That other night in Las Vegas

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When they started playing ‘Thank god I’m American where at least I know I’m free,’ I knew then that we were in a mind-control zone. Las Vegas is a place of entrancement and of illusion. My third eye glowed and pressed the entire time- I wasn’t going to be fooled or sucked in.

All this year my lips have refrained from alcohol- a message I received while with ayahuasca bid me to abstain for the year. It’s the first year since my early 20s I’ve not had anything to drink. On Bourbon St in New Orleans, the closest thing I’ve witnessed to Las Vegas, I tried all of the ‘drinks to have’ and, of course, wound up incredibly drunk in a near-stranger’s bed.

Being very sensitive, alcohol, paradoxically, was my way of coping with strong & base energies, cigarette smoke and ‘heavy’ environments. It gave me a kick of unconsciousness that I would’ve otherwise not had, and probably wouldn’t’ve been able to endure nor had the desire to engage in many of the social climes I’ve dipped in.

Yet tonight, and all this year, I’ve been thankful for this sobriety. My warrior self needs it as I connect dots and see all that I can see. We didn’t spend any money on the strip, save $2 for parking. We were driving through the area on our way to California from Arizona and thought, Hey, let’s check it out (in a “keep your enemies closer” line of thinking– and from curiosity). We tried the free slots on Freemont St. Ini got 2/3 on all three we tried. A man tried to rope us into some promo deal. We walked on.

Quickly I started to feel sick in the unnatural lighting, smoke and glaring emptiness. In an earlier moment I might’ve grabbed some booze to acclimate, so that I could actually be there/ stand the environment. Yet we walked on, observing all of the displays.

Only two people, out of hundreds, were dancing and singing as if they had won something significant. They were two older republican-looking men wearing near-matching Polos, skipping, arms around each other. Everyone else was wrapped up zombie-like staring at some half-naked dancing person, street display, or glued into the machines.

I knew we were in a mind-control area when that song started playing. Everyone stopped moving and many took their phones/cameras out and started videotaping the ceiling which became a uniform image of an American flag with scrolling military faces and fighter jets. Then that song came on. All noises collaborated with this one song. Every disparate energy became united beneath the American Flag. Drunk people started singing and tearing up. We were surrounded by patriots and, though previously they were like hotels flashing vacancy signs, they all suddenly woke up and started marching like wind-up toy soldiers. It felt like a moment at church when the people are moved by something that strikes you as preposterous. Yet everyone was playing along, entranced. That’s when I saw the thread connecting this reptilian lineage. Money, War, Oil, bright flashings lights (media) and the songs and symbols (flag) that tie it all together.

I learned that song in 5th grade. We sang it, all of the grades in unison, at our end of the year performance at Amy Beverland in middle-Indiana. It probably felt so good at the time, as we basically unconsciously learned this song, to all sing together, ages 6-10. The attempt at programming, you see, has passed by all of our gazes. It’s especially strong with the bright lights, naked dancers, cheap booze and possibility of winning thousands of dollars, but it’s as subtle as a McDonalds on every corner and the media craze of the ‘War on Terrorism.’ The Patriarchs from our country are terrorists enough; they ought to call war with themselves and leave our land and people alone.

As we drive away from the bright lights into the solitude and darkness of death valley, the moon rests in front of us. Yellow timeless crescent, she will far outlast these bright shining lights. Our culture is like a pigmy elephant riding the back of a large whale in the middle of the ocean the size of three worlds. It doesn’t make any sense and it is so very small in comparison… With time & galaxies firing and off setting.

Ayahuasca gave me this message, too, as we laughed into the night. We all are so small! Generations! Ha! It’s like the skin off of that Great Serpents back. Shed and shed and shed. We are like a flicker in comparison of the passing sands of time.

It’s good for me to remember this, to reflect with the moon as she sits there cradled in the sky and I feel the dark close in around me, the pressing dark of the cold desert night. In the reptilian game of bright flashing lights, the built up system of money, all of that illusion of external gain, it is good to feel the cold, powerful desert press close, womblike, as we ride into the night and I remember what endures as the stars shine overhead. Perhaps tomorrow we will be mesmerized and directed by our solar system’s brightest flashing light, our sun and further humbled by the heat. We are out of Las Vegas into Death Valley, after all, and that precludes a whole different game of survival.

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lost & found of the soul: finding true center

thanks to this daily post for the prompt!

 

lost & found

sometimes when things are lost, it allows us to more easily find something else. sometimes when i lose my fear and aversion to discomfort, i find my true strength. sometimes i lose my knack for “people-pleasing” and i am more able to find my true voice and move from my true center, unafraid of how others perceive me or my life. sometimes when i lose something, i am not lost at all, but rather am more found, by myself. sometimes when i lose friends or we drift away, it is not because i have done something, but because i am moving closer to my self, my real purpose and the relationship no longer fits into my life. sometimes in my commitment to truth, i must withstand loss. sometimes it can hurt to lose things, but what i find when they are gone is greater than the loss.

sometimes i must lose in order to find.

this teaches that loss, too, can be a gift.

everyday magic of the herbs on the mound

today i cut lotsa stalks of oregano in my parent’s backyard. a few years ago when i was having a depressed time in my life, i had taken pieces of that oregano (& mint & thyme) over to another section of the backyard, one outside of the garden, called “the mound”. it’s called “the mound” cuz it’s a humped section with a few blank spaces on it, but filled with big lumbering pines. i also found an iron arch with two seats built into it on craigslist for about $20, if i remember correctly. i sanded that arch & spray painted it red. my mom was doing a master gardening course at the time & was learning how to start native plants & flowers from seed. she brought home some columbine & other flowers i can’t remember. today that’s where i harvested those herbs, enough for four large bundles worth, that i now am drying & will take with me, dehydrated, to sprinkle into soups & grains & vegetables. a little sprinkling of herbs is a great addition to a healthy diet. they add flavor & are a great source of nutrients // fresh or dried.

