Indigenize!

Rekindle Your Wild Joy and sense of deep Belonging through spiritual ecopsychology and the arts, incl. bioregional awareness, animistic perspectives, strategies for simple living, & low/no-tech DIY fun.

Boycott Black Friday November 27, 2014

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This is a picture I took at an arts and crafts supply store — in September. Halloween decor I could handle when it was still 70 degrees out and school was just getting started, but Xmas stuff too?! “Beware the horror” indeed!

Now it’s Thanksgiving Day as I write this, and the onslaught really begins. Do you feel your body recoiling at the barrage of ads, tinny Rudolph Midnight Clear muzak, the message that you have to now get busy and jolly and go shopping? Yeah, me too. So I have a proposal. Instead of rewarding the Christmas sales juggernaut that now begins before Halloween (argh!), let’s switch it up. Slow down the holidays. Enjoy the one we’re in.

I propose a movement to keep actively ThanksGiving for the last few days of November, enjoying and appreciating what we already have instead of buying.

If taken up en masse, this could be revolutionary. Enjoying and appreciating what we already have instead of buying – if even for a few dedicated days.

Boycott Black Friday.

Here are some memes for inspiration. The last one is my favorite.

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#BoycottBlackFriday

* I found the above memes being passed around the Interwebs. If you made one of them, please let me know so I can give you credit.

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Spring Potential March 20, 2014

Filed under: Spiritual Ecopsychology — BrujaHa @ 8:47 pm
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Happy Spring Equinox!

The warmth and light are growing.

What kind of seeds or life reboot

Will you consider sowing?

 

Meyer lemon tree. Image by Tina Fields, 2014.

Meyer lemon tree which I couldn’t bear to leave behind when moving from Northern California, now living in my Colorado living room, thinks it’s bloody well time for spring.

 

 

 

 

 

I Want To Break Up With Winter March 2, 2014

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Dear Winter,

Despite your many fine qualities, I’m sorry but I don’t think we are suitable as a long-term match.

I want to break up and start seeing other seasons, beginning with Spring.  (I’d ideally love to be with Summer, but s/he is currently unavailable.)

Please leave my home as soon as you can, and try to be a bit kinder to us in the meantime.

Thank you.

–Tina

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dear winter snow tent

Unexpected overnight snow in the southern Arizona desert. Several tents were totaled. –Photo by Tina Fields

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Skiing accident á deux

Skiing accident á deux

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Save

 

New Year Intention Meditation December 31, 2013

drawing by jef murray

Happy new year!

From the composting wisdom of our past years, may we all grow a strong, supple new year of life; one that shelters and feeds the singing birds of the soul.

The environment has effects on us – body, mind and spirit. If we align our actions and thoughts with large natural movements like seasons, weather, lunar/solar lineups, night and day, etc., such powerful and pointed energies can help with the smaller echoed movements of our own lives.

January 1, 2014 brings a lunar perigee, a.k.a. “supermoon.” This means very special conditions. A lunar perigee occurs at a specific point in the Moon’s elliptical orbit dance around our planet: the moon is full or new, is lined up with both the Earth and the Sun, and finally, comes very close to the Earth. Balance and swing your celestial partners!  According to Cornell University’s astronomy site for laypeople, the Moon is slowly leaving us. Each year, the moon orbits earth about 3.8 centimeters further away. So the power of these lunar perigees will slowly lessen over time. Let’s enjoy it while we’ve got it. At the dark of the year with that supermoon inciting powerful tidal influences to boot, why not work now with intention setting?

On the eve of each New Year (as currently celebrated according to the Gregorian calendar), rather than setting myself up for sure failure by making soon-to-be regretted “resolutions,” I enjoy simply taking time to contemplate my life over the past year(s) and considering what I’d like to invite in for the new. These are not wishes for material possessions or specific adventures. Although both are indeed enjoyable, that’s not the point. These intentions are about habits like internal qualities, thoughts, and behaviors to further develop, or decisions about how to better relegate my time and attention, so my life is more connected and joyful.

