Sep 042014
Painting by Ohara Koson

Painting by Ohara Koson

We’ve begun again
in the direction of home
as the first sharp winds
sweep changed leaves
onto the lake – they’re taken.

This is the first time
this has happened again.

We’ve done as we came to do,
by not a wish of our own,
but a marrowdeep migration
we’ve always made
on weakening wings.

The coming together, the falling
out of formation, dizzying rests
for breath and grazing.

As we came to do,
we’ve come and done
for the first time once more,
chasing the skirts
of summer gone and back again.

Toward home in the cycle at home
in the turn in the cycle home
in rotation of ponds and puddles
creeks and lakes
seas and streams
we’ve always never seen.

We land swimming and fly singing,
as we came to do.

© Toko-pa Turner

Aug 282014
Sedna by Antony Galbraith

Sedna by Antony Galbraith

Call upon our great ocean that she may grace your shores with her foamy lapping. Make yourself as still as sand, who knows the patience of millennia, having been ground down to its essential parts. Wait your turn at the edge of known things that she might soak you with her rising swell. Wish for nothing but to be dislodged by her power, carried into her depths for the chance at a glimpse of the underlife. May that you be taken into her possession, even for a moment, to know the absence of gravity and participation in her rhythms. Let your body be for what it was intended: an expression of her grace. And what small ways you make of this encounter in poetry; what strange songs you sing out of your own silence; what migrations and what ripples you disturb in the world; may they have something of her signature on them. May the you that has been touched go on touching in her phenomenal multiplication until we are all suffused with awe and a salty vastness upon our skin.

2014 © Toko-pa Turner

Aug 212014
Artwork by Julie Massy

Artwork by Julie Massy

Drop your maps and listen to your lostness like a sacred calling into presence. Here, where the old ways are crumbling and you may be tempted to burn down your own house. Ask instead for an introduction to that which endures. This place without a foothold is the province of grace. It is the questing field, most responsive to magic and fluent in myth. Here, where there is nothing left to lose, sing out of necessity that your ragged heart be heard. Send out your holy signal and listen for the echo back.

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Aug 112014

Beloved Dreamers,

I’m writing to you from the good side of a month-long sabbatical through July in which I immersed myself deeply in my writing On Belonging.

Though I’ve been gently cradling this in my contemplation for the last two years, I finally became ready to roll up my sleeves and put my shoulder to the wheel of articulating all that I have discovered.

I am amazed by how vast and intricate this inquiry into Belonging really is and am so eager to share this writing with you in the form of a book! An actual, physical, bound, sealed and delivered book! Whooo!

Of course there are many steps between here and there. I’ve heard writing a book described as ‘reverse childbearing’ in that you do the big labour first and then wait for 9 months until the thing emerges :).

I’m sure I’ll call upon your support to bring this dream into materiality, but in the meantime I hope you’ll enjoy these previews below along with a few other entry-points into this good work.

Love and lucidity,

 A Slow Emergence

Emily Kell

Artwork by Emily Kell

“Emergence never happens all at once. It is a slow stepping into the expanded capacity of your next self. You may need practice at releasing in those places you’ve grown accustomed to bracing which, like a tight swaddle, was comforting in its limits. But when the time to remain hidden comes to its natural end, you must begin to inhabit your new dimensionality. Breathe into the fullness of your gaining altitude and consider that what presents itself as fear may actually be exhilaration. As your future approaches you, worry less how it may receive you and say a prayer instead for your becoming approachable.”

Excerpted from the upcoming book “On Belonging” © Toko-pa Turner 2014

Artwork by Emily Kell’s Art



Synchronicity Symposium in Joshua Tree, California

Synchronicity Symposium in Joshua Tree, California

California Dreaming

As you may know, I’ll be presenting at the Synchronicity Symposium in Joshua Tree this September! The focus of my presentation will be on Embodying the Dream: Living into Belonging.

“Belonging spins itself out from the center of the Self in the form of dreams and synchronicity. These living images call the dreamer forward, step by tentative step along their gossamer threads, into an increasingly intimate conversation with our lives and embodiment of our soul’s values until we find ourselves anchored in a meaningful life.” – Toko-pa Turner

If you are unable to come for the whole weekend, you can now attend my 2-hour intensive on September 15th as a standalone registration: Click here to find out more.





Dreamwalking: a 4-week Online Dreamwork Course

Dreamwalking: New Dates!

