Reflections on An Extraordinary Alchemical Year

Last weekend, we completed the final stage of the 2009-10 Alchemical Journey programme with our sublime Pisces weekend.  In the two years since we’ve been running The Alchemical Journey as a full 12-month course, I don’t think I have experienced a weekend of cathartic wonder quite like that.  It was an absolute treat for me, as we had the whole of this year’s core group, and the whole of last year’s group participating – the old school meets the new school – it was amazing!  It was the perfect way to complete was has been a really extraordinary year.  Moving The Alchemical Journey to Glastonbury, bringing Anthony on board, and working directly with the landscape zodiac temple has added immense depth to the course, and I believe we now have one of the most genuinely powerful transformational programmes out there – and definitely one of the most original.

When I think back to The Alchemical Journey’s humble beginnings began back in 2006, when I created it as a 12 week course, working with the twelve zodiacal dimensions of the law of attraction, it is incredible to think how far we have come since then.  We are now effectively running a zodiac mystery school, working with profound alchemical principles connecting us to the cyclical / spiral wisdom of seasonal round and the astrological journey of the Sun through the twelve signs of the zodiac. And the work we are doing is providing the context for the most extraordinary transformation in people’s lives.  I am continually moved by the shifts that our participants are making in their own lives.

Our journey around the Glastonbury Zodiac has brought us full circle, from our start point up on Walton Hill and the “village” of Street, we again found ourselves on Sunday close to where we began.  We walked along the “Beckery Salmon” to Bridies Mound, Pomparles Bridge (from where King Arthur is said to have thrown his sword Excalibur into the River Brue, as a final gesture before his death) and Wearyall Hill, where Joseph of Arimathea planted his staff out of which grew the Palestinian Thorn Tree, which flowers around Christmas time.  It was one of the most meaningful walks of the year for me, and it embodied so much devotional Piscean energy.  Wearyall Hill holds the unique distinction of looking like a fish on the map and in three dimensions when viewed from above.  And we completed our walk, by parading down Fishers Hill back into Glastonbury.

I feel we are perfecting and refining a great work with The Alchemical Journey and we have moved so far this year in terms of that.  It has become so clear to me this year how this way of working with the zodiac can really liberate our creative potential, whilst deepening our connection with the soul, and at the same time allow our spirits soar to new heights of awareness and revelation.

My Highlights of the Year:
I’ve been thinking about some of the things that stand out for me this year.  So many rich, vivid memories – and as they say, “you really needed to be there”, but I’d still just to honour them briefly here:

  • In Aries, it was the mask dance, and the ceremony with David Hatfield at Wagg Drove on the tail of the Girt Dog of Langport.
  • In Taurus, the process we did around money & the beautiful walk through the woods in the Taurus figure.
  • In Gemini, the flutter and buzz game, and connecting to the Spring at Dundon Beacon.
  • In Cancer, it was that beautiful Sunday we had with Marina and Celia offering their ways of accessing the wisdom of the ancestors, and then visiting Bradley Spring (which feeds the rines that make up the Cancer figure), and meeting Sheila Jeffries, its guardian.
  • In Leo, the stand out memory was the catwalk and coronation ceremony, one of the absolute highlights of the year.  “All hail the King / the Queen”.  Unforgettable.
  • In Virgo, I felt we went some way to reclaiming the power and wisdom of the sign of the Goddess, and the walk around the village of Babcary was amazing – so deeply suggestive of the feminine mystery.
  • In Libra, I remember the wonderful altar that Colette created, dancing our ascendant / descendant positions on Sunday morning, the synchronicity of the dove feathers and the tranquil beauty of Sunday’s walk in the Libran dove figure around Barton St David.
  • In Scorpio, the shadow process that was so profound, the Pluto dances on Sunday morning, and the underworld wood we found – complete with its own River Styx – in Alford.
  • In Sagittarius, what stands out is the guided journey & divining from our artistic renderings, then the walk up to Baltonsborough Flights on the third eye of the archer, my personal favourite spot in the Zodiac.
  • In Capricorn, the initiation process which was so deeply meaningful and then the walk along the Unicorn’s horn.
  • In Aquarius, I’ll always remember us pouring the rainbow waters of life over each other, dancing our Uranus positions and the magical walk around Glastonbury.
  • And in Pisces, so many memories still so fresh – the fish dance, Orpheus, the river of life, the Odysseus mystery play, the Neptune astrodrama pieces, and then the most sublime walk in the zodiac and discovering Bridies Mound within such a profound ritual context.

Well the cycle continues, and while we may pause for breath for a couple of weeks, our attention will soon turn to the new programme, when it all begins again in Aries, as buds break through on the branch and Spring begins in earnest with its full-on fiery force!  Our Aries weekend, “The Alchemy of Intention” takes place in Street (near Glastonbury) on 27th / 28th March.  Hope those of you reading this will join us on the journey this year as and when you can.  I have a strong feeling it’s going to be the best year yet!

love & blessings
John

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