Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cultural Creatives Movie - More Good News!

[image: 3D map of the World Wide Web, courtesy, opte.org]
Illustration in 3-D of the actual domains and connections of the world wide web by  George Laughead


"The Internet is not a thing, a place, a single technology,
or a mode of governance. It is an agreement. "

  John Gage, Director of Science, Sun Microsystems, Inc.**

If you look at the image above (colors represent different domains and "threads" of the internet).....it could look like a web, or the nervous system of some kind of complex organism.

In most Hopi stories about the ending of the 3rd age, it is Grandmother Spider Woman, the  Creatrix Weaver,  who leads the people from chaos into the new world, the 4th World.  There are some legends that when the time has come, Spider Woman will return to show her children the way again.  Like the Mayan prophecies, the Hopi calendar is also ended, signalling the end of this age and the advent of a new era and the beginning of the "Fifth World".

I have often wondered if the World Wide Web just might be  Her latest appearance.


I recently viewed the new documentary by Cultural Creatives  through a related organization I subscribe to, the  Institute for the Emerging Wisdom Culture.   Speaking of Circles, and the weaving of worlds, of the rapid becoming of Integral (Circular) consciousness, speaking of possibilities instead of destruction, speaking of Spider Woman's shimmering web being re-woven, speaking of a new paradigm.......watch this film!  It's about hope - I'm so encouraged by seeing this!



**PS - did you notice the Pentangle in the image above?  Can't help but comment....


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Incubating Circles


You have
noticed that everything
an Indian does is in a circle, and that
is because the Power of the World always
works in circles, and everything tries to be round. In
the old days when we were a strong and happy people, all
our power came to us from the sacred hoop of the nation, and
as long as the hoop was unbroken, the people flourished. The
flowering tree was the living center of the hoop and the circle of the
four quarters nourished it. The east gave peace and light, the south
gave warmth, the west gave rain, and the north with its cold and mighty
wind gave strength and endurance. Everything the Power of the World does
is in a circle. The sky is round and I have heard that the Earth is round like a
ball, and so are all the stars. The wind in its greatest power whirls.Birdsmake
their nests in circles. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a
circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons
form a great Circle in their changing, and always come back again
to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood
to childhood, and so is everything where Power moves. Our
teepees were round like the nests of birds, and these were
always set in a circle, the nation's hoop, a nest of
many nests, where the Great Spirit meant
for us to hatch our children.
----Black Elk




Bird's Nest
by Keith Taylor

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Chronicles of Shane


For a month now, I've kept a card on my altar that a mechanic gave me when I took my car in for an oil change recently.  Below the Ford logo, it says "Shane Crist, Service Advisor".*

I doubt this would represent a sacred relic to anyone except me, least of all the young man who has the misfortune to be named after a  word for God.  But my altar is full of objects I consider  "comments" from the "Big Conversation",  which, it seems to me, is a highly  subjective business.  This card is like a Yin/Yang symbol to me, a little synchronistic nudge from the Universe to keep on working on the interior no matter chaotic the exterior life seems, to keep on becoming whole.

"Crist" represents to me the Light, the  Christ consciousness or illuminated consciousness - "enlightenment".  "Shane" represents (to me) that which is unconscious, "below", yin,  yet also part of my whole being  - "endarkenment".

As above, so below. Some people get gold statues of the Madonna for their altars, or an angel drops them a feather.  I get cards from car dealerships.  Relics happen.


I wanted to write about a dream I've been working with since December of 2009,  because, to me, it demonstrates the gift of dreams, and how synchronicities can inform us within the same sphere - I've come to call my process with it "The Chronicles of Shane".

In 2009 I had a lucid dream, and since I rarely dream, when I do,  I feel my unconscious is throwing a brick at me and I should  pay attention.  I work with dreams in Jungian terms, and thus  it's like unpeeling an onion with many skins of meaning to find a gem at the core.  This particular dream is so clearly about what Jung called the "shadow" and the "Anima/Animus" it's classic.

