The Names Of Stars



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when I was small
the oaks spoke
in
ancestral tongues
of the
Forest Mother

 

spinning twig
and branch
trunk
and root
leaf
and seed
from
the names
of stars

 

lightning cracked
spirit tongued
blue flamed
thunder rooted
words of power

 

sap and blood
we shared
rhizomal dreams
and songs
of wind
and rain
of Sun
and Moon
and deep Earth

we knew
 
let not
these memories
fall
with the
last tree

 

but live on
in each
of us
children
of
the Forest

…………………………………….

image : ‘Forest Spirit’, Rob Purday

For Lonnie

There is hope in care

There is hope in

The discarded things

This is your Earth

This is what you have

To learn and to care for

Wake up one thing

Respect

show love

give love

through

your creative power

To the discarded

Things, People

Earth

This is your Earth

“…the harvest is plentiful

The harvesters are few….”


In respect and honour of a beautiful soul,
Lonnie Holley

Medicine Path

From where the wild hive dreams,
and, up here, on the high path
where the deer tread quietly

A river of quartz runs through the land,
powerful and melodious,
a honey laden song line.

I am not alone, here

Raven calls
on the wind,
among whispering pines

While, in the marsh below,
two Herons dance, silently
circling, swooping, lifting

Wide stretched wings,
one, a flight feather,
missing

A cock crows in the distance

Beneath the roots of the tall pines,
The Three Sisters,
As I have come to know them,

The wild hive is silent,
save the soft vibration
of dreaming bees

And, from the deer path
that rises through old oak stands,
where the spirits of the forest can be felt

The lake glints through dark trees,
Holly leaves bristling
with rising Sunlight.

It is beautiful.

Yet here,
in the dappled thicket,
waiting, curious

An unexpected blessing, shines
in the black pearl
of the Wren’s eye

Chalk

 

Speak of your exile
of how
you don’t belong
or fit in
– its the key
that unlocks the door
to the way
Home

This fragment
of chalk
nesting
on all my journeys
in my breast pocket
nesting
on all my journeys

holding you
in my palm
I saw
a form
in my mind

Felt ancestors
around me
their whispers
issue from
my fingers
as

I sought
the form,
a form,
a way of speaking,
an invitation
both given
and received

and heard you say
speak of your exile
of how you don’t belong
or fit in –
it is
the key
that unlocks the door
to the way
Home

Wall Street & The Second Coming

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

Our economic problems cannot be solved by economic solutions alone. We know that, on the global scale, simply putting things in order is not enough……there must be complete change that reaches down to the roots, change that also rises with fresh vitality from those hidden channels of fundamental sustainence that we call ‘our roots’……the protests emerging around the world against economic and political usury and subjugation are vitalised ‘grass-roots’ movements of the people that carry the full awareness of this need. The People want Change, We want it Now, and We will not stop until it is fully Realised!

The Wall Street protests, that are now seeding parallel movements of the people across the USA and around the globe, are picking up on the continuing collective realisation that, if the plutocrats, corporatocracy, politians and governments won’t engage with this imperative for radical corrective and healing of the pervasive disfunctions of power and its concomitant wounds, the People will.

At this time, the underlying dynamic is one of growing tension. We are seeing an emphasis on peaceful demonstration that is crucial, but, if there is no change, how long will the peace remain? Remember, for example, in the UK we saw mass demonstrations when 1 million people took to the streets protesting against the Iraq War – it was ignored. However, politicians would do well to pay attention and realise that the people do not forget and will not take accumulative rebuttal and denial of their will and perceptions without consequence. The so called ‘Arab Spring’ rumbles on. Soon enough, will it become the ‘Winter of our Discontent’. Ever more our governments resemble the very entities against which they claim to be fighting, as Shakespeare so clearly articulated with biting irony in Richard III…….

When governments ignore the voice of the people, over the years, the tension builds. It is a tension most clearly expressed now, on the one hand between the rigid opposition of the political and financial establishments to any form of change, that falls in line with public perceptions, and on the other hand with the open demonstration of public awareness and will that demands that change must happen. This is a dynamic that is expressing a shared sense of endemic dis-function that we cannot ignore. There are dangers here as well as opportunity…….we would do well to look deeply and unwaveringly into the eyes of danger if we are to continue finding our way to opportunity.