Sept 22nd – Oct 18th, 2014  (Nov 17th – Dec 13th, 2014)
I’m happy to announce new dates for this hugely popular online course. It tends to fill up rather quickly, but please don’t worry if you don’t get in this round. I’ll consider offering it again in the winter months. Click here to register.

A recent Dreamwalking graduate had this to say: Toko-pa’s Dreamwalking Course is a beautiful journey into the magical realm of dreaming. A gentle, scholarly and intuitive guide, Toko-pa accompanies us into the depths of our psyche to discover that we can navigate unknown dimensions, trust strange characters and feel safe amidst the unfamiliar and often bizarre worlds of our personal dreamtime. With her attentive instruction we discover that the language of metaphor, poetry and myth is part of our dream and waking states. This enriching experience truly opens and deepens intimacy and confidence in self. I look forward to the next course.

Myth in the Mojave

Myth in the Mojave

Interview on Myth in the Mojave

Last week I had the priviledge to be a guest on Myth in the Mojave, with mythologist Dr. Catherine Svehla who interviewed me on ‘Embodying the Dream.’ Click here to listen to our 30 minute conversation.


Jul 232014
Artwork by Daria Petrilli

Artwork by Daria Petrilli

In the end, so much of the conflict we feel in our hearts is because we’ve split ourselves off from the very life we are living. We partition ourselves from the things with which we are at odds, treating them as unbelonging even as we live them. We vaguely imagine some other place, some better job, some other lover – but the irony is that so much of what makes us unhappy is our own rejection of the life we have made. Eventually we must take our life into our arms and call it our own. We must look at it squarely with all its unbecoming qualities and find a way to love it anyway. Only from that complete embrace can a life begin to grow into what it is meant to become.

Excerpted from the upcoming book “On Belonging” © Toko-pa Turner 2014

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Jun 062014
Artwork by Lucio Lopez Cansuet

Artwork by Lucio Lopez Cansuet

So many of us feel an agonizing longing to contribute something meaningful to the deficits of our time. But years can disappear in the doing of duties, in the never-reaching of rising expectations, in the always-falling-short of proving of one’s enoughness.

The truth is that if we really want to make an eloquent offering of our lives, we have to step out of that ‘call and response’ relationship with the external world and locate our source of guidance within.

To hear the rhythm of your indigenous song, to fall in step with the poetry of your unfolding, first there must be a clearing away: a ‘temenos’ of simplicity in which to dwell.

Strike a holy grove of silence where you can listen as you long to be heard, see as you long to be seen, recognize where you long to be relevant, needed and necessary in the Family of Things.

Sink down into that fissure – not into the nostalgia of Before your Trust was Broken – but right down into the estrangement, and let the grief of your disappointment soften the soil of you so you can be the seed come finally broken open.

May 202014
Artwork by Anselm Kiefer

Artwork by Anselm Kiefer

Sometimes we must surrender our own will for the greater good to come through. We are called to make ourselves vulnerable for a time, without answers or goals, sacrificing our plans to perceive a more mythic & wholistic calling. The word sacrifice is not, as we’ve been taught, synonymous with suffering, but comes from the root ‘to make sacred.’ If we can take a step outside of time, renouncing our ego’s urgency for progress, we have a chance at being danced, being sung into the greater song of things, being told like a story in its most pivotal pause of the arc.




May 172014
Artwork by Michael Whelan

Artwork by Michael Whelan

After living most of my life in an urban center, it’s an ongoing revelation for me to live in a small, rural village where people really come through for each other.

This being human is tough stuff and one of the acute losses we all feel is that of meaningful friendship and community. That which our great, great ancestors took for certain: when a wounding befalls one of us, we are all implicated. And so we lean in to support those in pain with our humble gifts of empathy and presence. We shoulder our unbearable questions together and we honour with ritual the devastating requirements and initiations that this being alive asks of us.

But in the impoverished condition of modern culture, we are taught to feel ashamed of our weakness and to deny our own suffering – nevermind share its burden. We’ve made a hedging around the very places we should be depending upon each other. We’ve privatised pain.

And then it’s hard to reach out. It’s hard to be seen with your messy lostness,  exhaustion and overwhelm as you stumble through the complexities of life. But how else can someone become trustworthy unless you allow them to share in your hardship? How can we form the village we ache for unless we allow ourselves to wrestle with these things together?

If you are well, consider being the medicine for someone else’s pain. Rumi says, ‘Where lowland is, that’s where water goes. All medicine wants is pain to cure.’ But if you are unwell, consider asking a friend you want to trust for help. Consider that to be invited behind your hedge is a privilege, and it calls upon the compassion in all of us that lives to flow into a lowland.

