This is a pilgrimage of contemplation and celebration, of sinking deep into the rich dark soil of this island and rising high to the star-filled skies. Sinking our roots deeply, we will be drawing upon the spiritual traditions that have nourished this soil, from ancient streams to more recent arrivals, and through these spiritual practices bringing our awareness into the present moment, opening our senses, and uniting mind and body in the rhythmic practice of walking.
From this grounded state of receptivity and presence, we will move from the inner depths to outer expression, and celebrate life in all its exuberance and colour, in rhythm with the celebratory outpourings of the Earth as we turn towards the luscious summer months.
The pilgrimage will be a circular walk, beginning at St Peter’s Church, West Firle at 10am and ending back here at around 5pm that same evening. The walk will be gentle although the terrain is quite hilly, so a relatively good level of fitness is required.
In the morning we will form our walking community, introducing ourselves and then dropping into silence through meditation practice led by Beth and Jess. Throughout the pilgrimage, we will naturally weave between silence and voice, and the route will be interspersed with pauses to refresh ourselves and to reconnect with the intention of pilgrimage.
Upon our return to St Peter’s Church there will be a steaming bowl of stew to nourish pilgrim bellies, and music and ceremony to mark our transition into the sacred welcoming space of the church. We will invite you at this point to open our community out and offer the fruits of our pilgrimage as a gift to others as we welcome in locals from Firle, Lewes and beyond. From an intimate pilgrim community of 20, we will become a larger dancing community and the dancefloor will be filled abundantly and joyously.
The invitation and the intention of this celebratory space is to allow inner experience to flow outwards; to stomp and to boogie and to play; and to create and experience celebration that is grounded in reverence and joy of the Earth we are born of and the life we inhabit.
You are invited to take part in the daytime pilgrimage and/or the evening festivities.
For pilgrims who take part in the full day, there is also the opportunity to sleep in the church.