Wise Woman Week at TreeSisters

2535304_orig

We have declared this week at TreeSisters to be “Wise Woman Week” in which we are actively inviting the crone archetypal energy to our organizational hearth. One of the greatest things we are learning is that we must not rush Winter. She still has deep visioning work to do.

This New Moon was the last one of Winter and is a catalytic time when we are suspended between the waning energies of Winter and the waxing energies of Spring. It is a pivotal time and in our New Moon Call we explored how we can maximize the energy of this next lunar cycle by accessing the Wise Woman/Crone archetypal energy.

Though we are tempted to shake off the cloak of Winter and embrace the coming Spring, the next three weeks is a time in which the most important thing we can do is truly listen to our intuitive selves and the wisdom gained in the winter months. This kind of deep listening occurs in the silence and stillness of a woman’s winter cave.

This transitional time is critical for the ripening that is happening within our creative wombs. The Wise Woman archetype whispers the wisdom of being fully in the moment we are in: Winter.

In honour of this liminal space, I wrote the following poem with a couple of inquiries afterwards meant to stir our imagination about what the Wise Woman archetypal energy may be whispering to us in this transitional time:

Earth Stirs, But the Moon Whispers

The days lengthen
coldness still reigns
though brave buds
summon Spring
and the soul reaches toward the sunlight.
Earth stirs
but the Moon whispers:
“Don’t give in so soon.
Don’t trade Winter’s wisdom
before it ripens in you.”
No,
Stand still.
Be Winter;
Frozen
like the solitary snow flake
bedazzled by your authenticity.
Stand still
at Winter’s gateway of initiation and healing
as you reclaim
the Inner Crone
in all her radiance and glory.
Yes, the Wise Woman in you
asks to be invited
into the center of your fire
where she can lead you
by the hand
into the light of what is yet to come
if only you have the wisdom
to wait a bit longer
than you think you should;
Confident in the middle of your dark knowing
as Spring unfolds.
Reclaim what has been forgotten.
Carry the seeds of your dreams
awhile longer in the womb center of your being.
Let Winter incubate
your wild if onlys
in the tender embrace
of these cold days that remain.
The Crone beckons you to rest
if you are to heal and to rebirth
the self you were
so many eons ago
when you were forest and moonlight.

  • Imagine yourself at eighty-five years old. Look deeply into your own eyes. What is the message your wizened self has for your younger self? Listen with your intuitive ear and write down or sketch what you hear.
  • If your Crone Self were to write a letter to you what would it say? What advice would she give you?
  • In what ways can you invite the inner Crone and Wise Woman to your winter hearth over the next four weeks?

 May the Wise Woman and Crone join you in your Winter cave as you listen deeply to the wisdom that wants to become manifest in you.

 

 

Edveeje 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.   

Image courtesy of Ursula Dutkiewicz

Image courtesy of Ursula Dutkiewicz

 

February’s New Moon is the last one of Winter. It whispers important things in the cold darkness and we must listen closely through the frozen ground to the Crone Wisdom she longs to impart. The New Moon and Crone Wisdom are inseparable; twin flames that rise up through every woman’s soul and that light our path through Winter’s ever deepening darkness.

This New Moon is the last one of Winter and is a catalytic moment when we are suspended between the waning energies of Winter and the waxing energies of Spring. It is a pivotal time in which we can yet summon Winter to continue its visionary work in us while also turning our face toward the increasing energy and new growth of the Spring to come.

I truly believe the quality our entire year is a result of how well we have lived Winter and embodied the New Moons within her. Winter offers an energetic gift and asks us to envision the year of the soul that we long to embody in the new unfolding year. The deeper we allow ourselves to envision the life we long to create – one season at a time – the more potent is it’s unfolding.

The Crone has lived through decades of Winters and danced under hundreds of New Moons and has entered a phase of her life in which her vision and understanding have grown potent with knowing born of experience. She has learned how to be Winter and to sit gracefully in the midst of her own darkness and listen to the still small whisper of soul. She now embodies the wisdom of the New Moon without effort or intention.

I have a deck of cards called Wisdom of the Crone (www.wisewomenink.com). One of the cards in the crone deck is entitled Winter and it says, during Winter “time is suspended. The Earth appears to be fallow, yet deep down in the rich frozen ground, seeds slumber. This is a time for rest and contemplation, a time to examine our shadow sides and ask where are our weaknesses? How can we further our growth? As you endure the long night of winter, appreciate the stark beauty and warmth of the fire. Trust that the sun will come.”