a few days ago, on father’s day, we also took a family picture on that mound which is wild with the yellow flowers of columbine, the sweet light purple shoots of thyme, the high vibrant stalks of oregano, yarrow my mom transplanted, mint, wood sorrel, wild strawberries. it’s a bright area in the backyard &, though i started it in a period of depression, it brings abundant fruits to many lives now (plus being a great place to take pictures!).

as i cut the herbs, i gave thanks for their simple beauty. many times i pass over common herbs, simply identifying them in my head & not seeing them for the wonderful, “everyday” blessings that they are. juliette de bairacli levy aka juliette of the herbs is a wonderful teacher in my life for living close with the earth, living simply & being in connection with the powerful “everyday” properties of herbs. sometimes life can get so “in my head” or “fast-paced” that i gloss over the simple gifts of herbs and artistic acts done even in times of depression, but this act of gathering & drying herbs today has reminded me of the ongoing nature of life, that even if our mood isn’t the best we can still create acts of beauty that can give & give to ourselves & others for years to come.

joanna macy & the shambhala warrior prophesy

i found one of joanna macy’s interconnected co-arising buddhism books when i was in college. tucked away at odd hours throughout the day, i drank deep at her studies and followed her into the deep ecology movement. i’ve cared deeply for my larger body, the earth, for many years. still learning how to interface that care with my life, with life. this video today is a beautiful token from joanna:

in the land of home: two graces

Tonight Ini & I had a heart council. New Moon in Taurus. Time of earthy, grounded, materialistic beginnings. We follow in the tradition we learned at OUR ecovillage by a teacher from the Ojai Foundation. It opens us up, lets more mystery into our conscious awareness, usually heals & clarifies. Tonight we did it in the bath. Bright blue skies transform after the rain. The grass is bright green. The sun sets casting a mysterious hue.

We hold a talking piece in our hands throughout the council. It signifies, this is my turn to talk. Tonight we used a big chunk of citrine. Inherent in heart council is speaking from the heart as well as not planning what you’re going to say before the talking piece comes to you. This way container truths are able to rise organically, informed from one person to the next. And how easy is it to truly listen when we know what we are going to say? In this way, council encourages the inherent value of each person’s wisdom in the moment. As I said, magical, simple & profound truths can come from this.

 

read the rest here at rainbowbridgetotheheart.com.

Antennas

important

wren

25 years, 1000 years

Like a lightening rod,
An antenna for the divine energies
Ancient beauty, powerful channel
Being around you
I remember, I see
What it is I am meant to be

In cutting down the trees, humans have done much more than clear the land. We have cut down our healing centers, we have tempered our natural connection with the divine. Hugging her for 5 minutes of precious solitude, tears come and deep knowing release, joy, plenitude, graceful thanks. May we remember, Mother, these things which are full of health and goodness! And protect them!

~largest Sitka Spruce in the world

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Channeling puffball wisdom in resistance to the mainstream

Juliette de Bairacli Levy in her book on herbs, Common Herbs for Natural Health writes of the puffball, clavatia species, when the mushrooms are crushed and applied to wounds, they check excessive bleeding and promote healing. Use when ripe, with clouds of black or brown spores for these are the active part. She learned this from the Manouche Gypsies of Alsace-Lorraine, a former French territory usurped by Germany in the early 1900s. Levy spent many years of her life as a gypsy herbalist traveling the world. One of the head people at Mountain Rose Herbs recently died who also traveled as an herbalist, getting to know plants all over the world and how they have been used in relationship with humans over time. I think I’d like to do this, too.

Scott Nearing, in his later years in response to a young graduating girl describing herself in a letter as “free at last” wrote to her,

“‘Free’ in this connection is rhetorical- nothing more. After graduation you will be at the mercy of
1. Your physical hungers, your undisciplined mind, your vague aspirations and hopes. Above all, of your deeply embodied habit patterns which are yours and yours alone, and very tyrannical.
2. The frantic, hysterical pressures and counter-pressures of a social order in its death agonies.
3. The embracing and unfolding forces and influences of nature- of the universe of which you are a part.

Unless you can be at peace with yourself, adjusted to the community and in balance with nature you will have a rough, unhappy and unrewarding life. You are free within physical limits: you can raise or not raise your own arm. But where others are concerned, once involved in relationships with others, your every act affects them and their actions affect you. Realize you are part of all that goes on around you.” (From Loving and Leaving the Good Life, Helen Nearing.)

Scott was a truly remarkable thinker and acting idealist, and lives on through his writing. Sometimes his words are so stark, pointed and true I must laugh out loud. At one point early on in the aforementioned book, Helen is going on about how Scott was pinning her down from her reckless and naive life choices, pinning her down to her own spoken grounded desires that she was in fact not living but only professing on the surface.

The note to the young girl above really halted me this evening. I see myself and some very near statement I made in the past reflected there and his advice speaks to me pointedly. I think the past few months of committed meditation, reflection, time spent in nature, reading and study have significantly altered a lot of what he addresses in #1, yet how loudly these tyrannical habits call! It is amazing in the sweep of society and its pressures, in the mainstream so to say, how one organism, an individual human, can set a course for oneself and follow it, against all externalities.

I need to remind myself of the healing powers in puffball spores to continually return myself to the wonders of earth, to the wonders of true connection with real, living, worthwhile phenomena. It is so easy to get swept up in things outside of our mission, yet it is the steps taken toward fulfillment of our mission and alignment with the whole which brings deep satisfaction.