My dream began on a high, steep mountain road that afforded a great view of the ocean.  It seemed there were different levels of tunnels or chutes I had to go down, each time preceded by a woman who seemed very familiar.  I was frightened, but I couldn't go back.  Watching the woman go before me was somehow reassuring.  In the first tunnel I was in my car, driving straight down an impossibly steep road, and at the bottom I found myself on a ledge.  I parked my car, realizing I had to leave it there, and followed the woman to another "chute".  She jumped in and I watched her disappear.  So I closed my eyes and jumped in after her.........and found myself standing on a high ledge with a magnificent view of the blue ocean very far below.  I stood before a narrow trail head, and again observed the strange woman disappearing around the bend ahead of me.  Once again I didn't know what to do.


Then I heard numerous voices speaking to me - they were all calling me "Shane".  I couldn't understand why they were calling me this name.......until I looked down at my feet, and  realized that I was "Shane"........I was a man called Shane!  How strange!  And with that realization,  I was able to put my knapsack on my back, grab my walking stick, and began walking down the trail.  Then I woke up.

Jung believed all dreams are personally helpful.  I agree, although I also believe there are dreams that are precognitive, as well as dreams that may represent spirit contact.  This dream was, as dreams are, multi-dimensional, and I've broken it down into different components, all of which are mutually related. 
"The Animus as positive energy represents empowerment, the capacity to engage in and fight for what one wants, and the assertion of the life force.  Positive Animus energy is seldom given - it is achieved." 



First Dimension of the Dream - "The Animus":

I believe the woman going ahead of me is myself, my identity as a woman.  I had a domineering, tyrannical father, and a mother whose needs were never taken into consideration.   My first observation was that in "becoming a man" at the trail head, I was being urged to look at the need for healing (integrating is a better word) the "animus" aspect of  myself.  The road ahead, unknown as it may be, must be, and is, now empowered by  the "male" self that I have previously projected outside of myself, or  rejected as negative or corrupt.  I can no longer "give my power away" as I go forward.   Whether this happens at 30 or 80, I believe this is a significant passage women  must go through, just as men seek, at certain points in their lives, the disenfranchised, hidden or unknown "feminine" aspects of their soul life.


Second Dimension of the Dream - "Shadow":


 "Shane" sounds like "Shame", and one dimension of shadow work is dealing with unconscious, toxic shame.  To experience emotional  regret at the ways one has hurt others, or stepped outside of integrity, or made bad choices,  is a gift - because one can then consciously change,  make amends, and become a wiser, more mature human being.  Shame, however,  is a suffocating, toxic emotion that usually has nothing to do with anything real, and clouds any ability to act with clarity.  It's something imprinted on a child by society and family, and in order to emerge as a self-aware adult, the stranglehold of toxic shame has to be washed away so one can "see clearly".   Dealing with toxic shame is genuine Shadow Work, because it has so much emotional power, and resides so deeply in unconscious origins.

"Going down the trail" can now mean  consciously working with the  shame and guilt that deplete vitality and purpose - "becoming Shane/Shame" is to aquire self understanding, the ability to transmute the depleting (shadow)  energy into something positive.

Third Dimension of the Dream - "Shadow and Projection"

Jung believed that where there are intense negative reactions to someone or something, there probably is a projection of one's shadow issues lurking in the background.  "Shane" also happens to be the name of someone I have in the past intensely disliked, and this dream has invited me to examine that.

Shane was an egotistical young man who married a young woman who worked for me.  I often described him as "opportunistic", and ended up giving them, without cost,  my most profitable business,  which I had regrets about.  I've had a lifelong pattern of giving myself away, and the young man, not surprisingly, soon took full credit for everything.  My dislike of "Shane" really was hatred of my unconscious pattern of "giving my power away" that I  received from my mother. 

In "becoming Shane" in my dream, I actually was given a "shadow blessing".  Now I go down the road now taking good advantage of the opportunities that are given to me (being fully "opportunistic"), and taking deserved credit for the work I do.    In my pack are all the  qualities of self-protection I need.  In so doing, I'm able to forgive myself for poor choices in the past, and the anger I felt for "Shane" has dissipated as I take responsibility for its source in myself.

