I <3 California by Sara Frykenberg

It’s Friday. I drive down PCH, Highway 1, at five-o-clock in the morning on my way to the airport. I left early and avoided the evacuation traffic. The sky is pitch black—not just dark, but black. Smoke cloaks the sky, sky presses against black mountains. I can’t actually see the ocean right next to me. I don’t look either, because the wind is pushing my car around on the freeway and I need to pay attention. Don’t look at the invisible water Sara, pay attention.

I admit to myself that I am afraid even though I am doing something I do every day.

I am getting on a plane. Why am I getting on this plane? I need to be here. I want to be here. But life goes on, doesn’t it? We hope that life goes on; even if we live like it does not. All I know is that I want to tell everyone I see that my home is burning. Not my house-home. Not mine. I’m safe just south of Ventura. I’m not on the freeway. I’m safe on a plane. But my home is burning. MY HOME IS BURNING. (Again.) Please somebody talk to me while my home is burning. But instead, I check the news and twitter reports every 5 minutes and worry about my students and my friends. I want to cry.

Continue reading “I <3 California by Sara Frykenberg”

Reflection for the End of the Year by Sara Frykenberg

At my school, a religious institution, we start every faculty meeting with a reflection, meant to inspire us, make us think, help us to connect, etc.  I am admittedly, sometimes very uncomfortable with these reflections. I don’t always like corporate ‘prayer’ because of my  past experiences in an abusive faith. They make me uncomfortable, defensive; even though I understand the value of collective ritual. Challenging me to face these feelings, my department chair asked me to give a reflection for our faculty assembly. So I did so by sharing the way I know how to share (in a collective way) best: in a blog. And here I present these reflections, my blog, with all of you as well. My thoughts about taking the year apart, and putting ourselves back together again at the end of the year:

(Reflection has been edited slightly in terms of length and clarification for presentation to this online audience.)

Faculty Assembly Reflection: Sara Frykenberg, April 2018 Continue reading “Reflection for the End of the Year by Sara Frykenberg”

Politics and Mythology by Sara Frykenberg

Some part of us buys into some part of our common mythology; hence, the importance of recognizing and interrogating the stories in which we (often unconsciously) participate.

Sara FrykenbergThis semester I am teaching Myth, Religion and Culture, which is by far one of my favorite courses to teach. On the first day of class, I usually ask my students what they think is the purpose and importance of myth. I receive a wide variety of answers ranging from myth being rather unimportant or only important historically, to myth being necessary for teaching lessons (particularly to children) or even critical as a foundation for society and communication. I then, over the next several weeks, introduce students to many theories of mythology and its significance: Continue reading “Politics and Mythology by Sara Frykenberg”

Imix: Primal Mother and Dawn of a New Age by Michele Stopera Freyhauf

Michele FreyhaufIf you are reading this, then we survived another apocalypse.  People are fixated on end-times; especially predictions, prophecies, etc.  Specials on Nostradamus, the Book of Revelation, TV Evangelists looking for end signs plague television shows, movies, and writings.  Countdown clocks and reminders to repent are all around us.

Original image found at http://www.dwayneedwardrourke.com/Pages/TIMEWAVE0728/page21/page21.html
Original image found at http://www.dwayneedwardrourke.com/Pages/TIMEWAVE0728/page21/page21.html

What is unnerving is how we obsess about the end of the world instead of living in the world we have right now.

I would like to share a Mayan poem that I came across.  It is called “Imix”- a Mayan Oracle Interpretation translated by Ariel Spilsbury and Michael Bruner and I am drawn to it due to the imagery and symbolism:

I Am Imix, Primal Mother.

Still, dark womb of the patterned potential of becoming, sacred, interstellar genesis, I Am.

Nourishing, fertile abyss, I birth you.

Benevolent, my mighty cauldron of primal waters, enveloping the living seed. Eternal is my embrace. Continue reading “Imix: Primal Mother and Dawn of a New Age by Michele Stopera Freyhauf”


Looking back, it’s interesting to think of myself as a young woman learning in a time of transition from the Piscean Age to the Aquarian Age.  According to Yogi Bhajan, the man known for brining Kundalini Yoga to the West, 11/11/91 marked the beginning of the last part of the Piscean age and on 11/11/11 the Age of Aquarius officially began.  So, welcome all to the Age of Aquarius!  This change of course, entails a significant paradigm shift that is supposed to affect our attitudes, consciousness and all of our relationships.  The beginning of the Aquarian age, like the end of the Mayan calendar and other overlapping prophesies of change, tends to inspire our apocalyptic imagination.  We may anticipate a breaking of our world.  I tend to imagine the pressure of the Aquarian transition like an event horizon of a black hole: a movement through extreme gravity that feels crushing and inescapable.  However, recently I’ve been struck by how the seeds of this new age, have been blossoming in my own experience and in the world around me.

According to my Kundalini teachers, the attitude of the Piscean age can be summed up as, “I believe.”  The attitude of the Aquarian Age is, “I know.”

As a child I desperately wanted to believe enough.  My evangelical Christian upbringing taught me that all I needed to do was believe that as God, Jesus Christ died for me and saved me from my sins.  If I did this, then I could go to heaven with my family.  Plus, Jesus would take me with him when he came back—that is, I wouldn’t have to go to hell or suffer the trials and tribulations of the apocalypse… this last part really stuck with me.

I thought I believed.  I wanted to believe.  I did “all the right things,” to somehow prove or provoke the kind of unquestioning belief I thought was necessary to be a “real” Christian.  But, the fact of the matter was I doubted.  As a little child (and I’ll admit, into my teens) I was sometimes struck with a sudden and horrifying fear that my family had been raptured and Jesus had left me behind.  I would literally panic until I found someone; but I’d also hide this fear because I didn’t want anyone to think that I didn’t believe enough.

I now know this extreme fear of god and His (sic) wrath was a part of my abusive relationship to what I thought was god.  I also know that our doubts can lead us towards renewed life.  I know that it is not my beliefs that make me valuable: wholeness is inherent in our connection to “a larger creative existence.”  We express this wholeness and our value, “with each committed action.”[i] Continue reading “CELEBRATING THE BEGINNING OF THE AQUARIAN AGE by Sara Frykenberg, Ph.D.”

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