Here we are again, in the darkest time of the year. After our holiday celebrations (most of them based on the land-connected traditions of our ancestors), now we settle into the rhythm of short days, dark evenings, and cold weather, already dreaming of spring. And indeed, the dawning of spring is always a riotously happy time, on the land and within ourselves. But, in the meantime, every year most of us do our best to avoid the lessons of winter. [Read more…] about The Wheel and the Virus: Teachings from the Dark
All humans alive on Earth today have our origins in indigenous traditions and lifeways, whether our ancestors were from Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania or the Americas. Just a relative handful of generations ago our forebears were living practical and spiritual lives that were attuned to the sacred living web of the land. What can we learn now, from our own ancestral traditions and inner promptings, that will guide us in overcoming the negative, anti-life conditioning of the presently-dominant culture, and live more harmoniously on our Mother Earth?
One of my favorite autumn rituals is to go to the nursery in October and buy amaryllis bulbs. This year I splurged and got 9 of them!
I pot each bulb, upper part uncovered, place it near the window, carefully water as needed—and wait and wait. I intently scrutinize each bulb every morning, wondering if it will really grow. Weeks go by, and nothing happens. Then one day I see the very tip of a succulent, glossy flower stalk inching up out of one of the bulbs. Days later I see this on another bulb, then another. Then slender new leaf tips gradually appear. With exquisite slowness, this year’s amaryllis flowers come to life. By Christmas, I’m starting to enjoy a dazzling progression of flowers of all sizes, shapes and colors. [Read more…] about Lessons from My Christmas Amaryllis Bulbs
“My brothers and sisters, let’s all build a new world [based in]
The Green, the Peace of the Forest, and
The Red, the Justice of the Fire.”
Padrinho Alfredo, the leader of Brazil’s Santo Daime church, received a hymn 8 years ago that contained those lines. In the year 2020, when some of the worst forest fires ever recorded burned through the western and southwestern US, and are still burning in California as I write this, these words have taken on new significance. [Read more…] about The Justice of the Fire
“As above, so below,” we often hear in spiritual and esoteric circles. That is, the events and evolution of heaven and earth are believed to reflect one another. This expression implies that there are two worlds: The “above,”—or heaven, “up there,” the vast, radiant realms of the angels and the moon, planets, sun and stars. And the “below”—here on earth, the place of matter and time, of birth, death and rebirth.
But we can broaden and deepen our understanding if we think more about the “below.” Is it here, now, the surface world of the everyday? Or is it “down there,” under our feet, within the body of the land? These are two distinct realms, called by some the middle world, or day world; and the lower world or underworld. In ancestral times the underworld was known to be a fertile, light-filled place full of wisdom and beauty, and populated with many orders of spiritual beings who could and sometimes did ally themselves with humanity. [Read more…] about As Above, So Below
The majority of us modern-day humans have been indoctrinated with the cultural conviction that we are superior to everything else that exists. Most of us unquestioningly believe that not just our survival, but our day-to-day comfort and narrowly defined, short-term well-being, comprise the most important agenda being played out on earth. We don’t have to look far to see what a mess this has created, with the land, waters and air being polluted all over the planet, wild habitats shrinking, plant and animal species going extinct, and indigenous human communities dying out. We are literally killing our ground out from under us. Through deigning ourselves superior, we have made ourselves hostile and aggressive in groups, and lonely, disconnected and sad as individuals. We are trampling our souls, and depriving ourselves of vast levels of spiritual understanding and deepening that are our birthright.
[Read more…] about All of Us are People