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Nurturing the Feminine Soul in Mother Earth

Creation retreat - Brisbane

posted 20 May 2019, 13:53 by Peter Harney

A three-day retreat experience for brothers and anyone that begins with an understanding of the whole of creation as suffused with the Divine Presence.

Lectio Terristris is an approach to contemplative prayer and living modelled on Lectio Divina. It uses different facets of creation instead of biblical text as gateways to meditation, then prayer, then contemplation. All of this in the beautiful surroundings of Viridian Retirement Village.

Celtic Pilgrimage

posted 20 May 2019, 13:04 by Peter Harney

[full pdf flyer attached]
Experience the beauty of the ancient landscape of Ireland, touch its sacredness and stand in its richness and solitude; be present, mindful, open, attentive...

Walk in the footsteps of the Celtic mystics and saints and allow their spirit of courage and trust give you strength and healing. Hear the stories that shaped their lives and journeys. Listen to the music and songs that moved them to dream, fired their passionate longings and brought them to stillness. Imagine and reflect by megalithic tombs and high crosses where they found meaning, comfort and peace. Be silent on the sacred pathways that will give you space to awaken to the dreams and longings of your own heart. Enjoy relaxing times by the fire with a 'drop of 
cheer' as well as special evenings in the company of local musicians, singers, dancers and storytellers.

Date: Monday 22nd of July - Thursday 1st of August 2019
Venue: Based in Teach Bhride Education and Spirituality Centre, Tullow, Co. Carlow.
Cost: From €1,850 (Euro) ...Cost includes: courtesy coach from Dublin city centre - to and from venue – accommodation and all meals; all pilgrimage travel; entrance fees to sites and presenters fees.

Easter Dawn – A Ray of Hope for These Times

posted 21 Apr 2019, 20:48 by Peter Harney

Easter morning sunrise at the Archer Mountain Earth Community.  This was the breath -taking moment of resurrection experienced by the 11 members of the extended Archer Community who gathered at 5.30am on the deck of our hermitage - ‘Julian’.  It was raining quite heavily with the whole Stanley Valley was covered in a sultry grey mist.  We were listening quietly to Karl Jenkins magnificent Benedictus and as the choir sang ‘Gloria in Excelsis Deo’ the sun burst forth from the dense dark clouds and flooded the valley with Easter light.  The earth was celebrating with us this moment of ‘glorious unexpected resurrection’ when the pain of loss and despair were transformed into a new way vision of love, beauty and light.  Those who had walked in darkness now see a great light and hope is restored momentarily to our broken, struggling and crushed earth community.

We also celebrated the ritual of the New Year of the Trees on Holy Thursday, the plight of refugees, the homeless and earth justice on Good Friday, the deep silence needed for healing on Tomb Day and the real possibility of resurrection on Easter Sunday morning.  The Mystery that beckons us to lean into the future, co-creates with us, a new way made possible through being attentive to our intuitions, our inner most dreams and desires and our creative-imagination.  May this Easter be a time to attend to these movements of the creating Great Creative Spirit so that we may be courageous enough to speak truth to power wherever there is violation and abuse of basic rights and freedoms.  This is the time to speak as we move to electing politicians who need to be attuned to the voices of the most vulnerable in the earth community.  

PH (on behalf of AMEC)

Planting the Seedlings of Love, Light and Peace

posted 17 Apr 2019, 20:20 by Peter Harney

The ‘Archer Planting’ last Saturday (April 13) provided the wider community of the Archer Mountain Earth Community (AMEC) an opportunity to offer their gift of ‘green fingers’ to plant seedlings of lettuce, silver beet, egg plant, tomatoes of all kinds, snow peas, French beans and leeks.  After a delightful morning tea of coffee and poppy-lemon cake provided by Mary Nelson, the group of 10 headed to the 5 raised beds.  By 12.30pm all the seedlings were in mother earth and today (Monday) they have their heads lifted high to the blue sky.  Thank you to all who found space in their busy lives to help with the planting and with many maintenance jobs that are always in need of attention.

Sunday was the second Agape of the year led by Mike Sherman on ‘The God who is Everywhere’.  Mike began with this beautiful quote: ‘I honour the place in you where everything in the Universe resides.  I honour the place in you of love, of light, of truth, and of peace.  And when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.’  It is worth pondering!  If we categorise ‘the other’ as separate, not on the ethic of ‘love, of light, of truth and of peace’  we quickly end in a destructive mind-set that gives birth to racism, discrimination, exclusion and hate speech.

PH (on behalf of AMEC)  April 15 2019

Retreat and Concert: A Celtic Journey of the Heart

posted 28 Mar 2019, 00:24 by Peter Harney

Deirdre Ni Chinneide offers retreats, workshops and performs spiritual music /song comes from the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. Deirdre is a psychotherapist/spiritual director and singer/composer. She is in Australia for a short time in October and will offer a retreat/workshop Saturday Oct 19 at the Archer Mountain Earth Community (AMEC) and an afternoon of music and song from Ireland in the church hall at Woodford for the local community on Sunday 20th October.

The Celtic Spirit travels widely and seeks to retrieve what the heart has been lost and longed for in these current times. The experiences offered through music, ritual, reflection, sharing, poetry and song invite participants into connecting with their deepest desires for peace in a spirit of relaxation, enchantment and joy. The Celts spoke of crossing ‘thresholds’ that took them into places where they were able to connect deeply with the natural world and with those who shared their life’s journey. It was referred to as a ‘thin place’. Please come, enjoy and learn more about Celtic music and song and its special gift to our world that struggles to live in the way of love and harmony.

