May this decade bring more than just solutions, more than just a future - may it bring words we don't know yet, and temporalities we have not yet inhabited. May we be slower than speed could calculate, and swifter than the pull of the gravity of words can incarcerate. And may we be visited so thoroughly, and met in wild places so overwhelmingly, that we are left undone. Ready for composting. Ready for the impossible. Welcome to the decade of the fugitive.
"Grief is not a negotiation with Death, it is a courageous and generous Love letter to Life"
So modern people are not bad or lost. They are stuck in a blast furnace of banality where all of that technology and so-called advancement have been purchased at the price of losing the most basic of human prerogatives: the art of being deliciously out of control to grieve their dead. It is a terrible source of grief in itself not to be able to grieve ~
“Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.”
‘If we are not first heartbroken by what is happening to our planet, the earth community, the people we love, and ourselves, all other forms of preparation for our daunting future are quite simply, incidental. The collapse of industrial civilization will result in unimaginable loss of life, and those who survive will either become bigger people, or they will be emotionally and spiritually decimated. The heart, not the head, determines the outcome of that reality.’
“Darkness deserves gratitude. It is the alleluia point at which we learn to understand that all growth does not take place in the sunlight.”
“If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly.”
Testimony of a previous trainee:
<<< Welcome to the registration form for an 8 MONTHS APPRENTICESHIP THROUGH GRATITUDE and GRIEF >>> by Azul Thomé
STARTING APRIL 2024 in ENGLISH -
To read and answer the questions is the first stage and threshold to cross if you wish to be considered in becoming part of the group of 20 women, men and all other defined and undefined humans - who will go on a deep maturing journey of initiation through the sacred work of soul, gratitude and grief with Azul Thomé supported by Christina Jarc Stembal
This apprenticeship is a weaving of many sources of learning that Azul was apprenticed into.
~ Honoring Our Pain for the World- from the Work that Connects, taught by Joanna Macy;
~ The collective mourning rituals for the village and the sacred and ancestral work taught by Sobunfu Somé;
~ The Five gates of grief - proposed by Francis Weller
~ The transmuting alchemy of compost and darkness. The creation of sacred and beautiful spaces and the 6 Gates of Initiation by Azul Thome.
| Here is an introduction to the 6 Gates of Initiation through the ensouling work of Gratitude and Grief |
GATE 1 - From the SEPARATION we have created between Life and Death, where we have pushed the pause button on youth to demonise and mock death, we have created a world out of balance. Our relationship with the autumn and winter of Life has been abstracted from our embodied imagination. Therefore the transition between life and death is something feared in stubborn denial. From here we enter the first GATE of GRIEF: What we love we will lose -
calls an INITIATION into the mystery of death and into the GRATITUDE of our capacity to love within that mystery.
GATE 2 - From the SEPARATION between what is ‘acceptable’ with what is shameful and ‘unwelcome’ in each of us we enter the second GATE of GRIEF: The Places That Have Not Known Love -
That place calls for an INITIATION into the mystery of adulthood and maturation and into the GRATITUDE of being able to welcome back home to our Soul all that has been outcast and sent into exile.
GATE 3 - From experiencing the SEPARATION between humans and the other than humans we enter the third GATE of GRIEF: The Sorrows of the World -
which calls for the INITIATION into the immutable bond with all of creation and with deep GRATITUDE that we Belong to our Living World.
GATE 4 – From the SEPARATION between our Stone Age ancestry and our great effort to eradicate our deep time memory calls us to enter the fourth GATE of GRIEF: What We Expected and Did Not Receive.
It calls for an INITIATION into our Deep Time lineage and into the GRATITUDE of Remembering Who we are and Where we come from.
GATE 5 – From the SEPARATION from our Ancestors created by various unspoken traumas, illnesses, secrets and unreleased suffering is another fracture in our presence here on Earth. We enter the fifth GATE of GRIEF: Ancestral Grief -
calling for an INITIATION into Elderhood and into the GRATITUDE that we can Restore and Renegotiate our family tree.
GATE 6 – From the SEPARATION between ourselves and the ‘other’ and other lurking soul dis-ease. We enter the sixth GATE of GRIEF: The Harm We Cause –
calling for an INITIATION into Our Ability to become medicine for the World and where GRATITUDE guides us to ‘Pathosophy”: Wisdom born of Suffering.
Thank you all who have had the calling and the courage to court with Grief, Death, Love and reBirth this weekend . Here is some of their words: Food and balm for my soul and for SOULand <3
Dear SOULand thank you for arising through Azul and for her integrity in passing on this wisdom as it grows and for her to be willing to stay in the fire even when it burns and keep sharing at it grows and reshapes.
This is a living teaching that is alive because of the willingness to embrace the dead.
I loved the giving of ritual through experience and in that way I can take it all in its pieces and add it to my other pieces that will become an offering to the healing of humanity.
This is empowers rather than given a format to reproduce. As I experience each ritual, I can make it my own and share it from that place of knowing and learning.
