Walking the Path is a Metaphor for Life itself.

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Find time every day to walk in Nature’s domain.

Mother Nature provides an environment for feeling more tranquil, creative, whole, at peace in the world.

Great Earth Mother is infinite in bounty and beauty.As part of Her, we become part of the energy systems of earth life, where the life of all living beings is interwoven, inter-affective, interconnected. The vast planet beneath our feet supports us, is our security , in a delicate balance  and interconnection.

Earth’s elements and inhabitants are all part of Life’s unending movement.They are affected by our passage as we are by their presence.

 Come join us for a mid-week Workshop – Walking Naturally, Consciously – in BODHI KHAYA, STANFORD  mid-week  Workshop – March 26-28h –Meandering through Bodhi Khaya’s beautiful landscape of magical forests, labyrinth, pools, ancient trees …  

“What I know is that when one Walks in this Way, places & experiences become indelibly lodged in memory and image. One never forgets!” Marguerite


Following the Writing Drum – by Judy Croome

JUDY CROOME – writer, author – graces these pages with a ‘Guest Blog’ –  generously offering her insightful thinking around “why we write” – a topic that many writers relentlessly ponder ! – Thanks Judy! See her contact details  at this post’s end.

Following the Writing Drum

How many times recently have you heard someone say, “I’m writing a book”?  Or, the next best thing, “I want to write a book”?  Have you ever said, or thought, “I can write a better book than this!”

Since we’ve entered the 21st century, it seems as if everyone you speak to wants to write a book – a novel, a memoir or a non-fiction self-help or cook-book.


Well, American author Joseph Epstein wrote in The New York Times that 81% of all Americans want to write a book, or believe they have a book in them.  In 2012, that’s roughly 250 million Americans who want to write a book.  Add on all the rest of the people in the world who want to write a book, and the mind boggles at the number of aspiring authors.

Why writing? One doesn’t hear every other person say, “I want to be a musician” or “I think I have at least one sculpture in me.”

No, it’s always “I want to write!”

One reason could be is that we learn to write as early as we learn to read. Somehow, that makes writing seem an easier expression of our individual creativity than other art forms, which overtly require special skills and expensive equipment. To write, you need the most basic of tools – a pencil and a piece of paper (or, these days, a laptop.)

Speaking to other writers, and trolling the multitude of on-line writing forums, I found the reasons people write are as many and as varied as the number of books on Amazon.com …

I’m in it for the booze, chicks and money.  I like to write for the same reason I like to read: escapism. I can forget about the boring real world for a while. Of course, it would be nice to think that after I die there will be a chunk of writing with my name on it somewhere. It’s a free hobby.  It’s a compulsion. Writing is freedom. I want to prove to myself that I’m not a complete failure. Writing is one way to leave your mark on the world. Some people are in love with the idea of being a writer. I think it has to do with the innate desire to communicate; we all want to be ‘heard’. The lure of easy money. I can exist in another world. Some people are driven by inner forces. Chicks dig writers. There’s an Artist’s Mystique. These people want personal validation. Writing provides the opportunity to create something unique. On the days when there seem to be innumerable bills, I admit guiltily to daydreaming about getting rich one day. Writers don’t just entertain, they record a time, a place, a sliver of the human experience. Writers write because it’s their natural response to the world. Their life experiences keep haunting them so they want to pour it out, and writing is the best medium. I guess I just write, because I have an idea I don’t want to waste. People are trying to cash in on what they see as easy money. It really is my dream to write a book …

That’s a lot of reasons for writing, and that’s not even all of them. If we look into them more closely, we can see that, as individually expressed as each reason is, we can narrow them down to:

  • Dreams of fame & fortune (and      the material rewards that go with that)
  • The perception that writing is an      “easy” art
  • The need to escape their material      reality
  • The desire for immortality (to make      a mark on the world)
  • For personal validation or a sense      of self-worth
  • A creative compulsion to entertain      or communicate

Epstein, in his New York Times article, suggests that the desire to write a book has taken on a greater significance in the modern world because it fills the void left by the collapse of religion as the answer to our reason for existence. Where once people believed that faith in God could provide a road to salvation, now, he says, they search for meaning by writing a book.


With my interest in evolutionary astrology I, however, see the intoxicating drumbeat of writing currently calling to so many people somewhat differently.

The end of the Mayan calendar – the so-called end of the world – came and went a few short weeks ago. Despite the rousing calls of the coming rapture, and to the delighted mockery of the sceptics, the world still exists.

But, if we step back from our fears and our emptiness, if we switch off our intellect and, like The Fool in the Tarot, leap across the abyss of faith, we may find that the world as we knew it has indeed “ended.”

The evolutionary imperative of the human spirit has outgrown the compassion of the Age of Pisces and shifted gear into the Age of Aquarius.  Aquarian energy, at once more egalitarian and more technological than the heart-based Piscean energy, is now a powerful force propelling humankind into the next phase of its spiritual evolution.

But in the search for the Divine – for salvation, if you will – an individual’s wholeness can only be attained when both the light and the dark within are embraced.