The wisdom of the Crone and the New Moon are interlinked. Both invite us to contemplate, to rest, to examine our lives and to befriend our darkness; knowing one day we will be the Wise Women others come to in search of the path to walk. The more fully we can live and be Winter and embody the vision of the New Moon each month, the richer is the wine that fills the chalice of our Cronehood.

 

Edveeje 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.

Why The Tropics?

Costa Rica Rainforest

By Nicole Schwab

Today, in my third and last post of this series on Treesisters’ Reforestation Strategy, I want to say a few words about our geographic focus.

Our starting point, once again, was Clare’s initial mission statement, namely that Treesisters aims to “reforest the tropics”. But, what do we mean by “the tropics”? Are we referring strictly to the geographic area lying on either side of the Equator, between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn? Are we referring to “tropical forests”, as ecosystems characterized by high average temperatures and significant rainfall?

And more importantly, why are we focusing on the tropics in the first place? Shouldn’t we broaden our geographic reach to cover the entire planet?

To answer these questions, we went back to our strategic focus, which entails funding: (1) afforestation and re-greening to control soil erosion, restore and maintain watersheds, and restore top soil, and (2), the protection of intact forest landscapes.

First, with respect to afforestation and re-greening, we decided to prioritize:

  • countries experiencing important land degradation and desertification issues;
  • countries covering the world’s 3 major water basins, which experience important water quantity and quality issues, further exacerbated by climate change (the Niger basin, the Nile basin and the Ganges basin),
  • countries with important soil degradation issues (soil hardening and erosion), and high rates of poverty, and
  • countries that are the lowest performers on IUCN’s gender and environment index.

Using a variety of relevant data sources, these criteria led us to identify as a priority the countries highlighted in yellow and red in the map below.

forestconservation-nicole

Second, when it comes to Intact Forest Landscapes, the obvious question is, where are they?

Intact Forest Landscapes cover less than 10% of the Earth’s total land area and consist of humid tropical forests, and boreal forests in the Northern and Southern latitudes. They exist in 66 countries, with two-thirds of these forests concentrated in just 3 countries: Brazil, Russia and Canada.

Using satellite-imaging data from a variety of sources, we decided to look at which of these forested regions suffered from the highest rates of deforestation, and which presented the highest potential for landscape restoration in their immediate vicinity.

This analysis led us to identify a second set of priority countries, highlighted in dark and light green on the map.

Interestingly, as you can see on the map, the analysis suggests that indeed, our geographic focus should be on the tropics – broadly defined. This makes sense, not only as a methodological conclusion arising from our criteria, but also because:

  • Tropical forests are more efficient in cooling the Earth (as a result of their higher rates of evapotranspiration and carbon removal).
  • 16 biodiversity hotpots out of 25 are located in the tropics, and most of them are forested hotpots.
  • Most countries in the tropics have scarce conservation resources – and their natural resources are under threat.

In summary, the above map and the reforestation criteria we presented will be our guiding framework for the identification and selection of projects to receive funding from the Treesisters network.

Treesisters’ reforestation strategy may seem massively ambitious, especially given we have only just started funding our first trees. Yet we felt we needed to clarify our broader vision, and share with you what we are working towards. In doing so, we are laying out the container that can hold our collective dreams and energy.

We know we can’t do this alone. We are walking this path together, with each one of you, and with all the other amazing organisations working around the world towards the same goal.

Selected Data Sources:

Mapping the World’s Intact Forest Landscapes by Remote Sensing. Potapov P., et al. Ecology and Society, 13. 2008.

FAO’s Global Forest Resources Assessment 2005

Peter Potapov, Lars Laestadius, and Susan Minnemeyer. Global Map of Forest Landscape Restoration Opportunities. World Resources Institute: Washington, DC. 2008.

IUCN’s Gender and Environment Index.

Biodiversity Hotspots  for Conservation Priorities, N. Myers et al. Nature 403, 853-858, 24 February 2000.

Nicole is an author and social entrepreneur, co-founder of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, and of EDGE Certified – a global scheme certifying organizations for 20140910_5d3_07665-coul2closing the gender gap in the workplace. Her book, The Heart of the Labyrinthgives voice to her engagement on behalf of a world that values and honors the sacred feminine and is rooted in our connection to the Earth as a living being.

