What is Winter Solstice FOR? One marvelous writer’s provocative reflections.

I hauled my computer up here so that I could “do (astro) charts” for people who live here. Just now I hauled it into the main building so to briefly get on the internet. And guess what I found? This perfect piece for the holy Winter Solstice moment. Glory be! In the New York Times:

20Strand-blog427Bring on the Dark

Why we need the Winter Solstice


Tomorrow is the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. But few of us will turn off the lights long enough to notice. There’s no getting away from the light. There are fluorescent lights and halogen lights, stadium lights, streetlights, stoplights, headlights and billboard lights. There are night lights to stand sentinel in hallways, and the lit screens of cellphones to feed our addiction to information, even in the middle of the night. No wonder we have trouble sleeping. The lights are always on.

In the modern world, petroleum may drive our engines but our consciousness is driven by light. And what it drives us to is excess, in every imaginable form.

Beginning in the late 19th century, the availability of cheap, effective lighting extended the range of waking human consciousness, effectively adding more hours onto the day — for work, for entertainment, for discovery, for consumption; for every activity except sleep, that nightly act of renunciation. Darkness was the only power that has ever put the human agenda on hold.

In centuries past, the hours of darkness were a time when no productive work could be done. Which is to say, at night the human impulse to remake the world in our own image — so that it served us, so that we could almost believe the world and its resources existed for us alone — was suspended. The night was the natural corrective to that most persistent of all illusions: that human progress is the reason for the world.



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My Birthday, Solstice, Uranus, Venus, Pluto: EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

Image: radianceembodiedyoga.com

Image: radianceembodiedyoga.com

I take off this afternoon for the Oakwood Retreat Center with puppy Shadow. Off-line until Monday.

Meanwhile, what a humdoozy of a Birthday (today) that participates in both the Sun’s union with the 27° Sagittarian Galactic Center (as it does annually), and with the incredibly generous and expansive Jupiter in Leo field that is felt now on this planet, despite all the false flags designed for fear and control (just noticed a new one in Australia, eight children from same family stabbed to death in Cairn).

And wow! The governor of New York refuses fracking!

And wow, after over 50 years, Obama declares Cuba a non-enemy!

Yep! Expect the unexpected, amplified with Uranus turning to go direct on December 26. We are heading into that highly volatile time now (think one week before and after Uranus goes direct for increased intensification of volatility, unpredictability, explosive new information, sudden changes).

As for the Solstice itself, from astrology.com:

The Sun will ingress into Capricorn on Sunday, December 21 at 6:03 EST. The new Moon in Capricorn will follow at 8:36 pm EST. On the way there, Venus will conjunct Pluto and square Uranus.

So wow, a New Moon only hours away from the Solstice. A new beginning (New Moon) in 2015 for the world structurally (Capricorn)? It does seem so, with all that’s going on re: currency wars. Venus with Pluto and Uranus: Venus signifies all that we personally value, and usually comes down to, in this culture, money — and in a distant second place, human relationships.

See the latest from J.C. Collins:

The SDR Purpose of BRICS 

BTW: during this time, Putin, looking remarkably well (you’d think the crashing ruble would unnerve him. Nope!), in his annual Q & A speaks on the ruble and other issues with his usual clarity, and even charity, calling NATO/US his “western partners” despite that they continue to weave and tighten a noose around Russia with weapons designed to take her out.

US/NATO Building “New Berlin Wall” by Expanding Military Footprint: Putin

And just in case you thought you knew what was really going on, try this on for size:

From Skyfall to Spectre: 007 secrets

(And see this, about James Bond author (and alter?) Ian Fleming.)

Oh wow! And what does this mean?

Russia, U.S. to Cooperate on Orion Spacecraft Modernization

We’ve seen this before. We polarize on Earth but cooperate in space. But who’s “we”? If you read the article, you see that it’s a Russian corporation and a U.S. corporation that are cooperating. Do they have the blessings of their respective governments? Or does it matter? Do they ask permission from their governments, or do they dictate governmental policy. And, what’s really going on, cuz you know it’s way different than this p.r. piece.

Googled “Orion spacecraft” and came up with another p.r. piece, this one from NASA.

“Orion” they claim, “will usher in a new era of space exploration,” because designed to take us into deep space, including Mars (where whistleblowers say we’ve had a secret breakaway civilization for decades).

