"Wes Clark Jr., the son of
retired U.S. Army general and former supreme commander at NATO Wesley
Clark Sr., was part of a group of veterans at Standing Rock one day
after the Army Corps announcement. The veterans joined Native American
tribal elders in a ceremony celebrating the Dakota Access Pipeline
easement denial. Lakota
spiritual leader and medicine man Chief Leonard Crow Dog and Standing
Rock Sioux spokeswoman Phyllis Young were among several Native elders
who spoke, thanking the veterans for standing in solidarity during the
protests. Clark got into formation by rank, with his veterans, and
knelt before the elders asking for their forgiveness for the long
brutal history between the United States and Native Americans: 'Many
of us, me particularly, are from the units that have hurt you over the
many years. We came. We fought you. We took your land. We signed
treaties that we broke. We stole minerals from your sacred hills. We
blasted the faced of our presidents onto your sacred mountain. When we
took still more land and then we took your children and then we tried to
make your language and we tried to eliminate your language that God
gave you, and the Creator gave you. We didn’t respect you, we polluted
your Earth, we’ve hurt you in so many ways but we’ve come to say that we
are sorry. We are at your service and we beg for your forgiveness.'" -- Charlie May, Salon, 12/5/16
Take this memory with you into the winter. Two powerful acts, one on Sunday, one on Monday, offer compelling
evidence that the great shift is already underway, even as we seemingly fall into an abyss. On 12/4/16, Barack
Obama (POTUS) and the U.S. Army Corps summoned what Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II called "tremendous courage," they declared
that there would no further madness-driven DAPL desecration on the
sacred land of the Sioux. On 12/5/16, two thousand U.S. military
veterans who had traveled to Standing Rock to serve as human shields, bowed before the Sioux tribal leaders and asked forgiveness for the crimes committed against the indigenous peoples throughout our history. The rainbow serpent has awakened. The
age of Pachamama is dawning, even
as the holocaust that is the age of Ayn Rand
rages on all around us. An evolutionary leap is coming. Breathe into
it, lean forward, love one another, serve Mother Earth. A time of magic
and miracles is arriving -- within us and all around us. -- Richard Power
Excerpts from the Statement of Standing Rock
Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II:
“Today, the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement
to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Instead, the
Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at
possible alternative routes. We wholeheartedly support the decision of
the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it
took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of
Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the
course of history and to do the right thing. The Standing Rock
Sioux Tribe and all of Indian Country will be forever grateful to the
Obama Administration for this historic decision. We want to thank
everyone who played a role in advocating for this cause. We thank the
tribal youth who initiated this movement. We thank the millions of
people around the globe who expressed support for our cause. We thank
the thousands of people who came to the camps to support us, and the
tens of thousands who donated time, talent, and money to our efforts to
stand against this pipeline in the name of protecting our water. We
especially thank all of the other tribal nations and jurisdictions who
stood in solidarity with us, and we stand ready to stand with you if and
when your people are in need. Throughout this effort I have
stressed the importance of acting at all times in a peaceful and
prayerful manner – and that is how we will respond to this decision.
With this decision we look forward to being able to return home and
spend the winter with our families and loved ones, many of whom have
sacrificed as well. We look forward to celebrating in wopila, in thanks,
in the coming days ... Again, we are deeply
appreciative that the Obama Administration took the time and effort to
genuinely consider the broad spectrum of tribal concerns. In a system
that has continuously been stacked against us from every angle, it took
tremendous courage to take a new approach to our nation-to-nation
relationship, and we will be forever grateful. -- Statement by Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II, 12/4/16
and tyrants routinely begin their reigns and sustain their power with
the deliberate and calculated destruction of art: the censorship and
book-burning of unpoliced prose, the harassment and detention of
painters, journalists, poets, playwrights, novelists, essayists. This is
the first step of a despot whose instinctive acts of malevolence are
not simply mindless or evil; they are also perceptive.
