The Alchemical Gold

“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering its a feather bed.” Terence Mkenna


The summer eclipse in 2017, opened the window to the darkness that lay in the underworld. Myself and a few friends have discussed a strange uneasiness, limbo, helplessness, and lethargy that came with the New Year. There was no transition, no marked distinction, it all just rolled into the next, an alarming carry over. I dragged my 9 year old kid out of his deep sleep to sing and witness the New Year from our balcony over looking the ocean in my friends house. Even he wasn’t thrilled and soon returned to slumber again. New years day I stepped on my dress getting out of the car hit my knee hard and smashed my face against the parked car opposite. I believe the message was support and a healer told me that he was sorry to say but someone close would pass. With the second full moon in this month, on January the 31st also a super moon, the window of darkness will close and the light shall emerge, and we shall have vision. The old ones tell me this. A period of relief from the chaos will bless us, it seems. Watch this space I am waiting with baited breath.


Meanwhile, It has been an intense wrestling of indeciveness, and stuckness in a murky sea of limbo. One foot in and one dangling precariously waiting to take a foothold somewhere, anywhere so I could rest a while from the messyness.

Amongst all that, have been moments of surprise, and along with the nature year’s intended carefully constructed chaos,  mystery, magic and the unknown there has been a glimmer on the surface. We are designed to prosper, its nature’s law. When we focus on anything other than prosperity which came with this uprooting of dank dark earth, we lose the plot of our stories, the story of thriving. We are all in it, feeling it in one way or another. Ram Das says, “we are all just walking each other home.”

The story of unexplored terrain of who we are as authentic living human documents with an incredible cornucopia of a diverse rich dark history and lineage is waiting to be uneartherd from that underworld.


A friend visited and it was a gift to behold his delight in my/his homeland and especially the incredible beauty I am close to. For me its the most special place in the world. I don’t take it for granted but I was woken up again to the magic, the mystery that not only this wildness holds in its glory but in the simple and incredible indigenous technology I am privileged to be called to- the work as an initiated stick diviner in the Dagara tradition. I am revived and rejuvinated by this memory of the wild beings and the wildness in me and the tiniest little crab walking sideways with ease in the pristine, crystal clear waters of Cape Point..

So 2017 felt like a vision quest, to sift through all that was emerging. Isn’t this what darkness is really all about? Isn’t it a catylist to catapult us to the next truth, the next reality, the next journey? Change and transformation can often come with struggle, loss and pain, but in our darkest times we do finally emerge, changed, often new. Yes there is a little over lap as we end this particular quest to emerge into the fullness of the light of the moon. However Nature may throw at us change and transformation of massive proportions, life death and rebirth and the quest for truth, as it did in last year’s fire year… sent us fires of immense proportions… So I have to renew my courage,  and I am realising that I am already being asked to consider perhaps the biggest change of my life. Take the risk to reach the alchemical gold.


I have been dwelling on and am fascinated more by cave work, and am fortunate to be spending time this year in a few with a gifted Khoi Khoi healer and musician. It’s a part of my moving quest until I can get to be still for a few days, it’s that spirit that is not ready to be done with exploring, adventure and risk taking. The heaviness of the year, seemed to weigh us down,  on Thursday, my young 40year old friend was found dead in her house, she was very kind to me, especially when I first came to South Africa, the healer’s prophesy came true, I hate when that happens. Another wake up call that I am not yet done here and a reminder that I am not in control. I am not done with that gold ray of light, it still peaks through, in a sunset from light to dark, I am not done with the shimmer of a glistening ocean ontop of its dark deep blue, or a streak of red at dawn, from dark to light, thats when I remember God is all around me, Nature is my alter, the animals are my medicine. Time to get up and go again.

Rilke says” The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things”

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“Oldest greek word for wisdom is Dark knowledge, to be wise, a person has to understand both the dark and light, Life is coming from the darkness, and world renews itself. End means lose end or remnant, look for that thread it can pull us back towards the center. A descent into the deep underground cave is a journey to a most remote land where to the seeker with the right mind-set, the door to the numinous may be found.” Unknown

Any time spent in nature to quest ( forest, cave, desert) is a gift to ourselves and a neccessity inorder to renew our agreements and our inextricable bond with nature and the wild beings. Maybe in this year, a nature year in the Dagara tradition we could give ourselves that gift.

My first vision quest with a beloved teacher now late, Angeles Arrien, had a profound change and impact on my life. Every moment is an opportunity for change. Nature will throw many big opportunities for us to transform and in the event that we still want to resist or not step into the unknown it could come looking like no choice. For me it has already begun.

I will be creating a journey -a quest for vision, this year to spend time with the Bushmen in Nambia and the wild beings in Botswana. Watch this space, and give your self a gift, YOU DESERVE IT. I hope you can join us to Return To Origin. May you prosper and revel in good fortune. May you remember your wild being and may all worlds bless and protect you always.



Can you see the old mans face and his white beard in the cave?

A Bushmen tale.

People did not always live on the surface of the earth. At one time people and animals lived underneath the earth with Kaang (Käng), the Great Master and Lord of All Life. In this place people and animals lived together peacefully. They understood each other. No one ever wanted for anything and it was always light even though there wasn’t any sun. During this time of bliss Kaang began to plan the wonders he would put in the world above.
First Kaang created a wondrous tree, with branches stretching over the entire country. At the base of the tree he dug a hole that reached all the way down into the world where the people and animals lived. After he had finished furnishing the world as he pleased he led the first man up the hole. He sat down on the edge of the hole and soon the first woman came up out of it. Soon all the people were gathered at the foot of the tree, awed by the world they had just entered. Next, Kaang began helping the animals climb out of the hole. In their eagerness some of the animals found a way to climb up through the tree’s roots and come out of the branches. They continued racing out of the world beneath until all of the animals were out.
Kaang gathered all the people and animals about him. He instructed them to live together peacefully. Then he turned to the men and women and warned them not to build any fires or a great evil would befall them. They gave their word and Kaang left to where he could watch his world secretly.
As evening approached the sun began to sink beneath the horizon. The people and animals stood watching this phenomenon, but when the sun disappeared fear entered the hearts of the people. They could no longer see each other as they lacked the eyes of the animals which were capable of seeing in the dark. They lacked the warm fur of the animals also and soon grew cold. In desperation one man suggested that they build a fire to keep warm. Forgetting Kaang’s warning they disobeyed him. They soon grew warm and were once again able to see each other.
However the fire frightened the animals. They fled to the caves and mountains and ever since the people broke Kaang’s command people have not been able to communicate with animals. Now fear has replaced the seat friendship once held between the two groups.
The Bushmen of Africa believe that not only are plants and animals alive, but also rain, thunder, the wind.


5 thoughts on “The Alchemical Gold

  1. It is never easy to say goodbye to a friend and it’s especially sad that they were so young.
    I like how you use the words ‘incredible indigenous technology’, I’ve never heard that before throughout my years of studies. Is it possible to e-mail you on another address about some questions I had? When I used it did not work and bounced back. Thank you.

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