The Art of Hosting

I would like to explore with you how elementals can help in hosted processes.

 

This goes back to an experience we witnessed during a practice day in the EC last year.

My dear colleague and mate Helen Titchen has already referred to that special day in an earlier blog post on natural ways of working.

 

So the idea of the campfire around which this day was organised, the topic on observing how nature does it, and how could we learn from her for our hosting work were one manifestation of something special occurring that day.

And then  I experienced a very concrete event later on:

It happened that in the morning I had a look in my garden for something organic I could bring to the group. It was the time of cherry blossom! This beautiful tree embraced me and led me to the idea of bringing a twig or two to our learning day.

I brought them in a vase, which found its space first before my feet in the circle while checking in, and later on the window sill.

 

There was a particular moment in a conversation during an open space, where some energy sparks just shooted over in light speed from the window on the other side of the room, to the group of three we were engaging in, and it was as if the inspiring ideas that actually came out of the mouths of us in that truly magical moments, were connected to or supported by the energy coming from the branches. Intuitively I immediately knew that that was so. It is hard to say, if the conversation attracted the sparks or the other way round. I am saying sparks, as that is the best way I can name what I sensed, there was no visual perception, although almost, it was more of an energetic sensing.

 

I have more and more the feeling that we are helped by the subtle world, if the conditions are right.

 

That is why I want to start a conversation and see if you also had some of these intuitions or experiences and what were the circumstances around those.

 

Looking forward to some interesting sharing!

 

Ursula

Tags: elementals, elements, space, subtle, world

Views: 67

Replies to This Conversation

Is the presence of fear, the ‘fear being’, asking to be embraced in some way as part of a greater wholeness and potential as we host with the subtle?

Recently Ursula wrote in an AoH email about her experience in groups at the EC –

For the moment I am in an observing space, trying not to analyse, just accept the loving radiance that so often occurs in our gatherings. The gratefulness and humility of people, the innovative sparks that seem to jump out of nowhere, and yet somewhere...the fear being, that often lingers around in the beginning of meetings in a new group before trust is being established, it just crumbles away after a while and even dissolves completely. We seem like being kissed by Grace.”

 

I read Ursula’s words after my experience in a small group circle practice of collective presencing. I was curious – the fear being seemed to be present there in some way.  Is there something more here to pay attention to?

In the small group at one point one person called us to sense into the ‘field’, into the middle.  Energetically I sensed a kind of hole, or a withholding, maybe doubt or fear, in one area on the other side of the group.  Are we as humans inviting the doubt / fear being to hold presence with us, and yet in this case it did not seem alive.  It felt very dead there, but still there. The rest of the group energy was present but not fully open or galvanized.  And then amazingly the person, where I sensed the holding back, or fear and lack of trust, tentatively offered an image that transformed the conversation and the space became fully alive.  In the process of fully presencing to this image and conversation I was not attentive then so much to the energy, but it was very different for sure.  And very quickly more images and possibilities were coming through others that built on the first. It was one of those generative moments that awakened the Circle Being.

 

From a hosting perspective, what is being asked by fear and doubt? to be named?  Or to simply be present and held?  Is the fear potentially an impetus for the human who longs to learn, to move beyond fear, to trust, to take a leap. Is that what happened?  And yet it seems best not to feed fear.  It seems that when fear is named it can grow.  Is the fear being, the individual and collective shadow, simply one of the energetic ingredients that are part of the fertile collective ground we are cultivating and we simply acknowledge that and be present to it?

 From Ursula’s experience it seems Grace and loving Radiance appear if we simply hold the space, and in time the trust will establish and the fear recedes or even dissolves.  I am guessing the ‘field’ where EC people gather is already quite fertile after all the previous hard work and cultivation.  So in the greater work, how can we be more present to this transmutation of fear into Grace?    Is Grace present all along and we simply have not seen / felt Her?   Is there a yet to be fully experienced wholeness here that is part of the human condition and our relationship with the unseen – to consciously embrace fear and Grace, shadow and light, the ugliness of pain and the beauty of joy?  As hosts we are called to be present, to hold steady the loom for weaving these threads, to create the space for the unmanifest potential to emerge. And also to collect the pieces and begin again when the gateways have not opened, to co-weave a slightly different energetic space and story, to embrace fear and Grace to call the wholeness back in.

