Legacy of Carol P. Christ: WANGARI MUTA MAATHAI AND SACRED MOUNT KENYA

This was originally posted on September 23, 2013

September 25, 2013 is the second anniversary of the death of environmental, peace, justice, and democracy advocate and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Wangari Muta Maathai.

Wangari Muta was born in 1940 in a round hut in rural tribal Kenya.  Wangari’s tribe considered the fig tree to be holy, and she was taught that one is never to cut a fig tree down or to use its branches for firewood.  Wangari spent many happy childhood hours in the shade of a fig tree that grew by a nearby stream.  Fig trees play an important role in the ecological system of the Rift Valley of Kenya.  Their roots penetrate the hard rock surface of the mountains to find underground water, thus opening channels where the water flows upward to fill streams and rivers.

Continue reading “Legacy of Carol P. Christ: WANGARI MUTA MAATHAI AND SACRED MOUNT KENYA”

Common Ground: Part Two:  On Enclosure, the Commons, and Awe by Beth Bartlett

Can we rise to ourselves and see what is in the nature of the soul to see – that we exist on this common ground together?” – Susan Griffin

The ideology, discussed in Part One, that land that is not being cultivated, mined, lumbered, or otherwise used to create goods and capital is ‘waste” continues its devastating effects to this day in mountaintop removal, destruction of old growth forests, fracking and drilling and mining of once pristine lands, plowing the plains into dust and spreading herbicides and pesticides over the land. Devastate – from the Latin devastare, meaning to “lay waste, ravage, make desolate.” Devastate – to de-vast – is to destroy the vastness. And so has the vastness of lands around the world been plundered, laid waste, so as not to “waste” it.

Continue reading “Common Ground: Part Two:  On Enclosure, the Commons, and Awe by Beth Bartlett”

Common Ground: Part One:  On Enclosure, the Commons, and Awe by Beth Bartlett

I spent the first half of my academic career studying and teaching the history of Western political philosophy – the works of Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau to name a few.  It gave me the best possible grounding in understanding the foundations of patriarchy.  In more recent years, I have used these works to explain the Western paradigm of thought to my ecofeminism students so they could better understand how women, colonized others, and the earth have been defined and dominated based on these assumptions.

Continue reading “Common Ground: Part One:  On Enclosure, the Commons, and Awe by Beth Bartlett”

From the Archives: Who Owns the Sacred? A Personal Search beyond (European) Indigenous Knowledge by Eline Kieft

This was originally posted on Jan 17, 2020

For almost 35 years nature has been my sacred place. As an 8-year old, I started to pray to Mother Earth even though the protestant tradition in which I grew up only recognised ‘God the Father’. I went outside in my inflatable rowing boat to seek solitude (as an only child in a quiet family!) on a small island in the lake of our local park. I practised rowing and walking quietly to not break the sacred silence. I collected herbs to brew infusions in my little thermos flask with boiled water brought from home. I sung to the moon, and danced my love for all creation back through my moving body. Over the last 15 or so years, I spent many days and nights at Neolithic monuments, dreaming in ancestral burial mounds, time traveling in stone circles in Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, England, Ireland and Brittany. This nature-based practice evolved naturally, and later incorporated my training with the Scandinavian Centre for Shamanic Studies and the School of Movement Medicine. Nature is where I reconnect most easily with the Sacred, and listen to the whispers on the great web of life in which all of nature is a great teacher. Nature, for me, is a strong place of prayer, solace, awe, reverence, gratitude, joy, guidance, reconnection, healing and transformation. 

Continue reading “From the Archives: Who Owns the Sacred? A Personal Search beyond (European) Indigenous Knowledge by Eline Kieft”

From the Archives: A Feminist Retelling of Noah’s Ark

This was originally posted on May 4, 2018

My daughters came to me after Sunday School one day, concerned about a story they had heard in which God drowned almost everyone on Earth. So I sat down and thought about why a community might want to tell that story, and what valuable wisdom might be lifted from it for my children. Here is what I told them:

God/ess  has  many  faces,  which  help  us  understand  different  things we  need  to  know  at different  times. Sometimes we think of God/ess as Crone, an old, old  woman  crowned with silver hair as  an  emblem of her wisdom, who helps us  learn to let go of anything that is holding back the wellness of our community and ourselves. 

