Preparing for Solstice 2012

Winter has finally arrived up here on the mountain. Frost is sparkling on the brown leaves and desiccated greenery of the forest. I love to walk outside under the Moon and experience the crackle of frozen oak leaves and play my flashlight upon shimmering ice. Late at night when I step outside to bid goodnight to the sky and the stars I can often hear deer or moose crunching on the leaf litter around the house.

The pond down the road freezes at night but by day it still melts back enough that the resident waterfowl can take a swim.

The bird feeders are swarming with visitors; the goldfinches are now muted and beige, cardinals, chickadees, titmice, juncos, sparrows and nuthatches come by in a steady stream. Several sizes of woodpeckers frequent the suet tray.

My long haired black cat and the neighbor’s snow white cat both wait hopefully just under the feeder but in weeks not one bird has fallen prey to them.

Everyone around here is looking forward to Solstice on December 21 at about 6 AM. The world will not end on that day but there will be more focus than usual due to all the Mayan calendar end of the world hype. We are going to focus on creating a better future for the planet and all of Her creatures. I hope everyone who reads this will offer up a special prayer for the oceans, land, trees, plants, animals and people on that morning.

Below you will find the latest book, nature, health, archaeology and other news. As usual, ENJOY!

BOOK NEWS

*You can order all these books from me and get a signed copy and a personal note*

ANTHROPOLOGY

HEALTH NEWS

CELTIC NEWS

PAGAN NEWS

ARCHAEOLOGY NEWS

ARTS NEWS

POLITICS/ETHICS (it’s the same thing)

NATURE NEWS

May the Winter bring you every blessing of the dreaming dark. May peace truly descend upon all creatures.

Remembering September 11, 2001 – OUR GRIEF IS NOT A CRY FOR WAR

Most religions agree on one basic principle; that creation comes from one eternal SOURCE. Some call it Goddess, some call it God and some call it The Mother of Ten Thousand Things. Whatever its ultimate nature, we are all a part of it.

When faced with a tragedy like September 11 we are faced with an aspect of ourselves that we may have a hard time looking upon and living with. Yet it, too, is a part of sacred creation.

Over the next week the media and the government will be doing their utmost to revive the feelings of shock and despair that we first experienced a year ago. Whether it is being done to increase ratings, to sell papers, or to build the propaganda effort for a war against Iraq, we will find ourselves awash in sentiments that were first born on that terrible day a year ago.

As human beings we have a choice in how we handle the emotions that will arise in us and in our fellows. In the words of Gregg Braden (author of Walking Between the Worlds);

“What if one person chooses to see beyond hate for those who oppress, while still living among those who oppress? This does not mean that they condone, agree with, or would ever choose to have oppression in their lives. It simply means that one person has chosen to become more than the circumstances they find themselves immersed within, breaking the cycle of response that has been, becoming the higher choice”.

As we experience the renewed drum beats for war and remembrance, we would do well to remember that every actor in the drama; perpetrator, victim, and witness, is an aspect of the sacred, a part of the divine whole. As Gregg has described in his book, we should use this annivesary of grief to witness our own responses and as a tool for growth.

The most primitive response to the memory of 9/11 is to react with rage, demanding vengeance. For many this will be the most immediate and lasting response.

Another understandable, but no less primitive, response will be denial.There are those who refuse to watch television, or read newspapers, or listen to the news, preferring to “stay happy” and focus “only on the positive”, in a kind of New Age never never land. Growth cannot occur in this walled off state, nor will this numbness spurr us to take the necessary compassionate action.

Pain and suffering are evident all around us, as they have been continually in the last year. The bombing of civilians in Afghanistan, the deaths of children in Iraq, brought on by sanction driven deprivation, the tit for tat violence in Palestine and Israel, are all aspects of our common crisis.

It is only by facing these events directly, and by allowing the full horror to penetrate, that we can finally respond with compassion and begin the steps to change our present circumstances.

“I am in all beings.
All beings are in me.
This is the whole truth.”

-Ashtavakra Gita 6:3-4

All beings are aspects of one creative SOURCE, constantly evolving and seeking to know itself.

As we gaze, clear eyed, at the suffering around us, let us bless the actions of those who have taken life, for seeking to know themselves in the taking of life.

Let us bless the victims who have given their lives, for seeking to know themselves in the giving of life.

And let us bless the witnesses who seek to know themselves in the witnessing.

In the words of the Midewewin (open heart) teachings of the (Native American) Anishnabe;

“All life is sacred and every act is a ritual”

Let us conduct ourselves well this week of the anniversary of 9/11 by wishing health and happiness on all beings, of every race, religion and color, in every corner of our small planet. And let us gaze upon sorrow with compassion and without a futhering of violence.