From Vicki Noble:
Feels like tough times to me. Mercury is retrograde (again) for three weeks; it goes direct on December 30th. When retrograde, Mercury messes with traffic and communication, among other things. It’s a good time to review, rework, revisit, repair, and return to whatever needs another look-see. We’re edging up to Winter Solstice (December 21st), which this year coincides with a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse (in late Gemini). It’s a potent and potentially stressful time, but powerful.
I have a new spiritual practice. Every night, in my bath and afterwards, I listen to Jennifer Berezan’s new CD, In These Arms, her latest gorgeous, collaborative, long-playing prayer for the world. “May all beings be happy, may all beings be safe, may all beings—everywhere—be free.” This heartfelt Buddhist chant, and others (such as the “Gate Gate” and the Tara chant) are sung, played, and lovingly prayed by various vocalists and talented musicians from the Bay Area and around the world, including a whole group of Korean nuns whose participation on this album is quite endearing. I find the CD soothing and healing before bed, and the next day I always have the chants playing in my head; I feel like an emissary of good will.
[You can watch and listen to a short video of the piece:
Actually, if I stay focused on my little tiny personal world, things are fine, even abundant. I have my little house near the beach in Santa Cruz, my gardens, my bees; I have my daughters and my grandchildren nearby; just today, I went bowling today with my grandson. My son, Aaron Eagle, is happily learning biodynamic farming up at Camp Hill (only ten minutes away); and I have a satisfying teaching job mentoring graduate students in Women’s Spirituality. It’s cozy here in my bubble. Every day I practice gratitude.
But what about what’s happening in the world??? And more to the point, what about what’s happening in this country? I feel myself to be in shock. The first words to Jennifer’s new song are: “I cannot turn my eyes, I cannot count the costs of all that has been broken, of all that has been lost.” I really never knew it would turn out like this, did you? I couldn’t have imagined that this is what it would look like in 2010. There is so much upfront cruelty and blatant injustice manifesting itself without shame everywhere we look. (No unemployment for the poor, and tax breaks for the rich!) The banks and corporations that caused the economic distress facing all of us—after being bailed out with our tax dollars, they’re raking in more profits than ever before in history. All the money in the treasury is draining out to pay for unnecessary and illegal wars of conquest and colonization—but no worries, the Feds just printed and distributed millions more paper dollars (based on what?).
I love Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, who fearlessly continues (by proxy, from jail) to release the documents that shine a spotlight on the lies, delusions, deceptions, and chronic corruption of our government (and many others). I love his Australian mother who goes on the radio to plead for her “brave son.” Tomorrow is the Congressional hearing on the case—please tune into KPFA in Berkeley to listen at least sometime during the day. And while you’re at it, why not make a pledge to this listener-sponsored radio station on which I totally depend for my news? KPFA is the original Pacifica station from more than 50 years ago, the first listener-sponsored radio (NO commercials, NO corporate sponsors). On KPFA you can hear whistle-blowers and radical braniacs, everyday, who risk their lives to tell the truth and share their ideas (and ideals).
I know it’s tempting to turn it all off and just choose to NOT listen or watch anything on the news. But lately I’ve been feeling, more than ever, how important it is to pay attention. There is a rightwing revolution taking place in our country—in our world—and ignoring it can’t help but contribute to our downfall. Read books! Listen to Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! You think when you hear that Uganda is making laws to kill homosexuals that it’s far away from you? No, that’s the Christian fundamentalist elite faction (from the U.S.) working abroad to create a prototype they can eventually use on us. It’s The Handmaid’s Tale, writ large (in case you aren’t familiar with Margaret Atwood’s scathing fictional account, read the book or rent the video!).
To keep from succumbing to despair, I rely on the activists and the creative artists. I treasure their visions and their voices. I support and applaud the courage of those who take the risks to speak truth to power. Hurray for Code Pink, and MoveOn.Org, and WikiLeaks and all the other organizations that fight for justice. Thank goodness for Eve Ensler, Michael Moore, Amy Goodman and so many others we are privileged to hear and see. May they be protected from harm and supported to continue their good works.
I love this season when we enter the darkest time of the year—and the magic of the Solstice moment, when in the darkness, the light begins again to increase. It’s the turning of the wheel, the ineluctable movement toward renewal and the promise of the life and fertility that will, inevitably, unfold once more in the spring.
May all beings be happy; may all beings be safe; may all beings, everywhere, be free.
Love and blessings, Vicki