Welcome to Regenco’s Blog

Welcome to Regenco’s blog!  Regenco is a UK not-for-profit organisation formed in 1998 and operating primarily in the North East Dartmoor area, committed to furthering the regeneration and reintegration of Land, People and Spirit.  We offer and train others in rites of passage, “Land Time”, Grief Tending, and other educational and therapeutic programmes supporting this reintegration.  We will be posting on these topics, our work and related topics here.

What is shared here is shared in the spirit of learning, recognizing there is always room for us to learn and grow. It may not reflect the views of all involved in Regenco

Though not updated for many years you can also get an idea of some of our previous work at http://www.regenco.info. Please note new phone number 01647 432638, and email landtime1@gmail.com.

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“Don’t lose what you have, to what you have lost.”

This quote from Lucy Hone’s beautiful book Resilient Grieving, succinctly points to one of the purposes of grief tending. If we do not find a way to healthily engage with our grief, it can eat not just our own lives and dreams, but also impact that of our families and communities. On a wider level, if you listen to the profound understandings of Martin Prechtel in relation to grief, he sees war as a manifestation of unmetabolised grief, and war can eat entire generations. The work of metabolising our grief may take courage and not be easy, but its gifts of the healing heart can be many.

One of the things Mel Lamb firmly asked before she crossed over, was that we continued our grief tending work, and also for three of us from the grief tending team to play a part in her funeral.

The first weekend of December was when Mel consistently booked us in to High Heathercombe for a long weekend of grief tending in community. Lockdown has made the possibility of doing that physically together on this occasion feel too uncertain, and over the year Sophy and team ( i stepped back for a bit having had what felt like my own brush with covid in the spring) have continued to offer and explore how this work can serve surprisingly effectively also in community on line, with very positive feedback.

So I am delighted to say we are going to offer a grief tending in community online over this first December weekend and three of us are working out the finer details of it at this time.

We are also aspiring to a physical gathering (lockdown allowing) in the Spring, as well as further apprenticing offerings, so do get in touch if you want to be kept updated and keep an eye on https://grieftending.org/events/.

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Remembering Mel Lamb

Dear wonderful Mel left her physical body this spring.

Mel was a great ally having in common a love of so many things!

As well as our friendship, this meant High Heathercombe with Mel at the helm was an important venue for work often initiated and administered through RegenCo which Mel also almost invariably joined us on (she also joined our general council to support us as needed/able). These included hosting Meredith Little and Sylvia Talvera for a five day “forgiveness and reconciliation” iniatory exploration, hosting Joe Provisior offering training in “Council for Educators,” and hosting “Grief tending in Community” offerings and apprenticeship which became at her insistence and our joy, a regular in the calendar, first with Maeve Gavin supporting us to establish a team in Devon,  with the support of Fern de Castres, Sophy Banks, Ruth Jenni and myself as team, gradually migrating to Sophy and myself as leads, with a morphing and wonderful team primarily of Ruth, Wizz, Mel, Henrietta, Nigel, Felicity and Dita, with regulars Johnny and Charlotte often in support holding the hearth/kitchen.

Mel also had a great love of NVC (non violent/compassionate communication) so this was also a strand we shared exploration in, though it couldn’t resolve every issue, it and mentors strong in it helped her in the many complex dances that can arise holding group work and a centre, and so working with so many different needs and people.

There are so very many special memories of times at High Heathercombe and with Mel (mostly there as she didn’t have a car so travel much), both in groups and as friends. As was acknowledged at her Melmorial at High Heathercombe and then grief tending ceremony co-held for her at Epona the day after, she had a tremendous gift of warmth and friendship for people.

Thank you Mel, and though I sense you in the ether and memory, I also miss you.

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Remembering: Gaudin Vautier-Lyne

I feel to write something about dear Gaudin (4th from left) who relatively recently passed over in Sweden, just before a planned visit back to Chagford to friends and family.

I met Gaudin through his and Sheila’s lovely friend Kristin (Charlesworth) who like them was a deep spiritual seeker…I believe they met through a particular spiritual guru whose name kept changing so I’m a bit vague about who he was!

When I think of Gaudin, I think of his warm smile, his belly laugh (witnessed particularly in Quest circles), his sincerity and as well as humility, so a willingness to learn, a certain flamboyance exhibited in his wonderful name, a quiet love of fast cars, and his fine twirly moustache!

We shared a common interest in healing work for people and planet.  Both of us trained with Karuna, and I joined him in a men’s group he set up, and he joined me in undertaking a Quest, rites of passage work, first for himself – feeling he could carry on looking for some idealised initiation elsewhere, or engage with something right here already on his door step, and then together supporting others.

As well as deep work there was a lot of laughter, both with compadres on his own quest and the two he subsequently helped me guide. I recall unpacking with one group with six participants to hike out onto the moors and asking him if he felt he “could carry anything more with us to base camp?” “I don’t know” he said.

“Well it is a luxury item,” I replied, rather letting it go…. “well if it’s a luxury item I probably could find some room” was his response, and so he did, and we had it with us enriching our journey.

They were good times. He also played a part just as Regenco was purchasing Epona, hosting meetings at number 40 around his splendid oak table. I felt his support.  

He made his own connection with the people I trained with in the quest work (who honoured him) and we both travelled in the uk to work with and learn from the remarkable elder Martin Prechtel.

There was some Native American connection for him, I recall him sharing how he’d been moved to tears by a particular image of a tipi village by a river….the Soul is touched deeply by and longs for particular things, and we may do our best to build them both for ourselves, each other and our families….We shared in common that desire, though in truth as pioneers in this I feel we both could have gained from more support, both individually and to work things through – that wholeness of village, land connected life and generations that the image conjured.