Years ago I was married to a talented artist, and after we were married he became interested in my mask business, so we became business partners as well.  We received a commission for a collection of special masks from a famous magician, and together met with him to discuss the particulars.    Our house was made so that if one came through the door, my studio was at the front of a long hall, and his studio was at the end of the hall. I was not surprised when the magician, who I admired for his stage work as well as his contribution to the Pagan community, came to visit. He waved at me as he walked down the hall to visit my ex. A day later I asked my partner why he'd come by, and he told me that he'd brought the contract to sign.So he had, and they had signed it.

But both of them had failed to notice that my name was not included on the contract.

There is a feminist dimension to this dream for me as well - one aspect of the meaning of "becoming Shane"  means not being co-opted, "giving away credit" to men because I'm a woman.  Things have changed but that issue is still present.

Fourth Dimension of the Dream - "The King"

The last dimension of this dream has been slow in coming.   I've been a great fan of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings ever since I could read.  Towards the end of the book, an indignant hobbit cries out against an usurper that the  "rightful ruler"  was the "Shane of the Shire".  So the final meaning of this name, for me, is "King" - the "King of myself".

(Actually, I learn only recently, Tolkien used the term "Thane" and not "Shane" - but since I didn't know that until last week, the meaning remains the same.)

The woman went ahead on the trail.  And now,  I am both the man, and the woman, and this integral dream affirms that I can, and should,  proceed with the means to be "the king" of my life as I go forward into the unknown territory of my 60's.  Below is the mysterious blue  ocean of the unconscious, the greater life of the soul.

I proceed  down the trail, walking stick in hand, my pack full of  useful tools on my back.  And  the high and holy view of the vast ocean below is truly magnificent.



*One more funny synchro attached to this is that somehow I've become subscribed to JET magazine.....if a friend wanted play a joke, I would imagine they'd come up with something like a subscription to "Modern Mechanic" or "Crochet Today".  But a magazine for black people? I like the magazine, but I'm definately vanilla colored.   I get it every week......so I'll just take this as a weekly affirmation.  The Chronicles of Shane.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Transformative Vision


I was sorry to hear that Jose Arguelles died on March 23.  He was truly a visionary leader, and a cultural creative.  He was best known for his interpretation of Mayan prophecies, most significantly the "2012"  prophecy, and the Harmonic Convergence of 1987.

But for me he was  a guide as I began my life as an artist, helping me to navigate the awful cynicism and materialism of the art world, and to understand the significance of  art and human expression  as mysticism, healing, shamanism, and prophecy with his 1975 book THE TRANSFORMATIVE VISION - Reflections on the Nature of Human Expression, written when he was a professor of art history in San Francisco, and at the height of the Bay Area Visionary Art movement. In the 1980's he inspired the Transformative Art movement.



His 1972 book  MANDALA, which included his work and was co-written with his wife Mirium, was also a profound inspiration.

He also co-founded the Planet Art Network (PAN)  in 1983 as a worldwide peace organization engaging in art and spirituality. Active in over 90 countries,  "PAN upholds the Nicholas Roerich Peace Pact and Banner of Peace, symbolizing "Peace Through Culture".  The Planet Art Network  upholds the slogan "Time is Art", suggesting that time is a vehicle for our creative experience, instead of the familiar saying "Time is Money".*"

Thank you, Jose Arguelles, for giving so much vision to the world, and to me.



*Wikipedia

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Good News: Eco-Villages


I feel like it's very important to remember how very resilient the human spirit can be,  how possible it is for us to adapt, and how resilient nature can respond when we live in attunement, in "good relationship" with the earth. 

 In this time when it seems that the world is mired in war, greed and folly, as a counter, it's especially important to remember that  there is much that is hopeful.   I had fun archiving videos of the communities below, all of which have been around for a very long time, and a few of which I've been able to visit, if only briefly.  As one member of Findhorn,  who is interviewed below, comments, "sustainability won't work unless it's also fun".  Here are a few of the  hopeful experiments going on right now.  There is also a list of some of the world's ecovillages and ecocommunities  available through the Fellowship for Intentional Communities.  

