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Evolutionary Journey

Mindfully we care for the Dreamers, for it is the Dreamers who resolutely hold the world together by imagining a future sustained by Love. — Denise Kester

Evolutionary Journey was a  three-year series conducted 2013-2015 by Peggy Rubin and friends in Ashland, OR.

Here are posts about the three years’ events. . . .


Evolutionary Journey 2015

The Lady Who Dwells Within

An exploration into the fundamental mythic elements of creation and how recognizing and honoring them can increase our happiness and our human artistry.

Session One / March 26-29, 2015
Her Presence Affirmed.

Just as every atom in our bodies had its origin in a distant star system, so the story of life on earth had long ago beginnings, yet the puzzling fact remains that there may have been no real starting place. Buddhists describe existence as interdependent co-arising – a beautiful phrase – whose meaning we will contemplate as one way of welcoming the indwelling presence of something ancient, secret, and holy, something we can call Divine.

Session Two / June 4-7
Her Presence Made Manifest: Tracking our actions in the world.

Here we acknowledge the exquisite kindness shown to us by others and begin to notice how richly our own actions, words, movements spring from an indwelling source of care and caring.

Session Three / September 24-27
Her Presence Made Blessing

Each moment a blessing, given and received. We grow ever more conscious of the flowing abundance of grace, which only takes a gentle priming of the pump of awareness to notice how brightly the Earth shines, consciously filled with compassion and loving-kindness.

All sessions begin on Thursday evening at 7:00 and continue until 2:00 Sunday afternoon. They take place at Hidden Springs Wellness Center in Ashland, Oregon.



A 200,000,000 year journey on the Evolution Train begins with a single step.  All aboard!

Pioneering a New Track for Your Evolutionary Journey

From Creation to Creating Yourself Anew

–In Her Image–


Four weekend sessions in 2014 focus on

The Lady Who Walks Beside You

An exploration in “mythic biology” to discover and acknowledge the nature of the Feminine God, and to rejoice in Her pervading presence throughout our lives: past, present, future.



February 28 to March 2

During these days, we trace our mythic beginnings and the potency of gestation times. We activate images of the Divine Feminine through stories and personal experiences and begin to track Her role in guiding our decisions to live on this earth and become fully human beings. We look at the programming each human inevitably receives, and seek new ways to re-pattern those ancient, largely subconscious beliefs that have failed to create joy and aliveness. Through processes of imagination and meditation, we strengthen those parts of our lives that clarify purpose and bring soul-level satisfaction.



June 6 to 8

In this weekend’s work, we deepen into a profound awareness of the many faces of the Divine Feminine. We find the ways we share roles with the Great Goddess: as Creator and Destroyer; Nurturing Mother and Devouring Mother; Initiator and Initiated; Lover and Beloved. We begin a process and practice of imagining how it might be to embrace the role of the Goddess in the world: caring, cherishing, creating as Her hands, Her face and voice, Her heart.

bearing the gravity #93268E
Bearing the gravity together We are in watery electric motion We are being pulled apart Until Bear holds us together Keeping us close We hold firm our beliefs as one We pour from our hearts as one We nurture with our presence as one We bear the gravity together Sheltered by our determination We fulfill our pact to give freely From our own deep source We hold firm our beliefs as one We pour from our hearts as one We nurture with our presence as one We let something mysterious be born Emerging from our kinship of purpose We allow life awakening possibilities to Fly off in all directions We hold firm our beliefs as one All life is precious We pour from our hearts as one Letting love be our guide We nurture with our presence as one Giving peace a chance



September 25 to 28

During this long weekend, we seek healing images and strategies for our lives and for the world, along with modes of sustaining balance, energy, and passion throughout our years. We remember and learn to apply Her ways of renewal and commitment, and Her wild joy. We look for and find Her everywhere. Everywhere.



December 11 to 14

This final meeting of the year’s Evolutionary Journey into Creating Ourselves Anew–in Her Image demonstrates the immensity of Her presence, Her grace, Her wisdom, Her way of blessing. And the intensely personal interrelatedness of Her caring. Just as the devotees of the ancient mysteries of Demeter and Persephone felt their lives renewed by practice and ceremony, so may we re-enter the world as rededicated lovers of life. Rejoicing to be servants of life.


The weekends are designed to carry cumulative power, though each is a “stand-alone” experience. You are invited to participate in one or more, though ideally all four.


Please join this journey and know you will be welcome. Your reflections, experience, balancing power are needed to remind us that the Great Goddess enjoys abiding relationships with all the faces of the Divine Masculine.