Such despots know very well that their strategy of repression will
allow the real tools of oppressive power to flourish. Their plan is
simple: 1. Select a useful enemy -- an 'Other' -- to convert rage into
conflict, even war. 2. Limit or erase the imagination that art provides,
as well as the critical thinking of scholars and journalists. 3.
Distract with toys, dreams of loot, and themes of superior religion or
defiant national pride that enshrine past hurts and humiliations." -- Toni Morrison, No Place for Self-Pity, No Room for Fear: In times of dread, artists must never choose to remain silent. The Nation, 3-23-15
Georgia O'Keeffe - Autumn Trees - The Maple (1924)
"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way,"
said Georgia O'Keeffe, "things I had no words for."
"Leonard Cohen, who
died this week, was one of our greatest songwriters—Bob Dylan told Cohen
that he considered him his nearest rival—and is a figure of almost
cult-like devotion among fans. He began as a poet in the vein of Allen
Ginsberg and Frank O’Hara before releasing his first album, in
1967. Suffering from terrible anxiety, not much tamed by alcohol and
drugs, he conquered his fear of performing onstage after decades of Zen
practice. David Remnick sat down with Cohen
this summer at his home in Los Angeles to discuss his career, spiritual
influences, triumphant final tours, and preparing for his end. 'I am
ready to die,' Cohen said. He was already suffering from a number of
health problems. 'At a certain point, if you still have your marbles and
are not faced with serious financial challenges, you have a chance to
put your house in order. It’s a cliché, but it’s underestimated as an
analgesic on all levels. Putting your house in order, if you can do it,
is one of the most comforting activities, and the benefits of it are
incalculable.' Remnick’s Profile of Cohen offers a look into the introspection of the musician’s final days ..." -- Leonard Cohen: A Final Interview, The New Yorker, 11/10/16
"When they poured across the border / I was cautioned to surrender / This I could not do ..." -- Leonard Cohen, The Partisan
[NOTE: If you receive Words of Power via e-mail subscription, this video will not appear in the body of the message, you can either click on the You Tube link above to watch it there or view the embedded video in this post on Words of Power. Steal eight minutes from the madness of the world, and watch and listen to this for your soul's nourishment.]
"Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes." -- Walt Whitman.
Super Moon. November 2016.
is a valuable possession; I hoard it the way people once hoarded money.
I save it, so I will have enough, when the time comes." -- Margaret
Atwood, A Handmaid's Tale.
Super Moon. November 2016.
"Our feelings are our most genuine paths to knowledge." -- Audre Lorde
were heading to high-rise buildings, ancient forts and beaches Monday
to witness the closest 'supermoon' to Earth in almost seven decades,
hoping for dramatic photos and spectacular surf. The unusually
big and bright Moon will appear at its most impressive just as night
falls over Asia, but astronomy enthusiasts will be able to see Earth's
satellite loom large anywhere in the world shortly after sunset, weather
permitting.The phenomenon happens when the Moon is full at the same time as, or
very near, perigee—its closest point to Earth on an elliptical, monthly
orbit. It should appear at its most impressive at 1352 GMT. It will be the closest to Earth since 1948 at a distance of 356,509
kilometres (221,524 miles), creating what NASA described as 'an
extra-supermoon'."-- Sam Reeves, Skygazers gear up for extra bright 'supermoon', Phys.Org, 11/14/15
Eliza Byard (@EByard), 11/19/16. This is how the future voted.
This is what people 18-25 said in casting their votes.
We must keep this flame alight and nurture this vision.
were 25 debates during the presidential primaries and general election
and not a single question about the attack on voting rights, even though
this was the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. Fourteen states had new voting restrictions
in place for the first time in 2016—including crucial swing states like
Wisconsin and Virginia ... We’ll likely never know how many people were kept from
the polls by restrictions like voter-ID laws, cuts to early voting, and
barriers to voter registration. But at the very least this should have
been a question that many more people were looking into. For example,
27,000 votes currently separate Trump and Clinton in Wisconsin, where 300,000 registered voters, according to a federal court, lacked strict forms of voter ID. Voter turnout in Wisconsin was at its lowest levels in 20 years
and decreased 13 percent in Milwaukee, where 70 percent of the state’s
African-American population lives, according to Daniel Nichanian of the
University of Chicago. -- Ari Berman,GOP Attack on Voting Rights Was Most Under-Covered Story of 2016, The Nation, 11/9/16
Yes, something bad has happened. And something very strange is going on. So now, life is calling for more from you and I than ever before; life, the Earth, our future are all of one voice in calling for us to become new (again), to declare ourselves (again), to choose love and liberation (again), to make yet another stand. In alignment with life, the Earth, our future, we are invincible.
