Sunday, 31 January 2016

Imbolc - 1st February

Imbolc; the word has so much love in it for me. Partly because of the beautiful family ceremony that we do on this day (I wrote about this last year, you can read it here) and partly because however much I like reading and painting and things-you-can-do-indoors with any spare moments that I happen to be blessed with, best of all I love being outside and with Imbolc tends to come the first whisperings of that outside time of year.

This year it's particularly outsidey as spring appears to have sprung. Most of the yellow flowers that you would associate with April are already here, as (rather confusingly) are some blackberry flowers! It's tempting to get all doom-sayerish and talk about how our disregard for it is sending our environment haywire, but I don't actually think that helps.

This is Daisy Dog's paw amongst the daisies.

Thoughts have power, words have power. If we put our attention on the doom and gloom then doom and gloom is what our experience of being alive will be. I am full of anger and grief for what I see as atrocities being meeted out on a daily basis to everything and everyone - but I don't want to live in a constant state of anger and grief. I don't advocate putting your head in the sand, that's not going to help; I believe that we need to do what we can to change the world on every level. So attend anti-fracking rallies where you can. Sign petitions, all that stuff (as I did in Exeter on Sunday. There were pitifully few of us.)

I believe it's incredibly important to acknowledge our grief about the state of our world and our fears for the future, grief and fear are both part of becoming motivated to act for change - but if you stay in grief and fear then ultimately I believe that they are immobilising, so we have to feel them AND - believe in Love. Be love. Know that everything is made up of the same stuff; we are part of the wholeness of creation, part of The Goddess and she is part of us. So, if we 'will' that it be so, if we WILL with every bit of our Breath, our Will and our Imagination that the world is a place that will support the life and health of all things, then it will be so (as long as there are enough of us wanting that). And that little bit in the brackets.... that's the crux of it! There have to be enough of us. So it seems to me that the most useful, the most political, the most revolutionary act is the dissemination of information about our world and what's being done to it. If  Sunday's anti-fracking rally showed me anything at all, it's that far too many people out there simply have no idea what's going on. Some of them genuinely can't see any further than the end of their noses and don't care to, but far more just haven't noticed.

The lambs are still being born, right on cue - some say that Imbolc means 'Ewe's milk'.

This year my Imbolc ceremony will focus itself not on what I want for me but on what I want for my land; the place of my roots, that without which I am nothing, have nowhere to live and nothing to love.

Christina Rosetti wrote

At Last 
Many have sung of love a root of bane:
       While to my mind a root of balm it is,
For love at length breeds love; sufficient bliss

For life and death and rising up again.

Surely when light of Heaven makes all things plain,

    Love will grow plain with all its mysteries;

    Nor shall we need to fetch from over seas
Wisdom or wealth or pleasure safe from pain.
Love in our borders, love within our heart,
    Love all in all, we then shall bide at rest,
    Ended for ever life’s unending quest,
         Ended for ever effort, change and fear:
Love all in all; —no more that better part
         Purchased, but at the cost of all things here

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Don't Worry, Be Happy

"Though free to think and act, we are held together like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable: these ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them." Nikola Tesla

Dear old science; if you believe a quick trawl through the inter-web it's becoming more and more of a hippy as it gets older, certainly it's catching up with the truths that ancient wisdom traditions have been stating since before it existed... that everything is made of the same stuff and that there is a consciousness throughout the constantly moving web of energy flashing in and out of existence that informs 'what is'.

On one level it blows my Newtonian educated mind on a daily basis, and on another I know it to be true with every fibre of my being and every second of my experience.

So the question is, what difference does it make? Why does it matter that we live in a world made up entirely of vibrating energy?

It matters because it's entirely made up of vibrating energy. Everything is made up of the same stuff. The land, the water, the trees, the birds, the air, you, me, even two-faced politicians and fracking executives. We are all part of a shared energy field, a unified living being we call Earth. We share the same breath and we all affect the field.

Oneness is not an idea, it is a reality.  We are the world and therefore we are what is wrong with the world and what is right with it. So BE what you love. Be generous, kind, compassionate, caring, funny, authentic, passionate, nurturing, original, creative, brave, peaceful, joyful, wise and be full of gratitude. Protest the bad stuff, make practical attempts to change what is not serving the good of all, but remember that if we do that from a place of anger and fear then we are creating anger and fear, and if we do it from a place of love and gratitude then the miraculous, seemingly ludicrously unlikely nature of our universe can place us in a world full of just that.

Where do you want the path of you life to lead you?

Become a dreamer, create a beautiful dream, not the nightmare that many of us (human and non-human) are living in.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Floods and Fracking

Two days before Twelfth Night our celebratory tree was unceremoniously stripped of it's decorations and bundled into a pile at one edge of the room. This is not the way we usually go about things; there is usually a gathering round the tree of slightly sad faces toasting the end of the season. There is usually a fire and a sense of coming out of the darkness slowly and with attention to the details. The tree is cut up and made into little kindling bundles that will last most of the rest of winter and the decorations are placed lovingly in their little boxes, wrapped up with the hopes and wishes for another season of love and peacefulness at the end of this year. Why the rush? Well, the outside started to come inside...

The mop by the fireplace and the towel on the floor tell a tale of water coming up through ancient tiles and creeping wetly across rugs, water that has kept on coming for days. It's a tiny dribble, measurable in buckets-full each day, nothing at all compared to what people are experiencing in Cumbria, Lincolnshire, Wales, Scotland, and doubtless many other places that haven't made it onto the news, but the fact that a house that is nearly 10,000 feet above sea level can flood means that none of us are safe from this wet. It's not just about high tides and rivers bursting their banks, it's that the land is utterly sodden, waterlogged past the limits of what can be absorbed.

Lanes have become canals.

The rivers are expanding their dominion daily.

Although not everyone seems to mind.

Druid (mostly a Border Terrier) has decided that he's a water dog. Luckily he has not been so foolhardy as to jump in any of the rivers, but every puddle requires his close examination.

Canine larks aside - we live on an island (you've noticed?). Our government is issuing licences for Hydraulic Fracking on this island. Hydraulic Fracking uses from 4 to 8 million gallons of water per borehole. This is filled with approximately 40,000 gallons of a mixture of up to 600 chemicals including know carcinogens and toxins such as Uranium, Mercury, Radium and Formaldehyde. During the process some of these chemicals can, and in some cases do, leach out and contaminate nearby groundwater. Where will these contaminants go?

There have been over 1,000 cases of water pollution as a result of fracking in the US (not to mention air and land pollution and increased risk of earthquakes) and cases of sensory, respiratory and  neurological damage due to ingesting contaminated water (source These are some of the ways in which the human population are being affected by fracking. If you're still reading this then there's every chance that you know we are not the only ones here - but we are the ones with the power to change things.

So let's get to it.