Earthing the Moon is TreeSisters first, gloriously radical, feminine-nature based on-line course for women. We’re seriously excited about this and want to spread the word far and wide.

It’s a five week deep drop into body based listening and ancient womb lore that is laid out beautifully for you here

This blog is more of the back story of why we’re doing this and how this came to be…

We’ll start with a poem….

‘What if I said Yes?’  - a poem by Clare Dakin (listen here)

What if I said yes to the moon?
What if I let my calendar mind fall quiet and forget -
Let that incessant load of lists get parked
Over there,
by the side of the road
That I used to follow
when I thought I knew who I was
when I thought I knew what I was

What if I fell still enough to hear the tides
The ones that rise and fall me
The ones that deeply inform me
The ones that guide and nourish me
That teach me who I am
When I let myself soften enough
To be carried inside
Carried and watered by the nature that lives me

When I do, will it show when you see me?
When I step out of time, out of line
Back into the full circle
of womankind?
Back into the river of life
That shows me who I am
So that now, I make sense to myself
So that now, I reclaim myself

And so it is
Rediscovered as woman
Amazed, inspired and captivated
Infused by that deeper flow that knows
Making sense to myself as the seasons unfold
I am home
Home on the inside in a life that is mine
Home in a mystery that makes sense to my soul
Back, on the throne of woman

You can read all you want and talk a good talk, but until you actually live into something – fall off the ledge of one reality and into the arms of another – you’ll never really understand what you were hypothesizing about all along.

As many of you know, TreeSisters started with the car crash (listen to that story here) and a voice laying out what I was to do and why. The bit that I didn’t really talk about in that speech was how clearly I was told this:

‘…You have to mobilize the women. Women are the missing piece. Women are the womb carriers and Earth is womb. Feminine wisdom is womb wisdom, is life based, is nature based, only women have forgotten. Womb wisdom is the wisdom of seasons and of cycles – of ebb and flow, of give and take – but humanity has lost contact with that rhythm and takes all the time…..’

…..Feminine consciousness seeks to bring heath and balance to any system so that it can thrive. This system is out of balance. Women need to reinstate feminine consciousness, or it’s over.’

Back then I had no real connection to my womb – or to that message except for a nagging feeling that it was seriously important and that I was utterly ill-equipped. After a life changing workshop with Alexandra Pope and then Earthing the Moon’s teacher Jewels sitting inside the TreeSisters map and informing me that it wasn’t the heart at the center – it was the womb – everything started to fall into place.

TreeSisters has always been about exploring how to elicit a different consciousness among women – one that helps us connect to the true roots of our knowing and power, so that we can bring our gifts forwards collectively on behalf of the trees and all life.

What I wasn’t in touch with then, that I am increasingly in touch with now - is how uniquely wired women are to be nature connected… 
- wired to channel earth energy as part of our intuitive and ecstatic make up -
- wired with an internal gateway to creation that is also a constant pathway of personal evolution - wired to be deeply powerful when rooted in our essential nature connected, earthy and sensual state - if we will allow ourselves to remember and to open to who and what we really are.

Jewels and I have created Earthing the Moon – to provide women with an easy, accessible and revelatory gateway through which to rediscover ourselves and some of the exquisite capacities for which we were created. Every woman should know this stuff.

Waking up through the feminine mystery teachings to how much our wombs can literally direct our own spiritual and emotional development was like waking up to the fact that I was a cat, when I’d always thought I was a dog. Life turned on its head – thank God – and I fell into the arms of a reality that finally makes sense of who I am.

Too much of womankind has been denatured by misguided conditioning – and it’s time to re-nature ourselves. Only then can we discover what we are really capable of…

Earthing the Moon offers teachings that are the birthright of every woman.

Please join us for a free 90 min introductory tele-seminar

on December 1st

11am PST, 1pm EST, 7pm UK

 Meet Jewels – to feel into the course and see if it calls to you. 

RegisterHere

The 5 week course runs from Tuesday January 13th – Tuesday February 10th

Find the course content here

We join together weekly to embody and move through five cycles of discovery  as we reintroduce ourselves to the sacred gateways of the womb

 Times USA – Europe 

11am-12.30 PST  /  2pm-3.30pm EST  /  7pm-8.30pm UK / 8pm-9.30pm CET

Each session is recorded and available immediately so you can participate from anywhere in the world at a time that works best for you

The Wisdom of La Luna

New Weekly Post on Following the Wisdom of La Luna by Edveeje Fairchild, Director of Operations

“What is it to be a woman in the 21st Century on the living planet Earth in the Universe as we now understand it?”

