This is an ancient symbol. The cross may be taken to symbolise the radiation of the sun, which gives rise to the seasons. The four points where the arms of the cross touch the circle are the two solstices and the two equinoxes, key times to connect with the passing seasons.
Hello, welcome to our Spring Summer 2020 newsletter.
- Establishing a Deep Connection with Nature through Group Work.
- The Spring Equinox.
- Restoration of the Labyrinths.
- The Celtic Celebration of Lammas.
- Charitable donations
- Wildlife in Sandhill Wood and The Garden.
Establishing a Deep Connection with Nature through Group Work
This is a time when people, in many ways, seek a closer connection with nature. At the Kosmon Sanctuary we have responded to this need by celebrating the seasonal Celtic ceremonies, which connect deeply with the changing energy patterns of the seasons, nature, and Druidic wisdom of the earth and cosmos.
In 1958, Frank Morley, a revered minister of this organisation, delivered a trance address on the profound significance of group work, whose intent is to connect deeply with nature. He was present at a group gathering in which connection with nature involved movement, chanting and prayer. The following is part of the address received by Frank Morley from higher powers after the event; it has much to teach us:
You have indeed truly evoked the higher forces behind the natural world, in gesture, thought and music. This is one of the activities which is so essential if the world is to be led into a new order of life. The human race has alienated itself from Nature. If all manifestations of harmony are to be restored we must begin with each other, and then with the world in which we live. You have called on the elementals, which are forms of Mind, and turned to Nature and said:
“Here is one Centre which wants to be in harmony with you!”
And you have made a visible link between the spiritual aspect of Nature and the spiritual aspect of the human family. You have thus affirmed the spiritual powers behind all creation, working in harmony with the higher aspect of the human world. This affirmation will have its repercussions in the coming months. For a moment when you sang your chant, the whole creation responded, and a voice went forth saying:
“Harmony is going to be restored.”
Your gathering reminded us of how your forefathers, 3,000 years ago, linked with the Druids, and marched in their sacred circles of stones or trees, performing rites very similar to yours. You have called up again the spiritual and occult forces given to your country thousands of years ago; you have called into manifestation the light of your ancient land, to send the message of the new age to the whole world.
Each one of you is linked with the ancient past, but today you are forging links which unite you with the future – the golden age, when war in the natural as well as in the human world will have been abolished, and man will live at peace with himself and all creatures. The harmony you have given forth by song and instrument is a token of the harmony yet to come, when the music of the spheres will be heard by all.
The Spring Equinox
At the Spring Equinox, day and night are in perfect balance all over the world. The first signs of spring are everywhere. Spring bulbs begin to flower, blossom and catkin are on the trees, and birds prepare their nests. At the Spring Equinox, the inner, grounding reflective quality of winter is precisely balanced by the rising creative energy. This is a very special time, when we are neither dominated by inertia, nor driven by creative activity. It is a time of balance, and inner stillness is easier to experience.
We created a display for the Spring Equinox in our main hall. However, the lockdown intervened, and we resorted to a zoom presentation, showing as much as possible via the camera. The picture below shows the central display.
The small circle in the centre of the Celtic Cross may be taken as the symbol of the unknowable Source, which the Kosmon Tradition calls “The One All Light” The large circle of the Celtic Cross represents the seasonal cycle of the sun, with the cross defining the two solstices and two equinoxes, highlighted by four candles. The outer circle of daffodils represents the cycles of life in nature, totally dependent on the cycle of the sun. The daffodil has six petals which are an expression of the six-pointed star, the symbol of balance and the resolution of polarities, e.g. light and dark.
Restoration of the Labyrinths
For labyrinths, there is only one path, so that if followed, despite the twists and turns, we shall certainly reach the centre. We cannot get lost, as is possible with a maze. This is a fundamental lesson for our journey in life. The labyrinth is a symbol, an archetype, of life’s journey. Walking the labyrinth gives us the opportunity to release conditioning and beliefs that do not serve us, and to receive insights which will aid our journey.
At The Kosmon Sanctuary we have both the Classical and Medieval labyrinths, both recently restored.
The oldest labyrinth pattern, called the Classical Labyrinth, has 7 paths or circuits, and is based on the equal armed cross and the spiral symbol of growth and evolution. It has been in existence for several thousands of years, and is to be found in many cultures. It appears in Southern Europe and North Africa from roughly 2000 BC, and is found in various places e.g. rock carvings and paintings, inscriptions on ceramic tiles, and coins.
In the past, the classical labyrinth path was not laid out to be walked on, but was often large enough to trace the pattern with the finger. However, today, the classical labyrinth is usually large laid out to be walked on, as is the case at The Kosmon Sanctuary.
Between 863 and 871 AD (CE) Otfrid, a monk from Weissenburg, Germany, modified the classical 7 circuit labyrinth by adding four extra circuits, creating the more complex 11 circuit labyrinth, known as the medieval labyrinth. His drawing became a precedent for the construction of dozens of 12th-13th century labyrinths found in cathedrals and churches across Europe. The most famous is the Chartres Labyrinth, still intact on the floor of the nave of Chartres Cathedral, France.