Thank you Azul for demonstrating humility in the face of criticisms and showing me the strength of staying true to the teachings and to the trees and ancestors who are guiding you.
This sharing is deep, raw and visceral. It inspires me to take ma raw passion tempered by listening to the guidance of nature, out in tot he world, however, it shows up... with honesty and love. I hear that action needs to be taken and I will. I am acting in deep love.
The world, no not the World. Society today can feel barren and bleak, empty and dry
SOULand brings to my life a rich, raw, real, fertile place of belonging
A place my soul can be heard, can land in safety and truth ~ Gratitude and Grief Alchemy
We are coming home what it really means to be human _ fully feeling, fully living, fully loving, fully here on this Earth with all its beauty, grief and gratitude woven in with all our relatives of all kind.
Re-membering - becoming once more attentive members of life community.
The depth fo your offerings blows me away . Please keep walking that walk with us, following spirit and being the pioneer of life and death that you are
Thank you and deep bows from my soul to yours. Nikki <3
Who would have thought that there could be so much joy in grief?
The witnessing and honouring of a being in their pure, raw unadulterated expression of deepest sorrow and grief touches in a way that inspires deeper connection to all of creation and a re-membering of all shadow parts that we don't dare to share but that may be so welcome when we do.
What a privilege. I am so grateful, I needed to call to step in & do this work.
I am coming home to my village. I am part of a work that is moving the tectonic plates of the Earth. Here is a key that is crucial in humanities journey of restoration of the old ways. The ways that make sense, the ways that serve life and honour life and our place in this sacred web. Like Water for my Soul.
A thousand thank yous for opening the precious and essential doorway to grief, this prayer of longing and love to the world. This thread is deeply needed, like medicine for a starved soul. Deep in my body and the wider body of the land, these tears you invite replenish and refertilises a wasteland. Thank you for weaving me back into the web of belonging
SOULand of golden-lit branches. SOULand of moist dark soil.
I commit to wake up again and again.
Wake up and see all the colours of emotion you wake in my skin.
I commit to dive into the dark.
I commit to wash myself with sorrow.
To grow the seeds of your soul into my branches.
Keep responding, keep the center, keep watching, keep in touch, keep the old, keep re-birthing into new. Something happened that was good for me, and good for those I help, this weekend. I refuse to gush. But I am with your sincere keeping on. Abraha
On the path towards my resilience, you initiated my inner child and all the parts of me which needed strength, holding me
SOULand you are compost for the soul, you help me alchemise all that moves my guts and transform it into fertile ground, making it a gift for the future to come.
SOULand thanks for keeping me alive and fierce, for hearing the drums of death next to the songs of love.
You reminded me how brave I am, how rituals and connexion to other beings are our deepest true nature, how ancestors and guides will support us in the darkness.
Thousand times thanks and my heart blessings
The shimmering attracted me
The shy glint caught my eye
then I finally drew back the veil
Into a world I had longed for,
longer than I can say
longer than my ancestors can say
we all came in together
Mycelium, sky, water, soil, feathers, bees, stones, trees, webs, baskets, beetles, flys, bears, fish, elephants, stags, cats of Africa.
Together we declared our love, in tears, anger, laughter, rage, mysterious silence, song, drum, beauty.
We loved hard and deep and the bees
wove us together with a golden
thread of their hybrid honey
We feasted and now we go to feed,.
SOULand is the place of our longing
After 3 days of ritual and teaching, it is evident how this place is a co-creation of our weaving. I am heartened to feel the strength of men and women growing in their maturity to welcome grief, gratitude, death and re-brith back into the fire of their homes and communities.
The village needs the village fire, and I have seen how we can welcome it. I have seen how all beings welcome it - the human and non-human, the ancestors. This fire is needed. The Earth calls it. I remember
“ You are creating a village for me to enter safely into and receive what I expect to receive.
To know before my birth that there are sane humans out there on Earth. You are teaching me to grieve, to laugh, to cry, that I am safe to be heard, to be courageous, that my life is worth being honoured and cared for. I am a messenger of hope, the dawn before the dark. I will be a man of the new time. “ <3 Baby the unborn yet... ( in Ayla’s womb at 6 and a half months)
We find our souls in natures bounty ~ we feel fragmented but we find ourselves in all the parts, flowers, trees, rivers, animals. Like the great work of soul alchemy- we bring this weaving into the golden thread, reconnecting with all of life - in homeopathic vibrations of spirit animals or through diving in fully to river gushing.
There can be blockages on this path of reconnection to our soul nature as they are one Grief. In the way we know best we dive into this grief
There are layers upon layers from all angles
As grief’s tears break the dams of blocks in our hearts, our beings, our souls
open to pairs gift-love
A love under and deeper and more blessed than we can ever imagine.
A joy that we can feel our tribe, our village
I can hear them singing the most beautiful ancestral symphony in the wild hills of the land i belong to