Continue reading “From the Archives: A Feminist Retelling of Noah’s Ark”

Suzanne Simard Creates a Bridge to the Future by Sara Wright

It interests me that September 30th was declared Truth and Reconciliation Day in Canada because this is the day I was born and this is where I think we need to begin. Truth and Reconciliation is about acknowledging the wound and healing the split between the Indigenous ways of being in the world and the rest of western civilization. First we become fully accountable for the blood that was shed on this continent by immigrants (knowingly or unknowingly). Healing the bloody root that is still caught underground. And then we need to begin to listen to those who are still in direct relationship with the earth…If there was ever a time for humans to surrender one perspective for another it is now. We need to reject the values of patriarchy – domination, war, hatred, and division – and make a shift to what Carol Christ calls an egalitarian matriarchy  – a communal way of living that values relationships and compassion and thrives upon equality between the sexes – one that also celebrates diversity. Turning to Nature and Indigenous peoples to learn how to make this shift is a road to genuine hope…

All summer I have been engaged with mushrooming in the forest, a practice that has deepened my relationship with the forest as a whole as well as making it even more real to me that I am walking on hallowed ground with Forest Scientist Suzanne Simard, who also learned about (symbiotic) mycorrhizal networks by examining mushrooms. Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of some of the millions of gold, silver, red and orange threads that lie just beneath the forest floor. Thanks to the work of this feminist, (the word is never used in her book Finding the Mother Tree…) Suzanne is a prime example of a woman who has lived her life as a radical feminist who is indebted to her male relatives and does not find men a threat.

Continue reading “Suzanne Simard Creates a Bridge to the Future by Sara Wright”

Perilous Passages by Sara Wright


Old Woman cackled on the wing
a pterodactyl with claws
crimson black and white
a great wind
was howling
and she was too.
Passages she screeched.
Her wrath undid me.

The Way was Narrow.
  Cushions of moss
calmed wet cavern walls,
steep stones threatened
 uncertain footsteps,
echoing my descent.
At the bottom
of the well
Silence rang out
like a bell.

Continue reading “Perilous Passages by Sara Wright”

Lessons From the Mother Tree by Sara Wright

Picture of Sara Wright standing outside in nature

Last night I was reading Forest Scientist Susanne Simard’s new book “Finding the Mother Tree”. She was writing about how uncanny it was that her personal life has paralleled that of trees, the forests, the plants, the fungi, the mycorrhiza (underground networks), she has been studying for more than thirty years. This weaving of Nature’s ways through human lives has also been my life experience, although I am a naturalist and not a scientist. (I capitalize the word “nature” to accord her the Sovereignty that is missing because most humans see Nature as a “resource” to be used – not a Living Being). I take note of the fact that so many of these tree advocates are women.

I observe and listen to Nature by paying close attention to weather patterns, to flourishing or withering leaves, bowed or broken trees, to wind, to parched ground, to birds, to animals, to water, to fire, water, earth and air, and by being emotionally present to whatever is happening in my own backyard while scanning earth and sky for ‘signs’ of what’s to come. I receive the answers I need if not through a bird sighting, a porcupine, a clump of moss, a dying tree, then through dreams. For months now I have been threatened by the immanent loss of our forests by way of dreaming.

Continue reading “Lessons From the Mother Tree by Sara Wright”

Bears and Radical Ecology by Sara Wright

My friend

As an eco feminist I am deeply concerned with the loss of the animals I love. One of these is the Black bear whose visits are becoming more and more scarce as the forest around me disappears. The bear in this poem is unlike the bears I used to know in that he is terrified of me. When I first fell in love with bears it was because they embodied the soul and body of the Great Mother in a way that was meaningful to me. It is no accident that Black bears were honored as great healers by Indigenous peoples around the globe. The first images of them appeared on cave walls approximately 50,000 years ago.

