Here's the story of the 2012 Symposium
told by Helen Sewell
If you were there, this will remind you, and if you weren't, this is what you missed!
Friday 27th July
After the usual lively morning introduction by Sheila Martin and Andy Thomas...
...Jason Porthouse opened up the 2012 Symposium with an eloquent presentation. His overview of the 2012 phenomenon drew in the prophecies from ancient civilisations around the world and their predictions for a period of great change, something also echoed in the astrology of these times. The square aspect between Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries signifies a tremendous clash between control versus freedom and this is a cycle associated with huge leaps forward for mankind. Jason said that these times should not be ones of just waiting to be saved by mysterious forces, but instead of taking collective responsibility for future outcomes. The Internet is a tremendous resource to help with this, as he demonstrated with a blogger from Israel who posted up that he loved the Iranians, prompting a blogger from Iran to respond in the same vein, bucking the media’s stereotypical portrayals of opposing nations. Maybe the return of Neptune to its own sign of Pisces is showing us that love is the way forward. However, the other face of Neptune is delusion and disillusion - something we could well see if nothing dramatic happens on 21st December 2012! Jason certainly set the scene for the whole weekend with a fabulous start.
Deirdre Edwards was our second speaker, and she spoke on the importance of our connection to the Earth. A shamanic friend apparently told her to 'Make friends with the elements' and then invoked these spirits into the room. Deirdre told us that Great Britain has the most diverse geology in the world and perhaps that is what makes us unique in our national make-up. Deirdre's talk was a great reminder of how we should be much more aware of Earth consciousness, delivered in an entertaining and very personal way.
Not to forget the Symposium's original roots as a cerealogical conference, Joseph-Mark Cohen followed the lunch break to bring a new perspective to the crop circle mystery by looking at it in terms of numerology and the power of certain numbers, such as 10, 33, 44, 52, 55, 64, 66, 77, 79, 80, 81, 83, 84, 85 and 86. He has devised his own beautiful Crop Circle Oracle Cards, each card featuring a picture of a particular crop circle with its divinatory meaning, as revealed through meditation. Joseph-Mark also treated us all to some amazing overtone chanting.
Next, John Green explored the conundrum of synchronicity, giving lots of examples of how seemingly unexplainable (or are they?) coincidences can make us feel that something greater is at work. He performed a very entertaining ESP experiment in which a member of the audience put down certain cards and John had to tune in to guess which ones they were - amazingly, he got every one right! He then went on to explore the concept of ‘apophenia’ – the human tendency to see meaningful patterns in things that may, in fact, be random. Yet synchronicity can still be said to occur when they are personally meaningful to the observer. John used the Paul McCartney-is-dead conspiracy theory as an example, pointing out how people can, if they really want to, see lots of interesting connections in seemingly innocuous things. But some aspects of synchronicity are less explicable, and John wondered if these might be accounted for by the Morphic Resonance theory that Rupert Sheldrake postulates. This really was a talk to make everyone think.
Following a tea break, Peter Taylor's excellent talk combined the logic of hard science with the intuitive. Peter looked at how the facts and theories of climate change have been misrepresented by the mainstream, and explained why he believes we are in truth heading for a period of global cooling. He recounted his personal history of his involvement in climatology and explained how we have never been able to have a genuinely open debate on climate change because the governments of the world appear to only want data which fits their model of global warming. Peter was very convincing in his argument. He also expressed his concerns about how the youth of today miss out on truly living by having a diet of TV and computer games, and expressed concern about the long-term effect that may have. He spoke very personally about the wisdom he has gleaned from shamanic practices and how we should aspire to the 'wisdom of the child', a knowing which is very strongly connected to nature.
The whole afternoon ended perfectly with a beautiful and relaxing meditation led by Jason Porthouse, before people went out to find dinner in bustling Glastonbury.