To facilitate that process for you too, here is a simple, contemplative, intention-setting process.

Contemplative New Years Intentions

  1. Find a quiet place to comfortably sit still. Light a single candle if you like, to help focus your mind. Look into the flame and do some deep breathing to relax. Make a little internal offering of gratitude for your life and this moment.
  2. Then connect with your heart, soul, higher self, spirit helpers/ancestors/god(s)… whatever you resonate with that is larger than your ordinary-reality personality-level self; that which is vast and loving and wise.
  3. Consider the past year. Ask for help in seeing clearly, and with eyes of kindness, which aspects of your life are going well and which could use some changes.
  4. Feeling some regrets? Yeah, welcome to a human incarnation. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. Kiss the regrets and let them go. You have the chance now to try a different way. If they really burden you, write them down and then set them to one side for now.
  5. Consider what you’d like to bring into your life now. What seeds do you want to plant now for germination or even full flowering over the coming year? What specific kinds of things should you consider for your intentions list? Which are simple, yet also deep leverage points for change? You can also ask for help with clarification. Choose no more than 5 intentions, maximum. (Make this an opportunity, not a burden. How much attention span, time, and energy do you really have? Only name those intentions you can, and truly want to, focus and work/play on.) Write these down on a different paper.
  6. Read each intention aloud. As you do this, connect with your heart and imagine your life with each of them coming to pass. Use all of your senses, if possible. Reading them aloud like this can bring more clarity: you may then wish to re-write them or change them. That is fine. Keep doing this process until the words feel right all through your body.
  7. Rewrite your Intentions list on a nice piece of paper. Place it on your bedside, dresser, or altar where you will see it often over the next months, reminding you to keep bringing the intentions into being.
  8. On New Year’s Eve before you go to bed, read your intentions list and feel each one in your heart.
  9. Do this again upon waking on January 1. If possible, go out into the sunshine to read them, allowing the warm golden light to energize them and you. After reading your Intentions that morn, become very still for a few moments and allow their meaning to settle deep within you. The new year has begun, and with it, your life’s potential.
  10. As the year progresses, keep asking spirit to keep giving you guidance about necessary course corrections or attitude adjustments – whatever’s needed to help what’s on that list turn into manifest reality.

May your new year of life bring you much joy.

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The lovely drawing is by Jef Murray. See more of his work at http://jefmurray.mymiddleearth.com/

 

 

Winter Solstice December 21, 2013

Niwot sunset*

Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere: it feels like winter is just getting started. Here in Colorado, the late December days alternate between relatively mild with lots of sun and below zero with violent winds or snow, then back again. It’s as though the earth is kind here, slowly giving us a chance to get used to the idea of the coldest season being real. We’ve just passed autumn: winter still feels new. The ski season is just revving up. We haven’t begun to resent the bitter cold of January or dread the bleak eternity of February, March, and beyond.

What I love about Winter Solstice time is the widespread reminder that even though it feels like it’s just getting started, the reality is that after today, winter is on its way out. Frosty Elvis is leaving the building.

It doesn’t seem possible, but that’s the truth. No wonder people from time immemorial have celebrated the return of the sun, with its light and warmth and life they bring to every being here on earth.

Every winter holiday that I know of has light as a central motif: the Hanukkah candles; the Christ Child as the light of the world; the Kwanzaa festival of lights; the idea of celebrating a New Year now (instead of in spring when on the surface, it would make a heck of a lot more sense to celebrate new life with the return of new growing shoots), and even secular Santa with his reindeer’s glowing nose lighting the way to bring abundance to the young and innocent.

We put human faces on it, but these holidays are all really about this vast, fundamental celestial dance that ultimately determines life and death for all of us fragile beings on earth.

