SOULand: Making the World of our Longing ~ has recently become SOULand : Making the World of Earth's Longing
Making the World of Earth's Longing
Longing is the language of SOUL. A current moving through us, whispering wildly to us how to come back Home.
Most of us behave as if we were homeless to our SOUL and orphaned to our Earth with great consequences.
When we feel deep longings moving through our bodies and through our dreams we are blessed by SOUL. So what happens to these Longings? Why are we in such dire state if SOUL constantly speaks through our imagination, hearts and dreams? Are they like seeds falling on concrete? What does our SOUL need?
These longings moving through us... could be bringing us to one of the initiatory gates of grief. Grief of not being welcome, wanted, enough, or of not knowing enough, have enough support, money, skills etc...Paralysis, shame and envy can become the new guests in our beings.
Grief is a gate that most of us want to avoid at all costs, even if it costs us our lives ~ therefore we never move beyond the call of SOUL. An initiation to empower us to create the world of our longing is miscarried.
We stop, numb and stay small not to feel our sadness, our numbness, our fears and anger. We are not skilled in Grief neither in Love. A terrible poverty takes place in our heart and imagination.
SOULand provides collective spaces for the release of our sacred grief, so we can meet ourselves as creative gifted human beings ~ a little more empowered and resourced to make the World of our Longing as a great gift...
Initiation is a invitation to wildly court and lean into the SOUL of four Sisters - Grief, Love, Death and Birth. There is no true initiation without the ‘small’ death of our personality, our set positioning in life or our childlike naivety.
A well held initiatory ritual will bring us closer to a homecoming, a return to our interconnectedness with all of life, transforming our sense of being homeless or orphaned into belonging. Most importantly we move from being zombies in our lives to being fully aware of our death and therefore offering our lives fully for the thriving of Life...
Grief Composting Circles and Apprenticeship
The Grief Compositing Circles are communal rituals of 4 hours infused with beauty and connection with all beings, humans and all others.
Grief in this context is the welcoming of anger, fear, sadness, despair, numbness and the mystery of all these emotions as we welcome them in a collective safe space.
The Circles hold an important part in total darkness as if in a compost heap, a womb or a kiva. Sounds and wailing are freely used to encourage our wild and sensuous selves to be present. Wild means of nature, not feral or out of control!
The Message of water
Water is SOULand’s main guide.
One grey day of December I found myself by the river Dart in Devon who gifted me with an astonishing message of Love.
‘’My dear child do not worry about me, Water. I recover quickly with the song of our birds, the love of trees, with movement, moments of rest and the prayers moving around our Earth. I regain balance with your heartfelt tears, your remembered songs added to the ones of so many now. Do not focus your energy on 'Saving me'. Something way more profound is taking place right now, listen and observe!
All of us; Soil, Water, Plants, Air, Animals and all Ancestors are Calling you Humans, to us so we can Save your species. We know and have known for a while that you do not have much time left if you do not wake up to your birthright Belonging to Earth and come Home soon, real real soon. We keep dying, we keep Giving Away our Lives to shake you up from a deep and very long amnesia. Once you can allow the truth and quality of such Love to permeate through your traumatised being and desolate soul you will wake up from a life time of anaesthesia to your immense grief and capacity for Love.
When you create containers of sacred beauty that opens your Heart to what Love truly is then you will realise with a massive sob that you were loved all along, always have and for ever by all of Us who you think You are Saving!
You have five years as a species to Wake up, Mature and Remember in your bones that you belong to Life "
Conversations with Grief and Water
Conversations with Grief of Water is a series of interviews with women and men engaged fully with our collapsing world, our dying systems and our grief. People engaged with deep love and longing to fully participate in our world in ways of soul and beauty. They respond to the message of Water received on 2nd of December.
So far I have spoken with and recorded Joanna Macy, Simon Be, Li An Phoa, Jon Young, Francis Weller, Manda Scott, Pat McCabe, Megan Hollingsworth, Stephan Harding, Pablo Servigne and Stephen Jenkinson… each one bringing a thread for a cloth weaving in the past, present and future… I anticipate mystery and our bone memory to be awakened by it.