By Nicole Schwab

P1000016

In my previous post, I shared how, in a nutshell, Treesisters aims to fund projects that increase the number of trees or protect intact forests, and simultaneously improve community livelihoods and nurture women’s participation and empowerment. I also highlighted why we want to give particular emphasis to tree-planting initiatives that focus on controlling soil erosion, restoring and maintaining watersheds, and restoring top soil.

The good news is that there are many initiatives working to achieve these goals around the world. In this post, I want to focus a bit more on the “how” aspect of reforestation, by giving a few examples, and hopefully making our approach more tangible.

Project Green Hands (PGH), Treesisters’ first beneficiary project, is a great example of large-scale reforestation and re-greening in an area suffering from advancing desertification. While PGH has several tree-planting initiatives to increase the green cover of Tamil Nadu in India, we decided to support agro-forestry because of its comprehensive impact on the communities involved.

Under this initiative, farmers are accompanied in the planting and nurturing of tree saplings, which provide direct economic and ecological benefits. Not only do the planted trees add to farmers’ income (timber, fruit, fodder and fuel), but the presence of trees in farmlands reduces soil erosion, increases soil fertility and water retention. This is of critical importance at a time of increasing climate uncertainty. Ultimately, this leads to greater yields in the farmers’ main crops.

Another example is the Green Belt Movement, (GBM) initiated by the incredibly inspirational Wangari Maathai. She summarized it all very clearly when she said, “If you destroy the forest, then the river will stop flowing, the rains will become irregular, the crops will fail and you will die of hunger and starvation.” The GBM places particular emphasis on planting trees in degraded watersheds to provide water, fertile soils, and healthy ecosystems – all the while empowering women as care-takers of the forest.

When it comes to the protection of intact forest landscapes – the second leg of our strategy, which does not involve tree-planting as such – a distinct approach is needed. The Pachamama Alliance and its sister organisation Fundación Pachamama in Ecuador, are a prime example. By engaging in policy and advocacy activities, they focus on raising awareness and garnering international support to prevent deforestation of the Amazon, create and enforce strict protected areas, and give land access and rights to indigenous people and local communities.

Another option for preserving intact forests involves the sustainable management of surrounding areas and the creation of buffer zones and corridors. By restoring degraded adjacent forests and managing them in such a way as to positively impact the livelihoods of communities living nearby, they can become forest stakeholders and have reduced incentives for further encroaching.

The Khasi Hills restoration project in East India is such an example, whereby natural regeneration methods are used to replant lands surrounding untouched forests, thereby restoring and protecting forest wildlife corridors connecting sacred forests.

In short, we want to support the amazing initiatives of countless women and men who are tirelessly seeking to give back to the Earth, be it through emergency planting actions, re-greening of drylands, conservation projects or landscape restoration in the vicinity of Intact Forest Landscapes.

In my next and final post on Treesisters’ reforestation strategy I will say a few words about our geographic focus, and what we mean by reforesting “the tropics”.

Nicole is an author and social entrepreneur, co-founder of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, and of EDGE Certified – a global scheme certifying organizations for 20140910_5d3_07665-coul2closing the gender gap in the workplace. Her book, The Heart of the Labyrinthgives voice to her engagement on behalf of a world that values and honors the sacred feminine and is rooted in our connection to the Earth as a living being.

 

Tropical Forest image from University of Arizona

inset-20040427-490-7-large

This photo was taken by the Apollo 8 crew in 1968 and was the first time we actually saw the Earth as it appears from deep space. This picture of an “Earthrise” was taken over the lunar horizon and when I first saw this image my cosmological perception shifted yet once again. Humans are so Earth-centric that it never occurred to me that from the Moon’s vantage point, it is the Earth that “rises and sets.”

In our continual quest to deepen our understanding and application of living systems within the organization, I keep asking myself, “What is it to be a woman in the 21st century, on the living planet Earth, in the Universe as we now understand it?”

Following the Wisdom of La Luna is one of the ways I am exploring that question. Several months ago we decided to apply the wisdom of the lunar cycle by using the four Moon phases as our four main creative phases at TreeSisters. 

