Feminine Wisdom for an Evolving World

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Okay, all of you amazing, remarkable, insightful, and astonishing women bloggers – here’s a new magazine “Invoke” to which you might consider submitting some of your amazing, remarkable, insightful and astonishing writing:
http://invokemagazine.com

A link to their submissions page:
http://invokemagazine.com/submissions/
“Invoke Magazine publishes transformative writing by and for women. We’re here to express our love for life, and we invite you to join us. We welcome your creative ideas on a variety of topics that matter to conscious, creative women: food, world events, spiritual practice, self-care, sexuality, and much more.”

Their launch party is Friday, September 18 ~ in Minneapolis.
https://www.facebook.com/events/440898376093653/

 

To stay connected with them ~ Like them on Facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/weinvoke
After you like their page, click “Get Notifications” under the “Liked” drop-down menu in order to see their newest material in your feed.

Swans Reunited


Rescued Swan Released Back To His Love After Being Treated Successfully For a Severe Infection!
These Two Have Been Together For Over 10 Years and Have Had Dozens Of Offspring!

 

I have a great affinity with Swans and have had many encounters with Trumpeter Swans and Tundra Swans over the years. So found this video quite lovely to watch.

First Hints of Fall

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Though we are weeks away from the true beginning of Autumn and the change in weather, there are always foreshadowings that occur long before the season arrives.

The honking of Canada Geese from overhead – small family flocks, this year’s hatchlings, flying for the first time.  Preparing for their long migration to come.

Acorns, (the Oak-Corn) falling to the ground, which everyone associates with Autumn, actually happens in late August each year, and has already begun.

Also in August, invariably to my recollection, we suddenly have a spat of very cool, fall-like weather, right in the midst of the heat of late summer.  Which we just experienced these last two days.

And this cool spell casts a spell upon certain of the trees, coaxing them to scatter a few yellowed leaves upon the ground.

Thoreau said:  “Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains.”

We are awash in the constant flow.  In the ticking of the clock. In the earth’s incremental journey around the sun.  In the joy of watching children grow up.  In the aging of our own bodies.  And yet each moment speaks to us of eternity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Double Helix Stairway to Heaven

My musing for the day ~ from the origin of life, through all the steps of evolution, to the rise of the capability of Consciousness to become of conscious itself, the DNA strand is the Stairway to Heaven that we are collectively climbing. Little wonder that spiral staircases feel so magical…

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Image from LiveScience.com

“The arising of space consciousness—a shift to vertical rather than horizontal awareness—is the next stage in the evolution of humanity, and it’s happening more and more as our awareness remains in the now moment.”
Eckhart Tolle

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“I am saying that I see the emergence of space consciousness as the next stage in the evolution of humanity. By space consciousness I mean that in addition to our being fully conscious of things—that is to say of sense perceptions, thoughts, emotions, and whatever happens in our lives—there is at the same time an undercurrent of awareness or Presence operating in us. Awareness implies that we are not only conscious of things, such as the objects and the people around us, but we are also conscious at the same time of being conscious.”
Eckhart Tolle

 

Grand tree of life study shows a clock-like trend in new species emergence and diversity

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http://phys.org/news/2015-03-grand-tree-life-clock-like-trend.html

Temple University researchers have assembled the largest and most accurate tree of life calibrated to time, and surprisingly, it reveals that life has been expanding at a constant rate.

The tree of life compiled by the Temple team is depicted in a new way —- a cosmologically-inspired galaxy of life view —- and contains more than 50,000 species in a tapestry spiraling out from the origin of life.

The study also challenges the conventional view of adaptation being the principal force driving species diversification, but rather, underscores the importance of random genetic events and geographic isolation in speciation, taking about 2 million years on average for a new species to emerge onto the scene.

 

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Image from the movie, “The Tree of Life”

 

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http://www.greennature.ca/?q=tree%20of%20life

 

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN (excerpt)
Led Zeppelin

“…And it’s whispered that soon,
if we all call the tune,
then the piper will lead us to reason.
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long,
and the forests will echo with laughter.

If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow,
don’t be alarmed now,
it’s just a spring clean for the May Queen.
Yes, there are two paths you can go by,
but in the long run,
there’s still time to change the road you are on.

and it makes me wonder
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Your head is humming and it won’t go,
in case you don’t know,
the piper’s calling you to join him.
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow,
and did you know
your stairway lies on the whispering wind?

And as we wind on down the road,
our shadow’s taller than our soul.
There walks a lady we all know
who shines white light and wants to show
how everything still turns to gold,
and if you listen very hard,
the tune will come to you at last.
When all are one and one is all,
to be a rock, and not to roll.