One of my favorites is the Flying Fish Eco Village in Fiji .....I'd love to visit there! There is an annual Symposium on Intentional Communities (which I attended in the '90's), that is usually held at Twin Oaks Community in Virginia.  It's inexpensive to attend, and you can meet members of communities from all over the world.

Findhorn
Ecovillage at Ithaca, NY
Greater World Earthship Community, Taos, NM

The Farm, Tennessee
  The Sirius Community, Shutesbury, Mass.





Monday, March 21, 2011

Dance With Destiny Documentary

'The Prophetic Heart explores the true frontiers of consciousness, where past, present and future meld seamlessly into activist art, an inclusive pulsing web of which we are both but a single inextricable strand and one of the crucial conscious weavers. We learn that our work is not only to create a sustainable future, but to develop the presence and judgment necessary to discern what values and ways of being are truly worth sustaining. Even as we face political repression and wars, environmental destruction and a culture of distraction and denial, we are each being given an assignment and opportunity to create holistic alternatives. We see that our personal struggles are part of a shamanic process of falling apart and being remade, much as the tumultuous Earth Changes tell the story of a living planet restoring balance through dramatic transformation. We come away from watching this film not paralyzed with fear but called to attempt the so called “impossible”…to be an active part of the shift and cure.'
-Jesse Wolf Hardin  
 
Today is the Equinox, and my dreams continue to be about Balance, which is also what this sacred day is all about.  Balance of light and dark, conscious mind and shadow, above and below.  Syncronistically I am sending off today a Persephone mask that someone ordered - half light, half dark is her face.  There is a personal synchronicity in that as well concerning a dream I've been mulling over for more than a year now, but I'll have to wait a bit to write on that.  All things are woven..........

I was writing about Kali, the Dark Goddess, and the urgent need to wake up and shatter the "demons of delusion" in my previous post.  While searching for information about a true visionary I met, Jesse Wolf Hardin, I learned of an important new  film he participated in - Dance With Destiny, a documentary by (syncronistically again) Bruce Weaver.   Describing himself, the filmmaker comments that:

"At seventeen, in the U.S. armed forces, he found himself assigned to load nuclear weapons on B-52 bombers. Dressed in full chemical warfare gear on a training exercise, Bruce’s dreamscape images flooded to his mind in vivid detail. It was then the dream became all too real. Bruce left the Air Force, and began a life of earnest study of spirituality, mythology, and of ancient peoples.".
Among his travels, he spent time with Hopi elders exploring their prophecies, and was able to interview the Kogi ("Elder Brother") of the Sierra Nevada mountains of Columbia.   This is an important film, and rather than paraphrase, I copy from the website:

"This film will show that modernity’s problems are rooted in a host of unchecked “isms,” corporatism, statism, militarism, egoism, etc. Solutions will come not from rulers of vested systems, such as politicians or corporate directors. Only radical, heartfelt, internal revolutions of the spirit – which many of the interviewees in this film focus on -- can mend our souls and the web of life.   By combining deft reporting on a range of issues that contextualize the various interviews, Dance With Destiny shows how Mother Nature is paying humanity back for its hubris, excesses and neglects. In the tradition of Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of balance, the classic documentary by Godfrey Reggio, Dance With Destiny will probe the conceptual ties between manmade and natural phenomenon (koyaanisqatsi is a Hopi word meaning "life of moral corruption and turmoil" or "life out of balance"). It will show, for example, how in unprecedented numbers and with unprecedented fervor, the scientific community is warning that the planet’s resources are being stretched to the point of collapse. 

It will explore how media focuses on the political and diplomatic aspects of global warming while ignoring its impact on agriculture, water supplies, plant and animal life, public health, and weather. It will show how the coal and oil industry spend millions of dollars to plant public doubts about global warming’s role in recent natural disasters from tsunamis, hurricanes, abnormally massive rainfall, unprecedented wind storms and severe draughts. 
 
