"This is the first, wildest and wisest thing I know, that the soul exists, and that it is built entirely out of attentiveness” - Mary Oliver
SOULand: Bringing Soul Back to the Frontline
Making the World of our Longing
SOULand is a response to our uninitiated, traumatised, collapsing and transforming world.
It is a growing programme of nature-informed rituals, a mycelium of trainings&apprenticeship, eARTh and mentorship. To restore and weave our humanity back to a deep & wild relationship with the Earth, mature the human soul and co-create the world of our longing. It is a vision of sanctuary, a great giveaway. It is soul activism.
Making the World of our 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...
SOULand Women Initiation ~ Year Programme 2020
It is a closed Council of 13 Women going on a deeply creative & enSOULing year journey ~ from March 2020 to Feb 2021~ In and around Totnes, Devon, UK
The full SOULand Women Initiation Programme includes making sacred eARTh, WomBelt: Weaving Women back into Matter, the Inner Council of a Woman Queen and basic Grief Composting Circle apprenticeship.
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.
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.
SOULand Mentoring with Azul: CLICK HERE
The SOULand Way means that the primary relationships are with our living world. Azul mentoring work will care for the repairing of your relationships and conversations with Grief, Love, Death and Rebirthing as the backbone of being in this wondrous Life.
It is a weave of ancient earth wisdom, eARTh altar making, grief composting, deep soul work and courage ~ based on 20 years of experience of counselling, rituals, ceremonies and facilitation.
Azul also holds a Person Centered Counselling diploma.
“I had drunk so deeply of grief and innocently gambled so hard with fate and irony that a special kind of vision was gathering in my eyes, not entirely clear just yet. This was the same look people saw in your eyes when you have died for beauty and come to live accepting nature as life with no promise of paradise, and mad at people who couldn't see that.”
― Martin Prechtel, Secrets of the Talking Jaguar