Visionary Night

A furry
 shadow –
ever dimming vision –
did I imagine
him?
The woods
are needled –
 Bare twigs
 stick out,
pine spears 
behind Her. 
Mother Tree –
She who 
sheltered his kin.
 He thinks
rough elephantine
 arms will
provide
protection from
his greatest threat –
human supremacy.
I cry out in desperation:
“I am not one of them”.
(this woman who loves bears)

Continue reading “Bears and Radical Ecology by Sara Wright”

The largest protest in the world: India’s Farmers Protest by Anjeanette LeBoeuf


So much has happened since my last post. From the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, the GameStop Investment, the military coup of Myanmar, the 2nd Impeachment Trial and Republican Acquittal of Donald Trump, a catastrophic Artic Freeze of Texas, and other states, and the upcoming “no holding back, tell all” from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. But what I really want to focus on this month is on something that is struggling to maintain publicity and support despite its importance; The Farmer’s Protest/Strike in India.

Continue reading “The largest protest in the world: India’s Farmers Protest by Anjeanette LeBoeuf”

Mary’s Return by Sara Wright

Yesterday I learned (NPR) that a third of the oak trees in this country will be dead within 50 years; I also read that our sugary harbingers of spring, the Maples, are dying confirming my own observations. I try to imagine what fall will be like without fire on the mountain.

When I heard that pink dolphins, those denizens of the fresh waters of the Amazon are going extinct, I remembered their gift to me, grateful that I had been present as a receiver. On the last day of a three – year research journey (early 90’s) I was with my guide returning to a place on the river that I loved. It was absolutely calm; my guide and I drifted along a serpentine tributary curtained and dripping with scarlet passionflowers, when a circle of pink dolphins surrounded the dugout.

“I love you,” I repeated the words over and over in a trance-like state glued to the rippling brown water.

Round and round they came surfacing inches away from the side of the boat. Flippers splashing shades of pink and gray.

The Circle of Life was being inscribed in the water.

Now, many years later I am saying goodbye to an enduring friendship with a species I adored…

Around the world, and especially here in the ‘United’ (?) States the virus continues to spike and another strain has been identified, more contagious than the first. Two million people are dead…

Continue reading “Mary’s Return by Sara Wright”

Deb Haaland, the Secretary of the Interior We Need by Anjeanette LeBoeuf

Wet Plate Collodion Image of the Congresswoman Haaland Taken by Shane Balkowitsch in Bismarck, North Dakota on June 23rd, 2019.

This past week brought an announcement from the 46th President Elect’s office on the nomination for the Secretary of Interior position, House of Representative Debra Haaland of New Mexico. This nomination has solidified President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris’ promise to be a more inclusive, progressive, and diverse cabinet. This appointment is revolutionary, outstanding, and diverse. If this nomination is accepted, Deb Haaland will become the first Native American and first Native American woman to hold this position.

Continue reading “Deb Haaland, the Secretary of the Interior We Need by Anjeanette LeBoeuf”

Ancient Mother by Sara Wright

 

On the path
through the pines
I see clumps of
moss scattered,
an old tree trunk
is raked as if
with claws;
clumps of downed bark
food for the earth.
My heart soars.
Wild hope pours
through me like honey.

Continue reading “Ancient Mother by Sara Wright”

Wisdom from our Ancient Female Lawgiver and Judge Traditions by Carolyn Lee Boyd

Carolyn Lee Boyd


As I have witnessed both the joy of so many across the world at the nomination of Kamala Harris for Vice President and the deep sorrow at the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I am struck by the fact that, in 2020, supremely qualified women still need to be trailblazers to hold high office. After all, goddesses and wise women gave a number of cultures their systems of laws and governance and have been celebrated for their wisdom as judges for millennia. 

Here are a few of the goddesses and wise women lawgivers:

The Goddess Themis
  • the Italian goddess Egeria gave Rome its first laws and taught the correct rules for Earth worship; 
  • the Babylonian Kadi, was goddess of Earth and justice; 
  • Ala of the Ibo people of Nigeria is both the Earth Mother and lawgiver of society; 
  • the Greek Themis, daughter of Gaia, symbolized the social contract and cohesion of people living on Earth; 
  • the Inuit Sedna both gave humanity abundance from the ocean for life from her own body and withheld it when her laws were broken;
  • Marcia Proba, whose historical reality is unclear, is said to have created the ancient Celtic system of laws known as the Marcian Statutes that may have influenced later British law;
  • past and present Women’s Councils and Clan Mothers of the Iroquois and other Indigenous peoples as well as those of Societies of Peace have brought harmony and well being to their people for tens of thousands of years.

Continue reading “Wisdom from our Ancient Female Lawgiver and Judge Traditions by Carolyn Lee Boyd”

Bareskin by Sara Wright

My friend

When we meet
our deep
brown eyes
mirror a
mutual need
for light
to penetrate
human darkness.

Your eyes are
wary and fearful;
Mine hunger
for your touch.
I cry out softly
“Don’t be afraid…
I love you”.

We share
a haunted skin –
hunted down
by Difference.
You are slaughtered
by men with guns.
I am knifed by wounding
man words,
– boy threats,
a ‘gift’ of a still warm
grouse – her neck twisted
and broken – dropped
at my door.

There are so many ways
to kill an animal.

You have shiny black fur
and my skin is light
but our senses scream
as one
in torment –
our bodies feel
the earth moving
under our feet.
We have no place
left to go –
no hope of peace.
What’s left?
Courage
to endure.

 

Working notes:

Some nights I walk down to the field, the one I call “field of dreams” to gaze up at the constellation of the Great Bear who circumnavigates the sky. In the Northern Hemisphere the Great Bear was probably the first image and manifestation of the Goddess. As a bear She denned in the fall, gave birth in dead winter, was reborn in the spring, feasted during the summer, and re –entered the cave of night in the fall, participating in an endless round of becoming. This year I feel the loss of Her Presence keenly. It has been a year of endurance; one in which hope has been absent. A year permeated by fear, drought, heat, stagnancy, unbearable waiting for house repairs to begin. It is almost October; un – dealt with house repairs loom as parched leaves drift to the ground and rains never come… I am losing perspective and I know it.

Wild bears have been for the most part absent from my life. For the first time ever. The absence of day bears mirrors the apparent loss of the Great Mother in me. I am drowning in doubt, depression, and uncertainty.

Of course, hunting pressure has reduced the number of bears to almost zero and those that still haunt what’s left of these broken forests have little food or protection. Even though I offer sanctuary, treats and friendship bears have been too wary, visiting only under the cover of night. I almost never see them.

The exception was Coal, a timid 300lb adult female that barely allowed me to get a few glimpses of her during the month of June…Although Coal knows me she is no longer interested in friendship. That she has survived long enough to reach adulthood and is of breeding age (she bred last year but lost her cubs to god knows what horror) guarantees that she has had too many threatening encounters with men to trust any human, including me – a woman who loves her.

Because we are in the midst of the three month black bear slaughter I think about Coal every day hoping that somehow she has managed to escape the hunters raging gun, wild dogs that ‘hound’ her, the ugly steel traps illegal in every state but this one…I look at her picture wondering if there is some way to reach her, to protect her – to help her survive. But I suspect that I am as powerless to help her, as I am to help myself.

 


Sara
 is a naturalist, ethologist ( a person who studies animals in their natural habitats) (former) Jungian Pattern Analyst, and a writer. She publishes her work regularly in a number of different venues and is presently living in Maine.

Forward, Upward, Inward: A Spiritual Response to Right Now by Rachel Hollander

Brother Francesco, known to the world as Saint Francis of Assisi, left us many sweet and lovely poems and songs. In “The Canticle of the Sun,” he wrote about the gifts of nature. Brother Sun, his light and radiance.  Sister Moon and Stars for their beauty.  Brothers Wind and Air, through fair skies or storms. Sister Water for her humility, purity, and usefulness. Brother Fire, who lights the night, is playful and strong. And Sister Death, whom no one living can escape. And, of course, he included: 

Praised be You my Lord through our Sister, Mother Earth who sustains and governs us, producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs. 

Mother Earth. We live on her, we eat what she provides, we use what wondrous supply she shares with us, and….

We are not the kindest of children. We are not always so Grateful for what our Mother so generously lends to us. Because it is a loan. Do not be mistaken. Mother Earth is not a bottomless well of giving. She is a Mother with expectations; a Mother who gives and then wants to see us give back.

