Before the world was formed, there was a watery mass of dark, directionless chaos and in this chaos lived the Ogdoad [Ennead] of Hermopolis, four frog gods and four snake goddesses of chaos. These deities were Nun and Naunet (water), Amun and Amaunet (invisibility), Heh and Hehet (infinity) and Kek and Kauket (darkness). The water […]Heh and Hehet, God and Goddess of Infinity — Iseum Sanctuary
The Okavango Delta is an inland delta in southern Africa, with waters formed by seasonal flooding. When the water is here, wildlife abound. More info: Okavango Delta Wikipedia. Hippos and Elephants, Botswana The Delta is flat and vast, covering 5,800 square miles (15,000 sq. km.); on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. We visited this […]Waters in the Okavango Delta — Jet Eliot
Varied Thrush, male, California Western Bluebird, male, California We are fortunate in Northern California to have four species of thrushes join us for the winter months. Here’s a brief look at these beautiful birds. Although Northern California is not warm in the winter, it is temperate enough that some bird species migrate here. We have […]Our Winter Thrushes — Jet Eliot
It’s a good time to sum up the little I know I know about smelling, having just seen this yearling, below, throw his nose up in the air and keep it there many long seconds as a dog and walker went by about 50 feet away: he was obviously gathering information through scent. The dog […]Smelling Intelligence — Coyote Yipps
Is it just me? Or does he look irritable to you? Would you cross his pasture? The timid California Quail, seemed to like hanging around him. Maybe she thinks no one will mess with her, when he’s around. But the roadrunner stayed clearly on the other side of the fence. He’d rather deal with a […]What a Load Of Bull~ —
A very ancient creation myth tells of the primordial creator deity, Gengen-Wer, who took the form of a Nile goose to lay a golden cosmic egg from which hatched the sun, divinely personified as the sun god Re. The god’s name originates from “honker” (gengen) and “great” (wer), so he is Gengen-Wer or also called […]Gengen-Wer and Weret-Hekau – Creative Energy and Magic — Iseum Sanctuary
These Wildlife Blessings are inspired by the Fellowship of Isis’ “Autumn: Litany of the Earth.” It spreads blessings to all animals through eight deities that relate directly to living animals and their dwelling places. In these blessings, we focus on the deities of animals relating to Ancient Egypt. Blessings of Healing, Strengthening and Protecting Animals: […]Blessings of Healing and Protecting Animals — Iseum Sanctuary
May 2022 bring blessings for the earth! Happiness, peace, protection, and well-being for all the trees and plants, for the mountains, the oceans, the rivers, the forests, the deserts, and all wild lands. May all wild creatures be blessed and free in the wild – and all animals everywhere be safe, protected, and happy. May all the peoples of the earth be blessed and touched with a spirit of kindness. May ancient traditions be once again revered and respected, honoring the Earth and all Her children!
What we do is not inconsequential, and our lives are not inconsequential.
We are each part of great currents that move unseen along the air waves.
When we turn our attention to the oceans and the manatees, just as an example, we may find that, coincidentally, there are a few stories that appear on the TV news about manatees. Does this mean that we have had some magical effect on the TV news? Not necessarily. We are all connected. None of us is a separate island.
We pick up the thoughts of others and also tune into what their attention is on. For example, there have been lists compiled of the odd coincidences of simultaneous inventions – like the telephone, the radio, etc. which were invented at almost exactly the same time in history, quite independently of each other – with no knowledge of or communication between the two inventors. For an intriguing list of these, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_multiple_discoveries
Sometimes, it seems as if there are ideas, concepts, movements, or historical trends that are floating up there in the ether somewhere, which any of us may tune into – and while tuning into them, we then become part of these trends or movements, and we also help to further them.
So, with every thought that we have and every action that we take, even the small ones, we may, simply by being aware and conscious, contribute to a direction that the world – or society, or some parts of society, is taking. Of course, unfortunately, this can happen negatively too – we could become part of a force leading towards war or violence, for example.
But let’s focus on the positive because these are the effects we wish to create – especially when we are among those who love the world of nature and the living beings of the earth.
Let’s do our part, in whatever way. It may be through action – like spending an afternoon helping to clean up the graffiti on a natural rock face – or organizing groups all over the country to clean up the forests and wild places – or writing about, or singing about, or painting the beings of nature – the birds or the wolves. Or being a scientist who studies ice cores to understand the climate over time. Or showing our neighbor how to do recycling. It may be meditating or talking to a tree or feeling grateful for the beauty of a snowfall or the sunset. It may be different for each of us depending on our inclinations and our abilities.
Instead of allowing in negative thoughts that come into our head, that seem to arise from who knows where – about how hopeless things are – or even how ineffective we ourselves are – let’s make an effort to be aware that we are part of positive forces that we may not even be able to see – forces of change and renewal, of peace, life, understanding and awareness – forces that may possibly even take over the earth – of re-creation, of life-giving – of a sudden new collective view – of a wave of energy arising in the earth herself – among the forests, the oceans, the mountains, and the deserts too, which have their own life cycles.
Yes, there is cruelty, harm, evil, and death – these things exist. But there is also kindness, love, peace, and the awe-inspiring beauty of the living world – which exist too – and which will exist, one way or another – either in this world on this earth – or in another cycle yet to come. And let us be part of that force towards life and towards the blessings and beauty of the Earth Herself and all Her children.
© Copyright, Sharon St Joan, 2021
Awareness is the key to transformation. And what is the key to awareness? Your presence.
Focusing our attention on the need to protect the world of nature – whether it’s the oceans – or the air – or the forests where we live – a great deal of energy and a vast amount of time is spent by very committed and very dedicated people trying to explain to public officials, government agencies, and others – what they should do and how they should do it. Pass this law. Stop this harmful practice. Ban the hunting and trapping of endangered species – or any species. Do this or don’t do that. Sometimes this can be effective. Often it just falls on deaf ears.
What tends to be missing is that we do not comprehend the genuine lack of awareness of these public officials. If we are focused on preserving the beauty and majesty of the natural world which we care about intensely, and the public official or the businessperson who we are addressing is focused on the inner drive that he feels to be successful, to uphold the expectations of his family and his community, or to create a thriving downtown where he lives or to bring a lot of industry and economic prosperity to his local area – his world and yours are just two separate worlds. And there is hardly a bridge between them.
In this situation, it won’t do much good to explain that the highway that he wants to construct or the mining that he wants to do is going to disrupt the herds of deer or the birds and the other life of the forest – because your effort will only be seen as the very annoying interference of some kind of “environmentalist” (probably, he thinks, from somewhere else) who is pretty much evil and who only wants to harm his business, his community, and maybe his chance to run for local office too.
So, the more energetically, the “environmentalist” pursues his vision of protecting the natural world, the more dangerous, threatening, and irritating he or she seems to be.
What is missing here? Awareness. I remember a chance conversation I had with a man many years ago. He told me a story – that he had always rather disliked dogs – he felt they were kind of dirty; he’d never grown up with them and was a little afraid of them. Then someone unexpectedly gave him a dog. (I’m absolutely not recommending giving a dog to anyone who doesn’t care for dogs. That is the wrong thing to do and can lead to tragedy.) But in this particular case, the man became enchanted with the dog — he fed him, he took him for walks, he found that the dog was his closest companion, and he loved him dearly. What brought about this change?
Awareness – simply awareness. For the first time in his life, he allowed himself to be around and be with a dog. The dog was no longer an alien being, possibly dangerous, but instead became a close friend. He became aware of the true nature of a dog.
All animals can bring us closer to nature – and, of course, especially the wild ones.
A significant percentage of the people around us really do not focus on wildlife, trees, and the natural world at all. They may, just possibly, care about a tree in their own yard.
But purely human concerns reign supreme in their consciousness nearly all the time. Yes, they do feel that clean air is a good idea, and maybe a lot of electric cars might help bring that about. But what is missing is a deep connection with the great mystery and profound beauty of the world of nature. And so, we need to, with our presence and our voice, speak up for the natural world — not simply berate people because they want to build a lot of condos on top of the leks of endangered sage grouse. Instead, we need to show them a sage grouse – out in the wilderness, or on TV, or in a video, or a painting, a song, or a newspaper article. It’s like introducing a friend. Introducing a sage grouse is similar. Here is a living being – enchanting, amazing, beautiful, spectacular, living his life and caring for his flock and his family. Because that awareness is just not there unless we, through our presence and our voice, bring it there.
Our task is first to be present – often this means simply physically present – at a town meeting or at the site of a proposed mine or wherever we need to be. But sometimes being physically present isn’t the best idea – if it ignites violence during these troubled times, that’s not effective – and, too, there’s the pandemic, at least for the time being. But, especially these days, we have so many different ways of being present – online, on zoom, through videos, artwork, through song or music, poetry, letters to the editor, standing by our backyard fence talking with our neighbor. We each have a voice. And so many ways to use it.
The key is to be present and to start with one other person — just one.
This doesn’t mean being blaming or condescending – and sometimes we may need to stay away from a situation, if we know for an absolute fact that we’re going to lose our temper, because that will only do harm to the cause we represent. But whenever we can and as much as we can – we need to be present for other human beings – not as a judgmental tormentor – but as a friend – a friend who can be present, in kindness, who can show others how their dog would rather not be tied up on a chain, how it’s possible to build a fence instead – or how to look out over the distant hills and feel grateful for the gentle green peace they bring and the spectacular sunset.
We need really to start, not with instructions, certainly not with recriminations, but instead simply by being a presence, a friend, a neighbor — a presence who carries an awareness of the living spirit of the earth and who communicates the mystical beauty of nature all around us. To open the heart and the awareness of one person – and others too, one by one — is one of the most life-giving things we can do.
It may be the quickest way to change the world.
© Copyright, Sharon St Joan, 2021