Niños y niñas del fuego

Somos los niños y las niñas del fuego, y hay que quemar

Las llamas de la verdad no ti duelen si tienes el coraje de estar

Fuerte en la fe, de ser ti mismo

Y cuando siente como estamos dentro el abismo

Siente como la muerte pero es un nacimiento

Siente como la muerte pero esto es el parto

Somos los niños y las niñas del fuego, y hay que quemar

Como las fenices subimos de las cenizas para volar

En los vientos frescos del mundo nuevo que podemos crecer

Bañaremos en la lluvia de las lágrimas de ayer






Image by Rafael Moura Sb. from Pixabay 

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Want to save the world? Have children!!!

Learning to Give

IF you care about saving the environment. HAVE CHILDREN!

Why is having kids good for the environment?

Maybe you’re not having kids for “environmental” reasons. But why are you trying to save the planet? If you have no investment in it?

Having kids will motivate you to do MORE to protect the environment.

Your caring attitude is a valuable quality. If you don’t pass on your love for the Earth to your kids… what will happen?

Here is the standard (flawed) logic:

“I don’t want to have kids because humans are causing climate change. WE ARE THE PROBLEM so I don’t want to add to that problem…”


Only people who DON’T care about the environment have kids… and they pass their careless attitudes on to their children.

Lo and behold; The caring meme dies out. And so does the species.

We have to value ourselves!

If we want to…

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A Message from the Earth

“It’s the coldest winter on record,” some say; “there has been snow where we have no data for snow before, and” –

“No! It is the hottest winter on record,” say others, “look at our pale skin burning in the freakishly warm sunshine” –

“It’s a catastrophe! The world is going to end!” they all agree, “but we don’t want it to! What shall we do?”

A silence.

“Demand that the government do something!” a voice cries, and all take up the cry, and the march begins…

I stand on the edge of the flow, watching as people push past me, their eyes full of a feverish light.

They do not look at me. They do not look at each other. They clamber over rocks and push through trees, some so eager to get where they are going that they break the rocks, destroy the undergrowth, pull down branches from the trees. In the dry dust of their wake is a slowly falling, brightly-coloured trail of plastic wrappers.

I want to say something; to try to divert the flow, perhaps, but the people are moving more and more swiftly, and they do not look at me.

“They do not look at me, either,” says a voice, and I turn.

She is standing before me, a tall, beautiful woman, full-breasted, full-bellied, her long hair flowing around her shoulders and down her back, rustling with a sound like the wind in fresh leaves in spring.

“Who are you?” I ask, but she simply looks at me, her green eyes flashing, and I feel with a jolt that her heartbeat is the same as mine; yet also that hers is deeper, slower; that her time is one which is unimaginably different to my own.

“I have many names,” she says; “Pachamama, Gaia, Bhumi…”

As she says each name, her form changes, so that flashing before my eyes I see a woman whose body is the mountains and whose hair is the golden maize, from whose breasts flow the waters of life – she changes subtly and I see her hair, made from wheat now, blowing in the breeze, filling the horizon as far as I can see, as she brings forth fresh, juicy grapes, cherries and pomegranates. I gasp, overwhelmed, and she, seeing this, seems slowly to shrink, until she is standing before me, as beautiful as ever, but now more the size of a human woman.

She still holds a pomegranate in one hand, and she offers it to me. I do not hesitate to take it. One does not refuse gifts from a Goddess.

We sit on a moss-covered rock which has been left relatively intact by the stampede. The people have receded now into the distance; one or two stragglers occasionally wander past, shouting political slogans, but they do not see us.

Slowly, I start to eat the pomegranate. It is delicious beyond words, and for a moment I forget the beautiful woman sitting beside me, closing my eyes in rapture. Soon, though, my curiosity returns. I look around at the devastated landscape, and a deep grief fills my heart. I turn to Bhumi – for Bhumi is what she most looks like now, dark and proud, her neck adorned with many-coloured sparkling crystals – expecting her, too, to be sad.

To my surprise, she is laughing softly, delight shining from her verdant eyes.

“You speak of records as though you know all that has passed on this planet,” she murmurs, and her voice is like a cool spring welling up from among deep rocks, “but you do not even recall most of your own stories. Do you think that your great-great-great-great-great grandmothers wasted time telling of what the weather should not be doing?”

“I… I guess I never thought about it,” I admit, and she laughs again, though kindly.

“They observed what is, and adapted their behaviour to fit in with whatever natural patterns they saw,” says Bhumi, “they did not panic when what they expected did not come to pass…”

I look around again, trying to make sense of this.

“But things were different back then,” I protest, “back then it was easier to live in tune with nature – I mean, with you – we didn’t have fossil fuels or microplastics; we didn’t have factories or styrofoam” –

“That is true,” she says, so majestically that I am awed into silence.