This question is the golden chariot that carries me across the arching universe of my life.  Asking it has led me on an unexpected journey both into my own soul-centric depths and outward into the realm of quantum physics.

Most recently I have been exploring the actual universe in which I live and realize we have so many unquestioned daily experiences that do not reflect the reality of our universe.  For instance, we do not look up into the night sky at the Moon.  We are hanging from our feet looking down at the Moon.  The Sun does not rise or set.  Seasons do not come and go. We tilt and rotate.

I live off-grid in a forest nestled in a mountain cove and during the New Moon, the forest is pitch black; to my human eye, there is no Moon.  And yet the Moon is always there even when we don’t see it.  It is just that it “rises and sets” with the Sun.

The more I understand the universe in which I actually live, the more I understand that so many elements within it provide blueprints for the unfolding of our own creative energies.  The universe is both ‘out there’ and the universe is also ‘in here.’

When naturally understood and perceived, the Moon is an exquisite mentor and guide in the unfolding of our own creative feminine energies.  Like a pregnant woman, its major phases are infused with the creative, gestation, and birthing process:

The New Moon is a period of inspiration and heightened intuition that combine to create a psychic container for visioning and dreaming; a time of seeding potential and crafting intentions for the coming month.  The Waxing Half Moon (1st Quarter) is a time of growth that helps develop the visions and dreams seeded at the New Moon.  The Full Moon ushers in a period of manifestation and is a time of gratitude and celebration for what has waxed to fullness and been birthed in the month.  The Waning Half Moon (4th Quarter) ushers in a time of reflection and assessment about where we have been and what we have manifested in our creative wombs; this phase leads naturally to a time of transformation, course correction, and cleansing that prepares the psychic womb for a new month of creativity.

This month as I look up through the thinning forest canopy at a dark night sky during the New Moon, I know she is there just beyond the dark veil and I am asking myself in what ways I can follow the creative energy of the new unfolding lunar month.  What dreams and visions do I want to seed for the next month?  What am I most longing for and how can I more fully align myself with the joy, beauty, and creativity that makes life worth living?

Join me on my weekly journey with the Moon as she guides and informs this next creative month.  Each week I will post my ‘Lunar Log’ experiences, share my questions, and invite us all into a deeper exploration of what it is to be a woman in the 21t Century on the living planet Earth in the Universe as we now understand it.

 

edveeje1_thumbEdveeje is the Director of Operations for TreeSisters.  She lives off-grid on ten acres of raw mountain land in the Mother Forest of Southern Appalachia where she is passionate about the power of place and how our relationship to Nature can infuse, inspire, and call forth, not only our souls, but our part in the Great Turning.   

 

 

All it Will Take…

Guest post by Nicole Schwab, Author of The Heart of the Labyrinth

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Three years ago, I walked into a gathering of women working on sustainability and sat down on the last empty chair in the room, right next to Clare Dakin. I could never have imagined how deeply my life would henceforth be transformed.

TreeSisters spoke to me immediately. She struck the deepest chords of my being, laying out a vision for how everything I held dear could be brought together into a coherent whole. I suddenly understood how external gender inequities were merely a symptom of our inner downgrading and dismissal of everything feminine. How this had led not only to the abuse and domination of women’s bodies, but equally, to the abuse and domination of our planet, the ultimate source of life.

I also immediately felt that playing safe was no longer an option. It was time to have the courage to be vulnerable. To face and work through our subtle conditioning around what it means to be a woman.

Time to bring a halt to the suppression of our wild creative natures. To honor our deepest longing for connection. To rekindle the embers of the sacred feminine in all its strength and untamable beauty.

And most importantly, it was time to get back down from lofty transcendent realms into our earthy bodies, to feel, and experience a direct connection with all of Life. As painful as it was. As ecstatically liberating.

It has been an amazing journey, spurred on by the courage of so many sisters walking alongside me. I have been challenged, the patterns of the past rising in an attempt to slam things back into their “proper” place. And I have been discouraged, by reading the news or gazing at the real-time global maps of deforestation. And yet, I know that a different future is possible. It will rise from within, through our passion, our sisterhood, our love and care for our sacred world.

The Heart of the Labyrinth is a story I dedicate to all of us on this journey. A tale of longing and coming into wholeness. An impassioned plea for all to look into the scariest depths of our minds, reclaim our connection to the sacred feminine, and consciously craft the world we really want:

“They say that she who has rested in the heart of the Great Labyrinth is forever changed, henceforth walking in the footsteps of the great Priestesses of times long past. They say that she who has courageously followed the tortuous path into the darkest corners of her mind, and found her way out by the light of her inner clarity, brings back the map to the journey of transformation.