The Patient Has to Want to Get Better
After eight years of healing treatment from a kind and gracious doctor, the patient has decided not to pursue another four years of healing treatment from the next doctor on duty, the patient would rather die then get better. After four more years of these treatments, the patient would have been strong enough for more aggressive medicine, the patient would have begun to remember more about life before the onset of the illness, and remembering more the patient might have wanted to get back to health and have a future, but no, the patient has apparently chosen its disease over healing, the patient has effectively chosen to die. The patient has refused further treatment, and chosen a different physician, a charlatan, a con man. The patient would rather keep on smoking the crack of anti-science, anti-nature, anti-woman, anti-color, anti-life. On the path of recovery, whether from physical or psychological afflictions, the patient has to want to get better; and there is now irrefutable evidence that this patient wants to die. How tragic.
Fight or Flight?
"Fight or Flight. The instinctive physiological response to a threatening situation, which readies one either to resist forcibly or to run away." -- Oxford Dictionary
There is no good choice. Flight? There is nowhere to run from planetary climate collapse, or global great depression or the next world war. There is nowhere to hide. Fight? Well, there have been many deeply disturbing examples of what to expect. Too many.
These are just two of many incidents that send a disturbing message. And there are related messages that are just as disturbing, for example, the acquittals of George Zimmerman and the Bundys. In America today, it is is dangerous to stand up and say two plus two equals four, but not so dangerous to abuse peaceful protesters, or murder unarmed African-Americans, or seize government buildings IF in the name of extreme right-wing causes.
What to Do, What to Be
So if you don't want to give up on the life of the patient, because after all your life and the patient's life are inextricably interconnected, what's your plan?
Whatever your own plan evolves into, as the shock begins to wear off, and the painful reality of what lies ahead of us comes into full measure, here are a few suggestions from my own new plan.
I urge you to keep it simple, both your plan and the message articulating your plan.
I urge you to consider two areas as paramount issues on which you will focus your time and energy: leaning forward on the Climate Crisis and the Sixth Great Extinction, and protecting and expanding the rights of women. The Standing Rock Sioux and Planned Parenthood deserve your support.
And as your first and foremost priority I urge you to tend to your own deep self-care, and sharing your self-care skills, for example yoga and meditation, with others.
Because the road ahead may be long and hard, it is certainly scary.
In the indeterminate time that stretches out before us from this crossroad, I will be quietly focusing on these three areas exclusively, in my writing, speaking and meditation, and for the foreseeable future, I will have nothing more to say about electoral politics or any other realm except as it relates directly to one of these three areas of focus.
If ... When ...
The election of 2016 was a portal, if we had been able to pass through it, this nation could have begun to self-correct its course, to get back on track, to truly gain traction to arrive at its appointment with the future, but we were taken down from behind, and that portal has closed on us
A great opportunity has been lost. Much trouble lies ahead. But another portal will open, perhaps sooner than later, and probably in some unexpected way. We must be ready to step through.
Meanwhile, our overriding imperative is to survive, and to abide. And in the process of surviving and abiding, we must continue to make our lives themselves into bold expressions of love and liberation.
Here are two excerpts from worthy attempts to articulate the unspeakable and make sense of the insane from the day after the election. I have included links to the full text of each.
