Green Acres Village, Community Dinner — and Equinox Ceremony, and more!

Green Acres Village, Community Dinner, September 21 — and Equinox Ceremony, and more!

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ET: All “good”? Or, some “good,” some “evil.” The $64,000 question. Or is it?

It certainly may be the question in this third dimension, where we learn about linear “cause and effect” from continuous application of free will to choices between contrasts. And if that’s the dimension that all ETs (and interdimensionals, and perhaps other earthlings  (faeries, elementals, dolphins and whales, spirits of the place, etc.) are in fact occupying, then, yes, I’d say there are both kinds. However, might it be that once one increases one’s frequency, that at “higher” levels, in “higher” dimensions, that’s not the case, that all ETs (and interdimensionals, etc.) ARE what we would call benevolent?

This may be one way to harmonize what is probably the biggest controversy within the UFO community.

Here’s Carol Rosin and Steven Greer, both of whom assume — in fact, both are adamant — that any “bad” stuff that goes on with supposed ETs is actually humanmade, including abductions.

(Frankly, I personally have trouble seeing humans in little grey costumes, pretending to be little greys abducting humans, but then again, hey! And besides, it might be that humans have manufactured these little biological entities which apparently  function more like machines than like ensouled beings.)

In the UFO world, there are way more people who see ETs as both good and bad, depending upon which species, and which agenda. (And of course, it certainly is a way to sell more tickets — whether to movies or to conferences.)

Plus, in both camps (good vs. good/bad), the idea is now commonplace that humans themselves have technologies far beyond what most of us are aware of (some of them back engineered from crashed ET craft); indeed, that not only must we ask “whose UFO — theirs or ours?” when we see one, but that “We now have the technology” as Ben Rich, of Lockheed’s Skunkworks once famously remarked, ” to take ET home.”

Not only that, but as far as “evil” goes, we humans certainly take the cake! Check this out, one possibility re:  current weather wars, as we wait, with baited breath, for Hurricane Jose, now parked off the east cost, to batter New York during the upcoming UN conference . . .

Was Hurricane Irma Steered by Masers from Satellites in Weather War Against the US?

Carol Rosin would say no. In fact, she’s adamant about this idea, too, that at least so far, “THERE ARE NO WEAPONS IN SPACE!!”

Let’s back up a bit from this and other controversies over Es and all the rest that the heavens which enclose our small sphere offers. Let’s remember, as we are beginning to realize, that we humans too are “made of star dust;” plus, if some of us are even ETs ourselves, or at least with hybrid DNA, then the distinction between extraterrestrial and human tends to thin and dissolve.

One more 3D “contrast” that we will no longer have to choose between! No longer have to consider visitors from afar or from underground or other dimensions “alien”! Ultimately, perhaps, we will realize that in all of the infinite, mysterious cosmos there are no strangers, there are only other beings, like ourselves, all seeking to express their own natures in communion with all the others.

In any case, looking at the question of “all good” or “some good and some bad” multidimensionally may help us recognize that no matter what we think or believe, it’s all true in some dimension or other; plus, that whatever we can imagine has probably already been done.

I came across a very interesting name to give my own open attitude towards humans and their “beLIEfs.” It’s a Jain concept: Anekantavada. Check it out!

This afternoon and evening (8 p.m. to midnight) I will be gathering with son Colin Cudmore and about a dozen others from near and far who are to meet in nearby Brown County, for the next five days, September 17-21, to learn the protocols for ET contact in the afternoons, and then to sit with binoculars in the evening, in a meadow, for four hours. Not sure how much I’ll be able to blog, if any! But you can be sure I will have lots to report afterwards.

Here’s the website for what we’re about to do here with Kosta Gus Makreas.


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Green Acres Village News, September 16, 2017: Community Dinners begin again, plus compost struggles and string bean tale

Weekly community dinners begin again, YES! — plus compost struggles, string bean tale

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Siberia, and final post: Lake Baikal again, but first: another Buddhist monastery, a high market and waterfall, Roerich paintings! plus gardens

Note: This series is archived here.

I think I mentioned before that Siberian villages in the valley south of the Sayan mountains and Lake Baikal are usually small (200 people?), with tiny wooden houses and colorful shutters. J.K.:

These villages are all fenced in. Old wood with bright blue shutters. Like in the fairy tales. I think of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, Grandfather and Sonia the Duck and Sascha the bird, and what was the cat’s name?

It seems to me that from one of these villages you can almost see another one in the far distance. I think back to the day, decades ago, when I realized that the similar distance between small towns in the U.S. — remember them? This was before they emptied out,  due to small nearby farmers selling out to Big Ag with its endless miles of GMO soybean and corn, Monsanto territory — was set by how many miles horse and rider or horse and buggy could travel in one day.

Already, during the few short months of long summer days, Russian villagers have made enormous piles of logs awaiting winter’s fires.  

Our journey was winding down. During the final days we were in the foothills of the Sayan mountains, visiting another Buddhist monastery —  (notice the prayer flags here, in common with Mongolian shamanic altars and other special places)

A corner detail from their restaurant.

—and then up another long gravel road into the mountains to visit an area with many springs. Walked up a long road past an outdoor market,

to bathe in the negative ions of a waterfall . . .

The night after our “methane springs” experience, on our way out to the main road . . .

We saw Lama again and he came out and waved goodbye, come back, Americans. There’s rain this morning. The sky is dense with clouds, the mountains shrouded.

This was our final day in Siberia. A day when we were to visit Lake Baikal again, this time on the western side, within easy distance of Irkutsk, at its southern end. We would fly back to Ulan Bator from there in the morning.

We had tried to get to the Lake via the Mercedes [van] and reached a fork in the road. As the immortal Yogi Berra says, when you reach a fork, take it. We deliberate; this is new territory. Some kid says something and then the guides ask a woman and so we turn right. The vehicle carrying a casket turns left.

Yes, when we stopped there for our deliberations, an ramshackle old truck rumbled up, turned left, carrying a casket!

Narrow road thru a deep fairy forest. I think of Yeats’ “Come away, human child, to the waters.” It’s very steep, and to our right the trees and to our left, again, trees but they go all the way down.

When we finally arrived at the tiny parking lot where we would begin our trek down after the lurching ride down a narrow, pot-holed dirt lane, branches switching both sides of the van, I asked Erjen, “What about lunch? Shouldn’t we have brought  food?” Ever the first child of a large family, thinking ahead to what the group would need, I was concerned that without food some wouldn’t have energy to tackle the long walk UP later. Can’t remember what she said, but whatever it was I remembered that I was to trust; trust, Ann!


Then a very long walk through these enchanted woods, over rocks and crossings made of logs and planks, Elizabeth holding on to Rinchin.

Erjen holding on to daughter Mascha too! As Erjen told me later, “I had on the wrong shoes.” Hmmm. Didn’t she know what we were doing either? It was quite a long trail, down, with lots of rocks and roots, about one enchanted hour from the van to the final clearing in front of the lake. I relished every minute of it. And yet, all the while, I, and I imagine, everybody else was dreading the hike UP later . . .

Finally here’s the Irkut River, and it doesn’t flow to Irkutsk.

Oh wow! We break into the clearing and look what’s ahead. A picnic feast put on by a tiny restaurant — out in the middle of nowhere?

What a meal! Tomatoes, cheese, red pepper, bread [and much more!] at a long board of a table outside on this splendid day.

Not sure when we were told that we would not have to walk back up, but instead take a pontoon boat to Irkutsk. Rinchin and one of the other guides would run back up and drive the bus back to meet us at the landing spot. YES!

And then into the little Roerich museum. There are framed images and photos of his life, two rows of 11 each. I want to live in one of his paintings, the one with the sky bear sailing open-armed toward the sky woman.

