Monthly Archives: May 2013

“It gives prisoners a sense of self-respect”

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I endorse every single word. I have four Koestler Awards of my own.

Voices :: The Barrow Cadbury Trust Blog

The Koestler Trust is the UK’s best-known prison arts charity and has been awarding, exhibiting and selling artworks by offenders, detainees and secure patients for over 50 years. Peter, a Koestler Trust entrant and mentee, writes about his experience.

If you want to know what’s going on in prison you have to read the walls. Most communication comes through some form of poster or official notice and every available space has a notice board; which is great if you can read, but not so good if, like a huge percentage of prisoners, you didn’t spend much time in school.

When I got to prison I used to read every notice religiously; everything from ‘official searching procedures’ to ‘gender dysmorphia treatment policy’. Mostly it filled some time, but there was also the paranoid fear that I might miss something important – like an act of parliament knocking a couple of…

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Identifying Our Sacred Signposts

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In Ecuador's Yasuní National Park, butterflies sip a yellow-spotted river turtle's tears. The mineral-rich liquid helps the insects reproduce. In exchange, the reptile gets a good eye-cleaning. (Click on photo for more information)

In Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park, butterflies sip a yellow-spotted river turtle’s tears. The mineral-rich liquid helps the insects reproduce. In exchange, the reptile gets a good eye-cleaning.
(Click on photo for more information)

 

Human society is filled with those claiming they speak in God’s Name. They come from everywhere on the planet and have been responsible for both wondrous creativity and unspeakable atrocities, particularly in Western culture. It is a very delicate operation, therefore, to start claiming some kind of divine power for oneself – regardless of who we are. As someone who has made such a claim – even if it only applies to me and requires no other believer – it helps to produce evidence.

 

The problem with sacred knowledge is that it is – and always will be – absolutely personal to the ‘Knower’. To make anything authentically sacred is to infuse Life with the meanings of Love, Creation and Power. Each one of us defines and understands such qualities at a personal level. What maybe meaningful for one person, can mean little or nothing to another. What I do know, from personal experience, is that if someone reaches for the Sacred with an open mind, the Sacred often replies with synchronous events that are meaningful to the individual.

 

For example: the ‘bid for power’ contained within my previous post has started producing such ‘proofs’.

 

The first is symbolic.

The picture at the top of this post, with it’s accompanying information about the Amazonian Yellow-spotted River Turtle’s Gift of Tears, carries significant meaning for me. I made abundant use of Butterfly wisdom in my post and, separately, have been clear of the importance I attach to the First People’s movement, Idle No More. For those unfamiliar with the cultures and histories of the First Peoples, it may interest you to know that the land mass of North America is known as ‘Turtle Island‘. Amongst the darker tales of the First People’s history is the genocidal ‘colonization’ of America by white immigrants in the nineteenth century, resulting in ”ethnic cleansing’ and called the “Trail of Tears“.  The First Peoples’ experience of Life includes both turtles and tears.

Whilst the article about the butterflies and turtle tears may have been published on 22 December 2012 (an interesting date given the Spiritual significance so many people attached to the previous day), I did not encounter it until now – after I had written about butterflies.

It is without doubt that I drink the shared indigenous vision and wisdom of contemporary First Nations wisdom as I struggle with my own path. It follows that such knowledge will be infused with the collective experience of the Trail of Tears and many similar lesser-known histories of the First Peoples. If I listen to the timing of our Earth Mother and her example of the yellow-spotted river turtles generosity to the creative abilities of butterflies, I might trust that my intuitions are guiding me correctly but…

For this to be true, there must be an exchange – there must be something to my drinking at this source of creativity and wisdom that cleans the vision of the giver. To me, unless that requirement is met, the synchronicity remains unconfirmed. Many First Peoples object to the colonization of their Sacred Ways by westerners and rightly so given the cruel treatment and systemic betrayals to which they have been and continue to be subjected to by governments. So, there is the possibility of a link but it has yet to be verified.