Fingers crossed. Breathing love. I await this brand new year.



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Re: doctors and torture: POT CALLS KETTLE BLACK? (A tortuous, mostly failed, attempt to analyze differences)


No. Western medicine is NOT the pot calling the CIA torture kettle black. Not. That can’t be true. Is it? Well . . .  that certainly was my instant intuitive hit when I saw this headline.

‘Do No Harm': Doctors Blast Medical Professionals for Role In CIA Torture Regime

But the two are not equivalent. I try to tell myself this. And here’s how that argument goes:

The torture and death-dealing practices of the CIA and MIC are obviously immoral, and anyone who participates so up close and personal with one whom one is torturing, so that one sees and feels their suffering, and gets off on it, is very different from doctors who, by and large — except for pharmaceutical and institutional kickbacks, perks, and bribes; but let’s not talk about that! —  yes, doctors by and large, want to believe that they are at the very least, alleviating suffering as much as possible.

Okay, here’s where I can’t help but veer off my own argument, going a mile a minute, punching through dimension after dimension:

The system in which doctors and other “medical professionals” are embedded is the old Newtonian/Cartesian model: mind/body separation, and billiard ball theory of reality  (cause and effect as linear chains), analysis rather than synthesis. Which means its methods too often end up with cut, poison, or burn. Rather than a whole system approach — where we identify and eradicate causes, rather than just treat symptoms, but which, however, itself leads inevitably, if we take it far enough, to the recognition that there are no closed systems in nature! And that therefore everything is bound to devolve (from one perspective) and evolve (from another). Which means you can’t perform repeatable experiments, because everything is changing, changing, everything affects everything else, and nothing stays the same. So you can’t ever “prove” anything, or even “disprove” it. Plus — pant, pant — even what we think of as micro and macro laws or patterns are more likely just habits, or, as usual,  dependent on circumstances: this particular space/time field, this amount of gravity, etc.

Okay, back from the nether regions where all is connected and nothing can be isolated from anything else, to the original topic, the distinction, if any, between CIA torture and western medicine. I’ll try again to distinguish between them:

Both CIA torture or western medicine tend to kill people, but the two realms do it differently, and with different intent. The first is slow or fast, deliberately made to be agonizing and to barely keep the prisoner alive, to perform further experiments —

The CIA didn’t just torture. It performed experiments on human beings

and/or to get false confessions.

The disastrous flaw at the heart of the CIA’s torture system


We’ve known for 1700 years that torture produces false confessions

In either case, the CIA methods are dramatic and obviously tortuous. Okay, here goes (massive sigh): The second method of torture, i.e., the American medical system is, in some ways, even worse (is that possible?), since most of those who practice it, and certainly most, if not all who — by their own free will?! — subject themselves to it, don’t realize that what they are doing or receiving is torture! This method aims to be slow and gradual (if death approaches) or if the so-called “cure” disfigures, or leaves the “patient” dispirited but does not kill (yet); or, rare, a sudden and miraculous (called “accidental” “spontaneous recovery” takes place), but, when all is said and done, ends up strewing bodies on a killing field.

This is health care? U.S. medical system kills 400K patients per year

Do I claim the American medical system, but not the CIA torture program, works with people who are not prisoners but free agents? Oops. Not so fast. It may be that we need to add another form of torture, that produced by the slow invisible mind-control programs that operate at the heart of Capitalist Consumer Culture (CCC), instilling in its “subjects” from birth on the need to buy, buy, buy while ignoring or denying or medicating pain of any kind, especially that arising from our poor suffering bodies that are trying like hell to get in touch with us (our minds, that is), to tell us to Stop! Something isn’t going right here. Stop! You’re killing me (the body, that is)! But most people don’t stop, they go right on slowly or quickly killing the body (and that includes the planet body) by medicating, poisoning, cutting, slashing, burning . . .

How to talk about these two death-dealing machines — deliberate torture, and the torture produced inadvertently by the worldview of medicine, and now the third CCC that undergirds everything — that slow, insidious torture that takes us out of our bodies, out of our dear planet Earth body onto our screens of a virtual reality where nothing has consequences and we can do as we please. But we can’t. It’s obvious. The chickens have come home to roost.