Earth Temples on the edge of cities
I have a vision of an Earth Temple at the edge of every town and every city. A circular womb-like place of astonishing beauty celebrating all of creation .. a place to rest into, reflect, pray, listen, speak and sing to all sentient beings and restore our animist selves.
After a year of dreaming, drawings of the Earth Temple have arrived. It is 25 Meters wide. Blessed by 2000 generations of ancestors. 4 living entrances and a Kiva in the centre. A Feminine shaped Temple for all. Made of the local material found on site.
I am calling for a meeting with anyone who resonates with helping create the first Earth Temple - Makers, Cobbers, Strawbellers, Glassmakers, Carpenters, Alchemists, eARTh Artists, Planners, Weavers of Natural Laws, Shambhala Warriors, and other cracked and called human beings.
Life Cairn in Totnes
Every 24 hours, between 100 and 150 species of animals, invertebrates, fungi and plants go extinct. They will never court, sing, nest, seed, or dance their life-bringing rituals again. They are not dead - Death being food for the birthing of new life, no they are extinct! ...
Can we ponder on the difference in our own heart and the impact on our soul?
We are increasingly noticing that we need to gather and rise up in circles and community groups to meet the enormity of the consequences of our long term disconnection to the interconnectedness with all of Life thus bringing up an immense grief, un~skilled and feared in many of us.
On the 1st December, the Totnes community is invited to create a Life Cairn, a memorial for the honouring of Extinct Species. Please join us if you are touched by the 6th massive extinction of Life on Earth and want to give Away your gifts, broken hearts and talents to this offering.
Artists, singers, musicians, children, elders, mothers, fathers, lovers of all sorts and all two, three and four legged welcome!
See Life Cairn in Totnes Event on Facebook
"WomBelt: Weaving Women back into Matter"
Our womb is a place of great wisdom for ourselves and one another, to stand soulfully and maturely on and for our Earth's wellbeing. Any trauma will create a dam and a great blockage to the river of our lives.
A Wombelt is made using the backstrap weaving method. Making a Wombelt is a ritual, a rite of passage, a way back to mattering, to honour our womb and the space holding it. We are weaving ourselves and our stories back together for one another, to skill up, to mend, to actively pray for one another.
Because we Matter, we are matter, mater, mother, Earth...
A day ritual of backstrap weaving for men and woman called to make the world of their longing by weaving the soul threads of their lives around a tree.
WomanFest, the first All Women Radical Participation festival.
Azul wove for three days. She invited the women to respond to the question ‘What is your deepest wildest longing?’. 73 women wrote their response onto a roll of fabric. Each scroll was inserted into the weaving, therefore creating a collective Wombelt of our deepest and wildest longings. At the closing ceremony, the belt was given away and wrapped around the hips of Tanya Jacut, the visionary woman of this festival.
Oxford Storytelling festival
Azul was invited to weave her Wombelts. She decided to create only one ~ a collective Life Wombelt weaving people’s longing into it. She invited people to respond to ‘What is the world of your longing and belonging?’. Their responses are written on little fabric scrolls and inserted in the weaving. There is 108 responses offerings in this belt. The belt is to be given to a cave yet to be found. A cave, a Kiva is an Earth womb able to listen to such a soulful gift.
Inner Council of a Woman Queen
The archetype of the Queen when welcomed in its entirety is in service to something bigger than herself. The Queen with her King learns to listen and protect life both within the inner council and within her community of human and non-human beings.
The other 8 archetypes of the woman are then at her service. They are the Mother, the Child, the Nun, the Maiden, the Lover, the Huntress, the Magician, the Crone.
Listening to our inner council brings us to meet our inner archetypes, to welcome their lights and their shadows, to nourish decision-making for the thriving of Life.
Each flag became an invitation for the Daimon of one archetype to find the place to belong and share their deep wisdom. The meeting of the archetype and the other than human invites and welcomes an animist understanding of our archetypes.
This is a generous response to a prayer for soul sanity.
Inner Council for men and women to come 2019
Returning to Earth what was stolen
Returning to Earth our silver, gold, precious stones, diamond, ivory, coral, platinum.
All those have been extracted with terrible violence and destructive impact to all living beings. The mining destroys rivers, people, animals and whole ecosystems to feed our greed and addiction to power.
