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Community Grief Tending - Solstice Release and Renewal
In this issue:

  • NEXT EVENT: Solstice Release And Renewal Ritual - Brighton
  • READ: Hallowing The Descent - Sharon Astyk
  • WATCH: How Grief Can Help Us Win - Sophie Sabbage
  • LISTEN: Where Denial Divides, Grief Unites - Michael Meade
  • DANCE: La Llorona

Dear grief tenders,

In the time between Samhain and Winter Solstice, the natural cycle calls us to join the descent into the darkness. In a year full of much darkness, this winter solstice ritual will hold a deep prayer for release and renewal. We’ll speak to what we want to let go off as compost for the seeds in the earth. And give our intentions for renewal to the returning light of the sun.

And so we will gather a small village on this auspicious day, at the Centre for Ecotherapy in Brighton, for a community grief tending ritual. This ritual is classed as a support group, so we are able to convene up to 15 people under the regulations for ceremony.. 

I hope to welcome you into the village soon.

With gratitude,



NEXT EVENT: Solstice Ritual of Release And Renewal - Brighton - 20 December

On winter solstice eve, we’ll gather around a fire at the Centre for Ecotherapy in Stanmer Park, Brighton, from noon to 4pm, with the intention of release and renewal. Everything begins in the darkness - darkness precedes birth, night precedes day.

In this 4 hour outdoor ritual:

  • we’ll create altars for the ancestors and love to support us and gently stir our grief
  • we will work with the energy of the spiral, as we release and renew
  • the ritual will involve gentle movement and walking for one hour
  • after which we'll gather around the fire for a sound bath and some celebratory dancing to integrate and close.

Suggested exchange
The suggested exchange for the half day is £30. There are some concessionary spots available. 
Booking and payment is advance is essential – there are 15 places available. Please email me - - to get the booking instructions or if you have any questions.

READ: Hallowing The Descent - Sharon Astyk

Quaker writer John Yungblut wrote “On Hallowing One’s Diminishments,” using the ways of thinking he found to deal with his Parkinson’s disease to provide a new way “into” times of personal and collective hardship."

In this article, Sharon shares how we can venerate our loses, as companions, as gifts and and as a way to come into relationship with our own death. 

Read the article in Resilience

WATCH: How Grief Can Help Us Win - Sophie Sabbage

Sophie has terminal cancer and has been working with her grief and those she supports for years. She names how the wild and subversive nature of grief is not really any of the Kubler-Ross 5 stages of grief - she calls it the ‘resist grief cycle’.

She says:

"Sorrow passes through the gateway of acceptance,
Sorrow opens the heart that anger closes,
It releases the tears that depression swallows
It surrenders to what cannot be bargained with and melts the freeze
Acceptance is where we begin to let grief have its way with us, and give way to its harrowingly transformative pain."

And continues:

"If loss is inescapable, how can we be expanded by it and not diminished. By feeling and expressing sorrow, it’s the only part of us that knows how to let go a d grief brings what’s been lost back to us in mysterious ways. It keeps love slice and hero’s loves lost close. It reveals the astonishing light that awaits us in the heart of darkness. Keeping sorrow in keeps joy and wonder out."

Watch her TedTalk

LISTEN: Where Denial Divides, Grief Unites - Living Myth

Using a combination of ancient ideas and cogent poems, Michael Meade addresses the issues of deadly denial and hidden grief in America and the spiritual, emotional chasm that continues to divide the country in half.

“If everyone would acknowledge the loss and the grief that is under the surface of the conflict, hatred and division, there could be a melting of all that polarizes, denies and rejects. There would be a falling into the depths of humanity, where sorrow, grief and tears can wash away those things that are deadly and need to be relinquished. We might then realize how much we are all in this together, not in some naive way, but in the old way of understanding that we are all walking the road of life and death together."

DANCE: La Llorona

La llrona translates as the ‘weeping woman’ and is a beautiful lament from the ranchera genre in Mexico. The lyrics speak of a woman’s lost love for a man, and she’s generally seen to represent the feelings of pain, anguish and sorrow.
Copyright © 2020 Big Seeds , All rights reserved.

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