It may seem strange to begin an article on the Wall Street protests with this particular visionary poem, but, its message carries deep resonances within the midst of the great global changes that are now unfolding. W B Yeats poem “The Second Coming” was written in the wake of the Great War of 1914-18. Millions of lives were lost in the that war, an unprecedented scale of human violence within a single conflict in which ordinary people were used as cannon fodder, a sanctioned mass murder that ultimately did nothing but serve the ends of the ruling classes and politicians.The poem is loaded with imagery rising from this wounding of the collective soul, for that is what it unequivicably was, constellating millenia of destructive usury. The reverberations precipitated an awareness of the global nature of the human potential for destruction and usury, that has been growing in consciousness ever since. It was not enough to prevent a Second World War, infact the trauma, the deep psychological wound and its attendant disfunctions grew out of, were compounded in and carried forward through and beyond that time…….we all live in this collective shadow, none are exempt from the responsibility to face it.

The consciousness we lacked one hundred years ago is now, however, increasingly shared collectively. A tipping point has been reached in our collective consciousness; our destructive potential now stares us in the face, we cannot deny it. And yet we find the wound remains and has deepened, reaching into all areas of life. It is seated at a fundamental level, has spawned greed beyond imagination, and there are a small minority who would seek to maintain its death dealing vampirism within our world. Only, now, it and its perpetraitors are in the dock. I do not think that this is what Yeats had in mind when he spoke of ‘conviction’, any more than fundamentalism being pointed out through him saying that ‘the worst are full of passionate intensity’, but, a frisson of certainty is carried beneath the surface of his words which we all recognise. We, the 99%, know that this is, at a fundamental level, behind the focus we have now chosen to act upon. The roots of this protest are deeply ancestral……our passions run deep.

It is surely right to focus on the plutocrats at this time, especially with widening cracks showing in the global economic infra-structure over which they rule. However, if we want to see the change we are calling for truly come about, as true as our perception of abuse and usury is, it surely cannot be restricted to economics alone. And, we know that governments are ‘bought’ by the corporate plutocracy.

As Yeats had it in 1919, in the wake of the Great War, ‘the blood dimmed tide is loosened, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned’; western governments engage in war in the name of ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’, always seeking to over-ride its destructive and violent nature by claiming the moral high-ground, and, it has ever been so. With the Great War, war itself became funded by mechanisation and became the provenance of industrial expansion. In a world dominated by industry and commerce it is no wonder that war has proliferated, that never a day goes by when there is not war being fought somewhere in the world. Yet, do the governments express the will of the people in this? The industrial complex feeds our culture while destroying our humanity and the world we live in. How culpable are the governments? Obviously their version of the morals and ethics that we are now bringing into question are of a quite different nature to those held by the vast majority.

For our grandparents, the Great War came as a terrible and deeply traumatic shock – a shock out of innocence. Their awareness was very different from our own in many ways. With the advent of global communications we can no longer claim innocence about the presence of war and violence. Equally, we are no longer innocent and unaware of the continued damage done in the name of power as an instrument of oppression, governance against the will of the majority and downright destructive exploitation. It is an energy of conflict, conflict of interests as well as conflict between the dominant human culture and the natural world.Yeats poem addresses this with visceral poetic perception. It is also an energy of dissociation. Have we become the Hawk? We now see the roots of this energy of conflict and dissociation being exposed – but, as well as the import that Yeats words carry for our times they also highlight the morals and ethics behind the question of “who are ‘the best’ and ‘the worst’”? This is a collective question that we must find a personal answer too.

The psychologist and astrologer Liz Green says in citing Jung, ‘if there is something wrong with society, then there is something wrong with the individual, and if there is something wrong with the individual then there is something wrong with me’(1). Many might take issue with this, but, the prerogative is to ask the question, and to not assume ones own immunity to the problem. In our own individuality we may find the answer to the question about ‘best and worst’. We have to be prepared to come clean with ourselves, our lifestyles and our own personal dark side. Any values we may hold may otherwise become distorted, and simply continue to feed the very thing we reject. And here, retaining ones own sense of values in the midst of collective action is key – a collective that is made up of awake and aware individuals who are commited to being the change they want to see has a very different dynamic to one that is responding to collective impulses rising from a herd mentality, below the horizon of personal consciousness, the realm of the shadow.

It is a sign of the intelligence innate to us at this time that two important factors are present within the current public uprisings against the plutocracy. The first is the call to simply gather in peaceful protest, the second, the emerging independance of each new protest, united by a common awareness of the reality experienced in each of our lives. The first, so long as peaceful protest prevails, is a defiant and charged refusal to engage with the destructive energies percieved to be the instrumental modus operandi of the ‘feudal’ power base; the second is a reflection of the strength of innate shared intelligence that each of us is motivated by, through self awareness as a part of the greater whole. One of our greatest safeguards at this time is that the emergent collective movement for global justice is based upon much more than a copycat reflex to unite in opportunistic anarchy – there have been exceptions, as was the case in the recent UK rioting and looting. We do need to learn from this.

While the outpouring of public unrest seen in those lootings may well share a common root with the current demonstrations, they manifested a totally different dynamic to the Wall Street protests. The key danger that we saw in the UK looting was exemplified in its cynical and yet indiscriminate destruction of individual business – many small businesses, the labours of individuals serving the community, built through hard work and determination, were destroyed. There was no intelligence in this – this was a collective act of individuals overcome with the very lack of conviction that Yeats talks of – the insidious wound of a sick society, a society lacking the cohesive glue of conviction towards upholding our collective well-being. For Yeats this was the picture of a broken dream belonging to the human spirit. For us, this is the picture of a community eating itself through ignorance and lack of fundamental sustainance. Justice flew out of the window as each shop window was smashed. Even if there is any sense of justice to be drawn from the UK insurrection, it will only become manifest once that lack is fully addressed and made the central tennet of a collective healing in which we are All involved, with awareness, honesty and insistance upon, central amongst other things, the complete redistribution of power amongst individuals, communities and nations. For this to happen, and this is perhaps also at the common root, economic inequalities must be transformed……democracy and economics within the living politic of the people embodying the equal sharing of power. Many economists argue that the ‘free-market’ offers equal opportunity to all, as if this enshrines the sharing of power, reality says otherwise. The lack of social cohesion is exacerbated by the absence of responsibility demonstrated by those who operate within the ethos of free-trade and nowhere is this more visible now than in the defered responsibility of the financial institutions in the wake of the 2008 market crash.

In the Wall Street protests we see intelligence awareness of this lack and the accompanying need for fundamental change becoming the incontravertable expression of a shared truth amongst humanity – we want our inalienable rights returned to us, to be free of serfdom, such that those responsible are held to account – we see over and again the flag of ‘Democracy’ being raised. “Democracy implies that (humans) must take the responsibility for choosing (their) rulers and representatives, and for the maintenance of (their) own ‘rights’ against the possible and probable encroachments of the government which (they have) sanctioned to act for (them) in public matters.” [Ezra Pound, “ABC of Economics,” 1933] Democracy must equal and be equal within Truth.

It has been said that ‘the Truth shall set you free’, however, it is the passion with which it is carried forward and sustained that will ensure the democratic freedom we all seek now……but, raw passion by itself is not enough. ’Intelligent activism’ is the obvious means, and, however it manifests it must, but must, be based upon and always have Peace at its core. The uncompromising ‘plutocratic power bases’ against which the protests are aimed are entrenched so deeply within a vampiristic hegemony of usury within our world that the chips may seem stacked against this imperative. If we see no change, in time, the alternative is an unthinkable escalation in the ‘blood-dimmed tide’ and a following confrontational clampdown that will require more than ‘mere anarchy’ to overcome……..our passion too must be intelligent and aware, and all the more charged with certainty for it. This speaks to the raising of our collective consciousness, not as an ideal, but, as a pragmatic manifestation of the will of the people.