Gaudin had been talking of buying a piece of land next to Epona that the seller had promised would be available to us. He wanted to bring his son Jake to camp at Epona on a significant occasion and I said absolutely yes to that. Maddeningly though there was a mix up with the dates. I was absolutely convinced he’d shared a certain date, but then he turned up on a weekend we were already there working with some others. He turned back without actually coming in to talk, so I didn’t know til after the event, but the misunderstanding obviously cut very deep. I can understand how painful it must have been, though still even now feel flummoxed by the date confusion and how it had occurred.

There is a Nigerian story of a trickster god who, when he hears two men declare they will “be friends forever and that nothing could ever alter that,” feels drawn into action. That very afternoon he rides between them whilst they are working in the fields. On one side, his body and that of his horse, is painted completely red, and on the other side completely blue…when the friends meet to share a pause and drink one says to the other “did you see that splendid red fellow ride through on his red horse earlier on?” “it wasn’t red it was blue” says the other, “no it was definitely red,” “no it was blue, are you calling me a liar?” etc, and so it was within hours their sworn friendship was already fractured.

It may not be so, but I wonder if Gaudin and I, who prior to that had met at so many levels, failed to fully meet, repair and grieve and so move fully beyond that particular instant, which I imagine also means it had some deeper historic trigger/resonances for us both, as is often the case when there are hard to resolve interpersonal issues.  I don’t recall the exact timings after that. At soime point he bought a piece of land elsewhere and we saw less of each other, though I do recall talking through and playing a supportive part in some ceremony he did there, so our connection had not died completely.

He made major personal choices in the following years that I myself heard only whisper of in terms of separating from Sheila, remarrying, heading to Spain, and that new relatiobship going through its own painful journey and break up, so presumably intensely painful times. I can imagine from my own life how the pain and complexity of this both led to not just deep stress but also to deep, even if uncomfortable, learnings.

It feels a shame that that initial men’s group he’d started could not have been a steady rock for us all, or a new one, but sadly it had foundered after not that long. He did have friends though and I do gather he had already made at least some solid connections in Sweden.

Though there is, and must be great shock and grief at his sudden unexpected passing, frustratingly compounded by covid restrictions adding extra layers of complexity and obstacles to easily mourning his loss and celebrating his life, it was still lovely to hear from his daughter Zoe, something of a place she felt he had arrived at. This felt, as I understood her to be saying, more fully at peace in himself, and i celebrate that, for both him and his family and loved ones.

I think of him with much affection and gratitude for what we did share. Thank you Gaudin, may you find your way, as is healthy for you, to the Other Shore.  

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Cross-cultural-protocols-in-rites-of-passage-guiding-principles-themes-and-inquiry/

Much appreciate to Youth Passageways for this profound work looking at cross cutltural protocols and guiding principles and inquiry for contemporary rites of passage. The restoration of healthy wild land oriented cross cultural rites and work of this nature in service of life is both sorely needed and invites many complex questions of those who offer it. Each of us who play a part in such work will have had our individual journey and guidance to where we are and what we offer and certainly i am still on a reflective and learning one. Within these principles are vital seeds and important questions to support deep consideration. Certainly they can and will play a part further informing my and our work through Regenco both individually and collectively. Thank you. For some reason i couldn’t embed a link to the original page so instead have posted the principles direct below:

Youth Passageways has adopted these principles to guide its operations.  It is our hope that this document may support affiliated organizations in creating their own working agreements, standards, and relations capable of addressing and caring for the needs that arise through their good work. This is a living document, which will be regularly updated.  Please submit feedback, comments, and stories about how this document is being used to: info@youthpassageways.org.

Considerations

These protocols and approach outlined in this document can bring difficult dynamics to the surface, within individuals and communities. This document came into existence through a painful process, involving the blood, sweat, and tears of many. Navigating it may similarly require difficult soul-searching for you and your community/ organization. We are still learning how to best support others as they navigate this process. A couple of considerations we suggest: 1) assess investment/buy-in from members of your team, and their relative level of power and influence, before starting the work of unpacking this document. Don’t go it alone! 2) consider the social positioning (both within the organization and in a broader societal context) of those leading the process. 3) Take stock of your resources (time, money, emotional energy, expertise) before diving into these protocols. Realistically consider if now is the right time, as exploring the document is likely to bring core issues into the light before it helps resolve them. Please contact info@youthpassageways.org if you’d like more support in this process.

Context

Rite of passage ceremonies are both old and new, and can be learned, inherited, gifted, created and experienced, in many contexts. It has been the experience of many in this network and beyond that there is a tremendous gift and beauty in this, and also that disputes can arise in the construction, use, and sharing of ritual practices and language.

Many of these disputes have their roots in the centuries of violence, genocide, and intentional cultural destruction. Continued inequities reinforce deep wounds within and between cultures. These dynamics occur between indigenous and settler cultures, and diasporic communities and “dominant” cultures. In unique ways, each of these groups has suffered from uprooting and historical trauma.  The circumstances by which each of us have lost or been ripped from our indigeneity constitutes a specific history, and carries specific wounds and responsibilities. Because of the complex fabric of history we may play the roles of both colonizers and colonized, the under/over privileged, depending on the context. All of these factors influence what is possible and what is challenging in the delivery of rite of passage ceremonies and processes.

The contemporary rites of passage movement stands indebted to many cultural traditions which have in best-case scenarios gifted practices and in many cases suffered theft or appropriation.  Particularly important to acknowledge are indigenous societies for their centuries- and millennia-long cultural practices in human development.  They have provided a formative influence on contemporary movements theoretically, aesthetically, and in terms of actual ritual practices. We also recognize that human beings, regardless of cultural background or connection to tradition, have painstakingly fought to reclaim lost cultural traditions, and by direct communion, inspiration, and intuition, have created new forms of initiation and other cultural rituals and ceremonies that have validity for their communities and beyond. The intersection of these truths needs particular care and attention, especially for a national youth rites of passage network.  With discernment, we respect both established and emergent practices with all of the attendant complexities that this entails.