From Creation to Creativity


You’re invited to participate in the fall and winter sessions of the Evolutionary Journey from Creation to Creativity. During the first three sessions, in February, April and June, we focused on the over-ground journey toward evolving richer, more outward expressions of life as a work of art. In November (1-3) and December (6-8) our attention will be drawn to the root systems of creativity; in other words, going underground to find the sources of art-filled life.  How do we source our creativity?  How do we nurture it? How do we sustain it?  How do we share it appropriately?

Enriching the Roots of Creativity

November focus will be on the root systems of the Trees of Life, Love, and Joy, and how our dreams provide sacred material to feed those roots.

In December, we honor the source and support of the Trees of Beauty, Inspiration, and Imagination, and pay attention to how we seed our lives as art for the days and years to come.

Posted Late May, 2013:

Third Session: June 7-9, Ashland, Oregon

We will review the journey from the heart of creation through the metaphor of the trees of Life, Love, Joy, Beauty, Inspiration, Imagination, Creativity, and Art. The desire is to bring us securely to a crowning moment, one in which we acknowledge and rejoice at the amazing opportunity we share to serve the world with gladness. As the work of art that is life itself, created moment by exquisite moment. We will also be working in the mythic realm to transform the idea of sacrifice into the joy of making an offering.

Posted Mid March, 2013:

Second Session: April 5-7, Ashland, Oregon

This session focuses on three parts of the journey from creation to creativity: Beauty, Inspiration, Imagination.  We’ll explore stories of Mythic Communities, celebrate the principle of liberation through sharing a Seder dinner together, look at the ways beauty heals us, the ways inspiration moves in us, and enjoy imaginative flights to other realms.  All in service of making our lives into works of art that serve and enhance the world.  Not bad for an April weekend.

Posted Early March, 2013:

“Forward, forward
let us not disappoint
the moon before us”
-Den Sute-Jo


April in Ashland, what could be better?
The beauty of springtime flooding our eyes and noses, fingertips, too;
Gathering with noble-hearted companions on an Evolutionary Journey
through joy to beauty,
through beauty to inspiration,

through inspiration to imagination.

What could be better?

The only thing that would make April better than it already promises to be would be to have you sign on for the Gathering at the Ashland Community Center, 59 Winburn Way, April 5-7.
The first weekend in February provided a splendid rallying around the sources of Creation and Creativity, and gave us a sense of belonging to a Mythic Community. Some members of that community recently wrote about their experiences, and you can read their words at my new website by clicking here.
There is a holy space waiting to be filled by you. A space only you can hold.
Here’s what I promise for the Gatherings:
A community of supportive, cherishing individuals.

An opportunity to discover and to practice what you were born to do.
An injunction to make something beautiful, and dedicate it as an offering to the life.

Discovering that Your Life is Your Art.

And you are what the world needs now.

Posted Late January, 2013:

The Shining Axle 

Shining Axle

“…the community was the center of life itself, the shining axle around which the great wheel of the universe revolved.  Stories, music, song and dance were the spokes of that slowly turning wheel.”
-Tomaseen Foley, Celtic storyteller, describing his memories of life in rural Ireland when he was a boy.

I’m dreaming of a community that not only forms the shining axle Tom describes as the hub of the universe, this community also practices the essence of the universe: unquenchable creativity.  Creativity in life poured out as an offering to all that exists; in an untiring expression of the miracle of life’s gifts; creativity in the practice of joy.  This community I dream of partners the universe, reflects the universe, sings to the universe, evolves the universe.

You’re invited to help form this community and to participate in this community. And enjoy the process of helping the universe turn through its magnificent cycles of creation and recreation.

Here are plans for the first three sessions of this community gathering.

First Session: February 15-17.
Giving Birth.
To ourselves as creators,
as lovers,
as embodiments of joy.
Stabilizing our lives in those potencies.
Session Two: April 5-7
Embracing Life.
As beauty,
Soaring into these realms and
coming home with their riches.
Session Three: June 7-9
Through creativity’s working in us
to acknowledge our selves

as works of art in action.

Posted Early January, 2013:

Doing What You Were Born To Do
On a recent splendid Sunday afternoon in Ashland, Oregon, I witnessed a woman doing what she was born to do, and in the process, electrify an audience and bring forth a burst of uncontainable joy. The woman was Ilana Rubenfeld, who since her arrival
Ilana Rubenfeld
Ilana Rubenfeld

in Oregon has actively supported music and musicians in many ways.

Ilana is best known for her unique physical and psychological work described in her elegant book, The Listening Hand.  Her book explains how paying exquisite attention to the body when working with psychological issues can provide deep and lasting healing.

However, in her earlier life, Ilana worked as a music conductor. And on this recent Sunday afternoon, she appeared onstage as guest conductor for the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers, Ashland’s amazing choral singing group, and led the group in songs that celebrate Hanukah, the Jewish holy days of midwinter, announcing the return of the light to a darkened world.