Imagine living in a subsistence culture, or any human culture during much earlier times. If it’s cold too long, all of the plants die. The animals then starve too, and/or freeze, and there is nothing for you to eat. The firewood is buried beneath meters of frozen snow, so now there’s no real way to keep warm unless you prepared by making stacks during warmer times – but even so, for how long? And what if your fire goes out? Worse, what if the warm times never come back? The idea may sound childish, but that was the reality during the Ice Age… over the course of generations, it never did! No wonder we humans need the hope that yes, even though it sure doesn’t feel like it at the time because each one goes for so long, the seasons flow in a cycle, not an eternal line, and Spring will indeed come again.

Food, gifts, and gathering together are also part of this – another reminder that life isn’t always going to be spare. Fear begets hoarding and separation, shrinking away; whereas generosity begets some abundance for all, at least in the heart.

Some of my friends in Morris troupes got up today before dawn to dance up the sun. I will call contradances this evening as part of the Solabration festival in Denver, which also features group singing, potluck feasting, storytelling, a Mummer’s Play, Xtreme juggling and more low-tech offerings both silly and sublime. Trees have been brought into our homes and honored with gifts of ornaments and yes, lights. They are evergreens, another symbol of eternal life. In a sea of bare branches, they remain supple and ever green. Gifts await beneath their boughs. People bring ridiculous numbers of cookies to work. We put on fat that can tide us over if the winter lasts too long.

Light, warmth, sharing, possibility, hope. We can make it through another dark time.

Tonight is the longest night of the year. In this darkest time, celebrating the Solstice offers a reminder of the physical reality that really, things have turned and it’s getting easier now. It’s not just wishful thinking: it’s Science! 🙂  The Sun bought her ticket and packed her bags, and has just begun her long journey back to us. Already tomorrow the world will begin to lighten up.

It might not feel like that for months, but just hold on. Watch the skies. Go outside first thing in the morning and last thing at night before you go to bed, and notice how things are changing. Pay attention. The gratitude will come.

Midwinter is a cusp time: both dark, resting, & quietly contemplative and also a tender new beginning. The energy of all earth begins to quicken now.

Along with zooming around taking care of the details of the impending Xmas etc. extravaganza, you may wish to take the opportunity to align your life with these large natural energies. The ancient Taoists would certainly applaud this notion. Unless you’re a salmon or we’re talking political metaphor, isn’t it wiser to ride strong river currents in the direction they’re going instead of fighting to go upstream?

Here’s one way to work with the energies of the winter solstice. Sit quietly, preferably outside. Feel the earth breathing. This day offers a pause: the cusp of earth’s autumnal in-breath (pulling in to let go and rest) and her spring outbreath (birthing new life). Take some time to consider your life. Where have you been this past year or more? What structures, qualities, etc. have served you that you find precious and want to keep and grow further, and what would you like to let gently and naturally fall away like dead leaves? Finally, what new sources of light would you like to bring into your life at this newly waxing time of unlimited potential?

Merrie Solstice.

 

Joyous Eostre! March 31, 2013

vintage-easter-celebration-chick

Happy Eostre! May the increasing return of that glorious sun bring a corresponding increase of warmth, light and energy into your own life.

Easter is based on a much older celebration (Eostre/Ostara) based on this fundamental recognition of the rebirth of the planet, as it warms from the ever-increasing sun.

Have you noticed how Easter doesn’t fall on a regular, predictable day of the month — or even in a predictable month? That’s because it’s a seasonal holiday based on the actual wheel of the year, not just the Gregorian calendar. Easter is always celebrated (take a breath here) on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal (spring) equinox. That’s when fresh green food begins to grow once more; lambs and chicks are born; the sap rises in the trees, and flowers open their lovely colors out of the dead winter ground. Crocus! Delicate purple petals rising from the snow! What isn’t possible right now?

Easter: note the similarity with the word “estrus”? All of our beloved Easter imagery — bunnies, eggs, flowers, chicks, baskets filled with green grass nests, Christ rising from the grave to live again — are based on the concept of renewed fertility and possibilities for life. It’s all about birth and rebirth.