…and she’s buying a stairway to heaven.

Feeding Baby Hummingbirds

We are delighted to share a video featuring two of our tiniest patients. A nest, complete with tiny Ruby-throated Hummingbird chicks arrived yesterday after it came down in a storm. We were not able to replace it, but will continue to try when weather clears. Few people have the honor of witnessing baby hummingbirds as they are fed. Their parent are not doing the feeding, we think they are still pretty amazing. Hummingbirds eat aphids and other tiny insects as well as nectar. Protein is vital to hummingbirds all of their life, but especially so as babies when they are growing quickly. There is a small syringe at the other end of the feeding tube that is not visible on the video. Their formula is a complicated mixture of crushed and powdered insects and a homemade nectar base along with digestive enzymes, which they get from their parents naturally during feeding.

Posted by Raptor Education Group, Inc. on Wednesday, July 24, 2013

And, I am now reminded of how I once rescued a Hummingbird…..

I was out paddling my canoe on a lake that I was exploring for the first time; the winds were calm and the waters were as placid as could be.   Far out from shore, near some cattails that projected up from a submerged island, I noticed this small, persistent  rippling area in the glassy surface of the lake.  Curious, I paddled over, and there discovered a Hummingbird, struggling for its life in the water.

I slowly slid my paddle beneath the frantic bird and gently lifted her out of the lake.  Then carefully slid her down onto one of the empty seats (I was kneeling in the middle of the canoe).  Once sure of her footing on the seat, she hung her wings out to dry, resembling a tiny cormorant in her pose.  But she was panting terrifically and I could tell she was exhausted from her struggles and from the cold water draining her energy.

I quickly paddled to the shore, and after passing the dock of one cabin, I found that the next cabin had a Hummingbird feeder hanging from its eves.

Somehow I managed to nudge the poor bedraggled bird back on the paddle and set her down on the dock.   I then flagged down the owner, who had seen me through her window, and who promised me that she would look after the bird.

The experience cast a magical spell over the rest of my time on the lake.

They are such delicate creatures…

 

 

 

Rise & Shine

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This Hummingbird greeted me on the sidewalk on my way home:

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The mysteries of the Hummingbird –

Never flapping their wings, but rotating them in a figure 8,

they reach near-infinities in flight –

Wingbeats of 70 times per second when casually flitting about.

Wingbeats of 200 times per second when in a high-speed dive.

Drinking of the nectar of life.

Heartbeats beating for joy 21 times per second.

Lammas at Sacred Heart

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For various reasons, I had been wanting to attend a couple of Lammas celebrations this year, and stumbled across one that was 2 1/2 hours from my home in Minneapolis, which seemed a bit much of a drive, until I saw two things.  One, it was being held near a rural town named “Sacred Heart”, and two, it was in the middle of farm country, in an area not too different from the farm where I grew up.   Where better to celebrate the “first harvest”, than in the middle of farm country?  And, “Sacred Heart” – what a name for a town!

The soil in southern Minnesota is incredibly rich, and black, and this region likes to think of itself as one of the bread baskets of the world, which is not without merit.  The richness of the soil lends itself extremely well to growing corn and soybeans (which are grown in rotation, since the corn depletes the soil and the soybeans enrich it (they’re nitrogen “fixing” legumes-  but I’ll spare you the agronomy lesson), whereas the small grains – wheat, barely, oats –  are better suited to the dry land farming of the more western states.

Nonetheless, when I was growing up, I would estimate that about 10% of the land here was planted to small grains, and the rest into corn and soybeans and hay.  Since Lammas is about celebrating the “first harvest” – the harvest of the small grains, I looked forward to my drive through the rural landscape and seeing, scattered here and there amidst the still rich green of corn and bean fields, the golden-maned fields of ripe grain, ready for the the harvest.

I have more than a passing interest in this, for, from the my mid-to-late teens, I was very much involved in the harvest of these grains (well, I was very much involved in the harvest of the corn and soybeans too, but that’s so exciting I’ll save it for a post about  “the second harvest”).   During those years I operated a Case “Swather”, about identical to this these:

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which you’ll notice are built upon a triangular frame, rather than the conventional rectangular frame of most vehicles and machinery – it has only 1 wheel in the back, which merely pivoted.  The power wheels were the front left and  front right, which functioned indepently of each other.  Meaning, the left wheel could be moving in reverse while the right wheel was moving forward, and vice versa. Which made it an incredibly maneuverable machine to operate.  In fact, it is the most elegant piece of machinery I’ve ever been on.  Operating it was almost an art form.  With the wheels moving in oposite directions, one could make a complete 360 degree circles in a space no bigger than the machine itself.

