Category: Articles

The Magical Forest

We all have a special gift that we bring into the world, which could be called your unique light, but so many of us keep our light hidden under a bushel. Working with the inspiration of Ivy (Gort), we will create a magical map, as to how you can bring your vision into fruition. We are talking about magic and manifesting here – it really works.

For further information see:

Herbal medicine walks and workshops – Botanica Medica

Walks, Workshops and Talks. Our popular herbal walks and workshops are held throughout the year. To stay up to date with our latest workshops sign up to our monthly newsletter (at the bottom of this page).
When: 28 July, 09h30 – 16h30

Where: In a yurt, in a herb garden, at the edge of a forest, Near Petersfield

Price: £80.00 pp

Contact Jo Dunbar –,

or Adrian Rooke –

Weekend Workshop – The Hawthorn and The Heart

This weekend, myself and Jo Dunbar, ran a workshop based around and exploring the relationship between the heart, the Hawthorn tree at this seasonal time of Beltane when the Hawthorn is in flower.

We ran the workshop in the beautiful Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Hampshire, where we were blessed to be surrounded by tall beech forests, pines and flowering Hawthorns, the Earth alive with wild garlic and bluebells, and butterflies on the wing.

The day began by creating sacred space where we called in the four directions and invited the spirits of the ancient lands upon which we stood, and the ancestors to join us in the day of open hearted celebration. The hall decorated with bowers of Hawthorn – which will later be turned into a Hawthorn tincture to be used in Jo’s apothecaries.

To set the scene, we introduced the group to the magical, spiritual and medical properties of this sacred tree, known by many names such as White Bean, Thorn, Hawthorn. A tree closely associated with The Goddess and the bursting forth of the fertility of the Earth.

We also looked at the mythology of Hawthorn and its association with the faery kingdom; a single Hawthorn on a hill was always associated by our ancestors as a gateway to the faery realm. And in the legends of Merlin, he was trapped forever within a Hawthorn tree by the beautiful Vivienne le Fay, who tricked and used her feminine powers and guile to extract Merlin’s deepest secrets, and then turn them against him.

The word “Haw” comes from the ancient word ‘henge’ or ‘to close in’. Thus giving us the theme of our workshop – How do we build the henges both around our hearts to protect us from the hurts and pains that always come to on this human journey. Using the Hawthorn wand as a talking stick, each of us contributed with great courage and honesty, examples of times when we felt our own hearts had been broken and ripped apart. We shared how we felt and what with hind sight we had learnt from the experience. To recognise and honour the feelings which had been shared, we held hands and sang a song to the heart “Come sweep out the chambers of my heart, make it ready, oh make it ready, to be a dwelling for the beloved. When we are empty, love will enter.”

During the afternoon, we spoke about the electromagnetic field of the heart and how it is intimately connected with that of the Earth. We recognised that by healing our own hearts, we could also heal the world, and we are all capable of this subtle activism. New discoveries have shown that the heart has its own brain cells, and that there are more nerves running towards the brain from the heart, than from the brain toward the heart – this suggesting that our heart plays a far more important role in determining our state of mind than was previously believed in our culture. The Ancients always knew that is was far more than just a pump.

We explored through meditation new choices and ways of relating to the heart by letting go of and healing old wounds and hurts. We tied our wishes to a Hawthorn tree on cotton clooties, (bio-degradable) and chanted Huathe three times in honour of the dryad of the tree.

Our day was rounded off in joy and song, and in recognition between all the participants of the power and the magic, the trusting and risking that had taken place during this day. Several of the participants voicing that they felt they had entered a new phase of their lives as a result of their experience that day.

Both Jo and I felt blessed, held and healed by the spirit and the love of Huathe,, The Hawthorn Tree, which so freely shared its magic and mystery with us that day.


Conversation Between Arian Power and Adrian Rooke – BBC Listening

Conversation video between Arian (Jan) Power and Adrian Rooke recorded by Emma Colman for BBC Listening project.

