Join our NEW
Discovering the Genesis Point
August 20, 2020
1pm EDT / 6pm GMT
Access the field of consciousness of the land through the Genesis Point and walk the labyrinth. The primary focus of this workshop is to show participants how to identify the Genesis Point and introduce three practical methods that engage labyrinth field energetics to catalyze the labyrinth experience. In this experiential workshop, you will learn three methods of working with labyrinth field energetics that will inspire you to branch out on your path of spiritual growth. This 90-minute workshop is taught by Calen Rayne and Laura Esculcas for labyrinth facilitators. Contact us to reserve your spot now.
This course by Earth Shamans Co-founders Laura Esculcas and Calen Rayne is now an ongoing offering that you can sign. up for at Ubiquity University and work at your own pace. Ubiquity University hosts a live session with faculty a few times a year, so check here for the next live webinar and to register. For maximum benefit, complete the pre-recorded sessions and prepare your final project for the live webinar.
Composed by our resident poet Calen Rayne, this powerful poem-prayer is a gift to hold us up during these tempestuous days.
we are in times of distress
thinking of hometowns
as moonlight etches water’s curves
silence of untouched waters
moment by moment
winds and waves will follow flow
now there’s nothing else
longing and finding no road
waves keep on coming
in the morning still raining
curtains in the wind
each day now further away
no way to return
ancient graves under water
long to return home
downpour, downpour, my tears drop
now drenching my clothes
rinsed by these flowing waters
walk to source of stream
we flow from great beyond
we come together
as clear sounds of ancient flutes
voice songs into sky
heaven and earth merge again
rains suddenly still
souls immersed in paradox
create new patterns
traces of transformation
emerge from silence
nourished by a mystery
© Calen Rayne 2017
Earth Shaman Calen Rayne wrote in 2005 how his experience with the force of Mother Nature during hurricane Ivan influenced his view of our role as a human species. As hurricane Irma bears down on Florida, his words resonate powerfully with us today.
To download a pdf of this article from Calen's website raynemaker.com, click here. Copyright Calen Rayne: All rights reserved.
living in balance
by Calen Rayne
Story has the ability, if we observe and listen, to share with us a nearly 14 billion year old cosmic birthing, and to help us see where we fit into the fabric of that same unfolding Story. We are all a “part and parcel” of the cosmic essence, sharing the same DNA with every other living being, and thus sharing the same Story. Midrash Hane’elam offers this observation:
Story has reinforced my understanding of the cosmos as a single, continually unfolding multiform event, one that continues to manifest primordial energy in new and mysterious ways. What we must understand is that we are not here to control nature for our own benefit, but to engage co-operatively with nature in a compassionate manner.
In the Neolithic period,
Where some old theologies may have deemed that everything in the cosmos was produced by the hand of God, and that God’s will is being done, newer theologies, have a different focus. Often drawing from ancient traditions, they invite us to serve as co-creators during our earthly stay, thus bringing more challenge and joy into our existence. In his book, Wrestling with the Prophets, Matthew Fox speaks of one remarkable scientist who knew the nature of our relationship with our cosmos and how “Cosmology awakens our awe of being here.” 3
But just maybe we need to learn to rely not on any particular spiritual tradition, but on our own sense of what needs to be done, to listen individually to what our cosmos is telling us. As Kaballalist Eruvin in the Babylonian Talmud puts it, ““Religion is nice, but even without all that divine revelatory hullabaloo, the Creator left us enough information in the earth about how to live in balance.” 5
I believe we are capable of sharing the cosmos and allowing creation to continue to unfold in an ordered, meaningful and noble fashion. Maybe we are indeed in the eighth day of the created order as one religionist wrote. “What does God do all day long?” Meister Eckhart asks. He answers, “God gives birth. From all eternity God lies on a maternity bed giving birth.” 6
This process is called cosmogenesis. Brianne Swimme and Thomas Berry discuss this concept in “the Universe Story.”