The Chartres Labyrinth was probably built 1215-1235. This was when pilgrimage to the Holy City of Jerusalem was made difficult and dangerous by the Crusades. The church designated seven European cathedrals, mainly in France, to become “Jerusalem” for pilgrims. The labyrinth became the final stage of pilgrimage, symbolising entry into the Celestial City of Jerusalem.
The walk to the centre and back out again is about one third of a mile. The quadrants highlight the equal armed cross, shown clearly in the picture of the medieval labyrinth at The Kosmon Sanctuary. The outer circle symbolises the seasonal cycle of the sun. Beyond the outer circle are lunations projecting outwards. The distance between two lunations represents one day of the lunar month. These moon symbols are unique to Chartres. In the centre is a six-petal rose, symbol of the spiritual centre or goal of the pilgrim.
The Celtic Celebration of Lammas
Lammas, August 1st, comes exactly between the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox. We are aware that this is the peak of Summer, and that soon there will be a change of energy as Autumn approaches. This is the time for celebration of the grain harvest and honouring the Corn or Grain Mother. Bread is made from the new grain and thanks given to the Sun’s life energy. Lammas is a Saxon name meaning “Loaf –mass”.
Our display in the garden shows how we celebrated the grain harvest. On view were wheat grain, flour, germinating grain, bread, and a sheath of wheat. We made fresh flour using a stone grinding flour mill, and gave each person a sample so that they could appreciate the aroma of fresh flour.
Each person was also given sprouting wheat to eat. Wheat sprouting as the wisest way to prepare wheat for eating, is described by Jeshua in The Gospel of Peace:
Let the angels of God prepare your bread. Moisten your wheat so that the angel of water may enter it. Then set it in the air, that the angel of air may embrace it. And leave it from morning to evening in the sun, that the angel of sunshine may descend upon it. And the blessing of the three angels will soon make the germ of life sprout in your wheat. Then crush your grain and make thin wafers. Put them beneath the sun as it appears at sunrise, and when it has risen to its highest in the heavens, turn them over to the other side that they may be embraced by the angel of sunshine, and leave them there until the sun be set. For the angels of water, of air, and of sunshine, fed and ripened the wheat in the field, and they likewise, must prepare also your bread.
Also part our Lammas display was the Grain Mother or Corn Dolly. The Grain Mother symbolises the abundance of Mother Earth. The qualities of Mother Earth, strongly manifest at harvest time, are beautifully described by Glennie Kindred in the following quotation:
She who is the seed, who is the womb, who is the soil, the Great Provider, the Preserver of Life, the regenerative power, was never more manifest than as the harvest is gathered in. (Sacred Celebrations)
We have continued to support charities who do such a lot of wonderful work in society, choosing one per month. Where there is a need, someone decides they are going to do something about it, hence the extraordinary variety of charities.
Street child: “From rural areas that have never had a school, to classrooms that have been destroyed because of disaster or conflict, millions of children are unable to go to school simply because there are no schools for them to go to. We work with communities to build schools, train teachers, and promote the importance of education.”
Guide Dogs for the Blind: “Our ambition is a future where every person with sight loss has the confidence and support they need to live their lives to the full.”
Frazzled Cafe: “Frazzled cafe is a registered charity that operates with the purpose of providing a safe, confidential and non-judgemental environment where people who are feeling frazzled and overwhelmed by the stresses of modern life can meet on a regular basis to talk and share their personal stories.”
Shooting Star Children Hospices: “Shooting Star Children’s Hospices provides care and support for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families, at both the Guildford and Hampton hospices, and through their Hospice at home service across Surrey and London.”
Sense: “For everyone living with complex disabilities. For everyone who is deaf-blind. Sense is here to help people communicate and experience the world. We believe that no one, no matter how complex their disabilities, should be isolated, left out, or unable to fulfil their potential.”
Water Aid: “Extreme poverty won’t end until everyone, everywhere, has clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. We’re determined to make that happen within a generation. We believe the best way to do it is by working with others. That’s why we are part of an active global network.”
Wildlife in Sandhill Wood and the Garden
After a very wet start to the year and the large amount of clearing which had been done in February the explosion of colour from the masses of bluebells and wild garlic in the woods extended as far as the eye could see. Last year we put up small and large bird-boxes, but the nesting result was disappointing. Possibly the reason was damage by squirrels, or simply the boxes were too new for the birds. However, this year there has been a massive uptake on habitation of the boxes, mainly by blue and coal tits.
There have been good sightings of robins, blackbirds, and rooks, but fewer nuthatches, wrens and starlings, maybe due to the extremes of weather. We have heard our resident buzzards and seen Red Kites overhead. We have not been able to increase the greenfinch, goldfinch and bullfinch population despite providing special feeders. Hopefully there will be an uptake from the feeders next year.
We have cleared the rides in the woods so that there is now a complete circular walk. We have also cleared trees to create glades. The increased light will encourage wildflowers and the butterflies which depend on them.