Our movement exists because the “THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE!”, and our young people are in a state of desperation on an international/global scale. Working through and learning from the inter-cultural conflicts in our movement and building toward reparations and restoration is an integral part of creating the ceremonial processes that allow communities to be renewed by the fires of transformation crossed by their youth. It is also an integral part of the world of justice, peace, purpose, mystery and abundance into which we seek to initiate our youth. Many well intentioned people do unintended harm when they mean to do good. Our hope is that through learning from one another and through practice, our intentions, actions, and effects as a movement can be aligned.

Our goal is not to offer an exhaustive document or settle issues once and for all, but to provide context, background, starting points for consideration, and a deepening and softening into the issues and questions. We recognize what we propose to do here is many lives’ work and we enter with humility and desire to learn.  May these principles and questions draw on the wisdom of our ancestors and teachers, serve as a next unfolding and point of reference, and support future generations.

Assume Goodwill

We enter with a spirit of goodwill.  We strive to trust that others are doing the same.

Historical Context, Healing & Reconciliation

We acknowledge historical context and historical relationships of peoples and place, recognizing that many cultures have been subjected, and continue to be subjected, to deep violations. This context affects access to power and justice and is embedded in relationships between peoples. We strive to educate ourselves and others about these dynamics, open ourselves to the pain, help sensitize others to it, and contribute to healing and reconciliation.

The Right to Earth and Spirit

We recognize the rights of all people to deep relationship with Earth and Spirit, and that we all have the right and innate ability to receive information from the more-than-human world.

Cultural Humility

We commit to a practice of cultural humility and cultural self-awarenessWe strive to increase skillfulness communicating across cultures and deepen awareness of our own and other’s cultural norms. We take responsibility to deepen our understanding of our own cultural and ancestral practices and ritual forms, and those of others. When we share teachings/artifacts from cultures other than our own, we do so with discernment, and provide context.  We strive to become aware of and name the lenses through which we see the world, and recognize that others may see things differently.  We ask rather than assume as much as possible.

Relationship to Place

Both in our home communities and when entering into a new place, we strive to educate ourselves about the land, the historical and contemporary and political context of the peoples of that land, build relationships with the people of that place, and follow local protocols as best we can.  This includes seeking permission to conduct ceremony or other activities in that location.

Addressing and Growing through Conflict

We are committed to ongoing Cross-Cultural relationships, and strive to develop and support mechanisms and processes for working with conflict, reconciliation and forgiveness. We believe that justice and healing are central to each undertaking, rather than secondary benefits or distractions.

Sexuality & Gender

We recognize the essential nature of sexuality and gender in the work of rites of passage, and openly explore the dynamics of masculinity, femininity, and queerness (as archetypal energies, social dynamics, and deep cultural wounds) in our work together. We recognize that binary thinking is a product of patriarchy and colonization, and seek to bring balance by honoring and making space for all genders inside and outside of this binary. We strive to create inclusive spaces where LGBTQIA+ folks (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, Aasexual, plus) feel seen, heard, recognized, and honored, and to recognize and mitigate our own privilege in order to create safe spaces to center the voices of those often marginalized.

Different Perspectives/Perceptions of Time

We strive to become sensitized to different perceptions of time within and between different cultures.  We recognize that ceremonial time differs from linear time and our work and schedules are designed with that awareness. We strive to set and keep to agreements of time and space, including agreements that at times, time will be fluid and processes will last as long as required.  We commit to holding a long view of time, which holds in our awareness many generations of ancestors as well as future generations to come.

Legal Considerations and Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC)

We recognize that many aspects of culture, including dress, symbols, ritual and language, may be subject to intellectual property laws. Additionally, some indigenous peoples have their own norms, customs or legal systems associated with the use of their cultural ways. We strive to become aware and abide by these norms, customs and laws and practice Free Prior and Informed Consent.

Exchange of Money/Commodification of Rites of Passage

Many issues exist around the commodification of spiritual traditions and cultural symbols of indigenous and diasporic peoples. We strive to educate ourselves on these issues, and to act with consciousness and transparency around the exchange of money in our work. We support practitioners having sustainable means as they assist communities and pursue right livelihood in these transition times. We strive to make initiatory work accessible and equitable for all that need it.

Legacy

We honor our teachers and seek blessing to operate alongside of our mentors, teachers and elders in the use of ceremonial and ritual processes. Our work is inherently inter-generational, therefore we seek out participation from all generations. We are accountable to future generations for what we model by what we teach and how we teach it – today.

Gratitude, Generosity, and Celebration

We celebrate, acknowledge, and give thanks for every step toward right relationship. It takes courage to face these conversations directly; even having them is cause for celebration. We water the good along the way.

_________

Submitted for review and comment, April 15, 2015

Submitted by Youth Passageways Cross-Cultural Protocols Working Group:

Ramon Parish, Darcy Ottey, Pat McCabe, Sharon Shay Sloan, Sobey Wing, Mark Robinson

Special thanks to Sharon BearComesOut, Orland Bishop, Miakoda Collins, Khepe-Ra Maat Het-Heru, Lyla June Johnston, Joshua Gorman, The Ojai Foundation, Kalliopeia Foundation, and Kailo Fund.


Cross Cultural Protocols by CCP Working Group is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

FURTHER QUESTIONS & CONCEPTS FOR CONSIDERATION AND EXPLORATION

Attitude & Goodwill

  • Can we assume goodwill? If “Yes” then commit to this premise.
  • Heart to heart exchange through relationship building can distinguish co-creation from appropriation.
  • Invite “the other” in.

Historical Context

  • What role might historical trauma play in a given dynamic or relationships between peoples? This could apply to diasporic groups such as African-Americans, Indigenous groups or even settler or colonizing groups. Have these traumas been brought into the open and grieved or do they remain unacknowledged and un-metabolized?
  • Because many cultures have been subjected to deep violations of their right to exist, to practice their culture, or to have access to power/justice (economic, political, social, ecological), there will necessarily be a social justice aspect to cultural exchange. As rite of passage practitioners, we strive to name these underlying causes and gear our work to help undo and heal them.

