There is a language older and far deeper than words. It is the language of the earth and it is the language of bodies. It is the language of dreams, and of actions. It is the language of meaning, and of metaphor. (Derrick Jensen – A Language Older than Words).

This other language is the language of other species, of trees, rocks and wind. It is the dance of rain on earth, the song of the trees, the wind whispering its secrets, the pulsing waves drumming its rhythms on rock. It is the language of the very land itself.

By learning this other language we can participate in a new dream that is being born – the dream of the earth. This dream is where we encounter others and things, not as facts to be discovered, but as invitations to participate in the earth’s unfolding and realisation. We re-member (become members again) of the earth community – we become, once again, the dream of the earth.

I believe that we need desperately to become fully at home in the world, just as it is, and not as some future idealised state. We need to move from an ethos based on mastery to one based on mystery. We need, as eco-philosopher Freya Mathews says, to “let the rivers run, the mountains mount, and the beings be”.

Imaginal runs workshops and retreats with leading nature philosophers, eco-psychologists, thinkers, healers and teachers to develop the right relationship betwen psyche, nature and culture in order that we can hear, feel and respond to the voices of the surrounding world. Imaginal provides new perspectives on these relationships so we can open ourselves to new ways of being in the world, new ways of understanding and relating to the earth.

Imaginal courses aim to build our imaginative power, the power to imagine the world differently, to imagine ourselves being in the world differently, to imagine the transformative powers of being authentically human. As the caterpillar dies, and through its imaginal cells transforms itself into a butterfly, as a snake sheds its skin to enable it to grow, so we must die to our old ways of being, our old ways of living, so we can birth an authentic human culture – a culture based on connectedness and relationship.  Read about imaginal cells.

We use the living earth (gaia) as inspiration, teacher, healer and model. Imaginal aims to release us from restricted ways so we can live creatively and ethically at this time when the weaves of culture and nature are unravelling.

Imaginal seeks healing of both self and world, so we live the dream that is at the centre of our souls. In this way the world becomes alive with meaning and purpose. Healing can only occur when our lives accord with the great cycles and rhythms of the earth, rather than living as isolated and atomised beings, under the dull spell of materialism and literalism.

Imaginal draws on philosophy, psychology and ecology, and mythical, traditional and spiritual traditions. We use somatic (body centred) practices, creative arts, imagination and social critique to develop courses that inspire, challenge and provoke us into transforming ourselves and our world.