Category: the Americas


 

Every wolf could be Echo.

Council for all wildlife

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By Suzanne Cordrey

What is it about the jungle that is so mesmerizing, so breathtaking that it overpowers the senses and reduces me into a giddy, childlike state of joy? Every time.

After a long travel day and an Indiana Jones ride in the dark looking for a house we’ve never been to, fording streams and potholes big enough to snorkel in, we fell asleep in hammocks, air mattresses and beds with the warm tropical rain pattering on the roof, competing noisily with the din of night creatures whistling, croaking and outdoing each other. At some point in the night, we all awoke to a violent shaking and realized it was an earthquake. All the noise stopped for a few minutes and the rhythmic lapping of the waves down at the beach assured us it was over. Not sure of the cosmic significance of that.

The open air house replete…

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Tall,

To the sun

And the moon they rise,

Pillars

That hold up the land

Of the stars,

In the early morning

Of time.

 

Where the chime

Of butterflies

Rings in the mist

Of clouds,

Where the horses of the wind climb

Archaic hills, peace settles,

Free from the shrouds

Of thought bewildered.

 

When the grinding wheels

Of the rattling cars,

The careening cart,

Of the manic race of beings that never stops

Have stopped, unspinned,

And fallen down

From the lofty wall,

Their memory lies

Quiet,

Dimming,

In the cheerful company

Of ghosts,

In the sooted

Shambles of empires

Cast

Under the snapping heels

Of fate.

Then

The coyotes

And the ever-knowing raven

Will run again

In gladness,

Across the red rock sand.

 

 

The wild hills, free now,

As the lilies

Of eternity

Who bow

In the wandering wind

By the bright

And undiscovered

Sea.

 

 

After the horns

Of many winters

Have fallen silent,

The husk

Of time

Discarded,

The aspiring rose will lift

Her head again

Among the rocks, resilient,

In the ice-enchanted

Spring.

The wind will sing.

Stones

Will shine, blessed in the twinkling

Emptiness

Of night.

The crow

Hops

In black

Clouds that inhabit

A sky of joy;

Coyotes laugh last

In the dance of the dusk,

And the ancient,

Earlier folk

Walk

To take back

The sacred mountain

Stolen

So long ago,

Now that the age of the unholy

Will be ended and done,

Gone

On the smoke

Of the fleeing mist.

 

 

Under a delicate crown

Of forest

Leaves, mice play

Among their catch,

The silver

Trinkets of the dead,

And talk

A while of feats of yore.

Herons glimmer,

One-footed,

On the green, tree-

Shouldered river.

Such an ill wind

That blew

Into the bones

Of the soul

Of men,

And stayed, corroding

The core

Of history,

Such a grim, unseemly game,

Like thorns

Lodged in the heart,

But when the scales fall

Away,

One by one by one,

Then

In the end there are only

The plain, rain-lit,

And the rose that flowers anew,

The innocent petals

Of nevermore,

And the farmer’s boy

Who whistles

In the strawberry patch,

By the lop-sided shack,

Where the corn stalks grow,

His blue

Hat adrift

On his head,

In the town

With no name,

Where the raven rules, with the snow-

Winged geese.

 

 

The sun holds the empty bowl,

Blessed be his ashen fires.

Agni, the one

Who returns

All

Back to the beginning.

Set the burning

Lanterns

Out and wait

In peace,

From within the rock and mist

To hear a killdeer call,

To sail away

To a far and luminous shore,

Known so well from long before,

On the flaming ships of dawn.

 

© Sharon St Joan, 2014

 

Photo: © Colin Young | Dreamstime.com

 

 

Battling for Sage Grouse habitat.

Council for all wildlife

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Who owns nature?

If wild birds belong to anyone, then they belong to all of us.

In relation to the proposed Utah crow hunt, and in relation to hunting issues in general, people often refer, with enthusiasm, to “opportunities to hunt.” This is presented as a universal good thing, as if there were no costs or consequences to anyone else.

This is fundamentally untrue. There are very real costs and consequences.

If there were no species at all that hunters could hunt in Utah, then hunters might indeed feel a sense of deprivation. However, dozens of bird and mammal species can already be hunted in Utah.