The museum was a stunning surprise. (BTW: notice the clear, dark blue sky. No chemtrails in either Siberia or Mongolia.)

As were the gardens nestled below it that the nearby restaurant drew upon for our beautiful meal.

His paintings held me spellbound. In them I feel the mysterious communion that links earth to human to sky. I sense in his paintings a silent stillness of this vast being, studded with light and shadow, that draws draws me in and holds me close.

Afterwards, we . . .

circle up the river a bit, [close to the railroad tracks said to have been laid by political prisoners during the gulag — A.K.] as the sun sets behind the mountains. It is one of 350 rivers that flow into Baikal; only one flows out and it leads to the Arctic Ocean.

Here’s my diet: meat, sugar, cabbage, potatoes, green tea, Mongolian salted/buttered/milk tea, sometimes beets. My kidneys cannot handle this meat.

And the sweetest strawberries I have ever had, the absolute essence of the fruit bursting in my mouth.

Speaking of food, I was surprised at how few home gardens we saw in Siberia, or in Mongolia for that matter.

Aha! But here’s one . .  .

I had heard that people in Moscow lived through the difficult ’90s by growing their own food in their dachas outside the city — and thought that was probably true throughout Siberia. I didn’t grok just how enormous and scarcely populated is the Russian heartland. Just the other day, I read where Putin, who in 2016 invited any American of Russian ancestry  to move to Siberia, where they will receive a hectare of land, free, has now  proposed that only organic food be grown in Russia, that Russia become the world’s source of organic food.

Here is another very intentional garden on the southern shore of Lake Baikal, used to supply a restaurant along the road. This little village farm is also the source of the strawberries J.K. ate. (Somewhere I heard that when the dirty industrial sawmill site in Irkutsk finally closed, that the economy then switched to growing strawberries. True?)

These garden photos, like the forest trail above, like much of the wildlife, is still to be found both here and there and everywhere — at least in certain, sacrosanct places — throughout the northern hemisphere.

Eagles, ravens, cows, horses, pied wagtails – cute little gray/black/blue/white twittery birds.

Would that we could all fly above to view with our own eyes and heart our Earth from space, to see and feel the profundity of this living, breathing, conscious Being and her immersion in the divine cosmos that we all share; would that we re-learn to pay close, conscious attention, and re-member our common roots.

May each of us open the floodgates; may each of us sense her immense vitality coursing through our veins.




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Siberia: Lake Baikal, via hastily improvised Plan B that worked perfectly! Shaman ceremony, visits with shaman and Buddhist monk, “methane spring”

Note: This series is archived here.

Mongolia Siberia, 2017

So. We headed out of Ulan Ude, hauling our sleeping and eating gear, expecting to trek in a few miles to a campsite on Lake Baikal. Drove a few hours and then turned off on the dirt road that led to the trail. The campsite was waiting, prepared for us. We were eager to not only get a glimpse of this enormous famous lake, but to dwell on its wild shores for two nights and parts of three days.

Then, oops! The road in is closed, due to a fire ahead, so we are told by some officials who are standing there preventing our passage. Lots of discussion in Russian ensued, with Erjen and guides Rinchin and Sasha taking part. Things got heated, then disgusted. Somebody whispered to me that the officials wanted us to bribe them, some kind of exorbitant price per person. Thanks anyway, forget it!

Meanwhile, the rest of us were standing in or near the beautiful, clear little stream, cooling off on this hot day.

Erjen, Sasha, Rinchin, and Bill (our American guide) held their own discussion. The rest of us could just imagine what took place there. Then I noticed Erjen, her broad Mongolian face composed, walk over to the stream, stand on its shore, and very deliberately begin scooping water to wash her face. It’s as if she was internally preparing to go from Plan A to Plan B, only what was Plan B? Did she know?

Pile back in the van. Yes, Plan B did exist, was just hastily put together by the side of the dirt road. We would travel another hour or two along the east side of Baikal, and then “Sasha knows of a possible village where there is a possible boat to take us to the campsite.”  Oh my. The two “possible”s in Erjen’s statement really struck home. No wonder she was keeping her face composed.

Well, it all worked out. The possible village was actual, and the captain of the boat turned out to be someone that Erjen had already met somewhere along the line. To me this sweet, handsome man looked and acted like a ship captain right out of central casting.

All that is how I remember the initial scenes from our Lake Baikal camp adventure. Here is J.K.s version, probably more accurate, since she took notes right away.

Saturday 7/1

Drove to Baikal, but when we start to close in, we are stopped by the cops. No entry because of the forest fire – trees are down – and on top of that they planned to charge each and every one of us $5000 rubles for being in the wrong place. But Sasha and Rinchin are indignant. How in hell could we have known? There were no signs and besides they called ahead and there was no warning not to go this way. The cops are ok, they aren’t really going to make us pay, but we have to back out and find another way. Our ride [for our food; we would walk — A.K.] is waiting for us on the other side, and we can’t reach him. Later we learn he had waited 5 hours and finally gave up and went to the campsite on Baikal where we’d been aiming for. We go to a village and what do you know? It’s where Sasha’s family lives. We meet Yuri and Kamur, his sons, playing on the cold beach. Erjen is greeted yet again warmly, and realizes that the man who is greeting her is an old friend. Surprise.

Vodka, puzzles – “a bear hung himself on a cliff; what is it?” – indeed! Never did give us the answer to that one, Erjen. She twinkles, secretly smiles at our confusion. We get a boat ride; it takes an hour to ferry each set of passengers over and return for more. We let the first crew cross, the captain is friendly, I think it’s the same guy who is Erjen’s old friend.

While they ride the waves we feast on bread, cheese, tomatoes by a warm fire. Then we’re on the next boat, or the one after that, I forget. The boatman only has room for one passenger (this is Erjen again, posing riddles), and he has to transport the wolf, the goat and the cabbage to the other side. How will he do that? So Ann and Erjen and Bill and I finally arrive at the camp, having not eaten one another en route. Again, we each find where we will lay our heads. I am in a bungalow with Lisa and Carl. It’s late, still light out. Dinner. Two dogs, a big sweetheart whose ears and tail are almost completely lopped off, Russian style, and little Uma, who’s frightened by my initial greeting – hopping and lunging at her. A lively young couple runs the place. Nice vibes. Ready to sleep, bottom bunk.

Sunday 7/2

Baikal dreams upon awakening. We eat breakfast, wear our head coverings and skirts. Menstruating women stay behind. The rest of us walk along the shore. Here’s Buyan [who will transform into our shaman — A.K.] and his partner in this work, Sochar. Buyan in everyday is a bank manager.

And to me, feels very nice and “ordinary.” Mild mannered. Not in your wildest dreams would you pick him out for a “shaman”!  Sochar is a professional musician; he has assisted Buyan for ten years.

Now they have prepared the space at the edge of Baikal. Four fires burning in the cardinal directions. An altar cloth and bowls. A bottle of spirits (vodka) and here’s mare’s milk.

Buyan is immense, powerful. He is in silken robes, a divine presence. He kneels facing the lake. He will call the black water spirits in the east to come to the white water spirits in the west. He is singing, drumming and striking the drum toward his own face. He changes. He calls for nourishment. Bill, get over here. Feed him. Then Buyan becomes a little child spirit – he mews, murmurs, babbles. How many beings are inside?

All the while Buyan is beating powerfully on the drum, waving it back and forth, kneeling on the sand, his upper body stretching, hunching, twisting strenuously as each internal voice, each of the Spirits of Lake Baikal, make themselves known. The effect on all of us, lined up in a row sitting on a log in back of him, is electric, galvanic, utterly mesmerizing. We are clearly in the presence of beings entirely other than our usual 3D world.

