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Nurturing the Feminine Soul in Mother Earth

The Rainbow of Hope

posted 18 Mar 2018, 13:48 by Peter Harney

The Rainbow of Hope 

The rainbow over The Archer Mountain Earth Community appeared one evening last week reminding me that the ‘arc of creation’ means that we are all connected and will at some stage be joined into a complete spiral of love.  Teilhard saw this through this study of geology and declared love is the hidden energy that joins and empowers the universe.  The rainbow reminds us that this energy is not only creatively powerful but also very elegant and beautiful.  Thank you to Georgina who took the photo.

The rainbow is a sign in many sacred texts of a mutually enhancing covenant between the divine energy of love and the visible world that is present to humanity.  A covenant is also an agreement between diverse groups to live in harmony with one another and respect the diversity of difference that is integral to the health of all living systems.   The acceptance of others who are different from ourselves is essential for our spiritual and physical health.  When they express their opinion that is very different from ours we listen with respect and without judgment, become curious, and inquire how they have came to their expressed position.  This gives us then an opportunity to tell a positive story about the way we now see the world and the particular issue respecting he others perspective. 

This was the advice given to a group last Saturday at a gathering in South Brisbane that wanted to know more about how to support the rights and freedoms of People Seeking Asylum.  It is through sharing the contribution people seeking asylum are making to the earth community, when they are given freedom to do so, that will change minds and hearts.  To personally know a person seeking asylum is the beginning of touching into the love energy of our planet.  This is the first step in the journey of providing support to those who suffer from trauma and exclusion. If action is the antidote to despair then perhaps it is time to take action. 

PH (18/03/2018)

Gathering of Leaders

posted 14 Jan 2018, 22:26 by Peter Harney

The Archer Mountain Community hosted the St. Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace, Leadership Team in January. For them it was a time of reconnecting after the long holidays and an opportunity to dream and plan for 2018. Our brief was to:
“lead the College Leadership team through an exploration of Ecological   Spirituality through Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ (Praise be to you – On Care for Our Common Home”. Through this experience members of the leadership team will delve into a deeper meaning of their journey, to own their shadow and grow to be who they are. Leadership team members will be formed to be able to further articulate the intentions and aspirations of the Ecological Sustainability at Terrace program.”

We spent reflective time walking The Great Story on the Cosmic Spiral, journeying around the property as pilgrims, sitting in the Thomas Berry Sanctuary and the Rainforest listening deeply to Book of Nature as well as reading and reflecting on some of the paragraphs from Laudato Si which call us to treasure our Common Home as sacred and hence worth caring for. 

The final ritual was one of Hope. We watched a  DVD about people who have taken a stand against injustice and who have committed themselves through action for a better world and then together the Team planted an Illawarra Flame tree as their contribution to nourishing the land here in this sacred space.

Planting Day at the Archer

posted 19 Nov 2017, 18:29 by Peter Harney

The vegetable gardens of the Archer Mountain Earth Community had given many bundles of produce over the past 6 months ranging from kale, snow peas to a wide variety of lettuce.  The 5 raised gardens were built when Sr Carmel (the chief gardener) at the Archer for 10 years became unwell and was unable to bend to weed and plant.  

A dozen of the extended Archer Mountain Earth Community gathered on Saturday 18 November and spent the morning planting the 5 garden beds.  The no dig planting method was used having been introduced to the community by Chris Gibbings who worked as a volunteer at the Archer during 2017.

No Dig Planting:

Cut the weeds down to ground level; pull out the grass.
  • cover weedy areas with a few layers of newspaper.
  • sprinkle some minerals around
  • put some horse or cow poo on
  • put some mulch on top
  • push back the mulch to make a little hole where you want to plant something. The hole should be about the volume of a cup
  • fill with a mix of soil and 5in1 (2:1) if planting a seedling 
  • fill with a mix of seed raising mix and 5in1 (2:1) if planting a seed
The work was done in a couple of hours and the hard working volunteers then enjoyed lunch on the deck overlooking the Stanley River Valley.  Saturday was a rainy day.  The rain stopped for the 2 hours for the planting and then resumed.  It was the ideal day for getting seedling to deepen their roots.  We now look forward to the harvest that promises to be abundant.