They say that when we find ourselves clinging to the illusion of separation, indulging in the fleeting yet tenacious belief that we are not good enough, we may call on Her to compassionately hold us as we cry. She is there to remind us of the perfection of our human imperfection in this dynamic dance called Life, until we become aware of Her grander presence and feel the arms of Gaia holding us in the ultimate embrace of unconditional Love.

And when we doubt the power of our mind, She is there to show us what is at stake, and what is possible. To remind us that we are the masters of our reality. That whatever we focus our thoughts, our words, our feelings and our actions on, we bring into form. That we have the capacity to manifest a beautiful vision of life on Earth, of harmony restored, if we change the field of our collective beliefs and steer our course along the narrow trail leading up into the pure hills.

They say the time may come when Gaia will rise from the sacrificial stone borne of our pain and our confusion, walk towards us and take our hands as we consciously choose a different future.

And all it will take, is for us to change the beliefs we hold.

About who and what we really are.”

With love and blessings.

 

20140910_5d3_07665-coul2Nicole Schwab is a Swiss social entrepreneur and author of The Heart of the Labyrinth (http://nicoleschwab.com). She has been volunteering part-time for TreeSisters over the last two years, providing support on financial management and the development of the Reforestation Strategy. She will offset the CO2 emissions arising from the production of her books by donating a corresponding part of the proceeds to TreeSisters.

 

The Seed is in the Flower

Círculo de Soñadoras is a daring adventure taken by seven women from different parts of the world who have come together to seed, germinate and cultivate women’s dreams in South America. TreeSisters is pleased to highlight their project via this guest blog which explains their vision even as it inspires and invites us all into our deepest dreams for womanhood.

Círculo de Soñadoras: Cultivating the Power of Women’s Dreams

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“Some say that the best thing one can do for humanity is to cultivate the power of dreams.”

-Instituto Elos

Dreams are the expression of the best and deepest aspirations in us all. But in some bizarre twist of fate, they are hidden in the deep recesses of our minds, trapped behind fears, perceived constraints, or societal conditioning. For the majority of the beautifully complicated human race, and especially for us women, dreams are sometimes considered as unattainable, beyond the bounds of possibility, even foolish – saved only for the moments of the day (if we allow ourselves to have them) when we need to escape reality and imagine our best of worlds, where the impossible becomes possible.

But what if this world we only experience with our imagination becomes our reality?

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The Seed

January 2014, Santos, Brazil – It was a bright, summery day the morning we arrived in Santos. The taxi dropped us off at our new home for the next 32 days, where we were greeted by a sign that read “BEM VINDOS – Welcome: Today we will create the best of worlds starting now. We’re so glad you came!” We found ourselves among 80 unfamiliar faces from different parts of the world: it was our first day at Warriors Without Weapons, a once-in-a-lifetime experience of personal and community transformation, a journey that would take us deep into the land, its people, the communities, and ourselves.

During the Warriors Without Weapons program we were trained in the Elos Philosophy and the Oasis Game: a 7-discipline process, which supports the mobilization of communities to turn their collective dreams into reality in a short period of time. In the first week, we entered into marginalized communities of Santos blindfolded, in a silent exercise to experience the “Appreciative Gaze”, one that sees with the heart – not with judgmental eyes. After three weeks, we were drenched in sweat with paint, soil and cement under our nails, surrounded by men and women joining us in building the dream of their community: playgrounds, community centers and women’s cooperatives.

We did create the best of worlds. And by the end of it all, amongst celebratory hugs and tears, and after witnessing the striking shift in the locals (and in us) when they materialized dreams in just a few days, we arrived to a deep understanding: dreams are the biggest impulse for change.

From this experience Círculo de Soñadoras (Circle of Women Dreamers) was born.

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The Flower

Who are we? We are seven women representing 7 different parts of the Earth: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Greece, Lebanon, and Peru. Inspired and transformed by our shared experience in Warriors Without Weapons, and guided by our own personal dream, we embarked on a journey across South America to inspire and embolden women and girls, through cultivating the power of their dreams and aspirations.

Círculo de Soñadoras aims to build a movement of reconnecting to dreams as a vehicle for women’s empowerment. We have realized that hosting time and space for women to share their sueños through stories of inspiration and inter-generational mentorship is key to empowering the next generation of women to shape actionable dreams, build resilience through entrepreneurial skills, and thrive in their communities, wherever they are.

