Celebration of the Green

 

IMG_5062Joining the Carolina Mountain Club is one of the best things I did as soon as I moved to Asheville four years ago. I have loved something about each and every hike in these hills and hollers, but yesterday’s Green River Cove hike, in the gorge along the Green River, was the most pleasurable club hike yet. A divine day full of light, only a poem can attempt to catch it.

 

Everywhere I cast my eye,

stone is flecked with mica,

and just down from the bank,

sparkling in the sand,

specks of the shining stuff

glitter from underwater.

Between the flow and the boulders we walk,

rocks like leaning beings, big as churches.

 

Carolina vetch begins its lacey climb.

Little brown jugs with their heart-shaped leaves

tantalize like unopened presents.

Trillium pumps up tight, still closed,

from the exact center of their tripartite show.

For the fragile whites of spring beauties,

and a brave patch of hepatica by the creek,

I honor this corner of earth.

Trillium Promise
Trillium Promise

I bow my thanks

for letting us pass this way.

 

Each time we cross a creek

I, also, pour down to the Green,

all my wishes for new growth.

Even when the river disappears from view

her rushing sound reaches us.

The wind in the treetops

sings harmony with the river

quickening, quickening over rocks.

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How green she is,

in the sun this dazzling afternoon!

And marching up a perfect hill,

a great clan of grey trunks,

trees still leafless

that let us see the sky,

impossible blue—

blue the color of dreaming.

Rising Female Energy

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Ixchel at the edge of the world sees from her vantage point that the new age is upon us, gender equality and female leadership in every sphere guiding us to create the new earth. I see Ixchel as a symbol and glyph showing us how to embrace our multidimensional natures and be immovable in the roaring winds of the dying patriarchy. And how to perceive, at a new level of consciousness, that women’s equality and women’s spirituality are one and the same. Hear Ixchel sing into the wind: Now is the time to change your life and change the world, to understand that they, also, are one and the same thing!

Here is Ixchel as represented on Isla Mujeres  (“Island of Women”), an island  located eight miles off of the  coast of the Yucatan Peninsula near Cancun Mexico. The beginning of a poem by Annelinde Metzner in Goddess Pages tells us who she is:

Goddess of the Moon! Ix Chel,
translucent and ever-changing weaver woman,
creator, destroyer, healer,
Lady Rainbow,
sleek jaguar of stealth and grace,
how you awaken me each morning…

Women once came by boat from far and wide to honor her and their women selves with ceremony. The tip of land where she stands juts into the sea and receives not only the first light, the sun rising there before any other place in the country, but also ferocious winds! Is Ixchel lonely in her solitary stance there in the winds at the easternmost part of Mexico?I view the serpent coiled on her crown as kundalini risen all the way from the base of her spine. She is alone, yes but not lonely, because the female energy has ascended to consciousness and has awakened all her powers. If we have not yet opened our spiritual senses as wide as our physical ones, all-one can look like alone. But Ixchel as the awakened one is united with her Source and, as part of Gaia, she has brought all of us along!

We are the women we have been waiting for.  At this crowning era of our planet, female energy rises and coils.  May Ixchel remind us all to honor our amazing female selves.IMG_2965

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oyotunji, African village in SC

This week my partner and I passed through the gates and entered the village of Oyotunji, capitol of the Yoruba people of the Western Hemisphere. Oyotunji means town of return and consists of fourteen acres near Sheldon in Beaufort County, South Carolina. It is an African village welcoming visitors with this sign: “You are now leaving the United States”. We learned that the villagers of Oyotunji practice Yoruba customs and traditions in their rules and laws that govern marriage, farming, and all of life. In the middle of the forest, we were led through a maze of huts, dirt roads and concrete buildings, through structures used for school or worship, and past altars of many deities.IMG_0133IMG_0132Olokun

From this post, the Oba (King) Adegbolu Adefunmi II reigns over all Yorubas in the Western Hemisphere. He succeeded his father who left Harlem to found Oyotunji in 1970. The current king was interested in doing film and creating music but the divination that came through at his birth said he was to be Oba, and he has stated that considers it his duty to fulfill the divination.Twins IMG_0144

At various times there were 250 people living in the village, though today a much smaller number of families has permanent residence. Our guide, Ono Wale Olutumbi, told us that here, Children grow up where they are blessed. Over the more than four decades since its founding, thousands of people have been initiated into the Yoruba culture and have become custodians of that culture, dedicated to the ancestors and spirits of Africa. Annual festivals honor the deities and also bring in tourist income. Guest lodges, meals and onsite camping is available. http://www.oyotunji.org/

For further reading on Yoruba religion particularly as related to women, see Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts: Manifestations of Àjé in Africana Literature (Blacks in the Diaspora) by Teresa N. Washington, and also,

Gelede: Art and Female Power among the Yoruba (Traditional Arts of Africa)by Henry John Drewal and Margaret Thompson Drewal

 

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Valentine Haikus

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Valentine Haikus

 

Spring stirs in my heart

though frozen snow still binds me.

I feel the Wheel turn

 

toward birth and tulips.

I imagine opening

windows, trying on

 

brand new habits, goals.

Be mine, I say to myself!

Break free from winter!

©Susa Silvermarie

Valentine’s Day dates back to a pre-Roman fertility festival held in mid-February called Lupercalia, a pastoral (i.e. pagan) festival to purify the city, releasing health and fertility. May we each give valentine love to ourselves and to our environment!

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