I invite us to join me as I also return the result of my time as a goldsmith and silversmith in our mountains, forests, rivers and seas. To feel our sorrow, say sorry and make amend to come back momentarily to some resemblance of sanity.
We can then honour our creativity and the alchemist in us by using local and renewable material in a sacred way again.
EARTH WISDOM TENDERS - DECLARATION AND PRAYER
OUR DECLARATION, ACTIVE PRAYER and VISION STATEMENT
Earth Wisdom Tenders is
FOR ALL SOUL ACTIVISTS WHOSE FAITH, BELIEFS AND SPIRITUAL PRACTICES ARE ROOTED IN EARTH WISDOM.
Earth Wisdom Tenders
We are Tending to all life on Earth in our troubled time, we are an eclectic group of people who are learning to deeply listen to the Earth, to the visible, the invisible and to the non human world ~ to honour their wisdom and knowledge, and to hear what they need from us right now at this time of crisis and extinction.
Honouring the wisdom of the Earth and Indigenous cultures, we work with the cycles of nature and the cosmos, and what we perceive as the great mystery.
Longing for a place of healing and connection, we seek to create a re-emergence and a rewriting of these ancient ways, through ceremonies, rituals, initiation and rites of passage, to enable our deep soul connection and wisdom to reawaken.
We sit in Council of all Beings, we Tend to the Children of all Species, we Initiate our Young ones, we claim our Elders, we Ancestralise our Dead and we recreate Community as a service to all of Life.
"We are Earth Wisdom Tenders…...
When all sentient beings are our sisters and brothers
When we actively remember that we belong to the living web of Life
When all laws and decisions consider the wellbeing of the children of all species
When we trust that our Earth can talk through us of her deep knowledge and wisdom
When we stand for all land, water and all beings to be free from ownership, colonisation and commercialisation…
When we understand that we are all re-apprenticing to these ways
Our dear Earth is 4.5 billions years of age, she is our Wise Elder whom we learn from and tend to”.
With Love and Cœurage
Earth Wisdom Tenders
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. Edgar Allan Poe
the Black Tent ... invites you
We will explore and touch into the Passages of becoming fully alive, worthy elders, initiated ancestors...
We will lean into the mysteries of being alive as Women. We will enter conversations with Grief, Love, Death and reBirth. We will lean into Darkness and stand to greet the new Dawn. We will weave our stories of before, of now and our future. We will rewind our hearts, souls and wombs. Well we are invited to do this and to make eARTh and to Make the World of our Longing. Join us! Azul Valerie Thome
I am writing with gathering butterflies in my belly to let you know about the most adventurous vision I have ever followed and activating as I type ~ it is called : SOULand Pilgrimage 2018 which started on 2nd January this year by the river Dart~ 13 Lands, 13 Water, 13 Hosts and 13 Pilgrimages completing on 21st January 2019. It will be followed with a book ~ gathering the harvested of shared stories of the many ways and practices for the caring, feeding and maturing of our Human Soul.
I will be travelling with SOULand's bundle of Grief Composting, WomBelt: Weaving Women back into Matter, Soul&Sanity making conversations with Grief, Love, Death and Life the four sisters of our last forest.
We will offer Water ceremonies. One2One mentoring will carry on for a handful of people. eARTh infused with rituals will be the gold thread of the pilgrimage.
The relationship between Water, Women and Soul will also inform the ongoing active prayer journey.
You can follow me and join us if you can in Totnes, California, France, Sicily, Belgium, Malvern, Ireland, Scotland, Bristol and Totnes for our LIFE CAIRN.
Switzerland, Canada and Slovenia are also being considered at present...
See HERE for full list of the various countries I will be actively praying with and where I will share what is emerging.
I will be moving following the invitations, what is being revealed and the rhythm of the moon throughout the year.
There are ways of supporting this SOUL maturing Pilgrimage journey with our newly hatched crowdfunding ~ set up by two dear sisters who have my back!
If you want to be kept informed about SOULand Pilgrimage 2018 enter your email HERE to receive SOULand Newsletters
Blessings on all our journeys and offerings as we get increasingly tempered and more than ever...needed! .
Azul-Valerie Thome for SOULand and for my mother (who died 3 months ago) and the 2000 generations behind...it is time to live this wild and precious Life while we can...for the living and for the dead.