Our team of seven women brings together talents in Art of Hosting, Dragon Dreaming, Dance Therapy, Dances of Universal Peace, Non-violent Communication and Systems-Theory to complement and nurture the aspirations of the women we encounter and to cultivate their creative feminine potential.

Our vision is for women to be dreamers and achievers, tapping into their inner power and realizing their potential, in order to change their environments, their societies, and the world.

Círculo de Soñadoras acts as a dream catalyst – spreading the power of dreams from woman to woman, from community to community, from country to country and from heart to heart. We believe that cultivating the dreams of more soñadoras is a powerful way to build the best of worlds.

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Will you join us in realizing this dream?

On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our Blog.

Singing In Tree

Guest Blog by Marilyn Steele

“We must come to the end

before a new beginning can come to us.”

- Helene Cixous

Sitting in the backyard, I marvel at this unnamed plant, found on the nursery table under a sign: “For Hummingbirds and Bees.” Its narrow, bright-green stem stretches up almost five feet, doing absolutely nothing for the first couple of feet. Or perhaps pruned by the deer. Finally, yesterday, at the very top, a thistle. A round ball maybe two inches across, with spikes sticking out. On either side of the stem, perfectly symmetrical pairs of toothed leaves mirror each other. Today, the thistle has burst into a cascade of pale, peach tubes. Like rows of dreadlocks, they spill over a pair of long, smooth leaves that twirl in the breeze like dancers legs pirouetting. Who could have imagined the mysteries of this plant, that it had such apricot exuberance to express in such adverse conditions?

Twenty years ago, writing my dissertation, I was struggling with the dryness of my excessively intellectual voice. This dream helped to move me in the direction of a deeper intelligence, toward my wild feminine soul and an ecology of self:  

I enter an old, elegant theatre—maybe an auditorium—from the doors at the top, the back. There are tiers of seats covered in a richly textured, deep-rose satin. The floor is slanted at a steep angle to the stage, the ceiling carved alive with ornate gold scrolls. Mother and I are supposed to do a performance together—a duet. I am late, scrambling down the aisle to get to the stage where she stands, impatient, lips pursed, eyes narrowed. She has some papers in her hands—our script, our lines, the score for the music we are to sing. She hands me my copy. I stare at the sheet of music, aware that we will be singing a cappella. I vaguely remember we have sung this music for many, many years. There is a faint scent of memory, of nostalgia, like a familiar childhood hymn or nursery rhyme. We have rehearsed this piece so many times. But to my horror, I no longer understand the music or the lyrics. I cannot remember the tune. The words are all in Latin—the language of the church, the priests, the fathers. They no longer make sense. Mother is perfectly calm and begins to sing, holding out the music for me to see. I stare and stare. The black words and lines of the score slowly pale, dissolving until the paper is a white void. As I concentrate, trying to read what is fading from sight, a faint image begins to rise out of the very texture of the paper, as part of the fabric, its pulp developing slowly like a photograph. Gradually, a dense woods emerges, with large, deep-green trees, lush with leaves. These are very old oaks. One of the trees grows to fill out the entire page to its edges, the pulp and color and shape all in one. This is the new song. How am I going to sing in Tree?

We were singing different songs. I had forgotten the old songs she had taught me, the church had taught me, and now I had to find the new song. Mother was very upset with me in the dream, as she has been in waking life, because I can no longer sing the song of the Fathers or obey the laws of a hierarchy of priests.   Every culture in the world originated in shamanism. When the feminine was part of the worldview, the tree was the Tree of Knowledge, the World Tree, or axis mundi at the center of the earth. Uniting the three realms of heaven, earth, and the underworld, the sacred tree had the power to reveal messages from the gods. As a symbol of the self in the process of becoming, the tree unites the opposites of masculine and feminine, conscious mind and unconscious knowing. It challenges us to undertake the journey of spiritual transformation. We must first understand our connection to the earth and the seasons of our lives, the cycles of the moon and the language of the Mother tongue.

***

If we surrendered to earth’s intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees.

—Rainer Maria Rilke

I want to sing a woman’s song, from the womb mysteries of Mother Earth and my true nature. We have been cut off from our roots and the wells of creative transformation, those energies which lie in the mysteries of the dark. All knowledge of the divine begins in nature, which indigenous people remember, which alchemical and Celtic traditions knew. Black Elk, Native American visionary, described many sacred hoops connecting the many peoples of the world. In one vision a single great tree, flowering and beautiful, shelters all the children of the earth. It is time to restore that tree to the world. A tree of dreams, a tree of beauty, a tree of God, a tree of enlightened self.   My dream image of the tree shows us there is no separation between its roots in darkness, its flowering to the sky. No separation from its growing and the paper out of which it emerges, the paper from its own body: a mandala, a symbol of wholeness. The greening power of God.