So weird, how we recognize the first (CIA torture) as torture, but not the second (American medical system), and can’t even see the third (society-wide mind control), since we are breathing and drinking it in every minute of every day. But who cares? How can we truly care, if we don’t live either inside our bodies or the Earth but just above them, as if they don’t count?

So it should come as no surprise, if this poll can be believed, that more than half of us now condone CIA torture.

A majority of Americans support CIA torture program 

It’s enough to make me give up. But I don’t. I can’t. More and more of us are waking up, to all forms of torture. To how we have tortured others in the past, one way or another. To how, unless we’re very very careful and aware, we will torture again.

Mea culpa.




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PHOTO ESSAY: Green Acres Holiday Open House

Expansive Jupiter is in generous Leo — at 22° as I write this. And our party felt downright Jupiterian.

Hold on to your hats. This is going to be long. Mostly photos, however, so you needn’t fear my “logorrhea” (Geez, why did that word spew into mind and out?!)

Anyway, I’ll begin with an email I received this morning from Julia (a former neighbor and friend who moved to the Bay Area) on this day after last evening’s incredible Holiday Open House that felt supercharged with energy and love. As well as being a deeply educational experience for all sorts of folks, since many had shown up precisely because we were going to conduct pre-Winter Solstice nighttime tours of our little Green Acres two-home “pod” with its various sustainability projects (solar, water catchment, chickens, GANG garden, year-round use of food grown, shared patio and back yards, etc.). That’s what this photo essay is about, thanks to podmate Katarina’s photographic artistry.

But back to this morning’s email. Julia titled it “Ode to Money,” which is perfect, both since the party cost money (which I paid for, given that I am blessed with more money (my deceased husband’s pension) than the others who live here, plus I was the one who suggested the party!); money which I consider “tuition,” as usual, in exchange for lessons both given and received. Maybe I should just call it “currency,” for yes, it is the “current” in this consumer culture that keeps, especially, things “flowing.”

For example, I thought four quarts of egg nog and a pint of rum would be enough. Are you kidding? They were both gone in 30 minutes flat. So I sent someone to the store for 12 more bottles of local organic egg nog and before I could say, “go to the liquor store, too” neighbor Kathy volunteered to run back to her house to get a quart of rum. Interesting that Kathy was once a member of our gifting circle, as were a number of folks who came to the party, and the spirit of the gift obviously lives on.

Here’s Kathy, on the right, with neighbor Jelene.


The gift culture (see this and this and this and this and this and this, etc.) is of another world, one in which we assume trust, and begin to share our lives and skills and tools in an ever expanding web of interdependency. As such, gift culture is utterly unlike the disgusting “money culture” that infects our humanness by separating us from one another, forcing us to compete as “individuals” in an environment of scarcity — and meanwhile renders us lonely and lost and terrified and/or bored, craving endless distractions and addicted to life-defeating habits. I featured a cartoon version of this capitalist culture in a post a few days ago — and it’s what prompted Julia’s email. Okay, here she is:


I heard this song the other day on KALX . . .

It reminds me of the graphic art you posted the other day–saliva, vomit or semen all being associated with the lust for the dollar.

I hope you enjoy your holiday party. You seem to glow with happiness and I’m so glad you have a wonderful community surrounding you.

(Can I talk about vomit and happy holidays in the same email-yip)


It’s that last parenthetical remark that grabbed me. And I say yes, yes, we can talk about the vomit we see and feel around us and have a happy holiday at the same time. In fact, we must! For what will transform the yuck but love? Fierce, directed, continuous love, streaming from our heart centers through which it courses in from the quantum field, an endless flow, an entirely different kind of current, a limitless currency beyond measure.

This flow, continuing — even increasing — even as we descend into the darkest days of winter — is new for me. To NOT be a scrooge. To NOT cry “bah humbug” at every little thing that I “hate” while feeling “superior” to it all, separate. And yes, lonely (but not admitting it). Lonely like everybody else!

As I wondered in yesterday’s post, what is this joy, this continuous flow of universal abundance? For I feel it as never before, always, as a continuous inrushing rapture (Jupiter in Leo?) that spreads into behavior, way way stronger than any cobwebby Matrix bullshit.