Opening the evening programme with the traditional musical slot, this year we had the renowned Piers Adams on recorder. Wow - what a treat. It was a real coup for the Symposium to get Piers to take time out from his busy global schedule of performing with his quartet, Red Priest, to come and play for us. Piers’ fingers move so fast it doesn't look humanly possible! His playing was stunning and mesmerising - the perfect antidote for our aching brains, transporting us all to another place. He isn’t known as the world's best recorder player for nothing. The performance was very, very much appreciated by the audience. Thank you Piers.
The Friday evening culminated, as it always does, in the Open Forum - a panel this time comprising Piers Adams (who came to join us as a pundit after his artistic performance), Deirdre Edwards, Nexus Magazine’s Marcus Allen, the interestingly-named TV presenter alex:g (see Sunday report), shaman Jez Hughes (see Saturday report), and myself, Helen, in an astrological capacity. Those who chose to sacrifice watching the Olympic opening ceremony to come along enjoyed an evening of lively audience participation in the form of questions and responses, where the fascinating and important themes of the weekend were debated. The Forum was, as always, a great chance for everyone, both panel and audience, to share their thoughts and feelings in an inclusive and informal atmosphere. And here's our star-studded audience, busy lapping it up and firing thoughts and questions at the Forum's panel! The panel nevertheless survived.
Saturday 28th July
Day Two of the Symposium
It was a little cooler today, so the ever-present heat of the Town Hall was rather easier to manage! Andy Thomas kicked off the morning session with a blast of a performance. He is, of course, now the longest-running regular stalwart at the Symposium, having presented in his traditional Saturday morning slot for a remarkable 15 years now. He certainly has just the right amount of energy to wake everyone up with his animated and original style and was perfect for setting the tone for the day. His message this morning, which very much tapped into the zeitgeist of the moment (with the many foreboding predictions over the Olympics and 2012-and-all-that hovering over the alternative world) was one of trying to get people to strike a healthy balance between the fluffy bunny, love and light approach, and applying sensible caution for things that could well go wrong, while avoiding becoming paralysed by fear of potential disasters that may - or may not - happen. A humorous moment where the booming voice of the ‘Ashtar Command’ broke in over the speakers, arriving to save everyone, but in fact getting the wrong planet, helped make the point. Andy said that as we can never really know what's around the corner, we should try to live our lives in personal freedom and happiness while we can, but always in readiness to act wisely in response to unexpected change if necessary. This was a perfect message to begin the day with.
Following coffee, our next speaker was Christian Kyriacou, the ‘house-whisperer’. (Sorry, we don't have a picture of Christian onstage because the photographer (Andy) had just got offstage and was recuperating!) Don't buy a house without first getting this man to take a good look at it for you! His skill in tuning into the energy of a building or a piece of land is obviously very special. Everybody can imprint their energy onto a building and if it is not ‘cleared’ it can last for many years, for good or ill. Have you ever had difficulty selling your property? It could be the result of stuck bad energy - perhaps from a spirit that does not want the house to be sold. Christian gave anecdotes of his fascinating experiences where he has been called in by people in quite desperate situations. He has had some amazing results. He reminds us that we shouldn't really build something without first honouring the land - if you upset Mother Earth she can create sickness in the people who reside in the property. A very insightful talk indeed.
If you've ever had any curiosity about Rosslyn or the Green Man, then Karen Ralls is the one to consult. She echoed Christian’s talk in reminding us that buildings soak up the psychic energy from people and events; which means that the famous Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland has a very special energy. It was intriguing to hear that there are 103 Green Men carvings there - all of them different. Rosslyn was unusually religiously inclusive for the time and plays were allowed to be performed there. We learnt that the crypt in particular was a special place and Karen gave an example of how a woman who believed that she couldn't sing suddenly found that she could when in the crypt! A very informative talk on a place which has long been one of wide fascination.
