For the Record
2 months ago
Undermining the Patriarchy Every Chance I Get -- And I Get a Lot of Chances Please find me at my new blog: hecatedemeter.wordpress.com
[However, e]volution has a double rhythm: only after nature, in her promiscuous creativity, throws up countless new possibilities and combinations does natural selection (her critical impulse, if you will) step in to determine which work best under the circumstances. . . . Nature creates without an end in view; fitness is but an afterthought. The gardener in his own little world, like the artist in his, performs both functions, hatching the trials and then culling the errors. [Hint to Pollan, women exist.]
But as much as he seems like a god in his garden, practicing his own local brand of natural selection, the green thumb entertains no illusions of omniscience or omnipotence. If he's any kind of god it's a Greek god, one whose power is sharply circumscribed by the willfulness of men and other gods. Unlike Yahweh, Athena bargains, cajoles, even loses one now and then; mortals can keep secrets from her. [The experienced gardener] suspects that the garden over which he exerted absolute mastery would be a pallid, thin, uninteresting place.
The distinction between divine and human is real, but both exist in a common world defined by mutual relationships.
From this difference-in-relatedness unfolds the central concept of polytheist religious practice, which is reciprocity. Religion in the Pagan sense is a matter of exchange. While the gods are greater than human beings, they are not infinitely so, and humanity thus has the potential to bring something of its own to a relationship with divinity. Each participates in the relationship in a manner proportioned to their relative place in the cosmos, but the relationship is never merely one-sided. . . . If Pagan gods are verbs, as the Christian god is sometimes said to be, the verbs in question are some conjugation of "to give." Yet human beings and, indeed, all other entities have the capacity to give as well, and in giving, to imitate the gods. Once again, hard and fast lines become difficult to draw.
If, when we were young, we tramped through forests of Nebraska cottonwoods, or raised pigeons on a rooftop in Queens, or fished for Ozark bluegills, or felt the swell of a wave that traveled a thousand miles before lifting our boat, then we were bound to a natural world and remain so today. Nature still informs our years -- lifts us, carries us.
For children, nature comes in many forms . . . whatever shape nature takes it offers each child an older, larger world separate from parents. Unlike television, nature does not steal time; it amplifies it. . . . Given a chance, a child will bring the confusion of the world to the woods, wash it in the creek, turn it over to see what lives on the unseen side of that confusion. Nature can frighten a child, too, and this fright serves a purpose. In nature, a child finds freedom, fantasy, and privacy; a place distant from the adult world, a separate peace.
On May 13, 2010, about eighty soldiers, stationed at Fort Eustis while attending a training course, were punished for opting out of attending one of these Christian concerts. The headliner at this concert was a Christian rock band called BarlowGirl, a band that describes itself as taking “an aggressive, almost warrior-like stance when it comes to spreading the gospel and serving God.”
The Commanding General’s Spiritual Fitness Concert Series was the brainchild of Maj. Gen. James E. Chambers, who, according to an article on the Army.mil website, “was reborn as a Christian” at the age of sixteen. According to the article, Chambers held the first concert at Fort Lee within a month of becoming the commanding general of the Combined Arms Support Command and Fort Lee in June 2008. But he had already started the series at Fort Eustis, as the previous commanding general there. The concerts have continued at Fort Eustis under the new commanding general, as well as spreading to Fort Lee under Maj. Gen. Chambers. The concerts are also promoted to the airmen on Langley Air Force Base, which is now part of Joint Base Langley-Eustis.
In the Army.mil article, Maj. Gen. Chambers was quoted as saying, “The idea is not to be a proponent for any one religion. It’s to have a mix of different performers with different religious backgrounds.” But there has been no “mix of different performers with different religious backgrounds” at these concerts. Every one of them has had evangelical Christian performers, who typically not only perform their music but give their Christian testimony and read from the Bible in between songs.