To restore the world we must re-story the world. Without the salmon, the redwoods die. Without the forests, the earth will die. Trees are the lungs of the earth. They rain upward, keeping the earth moist. A grove of quaking aspen is a single organism that sends out runners, each putting down roots over thousands of acres, sending up shoots of new leaves. We, too, are connected to every living thing. When we truly know that, we will understand the fierce urgency of our decisions to save the trees. The tree is the backbone of the world Goddess. The fruit of the mother tree, the rose apple—wisdom. The rhythms of nature are our own.

The oak is a symbolic doorway to the mysteries, reminding us of the need to make ascents and descents in our evolutionary spiral path to become our truest selves, earthed and rooted in the laws of our own nature. The roots stretch down to the waters of life, the reservoirs of feminine renewal, and the gifts of going down into the dark.   There is a living book of holy wisdom in the dream world, in the world of nature, and in science that teaches us about our interconnection and infinitely creative unfolding.   How to sing in Tree?

Our estrangement from nature, from the laws of our own nature, is healed by honoring our bodies as we honor the land. The way for personal, individual transformation is also the way to cultural transformation. The rediscovery of the heart of joy. I dream:   I walk alone up to the hills above the city. The golden wheel of the sun has turned again, bringing the light of a new dawn. The beekeepers have returned, or rather, the bees have returned, and the dozens of hives are being tended to by beekeepers in their netted hats and gloves. Tending to the queen, to community, to the sweetness of life. I walk along the ridge, a little afraid I’ll be stung but I’m not. The hills are so green below and the forest abundant behind. I take off flying over the valley, the city, exhilarated, fearless.

 

Steele BioDr. Marilyn Steele is a Jungian psychologist, author, speaker and artist who is passionate about helping women connect to the wild and sacred feminine within, returning feminine power to the world for personal and global transformation. Founder of PrimeTime Revival, she offers mentoring and group programs to women 50+ in life and career transitions. Her memoir The Wild Feminine: Stories to Inspire and Embolden was published in 2013. A second book, The Way of the Wild Feminine: New Story of Self, New Map for the World, is forthcoming. You can learn more about Marilyn at www.thewildfeminine.com

TabithaTabitha is one of our partners who is co-creating with Nature at unprecedented levels. Her journey since the Spring of 2014 illustrates when we bring out gifts forward, connect with the sisterhood, and serve Nature amazing things happen. This guest blog shares her autumn harvest of publishing a new book and highlights how you can download a free copy of ‘The Nature Process’ as well as how to sign up for her first U.S. retreat in November.

When nature challenged me to launch The Nature Process Online program and donate 100% of the proceeds to TreeSisters back in March this year I had no idea what to expect. I was blown away when 77 people from 12 countries signed up to take part raising nearly $9,900 for TreeSisters.

Inspired by the questions and feedback I received, I decided to write the book so that I could share this work with even more people. If I’m honest with you, the course was great but the book is even better.  This is what TreeSisters had to say about the book:

“The Nature Process is a personal invitation from Gaia herself to support you at the deepest level possible in order to experience the maximum possible growth. It is an invitation to trust Life in ways you’ve never imagined. Rather than “anthropomorphizing Earth” Tabitha guides us through an important journey in how we can become more Earth-like. This distinction is critical if we are to fully reconnect, heal, and evolve as a species. The Nature Process is pure genius because it outlines a ‘natural process’ not dependent on our intellects, experts, or facilitators. Tabitha illuminates how we can all tap into Nature’s wisdom and follow where it leads. If you long to go beyond ecological theory and into loving partnership with Nature – as you transform your life – this is the field guide for you.” 

I’m so excited to announce that The Nature Process: How to Easily and Effortlessly Step into Your Natural Power and be the Change You Want to Make in the World is ready to be shared with the world!

While the print copy is still being finalized you can get access to the e-book on Amazon.  As a fellow treesister I’d like to offer you the opportunity to get a complimentary copy. From October 3rd to October 7th, 2014 you’ll be able to download a free e-copy on the links below:

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If you’re in the UK click here.

If you’re in the US click here.

Not only am I celebrating the launch of the book but I’m also celebrating the first ever weekend retreat where you can experience The Nature Process™ in person and the first person to be trained to facilitate The Nature Process™! Sami Aaron, a passionate environmentalist and fellow treesister approached me after the online program and asked to be trained to facilitate it because how powerful she’d found the process. Right now we’re working together to ensure that this happens in time for her retreat in the Flint Hills of Kansas, USA. Sami is also a Registered Yoga teacher who specializes in meditation, yoga breathing and yoga nidra (yoga sleep) so you’ll benefit not just from The Nature Process itself but also additional gentle yoga, meditation and breathing practices.

