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Community Sharing for the Spring Equinox: Activities, Creations and Inspiration!

19 Mar 21

Happy Equinox everybody!

We asked you – the Salisbury Centre community – to share what you are enjoying, and what is nourishing you just now. Here is a whole feast of creativity and activities for you to read, listen to and do for yourself! Including ‘how to do a morning shake’, some beautiful poetry and music, an inspiring exploration into the Scottish witch hunts, and some creative ideas for springtime!

Don’t forget, we also have three Spring Equinox community workshops taking place on Saturday and Sunday, which you can book tickets for HERE. Hop down to the end of this blog to see timings and blurbs for the Earth Holders Ceremony, Kate’s Circle Dancing Workshop, and Paola’s Introduction to Sigil-Making!

So, without further ado, let’s get inspired for springtime with these wonderful offerings from our Salisbury Centre community! Please share your appreciation for these generous offerings on our Facebook page, to let the community know what you enjoyed and why 🙂

 

As we feel the cold months coming to an end, let’s begin with this wistful picture from Brenna (who is just coming to the end of her role as project manager for our hugely successful Living Lighter project!). Brenna calls this photo:

 

‘Waiting for Spring at Gullane Beach!’

 

 

Brrrr!! I can definitely relate to that feeling – soaking up the blue sky but still in your winter hat! Thank you Brenna!

 


 

And to warm us up, next up we have a morning shakedown from Diana Dodd! She says –“I’ve done this shake every day for years for just five minutes as part of my morning wake  up routine. Since lockdown, I’ve doubled that to at least ten minutes daily.”

Read these simple instructions, watch the video, and have a go! Let us know how you get on 🙂


 

Francesco (our Events Administrator and Fireside prayer-circle space holder) spent lockdown learning to produce music and film some music videos. He also challenged himself to create and record one song per day for the rest of 2021! Here is a video for the song… and a link to his soundcloud where he is uploading a new song every day (woah!). Francesco says – “I love singing and just want to make sure I give it the time that my soul needs.”

You can hear all of Francesco’s songs on his Soundcloud, including this one which he wrote for Imbolc!


 

Colin Abdul-Malik leads the Salisbury Centre board of trustees, and in non-lockdown times he would be at the centre every Friday for the weekly Sufi Dhikr. As a Spring Equinox contribution, Colin has created an ‘Introduction to Sufi Meditation’ video to share with us!

The regular Friday evening Sufi Dhikr is now being livestreamed on Facebook on the Scottish Naqshbandi Dhikr page at 7.30pm every Friday. Everyone is welcome to join our traditional recitation of the the Names of God, Holy Scripture, Praises upon the Prophet, and dedications to the Saints. If you want to find out more you can email Colin at colinabdulmalik@gmail.com

 

Next up we have Ben, one of our residents at the Salisbury Centre, who has been inspired by the Romani name for March, Bavalyakero, ‘Month of the Winds’. In this video he tells us how he made these wind chimes for the garden, out of old copper pipes that were left over after the building works! This was Ben’s first time video editing, and apologises that he didn’t realise this software would leave a big watermark! Every day’s a school day!

 


 

Sara Trevelyan, another of our wonderful trustees, was inspired by this call-out for Equinox contributions, and has written a poem! Sara said “It’s not something I usually do, but it really helped me to express a little of what I feel about this special time of the year!”
Come, come, whoever you are
Spring is awakening us all from the slumber of winter
Brighter days, more light and occasionally a feeling of
warmth in the air,
A time of new beginnings, birthings and rising energy,
Spring flowers spreading infectious delight,
The invitation arises everywhere,
Come, come, it’s the season to celebrate life!
Even in lockdown nature springs her surprises on us,
Unexpected encounters on my many walks,
With trees, flowers, clouds, patterns created in flowing water,
Exchanging a smile with a stranger,
Seeing children, dogs, a swan, people walking, running,
cycling,
There is movement and colour everywhere in this ongoing
flow of life.
What arises in me today as I encounter it all?
Are my eyes and ears and senses open?
Can I allow the gift to find me?
I walk each day with a prayer in my heart,
May I see, may I feel, may I bring a blessing today,
May I find a way to show that I am grateful,
Simply to be here,
Opening like a flower, and newly arriving bud,
Feeling my heart beating in tune with this ever changing, ever
renewing dance of life.

 


 

Lindsay Gibson wrote in to share this short film about The Sandpaper Project, an ongoing piece of process participatory art. The Sandpaper Project draws on Roy J M Pugh’s gathering of the names of over three thousand men and women who were accused of witchcraft in Scotland, mostly in the seventeenth century.