These are tough lesson for humans; some humans, anyway. And never before have we been taught that lesson more clearly than right now. Continue reading “Forward, Upward, Inward: A Spiritual Response to Right Now by Rachel Hollander”

La Llorona and the Dark Green Religion of Hope by Sara Wright

Picture of Sara Wright standing outside in natureI recently returned to Maine after what can only be called a harrowing journey from the Southwest. Grateful to feel beloved earth under my feet, I walk along the pine strewn woodland paths to keep myself sane. My animals have been ill, my neighbor was hospitalized briefly, other neighbors deliberately destroyed my garden wall crushing a baby balsam, and used this property as their personal ski slope, the threat of the C/virus looms – there are no words to describe this kind of exhaustion. As a PTSD survivor all my senses are on permanent scream. The simplest task has become monumental. And I am only one of so many…

Each day I attempt to feel gratitude for what is good in my life.

Momentary peace is found in the Dark Green Religion of Hope that I experience walking under every balsam, lichen, wet leaf, deciduous tree, listening to chickadees, phoebes, juncos, and finches, meandering along the swollen brook – Just to see clear mountain waters rushing to the sea reminds me that Nature’s rhythms are my own, and that most of the time I am not breathing with her – unless I take these walks. Somewhere along the way over these last weeks I have lost access to my body (PTSD). Continue reading “La Llorona and the Dark Green Religion of Hope by Sara Wright”

Who Owns the Sacred? A Personal Search beyond (European) Indigenous Knowledge by Eline Kieft

For almost 35 years nature has been my sacred place. As an 8-year old, I started to pray to Mother Earth even though the protestant tradition in which I grew up only recognised ‘God the Father’. I went outside in my inflatable rowing boat to seek solitude (as an only child in a quiet family!) on a small island in the lake of our local park. I practised rowing and walking quietly to not break the sacred silence. I collected herbs to brew infusions in my little thermos flask with boiled water brought from home. I sung to the moon, and danced my love for all creation back through my moving body. Over the last 15 or so years, I spent many days and nights at Neolithic monuments, dreaming in ancestral burial mounds, time traveling in stone circles in Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, England, Ireland and Brittany. This nature-based practice evolved naturally, and later incorporated my training with the Scandinavian Centre for Shamanic Studies and the School of Movement Medicine. Nature is where I reconnect most easily with the Sacred, and listen to the whispers on the great web of life in which all of nature is a great teacher. Nature, for me, is a strong place of prayer, solace, awe, reverence, gratitude, joy, guidance, reconnection, healing and transformation. 

Rowing contemplation Image credits Henk Kieft

Yet I am confused. I am confused because although this way of connecting to the mystery feels the most natural and innocent thing in the world to me, my practice is criticised as “playing Indian” because I did not happen to be born into one of the indigenous traditions that kept nature-based (“shamanic”, for want of a better word) practices alive. Critique includes cultural appropriation in relation to colonialism and white privilege, as well as that any form of spirituality outside the five major religions is considered as empty, eclectic, post-modern consumerist product that lacks meaning and substance because of its diluted, selective ‘picking’ of traditions from other times and contemporary contexts.   Continue reading “Who Owns the Sacred? A Personal Search beyond (European) Indigenous Knowledge by Eline Kieft”

A Sword Will Pierce Your Own Soul by Mary Jane Miller

On Holy Ground is a collection of icons for this age of climate change. The collection of iconography opens with an image of Mary of Swords inspired by the number seven. This sacred number is associated with intuition, mysticism, inner wisdom, and a deep inward knowing. The ancient church speaks of seven deadly sins and seven holy attributes, and seven sacraments. The composition places the planet Earth beside Mary as she bows her head having been told, “ a sword will pierce Your own Soul ”
Mary of Sorrows or in this case, Mary the softener of Evil Hearts tilts her head lovingly towards our planet Earth. Seven swords pierce her heart; indicating the fullness and boundless sorrow, pain and “sickness of heart” that would have been experienced by Mary the Mother of Jesus at His crucifixion.
Muslims pilgrims circle the Kaaba in Mecca sevens times, and Egyptians had seven gods.

Continue reading “A Sword Will Pierce Your Own Soul by Mary Jane Miller”

The Man with the Hat by Sara Wright

I met a man on a rumbling train who had hooks in his hat.