 

The second synchroncity is this:  “Ways of extending the welfare state to the poor”

The links in this blog are much closer to home. In my previous blog, I talk about the need to return to the land and to the communities who dwell there. This is written by ‘my people’ – I live in North East England – and my people are saying that ‘Names have Power’ and are starting to redefine the language we have been subjected to. The region has good reason to want to redefine this language given the massive loss of earning potential it has experienced in the last 24 years.

 

The third synchronicity is this: the lunar eclipse on May 25  falls on Quyllur Rit’i or Star Snow Festival of the First Peoples of the Inca.

The Quyllur Rit’i festival falls in a period of time when the Pleiades constellation, or Seven Sisters, a 7-star cluster in the Taurus Constellation, disappears and reappears in the Southern Hemisphere. The star movement signals the time of the coming harvest and therefore a time of abundance. For this reason Incan astronomers cleverly named the Pleiades “Qullqa” or storehouse in their native language Runa Simi (“human’s language”) or Quechua as it is also called.

Metaphorically, due to the star’s disappearance from the night sky and reemergence approximately two months afterwards is a signal that our planes of existence have times of disorder and chaos, but also return to order. This outlook coincides with the recent Pachakuti or Inca Prophecy literally translated from the two words pacha and kuti (Quechua pacha “time and space”, kuti “return”) where pacha kuti means “return of time”, “change of time” or “great change or disturbance in the social or political order”.[3]

(Many thanks to Mike Williams for sharing this)

If theory is accurate, this will be the first Star Snow Festival since the resetting of the Mayan ‘Long Count’ calendar since 21 December 2012. I didn’t know this festival existed when I wrote about the astrological impact the eclipse will have on my birthchart. Now it’s significance has deepened in my own understanding of the Sacred Mystery.

For me, this third ‘coincidence’ completes the sacred circle which began with the butterflies and turtles because we return to South America.

These are the energies that have found me this morning. That they have come in a three-fold manner is meaningful to me. That they arrived unexpectedly and independently means they are beyond my personal control – I did not go looking for them. They contain sacred information about life, people and our Great Mother Earth and seem to confirm what my imagination was telling me two days ago.

Perhaps the beating of this butterfly’s wings has produced an energetic reply. I will wait and see.

“Oh, Sacred Spirit – I am paying very close attention to Thou but I am just one small and imperfect woman who makes many mistakes. If my ‘seeing’ is true, May You Share Your Wisdom With Your Awakened Children so we might better understand your Will.”

“What I tell you three times is true” – Lewis Carroll

Thanks to Julienne for this picture.

Thanks to Julienne for this picture.

Emerging from the Chrysalis: Becoming ‘Goddess-Crazy’

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tumblr_m3vw637PgQ1r1ap3co1_500This is dedicated to Amanda Coleman with deep gratitude.

My blog has been in a ‘Season of Silence’ for a time. Whilst I have always found reasons to speak my own truth, when I enter my own transformations, words themselves often elude me because the new realities I am entering require new languages, new forms of expression, to make themselves understood. They are like new-born kittens; needing to be mothered and protected until they can venture out into the world.

The transformations I am presently experiencing, quite literally, around and within me feel as though I am become a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis. My sepia home is now all-colours. My capacity to see the world and create art has transformed – it is as though the Earth has draped Herself in velvet to become even more beautiful than before. The Otherworld of my imagination is becoming reality around me. In this world, built on kindness, tolerance, forgiveness, generosity – all those qualities that are woven into what we sometimes call Love – there is so much to live for. Nevertheless, I am mindful that I emerge into a greater reality intent on my destruction and butterflies do not have a long lifespan.

A caterpillar-to-butterfly transformation is a very interesting experience. I’m so grateful that my caterpillar ‘ate’ so much knowledge on her journey through life: Jungian Astrology; community activism; feminism; teaching; coaching; counselling; shamanism. When the first transformation hit, in 20012003, I knew it was coming (astrology) and I had a rough idea of what I was in for. As I understand it, within the chrysalis, the caterpillar doesn’t shape-shift from one form to another. She becomes liquid and reconstructs herself into an entirely new form. This is the second Life-Death-Life Transformation and I am still in the midst of it.