PH (20/11/2017)

Earth as Garden

posted 12 Nov 2017, 14:39 by Peter Harney

The Archer Mountain Earth Community gathered for Agape Sunday Nov 12 and celebrate the Earth as Garden.  The 20 present viewed ‘The Garden of Oneness’ that the Presentation Sisters in Zambia have grown with the help of the local people.   The garden is a place for local people to enjoy and as a space for gathering and learning how to care for the depleted soil, the local trees and to grow vegetables and fruit trees.  The Archer group walked in pilgrimage attending to the spirit of the Archer earth and then entered the cosmic spiral.  A reading from Juliann of Norwich, the earth being contained in an hazel nut was shared.  Each person then took a potted plant and encircled the labyrinth as an earth blessing was prayed.

Viridian Retreat – Wounded Healers

posted 2 Nov 2017, 17:05 by Peter Harney

A group of 12 gathered in the Viridian Centre at Nudgee to take time away from the 
busyness of life to reflect on the ‘woundedness’ of their lives, our species and the all nurturing earth.  Over two days (Oct 30 & 31) the group explored the wound of historical Jesus felt deeply by him in the death of his friend Lazarus (John 11) and our own wounds experienced though personal loss, tragedy and the suffering of others especially the asylum seeker, refugee, the excluded indigenous person and marginalised jobless young person a victim of our free market system of economics.  The centre-piece was Grace the mauve rose given to those who donate organs to sustain the life of others.  It is also given to those who receive these precious organs.  They looked behind the text, within the text and in front of the text ensuring that there was a holistic perspective and a sense of interconnection and personal responsibility.  Some are guilty but all are responsible.  The personal pain was explored through walking the ‘Wound Mandala’ and attending to some of the tragedies of this time in history – the demise of the Barrier Reef, the destruction of our forests and the pain of those abused through the use of power and privilege.   The second day was about allowing the pain but seeing the hope that arises when one depths the sources of this searing wound.  Through the 1000 crane story of Sadako Sasaki of Japan who died at 12 years from cancer caused the Hiroshima atomic bomb retreatants come to a new sense of hope in the darkness of overwhelming hopelessness.  They made a crane of hope for a special intention, which could have been a dying bird species or a dear friend.  In the afternoon the group walked the Owen Brown garden which has been created within the local eucalyptus forest where there was a once a stand of guinea grass.   The garden is a space between the natural wildness of the forest and the cultivated landscapes of the human.  It is a place to pause and be attentive and still.
PH (02/11/2017)

New Consciousness Weekend

posted 23 Oct 2017, 15:20 by Peter Harney

Click on the file below:

Here's a teaser:
"Peter Hay and Trevor Parton were facilitators of the ‘New Consciousness’ weekend October 21/22 at the Archer Mountain Community and suggested David Korten had a way into the new consciousness we now need for the survival of the planet and ultimately humanity.  David Korten poses these questions in the light of humanity embracing a new story of where we have come from, why we are here and where are we going..."

October Fest

posted 19 Oct 2017, 14:37 by Peter Harney

The Archer had 150 mms of rain over the past week that filled the dam to overflowing.  This is the first time in years that the dam has been full which augurs well for the gardens in the coming summer.  The rain was accompanied by squally winds that one of the gun trees beside the tool shed.  The canopy hit the shed but did not do any damage.  The tree was removed and stacked for chipping.  The chips will be used as mulch around our new trees with the infrastructure is being put in place in November.