She continues, “and yet, how much of the natural patterns of the Earth are really changing because of what humans are doing? Now, in your arrogance, you think that it is all because of your actions. You do not remember the tales of your ancestors. You do not see that I have my own moods, my own behaviours, and I follow my own rhythms.

Yes, many of you are living out of balance with these rhythms now. You choke Ganga with filth and ashes; you muddy the air through which, before, you could receive messages from Vayu so clearly. These are actions you can modify.”

“So you do think we should change?” I ask, glancing around again at the desolate landscape.

I look back at Bhumi; she appears to be deep in thought, her eyes looking far, far away. I realise that perhaps it was an irrelevant question to ask of a Goddess.

“You gather the effects of your actions altogether into one menace, one thing which you can all point to and blame,” she says eventually, “a danger so huge and abstract that no one can argue about its existence. And yet,” she sighs, a long, long sigh.

Looking down, I see that where her breath touches the ground, all the little bits of plastic rubbish shiver, and transform slowly into multi-coloured flowers.

I look up at her face, and she holds my gaze in hers. I feel the slow rhythmic rubbing of tectonic plates; the rich darkness of dead matter changing into fertile soil; the profound, thirsting questing of roots into the depths. Slowly, I begin to be filled with an understanding – an understanding that as long as we look outside ourselves for the solution of our problems, we can never really solve them. It all seems so clear, like the sweet clarity of the water which she holds deep inside her, water which is still untainted by human touch. I see that while we are worried about climate change we are not looking at Bhumi, but at an abstract idea about our own actions. We need to focus on the actions themselves, and change them if they seem unhealthy. It is all so simple –

She looks away, and I gasp, struggling to hold on to the revelation. Then she looks back and smiles at me. I see she is holding a blue lotus in her left hand. She brings it up to her face, and darkness begins pouring out from the centre of the flower. I watch, entranced, as the darkness spreads, until I am sitting under a deep indigo sky, blossoming with myriad stars.

I look back, and she is gone. I am sad, because I had so many more questions I wanted to ask her, and the clarity of my realisation is difficult to hold onto. I try to find words to describe what I have felt, but the words do not come…

Frustrated, I look around again at the landscape. Something is different about it. Or rather, something is different about me; for this place no longer seems quite so desolate and empty. I can see that in spite of the destruction, it is full of life, and instead of feeling stark and forbidding, it feels welcoming. I can feel it welcoming me, who am part of this great creature we call Earth. Slowly, I begin to feel a deep sense of peace.

Drawing from ‘Elemental Spirits’ by Charlotte Holloway Ashwanden – you can see more at Dance Inspiracy

Poem – Gifts


The incense is lit, the smoke rises up

The fruit and grain placed in the offering-bowls

The sacred wine is poured from the cup

Gifts to the gods; to the God, from our souls


To receive is to give; to hold out one’s hand

Is to hold it out empty, as mine is to you

To receive is to give – this we understand

In our hearts when we listen to that which is true


And yet you


Ask me for a gift which holds not this bond

A trinket, toy, gadget; shiny and new

As if the lotus rising above the pond

Petals open to air, wasn’t rooted in mud too


What can I give you, who ask this of me?

I would give you the jewels of glowing ember-ash,

I would give you sunlight through leaves of the Beech tree

I would give you a shining tear caught on an eyelash


I would give you a rainbow rising over a hill

I would give you a childhood half-remembered song

I would give you fresh water and the feeling of having your fill

I would give you a hawk’s soaring flight, free and strong


I would give all these gifts to you, and yet

They are not mine to give, they are inside of you

Beyond the need to always acquire and get

These gifts are nowhere, or they are inside of you.


Poem – Anger is a Gift

Anger is a gift

Unconditional; a flame

Helping us to lift


Ourselves above all

That which was, before, the same

Yet beware the fall


Raging energy

Allowing lines to be drawn

And truth to be free


Feeding all this fire

Can provide for clarity

But if our desire


Holds on to the rage

It can burn all those we love;

Put us in a cage


To choose forgiveness

To hold it; that tender dove

Is not a weakness


It is not too late

For us to free ourselves

Responding to hate

With kindness and love

Is not easy, one must be

Strong, to rise above


Lies, violence and more

To meet fire with a soft breath;

Treat ones you adore


The same as those who

You detest; to meet the eyes

The wild eyes of fear


With forgiving gaze,

To see the hand raised to you

As sweet and dear


And yet still hold clear

Unmoving, to your self true

Uplifting, always.

The Chaos of the World

Pain and dissolution all around me; relationships crumbling; the whole world locked in a grip of fear.

“What’s happening??” I cry.