In this New Age, which fully began the day the Mayan calendar ended, the detached Aquarian energy is driving humanity to create a more equal world for all (the Arab Spring, the rising call to narrow the economic gap between the haves and the have-nots are two examples).

Just as fire was a gift from the Divine to light the evolutionary path for those ancients who walked this earth before us, so the advancements of science and technology are the Divine gift to light the evolutionary path for our modern world.  And without those scientific and technological advancements of the past 250 years (more advancements than the rest of the Age of Pisces in total), we wouldn’t be living in a global village in which both a high school student and a professor of English can write and publish their own book, with an equal possibility of success. You can’t get more egalitarian than that.

But, the brighter the light, the darker the shadow and the evolutionary shadow that stalks the human soul in our brave new world is hidden in the energy of the Aquarian polarity: the sign of Leo, king of the jungle.

If Aquarius energy is more comfortable with the cool and rational intellect and objectively works towards the best interests of the collective, the fiery Leo archetype, or psychology, ruled by the dazzling Sun and associated with the 5th house (representing, inter alia, the creativity and self-expression of the individual) is anything but.

Leo is a creative energy; it also wants to be like its ruler the Sun: the centre of attention. In its wilful desire nature, Leo will do whatever it takes to gain fame and fortune, prestige and passion. And because it operates from the shadows of the evolutionary imperatives of the Aquarian Age, it seeks its individual creative expression through the perceived easiest route to fame, fortune and celebrity status: writing a book.

However, writing, like the spiritual evolution of humankind itself, is not as easy as it first appears. As any one of those more than 250 million Americans who want to write a book will find out (and those populating the rest of the world, too), once one starts writing that first book, one’s spiritual evolution as an individual begins, whether one wants it or not.

The fates lead him who will – him who won’t, they drag. – Seneca (Roman philosopher, 4 BC – 65 AD)

The   fates lead him who will – him who won’t, they drag.

Seneca (Roman philosopher, 4 BC – 65 AD)


No matter what a writer’s conscious reasons for first answering the call of the writing drum, ultimately the current surge in struggling writers is a symptom of Divine evolutionary forces at work: the new writer will inevitably find that the rewards he seeks may not be the rewards he ultimately receives.  His spiritual growth will come from learning to recognise that the urge to write a book may not end with a completed or published book. And, if he chooses to go the self-published route from ego rather than from spirit, he may have a published book, but will he have readers?

Epstein, in the New York Times, urges people to think twice before starting to write a book and calls this consuming passion to write “a serious and time-consuming mistake.”

Can the spiritual evolution of humankind ever be a serious and time-consuming mistake?


Whether you finish your book, or not; whether your completed book is published or not; whether you become the next J K Rowling or not, when next you hear that distant drumbeat, calling you to write, write and write … stop. Listen. And then write some more.

For, with that first word you type on the first blank page you stare at, you’ll be embarking on a journey like none other: the journey to spiritual enlightenment and a new way of living.


Judy Croome lives and writes in Johannesburg, South Africa. Shortlisted in the African Writing Flash Fiction 2011 competition, Judy has numerous other short stories and poems published in journals and anthologies. Her independently published novel, “Dancing in the Shadows of Love” (2011) and her debut collection of poetry “a Lamp at Midday” (2012) are available from Kalahari.com, Loot.co.za, Amazon and other on line stores. Visit www.judycroome.blogspot.com  or follow Judy on Twitter @judy_croome



Think You Have a Book in You? Think Again (Joseph Epstein, 28/09/2002, New York Times)

The Twelve Signs – The Labours of Hercules (Leo) (Dana Gerhardt, AstroDienst, 2013)

Negotiating with the Dead (Margaret Atwood, 2002, Virago Press)

Reincarnation through the Zodiac (Joan Hodgson, 1973,CRCS Publications)

The Twelve Houses (Howard Sasportas, 1985, Thorson Publications)


Walking the Path is a Metaphor for Life itself.

Finding time every day to walk in Nature’s domain.Mother Nature provides an environment for feeling more tranquil, creative, whole, at peace in the world.

Copy 2012-12-12 3 lighthouses small size

Great Earth Mother is infinite in bounty and beauty. As part of Her, we become part of the energy systems of earth life, where the life of all living beings is interwoven, inter-affective, interconnected.

Walking over the Earth, aware of Nature’s elements — the gifts of air — water — soil — mineral — metal — fire — space, Earth’s electrical currents pass easily through us.

The vast planet beneath our feet supports us, is our security, in a delicate balance  and interconnection. Earth’s elements and inhabitants are all part of Life’s unending movement. They are affected by our passage as we are by their presence.