The election of
Donald Trump to the Presidency is nothing less than a tragedy for the
American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the
forces, at home and abroad, of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny,
and racism. Trump’s shocking victory, his ascension to the Presidency,
is a sickening event in the history of the United States and liberal
democracy. On January 20, 2017, we will bid farewell to the first
African-American President—a man of integrity, dignity, and generous
spirit—and witness the inauguration of a con who did little to spurn
endorsement by forces of xenophobia and white supremacy. It is
impossible to react to this moment with anything less than revulsion and
profound anxiety. There are,
inevitably, miseries to come: an increasingly reactionary Supreme Court;
an emboldened right-wing Congress; a President whose disdain for women
and minorities, civil liberties and scientific fact, to say nothing of
simple decency, has been repeatedly demonstrated. Trump is vulgarity
unbounded, a knowledge-free national leader who will not only set
markets tumbling but will strike fear into the hearts of the vulnerable,
the weak, and, above all, the many varieties of Other whom he has so
deeply insulted. The African-American Other. The Hispanic Other. The
female Other. The Jewish and Muslim Other. The most hopeful way to look
at this grievous event—and it’s a stretch—is that this election and the
years to follow will be a test of the strength, or the fragility, of
American institutions. It will be a test of our seriousness and resolve.-- David Remnick, An American Tragedy, New Yorker, 11/9/16
see no way to stop this at first, but some of us will have to try. And
what we must seek to preserve are the core institutions that he may
threaten — the courts, first of all, even if he shifts the Supreme Court
to an unprecedentedly authoritarian-friendly one. Then the laws
governing the rules of war, so that war crimes do not define America as
their disavowal once did. Then the free press, which he will do all he
can to intimidate and, if possible, bankrupt. Then the institutions he
will have to destroy to achieve what he wants — an independent
Department of Justice as one critical bulwark, what’s left of the FBI
that will not be an instrument of his reign of revenge, our scientific
institutions, and what’s left of free thought in our colleges and
universities. We will need to march peacefully on the streets to face
down the massive intimidation he will at times present to a truly free
and open society. We have to hold our heads up high as we defend the
values of the old republic, even as it crumbles into authoritarian dust.
We must be prepared for nonviolent civil disobedience. We must
transcend racial and religious division in a movement of resistance that
is as diverse and as open as the new president’s will be uniform and
impossible though it may be, we will have to resist partisanship. The
only way back to a free society, to a country where no one need fear the
president’s wrath or impulses, is to unwind the factionalism that has
helped destroy this country. We have to forge a new coalition on right
and left to resist fascism’s reach and cultic power. In a country which
just elected and re-elected a black president — whose grace feels now
almost painful to recall — it is surely possible. I will leave you with these words about what has now happened to America. Someone saw it coming a long time ago: The
alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the
spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages
and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a
frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and
permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually
incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute
power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing
faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this
disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public
Liberty. That was George Washington’s Farewell Address. -- Andrew Sullivan, The Republic Repeals Itself, New York Magazine, 11/9/16
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) plans to hold the liberal establishment's
feet to the fire come January, vowing to work toward making the
political revolution a reality once the task of electing Hillary Clinton to the White House is accomplished.In an interview with the Washington Post published Monday, Sanders said he intends to use the "leverage" he accumulated during his historic primary bid
to promote the very agenda that propelled him to win "22 states and
46 percent of the pledged delegates, 13.4 million votes...and a majority
of the younger people, the future of the country."
According to John Wagner at the Post, who conducted the interview with Sanders at his home in Vermont on Friday: Sanders said he and other senators have started plotting
legislation that would achieve many of the proposals that fueled his
insurgent run for president, including a $15 federal minimum wage,
tuition-free public college, an end to "mass incarceration," and
aggressive steps to fight climate change. The senators, Sanders
said, also plan to push for the breakup of "too big to fail" banks and
to pressure Clinton to appoint liberals to key Cabinet positions,
including Treasury secretary. Sanders said he would not stay silent if
Clinton nominated the "same old, same old Wall Street guys" to
regulatory positions that are important in enacting and overseeing the
financial reforms he supports. "I will be vigorously in opposition, and I will make that very clear," Sanders said. He named Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) as potential allies in this effort. Sanders plans to use the Democratic Party platform—which he was instrumental in shaping and has called
"the most progressive" in the party's history—as a template,
characterizing it as "more progressive than Clinton's campaign agenda,"
Wagner wrote. -- Deidre Fulton, Clinton Has His Vote, But Sanders Vows to Stand Firm Against Dem Backsliding Common Dream, 10/24/16
Fear and Loathing in the Year of the Yang Fire Monkey #4: Eve Ensler, Pussy Riot and Bill McKibben Offer Final Words of Power on the 2016 Election
There are dangerous days ahead. It could all still go horrible wrong.
