I believe in God, only I spell it N a t u r e - Frank Lloyd Wright
See more pictures here.
“. . . . I do worry about funny little things like not being hungry, toilets, access to showers etc, but EarthHeart is well-run, clean and very organised, aswell as being a beautiful place. And sumptuous, plentiful food! . . . "
A short film by Charles Eisenstein on the principles of The Gift economy
A beautiful example of the Gift economy in action (watch to the end)
THE EARTH HEART CENTRE
This page is about the EarthHeart centre. It's where you can find out all about it, keep updated on the latest developments and get involved
Latest news . . .
EarthHeart 5 year anniversary
Weekend celebration 19-21 May 2017
We are feeling rather proud to be marking the first 5 year landmark for the birthing of EarthHeart. As a way to give thanks and honour the beautiful journey thus far we are opening our doors to the world all weekend and you are invited.....
We can hardly believe it but we have been here 5 years this spring. The major creation process has been completed and now we are fine tuning, adding those magical details that bring it all into deeper alignment.
Over the weekend there are various activities on offer:
Secret celebration planting
A sacred ceremony in the evening in the beautiful EarthLodge, stories to be told and hearts to be heard
Dancing in the forest lodge to eclectic tunes
Singing and chillin around the main camp fire
Cooking on the open fire and eating food together
Walking in the forest and laying in the bluebell
Outdoor fun and games
All surrounded and protected by the beautiful ancient forest (this time of year is beautiful here in the wildlife) and we will have the main fire as our hearth
Please do come and join us, everyone is welcome whether you have ever been here or not. If you are curious about us and want to come and check it out. This is a rare chance, it is not often we open our doors this way. We want to celebrate this with everyone and especially those who have been a part of the creation process.
Arrival is from 5pm Friday and end time is 4pm Sunday. You are free to come to all of it or some of it.
Bring a tent and all that you need to be comfortable, bring food to share and cook on our communal fire or self cater for yourself, either is fine.
Kids are welcome as long as they are fully supervised and taken responsibility for by the adult/s bringing them.
For more information about how to book please contact us
The Vision fo Earthheart
I have deeply loved nature from as far back as I can remember, even as a very young child. As a child nature would speak to me and I would enjoy speaking back and listening for answers to questions I had. I experienced nature as the body of 'God' as divinity itself somehow. It always brought me back to this, especially during the darker times of my life. It kept reminding me in such a simple yet powerful way, the Sacredness of all life and about my place in the interconnected web of life. Nature was my religion. I experience it as a profound teacher of Love and an Earth based spirituality that makes sense to my body heart and soul. It showed me the truth about relating and about the need for respect and balance between the feminine and masculine in all things. How everything in nature is aware of all that is around it and how they are all giving and receiving from each other.
When I left home all I wanted was to live close to the land and in community. I have spent as much of my life as possible doing this. From as early back as my mid teens I started to listen to the wisdom within the natural world around me and received such profound support I began to listen more. I also was being guided by a circle of ancient being who showed themselves to me and I call my 'council' They encouraged me to listen deeply and to trust what I heard and what was being asked of me. I found myself creating temporary Sacred spaces wherever I went, for people to gather and share in. I held a vision that one day I would be the guardian of a piece of land that meant that this sacred space could create ever deeper roots. A place that people could come and experience nature as our teacher, an opener of our human hearts and a re-membering of our sacred interconnectedness. A place to slow down enough to be able to hear the heart beat of the earth and the wisdom she brings, commune in her wildness, sit with her stillness and be in her awe inspiring relentless beauty. A place to bring consciousness to the human fragile hearts and to heal our relationships between the masculine and the feminine in humanity. To discover such connection in ourselves through this that the natural outcome is to want to honour all life as sacred and live from a balanced place within so that our lives become in the service of Love for the collective evolution of all humanity.
This place showed itself to me, I listened and here I am . . .
