The online version of our seasonal Tree of Life Cycles newsletter for First Fruits 2020.
Golden Boughs | Litha | Sioux Sun Dance | Midsommar | Summer Solstice
(Click here to read about the names we chose for the annual cycle of traditional festivals throughout the year, and why we chose them).
Golden Boughs is our name for the Summer Solstice — check here for our names for the other seven celebrations of the turning year. It occurs during Summer wherever you live, falling between June 20 and 22 in the northern hemisphere, and between December 20 and 23 in the southern hemisphere. This year, the Summer Solstice happens on 20 June 2020 at 21.44 Universal Time (otherwise known as Greenwich Mean Time).
Throughout known history people have celebrated this time of year, based on the intuitive wisdom that the Sun is not just a radiant star that sustains life, but is actually a god – an intelligent entity worthy of worship.
The word ‘solstice’ means ‘Sun standing’. Now is the time of year when the Sun has reached its highest point and the day is at its longest. The first quarter of the zodiac – Aries, Taurus and Gemini – has passed us by and we have arrived at 0° Cancer.
Think of those first three signs as a time of youthful discovery, innocence and freedom. Aries represents the small child exploring the world, discovering itself without any fear – like the Fool in the Tarot pack. Taurus is a child looking to possess what’s out there – ‘it’s mine’ or ‘I want it’ are common cries of toddlers. Gemini allows that little one to communicate, to look for someone to recognise in a mirror, perhaps a twin soul, someone to share fun and ideas. But Cancer is a sign about empathy and compassion. So, at the point of Golden Boughs our spiritual thoughts turn towards other people and what we can do for them.
During the recent lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many people have been growing up more quickly than they might have expected. In the past, our Western culture has provided many benefits and, even though we already knew there is poverty even in developed countries, a lot of people did not really have to worry. Their futures seemed to be at least reasonably comfortable. But when the shops started to empty, when thousands of hospital beds were suddenly created in preparation for countless patients who might be coming down the line, even the most comfortable lives were challenged. We can see the astrological significations involved – the axis of the Moon’s Node being in Cancer-Capricorn indicated a time for growing up. Under the restrictions, in most Western lifestyle countries, poverty would very likely escalate and families already challenged would become increasingly desperate. Collectively, humanity needed to re-evaluate all the systems that were in place that led to lack of equity. I live in Britain, but I do follow news from around the world scene, and the story does seem to be the same in most places. We have arrived at Golden Boughs and there is not much glory, majesty and splendour around for many people this year. Perhaps that is because the best possible seeds were not planted in earlier times… not just in 2020 but for many previous decades.
The astrology of 7CE and 2020CE
Astrologers had long ago predicted that 2020 would be a very difficult year. In 2011, the French astrologer Andre Barbault (who died in October 2019, aged 98) specifically predicted a global pandemic during 2020–2021. His prediction was based on precise historical calculations, in which he charted plagues and pandemics as far back in history as he could find. Read an article about his prediction here.
But also predicted is a big change heralded by the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in the sign of Aquarius, coming late December 2020. This conjunction happens every nineteen to twenty years. However, this particular conjunction is in the sign of Aquarius and we are presently feeling the qualities associated with the shift from the Age of Pisces into the Age of Aquarius. In the year 7CE Jupiter and Saturn made a conjunction in the sign of Pisces, just as the shift from the Age of Aries into the Age of Pisces was happening. Many astrologers think that the famous ‘star of Bethlehem’, followed by the Persian astrologer-priests, was this conjunction – the two great planets in the sky at night seemingly fused as one bright star. As we moved into the Age of Pisces, a remarkable teacher, known as the ‘fisher of men’, was born under Jupiter/Saturn in Pisces, whose short life changed spiritual history forever. Who – or what – will be born under Jupiter/Saturn in Aquarius, shining in our night sky as we move into the age of Aquarius?
Golden Boughs – Summer Solstice
GLORY: SPLENDOUR: MAJESTY: EXUBERANCE
The sovereign ruler of heaven above is shining in full radiance. Take time to catch this glory, allowing it to fill your heart with courage and enthusiasm. From this moment onwards the splendour will very gently and gradually begin to fade away as the Sun descends towards a state of balance in the Autumn, then to the next standstill in mid-Winter.