Each week of the lunar month has a particular theme that naturally reflects an important aspect of the creative process that we use as the guiding framework for our weekly core team meetings:

The week of the New Moon is dedicated to invoking possibility, setting our monthly intentions, making new resolutions, and identifying new projects or aspects of on-going projects that require our focus for that month. It is a visionary week.

The week of the Waxing Moon is dedicated to focusing on the growth and development of our monthly projects and goals. We also look at what is organically emerging to identify things that we might want to focus on but that were not part of our original seeding at the New Moon. It is a week of growth.

The week of the Full Moon we put all our efforts toward the full manifestation of our monthly projects and look at our outcomes through a celebratory lens. It is a week of manifestation.

The week of the Waxing Moon we assess how well we did, reflect on what we’d like to change, make any important course corrections, and let go of whatever might not be working.

Each week at our core team meeting we use this lunar rhythm to shape our meeting and guide our choices for the upcoming week. The more we practice this, the more I am seeing important subtleties within this creative lunar cycle I had not previously fully appreciated.

This week as the Moon waxes toward full we are typically focused on the growth and development of our current projects and initiatives, however this week I began to notice some interesting things that seemed to come out of nowhere. Because they took the form of subtle suggestions or creative flashes not fully formed, I could have easily overlooked their significance. However this week during the waxing moon I was really paying attention to the power of emergence.

“Emergence is a noun that goes back to the Latin root emergere, meaning “bring to light,” and it came into English in the 17th century. Just as something comes to light or shows up where there was darkness or nothing before, an emergence happens.” (source: vocabluarly.com/emergence)

At the New Moon all is dark and as we look up at the night sky we even sometimes say, “There is no Moon tonight.”  Yet, in reality, we know that even if we do not see the Moon it is still present. We “don’t see it” because it lies in the same part of the sky as the Sun and its illuminated face is away from Earth. But we trust it is there and will emerge again.

Day by day the Waxing Moon reflects more and more light as it rotates around the Earth.  When it is in its full phase it lies on the opposite side from the Sun and its illuminated side faces the nighttime hemisphere of the Earth. During the waxing phase we say the Moon is emerging again and yet, in reality, it has been there all along.

The illumination of what was there all along, but previously unseen or unrecognized, is not only part of the lunar cycle. It is an essential and magical part of the creative process. This part of the creative cycle is called emergence.

Emergence is how living systems change and is grounded in the belief there are things not consciously known or planned that want to come into being. They do not require our effort, manipulation, or permission. Though we do not perceive them, they already exist – like an Earthrise and the New Moon. Under the right conditions they begin to come topside with a life all their own. Our role is to pay attention – especially during the Waxing Moon – to what wants to come alive and to nourish it.

The Wisdom of La Luna tells us that there is more to our creative lives than what we invoke and plan; more than what we can envision. There are invisible seeds we didn’t know about that are germinating below the soil; reaching for the sunlight of our attention. May those things be brought to the light and emerge in gorgeous and unexpected ways during this Waxing Moon.

Image of Earthrise found on Nasa’s Solar System Exploration.

Edveeje 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.   

This is the first in a three-part series intended to share our Reforestation Strategy with the entire network. We know you will be as excited as we are to share the tree-planting journey with us in 2015. Nicole Schwab has been the visionary leader behind this strategy and is a TreeSisters’ Board of Trustees Member.

the forest

Clare’s founding message for Treesisters is to “reforest the tropics”. Over the past year, we have been working to translate that visionary statement into a practical strategy. In other words, what does it mean to “reforest the tropics”? How are we going to select the Tree projects to be funded by the network?

I want to share with you the process we followed to answer these questions, and most importantly, the outcome.

We combined our extensive consideration and analysis of scientific facts with an embodied listening to Life through our bodies, and kept coming back to the different areas of the Treesisters map, as we held and unfolded the strategy.

We started, very simply, by laying out our objective to increase the number of trees on the planet, in such a way as to recreate and restore natural forest ecosystems.

This means we want to plant as many trees as possible, whilst ensuring their sustainability, giving priority to native tree species, and drawing on local and indigenous knowledge.

Getting more specific, we quickly understood that we need to focus on tree-planting projects that control erosion, protect watersheds, and restore top soil. There are other possible criteria (such as CO2 sequestration or increasing biodiversity), but we feel great urgency in restoring and sustaining the fundaments of Life: Her earth and blood. Soil and water. Once these basic conditions are in place, the rest can follow.

Erosion, soil nutrient wash-out and run-off are dramatic signs that a piece of land has reached its limits. When trees are gone and the land is degraded, agriculture is no longer sustainable, opening the door to famine, poverty, even war. Forests can reverse these trends and stabilize the soil.

Tree cover also has an enormous impact on water retention and filtration. Trees can restore watersheds, revitalize dry springs and provide water to large populations living downstream.

As for top soil, it is the vital interface between the Earth, air and water. It provides a life-support system for micro-organisms, plants, animals, farmers and communities. Restoring top soil is critical if we are to heal our ecosystems.

Reforestation with a particular focus on soil and water can have a tremendous impact. And yet, reforestation alone is not enough. As you can see on the interactive maps of Global Forest Watch, if trees are cut faster than we are able to plant them, we will not be able to tip the planetary scales.

Intact forest landscapes are getting rapidly degraded mainly because of the extension of logging, mining, and development activities. They are the Earth’s last sanctuaries of life, harboring vast populations of species, acting as carbon sinks and hotspots for biodiversity, and providing a source of inspiration and learning.

In addition to planting trees, we therefore absolutely need to support projects that prevent deforestation and degradation of the Earth’s last intact forest landscapes. Projects that aim to protect and expand these ecosystems, and bring Life back from them.

Finally, for any reforestation or conservation effort to be sustainable, it is very clear that the nearby communities need to be fully integrated and benefit from them. Treesisters will support projects that positively impact community livelihoods with a particular focus on women’s participation and empowerment.

In a nutshell, our strategy is to fund projects that increase the number of trees (to control soil erosion, restore and maintain watersheds, and restore top soil), protect intact forest landscapes, improve community livelihoods and nurture women’s participation and empowerment.

In my next post, I will share examples of the types of projects that fulfill these criteria, and continue with a few words about our geographic focus.

 

Nicole is an author and social entrepreneur, co-founder of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, and of EDGE Certified – a global scheme certifying organizations for 20140910_5d3_07665-coul2closing the gender gap in the workplace. Her book, The Heart of the Labyrinthgives voice to her engagement on behalf of a world that values and honors the sacred feminine and is rooted in our connection to the Earth as a living being.

IMG_1957

Sarah Bhyrodin Birthday Post

From as young as I can remember one of my favorite things to do was to learn about nature and wildlife. Biology was my favorite lesson, the zoo was my favorite place to go and my favorite downtime was watching David Attenborough. I always felt moved and somehow connected. I was very curious and felt fulfilled when I understood more of the world around me. Yet like most people, work becomes most of your week and it’s so hard to find the quality time to research deeply into the things that really matter to you. Also due to work commitments I really felt like I needed to become more social recently and for some reason I was really feeling drawn to wanting new friends, female especially.

I joined Meet Ups to see what was in Milton Keynes and ended up in a group where I met a lovely lady called Debbie. She advertised an event on Meet Up to visit Stonehenge for the spring equinox and it just called to me. On our trip she told me about TreeSisters and when I got home I watched the Women on Fire speech by Claire and it totally spoke to me. I visited the webpage and before long I really wanted to donate. TreeSisters struck a chord with me.

For a long period of time I have felt that the way in which we are treating the planet was and is wrong. When you watch images and videos of destruction and really understand the reasons behind this, it just feels like we are living in an insane world. A great sentence I first heard from Graham Hancock sums it up. ‘We are chopping down trees at such an alarming rate to replace with soya bean farms. These soya bean farms then produce just cattle feed. Cattle that then will become beef burgers. The soya bean farms will only be sustainable for around 10 years before the soil is destroyed and unusable. We are literally ripping the lungs out of the planet in exchange for beef burgers…. what a bad deal we are getting”.

TreeSisters for me had an answer and a real one that made sense to me. It should be the norm that we are donating and we should be taking responsibility for our actions. We are blessed that WE even have that choice. Most people do not, yet still our decisions will affect everybody on this planet. I’m so gratefully that the first steps have already been taken by great people who have dedicated their lives to protecting and informing ours. I just really wanted to be a part of this.

Unfortunately at the time I was struggling with my finances and I donated just £10 but I really wanted to do more and also understood that I needed to.

My birthday was coming up soon and normally I would hold a big party or put on an event but I thought would be a great idea to ask those around me for something that I really wanted, and that was to be able to give a gift to TreeSisters.