Just & Unjust Exchange between Cultures

  • If using some practice that is not “yours” (or even if it is “yours”) explain how you came to use it, give its history, original purpose and as much context as you can (Example: Use of “aho”).
  • We commit to cease stealing practices—and we are honest about those that we may have stolen. We are uncertain if we can stop “stealing” but we pledge to name it and bring it into the open. How do we rectify this moving forward?
  • In some cases, individuals receive cultural traditions other than their own through direct transmission or even become part of another culture. In general however, the goal when examining and receiving inspiration from another culture is not to try to become a member of that culture, but to gain perspective on one’s own cultural placement.

Cultural Competence

  • We acknowledge in the beginning of encounters between cultures and individuals that mistakes will be made and there will almost certainly be conflict. We also accept that without conflict, healing is unlikely. We are committed to investigating the underlying issues/structures driving these conflicts and the role ROP/our movement has in perpetuating and addressing them. We strive to become aware of the reality and presence of historical trauma, of ancestral wounding and voices of cultural injustice calling for witnessing: the wound that is not witnessed does not heal.
  • Whose protocols rule/lead in cross-cultural meetings/ceremonies?
  • Who opens & closes the common space?
  • Practice mindfulness of “we” language, differentiating between what is “we” when it may be “I” or “my”.
  • Don’t assume a universal. Rather than assume a universal story or ritual we strive to create “shared story” by listening/inviting perspectives.
  • What is the role of women? Men? Elders? Children?
  • What is your stance on cultural practices that do not honor basic human rights or practice inequity (e.g. female genital mutilation)? Is culture an absolute unit of rights (like for example “the individual”)?
  • If ceremony is part of maintaining social order, lineage & heritage, who & what are we becoming when we enter into cross-cultural ceremonies?
  • Does one lineage trump another, spiritually (in thought or in practice)?
  • When might it be more powerful/appropriate to draw on your own ancestral background(s) rather than that of another?
  • We do not practice glamorizing people by age, race, culture or gender.

Relationship to Place

  • What are the are specific responsibilities and differences for those who are tending lands that they have historically tended and those who are coming into/onto those lands as newcomers or “guests”?
    Develop or discover existing protocols of entry into territory-acknowledgement of traditional territory/Requesting permission.
  • Have you made efforts to share your work when conducted in a traditional territory (example: dance and music festivals)?
  • Have you checked in with any concerns that long standing communities may have about holding ceremonies in those places? (ie. sites where ungrieved tragedies occurred)?
  • Learn the traditional name of traditional territory you gathered/operating upon.
  • What is the pre-colonial history and history of resistance in the area? What current struggles are being faced by the original people of the land?
  • As a possible exchange help raise awareness about current struggles and issues facing the indigenous people on the lands you may gather/operate upon.
  • If you are invited into the space of another culture consider “playing on their terms” and as invited share those of your home culture.
  • Seek community leaders and elders in a new community where one is working and seek their blessing to operate there. Also ask for the blessing of the land itself. If you do not have blessings consider not operating there.
  • As appropriate Consider bringing gifts & offer them to the peoples/places where you go.
  • Cultivate compassion and curiosity for those who don’t feel they have a culture, home territory, established ceremonial practices, or deep relationship with place.

Addressing and Growing through Conflict

  • Call on Guidance (God, Spirit, Earth, The Ancestors or centering) when entering into conflicts or potential conflicts. Incorporate some moment to do so into conflict resolution processes.
  • Adopt or develop processes for naming and working with conflicts as they come up- Examples: “oops” and “ouch”. Mindfulness bell.
  • Use non conceptual means for conflict resolution and transformation including song, sound, movement, art etc.
  • Normalize making mistakes about “me and/or my group” while striving for greater levels of integrity.
  • All parties need to hear of mistakes made and any attempts at restitution.
  • Create space to be able to state what you are “tired of hearing” usually about yourself or your group; and ask for agreements from the whole (inter-cultural) group as to ways of moving away from that thinking.
  • In conflicts we can use personal stories and experiences, as well as step out of the personal and into the greater context.
  • Acknowledge the role of recent historical trends of Eurocentric destruction and the move from that into restoration (never act like the European has no authentic spirituality or indigenous heritage).
    Search for ways of creating a space where contradictory points of view can coexist.

Legal Considerations

  • Consider that it may not only be “your call” as to what may do harm among your proposed activities – the peoples themselves might need to determine for themselves whether what you propose is harmful to them.
    Any research done upon “human subjects” and on Indigenous Peoples specifically (this would include their cultural practices), requires that the People be informed that the research is taking place, by what method, how it will be used prior to it being done.
  • The People have the exclusive right to decide for themselves whether or not the proposed research will cause harm and may bar the proceedings. Even when use of cultural aspects do not fall into these categories – e.g. museums or academic research – they are solid indicators of general protocols to consider.

Financial questions

  • We recognize a tendency to pathologize “youth” as a condition that has to be dealt with by professional or therapeutic institutions. Simultaneously many of us do not live in intimate societies where exchange can take place directly, rather in a culture where currently money is the medium of exchange and the life energy that one puts into the rite is supported by it.
  • In different ways these two trends commodify and institutionalize what has traditionally been the purview of communities, including rites of passage.
  • Many questions exist about the exchange of money and the deeply personal, even sacred nature of ROP, requiring inter-cultural conversation, professional consideration and personal discernment. These issues are deeply entwined with the commodification of spiritual traditions, including those of Indigenous Peoples and diasporic cultures, largely by euro-americans.
  • How do we relate finances within our work as well as the larger movement?
  • To safeguard youth ROP from some of the more the deleterious forces of capitalism, how might we define certain best practices for integrating money, compensation, nonprofit status, and funding in the world of youth initiation?
  • How do we work with/minimize the profit motive in ROP considering non-profit organizations and the need for compensation/right livelihood?
  • Are we looking at providing our basic sustenance through backdrop funding instead of upfront costs to participants?
  • Should youth be charged at all for ROP’s? Does some form of exchange keep the process healthy?
  • What about tithing and circulation can we put money in service of decolonization & reparations?
  • With all of these complexities how can begin to step outside of the paradigm of scarcity or of greed?
  • How do we affirm though our actions and exchanges that abundance for all is possible and convey this to the youth with whom you work.
  • What is our ideal?!!