So, when the landscape (and fences) necessitated it, or if one simply felt the inclination 🙂  one could turn pirouettes out in the middle of a field.

It’s impossible to convey the full effect of that, for the reel that you see in the picture would be constantly turning like the wheel of a paddlewheel boat, and the sickle blade (which cut the grain stalks), which you cannot really see, would be moving back and forth with sewing-machine precision.  And one needed to raise the entire front mechanism over the standing grain or over the “windrow” (I’ll get to that in a minute). So the reel would be spinning high in the air and there was all this other motion going on in the machine itself as one turned one’s pirouettes;  it was a thing of beauty.

Again, it’s called a “Swather”, though my father always called it “the swatter”.   I towed the “swatter” behind our pickup truck, going from farm to farm, cutting their hay fields 2 0r 3 times a summer. And then when it came time to cut the grain fields, we made adjustments to it, so as not to damage the grain heads.  I cut all of our immediate neighbors fields, and we also had other customers miles and miles away from our farm.  Can’t tell you how many farms we did, nor how lunches I was served in farm houses scattered throughout the county.

The function of the swather/swatter, was:  1) to cut the grain while the stalks were still a bit green, so that the grain heads could dry out in the field before it was actually harvested with a combine, and 2) to pile the grain, still on its stalks, into  thick rows, called “windrows”, as you can see here:

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Gosh, I still love that word, “windrows” (not to be mistaken with a “wind rose”)  – these were made so that the wind would not scatter the grain about and knock the seeds from their husks.

I should mention here that we went through a number of “swatters” over the years.   2 or 3 made by Case, one by John Deere, and one by Owatonna – manufactured in the town of Owatonna, Minnesota – with a cab – like this one:

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– the cab saved me from becoming covered in grain “rust”, a fungus that grows on small grains – some fields were so bad, my father used to kid me that I would go out to work as a white boy, and come back as an African American (that was not the term he used).

Something to grasp here – while most occupations these days have overlapping beginnings and endings of sales and production cycles, on-going throughout the year, farming is the only occupation in which you spend months and months of planting, cultivating, and tending something, only to shear it all off and then start over the next year.   It’s a remarkable feeling, to go out to a field, stalks standing tall, heavily laden with the fruit they’ve spent the growing season producing, and to leave that same field with it shorn to the ground.

But that’s what Lammas is all about – the death of the God – in the form of the grain, and gathering it’s seed to feed the people and to re-fertilize the Goddess Earth in the spring.

So, back to Lammas and my drive to Sacred Heart.   It was very striking – for over 100 miles there was not one field of small grains or hay.  It was all corn fields and soybeans.  Field after field of the lushest of green, but all the same two crops.  Times have changed.

I had time to do some hiking in a natural area before going to the ritual, and there found the remains of what I believe was a broadwinged hawk.  There was very little left, just some of the primary feathers and a scattering of bones.   My intuition suggested that I take with me some of the leg bones, but I was not sure why.

Finally, within a couple of miles of the farm where the ritual was to be held, I encountered this field of oats:

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~ so idyllic, and so reminiscent of a late summer day of my youth.

When I arrived I was warmly greeted by the group of complete strangers, who welcomed me as though I were a member of their extended family.

This was also so striking to me – to encounter a group of Earth-worshipping pagans in the middle of farm country. This was unheard of when I was growing up.  Back then I often mused how far removed from the Earth many farmers actually were.  Even though they tended it throughout the year, they did not possess an emotional connection to it – it was merely the medium in which they worked to make a living.   But here I was , on a farm, with people who thrived upon their deep awareness of the Earth and her cycles.

From our sacred circle formed in their backyard, this was the view to the south – a wheat field that had just recently been shorn and harvested:

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In our circle, I was stationed in the East, and here is the view to the East, overlooking a soybean field:

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The great, long vistas of the flat prairie…

It was a lovely ritual, with everyone playing one role or another.   One of the men in attendance was being initiated as a “Warrior” of the coven.  In the midst of this, I was led to give him one of the bones from the hawk that I had found, to serve as a talisman to connect him to the hawk energy.

The entire experience was so moving, to have so many memories return to me, to experience this celebration of the harvest in the midst of farm country, in a setting that was so reminiscent of where I grew up.

It was a beautiful integration of two very significant parts of my life…