So I set up a donation page and asked my friends and family to not give me gifts this year but instead donate to my page. I also used social media to encourage and remind others that it was my birthday and what I wanted to do instead. On my page it said to those friends, if you were to come out for my birthday and would have brought me a drink, instead could you donate the £3-£5 that would have been spent. The results were great and my original target of £100 was met, I have now re set to £150 and will have reached that by the end of December.

My page is Sarah Bhyrodin’s Birthday For Chairty! and I really encourage others who want to help more but who are not in the position to be able to do so just yet, to try this and other ideas. Virgin Money Giving website was really easy to use and it’s free. You can do any style of fundraising that suits you. Click the link at the top right of my page ‘Start Fundraising’.  So get running, get baking, get planning or just get talking!

They say everything happens for a reason and I thank the stones for calling me, to take the journey with Debbie, to discover TreeSisters, and to start to discover myself.

 

Sarah Bhyrodin, treesister

When the Grandmothers Speak

Following the Wisdom of La Luna

“When two or more women gather together the stars come out in broad daylight.”  If that be true – and I believe it is – the December New Moon call illuminated an entire constellation.  I received scores of email responses to our collective inquiry about how TreeSisters could bring in more of the wisdom of the Crone archetype as well as how we might all bring our gifts forward as teachers, artists, and healers.

For our next New Moon call (on Sunday at 12:00 pm EST) I will host a Part II for those who want to continue the conversation.  However as the New Moon approaches –  which is the time of the Crone energy – I also want to share my harvesting from the emails I received because of how they inspired me.

The first thing I did was look for themes and patterns that were emerging from the responses.  Almost 60% of the emails were in response to the Crone Starfish Conversation which told me how inspired and timely this conversation is within our network.  Many of the women who are interested in this conversation are also instructors and facilitators with programs and workshops already created and launched in this topic.

As I read each email I also looked for themes of interest and connections between us as women. Some of the recurring areas of passion, expertise or interest are in the following areas:

  • Nature-based teachings and Earth Educators
  • Nature as a means of Healing (the inner child at any age)
  • Earth ministry
  • Shamanism
  • Healing with Plant Essences
  • Empowering the Wild-Feminine
  • Women’s fitness and total well-being (physical, mental, spiritual and emotional)
  • Kabbalah & Women’s Sexuality
  • Dream Building/Coaching
  • Bringing the Map of Five Choices into the local community

There were also really practical ideas in those emails that will become part of our framework of emergence. Here is what some of you wrote:

  • “I’d like to see you create a website so that it is easy for any TreeSisters’ member to upload and/or offer to sell something that would benefit TreeSisters.”
  • “And while it may be an arm of the instructors’ starfish, I would love to network with other Earth Educators here. One part of bringing forth the healing of the Earth is educating and bringing others to a deeper knowledge of her and her ways.’
  • As an instructor/artist, “I’d like to be able to have an agreement with TreeSisters that isn’t too complicated financially or legally.”
  • “I wrote a book about the menstrual cycle and have just begun teaching my Menopause Course again as well, and will love to associate with other women to see what we can create globally!”
  • “I’d love for you to have a full-blown web calendar system (including by geographic area) where I could login as a member and create a calendar item for a retreat I’m holding.”
  • “Dream Building is a technology that stands on three pillars: Blueprinting, Bridging and Building and Becoming.”
  • “I am from İstanbul, Turkey and I am 35 years old and in bleeding period of my life and yet somehow I feel Crone energy more vivid in me than the energy of my age group.”

I want to pull that last statement through and into the collective tapestry we are all weaving because it is so vibrant and alive within us, no matter our age. As someone on the call mentioned, Crone-hood is not just a physiological and biological phase. It is an archetypal energy that is available for anyone to experience; male or female, young or old.

I believe the world is longing to experience this wise woman energy as part of the homeopathic medicine required for our times.  I have a deck of cards called Wisdom of the Crone (www.wisewomenink.com) that says “when you seek the truth, ask a wise woman.”  Wise women are all around us and they are calling us to sit at their fire and learn what only wisdom can teach us.

One of the cards in the crone deck says, “Sometimes we wonder what legacy we will leave.  What song, joke, advice or story will be passed along.  Now we can be of great influence.  Older women have passion, time, guts and experience.  Some say when the grandmothers speak the Earth will be healed.  Look seven generations ahead.”