There need to be limits

Nothing in life comes without a cost, and it is the nature of life that there are always limitations. We all get used to living within these limitations, which are necessary out of respect for society and other human…

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Click on the link below, to see how to send an email to help prevent a crow hunt from taking place in Utah.  It doesn’t matter what country or state you live in, your help will be much appreciated…

 

Utah crows need your help.

 

 

Central American dogs and cats getting some help from SNIP.

 

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By Sharon St Joan

 

When watching the stock market, we talk about the bulls and the bears – why? Well, the symbolism behind this isn’t so much really about the bears, but it is about the bulls, who from the very beginning of human consciousness have been known as a symbol of power, success, and victory. The bull stands at the top of the mountain, having conquered his rivals.

 

In the caves of Lascaux, in southern France, 17,000 years ago, Cro-Magnon man painted extraordinarily beautiful cave paintings. The largest of these, running about 17 feet long, depicts, a bull, not a modern bull, but an ancient wild bull, the auroch, a species that existed before bulls became domesticated. They were much larger then and fiercer.

 

Visiting Crete in the late sixties, I was struck by the many depictions in the ruins of Knossos of the bull. Even simple blocks of stone had double bulls’ horns carved at either end. Clearly, the bull was an archetypal symbol for the Minoans, whose civilization was at its zenith, around 1500 BCE.

 

 

In ancient Egypt, the bull was worshipped as the god Apis, symbol of strength and power.

 

Among Native Americans of the plains, where there were no cattle, the bison assumed the place of the bull, and the bison, who provided everything the plains people needed in terms of food, clothing, and shelter, were greatly revered.

 

In Vedic literature and other sacred texts of India, great heroes were referred to as “bulls among men.” Throughout history and today in India, the vehicle of the God Shiva is the bull, Nandi, who guards the entrance of every Shiva temple, and the devotee pays his respects to Nandi, who then graciously allows the devotee to enter the temple and to worship Shiva.

 

In the Christian Bible, the ancient Hebrews got into a lot of trouble by worshipping the Golden Calf, as soon as Moses had been gone too long on the mountain. When their faith in Moses waned, they reverted to an older tradition – worship of the bull.

 

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The Mesopotamians worshipped the bull as Marduk, a magical being – god of water and the growth of vegetation, as well as judge of human affairs.

 

The Canaanite god Moloch was often portrayed as a bull.

 

Unfortunately, the position of great honor bestowed on the bull throughout history has drawn the attention of a darker aspect of human nature, which is the desire to kill whoever or whatever stands at the top. This is not at all the same as the legitimate fight against oppression and injustice, which is noble and heroic, but instead, it is the ignoble wish to subjugate anything that might be seen as a potential rival – the basic drive which seeks to eliminate all competition in any way possible.

 

This instinctive drive has a positive side which may lead to success and to excellence, but all too often, throughout human history, it has instead been overwhelmingly negative — leading to the wanton destruction of all that is perceived as not subservient enough.

 

The desire to destroy one’s rival leads to wars, to run-away arms races, to tyranny, to the accumulation of wealth at the expense of all who are less fortunate, to the oppression of the female, the young and the old, and all who are weaker or poorer. It leads to the destruction of nature, the elimination of wild species, the devastation of the planet earth and to climate change run rampant. At its most extreme, anything that is beautiful, untamed, or magnificent is the enemy of this drive for domination and becomes a target for destruction.

 

All this has lead to the bull being among the most persecuted of animals in many cultures, worldwide.

 

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The bull in ancient Crete was the object of bull-baiting in which young men leaped on the backs of the bull to ride them, thus proclaiming their victory and superiority over the bull – and their worth as “heroes.”

 

Bull-fighting is the modern day form of this in Spain and other countries. In Spain and in Mexico, there are lesser-known “festivals,” sponsored by local Catholic churches, which far exceed bull-fighting in terms of extreme cruelty, torture, and the killing of the bull.

 

There are ritual tribal persecutions of the bull in sub-Saharan Africa.

 

In the history of Christianity, the devil has traditionally been depicted with the horns and the tail of a bull – thus showing the bull, who is an innocent animal, as the essence and symbol of evil.

 

The drive to dominate, subject, torment, and destroy all that is innocent and beautiful represents the very worst aspect of human nature, and it is based on fear, the fear of being defeated and replaced.