The fear is that most of us are still operating on far fewer spiritual cylinders than are needed to “read the story” and then be capable of motoring this universe in a compassionate manner. In Matthew’s account of the resurrection it is an earthquake and an angel that allows the women to see the opened tomb and to realize what had happened. Earthquakes are Mother Nature’s way of coming back to life in a way that grabs our attention with a display of “brute force.” She can also do it gently by insisting that a flower grow through a concrete sidewalk. Having experienced and survived the flood brought to North Carolina by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, I am acutely aware of the “brute force” doctrine, and more in touch with what our cosmos is trying to tell us. Ivan demonstrated in ways of a more personal nature that I am still processing “how Story has affected my life.”
In spite of a dam to send water away from our 4000 square foot warehouse apartment/studio, and a trench to guide water underground around the structure, the raging waters knocked down a 200 year old hemlock tree to change the course of the “Big Ivy River,” normally a trickling creek. My wife Jini and I were inside with flashlights trying to save a few items when waters came rushing into the building.
I screamed at her to leave as the concrete foundation wall collapsed in my studio, and I ran out as the furniture crashed a few feet behind me. Jini went in water over her waist when she stepped in the now collapsed trench, and only the aging Lab Yosa swimming in front kept her from being swept down the river. I pulled her from the hole and pushed her on the bank as a tree limb crashed into my leg, and after spinning around, I fell toward the bank and she grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the swirling waters.
It didn’t matter that meteorologists had predicted a crest the following evening, because at 1:00am, the cosmos decided that rain needed to be dumped in large quantity and move quickly down a mountain in North Carolina, and nothing man-made was going to stop it. As we sat and watched five feet of water spin around for an hour inside the warehouse destroying everything we had, until a bridge finally snapped in two to release the waters, the message from the cosmos was quite clear. And regardless of our attempts to manipulate our physical environments the message is always the same. “I will live.”
Sitting beside this scene in a driving rain storm, there was little to do but pray. For me, prayer is not asking for anything, it is seeking my place in the unfolding mystery of the cosmic order. Gabriel Marcel “suggests that we postindustrial adults become so programmed to solving problems that we lose our capacity to wonder and become ecstatic at mysteries. A mystery, on the other hand, is something in which I find myself caught up and whose essence is therefore not to be before me in its entirety.” 8 I find myself, as I did sitting beside the river that night, caught up in the mystery of primordial energy unfolding the story of creation around me, and am at times in awe of its power, as I was during that time of the flood.
It would seem we may be cursed by our oft times myopic anthropocentrism —namely, the conviction that we humans are the center of the universe. Maybe it is still possible to promote primarily human matters as being of ultimate concern without arrogantly claiming to be the sole or even featured species in the cosmos. As members of an immense web of life, we are interconnected with all forms of life in the universe.
Like it or not, we must begin with our very human possibilities and limitations. Kaballistic teachings remind us that our task is great, too great for us as individuals, but not to be ignored:
We are indeed merely stewards of the gifts bequeathed us, be they spiritual, intellectual or economic resources. And as stewards we are more than brokers. During our time of possession, we stewards have an opportunity to handle life with a more creative touch.
We are not sole and ultimate determiners of history, even though we like to think of ourselves in that way. But we are not pawns either. We are collaborators. Our role in the unfolding of the cosmos is to be not only “Takers,” as Ishmael referred to us, but “Leavers” in the spirit of a long ago people, participants and co-creators if you will of this “eighth day of creation.” For ”Takers” to become “Leavers” will be difficult.
It seems possible that our species indeed needs to come to quickly acknowledge and understand that it is part of an unfolding spiritual story, and that it must direct its energies toward a successful outcome for that story, to “enter into the productive processes of nature.” I believe we are all indispensable, that we are all part of “the plan.”
In “The Universe Story” we are told that,
I once heard a symphony orchestra perform a lengthy piece, and took note of the man sitting in the back simply turning page after page intently and not contributing. But twenty or so minutes into the piece, he adjusted his tuxedo and picked up a small triangle. As the orchestra reached a crescendo, he tapped the triangle once, and then sat back down, his “contribution” finished for the evening.
That “ping” may have seemed insignificant to many listeners, but in the mind of the composer, something would be lost without that moment. Each of us is that “ping,” and this world needs our imagination and attention and works to enable the unfolding story of creation to continue to manifest with our survival as a species. Hildegard of Bingen speaks of the music, “God, I am your opus. Before the beginning of time, already then, I was in your mind.” 12
There was a story once in a Tennessee newspaper about a young girl about to step into the tub when the new hot water heater exploded behind a nearby wall. Without anything to cover her, she ran outside. Her parents gathered up the other children, then contacted help to battle the blaze. They didn’t realize the older child was missing at first. When they could not find her, volunteers searched through the night until the hounds led them back to the charred ruins of the house. There, beneath the porch, the little girl was asleep, wrapped in an old grain sack. “Why did you run away?” her father asked. “I didn’t want to live where things like that can happen!” she replied, with tears in her eyes. “But you came back,” said her mother. “When I got to the top of the hills, I could see there was no place else to go,” said the girl, “Just now this is the only home I have.”
We must come to the realization we, too, are approaching the top of a similar hill, and that Earth is “just now the only home we have,” and decide whether our home is one we will cherish and care for, or whether it will be destroyed, possibly along with us, by our continued neglect. But the earth and our entire cosmos is more than “just a home.” Matthew Fox reminds us, “The universe and the ecosystems are not just our home; they are sources of delight and awe, of wonder and intoxication. Therefore, they are the matrix for a renewed mysticism, for to enter these mysteries, as cosmologists are now naming them, is a mystical experience.” 13
It must be our shared spiritual vision, and task, to cherish, humbly and gratefully, this home we have been given, and make ourselves more spiritually capable of living fully and responsibly in it. As we learn in The Universe Story, ”There is eventually only one story, the story of the universe.” 14 And further, that “The well-being of the Earth is primary. The well-being of the Human is derivative.” 15
There is an order of reality present—which calls for our trust and reverence, and for our faith and commitment. For those who would
listen, our cosmos has a solemn message, “listen to me and I will teach you.” Thomas Berry offers the following advice,
Whether we continue to survive as a species is open for debate, and it depends in large part on whether we are willing to listen, and to accept the teachings of our cosmos. In the most mundane portion of our daily schedule we can discover great wonder and unveil incredible mystery. We need to engage our exploding, evolving universe right now, and every day. We must investigate the process of becoming in all thoroughness, lest we mistake for primitive what is a natural and necessary unfolding of the cosmic mystery before us, and for natural what is actually part of the artificiality of what some would call “man-made progress.”
It has been said that “The supreme reality of our time is the vulnerability of our planet.” 17 We have the ability to postpone global extinction through the practice of compassion, both toward our cosmos and each other. This is the very essence of Via Transformativa. For what else were we created?
Reprinted with permission from Calen Rayne. Copyright Calen Rayne: All rights reserved.
1 Winkler, G. (2004). Kaballah 365: Daily Fruit From The Tree Of Life. Kansas City, MO, Andrews McMeel Publishing, p.61.
2 Swimme, B. and T. Berry (1992). The Universe Story. New York, NY, HarperCollins Publishers, p. 168.
3 Fox, M. (2003). Wrestling With The Prophets: Essays on Creation Spirituality and Everyday Life. New York, New York, Jeremy P. Tarcher / Putnam, p. 9.
4 Ibid., p. 9.
5 Winkler, p. 41.
6 Fox, M., Wrestling With The Prophets, p. 12.
7 Swimme, B. and T. Berry, p. 2,3.
8 Fox, M. (2001). Prayer: A Radical Response to Life. New York, NY, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, p. 29.
9 Winkler, p. 228.
10 , Quinn, D. (1992). Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit. New York, New York, Bantam / Turner, p. 168
11 Swimme, B. and T. Berry, p. 44.
12 Uhlein, G. (1983). Meditations With Hildegard of Bingen. Rochester, Vermont, Bear &Company, p. 94.
13 Fox, M., Wrestling With The Prophets, p. 57.
14 Swimme, B. and T. Berry, p. 268.
15 Swimme, B. and T. Berry, p. 243
16 Berry, T. (1998). The DREAM of the EARTH. San Francisco, Sierra Club Books, p. 35.
17 Shrager, E. F.-K. a. D. S. (2003). A Concise Encyclopedia of Legal Quotations. New York, Barnes and Noble Inc., p. 102.