This has been the ugliest, saddest election campaign of my lifetime.
For many of us, trauma has been triggered. For many of us,
friendships have been challenged, perhaps to the breaking point.
have a just a few more insights to share, and then I will ask Eve
Ensler, Pussy Riot and Bill McKibben to offer the final
words of power on this bizarre story.
I am not a
Clintonista. Some of Hillary Clinton's policy positions are deeply
disturbing to me, particularly those related to geopolitics and national
security. But the irrational hatred expressed toward her by some
friends and colleagues on the Left is even more disturbing. There
is much good that could come from having Hillary Clinton in the White
House, particularly for women, children and people of color. But there
is no good that has or will come from the mindless rage that some of my
friends and colleagues have succumbed to; seriously, we might as well
have lost them to the fever swamps of the Alt-Right as to the off-the-cliff march of
the Stein Bots. This is a time for clarity of mind and
calm common sense decisions based on the greater good; not for becoming so narcissistically enamored of your own conscience that you lose it and
drown not in authentic righteousness but in its shallow reflection. Worst
of all is the mad assertion that Trump somehow ended up the Death Eater / Zombie Cult
nominee so that we would all be frightened into voting for Clinton, an Alt-Left version of "it's all rigged." Well, the world simply isn't that
simple (if only it were). It is imperative that you understand the profound historical
significance of this moment, and see Trump for what he truly is, the
final fruit of the poisoned tree planted in the time of Ronald Reagan;
because without the jelly bean malice of Reagan, the naked sociopathy of
George W. Bush could not have been visited upon us, and without George
W. Bush, the unspeakable abomination that is Donald Trump could not have
been visited upon us. The Death Eaters who are now desperately distancing themselves from this Trumpster Fire, e.g., the Bushes, Ryan, McConnell, Kasich, Romney, McCain, etc., are all responsible for what is happening now, they let the garbage pile up, they poured the gasoline, they lit the match.
To frame this election as just another choice between the lesser of two evils is to miss the deeper truth of it, this election is an opportunity, and
If the White House is passed from Obama to Clinton we can keep the patient alive, if control of the Senate is wrested from the Death Eaters then we can stack SCOTUS for a generation, we can stop the hemorrhaging, if we can somehow miraculously wrest the House from the Death Eaters, we can cleanse the wound, and stitch it up, and get the patient on the path to healing.
I watched Hillary Clinton debate Barack Obama in 2008, and I watched her debate Bernie Sanders this year, and yes, I watched all three of her debates with Trump. She was not persuasive in her debates with Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders, not just in her policy positions, but in her style and her tone, she came across as disingenuous and duplicitous. But in her debates with Trump, she was powerful, calm, fully present, connected with her body, fluid in her moments, even mellifluous in her tone. This isn't just because Trump is such a freak show; it's because in her debates with Obama and Sanders, she was debating people more progressive than her in many ways, her debates with Trump are the first time we have seen her debate someone to her right since her Senate campaigns in New York. She came across as disingenuous, duplicitous and disconnected from her body and voice in her debates with Obama and Sanders because she knew they had the moral high ground, and outflanked her on the progressive side of the spectrum. With Trump, she could turn and face the real adversary, from a position of strength and authentic righteousness. That's why she came across as powerful, calm, fully present, connected with her body, fluid in her moments, even mellifluous in her tone. This offers some hope that her governance will be more enlightened than some of us surmise.
