On Sunday (August 18th), marine historian Paul Barnett led a group of us on a walk along the river Severn to visit The Purton Hulks - boats deliberately beached in the early twentieth century in order to form a defense against erosion of the riverbank, and in so doing to protect the Gloucester-Sharpness canal which runs alongside the river at this point.
It was a lovely sunny evening and Paul was an interesting and enthusiastic tour guide, full of stories about the place and its conservation. The hulks looked atmospheric as they loomed out of the grass, or were almost completely submerged by it. Definitely to be recommended as a tour. As Kris pointed out, it was an appropriate time to be visiting a watery graveyard, with Saturn being in Scorpio and part of a grand trine in water signs!
After the walk most of the group drove a couple of miles to The Lammastide Inn at Brookend, where we enjoyed a tasty, good value meal and conversation. We caught a glimpse of Venus before she set in the west, and a hazy Saturn higher in the sky later in the evening.
On August 4th a group of us enjoyed an unscheduled boat ride up the beautiful Wye Valley, with shamanic healer Maxine Smillie, pictured below in pink. Unscheduled because it was pouring with rain, so a walk along muddy pathways suddenly seemed less appealing! On the boat we heard about the history of the river and the buildings along it from the ship's captain, whilst at the end of the journey we were allowed to stay on the boat for a while whilst we performed a simple shamanic ritual under Maxine's guidance.
Maxine persuaded the Rose Tree Tea Room to stay open for lunch (they were going to close because of the inclement weather in the morning), during which Maxine recounted the deeper history of the place and its fascinating association with healing down the ages.
After lunch the weather cleared and we had an enjoyable walk by the riverside, under the shelter of the trees to the wire footbridge bridge near The Biblins. Maxine shared stories and insights about healing and we practiced walking mindfully in the landscape. All in all, an enjoyable and interesting day, despite the vagaries of the weather.
More pictures from the field trip, including walking the earth with intent …
On Saturday we went on our annual summer field trip, which is always held near the solstice. This year we went to the delightful home of William and Jane Morris, and their friend, the Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti. William Morris, a multiple Aries, was the pioneer who initiated the 'back to nature' Arts & Crafts movement, a reaction against the Victorian primness and fussiness of the times, and, along with other artists, craftsmen, writers and socialists, headed to the Cotswolds to live a simpler, more authentic life. Kris brought along the birthcharts of the the Morrises and Rossetti, who were involved in a complicated Ménage a Trois. Their characters shone through their birthcharts, and the synastry between them was highly revealing. After lunch we also discussed how Venus in our own chart might reflect our own artistic preferences and creative style.
The house and garden were idyllic, as were the treasures inside. Well worth a visit. With thanks to Pamela for taking the photos below, including the contented-looking archetypally Taurean Bull!
Kris Lee and Graham Boston are astrologers who help run Aquarius Severn.
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