Legacy

  • We seek out right relationship with the peoples from whom the traditions originate, as well as seek within our own traditions and cultivate direct inspiration.

Gratitude, Generosity, and Celebration

  • We strive to gift first peoples of the land with traditional gifts when we request aid/teachings/assistance.Related Resources for Further Exploration:

Related Resources for Further Exploration:

Decolonization and Anti-Oppression:
http://decolonization.org/index.php/des

Conventions on the rights of the Child: http://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/crc.aspx

Interfaith Movement:
http://interfaithsettlement.org/about_us/history_of_the_interfaith_movement
http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/
http://www.parliamentofreligions.org/index.cfm?n=1

U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:
http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/DRIPS_en.pdf

Sociometry:
http://www.hoopandtree.org/sociometry.htm
http://www.sociometry.net/

UN Declaration on Human Rights:
http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/
http://www.un.org/rights/50/carta.htm
http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/ABCannexesen.pdf

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celebrating new arrivals!

Celebrating the arrival of these fly agaric and also this year some birch bloetus…whether they came in with the root of these birches – the trees were quite setablished before any fruiting bodies appeared. at least ten years… or have come in some other way i don’t know…but what a Joy to see!

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Courting the Circle of Self

The Symphony of the Seasons Part 1 & 2: Regenerating our Human Nature through Courting the Circle of Self

Time honoured and contemporary practices to Nourish Life

With Jeremy Thres

Two stand alone processes of four meeting generally online (though can be in person) with assignments in between and v small numbers for depth and focus. Dates by arrangement (can be over 4/alternate days  – or two weekends). Suggested exchange £150- £300**

The quartered circle – the cross of the four directions bound within space and time, is one of the most universal symbols of Wholeness. It is found on our old pound coins, in the mandala of the East (photo felt given to me from Mongolia), the medicine wheels of the native Americans, and the seasonal wheels of this Land. It is also in us, for we like it, are of Nature – self thus, and it can appear, as Carl Jung experienced it doing for some of his patient’s, spontaneously in dreams.

It is a symbol and map one can actively work with, Carl Jung for example witnessed that its appearance in dreams offered his patients a greater ability to handle and integrate what was occurring for them. As a consequence he sometimes shared this symbol with clients, particularly at a time he felt a patient was about to be overloaded – for one of the blessings of this symbol is it is not linear, but circular, everything has its place, and each place/direction also particular qualities one can learn about one’s relation to (“court” in our words) and draw upon.

A map is not the territory, the territory is life itself. Particularly wild nature and its cycles and seasons as our source, and it is a time honoured understanding that wild nature is a waiting guide of ever fresh inspiration. Combined with our intentionality and study of the wheel (as map), it can reflect to us like a compass does, something of where we are and how we are moving in the world. Some of the ways we may individually and collectively be in, out or can regain balance. Qualities we are strong in and others that may serve to cultivate as we move through change.

Inspired by our own experience of this work (50 years now between us), and the teachings of a number of different elders, Steven Foster and Meredith Little (founders of the School of Lost Borders), Stanislav Grof, Ehama, Carl Jung, Bill Plotkin, Colin Campbell, Ian Siddons-Heginworth, and Fern de Castres, all significant among them, we invite you on a guided engagement courting your Circle of Self with the Symphony of the Seasons as the overall entry to hear and meet various interweaving evocations, including the turning of the year, the directions, the elements, the shields (something which protects), those of the cycles and attentions, those of shadows and light. We will be offering you short exercises to be undertaken in whatever wilds you can healthily access at this time (even if that be a back garden or living room), with online personal preparation and reflection, actively supporting you to access, explore and ground for yourself some of the gifts of this work in service of life.

Contact: Jeremy Thres +44 (0) 7717 853967  Landtime1@gmail.com

Landtime foundations: When specified, this practice can be combined with teachings on the Art of Mirroring from a training perspective, our own experience of introducing, applying and offering it for others.

Some feedback from a recent online participant: “Thank you.  Deepest gratitude.  I have learned so much. Jeremy – thanks for your guidance, your gifts and bringing this work in a beautiful way.  And Lucy, I really enjoyed your input and insight – thank you.  Both of you bring this with so much love and generosity.”

“such a rich time courting our circles of self, together. I feel that parts of me, that have been laying dormant for a while, have awoken and spoken- and i’m ready to listen. I got so much from the insights that came from the mirroring. A huge amount of gratitude, for a truly wonderful experience shared with beautiful souls!”

Jeremy Thres, When he first heard the term Visionquest, he knew he had to follow it, undertaking his first fast in Russia before going on to more formally train over several years with Steven Foster and Meredith Little, founders of the School of Lost Borders and authors of the Roaring of the Sacred River. With their encouragement and blessing he began offering this work and training others in it, drawing on both what they share and increasingly his own now almost thirty years’ experience of both of the quest and fresh forms such as LandTime that he has been developing. His work has been enriched by connection with a number of different elders, Jungian, Indigenous, Buddhist, both of this Land and beyond; Martin Prechtel and Thich Naht Hahn important among them. He has a great love of myth and story and how they also can support us at this time, training in mountain and moorland leadership, psychotherapy with the Karuna Institute, family constellation work, grief tending in community and wilderness first aid.