Thank you for reading and for your support. See you perhaps weaving the gold thread somewhere on our astonishing little blue Home.
So many Women have woven, alchemise and tempered me into who I am today. I long to honour and thank you by weaving you a gratitude WomBelt over the next 13 months. I have started this Gratitude Weaving with my mother who took her WomBelt 42 days ago for the crossing of her soul to the ancestors' shore.
Why wait for an obituary to say thank you...
There are so many women who my gratitude warmly meets. I will choose the 13 who appear immediately and with whom I have travelled for a while.
Thank you dear 13 for the Home Coming and Initiations (some rough ones) you all offered in your unique ways through your vulnerability, strength, truth, kindness, words, prayers, challenges, imagination, ceremonies, courage, rough weathers, trust, vision, wisdom, enwilding, walking sticks, soul voice, connections and beauty....
In naming I do not wish to exclude the unnamed ones. I do need a frame to weave from <3
1- my mother France
2- Joanna Macy
3- WindEagle Kinney-Linton
4 -Pat McCabe
5 - Mary Oliver
6- Pema Chodron
7- Carolyn Hillyer Seventh Wave Music: Nigel Shaw & Carolyn Hillyer
8 - Jewels Wingfield
9 - Gina Holland
10 - Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes
11 - Eve Ensler
12 - Lyla June Johnston
13 - Clare Dubois
If you want to know more about WomBelt: 'Weaving Women back into Matter' here is the link to my website: http://www.souland.org/wombelt.html
Blessings and bird songs . Azul-Valerie Thome
On the 14th October at 15:40 my mother France died in Paris after a very long addiction related illness. She is called France, like her country, due to being born in 1945. A marking, through the women, of the end of the second World War. I wonder how this impacted her life...
...This post is not actually about my mother's life. It is about the precious gifts and deep mystery that were woven into our last few weeks together. I had the healing privilege to accompany her all the way to her death and beyond until today the 40th day after her death.
This post can be read as a story that also refers to our dying structures and eco systems...How do we accompany who is dying, what do we do with our dead ones and how do they become ancestors to support the living ones.
The first 3 Thresholds of our I am feeling into are our Conception, 9 months Gestation in our Mother's Womb and our Birth. I will write about my findings and reflections in an other blog post. I could not talk about death without inviting Life to have a seat.
When my mother decided that she did not want to be kept alive by brutal means of prolonging life her mask was taken off. We were told it would take 2 or 3 days for her to go. It took 4 weeks... a brutal and cruel journey for all.
The first Death Threshold presented itself: How to accompany to her death the very same being who brought me to Life? It was a hard, pain-full and complicated relationship between my mother and I since conception. The stories were many that could take me away from this sacred invitation. The invitation to hold her hands, massage her feet and sing her soulsongs as she crossed.
I cancelled everything planned 'knowing' that I would stay to the end. The separation stories vanished into ether. All I knew is that as the eldest of her three children I had the role to accompany here to her last breath. I had no idea of what would happen, nothing in my bringing up neither my culture contained and guided me .
Intuition and instinct took a front seat. The mind calmed down. Soul and her deep waters guided my moves and choices. I let her.
But then as I kept placing the blue print of an intact culture onto the Parisien system an immense grief required attention and release. The brutality that comes from the disconnection with other than humans, the land, water, beauty, songs and village ripped me apart. I was shredded into a million threads...
I started weaving mother a belt, a WomBelt and a bridge. It was I understand today a way to calm and mend. 5 belts were eventually woven with the same balls of wool... one for each member of my family.
The crows made their appearance outside her window. Good company to keep. I went to the river, la Seine, to bring Water to her room secretly placed under her bed with little stones. I started sleeping there during the last 10 nights sensing that to be alone as we die is not humane. I did not know how to become a whole village how could I ?
My family was going through her own ways and paths not replacing the intact earth based culture that my bones and marrow sensuously and intensely began to remember. The weaving became coherent.
Second Threshold appeared ~ What do we do with our dead ?
Death took my mother when she was alone, 40 days ago. I arrived 5 minutes later. The air was thick and expelled me from her room. It took me a short while to touch her dead body. I refused to be scared of Death. Death longs to be met and matter. I was not familiar with dead ones.