After many years it has come into manifestation. It feels important to mention that contrary to occasional assumptions, the finances raised for the creation of EarthHeart where not by inheritance money, but from the past 20 years of my work in the world.
It comprises of 4 acres of land in the middle of the beautiful 200,00 acre ancient forest of Dean (a place I have visited my whole life to come and feel connected again) next to the Wye Valley just north of Bristol.
The place itself is stunningly beautiful. Off the main road and about a mile along a forestry commission track with a house and buildings and a small spring fed lake at one end (see aerial view). It's surrounded 360 degrees by forest. The house itself was originally part an old mining dwelling with lots added over a few hundreds years. It is now a 7 bedroom house that has been made into a beautiful space for people to come and stay, play, share and connect.
Planning permission was granted on 12.12.12 for change of use, to build a Forest Lodge, a space to gather together, to journey deep into our nature with guidance and inspiration from the great nature around us, a 12 tree green wood timber frame Eco construction with turf roof, floor to ceiling windows along the whole length of the West-facing wall that opens out into the forest. This space is truly inspiring and in harmony with it's surroundings
". . . while inside you feel like your in the forest. . . "
There is a secluded camping area for going on quiet retreat and during the summer month we can immerse ourselves in the wildness that is the forest. We are working towards growing as much of the food as possible. To get as much of the fuel needed from the surrounding woodlands (should keep us going for a little while with 200,000 acres !!)
The vision at EarthHeart is to be an experiment of a gratitude economy in action. I have always believed in finding ways to give and receive what we need from each other in creative ways that don't involve money. I have taken great inspiration from Charles Eisenstein on this subject and was delighted to discover someone mapping so clearly a way I have aspired to live for so many years. A beautiful and real map for how to give and receive with each other in the currency of gratitude.
". . . money is currently used as a currency of power and separation. Gratitude is the currency of the heart and relationality. . ."
My deepest wish is that eventually the EarthHeart centre works entirely as a gratitude economy. It is early days as there is much to learn about how to do this but it has already begun. The TED talk clip on the left is a talk by Charles Eisenstein about the 'gift economy'
Everyone has a gift to offer and EarthHeart is an experiment for ways we can give and receive our gifts beyond (but including) the need for money. This is living as Love.
Want to get involved . . . . .
There are various ways you can be a part of the EarthHeart vision;
- Come along to one of our open days
- Become a residential volunteer, either short, medium or long term
- Take a year apprenticeships
- If you're local, day visit volunteering
- Attend one of our workshop or courses offered throughout the year
- Join one of our summer camps
Open days at EarthHeart 11-5pm
Open days happen at various points between spring and autumn and are a great way to visit EarthHeart, get a sense of what it’s all about. And chance to see how else you might like to get involved, what it is like to be in community, meet Jewels and ask questions.
No need to book, just turn up, if you have lots of questions to ask please make sure you come in time for the tour at 2pm which will be the time to ask questions and find out more about the project.
If you are interested in getting involved this is a great day to see how it all works and ask questions
EarthHeart is an experiment in human evolution becoming more deeply aligned with our natural world. Our vision aspires to environmental harmony, respect for all people and of our sacred connection to nature. It is a place to come and reconnect with the soul and spirit of our own essential nature by being immersed in the nature in which EarthHeart exists. It’s an alive, ever-evolving vision with a fluid community. EarthHeart aspires to be a mutually supportive experiment in co creation with each other, nature and life itself. We seek to grow people, find their gifts and encourage them and create a context for meaningful work.
These aspirations are balanced with the ongoing needs of the care taking of EarthHeart. Most of the work is outdoor and land based, there is sometimes indoors work or specific skill based work. Being here requires a willingness to engage with whatever needs to be done at the time, whether outdoors or inclement weather, skilled or unskilled. It requires a good outdoor waterproof coat and sturdy working footwear. Some of the tasks and projects happening may not be your favourite activity and some may well be. We try as much as possible to find a good flow between the two, and this can only work with ongoing dialogue and flexibility on both sides. Because we are not a charity we are somewhat limited in our flexibility in the type of work we can offer. Again, this is an evolving experiment.
