Rise & Connect: what bothers me about #resist


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resist Resist. A slogan; a hashtag; a non-profit co-founded by Noam Chomsky; half of Rise & Resist, the name of a newly formed NYC group. The Resistance.


Perhaps like me, you are among the millions using #resist as a rallying cry–a call to action. A way to find your people. Yet, something about that word has been bothering me.

Words carry energy and have power. What is resist’s energetic? It’s creating a hard stop. A barrier. We certainly will need to do that. Yet we want to keep our energy flowing. Thus, I propose for our rallying cry and intention Rise & Connect rather than Rise & Resist.

Feel the difference in the energy between those two concepts.

womensmarch2Picture our collective movement: the full, glorious, intersectional sum of all the justice and environmental movements. Picture our movement expanding, brightening, connecting. Forming a beautiful, flexible web that will support us all. That will be resilient in its redundancy, that will organically resist harm, just like the mychorrizal networks in the soil that connect trees through a complex web, enabling them to share resources, cooperating so that the whole forest thrives.

Picture the web of our movement resilient in its ability to adapt, to flex, to wrap around.


Picture that web, rather than a hard barrier that opposing forces can push against, to bounce off of, to amplify their power and effect. Pushing against a web, just gets you stuck. The web absorbs and lessens the energy of opposition.

The concept of Rise & Connect passes my test for what will feed us and not feed the narcissistic, dominating entity that has seized power in the U.S. Narcissists thrive on attention of all sorts. Even the attention of being resisted. They grab the energy, and turn it to their purpose. Let’s not feed the beast!liberty-sigil

footnote: to be clear, resistance is necessary. I am talking about the words we use, the intention and the images we hold.

Amplifying the energy of the Women’s March to strengthen the Web of Life


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I feel the millions on the streets today in Washington DC and around the world: the spiral of energy created by the passionate voices raised, by the connections made, blankets our planet and dissolves the tendrils of hate and greed that would tear apart the Web of Life. Dissolving all that would harm this planet and its beings. That is my novel’s theme.Women's March 1/21/2017

Truth through fiction: a coven of witches, contacted by the Old Ones who deepen their knowledge and skill for shaping energy and making magic, seeks the Working that will save the planet from a cataclysmic event, save the Web of Life from being torn asunder.

The Old Ones showed me that the best use of my energy this weekend would be tapping into the magic afoot to charge my novel as I read my final manuscript-just-back-from-editor. That is my role in the rising tide of the Living River:

Writing, teaching, and creating ritual to create a just, sustainable, regenerating world. My passion.

I pause from my reading periodically and swirl the well water in my bluebluewater bowl in a clockwise spiral,  adding my passion and sending it to those on the streets. Adding the energy from the millions who rise for truth, love and jusice and amplifying it to send back out. Strengthening the Web of Life.

We are sweet water,
We are the seed,
We are the storm winds
That blow away greed.
We are the new world we bring to birth,
A river rising to reclaim the Earth.

~Starhawk’s chant that is often used by the Pagan Cluster’s Living River: the magickal activist arm of the Reclaiming Tradition

Truth, Love, Justice: #J20 lifting up and shining out


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Lady Liberty stands with feet connected to the stone and earth below. Her diadem connects her to the stars. Feel the power of her torch calling to you. Be her torch of truth in the world!

Lady Libery's torch of TRUTHBreathe, and open yourself. Fill your energetic body with Earth energy. Allow your field to be wider and wider, taller and taller.  Fill yourself with Lady Liberty’s healing, bright light. Feel it blossom into a 7-pointed crown at your head, radiating out to the world.

Do this today #J20. Do this every day.

Enhance this magic: ask for visions of the just, sustainable world we are creating. What does it look like? See the textures, colors of the landscape. Smell, taste the air. Listen. Who is there, what are they doing? What grows there? Where does energy come from? How do people work and play? Let the vision unfold. Imagine this world we bring to birth.

Starhawk's Fifth Sacred Thing ecocity of future

Jessica Perlstein‘s vision of a San Francisco utopia, circa 2048; concept art for The Fifth Sacred Thing film based on Starhawk‘s bestselling novel.

