The Council of European Grandmothers
Official report of the 7th Council Meeting in Sodertalje, Jarna, Sweden
Host: Grandmother Madeleine Söderström
Present: Grandmother: Aldona, Beate, Bette, Elisabeth, Erika, Helga, Isabel, Irene, Madeleine, MaryAnne, Monika, Pascale, Soizig, Tina
Absent: Grandmother: Daiva, Mary, Sabina, Sofia, Swami Nitya, Toni, Vibeke, Wenche
Date: Official part. Friday 17th – Sunday 19th June 2022
Friday morning, 17 th of June
The Grandmothers met for the first time in three years due to the restrictions imposed by the Covid19 pandemic. A morning walk together down to the ponds in Ytterjärna Trädgårdspark. “A garden meets a park that meets a landscape” it says about this place – Ytterjärna Conference Center – a bit outside Järna by the Baltic sea, 5 miles south of the Capital Stockholm. After the walk a internal opening ceremony for the European Grandmothers.
On Friday evening the Official Opening Ceremony took place in the 900 year old St.Ragnild’s Church in the centre of Södertälje.
When women and men from Ukraine, Russia, Finland, Norway, Sapmi, Sweden, Ireland, Germany, Lithuania, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Iran, Peru, Chile, and Africa had taken their seats, and silence fell, the fanfare for Life and Peace was raised by Mathilda Lindgren. After this a Reconciliation ceremony between genders, generations, cultures/people and Mother Earth was held in four steps and in between music, storytelling, speech and poem.
The heart of this was a touching and courageous ritual of forgiving between the male and the female, performed by Grandmother Madeleine and Martin Winter in front of the altar. Swedish musicians contributed with songs and instrumental pieces of music. Madeleine Söderström commemorated women´s suffrage in Sweden, drawing on the fact that Sweden is now entering the 101st year as the beginning of a new circle.
The ceremony ended with a huge circle of women and young people, using the whole space of the church. It was symbolically and practically completed by the men stepping in. Together we sang “Circle of Life“.
|Music/talk:Ebba Svensson & Jonathan Ed. Tobias Fjälling & Daniel Lundbäck. Mathilda Lindgren. Siri Lundström. Beate Heide. Gestalta: Martin D Winter, European Grandmothers and the audience||Host: Madeleine Söderström. Malin Sommanö. Hanna Lönneborg. Gunilla Gustavsson. Marlen Ablahad Eskander Aili Lundström, 10 år|
Saturday – Sunday 18 th – 19 th of June
Council Dialog in three parts:
We investigated the following questions:
1.What is life and the conditions of life?
2. How is the life support system of which we are currently a part perceived; in
finance/banking, law, nature & wildlife, children, water, business, politics, government?
3. What do we do now so that nurturing life becomes important and the basis for the
development of sustainable life systems and social systems?
A diverse group of 40 women and men of different ages, ranging from their 20’s to their 90’s, from different parts of society and 12 European countries, took part in this dialog together with the Grandmothers.
The idea was to build a safe field of research, where the diversity of people was able to be included as a whole person with a respected voice, as per the Credo of the European Grandmothers: “Everybody has the Wisdom to Support and Maintain a Sustainable World for the next 7 generations.“
Maria Bergbäck guided us expertly through a variety of verbal and non-verbal communication processes, involving movement and body postures, where we shared what is blocking life processes and what is supporting them. We began as individuals, progressed to duo’s then trio’s, etc. For example we identified with major protagonists including: “big bank“, “government“, “nature“, “science“, “children” and explored the limitations and possibilities of these systems from an insider point of view.
The second day – Sunday – was Harvest Day.
The dialog participants formed groups out of their inspiration on: „How can I bring something forward that supports the living system?“ Some Grandmothers supported the process with their centered energy by sitting in meditation.
Short summary of the dialog:
- Not being angry at the system
- Being aware that you are part of the Golden Net of Light/Life
- Radical act of being at peace with „what is“ – is necessary
- Things are complicated, but imagine, it is simple
- Communication in tolerance and acceptance
- The importance of listening to others and voluntarily changing perspectives.
- Helping each other to listen to what we can collectively live up to.
- Helping each other move to a field where we are able and willing to support the living system together.
- Realize that you are a creator
- A mutual love relationship with all that is giving us life and meet your own life process with love every morning.
Midsummer time in Järna, Sveden…..Abundance of light, joy and exitement. To this the side programme was a great match. It surrounded the heart of our meeting, the investigation of, “how can we support life, what are the acupuncture points?“ like a bed of flowers.
Other activities and ceremonies during the days
Saturday – Sunday 18th and 19th June
Womens gathering with Dagomara Ullman close to the see. We received symolically the seeds of life in the
form of vivid Marigold seeds.
Visiting the Reading Promotion Institute, bridgebuilder between cultures
Friday afternoon we met founder Marlen Ablahad Eskander, who reported about her work to support successful integration of immigrants into Svedish society by written and spoken word. LINK
Water ceremony with Grandmother Erika Völker-Elshof
Outdoor meditation with Cellist Eva Fasth in the Rosegarden
Midwife Elisabeth Ubbe : The first seconds of life on earth plus talk
Artist Elisabeth Cardell: Creativity
Photographer Tom Jonasson: The forest, the forest, the forest
German Artist Eike Eschholz : Walfahrt project plus talk
Artist Ute Drexel: The beauty and magic of nature
Lecture and talk on the theme of ‘END ECOCIDE’ – as leverage and support for life, society, climate, nature and business conditions. With systemic activist Pella Thiel, Swedish: Link to End Ecocide Sweden English: https://www.stopecocide.earth
Silent walk in nature by Malin Sommanö and Tobias Fjälling
Storytelling by Isa Tibbling, Sweden and Sami Grandmother Beate Heide
Circle peace dance led by Kirsten Nistedt
Closing Ceremony – Walking the spiral
We plant the seed of life and also the context of the Council dialog into a Closing Ceremony.
A huge spiral made of hay, was located beside our venue.
Two grandmothers as gatekeepers invited each person to enter. Everyone picked a flower from a bouquet, which had brightened up our conference room, and walked in a dignified pace towards the centre. There she/he laid down the flower; then stayed for a moment until the impulse to leave led them to stride out of the spiral-to regroup in the circle and draw the conference to a close.
A big Thank You to Grandmother Madeleine and Edda Sweden and to all who contributed to this beautiful Midsummer Council Meeting!
The Swedish team thanks you for visiting our country and sharing your wisdom with our wisdom and your determination to support life on our earth for the next seven generations.
We send a big warm thank you to all the visitors from all the countries and the Town Södertälje.
Thank you to all the women and men from who supported this event in various ways:
Siri Lundström, Aili Lundström, Malin Sommenö, Eva Fasth, Hanna Lönneborg, Gunilla Gustavsson, Marlen Ablahad Eskander, Maria Bergbäck, Isa Tibbling, Elisabet Cardell, Dagomara Danza Ullman, Ebba Svensson, Petronella Sjöö, Tobias Fjälling, Mathilda Lindgren, Daniel Lundbäck,
Jonathan Ed, Anette Arenberg, Anna Gran, YIP and to Ytterjärna Conference center and Foodculture/Matkultur.
Thank you to the film team: Martin D Winter and Frank Pelwitz
“Until we meet again, let us all continue planting and take good care of the seeds of Life“
The Council of the European Grandmothers