A Brief Introduction

I was contacted by a friend who was asked to participate in dialogue/discussion for the BBC around a topic of interest to be aired on the BBC Radio and also to be stored in the Getty Archives for future generations to reflect on.

The interview took place at my home and was an open discussion with a friend Jan and I about Death and the process of dying , is there a life after death and is euthanasia a subject either of us would consider. The price for the BBC will be edited to about 5 minutes,and the complete conversation is about 40 minutes.

Adrian Rooke visits Adfam in Holloway Prison

In a similar spirit of understanding what treatment options are available, counsellor Adrian Rooke left the comparative comfort of Broadway Lodge’s rural residence service to work with Adfam in London’s Holloway Prison.

When my chief executive, Pauline Bissett, asked me if I would like to do an exchange day with Adfam – a national charity which supports families of substance users, and provides direct services in Holloway and Bristol prisons – with the objective of exchanging working ideas and practices. I had little or no idea of the impact the day would have on me.

After I set off from Bristol’s Temple Meads station at 6:30am, navigating myself across London using the Tube was, in itself, an adventure. It highlighted the enormous size of our capital city and the vast number of human beings who live and work in London.

Eventually arriving at Holloway Prison, I was directed to its Visitors Centre. I was unexpectedly impressed by the warmth of the interior design and cheery greetings, and felt immediately at ease. I was shown to Adfam’s office and was struck by how small the room was – probably the size of my office at Broadwy Lodge. The difference was that three people were working from this office, coupled with all the administration and paperwork. To me it felt claustrophobic, but it seemed to function like a well-oiled engine.

I was introduced to a member of the team who was assigned to look after me during the visit. The procedure of entering the prison was explained to me and, with a mild sense of both excitement and trepidation, we set off to the main entrance. The process of getting into the prison was daunting and time consuming. As each door was locked behind us, I began to get a sense of what it must be like for people being imprisoned for the first time.

After entering the inner confines of the prison building, we headed for the prison detoxification wing. Despite all of us working in this profession being aware of the link between crime and drugs, to witness the number of young women incarcerated as a result of their relationship to drugs and their consequent crime to fund that addiction, was still shocking.

I was struck by the size of the complex, it felt like a fully functioning city within itself. Staffing levels in the prison are such that I am sure some might never meet each other. In contrast, in Broadway Lodge we have a close working relationship with all areas of the organisation.

One of the roles and responsibilities of Adfam staff is to make themselves know to all new arrivals on the wing to see if they could benefit by accessing the Adfam programme. For those who do want to use the services, an important function is to act as a link with the prisoner’s family, Adfam is independent. Links have also been formed with other independent organisations in the field of drug and alcohol rehabilitation, such as the Rapt – Rehabilitation for Addiction Prisoners trust – and the Carat schemes.

I was told one of the biggest frustrations for the Adfam workers is that, having engaged prisoners in utilising services, there is no knowing how long that individual will remain at Holloway Prison due to movement, often at short notice, within the system.

This is unlike my working environment, where I expect the client to complete an eight week programme, allowing me the opportunity of developing a working relationship and achieving the set goals and aims agreed on entering Broadway Lodge. There, we have daily routine which is rarely interrupted whereas it would appear that Adfam has to face many potential interruptions, including lock downs.

I picked up a strong feeling that the services provided by Adfam were not prioritised by the prison system, with the team expected to do the best it could in very challenging circumstances.

As we left out of the prison, there was a chance to reflect on my experience. I was left feeling nothing but admiration for thee Adfam team. This front-line services is providing a vital link between prisoners and their families, helping to restore a sense of hope but in very trying and difficult circumstances.

Returning to Broadway Lodge and writing this article about Holloway ‘job shadowing’, it struck me that some of the clients here – and myself to some extent – will have benefited from the work which organisations such as Adfam will have started.

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