 

 I am very much in the question and the practice here.  And it seems it is in the experience of being present with others.  It is in the hosting and in collective space itself, that the experience and the deep reflection following that more can be understood.  And I also see how the sharing of memory/experience of one can open a new space in me.  

May our exploration and stories continue.

 

 

 

I spent two months in a yurt at Axladitsa-Avatakia in Greece a couple of years ago.  It was an opportunity for me to completely unplug from my normal life and "listen to the butterflies".  Towards the end of my stay there I often found myself listening more to the natural world than to people. 

 

I can remember one incident during an Art of Protection gathering we were outdoors in the "sky space" and in deep conversation.  As one person in particular was speaking, I became aware of a large flock of blackbirds (50 or more) flying around in a spiral.  From my perspecitve,it looked a bit like a tornado of black birds flying over the speaker's head and caused me to really stop and pay attention, both to the birds and to what the speaker was saying. It wasn't until I noticed the birds that I recognized just how profound her words were. 

 

There were several other times when the natural world spoke and I realized that if only we could listen to that voice as well, we'd discover the deeper meaning residing within our human conversations. 

 

Thanks for starting this conversation!

 

Not sure if this is what you mean by "elementals" but thought I'd share it.

 

Dear Carla,


This is beautiful. Experiences like these I was actually looking for.

Thank you. It is all about heightening our awareness and broadening our sensing, including synchronicity of events.

 

And again it is so very personal how we are growing in this.

I am planning a trip to Axladitsa late August, so I will look out for those birds.

Regards,

 

Ursula


Carla Kimball said:

I spent two months in a yurt at Axladitsa-Avatakia in Greece a couple of years ago.  It was an opportunity for me to completely unplug from my normal life and "listen to the butterflies".  Towards the end of my stay there I often found myself listening more to the natural world than to people. 

 

I can remember one incident during an Art of Protection gathering we were outdoors in the "sky space" and in deep conversation.  As one person in particular was speaking, I became aware of a large flock of blackbirds (50 or more) flying around in a spiral.  From my perspecitve,it looked a bit like a tornado of black birds flying over the speaker's head and caused me to really stop and pay attention, both to the birds and to what the speaker was saying. It wasn't until I noticed the birds that I recognized just how profound her words were. 

 

There were several other times when the natural world spoke and I realized that if only we could listen to that voice as well, we'd discover the deeper meaning residing within our human conversations. 

 

Thanks for starting this conversation!

 

Not sure if this is what you mean by "elementals" but thought I'd share it.

 

Ursula,

Ah... I wish I could go this year. 

 

While you are there, do look for the birds, and also listen to the wind, notice the scat left on paths by animals who share the land, listen to the river below the river in the rema (the ravine).  You might see a fox cross your path at just the right moment. Or a butterfly making its way up a cliff.  There's so much there by simply paying attention, which is easier than usual because we're not distracted by all the human noises that normally surround us.  At least that was the case when I was there. And, I found that when I returned to my normal life my ability to listen at that level stayed with me for a long time.  Now, alas, I'm fully distracted by life in general and often forget to tune in in this way.

 

Blessings,

Carla

 

How nice that two friends, across the ocean, connect in this way... I enjoy it!

Hey Ursula, I wanted to share an beautiful experience I had almost an year ago. I was getting married and my marriage was organized in an AoH way, in a beautiful place, close to the sea, with a circle of beloved people around us. We decided to make an spiritual ceremony between the both of us with the help of some friends. When we were exchanging our vows I evoked our spirits to be fully present, the angels and other beings of light to acknowledge and bless our relationship before God. And suddenly, when I was speaking a group of sparrows (birds), came flying in circle above our heads, and then left. It wasn't their time to come, but they did come, showing me we were being blessed, and the amazing ways nature and the subtle world can communicate with us. Love, Narjara

Narjara, this is a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. One way to look at it is like a manifestation of what can be evoked by clear intention. That would be my lesson in terms of what we can draw from it for AoH. Lovely. Warm greetings, Ursula

Not sure if anyone is still hanging around with this group and I'm new to AoH and this Ning but I'll post anyway and welcome what (if any) comes... I am in the very early stages of a deep call to purpose the land I originally purchased for my retirement home and garden/farm homestead to host a permanent Learning Village where people can connect. A place to find our edges and hone and hold our centers, while tending the homestead and gardens, using permaculture design and systems and Art of Hosting practices. Where we can learn heart-based living, organic food growing and prep and myriad other practical homestead skills needed to sustain people and planet in turbulent times ahead.