…come join us for a day Workshop – WALKING Naturally Consciously – KLEINMOND< February 16th …margsmerwe@telkomsa.net

Walking our Landscape – Kleinmond – February

The Art of Walking goes Walking Our Landscape – Feb 16 full-day Workshop – 29, 10th Avenue, KLEINMOND

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Our small group will experience the art of Natural, Conscious Walking – our natural, easy, conscious style – very different from the exercise-driven ‘fast-far-furious’ cult. Nature’s way is perfect – walking this way is Soooo kind to the whole body , knees particularly.
In honour and reverence, we take this Intentional Walking out into Kleinmond’s beautiful environment nestled between mountains ( The Kogelberg World Heritage Site) and ocean.
Hats, flexible shoes, lunch and your fee, will suffice.
Contact: margsmerwe@telkomsa.net; 028 271 4555

Walking Our Landscape – Workshop-Retreats Jan-June 2013


...walking our landscape...
                                  …walking our landscape…

  • Feb 16, Mar 8, Apr 20 : WALKING OUR LANDSCAPE – full-day Workshops KLEINMOND
    Bodhi Khaya, Stanford
    Poplar Grove farm, Colesberg

It seems that The Earth is calling to us (and we surely know why!). An increasing number of people , both in this country and beyond are undertaking Walks imbued with commitments of Connection, Caring and Healing into the Environment. PILGRIMAGES INTO THE LANDSCAPE.
So, too, we shall GO WALKING FOR THE LAND in 2013, joining this growing movement offering active, caring connection to the only home we have – Gaia, our Earth Planet. In Workshops and Retreats, we practice the many-splendoured Arts of Walking, taking this Poise, Awareness and Relaxedness, into Nature’s service. Daily guided Walkings in and around where we are, imprint our intention to honour the Beauty and Sacredness of our natural heritage.
Awake and sensitive, we GO WALKING into our infinitely elegant, interconnected and interdependent community. And in this Belonging we are all of value and ‘ensouled’ – ourselves, Great Mother Earth, the landscape in all its manifestations and occupants – birds, plants, animals – God’s great gifts of earth, air, water – space, silence and sound.
There will, as usual, be the grounding of Body Sense Alexander Technique sessions bringing body, mind & soul into balance, harmony & vitality. The practice of the Arts of Walking Free ‘n Easy. The Arts of Poise & Presence. The richness of music, poetry, meditation. Me-time & deep restfulness to shift us into that state of integration and relaxedness where we are alive in every cell, sense and thought.
Come grace the Paths in spacious & dedicated places of Our Land with your lovely & gentle energy!


...pause to nibble ...

…pause to nibble …

This past Saturday and Sunday I walked with Louise ( and her Mom, day 1) and Eve for the first two days of this WALKING PILGRIMAGE. Our overall intention being a kind of Pilgrimage for ourselves in our lives, but specifically to honour our environment, in our land, South Africa – for Gaia, Mother Earth. She whom humankind is damaging and abusing. She whom, we feel, needs conscious caring. And so WALKING FOR THE LAND – as Pilgrimage – is increasingly happening here and in other parts of the world.
On day 2 our threesome walked Hangklip Lighthouse to Rooi Els village. Day 2 Rooi Els leaving before first light at 5am, walking along the coastal road, beset by VERY strong winds, and whizzing traffic ( courteous and not-courteous cars, motorcycles, trucks, several rather astonished drivers), we Waliked the 24.6kms ( around 32 000 footsteps for me!).
Such a wonderful experience – a small group, sharing intention and direction, attending to where and how we Walked, to one step and then the next and the next. Highly aware of the stunning Kogelberg mountains on our right – and the drop to the ocean on our left. Treading a very narrow road shoulder. Eve usually leading, myself usually at the rear. In silence, each with her own Self in Nature.
These 2 days of WALKING have been a wonderful experience and time – my wondrous Companions On The Way: Louise, arranger of the entire Pilgrimage including miracle padkos; Eve, coffee and sandwich maker of note, steadily leading forward. Memories surfacing – scattering my father’s ashes in the Steenbras River’s waters so many years ago. Relaxing with breakfast on the rocks. Walking barefoot on long stretches of beachsand. Not-being bothered by stony tracks, strong winds, tiredness. Somehow the mere activity of our Walking together in this way brings spaciousness in body and mind, a state of being in touch and highly aware. Maintaining my own Directions and Intentions and Wishes. Trusting in each step of the way, and in my Vivo Barefoot soft-sole shoes. Sacredness in many ways, keeping pace with the rhythm of our steps, the song of the mountains and of the whale and the oyster-catchers.
WALKING FOR THE LAND in this way will be the focus of my workshops in 2013. I think this is what we need to do.


viewing down the River Seine

A fascinating 2-month experience & opportunity  – exploring the cultural life of the city that has been the centre of ‘high culture’ for well over 200 years – observing the way of life – the sturdy walkers (flat-soled canvas shoes!) – fearless cyclists (sturdy tyres, mudguards, high handlebars!). So much richness – walking the city, enjoying clean streets, the wide river Seine and it flotillas of swans,  barges and boats, monumental buildings. Music everywhere – concerts high and low, meeting musicians of the viola, the oud, the ‘chanson’ accordion. Absorbing the coffee, cheese, baguette, wine  and chocolate culture. History.  The magic and mystery of Chartres Cathedral. Literary events.  Standing in front of Monet’s ‘Water Lilies’.

I am so thankful!