Now sometimes the person you call upon may not have the capacity to meet your vulnerability – and there is terrible grief in this. You might be tempted to grow your hedge even higher, and swear off this sharing stuff. But perhaps there is a greater attrition taking place. Perhaps you already knew you were calling upon the wrong person. And perhaps there’s someone unexpected in your midst, who keeps showing up and challenging you to receive their support.

You, who would normally bear it alone – yours is a necessary yielding. Your asking is the invitation that may keep us bound  in place and memory together. Yours are the first threads of a village in the making.

May 152014

SYNCHRONICITY: Matter & Psyche Symposium

Sept. 12-14, 2014 • JOSHUA TREE, CA

Synchronicity PosterI’m thrilled to announce that I’ve been invited to Joshua Tree as a presenter for the first annual Synchronicity Symposium – an “Embodied Ideas Festival” which, alongside visionary leaders in their field including biologist and author, Rupert Sheldrake, writer on ancient civilisations, Graham Hancock, sound healer and Family Constellation therapist, Jill Purce and many more, we will be exploring the elegant symmetry between Psyche and Matter;  between our inner and outer lives.

At this time in history, we seem to be undergoing a collective passage into an era of conscious realization that psyche and matter are inseparable and that, far from being passive observers, we have a participatory relationship with the unfoldment of the world around us.  Now the work ahead is in learning how to move in concert with these rhythms, developing a mastery in weaving between the worlds to come into a greater personal and collective harmony.

It’s an honour to be included in this roster of brilliant outcasts who have made a life out of studying consciousness, sound, somatic and Jungian psychology, quantum physics, synchronicity, and of course DREAMING!

synchronicityposterEMBODYING the DREAM:

The focus of my presentation will be on Embodying the Dream – Living into Belonging – in which I’ll talk about the architecture of belonging.

Belonging spins itself out from the center of the Self in the form of dreams and synchronicity. These living images call the dreamer forward, step by tentative step along their gossamer threads, into an increasingly intimate conversation with our lives and embodiment of our soul’s values until we find ourselves anchored in a meaningful life.

As well as giving an hour-long talk (Saturday, Sept 13th at 11am) in the gorgeous Sanctuary room at the Joshua Retreat Retreat Center, I’ll also be offering a Dreamwork Intensive on the Monday following our weekend, for those who’d like to go deeper with this beautiful work.


Click here to purchase a weekend pass to the Synchronicity Symposium.


To register for my Dreamwork Intensive (Monday Sept. 15th, 1-3:30pm) click here:


May 122014
Photograph by Emma McEvoy

Photograph by Emma McEvoy

There’s a famous story that Robert Bly tells about Carl Jung who, whenever a friend reported enthusiastically, ‘I have just been promoted!’ Jung would say, ‘I’m very sorry to hear that; but if we all stick together, I think we will get through it.’ On the other hand, if a friend arrived depressed and ashamed, saying, ‘I’ve just been fired,’ Jung would say, ‘Let’s open a bottle of wine; this is wonderful news; something good will happen now.’

Now this may seem like backwards thinking to the rational mind, but to the soul it makes wonderful sense. These kinds of promotions in social stature set the ego into inflation, believing itself to have finally been recognized as the supreme ruler it was meant to be. The ego’s survival depends upon the belief that it is in control and it doesn’t like to think that it might lose its ascendancy. But in those moments of trembling loss, it is forced to face its smallness.

Jung wrote, “… the experience of the Self is always a defeat for the ego.” Indeed, in those initiations by illness, loss or depression, when we are dragged into the underworld to pass through the gates of intensifying vulnerability, we are being stripped of our outer world clothing, prepared for to meet the Divine.

We’ve all had those dreams of losing our wallet or purse, which contains our ‘identity’ and money – a symbolic ‘self worth’ -  and this is where the ego panics; it says, “Who am I without these things?” And it is right to be struck with fear and considering fight or flight, because there is a greater Self who finally has a chance at being encountered now with the ego demoted, and it will require your willingness to be wholly disoriented for a while.

Just as there are times on a winding walk when you can not the see the road ahead, so too will you lose visibility on your soul’s unfolding.

If you can find solace in your surrendering to that groundlessness, there is a pleasure possible in this depth of not-knowing, where creativity can use you as a vessel and, for a moment, you can know real freedom in your acquiescence to the numinous.