EarthHeart has a life of it’s own. It many respects it IS the teacher to all who come here and we the learners. We are all in some ways in service to the vision and to how to keep evolving it. Listening to what it needs through nature itself and being able to respond while at the same time supporting the people who come here and visa versa. Volunteering with us is one way of contributing to the vision and to “a more beautiful world out hearts know is possible” (quote by Charles Eisenstein)
Initially the vision was to create a place that did not need money to keep it running, however this has proved to be unsustainable until the mainstream world is open to more exchanging of the gift economy. This means that EarthHeart relies partly on the generosity of volunteers to keep it alive. It is for people who want to experiment and explore how human beings can live more consciously and lightly on the planet. If you feel to join us to get in touch and we can send you an application form. Below is more information about the volunteering program we offer.
Practical skills needed
Carpenters / hippy chippies
General DIY odd jobs "I can do a bit of anything"
Gardeners / food growing
Experience of pond development/management
Outdoor stone work/landwork
Just happy to help - no particular skills needed
Money as a symbol of gratitude
You might really want to support the project but simply don't have the time to volunteer just now but feel that offering money in the spirit of gratitude and interconnectedness is a way you can be a part of the vision growing and deepening. If you would like to make a gift this way we have a special account set up for this purpose. It can either be anonymous if you prefer. Do please get in touch either by email or by phone and I can give you details.
Thank you to those of you who have already gifted money and or time so generously to this experiment. We would not have got this far this far without you.
Getting to the EarthHeart centre
The EarthHeart centre
Forest of Dean
GLOS GL14 3JQ
Getting to the centre is very easy by car and by public transport.
BY SATNAV IN CAR: Tomtom will take you to our front gate with the postcode, garmin and others will take you within 100 yards. It takes about 2.5 hours from London. 50 minutes from Bristol and under 2.5 hours from South Devon.
OLD FASHIONED DIRECTIONS BY CAR:
We are on the A4136 between Cinderford and Monmouth. As you drive through the village of Brierley you will see a JET petrol garage (yellow and blue) Take the forestry commission track directly opposite the garage on the other side of the main road and follow it the only way it will allow you vehicle access and you will come to EarthHeart after about 1/2 mile on the right had side.
TRAIN AND COACH: It is very easy to get to us by train and by coach. There are direct trains from London, Bristol, Devon and the north of England to Gloucester. It takes 2 hours from London direct and 50 mins from Bristol. There is also a direct coach from London Victoria that costs just £9.
LOCAL BUS: Once you arrive at Gloucester you can get a local bus (next to the train stop) direct to the top of our drive (literally). It's about a 40 minutes journey and they are roughly every 30 minutes apart. Below is a link to the bus timetable for your convenience. The stop on the timetable you want is 'Brierley' Swan Inn. Ask the driver to stop opposite 'the JET garage' in Brierley which is a request stop as this is exactly at the entrance to our drive as apposed to 200 yards further back along the road (if you really want to walk the minimum amount)
When you get off the bus take the forestry commission dirt track by the bus stop, the only way it allows vehicle access and you will come to EarthHeart on your right hand side about 1/2 mile along.
Please note: If you plan on arriving in the dark on foot please bring a torch as the track is dark.
Please also note: There is no mobile phone signal at EarthHeart itself (but there is by the road) so if you get delayed please call our LANDLINE 01594 861200
LOCATION ON GOOGLE MAPS Click here
FOR LOCAL BUS TIMES Click here
(Gloucester bus station is 0871 2002233)
TAXI FROM GLOUCESTER
Sabs cabs 01452 500880 / 07817 774163
Invite Jewels to come and run a workshop in your town or city