As I emerge into this new world, I find there are things I must leave behind meBEdj59MCcAI-ohi as the butterfly leaves the chrysalis-shell behind. I experience this as being attitudes and behaviours that, as a caterpillar, I was once a part of and which imprisoned me as a chrysalis, now, no longer form any part of me and from which I struggle to be free. I know I am not free yet. For myself, I find there is valuable wisdom to be had from my experience but it only works properly if it’s shared.

I am guided by experience and wonder. In this process I have been forced to relinquish my social ego and have acquired so many labels that those who encounter me are forced to make up their own minds… if they have one to make up. Not everybody does. Please note, with that example, that schadenfreude and I still have not parted company. This is a very dangerous substance and must only be used in homeopathic doses (yes – I believe in the homeopathic principles because they work on a quantum mechanics level). Consider it a counterpole – without it I wouldn’t have balance. I’m told that this knowledge now appears on my ‘butterfly-wings’. I understand this to be aspects of myself that can only be seen clearly by others but which I might be able to get a sense of in what they show me of themselves.

What I am certain of, in this new universe into which I am emerging, are these values and principles that come from the Otherworld legends of my Islands of Albion. There is no way that I could have arrived at the place I find myself in without the help, kindness, generosity and assistance of others, starting with my parents and now leaving me endebted to the Sacred Spirit for my very existence with all stops inbetween. Science tells us that it is possible for a butterfly to beat her wings against the air that sets of a series of complexities resulting in a cyclone elsewhere.

(A moment of synchronicity: as I was beginning the following sentence, and the exact same moment, both the postman and my internet provider posted ‘Free’ offers to me but you have to buy your way to this freedom. This is a ‘message’, I think, although its meaning is still unfolding.)

tumblr_lhalyp5Lps1qb62c4o1_400In return for all the Love I have been gifted and the responsibilities I now believe have to others for my continued existence in this Web of Life, I want to find a way to the right moment when the beating of my wings triggers such a complexity. The thing is finding the right moment. That is not in my control. My Otherworld tells me I have to get myself into a Spirit Energy “Line” and wait for other butterfly people to arrive so we can beat our wings together when Earth Mother tells us to.

I know this to be true too. Each and every butterfly is unique. We are fractals of our Universe creating, in our individuality, a greater complexity of Life that begins within Spirit, moves through Ideas, into Emotions and thus, into Creation. When the moment of Creation is understood as an Explosion of Love, anything becomes possible. But to truly understand this process, we must have lived the experience many times over and in many different ways. As incarnated fractals of the Sacred Spirit, our experience on Mother Earth is time-limited – we recycle both body and spirit here, as I understand it. The Inuit understand this as ‘Eating Souls.’ If my soul is to be ‘eaten’ by others, then I realise my wish is to be nourishing to some and poison to all those who are poison to the planet.

To effect this, I must stand outside the strictures of the Old World as much as the Sacred Spirit wills. To do this in my own unique way can only become sacred if I become nourishing in some form or another. A traditional way to do this is to become the story-teller, the” Twisted Hair”, of living stories as a way of extracting the knowledge of more ancient wisdom.

This Storify is the way I have learned how to do it in my own unique way. I am answering ‘The Call’ to become God-Mad. My time in the chrysalis has taught me lessons in patience and surrender to the sacred. The Path taught me endurance and refined my understanding of the Sacred Spirit which, in turn, has been a tough lesson in humility. In my Otherworld, however, the wisdom gained has the strength and beauty of carbon-transformed diamonds. Absence of hard testing renders information suspect.