Suddenly in my own quiet I hear Erjen call my name – JK, come over here. I kneel next to him. He says, “closer” – or at least Erjen tells me so. [Erjen is our continuous translator from both Russian and Mongolian. — A.K.] Closer and closer. Suchar’s hand on his back from the left. Me on the right. I am bent down to the sand, I am shaking. Do you all see this? I am outside myself and inside at the same time, wondering at this trembling going on. Then I sit up and face him and as with the others, he spits burning vodka and milk into my face, into my eyes. Then he uses the whip. Don’t take the load of others into yourself, that’s my teaching. So compassionate, says Erjen. I am confused. Compassionate, me? I wonder. A week or so later I realize. It’s the tormented captive eagles, it’s their pain he has found living in me. Yes, I took that on. Harder by far for me to identify with my own species. The song of the four elements. Ann is wearing the blue scarf. It is something you wear for the dead. She is asked to take it off.

Wow! I had no idea! I had gifted my original scarf at another ceremony, and so decided to wear the blue scarf that each of us had received from the shaman at the Ceremony of Mare’s Milk in Mongolia instead. [Women are to to wear both scarves and long skirts in the presence of a shaman.]

Someone hands something over to the person on his left by passing his right hand over his left. That way is the way you hand something to the dead. We are all learning.

After my serious scarf faux pas, he then did not spit on me, but instead murmured that for me there are three points that are important, shaped as a triangle, indicating my third eye and two on the ground on either side.

Mascha is called in despite her being in moon time. She needed a healing, Buyan determined. Rather, the Spirit called for her. Strong ones for the Mongols. [Mascha is Erjen’s daughter. A.K.]

After the ceremony we are invited to do whatever it is we feel called to do. I have rose elixir gathered on Summer Solstice 2014 under a full moon by my dear Latah, the lovely witch who runs the little shop Flower Power. She has given me half to offer Baikal. I walk in the shallows and give her offering to the blessed lake.

. . . .

A few lake photos:

Monday 7/3

Drizzle, fog; I wake up, something about Irkutsk. I think it means this is the Irkut River that flows into Baikal.

Sasha made porridge of rice and milk and butter and jam

The shamans and elders leave in a dinghy to the mist where the boat, all ghostly, awaits them to ferry them to the next place.

Bayer-la, Bayer-te Buya

So now we wait our turn.

Time, free time. I go along the sand intending to collect water for Latah. Bill and Marc are in the sun. Bill strips off his clothes – jumps in – Marc next. OK, my turn. It’s glorious. Cold and bracing and I’m naked in Siberia. Here come the rest of our group. We go to the point and see the nirpa, the black/white freshwater seals lazing on rocks in the distance. The only ones of their kind on planet Earth.

OK, here’s the dinghy again, hop on and then the boat takes us to shore somewhere. I hitch a ride on the jeep, hanging on the outside like that Neapolitan cop. Whee. Back in the van and we get back to Ulan Ude, one of the major metropolises of Siberia. We flop into our rooms and await the next thing, i.e. dinner. Nothing … hours go by …. We start to stir. Where the hell is everybody? They’re in the Irish bar. There’s a mutiny brewing here. OK, a late dinner and feathers soothed. We eat expensively and vengefully.

I think it was the next day — more and more the entire experience becomes suspended in the dreamtime — when we visited another shaman, one who lived in a small village along the highway — here is the hut the villagers built for him.


This man felt very humble and kind, and though he wore a blue silk robe and a mirror, was mostly just a human being, sitting behind a tiny desk, with stringed instruments on the wall. From him, and from others in Mongolia, we learned that a shaman is often chosen after a very difficult early life. Somehow, only as they agree to take on shaman duties do they heal. That was the case for this man; he used to be a meat seller, and initially tried to refuse the call. Now his shamanic gift is to heal individuals.

As I recall, on the same day, we also went down the same road to another village where we visited for many hours with Lama Norbu, a Buddhist monk, who is busy renovating an old, neglected Buddhist temple there.

He is the warmest man. They have just started to raise the building – what is that word again? The Stupa. It is moved from the Sayan Mountains.

His teacher taught the 14th Dalai Lama. There is a place in the mountains with a cave, and they studied together inside. The Sayan are to the West, Altai to the East.

Sayan mountains.

Sayan is the eyebrow and Baikal the eye. There is another lake in Mongolia, and that is the other eye. The stupa is the third eye.

We are at the northern gate of Shambala. The old inhabitants were the Tyuka, the original people from whom arose the Buriyati. Tuva is the southern gate. Some of them are still here. There is so much passion generated here that the Mongols went west, after the Huns. And east and south and became the Navajo (and Apache). The immense energy of this place made these nomads move, and move far.

When Lama Norbu’s grandmother fled the Communists with her family she was shot through her back and the bullet went through her right nipple. She went on to have many children – so don’t worry!

Bill says that the Buddhists here (the yellow Buddhists) honor and share shamanic practice and wisdom. This is the only place where that happens; elsewhere the Buddhists suppressed the shamans.

After our long talk with the monk, we posed for the only group photos of the entire journey. Lama Norbu is in the back with red top hat. I’m in front, kneeling, on the left, J.K. is in back of me, long brown hair.

And just to top off this day, we stayed in the same village, but further in from the main road, where there is an ancient “steam bath” — no! methane spring! geez! — that draws people from near and far.  While this experience may sound innocuous, it is anything but. One enters the dimly lit room – foggy, odiferous, hot liquid (part water part methane?) and slimy stones underfoot, hissing black pipes, and Russians standing under them all around the central column with whatever the liquid is beating on their backs — at one’s peril. I loved it. J.K. did not!

It’s night. We go to the methane springs. Oh jesus. Steam punk in dim sickly light. On the women’s side a little old gnome to my right. To my left a woman finishing up and washing her feet off. I try to get under the shower and she snaps something at me. I move away. Stones underneath, hard to walk, the circle of jets around the pipes all hissing and slime everywhere. We had to walk down a plank into this 9th Circle of Hell. One of the rails sink right into the pebbles. You cannot maneuver around it without hurting yourself. I have just told Lama Norbu that I am trying to stop fracking. But this is natural, I’m told. So what? So what?





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Siberia: Blessed by an encounter with “the spirit of the place”

This series is archived here:

Siberia/Mongolia, 2017


It was one of those days, like they all were, when we on this magical mystery tour basically had no idea what would come next. We were “along for the ride,” and what a ride it was! In our small luxury bus with plenty of room, rolling along a major Siberian highway (comparable to a paved country road in the  U.S.) somewhere out on the Siberian Steppes. Our Mongolian/Siberian guide Erjen was, as usual, very present and full — of what? We didn’t really know. But we trusted her, totally.

About two hours out of Ulan Ude the bus veered off onto a narrow gravel road. I’ve told most of the story of that day before, in my very first post of this series —


— so you might want to reread it before reading this. I focused there on the life/death springs, the Bronze Age gravesite area, the Genghis Khan ridge ambush, the lunch, and a tiny bit of the “portal” story. In this post, I will flesh in that final portal piece, for to tell the long version of this tale puts me right back there, just as when I have managed to tell it in person, two or three times since returning home. In fact, this tale felt like the pinnacle for me personally, of our time in this vast land which indigenous peoples have long called home and which speaks to them on a daily basis, those who still know how to listen. So here’s where the “shamanic” part of this tale begins.

Even though I have long been familiar with Native American reverence for and communion with Mother Earth, and even though I have been to “portals” elsewhere — for example, in Egypt (a tiny Egyptian temple dedicated to the goddess Sekhmet) and in Peru (a portal in a stone wall on Lake Titicaca), and indeed, even though I lived for 20 years in the Tetons, said by some to be a vortex portal for the Ascended Masters, I have only rarely been personally singled out for attention at or in one of these portals.

So, to begin.

After lunch, shown here with Karl, one of our members, actually checking his cell phone (he was the only one with the capacity to do so; the rest of us had left them behind for the duration of our magical mystery tour) — and BTW, that’s J.K. my roommate, sitting on the end of the bench in the middle.

Erjen reminded us that there was a portal ahead, if we wanted to take the path up. Offhand, she also said there were two more portals, but much higher up; she had never been there. I took it to mean that she didn’t expect us to go up there, either!

So most of started trudging uphill, quite steep at this point, in the little canyon that sliced back from the high rocky ridgeline we had been following all morning. Though I didn’t really process the feeling at that time, looking back on that day I noticed, about 20 feet below the large rock that Erjen said was the first portal, that I had just moved through an energetic curtain of some kind, that beyond this point, it was if “different laws apply here.” But as I said, that’s in hindsight, and colored by what happened next.

Most of us did manage to get to this portal.

From J.K.’s notes, talking about her experience:

And now the energy portals. A very long climb and are we there yet? No, no, and no. At long last I make it to the great stone and I lay at its side. Bill is completely one with the slab. Lois is embracing it. Gladys, Marc, Lisa and Carl keep going. Rinchin takes Ann to the pinnacle. What a couple of pairs of lungs and legs on those two, I wish oh I wish I could have done that.

What she is referring to is the following, some of which I’ve already told, but not in as much detail. The climax to this story, however, is utterly new, and frankly, it has changed my life forever.

Okay. I’m at the first portal with the others. But feeling restless. I want to continue up, to the ridge I figure, a few hundred feet more. I begin the trudge. A few minutes go by. Then I hear someone following along behind. Who? I glance back. It’s one of our Mongolian guides. Then came a strange sensation, of fear, female fear. I don’t know this person. These guides just joined our entourage what was it, the evening before? I’m highly aware of my “fear,” how it stems back to my mother, her fear, the fear in my female line, the forever female fear of overpowering males.

The Mongolian then comes to my side, and cuts in front of me. Now I see his entire, long-legged form. Oh! It’s Rinchin! My fear subsides. While Rinchin may look like an iconic 14th century Mongolian warrior, his kind, gentle nature has already communicated to all of us, when he helped two of our more senior female members down the hill from Genghis Khan’s ambush overlook.

Okay! I follow him up, cutting through saplings and over downed logs as we near the ridge. Until, here we are, on a gentle, rounded north/south slope between two tall outcroppings.

I thank Rinchin effusively for accompanying me on this trek. Though he doesn’t speak English, I make my gratitude obvious with smiles and hand movements.

Then he pantomimes a message that he knows I will understand: Pointing to his own heart, and then to my heart, he  waves his head and hands up, up. “You (pointing) and me (pointing) go up!”

Oops! Really?

I’ve never been a rock climber, even when I lived in the Tetons. Though I relish long uphill treks, I’ve never felt comfortable testing my physical prowess that way. So his invitation felt, to say the least, distinctly uncomfortable! Especially now, when I’m 74 years old. I did not learn when young what my body was capable of in this arena, and I want to start now? It felt foolish. But he felt insistent. And my curiosity was, of course, immense, intense.

So I began to follow him, up, over rocks, along tiny trails with abysses below, on and on, following as he climbed, like a goat, ahead. At one point we came to a place where in order to continue, I would have to leap from one giant boulder to another, with an abyss inbetween. He had already jumped to the other side, reaching his hand to me. NO!

He leaps back across, then straddles both boulders, patting his knee, which he wants me to use to step  from one giant rock to another. What, land and balance my rickety 130 pounds on one foot on his one knee? Even if I had had the nerve to do it, that felt foolhardy. He looks at me. And then, all of a sudden this Mongol warrior who can’t speak English says, “It’s just fear!”

Okay, says my 74 year old body that has never leaped large boulders with abysses between them, fear it may be, but it’s also knowing my own physical limits. I just shook my head strongly, NO.

Okay. He leapt back onto my side, commanded, authoritatively, “Wait. WAIT!” Apparently concerned that I wouldn’t. I said okay, and hunkered down. He was gone about five minutes, scouting out another route, then returned to get me.

We kept going, up and up, exhilarating, fun, and terrifying. Here are a few shots from up there, where I had never been before, and certainly didn’t expect to find myself that day or any day, ever!

Finally, we reached a boulder with a small round hole. I took a pic (and have cut Rinchin’s face out of it, as he doesn’t want to be recognized).

Can’t remember if he said this was one of the portals we were on the quest of. In any case, he indicated that it was important for some reason.

Soon we reached an area (I forgot to take a pic), that he said was the second highest portal. A little flat place nestled into the giant rocks, about six feet square, with say, three foot rock walls on the side that looked south.

Okay. Keep going. Five minutes more, none of it difficult, and we approached the final, highest, summit portal. Again, it felt like a room, flat, but much larger, with a  typical Mongolian/Siberian altar in the middle with flags.

This portal doesn’t feel all that astonishing unless you look to the top left of this photo, to realize how high up it is. Clearly, it is a place of pilgrimage for native inhabitants.

We approached the altar, Rinchin gave me a coin, we both offered them to the spirit of the place, and then backed up to one of the walls to sit in meditation for a few minutes.

Okay, done. Mission accomplished! I thought. I was ready to go. But no. On the way down is when the absolutely astonishing thing happened, the one that I have yet to mention in this series.

We had just completed our journey out of the high summit rocks, and were entering the forest on the ridgeline, when Rinchin looked at me, seemingly stunned, and then pointed downhill. “Look! Animal! And it looked at YOU!”

What? My eyes shot to where he was pointing. An animal about the size and color of a badger was scurrying downhill for cover. “Badger?” I asked. “Are there badgers in Siberia?” Rinchin looked at me, seemingly puzzled, perplexed, even a bit disappointed. Though his response didn’t register at the time, so intent was I on finding out the name of the animal, so instantly triggered did my left brain become after this out of time and space right brain experience in the high portals, but now, in hindsight I realize that he thought I was some sort of foolish American idiot. And, I would say now, how true!

On the ridge we enjoyed a long hug before proceeding down to join the others. At the bottom, I told Marc, who is an ecologist and happened to be carrying a book that identifies the wild animals of Siberia, about the animal Rinchin pointed out to me. Badger? I asked? I didn’t see the front, but the tail, somehow, seemed different. Bushier. We pored over the book for quite awhile. And, given that my immediate thought was that it had been a badger, I also wondered what that meant, symbolically. On our way out, one of our tour group, who happened to bring along Bear and Co’s Medicine Cards book, hearing me discuss the animal with Marc, handed it to me. Wow! I’ve got that book here at home, but certainly didn’t expect to be handed it on a bus on the Siberian steppes.

Here’s what it says: Badger signifies AGGRESSION! I think back today to the essay I posted recently detailing my own decidedly unconventional and persistent healing journey when I read this paragraph: “Badger medicine may point to the aggressive healer who will have the courage to use unconventional means to exact a cure.”

About 25 years ago, I had an encounter in the Tetons with badger on two successive days. I had walked the trail from our yurt park in Kelly to the warm spring a little more than a mile north. At the end of the trail, just as I was about to cross the road, a badger appeared from his hole, sat up on his hind legs and stared at me. Then again, the very next day, on the same walk, he did it again. So I had been familiar with badger from before, and with its symbolic meaning, though if it was a badger that had, according to Rinchin, “looked at” me, then at this point in my life I assume I need to be reminded to be more “aggressive,” to never give up, whatever my goals. Just what that goal is became more and more clear as the trip wore on;  I was finally able to give it voice at the very end. I’ve already spoken of it in previous posts, and will do so again here.