Earth Day 22 April 2019

posted 25 Mar 2019, 03:28 by Peter Harney

The theme for Earth Day this year is Protect Our Species. The goals of the Earth Day Network are to:
  • Educate and raise awareness about the accelerating rate of extinction of species and the causes of this phenomenon.
  • Address major policies to protect broad groups of species as well as individual species and their habitats
  • Build and activate a global movement that embraces nature and its values.
  • Encourage individual actions such as adopting plant based diet and stopping pesticide and herbicide use.
For more information see

Earth Hour 30 March 2019

posted 25 Mar 2019, 03:27 by Peter Harney

Earth Hour is the largest global movement for environmental action.  Switch lights off on Saturday 30 March at 8.30pm as a symbol of our commitment to action to address global warming.  For ideas on living sustainably day to day in our homes and workplaces see the article 15 Easy Ways to Become More Environmentally Friendly on

Earth Dances With-in Us

posted 11 Mar 2019, 14:56 by Peter Harney

Our first Agape Gathering for 2019 was held on 10 March with a focus on thanking Tony Hempenstall for his wonderful contribution as a resident member of Archer Mountain Earth Community for over fifteen years.  Many members of AMEC who had known Tony over these years gathered for the celebration.  We are delighted that Tony will continue as a member of the extended Archer Community from his new abode.

Our ritual, led by Judith and Gerard, explored the metaphor of the earth dancing within and without with creative energy.  As expressed in Laudate Si: Soil, water, mountains, everything is as it were a caress of God.  We shared our recent experiences of sacred earth connection, of earth dancing within us!  We were invited to hear the beauty of our song, to feel the beauty all around us and to know the wonder that we belong (Sara Thomsen).

We had the opportunity to enjoy the quiet stillness of the Archer or to join Judith who lead us in dances linked to the aspirations of Laudate Si.  We danced the Gathu Mawula Dance (Looking Back over Country) to Dr G’s beautiful music which allowed us to kiss the earth in movement and learn from the wisdom of our indigenous sisters and brothers.

Following our ritual blessing of Tony, of one another and Mother Earth we celebrated with high tea and wonderful musical entertainment from Anthony and Katie.  A great start to 2019!

A Peregine Butterfly visits

posted 4 Feb 2019, 05:12 by Peter Harney

The Richmond Birdwing Butterfly paid the Archer a visit recently finding a place to stop momentarily on a bushy tree near the Guest House deck.  Their favourite breeding vine has been planted at the foot of this tree under the native bee hive.  We hope to entertain many more Richmond Birdwing Butterflies in the year ahead.

Recently the leadership team from Ambrose Treacy College Indooroopilly visited the Archer and to participate in a Celtic retreat experience led my Mary Murphy and Peter H.  

The team gathered near the Julian hermitage to reflect on the beauty and presence of the mountain that had been a place where indigenous peoples had gathered for ritual and ceremony for tens of thousands of years.  While visiting Julian of Norwich’s hermitage the team reflected on Julian’s experience of being one with the mystery in the natural world.  An experience she called ‘oneing’.  

Each team member was invited to be a peregrine in the Celtic way.  A peregrine is a pilgrim who sets sail without oar or paddle trusting that the divine presence would guide her/him to where he/she was meant to go.  The journey of immrama (the way of the peregrine) continued to the dam where the story of Columba was shared.  Columba set sail with a few companions in a coracle (small boat) from Ireland and was carried by the capricious currents of the Irish Sea to the Island of Iona.  Here he built a small sanctuary and in communion with the natural world and lived the spirituality at the root of Celtic culture. The team then made their way to the labyrinth to walk slowly the path of wisdom and to come to a sense of their ‘own path’ for 2019.  

A salmon dinner followed, a fish that the Celts believed when eaten brought deep insight and wisdom.  The evening concluded with a sharing of each person’s anam cara (soul friend) and the receiving of a gift from the earth of the Archer, a small jar of mango chutney. They also received a beautifully embossed leather book mark containing many Celtic symbols.

Peter H on behalf of AMEC (2/2/2019)

2019 – Looking Forward and Back

posted 10 Jan 2019, 04:13 by Peter Harney

One of the very comfortable cabins with magnificent views over the Conondale Mountains and the very ancient Stanley River Valley.  There are 3 such cabins at the Archer.  Visitors are very welcome, to stop and have some space and relaxation in a natural tree filled space, visited regularly by wallabies, bandicoots and king parrots.

Mel Parsons and her support team of musicians stayed at the Archer during the Woodford Folk Festival between Christmas and New Year.  Mel and her entourage are from New Zealand and played 4 gigs during the festival.  The Archer provided accommodation for Mel’s 4 support artists and herself.  Daniella and Jed are seen here with the Archer Mountain Earth Community members Mary Nelson and Tony Hempenstall.  This was a new venture for the Archer with the guests giving a highly commended to the warm welcome, comfort and beauty they enjoyed.

The Archer Mountain Earth Community offered a series of workshops and retreats in 2018.  These experiences invite participants to enjoy the gift of trees, the beauty of the Archer Mountain and ways to live in mutual gift-giving with the whole earth community. 

What a thing it is to sit absolutely alone,
In the forest, at night, cherished by this
Wonderful, unintelligible,
Perfectly innocent speech,
The most comfortable speech in the world,
The talk that rain makes by itself all over the ridges,
And the talk of the watercourses everywhere in the hollows!
Nobody started it, nobody is going to stop it.
It will talk as long as it wants, this rain.
As long as it talks I am going to listen.  Thomas Merton

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