Your intentions and desires will be intensely revealed at this time and you will want to share the joy. When we realise the pattern of life as a process of rising, shining and setting we have no anxiety concerning the future. We understand our sun will drop down to the horizon, spend a few weeks in retreat and then rise again. In the same way our hopes and dreams will flourish and shine in full splendour for a time, only to retreat in order to be reborn.
The tree of your life is laden with golden boughs of fruit and you can enjoy the sunshine. Celebrate your personal successes, relax and enjoy the present moment of glory. There is no effort required right now, so take full advantage of lazy summer afternoons.
Why not take yourself on this guided journey…
Imagine you are in a quiet woodland glade, where the sunshine is pouring through a canopy of gold and green leaves, leaving sparkling trails across your pathway. In the centre of the glade is a beautifully carved throne, decorated with ancient symbols.
You know it is has been designed especially to suit you and is waiting for you to arrive. Allow yourself some time to sit on the throne and become the monarch of all you can see. Feel yourself wearing a robe, a crown, carrying an orb and sceptre. Encourage sensations of empowerment, serenity and majesty to fill your whole being.
Ask yourself, “Now I am sovereign in my own life, what new laws will I introduce, in order to take up my own power?” Take time to consider this question. Then stand up and step away from your throne.
Disrobe. Put your robe, crown, orb and sceptre carefully on the throne for future use before opening your eyes.
Write down your experiences and outline any new laws that have occurred to you in your Journal.
The new online course, Shefa Expansion, will be available from 1st July. This is the follow-up course for anyone who is presently on the Shefa Method or has completed. I created this online version when I realised anyone wanting to go further with their Shefa training would have problems getting to the weekend workshops I normally teach this at.
New students will be able to sign up either for the two courses separately or for a discounted package that includes both the Shefa Method and Shefa Expansion. I’ll email you when it’s available in the Shop.
Shefa Healing Practitioner
It’s most likely now that the revised six-month Shefa Healing Practitioner course will begin in Spring 2021. If you are considering this remarkable and life-transforming training, you’ve got a few months in which you can consolidate the Shefa Method into your daily life and discover what beautiful changes will unfold for you. Then you will understand what a gift it will be to offer Shefa Healing to others.
If this is you, or if you are already a therapist or healer and want to explore how Shefa Healing would complement your existing modalities, I will always be happy to have an informal, no commitment chat with you, so please get in touch.
Everything Shines – my new book
Over the past few weeks – thanks to lockdown! – I’ve been making good progress with my latest book, Everything Shines: Discovering Heaven on Earth. The first draft is almost complete and, if all goes to plan, copies will be available early August. Look out for a special book launch event!
Soulschool YouTube channel news
After the success of my YouTube adventures during lockdown, when I offered a series of thirty Bridge of Stars episodes, as well as a free fifteen-part Pathworking with Archangels course, I am busy planning some new content. Over the Summer I will be offering two different series:
- Theolyn’s Bookshelf will be a weekly dip into favourite titles from my extensive library. I’ll be sharing some books I’ve had for decades, but have been really helpful to me on my personal quest. But I’ll also introduce newer titles that call my attention.
- Everything Shines. This series will explore topics from my new book (see above). Each session will stand alone, but I will be taking you step-by-step through some interesting ideas, so look out for an announcement when the first episode is launched in a couple of weeks time.
- Bridge of Stars videos are still available on my channel, with almost every one introducing an Angels Script character, but Will has now collected them all together into a dedicated playlist, so you can watch them again more easily. Find the new playlist here.
- My FREE online course, Pathworking with Archangels, is still available. You can start from the beginning and take advantage of the free content, including the audios – guided journeys that take you to meet the twelve Archangels of the Tree of Life (usual price £15).
- How To Bring Real Magic Into Your Life. This YouTube series has also been brought into a single playlist now, after we were asked to make them easier to find. View them here and find out exactly what magic really is, how it works, and how you can bring some into your own life.