Composed by our resident poet Calen Rayne, this poem is a gift to today's graduating class from Wisdom School of Graduate Studies. May it be an inspiration and a blessing for everyone on this auspicious summer solstice.
on a journey joined
ancients we admire
created roots of knowledge
now birth a divine chaos
beneath this full moon
on stonehenge summer solstice
in sacred space
we sit together and breathe
as silence subsides
a conversation begins
divine power speaks
we weave light into our words
we make truth our home
only this moment is pure
our music will circle earth
and join our elders
together our dreams take flight
we travel this road
we design future
blueprints for integration
on a journey joined
we move forward as one
pause for reflection
listen do you hear that sound
blues for modern daze
our music joins a chorus
singing a new song
bringing our message
live your imagination
dissolve into now
© Calen Rayne 2016
Welcome to Lisbon, or Lisboa, Lis-boa, city of good-light.
Imagine you are joining us in October upon this sacred hill. Come experience for yourself Lisboa, and the mystical land upon which she stands: Portugal. We will be gathering on October 2nd in a newly renovated teaching space on this sacred hill of Lisbon. Just steps from the city's Genesis point, we will begin our 2016 Pilgrimage in Mystical Portugal: Megaliths, Mythology, and the Poetry of Place
We'll meet you there.
wide awake in this darkness
we yearn for you still
your footprints have disappeared
what are we to do
our sleeves are new damp with tears
since all things must end
ponder this world's restless ways
is this hour not late
will we spend springs together
floating bridge of dreams
stem this flow of gushing tears
over mountain dawn
in cool calm of this spring day
pray to be loving
there is light in our gardens
still shining where skies are clear
with a sound of wings
human shadows pass me by
precious budding wings
now entirely clear of clouds
we shall not forget
as your music circles earth
we will sing your souls
to eternal existence
though we remain here
we find our hearts infinite
cosmos breathes rebirth
return now to your true home
© 2016 Calen Rayne
Ted Carter is an ornamental horticulturist, principal landscape designer, and co-author of Earth Calling: A Climate Change Handbook for the 21st Century, in which he and co-author Ellen Gunter explore where and how we have gone wrong in our relationship with the Earth and how we go about starting to heal. Ted joined Earth Shamans last autumn and has been collaborating on projects with Calen Rayne. About his work, Ted says, "The art of landscaping has been with me since childhood. Land and landscape have been and continue to be a central part of my life. In more recent years I have discovered the subtle Earth energies that inform and direct me in this co-creative endeavor. It is a joy to work and share this journey with others through my life’s work."
He calls us to reconnect to the Earth.
More than a landscape designer, Ted has been described as a Nature-Mystic for his devotion to the Earth and his ability to tune in with the land. He brings with him a perspective that goes beyond statistics about how our planet is changing, and speaks directly to our souls. In the book, Earth Calling, Ted and Ellen challenge each of us to find our own earth "calling" by reconnecting with the planet. Reconnecting to the earth is about reconnecting to our senses, and using our senses to reconnect with Source. Reconnection begins with listening deeply to the earth, and waking up to what is all around us. Ted recommends spending time outside and turning your senses over to nature. The last chapters of his book read like a handbook for awakening, providing practical wisdom for getting in touch with your soul through nature.
It starts simply: in our own backyards.
As we learned from Earth Shaman Jean Fleury, we must start where we are. Ted reminds us that there are subtle energies present in land and landscape that need to be honored and called out, and the best place to start is in our own backyard. "Understanding the energetics of the landscape brings a whole new meaning to your understanding and connection to the natural world right outside your home," says Ted, "When you call out a space, it begins to be a destination in the landscape and take on a special presence it never had before. In a sense, your landscape has a re-birth – a new beginning as you see it through a different lens."
All things lead to Source.
What do you see from the window closest to you right now? Invariably, we spend a great deal of time looking out the windows of our homes and offices, and what we see there deeply influences us. During a consultation, Ted looks at the landscape from the inside as well as from outside. Once outside, he dowses the property to get a sense of the subtle energies that impact the site. On a return visit, he "listens" to the land more deeply with fellow Earth Shaman, Calen Rayne. Calen works with an internal mapping system he learned in the Himalayas, called “genesis point vibrational radiesthesia.” This technique enables Calen and Ted to identify a particular point at a site where they can connect with energetics of the land and get to its source. Going to the Source is about listening and discernment. Ted explains, "This process is important because it enables one to access information from the land itself, and better discern what a particular property truly needs when creating an integral design."
