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Spiral Art in Princes Park

Liverpool was blitzed during WWII. Buildings were blown apart and some of the brick debris washed down to the sea. There it’s been weathered by the elements over the decades and now there’s a beach strewn with brick pebbles.

Damanhur is a spiritual and artistic community in northern Italy. They’ve cut caverns into the mountainside and created extraordinarily beautiful ‘Temples of Humanity’. I was in tears within minutes when I visited on the Cerne to CERN pilgrimage last Easter.

A symbol they like working with at Damanhur is the spiral. It is, after all, found throughout Nature, from the swirl of our thumbprint to distant galaxies. They’ve created many spirals believing that, as you walk to the centre, you walk through layers of yourself coming at last to your centre. It can be a profound meditative experience.

In early March one of Damanhur’s teachers came to Liverpool for a weekend. I was keen to go. The event was shrouded in mystery but soon it became clear that our task was to create together a walking spiral. A suitable location had been found around a fine sycamore tree in Princes Park. And six hundred ‘blitz bricks’ had been gathered from the beach.

Eighteen people worked seamlessly to prepare food, paint the bricks white and scout the site. The idea was to transmute the trauma of war held in the bricks into something healing, inspiring and transcendent. Imagine our surprise when, clearing rubbish from near the tree, I pulled from a shallow ‘grave’ a 1943 Nazi submachine gun, a little rusty but still potentially in working order. Here was another energy of war to be transmuted. As our Damanhur teacher later said, ‘this shows that we’re winning’!

On the Saturday afternoon, in broad daylight, we transported our burden of bricks and, using a human chain, placed them around the tree in an exquisite spiral. A ceremony was done to charge it up by connecting it through the ether to those at Damanhur. Then we began walking.

When we returned the following day to erect a sign explaining the spiral we found words of approval from the Friends of Princes Park. And since it has become a natural gathering place for nearby residents. The fear and hate of war is already being transmuted into feelings of love and peace. Long may it continue.

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