Enough. Enough. I didn't want to say anything at all about this race. I didn't want to get engaged in this election cycle at all. But Words of Power is an ongoing narrative, and this is a moment of profound importance. I had to speak. There is the issue of Wiki Leaks to deal with, but I will write about all of that another time; all I will say here and now is that nothing that has been released has in any way changed the facts on the ground in this election, or revealed anything at all to be any different than what the astute analyst could already discern.
But now I will give the final word on this sad, ugly campaign to a few worthy allies.
Eve Ensler Speaks
is not a leader or a presidential candidate. He is an outcome, a viral
manifestation of a serious malignant illness. He is the mirror of our
emptiness, the emptying out that has been happening to our country for a
very long time.He is an outcome of a two-party system that has consistently
ignored the needs and wishes of the majority of Americans for
generations. He is the manifestation of celebrity culture where those
that have everything are worshipped for their shiny success and in the
world of celebrity that shininess is a stand in for principles,
substance and moral values. He is personality over planning, symbol over substance, insipidness over insightfulness. He is the outcome of the rich being able to buy anything, including our democracy. He is an outcome of centuries of underlying unaddressed, massively denied and metastasized racism. He is the hatred of the poor and the needy, the denigration
of immigrants and those seeking refuge from the devastation of US wars
and imperialism. He is the outcome of an insidious exceptionalism – the
bedrock belief that American lives are more precious and valuable than
any Others, those that we stigmatize, bomb, torture, murder, control,
invade and whose economies we trash, whose resources we devour, whose
futures we steal. He is the outcome of fear which masquerades as bullying. He is the manifestation of patriarchy and the endlessly
indoctrinated belief that only a father will save us even though the
mainly men who have been determining reality for this country and the
planet have led us to near ruin. He is the outcome of high tech fantasy, virtual disconnection, TV reality shows.He is proof of the duplicity of corporate sponsored media that claim
“neutrality” while reaping profits from propping up racists, tyrants,
fascists, haters and those that would seek to destroy the country ...-- Eve Ensler, Let Donad Trump Be Our Unifier, Guardian, 3/23/16
Bill McKibben Speaks Bill McKibben, author and co-founder of 350.org,
minces no words addressing those environmentally-minded voters who are
fretting over the mixed record of Democratic presidential nominee
Hillary Clinton: Elect her, "and then give her hell." In a column
published at The Nation on Tuesday, McKibben shares the sentiment felt
by many progressive voters this election season: "I'd much rather have
been campaigning for Bernie Sanders." Those feelings, McKibben
acknowledges, were compounded after WikiLeaks revealed this weekend
that behind closed doors Clinton defended natural gas and fracking, and
said that environmental activists should "get a life." Those damning
email leaks only further underscored what McKibben describes as
Clinton's "craven" silence over the Dakota Access Pipeline fight. "Even
the sight of attack dogs being used on peaceful Native American
protesters didn't move her to break ranks with her industry allies and
that fraction of the labor movement that still wants to build
pipelines," he writes. "That's craven on her part, pure and simple." "So
why," he asks, "are many of us out there working to beat [Republican
nominee Donald Trump] and elect her? Because Trump is truly a horror."
