She speaks my truth. Thank you Hecate, for pointing this video out.
Eco-philospher Joanna Macy from "The Work That Reconnects", talking about the concept of a Great Turning.
For more info visit http://www.joannamacy.net/
Video by Leo Daedalus (c) 2005 Joanna Macy
Interested in learning more about The Great Turning?
See clips from the new movie at http://www.thegreatturningfilm.org/
First published in Carolyn's blog, Art of Change Tarot, 5/12/10. Used with permission.
(Joanna's note: I love Carolyn's work and was particularly taken with the spread she created based on the herbal allies in the Gaian Teacher (Hierophant) card. So I wanted to share it with you. Carolyn will be the guest teacher on the July 7th teleseminar in the Gaian Tarot Circle.)
I wondered while gazing upon the Gaian Teacher about what questions the plants pictured might ask us if we could understand their language. I looked at Joanna’s companion book and my own herb books to see their properties as well as drew to mind my experience with these plants. I felt that each plant offered questions to aid us in healing as well as developing self-knowledge and mindfulness.
Dandelion: We modern humans with lawns are always trying to uproot this plant that has wonderful nourishing qualities and bright sunny flowers. Despite knowing this, I uprooted a few the other day because they had wandered into my Hosta area! So what wisdom does the dandelion have for us and what questions might it ask:
Garlic: I love the tangy strength of garlic and feel a surge of good health after a meal cooked with its pungent cloves. Joanna points out that the many layers of the garlic can be seen as a metaphor for the unfolding cosmos.
Guest Post by Chris Chisholm, Founder, Wolf Camp and Wolf College, Puyallup, Washington
Joanna's note: Hope you are enjoying the birds in your neighborhood this Spring! I'm very excited about the robins that are building a nest right outside my back door. I asked my friend and naturalist mentor Chris Chisholm to share this teaching about learning the language of the birds. (Chris is the model for the 5 of Earth and Explorer of Air.) Hope you like it!
My second grade teacher was giving us a written test in language arts and I smugly turned in my paper, laughing at how easy the questions were this time. She was quizzing us about the ways of nature. The next day, I hurriedly looked at my paper, expecting to have aced the test.
I was devastated to realize I had gotten wrong what I had thought was the easiest question on the test. Do animals talk to each other? Of course they do. After playing in the woods of northern Minnesota every day of my young life, and befriending the robins of our family garden, I knew that animals — especially the birds — talked to each other all the time.
But Mrs. Stromwick, bless her heart, marked my answer wrong, and it was a life changing moment. I’m not sure I ever felt a part of nature again for the next fifteen years of my schooling, not until I read Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Nature and Survival for Children after graduating from college.
Upon finishing his book, I went outside to sit quietly, in my garden. I listened, just like I had done as a child, and the birds woke me up again to the spirit of nature. I heard more than bird songs and calls. I heard what Brown referred to as the “concentric rings” of communication in nature.
The concentric rings of nature are, simply, animals talking to one another. Don’t dismiss it, but don’t believe it, until you’ve really listened to them in action. Mostly, the birds are the newscasters of nature, although the squirrels, frogs and other animals are very vocal as well.
Consider for a second the possibility that a whole new world of nature may remain hidden from if you don’t take time to learn the language of the birds. Don’t you have the vague feeling that you hike past a lot of hidden wildlife — the deer laying in the thicket, the coyote silently watching your every move, or the minutes-old cougar tracks indicating that she heard you coming?
Many of us love gardening, maybe for the beautiful flowers the birds pollinate, or to witness the interaction of plants with the elements, or simply to breathe the clean, fresh air hovering over the upturned soil. But how often have we stopped to wonder what a bird visiting our garden is saying to us? We may love bird watching, and we may even be able to identify many species by their songs. But what happens when we finish our checklists?
“There is a spirituality indigenous to every land. When you move in harmony with that spirit of place, you are practicing native (not Native) spirituality.”
— Loren Cruden, The Spirit of Place 1
“For the non-Native American to become at home on this continent, he or she must be born again in this hemisphere, on this continent, properly called Turtle Island. . . . Europe or Africa or Asia will then be seen as the place our ancestors came from, places we might want to know about and to visit, but not ‘home.’ Home — deeply, spiritually — must be here.” — Gary Snyder, Practice of the Wild 2
“But can non-indigenous people really presume to become native? . . . What kind of nativeness is possible and to what extent can we become native to the land?”
— David Landis Barrett, At Home on the Earth 3
Since enrolling in Jon Young’s Kamana Naturalist Training Course, 4 the word “native” and all that it implies is frequently on my mind. The Kamana course teaches us to “see with native eyes,” as Young puts it, and emphasizes that this ability is not for Native Americans only but is a learned skill. Once introduced to the concept of “becoming native,” I seemed to find it everywhere.
I had an email conversation the other day with a friend about my "emotional meltdown" post. Somewhere along the way I found myself saying to her:
"I have to say (from the vantage point of 56 years to your 36) that getting older rocks. We really do get smarter, and life gets more juicy and more satisfying, the older we get. The only part that doesn't get better is our bodies (in general). So if I could tell my 36-year-old self anything, it would be: Start a regular yoga practice now! And keep it up for the next 20 years!
So I'm telling you instead. :-)"
After I closed my laptop, the thought occurred to me — hey! what if my 76-year-old self wanted to say to my 56-year-old self: "Start a regular yoga practice now, and keep it up for the next 20 years!"
I cracked up. I can't imagine being 76 any more than my friend can imagine being 56. I'm staying consistent with my water aerobics, but not with my yoga, and in some ways I think it's more important. Yoga or Tai Chi or QiGong gives us flexibility, strength and balance — not to mention inner peace.
So I think I just gave myself a new goal. My 76-year-old self thanks me.
The morning's stash from the Farmers Market — who could resist? An island friend was selling his produce and said he'd be stir-frying up new potatoes, sugar snap peas and garlic tops for dinner — we moaned and bought his peas and garlic to go with the potatoes and salmon we have at home. Radishes for Craig's tacos and Rainier cherries from the other side of the mountains at $10 a pound — ouch. But oh, so sweet. With every bite we remember we're supporting an organic farm family who've had a rough spring.
I have a few thoughts and links for you today, on Earth Day 2008.
Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, makes a good case in this NY Times editorial for why we should bother to “go green” these days, in the face of discouragement and despair that whatever we do won’t be enough to turn the tide of global climate change.
It’s about a change in consciousness.
“Sometimes you have to act as if acting will make a difference, even when you can’t prove that it will,” Pollan writes. “That, after all, was precisely what happened in Communist Czechoslovakia and Poland, when a handful of individuals like Vaclav Havel and Adam Michnik resolved that they would simply conduct their lives ‘as if’ they lived in a free society. That improbable bet created a tiny space of liberty that, in time, expanded to take in, and then help take down, the whole of the Eastern bloc.”