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The Opening and Blessing of 'Julian' the Hermitage

posted 7 Mar 2017, 17:20 by Peter Harney   [ updated 8 Mar 2017, 15:49 ]
Archer Mountain Community - 12 April 2015

The morning began with thick fog which eventually lifted to a day of brilliant sunshine and blue, blue sky.


They came from afar, Victoria, USA, Iran, Gympie, Brisbane and Villeneuve… neighbours, friends, brothers and supporters. Over 40 gathered to participate in the four-part ritual, Gathering, Pilgrimage, Blessing and Agape.

The opening song proclaimed, “All are Welcome, Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely life!” and then we were treated to a show where we witnessed Julian emerge from theearth over many, many months to be the thing of beauty it is today. We heard of Julian of Norwich for whom it is named and her simple, prayerful and hermetic life walled in beside the church of St. Julian in Norwich, England.

And so began the pilgrimage up the mountain accompanied by the Blessing Songs and acknowledging the first custodians of this sacred land here at the base of Mount Archer, the Dungadai people. And the four elements of Life: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. As we progressed we sang,

            The Blessing of God goes before us
            God’s grace and peace abound
            The Spirit lives among us
            We walk on Holy Ground.

as well as the words of Julian herself,

            All Shall be well
            And all shall be well
            And all manner of things
            Shall be well!
Slowly the procession wound its way towards the mountain top where Julian sat overlooking the valley and as we walked we listened to the wisdom of Earth, Air, Fire and Water:

            These are the eyes of Earth
            And this is the voice of Earth

said Joseph Campbell.

            God is a river, a wild, raging rapids
            And a slow meandering flow

sang Peter Mayer.

We heard from the Song of Songs

            Awake, O North wind, and come O South wind
and also the great Hildegard of Bingen,

            Fire of the Holy Spirit
            Life of life of every creature…

As this group of pilgrims approached the top, Julian stood out, a red glow in the morning sun, recalling he glow of Uluru in the desert at dawn and dusk. Truly the spirit of our Sacred Land was with us.


Blessings flowed from our mouths and using the elements we had just celebrated, we walked into Julian to complete our individual blessings on this sacred space… flowers, candles, incense, water and gifts were scattered around the interior as we sang the blessing song and the words of Julian of Norwich.
Finally, some words from Julian of Norwich followed by prayer while facing the Six Directions and then the descent back to The Potter’s House for the final part of the ritual, Agape! Food and drink, good cheer and company, stories and connections.

Julian stands atop the mountain, a place of hermitage, of openness to all and welcome to those who long for solitude and silence, for immersion in creation, for simplicity and beauty.

Archer Mountain Community



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