Through the chaos – spinning, whirling shapes, dissolving into figures of terrifying intensity which then melt away like a mist – through this, I glimpse a solid figure, dancing, furiously dancing.

“It’s you,” I say.

He flashes me a beautifully wicked grin, flinging his wild locks around his head as he continues his dance.

“Why?” I ask him, “why all this betrayal? Why all the fear?”

“Why?” he repeats, looking at me disbelievingly, as he begins to pound his drum; “you mean you don’t know?”

The beat is hypnotic and very catchy. I am hurt, I am afraid, but I find my feet beginning to move.

“I…” I stop, feeling this is some kind of trick question.

Spinning round and round, he takes one of his many hands and points it at his throat.

“You know why my throat is this colour?” he asks. It is a rich, deep indigo; the colour of the night, when there are no human-lights to fade it.

He goes on, “because I swallowed the poison of the world. And you know what it did to me?”

I shake my head, following in his wake.

“It made me stronger,” he says, “as you will be made stronger after every poison you take into yourself but do not allow to infect you.”

He stretches the hand towards me. I hesitate, still feeling heavy with the pain; the grief; the loss of a whole world.

“Have you never felt betrayed before?” he asks.

“Well, yes! … A few times… Many times! But” –

“And you learned to trust again after those times?”

“Yes… I suppose, eventually, but” –

“And now you are stronger, aren’t you?”

“Maybe, I don’t know… But the point is it hurts!”

He looks directly at me then, and I gaze into his eyes; eyes which hold distant galaxies and the stillness at the centre of the dance.

“Pain is part of life,” he says softly, “you think when you give birth it isn’t going to hurt?”

“Well, I know that that is the story of our culture, partly influenced by the idea of punishment for original sin and upheld by the medicalisation of birth, but from what I have been led to believe, it doesn’t have to be painful…”

I trail off. He is still looking at me, and there is laughter in his eyes.

“Who chooses?” he asks.

“Er… Well… I suppose, me,” I say, “perhaps those sensations which other women may call pain, I may choose to call… I don’t know, excitement, or –”

“But you will still feel them,” he points out; “you will always still feel them. That’s what life is. That’s what being alive is.”

I stare at him, still nonplussed, though I realise that I have unconsciously started dancing softly along with him, through the wild nightmare shapes of crisis which loom and melt away all around us.

“But it feels like this is happening to everyone now; to the whole world!” I say, “why?”

“You just gave yourself the answer,” he replies, still laughing, “you cannot have birth without some kind of pain – at least without some feeling which some may call pain.”

“So the whole world is going through a… A birth?”

He does not answer, but holds out his hand to me once more, and this time I take it, as he leads me, laughing and crying, into the dance.

Five Elements Prayer

I pray

That the world shall be revealed as what it is

And that I may see all that needs to be seen by me

That I remember that I am in the right place

And that the words of my heart carry truth


I pray

That the great Earth holds us

Pachamama, raise us up; Bhoumi, root us down

Opening blue-lotus petals to the seed within Gaia’s womb;

That Amaru and Hecate hold safe the keys to our darkness within


I pray

That the great Waters run pure and fresh

That Viracocha refreshes us with his tears

Joy in pain; that Danu and Ganga may give sustaining life;

That Mamakiya washes away that which we need not


I pray

That the great Fire continues to burn within

Each one of us; that Brigid shall strike away fear and doubt

With smouldering spears; Shiva dance the flames of the world;

That Inti and his fire-cats hold the balance of destruction and creation


I pray

That the great Airs of the world shall be clear

Weaving connections between our souls;

That Aura shall protect, and Vayu keep playing with the breeze;

That Hummingbird, Condor, Eagle guide our ways


I pray

That the great Spirit holds the place, the still place;

The place where all must come alone, and be with all the world;

Akasha, Allah, the Holy Ghost – all names

To call that which can not be named.


I pray

That those who are lost may find their truth;

That those who pray become aware of whom they speak;

Since prayer is an act of all humanity

And we align ourselves with those who we call in our hearts.





Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

Poem: We’ve Been Preparing

We’ve been preparing for this

Reaching deep roots down through deep earth

Finding lips that would kiss

From those that speak against self-worth


Did you think it was you?

Wrapped up in the details of future days

Did you think this is new?

You didn’t notice maybe through the haze


Of never-ending appointments and fears

Myriad hooks to catch the mind

Grudging actions, repressed tears

Forgetting that you, only you can find


The gifts you seek deep inside you

And while you were groping outside

You didn’t hear the other voices calling, true

Calling out truth from the place you hide


This isn’t the first apocalypse

We are ready, ready to dance

To hold the stillness within us

And move towards what could be our last chance


We’ve been preparing for this

Reaching deep roots to hidden springs

Listening to all silent voices

Overturning the old, to grow new things.