In his now traditional post-lunch slot, it was announced that today was to be Ian R Crane's last presentation at the Symposium for a little while. As Ian first presented here seven years ago, just after the 7/7 bombings which followed the announcement that London would be getting the Olympics in 2012, he feels that now, seven years on, it is the end of a natural cycle for him. Ian's powerful presentation covered the conspiracy theories around the Olympics and the recent G4S debacle. Everyone, of course, is hoping that nothing terrible will really happen at the Olympics, especially at the much-discussed closing ceremony, but Ian cautioned that there are some very dire signs out there if we choose to notice them. Ian showed a couple of television adverts, noting how they could be interpreted as warnings because of the images and lyrics (especially the significance of the time 8:15), and also highlighted a particularly disturbing Chinese advertisement for the UEFA Cup tournament, which bizarrely portrays apocalyptic scenes of London being destroyed. As Ian says, hopefully we won't need a major disaster to wake us up! But forewarned is forearmed. Thank you Ian for all the amazing presentations you have given over the years at the Symposium and we wish you all the best in your future work trying to get the message out there to people.
Bert Janssen was on next, keeping the energy level very high indeed! His lively and entertaining style kept the whole audience on their toes. He covered many aspects of paranormal activity and gave lots of personal amusing anecdotes about synchronistic experiences he has had. It was fascinating to be reminded how crop circles leave 'ghost' impressions in the crop the next year, and sometimes even longer. Bert described how he decided to do a tour of sacred sites, but not including crop circles - yet he still found himself being drawn into one despite this AND he discovered it mathematically squared the circle. Bert recalled how he was drawn in on a quest and kept coming across synchronistic discoveries of roses and crosses that tied in precisely with the geometry of the crop circle. He also went into a lot of depth about the symbolism of the Virgin Mary standing on a crescent Moon being held up by a cherub. Bert's finale showed us an amazing discovery he had made - that the Sun, Moon and Earth are totally tied in by their geometrical proportions with each other - the chances of which are beyond belief. It was also beyond belief how Bert managed to get through so much information in an hour!
Jez Hughes is new to the Glastonbury Symposium, and what a wonderful addition he was. He filled the room with a calm but powerful energy, bringing us back to our centres after all the excitement, to round off the afternoon. It was perfect for this time of the day. Jez started off by calling in the spirits with his rattle and voice, and explored the question of what modern shamanism is. A shaman sees into the past, the present and the future through journeying on other planes, but shamanism is not about imbibing hallucinogenic plants for the instant fix; it's about taking a long time, maybe years, to process what one sees and to really understand the experience. Jez recalled what an indigenous shaman once observed about the West: 'Your magic is too strong - you've brought too much in; you've manifested too much in the physical world'. Jez discussed collective soul loss and how a shaman can help retrieve parts that have been split off, and went on to describe the quality of the elements, especially Fire. Indigenous peoples do a lot of movement through dance, stamping the fire into the ground, but in the west, the fire in our belly rises into the head and explodes. Ritual can help with this. We become the centre of our world when we engage in ritual, and we need to feed our ‘hungry’ ancestors, grieving loss so that we deal with it, thus helping the souls to move on and not become trapped, freeing ourselves at the same time. Jez made what can be a misunderstood subject much clearer in a way that was heartfelt, authentic and grounded. A fabulous talk!
Following another spirited and uplifting annual performance by the always-welcome Avalonian Free State Choir...
...our Saturday night speaker was Harry Oldfield. Harry was back by popular demand after speaking at the Symposium three years ago. He treated us to a show demonstrating his Polycontrast Interference Photography, which he claims can show the energy fields around things, with examples of images of Glastonbury Tor, Niagara Falls and also the stones of Stonehenge, where it appeared to show the stones not as solid entities, but semi-transparent - quite amazing. He also featured a picture of the nuclear reactor at Fukushima and how the energy field around it started to react before the explosion. Harry also showed examples of the work he has undertaken in detecting illnesses and ailments in people and animals, suggesting how healing might be accomplished. The camera apparently picks up other things we cannot see with our eyes, such as orbs and spirits. Harry shared with us his exasperation at getting the scientific community to accept his findings, something that many in alternative realms would be able to relate to. When Harry focused in on problems in the world and his sadness with the way young people can get caught up with drugs, he was obviously very moved, as were the audience.
