Hi, I’m Michael Woodcock
One of the most life-changing books I have read was David Suzuki’s The Sacred Balance. As the book promised, I rediscovered my need to know my place in nature, and just as importantly, to answer the call to action that Suzuki stirred within me. Twenty years on, Suzuki and other writers and thinkers such as John O’Donohue, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Michael Meade, David Whyte, , George Mackay Brown, Bill Plotkin, Joanna Macey, enrich my thinking about the importance of the wisdom and wellbeing to be found when we connect with the world of nature, not the world of concrete, endless consumption, and the distractions of today, which can divert us from our path.
For those of us in New Zealand, especially those of us who identify as Pakeha and the loss of our sacred connection to the seasons and nature, then you can’t go past reading Juliet Batten’s book, Celebrating the Southern Seasons – Rituals for Aotearoa (revised edition 2005).
I draw strength from others in the inner rewilding, eco-centric, soul-centric awakening circle, that calls us to be part of an ecological spiritual awareness. By offering workshops and retreats which support a life lived with intent, while we connect with our inner and external sacred nature, I hope I can rise to meet the challenge to be on the right side of what Joanna Macey’s calls the great turning.
Above all, the concept of interconnectedness of our internal scape and the external environment – landscape, is now central to how I see the world and our sacred integration with it. As Scottish poet George Mackay Brown wrote:
“The inner ‘scape’ does not exist by and for itself; it is balanced, held in a sweet tension and harmony by the lovely world outside, the ‘scape’ that is always changing.”
I live in rural Carterton with my storyteller wife Gaye. Our small 16 acre farm, Te Ao O Te Pukeko (The world of the Pukeko) is a living work in progress. Everything that grows here, from one-hundred-foot-tall trees to our 450 olive tree grove, all started in 1992, when we bought two large paddocks and built our kitset house. It is now the centre from which our workshops and retreats begin.
I look forward to hearing from you to see how I can support your journey.