 

There is though a positive, iconic figure who is just the opposite of this – the protective hero, seen for example, in the great flood myth of India in the Noah figure, Manu. Manu saves a tiny, helpless fish, who calls out to him for help because he is about to be eaten by large, ferocious fish. Manu cares for his little fish with great attentiveness, for many years, raising him until he becomes a large, strong fish and then releasing him to be free again in the sea. The fish repays him for saving his life by warning him of the Great Flood and then by pulling Manu’s ship through the tempestuous waves to the top of a mountain, to rest in safety. There, all the seeds that Manu has brought along on the boat are planted in the ground, and the life of the earth is restored to begin anew. Manu is the archetype of the positive, protective figure, noble and kind, who cares for the good and the innocent. He is the true hero.

 

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Even India though, which has for many thousands of years worshipped and revered trees, plants, and animals, is not free from the destructive instinct to dominate, especially to dominate the bull, and this is seen in the cruel sport jallikattu, a form of bull-baiting practiced in the south in Tamil Nadu, in which crowds of young men torment and persecute bulls as a spectator sport. It is also evident in the cruelties inherent in the illegal transport and slaughter of cattle – and in bullock-cart racing in the state of Maharashtra.

 

These abusive practices are being opposed by thousands of animal welfare groups in India, part of an energetic struggle that has been pursued over at least the past forty years.

 

The Supreme Court of India is expected soon to deliver a ruling on these three forms of cruelty to bulls, which are already illegal, according to the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals Act – 1960. If the ruling upholds the rights of the bulls and the integrity of the longstanding humane traditions of India, this will be a major leap forward for animals in India and the world – and a sign that the voices of kindness and positivity are not always silenced and will sometimes prevail, overcoming all obstacles.

 

© Sharon St Joan, 2014

 

Sharon St Joan is the author of Glimpses of Kanchi.

 

Top photo: Prof saxx / “This building is indexed in the Base Mérimée, a database of architectural heritage maintained by the French Ministry of Culture, under the reference PA00082696.” / Wikimedia Commons / “Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version…” / Lascaux Caves / Cave paintings of aurochs and deer.

 

Second photo: user:Rmashhadi / “I, the copyright holder of this work, release this work into the public domain. This applies worldwide.” / “This is a featured picture on the Persian language Wikipedia” / Marduk. Iran’s heritage in Musée du Louvre.

 

Third photo: Deror_avi / Wikimedia Commons / “Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version…” / This is a duplicate, at the Minoan Palace, Knossos. The original is at the museum in Heraklion, Crete.

 

Fourth photo: Ramanarayanadatta astri / Wikimedia Commons / “This work is in the public domain in India because its term of copyright has expired.” / The fish Matsya pulling Manu and the seven rishis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mysterious Pumapunko

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By Sharon St Joan

 

One of the strangest ancient sites in the world, Pumapunko, lies near Tiwanaku, the archeological site in Bolivia, south of Lake Titicaca, on the border of Peru and Bolivia. The site is less than a mile from Kalasasaya, a huge paved courtyard surrounded by a wall that is part of Tiwanaku which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000.

 

Pumapunko is a large earthen mound about 500 feet wide (167 meters) and about 350 feet in length (116 feet). What can be seen today is the remaining giant stones, some of which still lie scattered helter-skelter along the ground, and some of which have been lined up by archeological excavators in long rows.

 

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Radiocarbon dating of the mound-fill underneath the stonework has placed the first construction at the site to around 536 – 600 CE, but some researchers believe that Pumapunko is much, much older. The dating of nearby Tiwanaku is also a matter of considerable controversy.

 

The most remarkable and strangest feature of Pumapunko is the extremely precise way in which some of the stones were cut, which suggests that they were shaped by a technologically advanced civilization using modern machine tools. Many of the corners, both outer and inner corners, have been broken over time, but the extraordinary perfect flatness of the stones’ surface can be clearly seen.

 

There are rows of what are called H blocks. Massive stones shaped like the letter H. The surface of the stones is absolutely flat and smooth, cut to a tolerance of three 10,000th of an inch. The corners are precise right angles, with further right-angled rectangles indented inside the outside shapes, and even more rectangles inside those – not something that seems possible to do with a hammer and chisel.

 

Cut into some of the stones so that they may be joined together are dovetail holes, with the inside of each indentation larger than the outside, so that the stones can be locked into place.

 

In a YouTube video (the link is given below) Brien Foerster walks along a low wall uncovered during a recent excavation done in 2012. Among many sandstone rocks in the wall which are roughly shaped or natural are placed a few very hard gray andesite rocks, which stand out because of their very precisely cut, sharp lines. These andesite stones appear to have been recycled from earlier structures, perhaps from thousands of years ago. The sandstone rocks are primitively shaped, but the andesite rocks were made by someone else who possessed very advanced technology. Some of the remarkable H stones can also be seen in the video.

 

The site is vast, with a huge array of amazing structures, at an altitude of 13,000 feet. It resembles nothing else on earth, and it is not easy to imagine who might have built it, or for what purpose.

 

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It has been suggested by some investigators that the stones must have been melted in some way and then formed in a mold; however, Brien Foerster points out that each stone is unique with slightly different measurements so they could not have been shaped in a mold.

 

The largest foundation stone is not andesite, but red sandstone, which weighs 131 tons. It was moved uphill to the site from a quarry several miles away, but no one knows how. It could not have been rolled on logs because there are no trees here at this altitude.

 

There are virtually no inscriptions on the precisely-cut stones. This absence of inscriptions is odd. One finds the same lack of inscriptions on the oldest sites in Egypt. Author John Anthony West has pointed out that some of the great monuments of Egypt – the Great Pyramid, the Sphinx and the nearby Sphinx temple, and the Osiris Temple at Abydos – appear to be many thousands of years older than the Egyptian fourth dynasty – and that, remarkably, they also do not bear inscriptions – a stark contrast to the other Egyptian tombs and temples in which every available inch tends to be filled with images and hieroglyphs.

 

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Who built this extraordinary site, Puma Punko? Who built it, when, and for what purpose? No one knows. Ancient alien enthusiasts, predictably, attribute its building to ancient aliens. Others say it was constructed by very technologically advanced ancient humans – more advanced than ourselves, and that human civilization has been devolving, not evolving, since that time. Still others suggest that the ancient aliens and the ancient humans were one and the same, and that our species originally came from the stars. Others assure us that there is certainly no mystery at all, and that it is all easily explainable, though they do not have the exact explanation just yet. And others just laugh.

 

Whoever the builders were, what does seem indisputable is that there is a piece missing in our view of history. There are some things we cannot account for. Pumapunko is not the only mysterious megalithic site. The entire globe is peppered with them, and for the most part, we have no satisfactory explanation to account for them. Pumapunko is one of the strangest of all, but the more one looks at the others, the more puzzled one becomes.

 

Archeologists struggle to explain how theses enormous megalithic structures could have been built using the primitive tools and the limited knowledge that we attribute to early peoples.

 

When the history of our species is missing giant gaps, as it seems to be, we need to acknowledge that there is much that we do not know. The history of our world is filled with mysteries that we have not yet even begun to understand.

 

© Sharon St Joan, 2014

 

To see Sharon St Joan’s ebook, Glimpses of Kanchi, click here.

 

 

To view Brien Foerster’s video of Pumapunko, click here.

 

Top photo: Janikorpi / Wikimedia Commons / “This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.” / A view of some of the stone blocks at Pumapunko.

 

Second photo: Photo: Brattarb / Wikimedia Commons / “This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.” / One of the enigmatic stones at Pumapunko.

 

Third photo: Mattcorbitt / Wikimedia Commons / “This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Mattcorbitt. This applies worldwide.” / A stone with a precise straight line and machined holes within the line.

 

Fourth photo: Brattarb / Wikimedia Commons / “This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.” / More precisely cut stones. Weathering has broken some of the corners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Treetalker stories: Stories this week: INDIANA SENATE COMMITTEE OK’S INDUSTRIAL HEMP BILL – now they, and 9 other states, await word from the U.S. Congress that hemp-growing will become legal again

and: ‘PLANTING TREES COULD STOP FLOODING’, says Lord Rooker, former Environment Minister for the Labour Party in the U.K. – lot of flooding been going on across the Pond, with lots more predicted – seems an obvious and simple solution, but, as we know, old practices die hard.
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Laura Merrill's photo.