The warrior pastoral nomads of Abruzzo and yurts for free

I live in an open field in front of the sacred mountain.
In front of me the the valley of the plain is stretched open, an ancient tribal land of the Samnites. Living here in their ancestral land is a special experience, the Earth speaks of their beliefs, their memories Below the land there is ancient spa, it has been there for a thousand years, only to collapse down to the ground after the Second World War – a tunnel feeds a pool, and a stone pipe made out of square stones each a meter wide, with a massive hole in the middle, the pipe and the stone wall drop down some 8 meter to a larger pool, below which there are small rooms, I call it the spa of the Samnites. It’s a healing place, I know this land has been chosen over a thousand years ago for its healing.

I wonder how many of us get to touch that, the slow pace, the ancient, the mountain in front of me is filled with hermitages, with caves, were the Samnites used to offer to their mountain deities, there is an intensity here, everyday is different, the wind blows hard, the rain, the sun, the mountain disappears in cloud, I’m growing to love those rocks, those people, their strength, the warrior nomads, and their ever present mother the mountain.

There is an old custom that those people used to follow, they had a sacred animal, and it would lead them on their migrations, when it stopped in a place so did they, I can see them traveling those valleys behind a white bull, a deer, a special boar even, with their white Abruzzan shepherd dogs, it is said they used to shave all their bodily hair and do so in public in order to frighten the more “civilised” people of Italy.

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The white Abruzzean shepherd  leading the way.

I wonder if this is how they found this place, following their sacred animal, which led them to the sulphury waters coming out the mountain, I can imagine them walking their herds, with swords and baggage, shaved and dressed scantly walking down the dirt paths of the mountain, the view of the mountain opening before them all of a sudden, just as it does for us nowadays, and suddenly the whole southern face of the Majella, their sacred mother is in full view.

On A more practical note, we will be holding another event on the last day of may, it is called “yurts for free” – we have had been trying for a while to establish a system where one can make a yurt for free, using a contionus system of workshops.

The idea is simple we aim to teach you how to make a yurt, but not only we hope you will understand how to make a yurt workshop yourself, so basically one pays for going on the first workshop, than goes back home and organises a yurt workshop, which in turn pays for the materials to make his own yurt, so each yurt is thus “free”.

We will cover all the elements of yurt frame making, peeling coppiced poles, drilling the walls. steaming roof and wall poles, making the wheel, and how to put it all together, tying the walls, etc.

The event will take place in our land in central Italy, in the county of Abruzzo, by a small village called torricella peligna, from the dates of 31st of may to the 5th of june, with the first and last days are mainly for arrival and leaving.

follow this link to read more, or contact us directly if interested, the costs are 35 euros a day or 150 euros for the whole event, this is mainly because we like to keep the costs as low as possible while allowing us to feed whoever comes in style, we would be living outside in yurts, in one of the most beautiful places in Italy. this is a special opportunity for you to learn how to make your own yurt for free.

 

yurts for free

Yurts for free

The Fire of Dreaming

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At the end of May from the 24th to 30th we will be hosting a special man, for  a workshop/event in which we will be building a masonry rocket mass heater.

His name is Martins Brikmans, a specialist masonry stove maker from Denmark, and he will be teaching us through building, one of his wonderful stoves, inside La Difesa, our old Italian house at Heartland.

You will go away with the knowledge and experience to build one of these in your own home. These stoves are an amazing way to heat a house with 90% efficiency. The usual method of heating which our Italian neighbours use is to cut a green oak tree from their land, and make a big fire, placing massive trunk pieces in the fire place as feeders, with a few small bits in the middle to keep it going. This does work, and does heat up the place nicely, but the amounts of mature oak trees that need to die each year for the fire is incredible. This is a much more efficient way to keep warm.

Alongside this outer focus, we will be intending to become more aware in our sleep with the aim to go into lucid dreaming. Although it may be easier for some than others to ‘break through’ and wake up in dreams, with enough effort and intent, anyone can access this space. So at night we can travel beyond, grounded by the Brik work by day!

This will be a week of work and laughter: we are looking for a group of 5-8 people who can work hard, are open to learning and dreaming, people that are comfortable with living in wild open nature off grid in yurts, washing in heat fired tubs, and eating the best organic vegetarian food cooked on the fire.

If you can come for the whole duration the cost will be 180 euros or 35 euros per day.

There will be a yurt making event directly following the stove making.

Contact us on spiritsintent@yahoo.co.uk with any questions and to book. This event will only be open for 5-8 people so speak early to secure your place.

Phone numbers
UK mobile: 0044 7895 019028
Italian mobile: 0039 338 8622686

For travel info contact Angelika on aquilamelek@gmail.com

Here is the Facebook link too.

The Dance of Collective Alchemy

 

Sitting by the fire

Spirits Intent’s next event at Heartland, our campsite in Abruzzo, Central Italy, will be The Dance of Collective Alchemy – a telepathic, cleansing journey into the roots of the inner being. This event will be centred around the Spring Equinox, leading up to the Full Moon in Libra: 19th – 23rd March.

This is the first event we are hosting in collaboration with Anahata Healing Centre, from the nearby town of Lancing. Anahata is focused on the research and teaching of awareness through the healing arts and Angela Schmel, the facilitator, is a pioneer the movement of holistic events in Italy. This event will be bilingual (Italian and English), so is a good chance for any of you who want to improve one or the other languages.

Morning exercises

Alchemy, in its exoteric form, is an ancient art which laid the groundwork for modern chemistry and medicine and is popularly known as the process of turning “base metals” (nonprecious metals such as copper and iron) into gold, using a substance called “The Philosophers’ Stone’. Alchemy was thus seen as a science but also as a magical spiritual tradition, as, in a parallel process to purifying base metals, alchemists might gain the ability to purify the human soul. We are thus borrowing this term to represent a process of purifying the essence in us, to use our channels for something more than feeling, seeing and hearing.

The idea of Collective  Alchemy is the fusing of separate parts into one collective whole, a process where the separate individual is replaced by a greater entity: The Group Body. Our events all have this process as an underlying theme where the participants walk gently through the barriers of The Self. We aim to allow people to see that what we call the self is just a receptacle that holds many aspects.

heartland

each yurt has a sign

This particular event, has two parts – the first part of the event will be focused on working on our abilities to extend the senses into other realms – using the technique of gazing to silence the mind so we can start hearing thoughts and working with them, with the goal that perhaps we can realise that telepathy is simply being connected to others through the group mind phenomena, and isn’t so hard to perform.

This part will involve a celebration of the Spring Equinox, the meeting of the Dark and Light, when Persephone returns from the Underworld and the Earth is reborn – culminating in an Equinox celebration, with celebratory dances and songs around a big fire.

The second half we will be taking those abilities hopefully a step further to be able to affect the outside reality, a sort of magic if you want. The idea we aim to arrive at, is that even the outside world isn’t separate and we can affect it with our inner sense of being.

bill whitefeather

(Photo from friend, Bill Whitefeather).

In this part of the event, the outer focus will be centred around the building of a sweat lodge and the journey of purification it brings. This is a ritual of entering the Earth’s womb and being reborn and the women will prepare for it by going through the 13 Munay-Ki Rite of the Womb and the men will learn to build a structure both externally and on an inner level.

The sweat lodge is a traditional ceremony to cleanse the body and soul, and is built as a simple hut-like structure of saplings and covered with blankets. A fire pit is built in front of it, in which stones are heated. The ceremony involves the group entering the lodge, after being cleansed with the smoke of sacred herbs and into the darkness. The stones are brought in one by one by the Fire keeper. The door is closed, and a designated person, the Pourer, pours water onto the stones, and thus creates the cleansing steam. Prayers and Intent are called, and  songs of several different traditions are sung (which we will have learnt the night before).

It is done in 4 rounds, one for each of the directions, and in each round, more stores are brought in. After the ceremony we jump into the cold river, or pour cold buckets of water over ourselves and then have a simple meal, with a purified Body and Mind.

This event of group formation is obviously an organic process and will tell its own story as it evolves and we can’t plan for things like the weather – may be sunny, wet or windy…

We will be living as a tribe on the Earth – sleeping in our nomadic structures: yurts, tipis and baker tents (although you are welcome to bring your own tents), cooking on the fire and bathing in the rivers. There is also a hot fired bath, and of course the sweat lodge is the deepest cleansing for our bodies, but also our spirit. At nights we will gather around the fire for songs, stories and celebration. There are also local guest houses if you need more comfort, although much of this experience is the wild living.

Dates: 19th – 23rd March 2016

Cost: 280 Euros (concessions available).

If you are a Facebooker check here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1672401523037087/

Come to Heartland and be in The Dance Of Collective Alchemy

Contact Us for more information.

dance

Diggers and dreamer (last part)

The land has given me a gift, being the guardian of the mystery lake proved to be the potion of life, although I did perform quite miserably as the guard whenever the locals came to fish or swim, I had issues with land ownership, or at least I believed I did.

In retrospect looking at the story itself I realised I have been extremely fortunate, not jut because having a lake of your own in Israel is unheard of, but because I was given a place to integrate altered states of awareness and abilities into my everyday, usually that type of “openness” is never allowed the room or the existence, I was also young enough to be able to make it the corner stone of my existence, but like I’m trying to convey, the quarry had a story of its own, the story of place mingled with the dreams of men, the sweat of the Israeli pioneers, the diesel fumes of the diggers, and the pure water, with me the dreamer in its midst.

I believe that the world adjust itself to itself and so it wove a web around me, I’m a simple man which is why it all happened just like that…… simply, it was always all there simple and direct and I guess that reflects me somehow, I was given a power spot at the age of 18, the people I grew up with were going to the army or already enlisted, I was exploring awareness itself, whilst they went to fight in Gaza, I was gazing at the hills, to quieten the “me” enough in order to meet the “it”.

The Juxtaposition of living a parallel reality in that quarry that was dug by the men of my family was high, it was more than that, I remember the quarry men coming one day just after I arrived and rigging explosives on the basalt cliffs, it wasn’t even the alabaster they were after, as a manly “dare” they came into the bus and asked me to press the button, I was against it but they prevailed.
A hail of rocks hit the metal roof after the explosion, I felt like they are blowing my dreams apart, but we dreamers always feel intruded upon whatever happens, and we go to no ends to mask it.

But still the fact the land was dug by my grandfather and father somehow created that lake inside me, one generation of pioneers followed by one generation of warriors, and here I was the third generation, I’ve tried to explain to my grandfather one day visiting the kibbutz, that my generation’s war has to happen inside, that the external enemy has been warded (it was a time of relative quiet in Israel, just after the peace agreement with Jordan).
I guess he didn’t really understand what I was on about, I tried to explain that having no pending enemy outside allows the warrior to turn inside and start battling the real force that deprives us of our power.

I’ve come to see that there is a meta story stalking the lines of each of our tales, and those are the beginning threads of mine, maybe I was always an odd bird, I left school at 13 and knew at 14 that there is no way in the world I would serve in the army (army service in Israel is compulsory). But the ease with which I was allowed to leave the Army was questionable, although the process seemed long. I first drew some elephants in the test papers instead of answering the question about them, having quit school at 13, I guess I did miss a few chapters of algebra, and in a way it was hard to admit I actually didn’t know the elephantine answers, but I didn’t even try, maybe it was some kind of arrogance, as if I knew better because I couldn’t admit I didn’t know at all, we dreamers fight with ourselves inside constantly and so we never know.

Next I was interviewed (like everybody else) by a nice young soldier woman, she happened to know my older sister because of being in the same school year. She asked why I drew elephants instead of answering the questions, I said I didn’t want to serve, she asked me if I really was my sister’s brother (she wasn’t sure), and what I wanted to happen?….. And she said she will see what she could do.

The next person in line (the out-going line I mean) was a social worker, when asked if I ever thought about committing suicide I said “sure don’t we all?.”
I also said I’m kind of a loner (it was true in a sense because I kind of left my peers on the kibbutz when I started working instead of going to school), I just thought I’ll say whatever may help in getting me out of the army, but I was averse to lying.

I guess I triggered enough markers, so I was sent to the army’s psychologist next, who asked me if I’m a pacifist, I answered that before I venture to fix the world I feel I must fix myself. The answer must have impressed him enough to send me onward unto the last stage of the process.
I found myself in front of a committee of three, though only one spoke, I didn’t believe my shenanigans worked, so I expected them to tell me the infantry awaits me, instead I was asked if I’m ok with getting section .21 – the army code (or “profile” as it is called in Israel) for someone unfit for service due to health reasons, but that’s only because they don’t want to write, mental health reasons.

I agreed, than the weirdest thing happened, the spokesman of that committee told me that in case I change my mind (remember I’ve just been deemed mentally unstable) they would put me wherever I want in the army (something that doesn’t happen in the best of cases),
It was another point that seem to stand out in the narrative of the “Tale” as being adjusted by a greater force, I even thought that maybe the fact my father held a high position in the army had something to do with it, “protekzia” it was called in Hebrew, you can figure out alone what that meant, for a little moment I thought of asking to serve in the Air Force, as that was a childhood dream of mine, like I said we dreamers never know if we are coming or going.

It is always hard to see things from the inside, everybody has to be the lead character of their story, but looking at my own stories I have come to isolate moments that stand out as if they don’t belong or seem emphasized, moments when something seems to intervene and adjusts things for an ulterior, or rather, superior (if you are taken to believe in hierarchy) motive.

Thinking about it now, the same thing happened with high school, I was an A student, but upon hitting the social ground of high school, I found myself in with the gangs of lesser students, and instead of going into class ended up sitting on the lawns In front of the Sea of Galilee, but I wasn’t the only one, we all use to do it. Somehow out of 200 students in my age group, I was the only one to leave school.

Here too I found myself in a meeting, with woman In charge, the very same woman who told me there is no way they would allow me to join the “builders” – a group of specially hard learners (I mean students who found learning very hard) who spent 4 years learning how to build houses, there weren’t even arranged in age groups but got assembled from all the problematic students of four age “years”, or put simply all the students who were deemed unable to be taught.

At the time I said it is ok with me, it feels right I don’t join them, she said I’m too good a student, for the school management to pretend I belong there, but on that day of the meeting that ended with me leaving school (something which is illegal as going to school is compulsory) I was again told I could be put wherever I wanted to, even with the “builders”, but maybe that’s what they always tell me before they send me out.

I refused, I said all I seem to do, coming to school is sneak out to the supermarket across the road and stuff myself with pastries, and I’m afraid I’ll get fat, I might as well go to work on the kibbutz, so this was how I got expelled out of the school, or you could say I left,
I’m a dreamer and my eyes are set somewhere else, so it never mattered.

I have a very high sense of social right and wrong, and it always seemed strange I got a special treatment, at times even questionable.

But although this story seems to be about me, it isn’t really, it’s an attempt to meet the creator itself through the weaves of the story, the force that guides our fates, an attempt to illustrate that there is another line of thought, which isn’t ours, a line of thought we belong to instead of it belonging to us, the thoughts of the Spirit.

There is a group in the UK called diggers and dreamers, and some how to me that seemed a very good way to summarise this chapter,
I was brought up by diggers, my grandfather driving the bulldozer and my father being the manager of the quarry, him with a spell in the army armored divisions, which is a type of a bulldozer with canon.
And I was the dreamer in their midst, the mystery lake that have sprung from the rock, quarried out of the barren hills of the Jordan valley and of the tough Israeli pioneers and the Kibbutz society and its idealism.

For those that have swum that lake’s deep waters, this is an attempt to reveal the hidden relationship between place and being, the secret of power places or the power of story, I am that dreamer that was expelled, or you might say I chose to leave, I never knew a difference.

People that deal with power directly all have a special art, a way to perform their relation with the forces at large, mine is that I’m a
story teller, although I’m not really a writer.

My realm is the living story, and the medium that I use to perform my art is what we call the HTML, because it stands for the programming language itself.

Diggers and dreamer (part 2)

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And so my love affair with open psychic spaces and the inner landscapes they conjure was met, content meets intent, it was just right for it to start that way, I was the third generation to come to that quarry, with my grandfather and father to work the stone before me, though maybe my stone was different to theirs, because my quarrying certainly was, and this is in a way the beginning thread, I have a burning notion that places individuality or maybe better, originality at the fore of everything, being arranged for a place to live in the wilds especially by the kibbutz people felt like a failure of sorts, because I was looking for a way to live away from the western mind set, and living in any sort of dependency felt like falling into the cold, but safe, arms of socialism again.

Already in the kibbutz people found me strange,I guess the fall of the movement itself also contributed to a sense of something being lost, maybe it’s a fear people that Have a life sorted by communality have, that they wouldn’t be able to deal and make a living as individuals, my fear was maybe deeper, I was scared I wouldn’t be able to live with people altogether, so the notion of having to be dependent again felt like a step backwards in a way, it offered the time and space to integrate, in retrospect, the quarry people didn’t want anything from me in return for offering me a place, bar a cup of coffee when they came.

I  learned later that falling in with that gang saved me from the kibbutz administration, people that have had dealing with kibbutz life all know that each kibbutz has some outlaws, kibbutz Gesher had some of Its outlaws in the quarry people, the fact they work outside the kibbutz, the amount of money they brought in to the community and maybe all the big diggers made them feel above the rest, but somehow that allowed me to fall in between the cracks for a while and for that I was grateful.

But there is another story line, a deeper one, the story that’s is woven around the heart itself the quarry of dreams, the ethereal one that exists in another realm, the realm of story itself, and we would meet it I hope bit by bit as the story unfolds.

I was given a dog, a bus and an axe, the bus was parked by the old corrugated iron shed my grandfather built, and I officially became the guard of the quarry, I was guarding against people coming to the lake, one of Israel’s secrets, but known to all locals, it was called the disappearing lake. The quarry being abandoned, have now filled up with underground water, that amount of natural sweet water in Israel was not a thing to ignore!. The lake was also filled up with fish, one of the quarry man threw in, so they can come and fish when they felt like it, Instead it ruined into a pilgrimage location.

The quarry equipment was moved further south in the Jordan valley to the new quarry at Doshen, right under the Qauqab or Kokhav Ayarden in Hebrew (the star of Jordan) the ancient Templar castle called belviour, that overlooks the Jordan valley, home to Meir Har-Zion; one of Israel’s warrior-heroes, a man that crossed the border to Jordan and is reputed to have murdered a whole village singlehandedly to avenge his sister being murdered, and with a knife only!, his farm near the old templar fortress was called Shoshana’s (rose) farm, and with the place itself being called the star of Jordan and my dyslexia that brings meanings into unity I saw it as the rose of the winds, or the star if the winds (Kokhav Ruhu’t).

But neighbouring heroes aside, I grew amongst a people where every other grandfather was a hero, walking on the lawns of the kibbutz you would meet one of the old generation and with respect the kids would whisper that is the guy that threw the Molotov bottle and turned the Jordanian tanks around, My grandfather was one too, he blew the bridges over the Jordan and when the fuse didn’t catch on the explosive he went down and lit it with his cigarette, later one of his comrades was given a medal for that action, whilst he kept quiet. He had a bullet hole through his cheek and when he died, the family found he kept secret weapons (no one knew about) in the attic. So to us every other man was a hero, I always looked elsewhere, for some deeper heroism, but those were the hills I grew in, strong and high with ancient fortresses and surrounded by warriors and high ideals of socialism and communism, the rocks.

The old quarry and the lake that it held was called the disappearing lake because it was surrounded by cliffs, and you couldn’t see it until you got right to the cliff’s edge, it was simply too much to ask for people not to come and enjoy, the cliffs provided a daring jump for the braver Israelis, the fish grew into the stuff of legends and the cool sweet water in the white and pink of the alabaster was an oasis at heart of the Jordan valley and It all was beyond refusing.

Living in the quarry was more than a gift, it was a moment I could explore that psychic space and new abilities, without the toll of others around me. I have reached a state, living in that old gypsum quarry where I believed I could hear the thoughts of anyone in a 4km radius, not having anyone live within that radius allowed me to explore deeper, and swim the psychic waters of the mystery itself, the cool lake of the being.

In later years this contrast between the barren hot hills and the cool sweet water, as an osmosis to the inner pool that comes out of the harshness, or as the watery dreamer I was hewn  out of the hard stoney men of the Jordan valley, would be highlighted even further as my father would come back to that quarry as its manager and would drain the lake again to reopen the quarry, to the chagrin of the locals of course, it’s like a story that runs down and back up again in the male side of the family, the diggers and dreamers, their work with the hills and the stone.

The place took some kind of liking to us or better still, it’s story became ours somehow, at least this is how I interpret it, but whatever it was that story ran alongside us, or at east it’s an easier way to put it, because the truth is that the place took a liking to me and that I know why, but I think that for now, explaining that a place as a mind, or saying that one and a place can communicate would seem little far fetched.

The quiet and open space and the power of the spot, but more so the isolation, allowed me to go beyond being alone. it allowed me to see that there really was not such a thing as personal thoughts, learning to turn them around and find their roots, I realised that the internal dialogue itself wasn’t ours to begin with. Maybe the most important thing was that I’ve discovered that not being shackled with the exceptions of others allows me to find out that I was indeed crazier than I thought (my personal thought in this case), and that I could indeed command the weather to a degree, and that actually telepathy wasn’t so complicated an act once one quietens up.

I guess this last paragraph calls for some elucidation (as throwing big statements to the wind might seem empty): we think that our thoughts are ours simply because we hear them as conversations inside our own heads, it’s a voice that “we” hear, meaning that it belongs to us, the simplicity in being able to become telepathic is very plain, all one needs to do is turn things around, what if the barrier of “me” – that individual being, was actually a construct made around meta physical relationships, maybe there was no clear boundary, but a set of receptors, couldn’t it be that the things we hear inside are not ours, could it be that those thoughts originate somewhere else? Could they be the thoughts of others?.
The complexity of social relationships on energetic level means we never have time to quieten and slow things enough to have a real look, but if one could take each thought to its root one would find out ….. that except the fact we repeat things over and over, at some point in the thought’s origin, there was an energetic interaction, a line that was given or taken, the rest is just repetition or a reaction on our parts, a masking of sorts, designed to keep us in the dark ages by thinking we own our thoughts, it is a construct that shuffles things around and repeats things over and over, based on our image and feeling of self import. But that is all, in fact this construct is very foreign to us, so if we learn to listen in carefully and so isolate the “live” threads inside the pattern and repetition we stand a chance to make a head out of the tail we grow between our shoulders.

Maybe I didn’t really make anything clearer,  what I’ve discovered, is that there isn’t such a thing as thoughts, the thinking process  itself is made up of an overlay of mechanisation, which is also the construct that makes us think our thoughts are ours, but it is also constructed on top of an inner core, that inner core has deeper energetic truth, what makes things more complicated is that we hear the thoughts of others, meaning we can hear the mechanisation of other people’s thought process, or we can hear the thing itself, which is in simpler words the thoughts of something that is not a person, some people call the ability to distinguish between them all “seeing”, for Native American pipe carriers, hearing the voice of the thing itself, could be when the pipe “talks”, or when the spirit does.

The actual method, if there is one, that I took to get there, was sitting and gazing at the hill in front of the bus, that quietened up the repetition of my own thoughts enough, than I took each thought and turned it around, meaning – if I thought of someone I would turn to see that it was actually them thinking of me, but here lies the hard truth of this practice, that in order to be able to truly turn your thoughts around you must learn to conquer the reactive part of the self, and make sure that the thought wasn’t originating in the mechanisation of your own mind, it is hard but it is possible. In order to really be able to do so, one needs to conquer the self, to stop needing and wanting, to be able to withstand whatever it may, in order not to allow that foreign installation we call our minds to take precedence, or one can go at it directly, by willing oneself to not think at all, to know will before it turns into words in ones mind, after all words are just surface thing with us,  and thinking is much clearer without words.

To be continued ….