I began the day with a sunrise ritual created by my pals at  Milk and Honey, a goddess gift shop in Sebastopol, CA. (Yes, I was up before the dawn. Me! That’s very unusual: clearly that sun was calling.) Here it is, if you’d like to do something like that too.

The Ostara Ritual  

Purpose:
To acknowledge the balance between light and dark; to revere the growing strength and energy of the Sun who is now strong enough to conquer darkness; to acknowledge the time of new beginnings; to bless new goals and projects; to thankfully reflect on the gifts of fertility.

Tools:
4 sticks of incense, blanket, 1 hard-boiled egg per person, cauldron & freshly cut flowers.

Time:
Sunrise (is best): anytime between the Full Moon or Easter morning

1. Find a special place outside.  Lay blanket on ground with intention of connecting to the earth.

2. Arrange the egg(s), cauldron and flowers on the blanket facing towards the Sun (East).

3. Plant incense into the ground in all 4 directions, beginning with East, then South, West and ending with North to represent the 4 quarters.  After incense is in the ground start with East, and moving in the same direction, light each incense stick and verbally welcome and honor each direction.

4. While standing, feel your feet on the earth and allow yourself to feel grounded and centered.  Then allow yourself to relax and sit on the blanket.

5. Verbally state the purpose of the ritual.

6. Lift one flower at a time with great intention.  For each goal or new project you want to begin working on:
– Hold a flower in your hands and focus on the positive end desire of your goal.
-Break the stem off and put the stem in a pile to your left
-Slowly, pull the petals from the flower and place them in the cauldron while reflecting on the meaning of Ostara.
-Repeat with a new flower for each intention and goal you are focusing on.

7. Stand up with your egg and throw it into the air as high as you can and let it fall to the ground.
It is said that the higher the egg goes, the better your luck will be!

Then sit back down.
8. Peel the dirt and shell fragments off of your egg and put them in the pile with the stems.

9. Eat the egg and let yourself become energized with healing and positive energy.
It is said that if the egg is eaten at sunrise, you will gain much luck, health and happiness.

10. With your hands dig a hole in the earth in the direction of south.

11. Bury the stems and eggshells.
This is an offering to the Earth!  Verbally thank her for fertility and the gifts she presents us with daily!

12. Grab the cauldron of flowers and heave the contents upward and outward as hard as you can to bless your new projects, and to return to the Earth that which is hers.
Laugh or shout with joy!
The season of wonder is now beginning!

13. To close the ritual, beginning with North, going reverse to West, South and ending with East, face in each direction and thank the direction for holding sacred space for you and then release it.  At each direction turn your incense stick upside down and extinguish it in the earth speaking, “So mote it be.”  (Translation:  So may it be).

May this ritual bring you exactly the energy you need in the days to come.
Blessed Be!

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PS – Just remembered that I posted on Easter last year too. For more: https://indigenize.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/happy-eostre/

 

Happy Eostre! April 3, 2012

Filed under: Celtic Spirituaity,Humor,Spiritual Ecopsychology — BrujaHa @ 11:01 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Easter, according to De Ratione Temporum by the Christian scholar known as “the venerable Bede” (672-735 C.E.), was named after Eostre, the Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility – in other words, the spiritual embodiment of Spring.

The Teutons lived in what now is central Europe – Germany, Austria and the like. The word for Easter in modern German is Ostern, which likely stems from Ost, meaning “East.” The sun rises in the east, and of course we in the Northern hemisphere, particularly places that have recently experienced long and bitter snows, are all celebrating the sun’s return as winter passes and the days grow longer and warmer.

This is the heart of the death and resurrection story later grafted onto the holy man Jesus – the return of life to soil, plants, birds, bugs, plants, animals, and us all. Young animals are born, their mothers’ milk flows, and from the bare branches of winter, sweet-smelling flowers and life-giving fruit now return. For one more year, we know now we will likely live.

Plus now we also get chocolate bunnies.

May your own season of rebirth go much more easily!

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(Image Note: I don’t know who drew this great bunny cartoon. If you do, please tell me and I’ll be delighted to give credit.)