The History of the Earthshine Grove

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At the turn of the millennium a seed was sown; a promise. It was time for change, for a new approach to living, a new way of being.

I felt this seed of optimism growing inside me as I and many others stood on the Thames Embankment in London watching a magnificent firework display. Although the millennium is an arbitrary date in the great cosmic scheme of things, it is highly significant to modern humanity.
The first year of this cascade of years had been counted by an Emperor, Julius Caesar. It was adopted wherever the Roman Empire held sway, and that was the greater part of the lands around the Mediterranean which were then considered 'civilised'. As 'civilisation' grew, the date was carried further into Europe and on into the lands of America and Australia. Most importantly, this was the time when history was being written down and recorded rather than just being remembered in stories of heroes.

When there is so much intent behind a happening, so much acceptance of something, it has an effect upon the whole human race. The year 1AD was the beginning of a new Wheel that began to turn within the minds of the people in the 'civilised' world.

For many, the turning of the annual Wheel is significant, how much more so the full cycle of the millennial Wheel.

When a cycle ends, it causes us to look back and evaluate the previous years to see what we have learned from them. (There is more about working with the Wheel here (link the Wheel)).

As we walked back from the Embankment that night, my friends and I and many others looked forward with optimism.

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Unbeknown to me, the seed of the Earthshine Grove was also being planted in the Chiltern Hills. It was gestating in the liminal space under an old oak tree. It would be another eight years before it introduced itself.

And so it was that we celebrated our first ritual in the Spring of 2008. We acknowledged the Spirits of Place and thanked them for allowing us to work there, we pledged to work in honour and respect leaving the space untainted by our work. We celebrated the turns of the wheel and many friends gathered with us.

When you work with intent and in the spirit of honour and respect, something happens within the liminal space. Although we always made sure we had left nothing but organic offerings in our own dimension, in the subtle world that shares the space, there is a change. We became more and more aware of the local spirits working with us. Some took animal or bird form so that we could see them; others made faces in the surrounding trees; sometimes we heard music in the breeze which so often spiralled around us; and so often, the sunlight would stream down through the branches above to make the floor of our grove shimmer in dappled light as though in confirmation.

We also knew when it was time to leave as the atmosphere would change very subtly. After a few years of gathering there, there was a subtle change that made us realise our time of sharing this space was over. It was probably no coincidence that this woodland space was becoming more popular with walkers and new paths were being laid by the woodland management. The ancient, silent woods needed their liminal spaces left undisturbed for a while so that they could take stock of the changing environment.

The Earthshine Grove needed to move.

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Its new home was on private land where it could remain undisturbed except by those who knew and understood what work was done there. And so it grew.

Those that worked within the Grove also grew and discovered more about themselves. There came a time when we knew we needed to walk our individual path differently and so the Grove that lived within the physical realms moved into the next dimension.

But the energy that is the Earthshine Grove is still very present, in the liminal places, where we work in the spirit of honour and respect.