Sunday 29th July
Day Three of the Symposium
Peter Knight kicked off the Sunday morning, entertaining and informing us about the famous West Kennet Long Barrow. It was fascinating to learn from Peter that once upon a time the barrow would have looked quite different - not the grass-covered mound we see today, but instead looking stunning in pure white chalk, gleaming in the landscape. He said there was lots of evidence of shamanic rituals having taken place in the mound, with early flute playing, 5,000 years ago. Peter described how it was probably also a birthing site as well as a burial mound. He felt it was a place to work with the earth spirits, as psychics have reported that it is not a place of trapped spirits, but more of a portal where spirits can pass through freely. Peter explained how the other sacred sites in the area were all connected and how impressive Silbury Hill would have seemed, being the highest man-made structure in Europe at the time. It was fascinating to hear of Peter's own experiences in the mound and just how terrifying it could be at night on one's own!
The curiously-monikered alex:g will be familiar to many people as one of the key presenters on Sky 200’s Edge Media TV, and television was at the forefront of Alex’s Symposium lecture, as he revealed the hidden and sometimes not-so hidden messages encoded into some of the best-known fantasy ‘cult TV’ shows (and occasional film) of past decades. An expert in his field, Alex took many members of the audience through a heartwarming nostalgia-fest of classics, ranging from Quatermass, Doctor Who, and the Gerry Anderson sci-fi series of the 60s and 70s, to abstract masterpieces such as The Prisoner, noting along the way their strong hints at many of the areas which the ‘alternative’ world regularly obsesses over today. After all, the envisioned future worlds of Stingray, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet all seem to promote one world government as the ultimate positive solution to our political problems! Were these early examples of ‘psy-ops’ conditioning or merely coincidence...? Alex left the audience to make up its own mind on this, but his breathless quick-fire narrative, obvious expertise and always entertaining style certainly made some keen to go out and invest in a few DVD box-sets to check out the clues for themselves... This talk had a lot of people reminiscing about these great programmes afterwards.
It was a pleasure to have Jude Currivan back after a break of a few years, as her wisdom and experience give people a positive context to what, for many people, are very challenging times. She shared with us her sense of what the bigger picture was - 'Don't keep playing the 'us and them' game - it's time to heal the inner schisms. What we do in our personal lives ripples through the Universe'. Jude expressed her excitement at the advances in science - quantum physics in particular - but warned that when we go too much into the world of information we lose our connection to the conscious cosmos. Jude shared with us how, when she was asked to write a book on hope, that was the very thing that seemed elusive at the time, so she had to do some deep inner work to get in touch with her own hope. Everything is moving so rapidly now and it is a good time to let go and move with the flow. It was fascinating to hear her take on ancestral baggage and the effect it can have on whole nations, citing how America, Japan and Norway reacted to their respective disasters in recent history. She felt that the US wound of abandonment (going back to the Irish settlers) came to the fore when 9/11 happened, and that the nation dealt with it by trying to control everything around it. Jude felt Japan coped a little better after Fukushima, but that Norway responded the best to the massacre that it endured - with love and soul-searching; a much better solution. England's wound would appear to be one of betrayal going back to pre-Roman times, but Jude felt that there had been a lot of healing this year, with the Jubilee and the Olympics and their symbolism. These are the kinds of rituals that can help heal the schism, the biggest one, of course, being the schism between Heaven and Earth.