If the raising of our collective consciousness to an higher level of realisation is to become manifest we must be able to bear witness to our own home truths, reaching down to the very roots of power within each of our lives – Yeats might well be right in implying that, whether secular or spiritual, nothing short of ‘Revelation’ will carry us through.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

Yeats ‘vast image’ emerges from the Spirit of the Earth, and here too, the prophetic vision carries the trauma of the global turmoil and destructive fury of the Great War to a new level of meaning for us. For us, as we are all too well aware, while the human war has never ceased the concomitant war on Nature has become the crucial expression of the fundamental nature of the wound. Would a ‘second coming’ be peaceful anyway in our current world? The rampant fundamentalism and dogma of terror belongs to a world at war with itself.Yet, no matter which form War takes, how innured have we become against its furies and psychoses as a result. How horrified would Yeats be, what rhetoric of the visionary poetic spirit would do justice to the wound. But, it were never the more so that the roots of conflict out of which his vision arose hold sway….and his vision holds true.

Amongst the culture of war’s greatest perpetrators, and present to a sickening level, cultural integration of the reality of war is also now reduced to a virtual fantasy, literally – this is, in plain speak, culturally endorsed conditioning. It serves the western hegemony well. We all know the devious misrepresentation of reality that the Media disseminates, and how it innoculates us against the visceral impact while feeding our emotional bodies with fear and disquiet – but, especially amongst the young, the game is being played at a much more damaging level. Online war games, for example, provide conflict as ‘entertainment’ and, unless we are unfortunate enough to be caught within the violence and conflict in the ‘real world’, this symptom of collective illness remains a virtual reality, projected into fantasies that lack the visceral lessons of War itself. We give ourselves the message, the reality of our condition, while keeping the reality of its effects at arms length – it is a form of denial, but, as with all the neurotic dynamics of denial, it does nevertheless have very real effects. For any child for whom this neurosis is the norm, who knows no better, we now are also called to hold ourselves responsible for their future, and this goes far beyond war and its concomitant traumas alone. Earth is reflecting the trauma of violence and destruction back to us in every moment…through our culture of consumerism and personal profit we have been and continue to engage in destroying Life with an equal lack of conviction towards our collective well-being. Again, is this a true reflection of the public will, our ethics and most heartfelt desires? If we are to be truthfull, ‘Wall Street’ is an expression of this collective realisation too and, we hold the plutocrats responsible for wanton destruction of our environment as much as we do the indiscriminate erosion of our freedoms. When will the corporatocracy be held to account for their environmental impact – when will their pact with government be broken? Let us remind ourselves of the relationship, as played out through two infamous events that betrayed the ineffective and superficial lip-service which our governments pay towards this responsibility……

The Copenhagen Environmental Summit of 2009 produced a document that simply put stated that ‘action should be taken to keep (global) temperature increases to below 2ºC’ – there are no provisions for limiting CO2 production. Period. That was all. The document is not legally binding. It was ‘taken note of’, but not adopted by any of the participating countries, every one a UN member State.

Now, remember September 2008, the Global Stock Market Crash – almost immediately international differences were forgotten, within days world leaders had rallied and achieved a sense of unanimity, and the call that went out was to ‘save the banks’……..

Since then the perpetrators of the crash as well as the culpable governments have gotten off scot-free – until now.

Obviously, the defence of capital (the new god) is of much greater concern than the bio-sphere to our governments. Money, and its reward of power, is more important than Nature. A true rebalancing of our relationship with Nature is no small thing, could easily be put on a par with a ‘Second Coming’ – but, surely, unless our Earth says otherwise, we cannot reverse our culture – it has to evolve as well, beyond the mechanistic age. It could be said that behind this is the notion that science will provide the solution to the results of our environmental vandalism. For this to be the case, again, a thorough transformation of the ethical and moral use of Science must come about. Science in itself is benign, but, the power with which it invests the corporatocracy, governments and ‘sanctioned’ violence of warfare is immense – and it funds the subjugation of our freedoms as much as it facilitates them. The internet and communications systems we now enjoy are crucially empowering to us.

And yet, regardless the fact of how much Big Pharma contributes to the global market, the drug market is flooded with pharmaceuticals that are designed to treat the symptoms and continue to bypass the root causes of our illnesses, are often withdrawn having been found to be ‘dangerous’ to humans and the whole industry, for that is what it is, is driven by blind irresponsible economic profit – the Hippocratic Oath? Forget it!

And, regardless of the fact that many significant contributions in cutting edge scientific advances are made in service to the ‘military/industrial complex’, we usually don’t get the benefits at the public level until some years after their application within the war/space ‘programme’, if at all, and well beyond the point at which they have become integrated within the power base.