A fisherman, I thought with the usual dismay – brutal images of dying fish gasping for air exploded in thin air. Memories of my grandmother who took her eight year old granddaughter fly fishing also flooded my mind (my grandmother was a professional fly fisherwoman). I caught my first fish in the brook – a six inch trout. After landing the desperate creature my grandmother said, “ now we must kill it so the fish does not suffer.” And she looked for a stone.

“Hit it over the head” she instructed handing me a rock she picked up nearby, and I did.  Tears welled up. It broke my child’s heart to murder such a shimmering rainbowed creature.

When we got home that day, my grandmother praised me lavishly for my catch, promptly gutted the fish and fried it in a pan for me to eat. I forgot the anguish I had experienced, basking in my grandmother’s approval. The fish tasted delicious, and to this day I eat fish and other seafood.

As a lobsterman’s wife I learned quickly how to cook crustaceans by sticking their heads in boiling water so they would die almost instantly.

Continue reading “The Man with the Hat by Sara Wright”

From the Biblical ‘Woman on Fire’ to Female Kurdish Fighters: The Women Who Mama Up by Tallessyn Zawn Grenfell-Lee

I was one of millions inspired by Greta Thunberg’s speech to the United Nations. In her usual courageous fashion, she spoke plain truths all adults need to hear about our failure to assure a future for generations of all creatures. Yet you all come to us young people for hope? How dare you? she rebuked us. How dare you?

The beginning of her speech actually struck me the most. This is all wrong, she said. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school, on the other side of the ocean. Her words echoed the words of the small, simple hobbit Samwise in Lord of the Rings, as he and Frodo journey into the terrifying, almost certain death of Mordor. In the film, Sam says: It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. Continue reading “From the Biblical ‘Woman on Fire’ to Female Kurdish Fighters: The Women Who Mama Up by Tallessyn Zawn Grenfell-Lee”

Climate Change, the Generations and Religion’s Bad Rap by Susan de Gaia

As I reflect on my experience at the climate strike on September 20, 2019, I see a connection between climate change and the bad rap that religion has today. When asked what they think about religion, many are quick to point out how history has shown that it has been at the center of numerous wars. Even today we find conflicts between groups grounded in religious difference. There are other differences in these conflicts, such as ethnic differences, differences of social organization, and disagreements over territory, but religion is a clear element. Colonialism, misogyny, and priest sexual abuse are some other ways that religions have earned reputations for being too strict, too old fashioned, and too corrupt, among other things.

The climate strike was called Youth Climate Strike and had as one of its leaders a very special young woman, Greta Thunberg. It isn’t often that the youth are given a platform for their complaints and even rarer that a teenaged person – and a female at that – is seen as a world leader on one of the most important issues facing civilization. Not only does this young woman have the wisdom to see the problem from a global, even a cosmic, perspective, but she also stands before us as the face of the only group on the planet that is more impacted by climate change than any other – the youth.

Continue reading “Climate Change, the Generations and Religion’s Bad Rap by Susan de Gaia”

The Prophetess: Greta Thunberg, Global Warming, and the Legacy of Prophecy in Our Own Day by Jill Hammer

My community and many others have been watching in awe as Greta Thunberg makes waves around the world—her lone climate change protest in Sweden growing in a single year into a climate strike with millions of demonstrators around the world.  Of course, Greta isn’t asking us to listen to her.  She is asking us to listen to the science that will save us.  And Greta is not alone: there are young indigenous female protesters like performance poet and peace activist Lyla June Johnston of the Dine (Navajo) and Tsetsehestahese (Cheyenne) peoples and water protector Autumn Peltier of the Anishnaabe people, who are speaking before the UN and in other public settings about global warming, and revitalizing our spiritual relationship with Mother Earth. Yet Greta knows that her fame (and her youth) gives her a platform. She is conscientiously using that platform to testify before Congress and the UN, Tweet, post on Facebook, and do whatever else she can do to make an impact.  Recently, I’ve noticed that some people in my home Jewish community, when they post about Greta on social media, have given her a nickname: they call her “the prophetess.”