After two world wars left 100 million people dead, a new imperial war machine marches unchecked across the globe.**  As war marches on, new pandemics threaten vast populations..........Information is the currency of the age yet meaning and spiritual intelligence are scarce.  Millions awake daily to spiritual isolation as ubiquitous technology dulls human curiosity and powers of observation.


**I was impressed with this comment, in that, so shortly after the media announced the disaster proceeding in Japan, attention was quickly turned to a new war in Libya, once again creating a distraction from a much, much greater problem that no war can resolve.

***I also have to note that the one thing I see lacking in this film (having not seen it in it's entirety)..........is there are no voices of women.  This was disturbing to me.  I'm not going to negate this important documentary...........but I was saddened that, once again, women somehow aren't included.  I'm tired of this, the omission of women  (unless they are ornamental young women with sexual interest or value).  The unconscious assumption that women are invisible is a very important shadow that needs to be addressed as we speak of Restoring the Balance

Since I am (perhaps unfairly)  feeling that my otherwise brilliant colleagues here have, as usual, ignored women in collecting interviews with  spiritual leaders, I would like to add that recently the Dali Lama made a surprising comment that he felt the world will be saved by women. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kali Yuga


I love this painting I did for my (never published) Tarot deck, although most people I've shown it to ignore it as uncomfortable, unaesthetic, not "light".  But to me it perfectly embodies the card The Hanged Man, which to me always meant something like "enlightenment or deepening of self through suffering".  Here a soldier, exhausted by the horror of war, is beyond the masks of his circumstance, beyond pain and has had a breakthrough into another state of being.  I think I was originally inspired to create this image by Apocalypse Now, the Martin Sheen film about Vietnam.

I try to keep this blog positive, and inspiring.  But as the Equinox approaches, the Day of Balance, I find it hard, frankly, to find my own balance today.  A week ago, if Lovelock's Gaia Hypothesis can be considered into the equation, the living Earth, whose very climate we are changing, suddenly shuddered and moaned, and a vast wave engulfed one of the most densely populated islands in the world.  And now, again, the unfathomable destruction of a nuclear disaster burns into the very ground and water and air of that beautiful country.  And this, like everything else, is not some isolated "incident" somewhere far away in the Pacific ocean.  Because the water, and the earth, and the air sustains all of us;  this "incident" affects all of us, and those who are yet unborn.  Another wake up call for a global humanity.  "Wake up!"  "Wake up!  The time is now!"

And what do I read about in the news this morning?  My own country, also suffering environmental degradation and a depression, bankrupt, with thousands of young veterans returning with no jobs and post-traumatic stress syndrome and no money to even re-integrate them back into society,  losing its schools, its daycare centers, its hospitals, and its forests..........is getting ready to engage in yet another civil war in yet another Middle Eastern country.  Just what we need.   More war.   A real survival logic.

It seems that the patriarchal mind has only one solution to all problems, whether global or local:  "If in doubt, go to war!  That will surely make everything better!"

I have been so confused by the strange passivity of our time - but I'm old Berkeley activist, now kind of beached on the shores of this desert town, growing old and caring for my very elderly mother, and often feeling that I'm useless.  It's very strange sometimes to be a true child of the 60's in today's world.  For example,  I remember marching against the Vietnam War in San Francisco with 300,000 people in 1970, and I remember sleeping in Golden Gate Park that night, with thousands of others in sleeping bags.  I remember marching again against the invasion of Iraq in 2003 in San Francisco, again with 300,000 people.  

What good did either war do?  We fought in Vietnam to "save the world from Communist China".  I find no small irony to consider that they now have most of our manufacturing, and subsidize current wars with their loans.  And what about Iraq?  So many lives........

And I remember, in 2009, marching with 300 people at the White House on the anniversary of the 2001 War (yes, ten years now) - and that time, the media followed our pitiful little group around and snickered at us, as if we were "kooks", as if the very idea of protesting war, and advocating for peace, was on the same level as people who believe in Atlantis or UFO's or burn bras (not that I haven't done all of that as well).  That shocked me.  Truly shocked me. 

 
"Kali is so much about contemporary life.  Women need to become angry. About the women of Afghanistan, the meaningless wars, the destruction of our environment.  The demons of insatiable greed that are devouring our planet. Those who await the future are being denied their birthright. Kali is the catalyst for saying "No more".  It's time to embrace the sword of Kali and cut away the delusions that are destroying our world. Kali is the ferocious mother who says "get away from my children, or I'll kill you."  

Drissana Devananda

Kali Yantra

It's the time of the Dark Goddess.  The Kali Yuga.   It's the time of Kali, the one who breaks through the illusion, the one who shatters the delusions, the psychic surgeon who ends denial, the Mother of those who are Yet to Come.   

If our evolving global civilization has currently had amnesia about the continuity and interdependency of life, and does not practice the Lakota ideal  of acting for "7 generations" - Kali's dance will re-mind us.  I believe that this "shadow work" is what is going on very much right now, individually, and collectively, and I hope my friends who may read this, and other thoughts in the future, will not be alarmed if my focus is on the Dark Goddess for a while.  I believe it's Her time, and She may just very well be, as Kali was in Hindu mythology, the last ditch savior.  

The Dark Goddess is about restoring the balance, the integral force of true maturation.
"The Dark Goddess, who is found in many cultures by many names, is not aspected lightly.  Working with Her calls forth one's internal capacity for psychic empowerment. I found myself wanting to slide away when it brought my own way of being to the surface."
Ann Waters
In Hindu mythology, there came a time when the world was being destroyed by demons, and the Gods waged a great war against them, all to no avail.  Finally, the great Goddess Durga manifested from her being the terrible Goddess Kali, and Kali was the only one who was able to overcome the demons, and save the world.  In many iconic Hindu images Kali is shown with a necklace of severed heads, a tounge protruding in laughter or in battle lust.  In her rage she could not be stopped, and so her consort, Lord Shiva, lay down before her, and it was only then, when she realized it was his body she danced upon, that she ceased her dance of destruction.  

Kali is a complex Goddess, worshipped widely in India, and very important to Bengalese tantra. To Westerners, she is strange Icon - but upon reflection, Kali represent to her followers the Primal Mother, who gives life and takes it back as well.   Her name means both "black", "dark", and "formless", as well as "Time". In the Mahanirvana-tantra, Kali is one of the epithets for the primordial sakti, and in one ancient  passage the God Shiva praises her thus**:
"At the dissolution of things, it is Kala [Time] Who will devour all, and by reason of this He is called Mahakala [an epithet of Lord Shiva], and since Thou devourest Mahakala Himself, it is Thou who art the Supreme Primordial Kalika. Because Thou devourest Kala, Thou art Kali, the original form of all things, and because Thou art the Origin of and devourest all things Thou art called the Adya [primordial Kali]. Resuming after Dissolution Thine own form, dark and formless, Thou alone remainest as One ineffable and inconceivable. Though having a form, yet art Thou formless; though Thyself without beginning, multiform by the power of Maya, Thou art the Beginning of all, Creatrix, Protectress, and Destructress that Thou art"
KALI


Once upon a time the world became overpopulated by demons.
They filled the world with their copious greed,
and reproduced themselves endlessly.
They had become, in other words,
full of themselves.
They consumed the light of day, they soiled the air
they ate the trees, they swallowed the waters
they devoured the lands with their insatiable greed


Until there were no more things of beauty made,
or new dreams dreamed, or children born.


The unborn ones called to me
The ones yet to come.
The time had come
to say Enough.
And No More.


I, I am the Goddess of No More

I, I  am the shadow of all those
who cannot remember
how to say enough
and No More

I, I am the Mother
of those
who are yet to come


Jai Ma
Kali Ma

Lauren Raine (Performance, 1999)




Friday, March 18, 2011

A House of Doors

"A House of Doors" (1987)

To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings.

The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you

Put down the weight 
of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation.

Everything is waiting for you.

  Everything is Waiting for You
  by David Whyte
"For My Father and Time" (1987)

A HOUSE OF DOORS

He opened the door, and walked outside.
It was summer, I remember cicadas
scratching through a hole in space
and a hole in the door
where a man used to be.