You can call me stubborn if you like, but I’m still determined to get our group to Chartres. I’ve got mid-October in the calendar and I’m getting the impression that various quarantine restrictions will be lifted on both sides of the Channel by then, sufficient for this to go ahead. I’m not re-booking the hotel accommodation at this stage, but I’m keeping my ear to the ground, waiting for a sign that we can start shaping up arrangements. I’m hoping to time our visit for the October New Moon, as it will be conjunct with the beautiful fixed star Spica, associated with the Virgin. Chartres Cathedral is dedicated to Notre Dame and I was recently delighted to hear that repairs to Notre Dame in Paris have been making good progress. Some of the scaffolding has been removed. This feels like a really good sign for the recovery of human awareness of Divine Mother’s role in our world.
Will and I had originally hoped to get to Paris by train, but it seems now like we’ll be better off flying from a small airport, such as Bristol. We have been considering this because other members of the group live in the South West. Even if you didn’t put your name down for the March trip, we would be delighted to hear from you if you are interested in joining us. You don’t have to make a commitment at this stage, just let us know if you would like to consider this magical trip! Additional details will arrive in your inbox as soon as we have more information.
Ways to go Beyond and Why They Work – Rupert Sheldrake (on Amazon here)
I only just received this book by Rupert Sheldrake a few days ago, so I have to admit I haven’t read it cover to cover. But I’ve had a very good scope over the content and, in any case, I am always sure I can recommend Rupert’s books, which never fail to offer deep ideas in a simple, but highly intelligent style. He has scientific credentials of the first order, but is regarded as a heretic by the straight academic scientists. Some of them even refuse to attend a conference if he is speaking – not very scientific of them!
Rupert is a practising Christian who has investigated spiritual traditions and exchanged ideas with many religious luminaries. The scope of this book is testament to his wide-ranging background and his vision is not limited by any kind of dogmatic approach.
Ways to go Beyond is subtitled Spiritual Practices in a Scientific Age and Rupert sets out practical ideas for ‘going beyond’ in seven chapters, where he identifies spiritual practices that are transformative and have measurable results. He includes fasting, psychedelics, learning from animals, prayer and sports or other physical activities.
The cover is a stunning image of a sunflower – perfect for Golden Boughs – so this neatly leads me to my recommended Youtube…
Is the Sun Conscious? – Rupert Sheldrake (on YouTube here). This is Rupert addressing a conference in Bath, Summer 2018.
In this lecture, Rupert invites his audience to consider the ancient idea that all life is conscious, including the Sun. Modern science dismisses our innate feelings about Creation, which lead us to a feeling of deep connection to everything in the cosmos. No wonder we feel alienated in this world when our education system insists that we are the only conscious beings – apart from a few intelligent animals like us, of course! Take time to commune with the Sun, it is a great god of joy, life and abundance. We all need to stay in the flow of life and remind ourselves that the Divine shefa sustains everything. Otherwise, as D.H.Lawrence said, we are like plants that have been uprooted, severed from the very power that keeps them alive:
People who complain of loneliness must have lost something,
Lost some living connection with the cosmos, out of themselves,
Lost their life-flow,
Like plants whose roots are cut.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – Starring Kate Winslet, Jim Carrey, Elijah Wood and more. Dir. Michael Gondry (2004). Available from Amazon here.
While I was focussing on this newsletter and the topic of the Sun, I remembered this great movie (though it’s fairly old now) featuring a great ensemble cast. The title comes from a romantic story-poem written in 1717 by Alexander Pope, Eloisa to Abelard. The couple in this mediaeval-style tragedy are kept apart by social and religious attitudes, and Eloisa encourages Abelard to forget her. The mind can become spotless, full of sunshine, when murky memories are erased.
I decided to revisit the movie and want to share with you what an interesting storyline it has. It follows a couple who have erased each other from their memories. The film uses a non-linear narrative, weaving in and out of the memories of the main characters as it explores the nature of memory and romantic love. If we don’t recall someone, or some event, do we become different people altogether? There is also a psychological thriller element. Apart from Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey, the cast includes Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood and Tom Wilkinson, so it has some good actors in it. This movie certainly deserves the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and it is regarded by many critics as one of the best films of the 21st century – so far, of course!
Look out for my First Fruits newsletter in August with more ideas and recommendations. But most importantly…