As a humorous introduction to the next slot, Sheila introduced Andy, who then introduced our own Geoff Stray of Beyond 2012 fame, who then introduced Mark Heley! To many, the Mayan calendar can seem complicated and confusing and it is a challenge in itself for Mayan specialists to get the rudiments over to an audience in a clear and concise way. However, Mark achieved this extremely well. He also gave some interesting statistics on such things as what percentage of people feel 2012 is going to be the end of the world - only 10%. However, 27% of Americans think that there is going to be a major disaster of some kind on 21st December. Mark was a real trooper when, in mid-flow, the power suddenly went off and he had to battle on in twilight for a few minutes without his slides. Apparently the whole of Glastonbury was affected by the power cut, so it was not just Mark that was being personally targeted! Luckily it came back on ten minutes later. Mark highlighted how there are discoveries being made all the time and that just this year they have found Mayan calendars projecting dates beyond 21st December 2012. Mark feels that this time is not one of apocalypse but a time of transformation and renewal. He also felt that wider solar cycles have a big effect on human evolution - when certain solar cycles reach their peak, we see more revolution on the streets, but they also seem to be times of massive creativity. It was heartening to hear that 30% of people are now trying to live their lives in a more holistic way, and hopefully this number will increase. A very enlightening talk on the 2012 phenomenon.
The last speaker of the main Symposium was well-known author and ancient mysteries researcher Adrian Gilbert. Presenting a subject that has not been aired before at the Symposium, he shared a wealth of knowledge gained from his research into the Stone of Scone, also known as the Stone of Destiny. There is a lot of speculation about the origins of the stone and Adrian gave a very credible theory that it originally came from the Middle East to Ireland, and then to Scotland. In 1296, Edward I stole it and brought it to Westminster Abbey, placing it inside a wooden coronation chair on which all subsequent monarchs have been crowned. However, it was surprising to hear that, even 700 years ago, some claimed it to be a fake, a controversy which continues to this day. Adrian shared his interest in the geometry of the stone, especially the significance of the numbers 7, 5 and 8. He mused on how all the kings and queens on their coronation must subtly feel all their ancestors' energy embodied in the stone, something very powerful indeed. This has led Adrian to wonder about the effects of removing the stone after all those years. In 1996 the Conservative government declared the stone should be returned to Scotland, to appease Scottish dissidents, and it now resides in the more humble surroundings of Edinburgh Castle. Adrian made it quite clear that he feels one of the negative effects has been a growing movement towards devolution, with the end result possibly being the break up of the United Kingdom, which he felt would be a very disempowering thing to happen to our nation. All in all, a very informative talk to round up the day.
Although our last afternoon speaker and the following meditation in the beautiful Glastonbury Abbey grounds (which was happily sunny this year) is technically the close of our main event...
...we always open up the Sunday evening as an extra separate event with a very special guest presenter – to help fill the places of those unfortunates who have to work the next day and can’t stay as long as they might like!
This year, our honoured lecturer was the renowned and much adored Dolores Cannon, a lady who ordinarily would be living a quiet and deserved retirement, but instead chooses to tour the globe sharing her extraordinary vision of the universe’s spiritual path and our world’s place within it. Assisted by her daughter, Dolores shared her and her trained adepts’ knowledge of the meaning of our life on Earth as derived from information gathered from their meditative regression of many, many people who have found themselves giving vital information on the interplanetary hierarchy and the importance of humanity within it, based on memories from both past - and future! - lives. In her friendly and easy style, Dolores explained how three ‘waves’ of incarnated souls have been arriving here over the last 70 years or so to help nurture our race through difficult but very important transitional times, in the hope that we will eventually evolve to take our proper place as wise beings with a crucial part to play in the development of the universal collective consciousness. 2012 is, of course, an important nexus point. Dolores last spoke at the Symposium over ten years ago, but this time she won the largest audience of any of our previous Sunday nighters, with not a single seat left, making for a perfect end to what was a wonderfully uplifting and worthwhile weekend overall. Thank you Dolores.
And thank you to all who came along and made the whole event such a vibrant and very special one!
Report by Helen Sewell, most pictures by Andy Thomas.
NEXT: The Organisers