The house I live in
has many rooms.
I recall white rooms,
and a grey room
wallpapered with old letters.

Some rooms are tombs for the heart
full of damp bones
and useless ornaments.

I remember a pink room
that pressed me until I couldn't breathe
and a yellow room
big enough to hold the sky
or a troupe of elephants
dancing on a thimble.

Some rooms diminish
some rooms compress.
Rooms can be tricky.


What I chiefly remember
are doors.

I live in a house of doors.


"Persistence of Memory" (1987)
II.

She stood at the door
and walked outside:
it was Spring,
I remember lilacs
opening through a window
framed in lavender light
and a window opening into space
where a girl in a white dress used to be.

A white dress,
flying like a flag,
a white dress
opening like a morning glory.


"A House of Doors III" (1987)
 III.

When I opened the door
I saw her sitting there
the girl with the Kodak smile.

The sign on the door said 1969
it was February in Berkeley.
Plum trees were red in the rain,
steam rose from an espresso machine
and smoke rises from the girl
who listens to the boyfriend
whose name I don’t remember

cigarette in hand
orchestrating
she listens
she knows the punch line.

I closed the door
and the girl slipped away behind me,
riding a train I could see in perspective,
riding to a vanishing point.

I remember
names.

"When The Rain Was Singing" (1989)
VI.

An onion, that's it.

All those layers
just when you think
you can name yourself,
you discover new layers,
you’re forming a new skin,
a new ring.

But there's a core.
And where does that core start?

V.

This room I live in
these walls
they seem to be getting thin.
I can almost see through them today.

Today I feel,
I feel like a Chinese box
one inside another.

I consider a state of grace:

I think
I think I may be the gate

that opens into another room
made of clouds, or sky
I think about clouds today,
about the tops of clouds.

I remember white dresses I wore.
I remember doors.
I can't remember the girl's name.

IV.

"Funny", she said,
"how time takes the names out of things,
and bleaches the rest kind of transparent."

Funny.
Chiefly,
I remember doors.

Sometimes, you open a door,
any door
and you have to walk outside

into something tender
like a touch on a winter night
into a quiet yard
because of a voice you hear


or a bell
or a train
pulling away somewhere.
 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sandra Ingerman on Healing for Japan

 Icon by Betsy Porter

 I've been following the shamanic work of Sandra  Ingerman since I read her book Soul Retrieval.    I have greatly admired her "Medicine for the Earth" work.  I felt like copying here a recent article Sandra sent out in response to the events in Japan.   As the Equinox approaches, I feel that Restoring the Balance, on every level, is of the essence.

 
"Our hearts expand as we embrace the enormity of all the pain being suffered by the people and all living beings in Japan who have been impacted by the earthquake and the tsunami.  When we feel that our hearts are breaking as we watch levels of suffering in actuality our hearts are expanding allowing us to be stronger and deeper channels of love and light.

Let us journey transcending our egos and experience the vastness of our spiritual light and love. In this way we become beacons of light and love for all of life in Japan.  Let us expand our individual aura and become one with a spiritual pulsation and frequency to transform the radiation that is moving into the atmosphere.  Move out of a place of pity for the suffering you see and focus on the strong spirit of the people, all of life, and the land itself. In this way you project strength which leads to a foundation of support for all in need.

Let us sing songs of love and healing to the earth, the waters of the world, the air, and to the element of fire. Go outside and sing!  

There is an extreme level of panic that is being "blasted" into the collective over the fear of radiation moving through our atmosphere.   It is crucial right now that you do the spiritual work you have been practicing over the years. Take the time to find your center. Go out and spend time in nature to center and refocus. Breathe deeply and remember that you are spiritual light and have all the tools and internal spiritual wisdom to guide you during this time.

As a global community we do have great power as we work together spiritually. Let us project a vision of healing and peace. Project a vision of cooling for the nuclear reactors and further disaster being avoided.  Do your transfiguration practice daily and throughout the day and experience yourself as divine light. Divine light has the power to transmute and transform all energies into healing energies. For thousands of years mystics and spiritual healers throughout the world have been using this way of working to transmute toxins and illness. Let us carry on the work that has shown itself to have so much potential for healing.

