The Thinning of the Veils

It is once again the season where the veils between the earthly and spiritual realms become thin, even transparent. It goes by various names according to the culture you are brought up in, such as Hallows Eve (Halloween), Día De Los Muertos, Samhain, and others. In a commercially-driven culture such as the United States, this time is usually celebrated by watching horror movies, dressing up in various types of costumes, consuming candy and sweets, parties and a general reduction of consciousness (through alcohol, drugs, sex, food, and other forms of addictive sense-gratifying behaviors).

However, for those of us who are interested in becoming ever more awake to why we are here on Earth and what our journey’s purpose is, this is a very potent time of year.  When we go within ourselves to a deep place of awareness, we can meet our spiritual family, helpers and guides and gain valuable information. This is a process that can be facilitated, such as through a cacao or ayahuasca ceremony, but it can be equally powerful and illuminating to simply become very still, quiet down the mind, and ask your guides to be with you for a conversation.

Our current atmosphere within human society is based upon fear. Humans are fed a steady diet of fear stories, images, sounds, and events that masquerade mostly as “news” or “entertainment.” The ultimate goal of all of this is to keep people enslaved in fear mentality and emotional states, in order to control the population and maintain the status quo. The most insidious and effective tool to carry out this purpose is your cell phone. It has become the single most useful tool of mind control available in the world today. And we, complacent humans, gladly consume the fear nearly every time we scroll down the social media feed. Fear has become our constant companion in the 2020s.

Dear Readers, I would like to suggest that during the next few days and nights, while veils are at their thinnest between the realms, you turn off your cell phone and laptop. Get outside where there is any kind of nature, such your garden if you have one, a park or open space in a city, or else into the woods or near a body of water if you can. Light a candle if it is possible to do so, and have some water along. Become still, and ground yourself into the Earth. Call to the four directions, and the four elements of Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Sit quietly or lay upon the ground, and invite your spirit guides to commune with you on your soul level. Do not be afraid of them, and be sure to surround yourself with White Light on all sides, above and below. Only benevolent spirits are welcome in your sacred space. If you aren’t familiar with spirit communication, simply follow these steps and then quietly wait and listen. If you are sincere and open, they will come and be with you. You may ask them questions, or just ask them to share what they wish you to know at this time. Be open to receive and take it all in.  When you at last feel that you are complete in the communion, thank them and bless them for being with you. Stay in the quiet space for as long as you can before returning to your ordinary life.

Dear Readers, the times we are living through and those that lie ahead are extraordinarily challenging. There are many things to worry about and to mourn on so many levels: personal, familial, communal, regional, national and global. The months and years ahead will continue to challenge everything that humans have collectively believed and held to be true. Many belief systems will be exposed as false and harmful, and will crumble and fade. New belief systems will fill those vacuums. This is the time of sorting—what kind of future world will humanity collectively choose? Wherever the majority of consciousness puts its energy, will create that future world.

Those of us who have been incarnated during the past several decades will continue to leave their bodies and the Earth. The ones who are younger, such as the Millennials, Generation Z, and all the new souls being born now are the ones who must choose the future of humanity on Earth. Scientists acknowledge that the Earth’s atmosphere will continue heating for the foreseeable future, which affects all aspects of life on the surface. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. Yet, the future is unwritten. Humans are highly creative. There are many opportunities that exist now and will continue to be discovered, for adapting life to a hotter atmosphere. It’s not all lost yet, and it doesn’t have to be.  The choices that the younger generations make will determine their futures. This is why it is critically important for young people to turn off their phones, become still, and listen to their inner wisdom keepers. The future of humanity literally depends on it.

I wish everyone who reads this post a safe and healthy Hallows Eve, Día de Los Muertos, Samhain, and Thinning of the Veils. Blessings and peace to all.

The conversation about diversity, equity, & privilege in America

This is a tricky topic to write a blog post about, dear Readers. Even though it’s potentially asking for backlash, I want to attempt some thoughts around this politically tense issue.

Diversity, equity, and privilege are popular terms in our society these days, especially in the field of education. Being involved in this field for the past several years, I’ve seen these concepts only growing more prevalent. All facets of educating children and youth need to be run through the equity and diversity lens, and all white privilege must be checked at the door.

I like the pendulum analogy:  the pendulum is forever swinging from one extreme to the other in society, and at the moment we are in the wide arc of diversity.

What does this translate to in practical terms? Many things, including the fact that if a person happens to not be “of color” they are likely to be suspected of racism, white privilege, or else unawakened (not woke).  (Disclaimer:  I am a white person, living in the heart of the western United States.) I am in the midst of a graduate program to become a licensed special education teacher for K-12 students. I am a “mid-life career changer” as one recruiter put it to me, a polite way of saying I’m a little old for this game but am doing it, nonetheless.

Let’s face it, racism is as old as history itself. Since there have been different tribes of humans on the planet, there has been bias from one group towards others. Its manifestation as oppression, slavery, and violence is an ancient story here. In fact, I’ve been studying for a Praxis exam I must take and pass in order to obtain licensure; the dreaded Social Studies subtest. This test covers an insane amount of historical facts, from the time of European exploration of the Americas beginning in the 15th century, all the way through our current era. As I’m sure many readers are aware, the story of how America came to be the United States (and its 245 year history) is one of a little cooperation and friendship between different groups, and a lot of fighting, warring, pain and suffering. Abhorrent practices such as near extermination of indigenous tribes and slavery of Africans were common ways that certain white European-Americans got land, wealth and, yes, privilege. From the Spanish conquistadors who decimated Mexico, Central and South America, to the Dutch who brought African slaves to the Caribbean islands, (and consequently to the East Coast of the colonies) to the Spanish and English pirates who stole treasure as they traveled the high seas, to the Europeans who settled the original colonies at the expense of indigenous tribes’ lands and way of life, they eventually pushed across the entire continent and took what they wanted for their own gain in the name of “Manifest Destiny.” With so much bad blood as the foundation of settling and creating the United States of America, it is little wonder that 245 years later, this country is in a very tenuous position on many fronts. There is considerable evidence that we are on the cusp of complete societal collapse.

