over-identification with the deficient mode of mental-rational consciousness.

Some quotes from Richard Tarnas, a pioneer in archetypal cosmology, can help us to find our feet on this terrain, which might be new for some of us:

Let us imagine archetypes as the deepest patterns of psychic functioning, the roots of the soul governing the perspectives we have of ourselves and the world.

One thing that is essential to the notion of archetypes: their emotional possessive effect, their bedazzlement of consciousness, so that it becomes blind to its own stance. By setting up a universe which tends to hold everything we do, see and say in the sway of its cosmos, an archetype is best comparable with a God.”

The idea of archetypes is itself an archetype, an ‘arché’, a continually shape-shifting principle of principles, with multiple creative inflections and variations through the ages as diffracted through different individual and cultural sensibilities.”

Archetypes are inherently complex and can be considered through multiple lenses: as primordial deity or mythic figure, as cosmic, metaphysical or psychological principle, for example. They are also multivalent: their essence is one of dynamic indeterminacy. To quote CG Jung: “The ground principles, the archai, of the unconscious are indescribable because of their wealth of reference, although in themselves recognisable.” Their essence is “their manifold meaning, their almost limitless wealth of reference, which makes any unilateral formulation impossible.”

Using the cards described above, we are inviting you into a dance with these dynamic potentialities and essences of meaning that cannot be pinned down to any specific dimension or value.



*Tarnas and Jung quotes come from Tarnas, R. (2006) Cosmos and Psyche. Intimations of a New World View. PLUME (Penguin).

Your hosts are: Helen Titchen Beeth, Marie-José d'Aprile, Sarah Whiteley, Sam Hinds,

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