With your image of the future in mind, who will you be in this new world? What action(s) will you take to manifest this state of being and vision?

Be Liberty’s torch of TRUTH, LOVE, JUSTICE! Rooted together, we crack through the sticky, life-sucking, harmful energies to grow, to shine, to use our gifts to heal the earth and her people! So it is now! liberty-sigil

Mama Ocean on the threshold of #J20

Today I walked along the beach–my place for solace and calm, for feeling refreshed and recharged, for hearing what Mama Ocean wishes to tell me. The same coastline I walked the week my mother died.

hook-skylineHere I am on the beach–the tip of Sandy Hook NJ where I can see the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines, the Verazzano Bridge. Beachcombing in 40 degree weather, seeing what Mama Ocean will show me today. Feeling the salty air filling my lungs, touching my skin.

The first thing I pick up is this sea-eroded bone. Likely cow. Look at the beauty created by sea and sand, surf and flow, the way She composts us when we leave our bodies behind. When Mama Ocean gives me bones I know the Ancestors are near. I am happy for that. Be our allies, I ask. Be our allies in turning the tide, changing our world.bone

The next thing Mama Ocean shows me: a message to a loved one who has passed on, sending love and more love to Barbara. A message enclosed in a plastic food container, washed up on the beach. Another nod to the other realm.

beach-msgYes, the Ancestors are near.

I give the message to Mama Ocean with blessings, and add the plastic to my trashpicking bag to recycle.

This day, tagged as #WeStandUnited, just ahead of #J20, I am beachcombing (and trashpicking), thinking of all my friends who will be on the streets through the weekend in NYC, Philly, Oakland, DC, Burlington, Lancaster and so many other places around the US. Thinking of the threats to justice, to the planet, to our lives that are on the doorstep, the 60’s song Eve of Destruction running through my head. I stop. I say No! The people are rising, the tide is turning, we are creating a just, sustainable, regenerating world now! So it will be! liberty-sigil

Message to humans: open and recharge

Breathe. Your reaction to the US Presidential election? sphereBreathe.  Here’s what I get: the most important thing right now and in coming days & months is to center, open, and fill with our vital energy. To find ways to open our energy and stay full and charged.  We need to be able to fund the energy to work change and be active as we are called, whenever that is.

In the face of fear: open and recharge.

In the face of anger: open and recharge.

In the face of despair: open and recharge.

This will be a process. An ebb and flow. Begin taking time for yourself to do this. Be in nature. Notice beauty. Ward against deflating so that the balloon of yourself will float and hold its own.

Allow the balloon of yourself to float,

To hold its own.

Be the witches and magicians and humans that we are: assure our energy is intact–that we have the energy to fund our magical and mundane work, to brighten the Web of Life as we move through the world. Next steps will become apparent. They will be as varied as we are. Be ready.

Serious Magic on the Witches’ New Year


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Samhain is nearly here and I find I’m not in the mood for witty, outrageous, creative Halloween costumes or parties. Nor for the memes and photos of Halloween I’m seeing in social media. It is just too serious of a time–the stakes too high. I seek quiet for my important, solitary magic. hecate-2016Soon I’ll set up the altar for my meal with the Ancestors  tomorrow. They always tell me to laugh. Maybe they will again this year. Laughter is healing and energy-opening, after all. Maybe after my ritual tomorrow I’ll chuckle at the silliness I’m seeing in social media.

Samhain is the holiday when the veil between the realms of the living and the dead are thin. It is a time when I commune with my Ancestors, and the Ancestors of the land where I live. I feel them draw near. I ask that those who love me beyond measure, and those who love the living Earth beyond measure witness my rite, and speak if they will. I ask them to hold the space for magic that affects all the worlds. Magic that will heal all the worlds.

