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A moment out of time

29th July, 2015 Miscellaneous
Is Lightened


‘That blessed mood,

In which the burden of the mystery,

In which the heavy and the weary weight

Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened.’

William Wordsworth

A moment out of time

I was returning from my experiential astrology retreat at Hawkwood, a time of deep introspection, much soul searching – and a lot of fun. I had overnighted at my favourite Fawlty Towers doppelganger hotel so that I could spend a little time with my granddaughter and great granddaughter. Charlie Skye is growing up so fast and she’s full of fun too. It’s lovely to see her face light up as she masters a new word. There’s such an exciting world out there to explore.

I had decided to return home by the scenic route. But I found myself meandering impatiently alongside the river Wye behind an elderly driver in a Micra. Time to enjoy the scenery I reminded myself. Mindfulness. But! I still had a long drive home. Now, when I recently bought a Micra myself, my other granddaughter said ‘Why? That’s an old person’s car.’ ‘It may be but I can see all around’, I replied, ‘and it goes like the clappers.’ When I recounted this to photographer Michael Illas as we shot an Eye of the Storm (Judy’s Jasper) crystal, he laughed and said ‘Yes, but they can’t stop. My car has just been written off by an elderly gentleman in a Micra. He rear-ended me.’

Eye of the Storm

Eye of the Storm: photo copyright Jeni Campbell,

I was musing on this and how sometimes we need a boot up the backside to move us forward. We’d been acting out the planets in our birthcharts at Hawkwood and had had to change Uranus out of her fluffy costume into that of an urban warrior. She was being much too nice, soft and gentle like the orange feather boa she was wearing. Uranus, for those who don’t know, is the chaotic, catalyst planet of change and transformation – and the unexpected. Put the player into the right costume and wham, things changed.

And so it was for me. Just when I thought I couldn’t bear the tedium of driving at 35 miles an hour on a 60 mile an hour road any longer, I recalled William Wordsworth’s poem about a significant return and where we find our joy. It seemed appropriate as we’d been looking on the retreat at what our soul wanted from us.

The Micra ahead turned off and I arrived. Tintern Abbey. The reason I had taken that road. It loomed in front of me, as it does. Light streaming through the ruins. It made me want to paint.



I can’t put the reason this poem is important to me – or sum up our experiential astrology week – any better than this extract from already does:

Why should I care?

‘At first glance, “Tintern Abbey” might seem to have no possible relation to your life. It’s about a guy reminiscing about a walk he took with his sister five years before. Well, not entirely. That’s the excuse for writing, but it’s not what the poem is about.

“Tintern Abbey” is about the ways that we change over time, and the ways that we try to figure out just when and how and why we’ve changed. In short, it’s about trying to square the person you used to be with the person you’ve become. So, if you’ve ever stopped and asked yourself when you became the person you are, or wondered how or why your memories don’t measure up with the facts, this is a poem for you.’ (

And here it is:

By William Wordsworth

Five years have past; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a soft inland murmur.—Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
That on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view
These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,
Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves
‘Mid groves and copses. Once again I see
These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild: these pastoral farms,
Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!
With some uncertain notice, as might seem
Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,
Or of some Hermit’s cave, where by his fire
The Hermit sits alone.

These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man’s eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and ‘mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind
With tranquil restoration:—feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man’s life,
His little, nameless, unremembered, acts
Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened:—that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on,—
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.

Liberty of Soul

If this
Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft—
In darkness and amid the many shapes
Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir
Unprofitable, and the fever of the world,
Have hung upon the beatings of my heart—
How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee,
O sylvan Wye! thou wanderer thro’ the woods,
How often has my spirit turned to thee!

And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought,
With many recognitions dim and faint,
And somewhat of a sad perplexity,
The picture of the mind revives again:
While here I stand, not only with the sense
Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts
That in this moment there is life and food
For future years. And so I dare to hope,
Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first
I came among these hills; when like
Wherever nature led: more like a man
Flying from something that he dreads, than one
Who sought the thing he loved. For nature then
(The coarser pleasures of my boyish days
And their glad animal movements all gone by)
To me was all in all.—I cannot paint a roe
I bounded o’er the mountains, by the sides
Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams,
What then I was. The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
Their colours and their forms, were then to me
An appetite; a feeling and a love,
That had no need of a remoter charm,
By thought supplied, not any interest
Unborrowed from the eye.—That time is past,
And all its aching joys are now no more,
And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this
Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur; other gifts
Have followed; for such loss, I would believe,
Abundant recompense. For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue.—And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth; of all the mighty world
Of eye, and ear,—both what they half create,
And what perceive; well pleased to recognise
In nature and the language of the sense
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
Of all my moral being.



Nor perchance,
If I were not thus taught, should I the more
Suffer my genial spirits to decay:
For thou art with me here upon the banks
Of this fair river; thou my dearest Friend,
My dear, dear Friend; and in thy voice I catch
The language of my former heart, and read
My former pleasures in the shooting lights
Of thy wild eyes. Oh! yet a little while
May I behold in thee what I was once,
My dear, dear Sister! and this prayer I make,
Knowing that Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her; ’tis her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy: for she can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life,
Shall e’er prevail against us, or disturb
Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold
Is full of blessings. Therefore let the moon
Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;
And let the misty mountain-winds be free
To blow against thee: and, in after years,
When these wild ecstasies shall be matured
Into a sober pleasure; when thy mind
Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
Thy memory be as a dwelling-place
For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! then,
If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,
Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
And these my exhortations! Nor, perchance—
If I should be where I no more can hear
Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleams
Of past existence—wilt thou then forget
That on the banks of this delightful stream
We stood together; and that I, so long
A worshipper of Nature, hither came
Unwearied in that service: rather say
With warmer love—oh! with far deeper zeal
Of holier love. Nor wilt thou then forget,
That after many wanderings, many years
Of absence, these steep woods and lofty cliffs,
And this green pastoral landscape, were to me
More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake!

Getting out of your headP.S. Getting out of your head

We spent quite a lot of time on our Hawkwood retreat getting out of our analytic heads and into feeling our chart – and ourselves. So often we are cut off from what we really feel. So Jenny and the others, if you’re reading this, here’s an image that made me think of you! Now there’s a heartfelt roar if ever there was one!

The Hostage

You're my heart





I love the artwork on and this is so symbolic of how we can be chained to our thoughts rather than getting deep down into our true selves. Grab your courage in both hands, come with me and jump down the waterfall into your heart:









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