She Lives! The Return of Our Great Mother, which explores the return of the divine personified as female through myth-like stories, rituals for both personal and seasonal celebrations with songs and dances, and a variety of meditations. . . . [The book] describes how female divinity might return to people on diverse paths, and addresses a variety of issues in a number of different religions and in secular settings. Its seasonal rituals contain aspects of Pagan, Jewish, Christian and other traditions. What is commonly called belly dance, as well as other folk dance forms, are included the rituals and there is one individual meditation devoted to belly dance, which I call the "Dance of the Womb." The personal rituals for women and for men focus on sex-related life milestones.
at least a third of her royalties from all her books to charities benefiting women
[f]or more complete information about She Lives! The Return of Our Great Mother, including reviews, table of contents with links to excerpts, and also links to booksellers, please visit judithlaura.com/slgm.html.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.
And you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.
For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am That which is attained at the end of desire.
Sympathy allows the green thumb to cut the tree's limbs back hard -- that, and a sense of where a plant's "being" resides that is very different, I think, from the novice gardener's. The inexperienced gardener is loath to chop away at his new tree (indeed, to prune in general) because he assumes that the tree is indistinguishable from its limbs. This is probably because he looks at a plant more or less anthropomorphically -- by means of a mode that, though useful in some respects, fails to take account of those parts of the plant that don't, like [people] stand on the surface. Later, if he gardens attentively and sympathetically, he'll develop a more complicated and less anthropomorphic understanding of how, and where, a tree lives. He'll probably come to think of the tree as having something akin to a soul that is distinct from its parts, and for which the limbs sometimes (at transplanting, for instance) represent a burden it might be glad to be rid of. If "soul" seems too mystical a term, think of it as simply the tree's life force, or the wellspring of its growth, what Dylan Thomas called its "green fuse." Imagine this as the fulcrum of the tree's roots and its visible parts, something located maybe just below ground level, and pruning will no longer seem cruel, but beneficent, a form of relief and a spur to fresh growth.
Now, I have no idea if there is any "scientific" basis for these notions of plant identity, but I can't say [that] I really care. It is enough to know that since I have begun to imagine my plants in this way I have had more success with them. The successful gardener, I've found, approaches science and folk wisdom, even magic, with like amounts of skepticism and curiosity. If it works, then it's "true." Good gardeners tend to be flat-out pragmatists not particularly impressed with science.
About 300 people came to City Park on Saturday to see what Pagan Pride was all about.
"We want people to know we're not devil worshippers," coordinator Betty Jane Ware said.
(written to be read aloud, as a prayer)
Not with your ears. They will lead you astray.
Listen with your feet.
Nestle them naked
down deep into the tangles of the roots and grass,
burrow your toes under the warm soil, investigate,
tune into the right station,
let the ground rise up into your arches, fill up your base
surround your heels with the movement.
Listen with your skin.
Pull the sound up through every muscle in your legs,
the earth is playing you like a harp, you are being strummed,
softly, strongly, an insistent tune,
a pinnacle point of pitch and vibration
as the space where all your strings come together
let this sound, this calling from the earth,
fill up the hollows of your sacrum,
course it's winding way up your backbone,
chime up each rib like a xylophone, catch
and keep the rhythm of your beating heart.
exploding into all its potential
as it blasts from your
fingers and mouth and eyes,
through your every cell
the incredible, undeniable,
untamable sound of living
that your ears, alone,
would never understand.
I do not plan on seeing this movie! I too find the whole concept shallow beyond measure! To run off to find such ideas -- what nonsense! Find those qualities in your own home (paint, clean, and create your own genuine space that gives pleasure every single day -- fill it with objects and artworks that make your heart sing); till your own earth or garden in whatever space you can or support your local farmer's market and support initiatives in your community that will support earth-bound projects; try different cusines at home and around your area; entertain your circles of friends and family; maintain and widen your own deep Magical practices. Craft in all ways. Read. Find out about the issues in the news.