Understanding Patterns

Here is the outline to my ‘Understanding Patterns’ workshop, available as part of my offerings through Charlotte Holloway Ashwanden. Enjoy 🙂

Pattern Understanding is a key part of holistic design. We are constantly nested within patterns, both visible and invisible, throughout our lives. Indeed, we can see patterns as a fundamental pattern of human experience. When we are open to patterns, we can feel how they function; and much of our relationship to patterns is based on intuition, which we cannot necessarily explain. So why is it important to understand patterns?

Bill Mollison and David Holmgren point out in the ‘Permaculture Designer’s Manual’ that patterns are something which we have an intuitive relationship with. But if we are to create effective designs which fit harmoniously within the systems we are part of, it is also important to consciously comprehend and communicate our understanding of patterns. This is where permaculture design is so useful, as it helps us to connect intuition and conscious design.

Here are some common natural patterns and their functions:


Conservation of energy

Vortex / Overbeck Jet

Cycling of energy


Rhythmic movement


Spreading over small spaces


Maximum cover with minimum materials used


Carrying energy over a wide area


Fitting together

Story: ‘The Haunted Beach’

This is a tale of a vision received on a beach in India.

I look around at the rubbish scattered everywhere, the sand stretching away littered in every direction with empty bottles, plastic bags, broken glass, and other less identifiable items. At the rows of stalls selling identical tourist trinkets. At the desperate-eyed men and women who wander the beach, asking for money in exchange for something – what, is unclear – at the horses and at the budgies kept close to them on tightly bound leashes.

The blasted landscape under the grey sky and reddening sun, the ancient crumbling temple on the shore surrounded by offerings of plastic and urine, the atomic powerplant looming ghostlily, a four-pillared mosque of destruction, on the horizon.

And Mother Ocean keeps dancing on.

“Shiva has already been here”, I say;

“This is a place of destruction and desolation.”

Shiva, smiling, hears me and appears, shaking his head.

“You humans did all this,” he assures me.

Then he looks thoughtful.

“Maybe it is time to shake things up a bit,” he muses, and opens his third eye.

There is a blast of blinding pink light.

When I look again, the beach is clean – uninterrupted sand running as far as I can see.

Other than this, the scene is the same as before.

“I put it all in the sea,” explains Shiva (whose third eye is closed again), with what seems like a mixture of mirth and pride.

He makes to turn away – I can see he is already getting into position to meditate – but I stop him, saying,

“Surely that is just creating more pollution in another place?”

And Mother Ocean accepts the gifts, with a sigh…

“And what about – all this?” I ask, gesturing at the stalls, the crowds, the horses; the sellers and the consumers, with their full hands and empty, empty eyes.

“Surely they will just create more rubbish, and within the next few hours it will look the same as it did before!”

Shiva looks around, smiling in quite a pleased way.

“Yes, it does look the same as it did before, doesn’t it?” he agrees.

“But, you see, I have replaced every single item in every one of those stalls. Every water bottle, every bangle, every ecosystem-destroying hand-crafted shell souvenir; down to the last tiny shell. They are all now illusions – little more than dust.”

I look around, not understanding.

“The sellers will continue to sell and the buyers will continue to buy,” Shiva continues,

“And probably no-one will notice, since they didn’t care what they were buying or selling anyway. They have trained their eyes to be blind. But from now on they deal only in illusions – and whatever waste they create is but a small amount of dust on the sand.”

He turns his formidable gaze to me, locks blowing slightly in the feeble sea breeze, and sees that I am still somewhat concerned.

“As for the rubbish in the sea,” he continues,

“It is even now collecting into a great island, which one day soon will hold half of all the things which you humans ever throw into the Ocean, while the other half collects in another island further away. A few of your human years from now, these islands will reach a critical mass of chemical constituency which will begin a process wherein the rubbish starts to become bio-remediated by naturally-occurring organisms that are even now evolving within the islands themselves.

It will take some time, before enough organic matter has broken down to create enough soil to begin holding fresh water, and enough fresh water to begin supporting plants and trees. But when that time has passed, there will be two more islands on this planet – vast, green, lush, verdant lands, with pure water and clean air”.

I marvel at this, my head reeling.

“Of course, lots of people will try to claim them; to use for prisons or fancy hotels or whatever the latest trend is at the time,” Shiva goes on, musing,

“But somehow I don’t think they will be successful.”

He starts to go back into his meditation pose, but I have one more question.

“Wait! What about the horses? And the budgies? All the trapped animals…Can they go free?”

He opens his eyes, blinking, as if he has just come from very far away.

“What? Oh. Nothing I can do about them – it’s their karma. Maybe next life…”

And he is gone.

And Mother Ocean continues her dance…