It could be argued from this standpoint that the free-trade market ethos, its enshrinement of ‘freedom’, as applied within its cultural, political and economic context, is the very thing that has been and is destroying our bio-sphere. The message is obvious. We should first be seeking to dismantle such a destructive system. Perhaps Natural Law is irreversably doing this for us, but, at what cost if, after the dust has settled, we only seek to find a new form for the same old problem? As said, our economic problems cannot be solved through economics alone…….Yeats desert vision is all too familiar, haunted by the harpies and carrion birds of our culture. The creeping spectre of genetic modification and the image of a savage humanity that he envisaged, its ‘gaze blank and pitiless as the sun’, are one and the same.

    The darkness drops again but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

And, if the plutocrats were to remain untouched into which nightmare would we be rocked….we should be under no illusions…..

….it is early days yet, the protests we are seeing now are a foretaste, the opening salvos of a conflict in which ultimately we are either all victors or all losers……there will be no compromises. The choice is obvious, only the heartless and truly insane and will see it otherwise……Yeats vision was the stark unflinching call of a poetic heart that was fully capable of embracing visceral beauty, and, in the wake of so much destruction and insanity perhaps for him the moment of choice had taken on an ominous import in this respect – he was addressing  both the wound and its effect upon our ability to rebuild the world out of the wreckage of human carnage, power crazed confrontation and usury…..is it any different for us now?

I do not wish to end on a note of pessimism; the signs are that We the People are increasingly rallying to the call for Change, and this can only be good. Pragmatism says we must change, that this must happen across all scales, from the individual outwards, and that we must be prepared to go to any lengths and use any means to achieve this, but, only so long as those means do not go counter to the spirit of Equality, Justice, Co-operation and awakening Peace at the heart of our human affairs. It is the Peace of being at one with Life, with our Earth, with each other and our truths that we have thirsted for over so many millenia…….each of us have this within us, at the most fundamental level of the goodness that is the truth of our human heart and destiny – now is our time to bring the Truth to bear. Be of good heart……each of us is capable of realising that destiny and each small step we take towards it builds the change that we want to see, that we are.

Don’t be daunted by the scale of the task, it speaks volumes, and nothing but all out peaceful persistance will prevail. We hold responsibility to set the example by keeping the peace, to not be goaded into confrontation. We are abundant with resources great and small – remember collective silences? supporting small scale local producers? mini strikes? flash occupations? community currencies? barter or swap? remember giving plastic packaging back to the supermarkets? remember LETS? community co-operatives? remember random acts of kindness? etc etc – think of all the small as well as great means by which we can undermine the plutocratic hegemony while the public movement of the People continues, everything and everyone counts…….from the small to the great, we build the power of change. 

(1) Liz Greene – ‘The Outer Planets & Their Cycles’ : CRCS Publications 1983

Passion and the Art of Getting Lost

How far can our passion take us beyond the current condition of the world, beyond the current dominance of the western mindset and its self perpetuating fall-out – as Venus crosses the July 1st eclipse point, Mars trines up with Saturn and we approach the Capricorn Full Moon here are a few quotes and questions to challenge and invite beyond the known….wasteland or wilderness? Which would you choose…

“I have been part of a circle for many years. It is one of the most important connections of my life. One reason the circle is so powerful is that it is informed, in fact shaped by, the Grandmother Spirit. The spirit of impartiality, equality, equanimity. Of nurturing but also of fierceness. It has no use for heirarchy. Or patriarchy. Tolerates violence against itself for a while, but will sooner or later rise to defend itself. This is the spirit of the Earth itself.”
Alice Walker (1)

Where is the Earth not bucking, and have we seen her really rise to defend herself, yet – where is her spirit within you…..

‘Recommendation’

Promise me,
Promise me this day,
Promise me now,
While the Sun is overhead
Exactly at its zenith,
Promise me.

Even as they
Strike you down
With the mountain of hatred and violence;
Even as they step on you and crush you
Like a worm,
Even as they dismember and disembowl you
Remember, brother,
Remember:
Man is not your enemy.

The only thing worthy of you is compassion –
Invincible, limitless, unconditional.
Hatred will never let you face
The beast in man.