Learn to read the omens that nature will continue to show to help guide you.  We must learn to honor the rite of passage and initiation that humankind is going through. We are experiencing levels of death on many levels. Death is not an end but rather is a transition. 

In the Bible it says that without a vision the people will perish. We are the dreamers of our world.  We need to be able to hold a vision that the collective can move towards as the old is dismembered. Reflect on the vision you want to be projecting into the world right now and make changes to your vision to lead to a desired outcome. Engage your imagination in a focused way. Project the best for all of life.

Build up your spiritual muscles!  Let us together hold the planet in love.

The media moves on after covering environmental, political, and economic events. People and all of life are still suffering the effects of the earthquake in Haiti and in New Zealand, the oil spill in the Gulf, the floods in Australia, the extreme weather in the U.S.  just to name a few. 

We are one collective. We are not separate cultures, separate countries. We are going through an initiation together. Let us do our work and live our lives in a good way. That is how we can be in service to the whole.

During the equinox remember the wonderful memories and dreams for your life and for the life of the planet. Project beauty into the collective.
 
Plant seeds of love and beauty and inspiration in your inner garden so that they grow, blossom, and bear fruit here in our earth garden. 

From "A Message Regarding Recent Events" by Sandra Ingerman, www.SandraIngerman.com | P.O. Box 4757 | Santa Fe | NM | 87502.

"Earth Icon IIV", Lauren Raine (2010)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Persephone


I realized that the Persephone page on my website is broken, and needs to be fixed.  But then I realized that this time of the approaching Equinox is Persephone's time - a time of of light and dark in balance, of rebirth.   And so I re-print the broken page here.
PERSEPHONE
She usually calls for me in winter,
But this year, I did not hear
Until the earth was in bud.
It seemed strange
To turn toward that dark stare
To go down
When life was already celebrating
A return.
          But when the Dark Goddess
demands a descent
You must go.
You must go down
To open more, pried open in your most closed places.
To let the darkness that lives there
Spill out onto the floor at your feet
Like blood,
And you must grieve
The loss of the hurt
You held so dear,
Before you can join the flowers.


Marilyn Owen
(copyright M. Owen)

PERSEPHONE'S FEAST DAY

When all the names are gone
when there is nothing left
for memory to feed upon

Perhaps all the wastes
of love and time
ferment their healing,
here, in these nigrado depths,
becoming at last albedo
a white lily,
a crocus arising, new
life in the barren place
the medicine.

There is no valor in this
rooting among decomposing fragments
of so many lives.

I offer now bread,
red fruit, red wine
to Life

To the beautiful and strong,
those who speak and those who dance.
And to the inarticulate and the broken,
to those who are lost, to the hungry,
and to the fallen. To every
transparent lover
wandering these gray bardos
in their solitude:

Come to the table, all.

Here is a rich conversation
harvested from the last living garden.
A dappled pear, an apple, a pomegranate.
A butterfly in its chrysalis, winged, moist,
the slow rebirth of color
deep in the depths of this dream

The wheat has new life in it yet
The blessing will still be given


Lauren Raine (2005)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Old Photos

 Griffith Park, 1928


Girl and Horse, 1928

by Margaret Atwood

You are younger than I am, you are
Someone I never knew,
you stand under a tree,
your face half-shadowed,
Holding the horse by its bridle.

Why do you smile? Can’t you
See the apple blossoms falling around
You, snow, sun, snow,
listen, the tree dries
and is being burnt, the wind

Is bending your body,
your face ripples like water
Where did you go?

But no, you stand there
exactly
the same,
you can’t hear me,

forty years ago you were caught by light
And fixed in that secret place
where we live, where we believe
nothing can change, grow older.

(On the other side
of the picture, the instant
is over, the shadow
of the tree has moved.

You wave,


then turn and ride
out of sight through the vanished
orchard, still smiling
as though you do not notice)




old photos,
escaping a tin box:

stories with wings

 butterflies, or white moths
fluttering at the glass
lighter than air, these memories
quietly,
through 
an open window


(2011)