In the Storify, various women make various claims and then back it up with evidence. Those who have been tested understand the value of evidence when we tell our stories. We tell each other what we have discovered about this rich white man’s world we find ourselves living in. But there are gaps in the evidence because I was dancing.  So, to recapitulate the dance to see what all these beautiful butterflies created when we beat our wings together…

“Names have Power”: Speaking as a self-named shamanic chaplain with social responsibilities, this #WomanWisdom comes from the Celtic Otherworld and is borne out in our  intersectional experience of rwmw. Reclaiming true names gives us power because many people then hear the call. It is what Jesus the shepherd meant by the calling of different flocks. If the Wyrrd is True, we each hear it in our own way and on our own terms. That is the Way of the Sacred. This means the same truth can be said in many different ways.

“We become what we believe”: Our imaginations have become colonised by the rwmw who, by their attacks on us, reveal to us our strengths. We must be careful of the traps and snares of the collectivised imagination. For example, our greatest strengths will be found in all those places the rwmw despises most: women and children across the face of the planet. If we truly wish to contribute to creative change, the seeds of manifestation will be found here amongst the exiles of the rwmw world.

White buffalo

“Nature tells us what we need to know”:  As I write these words, I hear the suckling of three-day old kittens because their mother insisted she wanted to birth beneath my computer desk. Nature communicates to us at all levels. This is why I believe we must listen to our Indigenous Voices – the ones who hear Nature more clearly than I can – and trust to their guidance and our own intuition. The more eccentric to the rwmw, the better.

“We are all One in the Universal Web of Life”: On Mother Earth, all Life evolves as female. Testosterone is a more recent emergence – this truth is reflected in human foetal development. The introduction of testosterone to human chromosomes lessens, not adds. Indigenous Amazonians understand this and see it reflected in man’s actions, where the women use this power creatively. Other First Nations women are addressing this and what emerges when man’s ‘destructive’ nature is guided by women’s wisdom. It is the nature of ‘man’ to ‘destroy’ in order to understand, it is the nature of ‘woman’ to evolve that understanding into wisdom. When power is not governed by Sacred Feminine Principles this becomes a struggle between life – as represented by the Sacred Spirit – and death. There are men who understand this – some I am privileged to call ‘Friend’, others I know only by reputation. As far as I am concerned, such men are sacred to women and are a deeply valuable part of our Holistic fabric. Such men will turn to join us when they see the path we take if they are not already standing amongst us.

“Be careful what you believe”: When people truly understand the creative spirit, we know creation begins in our imagination. But there are dangers too – these are imagination but many are fact. We are as responsible for our beliefs as we are for our actions for actions are beliefs-made-manifest.

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“We are at a fork in the Road”: We have been telling ourselves this for some time now and Astrologers confirm that the time is now. When I seek to understand where the Great Spirit needs me to go, I wait for Signs. Personal Power Signs include tornadoes and rainbows; Tornadoes, because I was birthed during a tornado; Rainbows have appeared as Signposts at highly significant moments. A third Sign, Lightning, has always been known to be a Sign of God.

On 8 December 1954 the (Gunnersbury) station was damaged by a tornado which ripped off the roof and injured six people.(strangely, the only quick-search link I could find on the subject of the “Ealing Tornado”)

All the Sacred Principles and Values are present in our Storify Creation and the links are made by living, breathing, real-life women whom I am honoured to call friend. If this is not a Call to become Goddess-Mad, I don’t know what is.

I have been surrendered to my understanding of the Divine, utilising shamanic principles, since 2001. Astrologically speaking, I’ve been told that my birth chart is ‘spooky’ but nowhere near as spooky as the transits affecting me now. This points to the possibility that I am intended to do something. Howard Sasportas (see Blogroll) was quite specific about this and said it would be something for women. The impending Lunar Eclipse on May 25 makes some powerful contacts in my birthchart falling, as it does, in my 6/12th Houses. Moon in the 6th‘Service to Others’ conjuncts my Mercury and Ceres which in turn conjunct my natal Sun. The Sun falls into my 12th house, ‘Surrender To Spirit’, and is conjunct transiting Pallas and Mars in Taurus, all of which conjunct my natal Moon in Taurus. The Eclipsed Moon in Sagittarius illuminated by a Gemini Sun – my Sun in Sagittarius and my Moon on the Taurus side of #Gemini cusp? This points to the clear possibility that I will ‘express’ something around all of these themes and paradigms. What follows are the ideas this information suggested to me:

If we work with paradigms, the Roots of the True Sacred Spirit of the Isles of Albion/Avalon are Female and She speaks to a particular part of the Heart in Men. She has clearly spoken to this man as far as I am concerned because She made certain I knew about him. I met his daughter when we were in prison together. In a World Turned Upside Down, this version of Arthur is much more believable and is supported by synchronicity (the story of how he was reunited with Excalibur is a curious one). In the face of derision, he does what he can to Honour the Spirit of the Ancestors.

But his imagination-created Reality – “if you built it, He will come” – bears little comparison to the work of another Goddess-Touched Son of England who wrote the words to the National Anthem of both Women and the People. William Blake asks me to tell you this is the most beautiful rendition of his dream we have ever seen or heard.

http://youtu.be/ald9xRtDuw4

If we truly want to create the new world we have been both promised and which has been foretold by many different global cultures, we must turn to our land and the communities who dwell there and search for the Sacred in order to fan the flames.

If the First Nations Spring Rituals for IdleNoMore were True then we should be seeing this reflected a Global Resurgence of the Sacred Spirit. Such a powerful Light would be shining into dark places, previously hidden from sight. I believe we have sufficient evidence to show that the Rituals are working. The increase and intensity of the attacks upon us are a mark of their effectiveness.

It can be shown that our old foe cannot comprehend the Sacred. It follows, therefore, that the deeper we immerse ourselves into our understanding of the Divine, the safer we will become as the rwmw structures crumble and fail – as they must if we have any chance of surviving the Great Mother’s ReBirth into a New era of Evolution. As we do this, we will encounter Sacred Mysteries.

BFlBobICMAAvoegIf reality and Sacred Britain collide in the person of King Arthur (assumed responsibility) then, in my imagination, it follows that there’s a Lady of Avalon – High Priestess of the Sacred Grove position up for grabs. If there is, then she hasn’t made herself known. The position has been filled, in the past, by women like Dion Fortune who used her power and responsibility in defence of Britain during World War II. If it remains unfilled then, by right of tested qualifications, I am willing to assume these responsibilities on a locum basis until the Goddess demonstrates Her Will to the Daughters of the Goddess. My particular reason for wanting to do this is to raise the Power of British Women, under the “Proud To Be Indigenous” banner to the Summer Solistice celebrations of the planet-wide IdleNoMore movement. I believe the Rites of Passage I am emerging from qualify me to be able to do this as a shamanic chaplain. I believe myself to be Goddess-Crazy.

Then I want to contribute to the People’s Healing and Transformation. I want to set an example to others about just how wrong we can be in order to understand health. If we trust the Sacred Spirit to lead us in Love then we know that the only way to manifest the Sacred into Reality is through action. Our actions. Our Personal Actions. We are what we believe. To be the True Lady of Avalon has always been my Heart’s Desire but I have no sense of ‘ownership’ – there can be as many of us as there are hearts as far as I am concerned, provided they are willing to be as tested as I have been, for then they may be ready to assume the responsibilities too. Magical Women of all Peoples know this to be True. If there are many of us, then I am happy to focus on web-weaving with other faiths and cultures and leave the Defence of Britain to you. I am told we must raise this Power against fascism to protect the Heart Chakra of Planet Earth – Glastonbury. I am told we must cut at the roots of the magickal systems but not told how this could be done – another Lady of Avalon has that information. This Woman Power must align itself with IdleNoMore in response to Our Great Mother’s Global Call to us – this I am told – and renew our Roots to the Sidhe.