Spring Cleaning Week was the second week in October resulting in the painting of the decks of the Glass House, guest House, Sanctuary, Merton and Julian.  All blankets were washed and line sorted for the rooms.  In the process we threw out some pillows and purchased some news ones. Thank you to Mary, Di and Paul for their assistance.  The week ended with a celebration ‘Dancing Under the Stars’ which was brought alive by Jules, Katie, Monique and Anthony.  The evening ended as ‘Singing in the Rain’ as the heavens opened and drenched the parched land of the Archer.

PH (19/10/2017)


posted 26 Sep 2017, 19:49 by Peter Harney

WWF and RSPCA have joined forces in a new report that highlights just how many of our species are under threat in Queensland from excessive tree-clearing. The numbers are shocking. They've found that up to 34 million animals are killed every year.  The report entitled Tree-clearing: The hidden crisis of animal welfare in Queensland is available at:

The path to the sanctuary is complete!

posted 24 Sep 2017, 17:19 by Peter Harney   [ updated 24 Sep 2017, 17:23 ]

The TAO III group completed the path to the Sanctuary and the official opening and ribbon cutting was Thursday 21st September.  Valda Dickinson, a member of the TAO Team, along with Mary Murphy, a member of the Archer Mountain Earth Community, cut the ribbon with Peter Thrupp the architect and manager of works standing by.  The occasion was marked by sparkling wine in colourful party cups!

This beautiful ceramic bowl holding the wreath of Archer flowers is the work of Julie Hawkins who has made a number of pieces for the Archer - Earth Mother, the meditating Jesus, a contemplative moment and donated recently a Japanese pagoda for the garden.

TAO EXPERIENCE 111 Mt Archer -Weeks 4 & 5

posted 16 Sep 2017, 21:33 by Peter Harney

The advice ” Take one day at a time” is well received at Mount Archer. Each week is well constructed by Tony Hempenstall, Valda Dickenson and Peter Harney, and needs full attention. The days continue to be book-ended with personal and communal quiet time, journaling and prayer. Each Friday we discuss Bruce Sanguin’s book: The Way of the Wind.

Excursions and guest presenters have assisted in engaging us in sensitivity to Land: 

  • Excursion to Local bushlands and bio regions- Mount Mee State forest, to Walk the Land there, as a companion visitor;
  • Excursion to Bulimba Creek-Oxbow off the Brisbane river to see the rehabilitation and regeneration of wetlands through eco-engineering;
  • Genevieve Caffery RSM, and Phil Glendenning explored the Cry of the made-poor especially through advocacy and justice for refugees;
  • Chris Dalton, author of Terra Nullius to Beloved Companion, presented through poetry and art, a non-indigenous man’s perspective of the historical human experiences of the Land; 
  • Phil Costigan, after years of experience at the Glass House Mountains and Mount Mee, shared his Principles of an Earth-based Spirituality. 

On one evening we had a Pat Kelly tour of Viridian, after which we joined the Viridian Brothers’ community for a meal at Nudgee College courtesy of Brian Davis.

In conclusion, we are heading for an Integration week where we will try to bring together Chapter Calls, experiences and learnings of the Land, insights, principles and dreams that are gestating within.

Les Hetherton

Principles of an Earth Based Spirituality suggested by Phil Costigan:
  1. Listen to the wisdom of earth, acknowledging that an open, attentive and receptive attitude to the proactive revelation of the Sacred in the Cosmos/Earth is of first importance.
  2. Deepen your relationship with the Cosmos/Earth, understanding that a close bond with your own particular place is central.
  3. Acknowledge the Sacred in the interdependent web of life.
  4. Honour the Sacred in the web of life through rituals and holistic living.
  5. Live in the right relationships that this calls forth, recognising that ethical attitudes and behaviours spring from a belief in the intrinsic value of all species and from deep bonding with Earth.

Photos: 1: Phil Glendenning with Sean McManus and Les Hetherton; 2: A forest reflection 3: Crossing the wetlands on a rising tide at Bulimba Creek Oxbow. 4: Evening Prayer in the Cosmic Walk at The Archer with “Tildy” (Mechtilde).

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