And when faced with the choice between a "horror," and a politician
who—through growing pressure from concerned citizens—has shown she can
be pushed on issues related to climate, McKibben reasons, he'll take the
latter ...-- Lauren McCauley, With No Illusions, Says Climate Leader, Clinton Must Be Elected—Then Fiercely Confronted, Common Dreams, 10/18/16
Pussy Riot Sings
“Don’t play stupid / don’t
play dumb / vagina’s where you’re really from!*” These glorious words
comprise the powerful (and dangerously catchy) chorus to Pussy Riot’s
new song “Straight Outta Vagina.” The danceable number, which features Desi Mo and Leikeli47, is the latest from the Russian punk group,
whose members spent nearly two years in a Russian prison after
criticizing Vladimir Putin in their 2012 performance “Punk Prayer.” In their newest song, Pussy Riot lodges their message at Putin’s non-best friend Donald Trump, whose history of verbally and physically abusing women is truly sickening. It’s ironic, Pussy Riot
reminds us, that the man who so cavalierly bragged about grabbing women
“by the pussy” owes his very existence to it. Although it’s hard to
listen to the song without thinking of all that’s at stake in this
maddening current political climate, the powerful lyrics are about so
much more. “This song could be considered an answer to Trump,”
Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova told The Guardian. “But I believe the
idea of powerful female sexuality is much bigger than any populist
megalomaniac man … Vagina is bigger than Trump.”-- Priscilla Frank, Pussy Riot’s ‘Straight Outta Vagina’ Wants Trump To Remember Where He Came From, Huffington Post, 10/25/16
Horned Woman on the Playa. Burning Man 2016. Photo Credit: Richard Power
offers the model of a religion of poetry, not theology. It presents
metaphors, not doctrines, and leaves open the possibility of
reconciliation of science and religion, of many ways of knowing." --
Starhawk, The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the
On the Playa at Night. Burning Man 2016. Photo Credit: Richard Power
mythos and fairy tales, deities and other great spirits test the hearts
of humans by showing up in various forms that disguise their divinity.
They show up in robes, rags, silver sashes, or with muddy feet. They
show up with skin dark as old wood, or in scales made of rose petal, as a
frail child, as a lime-yellow old woman, as a man who cannot speak, or
as an animal who can. The great powers are
testing to see if humans have yet learned to recognize the greatness of
soul in all its varying forms.” -- Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who
Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
Unicorn on the Playa. Burning Man. September 2016.
am the only Unicorn there is? The Last? … That cannot be. Why would I
be the last? What do men know? Because they have seen no unicorns for a
while does not mean we have all vanished. We do not vanish. … There has
never been a time without unicorns. We live forever! We are as old as
the sky, old as the moon! We can be hunted, trapped; we can even be
killed if we leave our forests, but we do not vanish. … Am I truly the last?" -- Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn (1982 screenplay)
Catacomb of Veils by Dan Sullivan and the Catacomb Crew. On fire at sunrise. Photo Credit: Richard Power
human race is a very, very magical race. We have a magic power of
witches and wizards. We're here on this earth to unravel the mystery of
this planet. The planet is asking for it." -- Yoko Ono
Catacomb of Veils by Dan Sullivan and the Catacomb Crew. On fire at sunrise. Photo Credit: Richard Power
Goddess is not just a light, happy maiden or a nurturing mother. She is
death as well as birth, dark as well as light, rage as well as
compassion — and if we shy away from her fiercer embrace we undercut
both her own power and our own growth." -- Starhawk, "She Rises: Why
Goddess Feminism, Activism, and Spirituality?" Edited by Helen Hye-Sook
Hwang and Kaalii Cargill. (2015)
Temple Courtyard, In the Early Morning. Burning Man 2016. Photo Credit: Richard Power
the Craft, we do not believe in the Goddess ~~ we connect with her;
through the moon, the stars, the ocean, the earth, through trees,
animals, through other human beings, through ourselves. She is here. She
is within us all” -- Starhawk
Temple Courtyard, In the Early Morning. Burning Man 2016. Photo Credit: Richard Power
have been held back and limited throughout the centuries. Creation
could not have been rendered, not even considered, let alone be brought
into manifestation without woman. She is principal, a powerful energy.
She is first." -- Alice Coltrane
The Man Burns. Burning Man 2016.
Photo Credit: Richard Power
liberation of the earth, the liberation of women, the liberation of all
humanity is the next step of freedom we need to work for, and it's the
next step of peace that we need to create." -- Vandana Shiva
Woman Sleeping On the Ground At Center Camp
is worse to stay where one does not belong at all than to wander about
lost for a while and looking for the psychic and soulful kinship one
requires” -- Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves:
Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype (1996)
Burning Man, Black Rock City, September 2016. P'hoto Credit: Richard Power
"Truth was the only daughter of Time." -- Leonardo da Vinci, Notebooks
#Earth @Home by Laura Kimpton and Jeff Schomberg. Burning Man 2016. Photo Credit: Richard Power
"We have nowhere else to go... this is all we have." - Margaret Mead