Today, just ahead of my Samhain rite, I join the vigil for the Water Protectors in North Dakota. Those of Indian nations and allies who have come together to protect their lands and stand up to colonialist land & resource grab. Today I send love and healing to the Protectors, and prayers for those who have been injured or killed. I ask the Ancestors to hold the space for Right Action in and near the Sacred Stone camp, and send healing to the Water Protectors.

Whatever energy you are feeling at this time, may your Samhain be fruitful and blessed. May the Water Protectors feel energized, protected, healed. So mote it be!

Fantasy Government


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Here we are in the U.S., just ahead of a presidential election that I’m sure you’ve heard about. A tragic comedy of errors. What if, like fantasy football, I could put together a fantasy government? pres-warrenMy picks would govern as if the Earth and all beings were sacred; and clean water and air, healthy soil and food, and wild and natural lands were our protected birthright. They’d assure the right to make a living wage in a healthy way, and the right to safe and affordable lodging, food and other necessities. The right to protect and enhance our quality of life. A government that values diversity as a root of a healthy, sustainable society and ecosystem. They’d know that the capitalist model of continuous growth, and wealth accumulating at the top needs major overhaul.

My picks?  No question, Elizabeth Warren for U.S. President! She is so intelligent and well-spoken, with a record of speaking truth to power. I would trust her decisions. Zephyr Teachout would hold an influential post. Perhaps Vice President. Progressive allies like Bernie Sanders and Dennis Kucinich would populate Congress, along with ecofeminists, pagans, Occupy-type activists and other Earth and Justice defenders. They would be of diverse colors, gender identities, backgrounds.

Bill Maher and Rachel Maddow would be policy advisors.

Starhawk would head the Environmental Protection Agency, which would incorporate Agriculture and have a proactive mission:  assuring a sustainable, regenerating Earth and healthy food systems. Assuring policies made by all arms of the government and regulation of corporations pass the Earth-is-sacred test.

Indigenous Americans (Indians) would populate the Department of the Interior. Federal lands would be returned to tribal nations with agreement to manage parks and wilderness areas for sustainable public access. Our defense policies would change so that we most often ignore taunts, aggression and terrorism. We model cooperation, diversity, consensus, peace and thinking well of others. So the Defense Department becomes an office within the Department of State with Joanna Macy as Secretary. I’d collect Labor, Treasury, HUD and HHS into one department in charge of all aspects of the economy aligned with social welfare with Robert Reich as head.

You get the picture. Who would be your picks?

Peace and War

A sustainable, regenerating, peaceful world where the Declaration of the Four Sacred Things (air, fire, water, earth) underlies society: YES! fifthsacredthingI just finished rereading The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk. Juxtapose that wonderful way of living that Starhawk promotes and the way the people of ecotopian San Francisco of the near-future uphold their society in a non-violent form of civil disobedience when they are invaded by the dominant society that surrounds them–the society controlled by corporate interests that control all water, food and medicine amidst the toxic environment–juxtapose that world with War of the Roses and Tudor era England. Why would I wish to do that?

Because of the other books I’m reading at same time: the violent conflicts that set up and strike down the royals one after the other feature prominently in Phillipa Gregory’s historical novels set in 14 and 1500’s England. Similarities? Gregory gives life to and writes from the perspective of the ruling women of that time, and through her writing we get glimpses of what emerging feminist thought might look like in those times when women were owned by men and had no right to land or property without a husband. Yet most of the leading women characters (all real historical figured) are as ruthless and violent as the men. There is no paradigm for a different way of living. Starhawk’s strong leads are women working cooperatively with men, weighing the need for violence to protect a sustainable way of life against finding new paradigms to create and protect the future they wish to see.

A lesson here?

If you can imagine it, you can make it real.

Something Starhawk and I will offer in workshop and ritual soon: Stories for the Future. Join us in creating a sustainable, regenerating future!

Weave and spin, Weave and spin,
This is how the work begins.
Mend and heal , Mend and heal,
Take the dream and make it real!

As an aside: it’s been such a long time since I published anything longer than a tweet or facebook post. I’m at the very end of the final rewrite of my novel, which has taken my focus. I plan to make more time for blogging. Hope you’ll follow me!