So here we are, in 2021. Never before have there been so many groups, individuals, famous and influential people of color speaking out, through all available platforms, about ending racism and unfair practices by the government at all levels. The truth of their message could not be any plainer:  People of color must be treated equally in every way as white people in the United States. It is incredible that over 150 years have passed since the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments were passed which made slavery illegal and gave rights of citizenship to black people. It took a hundred more years for the Civil Rights Act to be passed, guaranteeing Black people equal protection under federal law. And yet, here we are–Black and Brown skinned people are still being treated as less than white privileged people in lots of places in the United States in the year 2021.

Of course we have made a lot of progress. Barack Obama became the first Black president of the United States in 2008. People of color are at the top of their game in many fields of endeavor, such as music, the film industry, visual art, performance art– in fact all the creative industries. Obviously they are leaders in Sports. And in science, innovation, business, government, and also education. Yes, there has been a lot of progress. Still, the struggle to end policies and practices based in racism continues. The school to prison pipeline for youth of color is real in cities across America today. It is still true that in many public school districts, white women make up the majority of teachers, and white men the majority of top administrators. We still have farther to go.

Dear Readers, I’m afraid this blog post turned into a rant tonight. There is so much more to say on this subject. But I will end with a thought to ponder. We must never become complacent, and it’s important to continually check ourselves for hypocrisy. Case in point:  The Met Gala was just held in NYC this past week. It’s an annual event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where many famous celebrities come and model the most outrageous “formal” gowns and evening wear from New York’s fashion designers. I happened to notice that New York’s Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attended the gala event, wearing a gown with the words “tax the rich” written on her backside. Although I generally like her spunk and fearlessness at calling out corruption when she sees it on Capitol Hill, I must say that there was more than a little hypocrisy involved in her choice of attending that event, and wearing that particular message. See this article for more.

https://www.businessmayor.com/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-responds-to-criticism-of-tax-the-rich-dress-worn-at-met-gala/

Elegy for Our Common Identities

September 11, 2021

Today was the 20 year anniversary of the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City and Pentagon in Washington, DC.  I, and many other Americans, watched and listened to the event that took place at the 9-11 memorial at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. For several hours, pairs of people took turns to read the names of every person who was killed by the terrorist attack.

The people who read the names of the dead were all relatives of someone who died. Two by two, they stood somberly and read name after name, in alphabetical order.

Nearly 3,000 people died as a result of that fateful and tragic day. As the names of each one were read, I listened. Musicians played lovely, quiet chamber music to accompany the readings. Many emotions washed over me during the course of the memorial service.  Sorrow was the keynote underlying the entire service. One by one, the readers honored the one they had personally lost. Patterns quickly emerged:  father, brother, cousin, mother, sister, daughter, son. People of all ages honored their loved one, including many children and youth who never had the opportunity to know the one who died personally. And yet, each one spoke similar words of knowing them through the stories, pictures, and family ties they had for the past twenty years. Most of the readers remarked that they wished their beloved could have been alive to see their families grow and mark the milestones of their common lives—graduations, births, marriages, and other significant moments. Some readers choked up and cried as they read their memorial, feeling the loss as acutely as if time stood still. Many spoke of the pain they still felt as they remembered their beloved one every single day. And many ended with the words, we will meet again one day.

Corey Kilgannon for The New York Times

The common threads that were repeated over and over during the course of the four hour ceremony became apparent and important to recognize. A few of these threads include:

The names of the dead read as a reminder of who lives in America. The ancestors of these people came from all parts of the world, and yet they were all together in New York on that fateful day. All races, religions, creeds, and belief systems were represented in those who died.

Everyone who died had someone (or many) who cared about them, and misses them very much to this day. And, the important point that each person was simply a human, living their ordinary life on a clear September morning, when something unforeseeable and utterly horrific happened to them that was completely beyond their control.

This blog post is not the place to discuss the implications of everything that came after 9-11-2001, or of how the world changed forever because of that day. This post is simply my way to honor and remember, along with many others, those whose lives were taken from those whom they loved.

During the livestream, they showed the memorial itself. It is a brilliant representation of the eternal nature of life, death and spirit. A deeply built square fountain and pool of water that continually recycles. Around the perimeter are all the names of those who died carved into the stone rim. There were flowers and flags placed next to everyone’s name. The symbolism is profound as a fitting memorial to the human spirit which can never die, regardless of the destruction of the physical body.

Although today’s memorial service was specifically for the ones who died on 9-11-2001, I also sensed the larger memorial to all of those who have left us through no fault of their own. The pandemic has taken many millions of lives and left millions more behind to grieve. In a real sense, this time on Earth seems to be one of intense grieving and loss. There is a line in the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Christian-Judeo bible that states, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die … A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”  This is a time to mourn, to remember all that has happened, and to honor it for the lessons we have learned as the whole of humanity.