Yes, it’s not just that we must be able to expand our minds and hearts to hold the contradiction of seeing/feeling the world of fear, paranoia, lust and greed while holding open and impulsing the much vaster universe of abundance for all, it’s that these two seemingly opposite realities are NOT in balance, they are continuously tipping one way or the other until the momentum finally carries us into whatever future world we collectively decide by either our surfeit of fear or our surfeit of joy. Sorry folks, there really is no middle ground. We are either fully alive, spiraling in and out, free — or we are robots, mechanical, going round and round, dead.

And with that I’ll get off my Sagittarian high horse  (my 72nd birthday tomorrow!), and let the photos roll.

But first, tell me, are we not the very first neighborhood garden/ecovillage pod in the whole world to offer tours of a community garden in the dead of winter at night? Can anybody else claim this momentous, hilarious feat? And feat it was. Rebecca must have led six different tours between 6 and 9 p.m. to 4 or 5 or 6 people each time. I stayed inside to hob nob. We were both doing what we do best, utilizing our diverse skills for the task at hand in service of our common vision: right now, we wish to educate and inspire people to at least check out this burgeoning two-home template for community life that we are creating here, in plain old suburban Green Acres Neighborhood.

A number of representatives from other neighborhood associations attended, and I think they all “took the tour,” and hopefully, drank the kool-aid! Because it feels good, what we’re doing here, damn good.

The location:


Approaching from the street, the garden’s perimeter lit up.

garden lightsThe gate and sign . . .

sign and gateOne caveat: we stupidly scheduled the event for the evening of the day that IU finals ended. Which meant that, since a lot of finals are now turned in over the internet and don’t need to be emailed until midnight of the due date, Kiryssa, my other podmate, and Leah, Rebecca’s podmate, couldn’t be with us for the party that they helped organize! Plus, Katarina didn’t get off work until six which is the time the party was scheduled to begin. Which all meant that both Rebecca and I had to set up our houses alone and stay in them rather than gravitate to each other’s house — since somebody might come to one of them and nobody would be home!

When Rebecca realized that, late yesterday afternoon, she blanched. I laughed. “Think of it as funny, Rebecca!” I chortled. And meant it. Here we are in this new, and expanded universe, and from left, and right and in between we are catching zingers that upend our hallowed expectations. Stay tuned and stay centered! Roll with the punches! See what develops. Because of course it will, and likely to be way more interesting than anything you  or I could have imagined.

Well, right away, both neighbor Kathy and IU student Michael showed up , and at least at my house, I wasn’t the only one lighting all the candles.

BTW: Leah did manage to make rolls beforehand, and showed up near the end. Here she is coming in with Rebecca after one of the tours.

Rebecca and Leah

 The party at my house was rollicking. Great fun.

Looking toward the den.

looking to denLooking toward the living room (near the rum).

near the rumI thought people would cycle through, but most of them stayed. A number of neighbors plus lots of permies and would-be permies. A number of IU students. Reps from other Bloomington neighborhoods. Vickie, our irrepressible advocate at the Bloomington HAND (Housing and Neighborhood Development) Department. My son Colin, of the Garden Tower Project, blew in for a few minutes after attending meetings all day regarding the coming rollout of the new manufactured tower. An architect, who appreciated the “sculptural” quality of some of the spaces here, sat and took it all in. A woman who said she tried and failed to buy into this neighborhood when she and her husband arrived a few years ago (the right houses weren’t for sale then). She also told me she’s interested in an “elder community.” I said I was not, I’d rather grow old intergenerationally. Like how? She asked. Like here! I replied, what we’re doing here! Two older women living with three or four young ones in their 20s. “OH!” she gasped, suddenly illumined.

Young and old live together. Yes! The young bring energy and enthusiasm, we old ones bring experience and skill and wisdom and patience for how long anything worth while actually takes to bring into manifestation. And do it right where we live. No need to build new housing for “intentional community.” Just change our minds and hearts in place. Look around. Find someone nearby who might be interested. Declare yourself the founding pod of YOUR neighborhood ecovillage.

And as Katarina said to me this morning, “When I came in to this situation, I had no idea what I was getting into. And now, well, I drank the kool-aid. She grinned. “What we’re doing is both practical and creative.” Yes, and FUN.

Let’s see now, where was I. Oh yes, here’s me with Amy (in the middle) and Sarah.

Sarah Amy and me

Amy is a mover and shaker involved with creating new community on many levels, who has newly moved to B’town. Sarah is a professional artist, whose husband Ivan (behind us) teaches Literature at IU.