The land is 160 acres of virgin boreal forest (aspen, birch, balsam, alder, willow, spruce) with clean spring water and most amazing soil. I spent much time there since this spring and am very aware that this is a "Thin Place" of the world, alive with devas and spirits. One beautiful day walking about placing survey stakes in the area that will become the campsite area, I felt particularly welcomed and blessed by the place. I snapped a photo with my phone camera as I was preparing to leave. At first the photo appeared ordinary, a meadow in the fading light of late afternoon. When I downloaded it and looked at it in larger scale, I was astonished to find an image of a circle dance of rainbow spirits. (I'll try to upload the image here)

I'm asking for your wisdom, for any suggestions or advice you might have for practices to honour and respect the land and nature spirits as I bring human energy into the mix. Much of the land will remain wilderness accessible only by hiking paths.

Attachments:

Hello Janet! You will never know who will see this message and respond to it! You might want to 'speak' to the whole group, which you could do by sending them all a 'private' message or put a link to this comment on the group wall - for both you need to go to the Group's page.

I hope this helps!

There is also a website called Powers of Place, which might be of interest to you!

With love,

Ria

Dear Janet,

yes, there are people watching this space! What a great posting and topic. You seem to start at the very beginning, looking at the energies of the very land you purchased to host your future homestead community and activities!

My case was different, I inherited half, and bought the other half of a house that was already there, but as soon as I had the say over that place, started working with it. Looking at it, cleaning it (still with some help then) from things and energies that were not connected with us and my present family, and then went into intention of the place. There is a 500 year old history of a built up place, hosting people all the way down the timeline. And even before, in celtic times, it appears to have been a gathering space in nature. That helped a lot making it a hospital place where people can learn, transform and just BE.

In your case, I suspect that some sensing and a relationship between you and the land already happened, you must have been attracted by it in in some ways, no? What did it tell you, how were you attracted to it in the first place? These things things are often not logical, they are happening through sensing and intuition. 

There are many different ways to work with a land and a space. You already mentioned some, to honor the land and treat with respect what it is, has been and may become. Some do that with more rituals (like the native Indians) some with less. I would suggest it is mainly attitude and sensing, and maybe you will go on a journey with your land, just as I did with my house. It can teach you a lot! Try to see why/if and how it's qualities fit with your purpose and intention. Try to voice them when you are there, invite your friends and mates on it, and speak about it there, start doing there what you are intending to do later already now, and invite whoever/whatever energies are around, into it. Then you might start notice things. You can write them down, and sense into it. Try to find out and research, what happened on this land before, who owned it before you. Were there settlements of indians? Have they used the place in the Summer or in the winter for something? How would that fit into what you want to do there? Maybe you will even get new ideas, you have not had before, they may come from the place. You can get into true collaboration and co-creation if you wish.

I think that's the best advice I can give you now. Things can be very complex, and they can be simple. 

As Ria suggests, on the Powers of Place site you might need more specific and practical things from what others have tried. 

I love your project and approach, and would love to watch you and maybe accompany you on your path!

Warm greetings,

Ursula

I'm new to Nings but I'll get it figured out in time (just need to figure out how to put a link to this comment on the group wall). I think maybe pasting the URL for this conversation onto the group page using the "Link" icon. I'll give it a try. If that doesn't work, I'll try something.

The Powers of Place website called to me in a big way. Thank you for that connection and thanks for your suggestions. I'll be asking to join PoP when I get caught up on some other tasks. Otherwise, I get too scattered. LOL xox Janet


Ria Baeck said:

Hello Janet! You will never know who will see this message and respond to it! You might want to 'speak' to the whole group, which you could do by sending them all a 'private' message or put a link to this comment on the group wall - for both you need to go to the Group's page.

I hope this helps!

There is also a website called Powers of Place, which might be of interest to you!

With love,

Ria

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