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Rituals of Renewal

October 12 @ 6:00 pm - October 13 @ 11:00 pm

Where there is love, there is grief, and where there is grief, there is love...

“…The real madness of our world is that we are not on our knees daily, clawing at the earth and howling to the stars in our grief in response to what is happening in our world. Instead we carry on business as usual as though nothing is wrong because it feels too hard to face…”

Love and Grief cannot be separated

Whether you are experiencing personal loss or grieving for our broken world, you and your grief (however it wants to be expressed) is welcome… Courage is a much needed medicine of our time and a coming together to support each-other in our grief. We need each other, we cannot do this alone.

Deep inside the natural EarthLodge dwelling, nestled into the side of the hill with the firelight to see, and sheepskins for comfort, we will find our way into the wild beauty of the dark and the treasures it can hold. I have heard the call… each day, so many of us feel grief and the backlog building up within us from a lifetime of turning away from it. As we witness and experience such loss and suffering on earth, how could we not feel immense grief and heartbreak? Loss of loved ones; the destruction of the natural world; cultural systems that do not support or care for life in a balanced way; war and poverty in so many ways; spiritually; physically, and emotionally.

It takes courage to grieve ! It is one of the deepest forms of soul work we can do. It is more than therapy and working with the psychological wounds; it is work that goes beyond what makes much sense and cannot be organised. It is feral and wild like moving water. The question we need to ask is, how can we find the courage to grief without the fear of drowning in it or collapsing into guilt or shame.  And more importantly, how can we find the courage to allow others to hold us in our grief and to be seen in it… When we can let the river of grief within us flow and experience others as banks to our river, something alchemical happens as it takes us further than we can go by ourselves.

An online grief ceremony that was held in the EarthLodge during lock down. 

“….There are many ways grief is felt. It is not just the sorrowful tender tears that come in those quiet moments. Grief is feral and it asks us to lay our soul bare, to strip back to the bones, to surrender control, she will not be negotiated or tamed. It can arrive as anger, fear, sadness, guilt, apathy, despair, numbness, powerlessness and hopelessness. And when we are witnessed and validated, acknowledged and held in loving empathic heart presence a level of healing occurs that is deeply and profoundly freeing……”

Stephen Jenkinson

The 6 Sacred Gates of Grief

Frances Weller’s 6 gates of grief as described below are a potent teaching of how grief can come from any aspect of our experience of life, all gates lead to others, it’s just about which gate we are most feeling and stepping through, there we may well discover that once in the river many of the flood gates open.

GATE 1. Everything we love we will lose
This grief is the one that many of us enter grief through, when we lose a loved one, whether that be a person or a pet. It is the only grief culturely that is ‘permitted’ and then only for a short while, until we can ‘get back to normal’

GATE 2:What we expected but did not receive
Arriving into an already broken world, our soul knew we where meant to arrive into a family and wider circle of people who’s task it was to lift us up and keep us safe and help us find our unique shape in the world and bring our gifts. To not shame us in any way. To know we are of the land and from the land.

GATE 3: Sorrows of the natural world
The is about the wider field of grief for all that has and still is happening to our earth, whether that is close in our lives or something far away that is hard to connect to. We feel it anyways, but might not realise it. Some of us feel it accutely.

GATE 4: Places that have not known love
The places within us that have been exiled and unloved due to how we where raised. The parts of us that we feel shame about that do not feel loved or accepted.

GATE 5: Ancestral grief
Feeling the grief that exists within our bodies of the hurt and harm in the lines of our ancestors behind us, that the pain we feel is not only from our own lives but from the lineage of harm in cultures across the world.

GATE 6: Harm we have caused
The grief is connected to the inability to love ourselves, for the inner critic within us. Also for the regret we may feel about having hurt others, intentionally or otherwise in the course of our lives.

Dakini speaks 

My friends, lets grow up.
Lets stop pretending we don’t know the deal here.
Or if we truly haven’t noticed, lets wake up and notice.
Look: everything that can be lost, will be lost.
It’s simple – How could we of missed it for so long?
Lets grieve our losses fully, like ripe human beings,
But please, lets not be so shocked by them.
Lets not act so betrayed,
As though life had broken her secret promise to us.
Impermanence is life’s ONLY promise to us,
And she keeps it with ruthless impeccability.
To the child in us she seems cruel, but she is only wild,
And her compassion exquisitely precise:
Brilliantly penetrating, luminous with truth,
She strips away the unreal to show us the real.
This is the true ride-lets give ourselves to it!
Lets stop making deals for a safe passage:
There isn’t one anyway, and the cost is too high.
We are not children anymore.
The true human adult loves everything even though it’ll be lost
So lets dance the wild dance of surrender

Jennifer Welwood

How the ceremonies work…

I have been holding grief ceremonies for many years, and have trained with Joanna Macy, Sobonfu Some and Frances Weller. Other inspirations and teaches that I seek to learn from is Martín Prechtel and Steven Levine.

The rituals are held in the EarthLodge on the land at EarthHeart. This is a natural building sitting low to the ground, made of earth and wood. There are sheepskins on the floor and firelight for vision. The ritual is held in virtual darkness and allow space for people to grieve in their own way. Sometimes the ceremonies will be from the keening traditions of these lands, and some will be with an alter and space to be held in the arms of the circle. 

There is no prescribed way to grieve, each person will be honoured in their unique way...

This is not a space for political debate or debate of any kind about what is or is not happening in the world. This is a space where we will be invited to feel and allow grief to flow. There may be sounds and words from the heart but it is essentially a non-speaking space. 

The structured ritual will end by 10.30pm at the latest. If you have travelled from afar, there is the option to sleep over in the communal temple space or you can stay in your campervan on the land.

 

“…grief is subversive, undermining our society’s quiet agreement that we will behave and be in control of our emotions. It is an act of protest that declares our refusal to live numb and small. There is something feral about grief, something essentially outside the ordained and sanctioned behaviours of our culture. Because of that, grief is necessary to the vitality of the soul’. 

Francis Weller

 

Jewels speaks to Interfaith Minister Reverend Helen James about her work at EarthHeart.

Logistics

Dates
12 October 2024
23 November 2024
4 January 2025
22 February 2025
29 March 2025

Timings
5pm -10.30pm
Arrival is from 4pm and at the latest 4.45pm.
To honour the space and ceremony, the doors will close at 4.45pm sharp and there will be strictly no entry after this point for ANY reason and no refunds will be extended. Please ensure you give ample time for travelling.

Venue
EarthHeart Forest of Dean, GL14 3JQ.

Staying at EarthHeart
If you are travelling from afar you are welcome to park your campervan up in the car park. if you are a hardened camper you are welcome to put up a tent for the night on our eco campsite for £5 for the night. There is a water tap and a compost loo for you to use. There is also lots of air B&B’s places to stay in the local area and can be a great support to the process as we live in the middle of the forest.

You can also indoor camp on the floor of the Forest temple space with your own sleeping bag and roll mat you are welcome and this is £20 for the night. You need to bring your own simple breakfast with you, there is a tea station and hot water.

Cost
£65 Standard Ticket
Spaces are limited in numbers, we advise booking early.

Booking policy

We request that you take the time to read our
 cancellation and booking policy before purchasing your ticket.

We ask this so you can be sure you’re making an informed choice about your ticket purchase as we do not make exceptions to the policy.
This is important to us and we thank you in advance for taking the time. 

Tickets

The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Standard ticket
2 March 2024
£ 65.00
24 available
Campervan or Tent
add-on with a standard ticket
£ 5.00
Unlimited
Indoor Heated Camping
add-on with a standard ticket
£ 20.00
Unlimited