from BARDO

The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.

Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made

is star-stuff too?

– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –

dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.

Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.

Roselle Angwin

Thursday, 30 August 2012

i went out to the hazel wood because a fire was in my head...

I wanted to post something more inspiring than my autumn news on here, but I'm rushing to go away now, and for those of you who aren't on my mailing list, there may be something here of interest? Perhaps before I go tomorrow I might get back here; otherwise, dear readers, 'see' you in mid–September!


Hello my friends, from a Devon that’s moving swiftly from a wet spring to a wet autumn with about two weeks’ worth of sun in between... so TM and I are off to southwest France for a short break from tomorrow.

I just wanted to be in touch to let you know of a few things coming up. And I have loved hearing the bits of news many of you have shared with me this year: publications, MA acceptances or completions, readings and performances...

This is my 21st year of running Fire in the Head!

Myth and archetype ride again
Some of you know that I’ve been pretty burnt out lately. This means I’ve cut my workload a little over the summer. In turn, this has enabled me to allow ideas to arise from my subconscious into the imagination. There are some personal creative projects I’m enthusiastic about; but as exciting is the realisation that I want to incorporate into my future work more of the courses I was leading in the beginning, in 1991: ‘personal mythology’. I started there after completing a training in transpersonal psychology, and in these workshops I use myth and archetype not only to create poetry and story, but also as a tool for exploration of our psyches. The work is deep, and is, I suppose, soulwork. I’ll let you know when there is more to tell you.

I’m also more deliberately incorporating eco-psychology as a tool for heightening awareness of and connecting inner landscape with the outer natural world and the wild; this kind of reconnection seems increasingly urgent. I also use mindfulness work from my Zen practice (as I do in Ground of Being and my Iona course).

Singing over the Bones
A few weeks ago, my friend Sharon Blackie (editor of the excellent literary/environmental journal ‘Earthlines’) and I cooked up a new plot, and the upshot of that is a workshop I’m really excited to be co-leading with her next April. Although we’ve barely advertised it yet, there are now only TWO PLACES LEFT! It’s called ‘
Singing over the Bones: women writing the wild’, (sorry guys) and draws together both aspects of what I speak of above (Sharon is also a narrative therapist, and shares my interests). For more info, see: or

Islands of the Heart: writing retreat on the Isle of Iona
This retreat is very close to my heart. Each year some wonderful people join me for a week of writing, walking, silence, laughter and depth (oh and very good eating) in the Argyll Hotel right on the water in the Hebrides. In that time we create a close, trusting and creative community, and some people find the week extraordinarily transformative.

Next year will be my 13th course. Once again, there are only two places left now. You can also find comprehensive info on my website,; go to Courses and hover until Course Details appears. (You’ll need to scroll down.) I’m now at the stage where I need £100 deposit sent to me. 

Ground of Being
I guide people through these days, held outdoors at one of the megalithic sites on Dartmoor at the equinoxes and solstices. They incorporate some of what I’ve spoken of above. Their intention is to create a pause in our very busy lives to be quiet, reflective, stroll, write, and explore through relationship with the land and our inner worlds, as well as poetry and story, where we find ourselves at these turning points in the year. They can be quite profound. Again, info is on my website.

These days happen even if there’s only me, and in all weathers supposing we can physically get there, and as long as conditions are not dangerous in my view.

Bookings in advance please; pay by cheque at £35, or on the day @ £40.

I hope that within the next few weeks I will finally have news on my poetry and photo project, River Suite.

Meantime I’m delighted to say I’ve had very positive responses to my new collection, All the Missing Names of Love, published by IDP who last year brought out my novel Imago. You can find out more/read some of the poems/buy them here:  and

Yes, I really will be starting this again this winter. I can mentor people in most aspects of the writing process, including specific projects.

I also have 21 years experience of working in a loosely psychotherapeutic context, often using myth, archetype, dreamwork, mindfulness and outdoor work (including some aspects of shamanic/visionquest work) in relation to life issues, creativity and meaning.
(Often these are convergent.) Being a Celt myself, I’m particularly tuned-in to the Celtic cultural context for exploring our relationship to inner world and outer place.

Between us, we would create a project to address whatever it is you want to explore or develop. I can work in person, by phone or email, or by Skype.

The next poetry correspondence course kicks off next January. ‘Storymaking’, the novel-writing one rooted in myth and archetype, is one you can sign up for at any stage.

Well, I think that’s enough for now. I’d be delighted to see you on one or another course; and remember I’ll be away now for a bit so will answer emails in mid-September.

With warm autumn greetings


No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive