Afternoon of day after 12th day of “12 days of Christmas” 2012: Day trip to Angel Mounds with Steve

During the final three days of the 12 that I have identified as constituting a recognizable (because echoing the Christmas song) process that the 12.21.12 end/beginning of the Mayan Calendar (at least this version, but see Johan Callemann’s version, which ended it on October 28, 2011), I was feeling a deep pull towards Earth, towards honoring the Earth, longing to immerse myself in the extraordinarily magical regenerative scrim that rims her surface.

Our scheduled trip to Browning Mountain, sacred to the Native Americans, on the 21st, D-Day for this Mayan cycle, was cancelled! Cancelled! At the last minute, due to the storm called Draco. Even Steve, it turns out, who had called for this trip, bowed to the elements in the end and stayed in bed, rather than venturing out into the cold wind and icy roads at 5:30 A.M. I was glad to hear this, since a part of me still felt “guilty” for not bucking up and facing the elements. What part? The part that still functions in a macho way. Luckily, my 70th birthday two days earlier (on the 19th) has given me a bit of perspective on that attitude!

I communed with Earth on the 21st anyhow, at least momentarily, venturing out onto a wind-swept prairie field near Muncie Indiana, at the Oakwood Retreat Center, until the wind drove me back inside.

On the 22nd I returned home, and planned for the day-trip to Angel Mounds on the 23rd. That came off without a hitch. The first inkling that the trip would work like magic came when Steve, my cosmic compatriot on this journey, arrived in his car exactly at the moment I returned from my walk with puppy Shadow, at around 9:30 A.M.

The second inkling was the moment we agreed, about an hour later, with no argument or even discussion, to stop the car, turn around, go back and check out Jug Rock, near Shoals, Indiana. Take some pictures.

Wow, here it is with morning light shining on one side.

jugrock from afar

And here it is, up close.

jug rock

The trip from Bloomington to Evansville takes about 2.5 hours now. Less than it used to take, now that I-69 is up and running for part of it. Of course we felt divided. One part of us still hates this road, how it was ramrodded through, devouring miles of family owned Indiana farmland, riparian areas and woods. Two of my now-neighbors had their life’s dream taken from them by this road, when an “interstate exchange” coming to within 100 feet of their home in rural Greene County ate into their land. But did the state buy their home? No. After over a year of hoping, the gavel came down against them. I grit my teeth as we travel through, wondering which farmhouse is theirs.

And yet, of course, we loved how fast the journey has become, how it has smoothed out the terrain, how we no longer have to travel through every tiny burg on narrow twisty roads to get to Evansville.

(And we wonder how those burgs will fare now that most people will travel the interstate and not stop at their little restaurants, their gas stations. And we wonder about access to the interstate, and how to get across it. How many farms were divided in two by this damned road?)

And hell, we wonder, as we drive the miles past bucolic seeming little farms, how many of them are actually owned by giant corporations, and whether or not anything but GMO corn and soybeans are grown here.

Okay, so now, enough kvetching.

We’ve gone the distance and want to stop for lunch in Evansville before proceeding to the Angel Mounds, wherever they are — not to mention whatever they are! Neither of us had done any thorough google search. We just knew we had to go there during this three-day window that connects Earth to the Heavens, that whoever lived there knew more than we did about our relationship to the land, the soil, the rocks and trees and plants and animals and birds and rivers.

We must have gone 30 fruitless minutes on empty featureless streets on this Sunday morning before discovering a place that was not fast food and not a chain, but a real, family restaurant. Yes! We did find it! A genuine, Mexican, what do you call it, “cantina”? — selling little piles of lots of stuff.

The view from our table.

The view from our table.

Plus cricket in Spanish on the TV and little Mexicano kids running around inside. The waitress, their Mom, wore flashy silver jewelry, a big smile, and didn’t speak English. Homemade tortillas! Truly delicious. So. The third omen of a fruitful trip: our lunch. Steve had made a 1000-mile trip with his 93-year-old Dad last summer, stopped in Mexican restaurants along the way, and this, he says, was by far the best!

Best of all? The fact that there was simply no way to tell what you were getting into by looking at it from the outside.

Outside, looking at the restaurant. Hard to tell even where the door opens, much less sense the treasure inside.

Outside, looking at the restaurant. Hard to tell even where the door opens, much less sense the treasure inside.

After another 20 minutes driving, during which we argued mildly about which way, which direction, etc. (very aware that we had a difference of opinion, and laughing about it), we finally found ourselves at Angel Mounds. And wow, much larger than I had imagined.

Here we are, standing on a hillock across the road that we later discovered (I had thought as much, but Steve didn’t) was also a “mound,” but from an even older culture, that lived around 500 B.C.

view from oldest mound

Here’s Steve, by this mound, with chemtrails, of course.

Steve at oldest moundCheck it out! And here’s a site with good pictures and more.

The mound builders at the Angel Mounds occupied a site of about 100 acres, with 1000 people supposedly at its height, in 200 small family structures. They hunted and fished and cultivated beans, corn and squash. By 1200 A.D., the place had been abandoned. Nobody knows why.

Surrounded on three sides by a 12-foot stockade (made of woven branches plastered with an earthen material), its fourth side hugged the banks of the Ohio River. With such fortifications, I presume it was a warlike time in human history. (See Riane Eisler’s The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future, for evidence of non-warring cultures.) We investigated two prominent mounds, one of them, the highest, and largest, for the hereditary chief’s dwelling.

Note the knob on the mound at the right hand (south) side. Note the chem trails, framing the near-Full Moon . . .

Note the knob on the mound at the right hand (south) side. Note the chem trails, framing the near-Full Moon . . .

and the other, maybe 20 feet high and flat, called the Temple Mound and thought to be filled with the bones of the ancestors.

We walked to the top of this mound, and decided that this was the place where Steve, a Sundancer, would bring out the ceremonial objects for the pipe ceremony.

pipe ceremony

We both sat facing south, and Steve called in the six directions, adding a pinch of tobacco to the pipe with each direction. He then read a prayer, and recited a beautiful poem that he had composed for the occasion. Lighting the pipe, and we passed it back and forth until all the tobacco had been burned. By the time the ceremony had concluded I had become very quiet, and silent, even sleepy, finally reaching that deep communion with Earth that I had been seeking for three days.

post ceremony, sleepy

Rather than go to sleep — which I really, deeply, longed to do — I stood up and told Steve I wanted to take his picture from afar, on top of this wonderful old, grassy, ceremonial mound.

post ceremony, Steve

Afterwards, we checked out the sweet little museum, and an art show that sported this scary/hilarious poster. Reminded me of the TGI Friday advert that also mocked human fears of the apocalypse.


Okay, one last picture of the chemtrails that had crisscrossed the wide sky all day and turned it milky, then we were off. (Steve didn’t know about the difference between chem trails and contrails. He sure does now, with me foaming at the mouth as I explained.)

chem trailing

On the way back, Steve: “This was a great day. I loved it. And the best part of the day? Lunch.”

Well, I don’t know about that! I liked the whole thing, and it makes me want to know more about the mound builders. And to ask them to help us learn how to live on this beautiful Earth without desecrating it. Or is that what happened to them, too? Did they despoil the land? Is that why they disappeared from this site?

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