This appellation has deep history.  The Hebrew word for prophet is navi, and the word for prophetess is neviah. These words come from the root nun-bet-alef which means to announce or proclaim.  At one event I attended, a woman enacting the role of a prophetess announced: “I am God’s microphone,” and that is what a navi or neviah does: amplify the voice of the sacred. Continue reading “The Prophetess: Greta Thunberg, Global Warming, and the Legacy of Prophecy in Our Own Day by Jill Hammer”

Insect Conversations by Barbara Ardinger

“She’s doing it again,” Mrs. Cockroach is saying to her friend Old Mrs. Spider. “You know? The giant? She’s been blowing on me and telling me to live somewhere else. Like, I’d leave a good home?”

 

                         

 

Old Mrs. Spider looks up from her weaving. “Yes,” she says in a weary voice. “But you know she’s not a giant. She’s just a normal human being, well, overweight, as I understand humans measure their bodies. And if she’s going to blow on us and ask us to live somewhere else, well…..I think she needs to brush her teeth.”

Mrs. Cockroach chuckles. “Indeed. We insects, maybe with the exceptions of fleas and termites, we don’t have bad breath. Blood-breath and wood-breath are sour! I was sitting on the wall in her bathroom, keeping an eye on things and telling the termites to get away from the window, and she just walks up. Doesn’t she know we insects and arachnids are protecting her house?”

Continue reading “Insect Conversations by Barbara Ardinger”

Rejecting TMT: Protecting and Protesting the Sacred for Mauna Kea and for all by Anjeanette LeBoeuf

AnjeanetteRoughly 3 ½ years ago my FAR post was about the struggle that the Hawaiian people were facing with the proposed building of a Thirty Meter Telescope on the most sacred mountain in the Hawaiian Islands, Mauna Kea. When that post was published, there was a large social media presence and protests that helped cease construction of the telescope and sent the issue to the Hawaiian Courts. I am writing this post because Mauna Kea is again under threat. The Courts ruled in the favor of the telescope and for the last two months, large scale protests have gone under way on the road up to Mauna Kea.

Continue reading “Rejecting TMT: Protecting and Protesting the Sacred for Mauna Kea and for all by Anjeanette LeBoeuf”

 Fish Tails: A Grandmother’s Legacy by Sara Wright

When the two year old pulled the silvery gold fish out of the pond to the cheers of her five and seven year old siblings, parents, and grandmother, I shuddered involuntarily.

The young perch impaled by sharp hook was gasping for oxygen as the adults allowed the fish to hang helplessly while pictures were taken. Afterwards the group watched the fish flounder, still gasping, on the bottom of the boat. The toddler was applauded for her catch, while the terrified fish flipped over and over attempting to escape back into the water. It takes a while for a beached fish to die a death of asphyxiation. Continue reading ” Fish Tails: A Grandmother’s Legacy by Sara Wright”

Climate Change as a Socio-Spiritual Feminist Issue (Or 10 ways to be a leader in the era of climate change) by Nurete Brenner

Authorities have observed that climate change is a feminist issue because it disproportionately affects women. Among these, the United Nations has gone further to acknowledge that climate change is a feminist issue because women are on the forefront of adopting climate-change mitigating techniques and technologies. A recent UN report states that “women are key actors in building resilience and responding to climate-related disasters…” But overarching these admittedly important issues is the greater understanding – not mentioned by the UN report – that climate change is a feminist issue on the socio-spiritual level. This side of the issue is often overlooked because the institutions who compile reports are immersed in a masculine way of thinking.  

What do I mean by a masculine way of thinking and why do I label it in this seemingly gendered way? Masculine values are those of winning, achieving, proving, succeeding, counting, controlling. pursuit of achievement and status; individual self-reliance; strength and aggression. The UN climate report cited above goes on to say that “Enacting good policies requires quality data, so that we can quantify the issue and measure improvement…” Reports such as this make their points by tabulating numbers and citing statistics, not seeing that these are already masculine ways of expressions and that numbers can only ever tell part of the story.  These masculine traits and values are social constructs and not necessarily to be associated with the male biological sex. Both men and women and other-gendered can display masculine values and attributes but they are labeled masculine because society typically associates them with the male gender. Continue reading “Climate Change as a Socio-Spiritual Feminist Issue (Or 10 ways to be a leader in the era of climate change) by Nurete Brenner”

Lise Weil – Requiem by Sara Wright

For the Visionaries of the Women’s Movement and Beyond.

