In times of great change, when we are storm-tossed by species extinction, climate change and an uncertain future people need hope, truth and maybe a beacon of living light. We are living through extraordinary times where the dominant culture still pours out fear, division and petty news stories through its mass media. Yet just beneath this surface ‘noise’ a new way of being is developing. This new way, a diverse movement, is offering a rising vision against technocracy, against destruction of the wild places, resisting development, mindless consumption and thoughtless expansion. It is suggesting that there is another way for evolution to progress on this planet; diverse unity born out of caring and sharing, eco conscious living, spiritual listening; the idea that ‘small is beautiful’ still holds in this world view.
What were the roots of this world view, much of which emanated from the British Isles? Many of the pioneers of this spiritual vision were born and lived in Britain. In the last hundred years, and often drawing from an ancient past, Britain’s literature, poetry, art and music drew power and authenticity from the land. The land of Albion. Through its imagination it gave birth to Tir Na Nog, Avalon, Middle Earth, Narnia, Arden and Arcadia presenting something other, a representation of what is unchanging and exists eternally in a composite imagination. After the Second World War there emerged organisations that sought to nurture this vision; the Wrekin Trust in Shropshire, the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland, Schumacher College in Devon, ‘Alternatives’ at St James, Piccadilly in London, the Chalice Well Trust in Somerset and the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales.
The vision, followed by the work, against all the odds, survived. Evolutionary consciousness rarely develops in the way we might imagine. It is a deep running current, drawing from a divine plan, and gradually a spiritual world-view with no special dogma or belief system began to emerge. Sir George Trevelyan wrote in 1977:
‘The great seers of our age simply tell us of their explorations into new dimensions of consciousness and what they find there. They do not demand any blind acts of faith; they simply invite us to think and see and entertain possibility in all its majestic infinitude.’
Twentieth century mystery teacher Wellesley Tudor Pole in his New Year message of 1960 said:
‘If your eyes remain fixed upon the ground, then your spirit and your mind will be filled to overflowing with the dust and the din of mundane events. Fears of wars and revolutions and of man-made crises will obscure your vision of Reality. The Illusions of the moment will give you no peace and may even breed despair. We are on the eve of a spiritual Revolution – in fact it has begun already. Its breath can transform the World in which we now live. You to whom I speak are a ‘Universe’ within yourself. It is within your own ‘Universe’ that the transformation must take place’
This Albion site draws together much of this wonderful material and opens doors into further reading, websites and audio materials. When assembling and researching ‘Albion’ we kept coming back to the visionary William Blake. Around the year 1800 Blake started using the old name for Britain (Albion) and wrote that Albion’s long sleep was deadly. We had, as humans, ‘fallen away from the Vision.’ In the 21st century American writer Richard Leviton has written:
‘Blake wrote in the early days of the industrial revolution…but our time is not much different: materialism, mechanism, scientism, literalism and atheism reign, and they weigh heavily on the Western, if not the world, soul…Albion sleeps in each of us, and we all sleep in the Earth’s sleeping Albion.’ (‘Walking in Albion’ Richard Leviton 2010)
Leviton, a great lover of words, calls Albion ‘A Light Being In Our Neighbourhood.’ Blake calls Albion ‘The Human Form Divine.’ Blake scholar Kathleen Raine called Albion and King Arthur ‘Britain’s defining archetype.’ The idea of the Sleeping Force, gradually awakening, will signal that the closing down of consciousness is now coming to an end.
This site was born out of many conversations and enabled by a financial gift from the Wrekin Trust, in its ending, to the Chalice Well Trust. In a booklet produced by the Wrekin Trust ‘The First Forty Years and Beyond’ they say:
‘Alone we can light a small spark – together we can kindle a greater flame’ …if each person, awakening to this new reality can offer their portion of service to the whole, the power of love can bring healing and transformation through us and a new ‘ark of consciousness’, in which all can shelter from the storms of life, can be co-created’. (June 2013)
In some small way we can hope that the seeds sown on this site will find fertile ground so that Albion will continue on its long journey to awakening.