One day when you face this beast alone,
With your courage intact, your eyes kind,
Untroubled
(even as no one sees them)
Out of your smile
Will bloom a flower.
And those who you love
Will behold you
Across ten thousand worlds of birth and dying
Thich Nhat Hanh (2)

Do you have the courage, truly, and what gives you that courage – have you or are you facing the beast alone, truly, and can you do so ‘untroubled’…..

“Anyone who has laboured to release the Goddess from the darkness of centuries of abuse has returned from the excavation with a paradox. She who is dead is alive. All we have to do is open our eyes an extra sixteenth of an inch, and there she is, dancing in every apple blossom, in the song of every purple finch, as well as in the flames of passion that we call life.” Marion Woodman (3)

Is there a ‘fire in your head’, in your heart, and does it speak to you with the language of the world, of nature and spirit….can you ‘see’ life, and if so, what is this seeing telling you……

‘Wickerman’

“Yeah, a river flows underneath this city
I’d like to go there with you now my pretty and follow it on
for miles and miles, below other people’s ordinary lives.
Occasionally catching a gimpse of the moon,
thru’ man-hole covers along the route.
Yeah, its sometimes dark but if you hold my hand,
I think I know the way.
Oh, this is as far as we got last time
But if we go just another mile we will surface surrounded
by grass & trees & and the fly-over that takes the cars to the cities.
Buds that explode at the slightest touch,
nettles that sting – but not too much,
I’ve never been past this point, what lies ahead
I really could not say.
I used to live just by the river, in a disused factory
just off the Wicker
The river flowed by day after day
“one day” I thought, “One day I will follow it”
but that day never came
I moved away & lost track but tonight I am thinking
about making my way back.
I may find you there & float on wherever the river may take me.
Wherever the river may take me.
Wherever the river may take us.
Wherever it wants us to go.
Wherever it wants us to go.”

Jarvis Cocker (4)

How many of us are deaf to the river? Does the roar of the log-jam, of the power-dam of the city drown you out? Can you find its voice within and has the river spoken to you, inviting you to return, to let it take you wherever…..

“To lose yourself: a voluptuous surrender, lost in your arms, lost to the world, utterly immersed in what is present so that its surroundings fade away…..to be lost is to be fully present, and to be fully present is to be capable of being in uncertainty and mystery. And one does not get lost but loses ones-self, with the implication that it is a conscious choice, a chosen surrender, a psychic state achievable [literally and metaphorically] through geography.
That thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you is usually what you need to find, and finding it is a matter of getting lost.”
Rebecca Solnit (5)

Freedom from the known, the ability to surrender, what have we surrendered in the name of choice…..how do you navigate the unknown…..

“In the Fifth World, Illumination will be the central theme. Spiritual awareness will be common. Illumination radiates from the center. The focus is on truth; all the knowledge in the world is useless without faith. We humans have to willing to take a chance. What is wisdom? It’s an inner knowing of truth, without a shadow of a doubt. But, it can’t stand alone – its tied to the other qualities on the Medicine Wheel. This life is not a game, but is based on the wisdom of the trees, the grass, the stones, and all of life. Wisdom is also having a dream. If you have no dream, you can’t tap into wisdom. If a person has an idea that flashes into their mind, thats the beginning of a dream, But, they must bring life into the idea and develop the dream, or it will pass on.
Nothing works without the focus on truth, wisdom and faith. If we don’t have faith in ourselves, nothings going to work. You can have all the wisdom in the world, but if you don’t have faith and aren’t willing to step out and do something about it, nothing is going to happen.
Illumination is coming in the Fifth World…..”
Grandmother Twylah Nitsch (6)

I once got lost in the city of Lisbon, at least momentarily, deliciously….coming down on foot from the Moorish castle on one of the seven hills next the Tagus, I entered a small square surrounded by tiled houses, old folk at the doorways, chatting, a fountain beneath the tree at its center, and was washed through by the enchanting sound of a zither playing the Harry Lime theme from Orson Welles ‘The Third Man’ – all time stood still and I forgot where I was, and yet, came fully home to that place, flooded with an eternal moment…..how long it was before the road beckoned me on I do not know…..