The retreat runs from  10:00 am Sat.  Nov 1 – 3:00 pm Sun Nov 2, 2014 with a bonus session starting at  3:00pm Fri. Oct 31st for those who want to arrive a day early! What’s beautiful is that Sami is also donating a portion of the workshop fees directly to TreeSisters as she also believes the planet comes before profit. Click here for all the details.  Registration deadline is Oct 24.  Space is limited so make your reservation early.

Since partnering with TreeSisters in the Spring my deep desire to serve the earth is continuing to manifest in the most beautiful way and a lot quicker than I thought. The on-line program which raised almost $10,000 for TreeSisters is now a book about to be published and a retreat soon to be offered in the United States by another treesister. I believe this is what happens when you say yes to life and let nature be your guide and mentor.

 

Tabitha, author of The Nature Process 

ALL GREAT QUESTS ARE GUIDED BY BURNING QUESTIONS 

“In what ways can TreeSisters embody the Feminine Principle and Living Systems in our organizational unfolding and emergence?”  This has been the burning question that has guided TreeSisters throughout 2014.

Unbeknownst to us, on the day we asked it, a bonfire was lit. It so fired our imagination that we decided to incorporate living systems – in the form of the annual seasonal flow – within our organizational planning and reporting.  And that fire has continued to warm, inspire, and nourish us through the seasonal flow of 2014.

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THE JOURNEY FROM THE SUMMER SOLSTICE TO THE AUTUMN EQUINOX

In the Northern Hemisphere, the Autumn Equinox was on September 23rd and we are excited to share the journey from the Summer Solstice through the Autumn Equinox with you in this seasonal update (at the end of the year we will highlight and map the year’s entire journey). We have chosen to use the Celtic Festivals as mid-way points because of how they embody nature’s energetic flow into and out of particular fixed points within the growing season and annual lifecycle.

SUMMER SOLSTICE TO LAMMAS – Growing, Expanding, Deepening
(June 2 1st – Lammas: August 1st)

The sun is at its height and nature is in a time of outer expansion. So too was TreeSisters.  We began this summer season by doing a 2014 Summer Solstice Assessment. Just as a gardener notices what is growing well, what needs nourishing, and what might need to be pulled up altogether, we looked at the organization through a living systems lens in order to determine what was flourishing and where to continue putting our energy and focus, as well as where we needed to more fully nourish the organization’s emergence, and redirect its growth.

CREATING ORGANIZATIONAL SYSTEMS THAT THRIVE

Summer was a time of expanding and deepening.  We fine-tuned our financial systems and created a new fundraising model that focuses on the creation and offering of empowerment materials as a means of ensuring organizational sustainability. We also hired a new core team member, Gloria, who is helping us create a new database system and identify new website and blog platforms that will create a dynamic and interactive community for the entire network (to be launched in late winter 2015).  These new platforms will also enable us to offer our empowerment materials on a global scale which will activate the TreeSisters’ network in an unprecedented way.

Sophie, our Facebook mama and Social Media Director, created a new social media strategy based in living systems that will include a Kick Starter campaign and fundraiser to create our new website and interactive community during the winter of 2014-2015.

FOLLOWING THE TAO OF WOMEN

Internally and below ground, our Core Team began an experimental journey using Alexandra Pope’s ‘A Woman’s Quest’ to explore how we could integrate a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle into our organizational rhythm and work week.

Every week during our team call we each share where we are in our cycle and what we are experiencing and learning about ourselves and how our cycles impact our work rhythms within TreeSisters.  These weekly check-ins also enable us to more fully understand one another’s energy and to plan accordingly for that week’s organizational unfolding. Putting the feminine menstrual cycle at the center of our team interactions was a bold step in walking our talk about integrating the Feminine Principle into our organizational unfolding.

Our desire to integrate living systems and the Feminine Principle into our work rhythm also inspired us to create a unique “Moon Chart” that combines the lunar cycle, the tides, and the seasons within a woman’s monthly cycle. We are still in the experimental stage with this process, but we are more convinced than ever that tapping into the Tao of Women (the menstrual cycle) is a wellspring of wisdom and guidance overlooked in the current corporate model of leadership. We believe following this wisdom is key to defining, experiencing, and nurturing what we have termed “women’s nature-based leadership.”