(Ivan, BTW, is my “first cousin once removed.” As I discovered last night, when Peter Bane — the permaculture teacher, author, publisher, and activist — stepped in to clarify. Ivan’s Dad Tom is my cousin.That makes my son Colin Ivan’s “second cousin,” Peter announced, since both are children of cousins. Good. I’ve finally got that distinction down.)

Celie and Iris, here with Shadow, in his “holiday greeter” outfit, are Ivan and Sarah’s very creative and unusually composed and articulate 11-year-old twins.

Celie and IrisMeanwhile, as we folks inside talked and drank egg nog and rum, tours outside continued apace. The chicken yard . . .

chicken yardCloser . . .

talking about chickensThe chickens, we are sad to report, are in the middle of a very long molt. No eggs. But they are beautiful!

Inside the GANG garden, Rebecca points out the straw covered dormant (African) hugelkulture beds, with compost in the middle or in trenches on the sides (put kitchen waste in, dirt on top, easily composted by springtime).

in the garden

Inside the DeKist living/dining room, you can’t help but notice Rebecca’s artistry on the walls . . .

DeKist wall composition

And for the season . . .

DeKist wall decoration

She explains on her tours —

at the DeKist house— how we are beginning to use the entire harvest in meals that we are creating in community with both the occupants of these two houses and others in the neighborhood, who volunteer their time or donate money or food. Three evenings each week. No extra cars allowed. So if you live around here, walk! If you don’t, ride your bike or catch a ride with a neighbor. We froze, dried and canned a LOT of food this year. Probably double that, next year, given the new hugelkulture beds. (I hope she showed people the pantry. It’s to die for, the kind our grandmothers used to have.)

I said 6-9, and it ended about 9:15. Perfect! Katarina and I cleaned up here, I went to bed, and she went out. Perfect old/young behavior, eh?

P.S. Going to bed early allows delicious nighttime reading. Right now, a very interesting book about ancient Amazons. They were real, they kept both breasts, and many of them were tattooed.

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Holiday Open House approaches . . . 23 minutes to go . . .

Getting ready . . . notice the shirt I pull out once a year . . .

Can’t believe how much I’ve morphed from the scrooge-like character of yesteryear who called “Bah humbug” to even a hint of holiday spirit. Something’s changed in me, so fundamentally, that during this darkest time of year my inner joy seems to be actually expanding.

Luckily we had to organize a party or I might have just lifted off!


6-9 p.m. Lots of egg nog and other stuff. Garden tours in the middle of winter with Christmas lights strung around the entire perimeter. What a concept!




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All over the world, during this Holy Solstice Season, we the people are learning to breathe — and feel, and think — together

Image: Cave of the Hands. earth-heal.com

Image: Cave of the Hands. earth-heal.com

Reader Rose just sent me a post about Australia that echoes one I uncovered about Pakistan and India.

In both cases, it took a “terrorist” attack (who knows whose attack, really, or who put the “terrorists” up to it. We are, understandably, at this point, not at all inclined to believe the MSM. See “What If?” below).

When will we learn to breathe together without horrific violence to administer the shock that restarts humanity’s collective heart?

Australians just showed the world exactly how to respond to terrorism


Peshawar school attack: Indians show solidarity with Pakistan following massacre 

BTW: except for the “eye for an eye attitude” — has the author not yet learned that it “makes the whole world blind”? (Gandhi) — this is a fascinating post that describes just how much our collective mind is learning how to synchronize through the internet, how we now instantly tear holes in the cabal’s deeds and plans, right, left, and center. Imagine: the word “Matrix:” how, over just the past few years, we’ve lassooed that single word to denote the mind-controlled scrim that keeps us in check. Or it did. No longer. Or not much. Yes, what if?

What If?

Let’s all add our own what ifs during this holy season when, in the northern hemisphere, we descend ever deeper into the dark seeking the bottom of our souls, where all the seeds of our immensely fertile future lie, in wait, knowing we will come to get them, to bring them to the light, to scatter them far and wide, trusting this good Earth to water her own and pulse her life force both down into interweaving roots and up through stems and branches seeking the sun.



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Christmas Message from Eminent Crop Circle Researcher Colin Andrews: “Why are we finding it so hard to love each other?”


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