Our invitation to practice Collective Alchemy continues on 12 February 2021

Friday February 12, 2021

In our 21st wave of alchemical practice, we leave behind the initiatory domain of the Great Bear (29 January 2021) to approach the World Tree—the final station on the journey before the cycle begins anew in a different octave.

We invite you to lean in with us and explore what we can experience, witness and transmute within the holding heart of our practice.


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

This Portal Wave, the 21st in our journey together since we started in April, lies within the signature energy of the World Tree—the 21st and final card in the major arcana of the Wildwood tarot deck, that marks the culminating step in the hero’s journey. As has often occurred on this journey, the future is already making itself felt, bleeding into the present and attracting our attention… There are actually not 21 but 22 cards in the deck, because the journey starts at zero. That step is still outstanding, and is classed as ‘void of course’: it is the unknown liminal space. In classical tarot decks, the zero point energy is depicted by the Fool. In the Wildwood deck it is the Wanderer: the child-like adventurer who doesn’t follow the marked path but blazes his/her own trail. It is a trickster energy that dares us to step into the void.

For this Portal Wave, Marie-José, An, Pieter, Molly, Aakanksha, Ursula, Brandon, and Wini have joined Sarah and Helen to co-sense what is alive and calling for our shared attention as practitioners of Collective Alchemy. It’s been a disorienting ride, to say the least!

Framing the calling question:


The signature of the co-sensing quest for the calling question for this Portal Day was the ‘trickster’ nature of perception. Gazing at the World Tree, we could make no sense:

Do we enter the door in the tree, or have we just come out of it?

Is the labyrinth part of the process or is it a delusion, a distraction, (a ‘Matrix’)?

Notoriously, in any journey, the last mile has the most potential for loss of attention. It is when we are most likely to lose our focus and have accidents. In this case, completing well has something to do with shifting our perceptions, recognising that we are in a ‘liminal’ space—at all levels, from personal to planetary—a time-in-between. It is as if we stand at a crossroads where we can, and perhaps must, actively choose a future; where we might, perhaps, have to part from those who make a different choice. Do we seek the marks of a trail already blazed by others (that will be some kind of repetition of the past)? Or do we strike off on our own, into the wilds where there is no path to follow? Or do we perhaps allow ourselves to be attracted by a frequency, a resonance emanating towards us from a future waiting to be born, discontinuous from the past?

The World Tree also holds a space outside of time, where all seasons are present together; where past, present and future all co-exist in the same eternal moment; where the full spectrum of possibility lies latent, waiting for the infinite spark of our attention and our will to be drawn through into the flow of time.

What happens when we turn our basic assumptions about life and reality upside down and inside out, inspecting the ‘negative space’ to see what we otherwise do not notice? What possibilities do we then see?

Nora Bateson recently wrote these words, in response to the discovery of a “Book of Blank Maps”:

De-mapping = unclaiming
De-harvesting = allowing fertilizing to occur
De-modeling = untying from existing establishments
De-strategizing = allowing unimagined possibilities
Wild underground unsaid unknown undefined = a possibility zone.
The system cannot change the system.

Preparation for the calls

Deepening our capacity for deepening requires study and practice. All that we understand about Collective Alchemy so far is available in the Practice Guide (including bibliography) and the blogs on the website. You can download the Practice Guide as a PDF, or read it online. We also have a few spare printed copies left, which you can order by sending us a request with your postal address.

Alchemy and Collective Alchemy as a process of transformation

Matrix of alchemical procedures

Featured image courtesy of Andrew Shelley on Unsplash

Your hosts are: Sarah Whiteley, Helen Titchen Beeth, Aakanksha Singh, An Van Damme, Marie-Jose d’Aprile, Brandon Finegold, Molly Ryan Whiteley, Pieter De Ceuninck, Wini Condic Begov

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