Ilana  stepped up onto the podium, with a little difficulty (she’s my age), spoke briefly about Handel’s oratorio, “Judas Maccabaeus,” and the triumphant piece that crowns it, which she then conducted.  Then she described a work written for Israel’s first choral music festival, held in 1958, which she had actually attended; then, complimenting the choir’s immaculate Hebrew (she had made sure it was immaculate), led them in that piece.  The last song was a traditional Hanukah hymn.

Talk about the Listening Hand!  Every part of Ilana was listening, guiding, inciting, while engrossed and transcendentally aware, — in a word, absolutely and totally alive in the music.  So were we watchers and listeners in the audience.  Reflecting on those moments later, as I have done consistently through the days since, it seemed to me that I witnessed someone doing what she was born to do.  And doing it exquisitely.

That led me to remember Thomas Wolfe’s dark and compelling poem, “This is Man,” which, among other painful verses cataloguing our failure as a species, contains these lines,

This is man,

Who if he can remember ten golden moments of joy and happiness

Out of all his years,

Ten moments unmarked by care,

Unseamed by aches or itches,

Has power to lift himself with his expiring breath,

And say:  “I have lived upon this earth

And known glory!”

In that magical fusion: ten moments of watching Ilana conduct, watching the chorus and orchestra respond with radiant attentiveness, and listening to the glory of the sounds they created together, I realized: “Ilana has lived on this earth and known glory!”

Now it well may be that she did not experience it like that: artists have a consistent and pervasive “divine discontent,” but she was up there; she had prepared, she had rehearsed, and she was doing what she was born to do.

My goal for this next year’s gatherings on the Evolutionary Journey is to have each participant able to say some way some how, “I have lived on this earth and known glory!”  And then have another ten minutes of glory, and then another, and another.  For all the rest of our lives, doing what we were born to do.

And doing it within a community of colleagues, allies, well-wishers, friends.

Come join the celebration!  Doing what you were born to do, and witnessing others doing the same!

Posted November, 2012:

Passion Play

Recently a close friend reminded me of how close I am to the final years of my life – in fact, I’m living them now. She gently chastised me for focusing on extraneous work and worries, saying, “You’ve got to get on your own horse, and pull your own wagon to the finish line.” Meaning, I realized, that I need to focus on the work I want to accomplish and to complete in this lifetime, and also that the ‘finish line’ draws closer every single day. I took what she said seriously and began a practice of discerning what ‘my wagon’ is. In the process I remembered this:
My earliest experience of professional theatre happened when I was a girl in Texas. The family made a trek to a huge Houston auditorium to see what they told me was called a Passion Play. I didn’t know until I got into the theatre what that Passion meant: Easter week in the life of Jesus. Certainly a story I knew well in those days; my family members were dedicated Christians, Methodists. And passion was what I felt. Not just for the story itself, but for the tremendous difference I experienced when the story was enacted. To see actors alive on stage, living a story before my eyes! What was born in me that day so many years ago was certainly passion, a passion for live theatre, for sacred plays.

In a recent conversation with another dear friend, I realized that’s what I want to do with the remainder of my years: provide a “stage” for people to recognize, celebrate, perhaps even enact, the passionate stories of their lives.

Thus was born my work for 2013: a series of Gatherings in which participants make a journey from the creation of the universe all the way to active, individual creativity, learning to know themselves as passionate artists of life. It’s called an Evolutionary Journey, from Creation to Creativity, and we will meet here in Ashland, OR. We anticipate six sessions next year, and registration is open now for the Spring/Summer Series of three. Sessions will build upon one another but you can attend them individually, too. See more about it below.


A New Look at the Tree of Life

A new understanding of the traditional images and metaphor of the Tree of Life, enlivens the evolutionary journey toward creativity and the artful life.

Here is the story as I see it; the primary movement is in the use of gifts to create an offering:

* Our Universe spins out our earth, Gaia, as an offering to the All.

* Gaia, using all the gifts she is given, creates Life, and makes Life her offering to our Universe.

* All the gifts of Life come together and create the “ten thousand things.” But for the lineage of Creativity the most important of those is Love. Love then becomes Life’s offering to the Universe and to the All.

* The great gifts of Love form a perfect offering to All that is, and that offering is Joy.

* Joy takes all her gifts and creates her offering, Beauty.

• Beauty creates Inspiration.

* Inspiration similarly utilizes her gifts and creates the Imagination as her offering to All.

* From the gifts of Imagination comes an offering of Creativity.

* From Creativity comes Art, and each individual life as a work of art in process.

Our work as human beings is to craft as beautiful a work of art from our lives as possible, and then to make that artwork a dedicated offering to whatsoever we sense is greater than we feel ourselves to be.