It is for each and every one of you to make a free choice about your response. I am simply an example of someone who made my decision in the aftermath of 9/11. I do not like the choices being made by our man-made world. There are far more attractive options coming into being. Until I discover something better, I’m going to believe the above is about the best approximation I can get to becoming a Nourishing Soul. If you are going to eat my ‘Butterfly Woman’ ideas, may they feed the very best of you and that which does not suit pass through or around you without harm.

And if we start our actions anywhere, let us begin by feeding the Children.

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Why I can no longer listen to @classicfm

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Dear ClassicFM

 

At the moment I am in the process of decorating my home and, traditionally, I listen to your station while I work. I discovered today, after a bout of ill-health, when I resumed my task that I can no longer listen to you at all. You see, whilst I was poorly, I learned you don’t pay any UK taxes. I try hard to be a forgiving woman but I find my usually capacious stock of it is missing.

 

It’s not so much anger that I feel – although that does form a part of it – it’s the level of disappointment. Here you are, apparently milking your listeners dry with your products and performances  but you see no need to contribute to the public purse that enables your audience to afford you. No doubt, many of your presenters have their own ways of avoiding paying taxes as well, if I think about it.

 

I can’t listen to you anymore because every time you play a piece of music, I wonder what the composer would make of what you are doing – using their creation to make money for yourselves and giving nothing back to the people who made you what you are. I wonder what Beethoven would have thought of your use of his music? Or Mozart? You have taken their creativity and are using it to feed your personal greed – if that weren’t true, you’d be paying taxes. You benefit a great deal financially from the creativity of Joanne Rowling but you don’t follow her example.

 

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I do not have a problem with people making money. My problem arises with those who profit from the poverty of others. Joanne Rowling doesn’t just pay her taxes – she gives her money away but you don’t, do you? Unless you can show similar behavioural standards to Ms Rowling in terms of taxes and charitable work, you have no business using the creators’ music you profit from, in my opinion.

 

I may be an audience of one but I do wonder how many other people might feel the same way I do. I have great respect for composers and love classical music with a deep passion. I cannot listen to your radio station – nor can I listen to the BBC for their open political bias – because I find myself betraying those I respect by doing so.

I’m tired of listening to selfish rich people abusing the creativity of the poor. Beethoven wasn’t rich! Neither was Mozart! How much money have you made from them? How much do you give back so the composers of tomorrow can emerge from those who are poor but creative? You don’t even contribute to the society you’re milking by your tax avoidance schemes. Why should I listen to you?

 

The thing that gets me the most is how I didn’t see it before! But then I didn’t know you don’t pay taxes. And I find I can’t forgive you (and that’s a big issue for me).

 

Financially, I am a poor woman and always have been. In my best earning year, I hit £30k and thought I was rich. I was self-employed at the time but I still paid my taxes. Those taxes pay for the infrastructure you take for granted but which is collapsing, if not already collapsed, for one third of the British population. The middle third are feeling the pinch and it’s hurting them badly. The final third – the ones who are running the country to suit themselves and nobody cares what happens to the rest of us – is your demographic. The lifestyle you advocate might as well be in Lala-land in comparison to mine nor is yours fairly earned as far as two thirds of the country are concerned. The size of your wealth is measured by the depth of our poverty – earned wealth includes paying taxes to support the infrastructure of the country.  You refuse to pay taxes when two thirds of the country are suffering – what kind of people are you?

 

Why aren’t you ashamed of yourselves?

 

The thing is that it’s likely your listeners come from all walks of life – just like me. Some of us are fully aware of the connection between tax avoidance like yours and hungry, homeless people dying in our streets.

 

To refuse to pay our social responsibility to the creative community we profit from is selfish but to continue to refuse when that community is suffering as a result of your selfishness is a sin that can only be forgiven by God because I cannot find it in myself to forgive you at the moment.

 

That is why I will never willingly listen to your radio station again and it’s got nothing to do with the music!

 

Yours sincerely

 

Dee