Ted was recently featured in the Winter 2016 edition of Fine Homes of Western North Carolina magazine. Click here to read the full article and see beautiful photos of Ted's integrated landscape designs, and be sure to check out Ted's website.
Sheila Armitage is a corporate learning consultant who partners with horses on her coaching team. She finds that this modality helps generate coherence between intellect and heart, as horses have a great capacity to sense what we do not, reflect back truth, show us if we are kidding ourselves, accelerate learning, and move us out of our mental justifications for staying stuck in a rut. Sheila has worked internationally as an organizational learning expert and coach with Fortune 10 to 500 companies, government, non-profits, educational institutions, small businesses, and individuals from C-level leaders to front-line staff. Sheila’s studies are at the intersection of health, business, and quantum science, and she has a Ph.D. in Wisdom Studies. Sheila´s Dissertation is on work-life integration - the mindset and behaviors it takes to fully bridge life between work and home in alignment with your values and who you really are. Link to Sheila's website.
"Wind Horse" stems from spiritual traditions. They are the prayer flags that carry prayers and wishes to heaven.
Sheila's passion is embedding a resilient philosophy and skill set that drives improved performance and satisfaction for leaders, teams, workplaces, families and communities.She enables leaders, teams and organizations to reach their potential, embedding resilience practices and mindsets in all of her work. Sheila has worked, coached and consulted in diverse business sectors with Fortune 10 companies to small businesses, public sector organizations, and non-profits.
She has helped:
Noticing increased personal and organizational levels of stress, and talent turnover, Sheila researched and developed a resilience model, assessment and programs to boost individual, team and organizational agility. She continues to research, speak and publish on the business benefits of redesigning workplaces for resiliency and agility.
a poem for 2016
i look out today
looking far, i see
an unclouded image
if anyone asks
a new path
an emerging moon
a question arises
what shall i do now
floating clouds flow
suddenly serene sky
crisp sound of bell
creates crystal clarity
time continues to pass
years flow like water
day and night
follow one another
with a whisper
like a gentle wind
and enter quietly
our four seasons
reminding us to forget
aggression and concerns
a temple nestled
among majestic mountains
i am here
a new dawn
© 2016 Calen Rayne
Catherine Anderson is author of The Creative Photographer and Journaling the Labyrinth Path. Her personal journey of self-discovery has taken her from a career as an attorney to photography-franchise owner to creativity-workshop facilitator, and from South Africa where she was born to North Carolina where she now lives. Catherine believes that we are all creative and loves guiding others to discover the deep joy that creative play uncovers. As one of fourteen SoulCollage® Facilitator Trainers worldwide, Catherine trains others to teach this intuitive collage process created by Seena Frost, and regularly teaches creative workshops and retreats in Italy, France and South Africa, as well as around the US. Catherine is also a Veriditas Advanced Certified Labyrinth Facilitator and has Master of Liberal Arts. Link to Catherine's website.
A Chakradance facilitator, a licensed JourneyCircles Facilitator, and Veriditas Labyrinth Facilitator, Catherine is a multi-talented creative who is passionate about the innate creativity in each and every human being. She offers photography workshops on many topics, including Photography as Self-Expression; Photography as Mindfulness Practice; Symbolic Photography; The Language of Vision; Insight through Images; Inspired Vision (in fact any of the chapters in my book can be turned into a workshop), and others where the camera is seen as a way to enter into a co-creative dialogue with the earth and our soul.
Catherine is a wise elder of the SoulCollage® community. SoulCollage® is an intuitive collage process which gently brings your unconscious into view as you let your soul speak through the language of image. It is a process that can accompany you through all phases of your life - the joys and the sorrows - providing a way for you to express the feelings for which you have no words. It is a process that opens you up to understanding yourself more fully. Through the medium of collage you weave your story and see the larger picture.
Earth Shamans is a gathering of like-minded beings who have responded to the call of Spirit.