Yes, when the Crones speak the Earth will be healed because we are finally looking seven generations ahead. Please join the unfolding conversation at the New Moon Call on Sunday where the Crones – both young and old – will speak and we will share our collective wisdom on behalf of TreeSisters’ ongoing emergence.

Edveeje 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.   

 

Artwork by Diana Vandenberg

 

2nd Guest Post by Alyson Collom, Director of Operations at Encanto Jewels

The Jewels of the Colombian Rainforest

Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign in late autumn, Monica (founder and CEO of Encanto Jewels) and I were able to travel to Colombia in December to study the effect that Encanto Jewels is having on the local people and the rainforest environment.

Since the beginning, this journey was one of two dimensions. One being to show a different side of Colombia and to help nurture our business by supporting and getting to know all aspects of it and the people within it. The second being to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone and experience a new culture with new people, new land, new food. So far, each has been rich far beyond my expectations.

Being at our workshop was a dream – meeting the people for the first time was an experience that will remain inside of my heart forever. I have worked with these people sometimes daily over Skype for 4.5 years and finally there we were, hugging each other, eating together, working side by side. It is an indescribable feeling to finally be in a tangible world with people after residing so long in the virtual. The physical energy between people is an undeniable force and one that cannot be replaced.

image (1)The workshop was even more lovely in person – so much space, so much light. Wonderful food being served. Each person given time, space, tranquility. Plants in every room, large windows with views of the mountains. Everyone was very sweet, relaxed, happy. I mentioned before the incredible importance for us at Encanto of working with a workshop that was as good with it’s employees as it was with the Tagua and it was far beyond evident that this is the case here. The Mizrachi family is extremely dedicated to providing good jobs and a good working environment for their employees, but they also treat them like family.

While at the workshop we were able to start filming for our documentary. Monica gave a short workshop teaching the employees some body work exercises to educate them further in the importance of movement for the body. It was lovely to watch this group of people (about 25 altogether) drop into their physical bodies and move with her. We were also able to interview some of the workers to hear their stories and impressions of working with the Tagua, which will be included in our Pilot documentary film.

image       image (4)

After spending some time (not enough!) in our workshop, we then traveled to the heart of the rainforest on the Pacifix coast of Colombia in a place called Choco. Choco is not easy to access – only by a 40 minute plane ride and a 35 minute boat ride can you get there. The Tagua palms grow naturally in this place and we wanted to find some to take pictures of and also to get a sense of what is happening to the people in the communities there. Because it is very difficult to get to, no Tagua is harvested there as it becomes too expensive. We interviewed a man there, Tello, who was familiar with Tagua and took us into the forest to find the palms. We were able to cut the fruit open and even eat the seed – it slightly resembles a coconut in its white fleshy appearance, but it is more chewy and has no flavor.

image (3)

To stand in front of this incredibly untouched raw beauty in Choco was deeply profound, to say the least. To see that there are still places on this exhausted earth that are still relatively uncorrupted made some part of my soul relax inside.  There are so many examples of man corrupting nature and our beautiful land being torn apart by capitalism and greed that one becomes so overwhelmed.  But to witness this wild nature in its totality strengthened my desire to continue finding ways to help preserve its beauty and rawness.

Monica and I are constantly connecting with people on this trip.  Because my Spanish is limited, I cannot talk to the people as much as I so desperately desire, but Monica has an incredible gift of connecting and networking with people wherever she goes.  She collects stories from town to town and creates these beautiful energetic links all over the world.  Some of the people we have met are doing incredibly innovative things here in Colombia to help its land and its people and we are constantly seeking ways to collaborate with each other, to help strengthen our causes in any ways we can.

Encanto-Team

Every encounter feels new and sometimes scary, but I feel like every step of the way, I peel off layers of myself to reveal someone new inside.  This trip has shown me that who we are as people can be very fluid if we allow it.  There are so many different ways to live our lives, so many different ways to experience the people and environments around us.  Travel reveals these in sometimes such profound and vulnerable ways.  It opens us up to show us what we want for ourselves, for our children, for our world.  Being in the rich, fertile, wild rainforest of Colombia made it so clear to me how important it is not to lose that piece of our Earth and of ourselves.

image (5)

 

Alyson Collom, Operations Manager

Encanto Jewels   www.encantojewels.com

 

The Moon in You

Following the Wisdom of La Luna

Women’s monthly menstrual cycle is a mirror twin of the lunar cycle. No matter our age, what developmental phase of life we are in, whether we bleed every month or not, whether we have had a hysterectomy or not, the Moon is embodied within the physical and energetic core of every woman. Together the Womb and the Moon create a woman’s natural rhythm of life.

