AK Reader: Harmonic Emergence (1987)

Those of us who were adult and conscious in 1987, remember the time leading up what author and pied piper Jose Arguelles called the Harmonic Convergence, one memorable weekend in August of that year when what has been called the world’s “first multi-national, simultaneous meditation event” ever was held to celebrate the start of the 25,000 year reset of the Mayan Calendar. 

This event launched a 25-year period that would end on December 21, 2012 (some said November, 2012), when a portal would open and  all of humanity would “ascend.”

In between those two dates of spectacular promise, we remember the millennium moment, which occurred simultaneously with Y2K,  the “millennium bug,” when it was feared that all computer systems would suddenly go haywire and bring civilization down. One thing that moment did bring in, for anyone watching television on that first spectacular millennium morning when electricity still worked, was cultural celebrations across the globe, dancing with the sunrise, for the next 24 hours. One might call this extended moment the second truly global meditation, for it sure felt like it!

And, for those of us who follow geopolitical matters, this millennial moment also announced the sudden “ascendancy” of Vladimir Putin to power in Russia. And, let’s face it, the world hasn’t been the same since! Not because civilization suddenly fell apart, but because the old world order, with the so-called “exceptional” U.S.A. strutting about at the helm, was suddenly introduced to the one who turned out to be its most frustrating and hated bugaboo.

And now, with presidents Trump and Putin slated to meet on July 16, what will be the result? The MIC, of course, is terrified. What if we stop using war and rumors of war to ramp up fear? What if all our stupid, advanced, hi-tech weapons prove obsolete in a new world where we learn how to cooperate and trust? Perhaps that promised Ascension to peace and prosperity was not a false hope after all. Perhaps 2012 was only the seed, now planted and being patiently, and behind the scenes, watered. 

The Possibility of a Successful Trump-Putin Summit has the Establishment in Hysterics   

So, with the background context of this post, “Harmonic Emergence,” established, let’s recount my experience during that storied weekend. At least part of my experience. The other part, when I was twirling like a Sufi at midnight and got the message “You must finish your personal karma by the end of the year,” did take the rest of 1987  to fulfill, and involved a harrowing, but ultimately successful pilgrimage. So grateful!

Harmonic Convergence, “a unity conscious world”

HARMONIC EMERGENCE

By Ann Kreilkamp

Published in the magazine, Welcome to Planet Earth, Libra edition, 1987.

 

The woman directs me to sit on top of the desk. “I want you up high so we are at eye level,” she explains. Maxina has asked to do a trade with me — an astrological reading in exchange for what she calls a “soul portrait.” I am skeptical. I have no idea of her art, whether she really can do “soul” portraits — whatever that means. This Scorpio woman from Manhattan is one of 30 people from all over the country with whom I’ve been thrown together during these past few days of harmonic convergence. I am exhausted from the intensity of the continuous experience we have undergone as a group, and glad there is just this one sitting to do before I can leave and go home.

 Maxina sets up her easel and many colors of pastel chalk. She is ready. “I want you to look at me directly, face on, as if I am a mirror,” she instructs. I am going to be moving around, and I want you to continue just to look at me.”

 She goes to work. Selects a beige piece of paper and brown chalk. Eyes flashing back and forth from my face to the easel, her hand works quickly, translating what she sees to the page. Embarrassed, feeling slightly stiff, I do as I am told.

 Five minutes go by. “I want you to look at me directly,” she says to me quietly, attending to the line her hand is tracing. “Notice how your face is slightly turned. When people don’t look at me directly, it means they aren’t quite with me, aren’t quite sure whether to trust this experience.”

 Caught in the act! My God, this lady sees like a hawk! Something in me changes. I settle in to the experience and face her, head on.

I had trouble facing the upcoming convergence head on, too. For months, I had found it impossible to read the literature on the subject. Not because I didn’t “believe” in it, but because something kept diverting me away. Then, in late July, a friend pointed out to me that my waking dream about a flying dragon was Quetzalcoatl! Needless to say, I was astonished.

Once the link between the symbol of the Mayan god and the object of my perceptive imagination was pointed out, I had no further trouble reading about the event to come. It was as if I had to understand the primacy of the imagination before I was allowed to proceed in my usual way of gathering information.

The decision to join a group of 30 strangers for the convergence did not come easily. For months before I had wondered where I was supposed to be during those two days. The only definite decision I had come to was that I was supposed to be home, in my beloved mountain valley, during that time. I assumed that also meant I was to celebrate with friends somewhere in or near the Tetons. With that in mind, I had even cancelled a trip to Seattle.

Driving home alone in early August from Portland, I had plenty of time to again ponder the coming event — and my place in it. I recalled a conversation I had had with a friend from Laramie, who told me there were going to be two different celebrations there. “Even on the convergence, we can’t converge!” she lamented. “So you fail unless you all do the same thing?” I asked her, and spoke of how we continue to need to all do the same thing, as if there were only one right way. Even as we resurrect a more ancient, and deeply familiar, nature religion, we still bring with us the same competitive urge that drove the Christian crusades, burned the witches, led to the Protestant Reformation!

As I was thinking about this, how our old/new vision of the planet as a sacred living being conflicts with our inherited territorial conditioning — a new realization suddenly broke through. I am supposed to be in my home valley during convergence, but not with my friends. What?

I run that one through again. Really? Yes. It feels right, solid, not a matter of debate. Well then, does that mean I’m meant to be alone? Alone on some mountain top? If so, which one? Somehow that way of honoring those two days doesn’t feel right to me. Or does it?

Arriving home, I check my answering machine and discover a call from a woman whom I had met briefly during a trip to California in the spring. “I’m calling about the convergence,” she said. “I’m hoping you will join us, and give us some information about the astrology of the event.” Gay Luce is a nationally known shamanistic worker who had brought a group of 30 people to the valley for a workshop. They were to remain here for the two days of the convergence.

Aha! Is that what I’m supposed to do? Be with a group of total strangers during those days? Or am I supposed to be on some mountain top, alone?

The question of exactly where I should be during convergence preoccupied me increasingly as the days went by. I knew that, for some reason, I was supposed to be in some specific place, and that in order to discover just where, I had to attune ever more deeply to my inner being.

Finally, a couple of days before convergence was due to begin, I decided it was time to decide. Throwing the I Ching, I obtained “Increase,” changing to “Fellowship with Men.” The tide had turned. The direction was clear. I called Gay and accepted her invitation.

I had noticed during those weeks prior to convergence that my question of where I should be was shared by others. And that, like me, these people were awaiting an inner turning before making up their minds. For some strange reason, we were taking this event, and our place within it, very seriously — even though very few of us could discuss coherently what the event was supposed to mean, and moreover, we weren’t that interested in reading about it either! Somehow, the coming significance of this event was intended to be felt and perceived directly rather than through verbal interpretation.

Though we didn’t know much through primary literary sources, we did hear a lot about it second hand. Part of the lore that grew up around the coming end-time was the idea that certain people, “144,00 rainbow dancers” to be exact, would “full awaken to their dream bodies.” That during those two days these people would be given their direction, put in touch with their true destinies. This, coupled with rumor that aliens from the “galactic federation” would be among us during that time, caused many of us to think in very literal terms, the way we used to as children. As if an angel would suddenly materialize, tap us on the shoulder, and point the way.

“Just about ready for a first showing,” Maxina says, after about 20 minutes. She has worked continuously with the brown chalk, and wonders out loud whether she will be able to complete the portrait in color. “O.K., why don’t you hop off the desk and take a look at it,” she says, stepping aside. 

I do. And am struck with wonder. Usually the most problematic part of a portrait is the eyes. But these eyes jump out at me, they know me, they are me. Maxina, in portraying the soul, has focused on the eyes, windows to the soul. And what she has captured is amazing.

The eyes appear to have recently opened, and are still sensitive to light. They look wounded, but brave. As if this opening were a dangerous and risky undertaking. She asks me to talk about what I am feeling. I tell her that it seems as if this person is, after a long and difficult struggle, just coming to, waking up — into a sort of second innocence.

That she — or is it a he? — the being appears androgynous, perhaps more a very young man than what it is supposed to be presenting, a 44-year-old woman! “Well,” she responds, “is there an aspect of yourself that feels like a very young man?” I have to admit that yes, there is, and that I like it.

“I feel as if this person would not harm anyone,” I continue, “and that feels good! But I am not happy with the bottom part of the face. The lips don’t seem like mine — too sensual!” (I am embarrassed.) “And the entire bottom half seems less definite somehow, as if it isn’t really formed yet.” Maxina, listening, smiles. Suddenly, I realize that this is an accurate description of how I feel about myself at this time. That the expressive part of my personality hasn’t really formed yet. That though transit Saturn and Uranus have both been working on my 21° Sagittarian Ascendant and 27° first house Sagittarian Sun, Saturn has, so far, been the stronger, forcing me to keep a rather tight lid on my expressive self.

She nods as I give her my perceptions of myself. For a moment, we are silent. “And is there not a question in the eyes?” Maxina muses. “Yes,” I say decisively. “They are saying, “What next?”

I join the group on Friday night, in time for the closing ceremony to the Druid workshop they have been doing all week. We are to witness performances they have prepared in small groups. Afterwards, I am to give a talk on astrology.

I feel awkward, out of place among these people who, by this time, have created their own community. In order to situate myself, I become acutely aware of the other people, searching, by their looks, dress and behavior to make sense of them and the situation. A certain look in the eye, one small gesture — either of these is enough for me to figure them out — so I think. Actually, I didn’t think about what I was doing at that point. I simply did it. Now, as I look back and notice what I did, I realize it was what I always do when faced with a strange situation that I need to integrate. I go into my mind. I become hyperaware, so mental that I lose contact with feeling. Instead of softening my gaze so that I can receive their energies and gradually absorb who they are in a full way, I close down to a laser beam, focus narrowly, and try to figure them out. This, unfortunately, has the opposite effect to that intended, reinforcing the distance I already feel.

As that evening stretched into several days, I began to notice that my initial perceptions of people had been way off. That in almost every case I had constructed an identity that was much too limited for the person’s burgeoning reality. That these people, as  individuals, were much more interesting than I had given them credit for. I have noticed this before, of course. Who hasn’t? But for some reason it affected me profoundly during this time. Never before had I experienced both the power and pretension of left brain activity quite so starkly.

Maxina has begun to use colored chalk now, and is moving rapidly, eyes flashing back and forth, hands grabbing first one color than another. Absorbed in this task, she has forgotten me. I am no longer myself, but simply the subject for her work. I lose myself, too, and concentrate on watching her as my mirror. 

Another 20 minutes have gone by. Abruptly, she stops again, asking me to hop off and take a look. 

This time I am shocked by what I see. Now the eyes are expressing extreme difference. The distinction is even more pronounced when, at my request, Maxina covers first, one half of the face, then the other, with a piece of paper. With the right half of the face covered, the entire left side and especially the left eye look suffused with light, as if lit from inside with a supernal glow. The gaze reaches beyond time and space, into the vastness. The set of this entire side of the face is unearthly, awe-inspiring. I think of Avalon. I think of Neptune, its position at my Midheaven, raining on all the other energies in my chart. I feel humbled, grateful. Truly, I am in the presence of an archetype. 

The right side of the face, on the other hand, sits in shadows. The gaze of the eye is direct, unflinching. The look is serious, intent, experienced in the ways of the world; a master of the physical plane. “But I still don’t like mouth,” I tell Maxina. Especially the right side of it, the way the corner turns up.” “Well, let’s look at that corner; what does it remind you of? How does it feel?” “Well, maybe like it’s feeling detached, separate, kind of cynical . . .”

“Superior?

Oh my God. She’s right.

We are sitting in a circle in a giant white yurt 30 feet in diameter. It is night. The yurt glows from many candles. Five altars have been set up around the perimeter, each by a small group which is to present a short drama.

The evening begins. We attune to each other by standing, holding hands, in silence. Sitting down, we watch three people enter the center of the space. The first drama is wordless, three people dancing slowly, ceremonially, around an offering of wildflowers and feathers. Their movements are graceful, hypnotic, synchronized; a reaching for the heavens, a bowing to the earth. Our circle enclosing them is silent, still. Only our eyes move, entraining us with their rhythmic motions. Together, as one, audience and performers are lifted into a dimension beyond the ordinary.

By the time this first drama is over, we have entered ceremonial space and time. A space/time that is open, timeless, acutely sensitive and aware: sacred. As a group, we are both energized and infinitely patient. Waves of feeling wash around the room. Even I, so recently the stranger, am no longer watching so closely to see who is who, and how I fit in.

The dramas follow one another in magical order. Who planned this? — we whisper to one another, in wonder. We know no one was in charge of the overall sequences of these performances, yet the flow is wondrous. Silence is followed by story; deep gravity by tear-jerking laughter. The rhythmic movements from one to another act of this Goddess-produced play are exacting and perfectly timed.

Many hours later, the final drama begins. We, the audience, are holding hands, and moving to a circular dance around the performance inside. Our dance changes periodically according to timed signals. A woman and a man, both spotlighted, take turns talking about their own personal experience with snakes, first as children, then as adults, and now, as transformed beings. Their stories are acted out by two others; the snakes are killed, and killed and killed, over and over again, as over and over again kundalini rises only to be destroyed by fear.

At the end, the woman, who had been soft and lovely, almost demure during the entire performance, suddenly lifts up her head and starts screaming. Her voice rises to a pitch that is so high it irritates, causing restlessness, a desire to strike out, strike her down — or else scream too, loudly, expressing that massive kundalini energy rising, rising in all of us and we scream and scream and turn into wolves howling our horror and our love.

Suddenly, music fills the yurt. We dance, frenzied, until the energy is spent.

The revelation shocks me. Sears my soul. I feel immobilized. Don’t know what to do next.

“I think it would be a good idea if we were now to do a healing,” Maxina says, in her usual, timely manner. “Let us hold hands, and help you to ask forgiveness for whatever you need to forgive.” 

Numbly, blindly, I do as she instructs. The words tumble out. I ask forgiveness for excessive mental development, shutting me down, shutting me off from others, refusing our limitless possibilities.

“O.K. Now Hop back on the desk and we’ll see if we can finish this.” As I climb on the desk and compose myself, I feel changed. Subtly, imperceptibly, I feel softer, more receptive. I am here, present, with Maxina in this room. The future and the past are both contained and expanding into this one perfect and everlasting moment. 

It is midnight, time for my talk on the astrology of the convergence. The group, sitting on the floor, moves in close to me and my easel. I am in a state of profound humility, so moved have I been by this evening’s performance.

I begin by placing a point in the middle of the page, symbolizing earth, as a heavenly body. I trace concentric circles around it: the planets, their orbits, as spheres of influence, dimensions of understanding. Our task on earth, I say, is to expand our consciousness, attune to larger and larger space/time fields.

Join with us now, as I summarize that midnight offering.

“The larger the orbit, the longer the planet takes to make a full circle. As a planet completes its full orbit for the first time we begin to sense it as a whole, understand the field in which it operates, learn to use it for our own purposes.

“The outer planets — Uranus, Neptune and Pluto —  have cycles so long that we cannot understand them within one lifetime. Our attitude towards them must be one of surrender, trust, release to the mystery that they present. These energies are collective and generational in nature; they represent the deeper unconscious mind, and its evolution through time.

“The harmonic convergence is primarily an event involving a message brought to us by the outer planet Uranus, as the kingpin of a rare grand trine in fire involving seven of the ten known planets. The stage has been set this year by the near conjunction of Saturn and Uranus in Sagittarius. The influence of this conjunction will continue through next year, during which time these planets make three exact conjunctions.

“The conjunction is the astrological significator for the paradigm shift that Arguelles and others talk about, the changeover from the Newtonian to the Einsteinian worlds. From a world of polarity, duality, comparison and competition, of the survival of the fittest — and may the best man win. We shift into a world wherein every point is described as an energy, occupies its own unique place and significance, is in resonance with every other energy, and all participate in the ongoing open-ended creativity of what Arguelles calls a ‘resonant field.’

“The symbolic meanings of the planets Uranus and Saturn seem contradictory. Uranus, heralding the new age, seems to conflict with Saturn, guardian of the old. Alternatively, we can embrace the paradox, and allow Saturn and Uranus to fuse. We seek coherence (Saturn) within the resonant field (Uranus). Through focus, centering, and discipline (Saturn), we learn to discriminate between what is of value and what is not in the so-called ‘new age.’”

[Earlier, one extremely gifted member of this group had done a brilliant and savage parody of a so-called “channel,” calling himself “Brian Ryerson.” And for weeks before the event, Trudeau’s Doonesbury cartoon had poked fun at the “moronic convergence.” Thank God we in the “new age” are beginning to find the humor in what we do, using it to help us make those needed distinctions.]

“Since March of this year, the planet Jupiter has proceeded into the sign of Aries. 1987 is a year of new beginnings, of initiative, of fiery courage. Since June, Jupiter has been within orb of a trine to Saturn/Uranus. So, two points of the fire grand trine have been in place since June. Now, during these days in August, the third point of the triangle is completed, as Sun, Mars, Venus, Mercury all move into place in Leo, 120° away from both the Saturn/Uranus and the Jupiter positions.

“The performances here tonight display Leo energy at its finest. We have brought forth the expressive energy, sustained creativity, and high drama and theatricality of which Leo is famous. The actual sequence of the performances, though unplanned, made sense. All five dramas found their rightful places in the larger resonant field. Together, they created a whole that was more than the sum of their parts.

“The generation born between 1938 and 1958, who have Pluto in Leo as their unconscious signature — and that includes most of us here tonight — are especially affected by the convergence. The time has come for allowing our creative Leo energy to manifest. The curtain opens on our own play here tonight. We are to determine the fate of the earth in how we choose to express ourselves.

“Let us open ourselves to the fiery energies now raining upon the planet, and use our own bodies to create the channels necessary for this energy to ground. As the industrial age, now ending, mined the earth for its inner wealth, and left it only barely able to sustain itself, so now the post-industrial age will mine the inner wealth of human beings, and this font is inexhaustible, it can enliven the entire planet in limitless joy.

“The grand trine in fire is above all else, a signification of the spirit. It is as if the holy spirit is again descending to earth. We are being given a gift — not of tongues this time, but of one tongue. The second coming has arrived; this time we are to speak, not many different languages, but one language, the language of the heart, symbolized by Leo. As we move into our hearts, and learn to speak from that place, we enter the resonant field, and find acceptance everywhere.”

It is late Sunday night, the final night of convergence. For hours now, we have been confessing, telling each other of our shadows, how those dark sides of ourselves have been rearing their ugly heads, even during this holy time. This has been occurring simultaneously with an unusual, but subtle, joy we are also inhabiting, both as a group and as individuals. Over and over again, plans (Saturn) have been abandoned, as some other current (Uranus) spontaneously moved us into a new form, a new process, a new way of expressing energy.

During this time, I, too, have continued to wrestle with my personal devil. Feelings of judgment, comparison, jealousy, desire for attention, loneliness, alternate with feelings of being swamped, engulfed, suffocated (all Saturn). Then, suddenly and unexpectedly, both extremes fall away as over and over again Uranus drops me, shuddering, into an open field, open space, a totally shared and unitary feeling of being one with the whole, where anything goes and all is love. This all-accepting and inclusive space extends from this group to the other small groups I am aware of also celebrating in this valley and beyond — to the thousands of places throughout the world of which their sacredness is being honored by small groups in spontaneous ritual and celebratory communion.

Now, afterwards, I hear of the 200 drummers in concentric rings on the Haleakala volcano in Hawaii; of the 3000 people who created a giant serpent out of sand on an Australian beach; of the entire first page of the “Science” section of the New York Time being devoted to harmonic convergence. I hear of my friend Chris who celebrated alone, finding her spot on a mountain side and falling into a trance which lasted for five hours; of a couple who kept waking up the night of the 16thand going into their suburban backyard to sit there, simply sit there, on the grass; of the many stories of group rhythm and harmony; of altars built on hillsides, in living rooms, of celebrations as diverse and manifold as are we, the people, who have inherited the earth and, emerging into the Age of Aquarius, are awakening to our common planetary responsibility.

At midnight, one member of our group teaches us how to twirl in the Sufi manner, going counterclockwise, with the right arm extended up and the left curving out and around. We bring in energy from the universe with our right hands, and twirl it into the planet with our left. Thus do we help balance the earth as she spins.

The spinning begins, as a few of us try it out in the center of the circle which, as usual, is bounded by the rest of us, and which, by this time, feels like a security net, a way of feeling safe as we venture into the new. Once in a while a person loses his or her center and falls to the floor, to be picked up and comforted by others. We are learning how to spin, we are learning how to keep our centers in the midst of constant change. 

As I twirl faster and faster, another revelation breaks through. This time I see the meaning of the struggle I went through to find my right place during convergence. I realize that the angel was tapping me on the shoulder all along, nudging me in the direction I finally agreed to take. That my context here, and my original “place” as a stranger struggling to come into harmony with this group of highly creative and expressive people, needs to be seen as the seed pattern for what is to come in my life. That this context, for me, points in the direction of my future.

Since then I have asked many people about their convergence experiences and attempted to understand them with this in mind: those who did struggle, who did take the question, “Where am I to be during convergence?” seriously, were indeed, handed their destinies during those two days. Each of us needs to see our specific circumstances during those two days as symbolic, creating seed patterns for our individual and collective futures.

We have been reborn. And the natal chart for all of us is that fiery grand trine, inspired, open, inventive, creative, fierce, dramatic, expressive, and above all, loving.

“O.K.,” clapping her hands to get rid of the chalk, “it’s done. Take a look.”

Now I see that the left eye is not quite so supernal, so removed from this earthly reality, that it is somehow more grounded, more present. And the right eye has gained, too. Without losing its directness, its focus, there is now a sadness in this eye. It’s as if it had come to terms with its memories, and had embraced them — with compassion. With the eye changed, the curl in the right side of the lip no longer gives the impression of a feeling of superiority. Instead, it is more an awareness and a willingness to work with what is. 

The left, more receptive yin eye has gained something from the earth wisdom of the right; the right, more expressive yang eye has gained from the infinite compassion of the left. By incorporating the polarity represented by the other within itself, each eye is now both expressing more individuality and yet resonating with the other.

Our vision begins to converge, emerge — in harmony.

 

 

 

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AK Reader: “Savoring the Synchronicities” (1993)

Here we are, already mid-way through 2018, and the world hasn’t ended yet. Nor have the trucks stopped moving; the electric grid gone down; the latest viral wave upon wave of infection, whether physical, emotional, mental, or digital, done us all in. Nor has global warming melted all the glaciers (yet); nor has the population exploded to the point where if we don’t stop having babies, nature will stop us from having them, and/or wave upon wave of immigration will overwhelm all systems set up to receive and integrate or push back or hate or love or have compassion for, etc. etc. There’s no end to the troubles we face as we head into the final year of the first decade of the 21st century still intact, kinda, sorta, and of course, wondering what’s next with a president who’s either a complete idiot, stark raving mad, or an utter genius. Who knows? And who knows which is which as we battle the residual corruption in our own souls, working to wake ourselves up, to learn how to serve something larger than ourselves, before it’s too late.

Meanwhile, I happened to pick up this issue of Crone Chronicles today, with its theme of Death & Rebirth. Hmmm.  . . are we not there yet? Seems to me we are. Dying and being reborn, simultaneously. So I add one new synchronicity to those detailed in the following editorial: the fact that I picked up THIS issue of that old magazine, at THIS intensely pregnant moment in time.  

Savoring the Synchronicities

by Ann Kreilkamp

Several weeks ago, this message on the crone phone: “Hi Ann. This is Deborah. Just wanted to let ou know the cover for the next issue is coming along fine.” I hoped so. Covers are what people see first.

I wince to notice my preoccupation with covers. With what, even as a child, I called “the appearances.” As a child I wanted to live from the inside out, scorning my mother’s and sisters’ preoccupation with being pretty.

By the time I was 26, my internal process had accelerated to the point where the masks I was wearing ripped off, one after another — the masks of good child, good student, good wife, good mother. Feeling naked and raw, my only protection was to burrow deep underground. I sank into the mulch of the obscure feelings saturating our culture — all the guilt and blame, the shame — and longed to descend even deeper — into naturalness, the arms of the mother, the embrace of gravity. I was obsessed with what was down there, haunted by how it would feel to move from the root.

Now at age 50, I am busy with appearances, covers! Integrating what I discovered down below with what is out there. Seeking to become whole.

Two nights before the cover for this issue was due I had a dream: There is a submission for the cover. It is a sculpture: the bald head of a baby, emerging from the mud, eyes and nose visible, mouth still below the surface. We are trying to figure out how to render it in two dimensions.

When I told my friend Claudia about this dream, she was frightened. To her, the image felt suffocating. “What if the baby can’t breath?” she said, then quickly realized, “of course, I had asthma when I was a child.” I assured her, “No problem, the baby is being born; going up, not down.”

The very next night, two more dreams. The first: Someone submits a huge drawing for the cover, that of the statue of liberty. A spray of roses crosses her chest diagonally (like Miss America). Only her eyes are blindfolded. And her legs are huge, old, flaccid. 

The second dream: A photograph is submitted. Of a mother and child in an old ‘50s setting, homey and comfortable, deeply domestic. The child is seated in its wooden high schair, waiting to be fed. The mother is standing behind, arms wide, a jar of baby food in one hand, a spoon in the other. Both heads are skulls.

These two dreams feel related. The images in all three of these dreams feel collective, not just mine.

The next morning Deborah brought over her cover illustrating the death and rebirth theme for this issue. A skull lay at the bottom, under water, cracked open, a seed pod inside it, forming the root from which a stem of a lotus was growing. Above the water, a baby, resting on the lotus blossom.

Three days later, Janet, another artist, brought us another image: of a skull inside a seed pod.

Deborah’s image, but in reverse! More difficult to accept. Inside either of them, lies the other. Inside death, life. Inside life, death. We introduce the section on death and rebirth with this image, and called it DeathLifeDeathLifeDeathLife.

Finally, yesterday I had a Jin Shin session with my friend Todd. During the session, several images came through her. First, while working on my right leg, through which an enormous amount of energy was pouring, she laughed and said, “I see you kicking at a pile of ashes, trying to find the green shoot underneath…it’s as if you have lived with the ashes so long that you are determined to find that green shoot!”

Then, at the end of the session, she said she was hearing the Hail Mary prayer to the Catholic Blessed Virgin, only it ended in a different way. “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us now, and at the hour of our birth. Amen.” DeathBirthDeathBirthDeathBirth.

“And now,” she concluded, “I am hearing the Hallelujiah Chorus  . . . And unto us a child is born.”

Our child. Our new world.

 

 

 

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Today’s crop circle features multidimensional stars within stars?

As of today, July 7, 2018, there have been 18 crop circles reported this year, with today’s crop circle one of the most spectacular ever:

 

Whereas the usual debate about the crop circle phenomenon has revolved around whether or not they are ET created or manmade (i.e., “fake,” “hoaxed”) — or, in Colin Andrews’ more nuanced version, created by humans/ETs working together — renowned crop circle filmmaker Patty Greer has an entirely other theory:

Crop Circles are produced by counter-rotating spinning plasma vortices coming out of the earth – Not from the sky! The spinning plasma vortices are layered with specific frequencies with distinct boundary conditions including earth frequencies, water frequencies, sometimes human consciousness frequencies (when people pray or meditate for a Crop Circle message), and sometimes ET frequencies, but not necessarily all of them in every formation. Crop Circles appear to be intentional pre-planned messages that are not accidental and certainly not all fake!”

Check out her website:

www.cropcirclefilms.com.

Along with David Wilcock, Patty claims that she has been screwed over by Gaia TV. See this:

Patty Greer on UFO Fraud and Suppression – Complete Interview*

 

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David Wilcock resigns from Gaia TV?

I dwell in many seemingly disparate reality silos. Not everyone will appreciate the “news” in this post, but those who do will be all over it, flabbergasted. Why? Because David Wilcock, one of the bastions of the Consciousness and Disclosure movements, who for the last six years along with whistleblowers Corey Goode, Pete Peterson, and more recently, Emery Smith,  has “belonged” to Gaia TV via a contract he signed in return for a stable income.

I was already in bed last night when I listened to youarefree.tv read aloud Wilcock’s dramatic, long-winded, fascinating, in part self-flagellating, furious, stunned, supposed letter of resignation to Gaia’s administration that accuses Gaia of bullying, Satanism, making promises that they had no intention to keep, and holding back the entire corpus of his Cosmic Disclosure interviews with Pete Peterson who, Wilcock claims, is now on his deathbed, drugged, with no possibility of recovery. Furthermore, Wilcock says he has helped Emery Smith and his wife stay on their feet despite their homeless condition when Gaia fell through on promises to them. He is worried about his reputation, and the reputation of the three whistleblowers that he brought to Gaia; he is worried about litigation, and concerned lest his entire career go up in flames. It’s truly a heartbreaking tale, as he tells it, and it may well be real.

On the other hand, in pursuing reddit this morning, where Laura Eisenhower has endorsed him, and republished, with his permission, the text of his letter on her page there, and pursuing the comments under the youarefree.tv report, I do wonder what is real, what not. In particular, why didn’t David see the handwriting on the wall earlier, or if he did, why did he not step up then? He mentions that money was the lure, and regrets it. This reminds me of all the free energy inventors who have sold their inventions to large energy companies only to see them shelved.

Is this the purpose of Gaia.tv? To lure in New Age and Disclosure people and then either turn them to the dark side or else shelve what they do? Is Gaia.tv CIA? Award-winning crop circle filmmaker Patty Greer’s jaundiced perspective on Gaia.TV and other distributors is corroborated in this Wilcock letter.

Me? For some reason I never did trust Gaia TV (formerly Gaiam TV). Not sure why. But I just couldn’t bring myself to subscribe to it. So this may be a case where trusting my own instincts proved invaluable.

If all this is real, then the swamp needs to drain in the New Age and Disclosure movements too. Wilcock’s claim that Graham Hancock is a confessed Luciferian also blew me away. Does Luciferianism necessarily imply Satanism, Satanic abuse, pedophilia, cannibalism? I have no idea. But I do know that we are getting closer and closer to full revelation of all the dark do do that humans have managed to inflict on to each other over the decades, perhaps centuries.

Watch this story. It will be trumpeted far and wide, and will be used to further divide and confuse all those who are seeking to make sense of what is going on from not only geopolitical perspectives, but spiritual ones. Important to keep an open mind and heart, but then, as Jordan Sather puts it, “Don’t take shit from anyone!” (Something like that.)

Hmmm. Wonder what he will have to say about this development. Actually, I’ve been concerned about young, bright, impressionable  Sather, his ego, and how he might be susceptible to who knows what, despite his own early-onset wisdom. (Speaking here as a 75-year-old consciousness activist from way back, who knows my own ego is both necessary as a focusing agent, and not to be trusted, if I begin to identify with it, as I have done, many times. Luckily, I also have a close female friend whom I can trust to pull me back whenever I go overboard!)

This entire sorry saga reminds me of that book about Laurel Canyon, and the rock and roll personalities that congregated there, near a military base supposedly used for MK Ultra programming. The implication was that the CIA started the hippie movement, and then steered it in the direction of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, rather than political activism. True? No idea. Google it.

And it reminds me of the second wave of feminism, in the same era, late ’60s, when brilliant, photogenic pied piper Gloria Steinem and her MS Magazine led us triumphantly out of our patriarchal marriages into both the patriarchal marketplace and the maelstrom of rock and roll. Yes, Gloria Steinem, supposedly at the time or at some time an agent of the CIA. Again, google it.

What is true, what is false, what is partly true, partly false? And in the end, no matter what our decision in any particular situation, let us get and remain centered within ourselves, knowing that our own interior discernment is ultimately all that we have to rely upon as we witness and experience this swirling ongoing apocalyptic revelation that leaves nothing untouched and forces us all to let go of whatever “beLIEfs” we  considered foundational.

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U.S. Military: Good or bad?

Strange, dichotomized, simplistic question, I know. But hear me out:

As Pompeo heads to North Korea, and Trump’s heart to heart with Putin gets set for July 14th, where are we in the business of business that is Amerika, the great “exceptional” nation that puts its military before all else? Yep! Amurrika, this fat, ego-ridden, dominating — and now failing, flailing — hyperpower that long ago substituted a military economy for a real one.

And yet — and here’s the zinger — it may be that, were it not for the military, Trump might not have run for president! And here, I can just hear never-Trumpers say, “Really? Good!” But wait. That’s not where I’m going with this train of thought.

Where did I get this idea? Several places (including Jerome Corsi and David Wilcock; can you imagine two more disparate sources?). The scuttlebutt is that military brass realized that corrupt Hillary Clinton was a Deep State operative hell bent on One World Order globalism (and some say, nuclear war), and that had she been elected, the military had decided to stage a coup! True? Who knows. But if true, then with Trump as president, the take down of the Deep State (the Cabal, the Shadow Government, the Illuminati) can be done legally. 

In other words, in this scenario, Trump is not only surrounded by the military, but the military has his back as President, and he is consciously working as the point man for a plan that was conceived and set in motion decades (?) ago by “the Alliance” (including the military), to rid this country of the corruption that has infested it at least since World War II.

In other words, in this plan, the military and Trump are the good guys.

But then, you might ask, isn’t a major aspect of the corruption military? Don’t, for example, weapons manufacturers stocks go up when war is declared and down when war is avoided

Here we go, back to my original point of view, decrying the inexorably increasing militarization of our economy and its continuous corrosive tsunami of destruction upon the entire globe, including ourselves.

So I ask: as long as the military lives on, then what would it take to convert the military to life-saving rather than life-destroying objectives and programs? Otherwise known as “swords into plowshares?” For example, addressing climate change: fighting fires, floods, saving victims, shoring up shorelines, etc. For example, addressing road and infrastructure repair: what better than the U.S. military to oversee and help man large building projects? For example, turning vast Big Ag conglomerates into tiny permaculture farms, owned and operated by locals (including military veterans) who joined the military because they want to do good work that helps people and planet rather than hurts them. On and on. So much of our “economy” is tied up in military projects that we have no room or time for anything else. But if we just take all those soldiers who, really, would rather stay home and do good than go to faraway lands to kill and be killed, and offered them work that heals rather than hurts. What would happen then? 

What would happen if we converted weapons manufacturers into tiny house manufacturers, batteries for solar power, windmills, other small, appropriate technology? On and on, I don’t have the vision, but I know plenty of other people do.

Meanwhile, please, let us finally look up from our la-la land distractions and pay attention to just what sucks up 60% of hard-earned U.S. taxes. 

The United States of Terror

And check out this new book, receiving rave reviews, by a scholar/activist who writes from deep experience. I plan to order it today.


The Russian Peace Threat: Pentagon on Alert

Ron Ridenour’s book, The Russian Peace Threat: Pentagon on Alert, a true historical page-turner, is destined to endure and inform future readers, writers and researchers about both what has been reported—mainly malicious propaganda—and what truly took place in the one hundred years from the 1917 Russian Revolution until the eruption of the distinct harbingers of the collapse of the US empire in the early twenty-first century.

Events often just seem to happen, caught up in the swirl of history. But still, we try to interpret them and to understand. And then, in many cases, take a stand for or against. Understanding is like discovering a new world, like converting to a new faith. Revolt invades your life and everything is different from what it once was. Ridenour’s book helps us along the way to first remembering the historical facts so that we can then understand. His new work documents clearly facts about the early years of the Soviet Union’s relations with the West, its difficult steps toward socio-political maturity and Communism, and its enormous sacrifices along the way: its defeat of Western intervention during the revolutionary and civil war period; its regulation of state economic planning and the reforms required for the industrialization of the nation; its defeat of the German Nazi military juggernaut at the gates of Russia’s major cities and the coup de grace in the ferocious battle in Stalingrad, defeating German invaders and crushing Nazi Germany before the USA even entered the war; and finally the arduous salvation of Russia after the collapse of the USSR under US post-WWII economic firepower and the most treacherous anti-Russian policies since the early 1900s.

Those Western policies continue to determine US-Russian relations today. Throughout this long work Ridenour recalls and clarifies diverse significant historical details, obscured by time and by Western propaganda, facts that are so easily forgotten or that were never learned: such ignored truths as the importance of the USSR in the defeat of Japan in WWII and the timing of the US use of the atomic bomb in Japan. Not many people are aware of the extent of the destruction of many Japanese cities which the author details here. He points out that the Soviet Union kept its word to help the United States by its intervention against Japan, the decisive reason why Japan was defeated even before the atomic bombs fell. A stunning but little known fact is that in response to the Russians’ sacrifice the Anglo-American leaders—first Churchill and later Truman— were hatching Operation Unthinkable and Operation Pincher to launch a surprise war against Soviet forces in Europe. These military plots included the potential use of nuclear bombs. This is a book that no well-informed Western reader should be without, especially those inhabiting the homeland of the new empire, the dangerously brainwashed United States.

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AK Reader: Astrology Deepens our Understanding of Time and Space (1988)

Or: I might put it now: HOW RED-PILLING REMINDS ME OF ASTROLOGY.

The entire universe of discourse that surrounds the naming of a phenomenon we now call “red-pilling” reminds me of my “position” in the larger culture during most of my adult life. Then, as an astrologer, and now, having been redpilled a long time ago and now can name it, I tend to live inside a world-view utterly Other than that considered “normal.”

Two different worlds . . . reminds me of the old song, which refers to lovers, but could just as well refer to all of us who find ourselves on one side of what appears to be an impenetrable ideological and emotional divide. For while our minds may say NO! Never! Our hearts long for each other, and they always will.

So here we are now, the great red pill/blue pill divide growing stronger and stronger, and yet more and more people are red-pilling themselves, doing their own interior and investigative work and finding themselves either tunneling down under the wall or floating above and beyond it, or blasting their way through with 4th of July fireworks, throwing caution to the wind!

So many people letting go of mainstream news to pursue alt-news, following their own noses, willingly or unwillingly falling down one rabbit hole after another (politics and geopolitics, religion, food, energy, ET disclosure, military  health, finances, child sex trafficking, satanism, you name it!) into a world so wild and strange that they had no idea it could exist, much less that it does exist — but does it?

Given the explosion of personal points of view, unique personal vantage points from which we view the world, and our sharing of ours with others, there is simply no way that any of us can get even a modicum of an “overview” of “what’s really going on.” What’s going on is, all of this! The millions of points of view, each reflecting and refracting “the world” in our own unique way!

But of course, given our penchant for polarity, we tend to want to stop this mighty profusion, and hold tight to our usual big divides. Please, let me to either stay in the way the mainstream news sources (themselves agents of what we are now calling the “deep state” — another new term, signifying another new universe of discourse that we are still getting used to!) think, or, to hell with it, I’m going to go whole hog on out into the wildest theories possible! Mainstream calls the latter “conspiracy theory,” of course. And yet let me point to a bit of history here:

“Oh well,” you might counter: “You are just a conspiracy theorist about the origin of conspiracy theories!”

And I suppose one could start an infinite regress of conspiracy theories this way. But win an argument? No.

Either you see it or you don’t. Which means, in practice, either you are red-pilled or you’re not. Not yet. It takes time. It takes time — and courage, and a willingness to open to the vastness of what we do NOT know — to even begin to let the simplistic mainstream understanding of the world go. The MSM may keep it alive, but it started for each of us way back when. When we were parented. When we were schooled. When we began to read books, comics, talk to each other, etc.

None of us comes to this place in our own lives without having gone through some kind of conditioning process of the mind which, at birth, was open, “trailing clouds of glory,” and then gradually, or suddenly closed. Much like the skull bones above the corpus callosum which divides the left from right brain gradually closed. No longer were we in touch with the larger universe. Now we were Here, on Earth, in a Body, getting used to the constraints of 3D Space and Time which eventually, when we are around two years old and Mars kicks in (Mars has about a two-year cycle), we begin to use the words “ME!” and “MINE” an “MY” and to see ourselves as SEPARATE from others — whose stuff we want!

Thus is the idea of separation born. And most likely, we have been suffering from this malaise, this lack of appreciation for the oneness of creation,  ever since the birth of at least the English language. I.e. It’s not Thomas Hobbes’ fault! He just codified what had been there all along.

But that is not the subject of this AK Reader piece. What interests me here is how much the whole phenomenon of red-pilling (how our reawakened curiosity  puts us in a place of solitude, where literally, even our closest family and friends who are still taking the blue pill do not understand us) is similar to anyone who bothers to learn the language of astrology, which also throws us into another world, much richer and more complex than the usual one.

Here’s a Guest Column published in the Casper (Wyoming) Star Tribune, June 3, 1988, during the brief years that I lived there.

ASTROLOGY DEEPENS OUR UNDERSTANDING OF TIME & SPACE

by Ann Kreilkamp

“So. What do you think about the news that Reagan believes in astrology?”

How often, during the past month, have I heard this question? And each time I hear it, I cringe.

I cringe because the question puts me, once again, in a position of having to say, in a few words, what cannot be understood without a total change in world view. It’s a bit like a tropical islander who hears about a phenomenon called “snow,” and asks a visiting Eskimo if he believes in it. On the one hand, of course! On the other hand, what a strange question! Snow is an obvious fact of Eskimo existence. His very survival depends upon his awareness of snow. He can barely imagine how yawning the gap must be between the tropical and the arctic mind’s knowledge of, memories of, associations with, attitudes towards — that little word “snow.”

The “scientific experts” who declare astrology worthless are like tropical islanders, isolated entirely from the world upon which they so arrogantly pass judgment. As Isaac Newton himself is said to have responded to one of his critics on this very subject: “Sir, I have studied it, you have not!”

And I cringe for another reason, best shown in a good joke on the subject currently making the rounds: “Did you hear that Reagan believes in astrology?” “Oh really! That makes me lose faith . . . in astrology.”

Reagan is not a person I would ask to decide the value of astrology. Indeed, this latest embarrassment of the Reagan presidency is probably, as Lance Morrow put it in a tongue-in-cheek editorial in the May 16th issue of Time Magazine, “the metaphysical equivalent of his jelly beans.”

And that’s the problem. I cringe because the astrology that the public is aware of through syndicated newspaper columns, and the astrology within which I am immersed, inhabit two entirely different universes.

I am an astrologer. I make my living as a consultant in astrology; I write and publish regularly on the subject; I read and study and think endlessly upon and within this most ancient and fascinating language. It is my life. It is, and has been for the past 14 years, my ruling passion. I do not expect it to stop anytime soon.

Prior to this, I was a student of philosophy, earning a doctorate in philosophy of science from Boston University in 1972. My quest for the inner meaning of astrology is philosophical: astrology is an investigation into the nature of, and the interconnected and ever-changing processes and structures of, the two most fundamental and deeply-rooted concepts of human understanding, those of time and space.

To fully enter the world of astrology is to transform the way the concepts of time and space operate within one’s psyche. To do this is to expand one’s world-view from the narrow window of Newtonian science to include aspects of life that we all experience but seldom consciously recognize.

The Newtonian world-view assumes that time is linear, that it measures points on a line, moment to moment, each moment the same, all of them stretching endlessly forward into the future. The western ideal of “progress” is a corollary to this unquestioned assumption about the nature of time. Our obsession with progress is associated with the ideals of industry and mechanization. We have made idols out of our tools, focusing on our relationship with them, rather than the natural world around us. What we do to the outside reflects within: we squash our very aliveness into the rules and roles of mechanical motion.

Linear time, as a basic epistemological condition for our perceiving everything else, subtly and irrevocably separates us from both our own natures and the natural world around us. And the results of this separation are coming in now, through massive and perhaps irreversible pollution of earth, air, and water. Unlike any other animal, we have carelessly fouled our own nest.

By contrast, astrological time is the time of the interweaving of many different cycles into one glorious fabric of creation, in which we are all participants. Astrology acknowledges a most basic fact of human experience — the ebb and flow of all that is. While we tend to associate astrology with heavenly phenomena like the phases of the moon, and cannot help but marvel at the synchronous timing of the moon’s pull on both oceanic tides and human female menstrual cycles, there are other, equally ubiquitous cycles in which we all participate, and which also present us with the wondrous orderliness of nature. Consider consciously the two most personal and obvious, and therefore least noticed cycles — the thudding of our beating hearts and the inhale/exhale cycle of our lungs; and we cannot help but adjust ourselves to the quotidian cycles of day and night, or the seasonal changes both within our aging bodies and within nature as she ever renews herself. All these cycles and many, many more — there is nothing alive that does not function in pulsing, interwoven cycles, and everything, even the rocks and the planets are alive — all these cycles are so obvious to us that we do not see them, and thus fail to recognize the profound truth of the cyclical nature of time.

Rather than removing us from either our own nature or the natural world around us, astrology honors the unceasing birthing, flowering and dying of all living forms. Instead of separating ourselves off from life in an attempt to become purely predictable, mechanical, “living” our lives according to some pre-set expectation of who we think we are or should be, we move with the flow of life, knowing all is change, and accepting the precise coordinates for any particular moment, its surprising but exacting character, what its nature entails.

As our conception of time is enlarged and deepened through the study of astrology, so is that of space. We open our eyes and hearts and souls, replacing our preoccupation with space as merely three dimensions, an empty container, the void — wherein we feel lonely, alienated and separate from others — to a feeling for its full, rich, and multi-dimensional character. We sense and feel bathed by, protected and nourished within, a space that is itself a living entity, carrying and making music with the resonance of all possible frequencies. What we think and speak and do matters; each action, no matter how trivial, reverberates throughout the whole, affecting all of us. In a very real sense, we are all parts of one another.

The great physicist Neils Bohr once said: “The opposite of a fact is another fact. But the opposite of one great truth is another great truth.” Astrology acknowledges the double truth of a fundamental paradox, known in academic philosophical circles as “the problem of the one and the many.”

Astrology teaches that each of us is one among many; standing at the exact center of an expanding universe, we are each an utterly unique and irreplaceable individual. Astrology honors the unlimited evolutionary capacity of each of us as an unfolding from within of the laws of our own natures.

Simultaneously, by placing each of us within the larger universe, and showing our original and continuously changing relations to it, astrology teaches that the many are also one: each of us exists as a mere point within an infinite, divine continuum. We expand to fill the space available. We express our love for the whole of creation.

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July 4th Red-Pill Fantasy? Mercury opposes Mars and dares to speak? — and more . . .

That “more” is a fascinating reference to Rudolf Steiner, below, that for me, at least, holds immense resonance.

But first, check out the astrology of today, July 5, when transit Mercury at 8° Leo conjuncts the North Node (the path) and opposes Rx Mars at 8° Aquarius, which conjuncts the South Node (the past).

 

This Mercury/Mars aspect is already beyond exact, i.e., it was igniting its own fireworks yesterday.

Yes, I imagine yesterday, July 4th, produced an enormous number of occasions at backyard barbeques in sweltering heat where individuals (acting in their newly released sovereign state as Leos (North Node) communicated (Mercury) their truth, i.e., red-pilled their relatives and friends (Mars in Aquarius, conjunct South Node). These sovereign individuals dared to step outside Aquarian group think (which has morphed into group hate, of Trump). And whether or not their families and friends took the red pill — if they haven’t already, it may mean they are heavily walled off internally; so it’s going to take a lot a lot a lotta! to shake them loose from their ideological foundations and emotional reactivity — at least they have now been introduced to the fact that their valued friend’s or family member’s world-view is not what they had assumed.

Just about the time that Mars in Aquarius turned to go retrograde, I posted something on fb, can’t remember what it was, but the comment section went wild, with a number of my “friends” (and with whom I do have at least a nodding acquaintance in real life) assumed that my fb site had been “taken over,” that Ann Kreilkamp wouldn’t think that way.

I let this go on for awhile, and then butted in to the conversation, saying, yes, in fact that is me, and that is what I think!

So that’s an example of what I’m talking about here. And I imagine that the business of red-pilling has become much more serious as more and more people are #Walk(ing)Away from the seemingly defunct, because hysterically, rabidly, disconsolately, violently anti-Trump Democratic party.

For background to all these thoughts, see, in order of their appearance:

“Red-Pilling”: Is the awakening process taking hold?

Mars turns to go retrograde today at 9°13 Aquarius

As we head into July 4th “holiday,” I take a look around.

July 4th, Red-Pilling continues: #WalkAway! — and then, what?

I listened to part of a Daniel Liszt Dark Journalist video last night (I don’t usually listen to him anymore, after he joined with Bill Ryan to produce what looked like to me an extremely prejudiced view of Corey Goode and David Wilcock). Liszt claims that the red pill and blue pill meme from The Matrix film actually came from Rudolf Steiner (one of Daniel Liszt’s and my true heroes). Showing a photo of this Steiner art, Liszt says Steiner distinguished between “red pillar” and “blue pillar,”

saying that red represented the flowing blood, and blue the veins through which the blood flows. An interesting comparison/connection. And if so, it reminds me that the blood of life flows through given channels and structures.

Pluto is in Capricorn, joined now by Saturn. WHAT STRUCTURE? is the dominant question of these years. Pluto, planet of death and rebirth, inexorably takes down what is no longer viable in order to regenerate. Saturn lends its serious, disciplined, step by step approach to this immense undertaking.

The question must be asked: what kinds of individual, social, civilizational structures allow for the blood of full aliveness to flow freely?

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AK Reader: Coyote Women, Softly Snoring (1995)

I found myself  today reading over this essay from Crone Chronicles, Spring 1995, an issue that featured the theme “Visions and Voices of Women.” It speaks of an experience with Native American elderwomen at a conference in Washington, D.C. The synchronicity of having just been to the Ann Arbor conference was interesting enough, but even more interesting was the fact that in 1994, as well as a few days ago, I found myself even more drawn to something seemingly ancillary to the conference than to the conference itself: In the car, on the way to and from the Ann Arbor conference, the depth of our female conversations; at the end of that D.C. conference so long ago, holding and being held, by an old woman’s hand.

I also have to laugh at this “me” back then, 24 years ago, who was so earnestly trying to glean wisdom from Native American female elders, and who was instead, being masterfully played by coyote women.

COYOTE WOMEN, SOFTLY SNORING: A Personal Story

by Ann Kreilkamp

There were 12 Native American female elders who were brought in for the conference [the first Visions and Voices Conference, held in Washington, DC in October, 1994], and I thought, wouldn’t it be wonderful to interview some of them? I told Suzanne [the friend with whom I had gone to the conference] this, and she immediately introduced me to the man who accompanied them on the trip. He, in turn, immediately whisked me away to the faculty dining room where the elders were all sitting at a long table eating lunch. The meeting was duly arranged, for 15 minutes hence, in the room where the elders would be resting. Meanwhile, I had left my backpack with my wallet, plane tickets, precious notes for both conferences, etc., back in the main ballroom with Suzanne, where 400 women still sat, listening to speeches. I tried to find her. No luck.

Feeling out of balance, my identity lost, in disarray, I ran to my room to grab the tape recorder and then ran to knock on the door where the women were said to be resting—and waiting for “the interview.” I tiptoed in to the sounds of four old women softly snoring, three of them on the double bed, another tiny one spread out on three straight-backed chairs. Two others were sitting up, apparently waiting for me.

I stood in front of them, looking down, and then sat, at their feet (there was not another chair in the room), meanwhile telling them about Crone Chronicles, a magazine that seeks to return value to elders. I said that I would like to speak with them because theirs is the only culture on this continent that still values its elders.

All the while I had been running around trying to locate my backpack and then running to get the tape recorder, I had been also wondering what on earth I could ask these women, regretting that I didn’t have more time to pull myself together, to think about what I really wanted from them . . .

Gail Russell [who runs a program called “Adopt a Grandmother” and who works with them] had told me that what she does is to ask them to pretend that she is one of their grandchildren, and then ask them to speak to her of what she will need to know about life.

So I did this. Then there was a silence, accompanied all the while by the soft snoring, while I tried to rearrange myself on the floor. Finally, one of them spoke up. “Eat wild things,” she suggested, and then went on to say that that’s what her ancestors did, and that’s what her grandmother told her to do if she wanted to stay healthy. She was speaking very softly. I said, “Would you please speak up?”—at which point the other woman told me that traditional peoples speak very softly; that she herself, however, had learned to speak up, because she worked in the educational system.

This was my first inkling that I was in a situation which I didn’t understand at all, and that no matter how many words came out of these women’s mouths, their “wisdom” probably had more to do with who they were, how they lived, than with any “answers” they could give me.

The “interview” lasted about 25 minutes. Afterwards, the little one who had been softly snoring on the three chairs opened her eyes and looked at me. Had she been awake all along?

I felt uncomfortable. What was going on? I had gone to these women hungry for their wisdom, and I was feeling vaguely foolish. Down in the lobby outside the ballroom I ran into Gail Russell. She asked, how did it go? and seeing my discomfited look, pointed out two more elders, talking softly to each other in a corner of the room. “Go to them,” she suggested. “Maybe they’ll talk to you.”

So I walked up to them, and brashly interrupted their conversation. They both looked up, placid, waiting for me to say something. I began to dance in front of them with words, trying, through charm, to get them to say that they would take time out from their conversation to have me tape them as they gave me their wisdom. After I was finally done, many many words later, one of them looked directly at me, and said: “You haven’t said anything. What are you really up to? We don’t know.” I was shocked! Disturbed! And grateful—that they had seen through my dance of charm and were asking me to be real, to be simple, like them. So I calmed down and, trying to move into my own essence, said I would like to talk to them for a few minutes, etc. The other one now said that she would like specific questions in writing, that she couldn’t respond without thinking about the question. That we could not do it today, maybe tomorrow. Then the one who had talked to me first asked me who the women were that did talk to me up in the room where the others were sleeping and I told her their names. “Oh them,” she said. “You should have talked to the ones who were sleeping, they would have been better.” At this point I had to laugh. What was real here? What were they up to?

At first I ascribed the entire incident to cross-cultural misunderstanding. Later, talking with Suzanne, she recalled how, when we wanted to interview three women in the community where we live in Jackson, Wyoming — women we have long seen as elders, wonderful models for us as we grow older — that they didn’t want to talk to us any more than these Native American women did. I began to own up to the foolishness of my own behavior, to recognize that what strikes me about women who are much older than me is not so much what they have to tell me, as who they are, their presence, the quality of the force field that I feel around them.

This understanding came home to me especially on the last morning of the conference, when the elders were again up on the stage and we were told that anyone who wanted a blessing could go up on the stage and receive one. When I knelt in front of the oldest woman there, and she took my hands and prayed for me in her own language, I was struck by how she picked up my hands and held them. She didn’t grab me, as I do others. Nor did she clutch them, and quickly release them when done. Rather, my hands felt her hands gradually, slowly enclose mine, tenderly, carefully, and yet with great strength. I, my entire being, felt held, in those hands. Held, supported, secure. Those few moments of kneeling there in front of her, those moments of being held, were, for me, the highlight of the conference.

 

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