But in any case, badger or not badger, the next thing that happened really threw me for a loop. Erjen had looked at me puzzled the night before when I was going on and on about possibly seeing a badger. Looked at me as if, I would say now, she too thought I was an American tourist idiot! It turns out that Rinchin told her what happened on our way down, so she was familiar with the story, and perplexed by my response. Huh? None of that registered with this American tourist, who had immediately flipped into left brain after that encounter, trying to “figure it out.”

The next morning, seeing that I was still in a dither about badger, Erjen came up to me, and said, quietly: “About that ‘badger.’ You need to know that this was no ordinary animal. This was the spirit of the place manifesting to YOU.” She paused. “This is very rare.”

So that’s the fuller story of my journey with Rinchin to the high portal. I was blessed with a personal encounter with the spirit of the place. And I will never forget it. Had the trip ended there, I would have been okay. This was the reason I had been guided internally to go to Siberia/Mongolia.

So what does it mean? Now, with a bit more hindsight, I tend to look at what happened on that trek down from the portal with both left and right brains. With left brain I name what the spirit animal seemed to have appeared as, and note that this quality, of relentless aggression to reach a goal, is something that I have in spades, when I reach down within myself to grab it. In the last few years I have focused otherwise, on cultivating what I would call “lightness of being,” the other inherent quality within my Sagittarian self — to move in a light-hearted way through life, filled with joy, infecting those around me with that energy. I welcome this change.

The aggression of badger is just so easily tipped into fury, anger, control, all of which I manifested relentlessly during my “violent peace activist” days, back in the ’80s, when I had the encounters with badger in the Tetons. Then, badger was nudging me to tone it down. Now badger nudges me to ramp it up!  I sense that I am meant to recover badger in myself, integrate that warrior energy with lightheartedness, so that I can move both subtly and relentlessly towards my goal, which is to recognize that portals exist everywhere; that wherever we stand, if we can move into awareness of the alive, intelligent, wise being under our feet, we can then commune with her, fill ourselves with her massive power, and open a new “portal,” to the SPIRIT OF THE PLACE. That is indeed, what we are doing here in Green Acres Village, and in a cover article for the next Permaculture Design magazine, I will demonstrate our experience of that evolutionary, multidimensional process under the theme of “Thresholds.”

I told my GAV partner Rebecca about this idea, that portals (or vortexes) are, or can be, everywhere on Earth, not just in “special places,” — if we but open them and open to them; she referred me to a podcast she had just listened to, which talked about that very thing. (From about minute 8 on.) Another synchronicity! YES!





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Siberia/Mongolia Interlude: Between the first 12 posts and the final 3 posts

It’s now been 44 days since I published the 12th post of the Mongolia/Siberia series, and had promised to do a few more. Specifically, on Shamanism. For that is what most people who learn of my travels to this little known (for us westerners) part of the world ask about. So I will do two more posts on that aspect of our journey, as well as another post reporting on our final day — and picnic — with a visit to an extraordinary little art museum, on the shores of Lake Baikal.

The first post on Shamanism (14th of this series) will focus on a more extensive recounting of my trek, with a Siberian guide, to a remote portal high on a mountain ridge on the Siberian steppes. 

The second post on Shamanism (15th of this series) will include my roommate J.K.’s notes (and my) recounting of an incredible  ceremony during our two night stay on the eastern shore of Lake Baikal. Plus our brief, poignant meeting with a young shaman in a village, and as well, our four hour meeting with a Buddhist monk in another village nearby. We took a group picture there, the only one that our Siberian/Mongolian guide Erjen has allowed me to use.

Finally, the third and final post (16th), recounting, in photos, our long trek downhill to the southwestern shore of Lake Baikal on our final day in Siberia, includes not just our memorable outdoor meal, but the remarkable art of Nicholas Roerich.

All in all, this will make 16 posts on my journey to Siberia/Mongolia, and while the entire experience still conjures up enormous feeling inside me, while it altered me forever and ever, I’ve also had a number of other strong interludes since, including a weeklong trip to Alaska, the wild parts of which remind me very much of Siberia.

This morning, I decided to review my entire “corpus” of the Siberia/Mongolia, 2017 journey in order to prepare myself to re-enter the flow of this extraordinary experience, so that I may complete what I promised above.

BTW: When I told housemate Dan about this project, he asked, “Why, have people been asking for that?” As usual, that kind of question perplexed me. I don’t write to please others. And besides, as I told him, I follow Gertrude Stein’s admonition: “I write for myself and one other stranger.” If there is one person for whom these three new pieces are welcome, I will be happy! And even if there aren’t, or if I never know, still, what counts for me is that I do what I say I’m going to do. It’s my own sense of completion that matters to me. Always was, always will be!



More tomorrow.

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On the 16th Anniversary of 9/11, relativity reigns.

Have you noticed? On this 16th anniversary of 9/11, what had been the iconic ugly signature of the new millennium registers this year like a mere blip on the collective radar?

Yes. Relativity reigns. The horrors of 9/11, 16 years ago today, seem to fade into the oblivion left by current events: in the U.S. alone, most western states engulfed in flames, and meanwhile, the south and southeast ravaged by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, with Jose coming right up. Can any human mind grasp the enormity of what is happening? Especially when you factor in the likelihood that all these events are either designed or steered and amped up via weather wars — by what we have learned since 9/11 to call “The Powers That Be,” and in the last year, “The Deep State.”

Today, on my morning walk with puppy Shadow, I sensed us ploughing through thick chemicalized air. Up above, the misty remains of merged parallel chemtrails. Idle thought: is this apparent ramp up of poisoned skies due to Irma, the remains of which reach Indiana tomorrow? If so, what is, or are, the “reasons.”

On the other hand, who cares what the “reasons” are. I just want them to stop it. NOW. Geez! I just had a new nephew born; will Mathew Rainier and the other beautiful brave beings whose souls chose to enter this beleagured Earth now be allowed to grow up?

Walking along, I think of the quarrel within the UFO community about the dispositions of our extraterrestrial (and/or interdimensional) visitors? Are all aliens good? All evil? Some good, some evil? Arguments can be made for all three possibilities. I prefer to see the situation in our skies as just like here on earth. There are good folks and bad folks, and the good folks far outweigh the bad ones; however, since we good ones tend to think most people are like us, good, we cannot even conceive of the kinds of evil apparently being perpetrated upon us by the far fewer number of bad ones. The 99% vs. the 1%. Aha! “9/11” includes the same numbers: “9” signature of endings, and “1” signature of new beginnings.

Yes, 9/11 today! Its trauma-incucing memory shrouded over by chemtrails, designer hurricanes and designer droughts.

Here’s some background:

Chemtrails and Human GeoEngineering

None of this negates the idea that yes, climate change is also occurring, and solar flares, etc., and that some climate change most likely is due to human industrial activity. However, let’s face it. It does appear that “they” do want to ramp up the ongoing environmental devastation, despite that it affects them too, does it not? Well not, they think, if they can escape the planet first, or go underground. Both possibilities, but unlikely, given the shortened time-spans of the unfolding disasters.

Remember, please: “dis-aster” means “to turn away from the stars.” Even though we in the U.S. were astonished by the 8/21 Great American Total Eclipse, our brief numinous glimpse of this extraordinary event in the heavens and our concomittant sudden remembrance of earth’s connection to the heavens, of our own tiny human participation in the unity of all creation — was immediately curtailed by millions of damn screens, pulled out instantly, from all those pockets, to photograph the “scene.”