She looked very beautiful, free. I caressed her hair, felt her temperature change, put a bit of lipstick on her lips as she would have wanted.
In Paris you rent a space for burying your dead, 10, 30, 50 years depending how much money one has or not. When 10 years pass the body is moved along. Cremation being cheeper and more convenient it has become the prefered way . Even our dead do not touch soil anymore.
So mother went to a big fridge in a grotesque blue plastic shirt while we worked out what to do, how much we could spend and who we were when death turned up. Death brings up a strong mirror to what binds us and what scatters us further apart. Death also calls for remembering the deepest humane way, the original way of the longest gold thread connecting us to our 2000 generation ancestry.
There again the poverty of our culture, when it comes to rite of passage, initiations, rituals and ceremonies, hit me very hard. I hang on to the few threads gathered in the last few years of awakening my animist and studying ancient earth wisdom ways...sanity must be found somewhere. With only a few thread to create a frame we can start weaving again what resonate to our world today while being held by all that have been here before... I held the Dagara people threads, the threads of the ones who are still breathing as one with other sentient beings.
My Mother was in a fridge alone... it is a BIG business the business of death. Her body does not belong to us??? We cannot take it away because we do not have a strong religious recognisable tradition. I am not able to convince or inspire my family to have a wake for her at home in her bed with her clothes...
I reached out to my chosen village. By email and phone I called for presence, for knowledge and to create a frame on which to add the threads of deep memory. All would otherwise fall on concrete like so much does nowdays.
My mother stays in her blue plastic dress alone in Paris's largest fridges... A bit of me dies with her. I am so sorry Maman. What ever you did, who ever you have betrayed and hurt in your living state no-one deserves such in-humane set up. Human's roots come from 'ground'. Humus roots come from 'Soil'. Each in-humane acts takes away a bit of our own humanity. Fierce love is required then, one woven with passion and compassion and much imagination. To then create a shrine with the prayers and praises of an intact culture's guidance matters.
Third Threshold ~ What do we do for the crossing of our dead to becoming ancestors
In many traditions there is a 40 days crossing after the death for the crossing of Soul. I had to make a choice and then bring form to that choice while listening carefully to what wanted to happen.
There again I felt alone within my immediate circles . Our amnesia being real, a night mare visited my days, what was I to do with my dead mother? What can I do to stay a human and feel humanity flowing in my veins?
It is told that our tears become the river on which the soul make her way on a boat to the other side where the Ancestors await for our return. We the living ones make our Ancestors happen. It is the tears, the grief, the stories, the shrines, the yearly celebration, the photo albums and the compassion for our humanity that weaves a passage.
Each morning I sing diving into the unknown praying grace and soul will catch me with at least one thread, the same one that connects me with 2000 generation behind her. I sang and drummed to my ancestors. Asked them to start singing and drumming day and night so my mother would hear them and feel their joy and readiness to see her again soon.
I sang and drummed for the living ones with a lit candles each night so my mother would not be lost as she did while alive. 4o days and nights from the 14th October takes me as I said Ito the 23rd November , the birth date of my son...all the gateways are opening for a deeper remembering and weaving of the world of our longing. May it be so...
This path of remembering our sacred ways is woven with total lostness, deep grief and singing gratitude. My sense is that without it our Soul and our Sanity will perish totally.
Mother thank you for letting me accompanying you to your death and beyond. Thank you for the 3 Thresholds that were revealed and remembered. It informs my work of how to accompany what is dying in our world, how to lay it down, how to show gratitude and grief and how to weave them back to ancestry.
1- How to accompany the dying?
2- What do we do with our dead?
3- What do the living need to do for our dead to bring ancestors back to work with us.
Tomorrow I will go to the sea once more Maman, to see our ancestors welcome you on the shore where you can sort out what needs resolve . Then we will call on you to help the living ones to mend and serve Life, Death, Love and Grief. I will also celebrate my son's 25th bEARTHday... <3
May it be so.
Some links you might like to read:
ACCESSING THE WISDOM OF OUR ANCESTORS: An Interview with Sobonfu Some'
Ancestralizing our Dead by Malidoma Some
River of Words and Images by Azul Thomé: