Introduction to the virtual Earth Spirit Workshop

Virtual ESN workshop 9th April 2020

Welcome to this virtual workshop of the Unitarian Earth Spirit Network. Thank you to Laura for organising it and hosting it.

A brief introduction to the Earth Spirit Network.

On our website it says the Earth Spirit Network is for those individuals who find divinity in nature. We seek harmony with this divinity either as individuals or in small groups. I facilitate a group in Bolton. There are other small groups around the country.

Divinity is what you think it is – whether it is the presence of god, or those emotional feelings of connection with beauty, peace, love and relationship, or a universal spirit of love, or an ancient wisdom.

And nature is driven by forces of energy that ebb and flow – as growth, decay, rest and renewal.

And all this is happening in a seeming chaotic way within multitudes of different life cycles. The world itself is subject too and has a life cycle of millions of years, the universe around it an even greater one. We humans have a life cycle mostly under a hundred years. There are trees and turtles that live for centuries and moths and butterflies that only live for days.

And absolutely nothing in all this universe is actually perfect. If anything is perfect it cannot change. The universe, the world, ourselves, the tree, turtle and moth are all imperfect but this pulsating energy of life is driving them to seek to become perfect, so we grow and change and mutate in an endless quest for perfection.

And onto this cacophony of energy the circulating moon shines, pulling the oceans into tides, influencing the growth of root and leaf and affecting our emotional moods.

How do we connect to that divinity within nature?

By working with what we all have in common in our many and various life cycles – the natural solar year.

By being aware of how the year changes under the influence of the sun we can synchronise ourselves with it, harmonise ourselves with the changing seasons, recognise within our lives and ourselves those same cycles of growth, decay, rest and renewal. Recognise the imperfections and live to drive them towards perfection

We can celebrate the life cycle of the year, awaken a spiritual response in ourselves and so connect to that divinity which is within nature.

We celebrate the year by marking the four important stages of the sun, – the winter solstice, the summer solstice, the vernal equinox and the autumn equinox.

There is a festival between each stage, so we celebrate eight in all – the wheel of the year. Each festival relates in some way to life’s energy of growth, decay, rest and renewal.

In our workshop we are going to explore these festivals using our wheel of the year cards. In groups of three we can discuss how we respond to these festivals and how we can build a connection between them and between our group of three and between family and friends at home.