I think back to 9/11, and how, after the phone call that told me to turn on the TV, and then I did, and witnessed my first of many replays of the first tower being hit, my immediate, instantaneous intuition was INSIDE JOB. To me there was no question. Some faction within our own government had either done that, or made sure that it got done.

All the flag-waving that followed left me with a sick feeling. Nothing like ramping up patriotism to follow a gigantic false flag that, let’s face it, remains seared in memory like nothing else except the Kennedy assasination back in 1963. For of course, we elders also witnessed the back of JFK’s head being blown off.

Let’s factor in the absurdity of official explanations for both 9/11 and the JFK assasination. I’ve come to the conclusion that not only were we meant to witness the atrocities, we were also meant to quickly or eventually realize that the official explanations are absurd. “But how could that be? Would our government lie to us? No No No. Can’t be.” Thus do we grow confused. A sense of hopelessness, futility steals over us, robs our energy.  Both sheer horror and official false facts work to keep us dumbed down, numb, oblivious, and hopefully, forever distracted by all our addictions as well as the sheer exigencies of trying to “make a (minimum wage) living” in a perverted world.

Six weeks after 9/11, when they rolled out the hefty (two feet thick? I think I remember reading that somewhere) Patriot Act, which had been sitting on a shelf waiting for its false flag moment, I saw what was coming next. Universal surveillance, increasingly centralized police state, and, of course, to keep the already militarized economy going, a newly named, endless, ongoing “War on Terror.”

One wonders, is this war about to cease? Because, let’s face it, given the scale of the internal damage from the hurricanes (and don’t forget the fires), it looks like we can’t afford to even rebuild.

America Can’t Afford to Rebuild

Meanwhile, a ray of new possibility arises in the east. See:

We are All 911 Victims Now

Millions the world over have suffered from the wars, terrorism and curtailment of liberty that have formed central elements of American foreign and domestic policy since 9/11. One Belt–One Road which was launched in 2013, by contrast, offers the world an escape route from the ominous cloud of post-9/11 American hegemony.

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ESSAY: A Multidimensional (and very very personal) Healing Journey

“How do you start at the beginning, and not go further back?” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

Yes. How does a story begin? And what is a story but a tale with an (arbitrary?) beginning, middle and end, leaving the storyteller, and perhaps the listener, with a feeling, somehow, of completion? Wholeness. As if something mysterious has been uncovered, revealed. As if the “buzzing, booming confusion” of raw unmitigated experience has been transformed from the usual linear-causal-chain into something more rounded. Where the beginning and end, rather than separating further and further, bend back, seeking to meet. At some point they do; a gestalt snaps into place, stands out from the undifferentiated mass. Lit up, illumined. Showering blessings.

And how do I know this? Because for the past few decades I have spent time communing, with myself and my long herstory, in silence. I seek to under-stand what “happened” to me. I seek to stand under the flow of experience, recognizing how each arc to which I assign meaning drops in yet more clues to feed the central column of the deeply rooting tree of my own life. The fruits of this kind of contemplation, one that spans time and space to recognize patterns, grows more bountiful and multifarious year by year, the flow of time spinning yet more patterns, circles, spirals into meaningful wholes — and which in turn include, morph, overlap, and sometimes even cancel, other, earlier ones.

So, dear reader, please do settle in, for this story will take awhile to tell; it covers a span of decades, and while featuring theme and variations for only one major physical “symptom,” utilizes a number of diverse healing modalities to flesh value into its symbolic interpretation.

All in all, this story illustrates the capacity of this one body/mind/spirit to “work things out” in my own way — without allopathic medicine, without naming or branding what was/is going on within me as this or that, and certainly without the usual surfeit of technological gizmos, tests, pharmaceuticals and scare tactics that pass for “healing” in today’s industrial medical complex.

Yet, as I said above, when does this story begin? Well, let’s take a stab at it.


Like many children, I tended to be “sick” a lot as a kid. Looking back, I think that in part “getting a fever” was my way of “getting attention” from both Mom and Dad in a house full of eight children. Mom would feed me milk toast and allow me to stay in bed with the door closed, listening to “The Shadow Knows;” and Dad, a physician, would come home for lunch and palpate various parts of my body before sticking a needle in my behind. One place however, felt chronically more or less painful, the left groin area. The lymph node there would swell, more or less, depending on how sick I was.

Young Adulthood

I grew up, a “normal” (saintly) Catholic girl, both terrified of and longing for the pleasures of the body, virginal. Then at 21, I married the man with whom I had sex (once), not because I loved him, but because I might be pregnant and too embarrassed to go to the doctor to find out. C’est la vie! My two wonderful, now middle-aged sons Sean and Colin sprang from that miserable, failed union (Patrick died right after 9/11 and his 60th birthday, of a heart attack).

When I was 26 years old, and newly “feminist,” I started to rebel inside our patriarchal marriage; against his will, I decided to join a large summer commune in the old Idlewild Hotel with the kids in Manomet, Mass, on a cliff above a beach, one hour south of Boston. He could visit on weekends.

This was the Summer of Love in San Francisco, and on the east coast we were also stretching our wings; or, I should say some of us were. I was inside that new, loose milieu — lots of sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll — but still too prudish to partake.

Then came September, and the end of summer. The woman whose siren song had enticed me to go there in the first place invited me to join her for one final weekend, just the two of us. I’ll never forget sitting there with Sylvia, eating our forlorn dinner in the cavernous commercial kitchen that we newly long-haired “hippies” had milled inside of all summer long. As we finished, Sylvia pulled two little packets from her breast pocket. “Mescaline,” she announced, grinning. Aha! It’s time.

The Turning Point

Sylvia took her tab and went down to the beach. I was drawn to the cavernous living room where we had held dance parties every Saturday night with strobe lights to the driving beat of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Put the music on. Began to dance. Started twirling, twirling, round and round the way children do to get all mixed up in the head. Kept on twirling to the beat, on and on until finally awakened from my trance by Sylvia, standing at the door at dawn. I had danced for what, eight hours straight?

On our way home, I noticed that my abdomen hurt. Didn’t feel good. Flu? Went to bed. Stayed there for two days, as fever climbed and abdomen swelled to the size of a six month pregnancy.

Finally, my husband consented to take me to the doctor, who put me on the table, gave me a pelvic exam that made me scream in pain. Admitted me immediately to the hospital. Diagnosis? Generalized abdominal peritonitis, caused by IUD that had pierced the wall of the uterus to the left ovary, itself open to the abdomen.

Patrick was not pleased. He would have to forgo the trip to Vermont that we had planned for the weekend. No, take the kids and go! I insisted, relieved not to have him there. Nor did I tell Sylvia, or call my parents. I told no one. This was my time. Finally.

For one entire week, I gave myself up to strangers’ ministrations, receiving intravenous antibiotics, one after another, each one maxing out when my fever climbed again. Every three hours or so, another antibiotic. Belly swollen, tossing and turning, high on Demerol, until the final day when the doctor announced that he had just started the final antibiotic, that he didn’t know what else to do. I blurted out, “Am I going to die?” This was pre-Kubler-Ross, patients didn’t ask questions like that. The doctor looked embarrassed, mumbled something, and backed out of the room.

Thus began what I would call now, the first, and most crucial, crossroads of my lifelong healing journey. For from this moment on, I finally took charge. First of my healing, and then of my life. Though, as you will see, taking charge, initially, came in fits and starts.

The doctor’s refusal to answer my question galvanized me from my opioid stupor. I was furious, no longer obedient. Raising my taped, needled arm to the sky, I thrust up my middle finger. Not only is there no god to worship, there is no god to give the finger to! My god, that biblical, all-seeing, judging god of the Old Testament, was dead.

What happened next still stuns me to recall: suddenly, a voice, huge, booming, a man’s voice — “LIVE OR DIE. IT’S YOUR CHOICE.” Startled, I looked around; where was the voice coming from? It seemed to fill the entire room.

