New Stories

Nurturing the Feminine Soul in Mother Earth

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).

Mangroves the Nursery of Life

posted 11 Sep 2017, 14:40 by Peter Harney   [ updated 11 Sep 2017, 17:04 ]

Sunday 10th September the Agape group of 18 gathered at 91 Tranquillity Drive Rothwell, the home of Mary and Darryl.  After a warm welcome we were invited to walk with the words of Teilhard that it is love that is the creative energy force of the universe that inevitably draws us together.  This force is the source of the relationship between the mangroves and the many species that breed in their roots and leaves.  The wetlands are the nursery for billions of life forms including fish, crustaceans and plants.  The TAO group spent Monday morning walking the reclaimed wetlands of Bulimba Creek that was a degraded landfill area created by the construction of a M1 freeway.  A small group of informed citizens took on the corporate giants and government and created a world-class wetland catchment area.   The eagles now next in the high towers of Ergon as the fish in the Oxbow creek are plentiful.   The marine couch is thriving where once there was nothing but the wheel scars of 4Wheel drives.  Eco-engineering has ensured the flushing of the salt water creeks in the area and the collection of fresh water through capturing the rain water from the freeway.   The morning was a practical lesson in what a small dedicated group can achieve if they are prepared to work with the energies of the earth to restore habitat.

Walk in the Woods

posted 9 Sep 2017, 20:00 by Peter Harney   [ updated 11 Sep 2017, 17:05 ]

The TAO group on Wednesday 6th September walked into the Neurum Creek dry vine rainforest reflecting on the Poem by David Wagoner:

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree of a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

The group then drove to Mt Mee to the Piccabean Forest walk.  It was a day for having a lingering ‘tree shower’ and for attending to the music of the earth community in bird song, the sighing wind in the high leaves and the stillness of the grey Sydney gums.

After a morning of fog in the Stanley Valley the new moon rose over the Somerset Dam late afternoon creating a slipway to the heavens.

2017 TAO Experience III – Mt Archer

posted 6 Sep 2017, 01:51 by Peter Harney

Weeks Two & Three

Mt Archer continues to look over the group of six Brothers and three team, as they move towards the mid-point of Together As One III. The weather ranges from typical Queensland balmy days to Hobart-cool early mornings. The days are book-ended with personal and communal quiet time and prayer. The learning has been assisted by guest presenters:
  • Kevin McDonnell on Planets, People and Paradigm Shifts, the Interconnectedness of Everything, biblical Creation Stories, and on the geology of the area from the slopes of Mt Archer.
  • Phil Costigan who led us on a reflective tour of the nearby Glasshouse Mountains, those extraordinary volcanic plugs that emerged when surrounding sedimentary rock was eroded. 
  • Dr Michelle Moloney on Earth Jurisprudence, the notion of the Rights of Nature, and living within our ecological limits. 
  • Luke Edwards from EREA on Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home. Luke included some songs of his own
A highlight was an energetic Cooking Day under the tutelage of Mary Noonan. We have dined out on the learnings since. 
Afternoons have included care for the gardens and chooks, and working on projects around the grounds which we style ‘Love in Action’. We have weekly individual Spiritual Direction. Fridays are given over to “harvesting” – trying to integrate the week’s experience. We share on reading, on being Brothers in community in response to the Chapters and OWITF, and how we are living Together as One. We finish each week with 90 minutes of gentle physical exercises suitable for men of a certain age.
(Sean McManus)

Kitchen skills on the improve!

posted 2 Sep 2017, 22:17 by Peter Harney

Wednesday 27 August the TAO group took to the Mt Archer kitchen and under the guidance of expert chef Mary Noonan, produced some delicious cakes, dinners and desserts.
The selection of meals produced ranged from Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder to Pear and Ginger Muffins.  Mary guided everyone though the delights of making choux pastry to a 'no fail pastry for sweet and savoury'.
An enjoyable time was had by all.


posted 24 Aug 2017, 03:10 by Peter Harney   [ updated 24 Aug 2017, 03:44 ]

Week One

Six participating Brothers all arrived at The Archer Spirituality Centre on the 13th August from as far south as Tasmania, as far North as Papua New Guinea and as far West as Western Australia. The first day was spent quietly orientating ourselves to our new surroundings. Tony Hempenstall, Peter Harney and Mercy Sr. Val Dickinson are our companions on the journey and, judging from our first week’s experience, it should prove to be a wonderful time. We will be spending seven weeks in a beautiful part of Queensland overlooking the Glass House Mountains. As a bonus we are experiencing early summer weather conditions which suit most of us very well indeed.

The week began with the Welcoming Ritual led by the Team and assisted by members of the wider Archer community- Mary & Daryl Nelson, Di and Paul Harney. It concluded with the Labyrinth Walk. The rest of the week was spent sharing our personal stories. Val, Peter and Tony introduced themselves and shared their own stories which helped in putting us at ease with the process. We were stunned by the extraordinary openness shown in the sharing of each Brother’s life journey. Other highlights were the gentle easing us into the TAO rhythm as well as the visit of Gerard Brady and Bernard Gartland from the Leadership Team. We thank the OLT for this opportunity and ask everyone for their prayerful support so that it will be an enjoyable and transformative experience for us all.

A regular newsletter will try to capture some of the events as well as a few photos to help share our reflections on the experiences. The photos below might give those who have never been to the Archer an idea of our ideal surroundings as well as the names of the participants. 

(Peter Thrupp & Jim Darcy)

Growing Potatoes

posted 8 Aug 2017, 03:45 by Peter Harney   [ updated 8 Aug 2017, 03:46 ]

1-10 of 23