LAMMAS TO AUTUMN EQUINOX – Gathering, Sharing, Celebrating

(August 1st – Autumn Equinox: 23rd September)

August explodes with the fullness of nature’s bounty and is harvest time for every gardener. Organizationally it is the fulfillment of outer activities before we begin to look back over the year and celebrate the fruit of our organizational planting, tending, and growing season.

CELEBRATING OUR PARTNERS

We began this seasonal movement toward the Autumn Equinox with the creation of our new TreeSisters’ blog and designing a new TreeSisters’ Partner Page which will highlight the amazing women we have been collaborating with this year.

When dynamic women began stepping forward and offering to raise funds to support TreeSisters through the giving of their gifts, we couldn’t help but say yes and follow where these experiments led.  Thousands of dollars have been raised to support TreeSisters and we continue to receive more offers from within the network. These partnerships emerged organically from within the network and have been a potent affirmation that the TreeSisters network is ripe and ready to be fully activated.

‘THE DEEPENING’

Our Core Team gathered on Cape Ann (Massachusetts) in late August in order to co-create our first series of women’s empowerment materialsas part of our larger vision to provide women with the resources needed to become fully alive as we collectively step into our deepest callings and passions in service and stewardship of Gaia.

TreeSisters was awarded a grant from the Big Lottery Fund (in the United Kingdom) in late 2013 which has enabled us to develop and pilot a 12 week series designed to activate and empower women who long to deepen their relationship with themselves, the sisterhood, and Nature in service of Life.

There is a saying, “no tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” We spent two weeks crafting the series, creating interactive and transformative processes, and filming the project. Creating this initial series was an invitation from Life itself for us – as a core team – to step forward in the fullness of our gifts while simultaneously stepping out of our comfort zones.

We sensed that if there was “no risk in the creation, there would be no transformation for the audience.” So we went to our personal edges with the vision of inspiring other women to do the same. We plan to unveil The Deepening before the 2015 Spring Equinox

NOURISHING OUR REFORESTATION STRATEGY

We visualize TreeSisters as a twin tree nourished by the same root system. One trunk is feminine empowerment and the second trunk is >reforestation. Therefore the summer’s seasonal unfolding wouldn’t be complete without parallel growth in relation to the trees and reforestation.

Throughout the summer months our reforestation team (Nicole in Switzerland and Lauriane in Belgium) researched and crafted the TreeSisters’ Reforestation Strategy. They brilliantly integrated the TreeSisters’ Map of Five Choicesand the Feminine Principle and used them as the guiding framework in the creation of our reforestation strategy. We envision our reforestation strategy as an embodiment of our twin-tree approach and look forward to sharing more of these details with the network as the strategy unfolds.

The Autumn Equinox is a balance point when the day and the night are of equal length. The Earth is poised to move into its Yin Cycle during which time TreeSisters will continue to harvest the wisdom of 2014 and find ways of more fully applying living systems and the Feminine Principle to our 2015 planning and development.

In the past when we have given these seasonal updates on our meditation calls we have had many women encourage us in our vision of applying living systems and the Feminine Principle in how we grow TreeSisters. We wanted to open up this juicy conversation to the entire network so we decided to post the Autumn Equinox update as a blog which would give us all a chance to voice our thoughts, inspirations, and ideas as TreeSisters turns toward the visionary winter season.

 

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This guest blog is written by Mary Reynolds Thompson, author of Reclaiming the Wild Soul. Mary is one of our partners and has generously offered to contribute $1.00 of every book sold to TreeSisters. Mary is passionate about the vision of TreeSisters, which she feels connects the dots between women’s empowerment and the healing of the planet.

When you purchase a copy of Reclaiming the Wild Soul through the White Cloud Press you’ll find a coupon. 

Enter TREESISTERS (all CAPS) and $1 of every book you buy will be donated to TreeSisters. To purchase your copy and to donate to TreeSisters go to: www.whitecloudpress.com

 

When, in 2005, I began to write the book that was to become Reclaiming the Wild Soul, I had this dream:

 I am hovering miles above the planet, looking down at what appear to be ants emerging from the core of the Earth. Drifting closer, I realize they aren’t ants  at all, but women. As they move, straight-backed and strong, to surround the planet, they pound tall spears to a rhythmic pulse, forming a protective circle of  love and healing around the Earth.

Almost a decade later, I still feel in my bones the pulse of those pounding spears, can conjure the sinewy strength of the women, so tall and fearless, so filled with molten power.

The dream reminds me of the mother goshawk who dive-bombed my husband in the Rocky Mountains, talons bared, to protect her nest; of the women of the Chipko Movement who wrapped their arms around the trees to stop them being felled; and of Julia Butterfly Hill who refused to come down from the ancient grandmother tree, and lived there for two years exposed to the elements and constant threat of the chainsaw.