I must have instantly chosen to live. Because it was at that very moment that I realized: if my god is dead then I am FREE! And if I am free then I am the one who is RESPONSIBLE.

Immediately, I fell asleep, and didn’t awaken until the next morning, stomach flat and fever gone. No longer was I a victim, reacting to circumstances, resentful and powerless. From now on, whatever happened was my choice. Earlier the nurse had taken out the catheter. Still shaky, I stood up and walked into the bathroom for the first time in a week. Looked in the mirror, to discover that the planes of my face had changed. No longer the scared little girl, overnight I had transformed into a woman, in charge of her life.

Life Changes, in Fits and Starts

Ever since that momentous 26-year-old crossroads, when I chose not to die, I have known, with every fiber in my being, that the body mirrors the soul, and that physical symptoms, ultimately, are symbols of spiritual crises. The dis-ease that had begun in my second chakra area, where sexuality and creativity reside, and where I had been forever ambivalent about my own mothering, had subsided — for the time being.

Within six months I told my husband to move out. Within another year I had completed a very out-of-the-box dissertation that turned into a political football in the Boston University Philosophy Department, pitting my mentor against the department chairman. I successfully defended the dissertation, This Is Not A Book About Wittgenstein, in a stunning oral examination that attracted professors not just from philosophy, but from sociology, physics and psychology as audience. The session lasted only twenty minutes! All they made me change was the title.

The next day I flew to California, without the children, where I had landed a plum job teaching at a one-year old experimental college, New College of California (1971-2008).

That’s the success story. But it didn’t last. Like many people, my life has been full of ups and downs, as pride and desire for control keep on re-inserting themselves, trying to take over. After one year at New College, I was summarily fired, as “too experimental.” That is a story for another time.

Meanwhile, twice more I had undergone an echo of the original peritonitis crisis: the first time when half-way through writing the dissertation and at a loss for what would come next (the disease process melted me down enough to refocus); and the second, and final time, after I was fired. On that occasion, for the first time, rather than working with the medical profession, I made an appointment with an intuitive healer. This tiny old woman, who lived in a tiny house in Oakland, placed me naked, face up, on an old-fashioned wooden examining table; then, while slowly moving around and placing her fingers inch by inch on the outside edges of my body, she asked me three questions: “What do you hate, what do you fear, and what do you feel guilty about.”

Well, the answers were obvious. I hated my ex-husband, I feared completing my own healing process, and I felt guilty about leaving my children.

The key to healing, I have discovered, is first, to recognize what prevents it. The body wants to heal. The body is biologically is geared to rebalance itself whenever it gets ill at ease, dis-eased.

Just notice, for example, how the body heals a cut on your finger! How long it takes — five to seven days — and the various steps along the way. First gushing blood, split skin. Then swelling, redness and pain. With proper care (for me, that means flooding with hydrogen peroxide), each day’s new bandage will show changes. Less and less swelling, redness and pain, the skin beginning to congeal to the flesh beneath, on and on. I’m always utterly astonished and grateful to recognize the mysterious wisdom in my body’s natural healing processes.

Plus, I realize more and more as the years wear on, that my body also has its own, very individual, healing modalities. So that “going to a doctor for a diagnosis,” (and treatment), except for a broken bone, is the last thing I would ever do! I do not want to be branded, crammed into a class of “patients” who “have” this or that dis-ease. Nor do I want their tortuous or poisonous remedies. Instead, I go my own way, and always, I ask myself, what is going on here — multidimensionally: body, mind and soul — and how can I best work with it.

 Low Level Pain in Groin Area

Though I didn’t ever manifest peritonitis again, and though I now understood the symbolism and emotional resonance of my physical symptoms, even after my session with the intuitive healer I was left with a persistent low level pain in the left groin area, much like the pain I’d felt as a kid with the swollen lymph node. Except that it wasn’t swollen. Plus, over the years, several massage therapists remarked that there seemed to be a lot of scar tissue inside the abdomen. Well, no wonder! Three bouts of peritonitis had taken its toll.

Now let’s move forward into the late ‘70s and ‘80s, when like many others, I was “new age,” working as a professional astrologer in Jackson Wyoming, and seeing life in terms of many lives, not just this one. That persistent low level pain in the groin I began to associate with perhaps a sword, that had thrust through the body right there in another lifetime. Since the pain emanated from such an intimate area, I mentioned it to no one.

Then, sometime in the late ‘80s, I went to a massage therapist who told me that she could sense an entity attached to me, in the left groin area. (I had not told her about the pain). Janet worked manually and mentally to detach it; “feels like a little snake,” she muttered as her fingers probed the area. Finally, she was able to coax the little invisible creature from the groin into the upper thigh, and then, with vigorous motion of both hands she brushed it out of the thigh, instructing me to vividly imagine the little snake entity going to where it would feel good, the bank of the nearby Snake River.

And you know what? As strange as her “remedy” seemed at the time, it worked! Never again did I feel that persistent pain in the groin. After all those years and decades, that private pain, that secret vulnerability, had vanished.

Okay, now here comes the really interesting part. In fact I consider all the rest of this story, except for the loud sonorous voice that turned my life around in the hospital at 26, as mere prelude:

A Full Moon Threshold

A year or two later, in November, I noticed that the upcoming Full Moon in Scorpio would fall exactly opposite my 23° natal Taurus Moon (Moon governs motherhood, childhood, memories, vulnerabilities, the subconscious); curious, I wondered what that might portend. Meanwhile, one location in the left groin area had begun to swell, grow into what I imagined as a sort of internal volcano. It’s a large boil, said my herbalist friend Clarissa. Boils are ruled by Scorpio: stuff from the depths coming up for release. Yes, exactly as the transit Moon in Scorpio opposed my natal Moon, the old buried, denied, boiling rage from past wounds, wounded feelings, disturbed motherhood, rose to the surface and, over a three or four day period, gradually discharged; first the pus of infection, then, in the end, a small greyish mass that made me wonder. What is this?

I decided to send it off to an old lover of mine, a pathologist whom I hadn’t been in touch with for years. Readily agreeing to receive my little package, he analyzed it in his lab and told me he was amazed: he had expected the mass to be a tiny cancerous tumor, but instead it was, get ready for it . . . scar tissue!

Scar tissue. Instantly, intuitively I knew what that meant. The old adhesions from two decades prior had dissolved and found a way out, somehow carving a channel from the abdomen to the left groin. Lodging as a mass under the skin there, and swelling with infection at the Full Moon, it had finally discharged.

Every Seven Years

Now here’s the even more amazing part of this strange healing tale. Every seven years since then (1/4 cycle of Saturn)  the little sac under the skin in the left groin (which, when full, is about 3/4 inch long and 1/8 inch wide) again gets so compacted it needs to discharge. At this point, I’m so used to this part of my body serving as the exit point for old scar tissue that I can just stand in the shower, run hot water over it until it warms up enough to productively squeeze. And then I do just that, squeezing as if it were a gigantic black head (and the head is indeed black); and each time it releases what it has been holding, a tiny dark greyish mass. Not since the first time has there been any pus: no infection. It no longer needs to swell with pus to get my attention.

Why I tell this story now

I tell this story now because another seven years have gone by and the mass has been steadily building for the past few months; I have been very aware that it needs discharge soon. This awareness, of the body’s ever so subtle changing states, is by now second nature. My psyche is so attuned to the material form in which my mind and soul reside that it’s easy for me to recognize imbalances and other changes in their initial stages. As a result, I no longer have to “get sick.” I can simply do what I need to re-balance.