On occasion will be joined and supported by others, often Lucy Hinton:
Lucy Hinton studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge before going onto work in national & international sustainable development. She has worked alongside Jeremy and others internationally in relation to work of this nature, and over the last few years with Colin Campbell supporting Schumacher college’s “Becoming Indigenous” courses, and has travelled extensively as a consultant, teacher, & writer  07931526715

**Though we ask for a £30-£80 deposit, we never want a guide exchange to be prohibitive to those who deeply feel the call and are committed to it, particularly younger people or those who historically have had cards stacked against them, so do talk with us if you feel the call but are in this situation so we can explore ways it can work for all our relations.

Either send a cheque payable to Regenco, to 6 Nattadon Rd, Chagford, Newton abbot, Devon TQ13 8BE. Make sure it’s clear who it’s from!

Or transfer directly with your name as reference and please also email or text to say you have done so (07717 853967) to: Regenco (acc name), Lloyds Bank, Sort code  30-96-23, Acc number  00013249

“Nature is the healer, the wisdom keeper and the inspiration, and working with Jeremy you couldn’t be in better hands.” Ya’Acov Darling Khan

And a beautiful poem through friend Dita Visozo: May the birdsong
pluck the strings of that beautiful instrument. Your heart.

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The Landtime Quest for Vision & Self-healing

Oct 3rd – 8th with preparation meetings 19th &20th september, or by arrangement. An up to 3 day fast. Also May 3rd-8th 2021 (preparation days to be confirmed)

home-page-image.jpgLandtime is also available  1:1 in small groups whether for a 1/2 day– several days, meeting and camping if staying with beautiful rewilding land and experienced guidance. Other Earth Wisdom practices offered: Courting the circle of Self – the Symphony of the Seasons part 1 & 2, the “Conscious practice of living and dying,” a 4-5 day practice looking deeply at the weave of living and dying in our own lives, also training and experiential apprenticeships in work of this nature by arrangement.`

Guided by: Jeremy Thres with support from experienced others and on occasion apprentices.

To fast alone yet supported in the Wilds is a time honoured way to seek both vision and inspiration, and also to mark changes.

LandTime is a modern version of an ancient practice, an opportunity for deep reflection living close to the Land with the support of experienced others. We are fed from the rich wells of mythology, indigenous wisdom, quest work and rites of passage, time-honoured guides to support us in our lives and unfolding journey.

Mythically a quest is a journey undertaken into the wilds, often in response to a blockage or a transition made or being made, to seek healing elixir, vision and or inspiration for Life.

The heart of the Quest takes place over a ten day period:

  • 2 to 3 days preparation (either directly running into the central phase or in part on a prep weekend/by arrangement)
  • Up to three to four days fasting alone yet supported in the wilds,
  • followed by a day/ a couple of days according to numbers and timings to support you in your integration and reincorporation of your experience.

Many years of experience have shown that this form, with appropriate preparation, has both the ingredients and is a strong enough experience to be worked with as a rite of passage – an opportunity to engage with and potentially mark significant life changes, dying to the old, opening to the new, and opening to nature’s inspiration in relation to them. For example to more consciously mark one’s adulthood, entering parenthood, the beginning (or end) of a marriage, change of circumstance, personal crisis or career

To make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” …T.S.Eliot

One doesn’t have to have something to specifically mark for this form to be of value; the focus can also be more primarily, as the name implies, to seek Vision & self-healing, Vision being deep inspiration for Life.

Would a Landtime Quest suit you?
The practice itself is held within a beautiful balance of community and attentively prepared for alone time. It follows a basic pattern – preparation and severance, threshold  – the “liminal” passageway (during which the wheat is threshed from the chaff) and thirdly, return, which is found underpinning such journeys and the story and mythology relating to them around the world (as identified by Joseph Campbell, Van Gennep and others). Such quests are deeply embedded in mythological consciousness – the fasting prophets of Judeo-Christianity, the Grail quests, the wander year, the walkabout, and countless others.

The LandTime Quest does not adhere to any particular denomination, race or creed. It is an empty form with ancient and pancultural roots to which you bring your own values, beliefs, and faiths.

“Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and storms their energy, while cares drop off like autumn leaves”…John Muir

….indeed they may, but the Quest is also an extremely physical experience. Being without food for a few days is voluntary and generally less difficult than people expect, but personal limits may well be challenged. Participants should therefore be in good physical and mental condition. Preparation often entails committing to this work several months in advance.

We will work in a small group (in this case 6 participants max) in order to have enough time for depth of preparation, stories and integration.

In preparation for the fast exercises will be offered to help you prepare for the experience and clarify your intention. The handbook (highlighted below) has a list of essential equipment, but we will also correspond closer to the time if not talk directly on the phone in relation to this.

If you are interested in questing we recommend reading the Sacred Mountain, a handbook for this work (available from us for £5 or free as part of your deposit) which is essential reading for anyone wishing to participate.

Fee. There is no absolute set fee; we propose an exchange guide: £400-£800 and ask for a deposit of £50 -£80, we would not turn someone away for lack of money who is sincerely interested in experiencing this, however it does feel there needs to be some exchange for there are costs and considerable time and commitment to offer such work, so are open for direct dialogue to explore health all around in relation to this as needs be.

Location and time. The Quests are mainly hosted on wild and rewilding agricultural land on Dartmoor Devon, though also elsewhere by invitation.

To book or for further information contact: Jeremy: +44 (0)1647 432638 landtime1@gmail.com 07717 853967

Ethics. We hold the earth to be sacred. We respect, protect, and conserve her, leaving as little trace as possible of our sojourn, or passage through the wilderness. We teach others to do the same.

We are well-trained and experienced in the various aspects of our profession, seeking always the safety and well-being of those we serve.

Wilderness safety procedures are taught to all participants. We construct and maintain safe frameworks within which individuals may mark the end of life transitions or personal crises, providing a beneficial means by which they may incorporate their wilderness passage into a new life purpose or station.

These ethics were inspired by a set originally distilled by Steven Foster and Meredith Little, founders of the School of Lost Borders and who together from their care for the children and love of the Earth have played such a key part in the emergence of contemporary wilderness oriented rites of passage worldwide.   