Northern Goshawk, illustration by Ron Oden

Women know how to protect what they love.

My own desire to protect the Earth began in earnest in 1983 as I stood on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean on a stormy day in Marin County, California, only few days sober. I was shaking and terrified at the prospect of living without alcohol. The churning ocean seemed to mirror my inner turmoil. But I also felt her immense power. I tasted salt, and didn’t know if it was mine or the ocean’s. I felt completely at one with that vast body of water.

That moment was a portal to a deeper connection with the natural world that would support the healthy flourishing of my own wild soul.

With each hike, each backpacking trip, each breath, it was if I could feel more of the Earth—its beauty, pain, and triumphs––as part of my own psyche and soul. Like the old-growth redwoods I sought out in Muir Woods, in connecting to the natural world, I felt something ancient and enduring take root in me. I experienced a sense of belonging to a vast and stirring oneness.

Reclaiming the Wild Soul is a celebration and exploration of that oneness, structured around the five Earth archetypes of deserts, forests, oceans and rivers, mountains, and grasslands. It was written out of a desire to protect the wild landscapes that live within us and without. It lays out a path of personal transformation aligned with the healing of our precious Earth.

The poet and activist Muriel Rukeyser wrote,

What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?

The world would split open.

I ask, what would happen if one woman owned her own wildness?

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mary Reynolds Thompson

Mary Reynolds Thompson is an author, life coach, and facilitator of poetry and journal therapy dedicated to bringing forth the Wild Soul Story. Her latest book Reclaiming the Wild Soul:How Earth’s Landscapes Restore Us to Wholeness takes readers on a journey into the great landscapes of deserts, forests, oceans and rivers, mountains, and grasslands as aspects of our deeper, wiser, wilder selves. There, where the inner and outer worlds meet, we discover a path of personal transformation aligned with the healing of the wild Earth.  To find out more about Mary visit: www.maryreynoldsthompson.com

 

 

Into the Mystery

Gentle

 

Photography by Emmanuellel Brisson

I want to share something that came in the silence that starts our team meetings – in the stunning Forest Temple at Earth-heart, in the Forest of Dean this last spring.

When I closed my eyes, instead of going into darkness, I was clearly facing Edveeje the head of operations within TreeSisters, who was sitting there resplendent, cross legged, powerful, robust and utterly self contained. Bare footed and straight backed, black ringlets falling over silver earrings, left hand resting on her knee with her elbow raised high, right hand holding a huge, ornate, carved silver goblet full of red wine that she was drinking with gusto.

I sat watching feeling somewhat bemused while she drank and drank without stopping, thinking ‘wow, that girl can really put it away…’ until as I watched, I realized that the goblet was bottomless and that I was being shown something that I didn’t understand. I felt like I was witnessing a deeper mystery, and suddenly my whole system felt electrified with it.

Steadily as she drank and I watched, I noticed that the grass around her was growing, that the flowers were starting to bloom, that birds started singing and that the trees were coming into full leaf. Nature was moving into fullness as woman was truly allowing herself to fill with all that she needed and all that she was. The more she simply received, the more glorious nature became.

Now, as I write those words it still rocks my world and makes me weep.

Imagine a world where women’s accepted and respect birthright is to fully receive her own immensity, the tap root of her nature based cyclical flow, the fullness of her intuitive wisdom and knowing, the ocean of her emotional landscape and her limitless capacity for love, beauty, pleasure and creativity?

What could become possible if we could give ourselves permission to simply receive and embody who and what we really are as woman, and then bring ourselves forward, fully alive into the great turning towards balance that is the calling of our time?

TreeSisters is as much about reclaiming feminine nature as it is about ecological restoration and renewal through trees. The re-sacredisation of the feminine principle is here and now – the achingly beautiful upwelling of reverence for Mother, Goddess, sister and nature is blowing like an ancient and familiar fragrance through our hearts and bodies.

The priestess within each of us is awakening with her longing to walk softly upon this garden of Earth again as tenderly as she tends the garden of her own body.

Something wordless, breathtakingly beautiful and clean is starting to flow through the veins of TreeSisters, and with it we say goodbye to our old blog and start again in a new here and now.

If this touches you, then please join us on this journey into the mystery together – discovering what it means to reclaim ourselves, our bodies, our feminine natures and our profound, indivisible and sacred connection to the one who nourishes us all.

Welcome to TreeSisters.

art by Kirsty Mitchel

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