Meanwhile, over the past few days, I’ve noticed that once again (this has happened two other times in the past ten years) I have four or five angry red bumps erupting on various places of skin. Not bites. They don’t itch, they burn. Burn! Heat escaping. Much like heat in the atmosphere right now, escaping through fire in the west and warmth in the ocean through hurricane winds; our bodies are part of this earth and her atmosphere, and they too, reflect what is going on with the elemental imbalances of fire, earth, air, and water that are showing themselves with record-shattering ferocity.

Meanwhile, I also wondered, given the red eruptions, and the swollen left groin mass, hmmm, is there a current astrological signature for what’s going on with my skin, both the tiny boils and the mass in the left groin? Yes! First of all, for this entire year transit Saturn (which rules the skin) has been sitting on my 21° Sagittarian Ascendant, where I meet the world. So that sets up the background. Saturn can signify chronic conditions. Scar tissue is also ruled by Saturn. Furthermore, and here’s where the precise timing comes in, over the past few days, transit Mars, after moving over the 29° Leo eclipse point, is moving through 0-2° Virgo, exactly squaring (90°) my natal Mars opposition to Uranus in the 6th and 12th houses of health and disease. Mars signifies fiery heat; moving through Virgo, a healing sign, it is asking to heal via the square between Mars and Uranus. A sudden healing, since that is what Uranus requires.

Then, the final alert: two nights ago I had a dream in which the little sac in my groin was huge (much bigger than in waking life) and full of stuff that I scooped out. The dream woke me up. Okay, it’s time.

All day Friday I knew that I needed to attend to the task of “scooping out the stuff.” So that evening I finally did it, took a shower, determined to squeeze the “tumorous” mass, the decades’ old scar tissue, more of which had once again accumulated under the skin in the left groin area. First showering for a long time with water as hot as I could stand to warm the area up, just as seven years earlier, and seven years before that, I then applied two fingers in a squeezing motion to the head of the mass, hoping to dislodge what was in there. And within a few minutes I could feel the head begin to bulge. Yes! It’s going to release! Which it did. I show it to you inside a rubber band for scale. At first it looked a bit bigger. Now it is dried out.

I know. GROSS!

So how’s that for a strange, long, convoluted, highly individualized and obviously, very very personal healing story, eh? The story of what I continue to do to both rebalance and heal my nearly 75-year-old body of an ancient vulnerability that I came in with as an infant, and got triggered in various ways over the years. Utilizing intuitive healers, visualization, dreams, astrology, and my own common sense, I continue to watch (and help!) the internal adhesions from the three bouts of peritonitis from ages 26 to 30 gradually remove themselves, every seven years swelling that little sac in the left groin to the bursting point, pressing for release.

For me, the key in this process of self-healing, is to turn fear into fascination, and then utilize whatever (usually non-allopathic) healing modes present themselves. These will be diverse, and even multidimensional. The body is a wonderful material form, one stunning manifestation of earth’s energy that mingles with and utilizes the other elements of fire and water and air. As the world begins to rebalance on the macro scale, so do we, as individuals, need to learn to rebalance on the micro scale. Our bodies are antennas for earth, her listening devices. How we do, she does. Let us be mindful, and aware, and attuned to the most subtle physical signs, not just as symptoms, but as signals, symbols. For each of us, our own unique nature finds its own often quirky and surprising ways to rebalance; I  SENSE WE CAN TRUST THE LARGER NATURE TO DO THE SAME. No matter what all the climate “doomers” and “terminal illness” diagnoses try to tell us, it’s never too late. It’s always just on time, should we choose to remain present to the mystery and miracle of the unfolding moment.

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A.K. Reader: “Again, exactly, as I step upon the wall” — a tale of synchronicity

The story which follows has never left me. Instead, its memory  reverberates endlessly inside my heart and soul, as a continuous reminder: Not only am I not alone, I am all-one with the universe. I tell it now, again, because the experience happened in Florida, the site of possible upcoming Hurricane Irma devastation, unless we can dissolve it via global meditation



Crone Chronicles Editorial Summer 1999. Theme of that issue, “Mystery and Mastery.”

March, 1999. I am in Florida for a week, for talks and workshops and a radio interview on both Crone and “How Astrological Cycles Structure Crone Consciousness”. After 25 years, my understanding of astrology has reached a certain Mastery, which I am glad to share when asked. Meanwhile, there is another story to share from Florida, an encounter which took the wind out of my sails and plunged me into Mystery . . .

I’ve saved the mornings in St. Petersburg for myself. Dressed in shorts and short-sleeved shirts, I walk for hours on top of the flat stone seawall of Tampa Bay, soaking up the warm sun after the long Wyoming winter. I am utilizing this week to re-source myself, allowing my mind to drift out to sea, down into the wordless realm of the unconscious.

During my walks I also asked for a sign from the universe. Not directly, not fervently, as there is nothing specific I need to know. Besides, I am embarrassed to ask — probably a holdover from not feeling worthy. After all, who am I to ask the universe to rearrange itself? And then too, there is my inner cynic, who scoffs at anything not rational. So, despite my having asked — and received — such signs many times before, this time my request is unusually muted, even ambivalent.

Morning after morning, I walk the sea wall on Tampa Bay, my feet four feet from the surface of the smooth, glassy, tide-swollen sea. Except for the occasional fisherman, my solitude is complete.

On the fifth morning, as I walk across the grass to the seawall, my awareness has already widened, dropped into reverie — so that what happened next was a jolt beyond imagining . . .

Exactly at the moment I step upon the wall, a dolphin breaches, not six feet away. I am stunned, of course, paralyzed into wild, joyous shock. Swimming in circles, again and again she breaches, breathes noisily, dives. Then she churns powerfully in a line, back and forth along the seawall, fractions of an inch from its barnacle-encrustations, her sleek muscled body knowing the exact relationship of its own boundaries to the razor-sharp shells.

Then, as suddenly as she appeared, she turns and glides off. The entire encounter has taken perhaps two minutes of clock time. Two minutes in which the usual space/time illusion was ripped open to reveal eternity.

I am so stunned by this extraordinary encounter that I spend the rest of the day in a daze.

I have had my sign, obviously. I know this. And I don’t want to be greedy, but . . . The next morning, as I set across the grass to the sea wall for my walk at a slightly different time, I can’t but wonder if perhaps I might see her again. Will the universe repeat the miracle? “Oh no, Ann,” I berate myself. “Don’t be so greedy. You’ve had your sign. Now let go.”

And can you believe? Once again, just as suddenly, and as exactly, exquisitely timed, as I place my left foot upon the wall, the dolphin breaches, breathes noisily, swims in a circle once or twice, churns up and down the wall, and swims back out to sea.

This encounter is shorter, not quite as dramatic. It is as if the first time she was determined to catch my attention, and now she doesn’t need to.

The seventh and final morning of my stay in St. Petersburg. Of course as I set out upon my walk I am again hoping and praying and berating myself all the while for wanting to see her one more time.

And again, she appears, this time even more subtly, about 20 feet away, only her fin showing. She swims to me, breaches once, circles once, swims up and down the wall, and disappears.

It has been two weeks since my dolphin encounter. I returned to my work feeling safe in the world, wrapped in the arms of the Goddess, haunted by Her presence. Yet something in my understanding is missing, something I was meant to receive. What? I cast about, looking for clues.

The word “dolphin,” I discover from the dictionary, comes from the Greek, “delphinus” (cf. “Delphi”), which means “womb.” No wonder I feel safe.

But questions remain. Why three times. Why the precise, exquisite timing? Why the seemingly deliberate progression from dramatic to subtle?

I tell this story to a friend on the phone. Her response fills the space of my questions, takes my breath away. “You,” she responds quietly, “encountered a larger awareness that knows both you and the dolphin.”



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