In previous posts I have shared the monthly cyclical rhythm of La Luna and the wisdom embedded within it.  Like a cosmic life-coach, each month the Moon invites us into a rhythm of visioning and dreaming, planning and gestating, emergence and growth, action and manifestation, reflection and rest. Each phase of the Moon coaches us in the art of living; inviting us to create a magnum opus from our lives.

Each phase of the Moon is also embedded within our wombs.  Energetically speaking, the New Moon is the phase of menstruation, the Waxing Moon is the pre-ovulation phase, the Full Moon is the time of ovulation, and the Waning Moon is the pre-menstrual phase of the month.  The Moon is – metaphorically, energetically, and cosmically – in you.

But why and what does this mean in practical and creative terms?  How does following the Wisdom of La Luna shape the quality of our lives as women?  The answer is what I call “a woman’s natural rhythm of life.”  We all have one; as unique as our fingerprints.

Our natural rhythm of life is encoded within our wombs, experienced within our monthly cycles, and unique to our personalities and physiology.  Like the Moon, as women we each have a phase of the month in which we tend to naturally drop into the visioning and dreaming realm; other times of the month we naturally move into action and manifestation; and yet other times we are reflective and discerning and in need of rest. This is the Moon phases embodied within our wombs.

If you are in the menopause or post-menopausal phase of life, you are fortunate because you are no longer governed by hormones and can adopt the actual lunar cycle as your monthly cycle as a woman.  There are even some blessed women whose monthly cycles are in natural alignment with the lunar cycle (meaning they bleed at New Moon and ovulate at Full Moon).

However I believe most women in Western Civilization (and in developing and industrial countries) have two cycles they are simultaneously trying to respond to: the lunar cycle and their menstrual cycle.  The actual cycles contain exactly the same phases, however most modern women’s womb cycles are on a different cycle than the Moon (meaning they may be bleeding at or near Full Moon when the lunar cycle is energetically embodying ovulation).

I believe this womb-centric disconnection is a direct reflection of our disconnection from Nature and our authentic selves (and a few other reasons which will be featured in future posts).

Whether or not your menstrual cycle is in alignment with the lunar cycle, there is a single resounding creative principle wanting to be practically embodied within your life.  Each month – whether in sync with your menstrual cycle or the lunar cycle – there is an ideal week for visioning and dreaming; an ideal week for growth and action; an ideal week for manifestation and gratitude, and an ideal week for reflection and course correction.

This cycle of creativity is what I mean by a woman’s natural rhythm of life and when we become sensitive to it we begin to hear the voice of our own inner Wise Woman who longs for us to flow with and travel the “rio abajo rio” (the creative river beneath the river of our daily lives).

Like circles within circles or the ever deepening layers of a labyrinth, this rhythm is also reflected in the weekly seven day cycle.  In the not too distant past, the weekend was truly a time of rest.  Many people honored either Saturday or Sunday as the Sabbath or at least as a time of rest, reflection, and recreation.  The work weeks began on Monday, an ideal time for visioning and planning the week ahead.  Tuesdays through Thursdays were the heart of the workweek in which one manifested the fruit of one’s labor. Fridays were a time of culmination and Friday nights a time of celebration; leading naturally into a weekend of rest and reflection and course correction for the week to come.

While the days of the week may no longer directly correlate the same way, the four major Moon/Womb-centric life rhythms of the week remain. It is up to each of us as women to consciously sculpt and live our natural rhythm of life; knowing that we are sourcing the wisdom of La Luna and of the Womb, the creative matrix of life.

Whether you choose to follow the lunar cycle or flow with your womb-centric cycle, life will be consciously conceived, gestated and birthed through you in proportion to your ability to follow the beat of that rhythm. This is one of the reasons TreeSisters is offering the course Earthing the Moon.  We want to encourage, inspire, and support women to find their natural rhythm of life as the foundation from which we live.

(If you would like to explore these topics more deeply in a circle of sisters there is still time to register.)

 

Edveeje 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.   

 

Artwork by: Ursula Dutkiewicz

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 527 other followers