(1) ‘We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For’ – Alice Walker; Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2007

(2) ‘Recommendation’ – from ‘Call Me By My True Names: The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh’ – Thich Nhat Hanh; Parallax Press, 1999 (quoted in ‘We Are the Ones…’)

(3) ‘Dancing in the Flames’ – Marion Woodman & Elinor Dickson; Shambhala Publications Inc. 1996

(4) ‘Wickerman’ from ‘Acrylic Afternoons’ in ‘ Caught By The River’ – Cassell Illustrated, Octopus Publishing Group, 2009

(5) ‘A Field Guide To Getting Lost’ – Rebecca Solnit; Viking Penguin 2005

(6) ‘She Whose Voice Rides On The Wind – Grandmother Twylah Nitsch’ from ‘Profiles in Wisdom’ – Steven McFadden; Bear & Company Inc., 1991

360º Fahren-Heit

As Mercury runs the gauntlet of the Galactic Center, the Capricorn cusp, the Moon’s North Node, Pluto and on, into the heart of they frey, carrying the message, meeting with first Mars, then Neptune, Chiron, Sun, as he speeds to assist Uranus breaching Aries point before delivering the call to Jupiter at Spring Tide, laughing across the void at Moon conjoined with Saturn on Equinox eve – he prepares the way for Venus to follow – these are the true paths of the planets over the next 3 Moons – a new process has begun and we will not be the first to see it…..

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.” (1)

where-fore, why-fore….T.S. – pealing off the layers of time, you ‘saw’…

….our times?…..for some an echo of the past, pursuing, revealing the inner lack – we run, as if in a dream – ever further, towards the frontiers of our knowing – unable to turn now, turn the now – forgetting our purpose, we accelerate the steepening exponential curve…..

…..and yet, we pursue a phantasm, pursued by a shadow – empty of remembering, we explore, that we might escape our forgetting, feed the lack, until….until, we fall to Earth and, into her, dream once again, remember all – erased of knowing……yet surrounded and, filled with all knowledge, in her lap, her womb, we embrace the eternal, now…….echoes, laughter, trick-ling lights fast returning in the endless pause…..

“Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.” (2)

Synapses fire – raw inner light, lightning seeds in the sap – not seperated, not knowing seperation…..crowned with a halo of fire this Warrior Queen of Life, called Beauty – She loves us, embalms us, annoints us from her own ‘well-spring’ 

……’in-folding’ you say T.S. – full reckoning of sentience in the heart of things – ignited in the lotus wheel – and something grows, something…..turns and wakes as waters break – beyond the veil, another time – pull beckons, now reckoning our time, full term – crowning, birthing wholeness – emergence through the fiery knot – and again, we forget and bite the apple of our mothers nipple – and still, She loves us – small fish grown limbs….’awareness’, spirit lives in matter…..

And Beauty has her thorns – this Warrior Goddess – Wild Rose, five petaled, her symbol. And, every child ‘knows’ there is a star in the heart of every apple! Apple blossom transmuting symbol into heart of succulent fruit – Venus’ dance embodies it – Mercury’s childlike laughter, his pangenic pipes spin their magic, enchanting…

……’and all shall be well’…..within our ‘journey-hood’

For some the upcoming planetary positions of Mars over the next weeks and Uranus squaring Pluto throughout the year are the heavy news – and yet, this other dance described by our inner most planets, Venus and Mercury, who flirt with the Sun and illuminate our inner most workings of heart and mind, they also fascinate, are where the feeling and knowing soul is grounded within – our outer world will test us in this for sure, but, all the more reason to pay attention to the nature spirits, who also reside in the stars, and help us strengthen our own inner nature – the better to meet the challenge.

…the Full Moon comes on 19th January and the Bacchanalia continue beyond – Saturn, stationary, is transitted by the Moon on Jan 25th and within hours goes retrograde – the process turns inward once more – and then, a watershed is reached with the April New Moon when Sun and Moon stand exact opposite Saturn – ‘content and form’, new sap in the old tree, full in the blossom – the process, the dance with Saturn, continuing to shape our inner partnerships, reflected in the New and Full Moons, will continue until the June Full Moon, close on the Nodal axis, which sees Saturn go direct and auger in the Summer Solstice…..

The fire festivals come alive – and ‘Moonfire’ the shaman sings a silver song……

(1) & (2) T.S. Eliot : ‘The Four Quartets – Little Gidding’