“I glimpse lines crazing my face in the windowglass,
crone’s bones emerging. My eyes are growing larger;
soon they will perch on stalks and swivel, crustacean.
The better to see how others do it:
this last chance at living…

The message is we’re too fatigued to change the myths
of ourselves at this stage, preferring to die, unmake
the world, in the familiar. Understandable. Yet I persist
in lusting to be seamless with the universe while still aware
of it—so I suspect a future darkly bright, kaleidoscopic
as symmetries glittering beneath eyelids rubbed dry of tears.”

Italics are my own.

Robin Morgan “Reading the Bones,” from her latest book of poems, Dark Matter: New Poems, published by Spinifex Press.

Yesterday I attended a reading for the memoir In Search of Pure Lust written by my friend and former professor Lise Weil, a woman who has dedicated her life to visionary thinking and teaching by inviting anyone to enter who has ears to listen and an open heart.

When I first encountered Lise’s radical feminist ideas my hair caught fire; and the flames between us continued to rise higher and higher. Our friendship remains as tempestuous as the fire that binds us still – fire and air are the two mediums of communication that flow between us – one a lover of women, a lesbian, internationally known translator, editor, writer, lifetime visionary activist and teacher, the other, a dedicated Earth centered heterosexual woman, a naturalist and mystic whose lifetime of writing had been confined to her journals up until that point, a woman who returned to school only after her children were grown. Continue reading “Lise Weil – Requiem by Sara Wright”

Befriending our Dragons by Sara Wright

“We are an overflowing river.
We are a hurricane.
We are an earthquake.
We are a volcano, a tsunami, a forest fire…”

These words written by Judith Shaw speak to the underlying merging of woman’s anger with Earth’s natural disasters, suggesting to me that women use “natural” violence in order to create change.

Violence, not the values of compassion and cooperation.

Violence and power over are the primary tools that Patriarchy uses to control women and the Earth.

Engaging in more violence will not solve the problems we face.

So many women including me are struggling like never before to survive on the edge of a culture that continues to sanction the vicious ongoing rape of both women and the Earth.

I use the death of trees as a primary example of the latter. By logging trees by the billions or killing them in “controlled burns” we are literally destroying human and non – human species. Without trees/plants we lose the oxygen we need to breathe.

We need “woman – centered” women to say NO!!! WE WON’T TOLERATE LIVING IN A DEATH DESTROYING CULTURE PREDICATED ON RAPE OF WOMEN AND THE EARTH.

We need women who are willing support other women – Women who refuse to remain neutral – Women who don’t wait until their mothers, daughters, sisters, nieces, granddaughters are assaulted to take a stand with other women – Women who refuse to stand behind their men when those men continue to support individuals (males or male identified women  – the latter are often “Father’s Daughters” in Jungian parlance) – Women who refuse to support a Patriarchal system that is destroying us all.

Continue reading “Befriending our Dragons by Sara Wright”

A Letter to Senator Feinstein by Sarah Robinson-Bertoni

Dear Senator Feinstein,

I distinctly remember celebrating the 1992 historic victory when you and Barbara Boxer were elected as the first female Senatorial duo from any state in the union.  My father brought my sister and me to an election party that evening at Gaia bookstore in Berkeley to watch the results trickle in.  We literally jumped for joy, proud that California could lead the nation in recognizing the full capacity of women to legislate effectively and to send you to Washington.  I never doubted that you would endeavor to represent me even though I was too young at that time to cast my own vote.

I am troubled by the recent media splash that showed your response to young people, who are rightly concerned about their own ability to have a future, represented in their intent to convince you to support the Green New Deal.  At a certain level, it doesn’t matter what name is on the legislation, but what does matter is the content.  Empirical reality, though undeniable in nearly the rest of the world, has been stymied here in the U.S. by those who profit from doubt and confusion.  It is time for more active leadership in government and business to steer away from the shore before the ship of civilization runs aground.

Continue reading “A Letter to Senator Feinstein by Sarah Robinson-Bertoni”

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