Regenco LandTime Quest Guides:

Jeremy Thres, When he first heard the term Visionquest, he knew he had to follow it, undertaking his first fast in Russia before going on to more formally train over several years with Steven Foster and Meredith Little, founders of the School of Lost Borders and authors of the Roaring of the Sacred River. With their encouragement and blessing he began offering training as well as this work, drawing both on what they share and his own now over twenty years’ experience both of the quest and fresh forms such as LandTime that he has himself been developing. His work has been enriched by connection with a number of different elders, Jungian, Indigenous, Buddhist, both of this Land and beyond; Martin Prechtel and Thich Naht Hahn important among them. He has a great love of myth and story and how they also can support us at this time, training in mountain and moorland leadership, psychotherapy with the Karuna Institute, family constellation work, and wilderness first aid.

Other regular compadres in the work: Lucy Hinton studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge before going onto work in national & international sustainable development. She has worked alongside Jeremy and others internationally in relation to work of this nature and regularly with Colin Campbell at Schumacher College. She has travelled extensively as a consultant, teacher, & writer.

Rupert Hawley: Ru is a self employed Ranger on two nature reserves in North Devon and has worked in ecology for 30 years. He has a deep excitement for nature, years of fieldcraft and a desire for us to reconnect with the natural world and regularly takes adults & young people into wild places using the five senses to connect with each other & nature.

Gill Westcott: Lived on a small holding for many years raising two sons, and where she gained experience hosting a very successful regular family camp and working with young people.  A musician and trained counsellor, Gill is interested in supporting people to feel at home and independent in Nature and in themselves.  She is a passionate and active advocate of transition in human communities towards fruitful ways of living with land and the Earth.

Feedback: 

          “Thank you once more. It has been a truly empowering year and I am now filled with the courage to stand on my own two feet.”  Student

“Thank you for guiding me with such care, enthusiasm and insightfulness. I feel as if my reach has been extended, that I see further – or in a wider arc of vision.”Retired Child Psychologist

“Returning to work I find I have gained a great deal from the quest. I felt very safe in your hands.” Businessman

“I first met Jeremy and Lucy (Voelcker) when working with Meredith Little from the School of Lost Borders several years ago. I think I had expected to go out to USA and immerse myself in the vast wilderness there, that when I was ready to do my own vision quest. Instead what unfolded for me was a growing relationship with the Celtic tradition and with a continuity of practice with these two incredible people.  I chose to work with, and on, my home soil – in the UK. Growing a relationship with Dartmoor and the landscapes, creatures and beings of this place.  It proved to be exactly what I needed. If you are uncertain about doing a vision quest, it seems to be that’s as it should be, for in my experience the land will give what you need, not what you want. Welcome your doubts, fears, hopes and anticipations, they will be your guides. Alongside these are Jeremy, Lucy and Gill – all three have great wisdom, humility, humour and creativity. I could not have been better supported or respected through the entire process. The 4 day vision quest / fast was transformational, but just as important is that it continues still, back into my everyday life. My vision quest allowed me to honour and work with grief and to help mark a transition, beginning a new phase of life. I found joy, difficulty and trouble in different measure. I continue to work with the images and guides to this day. I cannot praise land, spirit and these guides enough.”

Participant, therapist and artist.

“The vision quest was really hard and difficult at times, but that’s not what I remember most – I remember the ‘letting go’ experienced in simply Being, present to myself and the natural world in that beautiful place.  It gave space to step out of everyday life to attend to what really matters, and what was lying in my heart that needed listening to. Through Vision Quest I felt supported through its’ magical gateway in reconnecting to ‘the more than human’, a profound opening to deeper reciprocity, and also connected to the very human through being alongside the wider group and the loving insightful holding and facilitation” AP, a business woman for whom part of her quest was being with the changes approaching as her youngest child now fledged the nest and she herself looked at new ways of working.

 “Thank you beyond words for guiding me through my quest…it has, and continues to deeply affect me in a profound and beautiful way. I have great respect for you and your dedication to this Great Work.”  Wilderness Trek Guide

“Incredible, there really is nothing like a quest!” therapist and men’s worker returning for a second quest ten years on.

“It was wonderful. It enabled me to put behind me and move on from a whole stage of my life.”    Professional Musician.

“My son had a wonderful experience with you on Dartmoor, truly visionary, and I am immensely grateful to you for helping it happen, and ensuring it was safe” and, “You feel like a member of the family after your inspirational work with my sons, so important. I’m so happy they did this and that you were there to guide them.” Scientist and author,  father of two boys who on graduation independently quested with us

“I cannot thank you enough. I feel truly humbled & privileged both for a wonderful experience & just to be alive on this earth.” Care worker

“After 37 years I am no longer afraid of the dark!” Gardener

“At the time I didn’t realise the depth of what I was doing on the Vision Quest and what it meant for my own healing.” Therapist

“I feel greatly nourished by the experience and would recommend you and the quest to anyone.” Craftsman

www.regenco.info

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Dancing with End Times

dancingwithendtimesAn invitation to enter “the Conscious practice of living and dying,” a five day ceremony of nature immersion that has mortality in mind, and a deep exploration of limits and potentiality at heart.

This ceremonial practice can be undertaken as five consecutive days, or in two parts the latter two and a half days of which do need to be consecutive.

with the support of Jeremy Thres and as available Miki Dedijer

Dates by arrangement

“If you don’t know how to die, you don’t know how to live. Learning to die is a very wonderful practice for learning how to be alive.” Thich Nhat Hahn

We easily forget that aspects of our lives can be brief and limited, but with the virus spreading this spring, so did the reminder that every day or week might be ours or our loved one’s last, and beyond covid the twin perils of climate and ecological emergency appropriately disturb ideas of business as usual being healthy. So what do you want to do with this “wild and precious life?”

Through this practice we follow a pattern which draws on the wisdom of rites of passage, dying to one stage of life to be born into the new.