Lindsay says, “Lockdown gave me the time I needed to dive into the waters of deep green feminist themes, in the shape of moving forwards with a Creativity in Action project. I am completely delighted that I was able to gather together all the interests and skills generously shared by others who enabled me to craft the threads of this stage of The Sandpaper Project into meaningful new understandings and directions. In the film, the Salisbury Centre is directly shown and referred to as a place of inspiration, and as the film project resolved towards its conclusions, I was intrigued to note the prominence of respect for the literal and symbolic water in the wells of Edinburgh. This too ties in with The Salisbury Centre and my excitement on learning about its stewardship of one of the Wells of Weary, and that I was moved to share some cultural sources related to such wells during the first incarnation of The Beautiful Salisbury Centre group.”

Since you mention the well Lindsay, check out its beautiful new awning and patio in the Salisbury Centre garden, made by Alan, with help from Ben and Francesco! We are so delighted that the well is receiving the love it deserves, and thank you Lindsay for sharing your discovery that it is one of the sacred Wells o’ Wearie!

 


 

Another garden-related celebration is that we have received funding for our community Seed Library, which will be the pilot project for the Edinburgh Seed Network, who warmly invite you to get involved! Here’s what they have to say –
Edinburgh Seed Network
 is a new project set up by a small volunteer collective to facilitate the sharing and celebration of seed among home and community growers in Edinburgh. We want everyone to have free access to growing food that’s good for the environment and good for us. We hope that the network will grow into something that can…
  • Support the creation and promotion of community seed libraries at community gardens and hubs across the city
  • Support home growers to set up peer-led seed circles
  • Organise and promote seasonal events and educational workshops to swap seeds, share skills, deposit seeds in community seed libraries, and celebrate
  • Celebrate seed and growing through interwoven art, music and stories that bring people together

We launched at the start of March and already have over 100 members in our Facebook group, all interested in saving, sharing and celebrating sustainable seed in Edinburgh. We’re aiming to have an online gathering to give folk an opportunity to meet each other over the coming weeks, so join our group, like our page and/or keep an eye on our website to find out more. You can also get in touch on edinburghseednetwork@gmail.com


 

There are so many ways that we can support and encourage nature at this time of year. Katie O’Neil is the RSPB Scotland Edinburgh Swift City Project Officer, and she has kindly shared the recording of her ‘Swift Nest Box Training’ video, in collaboration with the Edinburgh Tool Library. You can watch a taster video first for some inspiration, before you dive into the full hour-long workshop below!

“The swifts in local folklore are a symbol of hope and summers return. They grace Edinburgh skies at the start of may and we want to give them a big welcome back, with more swift homes available all across the city. Join us in this workshop to learn about the swifts, about their nests and see a live DIY nest box creation, for you to use at your own leisure to create your own nest box.”

Katie is running a workshop as part of the Spring Series  “CELEBRATING THE SWIFTS RETURN” – Nature Connection & Surveys“, you can book tickets here

Not only has Katie been busy looking after our city’s Swifts, she has also been gathering and sharing delicious foraging recipes, to encourage us to make the most of Scotland’s harvest! Here is her recipe for Few Flowered Leek Pesto, and if you click on the picture it will take you through to 4 other Few Flowered Leek recipes. “Where can I find these delicious plants?” I hear you ask! They carpet the floor of Roslyn Glen, and you’re sure to find them in other woodlandy spots around the city. In the Salisbury Centre garden they are even creeping into the lawn

 

As we near the end of our community sharings, let’s wind down with some beautiful poetry by our very own resident Olga Bloemen, who has just recently created her own Soundcloud page to share recordings of her work! ‘Smiling (to) Strangers – A Love Letter’ was inspired by Olga’s experience of lockdown. Thank you for sharing Olga, we’d love to hear some more!
Wow! What a journey this has been, and what a lot of fantastic, creative and inspiring contributions. It just goes to show how adaptive we humans are, that we can create such a heartfelt sense of community even in lockdown!

 


 

To close our offerings, here is a spine-tingling song for our times, recorded by Castle Chorus with lyrics by Graham Turner (frequenter of the Rookery Ceilidh!), and amazingly recorded during lockdown!

A deep thank you to everyone who has contributed to this rich feast of creativity, an inspiring testament to the diverse magic of the Salisbury Centre community. May we all be fed by these ideas and imaginings, and may they grow and prosper in all our lives as we skip into the sunlight of spring.

 


 

If you would like to take part in any of our Spring Equinox workshops this weekend you can sign up here:

Sat 20 March 4-5pm: Earth Holders Spring Equinox Gathering

A virtual ceremony to mark the Spring Equinox, with a nature-centred meditation, poems and an open sharing space.

Sun 21 March 12-1pm: Circle Dancing Workshop
Join Kate Daly to dance-in the Spring Equinox! Circle Dancing is a mixture of traditional and new dances to music from around the world.

Sun 21st March 4-5pm: Sigil Making workshop

Join Paola and Susannah in this introduction to the magical art of sigil-work. You will get the chance to focus on your wishes for this new season, and learn a new way to channel it.

For all workshop sign up here

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