Day by day, we will share assignments for you to ritually explore within the mystery of your local accessible wilds or semi wilds. Even if national response to covid restricts that considerably, so long as you can access some private wild space, this practice can be followed.

The following day we return to the warmth of circle to listen to and share stories of our threshold journeys, receive reflection and the next turning of the wheel.

What will come to you through this engaged exploration of living and dying with the wilds? We do not know, yet experience shows this particular practice can help us to tend the story-garden of our soul, both feeding, revealing and freeing our energy for what has meaning now, whatever our span.

We are glad to be able to offer this practice without the need for great travel. We both know from experience that this journey can be undertaken very well online, and also that it can be a strong journey that benefits from spaciousness for deeper sharing.

We are therefore supporting only two people at a time through the ceremony. It is preferable that you already have some degree of wild land-oriented experience. We ask for a deep commitment on the part of participants for a full morning every day of the ceremony. We will gather in a circle for sharing, listening, and to introduce your daily exercise. We know from experience that this time together can be pivotal to the integration of your time alone in the wilds. To reflect your commitment, we ask for a deposit.

 And I asked: ‘You mean a death then?’ ‘Yes,’ the voice said. ‘Die

into what the Earth requires of you.’ 

Wendell Berry

 Dates by arrangement with the support of Jeremy Thres (Smoke), other experienced support as available.

Other dates can be made by arrangement.  If looking for our Landtime, Quest  or more of an introductory journey ask Jeremy about Courting the Circle of Self and other opportunities.

Guide exchange: Sliding scale £300 – £800 according to means deposit £50-£100. If strongly called yet further concession/other exchange needed, can also be explored.

For bookings and further info contact: Jeremy on 01647 432638 / 07717 853967 landtime1@gmail.com or Miki: miki.dedijer@gmail.com, or zoom by arrangement.

Jeremy Thres brings over twenty five years experience as a student and practitioner of wilderness oriented rites of passage. He has gained inspiration from a number of different elders both of the land he was born in (UK) and beyond, and has a great love of working with the regenerative powers of Nature. He has found this particular work, as developed and shared by Dr Scott Eberle and Meredith Little (cofounder of the School of Lost Borders) to be of great personal inspiration in his own life, hence the inspiration to further engage with it and share, and it is with their blessing that he does so.

As flows and able I enlist other experienced alongside me in this work most recently Miki Dedijer who brings a rich Scandanavian eye and deep heart to this work, a bit of bio is on him here: Miki Dedijer is a farmer, gardener and forrester with a degree in ecology, evolution and behavior. A leader of men’s work, a coach to fathers’, a mentor of children in a monthly nature program, he is committed to serving the local community.  He serves on the board of the local Waldorf school, and has started many local initiatives.. Miki lives with his wife Cecilia and two sons, on Orrevik Farm, Sweden  mikidedijer.com.

Among others I sometimes share this work with are also Lucy Hinton and Suzanne Uren.

Location: Online and in your local wilds, we will talk with you about how best you might be able to create the conditions that support you to undertake this more comfortably whilst not actually with us in person.

A bit of feedback from previous participants:

Jeremy & his co-guide “enabled me and other participants to cross safely and with full awareness into areas normally obscured by taboos and preconceptions. While taking nothing away from the sense of me ‘making my own journey’ they encouraged a deeply reflective space that explored in parallel fundamental questions at the heart of both personal and professional development in dealing with major life transitions. I would recommend this work for all who are seeking to engage deeply with those who are dying including those who are privileged to realise the importance of this at a personal, family, social and cultural level.” Dr David Owen, Holistic Physician

“That was a good week on so many levels. The structure, which you laid out with such a light touch, really charged up my sense of the other world and I stepped into a deep adventure. I feel very moved by my return to a childhood landscape, to my silent Dad, to the granite, to my thrones and if it were to happen, I feel ready to die tomorrow. I am astonished that encountering my death should be like finding a lover, with exultation and desire, and that also such a deep journey could at times also be so hilarious!” R.M, Elder, Businessman, Artist.

“It is difficult to find words for an experience which was so profoundly silent much of the time. What you offered was primarily a space which you held with a sensitivity and care and trust and a wisdom which comes from mindful explorations of your own terrain.”

“It was truly amazing. The strong holding enabled me to look with new insight to the past and an eye to the future and most of all to appreciate what it is to be really alive!”

 “For me it sort of confounded my rational mind. It provided an experience deep enough and wide enough to suddenly find I’d let myself fall into it. What happened there was utterly simple and had the unerring feeling of truth. It was like a good bath: at first before I came, I didn’t know if I could be bothered to get undressed  – afterwards I felt thoroughly refreshed. And with a new conviction that I chose to follow.”  

Recent feedback from two youth workers, the second of whom also undertook a quest last year:

“I am so unbelievably grateful for that experience, it has seriously given me so much clarity and more, I really think it’s an experience and tradition that could help so many! I feel really passionate about how much good it would do for the kids and people and western society generally!”

“Been thinking lots about the incredible time and work we did…in the short time we have spent together I have learnt such a great deal and grown passionate for so many things that now harbour such importance in my life. Thank you.”

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Brilliant report: How to Break the Plastic Wave

wave alex

A friend has recently been part of the team gathering this brilliant report, highlighting not just how we can break the plastic wave, but also how this can be done both creating jobs and saving money.

May this report and the wisdom within it land on all the right desks and thank you for the dedication and work to gather it together in service of life.

Click to access BreakingThePlasticWave_SummaryReport.pdf

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a clip of Sorry Day and some important information

here is a link to Sorry Day in Australia, shown as part of a wider exploration of Earth restoration embracing also reconciliation: you will find it at 57 minutes into the film and also following it some important words by a beautifully eloquent elder and member of the Tohono O’odham people…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_HFzxkADPI&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0bFpoQ5aDzDSUTIXO9_8Bpy5sZ0qavadjOeT-E4Y6CkQdeIrkqZO0ucso
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